Take the challenge: 25 ways to eat better in 2013

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This week I am asking readers to take a challenge and see how you measure up to eating healthy.

Read the list below of ways to eat healthier and mark “yes” for those you already do and “no” for those you do not do.  Add up your “yes” replies and then your “no” replies.

Which response is higher?

Now, go through your “no” responses and mark those you will try to do in February with a smiley face or other mark that will encourage you to try these as new steps to improve your eating habits. How many can you mark that you will try? 

Send me an e-mail at gangotti@uky.edu to let me know your responses and what your goals are to eat healthier in 2013.


_____ To help with portion control, use the smallest plate that will hold your food.

_____ At mealtime, serve plates from the stove instead of putting a serving bowl on the table. (This is called the “blue plate” method). Do not go back for seconds.

_____ Make double vegetables and serve them first, to take the focus off meat.

_____ Switch to whole wheat pasta.

_____ Eat vegetarian one night a week.

_____ Cut back on butter or margarine—newer whole-grain breads are tasty on their own.

_____ Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half the flour in pancakes, muffins or other baking.

_____ Switch from whole milk to low-fat or skim milk.

_____ Skip the cream and sugar in your coffee and tea.

_____ Don’t put a salt shaker on the table.

_____ Drain and rinse canned green beans to get rid of up to 43 percent of the salt they contain or use low-sodium green beans. 

_____ Eat fish twice a week. Once a week is a good start.

_____ Cook with vegetable oil instead of butter.

_____ Use nonstick pans to cut down on fat in cooking.

_____ Buy leaner cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry.

_____ Use brown rice instead of white.

_____ Dress salads lightly. When eating out, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.

_____ For more vitamins, choose darker-green lettuce rather than iceberg lettuce.

_____ Add extra vegetables to soups, stews, casseroles and pasta dishes.

_____ To cut back on salt and sugar, choose no-salt-added canned vegetables and fruits canned in 100-percent juice instead of those with syrup.

_____ Eat whole or cut-up fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.

_____ Add berries to your breakfast cereal.

_____ Eat breakfast every day.

_____ To cut down on “mindless eating,” don’t eat in front of the TV.

_____ Eat more slowly, to give your body a chance to feel “full.”

Post this list on your refrigerator as a challenge to “Eat for a Healthier You.” Send me an e-mail with a list of your goals and/or stop by the Extension office with your list and we will have a little token for you to help you eat healthier. 

Keep a record of your successes. There will be a follow up to see how many Carroll County residents have taken the challenge in February and how many have taken steps toward eating healthier.

International luncheon

Korea is the country of emphasis for this year’s Extension Homemakers International Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Carroll County Extension office. International chair Martha Moorman announces that guest speaker is Susan McEuen, who recently returned from a trip to Korea.

Dates of interest

Reservations are needed for the programs below. Call the Extension office at (502) 732-7030.

Feb. 12: Homemakers International Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Carroll County Extension Office.

Feb. 12: Basket of the Month, “Sparkling Star” or “Heart,” 6 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office. Call Kathy Watts for more details.

Feb. 13: Senior Event Planning Meeting. 1:30 p.m.. Carroll County Extension Office.

Feb. 14: Diabetes Support Group, 10 a.m., Carroll County Extension Office.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.