Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finally. Finding Healthy Food for Our Kids & Adventures will be Easier. New Food Labels Proposed by FLOTUS & FDA. Good for Families.

 The old labels: Huh? It's all gibberish...
Three active kids, three different eating habits. 

But one main goal = how to feed them the most healthy, chock-full-of-the good-stuff calories each day to keep their engines running, their noggins synapsing. And keeping those tempting foods - made of mostly "empty calories" - as an occasional treat, not the meal.

Yes, i'm talking about food again. Nutrition.

As what i've realized with my kids and with our extraordinarily active lifestyle, is how VITAL it is to have the right kind of food to fuel their super-sonic engines every single day. 

And how when they don't have the right kinds of foods, the right kinds of calories, they end up crashing early, getting crabby, having less stamina, and feeling kinda cruddy after the sugar rush is gone. The thrill is gone….

Good news? Yes, good news is that FLOTUS as she's known on Twitter - First Lady of the United States - and the FDA have proposed changes to the labels of food that we buy everyday at our Safeways or Piggly Wigglys. Tackling the confusing "how much is a serving size" head scratcher and even throwing in an "avoid too much" section. 

Yes! We will finally be able to understand what all that gobbley-gook on the labels mean!

These changes may take a few years to shift and have a long road to be approved, but it's a positive step in the right direction for parents, kiddos and all consumers.

The ultimate goal? 

"You…should be able to walk into a grocery store, pick an item off the shelf & tell whether it's good for your family." 
-FLOTUS

Bravo!

Be. Breathe. Do it. -OM

More full & fascinating info on the subject:
Eat more of this and less of that
Huff Post: Sweeping Updates to Nutrition Labels
NPR: New Labels Make Healthy Shopping Easier



Friday, February 7, 2014

Healthy Food Habits for Our Families: Eat MORE of This, Eat LESS of That. Say Goodbye to Processed Food & Let's Beat the Obesity Epidemic.

The Showdown: Broccoli vs Cheetos. Which do you think will help fight obesity?
Have you ever gone to the grocery store when you were hungry? 

Oh, yes, mistake #1 and that was ME the other day. I could hear the salty, crunchy, sugary Pringles and Twizzlers and other processed goodies calling to me: Annnnie, Annnnnnnnie….. while the broccoli and flax seeds waved their arms and jumped up and down to try to get my attention. Yoo-hoo! Yoooo-hooo! 

To no avail. My tummy was craving naughty calories. And I should have raced to the fruit aisle and stuffed a few bananas into my system. Instead, I ended up with my hand deep into a bag of Rainbow Goldfish….. Urp. 

So, ok, we're all human. And, yes, as long as we indulge in those processed goodies in moderation, all will be just fine. 

But here's the thing. That's not what's happening. 

Thanks to a talk by a fired-up national expert on this subject matter, Dr. Robert Lustig, we got the inside scoop the other day on the Obesity Health Care Crisis that's facing our families and our kiddos today in alarming rates. He shared the HOW and the WHY this is happening both within our own body's biochemistry and also within our American culture.

Startling. Scary. Sad.

But here's the good news, there's a way to beat it. And it starts in our own kitchens, in our own grocery carts, in our own menu planning & healthy habits for own our families. 

It starts with looking at Processed foods and realizing: hey, delicious processed foods, you look and smell and taste great, but guess what? you're just not that good for me or my kids!

So, enough yammering. Let's get to why we're here. Here's where processed food goes wrong and what we parents need to look out for according to Dr. L and team:

WE NEED TO EAT MORE OF THIS: (There's way too little of this in processed foods)
1) Fiber - fruits, veggies, etc
2) Omega 3 Fatty Acids - walnuts, wild-salmon, kidney beans, etc
3) Micronutrients - found within veggies, beans, fruits - nutrient density of foods

WE NEED TO EAT LESS OF THAT: (Way too much of this in processed foods)
1) Trans Fats - Put down the donut: FDA Takes on Trans Fats
2) Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine - found in protein powders, corn-fed meats, etc
3) Omega-6 Fatty Acids - major food oils like canola oil, etc
4) Alcohol - moderation, moderation, moderation
…and, possibly the biggest culprit in Obesity of all:
5) Sugar, Sugar, Sugar - and, Why You Should Never Eat High Fructose Corn Syrup

What I've found is, sitting down and sharing this above list with my kids and discussing the real problem of Obesity in kids and the importance of healthy eating for kids -- yes, there's a REASON why mom won't let you have that delicious bag o' Doritos every single day, and let's look at WHY…. -- has helped them understand why I say NO when they constantly ask for a Sprite. Or a donut. Or a Cheeto when we're out and about. I'm not just a meanie...

Every once in a while as a treat? Sure. But as a part of our daily family meal plan, no way. 

More to come on this subject matter. It's fascinating. It's real. And it's important. And, of course, do your homework.

Be. Breathe. Do it! -OM

More, more, more interesting info on all of this:
VIDEO: Michelle Obama's new food site & nutrition guide
Dr. L's cookbook with healthy (and yummy) recipes for the fam
Institute for Responsible Nutrition
So much better than Cheetos...
Intelligent, inspiring events for women - Dr Robert Lustig