Archive for the 'Health and Nutrition' Category
Following a recent entry on the movie Food Inc., a reader of the site recommended another film (The Future of Food). I’ve finally got around to watching the entire film. If you enjoyed Food, Inc., I’m sure you will enjoy this one as well. An introduction to the film is provided below:
You can watch the entire film on hulu.com (for free). A direct link is provided below:
As a father of two, I’m amazed at how physically active children are by nature. My three year old son would play outside all day if we let him. He loves to run, jump, climb, wrestle, ride his bike, hit the bag, and throw the ball.
He often tags along at the gym and keeps himself busy by making up his own games and “moves” (as he calls them). When it is time to pack up and leave, he does his best to delay the exit. He always looks to extend the gym stay by a few more minutes.
My 15 month old daughter is following closely in his footsteps. One of the first things she wanted to do after learning to walk was put on her brother’s gloves and hit the punching bag. She was obsessed with her big brother’s gloves. My wife and I finally broke down and bought her a pair to help keep the peace.
She now brings the gloves and mitts to me. She smiles and laughs as she plays with them. And just like her big brother, she too is sad when it’s time to put them away. I’ve learned to distract her when it is time to clean up, otherwise she would keep the gloves on all day.
Lead By Example
I am not writing this entry to suggest that we push our kids to become champion athletes. If my kids want to play sports when they are older, I will support them, just as I’ll support them if they want to play the piano instead. I will never push them towards something they don’t enjoy.
Yet based on my own observations, it is clear that children imitate their parents. Their view of normalcy is based on what they encounter each day at home. I happen to be in the business of training fighters. My kids have seen fighters training here, and at the gym since day one. They are surrounded by a gym scene. It is both normal and fun to them. I first bought my son boxing gloves so he would stop taking dirty gloves out of the gym. He wanted to imitate what he saw around him. My daughter now imitates her big brother.
When my son was two, I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He asked for a pull-up bar. Initially, I thought I misunderstood what he had said. But in fact he wanted a bar to imitate what he saw at the gym. Almost a year later, my son and daughter both pull at my leg to ask for a turn on the bar. We can’t get upstairs without one of them asking.
My kids find these physical activities enjoyable. I’ve never asked or pushed them to do anything. Kids by nature do what is fun. They will not actively do something that they do not enjoy. It is their nature to seek out and do what they find fun.
As a parent, it is my responsibility to prepare my children for the world around them. I don’t care whether they participate in sport or not, but it is important to foster physical, mental, and social development.
Unfortunately, many parents seem to believe their responsibility ends in the bedroom. I’ve met parents whose idea of entertaining their children is to sit them in front of the television. They don’t want to be bothered playing with their kids. They are too busy to play, yet oddly enough find time to update Facebook, track their favorite sporting teams, and keep up with their favorite television shows.
How do kids go from laughing and playing at the park to becoming sedentary, overweight teens and adults? It certainly isn’t natural. By nature, humans were born to move. Unfortunately, as children grow older, they are often encouraged to do otherwise. It’s easier to plop your kid in front of the TV as opposed to taking him outside to ride his bike or throw the ball.
Clearly, there are other causative factors, but the inactivity of our children is without question a contributor to the continuously increasing rate of adult obesity. Consider the link below for some recent statistics:
It is sad to think that children who by their own accord would gladly run around all day will eventually become overweight adults. All too often parents look elsewhere for solutions, rather than taking a moment to ponder their own responsibilities. No one is more responsible for a child than the parents. It isn’t the responsibility of the school or government to develop a healthy child. Parents must take it upon themselves. The ability to freely move and enjoy the world around is something that all kids should enjoy. No parent should deprive their children of this simple pleasure.
We as parents need to take it upon ourselves to foster an active lifestyle for our children. Making time for active play is the most enjoyable part of my day. I wouldn’t trade those smiles for anything in the world.
