You’ll get fat living in the US!!!
Is that really true?
When people think of American food, they of course think of hamburgers, pizza, and sweet cakes loaded with sugar!
Pretty much all junk food, right?
I even wrote about American food in my first blog post.
As I mentioned then, it’s not like that’s all you eat when you actually live here. America has a reputation for high-calorie food, but more people are getting serious about being healthy lately.
This will be my second year living in the US, and I actually weigh less than I did when I lived in Japan. I’m not sticking to a strict diet or anything—I just naturally lost weight. And it’s not because the food doesn’t appeal to me, either.
So, what do we eat? Mostly it’s vegetables, meat, and fish. I probably have fewer opportunities to eat white rice and bluefish than I did when I was in Japan. One of the reasons is simply that white rice isn’t always an option. You can’t just pick up a bento box or rice ball wherever you go. And even when you eat lunch in a restaurant, white rice usually isn’t something you can order unless it’s a Japanese place. I thought I’d show you some of the healthy choices we have at the supermarket. We’ll start with the fruits and vegetables.
The produce is so colorful that it’s fun just to look at it. Thankfully, the organic selections are cheaper than they are in Japan, too. They also have big packs of mixed vegetables to help you get your daily allowance, like the Power Greens bag of spinach, kale, and chard.
As long as you have this in your fridge, you can easily have a delicious salad by just adding some tomatoes, avocado, radish, cucumber, and so on. Toss in some chicken and apples and you’ve got a filling main dish packed with vitamins. There are also mixed nuts, mixed olives, and of course all kinds of dressings that are meant to be added to salads. Just finding your favorites is a fun adventure!
The fruit depends on the season, but recently there have been lots of apples available. I always see people putting apples and bananas in their carts together. My personal favorites are the grapes you can eat with the skin on, Rainier cherries, oranges, and blueberries. Most grapes in the US are seedless, so you can just pop them in your mouth. You often see them out at tea parties or other social gatherings.
These convenient packs of brown and other mixed rice are great for lunches. All you have to do to get some delicious brown rice is throw them in the microwave. They’ve been coming out with more varieties recently, adding things like kale, chia seeds, and flaxseed. They’re full of fiber, so just a small portion fills you up.
One of really nutritious things you can get instead of rice is quinoa. Lately you can even find these ready-to-eat packs that just have to be microwaved.
There are also a lot of pasta options besides those made with flour (not to say that the flour pasta is bad!)
These pastas are made with red lentils, green lentils, and chickpeas. They’re about the same number of calories as regular pasta, but they’re much richer in protein and fiber.
And here (on the left) is some spaghetti made from edamame!
Because edamame is the only ingredient, it’s really high in protein. You just need the smallest amount to get full. To me, the taste and consistency are more like green tea soba noodles than spaghetti. Edamame is also a popular snack here in the States, and you can often find it in the freezer section.
Speaking of snacks, these kale chips and beet chips are delicious. (They’re also really easy to make, so I recommend making them at home!)
Another popular healthy snack is toasted nori seaweed flavored with wasabi or sesame oil. When you just want something small to munch on, hummus is really good—or little oatmeal cups that you can make by adding hot water.
We got the box in the photo (left) at a bulk supermarket, so it has a ton of these little hummus cups inside that you can take with you to work or when you go out. They’re great with baby carrots or crackers.
And of course there’s all the milk—essential for cooking and making snacks.
I’ve noticed that there has been a lot more space dedicated to almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk recently. Almond milk, for example, has just a third of the calories of regular cow’s milk.
Of course, everything I’ve shown you comes from my area, and these are just my personal opinions. Different supermarkets can have completely different selections and items available. You probably get something entirely different if you live in a big city. But no matter what country you’re in, what you eat is up to you. You can have all the healthy food you want—so as far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason you’re destined to get fat just because you live in the US.
As for me, I’m working to get more exercise in so I can be stronger and healthier, too.