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Choices, NOT a spoonful of sugar, Help Make the . . . . .

Monday, May 27, 2013

I read a blog today at FullPlate Diet about getting the kids involved when going to the grocery store.

It was a good idea, short and sweet. I usually go on and on. And today is no different!

In my experience you have a lot of opportunities to involve them before the trip to the grocery, and then at mealtimes. Have them make Healthy Foods Cards on index cards with sticky magnets on the back. They can use pictures from the Full Plate Diet E-Book. Or even better, have them take digital pics of healthy foods, print, cut out and paste to the index cards. The magnet on the back allows them to sort out foods and post the meal menu on the refrigerator.

Have the kids use the cards to plan menus that include high fiber, delicious foods at each meal, and post them on the refrigerator. You can record the grams of fiber on the card. kids who can add can use that to figure total fiber for their meals. If They have favorite fiber foods and you have no picture, have them take pictures of those things and print them out for your cards. They could even photograph favorite dishes like oatmeal with berries and walnuts, maybe with them eating the food.

Play Can you Beat This? Each player plans a day (with or without the cards) and tallies the amount of fiber. Whoever get the highest rating chooses the menu for Friday night. Be sure players understand the rules, (like 3 fruits and 4 veggies a day before mindless snacks.)

Use kids' offerings for the family meal plans, total them up for the week, and stick to those items on your grocery list. When the cart is full of 3 fruits and 4 veggies for each day for each person, there won't be much room in the grocery cart for anything else, especially those snacks they tease you for. Fill up in the produce aisle first and you can truthfully say, OOps, we don't have room for . . . .

Experiment with This or That. This berry or that sliced fruit? This apple, raw or baked. This apple, plain or with cinnamon, or with almond butter . . . This raw asparagus or this steamed asparagus. This celery: plain, with nut butter, or with hummus, or with salsa. Choices always make a child's life easier because they feel they have control. It's our job to be creative with the allowed choices.

If you are interested in other variations on this theme of involving kids in healthy foods, I wrote a series of 4 blogs last fall. Be warned they go on and on. But you might get a few ideas you can use with your family.

Here's to your healthy eating with your family.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 5/30/2013 5:19PM

    These are great ideas. I have one DD who is really great at choosing healthy foods and interested in learning more while I have two who are not interested at all. It's a battle. Yes, they will eat what I put in front of them, but they would rather find a simpler way if it is their turn to cook. It's getting better. A learning process for me too. I do ask them when we are shopping together to find healthy snacks. I'll discuss your ideas over dinner one of these nights with the family.

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GEORGE815 5/29/2013 9:59PM

    Veggies with style. Lots of ways to cook them.

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PATRICIAAK 5/28/2013 12:03AM

    raised my kids with them being involved

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/27/2013 11:48PM

    What a great list of ideas!

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JOYB19 5/27/2013 10:36PM


Great ideas! Thanks!

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ILLINITEACHER52 5/27/2013 9:35PM

  Thanks! I can use some of the suggestions for my preschool class. Several weeks ago we were having a discussion at snack time about our favorite fruit. One little boy kept shaking his head that he didn't like this fruit or that. We finally asked him what his favorite fruit was and he signed "brown" (chocolate) "cookies". We had to chuckle. I was impressed with the variety of fruit the others could name though - including kiwi.

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LINDA! 5/27/2013 6:01PM

    Great idea.

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THEEXERCISER 5/27/2013 6:00PM


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L*I*T*A* 5/27/2013 2:46PM


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LESLIELENORE 5/27/2013 2:23PM

    Awesome ideas. I might have to do it for myself!

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ROBBIEY 5/27/2013 1:46PM

  It is always good to show kids the correct way to eat and to involve them in good food choices that will carry them thru their adult lives.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Really?!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Today's "magical" spark coach lesson tried to get me to use the strategy of out of sight, out of mind. Put the trigger foods away where you can't see them constantly, every time you walk through the kitchen or open the refrigerator door, and you'll be less likely to partake.

Well, it didn't work when I was a kid. And it doesn't work now, either. And I believe that's the truth of the matter for most people, no matter whether you can't see the cookies in the cookie jar or not. You can leave them on the shelf at the store, or put the jar on the roof till you can stand it no more, and you know exactly where they are and what to do to get them.

It takes more than hiding them.

My brain is in a collective made up of all the cells in my body. And Collectively, THEY ALL KNOW right where the donuts are AND what to do to get them!!

THEY are smart enough that something as silly as putting the cookie jar on the roof will NOT fool them.

What DOES work? Trashing the offending treat has worked. Encouraging the little shredded wheat character to talk some sense into my collective cells has worked. Saying NO usually doesn't work because there's a challenge there somewhere. Offering a healthy alternative has worked.
Actually analyzing the nutritional value as if this monster were an adult has actually worked. Hm mmmm.

