Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's All Eat Right Day

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By Diane Forrest, RN

It has been nearly a year since I started writing on this blog.  In that time I have written about everything from soup to nuts and lots and lots of chocolate.  Who knew there were so many days that recognized different foods?  While we didn't write about foods every day, on the days where food was the subject, it was not a terrible crime to indulge in the more unhealthy choices, as long as it was done in moderation.
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Today however is Let's All Eat Right Day.  It's not just about what you eat, but when you eat, and how much.  I have a friend who will be celebrating his 74th birthday this year.  Last summer he suffered some heart problems that resulted in the placement of two stints.  This served as a wakeup call for him.  Concerned about his health and heart, he began to make changes in his lifestyle.  While he was once sleeping and napping all through the day, he has now settled into a routine pattern, a set time to go to bed, and a time to wake up.  While he still occasionally wakes up during the night, he maintains his schedule and keeps his day more productive and energetic.  He also started an exercise program at the YMCA, and has been faithful to go 3 days a week.  The other days he either bowls or performs other activities.  The one problem he runs into is his eating habits.  He doesn't eat the right foods, at the right times, or right amounts.  I have tried to explain to him that he wouldn't drive a car without gas, so he can't operate his body without fuel.
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He complains that he doesn't like to eat when he wakes, so he will eat breakfast around 11:00am.  Sometimes he will eat a healthy bowl of Oatmeal with orange juice, but other days it may be just toast and coffee.  He doesn't eat lunch, but snacks of junk food until supper.  He will normally have a decent supper, but he doesn't complete the recommended daily allowances.

The recommendations by the FDA are as follows:

Milk and Dairy
2 -3 servings a day
2-3 servings a day
3-5 servings a day
2-4 servings a day
Breads and whole grains
6-11 servings a day
oil and sweets

When President Obama was elected, his wife, Michele Obama set about to promote healthy eating.  Not only has she started a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House, she travels around informing and promoting healthy eating, especially encouraging school age children to eat better, more nutritious meals.

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Today is Let's All Eat Right Day; however it’s not just a practice for just one day, but every day.  This day was chosen to celebrate the birthday of nutritionist Adelle Davis who was famous for advocating healthy eating, especially via her bestselling book, "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit."  While it’s ok to splurge occasionally on some "forbidden" foods, make a special effort to maintain a more healthy and nutritious diet.

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