Question From Client: “Yvette what do you think of packaged meals? I try to buy the “healthy” frozen dinners to stay on my diet. Is this okay?”The big question here is are frozen dinners healthy, and the quick answer is no, try to avoid processed foods. The longer answer isn’t so quick. When you go to the grocery store you walk down the frozen food isle, you will see the word “healthy” thrown around a lot on many of the packages, but take it from me don’t fall for it, take a closer look at the ingredients. The front of the package is all for show, half the time when you warm up the food it doesn’t even look as good as the picture, so why would the word healthy be the truth either, instead go right to back of the package, to the ingredients. I love going to the grocery store and reading ingredients of food. It really makes you think before you put it in your cart, remember it takes a lot of added additives that are not good for you to give it the taste that we all like. Have you ever noticed sometimes after eating a frozen meal you feel tired or sluggish? Thats because of those additives there are a lot of ingredients added that slow down your body. A good example to think about is your car, why do you think their are 3 different grades of gas, the better gas will be better for you car, but most of us want to save money and we fuel our car with cheaper gas right? Well think of your body that way, we avoid the fresh fruits and vegetables, because they cost more but in the end they are the much better choice for our body, so the big thing you have to do is weigh the pros and cons. I am not telling you that you wont have junk food or a frozen meal now and again. I will be the first to admit I love my junk food and every once in a while I will enjoy one of my favorite treats, but for the most part I try to stick with food choices that are as close to their most natural state they came from.
Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice Frozen Dinners Healthy or NotI bet you all have heard of Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Healthy Choice. They both claim to be frozen dinners healthy for you. They both have a great marketing plan, great colors on and designed boxes, I tell my clients to skip over all those colors that are drawing you in and the words and commercials that made you believe they are the right choice, and instead flip it over and look at the laundry list ingredients on the back. I bet you find all kinds of additives, preservatives, refined sugars, and a lot of other things you wont even be able to pronounce or know what they are. Instead of filling your cart with these, choose to use a george foreman grill and make a chicken breast, steamed veggies, or potatoes. It is probably a meal you could find in weight watcher brands or healthy choice but in the long run it is much healthier for you.
Healthy Cereal The Box Can’t Lie or Can it?Have you ever looked at a box of Kellogg’s cereal, I noticed Kellogg’s makes a cereal called Smart Start Strong Heart. It claims to be full of Antioxidants. Now if I see this and just respond to what the manufacturers are hoping you will respond to, then I’m sold. At the bottom of the box it tells me that is artificially flavored. Hmmm. That really screams “Smart” to me. NOT! Then on the ingredient list near the top is “strawberry flavored crunch lets” that are flavored with sugar and corn syrup. OUCH!!!!! I’m not so sure I want to be eating crunch-lets, anyways. A better choice would be to get plain shredded wheat with an ingredient list of, let’s see, “100% whole wheat”. Better choice! Then to make it sweeter, add some fresh fruit on the top. Bingo. I could go on and on with examples I’ve seen in the stores, but for this post I am going to tell you one basic thing when looking at foods to purchase – If the ingredient list is long and has additives, preservatives, then avoid! Eat food that is more natural and unprocessed to fuel your body better. It will pay off in how you feel daily and will help your body to run “cleaner”
Good Rule to Live ByI was watching Tv and saw a great commercial where a kid was trying to pronounce the ingredients found in his favorite Ice Cream. He was not having much luck. So think about it this way if you child can’t pronounce it than don’t eat it. So my final bit of advice, is a buyer beware, don’t get caught up in the concept of 100 calories snack packs or healthy grain bars, or the healthy box cereals, and frozen dinners. Focus on making your own meals, and stay away from processed foods.
Share with me any other diet or exercise questions you may have and Ill answer it on the blog or on my Youtube channel.