Recipes Recipe List: “July, 1 199

Recipe List: “July, 1 199

Recipe List: “July, 1 199

Ten years ago, Debby and Jim Davis came to a sobering realization.

“We had just turned 40, and we stepped back and looked at ourselves and admitted that, if we expected to ever hit 50, we couldn’t go on like we were going,” Debby says.

So the Clarke County couple resolved to make some serious lifestyle changes, particularly when it came to their diets. They started cooking and eating healthy. And, lo and behold, with the greatest of ease, Debby lost 20 pounds and Jim dropped a whopping 80 pounds.

“He started running, too, which is something he certainly hadn’t been able to do before,” Debby says.

Because they looked at this from the very beginning, not as some fad weight-loss diet but as a permanent new way of eating, they’ve had no problem keeping the weight off. And as an added bonus, their three daughters, now 23, 19 and 14, have developed incredibly healthy eating habits that probably will be with them through life.

When Debby and Jim set out on their quest for good health a decade ago, the first thing Debby did was put away her frying pan. Oh, they still enjoy fried okra and fried catfish, but it’s oven-fried.

“Before we made all of these changes, we ate greasy fried foods all the time,” she says. “Now, our stomachs can’t tolerate anything like that.”

In making the transition from bad eating habits to good, Debby didn’t go out and buy a bookcase full of low-fat recipe books.

“Basically, I took the recipes that were some of our favorites and just adapted them where I could, in any way I could, to make them lower in fat and calories,” the Jackson resident says. “I substitute with low-fat or fat-free products anywhere I can.

“When you try to adapt your recipes, you’re going to have a few misses, because some recipes just don’t work very well with low-fat ingredients,” Debby says. “But you’re going to have a lot of big hits, too.”

Debby, who works as financial secretary at the First Baptist Church of Jackson, is a devoted Neighbors reader and was delighted to have the chance to share some of her family’s favorite light and healthy dishes with the rest of us. These low-fat recipes are proof that you can cut fat and calories without cutting taste.

Thanks, Debby, for the recipes and for motivating the rest of us to shape up.