My Story: Eating Healthier

contributed by DG


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When I tried portion control on my family, they just got hungry before bed, and we found ourselves munching on chips and guacamole. So, how to eat healthier? Last night, DH called to say he'd be ravenous when he walked in the door. Yikes! The main dish wasn't ready! So, I quickly halved a cantaloupe to be able to feed him immediately. For dinner, we each had a half of a cantaloupe and a bowl of leftover homemade lentil soup, topped with onions and salsa. By the time we were halfway through our soup, the main dish (BBQ pork sandwiches) was heated up, so I fixed us each a plate with one BBQ pork sandwich, leftover Waldorf salad, and grapes.

Because we had eaten the cantaloupe and a half-bowl of soup first, we each only ate one of the sandwiches. Without all the side dishes, we each would have eaten two. Nobody snacked before bedtime either. So, the fatty part of dinner was reduced, and the healthy parts were increased. What made this work out?

  • First, the cantaloupe was ripe, but I could have quickly served up some pear-and-banana chunks, sliced apples, or even canned applesauce. So, have fruits and veggies on hand. One way I do this inexpensively is to buy produce packs from SHARE . Other options can be a discount grocery, like Aldi, or a Farmer's Market. Unfortunately, where I live, the Farmer's Market is trendy and spendy.

  • Second, we had the lentil soup. That was a failed recipe. It was way too bland when I served it as a side dish on Wednesday. So, we added hot salsa and chopped onions. So, remember that you can recycle leftovers by adding to them. You can add salsa, canned beans, cheese, sour cream, chopped veggies, a can of store-bought soup, or condiments to perk up a boring dish.

  • Third, we had the grapes and Waldorf salad (lightly dressed). This comes under the heading of prepping fruits and veggies. Once a month, I get a big co-op order from SHARE. This past Saturday, I got my co-op produce that included three pounds of carrots, three bunches celery, three heads of lettuce, three bunches of green top onion, six pounds of yellow onions, 18 potatoes, six tomatoes, 15 Gala apples, 15 Bartlett pears, three pounds of red seedless grapes, nine Romaine lettuce hearts, and three cantaloupes. After the order arrived, I got out the colander and the food processor and went to work. I sliced and diced onions, carrots, celery, and scallions. I made up a carrot salad and a Waldorf salad. I washed all the fruit and plucked the grapes into a Tupperware bowl. So, be sure to prep fruits and veggies. This makes it much more likely that they'll be eaten. This Saturday, I'll take some of the uncut veggies and prep them for next week. Just think how easy it is to serve ants on a log if the celery is already cleaned and cut. Or make steaming onion soup if the onions are pre-chopped. Or dump a bunch of cleaned, chilled grapes onto a plate for a ravenous husband.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com.

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