We live in a society that has food available 24/7. Through vending machines, late night drive-throughs....yet many of us have nutrient deficiencies.
We live in a time where many of us are overweight or obese, where we consume more calories than our bodies require and portions are getting out of control....yet many of us require supplements to get adequate nutrition.
We live in a time when many would choose to drink breakfast drinks and supplements rather than have a full breakfast. Where many believe we require supplements because the earth just can't provide enough nutrients through food.
This is a nutrition recession, and it's sad.
Our society has gotten so busy that many of us don't have time to think about these
things. We need to run to our next meeting, pick up the kids and get the to-do list done. Technology has given us the gift to get things done faster and from greater distances, but it has also made many of us sleep deprived and sedentary.
The art of cooking sometimes seems like a dying art. With so many ready-made foods at our finger tips, there is less need for such skills. Rather than passing these skills on from generation to generation, many great recipes are lost in small dusty books on shelves or some company sells it in the freezer aisle.
And many of these ready-made foods while full of calories which our bodies need, don’t provide a whole lot else. They are often lower in key nutrients, making it impossible to keep our nutrient intake adequate and calories low enough to maintain a healthy body weight.
Because so many of us are nutrient deficient, we have become obsessed with reading labels, focusing in on key nutrients and trying to maximize our intake through supplements and fortified foods.
The reality is that we are losing the big picture. The big picture being whole foods. You can't determine the value of any one food by any one nutrient. For example, is a can of diet pop better for you than a glass of 1% milk because it's lower in calories and fat? No. Is an energy bar better for you than peanut butter on whole grain toast because it’s full of added vitamins? Probably not.
So many of us such live busy lifestyles that our own health is going to the way side. I say it's time for us to step back and look after ourselves. After all, if we don't look after ourselves how can we ever expect to look after others?
A few suggestions:
1) Try cooking at home more. There was a time when eating out was a big deal because it meant going out for a special occasion. For some it has become a daily event. If you cook at home, you control what goes into your food more....such as
nutritious whole grains and veggies.
2) If you don't know how to cook, LEARN! Some people say they hate cooking because it's boring and it doesn't taste as good. I can promise you there is nothing more rewarding than managing to make a dish for the first time and it tasting great. But it takes practice, and learning from the right sources. Talk to your parents, relatives, go online, watch cooking shows, take a lesson (like say one of my classes). There is more out there than you think.
3) Spend 20 minutes a day being active. It’s not just about food when it comes to health afterall. Even if you don’t have a lot of free time, we all have 20 minutes somewhere, maybe even when we are doing other activities. For example, try doing squats while brushing your teeth, try parking further in the parking lot and walking to the building, use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to get the mail rather than drive or even do sit ups while you watch TV. Every little bit counts.
There is no one solution to the nutrition recession, but we should start somewhere and getting back into the kitchen and making food ourselves is a good start