Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Healthy Swaps

Nourishing My Mind, Body and Soul

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

In an effort to get healthy in 2016, I repeat, get healthy in 2016, I plan on trimming the fat. I've been one of those baby boomers that got caught up in the low-carb/high-fat diet. While I succeeded at losing 42 pounds, I'm now struggling with cravings and binge eating. When I saw this segment promoted on the Today Show, I took notice and said to myself, this is the year to nourish my mind, body and soul!

It's not that I'm completely unhealthy, my blood pressure is within normal range most days, but my cholesterol is slowing climbing and is now at 222 and my recent visit to the doctor was a reality check on my fiber intake. I either change my habits now or face medication and a drastic, mandatory change later. I prefer to take matters in my own hands.

The challenge I face is that I travel for my job. This translates to airport food and restaurant eating 3-4 days a week. In 2015 I considered that a challenge. While many were tossing confetti and streamers on NYE, I was tossing the rose colored glasses in the air. The glasses that conveniently masked "excuses" and labeled them "challenges". No more excuses, done, finished, over...don't even think about it missy!!!

What am I swapping in my North American Restaurant and Airport Tour? Well first of all, it's time to start packing some healthy snacks for travels. Hummus and carrots. Apples. Berries. Each of these items are healthy, provide the fiber I need and will clear airport security.

So I have the travel time covered, easy-peasy. Now for all that dining out. I'm going to swap my beloved steak, short ribs and pork chops for leaner cuts AND smaller portions. And I will limit my red meat intake to once a week. How in the world will I do that? I enjoy fish and seafood so I will scope out the restaurant menu online ahead of time to determine what they offer and how I will have it prepared. I am fully capable of swapping nicely marbled beef and pork for fish and seafood because the motivation to stay off baby boomer medications is far greater than the sacrifice I'll endure for cutting back on those deliciously rich red meats I love. Now that I think of it, ordering a braised Beef Shank really isn't that lady-like, now is it?

I have goals to go with my new healthy swaps.

  1. I'm going to swap 1 hour of pinning on Pinterest for 1 hour of exercise in the hotel fitness center at night. And on the days I don't travel I commit to one hour of walking.
  2. I'm going to swap the excuse of not having to pack bulky tennis shoes for a shopping trip in search of a light weight, packable pair of workout shoes that won't require me to move into a larger suitcase in order to pack them.
  3. I'm also going to swap better choices in beverages; my delicious Starbuck's Green Tea Latte for a cup of flavored, decaffienated cream, no sweetener. And will swap diet soda for sparkling water with a lemon or lime twist.
  4. I'm going to swap dinner out with a colleague for a trip to the grocery store to grab a healthy meal to take back to my room like a few cocktail shrimp, berries, baby carrots, snap peas. Fresh high-fiber, healthy selections!
  5. I'm going to swap an afternoon in the kitchen teaching my grandchildren how to make homemade ice cream for a walk in the nearby county park, while collecting leaves, acorns, pine cones and sharing our love for the outdoors together...even when the temperature is below freezing.

In 2016 my healthy swaps will be mindful choices in food and activities that will nourish a healthy mind, body and soul.

Happy New Year!


This post comes from the TODAY Food Club community, where anyone can write posts, ask questions and share advice. Learn more and join us!