Cheers to Healthy Choices

I love bagels with cream cheese, so much so that at one point I discovered that I looked like a bagel.  I adore all kids of cheese if I am being honest.  I have been known to order the cheese plate for dinner.  I am also a huge mega fan of a good glass of wine or a great Belgian beer.  Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of exercise.  My calorie burning routine consists of running after my children and breastfeeding.  I’m not exactly building muscle over here.  Add to that a close relationship with most other starches and it becomes clear that my favorite things are not exactly healthy.

Here’s the thing.  I want to be healthy, I just need at least part of it to be easy.

The part that will not be easy for me is the exercise.  I have decided to do what I know works and kick my own tush into gear.  I am starting P90X and I will finish it because once I tell people I am doing something then I feel like I have to.  I work best under extreme pressure.  Sounds fun, I know.

So, I need the food to be easy.  I believe in all things in moderation, maybe only because I refuse to cut out what gives me the most joy, my bagel.  Also, I’m just not a whiz in the kitchen so simple works best.  Now that I have kids it is all the more important to encourage physical activity and healthy eating choices.

Not only do I want my kids to be healthy and active, I want them to see a mother who is also making the right choices for my body.  Most importantly, I want to be around for them for a long time.

Healthy Choice sent me some research on making the right food choices as well as some coupons to try out a few of their more than 70 entrees.

Did you know that according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome?  I really did not know the number was so high.  I do know that making simple changes can start to make a difference.

    The Study

      The Healthy Choice study followed more than 60 participants for 30 days with one group primarily eating Healthy Choice meals for lunch and the other group mainly for dinner every day.  Participants were also instructed to add 2-3 food items to their diet, such as fruits and vegetables, according to their caloric needs.   Participants in the study lost an average of six pounds and trimmed their waistlines by about one inch.  Let’s just say awesome!  Choosing Healthy Choice meals improved the quality of their overall diets by increasing dietary fiber, reducing saturated fat intake by 50 percent and consuming 30 percent less cholesterol and sodium.  This is not a surprise as I look at my own cooking.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to get all the right ingredients together!  (The research was presented by the Rippe Lifestyle Institute at the Experimental Biology Conference in April 2011 and funded by ConAgra Foods.)

      The Food

      I tried the Grilled Basil Chicken and the Bacon & Smoky Cheddar Chicken.  Yes, you heard it…bacon.  My husband and I both tried them as did my kids.  We cleared our plates.  It has been years since I tried healthy frozen entrees because I always feel like the taste is lacking.  Here, there was plenty of taste coupled with easy preparation and vegetables that everyone ate.  I like that there are so many choices and that the packages display not only the nutrition information but also the Weight Watchers points.  Both are 5 points.  I am a big fan of Weight Watchers because I can still have what I love in moderation.  These Healthy Choice meals are actually something we will buy again.  My only complaint is that the amount of meat is small.  I actually need a little extra in the calorie department as I am still breastfeeding, so next time I will probably grill a little extra chicken to throw in.  I love the fact that the starches are controlled so I don’t eat a pound of pasta on my own.  I am sure this has happened before.  Long story short…we really liked the taste of this food and just love that it is low in fat and controlled in sodium and cholesterol.  Usually I freak at really high sodium numbers.

      Our Choices

      Healthy Choice wanted to know 3 things my family does to stay healthy and I thought I want to share them with you.  First, we make sure to eat 3 meals a day and try to have them include 3 food groups.  We also have some snacks and we try to make them healthy.  I think it is important to sit down and eat and of course, with my love of bagels, I am a firm believer in never missing breakfast.  Second, we are constantly out and about, staying active.  We may not be running a marathon, but we are running around and staying busy. Third, we try to keep on a schedule and get our rest.   I am the worst at this, but I am getting better.  We need sleep to function at our best and to relive the stress that modern day life throws at us.  Even kids are so busy these days!  Down time is a very good thing!

      Wish me luck as I face the exercise challenge of a lifetime (at least my lifetime) and try to add more healthy choices to our meals!  Also, stay tuned for my six pack.  I am so going to post pics of my abs if I get them!

      Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Healthy Choice.  All of the opinions on getting my tush in gear and the fact that I love bacon in a healthy meal are my own.

      Join the discussion 4 Comments

      • Matty says:

        I wish you the all the success in doing the P90x. I know people who did it and they swear by the results.

        I recently completed a 12 week weight loss challenge sponsored by my employer. The top three “losers” won money. When it began, the first thing I did was to go online and start reading about nutrition. Wow, was I blind. I learned so much about what foods to avoid, and more importantly, to read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists. I completely changed my eating habits to healthier choices, and did cardio exercise almost every day. At the end of the 12 week challenge, I was down 26 pounds and took first place, and the $134.00 prize money. But my real reward was how much better I feel, how much better my clothes fit, and all the energy I now have.

        I really encourage anyone struggling with weight issues to read up on nutrition and find out how bad some of those so-called “health foods” really are for you. Packaging can be deceiving. Turn it around and read the nutrition label. Cut out the junk foods, anything with added sugar in it, and exercise.

        There was no rocket science involved for my success. It was simply what I ate (better food choices), what I didn’t eat (junk food), and exercise. Plain and simple.

        Keep on keeping on, and let us know how you make out with P90x.
        Matty recently posted… Weight LossMy Profile

      • Kimberly says:

        Good luck with P90X! My hubby and I are days away from finishing, and it really is life changing. I am the weight I was at my wedding & definitely have more definition. However, I CAN’T WAIT for it to be over! We do it after the kids are asleep & I want my evenings back!

      • Nina says:

        Oh good luck!!! I’m totally obsessed with cheese!! But I did give up the bagels and cream cheese a long time ago when I realized they were no better than donuts. Ok-I have one once in a while, but frankly, I’d rather have a donut!
        Nina recently posted… New Writer Finds Readers and fretsMy Profile

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