Friday, January 28, 2011

Food for Thought

This morning, I woke up with no idea what my post would be about today.  That doesn't happen very often.  Most days, I've got ideas rushing though my head from the moment I hit Publish Post to the next day I sit down at my computer.  This morning?  Blank.

So, I decided to spend a few minutes reading some recent blog posts from my favorite bloggers...and it appears that today's trend is food.  Being that I haven't really thought or talked much about food...I figured I'd follow suit of my inspirations.

Last weekend, I had a MAJOR revelation about some of the foods that I used to eat.  It came about when Peanut and Jelly wanted to go to the Little Debbie store and pick out a sweet treat (or five). 

I wasn't thrilled with the idea.  I've tried my best to keep junk out of my house, but I figured they deserve a little sweet treat every now and then...what can it hurt?

We made the trip to Little Debbie - and what an eye opening experience.  It was natural instinct for me to check each label on every box and individual snack cake....but I was shocked to see Peanut doing the same thing each time she saw something that caught her eye.

As we roamed the aisles, I would pick up a box and my insides would become mangled.  In one Honey Bun lies 480 calories.  480 calories!!!  That's about the amount of calories I eat for dinner!!  They were the worst, but the other cakes were close contenders.  There were cakes that possessed 310 calories, 280 calories, 400 calories.

It was one thing for me to be in total shock - but to see the look on Peanut's face was pretty nice.  I would see her pick up a box, turn it over, display a face of horror, and then place the box back on the shelf. 

In the end, the girls did pick up a few boxes of cakes.  I had a discussion with Peanut about eating things in moderation...and if she had a snack cake here and there it wasn't going to be the end of the world.  She still opted for the lesser evils in the store, and picked out a box or two of cakes that stayed between 180 and 250 calories.

I roamed around the aisles looking for something a little healthier.  I saw a box of 100 calorie Nutty Butters (my favorites) and so I grabbed them.  I also picked up two boxes of muffins that claimed to be whole grain - and only 200 calories a muffin.  I thought that a 200 calorie muffin for breakfast wouldn't be the end of the world for me either.

So, long story not really very short:  the girls picked up a couple of boxes, I picked up a few things, and off we went.

After getting home and opening my "whole grain" muffins to find something that resembled a small bite of a muffin - I was pretty upset.  There was no WAY I was wasting 200 calories on a muffin that I could fit in my mouth with one bite.

A week has gone by since the sweet shopping.  The boxes are still sitting on the counter.  Jelly has eaten a few.  Hubby has snacked on one or two here and there.  Peanut and I?  We've been a little more reserved.  Peanut has eaten one or two....but no where near what I'd expected.  I have eaten two Fig Bars (160 calories per bar) and two 100 calorie Nutty Butters.  The muffins have not been touched.

What's the point of this post?  Well, for one, to shed some light on how bad those little sweets are.  The main point is, though, that despite my not counting calories - I found that I'm really more aware of what I put into my body before it goes in.  I don't eat anything without checking the label.  I don't just look at the calories - I look at the ingredients. 

I may not be writing down my calories, counting them, keeping them on a set amount...but I'm consciously aware of a calorie number that I WON'T eat. 

The fact that my habits seem to be rubbing off on my daughter is another thing.  You have no idea how happy I was to see my daughter follow in my footsteps... checking the label, deciding that it's not worth eating something just because it satisfies her sweet tooth (that she inherited from me).  Knowing that she'd much rather eat a 100 calorie Yoplait Lite Boston Creme Pie yogurt than a Boston Creme Pie snack cake that holds three times the calorie amount....and TASTES BETTER in her opinion.

No, I don't want my 10 year old obsessing over her self image or thinking she needs to lose weight - which she doesn't and she isn't.  She has told me that she really likes the healthy eating.  She's becoming more conscience of the mistakes I made that got me hitting the scales at a whopping 300lbs - and doesn't ever want to be like that.  She's making her own decisions to turn away the junk and enjoy the good.  It's not about losing weight for her - it's about staying she doesn't have to go through the torment and heartache I struggled with for 10 years.

I am happy.  For the first time in...well...ever...I feel like I am finally becoming a healthy role model for my children.  My decision to put down the junk food and put in the healthy is rubbing off on her.  She's even started picking out new recipes for Hubby and I to cook.  She loves looking through the healthy cookbooks each week.  She's just as excited as I am for the delivery of our new Taste of Home Comfort Food - Diet cookbook to come in the mail.

Just some food for thought.

Have you noticed a situation where your food decisions have rubbed off on someone?
How do your family react to your healthy living lifestyle?

Till next time.  ;)


  1. Johanna, that's great that your daughter is learning to think about healthy choices when she's choosing snacks!!!

    My son (who is 12) also reads labels, and I love it! For the longest time, I looked mainly at calories and fiber, but after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I became much more conscious of high fructose corn syrup, and I made a pledge to my family that I would buy NOTHING with high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients. Dakota has taken up the challenge, too, and he'll stop me from buying something if I haven't carefully read the label!

    I'm very lucky (and grateful) -- both my son and my husband are 100% supportive of the idea of eating healthily. That's what family is all about!

    I decided to go back to Phase I of the South Beach Diet last Friday, and I lost 5 pounds! Woot! (You are supposed to do Phase I for 2 weeks only -- so I should lose another 5 pounds this next week. Double woot!)

  2. That is awesome, Joanna. I love those moments when your children make healthy choices because you feel like you're really doing right.

    My 6 year old and I were watching the "Hungry Girl" show on the Cooking Channel last night for the first time. There was a recipe for brownie muffins that were only 180 calories each. She just mixed a devil's food cake mix with a can of pumpkin and baked them. My daughter says, "Mom I bet those would be WAY healthier than regular brownies. Can we try to make those this weekend?" My heart smiled it's biggest smile when she said that!

    Goodbye, Fat Girl!

  3. Great post! Obviously this has been on my mind too i.e. the Taco Bell post but it really is amazing what's in there! I was one of those people who grew up not reading labels because my parents never cared and were stick figures no matter what they ate but those habits followed me into adulthood and got me into trouble! i'm not built like them! I'm posting about this soon, but when we went to disney world and I made my 3 year old a plate of food from the buffet, I thought he'd LOVE a mickey mouse waffle with whipped cream, a donut and fried french toast sticks and since we don't have that a lot I thought it would be a treat. He wouldn't eat a bite of it. We went up and I told him he could choose his own stuff and he picked out a poppyseed muffin and fruit. OH WISE OLD MAN!! :) I love that we have such healthy influences over them already! I wish I had that as a kid!


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