If you’re like me, my evenings are busy managing after-school activities and homework, and playing catch-up with my family. Unfortunately, this busy lifestyle doesn’t leave much time to cook a healthy dinner. Consequently, I often find myself reaching for a premade frozen meal or visiting a drive-through.
Perhaps, that’s why a recent article in USA Today caught my attention. It indicated that 42 percent of Americans may be obese by 2030, and 11 percent may be severely obese. Being overweight significantly increases your risk of many common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. I knew I had to start making better choices, but how?
Helen Ramsey, a registered dietitian with Via Christi Weight Management, confirmed that “changing the rise in obesity in America requires a change in eating habits as well as behaviors and food choices.”
I suggested that my family needs to eat home more and avoid fast food — a strategy that would be good for my wallet and waistline. Helen cautioned me, however, explaining, “While choosing to consume meals at home can be more healthful and less costly, it still depends on your choices. For example, picking up a frozen pizza is still high in calories and not the solution for eating healthy at home. If you must eat a frozen pizza, having a vegetable salad and fresh fruit as a side dish can help your family eat smaller portions of pizza thereby lowering your calories and increasing your nutrient intake.”
In addition to adding salads and fresh fruit to my meals, I also plan to make my own frozen dinners on the weekend. That way I can control the health content and still have a quick meal that just requires reheating. I make a delicious White Bean Chicken Chili that is both healthy and should freeze well.
To learn more, join me at the next Women’s Connection luncheon on Tuesday, June 8. Justin Moore, MD, Medical Director of Via Christi Weight Management, will speaking about strategies for weight management.