Revolution

Jamie Oliver brought his Food Revolution to the U.S. after I changed my diet to a whole foods diet.  I embraced the Revolution as a long time follower of Jamie Oliver.  He did some amazing things in Britain, not just with school lunches, but also with at-risk youth.

I know some people are commenting that he’s only doing this for TV with the start of the second season.  I have a feeling that those people have not followed him from his humble beginnings as The Naked Chef.  He’s not out for attention and laurels.  Jamie just happens to be in the spotlight.  He’s using his standing in the community to spread his passion.  Healthy eating.

Sure, I don’t always agree with him on things like needing milk.  But, I do agree with him about getting flavored milk out of the school.  I agree with getting as much of the processed foods out of the schools as possible.

Change has to happen.  People can disagree with him all they want.  They can hate him.  They can fight him like some of the people he went up against in the first season.  But, the overall health of this young nation can’t get better without change.   The Food Revolution is just small part of the change that needs to happen.  There are people in communities throughout the U.S. doing this same thing and he features them on his website.

I just find it amazing that Jamie, along with others throughout the U.S. are trying to do a good thing and they get more criticism than all the fad diets that come out.  Juice diet?  Yeah, let’s go!  Atkins?  Sign me up!  South Beach?  I’m in!  Weight Watchers?  I can count points!  Fad diets prey on our insecurities and desire to lose the weight we gained being so unhealthy.

Talk about changing to fresh, whole foods and people get in an uproar over change.  Don’t take my pizza away!  Have seen what your pizza has done to you and millions of other Americans?  There was a time when diabetes and heart disease was rare.  Now, it plagues families and family members who don’t have it wonder when it will hit them.  People who don’t appear unhealthy acquire cancer and family members are stumped because there is no family history of cancer.  The foods we buy in packages all ready for us to just heat up is making us sick.  The sugars in our drinks is making us sick.

We need this Revolution to continue.  We need to stop being complacent and accept change.  Jamie isn’t telling us what we’re doing is wrong.  He’s telling us we can do it better.

The Food Revolution Begins With YOU!

Last night marked the end of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution show.  I was so sad at the end that I nearly cried.  But he was right in his personal message at the end, it’s not the end, it’s the beginning and it’s up to us.  I was happy to see that Alice had really come around when he went back and that she was truly genuine in her support of him.  He was right in the beginning that if she were on his side, she’d be a force for change and I think she will be.  It was great to see that with the changes a lot of people had made, they were losing weight and getting healthier.

I was pretty disturbed by the flavored milks back in rotation again and that massive backlog of processed foods the school system has.  I don’t trust Rhonda at all, she’s always seemed sketchy to me and talking out of both sides of her mouth.  I mean, why would you order more for the next year when you know it goes against the changes being made and that you can’t get rid of the crap you already have?  Absolute craziness.  Thankfully, there were a lot of supporters of the change appalled at the decision to start Processed Food Fridays.  Jamie said it well, would you tell an alcoholic to have a drink on Fridays?  That’s just opening up the doors to undo everything he did.

Then I was disturbed by the bag lunches he was showing.  That one girl with two different types of chips and jelly beans.  Really?  Chips and jelly beans.  It reminded me of watching my brother and sisters packing their lunches for school one morning I was visiting from college.  You’ll love this: Pepsi, brownies, and Rice Krispie Treats.  No joke.  That’s what each of them had in their bags.   So, is it the parents fixing those lunches or the kids?  The younger kids, most likely the parents.  However, my youngest sister was in 3rd grade and I know from experience that she had probably been packing her own lunch for awhile.

I thought it was pretty interesting that I had an email from the Kokua Foundation this morning with a new eco tip of things to do in school and I’ll share it with you.

3 Simple Things You Can Do AT SCHOOL:

  1. Pack a smart lunch.
    • Use re-useable containers, utensils, and cloth napkins to pack a waste-free lunch of yummy local and/or organic products.
    • Whole fruits come in their own “wrapper” and are healthier than processed snacks!
    • Visit LunchLessons.org or WasteFreeLunches.com for more ideas.
  2. Take the walking school bus.
    • If you live close to your school, start a walking school bus with a group of classmates and parents. Make a route, pick up everyone on the way to school, and then drop them all off afterwards. It makes traveling to and from school more fun – plus, it’s good exercise and good for the planet!
    • Visit WalkingSchoolBus.org for more ideas.
  3. Rethink your school supplies.
    • Purchase earth-friendly school supplies like recycled paper, refillable pens and pencils, and durable supplies that will last for several years.
    • Check out GreenEarthOfficeSupply.com and TheGreenOffice.com to buy online, or ask your local retailer to identify their recycled goods.
    • Before buying new, check out which supplies from last year are still usable.

