It is summer, a time when we traditionally take off the jackets and long pants and don shorts and T-shirts. It has been a year since we have had these clothes on. How do they fit?
If you want to enjoy your food, but eat less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars, here are a few hints to get you started.
First, be mindful of your foods. Take your time when eating. Remember to ask yourself if you are full yet. Look for those fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when to stop.
Somehow, the Japanese have figured this out. They are healthy and more than 25% live to be 100. Their secret may well lie in Hara Haci Bu. Hara haci Bu is a tradition that started in Okinawa and means to eat until you are 80 percent full. At 80 percent, your stomach does not stretch. Staying at only 80 percent with little stretching helps to keep you in tune with your stomach’s fullness cues.
Even though summer schedules are not as routine as the school year, plan your meals. You are more apt to eat healthy meals when you have planned for them. Planning meals can include a few meals out; however, the other meals need to balance out the possible extra sodium, saturated fat and calories.
Second, look at what you and your family are drinking. Drink water or other calorie-free beverages such as unsweetened tea or club soda. Sugar–sweetened beverages contain added sugar and are high in calories. Include fat free milk as part of your meals and snacks. Skim or 1% milk has a lot of protein and vitamin and minerals for the calories.
Last, treat yourself, but make it a once-in- a-while treat. Look to frozen fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top with fat free whipped topping for a refreshing cool dessert. Try this recipe and keep it on hand in the freezer for those sweet tooth cravings. One fruit cup is only 65 calories.
Frozen Fruit Cups
3 cartons yogurt, non-fat strawberry (8 ounce)
1 1/4 cups strawberries, frozen (thawed and undrained) or fresh
1 cup crushed pineapple (undrained, canned)
Line 18 muffin-tin cups with paper baking cups. Dice or mash bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon into muffin-tin cups and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm. Remove frozen cups and store in a plastic bag in freezer. Before serving, remove paper cups from freezer and let stand 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.