So, what did you think of the HBO documentary on "The Weight of the Nation"?? By clicking the link you can access the movies.
I have only watched part 1 (which I thought was very eye-opening) but I plan on watching the other three from my DVR this weekend. Right now, our TV is being used in the evening for cycling and all things cycling. With the Giro and Tour de California on Universal Sports right now, Karel is one happy camper when he comes home from work. You'd thinik riding his bike in the morning and working as the GM of the Trek store would be enough but I guess Karel can not get enough cycling in his life. That's ok by me..he could occupy his free time by doing many other things so I enjoy sharing his passion of bikes with him.
There are two messages that I'd like to share on behalf of this documentary.
In retrospect of the documentary that showed us that out of 9 of the 10 most obese parts in the US, they are also the poorest parts of the US, why is this documentary (aimed to perhaps, wake-up the population that change is needed), on cable..let alone HBO!! Why not air this in local theaters, in schools, on NBC? Just doesn't make sense to me.
Additionally, think about how lucky you are that on a daily basis, you likely have access to a grocery store within driving distance. For many people, within walking distance but it likely hasn't crossed their mind to ride their bikes or walk rather than drive 1-2 miles down the road to pick up a few staple items.
Many parts of the world is without food. We, in America, have access to safe and healthy food to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. However, we also have access to food that may sabotage health. Ultimately, it's your choice if you choose to eat a plant-strong diet or count calories and eat chemicals (sorry - there really wasn't a better way to formulate that sentence without it having a powerful message).
But for many people, there are no choices. Having a TV is a luxury, having a vehicle is only a dream. Where's the next meal going to come from is simply an afterthought. The first thought is "where's the money going to come from to pay for them meal?"
I've had the opportunity to provide nutrition counseling in a few tough areas of Jacksonville and despite the people having great attitudes, their health is not a priority.
On the flip side, I have had the opportunity to travel abroad and while spending 2 weeks in the Philippines. No AC, no outlets to dry your hair, sleeping on concrete floors in a sleeping bag and pumping your own water for a bucket shower. I was able to travel there for a work service project when I was 21 and a Senior in college and I remember us being served dinner the first night we were there. With around 20 of us to feed, our "typical" America portions meant that only 5 or 6 people got food. That's right, our idea of what is appropriate to consume (and perhaps at times, waste) was not realistic when living in a third world country. It was a total wake-up call and when I returned home from the US, I cried for a few days just thinking about the struggles that every adult and child faces...but to them, it's just life.
Secondly, who are the ones that are likely watching this documentary? If those who are putting their lives in danger via unhealthy daily lifestyle habits, are watching this documentary, what is the next step for them? Perhaps I haven't gotten through the 4-part series but I think this brings up an important point. The human body is complex. Eating extends far beyond a basic need to live and survive. Food needs to be understood at a physiological level just as much as it does on an emotional level. For I have a feeling that those who are truely passionate about nutrition and health, are the ones who are predominantly watching this show. They are the go-getters, ready to change the world. However, as mentioned before, there is a lot of miscommuication in this world as to the "best" way to improve health and because of that, society is confused. There are many passionate people out there but as I mentioned, the body is complex. Once again, I am really proud that I decided to go back to school after obtaining my BA in Exercise Science (with a minor in pysch) and a MS in Exercise Physiology, to become a licensed and registered dietitian. For I am legally "watched" for the info I provide to others and I understand that what I do and say on a daily basis, 100% affects the lives of others. From working as a clinical dietitian to coaching athletes to reach body composition and performance goals, I understand that I not only need to act professionally but also ethically, in order to provide the public with the most practical and sound advice to improve health.
In the Summer 2012 issue of Food and Nutrition magazine (from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), there was a great article on "WASTE NOT".
There was a clip from World War 1 US Food Administration poster 1914-1918. Here's what it read:
1) Buy it with thought
2) Cook it with care
3) Use less wheat and meat
4) Buy local foods
5) Serve just enough
6) Use what is life
DON'T WASTE IT
For someone like myself, who works with a variety of individuals, I have a lot to take away from this documentary. Primarily, food extends far beyond calories. Appreciate what you put into your body and recognize the steps you are taking to take care of yourself. There are no rules as to what is right, bad or wrong but rather, what makes you feel the best.
So, to jump-start your nutrition journey or to add a bit more creativity to your recipes, here's a super yummy creation that I shared in the last Jacksonville Dietetic Association newsletter. The theme for the newsletter was "Spring flowers bring May flowers" so I found it semi-appropriate to make a cauli"flower" creation. ENJOY!
Sweet cauli"flower" and butternut squash with roasted tomatoes
6 cups cauliflower florets (1 head)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp parsley
1.5 cup sliced purple onion
1 cup butternut squash (bagged, fresh)
2 large roma tomatoes (Sliced)
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups lentils
Feta cheese and pumpkin seeds to taste
Nutrition factsServes 3
Serving size: 1.5 cup cauliflower, 1/2 cup onion, squash and tomato mixture, 1/2 cup lentils)
Sodium: 172 mg