Friday, March 7, 2014

Bits & Pieces: Confessions of a Fast Food Addict

Hello, my name is Kaylea....and I'm a fast-food addict.

That statement is probably not a "revelation" to people who know me. Let's face it, the journalism diet / pyramid is well, heavily weighted with junk food, pizza, coffee and well, some other beverages.

For someone trying to get healthy, and well, not live the "15 things you must do to call yourself a journalist" lifestyle, food choices can on the run can be a challenge.

So last week, I sat down with Lucinda Wilson, the dietitian at INTEGRIS Grove Hospital, to get some tips on how to be healthy on the go.

Did you know that INTEGRIS not only provides a dietitian to talk with patients at the hospital and through a doctor's referral, but folks like me, who simply want some new information.

(It does work better to have your doctor refer you to Wilson, to get on her official schedule).

Anyway, Wilson and I hashed out a few - we started with five - things I could try to get healthy.

I figured, since I'm not the only one running from event to event, I'd share the tips.

Goal 1) Eat at home more often

Ok, let's face it. This takes planning. Wilson suggests going to the grocery store at least once a week to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and to pick up food items for the coming week.

The other tip, to make this goal a success comes from having at least one "cook day" each week, where you can cook your protein (meat or beans) and prep the fruit and veggies for the coming week.

Cooking the protein once a week lets you make "fast meals" at home, rather than grabbing something through the drive thru.

Goal 2) Eat at least a small meal two or three times per day

Ah. For me, this means eating breakfast, rather than passing on it and then getting too busy to eat lunch.

Wilson suggests planning for a quick breakfast of yogurt or fruit. She also suggests taking prepped veggies/fruit with you as you set out on your day, so they are available when the munchies hit.

Goal 3) Increase Veggies

Yes, your mom was right. Veggies make the world go round. Wilson suggests prepping the veggies on the cooking day, and sorting them into bags that can be taken with me in my camera bag or purse.

She also suggests having several favorite veggies on hand to cook for dinner each night.

Goal 4) More for Fruit

Are you noticing a trend? Eat less junk and more good stuff. That includes fruit. She suggests fruit for breakfast and to keep some on hand for snacks or desserts.

Goal 5) Stay hydrated

The last goal, focuses on water. An easy way to know if you are getting enough water in your diet is to do this simple math calculation: Divide your weight in pounds by two. This tells you the number of ounces you need to drink. To make it "manageable" divide that number by eight. This tells you how many cups of water (or fluids) you need each day.

Wilson suggested setting a goal to at least drink a fourth of the amount if it is much more than you ever would normally drink, and then gradually increase your intake.

So there ya go. The five goals I'm going to start implementing in my life. For my friends on Facebook (and probably eventually my blog) it means I've started having #AdventuresInCooking again.

This week I tried out a recipe for "Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas." Apparently, for the friend I fed them too (to share the left overs), it was a "keeper" recipe.

I said it was "Kaylea proof" because it only called for four ingredients: Salsa Verde, chopped chicken, shredded cheese and tortillas.

Here's the quick low down: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 3 cups chopped chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken), 1 cup cheese and 1 cup salsa verde together. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a cup of salsa verde. Then put 1/3 cup of that mixture on a tortilla, and wrap like a burrito and place fold down in the pan. Repeat until all filling is used. (It made about 8 enchiladas). Then cover with another cup of salsa verde and cheese, and bake for at least 10 minutes. That's it. See "Kaylea Proof."

So if you have a "Kaylea proof" recipe I should try, email it to me at My friends (I share leftovers) will appreciate it too. Feel free to send your "get healthy" tips as well. But be forewarned, you may be written about in this column (hey a girl's got to have some fun!)

This column was originally published in the March 7, 2014 issue of The Grove Sun.

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