Smart Choices for Life


(Family Features) When you set out to make life changes such as weight loss or adopting a more active lifestyle, it can be tempting to look for shortcuts that expedite your path toward your end goal. However, long-term success is more attainable for those who take a slow and steady approach that puts health first.


“There are dozens of reasons people look to develop healthier eating habits, ranging from weight loss to disease prevention,” said Rene Ficek, registered dietitian and nutrition expert for Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE). “Regardless of the motivation, success begins with a well-balanced eating plan that is based on sound nutrition and physical activity.”


Ficek offers this advice to individuals looking for a new approach to eating:

  • Adopting a healthy diet is the key to successful, long-term weight loss. A healthy diet provides adequate calories and nutrients to support your body’s energy and nutritional needs while allowing you to shed an average of 1–2 pounds per week.
  • Be wary of diet plans that promise loss of five or more pounds per week, which is unrealistic and unhealthy.
  • Look for a meal plan that takes the guesswork out of eating right by serving calorie- and portion-controlled meals that reflect a well-balanced diet.
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you have been primarily sedentary, start slowly with a moderate walk each day, working up to more aggressive cardiovascular exercise and weight training to develop muscle.
  • Find ways to make your new lifestyle as convenient as possible, such as meal programs that save on grocery shopping and cooking time or gyms that specialize in short, well-rounded workouts.


Another important aspect of a successful weight loss program is a menu that incorporates high-quality ingredients to create an appetizing array of meals that adhere to current nutrition guidelines.


Finding a menu that offers variety is a smart approach, Ficek says. “When you’re watching what you eat, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and eat the same foods repetitively. Unfortunately, that approach can backfire if you become bored with your food and gravitate toward options with new flavors that may be less nutritionally beneficial.”


On the breakfast menu, SSHE offers options such as Strawberry Yogurt & Dark Chocolate-Berry Crunch Parfait, which features layers of strawberry Greek yogurt with orange-cherry-cranberry sauce and a decadent granola-berry-dark chocolate crunch. Or for lunch, the Pecan-Cranberry Mixed Greens Salad offers a fresh mix of salad greens, roasted pecan halves, Swiss cheese, dried cranberries and celery seed dressing served with a tomato juice sipper.


To learn more about convenient and healthy approaches to losing weight, visit or call 1-800-442-3438.



Number Crunch

Healthy eating means understanding and closely monitoring the calories and nutritional value of the foods you eat. The registered dieticians and research and development teams at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating prepare meal plans that comply with the following nutrition guidelines:

  • Low in fat (25 percent calories from fat)
  • Low in saturated fat (less than 7 percent)
  • Low cholesterol (less than 200 mg)
  • Calorie-controlled (1,200; 1,500 vegetarian; or 2,000 per day)
  • Sodium-restricted (less than 1,500 mg/day on the 1,200 calorie plan)
  • No hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (zero trans fat)
  • Free of food dyes and harmful additives as preservative



Meal Program Lets Senior Achieve Lifelong Goal

Decades of weight loss and gain followed — as much as 400 pounds up and down through the years. Now, at 63, Janet Wilke is adopting healthier eating habits and learning exactly what and how much to eat.


In May 2013, Wilke weighed in at 299.8 pounds. Just 15 months later, she achieved her goal weight of 150 pounds. Her secret? An eating plan that guides her to make healthy choices at each meal following a 1,200-calorie eating plan created by Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE), a family-owned company based near Chicago.


“In the past when I would lose weight, I would save my clothes just in case,” Wilke said. “This time, I am confident because I know exactly what to eat and how much and I feel fabulous. I have never felt as energetic and healthy as I do now, and the smaller size is a bonus.”


Through SSHE, Wilke orders convenient and freshly-prepared meals delivered to her home. A weekly menu consists of three meals per day, with both regular and vegetarian menu options available to provide a mix of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and low-fat dairy products.


“Now, I look for opportunities to move because I feel so ‘light’ and pain free,” Wilke said. “I can get up and down out of my chair almost effortlessly and my sleep has improved as well. I have even given away all of my ‘too big’ clothes because I know that I will not regain the weight.”


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