I’m amazed at what many consider to be such a complex topic (ex. childhood obesity) is actually so easy to correct. The first step is for parents to begin leading from the front. Is that really too much to ask? I can’t think of anything more important (to me) than my children and their health. How could any parent think differently of their own children?
Parents need to wake up and take matters into their own hands. They must put their children first and stop making excuses about what the world owes them. They should instead worry about what they owe their children.46 comments
Below is an interesting article about the modern supplement industry:
Many will be surprised about what really goes on behind the scenes of this $20 billion dollar industry (which is largely unregulated). For example, one 2007 study of 58 supplements found that 25% of them contained steroids or stimulants banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The article above goes into much more detail regarding several related topics. It’s definitely worth a look…11 comments
Michael Pollan published a new article last week which many here will enjoy. Take a look at the link below.
I also suggest reading through some of the comments (where Pollan is also active with his responses):
The article is somewhat of a lengthy read, but definitely worth a look. Many important topics are raised within (topics that rarely receive attention from the media).
Take a moment to visit the link below to watch the animated MATRIX spoof entitled The Meatrix.
This spoof has received millions of views since it first hit the web. It is an amusing way to create public awareness regarding a serious topic. Many people in this world have no idea where their food comes from, and some even ridicule those of us who take these topics seriously. The “why worry about it” mentality is very common. I even have friends and family members who share such a nonchalant attitude.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting mass hysteria. I am however promoting awareness. I’ve yet to find a knowledge machine that passes information through osmosis while we are sleeping.
For those interested in more “Meatrix” like material (without the amusement), consider reading up at the link below. Take some time to look through the Photo Gallery and read through some of the reports filed under the Issues heading.
It will certainly serve as an eye opener to many.
PS -New members to the blog may also wish to look here.15 comments
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that obesity rates have “sky rocketed” in recent years. Like it or not, but much of the world has grown fatter than ever before. Obesity is a growing problem (no pun intended), but we already know that. Identifying the problem doesn’t do much of anything. Yes, we have an obesity problem, but how do we go about fixing it?
I wish there was a simple answer, but when dealing with large populations, it becomes much more complicated. Yes, we need to promote exercise and healthy nutritional habits, but there is a much more to the story. Those who read blogs such as mine are already health conscious, or at least ready to get started. You didn’t come across this blog while watching your favorite television show. You had to actively seek out exercise or fitness based information to end up here.
What about those who are not as active however? What happens to these people? Perhaps they turn on the television and come across one of the two commercials linked to below:
I can’t believe that such nonsense is allowed to run on national television. Do we really need to promote high fructose corn syrup? Does the world really need more of this CRAP! And what about the use of the word natural? How the hell do these people pass high fructose corn syrup off as a natural food choice? Are they serious?
Look, I’m not suggesting that a popsicle is the end of the world, but our kids are already growing fatter and fatter. They are going to eat their treats regardless of the commercials, but do we really need to encourage even more? Do we need to con the public into believing that this crap is somehow healthy? Should we call everything “natural” considering that everything in this world came from this world.
And what about the reference to moderation? Does anyone actually do anything (that they enjoy) in moderation? Can we trust a young child to eat junk food, but only in moderation? Will the average 9 year old recognize the need to consume his bag of treats in moderation? Give me a break! Where do we draw the line with this blatant bullsh*t?
And for those who may be confused, high fructose corn syrup is everything but “natural” and everything but “healthy”. It is pure crap, and something we can all do without. If you want to give your children a natural snack, give them a fresh piece of fruit. There is no need for a fruit flavored snack when you can go directly to the source and eat the REAL piece of fruit!
For those who need more information about high fructose corn syrup, take a moment to read through this link
And to the corn farmers who wish to send hate mail, how about growing some real corn that we can eat instead!
Below is an excellent article about safety and kids, and the potential problem that one has on the other.
The author discusses several modern safety measures that didn’t exist when we were kids. The world has changed however. Kids no longer are encouraged to get outside and play. There is no freedom to explore and do the things that kids would naturally do. There are even certain school districts that have banned running at recess. Running has been deemed too dangerous! What the hell is wrong with our world!
