Are You Healthy?

A closer look at what some people claim is a healthy diet and how to improve it.

By Susan Howard

So… are you?  “Of course, I am healthy,” you retort.  I had wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch, Cliff bar for a snack, and a bean and cheese burrito for dinner.  To you, I say, “Yes, those are all fairly healthy choices especially if you are working out 4 to 5 days a week.”

I hate thinking of food as the gate keeper and myself as a prisoner in my own dietary life.  If, however, you are not getting the results you desire, you must look more carefully at the choices you make.

Back to that eating day, let’s look and assess…

Although the day’s calories contain a salad, the intake is a bit light on vegetables and has no fruit at all.  On top of that, there are hidden calorie bombs.  Almond butter, although good for you, can be over-served jacking up your calorie and fat count.  A thin layer of something creamy and delicious should suffice — don’t slather it on.  Now onto that salad, which is innately a good choice, until you drown the thing in cheese and dressing.  A small drizzle of dressing with a squirt from a lemon wedge and a hint of salt should do the trick at removing 100 or more calories while still satisfying the palate.  Choose hard boiled egg for protein instead of cheese and mash it up for creaminess.

Onto the afternoon snack… The Cliff bar peanut crunch is my favorite.  These bars were created originally for endurance athletes to easily stow away in their bike shirt or running coat for fuel once they burned through all their sugars.  After about an hour of endurance activity, your glycogen stores are used up and you need to refuel for optimum performance.  Now if you are sitting in an office all day or driving your kids to soccer you are not burning through your sugar stores.  Therefore, if you eat a Cliff bar or any bar for that matter, you are not refueling you are just adding. I still like these bars for a road trip or meal replacement, but don’t think because you ate something healthy-ish it doesn’t have calories.  If you are hungry in the afternoon, drink some water and try eating half a bar or a piece of fruit.

Lastly, the bean and cheese burrito is fine, but you lose points a bit on the flour tortilla and cheese and the lack of much else that’s healthy besides the beans.  Cook up a side of spinach with garlic and onions and throw that onto to make a more complete meal.

This day is more of a vegetarian look at things.  I will do a Part 2 to sort out the carnivore dilemma.

Don’t stress on your eating habits — just be aware.  If you are frustrated with your results, little changes in diet can help boost your weight loss goals.

Stay Ready.


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