The Food Revolution Has Begun!

I was excited to be able to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night with my husband.  Wednesday, he informed me he’d be rolling out a client’s website Friday night because the client decided that’s when they wanted to do it.  Then, yesterday afternoon he was informed they changed their mind after he spent a couple of hours prepping for it.  We spent the evening discussing how he has changed his eating since he started reading Mark Hyman, M.D.’s, UltraMetabolism.  If you think I’m extreme in how I eat, my husband is more extreme.  He is literally eating like a pauper for dinner.  An apple and some almonds.  As many times as he told me he was eating apples and almonds a day, I suggested he vary his fruit and nuts.  He told me since he hadn’t eaten much fruit before last week to not “push it.”  I haven’t seen him crack open a Diet Coke since he’s been home for the weekend either.  Oh, happy day. 🙂

So last night’s show was the first hour that I saw earlier in the week and blogged about.  The second hour focused more on education.  After a second lunch of the kids at Central City Elementary School only being served what Jamie fixed this time, it didn’t go over well.  There was a lot of food waste, but from what I could tell, it was the same amount of food waste with the other lunches.  They were showing kids spitting out their salad (fresh, not bagged) or not liking the pasta.  What this tells me is that the kids aren’t even getting fresh, whole foods at home.  They are getting the same processed stuff as they are getting at school.  He still got flack from the cooks and the woman from the school district in charge of the food at the schools in their county.   After being disappointed after that lunch, he went into a classroom full of six-year olds with fresh produce and asked them to identify what each item was.  Tomatoes were called potatoes.  Beets were called celery.  And you get the idea.  Then he pulls out the processed foods – chicken nuggets, pizza, french fries.  They got those all right.  I say again, they aren’t getting the whole foods at home.  What was great about this educational piece, was that the teacher saw something that needed to be rectified and on her own, taught the kids about the vegetables.  Before the end of the second hour he was back in the classroom and they were able to identify all the vegetables correctly.  Score one for that teacher for taking things into her own hands.

Jamie is wonderful with providing visuals.  He always has been.  In the second hour he asked to bring in the parents and showed them, with the kids present as well, how much chocolate milk, nachos, sloppy joes, etc. are being served to the kids in just one month.  He then brought in a dump truck that held the amount of saturated fat the kids are getting from breakfast and lunch through the entire school year.  Thankfully, the parents were disgusted, as I hope anyone would be seeing that, and said they would support his efforts.  I only wish he would have done the sugar visual from how much sugar the kids get per day, week, month and year from the flavored milks that are in the school.  It’s a powerful visual he demonstrated at his TED speech.

He took a group of kids in to his new educational “store” in town, Jamie’s Kitchen, to show them just what is in chicken nuggets.  He pulled out a whole chicken, educated them on the parts as he butchered it down into its sellable parts.  Then, what was left was the insides and the carcass.  He chopped that into four pieces and put it in a food processor.  While doing this, he was explaining to them that there was no real nutritional value in it.  He added a “stabilizer” and “fillers” then strained it of the liquid.  The whole time the kids were grimacing and were acknowledging it was gross and bad for them.  However, when he asked who wanted one after he made a “patty” from it, they all raised their hand.  So sad.  I was replying to my friends comment on my status in Facebook about her never giving her kids chicken nuggets again after seeing that, that if I want “chicken nuggets” I make my own healthy and whole foods friendly chicken strips.

Jamie also checked in with the Edwards family and they stated everything was great.  Yet, a lot of the produce he bought them to go with the menus he provided them weren’t being used up.  He saw soft drinks cups outside from fast food restaurants and I do believe I saw a bottle of Bug Juice.  He asked the youngest what her favorite meal that week was so far.  Her answer, “Pizza!”  In an effort to show the family how their eating is affecting their health, he took them all in for a wellness check.  The doctor was concerned about one of the sons possibly having diabetes because after seeing the dark coloring around his neck the doctor felt he was at risk.  I believe he said that dark coloring was an indicator of insulin levels.  Don’t quote me on that.  But they did take the son’s blood sugar to test it.  He didn’t test positive, but the doctor told the parents and Jamie that he is morbidly obese and it could cause serious health complications and take 30 years off his life.  I hope this was a good wake up call for the parents.  Needless to say, Jamie brought the son into Jamie’s Kitchen for some one on one food/cooking lessons.  He taught him knife skills, which any serious cook will tell you is essential for efficient food prep.  Not everyone is taught knife skills.  This is something one of the guys I worked with and I made sure the teens we worked with were taught when working with them on dinners.  Not only do they learn a valuable skill, it’s sometime that gives them a little boost to their self-confidence as well.