When and why did the world become so soft? What happened to letting a kid live a little? Is it really that bad? As kids, we grew up outside. No one wanted to sit inside and play video games. We grew up playing baseball, tackle football, pick up basketball games, etc. We would have stayed out all night if sun didn’t go down.
Sure, there were times when I came home with bumps and bruises, but that was just part of growing up. Life isn’t supposed to be cake walk. Why fool kids and pretend that it is? If you never learn to take calculated risks as kids, how can you be expected to take calculated risks as adults? No one is suggesting that we all live recklessly, but there are times when it makes sense to go against the grain. Almost every successful person in this world did just that on his or her way to the top.
Today, we preach safety and sameness. Kids are always being reminded to take it easy. Don’t do this, don’t do that, be careful with this, be careful with that, etc. The outdoor fields are empty. When I take my son to the playground, we are usually alone. No one else is outside playing. Should it come as a surprise that adults in today’s world struggle with obesity?
What will come next? Will our kids be banned from going outside? Is it too dangerous? Should we all walk around with safety masks? Should we live inside protective bubbles?
The world needs to lighten up. A few bumps and bruises are the end of the world. There are much bigger problems faced by millions of people around the world. Let your kids live a little and get outside with them. Leading from the front is the only way to lead, and your kids will learn by watching you!
PPS – Yes, the image above is of me at age 9. What isn’t shown is me crashing into the floor after jumping off my bed in an attempt to look like I could fly. My brother was the remarkable camera man who was able to jump out of the way before I crashed into him. Nothing beats the good old days!22 comments
One of the comments left within my last entry referenced a seasonal guide to fresh fruits and veggies. By knowing what is in season in your local area, you can often find much lower prices. For one example, take a look at the picture above (taken last week). Blueberries are currently in season here in Connecticut. We recently went blueberry picking and racked up almost 50 pounds of fresh blueberries (not to mention the berries that Troy ate from his bucket)!
At $1.50 per pound, you won’t find prices anywhere near this low at the grocery store. We now have enough blueberries in the freezer to all turn blue!
To find what fruits and veggies are in season in your area, refer to the link below (unfortunately this map only lists US states):
To find a farmers market near you, refer to one of the links below:
If anyone has International directories that they would like to add, please leave links in the comments section so others can benefit.
Last month, I posted several entries about simple, yet effective nutritional strategies. The message was clear, eat real food and stay away from the processed, artificial junk that fills most store shelves. Forget about all the fad diets, complex calculations, and worries that you were a few decimal points shy of hitting a certain nutrient percentage for the day.
I don’t follow any diets. I don’t count calories and I don’t count nutrient ratios. If you do, that is fine, but don’t spread fear to those who prefer a more basic approach to life (there are bigger problems in our world today). The Keep It Simple approach to nutrition works well, even if it isn’t very marketable from a business standpoint.
Personally, I eat real food when I’m hungry (ex. fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, fish, nuts, etc.), and I bust my ass in the gym. If I want to go out for a nice bite to eat, I go out and don’t lose sleep over it. Nutrition doesn’t need to be complex. More and more people want to discuss the nutrient habits of our ancestors (which is fine), but many who do seem to forget that our ancestors didn’t sit around the fire calculating specific ratios on the abacus.
Furthermore, why do so many nutritionists harp on the importance of reading the labels? What happened to eating food that doesn’t have a label? Why not instead promote fresh foods that will spoil? If you pick an apple from a tree, it doesn’t come with a label. The more real food that you can eat, the better. If you must fall back on an old chemistry class to determine the ingredients listed on a package, there is a good chance that it was not intended for human consumption.
And for a comical take on reading the labels, take a look at the video below. You won’t run into these problems if you simply eat real food from a plant or animal.
There isn’t much that I can add to this entry. He’s already hit the nail on the head.