Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is healthy?

Today I want to define what I mean when I use the term "healthy" in my posts.  The dictionary defines health as: 

1. the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor: good health; poor health.
2. soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment: to have one's health; to lose one's health.

Well, for a definition, it doesn't seem, definitive.  I feel it is very open for interpretation.  People in our society have varied views of healthy.  There are vegans who believe health is obtained from omitting any and all animals products and by-products from their diet.  A vegetarian does not eat any animals, but may still consume animal by-products (such and eggs or cheese).  Some people now believe gluten to be extremely detrimental to a person's health.  Others have specific ailments, like diabetes or hypertension, which require dieting changes or restrictions in order to attain better health.  Clearly, there is not one way to be healthy.
When I think of wanting to be healthy, I think of wanting my body to function properly and at it's highest efficiency.  My personal belief is that God has given us everything we need to sustain optimal body performance.  Did God give us the Twinkie?  Well, in a very round-about way, I guess we could say that he created everything on this planet, including all the ingredients of the Twinkie, and that he gave people the knowledge to put those things together into a tasty treat.  I do not think this is the same as saying that God created the Twinkie.  I can not go out to the unattended wilderness and pick a ripe Twinkie off the vine.  I can, however, go pick a ripe grape off the vine and eat it right there on the spot.  So, I guess I think of healthy foods as those that are commonly known as "whole foods."  These are foods with little or no refining or processing and containing no artificial additives or preservatives.  These will be the primary ingredients in the recipes I try.  Oh, for clarification, frozen or canned fruits and veggies are still good in my book.  And there may be some processed ingredients included on occasion.  That's alright!  I'll just try to make sure those ingredients remain the minority.

So, on that note, I'd like to present my first recipe.   It is very simple and something I created on my own.  My family really enjoyed it, so I hope yours will, too!

Turkey Salsa

1 lb. ground turkey
24 oz. salsa (I prefer mild, but whatever your family likes will work)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
 Rigatoni pasta, cooked
(Optional: 1 medium zucchini, diced)

In a large pan, brown the ground turkey.  Drain and return to pan.  Add in salsa, diced tomatoes, and frozen corn.  Heat, covered, until corn is warmed.  Stir occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook rigatoni pasta as directed on package. (I used this because it's what I had in the cupboard, but you may choose any shape pasta you'd like.)   

To serve, place one cup cooked pasta on plate.  Spoon 1 cup of turkey salsa over the pasta.  Viola!

Makes: 7 servings (a serving is one cup pasta and one cup turkey salsa)
365 calories per serving (Calorie count may vary depending on the brand of product used.)
One medium zucchini adds 5 calories per serving.

I suggest serving with a side salad and a small piece of garlic bread.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

And It Begins...

I want to take a minute to explain what this blog will be about and why I decided to start it.  Let's start with the title: Moms Do Not Eat Alone.  There is an obvious (I hope) truth to this statement.  Beginning with my first child's move to solid food and continuing until all my children are moved out of my home, 90% of the meals I eat will be in the company of at least one or more of my offspring.  More than that, I will be primarily responsible for the planning and preparation of each of those meals.  Now, let's be honest.  For many years, this hasn't exactly been an issue that weighed heavily on my mind.  I'm a mom.  Of course I fix food for my kids.  So what?  They certainly aren't starving, so where's the problem?

The problem is that it's apparent I'm not starving, either.  And I mean that in the "looks like she could stand to skip a few meals" kind of way.  Is it obvious yet? I'm over-weight.  The thing is, I'm not alone.  I know more women who are struggling with their weight than I do women who are even close to their "ideal" body weight.  There are a LOT of programs or products available to help people got control of their weight.  Let's see what comes to my mind: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Alli, Fastin, Ultra 90, Sensa... and the list continues.  I am not bashing any of these things.  I'm sure for any individual person, one or more of these solutions would produce weight loss. 

Oh, wait.  Did you read that?  "...for any INDIVIDUAL person..."  This is the point of my blog (I know, I know, it sure took me a long time to get to it).  If a mom decides to embark on any of these weight loss adventures, she often has to exclude herself from family meals.  For some women this would mean not eating at the same time her family eats.  Maybe she will make their meal, serve them at the table, and then heads back into the kitchen solo to prepare her "special" meal.  Perhaps instead, the woman starts meal prep an hour earlier than usual just so she can make two meals; one meal for her and one for the rest of the family.  She sits with her family and gets to have a family meal.  Except she really enjoys the food she made for the family.  Oh Yum....  Doesn't it smell good?  Ooh! Look! There's one small extra slice of lasagna left over in the pan.  Hmmm....  Her "special" food is gone, but just that last little piece wouldn't be so horrible to her diet, would it? And why should she be the only one who has to deprive herself of the succulent food???  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  It certainly describes me every time I have attempted a specific diet plan.

So, my goal here is to address this issue.  I want two things to happen: one, women can control their weight while enjoying the same delicious meals their whole family eats, and, two, the entire family benefits from the move toward healthier eating habits.  Please keep in mind I am talking about a MOVE TOWARD healthier eating.  Don't judge me if I slip and feed my family a frozen pizza one night. :)  I'm not perfect and no change like this is going to happen over night.  My blog will be about my personal journey, but I do hope you will join me.  Everything is more fun with friends!