April 22, 2013 is Earth Day - once again.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless when we hear about the large and significant global problems caused by our years of mistreating Mother Earth. Feeling overwhelmed can make it hard to imagine that each of us, one by one, can, make a difference in the health of our global climate. But I believe each of us has the power to impact the health of our climate...by how and what we eat. Yes, it’s true!
Recently I heard The Diet-Climate Connection by David Freudberg, host of the public radio series Humankind. In a blog on Huff Post he wrote, “The food recommendations made by many climate scientists align neatly with what health experts have told us for many decades: on average Americans consume way too few fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains and far too many meat and dairy products (see: epidemics of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes). What hit me here was the two-fer: what's good for the planet is good for your body. It's not just your mode of transportation, or how well you insulate your home. Now your menu matters, too.”
Yes, it’s that time of year again where we reflect on the past and move into the future with goals to better ourselves in the year ahead. In my bailiwick the focus is squarely on eating healthier and being more physically active.
I’ve posted my resolutions here, along with a handful of global wishes. It is said that if you state your goals, actually say them out loud, you’re more likely to see them through. I figure putting them out in the blogosphere for all to see is one step better. I’ll report back on these at the end of 2012.
I’ve got five, what I’ll call local resolutions. Actions I want to take close to home, my backyard and kitchen table to be precise.
Here’s my run-down:
1. Prepare and stock homemade salad dressings, ditch the bottles: For several years I’ve wanted to rid our fridge of bottled salad dressings. But I eat a lot of salads and they’re, well, just so easy to open and drizzle. However, because I eat at least one salad a day, they’re a good place to target to taper fat grams, calories and particularly sodium milligrams, to make a significant dent in our daily intake. Homemade dressings will also limit our intake of unneeded additives and preservatives. Got any recipes for healthy salad dressings I can blend up in volume and stash in the fridge?
In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about just what the Partnership for A Healthier America is up to. For being in existence barely a year, their strides and accomplishments are tremendously exciting. PHA’s efforts to date make me hopeful that perhaps we will reach PHA’s and the First Lady’s related, but independent, Let’s Move campaign’s, overarching goal: to end childhood obesity within the next generation. Yes, a lofty goal, but one that seems in sight with these important movers and shakers around the table.
Briefly PHA, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, came together in 2010. Their mission is to “bring together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity.”
Setting off on a vacation? Simply packing for a business trip? Or celebrating a long weekend? Whatever, wherever, try to travel FRUIT-FULL-Y.
Why? Fruit is THE category of foods that is missing in action on the road - when most of your meals are eaten in or taken out from restaurants. (True, an insufficient supply of vegetables is close behind!)
Nutrition from the ground up, that’s the official 2010 National Nutrition Month message. But what’s at the root of this message? More importantly, what seedlings from this message can you plant and grow into real changes in your eating habits in 2010 and beyond?
Already this school year I’ve been faced with a cheesecake sale for a booster club; candy sale for the school; hot dogs, chips and soda served at an afterschool program…and there’s the promise of more of the same through the school year. I’m hoping my experience is not representative across the mountains and prairies of this large country, but I fear it is.
A just released report titled Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity, from the Institute of Medicine and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers myriad steps local governments can take to prevent the escalating incidence of child obesity.
Dear Mr. President:
A thank you and an idea to push your prevention and wellness agenda:
Thank you for your focus on wellness and prevention. You and Mrs. Obama serve as role models as individuals, a family and as leaders of our country. You walk the walk.