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How do we educate others about healthy eating?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U.S. Obesity Epidemic Continues to rise ...

" Samantha Heller, a dietitian in Fairfield, Conn., called childhood obesity "a complex, multi-faceted problem that needs to be tackled from many different angles." She said she wished the report offered ways to educate parents and caregivers about healthy eating for children."

How do we educate others about healthy eating? I do most of the cooking in my household mainly because when my husband or daughter cook, I do not want to eat what they prepare. Mainly it is because the main course will be from an animal source and there are never enough vegetables for my preference.

I tried to share resources such as the Spark, Eat To Live, The McDougall Program, etc. However, there seems to be a resistance for them to learn on their own. When I went to a Culinary Program, one of the classes required the students to do a weekly paper where we had to research a particular topic. It was the final paper researching the Food Pyramid that caused me to rethink the way the guidelines suggest we eat. Then I read about this book called "The China Study" by Colin T. Campbell, then I stumbled upon Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live.

The light bulb turned on!! Every time I talk to my husband about eating less meat, he tells me how much he loves the savory flavor that meat dishes have to offer. This coming from the man who has chronic kidney stones and has made the connection that when he has red meat and cheese he develops kidney stones.
I guess the pain is not enough for an education lesson. There seems to be some stronger drive that causes him to continue to eat foods that could be the source of excruciation pain.

Both my husband and daughter are overweight and say they want to eat healthier, but it seems like that is so only if I prepare the meals for them because they do not seem to make the choice on their own.

I am not being too critical of them because my area that I need to work on is SUGAR. I eat way too many processed sugary fatty foods. I have been trying to arm myself with knowledge about the ill effects sugar has on the body. Despite knowing what I do, I still eat things I know I shouldn't.

They say knowledge is power but sometimes just knowing something does not seem to be enough. There has to be a determination and dedication to do what you know you ought to be doing. And, you know, a little support and encouragement would be beneficial also.

So, cheering me on....
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WITCHYWOMAN45 9/15/2011 5:02AM

  I agree with DANCINGPENGUIN when it comes to your husband's eating habits, his unwillingness to "fend for himself" that you mentioned in your community journal makes him an easy candidate for changing his diet by your own cooking and shopping methods. He sounds like a guy who'll eat what's put in front of him for the most part.
As for your daughter, again I agree with DANCINGPENGUIN if she's under 18 you still have a say in what she eats at home, over 18 it's all about being a role model and gently encouraging changes. But again, if she lives with you (even if she's over 18) and you only bring in healthy items, when hungry she'll eat what's there or have to make the choice to go buy something unhealthy. If she chooses to go buy something unhealthy, it's just that, HER choice and for your own sanity try not to feel responsible for choices another adult makes for themselves.
I know you want the best for her and your husband, but sometimes the lessons can't be taught unless the student is willing to learn. In that event, showing by example how much energy you have and how good you feel by making healthy choices for yourself will go much farther than attempting to create change in an unwilling individual, no matter how much you know they will benefit from the changes. Focus on you lady! The rest will work out when it is the right time for that person. For you the time has come, so focus your energy where it can be utilized to it's fullest capacity.

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WILD4STARS 9/15/2011 4:55AM

    If you read The China Study you know that there is also addiction involved in how we eat. Some people can kick an addiction easier than others. While I understand that eating SAD is easier than eating healthy I think some peope really WANT to eat healthier, they're just addicted to the fat/salt/sugar/dairy that shows up in most processed foods. Whenever I hear someone say, "I could never give up cheese, I LOVE my cheese" I immediately think, "No, you are addicted to cheese, you just THINK you love it"

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CHAZMO227 9/14/2011 11:01PM

    My daughters are 14 and 16, so I prepare the meals. However, I have plenty of fresh fruit in the house for them and serve a fruit and veggie at dinner...the fruit being dessert. We haven't given up meat, but it's definitely not the main dish anymore. I also asked them to write down what fruits and veggies they like so I could buy and serve them more. I make them try the fruits/veggies if it's not on their list, too. But it's surprised me at how many they chose. They see me eating differently sometimes and they are ready to keep me accountable, as well.

I remember when I was growing up complaining to my mom that I was hungry about 1 hour before dinner or soon after dinner - she would offer an apple or some other fruit most of the time - if I said that I didn't want that - she would say that I wasn't really hungry then. Even though I hated hearing that as a kid...I can still hear it when I'm reaching for something today. It does cause me to think if I'm really hungry or just bored or craving something.

Conversation comes up in my house about someone being really overweight...I just shrug my shoulders and tell them to eat their fruits and veggies and they won't have that problem. That way, I'm not saying it directly to my daughters, but they are getting the message - that and modeling what I am saying.

Good luck! It's a journey for all of us!

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    Honestly, I don't think you can. Well, at least not directly. (I don't know how old your daughter is, so depending on that you might have some influence). I cannot recall if it was Fuhrman or Campbell (I read those books in rapid succession) who gave the advice not to try to change everyone else, because you'll drive yourself crazy.

