Reader Profile: The Mom with Meat Eaters

“My family just wants the standard, All-American meal—red meat and potatoes.” - Jackie Parmeley: Age 50, High School Assistant Principal, Phoenix, Ariz.


Cooking Light Reader: Jackie Parmeley

Jackie Parmeley: The Mom with Meat Eaters

Photo Courtesy of Jackie Parmeley


Blame it on Joe. He’s Jackie’s husband, and he grew up on a dairy farm. “There were 13 kids; they would slaughter one of the cows, and that’s what they would eat.” Translation: It’s not a meal unless there’s meat on the plate. And even though Jackie loves to cook, her family’s taste buds are rather one-note: “I always get the thumbs down for seafood,” says Jackie, who dreams of finding a mild fish that everyone will like. Her chicken marsala was “too fancy dancy.” Over the years—and with two teenagers to feed—Jackie has succumbed to majority rule. “Meatloaf is jazzing it up,” she says good-humoredly. “If I do something out of the normal, all I hear is ‘Bleh!’” Jackie buys beef, chicken, and pork when it’s on sale, and she’s got a huge second freezer for storage. “The grown ups in the house could lose some weight,” she says. “But mostly, I’d like us all to eat healthier.”


It sounds as if the Parmeley family is getting an over-abundance of saturated fat and not enough heart-healthy fats. Red meat is one of the biggest sources of saturated fats in most American diets. (It also contains cholesterol—like fat, your body needs cholesterol to function properly, but too much can become as problem.) Though there’s no reason to give up on beef completely, the Parmeleys can lower their dependence on it and find ways to boost heart-healthy fats elsewhere.

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