Monday, January 19, 2009

Healthier Living

I'm not sure if you all remember this or not but one of Dave and I's new years goals was to live a healthier life and I don't just mean dieting and exercise. I'm talking about taking better care of ourselves all around and teaching our kids how to do the same.

Dave realized that part of his problem was that his mother instilled bad habits in him. Ones like fast food dinners, pop, and junk food. While my mom instilled the bad habits of not going to the dentist twice a year but once a year and not exercising in me. We do not want to do this with our children, we want them to grow up and be healthy happy adults.

So we set a plan for our year. For Dave he wants to loose the 40 pounds he gained last year while quitting smoking, he will make sure he has his yearly physical, and he will get to the dentist twice this year.

My goals are a little harder to define but going to the dentist twice this year is one, going to the eye doctor (in two weeks) is another, and then exercising more to strength my back as well as to loose a little weight would be great.

A huge part of this plan revolves around our diet. While I love to cook and have always cooked most meals for the family I have not always cooked the most healthy of meals. For instance one of out favorites is Baked Ziti which has lots of heavy cream and butter in the sauce. I would always serve it with a nice salad and garlic bread so it wasn't all bad but it wasn't quit good either.

Dave and I knew this was going to be one of our goals for the year back in November so we started then by cutting out the red meat in our diet. While I do enjoy a good steak or roast this wasn't as big of a deal for me as it was for Dave. I can tell you that after two months of not eating any red meat my system can no longer handle it all which I guess is a good thing.

So once Jan 1st came our menu changed. I have been searching the Internet and magazines for meals that are quick and healthy for us to eat so that we are not eating the same 5 or 6 meals every week. I know if that happens this lifestyle change will not work for us. Since this is a lifestyle change and NOT a diet I do understand that some not so good things for you is ok but it's about moderation with those. For the most part though I have done a good job. I was starting to get tired of the same menu of meals though and decided to buy a Cooking Light magazine.

The first article I read gave me hope that I was doing something right. The article was about planning your menus and grocery list out in advance. It also talked about having 5 or 6 go to meals to use throughout the month and then supplement other meal ideas in between. So clearly I am moving in the right direction which was just the boost I needed.

As a went through the magazine I saw several meals I want to try but this week I picked one to go with. Sunday meals are normally the nights where I make big meals that take more than 30 minutes so when I saw the recipe for Buttermilk Oven-fried Chicken I knew that was what we would have. It also had a recipe for a low fat version of coleslaw. So yesterday evening I fixed the chicken, coleslaw, and I added some low fat buttermilk biscuits to the menu. Everyone loved it, the kids cleaned their plates and even had an extra biscuit. I made sure with Dave and my plates that I measured out the right portions so that we wouldn't overeat. It didn't look like much on out plates but it ended up being very filling for us.

So I think I have found a great staple to add to our menu and I can't wait to try some of the other recipes in the weeks to come.


Anonymous said...

That's fabulous! Good for you!

- Tif

Anonymous said...

Jess, you are rock star!! That is a fabulous idea, as a fellow, need to eat healthier too, I love the sound of that dinner.
I am going to try it.
I miss my baked Ziti ... sniff.

Lindsay said...

I'm with you girlfriend! I too have started eating healthier and exercising and it feels great! I will miss your baked Ziti....yum! Hey maybe you can do a lighter version and it will be just about as good?? You'll have to play with that one. Keep up the good work! :)