Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Put down the deep fryer and back away!

Resolve to Change #3
Protein is your best friend...really!

I love fried food. Growing up in the South we tend to just look for things to deep fry. Who would have ever thought that the lowly pickle could be sold at a restaurant for $5.95 if you just deep fried it? Deep fried cheese? Come on what were we thinking when we did that one! Deep fried foods are some of the most addictive morsels on the planet. I worked in a family-owned restaurant years ago that was buffett style Southern food. I learned to batter, fry, and make gravy from the most incredible person in the world. We even made hot water cornbread that was deep fried. Her name was Miss Pearl and she scared the life out of me. She had control of that little kitchen and even the owners trembled when she spoke!

She taught me so much about cooking Southern style, but the one thing I remember hearing her say all the time was "Child, if your grease ain't right, don't even try to fry" The wrong temperature of your grease can just boil your food in oil...not real healthy! So for myself I have chosen to only have fried food ever few months. I love Chicken Fried Steak, I have a post explaining that love in detail...but I only make it about 2 times a year. And yes I use a thermometer, because even though Miss Pearl is gone to her heavenly reward she put the fear of God in me about lukewarm oil.

When we think of protein our mind goes to the meat counter. That isn't the case so we need to expand our protein lists. I love yogurt, low fat cheeses, milk (this ones tough for me),and low-fat cottage cheese. Peanut or other nut butters are great sources of protein as are eggs. For those who are vegetarians there are more options today than ever.

Harvard School of Health has a great website on dietary needs.

Being an overweight child I was on a diet at 9 years old so..not something I feel all warm and fuzzy about! Following a specific diet has never worked for me, I actually hate the word diet because it brings up negative, unhappy feelings even before I begin. I'm a diabetic so I eat 6 times a day. That keeps my blood sugar level and I feel much better. When I decided to get healthier (you notice I didn't say lose weight),I researched many views on what that really meant related to food intake. Most of the sensible dietary guru's all are saying the same thing. I tend to reference the GI Diet by Rick Gallop alot, but South Beach, Weight Watcher's , Nutri-System ..etc all follow the same path. It's a healthy approach to living so that is what counts.

Oh and by the way...I'm not skinny or thin, or even where the charts say I should be. I would love to lose about 40 more pounds this year, but I'm healthy and happy and that is what life is all about. "As God is my witness I will never diet again", okay so I'm not Scarlett but you get my point!!

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