Great show.  I hope everyone got to see it.  If you didn’t look for it online on ABC.com or Hulu.com.  I just checked my TV listings since I heard it was being replayed tonight, but it’s actually 4pm EDT for us and only the second hour.  Make sure you watch the whole thing.  A friend saw just a piece of it last night and felt that he was trying to magically turn fat people into thin people.  That’s not it at all.  It’s about making sure they know what they are putting in their bodies and being healthier.  Huntington, WV is the unhealthiest city in the world.  They have a higher death rate from health issues related to obesity.  I’ll say it again, my goal is to be healthy and weight loss is just one of the benefits of being healthy.  If you can focus on the health aspect, which is what Jamie is trying to do, weight becomes less of an issue and less of a focus for people to obsess over.

I’ll leave you with this: I woke feeling like the walking dead.  This means gluten sensitivity.  I knew when I woke up and couldn’t move my body that it was just that one piece of toast yesterday morning.  I didn’t have a sandwich for dinner like planned, just soup.  Although, I know there was some gluten in the soup, but not as much as the toast.  How do I know?  I haven’t felt like this since I had that hamburger a month ago.  Time to clean more out of the pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator!

FOOD!

Healthy food is an obsession for me.  If you haven’t already noticed.  I’m not talking about the “healthy” foods that come in boxes and packages.  There is a time and a place for those, but because of my cautiousness about what I put into my body thanks to my thyroid, I tend to stay away from them.  Whole foods = healthy foods.  Sure, I have a cheat moment usually about once a month and then I’m good.  Not one day.  One time.  I make most things from scratch and it’s rare I buy anything canned or packaged.  Sprouted grain bread, sprouted corn tortillas, olives, unsweetened coconut milk, eggs.  The rest comes from the produce section, seafood case, or meat case.  In fact, I was looking for some good wild caught fish to fix this weekend and I happened to look at the clams.  I was in the mood to fix the clam dish my lola would fix for me when I’d visit and then later taught me how to make.  All the clams were farm raised.  *sigh*  So much for clams.  I did get a nice piece of wild caught cod, though.  Most of the meats at the market I go to sells local beef that is grass-fed.  Which is important.  Just so happens I found an article on grass-fed beef versus grain fed on Dr. Mercola’s website this morning.  Correction.  My BFF, Stick, found him on Facebook this morning and became a fan, so I went to his page to check it out and found the link to it there.  He makes a great case for the need to revert back to traditional farming in order to restore the nutrition to our foods that we once had before animals were fed grain and seeds were genetically modified.

On that train of thought.  Leanne Ely rolled out her new Saving Dinner TV online yesterday and had a wonderful clip of a typical salad versus a healthy salad.  Watch it and learn.  It’s so simple to make a salad higher in nutrients than the mixes you buy in a bag.  The dressing she teaches you was something she brought up in one of her radio shows.  I tried it the weekend after hearing the show and I loved it!  So much better and fresher than what you’ll buy in a bottle and you can make as little or as much as you need for one meal.  The times I’m able to listen to Saving Dinner live and be in the chatroom while it’s going on, I get a free weekly menu.  I don’t make everything on it.  Sometimes I make nothing on it.  But I always end up using the recipes eventually.  She typically has vegetarian, low carb, and kosher alternatives for each recipe on it.  Some of them also include canned or packaged ingredients.  I end up substituting them for fresh ingredients.  For instance, a chicken dish I made last weekend called for canned tomato paste.  I used fresh tomatoes instead.  Another recipe called for cream.  I used the unsweetened coconut milk.  The same recipe called for cheese.  I did without.

If you don’t know foods or recipes, find some recipes and start learning.  Once you know more about the food you are working with, you’ll learn how to substitute things while still making the dish tasty.  I learn things by just doing them most of the time.  Especially when it comes to crafts and foods.   I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager and most of the recipes I use regularly are ones I’ve taken and altered to my preference or ones I made up based on what I knew about food.  I know I need to start writing them down, but it’s hard.  I don’t always measure with cups and spoons.  I’ll eyeball my measuring of things I’m adding.  That just came with all the years of practice and experience.  If you work with real food long enough, you learn.

Real food is one of the reasons why I liked Jamie Oliver when I first saw his show, The Naked Chef, years ago.  He worked with real food and rarely used packaged items.  I knew the times he used something packaged or canned, I could substitute it for fresh when I wanted to.  If you check out his website, he’s got some great fresh salads just like Leanne’s.  Only with his, he chops all his ingredients on a chopping board together and dresses it on the board.  I need to try one of those salads one day soon.  Or at least take what I know about food and make one up myself.  If I haven’t said it enough, his new show premiers tonight.  Watch it!!!

