Day 97 – Moved by chefs

7 04 2010


I love the Food section in the Denver Post on Wednesdays almost as much as I love food itself. It’s filled with new restaurant reviews and inspirational recipes I clip and save with best intentions to cook.

Today, I read this Associated Press story: Celeb chefs launch healthy food drive about the momentum Jamie Oliver (see my Day 88 – Revolutionary food post), Rachel Ray and others are creating to get people to eat better for a healthier lifestyle.

Another article: “Quiet chef’s book a commanding work,” ironically, opens with: “Before chefs were entertainers and celebrities, they were craftsmen…” got me thinking about how these new, celebrity chefs-on-a-mission are so brilliant for coming out of the kitchen and onto the screens to influence people.

To change the habits of an overly obese nation, you go to where the people are — to West Virginia if you’re Jamie Oliver. Then you go straight to their living rooms where they’re watching the tube: the mother of the TV dinner, fast food commercials and sedentary evenings often blamed as a root cause for our unhealthy nation.

So if they can’t pull the plug on the flat screens, at least they are creating reality shows about overweight people competing to shred the most pounds and entertaining chefs are cooking real, healthy food. Michael Pollen wrote a book about it (see Day 27 – Rules to eat by post), but I’m guessing a lot more people who needed the information saw it on Oprah versus reading the book.

It’s all fine — use the best means, including the first lady and television, to move a nation to move more and eat less junk! Ironically, I turned on the TV tonight to do Classical Stretch for arms, legs and abs. (I admit I really couldn’t live — or exercise as readily — without the idiot box!)

In other electronic-dependence news (a.k.a. my iPod)…and in honor of “40 days to go ’til my 40th,” I’m compiling a list of 40 favorite songs for race day entertainment to get me through approx. 130 minutes (that’s 10-minute miles for the half marathon if all goes well). If you have a suggestion, please send it my way…

My top 40 song of the day is “Prayin’ for Rain” by Soulhat (a favorite band from Austin that I listened — and ran — to in my Atlanta days). I’m dedicating this song to trading the inches of snow we woke up to in Colorado for spring rain showers! And you can run to this song in rain, snow or shine…





Day 88 – Revolutionary food

30 03 2010

My week started with a “just get-it-done” exercise day — fitting in a Classical Stretch on Monday. I’ve been seeing a lot of Naked Chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and was surprised to see his reality show that started airing on CBS last Friday is based in Huntington, West Virginia — a few hours from my hometown. He put his first Jamie’s Kitchen in the U.S. there, because it is one of the unhealthiest places in the country. Community members can go there to learn about food and — very importantly — how to COOK. (In defense of WV and my loyal blog-reader friends who live there — not everyone is unhealthy, and I personally grew up eating very fresh vegetables from my mother’s garden and my grandma’s kitchen.)

In the U.K. Jamie’s similar kitchens helped change the eating habits of residents and improve school lunches. I applaud his efforts. And he’s a smart guy for building a brand out of this cause and promoting the fact that unless the government helps out with policies and funding, change won’t be in the picture.

Lots of good info. and recipes on his website — including this quote:
“We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.”