But I can also tell you that after 5 weeks of truly following Eat to Live, I'm amazed at how long I claimed to be eating healthfully while eating sugary stuff every day! I keep saying to myself, Why didn't I try this before?

I don't believe in the Health Belief Model, wherein what people know leads them to do, because I've seen the rationalizations, addictions, deeply held preferences, and attitudes that get in the way of it. The only person I've ever seen follow that line of reasoning was my son when he was five, and even that it only lasted a couple of weeks before the candy started calling him again.

All of that said, I do think there are two avenues. One is the role model, doing it for yourself. The other is a little more complicated, but it has to do with your husband's health problems. You can appeal to him from the standpoint of how it affects YOU, not just trying to change him for his own sake, and then ... Stop being an enabler. Don't buy meat. If he wants it, he's gotta buy it and/or cook it. When you cook the dishes that are healthy, go all out (sounds like you have some culinary skills, so this might be fun!). But he's not allowed to complain to you about not having meat, because you're simply not participating in that form of his own destruction. At the very least, this should result in less meat eating overall.

As for your daughter, it depends on how old she is. I'd try for a last-ditch effort and then lay off, if she is older. Be the role model and don't have Eat to Die foods in the house. If she is young, get her involved in some outdoor activities, and try not to focus too much on food. I think women's body images contributed to this whole epidemic in the first place, and obsessing about food might hurt, rather than help.

Sorry this turned into such a blog of my own.

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LIV2RIDE 9/14/2011 11:28AM

    Unfortunately you can't make people want to eat healthy. Eating unhealthy is just too easy. I have the same problem with my husband. He will eat whatever I cook and love it, but he adds meat or other animal products to his portion. Very rarely will he eat a vegetarian meal. If he does I'm literally shocked. I just remain a silent example and hope he will eventually want to read even a portion of the information that is on our bookshelves. He tells me he hates to read. Anyway, just take comfort in the fact that you are providing healthy balanced meals for your family. As long as they eat what you cook I wouldn't worry about it. I'm one that won't cook animal products so if Paul wants it he has to get off his butt and cook it himself. Good luck!

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Counting Calories or

Monday, September 12, 2011

making every calorie count?

There is a big difference between just counting calories or making every calorie count. Just the other day, my sister in law posted how she gave into the temptation to have a coffee latte and it used up over 2/3rds of her WW points for the day. I thought "WOW!" that's a lot of calories in that drink.

This past couple of weeks I just couldn't seem to get enough of the DQ's peanut Buster parfaits and bars. Now the bar has 440 calories and I never even looked up the count for the parfait - perhaps that explains the weight gain I experienced emoticon

The other day, I was volunteered to make the birthday cake for my grandson and I cannot tell you how much frosting I "tasted" while frosting that thing, but then the next morning when i did my run, I noticed how i felt and it was not a good feeling. I have been training hard to do a sub30 5k and I realized, once again, that all those calories from junk food do nothing to fuel my body properly.

So, once again, I am going to focus on eating to give my body the proper nutrients it needs, not just a certain amount of calories. My next race is on the 24th and I want to be able to say I gave my best effort, even if it is not a sub30. So, rather than counting calories, I am going to make every calorie count.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELEMENOPEO 9/14/2011 12:12PM

    That is a great perspective to have on it. I will keep that in mind!

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LIV2RIDE 9/12/2011 3:35PM

    I've had that same realization several times. LOL I think it becomes more clear when you have a goal in mind. emoticon

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NJMATTICE 9/12/2011 3:14PM

    I remember when I first started SparkPeople and discovered the shared food trackers. I saw that some people were eating 1200 calories a day, but those calories were made up of candy bars, ice cream and all sorts of processed foods. Yikes! I do believe that focusing on fueling our machines with the best possible fuels is the right idea. Changing my goal to gaining good health rather than losing weight has vastly improved the quality of my life. The numbers are changing, slowly, but surely.
Thanks for reminding me to make every calorie count.
Positive Bloggers Team

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If I had a sugar overload, what about....

Sunday, September 11, 2011 grandson?

I am trying to blog about how I was asked to provide the birthday cake for my grandson's two year birthday party and I am feeling so guilty because I caved in to their request to provide a junk food cake only.

As I was frosting that cake, I kept snitching a sample of the frosting and I think I had a sugar overload because I felt nauseous the next day. I cannot help but wonder the effects it has on those little bodies.

Why do we think we need to celebrate with sugar and other junk foods? I offered to make a healthy cake but was told NO NO, its his birthday and he likes chocolate cake and so he shall have a chocolate cake.

I still recall the effects the dig in cake had on his little body as he shoved it into his mouth - he ate so much of it that he actually started to act like he was drunk.
That event made a lasting impression on me and I am feeling a bit guuilty because I gave in to their request even though I know better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIV2RIDE 9/11/2011 11:24AM

    I had the same problem with my niece's party. I went ahead and made the healthier less sugary version of cake and they ate it all the same. No one knew that I didn't use the required amount of sugar or used applesauce instead of oil. All they saw was chocolate cake. Everyone is different and has to deal with their own families.

