Ask an Angel: August 10, 2017

Our Ask An Angel correspondent is Arlene Petersen, Life Care Navigation Specialist in the area of senior home care.

A. I really need to change my eating habits. I have tried this several times in the past, and start out well, but then go back to my old habits. I am discouraged even before starting. Any ideas?

Q. Our taste buds seem to get the best of us, don’t they? You are not alone! You realize your challenge and you have had some success in changing your eating habits. Let’s not focus on the negative, but rather the positive. First, start a program with the help of your doctor. If there are medical conditions you are contending with, it is wise to get his input. So, once you have direction from your doctor, put your plan in place. Remember to keep your serving sizes balanced appropriately. Heavier on the fresh fruits and vegetables and less on the carbs, which add little value to your diet. Incorporate whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. If you envision a dinner plate, half of it would be filled with those fresh fruits or vegetables. A remaining quarter would be filled with low-fat, high protein meat, and the remaining quarter is for your starches, making sure you stick to whole grains. Stay away from saturated fats as well as high sugar desserts. Your fruit can act as your dessert. But the most important question is how to stay on a steady course once you begin your new habits. Don’t go it alone! Buddy up with someone or check with your doctor. There may be a nutritionist or dietician on staff that can assist you with your meal choices. Often, local hospitals have dieticians that can assist you. Some also have classes that are offered to the community. Investigate what is in your area. If you are internet savvy, there are sites and apps that can be a “partner” with you. And don’t forget to celebrate your success. That doesn’t mean splurging at the nearest ice cream shop, but remember, everything in moderation!

Have a question for our angel correspondent? You can send our angel an email to apetersen@visitingangels.com or send your question via mail to Ask An Angel, 65 Woodbury St., South Elgin, IL 60177.

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