Posts tagged ‘education’

August 12, 2011

Investing in your health

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about what it means to invest in your health, and invest in yourself. When I talk with people, one of the first things that comes up about eating balanced and healthy is that its expensive, and I get that, especially in this economy, but I often wonder if there are things we can adjust in our budgets to make eating health more financially feasible. In many other countries, people spend a large percentage of their money on buying food. Food in this country is produced and sold pretty cheaply, but we are quickly learning that the majority of food sold in the U.S. comes at much greater cost. If we spent less money on “things” like clothes, electronics, gadgets, entertainment and eating out, I think many would be able to fit shopping weekly at whole foods, or other better food stores, into our budgets. Recently I’ve been adjusting my own shopping habits and have been able to afford buying more organic produce and meat, and let me tell you, it is SO worth it. (The taste difference alone is worth it!) Some of the items that I try to always  buy organic are, eggs, milk, yogurt, chicken, fish, vegetables and fruits. Organic and local can be expensive, but think about how much you pay for prescriptions (in 08′ Americans spent 234  billion on pharmaceutical drugs), or how much you would pay to ensure your life is safe, because eating healthy is protecting your body.

Below is the link to an interesting video I just watched of John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) speaking about the state of nutrition in this country. It’s pretty eye opening and also carries some very unfortunate news. The thing about health in this country is it is one problem that CAN BE CHANGED, and relatively quickly if we strive to live this lifestyle, support and educate one another. The human body is an amazing machine that can be transformed very fast when given the fuel it needs to run efficiently.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, discussing food in America

So watch, listen, discuss, and self-reflect! Our bodies will always be with us, so treat your body right!

Gnash On!

-Michelle

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June 17, 2011

Thoughts, Updates, and more!

Hello Friends,

I know it has been quiet some time since I have updated, and I apologize. Like many, corporate world life has taken me in and eaten my energy to work on my goals. I have been working at an immigration law firm the past few weeks, and have decided to leave the firm to live my life. I have decided  to begin graduate school next winter and pursue a degree in Nutrition or Public Health. I know that giving up my stable job in this economy is a risk, but it is one I am willing to take to pursue happiness and fulfillment. I am working on some long term plans, getting my seeds in order to bloom. I have been teetering on the idea of graduate school, and have decided to commit after reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.

Pollan’s book discusses the transition from our ancestors diets to the so-called Western diet. He focuses on where food regulation has brought us, and the faults of marketing certain things to be “nutritious” (i.e. omega-6s, antioxidants, high fiber, low-fat, etc.), missing the importance of balance and getting  those nutrients from the source. In a sense, Pollan talks a lot about how our diets have been replaced by processed foods that have to be fortified with extra nutrients, which can be harmful to our bodies. Pollan emphasizes the importance of questioning what is food and defending those things that people have been surviving on for thousands of years. I know when I look at a can of Cheese-Wiz, a frozen dinner, or even a granola bar, I myself often question if this is food. It seems that the Western diet is completely missing something (which I have be thinking about for quiet some time), a connection to the earth, to nature, and to culture. The food that has become most accessible and standard in the U.S. is also the food that is simply A LOT of empty calories. What I mean by that is its not nutritious, nourishing, digestible, or absorbable (all of which is essential to how our bodies run). “In Defense of Food” was able to bring together so many ideas, thoughts, and frustrations I have had with the Western diet for years. This book brought to light the importance of knowing your food, and feeling that connection with the earth. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that our earth nourishes our bodies. Towards the end of his book Pollan discusses a few rules he tries to live by, and I think they are some pretty important rules.

Eat food, Mostly Plants, Not too much!

  • Eat Food: as in, don’t eat anything your great grandma wouldn’t recognize, avoid products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, you cant pronounce, have more than five ingredients or that include High-Fructose Corn Syrup. He also suggest to avoid foods that make health claims and to shop the peripheries of the supermarket and avoid the middle, (or stay out of the supermarket all together).
  • Mostly Plants: Eat plants, mostly leaves. Leaves are full of so much fiber, Omega-3s, water and nutrients. Eat well grown food from healthy soils, because the food is going to be directly impacted by what’s in its soil. Eat wild foods when possible. And lastly, eat more like the French, Italians, Japanese, Indians or the Greeks (basically people who eat to the rules of any traditional food culture are generally not consuming the same creepy stuff that our food does).
  • Not too much: Lastly, Pollan talks about portion and eating habits. He discusses the importance of eating with others, sharing a meal, eating at a table (not a desk!), and slowing down the meal. Enjoying every bite and enjoying the company your with. There is nothing better than knowing that YOU are powering yourself to exist.
This book was everything I needed and re-iterated the importance of my long-term goals, my health, and how to take back the power of feeding our bodies. So, get in your kitchen and start empowering your body!
Gnash On,
Michelle