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55WALKER 9/11/2011 10:26AM

    I'm glad you posted this. It is an issue I struggle with, trying to figure out where to draw lines...

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Forks Over Knives

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My husband and I started to watch this video off of Netflix last night and we totally amazed at some of the research presented. The study about heart disease in Norway when the Germans invaded and took all the farm animals to support the troops and the people had to resort to a plant based diet impressed my husband tremendously. He is a meat eater and that definitely made an impression to see how the incidence of heart disease dramatically dropped at that time and then started to increase as the meat became available again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRACIL 9/26/2011 5:29PM

    Unfortunately, like Campbell's China Study, there's a lot of problems with this film:
For example, if you actually looked at that Norway example, you'll notice that though meat consumption went down 60%, fish consumption went up 200%! (i.e. 3 times as much)

They also ate a lot less sugar and margarine, things we know are bad now.

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HALF_THE_GIRL 9/13/2011 5:13PM

    My husband got me to watch it , we have been Vegan for 4 days

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GIANTPANDA 9/7/2011 9:10PM

    My hubbie and I plan to watch it tonight! I hope it persuades him to go even more toward a vegetarian diet.

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DS9KIE 9/7/2011 11:36AM

    I can't wait to get it from the library

Glad you got to see it

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SUNNYH99 9/7/2011 11:29AM

    Thanks for posting this! I haven't seen it yet, hope it comes on pay per view or cable at some point.

BTW, I showed the latest VegNews to my DH today because it had a feature on Asheville, NC, somewhere we want to visit again. I said nothing about the content, and he read it and said, "Sure seems like they have good food there!" Then he added, "Vegan food, too." That publication really helped me transition from vegetarian to vegan with the great recipes and mouth-watering photos and ads for vegan stuff of all kinds--food, shoes, cosmetics, supplements, appliances, books on vegan cooking and lifestyle, and entrancing ads for the animal sanctuaries around the country. Check it out!


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LIV2RIDE 9/7/2011 10:50AM

    I'm interested in seeing that as well. I hope to be able to convince Paul to sit down and watch it with me.

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NANCYBOAT 9/7/2011 9:13AM

    sounds very interesting - will have to check it out!

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GSWINNIE 9/7/2011 8:44AM

    Wow, interesting. I may have to watch that myself.

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New Mindset

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wow! Last week was like a nightmare that I couldn't seem to wake up from. I am feeling better now and I wondering if I was not getting enough of some nutrients. I am doing a 5k program that is a bit more intense than I normally run and I had cut back on the whole wheat bread I normally ate.

So, I started to add more grains in the meals I prepared and now I feel better. I have not been tracking my food, but I think I better get back to it. I am going to use this program called Diet Power - it is one I can use offline and it tracks the micronutrients as well as the macronutrients and offers advice on what to eat if I am lacking in one, plus it takes into account the exercise I eat over time and advises how many calories I should be eating on a day by day basis.

Arby's has a billboard that says "Good Mood Food Ahead" - not that I'd agree that Arby's is a healthy or even good choice (we knew someone who worked at a meat packing plant and said that the "meat" used was the undesirable stuff - whether or not that is true, I don't know but I do know that I have often felt sick after eating there) Back to my blog - I think there is a connection between what we eat and how we feel.

Here is something I experienced one time, I got into an argument with one of my daughters and it left in a bad mood, I was angry and I could not shake it. Then I went to get my sister for our weekly walk and I was in such a bad mood that I suggested before we started our walk I "needed" to get some chocolate. So, we went to the store that had the good stuff, you know like $17.00 per pound. I bought 2 pieces, ate them and actually felt something in my brain and guess what?! Instant mood change.

Coincidence? I don't know. But to me, it is a testimony that the foods we eat can make a difference in how we feel.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEEH 9/6/2011 9:33PM

    I completely agree that food can affect your mood! I say we should use that fact to our advantage!

I'm glad you're feeling better now.

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WITCHYWOMAN45 9/6/2011 4:38PM

  It's been known since Roman times that wheat produces a euphoric effect similar to narcotics. I suspect your chocolate incident has the same path....all three (wheat, narcotics and chocolate) stimulate the pleasure center of our brains causing the change in mood by increasing endorphin release and other brain chemical changes.
The reverse is true also, taking an item out of our diet can help stop or lessen mood swings. For me, taking wheat and gluten out of my diet entirely leveled out my moods trememdously. The moods weren't the reason I eliminated those items, allergy and intolerace was, but the resulting side effect of being in a more stable state mentally was welcomed.

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LIV2RIDE 9/6/2011 11:24AM

    I found that when I eat a lot of bread and pasta (even whole grain) I feel fluffy and bloated. But when the whole grains I eat are brown rice, quinoa and the like I don't feel as off. I've now started limiting my bread a lot.

I read Dr. Neal Barnard's book Breaking the Food Seduction. He has a whole section on the addictive qualities of chocolate.

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