Today I was reflecting back to the good ole days and my eating habits. In the small town where I was raised, we enjoyed southern cooking as many folks did in Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. There was battered cod and catfish. They were fried to a golden brown in tons of shortening or lard. At other times there was fried salmon mixed with onions, rolled in corn meal and deep fried until the salmon cake was crispy on the outside. My mother fried fish in an iron skillet, not a modern day Fry Daddy. For side dishes we had deep fried potatoes with lots of salt. Of course there was slaw. The dressing was made from real mayonnaise mixed with lots of sugar. For dessert, there were fresh baked pies and peach cobbler. The pie dough was made from white flour and shortening. A great dessert contained lots of sugar. The desserts were topped with homemade ice cream. Yummy, yes it was! Good ole down home cooking with a mouth watering taste and a wonderful aroma could not be beat. I can almost smell and taste it now!
Then there was the greasy spoon diner on the corner, where friends met up on a Saturday night. They served the best double cheese burgers that money could buy for twenty-five cents. The buns were dripping with real butter and the cheese rolled off the side down onto the plate. If we had an extra nickle we had the waitress coat our greasy french fries with American cheese too. For a drink, there was that non diet Lotta Cola. Yes, that is what I am talking about; good ole down home, mouth watering, tummy filling, baby boomer, eating back in the good ole days! We ate well but I did not say healthy.
Here it is fifty years later. Yes boomers, get ready because I have to write about healthy eating today. Let’s get serious. A healthy diet is important. By eating healthy we can maintain a good weight. It will help prevent heart disease, diabetes, improve our digestive system, give us more energy, better bones and improves pain that goes along with arthritis. Some foods even help with head aches. Many healthy foods help improve the blood circulation in our bodies.
Since I am not a dietitian or physician, I suggest you talk with your doctor about the type foods that you should eat. The American Heart Association has many good suggestions too and can be found on line.
Eating Healthy Is Working For Me
Here are some things that I have done to eat more healthy. Thus far it is working for me.
- I do not use lard, oil, butter or shortening for cooking. Instead, I use virgin olive oil or non stick heart healthy olive oil pan spray. Virgin olive oil has many benefits in a healthy diet. The other things do not!
- Since nothing is fried in my home, the Fry Daddy and iron skillet are history. A non stick skillet works just fine for egg beater eggs, whites only. I limit my salt intake and use salt substitutes. Forget bacon, sausage and white country gravy because that is history too.
- My tuna is no longer mixed with mayonnaise. Fish consists of baked salmon and sardines. This is a great way to get those healthy Omega 3’s that we need. Omega 3 helps the heart, joint pain, and even has been known to help with depression. It also appears to have given me more energy. I even have had some healthy weight loss. Along with this, I take Omega 3 supplements to improve my triglycerides. Then to help lower my cholesterol, I add a supplement of guggul and red yeast rice plus CoQ10. Oh, and by the way, these pills are not too bad because they are coated with lemon so there is no fishy taste.
- I still have slaw but no dressing that is not healthy. Many of my meals consists of raw vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green peppers, and leafy vegetables such as lettuce and turnip greens. I put a few nuts and bacon bits in my salad for flavor.I use different seasonings made by Mr. Dash which is salt free.
- The pies and cobblers have been replaced with healthy fruits. An apple in oatmeal for breakfast is not only good but very healthy.
The Lotta cola no long exists but soda does. Since I limit my intake of sugar, I find that water and juices are much healthier for me. Now and then a fruit smoothie hits the spot. Then there are those nice yogurts too which can be eaten to produce energy. Sometimes adding whole wheat cereal gives it a little crunch. Whole wheat is healthy too.
Yes, I have to be honest! Every once in awhile I cheat but not a lot. If I do, I don’t beat myself up. Instead, I get right back to healthy eating at the next meal. I try to stay positive. The supplements taste better than the cod liver oil that mother use to give me when I was a kid. Ugh!:( Healthy eating is much better than the side effects of many medicines. The energy that I have gained helps me to be happier. My skin is glowing. 🙂 My clothes fit much better from the pounds that I have lost. I can walk faster without getting out of breath. My blood pressure is at an all time low level. Not to mention, if at all possible, I may live to retire someday and hopefully avoid the nursing home. Also I even read where eating healthy can help our brains. Maybe then it will improve my memory so that I can write more stories as life goes on.
Happy eating boomers! What are you doing to change your life style? Get ready because next time I just might write about the importance of exercise as we continue our baby boomer journey.