by Christel Swasey

New Year’s Resolutions: Two Healthy Weeks of Family Dinners

It’s not easy to make a New Year’s resolution happen.  Yet, every year, we try.  This year’s no different.

One of my resolutions is to speed walk for thirty minutes, four days a week.  (Today the weather was so nice, and the baby fell asleep in his stroller, so I ended up speedwalking for an hour and a half.  So far, so good!)

Another resolution I’ve set for this year is to cook and eat for heart health.  I want to decrease the amount of high-cholesterol (meat-based) and high-sugar (not whole-grain-based) cooking that I do.  I want to start by leaving all the sludge-for-our-arteries kinds of foods at the grocery store where they belong, not in our refrigerator or in our pantry, where they will end up in our bodies.  I think that if I buy it for guests or for the kids, I will end up ingesting it myself.  So:

I have made a list of meals for the first two weeks of 2012.  My criteria include quick preparation time, as few ingredients as possible, no highly expensive ingredients, lower sugar content, high fiber and nutrient content, no white flour content, and low-or-no meat content.  I also want to offer the family dessert every day, but a healthier style of desserts that we’ve been practicing in the past.

Here’s what I have come up with.  And, just so you know, I’m really doing this; I have my actual shopping list written for the ingredients I don’t already have at home.

Here it is:

 

  • Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto — with fruit and berry salad for dessert
  • Whole wheat pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce — poached vanilla apples for dessert
  • Corn tortilla enchiladas (bean and cheese) — hot fruit soup for dessert
  • Homemade salsa and whole wheat quesadillas — grapes and nuts for dessert
  • Fat-free shake-n-bake chicken, and baked potatoes with chive sauce  –sugarfree jello for dessert
  • Black bean wraps with the leftover salsa on top –fruit and nut salad for dessert
  • Zucchini, Leek, and egg-whites quiche  — sugarfree rootbeer floats for dessert
  • Roasted stuffed red peppers  —grapes and low fat cheese for dessert
  • Pasta primavera with whole wheat pasta and fresh herbs —  chocolate covered raisins and dried berries for dessert
  • Minestrone with homemade 100% whole wheat rolls  — baked pears with cinnamon sauce for dessert
  • Pineapple and mandarin chicken stir fry  — frozen chocolate covered bananas for dessert
  • Sweet potato waffles with berries  — no dessert
  • Spinach mushroom omelettes  — fresh berries with fat free cream for dessert
  • Lentil chili and cornbread  — 100% fruit- fruit leather for dessert

Doesn’t that sound good?

I am determined not to get discouraged if I don’t perfectly fulfill my resolutions.   If we end up with sugared up, high-cholesterol restaurant pizza one day because I don’t have time to cook, it’s okay.  We are aiming for improvement, and not immediate perfection.  The more we learn about health, and the more we attempt to put into actual practice our new knowledge of what changes actually prevent disease and create well-being, the better off our families will eventually be.

Our families are the most important thing to us. Protect them with family health insurance.

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