Dear Readers: It is very hard to watch what you eat and make healthy choices, especially when eating out. Here are some hints from the National Institutes of Health for when you are in a restaurant and want to make better choices.
* Meals today are of such large portions that before you even start to eat, ask that half be wrapped to take home with you.
* Order an appetizer or two INSTEAD OF a meal.
* Pay attention to every bite. As soon as you feel satisfied and full, stop eating.
* Instead of drinks with sugar in them, try water (with lemon or lime added) or a low-calorie soda.
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Heloise: I remember reading a hint about buying larger packages of meat, chicken, etc., and separating them into smaller portions. After wrapping the individual portions, the writer cut the labels from the packages and placed everything in a plastic bag. I have been doing this for years, but recently something happened that makes this a more important thing than ever.
In the news there was a message to return certain potentially tainted meats. When I saw the package on TV, I realized that I may have bought some of it. I went to my freezer and removed the bag of meat. I was so glad that I had both the brand of the meat and the label that shows exactly how much and the price, because I did indeed have some of that meat. I had no problem returning it, but had I not had that important information and it turned out my package was tainted, I could have become very sick from it. -- Helen, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: Your comment on celery tops (Heloise here: previous column on eating the leaves) prompted me to write to you, as this is one of my pet peeves! Most grocery stores cut all the tops off celery. I’d like to go to their produce people and ask for all those leaves!
Besides salads and seasonings, they are wonderful in soups. I like to saute celery, with onions, before putting it in a casserole or creamy vegetable soup. It certainly adds a lot of flavor to most foods, so please tell those grocers to leave more of the tops on celery stalks! -- Bonnie G. in South Dakota
Dear Heloise: When I use oranges (and other citrus fruits), I save the rinds. Then I cut them with scissors into small pieces and combine them with dishwashing detergent; afterward, I pour them in the garbage disposer, and the kitchen will have a nice smell for a while. -- Lilly G. in San Antonio
BREAD AND BUTTER
Dear Heloise: I have a hint regarding the hard crust on bread after baking. All you have to do is take a portion of a stick of butter and run it over the crust several times once the loaf is hot. No more hard crusts! -- Evelyn K., Wallis, Tex.
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