Editor's Note: We are welcoming a new guest columnist to the Edmonson Voice, Mrs. Meredith Stewart. She will be writing columns on a range of subjects and we welcome her addition to our publication.
by Meredith Stewart:
More and more Americans seem to be eating healthier, trying to eat healthier, or at least thinking about eating healthier. With the holiday season fast approaching, it seems like an even trickier challenge to navigate healthy food choices. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like to eat delicious food. However, with my family’s history of heart disease and diabetes, eating right is a must for me too.
There are those naysayers out there who don’t believe you can have your cake and eat it too. Even some physicians joke about the paradox of cuisine that is both nutritious and yummy. I remember not long after one of my dad’s heart attacks his physician told him, “if you take a bite of food and it tastes good—spit it out!” Thankfully, his doctor was just kidding, but it did help our family realize we needed to make some changes to our diet. If you can start making small changes, a little here and there, they will add up and you probably won’t find yourself in the hospital like my dad; a seemingly healthy, fit man in his 50s.
So what are some of the ways experts agree you can strike a healthy, realistic balance with food? First of all, ALWAYS check with your physician before starting a new diet and a yearly physical is definitely a good idea. Secondly, don’t try to change everything about the way you eat all at once. For most people this is a recipe (pardon the pun) for failure. Thirdly, aim for more real, unprocessed foods in your diet. Think deer meat and veggies from your garden if you can get them.
Another great way to make sure your diet stays in check is to keep a food journal. My personal favorite is an app you can get on your smartphone called MyFitnessPal. If you don’t want to use a smartphone or an app, you can write it down in a little notebook if that works better for you.
Finally, if you find yourself really craving that piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving—have a slice. Notice I said a slice. Don’t eat the whole pie. Fun fact, pumpkin pie is a better choice for you around the holidays than pecan pie. So remember, baby steps. Life is a marathon, not a sprint; if you swap out those fried foods for the occasional salad, your britches (and your family) will thank you.
Meredith has strong family ties to Edmonson County and she and her family live in the Smiths Grove area. They belong to and faithfully attend church at Pleasant Union Baptist Church (Steep Hollow). When she's not writing, she enjoys embarrassing her kids by breaking out in random song and dance moves in various stores throughout our community. Someday she hopes to check surfing and learning to play the mandolin off her bucket list. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.