Monday, April 12, 2010

Go Jamie!

This is going to be a departure from all the papercrafting I have been posting recently.  I have a passion for papercrafting, but there are many other things I feel passionate about.  With 3 young children this is something that hits close to home. 

When I first started seeing commercials for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I immediately thought that was a program that I needed to watch.  But I kept forgetting!  So finally I remembered to program it into the DVR and I was able to watch a couple of episodes Sunday evening.  All I can say is, bless that man!  He isn't saying anything different than what nutritionists and other health professionals have been saying for years.  If it takes a celebrity to get people and excited and motivated about eating a more healthy diet, then I say go for it!

I generally pack a lunch for my girls, for a few reasons.  First, because it's cheaper.  Second, because it's better for them, and last because my oldest daughter quite literally gets sick every time she eats school lunch.  I figured the reason she got sick was because she isn't used to eating processed foods, but I didn't really fully understand until I went to the school and joined my girls for school lunch one day.  Corn dogs and "potato wedges" (code for:  we don't want to call them french fries) were on the menu that day.  I won't go into the details of how revolting the food was, but suffice it to say, the only time my daughters will be eating school lunch from now on is in the case of dire emergency.

School lunch, generally, consists of processed, preservative laden, reheated garbage.  And it proves just how mixed up people are in what they think is healthy eating.  A few years ago I worked in an industry where I frequently had the opportunity to talk to people about their diets.  I remember one conversation that I had with a mother who's child was struggling with constipation.  I asked the mother how many fruits and vegetables the child ate.  Her response?  "She usually eats a salad with her school lunch."  First of all, it's highly unlikely that the child ate the salad.  Secondly, the salad was probably made with iceberg lettuce which is almost entirely water.  On one episode of Food Revolution, the head of food services gave Jamie a hard time for not having enough veggies out for the kids.  So what did she put out?  French fries!!!!  There are a lot of foods that people consider "vegetables" that only marginally qualify - potatoes, corn, and even carrots are mostly carbohydrate.

I digress...

Here's where I have a confession to make.  I like food.  I wish I was one of those lucky people for whom food is fuel.  But I'm not.  I like good food, and I like to feel good about what I am eating so I try very hard to cook good meals for my family - generally from scratch.  I bake my own bread, I can make my own yogurt, and I can honestly say that we eat a lot of vegetables - especially in the summertime when the garden is producing.  I am not stick skinny, and probably never will be, but we eat well in this household, with rare exceptions.  My children eat brown rice regularly, like tofu, like vegetables and it's all because they have had the opportunity to develop a liking for these foods.  Do we ever eat sugar and junk food?  You bet!  I think those things are there to be enjoyed, but only occasionally.

The benefits of preparing a meal go far beyond good nutrition too.  There is just something nurturing and healing about preparing good food.  It can bring your family together too.  If you agree that eating habits need to change, go and sign the petition so this revolution can move forward!

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