Posts tagged ‘healthy eating’

March 5, 2012

Food Plate

Tonite, because my sis-in-law is visiting, we had a vegetarian dinner: pumpkin ravioli, eggplant, shrimp, artichokes, and a big salad.

There was something for everyone. I think it’s better to eat a bunch of healthy, yummy stuff than just meat and potatoes. The more food, the merrier.

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June 10, 2011

Healthy Eating

Went to Dr. Etta Frankel yesterday for a check up — bored her with my recent medical sagas of basal cell carcinoma and plantar fisciitis.

Dr. Frankel is normally even-tempered, but she was mad. “I see you tan and freckled. That is not good.” When we sat down in her office, she wrote out some internet sites to buy SPF clothing and handed me the prescription.

She asked about my husband’s health. “It’s difficult,” I said. “Living with someone with Parkinson’s.”

When I pointed out the slight uptick in my weight, she looked back at her records. “Yes, you were 133 in 2003.”

A bit more than a pound a year. Again, “Not good.” So she handed me a diet sheet mimeographed from the early 1970s. On it, there’s a long list of what not to eat and drink, like pasta and wine.

So when I came home, after the doctor’s appointment, then work, to surly children and a difficult spouse, I poured myself a big glass of wine and made pasta for dinner. It was Chris’s idea.

I’m not at all a food blogger. But this was good.

Start water to boil for pasta.

  1. Sauté white onions, sliced thin, in olive oil
  2. Add cherry tomatoes cut in thirds
  3. Add black olives
  4. Slice fresh basil into little ribbons. Set that aside with a bunch of little mozzarella balls.
  5. Cook the spaghetti
  6. Then add the set-aside mozzarella and basil and any old thing you find — pine nuts, broccoli, chunks of salami — into the olive oil mixture

Toss it together. Great summer dinner. On the side sliced strawberries and grapes. Chris spread sourdough bread with an olive tapenade.

We sat down to eat, all civilized, C. asked, “How was your day, Mom?”

“Good, I went to the doctor and got a good report.” I’ll start the healthy eating tomorrow.

When I mentioned that I might blog about our yummy dinner, Chris said, “Michael Tucker blogs about his meals.”

Name drop alert: Yes, he does. Chris’s friend, Michael, is an awesome actor and writer. Chris is featured in one of Tucker’s blog posts where Chris  is fondly referred to as one of the Fat Boys. The Fat Boys better go see Dr. Frankel for some dietary suggestions. Here’s Tucker’s blog. (Incidentally he’s married to the fabulous actress Jill Eikenberry, who brought a lot of media attention and awareness to breast cancer when no one else was talking about it. We refer to Tucker and Eikenberry as the Tuckenberries.)

http://notesfromaculinarywasteland.com/2011/04/12/fat-boys-ravage-queens-the-borough-i%e2%80%99m-talking-about/

June 4, 2011

The Food Plate

The food pyramid is now the food plate. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Every year, I’d go into my kids’ classrooms and teach the kids about the food pyramid. I’d bring in posters I’d ordered free from mypyramid.gov. I had a whole spiel, talking with them about good eating habits.

The year they added the stairs to the side of the pyramid, I understood and ageed with the rationale — yes, of course, we should exercise — but felt the message was confusing. Does chasing a ball really have to do with eating healthy foods? (Maybe it does.) But the food pyramid, I thought, should be about eating the right foods.

There were and maybe still are very little discussions about how to eat healthily in public school classrooms — even though it’s something we do several times a day and kids enjoy sharing practical ideas about eating.

While the food pyramid required interpretation, the food plate is pretty obvious. Make your plate look like the one in the picture. Kids get that. I like that.

But even better than showing kids what to eat was letting them try it. I’d set up little plates for each kid with samples of each category of food — a spoonful of yogurt, broccoli, garbanzo beans, grapes, and popcorn. Kids loved it.

I’d also do some exercises on media literacy and food. I’d ask the kids, “What commercials have you seen for food lately?”

“Fruit gushers.”  “Big Macs.”  “Reese’s Puff cereal.”

“Right,” I said. “What about broccoli? Or grapes? Or chickpeas? Let’s make up our own commercials about vegetables, fruits, and beans.”

I assigned small groups to create commercials that included 1) some music 2) some tag line 3) some movement 4) some conflict. (Because, you know, conflict is the essence of drama. And we wanted the commercials to be dramatic.)

The commercials were very funny.

Invariably, one of the kids would ask, “Is it all right to eat candy?” “Yes,” I would say, “A tiny little bit is okay. Just not too much.”

One of the teachers suggested that I take my curriculum on the road to talk to more public school kids about healthy eating. I’d like to, but Michelle Obama seems to have that job. And she’s doing a pretty good job of it too.