Food For Thought: Food Policy

In honor of the upcoming elections, I am sharing a little FOOD FOR THOUGHT. While you will hear much about immigration, economics, and national security in the debates, you are not going to hear about something I believe is even more important than health care. Its our food supply! Below is a statement from one of my favorite Top Chefs: Tom Colicchio.

 

{Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: “Tom Colicchio” by Alexandra Wolfe}

“What he [Tom Colicchio] really wants to do now is change the way people eat. With his nonprofit Food Policy Action, he is hoping to persuade Americans that food policy should be more prominent in politics. “The idea of food up to a leave of the Second Amendment and reproduction rights?” he says. The problem, he adds, is that “calories are cheap. Nutrition is expensive.”

His goal is to have the government make policy changes that direct farm subsidies away from commodity crops like corn (which often goes into processed food) and toward more fruits and vegetables, to make produce less expensive for consumer. Other changes he’d like to see are healthier school lunches and labels for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.”

Move Towards the Positive… with your Nutrition!

I think it is sometimes so hard to focus on ambitious goals of clean eating day in day out because we cannot get out of the negative thought patterns. I know this sounds a bit hippie dippity, but go with me here. We acknowledge in our rational minds that sodas, breads, processed meats (and the list goes on and on) are BAD and we need to not eat the BAD today. Today, we are going to be 100% GOOD today and not BAD at all. The reality is that our brains find it hard to make this conscious switch so fast. Negative thought patterns continue to rapid fire in our noggin. We think pizza is bad, no pizza today…. But dang it all I want is pizza. You focus so much on the pizza that you cannot formulate thoughts on how good a salad of fresh sliced tomatoes are going to be when you add creamy mozzarella, basil, and really delicious extra virgin olive oil.  Pizza (or insert your personal negative thought here) becomes the most engrained picture or cue in your head.

During a recent podcast, I heard a nationally recognized meditation teacher state, “Move towards the positive and not towards the negative”. She goes one to describe how this is her main mantras for a grateful and joyful life. Wow… how this stuck with me.  Think if we can put this concept to work for our food choices, can you imagine how satisfied we all would be?

I challenge you to make a list of your CLEAN and most desired foods. Foods that you know are good for your mind, body, and taste buds. Try to think about your list though out the day. Get excited each time you are about to have one of these for a meal or snack. Savor each and every bite. Yes, I am getting corny, but food is the one of the biggest pleasures in life, right? So how sad would it be if we were not fully taking pleasure in our food every day.

Get out your list making skills and go for it! Here is my ooey-gooey list… At least, it is ooey-gooey to me (and that is all that matters!).

Eggs (any way, any how)

Avocados

Turnip Greens

Tomato Sauce

Greek Yogurt with Raw Honey

Sweet Potatoes

Salmon

Roasted Cauliflower

Sea Salt

Beef or Bison Tenderloin

Butter

Almond or Peanut Butter

Dark Chocolate

Dates

Thick and Creamy Salad Dressing

Good Quality Sausage

Cheddar Cheese

Spaghetti Squash

Living up to the Savage Standard

Being healthy and happy is the life goal of most people, right?  For my job security and sanity sake, I honestly hope so.  I believe that there is clear evidence to support my argument.  Follow the money and examine the billions of dollars spent each year on diet books, gym memberships, and weight loss supplements.  We put our money where our interest lies… and clearly the health and wellness industry is at the top of our priority list.

The evil flip side to this is that as a society we are NOT getting healthier. Our waist lines are continuing to grow as we lose faith in our ability to achieve the utopia of being a happy, excited about life, jump out of bed first thing in the morning kind of person.  And I’m using the plural here because I have been there.  I, myself as a dreamer, have been there quite a number of times.  For example, the gluten fad hits and I think, “Man, this is going to be the magic bullet that stops the cycle”.  I make a plan to first cut out gluten for myself, as the wise and noble expert, to test out the theory of course.  After which I will start the journey of telling all of my clients the honest and real truth that gluten is the enemy and your utopia can be realized only after you cut out gluten.  I start the “experiment” phase and realize that A) I’m a dietitian and hunting gluten is hard even for me, B) the price of “non-gluten” items is crazy, and C) the serious limiting of options when actually having a life and eating out gluten free. Then, I struggle because I understand the science behind the negative impacts of gluten on the gut… and let’s make no bones about it, they are there.  After my experiment, it turns out that I did see the waist tighten, but no improvement to my skin or brain fog.  Rats…. It wasn’t the silver bullet.  No utopia for me or my clients.

So does the silver bullet exist? If it does exist, do I have to shoot my social and family life with it so I can have only time for this one thing?  I my humble opinion, no.  I am not an extreme person by any STANDARD; and I do not believe that the “health” aspect of your life should negate the other parts of you.  If eating perfectly, working out perfectly, having the perfect body were taking away from my joy of going to brunch, eating pancakes, drinking mimosas, I would say to hell with this… I need to find a new job.  But, again in my humble opinion, living healthfully is not an all or nothing kind of thing.   Living healthfully is only the journey to learn what our body’s need to move, what our minds need to think, and what our hearts need to love. It is the journey every day to explore the strength in our arms and the power behind our legs. It is the journey of balancing different aspects of yourself and then letting those different parts overlap.  And lastly, it is the journey of accepting the sheer joy of eating the pancakes and loving every minute!

So, that in a nut shell is the Savage Standard….. Let the journey begin.