But just like there are fugly renovations/awful clients on HGTV or incessant irrelevant ramblings on CNN sometimes, I’ve also come to find that not all FN shows are that good. Now don’t get me wrong: Practically every recipe featured in the channel is DELICIOUS with a capital delicious, but 95% can easily be put in the unhealthy camp. It’s about time the network changes that.
I USED TO LOVE 100% OF FN SHOWS
Like many of you reading this, I used to be a gal who loved (or at least not care about) eating things made with sugar, white flour, and artificial flavors. I enjoyed fruits and veggies but they weren’t priorities. I thought my workout was effective. I was convinced my Latina curves were healthy and potentially hot curves. I believed my extra 10-15 lbs. were normal.
I didn’t know I was 100% wrong, so I enjoyed watching–and making–recipes that included sugars and white stuff. I thought homemade = healthy because it meant I knew exactly what I was putting into my food. But not all homemade = healthy, unfortunately, so I was living in a fool’s paradise.
I believe that almost all FN shows are feeding into that same homemade = healthy mentality, and though there isn’t much that’s wrong with that because after all, homemade certainly beats depending on fast food and bad snacks (at least health- and cost-wise, believe it or not). But therein lies the problem because as long as what people make at home has the same ingredients as what they eat elsewhere, they’ll never be healthy!
So if a show featured a “heaping cup of sugar” and/or “two cups of white flour” and/or “four sticks of butter” in a recipe, I really didn’t mind because I’d be like, “I made it! Therefore it’s ‘healthy’!”
But no. Not at all. (I’m talking to you, Prairie Woman and Giada, and Sarah Lee, and practically every other FN host!)
THEN MY LIFESTYLE CHANGED
At some point early this year, my older cousin began sharing pics of her exercise program with my mom (her aunt) and me and we WERE ASTONISHED. She’d been doing P90X for a few months and it showed. A mom of two small kids, she had been described by my mom as a tad pudgy when she last saw her, but she wasn’t too bad. Her new-ish toddler just wasn’t letting her work out as much.
But then she found the time and began incorporating the program and eating super well and after some time, she started getting her pre-pregnancy body back.
I had been working out on our elliptical every day for an hour for a couple years–while occasionally having a sweet treat–but I had clearly begun showing signs of plateauing. Now I was becoming pudgier, my clothes were getting tighter, and my self-esteem was slowly declining.
So I bought P90X and the necessary accessories that same day, went shopping for better groceries, created a menu plan, and got work. After all 90 days of P90X, I noticed I was so toned, I was beyond overjoyed. However, somewhere during that time my mom had also gotten T25 (because she didn’t have 60-90 mins a day to work out but could surely squeeze in 25) and because her knees stopped her from continuing on, I promised I’d take full advantage of it and I’d begin it after I finished P90X.
(I honestly couldn’t wait for T25 because I was getting sick of exercising for an hour and a half each day. Also, after my final weigh-in, I saw that I had only lost two lbs. on P90X and after two weeks of T25 I had lost FOUR. I’m sure you can guess which one I’m happily sticking with.)
HEALTHY, HEALTHY, HEALTHY
Basically, I started incorporating parts of the P90X and T25 nutrition plans to come up with my own that’s perfect for me: Four-five protein servings + zero-one carb (the grain soup) + one fat (1/3-1/2 of an avocado) + one-three fruit and veggie servings. On the weekends, because we’ll do brunch and dinner, I’ll skip the soup and include a large whole-wheat pita in my breakfast and might even add some brown rice at dinnertime.
Here’s a run-down of my daily weekday menu so you don’t think I’m merely talking the talk: (Breakfast and lunch are the same and I love it; dinners are the ones that vary.)
• BREAKFAST: Two scrambled eggs with two slices of turkey bacon, cheese (one serving/1-1.5oz.), and a glass of almond milk.
• (OPTIONAL) SNACK: If I’m in a funk and need some energy, I’ll have a serving (1/4 cup) of unsalted cashews and a glass of lemonade (i.e., lemon juice + stevia). SO GOOD.
• LUNCH: A cup (+ a bit) of lentil/garbanzo soup/stew and a glass of lemonade.
• OPTIONAL SNACK: I’ll usually have just one snack per day, so in the PMs, I might have either a serving of cashews or a banana–or both if I know dinner’ll be served later. Another option is a cup of Greek yogurt (w/Stevia!) or half-to-one Quest protein bar. (As far as I’ve found, those are the best in terms of nutrition and ingredients.)
• DINNER: A serving (3-4oz.) or two of fish (usually WILD salmon–farm-raised isn’t good!) or chicken or pork tenderloin + a HALF plate of salad. (We make ours with lettuce/spinach, celery, tomato, apples, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, olives, pickles, and mangos, or a combination of many of those ingredients, depending on what’s in season.)
What haven’t I had in months?
Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweets (incl. my dear dulce de leche), arepas, pastries, white breads, sugar–incl. brown sugar because it’s the same as sugar, white pastas, cakes, and a bunch of other things. Not only are they (made up of) poison, basically, but their high glycemic index makes them really bad for any sane person wishing to live better.
Do I miss them? Wellllllll, I wish I could find healthier alternatives for them! But because I haven’t been able to (LET ME KNOW IF YOU KNOW OF ANY!), I’ve honestly come to not miss their harmful effect on my body.
AND NOW I WISH THERE COULD BE BETTER SHOWS TO REFLECT OUR BETTER LIFESTYLE CHOICES
Seriously, there are already millions(?) of people who choose to eat this way and who need to eat this way, and it’s about time cooking shows and networks caught up. (I mean we could stick to getting these recipes online from competing brands, but where’s the fun in that for you, network execs?)
What is YOUR favorite super mega healthy recipe or which would you like to see on TV? (I’d like to see one for stevia-sweetened, low-fat ice cream and frozen yogurt. Whole-grain, Stevia’d cookies and pumpkin goodies would be fantastic, too.)