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Not Just Talkin' The Talk

Say 'Cheese!'

By Linda Goldfarb
Certified Physical Fitness Specialist


CBN.comOn my grandparent’s farm in West Virginia, outside the city of St. George to be exact, I learned a lot about reaping what you sow. My earliest memories of the farm occurred during one of our in-between stops amid our military travels, and it still makes me smile when I think about it.

It was on a crisp morning around Easter when I crept to the barn to watch my cousin, Roger, milk “Spot” the cow. I loved watching the cows get milked, because Roger made it worth watching-- the cats would come around and Roger would aim at their mouths from a long distance. It was fun watching cats of all shapes and sizes line up in anticipation of that hot, frothy fresh milk streaming across the barn over the hay and into their wide-open, lip-smacking mouths. Roger was a great shot!

On this particular morning, my mind was focused on  watching the milking, not on watching where I was going, and right before I turned the corner to see Roger do his thing, my left foot landed square into the biggest, smelliest pile of cow manure on the property – the clean-out pile – months and months worth! I was up to my ankle in yuck! 

There was no getting out of this one. As I pulled to get myself free, I thought of what my parents would say and the “I told you so’s” that were heading my way. With one solid tug, my foot cleared the muck and I landed on the ground at least two feet away from the stench of doom. When I stood up, I looked down to survey the damage. The smell was hard to get around, but my eyes captured something far worse, something a good washing would not be able to fix: I was shoeless! When I turned to look at the hole my foot made in the mire during my great escape, in hopes of seeing a remnant of white shoe, there was no sign that a foot – let alone a shoe – had ever been there. The space filled in as quickly as it had been dispersed. I was doomed! But I smiled. Not only did I smile, but I also started laughing so hard that Roger, Spot, and the cats came to see what the commotion was all about.

It was an experience I’ll never forget… so were the extra chores I had to do for the next month to help pay for another pair of shoes. What did I learn from this episode? you might ask, and what in the world does it have to do with cheese? Simple. I learned that if we only seek to find enjoyment in life, we will get stuck in the mire waiting around the corner and then we pay dearly for our choices.

What about the cheese? Nothing really, only the cow, but you must admit, it was a great story.

Seriously, life on the farm sparked in me an appreciation for hard work, perseverance, and a love of home-churned butter, fresh milk, and farmed-raised eggs warm from the chicken. I venture to say not everyone reading this article has experienced working in the fields from dawn to dusk or raising cattle, pigs, and chickens to feed their family. Life on the farm with grandma and grandpa made me smile.

We have so many dairy food choices today, and believe me, it’s a good thing. But as much as I loved the milking process, my young body began rejecting the milk I was so fond of. Like many people, I was lactose sensitive and at times became violently ill when I consumed dairy – fortunately, today I can eat dairy in various forms and not suffer at all. You can try incorporating dairy, like yogurt, slowly into your diet with your meals. If you are lactose sensitive and love cheese, choose aged natural Colby or Cheddar. They are very low in lactose.   Dairy products also offer a valuable source of cholesterol, calcium, and protein.

According to the MyPyramid Food Guide, we should be consuming 2-3 servings daily in the milk, yogurt, and cheese group. A serving size is 1 cup for milk or yogurt; 1/2 cup for cottage cheese, ice cream, and frozen yogurt; 1 1/2 to 2 oz for natural cheese; and 2 oz for processed cheese. I added in the egg for this grouping: 1 equals a serving.

Grams = gr. Milligrams = mg.

      gr. gr. gr. mg. mg. gr. gr.

Serving

Calories

Protein

Carbs

Fiber

Sodium

Cholesterol

Unsat. fat

Sat. fat

Skim Milk

4 oz

40

3.9

5.6

0

59

2

0.1

0.1

Low Fat Yogurt

4 oz

68

5.6

7.5

0

75

7

0.5

1.1

Whole Milk

4 oz

71

3.8

5.4

0

57

16

1.2

2.4

Butter

1 Tbs.

101

0.1

0

0

117

31

3.7

7.2

Margarine

1 Tbs.

101

0

0

0

133

8

9

1.8

Cottage Cheese

4 oz

109

0.8

2.8

0

429

16

1.5

3

Egg

2 large

158

12.1

1.2

0

138

548

5.9

3.3

Mozzarella

4 oz

320

13.2

2.5

0

424

88

8.3

14.9

Cream Cheese

4 oz

396

53.6

3

0

336

124

12.6

24.9

Processed Cheese

4 oz

424

25.1

1.8

0

1624

108

11.3

22.3

Monterey Jack

4 oz

424

18.6

0.8

0

608

0

0

0

Swiss

4 oz

428

32.2

3.8

0

296

104

9.4

20.2

Parmesan

4 oz

444

19.6

3.6

0

1816

76

9.2

18.6

Cheddar

4 oz

456

23.4

1.4

0

704

120

11.7

23.9

 

As you can see from the chart, not all cheese or dairy products are created equal. One sign proving cheese appeals to our North American palette is revealed in the high levels of sodium we find in them – it’s a fact that  salt makes everything taste better, but it’s not always better for us. Be selective. You have numerous choices when it comes to cheese. You’ll notice also that the calorie count goes up with the increase in sodium – go figure.

Another element on the chart is cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed in our body for many reasons. It’s needed to produce our cell membranes. Our liver produces bile, which is important in the digestive process, and bile is made from cholesterol. Many hormones are made from cholesterol – including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.  Cholesterol is part of who we are; it’s only when our blood levels of cholesterol get out of whack that we have problems. Twenty-five percent of our cholesterol comes from our diet; the remaining seventy-five percent comes from our liver. Yet it’s the lower percentage source from our diet that impacts our life in a negative way. When you choose to eat from this food group, be sure to choose items low in saturated fat. For example, instead of whole milk choose one percent milk.

Dairy is touted as a “calcium bank.” The need for calcium begins at the pre-natal stage into infancy as it strengthens our bones and teeth, and increases into adulthood as we strive to limit the effects of osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) on our elder society.

We can get calcium from a variety of sources besides dairy such as green leafy vegetables, salmon, and sardines. Change up your sources. That will add flavor to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner table – and everyone loves variety.

So the next time you get together for family portraits and someone calls out, “Say CHEESE!” remember it’s for a good reason. The calcium in cheese can help build strong, beautiful teeth. And, yes, it’s true that when you say cheese, your mouth is in the perfect smile position. Funny how that works, isn’t it?


Linda GoldfarbLinda Goldfarb is a certified physical fitness specialist, speaker, and syndicated radio talk show host. You can download her weekly “Not Just Talkin’ the Talk” radio broadcasts, a one hour variety talk show based out of San Antonio, Texas, at www.lindagoldfarb.com. Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Contact Linda to speak at your next event: linda@lindagoldfarb.com. (Photo Copyright © Lisa Pittman Photography).   

NOTE: Before beginning any new fitness program that requires a change in diet or exercise, it is recommended that you consult your physician for input. This informational series is not intended for medical or nutritional claims dependent on substantial clinical studies and FDA approval, and should not be construed as a claim for cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  It is intended solely for information and educational purposes. Linda is not a physician or expert in the medical field. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for numerous years. The information given in these sessions have been derived from  books and materials brought together over the years from many sources, including her personal life experiences.

 

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