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March 2004 Issue
HOW to Eat Right.
by Michael Fick
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Even great desserts can be prepared in healthy ways. Pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are almost as healthy as their parent vegetables when done right. Cream pies -- chocolate, coconut, custard, lemon – can be fat- and calorie-free. Heaps of fresh strawberries buried in chocolate or vanilla pudding, a huge chunk of angel food cake buried in berries and a compatible topping … these aren’t sins or relapses, folks; these are good, healthy foods that happen to taste like a tub of heaven … if.

If you skip the pie crusts (pure crap) altogether. If you use low- or no-fat evaporated milk, toppings, puddings and cream-pie fillings. If you cover these delights in fat/sugar-free fake whipped cream such as Cool Whip. You’ll never miss the crust, and your homemade angel food cake is far better tasting and far healthier than the store-bought version.

Too much work? Cook large quantities and freeze meals. It’s just one meal a day, because lunch and breakfast and snacks are so simple even a man or teenager can fix them. Breakfast, if you haven’t yet decided to swap breakfast and supper (May 98 H&F), is a big bowl of whole-grain cold or hot cereal, buried in fruits and nuts, especially walnuts. Throw a heap of dried fruit chunks (raisins are great) in the oatmeal (the real version, not the instant crap) along with the brown sugar and cinnamon while it’s cooking. Serve with whole wheat toast or low-fat, high-fiber muffins and one of the fat-free liquid butter/margarine substitutes. Add eggs now and then. Don’t skimp on breakfast; it’s vital to your energy and to weight management. Lunch is some combination of whole wheat bread, peanut butter, occasionally a little fresh-sliced lean deli meat and low-fat cheese and mustard, beans, fruit, salad, low-fat fruit yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, a low-fat sub on a whole wheat bun. Sweeten anything to taste with Equal or Splenda.

If you eat this way and remain overweight, the obvious solutions include more veggies, fruit, and whole grains, less crap, and more exercise. Most people manage their weight fine this way, and our hearts love it. Now go play and work up a good appetite.

That’s the way to manage your weight and health.

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