Friday, June 17, 2011

The Times They are a Changin'

 Goodness, I think I must have a case of writer's block that I hear so much about.  There, I got the first sentence out. (Taking a  big breath!)

Recently it occurred to me that the the "morbidly obese lady" from the carnival side show is without a job.  I felt I would be a little unkind using the "F" word to describe this lady and couldn't bring myself to use the adjective.  With morbid obesity all around us, no one would need to pay admission to see such a person.

This is such a sad state.  I know genetics and disease can play a part in becoming obese.  This American epidemic of obesity did not occur overnight and there are multiple factors.  Yes, the "changing environment has broadened our food options and eating habits."  There are greater selections of food products and fast food restaurants on every corner.  Multiple fast food restaurants on the corners!  Our portion size has increased dramatically in the past decades.

The more sedentary lifestyle with the advent of time and labor saving devices has also played a major role in this national epidemic.

One of my personal gripes about the food industry is the high fructose corn syrup that is in so many of our food products today.  It's cheaper than sugar.  The sweetened tea in most restaurants is like syrup to me.  That goes for regular soft drinks, too.  I don't drink them anymore. I also don't want it in my bread.

A couple of days ago I was reading a review of a new documentary entitled, "Forks Over Knives".  The film looks at how we damage our bodies by eating junk and how easily we can reverse that damage.  Reverse the damage?  Wow, I'd like to believe this is true.  This film centers largely on the work of T. Colin Campbell, a professor emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, a renowned  former surgeon at the esteemed Cleveland Clinic.  You may have heard of Esselstyn's book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease".  I am anxious to see this film.

Food for thought:  (Thought only, you might give it a second thought before you consume these foods:

Wendy's Baja Salad contains 1,990 milligrams of sodium---more than should be consumed in an entire day.

McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal contains more sugar than a Snickers Bar.  (I ordered this oatmeal not long ago and could  not believe it, it has 290 calories and 56 total carbohydrates without the cream.

Sonic Strawberry Smoothie contains more sugar than five Twinkies.

(The above facts about the fast food items came from an article in the The Baltimore Sun by Andrea Walker)


Well, I am not sure if this is a cure for my writer's block of the past few days but here it is :~).  The obesity epidemic has been an interest of mine for a long time. 

Healthy Eating, Everyone!


kelli said...

great post, cindy!

disturbing that a salad has so much sodium, when we've been programmed in this society to hear salad and think healthy.

it seems in the past few decades we've been so enticed with quick and easy (and sinfully delcious=) foods that we've become disconnected from food as a source of energy. most foods consumed by americans require so much energy to digest that the food works against the body and depletes us rather than sustains us.

i'm amazed at how long some unhealthy people are living (though with very little energy) - must be all the preservatives!;)

Clint said...

I do indeed recmember the "fat lady" at the county fair. She was a staple of the freak show. And I am only talking about 50 years ago. Nowadays, no one has to go anywhere to see the fat lady.

We used to have a lifestyle centered on physical labor and home life. Nutritious meals were the norm in American households. Today, we sit on our fat asses staring at a computer screen all day and then pick up a bacon cheeseburger with fries for dinner.

Shady Del Knight said...

For someone who is struggling with writer's block, this is a darn good post, Cindy! Obesity is a huge problem, no pun intended. Americans have developed a taste for sugar and salt. Advertisers tell us one shameless lie after another, selling sugar coated breakfast cereals to our children that are, in their words, "part of a healthy, balanced breakfast." Many manufactured food products and items served in restaurants are loaded with sugar and salt and some people sprinkle on even more at the table before consuming. We have come to regard super-sizing as a good thing. Just this morning on our local news they interviewed the owner of a new pancake restaurant. His main selling point was not the quality but the quantity of food you get with your order. Their pancakes covered the entire dish and he recommended their hungry man breakfast that included a stack of cakes along with a separate plate piled high with sausages, hash browns and eggs. I felt overwhelmed just looking at the TV screen. Along with over consumption of sugary, salty and fatty foods and beverages there are other factors contributing to the rampant obesity in this country including stress and sleep deprivation. There might not be much we can do about those but we can control our food intake and get off the sofa and into the gym. Have a wonderful weekend, Cindy, and happy Father's Day to Clint!

Sara G said...

Eating now can get confusing. What is right and what is to have a limit? Part of some family issues is no one cooks anymore or enough at home. Examining my own family - if I want to cook I really need to turn to our cooks my grandmothers but they are no longer here - my mother doesn't cook (Microwave anyone?) and while my dad was a cook - portions were huge. One grandmother died due to what they ate - heart issues, the fatback, southern cooking. So did I really learn to eat right - no. If you put my other grandmother, my mom, and myself together we look alike. Before my stroke I was starting to learn more of the better things to cook and eat. Now, It's a battle to try and tell my husband how to cook and prices of healthy food keeps going up. Now I urge people to get into a healthier lifestyle before you have issues like I do! As Shady said, control food intake and workout. Thanks for the post Cindy!