The body collective is glad for strategies that have actually worked.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUGUSTDRAGON 5/27/2013 10:50PM

    The best strategy for me is usually to just leave it a the store. I will confess there is a bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard waiting to be made into cookies. It's been there for a month now, still waiting. Remarkable! emoticon

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MARILYNROBERT 5/27/2013 5:34PM

    If it's in the house, I'll eat it. So the best thing to do is not buy it. But what I need is my own little shredded wheat guy. I'm going to have to get to work on that...gotta practice the self-talk...gotta give that little guy a voice. emoticon

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2014TODAY 5/27/2013 2:34PM

    It does help me to put stuff where I don't see it. Of course, there are times when nothing stops me.

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PAHOOT 5/27/2013 6:24AM

    I hear you. Although I think my recent detox did help somewhat. Somehow I became enamored with hummus and thought it to be the most tasteful thing on the planet. That's what happens when most of your other choices go away. Hehehehehe

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GEORGE815 5/26/2013 3:37PM

    Good advice, out of sight out of mind. I'm working on not buying them in the grocery store.

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JOYB19 5/25/2013 10:20PM

    Trigger food = ANYTHING WITH A SPECK OF CARBOHYDRATE IN IT!! Get that out of my sight??? When pigs fly! LOL!! Just have to use my brain more than my belly to choose what to eat. If only my brain didn't remember where it told my hands to put the bread and jam... *sigh*


Comment edited on: 5/25/2013 10:20:58 PM

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L*I*T*A* 5/25/2013 9:46PM

    i don't bring it home either...........
although dh does from time to time...

Comment edited on: 5/25/2013 9:47:11 PM

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CASTIRONLADY 5/25/2013 9:45PM

    Whatever I try to put away knows my name and calls my name until I give in. So likewise, I don't buy it if I don't want to eat it. emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 5/25/2013 8:13PM

    It works best for me to leave it at the store. My memory also is too good!

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SIMONEKP 5/25/2013 4:23PM

    it works for me with most things, I don't bring it home, I don't eat it. My kid brings it home, it goes in the cupboard and I usually forget about it.

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BUSYBEE37 5/25/2013 3:14PM

    I'm forgetful, so it often works for me initially :) Then later I find the stuff when I'm searching for something else and it's back on my mind. So in the end, I guess it doesn't work all that well :D

I prefer to trash stuff or don't buy it to begin with. Today it was cheetoes and fritos that BF had opened. I don't need them and I don't need the mental aggrevation of thinking of them. They are on their way to the landfill where they belong.

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JUSTYNA7 5/25/2013 3:06PM

    Agreed. The food monster has to be tamed... it is pretty smart if let loose. A long time ago one of the things that worked was "three meals a day and nothing in between" and I did a lot of prayer with that. I am sitting here having consumed 10 small treats that I put out for my family because they are meant to be eating gluten. I "thought it was a good idea' at the time to buy them... as I did the pie the other night. The truth... I said yes to the pie and now the food monster is released.. which means I cannot have those foods in the house. I was OK until I started trying to please other people. I am best with routine. Ah well. It is a bump in the road because here I am writing about it. In fact, I am meant to be writing today about a behaviour that I wish to change. I will call it the "I think I can" behaviour. The thought process that believes that I can have just one bite. It is the food monster that says those thoughts so ... I suppose I had best go and write about it and niggle it down so I can really understand what behaviour I want to change and what I want to replace it with. Thanks for your blog today, as I really needed it. Oh, I have my harp back but have not played it yet... I think I am nervous, hahaha.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/25/2013 2:52PM

    It has never worked for me. I have to banish things from the house. I have problems then with splurging on things that my husband likes---peanut butter and crackers is a big one. And if I were to put something out of sight, then I would get obsessive about it! I'm like a dog with a bone or an elephant with a fantastic memory. Sometimes it can be a curse to have such a fine memory!

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LESLIELENORE 5/25/2013 2:52PM

    If I buy it then I WILL eat it. So I just don't buy the junk most of the time. On rare occasions I will buy something with dubious nutritional value, but generally I don't anymore.

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Free e-books at

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One of my favorite places to go to to check out new things to read is Budding writers pay someone a nominal fee to format their manuscript or figure it out themselves and are instantly published.

They sometimes make their books available for free, in many different formats for whatever kind of e-reader you might use.

So I checked out nutrition resources this morning. A quick check of titles after my search showed at least one I wanted to download on juicing recipes. I noticed the same author also published a collection of green smoothie recipes and quinoa recipes.

You'll have to decide if the topics are something that would enhance your program.

