Our nation's children are the first generation NOT expected to live as long as their parents - WOW

Oh healthy eating, why have I not yet fallen in love with you?

I’m really working on it, but it is a change to have to alter your lifestyle. This isn’t a temporary diet to lose some weight – this is a permanent life change to help me avoid diseases in the future.

And so I wake up, get out my fresh food and snacks, and begin my day.

Yesterday though, I was watching the awards show (in my couch-potato-ish-ness) and saw a preview for this show: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
One of the lines in the preview is: Our nation's children are the first generation NOT expected to live as long as their parents.

Now, if you see pictures of my children or know my kids, then you know they are in no way even close to having an obesity problem. They are beanpoles. They eat healthy (although my four-year-old would eat only cookies and fruit snacks if I’d let him).

BUT – I am considered obese (man, that hurts to say) – and their father and I are their main role models – so what am I teaching them?

My parents were always good about healthy eating. My mom cooked good meals that were balanced; we weren’t allowed a lot of snacks. But I also grew up in the time where we didn’t have so many video game options and computers, so we were outside running around a lot. Our parents also didn’t worry as much about predators and kidnappings as we do now – times were just different.

When I got to college and determined my own meals, I dropped the ball. Along with eating unhealthy meals, I was no longer playing sports or dancing – and that took a toll on my body as well. When I turned 21, well, let’s just say I had yet another venue for putting on weight.

Seeing the preview for that show though only strengthened my determination to teach my kids the best foods to eat, and get them interested early in fruits and vegetables so that they will maybe choose those over other items when given the option.

It may slowly be working. The other night, I started making dinner and my son said, “Mom, can you make me broccoli please?” He’s four.
And I was floored.

My husband looked at me, I looked at him, and then he quickly whispered, “Don’t question it! Just make it!” So I did – and my son gobbled it up. Just plain, steamed broccoli, nothing added. I was amazed. Then he came over to me and asked me to feel his muscles, asking if they grew, to which I replied in my most amazed tone, “Oh wow, they DID!” and he smiled, and asked for more broccoli.

Then last night, he ate mashed potatoes and corn, which in the past has been a struggle to get him to eat. I was so proud of him, and a little proud of my husband and I for getting him to a place where he’ll try and eat all these foods (he has been notoriously picky as an eater in the past).

This healthy journey of two months thus far has not been easy – it really hasn’t. After two months, I’m still not loving this. I think part of the reason is that I’m struggling with implementing new food. It’s a tough balance – making sure you’re eating the right combination of carbs/fats/protein while still staying in the correct calorie range and getting enough fiber and nutrients as well. It seems like I get a good measurement on all the above down, and then I just stick with it awhile because it’s hard to switch out matching foods with matching values, then I get sick of the food and start all over again. It will get easier as time goes on, but I’m going to have to start doing a lot more research!

This weekend, I did a lot of reading on the appropriate calories, and what percentage of those should be carbs/fats/protein. From what I’ve been reading on www.livestrong.com and other sites, it should be 20% fats (healthy fats, mind you!), 30% protein, and 40% carbs (again, healthy carbs). Here’s a good caloric breakdown calculator.

Of course, I get confused by the “healthy carbs,” “healthy fats,” thing. You hear all the time about avoiding fat, go on the no-carb diet, etc. Those are not necessarily the best idea, because you need the healthy version of those things to keep your body running.

Here’s a simple breakdown:
  • Health Fats

  • Monounsaturated fats: Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds

  • Polyunsaturated fats: Vegetable oils (such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils), nuts and seeds

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Fatty, cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseeds, flax oil and walnuts  

  • Unhealthy Fats

  • Saturated fats: Animal products (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter), and coconut, palm and other tropical oils

  • Trans fats: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, commercial baked goods (such as crackers, cookies and cakes), fried foods (such as doughnuts and french fries), shortening and margarine

  • Dietary cholesterol: Animal products (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter) 

  • Two good sites for this information:
  • http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_diet_fats.htm
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/nu00262 

  • Healthy Carbs:

  • Whole Vegetables

  • Whole Fruits

  • Beans

  • Legumes

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Whole cereal grains 

Two good sites for this info:
So now go forth, and make your children eat vegetables ;) And if all else fails, be like me – photoshop their favorite superguys eating things like broccoli, and pray they want to be just like them!!



  1. I found a blog that you might like: "A Less Processed Life" http://www.alessprocessedlife.com/

    Some of the recipes are a little out there, the author lives in Wyoming so some of their meat options are a little more "wild."

    But, I wonder how much of it is too much fat and calories, and how much is processed food. My sister-in-law likes to point out that her Mee Maw (I gather that is Texan for "Grandma") is like 100 years old and still going strong even though she's lived on a typical Texan diet (chicken-fried steak, anyone?) However, she grew up on and ran a farm most of her life, so she probably also ate fresh, whole, homemade foods, and not a lot of processed crap. Also, Robert's best friend has been trying to get his girlfriend to eat "better" - not necessarily cutting calories but replacing fast food with homemade food. Even though the homemade food is occasionally cheesy and olive-oily and carbs, she's lost weight.

    Anyway, more food for thought!

  2. also I just check out that RealAge.com site ... it's great! I did an assessment of my diet. I'm doing OK but there's always room for improvement.


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