Archive 2008 - 2019

Heathful Eating

by Ann Talbot

Healthful Eating by Sarah Doherty

In a recent study of food choice of adolescents done by the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association," they found the "major barrier to eating more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products and eating fewer high-fat foods included…taste preference for other foods." Despite all the efforts that are taking place to educate students about nutrition, the cause has taken a back seat in many students’ lives.

With her mom being a raw food activist, one would think that junior Susanna Dillon, would have an appreciation for healthy eating. However it is quite the contrary. She says that she is not at all influenced by her mom. Much of this is due to the fact that she is afraid and unwilling to try new and exotic things. While being interviewed, she looked over at my tuna salad and shook her head in opposition saying "I would never eat that; it's made with basil, it's too green for me...I would rather have McDonalds." My salad was not made with basil, but instead romaine lettuce, something that Dillon is not willing to try.  

If romaine lettuce is a stretch for you do not worry because there are other options. Next time you want that bag of chips try a handful of almonds. They provide protein to keep you full longer and contain lots of heart healthy fats. Opt for whole grain crackers or bread for lasting energy, and never pass up your fruits and veggies or you will be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. Skip the sweets when hungry and have an apple with peanut butter.

Glenn D'Avanzo, wellness teacher, said that all meals should consist of a vegetable, protein and a whole grain. On the day of being interviewed, his breakfast consisted of an egg white quiche with zucchini and oatmeal, and his lunch was pecan crusted chicken with broccoli and sweet potatoes. With all the right ingredients and the willingness to try something new, students can easily achieve the balance that D'Avanzo's diet consists of while still enjoying the food being eaten. When asked what he would say to someone who said that healthy food does not taste good, D'Avanzo responded, "it’s about being creative, using stevia instead of sugar, and using flavorful seasoning instead of salt and sugar." He also stressed the importance of adding the healthy fats to every meal such as olive oil or avocados, which add both depth and flavor to any meal.

In an interview with “Clean Eating” magazine, Ellie Krieger, a registered dietician and TV host, was asked “How do you make sure your family eats clean?” She responded, “Make it delicious and people will eat healthy almost despite themselves.” Healthy food can get a bad label, but with the right ingredients and the right flavor, a healthy meal could fool even the unhealthiest of eaters. 

In preparing a healthy meal it just takes a little knowledge and creativity. Knowing how to make healthy substitutions is something that is very useful. Some examples include the following; when using a dairy product opt for the low fat option, substitute apple sauce for butter or oil when baking, and when a recipe calls for mayonnaise use non fat plain yogurt instead. These easy swaps will save you both calories and fat without losing flavor in a recipe.

Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables sounds boring, but getting creative with marinades and spices can transform any meal. D’Avanzo suggested trying to marinade chicken in garlic and olive oil, or mustard and pepper. Some other suggestions from The Healthy College Cookbook are when cooking carrots try them with honey, maple syrup, thyme, or dill. When cooking eggs or any type of meat, try and season them with basil, curry, dill, chives, or any of the other herbs and seasonings that appeal to you. 

So take a risk and cook your family or friends a healthy meal. Experimenting with flavors and healthy alternatives is all it takes. Simple changes will have everyone fooled and wanting more. If time is an issue, there are healthy recipes and cookbooks all over the internet. In Part Two I'll list two great recipes.

Comments (1)

Hi Sarah, Great job. I never knew you wrote this for the web.

Glenn D'Avanzo | 2009-08-26 15:15:02