Food and Your Health

Super-excited to be learning lots in the Fitness Trainer program. My favorite class this quarter “Food and Your Health” is centered around food. Not because we taste or prepare food in the class, but we examine food as it relates to our health.

Food and tapping into my diet has been the hardest piece of the puzzle for me throughout my battle with obesity. I can proudly say, however, I’ve gotten the piece to fit. I want to share my new found knowledge because I suspect it’s the most challenging piece for others too.

I’ve long said, we have lost our way when it comes to food. I’m always ranting about the fast food industry, Crap! and processed foods, Grocery Shopping No-Nos. The class, “Food and Your Health” further confirms what I already believed. Food should not come in a package that has a label. Food should eventually rot. Food is not advertised on TV. We received a handout in class “The Seven Criteria for Food Selection.” Take a look. Pretty simple, but somehow we’ve made it, oh so complicated. I hope this helps. I’ll share more soon…

           **Seven Criteria for Food Selection 
                from AnneMarie Colbin, CHES**

1- Food should be WHOLE, as nature provided it with all their edible parts in tact. The body is smart and if there are nutrients missing from the food we eat, it is likely we’ll crave what’s missing and try to get them in other ways. Missing nutrients in fragmented foods means you’re missing what was left out.This means:

Whole grains
Vegetables and Sea Vegetables
Nuts and Seeds
Mussels, Clams, Oysters
Small Fowl
Whole Milk
Full fat yogurt

2- Food should be FRESH and NATURAL/Natural whenever possible not canned and frozen, where oxygen is lost and thereby taste and flavor is lost and 20-80% of nutrients are lost and salt and additives are added to replace flavor. If you want to preserve food, you want to pickle it, ferment it or dry it. Pickled and fermented use friendly bacteria to preserve and dried foods become more nutrient dense.

3- Food should be REAL, the opposite of fake. We avoid “artificial” sweeteners and “fake” meats. When we use substitutions based on dietary restrictions (removing meat for vegetarians, dairy for vegans) if we need to replace proteins or richness that might be lost, we’ll use other real ingredients to do so.

4- We use SEASONAL/ LOCAL/ ORGANIC/ NON-GENETICALLY MODIFIED produce. Whenever possible we source ingredients direct from farmers using CSAs (community supported agriculture), greenmarkets, farmstands, and other small local businesses. We aim to cook according to the seasons following the traditional schedule of planting and harvesting.

5- Prepare foods that are in HARMONY WITH TRADITION. We are inspired by the traditional cuisines of many different parts of the world and recognize that food many times can spark a memory of ones history either via family or travel. We aim to remind our guests of these memories, and inspire new ones through our food.

6- Food should be BALANCED in flavor, texture, color, and flavor and in the way it makes us feel.

7- Food should be DELICIOUS. The body is a system of information; taste brings information to the body. If taste isn’t good, normal reaction is the body doesn’t want that anymore, and that is worthy of listening to.

Chrisetta Mosley

Chrisetta Mosley

I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures... Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!

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