If you want to see change I’m sharing this again.  Sign Jamie’s petition and share it with others.

On another food note before I end this post, check out this article of Dr. Mercola’s on the link between cancer and cosmetics, rBGH milk, and meat.  Prevention needs to be a hallmark of healthcare.  Avoiding educating the public on preventative measures does everyone a disservice while lining pockets.

Maybe I just need to quit my job and go to Washington to be a full-time lobbyist!

Sugar Overload

Have you been reading the labels on your packaged foods that you buy?  It has not ceased to amaze me how much I see sugar, HFCS, fructose, evaporated cane juice, or agave nectar listed in everyday items we buy.  The more I read labels, the more I’m disgusted with the food industry.   I want to throw things at the TV when I see advertisements that are lying to us in regards to food.  Yet, I still keep looking and I keep passing it on.

I used to buy a lot of Kashi products.  They promote themselves as being healthy, pure, natural, whole grains.  You get the picture.  You may have even seen their commercials.  Evaporated cane juice is their sweetener of choice.  It’s the second ingredient in their oatmeal and their Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal.  I find that highly upsetting that a cereal with honey in the name has evaporated can juice as the second ingredient and honey is way down the list near the end.  Their 7 Grain crackers and original waffles have it listed around the middle.  This is a leading health food company.  Imagine what’s in the stuff in General Mills or Kellogg’s foods.

I’m not trying to dis Kashi.  They have an amazing social movement behind their brand.  If you go to their website, you’ll see that they support the Kokua Festival in Hawai`i.  They are trying to move people into more natural, whole foods.  They have a great message, but I don’t like what I see in the ingredients of their products.

If you haven’t been convinced by my previous posts about the dangers of sugar to our bodies, check out Dr. Mercola’s article on sugar.  There is an interview on that site that I haven’t listened to, as well as the video for Sugar: The Bitter Truth.  I’ve heard some good things about the latter.  I just haven’t had the time to sit down to watch it yet.  If you aren’t convinced by the first part of his article, keep reading until you get to the list of the 76 additional dangers of sugar.  It is an eye opener.  I knew about most of them, but the ones I didn’t know about were “wow” moments for me.

I’ll say it over and over again, too.  Stay away from stuff with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  It is not fine in moderation like the ads would have us believe.  It’s more dangerous to our health than regular sugar.  It’s one of the major causes of obesity in this country.  It’s one of the major causes of diabetes.  It is hidden in more things than you realize so make sure you are reading those labels!  I posted the other day about Pepsico starting to remove HFCS from its products.  This is a huge step in the right direction.  If you go to the Jason’s Deli website, they have a video about working on making sure there is no HFCS in their drinks.  Several years ago they stopped using trans fats and now they are making a change from HFCS.  I applaud them for that.  It made me want to go get dinner from them when I saw that video.  A friend that I’ve made recently from the Saving Dinner show just posted a website with a list of HFCS-free foods.  Take it with you when you go shopping.  But, still read the labels!

I used to be a sugar fiend and it’s never easy giving up something you love.  Sure, there are times I want something sweet.  But I go for the fruit or really dark chocolate when I’m in that mode, which is much less often than before.   The times I have gone for that really sweet treat, I’ve found myself turned off because it is too sweet.  It may hurt you to do so mentally, but just try going sugar-free for a while and see how you feel.  Once you get used to being sugar-free, you won’t crave it.  Well, if you’re an emotional eater faced with some stressors, you might want it when you’re feeling stressed, but if you plan for that, you’ll be fine.  And when I say sugar-free, I mean no artificial sweeteners either.  Those will mess up your body even more.  If you don’t think you can give it up, try tapering off.   Just be warned that eating sweets triggers your body to crave more sweets.

You only have good health to gain and fat to lose by making a change like this.