Archived Story

For people trying to be healthy this time of year can be hard

Published 11:01am Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Every year around this time I get an itch.

I like to call it the itch of my old ways.

It starts usually about a week before Halloween when I’m bombarded by all of the vast choices of candy I could buy to hand out to trick-or-treaters (or really to simply snack on myself).

Then there’s all the parties — with friends, at church or with family.

If I make it through Halloween without falling into a sugar-induced coma, then I’m on the fast track to Thanksgiving — the holiday where it’s easy to forget about proper portion sizes.

In the past, Thanksgiving more often than not has become the day of second helpings — or sometimes even worse.

Sometimes the habits started that day carry into two and maybe even three days, until before you know it, a whole week has passed and you’re still using some of those bad habits.

But if you make it past Thanksgiving and you think you’re home free — wait until you receive your first batch of Christmas goodies from a friend.

How do you deal with all the food frenzy?

I’ve become a big supporter of going online and finding healthier alternatives to familiar treats or foods.

If that doesn’t work, we have a wealth of resources at our fingertips locally with our local dietitians.

Hy-Vee dietitian Amy Pleimling sends out a monthly newsletter, which has had some fantastic ideas on it. It’s inspirational to see that eating healthy can be exciting — and look and taste good, too! I’m sure she’d be thrilled to talk about some of her ideas.

Branch out! It’ll be worth it!

For now, here’s a recipe I tried this week that I got from a friend of mine at work. It’s been great for some of these chilly nights we’ve been having.

Taco soup

1 pound lean ground turkey or beef

1 onion, chopped

1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can Mexican-style tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 small can of diced green chiles

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Brown meat and onions and drain. Mix ranch and taco seasonings into meat. Add rest of ingredients to mixture. Cook on low heat for two hours.