Grandma's Recipe Box

Pinch an inch around your waist and weigh in at 30 pounds over your ideal body weight range, and doctors consider you to be obese.
Pinch an inch around your waist and weigh in at 30 pounds over your ideal body weight range, and doctors consider you to be obese.

What is the Answer to America's Obesity Problem

A doctor once told me that if a person is 30-pounds over their ideal body weight range they are considered obese. Additionally, if a person can pinch just 3-inches of fat from around their waist they are considered obese.

My mother, grandmother and great grandmother loved their kitchens, loved to cook and were never considered obese.
My mother, grandmother and great grandmother loved their kitchens, loved to cook and were never considered obese.

No Such Thing As "Lite" in Grandma's Cooking

My great-grandma died at age 87, her daughter, my grandma died at age 91, grandma's sister, my beloved Aunt Lottie died at age 93. My mother, God rest her soul, died at age 43 due to a childhood illness causing congenital kidney disease. All of these women were splendid cooks who never worried about "lite" anything in their cooking.

None of these women ever knew what "lite cooking" was. So why is society so worried about cooking lite these days? Does everyone think that cooking "lite" is the answer to our obesity problem? Maybe cooking and eating "lite" is partially the answer, but there is more to the obesity problem than meets the eye. I do know that a diet is not going to help people lose weight forever; it takes a lifestyle change for the rest of one's life to get weight off and keep it off. I believe that it is better to eat smarter than to eat "Lite".

The one woman that I had the honor of cooking with the most was my grandma. Great grandma traveled a lot of the time. My mom did not have the patience for teaching me to cook and my beloved Aunt Lottie was a professional and worked every day. Grandma and I liked to cook and bake together and she was a very good teacher.

One thing that I remember about grandma's cooking and baking was she made the tastiest pies from scratch. The secret was the lard, she used in the crust. Lard makes pie crust light and flaky and oh so good, her pies could not be beat anywhere. Grandma enjoyed her own cooking and was never obese.

The women of today would not think of using lard in anything. Using lard causes atherosclerosis or a buildup of plaque in the arteries, it is full of calories and just a bad thing to eat, or is it. Remember, my family seemed to have longevity. I do not believe that it is all in the genes. It is the way people lived years ago that lent to living so long.

After grandma passed away, I inherited her recipe box, full of tasty and nutritious recipes from the good old days. I suppose that the ingredients in some of her recipes could be substituted for "lite" ingredients, however it does not taste like grandma's home cooking, the recipes turn out well, but they do not taste like grandma's.

Because many of grandma's recipe cards were tattered and turning yellow I decided to write a recipe book for my children, using my great grandma, grandma, mother, and my beloved Aunt Lottie's favorite recipes. I must admit I had some wonderful cooks in my family and they did not skimp on calories. They ate what they wanted and did so in a sensible manner. I never heard the word "diet" on any of these grandma's lips.

Traditional doctors of years ago kept weight loss simple, creating a lifestyle change we all could live with.
Traditional doctors of years ago kept weight loss simple, creating a lifestyle change we all could live with.

When I was kid, my family had a good old traditional family doctor who gave me some valuable advice after I had our first son. This doctor said, "Never go on a diet or say the word diet. Learn to do things a bit differently when eating." His advice to me when I wanted to get the excess weight off was as follows and I still read these same weight loss tips today in medical journals.

  • Eat slower and chew each bite 20-times and allow one hour to eat a meal
  • After you take a bite of food rest your fork down on your place
  • Cut only one piece of meat at a time
  • Always eat at the table, sit in an upright position to help the stomach digest properly, and learn to push yourself away from the table before getting a full feeling in the stomach
  • Never drink anything during eating, but drink 8 ounces of water before the meal and enjoy another glass of water after the meal
  • Never count calories, just cut your servings in half of what you would normally put on your plate
  • Enjoy anything and everything you want to eat. If you want a piece of pie, luscious chocolate cake, ice cream just takes a 'sliver'.
  • Never get on the scales every day. It is a good thing to watch your pounds, however you can tell you are losing weight by the way your clothing fits
  • Walk, walk, and walk some more
  • Eat meals off of a smaller plate
  • Always leave at least three bites of food uneaten on your plate. I remember my mom always doing this and I wondered why. Perhaps to keep her weight in check?
  • Make a lifestyle change with a buddy whom has the same views and desires to lose weight and focus on wellness and health

There is much more to what this doctor told me and it has to do with teaching children manners at the table and communication between family members.

The next question is going to be, "Did I follow his advice?" I never did and I feel this is where I made my mistake.

Make your weight loss happen with adequate exercise and good food control. Increase the protein and decrease the carbs. Chose an exercise plan that is right for you.
Make your weight loss happen with adequate exercise and good food control. Increase the protein and decrease the carbs. Chose an exercise plan that is right for you.
Chose the exercise that is right for you, running, walking, sport games, yoga, weights, arobics, and much more. What is right for you may not be right for another.
Chose the exercise that is right for you, running, walking, sport games, yoga, weights, arobics, and much more. What is right for you may not be right for another.
Fresh fruits and vegetables versus a hamburger and french fries.
Fresh fruits and vegetables versus a hamburger and french fries.

Common Sense Rules

As I look back in history, I can remember the women in my family doing all of these things. My great grandmother, as I remember was not obese, just a bit rotund, standing at 5-feet 5-inches and about 150 pounds.

My grandma and my aunt (grandma's sister) were both about 5-feet, 5-inches and weighed in the 140-weight range. Mom was 5-feet 2-inches and weighed about 120 pounds. My aunt was a professional; mom and the grandmas' were homemakers.

These women enjoyed anything they wanted to eat and maintained their weight. Diet was not in their vocabulary.

Therefore, my questions are

  • Why do we feel we need to eat lite and cook lite to lose weight?
  • What is society doing wrong?
  • Do we chew each mouth full of food 20-times, and allow one hour to eat a meal?
  • I bet most of us cut our meat all up first so we can eat it faster
  • I bet for the most of us we eat in front of the television and not at the table. We do not sit upright when eating, at least like we would if eating at the table. I also bet that we keep eating until our stomachs hurt, signaling us, we had better stop cramming food in our bellies.
  • Very few of us drink 8, 8-ounces of water a day, let alone 8-ounces before and after each meal

Just because we have busy days and are frequently on the go does not mean we are getting adequate exercise. Many of us count calories, ruin the scales getting on them so much, and then we become depressed when they do not read what we think they should read. Now we have another problem to deal with depression.

Weight loss and common sense go together.

*Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine or lifestyle change.

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