What’s in a name??? Learning to read food labels!

                So you know that I am trying to eat healthier.  More fruits and vegetables, way less sugar, that kind of stuff.  I have read labels for a couple of years now, but still stay confused about what I’m actually looking for on them!  First I was on the look out for fake sugars – and now added sugars.  Then I added high fructose corn syrup.  How many grams of fiber are there?  How much sodium?  It all gets so confusing!

                I’m trying to keep it simple.  No high fructose corn syrup.  Check.  No fake sugars.  Check.  If it has flour, does it have whole wheat flour?  I usually stop there, but sometimes compare brands to see which has the least amount of ingredients.  To my way of thinking fewer ingredients should equal less crap, right?  Recently I added MSG to my list of ingredients to avoid.  Sounds easy right?  WRONG!

                As I was reading a book on nutrition, I found out that there are other names for MSG including hydrolyzed protein, caseinate, soy extract and yeast extract.  It also includes meat tenderizer and Accent – both of which I avoid anyway.  But what exactly is Ajinomoto?  And how am I supposed to remember all these names???

My head is spinning!!!!  So back to the drawing board.  There must be some sort of food or snacks that I can have on hand for when I do not have the time (ok – just don’t want) to cook fresh from scratch.

                I did experiment with a new recipe.  I haven’t quite got it down pat, but I’m working on it.  I decided to make mini pizzas.  I used sandwich rounds that I had at home, pizza sauce that didn’t have any of the above words in them, salmon from the grill at Kroger’s, spinach, chopped purple onion and Daiya Vegan cheese shreds in mozzarella (not as bad as I feared!).  Threw all that together and popped it in the oven at 450 degrees.

Not bad.  Not great either, but not bad.  Next time, I will use some sort of tortilla (couldn’t figure out which type was healthiest!) because the bread got soggy.  I will also use chicken instead of salmon and leave the salmon for my salads.  Maybe add mushrooms.  So many possibilities!

 Here’s what it looked like before I popped it into the oven. 

I ran across this post today. It was a light bulb moment. Sometimes I cannot put into words the things I want to say. I’m currently in a functional anatomy class and had my first practical this week. I signed up to go first so I wouldn’t have to worry all day. The teacher lectured us first about how we want to fail while in class. That this was the safe place to do it rather than when we get out on our fieldwork. I sat there the whole time thinking FAIL! I think not, I can’t fail and so on and so forth. I wanted him to just get on with the practical so I could burp out my knowledge and get it over with! Fate put this blog post in my line of sight today. I get it now. (not that I want to fail Dr. D!!!! It would give me a CVA!)

 
The thoughts in this post are how I have tried to raise my daughter. Learning has always come easy to her. I have tried to push her up since kindergarten. She is now in middle school. I am going to have her read this post so we can discuss why I make her try different things!

 
I do not want her to be like her mother. Middle aged and no life because I never tried anything that I wasn’t 100% sure I could do.

Rochester SAGE - Supporting Advanced & Gifted Education

Heinlein Quote

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do. – John Stuart Mill

I want my kids to fail.  That probably isn’t at the top of your list for your kids, but it should be.  Failure is one of the most important experiences they will ever have.  The road to success is paved with failure because failure teaches us how to succeed.

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Why is eating healthy so hard????

Wow – it’s been over a month since I posted about how my nutritional voyage is going.  So here is a quick snapshot.  

 Not a pretty picture is it?  I made one of the biggest mistakes someone can make when working towards a goal.  I lost sight of the goal.  While I have it written on my blog, I do not have my goal written on paper hanging where I can see it every day.  And since life happens, I got further and further from my commitment.

So what have I done right?  I have made a few good changes and additions to my eating plan.  I no longer eat junk food on a regular basis and sugary foods have just about disappeared from the foods I eat.  I have also added juicing vegetables to my daily, ok – almost daily, routine.  So here is my daily, ok – almost daily, routine:

Breakfast consists of a fab strawberry smoothie using yogurt and coconut water as my base.  My daughter loves it.  I add a protein powder to mine.  I found one I love.  It has no fake sugar – which I cannot eat, and it doesn’t have stevia, which I don’t like. 

I also juice vegetables each day.  I am trying different combinations and recipes that I run across.  I haven’t’ found one I like all that much yet, but I keep at it.  My question to you – do you juice vegetables and what do you recommend?

Here is a tip to replace mayo on sandwiches.  I was watching Dr. Oz the other day and he used a combination of avocado and Greek yogurt.  Tried making that today.  I used half an avocado and the same amount of Greek yogurt.  I added granulated garlic and a few drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Mixed it real well and put it on a thin sandwich round, added organic mixed greens and chicken.  Here’s the end result – yummy! 

 I can’t wait to try it again.  I am thinking about using this mixture in place of mayo in tuna salad.  What do you think?

I firmly believe that by changing my eating habits I can improve my health.  Thankfully, I found a great Naturopath to help me along.   So I’m going to look at my goal this week and decide if I need to change it or recommit.  I will let you know.