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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Nov 18

Turnip for what??

Posted By iamincontrol | November 18, 2014

I made an important resolution this summer (only 6 months or so after the New Year—it’s never too late, right?): stop eating like a child.

Remember the movie Elf? My food pyramid has always looked something like Buddy the Elf’s– only replace ‘candy corn’ with ‘candy corn plus lots of those disgusting candy corn pumpkins that start going on sale around Halloween.’ I eat marshmallows for breakfast and am never very far from a bag of my special mix of Twizzlers, pretzels, popcorn, and whatever else I can find in the candy drawer of my kitchen.


But I exercise! I drink lots of water! I brush my teeth between snacks! So eating a loaf of bread and a sleeve of Oreos for lunch every day is okay, right?

No. It’s not. It’s so gross!

After a medical crisis in my family this summer, I decided I wanted to take care of my body better. It was finally time to grow up– and ‘turnip.’

The following tips have helped me keep my resolution this fall. Now that I’m making the effort, it’s so much easier than I thought. These small, simple changes have had so many benefits— I can run longer, have fewer headaches, and when that 2 PM lull rolls around, I no longer feel like a nap (well, most of the time).

  • Look at your preferences– and adjust. I started by thinking hard about why I like what I like. For example, is it really candy corn and pretzels that I crave—or is it the act of snacking itself? I realized that if I replaced candy with small fruits or veggies like grapes, blueberries, or baby carrots, I was just as happy to munch away.
  • The 50% Rule. Making sure half of your lunch or dinner is made up of vegetables is an easy way to get in recommended servings. If you’re like me and love carbs like rice, bread, and pasta, mixing in some extra vegetables can be so simple. Add some frozen peas and broccoli to fried rice, or squash to your noodles. Turn that bowl of beige food into something colorful and Instagram-worthy!
  • Come prepared. Sometimes hunger strikes out of the blue. Keeping a healthy snack in your bag—like almonds, a granola bar, or an apple—as a back-up option can help you resist the temptation to buy something close and convenient, like chips and candy or fast food.
  • Be a mindful eater. I noticed that a lot of my extra snacking happened when I was distracted—like while watching TV or out with friends. Simply keeping that in mind was helpful. Before reaching for those chips and salsa or another slice of pizza, I try to ask myself, ‘am I actually hungry or am I just eating because it’s there?’