Healthy Choices

Posted on May 7, 2011

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I started working out with a trainer two months ago, I haven’t magically lost weight nor dropped  a dress size, but I do feel stronger.  We’ve been working on strength and endurance — two things I sadly lack. Today the trainer told me that if I added daily cardiovascular activities, like indoor cycling and even walking the dog,  to my 2x/weekly weight training I’d be well on my way to  significant weight loss by the end of the year.

Oh and of course, there had to be some changes made to my diet, which is fairly healthy but may just be a bit too heavy on the carbs.  (And the occasional sweet treat).  I can’t help it, I grew up eating white rice with nearly every meal and skipping dessert is a challenge.

This year, though, my family and I have made the choice to be healthier –

We’ve been watching what we eat and increased our fruits and vegetable intake

We cut back on fast food

We go on weekly hikes.

Staying on track though can sometimes be a challenge. So I welcome any product, diet or program that can help form  healthier habits for me and my family.

Healthy Choice frozen meals now "Steam" cook

A frightening statistic for sure but it doesn’t surprise me – one of the things that I was confronted with when I first moved from the Philippines to the US — was the super sized portions!

When the invitation to try out the new Healthy Choice meals came, I jumped at the chance.  Healthy Choice frozen meals are convenient and tasty. I like to eat fresh food but between working outside the home and managing the household, many times, it’s easier to pick up some frozen dinners and throw them in the oven.

Fortunately, Healthy Choice meals, unlike many frozen dinners, are made from all-natural ingredients like vegetables, nine-grain pastas, and 100% extra-virgin olive oil.

I tried the Tortellini Primavera Parmesan for dinner one night and the Roasted Chicken Verde for lunch another day – both meals tasted good and almost like they were freshly made. About 5 minutes and the meal was “steam cooked.”  What’s more they were just the right size to make me feel satisfied.

According to a study, conducted during 2009 and 2010, which followed more than 60 participants for 30 days with one group primarily eating Healthy Choice meals for lunch and the other group mainly for dinner every day, participants:

  • Lost an average of six pounds and trimmed their waistlines by about one inch
  • Improved the quality of their overall diets by increasing dietary fiber, reducing saturated fat intake by 50 percent and consuming 30 percent less cholesterol and sodium
  • Reported an increased sense of well being, having more energy and feeling healthier after just 30 days

The participants were also instructed to add 2-3 food items to their diet, such as fruits and vegetables, according to their caloric/gender needs

Note: The research was presented by the Rippe Lifestyle Institute at the Experimental Biology Conference in April 2011 and funded by ConAgra Foods.

•    Recent research shows that replacing 10 meals per week with a portion-controlled Healthy Choice meal, as part of a reduced calorie diet, can lead to improved quality of life and dietary quality.

I think I just might try this. I once tried one of those diets advertised on TV which also involved portion-controlled frozen meals, and while they did work to a degree, along with exercise, it surely put a dent in my wallet.  Also, there wasn’t a lot of variety. Healthy Choice has nearly 70 varieties for fewer than 400 calories that provide positive nutrients such as whole grains, fiber, protein and antioxidants. In the words of Rachael Ray, YUM-O!

Like the word “healthy” in its name, Healthy Choice are held to a higher nutrition standard set by the FDA. It is the only major brand in its category that can call 100% of its products “healthy” as defined by the FDA which means it is 

1.        Low in fat
2.       Low in saturated fat
3.       Controlled in sodium and cholesterol
4.       Supply at least 10% of the daily value for three beneficial nutrients (calcium, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin A or vitamin C)

As Americans look for ways to make simple, positive changes to their diets, incorporating a ready-to-eat, pre-portioned healthy option, such as Healthy Choice, is a simple way to be more health conscious, lose weight and improve quality of life.

Disclosure: This is a paid post.

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Posted in: Food, Health, Reviews