If the site asks you to register for an account, registration is free. And that will allow you to download free books, purchase books that are priced, and also to publish your own manuscript.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIAAK 5/25/2013 8:21PM


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CRAFTSFAN1 5/25/2013 4:29PM

    emoticon Very interesting and important information

Comment edited on: 5/25/2013 4:29:35 PM

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L*I*T*A* 5/25/2013 11:50AM

    thanks for the link...
will check it out......

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YMWONG22 5/25/2013 11:37AM

  Thank you for the info. I'll check it out later.
emoticon emoticon

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BLUEROSE73 5/25/2013 10:11AM

    Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check it out.

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D'Lites Ice Cream

Friday, May 24, 2013

I am having a relationship with this ice cream.
Well, really, I'm trying to NOT have a relationship with this ice cream.

The shop is only 3 miles away. I drive past it if I go the YMCA, and on the way home, a little voice says, "Go ahead, you earned it."

Then that little shredded wheat guy steps in and says, "Sure, it's only 50 calories of cool deliciousness. But what nutrients is it providing to add to your health?"

And I can't come up with a single answer, because it appears to have only 1.5 g. of fat, natural sweetening, and a bunch of air. It doesn't set me off on a binge. And what harm can 50 calories of a bunch of air do???

Well, since I don't know the answer to that, I just don't want to find out. And I drive right past on the way home from the Y. And tonight, I'll just say, "I don't eat that," and walk up to the pool.

See ya there!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2014TODAY 5/27/2013 12:07PM

    One thing I do at such moments (or, try to do) is think of a nice healthy treat that I'll make myself later instead of having that processed one now.

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SHARJOPAUL 5/25/2013 12:53PM


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MATTEROFHEART 5/24/2013 10:25PM


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MARILYNROBERT 5/24/2013 7:50PM

    Thank goodness for that little shredded wheat guy! emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 5/24/2013 7:50PM

    good for you!

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SUNSHINE99999 5/24/2013 7:49PM

  I can almost feel your will power coming my way. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 5/24/2013 7:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I hope you have a good swim!

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BLUEROSE73 5/24/2013 7:22PM

    Way to go. Keep up the good work. You can do this.

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L*I*T*A* 5/24/2013 7:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 5/24/2013 7:19PM

    Well DONE. once you get a taste of it, you might go back to wanting it even more. I never crave sweets but smelling fries, knowing salt is there will do me in for sure. HUGS take care. I am so happy you are doing the Y every day Pat in Maine.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/24/2013 7:20:42 PM

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Garlic Flowers

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I've been watching different varieties of shallots and garlic grow in my square foot garden boxes and grow bags. Much like my weight loss, I didn't know they were going to be such slow growers. But the coolest thing was the elephant garlic this week. I had 3 spathes sprout up a couple of weeks ago, and this week they opened, revealing the flowers you see in the photo. My photography doesn't do them justice. They are a pale lavender shade. After I took the picture, I added some to a vegetable juice I made for a snack.

Then they added zing to my avocado/lime/sundried tomato dressing that topped my lunch salad. When I chewed one flower by itself, it had a STRONG bite to it, nothing like what you'd expect from such a pretty little flower. Definitely a surprise.

My journey here at spark people has had those kind of surprising moments when I think, Wow! I never thought of that; or, Okay, I never expected this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 5/24/2013 7:31PM

    My chives are going wild. I love the taste in a salad and I also like it with cottage cheese. Even better to stuff a roast potato with it. Dream on, I am such a SPUD LOVER Hugs Pat in Maine.
HUGS, well done your garden is doing well. We are somewhat waterlogged right now. Apple blossom everywhere but how can the bees pollenate if they cannot fly waterlogged. HUGS Pat emoticon emoticon

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ANGEL1066 5/22/2013 10:13PM

    Love my garlic, from Elephant to the tiny wild cloves. The lovely flowers are a plus, welcome in my garden. Enjoy!

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SHARJOPAUL 5/22/2013 9:54AM

As you wait for the garlic & shallots to mature you can also use some of the leaves, chop them up like chives (all in the same family, allium).

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PKBOO3 5/22/2013 8:19AM

    Interesting. I've been thinking of growing a couple of herbs myself. Just don't know which ones to choose.

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PAHOOT 5/22/2013 7:45AM

    Growing your own food is so wonderful. Good for you!

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JOYB19 5/22/2013 12:57AM

    Pretty things! You had some good eats today - yay!!!

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PATRICIAAK 5/21/2013 8:25PM


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GEORGE815 5/21/2013 7:36PM

    Great. Keep growing!

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LESLIELENORE 5/21/2013 5:34PM

    We use garlic scapes in greens. Very yummy.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/21/2013 5:30PM

    What a lovely picture! Thank you.

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L*I*T*A* 5/21/2013 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FCARMICH 5/21/2013 2:40PM

  interesting - thanx!

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