I grew up with a diabetic mom, and a dad that has heart problems, so food was and is a big thing in our family. I think because I didn't grow up on junk food, I look at other people and think, "what in the heck are they feeding their family?!" I have to pull back and remember that most people didn't grow up like me where if you didn't eat right then you got sick. So with that said I'm very thankful for a mom that taught me simple things that I can do to help keep my family healthy.
One of the easiest things my mom taught me was juice is bad!!! Empty calories, what little nutrients you do get from it, would be much better received from the actual fruit. Parents will say that their kids won't eat fruit, but I saw my mom raise four very different boys and two also very different girls and we all love fruit and veggies. Why? Because that is what was in our house to eat. We are human, we must eat, and we will eat what is provided for us. We never had juice, and I never buy it now because it is not an essential part of my diet.
Stay away from fried!!! You can satisfy most every craving for something fried with something baked. Chicken nuggets with breaded baked chicken, french fries with potato wedges, and so on. I occasionally will indulge in potato chips but when I do I always feel sluggish and sloppy. No bueno my friends.
Refined whites are evil. No really, just pure evil, and this is what I struggle with the most! Yummy cakes and muffins, pancake breakfasts, breaded everything, it's hard to resist, I know. What my mom always did was she gave us whole grain or corn-mill everything for day to day, and then gave us a yummy desert every Sunday dinner. I love the way whole grain tastes! White bread is like fluff, and is kinda gross to me. Pasta is best when it's hardy and whole grain. I'm not talking wheat or whole wheat, I mean whole grain. It's harder for your body to digest, so you burn more calories, therefore you gain less weight. They say the greener the better with veggies, I say the browner the better with pasta, bread, rice and tortillas!
Always rinse your hamburger meat! Even if it says not to, do it!!! It rinses off a lot of the fat that turned into grease while cooking. Use half a seasoning packet instead of the whole thing. Cuts the sodium intake in half and will taste the same. The same thing can be done with the amount of hamburger meat in most recipes. Not only will it save you some calories, but it will save you some money.
We never had meat at every meal. The scriptures say eat meat sparingly, and I think it's wise council. We would have a veggie brown rice casserole, a salad with black beans, or soup and a whole grain roll. We never even noticed that meat wasn't apart of the meal. It's an important part of our diets, but most people eat way to much.
It's not about being skinny(I'm not by any means) but for me it's about being as healthy as possible for my kids and husband, and making them the healthiest they can be. I used to feel deprived because we never ate fast food, we always had carrots and grapes instead of cookies and chips for lunches, and my mom made EVERYTHING from scratch.(she even grinds her own wheat) I'm now sooooo grateful for the way we ate, because I'm already showing signs of heart disease and diabetes and I know how to eat to live longer. I've totally given up fast food and soda, and I have so much more energy, and I'm a better mom. My daughter tells people that she won't eat certain things because it's not healthy, although she truly believes that chocolate is the healthiest thing you can put in your mouth.( I think the same thing, my momma taught me right! ) I'm proud that my daughter is learning things from me that I learned from my mom.