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 27 – Rules to eat by

27 01 2010

I need to remember to check the weather forecast more closely. Following my running plan, I did a Classical Stretch episode and a very long walk with my energetic lab today. Had I known a snow storm was coming tomorrow – when I am supposed to run 5 miles – I would have swapped those days. Can I run in the snow for that long? Will let you know…

I have an ever-growing list of books on my reading list that I am determined to get through this year. I read ABOUT books online and in the Sunday paper all the time, but rarely allow myself time to sit and read. In the name of research, I requested a sizable stack from the library’s bookmobile — the great RV that pulls into my neighborhood weekly since we’re 10 miles from a library. I guess even well-read people are lazy!

The first in the stack was Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, which everyone in the U.S. should read asap. He also wrote The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food (still on my reading list).

This Huffington Post article by Pollan – “‘Food Rules:’ A Completely Different Way to Fix the Healthcare Crisis” gives you a great preview.

I really read it in under an hour and may read it aloud to my husband, so he is more on board with the changes I have gradually made in our pantry over the last several years. He complains about higher grocery bills, less meat in our dinners and MY longstanding rules outlawing high fructose corn syrup. This book should prove to him that I am not a crazy mom needlessly robbing our children of the pleasures of our youth like Pop Tarts and Lucky Charms. Pollan says he wrote the book as a shortcut for those who won’t wade through thicker books on nutrition. Perfect for those of us who want to simplify our diets AND our lives.

A few of my favorites:
“#7 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grade cannot pronounce.” My third-grader (who loves raw peppers, fish, rice cakes and salad) will like testing this one!

“#20 – It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.” My kindergartener (who loves anything from a box with a prize) will detest testing this one!