Margaret L. Bogle

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Diet Detective: I realize this is a general question, but why does it seem overwhelming to keep a fit and healthy family?

Dr. Bogle: There are so many choices for families today, both in eating and physical activity or recreation. Then there are the endless activities that both parents and children do alone or together — school and business — the schedules are difficult to navigate. Technology has made it so easy for children and parents to focus less on physical activity and more on popular computer games, iPods, and the like.

Diet Detective: What are some of the reasons that people are eating more of their meals outside the home? Do you think this is a problem for weight control and proper nutrition?

Dr. Bogle: Fast foods, especially drive-through, are so convenient with the schedules described above. For many, the meals outside the home are less expensive, and many households do not know how to prepare food at home. They don’t even keep the necessary ingredients for simple meals, which makes the preparation more difficult and time-consuming. I do think this is a problem for weight control and appropriate nutrition, especially with the ‘bargain’ upsizing of serving sizes, frying of a lot of the foods, and not much selection of fruits or vegetables. Some restaurants and fast food systems are doing better and are offering greater variety.

Diet Detective: How important is it to focus on the entire family when trying to maintain healthful eating and activity habits?

Dr. Bogle: I believe it is very important and still think, “as the family goes to eat, the children will follow”. In addition, the family meal is a great time for the family to get to know each other. Children will have role models and mentors in nutrition and the family should be the place of choice.

Diet Detective: What are the two key things all parents must do when teaching their children about good nutrition?

Dr. Bogle: Parents make the decisions about the purchase of foods; children make the choices of what and how much they eat at one time. The importance of eating over time, not just day by day, but week by week, gives some latitude in making sure that children get the special foods they desire from time to time.

Diet Detective: If you could eat one forbidden or unhealthy food whenever you wanted without gaining weight, what would it be?

Dr. Bogle: Hot fudge sundaes with nuts!!

Diet Detective: If there were one healthy food item (something you love) that you had to eat every day, what would it be?

Dr. Bogle: Cantaloupe or Whole Grain Muffins.

Diet Detective: What do you think is the single most important thing that makes or breaks a diet for someone?

Dr. Bogle: Variety and the idea that you are not on a “diet”, but rather changing your food choices for the future.

Diet Detective: What do you consider the world’s most perfect food?

Dr. Bogle: The egg — it has all of the essential amino acids and is less fatty with fewer calories (if prepared appropriately).

Diet Detective: What physical activity do you do to keep yourself in shape?

Dr. Bogle: Ride a stationary bike and walk.

Diet Detective: What’s your favorite healthy ingredient? What’s the one thing you’d suggest people keep in their kitchen if they want to cook healthy meals?

Dr. Bogle: Frozen chicken strips.

Diet Detective: What’s the one kitchen utensil or tool that you can’t live without?

Dr. Bogle: Steamer for vegetables.

Diet Detective: What’s the easiest healthy meal you know how to make?

Dr. Bogle: A salad with romaine lettuce, seasoned tuna (from a bag), feta cheese, grape tomatoes and low fat salad dressing. I serve with wheat thins or whole grain dinner rolls (frozen).

Diet Detective: Do you have a favorite low calorie healthy recipe or cooking tip? If so would you share it?

Dr. Bogle: Cook corn on the cob (leave in the shuck) in the microwave for three minutes per cob and spray lightly with margarine. Use sprays instead of oils for coating pans for stir frying vegetables (I use red, yellow, and green peppers, mushrooms, eggplant and yellow squash for stir frying. At the very end, season with light (low sodium) soy sauce.

Diet Detective: Do you have a Calorie Bargain?

Dr. Bogle: Cantaloupe replacing desserts and steamed vegetables replacing fried.

Diet Detective: Define failure.

Dr. Bogle: I am such an optimist, that it is difficult to describe failure. I prefer to use ‘disappointment’, if your goals are not reached in the time you have given yourself. More practical, a failure in foods would be a mistake in recipe or preparation that produces an inedible or unsatisfactory product.

Diet Detective: What’s the most bodacious chance you’ve ever taken?

Dr. Bogle: Going back to graduate school after the age of 50 and commuting 230 miles.

Diet Detective: What was your worst summer job?

Dr. Bogle: Picking green beans.

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