Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Wisconsin, there were some foodstuffs named Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate, and Cheesy Casserole. As usual, they were feeling confident as they approached the holiday season, knowing they would be as popular as ever. They were always a hit at parties hosted by The Family. The foodstuffs loved […]
Laid out a bit like your grandmother’s holiday table — everything in its carefully doilied place —, The Vegetarian Option separates recipes by ingredient into more than fifty small sections. Despite this fusty approach, Hopkinson manages a feat most vegetarian cookbooks don’t even attempt: singular focus on the vegetables. While he turns to a handful […]
Everyone wants a quick fix. A quick checkout. A quick teller. A quick commute. And we treat dieting no differently. When we decide to lose weight, we want to do it quickly. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey was a good example of this when she went on a liquid diet and lost some 60 pounds. But she and everyone else who watched saw the pounds come back.
Alarming statistics show that childhood obesity contributes to diabetes, hyperglycemia, and high blood pressure. The popular notion that overweight children will “outgrow” their condition is not realistic. Childhood obesity is one of the most prevalent nutrition problems among children, exceeding iron deficiency anemia, the previous leader. Twenty-five percent of American children are now obese; this is not a game to play with a child’s health.
Poor food choices are often to blame for obesity. Flirting with excessive snacking, frequent romps to fast-food restaurants, and repetitive “just-this-once” high-fat food choices all contribute to childhood obesity. Quick-grab snacks among kids include chips, cookies, soda, candy, hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries. A recent survey of grade-school children showed that only about 25 percent had eaten five servings of fruits and vegetables during any given day.
The recent news about the number of overweight Americans is-to say the least-troubling. According to the National Institutes of Health, one half of all adult Americans are heavier than they should be, while 22 percent are obese (20 percent or more above one’s desirable weight) based on the latest government guidelines. Even worse is the fact that 25 percent of all children and adolescents are considered to be overweight or obese-a figure that’s doubled since the 1960s. What all this adds up to is that Americans are now “the fattest people on earth” according to Michael Fumento, author of the book The Fat of the Land.
Read more about Overweight? Is Your Family the Cause? …
To stay slim and trim, John runs five miles almost every day. Because of his vigorous workouts, he feels he’s earned the right to eat whatever he wants. His wife, Sue, however, would rather read the fine print on the insurance policy than get anywhere near a treadmill or gym. Her solution to weight control is carefully selecting what she eats. That’s why you’re more likely to see her reach for a piece of fruit instead of a cookie or slice of cake.
I’d made up my mind; I was going to lose weight, change my eating habits, and start an exercise program. Like my prior attempts, four days into my new lifestyle my enthusiasm began to wane. I reached for the cookie canister. Who would know? Or more important, who would care if I cheated, or just gave up? The phone rang; it was Susan, my friend, my weight-loss partner. She must have heard that weakness in my voice . . . for she knew.
“You’re going for the cookies, aren’t you?” she asked.
I leaned against the kitchen counter and sighed.
“Don’t do it,” she said. “Eat a piece of fruit. Remember how good you said those apples tasted yesterday? We agreed to weigh in in three days. How about if I meet you at the park in 30 minutes? We’ll walk. Remember what you told me yesterday when I wanted that chocolate bar? `Exercise curbs your appetite.’ Come on, don’t let me down; I need you. We can do this.”
I smiled, agreed to meet her, then taking her earlier advice, I hid the cookie canister in the pantry. Susan was right. I could do this. Or rather, we could do this. Together we found the strength and the willpower to change our eating habits and follow a regular exercising routine. The key to our success wasn’t a pill, or a diet shake; it was teamwork.
You stressed? Come on. Just because you’re swamped at work, your car broke down on the freeway yesterday, and you’ve barely had time to breathe-much less make it to the gym-that doesn’t mean you’re stressed, does it? Sure, you admit you’re a little frazzled, maybe even cranky. But the last straw came this morning when you discovered you couldn’t zip up your favorite jeans.