Thursday, July 9, 2009
White & Brown
The geographical area where I currently reside (which is not where I am originally from) qualifies as a "beer & butter" belt. Sadly enough, the population here, has taken on the physical attributes that go with it.
I people watch; especially when grocery shopping and dining out.
There have been rare occasions when I've chosen to dine at a "buffet". Now then, if you are generally a healthy eater, buffets are not necessarily known for their "healthy, low-calorie" menus. This must be what draws most people in this area to them...the fact that they are not "healthy or low-calorie", and you can run amok (whatever that is...) with what and how much you choose to eat. You must take the time, to seek out the better-for-you items at these places.
Observing what most people choose to feed themselves; (given the bounty of items to choose from.) there are a few that start with a nice green salad (although, iceberg lettuce is NOT my idea of salad material!)...with all the wonderful fixings. Only to LOAD it down with either ranch or blue cheese dressing (which kind of defeats the purpose of eating such a healthy salad!) Quite often, these are the same people that go for the macaroni salad, potato salad, crab salad AND cottage cheese on the same plate too! WHEW!
Then it's off to the hot items: this is another area I find people's dietary habits quite interesting.
There seems to be two very prevalent color schemes during plate assembly: brown (which covers most of the meats and gravy) and white (which covers all potatoes and refined white flour pastas.) Rarely (if ever) do you see green, orange, yellow or red items on this same plate! (Most people consider these colors covered with the "salad" they ate earlier...IF you can find it [salad]...buried under the "white" heavily slathered on salad dressing!)
Next, comes dessert: vanilla ice cream (no wait--it COULD be chocolate--that has color right? All be it in the "brown" category!) Along with the three (or maybe four) pieces of dessert (which is usually nothing more than food dye and sugar!)
The children that are dining with their parents, are just as bad (often worse) with their choices than the adults! These quite often, are the same children that can't sit still after their meal, (children are usually pretty active anyway) but, are now over-active after ingesting the heavy amount of starches, sugars and food dyes.
Hearing the statistics relating to obesity in this country--it's easy to see how those numbers have come about. It's disturbing! Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic seems to follow certain income levels as well. (That's another subject for another time...)
Okay. So, where do we go from here?
I could write a book on the people that frequent this industry--looking--for the "magic-pill"--(of which there's no such thing!) Supplements DO NOT take the place of better eating!
How do you teach people to eat better? I am only one person--one voice!
Let's start with two simple rules:
First: all things in moderation!
Second, think of a painter's pallet when assembling your plate of food--does it have the many colors of the rainbow?--or are you stuck in the "two-color" mode (white & brown)...AGAIN! When it comes to rich, fatty foods (and you KNOW what those are!)...see the first rule!
Sometimes, bad eating habits are so ingrained, it can be very difficult to help someone break free. It usually takes six weeks to break a habit...but, it's difficult to not go back to familiar territory...we see it all the time after the detox classes here.
There are no clear-cut answers. But, if you try following these two simple rules--it's a start!