I recently had the delight of sitting down with Cathy Zolner, a compatriot in the battle for healthy living and eating who happens to live in the same town I do. We connected, quite appopriately, after a screening of the film documentary "Lunch Line" at Boston's Museum of Science. I found a great deal in common with Zolner, a "wholistic health coach" who works primarily with women.
So where to begin! How ‘bout: Yes, it’s true that I do have antipathy toward many nutritionists and registered dietitians, because too often I’ve been advised, or heard friends advised, to eat moderately, without ruling out any foods — because the advisers think that advice is sound for everyone, and it’s not.
I'm vacationing for a few days in Glendo, Wyoming, with family, and had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. (How's that for a compelling lead? Just chomping to read more, aren'cha? But to my strong surprise, it was right on topic for this blog.)
Serena is a fascinating woman with more than a few demons who has tried suicide too many times. Worse, she's gotten better at it over the years, progressing from what some people might call "cries for help" to well-thought-out attempts that failed through flukes. It is serious frickin' business, and she comes to mind whenever the phone rings in the night. (Serena's not her real name, I have her permission to tell this story, and I asked her to review it before publishing.)
This story from foodnavigator-usa.com has plenty to comment on, and we'll see what I get to, but I want to start with the fifth paragraph:
Nevertheless, only 44 percent said they incorporate at least one healthy food into their diet.
Where to begin? Is one going to get healthy, or even healthier, by incorporating "a" healthy food into one's diet? Isn't the goal to eat healthily, not to incorporate a healthy food?
If you're "incorporating a healthy food," doesn't that presuppose that what you're eating now is unhealthy? That can't be a good starting point for anyone.
More than half of the survey respondents aren't even incorporating one healthy food! 'Course, considering that only 39 percent say they're "very concerned" about eating healthily, maybe that's not such a bad number.
"I am dealing with an office full of people that bring in desserts to share. I'm not having luck convincing them that this is as bad as smoking in the office. One woman brings in brownies every week, has been asked by the manangers not to, and she still continues. Any suggestions?"
I wrote about this reader query in my previous post, but I wanted to come back to it.
I've read Gary Taubes's latest story in the NYT Mag, and though it warrants comment, I'm a little hesitant. The problem is that I've not given credence to his previous work, especially his paean to the Atkins Diet, because it advocated so strongly for a course I am sure did not benefit me, and this time I'm agreeing with him.
We had the first conversation at our house last night contemplating a different family approach to eating protein. It arose from a couple of threads that have been entwining in my mind for a while: the processed nature of soy protein and the environmental values of grass-fed animals and getting it locally.
You may be aware of "Supersize Me," the 2004 movie in which Morgan Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald's for 30 days and develops all sorts of maladies as a result.
I know that blog posts should be short, but I so often struggle to combine brevity with complete, rounded thoughts. I also indulge in little preludes, such as the one you just read. Anyway, here's an attempt at shorter:
One absolute invoked by those who speak of the "food police" is the primacy of individual and corporate rights. End of discussion. I value my rights, too, but they don't prevent me from seeing all the harm that unfettered junk food marketing to kids, and to the rest of us, is doing.