One last bit before I end this post.  Dr. Mercola had another article that Stick and I read and shared within minutes of each other this morning on Vitamin D.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to get most your Vitamin D from going outside.  I’ve tried being out in the sun as much as I can now that it’s warming up.  I even tried today.  Sat outside the front door with my book trying to read.  Unfortunately, the cold brought me back inside.  I wound up sitting in front of our living room window getting some sun while reading.  I would love to get back to the point where I didn’t need the Vitamin D supplements.  Maybe once we move back home.

I celebrated the end of my gluten-free trial with a pieced of sprouted grain toast with my breakfast this morning.  So far, no negative reactions.  Soup and sandwiches are for dinner, so we’ll see how I feel in the morning.  I think I’ll be fine though.  I also think, that even if I have no negative reactions, I’ll still be careful of the amount of gluten I have.  I got used to my sandwiches wrapped in the sprouted corn tortillas, so I can alternate between that and the sprouted grain bread.

Last reminder, watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution tonight on ABC!

It’s Not All About Exercise

I am friends with JJ Virgin on Facebook.  I first learned about her on Leanne Ely’s Saving Dinner radio show when Leanne had her as a guest.  She is a celebrity health and fitness expert and a frequent guest caller on Saving Dinner. Last night she posted a link to her blog and I quickly shared it after I read it.   A new study came out stating that women, especially older women would need to exercise more to lose weight.  This was apparently shared on Good Morning, America.

Exercise more? Seriously?  The articles I found online today state that women would need to exercise at least an hour a day to lose weight.  One of the articles stated they studied woman with an “average age of 54 who ate a typical American diet.”  Typical American diet.  Let us consider this.  When I think of the typical American diet I think of fast food, fried foods, sugary foods, more meats than vegetables and fruit, refined grains, canned foods, and processed foods.  Food in a box.  All the foods I’ve moved away from since last year.   Then take into account these are women going into menopause, if they haven’t already, which means their hormones are all out of whack anyway.   Plus, while going through menopause, they are susceptible to developing hypothyroidism because of their hormones changing and not being stable.  So, if that happens, all the exercise in the world isn’t going to help lose weight if you aren’t doing anything to change other aspects of your life.  As JJ mentions in her blog, cortisol levels go up during menopause and more exercise increases it even more, which leads to adrenal fatigue.  It also causes more oxidative stress, which I believe I’ve mentioned before.  Think of oxidative stress as causing rust in our bodies.  Ew, right?

I’m going to throw in a huge quote here from JJ since I can’t say it any better than she did.

“The research on high intensity interval training shows that 4 minutes of high intensity is the equivalent of TWENTY minutes of moderate exercise AND it raises anabolic hormones to counteract the effects of stress hormones. It is also de-aging as it raises lactic acid which in turn promotes the release of Growth Hormone – the hormone of youth and vitality.”

I’m all for interval training.  I’ve stated before that I feel so much better after a short round of interval training than I do with regular exercise for 30 minutes.  Forget an hour.  I’ve been there done that last year trying to lose weight once I feeling better again.  I was walking an hour a day with no real change in my weight.  I’d lose a couple of pounds and then gain it back.  The interval training helps raise your resting metabolic rate, too.  That means you will burn more calories when you are at rest than you normally would.

There are so many more pieces to this weight loss puzzle than just exercise.  It’s changing your diet, managing stress levels better, getting rid of the toxins as much as possible in your environment and your food, and in my experience, not focusing on weight loss.  My focus is getting healthier not weight loss and I’m reaping the benefits.  I’ve said before that I need to move more, but many days, I just don’t have the motivation to move or even exercise.  Yet, I’m still losing weight because of the changes I’ve made.  I rarely step on the scale to see how much I weigh because I prefer to go with how I feel and how my clothes are fitting.  My boss asked me yesterday if I lost more weight.  I had to say, “I don’t know.”  Because I truly didn’t know.  I hadn’t stepped on the scale in over a month.  She told me I looked like I had, so this morning I stepped on the scale and she was right.  It wasn’t a lot, just a couple more pounds.

This is the other article that I found about this study.   I think I’ve ranted enough about the atrocities of the study.

Leanne shared this article earlier on Facebook.  I hope you find it interesting.  I shared it on Facebook, too.  I can say that I don’t eat those 7 foods either.  Thank goodness.

Today ends the 3 week gluten-free trial.  So, tomorrow I’m celebrating with a piece of sprouted grain toast to see how I handle that.

Oh, and don’t forget Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution starts tomorrow night on ABC!  Two hour premier!