Three “Bad” Foods I Choose for my Family

Never mind the dietitians; I embrace these God-given foods for my family.

Do you ever get tired of hearing the “right” and “wrong” foods to eat?  Turn on any TV show, or heck, scroll through your Facebook feed, and you’re inundated with information from the “experts.”

I am not an expert. This post may muddy your thinking, or conversely it may give you freedom.  My hope is it’s the latter.

My general approach to eating is this:

  • Most of the time, choose foods from as close to the source as possible.
  • Reach for more foods with roots than faces.
  • Don’t have too much.  

Clearly, I don’t always succeed in this as I currently have Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips in my pantry, but you know … moderation.

If God put it on this earth to provide enjoyment and nutrition, I’m not putting it on my “no” list.  I understand not everyone will agree with me, and that’s OK.  However, it’s what works for my family and allows me to not be consumed with constricting food rules.

Three Foods My Family Says YES to:

Brown Rice

Subscribers have already received my family’s fried rice recipe.  (Don’t get the newsletters? Sign up here.) I prepare brown rice at least once a week.  It’s not the white boil-in-a-bag stuff and takes 25-30 minutes to cook, so it does require a little more time.

Zooming out to a much larger picture, I question just how bad rice is for us when nearly half of the world relies on it as a nutritional staple.(5)  American dieticians put a huge “X” over this ancient food.  Somehow we have taken away the beneficial aspects of this grain by stripping it’s outer core and all the goodness that goes with it. However, left in its natural state, brown rice offers several positive aspects.

Benefits

  • High in magnesium, which is vital to heart health.  
  • Rich in manganese, which aids in nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development, formation of blood-clotting factors and immune system defenses. (1)
  • Contains both fiber and bran, helpful to lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • An inexpensive way to add bulk to your meal.
Three "Bad" Foods I Choose for my Family

Photo by Eduardo Prim on Unsplash.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (not breasts)

Before we go further, I need you to remember my family dynamics.  I have two boys who are 13- and 12- years old.  Spike (13) is over 6’1” and Speedy (12) is 5’5”, maybe more by now. Both are athletes. I cannot keep up with their calorie needs.  Empty. All. The. Time.  

Run your own race

Three "Bad" Foods I Choose for my Family

Previously, you could actually see Speedy’s face fall when the answer to his question of “what’s for dinner?” was “grilled chicken breast.”  From hope to disappointment, right before my eyes.   

Miraculously, that changed when I began experimenting with boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  I have to admit, the flavor is superb. Yes, it has slightly higher calories.  However, this helps my teenage fuel problem and I just serve myself a little less.  Both problems solved!

Nutrition Difference

3 oz. skinless breast: 142 calories, 3 grams fat, .9 grams is saturated fat

3 oz. skinless thigh: 170 calories, 9 grams fat, 3 grams is saturated fat (2)

Benefits

  • Higher in zinc and iron than white meat.  Zinc improves immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. (3)  Iron transports oxygen throughout the body.  Not enough oxygen negatively impacts our energy level.
Three "Bad" Foods I Choose for my Family

Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

Red Potatoes

I know, I know: Potatoes have a high glycemic index, meaning it is quickly digested and spikes your blood sugar.  Yet I never serve them independently; most of the time they are paired with a high-quality protein and a green veggie.  Consumed together, absorption slows down.

Three "Bad" Foods I Choose for My Family

Benefits 

  • High in potassium.  One large red potato offers almost 1700 mg of potassium, or 36% of the RDI.  Those headaches I get after running in the summer?  They are from electrolyte deficiency, including potassium.  Having leftover roasted potatoes on hand is a much better choice than reaching for the bag of Lay’s Chips.
  • High in fiber.  One large red potato contains over 6 grams of fiber, helping you reach your goal of 25 grams per day and helping you feel full longer. (4)

I understand and respect why some nutritionists sway their clients away from these foods. However, that doesn’t mean it’s right for me and my family. I’ve taken in all the facts, balanced them with my philosophy on eating, and made my own decisions.

I encourage you to do the same.  Spend time thinking about what makes sense to you.  Ask yourself some questions:

  • What’s sustainable?  
  • What offers nutrition and nourishment? (Which I wrote about here.)
  • What will your people actually eat? All the kale recipes on Pinterest are useless if no one will touch them.  
  • What will help them thrive in the life they are called?

Then proceed with confidence.  Embrace those starchy vegetables, grains, and higher fat meat if that’s right for you.  Balance your meals with plenty of vegetables and pair it with love around the table.

And then serve a square of Dove chocolate for dessert.

too much sugar impacts sleep
Never mind the dietitians; these three foods are a YES for my family


Resources:

(1) DrAxe.com

(2) eatright.org

(3) Livestrong.com

(4) Livestrong.com

(5) Brittanica.com

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