Monday, March 29, 2010

Food Revolution

Have you seen Jamie Oliver's new show? I loved it and I am so excited to have him on television bringing awareness to healthy eating. I commend him for his courage and his perseverance. I have to say there were times that I felt exhausted just watching him go against the system.

It is a sad but true fact that change is difficult. We don't like change even if it is for our own good. Sometimes we can't see beyond our own safe little box to see what's on the other side. That seems to be what is happening in this town. The suspicious radio DJ and the obstinate school lunch cook are perfect examples of why it is so hard to push change.

The truly exasperating part is the bureaucracy that is in effect in the name of protecting our children. The school lunch guidelines are a joke as is the amount of money these schools are given to purchase food for our children. Seriously, we as a country need to come to grips with the fact that the less money we spend on food, the more we will be spending on health care, not to mention having to deal with illness and early death.

Industrialized farming, genetically modified crops, fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, government subsidizing are all reasons why we spend less of our income on food. These are the same things that are giving us food that is nutrient deficient and contribute obesity, pollution and antibiotic resistant microbes.

In my school district, lunch costs $1.80. $1.80?!? You can't get a happy meal for that. What makes us think the lunch they provide will be any better than a fast food meal?

In fact, I got my district's monthly lunch menu and it is appalling! Here are some of my favorite lunch choices:
  • soft pretzel bites with cheese
  • home run hot dog on a bun
  • fly ball cheeseburger on a bun
  • french toast sticks with sausage
  • ballpark beef nachos
  • string cheese, yogurt and Pretzel meal
This is not lunch food! It is snack food at best and more honestly it is a bunch of chemicals, preservatives, sugar and fat that is giving children no nutritional value.

And people wonder why I make my kids' lunches!

What's going on in your school district? Are your kids getting food for lunch or are they getting garbage? I have to say, the lunches that I saw on Jamie's show look actually better than the ones they serve in my district. Scary stuff! Tell me what's going on in your neck of the woods.

If you haven't watched the show yet I encourage you to head over to ABC and watch the first two episodes in their entirety. If you've already seen the show and are as thrilled as I am with the content you can go over to Jamie's website and sign his food revolution petition.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toxins All Around

Last time I talked about what a cleanse is, and today I am going to talk to you about why you might want to take part in a cleanse.

Basically, we are surrounded by all kinds of toxins in our modern day world. There are toxins in the air, in the water, in our food and drink. Toxins are everywhere and unfortunately it seems that no matter where we live we are faced with the same reality. We are toxic.

The body's normal functions remove toxins on a daily basis through urination, bowel movements, sweating, sneezing, and coughing. As wonderful as our bodies are at this daily elimination process, they were not meant to deal with the onslaught of synthetic chemicals that are currently in our environment.

The food we eat is no longer from the vine. It is grown with pesticides and herbicides and processed with additives and preservatives that were created in a laboratory. The air we breathe is filled with pollution and the water we drink is chlorinated and fluoridated. Even in our own homes we are subjected to toxins in our building materials, carpets, fragrances, cookware, clothing and more.

The foods and liquids that we ingest are a big part of our increased toxic load. So many of us are eating packaged foods, fast foods, and convenience foods. These foods, if you can call them foods, are loaded with chemicals and devoid of the nutrients that the body needs. When you add in alcohol, caffeine, and sugar and the body becomes overloaded just trying to keep up.

The human body has done a wonderful job of dealing with these foreign invaders but it seems that there limits and for many of us, we have reached those limits.

Toxicity in the body can cause an array of symptoms like fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and decreased immunity. It can lead to gastrointestinal problems, birth defects, cancer and more.

Taking part in a cleansing program can give the body a break from the toxins and then it can use the energy to begin moving out any stored toxins. These toxins love to hang out in our fat cells so if you have some extra weight to lose you may have some extra toxins too.

Stay tuned for some top cleansing tips.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning

There is something about the changing of the seasons that evokes a certain kind of excitement. Especially when we are moving out of the cold winter months into the rebirth and regeneration of spring. Of course here in theChicago area the weather is still in the thirties but I am hopeful that the thermometer will hit the 40s by the end of the week. Spring is on its way!

When spring arrives there is a noticable change in energy. Good old spring fever. I know that I can't wait to get moving, get outside and feel the warm sun on my face and to breathe in the fresh spring air. It feels so good.

This is usually the time that I get the urge to do a bit of spring cleaning. I know many of you can relate. It is just so satisfying to open up the windows, feel the crisp air fill the room and give everything a good clean.

Well, guess what. We don't need to stop there. Our bodies can use a nice spring cleanse as well. Over the winter we've probably been eating heavier foods and moving a bit less and maybe even stored a few pounds. The spring is a time to lighten up our foods, clean our our bodies and get ready for bathing suit season. It's the perfect time for a cleanse.

I am going to do a series of posts around spring cleansing and why it is important so stay tuned for more information. For now though, let's find out what a cleanse is.

A cleanse is a time to change the types of foods and beverages you ingest as well as setting up a physical routine that aids the body in detoxifying any built up toxins. These toxins come from external sources like pollutions, pesticides, and chemicals in our food and water.

A cleanse can last anywhere from 1 day to 30 days and can be as simple as removing one type of food like sugar or caffeine or as extreme as drinking nothing but water. I have personally tried my hand at some pretty extreme cleanses, the most extreme being a 92 day juice feast where I drank nothing but fresh vegetable and fruit juice. I made it 83 days. I know, crazy isn't it?

Well, these days I am a proponent of more gentle cleansing. I like to help my clients figure out what type of cleanse will suit their emotional and physical needs without causing a major shock to their system and throwing it out of balance. I encourage them to take part in a cleanse that is based on whole foods and is simple and satisfying.

Forget the old saying, "No pain, no gain." It doesn't apply. It's time to embrace a new and gentler way. A way that supports our body and doesn't make us feel miserable. This new way of cleansing is effective and can show amazing results.

In my next post I will go into detail about why we need to cleanse our bodies. I will talk about where the toxins are coming from and what they are doing to your body. Stay tuned!
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