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Posts tagged ‘eating habits’

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World” is a poem by William Ross Wallace that praises motherhood as the preeminent force for change in the world.

-Quoted from Wikipedia

That was a belief that shaped our country. It is was led to the education of women, and the idea of universal education. Only an educated nation could support a healthy democracy. The founders of the country realized the mothers of the nation shaped the future leaders.

 The exact same truth applies to health. Georgia has a media campaign to reduce childhood obesity. It has aroused major controversy since it is not narrowly focused at the parents, but seems to target the kids too. This is a mistake. Until adolescence, children’s food intake is almost completely controlled by the parents, both in quantity and quality. This puts the full burden on the parents shoulders. If you are a parent, you are transmitting everything you feel, think and believe about eating and exercise. It isn’t hard to see this, heavy parents often have heavy kids. It would be easy to blame this on genetics, but it is easy to see where daily choices make all the difference. For example, if it were only genetics, obesity wouldn’t be on the rise so quickly.

One of the most crucial things you, the parent, are doing, is creating favorite foods and comfort foods. Our deep psychological relationship with food is created in childhood. If you serve healthy food most of the time, you are training your children’s palates to prefer those foods. If you serve high fat and sugar food, that is what your child will prefer, making weight loss in later life that much harder.How often do you serve pizza, cake, hot dogs, french fries and pop? What is a treat in your house? Is a desert one cookie or three? Are you terrified to let your kid go to bed hungry? ( Children will not starve themselves.) If you are heavy, if your children are heavy, get educated and make changes as fast as possible, for their future. It is very, very hard to lose weight. Why put that on your kids? Help them not gain it in the first place.

If you hate to exercise, chances are your children will to. If you won’t take a walk, how can they? If you won’t ride a bike, how are you going to teach them? Trying to find work arounds, without changing yourself, may mitigate some effects, like enrolling them in sports, but they will largely be modeling themselves after you. If you are afraid to try something new, for fear of making a fool of yourself, how can your kids see courage modeled?

Hopefully this will encourage you to make changes in your life now. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for the children.

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An Experiment unveiled

Here is the results of an unintentional experiment, but first some background. This is Megan, my neighbors daughter, who is an exchange student in Russia. The family had been trying to get healthier before Megan left. Megan read an article I posted on facebook, and sent me this message. I got so excited, because it is further proof of everything I have been taught and believe about nutrition, and what is currently going on in the American diet.

“When I first arrived in Russia I expected the food to be not great because all the people I had talked to about Russian food had said that it was really bland, but it was actually kind of true.
On my first day with my host family I remember drinking ‘compoat’ (it’s made by soaking assorted berries in a jar of water) and thinking “Oh no the first thing they give to me tastes like dirt!” Later I had tea, and I remembered putting almost 3 spoons of sugar in it because it just had a weird ‘blah but not water’ to me otherwise.

Now I drink tea without any sugar because it tastes fine, and ‘compoat’ is a really sweet tasty drink now. It’s been six months since I have arrived, but I’ve drank pop (soda) less than six times my entire time here and it now seems so fake and nasty.
After thinking about this I realized the reason why, Russians really don’t add anything to their drinks or food and processed food is rare. Americans use more processed, and this food contains lots of artificial sweeteners. The article said: “We’re ‘Infantilizing’ our taste sense – Artificial sweeteners are a hundredfold sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). By getting ourselves used to so much sweet, normal sweet flavors, of fruit for example, become bland and so do other healthful foods such as grains and vegetables, thus reducing our willingness to consume them and ultimately the quality of our diet.”

My sense of taste has changed dramatically in the past few months. Now the taste of an orange or even an apple is so sweet, whereas in the US it was basically ‘meh’. I really do think it was because almost anything I wanted to drink had 25 grams of sugar in it. I was thinking about what I drink nowadays, and on the average day I drink 4 cups of (caffeine free) tea, plus 1 liter from my water bottle. I was kind of worried about the Russian way of drinking so much tea, so I looked it up and according to the University of Maryland Health Center 2 – 3 cups of green tea per day is actually recommended because it helps the body in many ways, and since my family drinks the un-caffeinated kind it’s even better.

I guess the absence of artificial sweeteners for this long of a period of time has allowed me to regain my sense of taste, realize what foods really taste like, and lose +30 lbs along the way. I definitely plan on bringing home a bunch of Russian recipes and using them at home, because Russian food really isn’t bland; it’s just that American travelers are accustomed to so much more sweetness than most natural foods have.”

And there you have it, while unintentional, a successful experiment in changing eating habits. Thank you Megan for letting me share this.

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