Anonymous said...

Great post Cindy, I don't see any writer's block lurking around this place. A fun exercise to prevent that dreaded menace is to randomly pick a work from the dictionary and begin writing it over and over in different styles, letter sizes, be creative with the design; then write down everything that word brings to mind, from those words form a Haiku or short gets those creative juices flowing. Fun, fun, fun! Hope you and Clint are settling in; hanging those pictures, etc. How's the exercise going at the gym? Enquiring minds want to know!
Anonymous aka Carol B.
(yes, I am still having this problem with Google)

Cindy Ellison said...

Note to my sweet readers ... Kelli, Shady, Sarah G and Carol. I was in the middle of leaving you all a long response and poof, it was all gone! sigh

Again, I ask for your patience and will be back on in the morning and will do it again.

Wow! You all left such great responses/thoughts. Thank you again and will "see" you in the morning!

~ ♥ ~

Crown of Beauty said...

Glad you're back...

What you wrote is disturbing. The F word does not even apply anymore. Now, it is the O word, and it seems to be the new normal.

It is a wicked ploy of the enemy to kill us all off before our time...

Good you have the determination to spend time at the fitness center. They don't even call them gyms anymore...

Blessings on your weekend

Cindy Ellison said...

Good morning! Well, let me try this again and hopefully I won't lose anything as I did last night!

Kelli, thank you so much for your thoughts, I know healthy eating is very important to you. You are so right about the "quick and easy" aspect of today's world. The Crock Pot Slow Cooker is now not as slow, it has been "speeded" up! I had a hunch this was happening when I would cook something in it. I read it is true, it does not take as long now to cook in the "slow" cooker. Crack Pot Fast Cooker (?)

The preservatives/additives in food, that's a whole other blog! Hope you and John have a relaxing Sunday! Thanks again, Kelli.


Long time, no see ... Shady D! Welcome back and I sure appreciated your thoughts and impressions. The scene you described on the morning TV news segment about the pancake house is becoming all too common. I see that so often on the food channels when they profile some restaurants, especially diners. They laugh about it but truly it is not funny. About the salt and sugar, I can't help but notice in restaurants when I see someone pouring on the salt and sugar. Usually it is someone who appears that they are not in the best of health. No wonder.

You mentioned two important factors that had escaped me when I wrote the blog ... stress and sleep deprivation. No matter how hard I try to avoid stress, I still have some. I guess that is just part of life. It is so true about the sleep deprivation, I get on to my daughter about resting and sleeing more. I go to bed very early, have bouts of insomnia but I guess it evens out. I am a recovering night owl, it is actually a healthier habit since I married Clint. I do love getting up earlier.

Thank you again, Shady, for your meaningful responses! Have a restful day!

Cindy Ellison said...

Sara G --- I can totally identify with what you are saying. It's hard to understand why most healthier foods are more expensive. It is especially hard when one is traveling, when you stop at fast food places to save time. I can't tolerate what I call "chopped, pressed and formed" chicken.

There are some dishes that I have made ahead and froze that still tastes quite good later when I cook or reheat it. One thing I make is a heart healthy chicken stuffed poblano pepper, I copied the recipe from a Mexican restaurant.

Sara G, it is good that you are encouraging others to adopt a healthier lifestyle before something tragic happens. That is what I am working on now, even before my brother's recent death. My family's health history is not a good one. I am now fighting against some family genes. I'm giving it my best shot, it's all I can do. Please take care of yourself, Sara, forgive me for not visiting your blog in recent days as I should. Thank you again for your visit, hope you all are having a good weekend! ♥

Cindy Ellison said...

After losing a lot of writing on here last night, I decided to do things differently.

Carol B. --- Hello Carol! Thank you for the writing exercise to help with writer's block. I need to remember it and it sounds like fun!

About the art work and other pieces that need to be hung, there's still lots of work left to do. I did empty a big box before I got on the computer a few minutes ago.

About our exercising, I am very happy to report that we are working faithfully every day at the gym. I will admit I wondered if I could make it on the first day but I hung in there. Clint was telling the owner the other day and also me, he has been inspired that I am doing it religiously. He had thought I would not last this long. I am determined. There are some days I have to make myself put one foot in front of the other ... literally.

I am already having more energy and in a better frame of mind! Thank you, Carol, for asking and I always appreciate your visits and contributions. Hope things are going well your way!


Lidj (Crown of Beauty) It is always so good to hear from you. You are so right about the word "gym" not being used much anymore. Maybe the word "gym" scares people into thinking they might have to actually work at staying fit. :-)

You are right about the "ploy of the enemy out to kill us before our time." Just a couple of days ago, I was listening to the late Adrian Rogers on the radio. He was asking the question, "have you noticed how arrogant satan has become?" He went on to say how "sin used to slip through the alleys but now it is parading down Main Street". I thought this was pretty good and true.

Lidj, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday. Thank you, Lidj! Take care and hope to see you again, soon.