Bob Greene's Webcast Transcript
Oprah: We have Gary on the phone. He's a police officer from Florida. Gary, your question?
Gary: Yes, I work 12-hour shifts. I work seven days out of 14 days. Right now, I'm working the night shift. What would be some type of healthy foods? I normally pack a healthy lunch to keep with me on the run if I get a chance to eat, and what should I do like on my off days? I get off at 5—7 o'clock this morning, but I've been up all day.
Bob: Well, the first thing is planning ahead is always important. There are a lot of healthy bars that don't have transfats. Just make sure they don't have partially hydrogenated oils in them. That have whole grains in them. There's now Starbucks, which are open long hours, has whole grain. Breads are wonderful. It's always great to combine a grain with a protein. So any source of protein that you really like.
Oprah: McDonald's now does late hours.
Bob: McDonald's does late hours as well. They have a healthy menu. Every restaurant now it's pretty mainstream that they have something on that menu that is acceptable to eat. That's the good news of today.
Oprah: Yeah, and also if you pick up Bob's book of recipes, I don't know, Gary, if you're going to be cooking a lot, but he has everything from angel hair pasta with walnuts and peas, which is one of my favorites. Olive oil roasted potatoes. Rib-eye steak with onion relish. I saw that big rib-eye sandwich in there. Cauliflower curried with red—there's wonderful—
Bob: There's wonderful—
Oprah: And it's also about planning. It's all about planning.
Bob: Gary's main challenge is quick things. But nuts are actually a great source of protein, easy to pack. Peanut butter. Find one. I put my seal on Smart Balance for two reasons. One, no transfats and it has omega-3s, which are deficient in most of our diets. But peanut butter travels really well.
Oprah: What about yogurt? I love yogurt.
Bob: Yogurt is wonderful. There's Greek yogurts now that are pretty mainstream that are extremely healthy. But the nuts, if you're not—hopefully you're not allergic to nuts because that is the thing that travels the easiest and you put that on something whole grain like a Wasa cracker or a multigrain or whole wheat bread, and that's one of your best snacks and it will carry you through for hours and you won't feel those pangs of hunger.
Oprah: Thanks, Gary.
Gary: All right, thank you.
Oprah: Thanks. Jennifer's Skyping in from Chico, California? Chico. Okay.
Jennifer: Hi, Oprah. Hi, Bob. Thanks for having me on the show.
Oprah: Hi, guys. Go ahead, Chico. Jennifer from Chico.
Oprah: Hi. Are you wearing green too?
Jennifer: I got the memo, yeah. I'm ready to start loving myself, but I need some advice.
Oprah: Okay, got it.
Jennifer: Okay. I have three small children under the age of 5, and my husband and I are both overweight, and we are financially struggling right now.
Jennifer: I can feed all five of us for under $2 on macaroni and cheese as opposed to grilled chicken, veggies, brown rice for, you know, $10. The fact is, it just seems like junk food is cheaper than healthy food. I can't afford a gym membership, and trying to walk with three kids is a mess. So my question is, how do I lose weight and provide a healthy lifestyle for my family on a really tight budget?
Bob: First of all, there's no question there's some challenges. But a lot of people misinterpret. Sometimes your processed food is way more expensive. Your macaroni and cheese, for example, there are healthy ways to prepare that, and you can buy in bulk. So that would be my first tip. Buy pasta in bulk, and if you have a choice, go with a multigrain. But regular pasta's actually a healthy meal as well.
Oprah: Beans and lentils.
Bob: Beans. Lentils. Again, in bulk. You can actually bring your costs below the—you know, the already-processed, ready-to-pop-in-the-oven variety. So I would go more toward that. But, more important, when people bring this up, I've never met anybody that didn't look at their finances. In fact, later this week you have Suze Orman, and she will show creative ways to look at everything you spend, and I've never met anyone when you didn't break it down that didn't toss money somewhere that could be reallotted. The first thing you need to do is realize how important your family is, the health of your family is, that's number one, and you will find a way to correct your entire budget and put a little bit more toward food. And also remember that the way you're eating now is causing—you mentioned—you didn't say that your children are overweight, but you and your husband are overweight. That means you're eating too much.
Bob: So just that fact alone means you can eat less and that can be reallotted with foods that are a little bit more nutritious. Also, if you go locally. Sometimes you cut out the middle man if you go to an area market. You can get some good bargains there. And the last thing, as I said before, buying in bulk will usually overcome that. It just means you need to then store a little bit more food in your pantry.
Jennifer: Okay. Sometimes it seems like I skip meals, and it doesn't seem like I'm eating a whole lot throughout the day, and then I eat kind of junk at night. So it kind of turns into a whole other issue, I think but—
Bob: Well, it does. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do. That's why it's important to eat breakfast. We know that people who skip meals eat more in the day than those who have three meals or even six meals. There's two ways to say it. I say three meals and two snacks. Spreading out your eating with reasonable-size portions is the way to go, and I can explain that physiologically very quickly. Any time you skip a meal, you're setting yourself up later in the day to have an eating episode. Usually the American diet, it's at dinner. We eat way too much at dinner. And what happens when you eat too many calories in one meal? You have an insulin response. It's called an insulin spike. Insulin, one of the main roles is to take extra calories and lay them down as body fat, exactly what you don't want to happen. So the way you avoid that is cut your eating into meals and, more important, put your calories—many times I don't change the calories that someone's consuming. I just move them down in the day, and that changes and that avoids that insulin response.