True Health vs. Fake Health

There are two kinds of health: 1) The superficial type that the media wants us to achieve. 2) The health that is truly good for our own bodies and lifestyle.

Can you guess which one I support? 🙂

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The trouble with our media. We should eat for health, not for reaching some physical “ideal”.

Take a look at any health magazine cover and you will see tag-lines such as “six-pack abs and you eat pasta too!”, “the best diet for losing inches off your waistline!”, or “gluten-free recipes that’ll make your skin glow!”. These words are often coupled with images of a stereo-typically Ken or Barbie doll “healthy” person.

Diet and physical appearance are inextricably linked, this is true, yes. With our optimal diet, we will most definitely look our absolute best.

But what defines our optimal diet and our most beautiful bodies is NOT something to be decided by the media! It doesn’t make sense for us to all be counting calories and eating low-carb in order to look like some version of Jennifer Aniston. That is just not possible, and it is not something to be desired. Why shouldn’t we celebrate our best health and how it looks on our bodies?

Truth is..there needs to be a shift in our food and health culture. There is no one-size-fits-all healthy diet, just like there is no one-size-is-best healthy body type!

It is time we take action and help spread nutrition education and redefine what healthy looks like. The foods we consume have an important impact on our health, but we shouldn’t let the media place a moral value on certain foods. Carbs are not inherently bad, just like kale is not inherently good. Nutrition education is the first step towards selecting the best balance of nutrients for our bodies, and self-love is key towards helping others see that healthy looks different on every body!

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Fall Musings: Turning a New Leaf

It is officially Fall, and I’ve been doing some serious reflecting on where I want to go with Positive Eats. I have talked with other entrepreneurs and met with some amazing individuals about branding and message, and I realized that I want/need to really refine my focus and target audience.

My two main passions are education and health. I am a K-12 teacher (with some experience in higher education) and have encountered students and teachers of all types. Succeeding in education, whether you are on the student side or the teaching side, starts with feeling good about oneself on the inside and outside. I know at the most basic level that this is related to diet and physical appearance.

So here goes…:

Positive Eats is a body-positive food and nutrition community designed to help educators help their students develop a healthy relationship with themselves and what they eat. We provide workshops, speaker events, professional trainings, and a supportive platform for individuals involved in education (teachers, administration, parents) to connect on issues of self-love and healthy food education.

Our vision is to promote and instill lifelong healthy eating habits and body-positive mentalities starting with healthy school children! A happy and healthy life begins with early nutrition education and self-empowerment. Cheers to Positive Eats!

Stay tuned for more updates to the website and mission.

 

 

 

 

In 100 words or less…

What does Positive Eating mean to you?

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One fan writes:

“Positive Eating means enjoying food with the goal of being healthy and WITHOUT sacrificing the quality of life. For me this means having a piece of chocolate every day, enjoying cake at birthday parties, home cooked meals by my grandmother, fresh veggies and fruits from my garden, a fast food meal on a road-trip with friends. I don’t eat a lot of anything, but I eat a little of everything. I don’t have dieting rules other than, will eating this make me happy? I eat to fuel MY body with happiness. And happy people are the healthiest, are they not?”

Tell us your story! In 100 words or less, share what Positive Eating means to you. Responses will be featured on our upcoming newsletter.

The 3 H’s of Why we Eat

Stop. Think for a moment. Why are you eating what you’re eating?

There are 3 H’s for why we eat. They are:

Hunger
Happiness
Health

All three H’s are interconnected, and present in various amounts when we decide the foods to consume. Ideally, we should eat for a balance of all the three H’s.

When you eat something, are you hungry? Will it bring you happiness and are you currently in a happy state of mind? Are you eating it for overall health?

Be aware of the foods you consume, the nutrition they offer, and the emotional feelings that come with them! Are you balancing the three H’s?

 

The Nutrition in Soda

One of the core philosophies here at Positive Eats is that ALL foods contain nutrients. And this includes soda! (Or coke, or pop, or whatever you choose to call it). Screenshot 2014-02-09 16.00.52

What is nutrition anyway? << This article puts it pretty well: “Nutrition is life. If you don’t eat or drink, you will die. Period.

Nutrition is about what you eat, why you eat it and how your food will affect your body and your health.”

And with that in mind, I want to look at our friend, Soda Coke Pop.

Soda is infamous for its “lack” of nutrition in today’s health culture. In fact, according to many new articles headlining across our daily news, soda really does kill and soda is public health enemy #1.

By negatively portraying soda, health food propagandists are once again encouraging black and white, good and bad, labeling of foods. Ask anyone today if a hamburger or an apple is better for you, and more often than not, the answer will be the apple. But why? Why is an apple healthier than a hamburger? What if someone ate nothing but apples for three days straight? Wouldn’t then a hamburger be the healthier option for their next meal?

The real focus for now and future generations should not be blanket labeling, but rather objective nutrition education.

Example: Soda is a beverage made of carbonated water and lots of sugar.

Not: Soda is a drink that is bad for you, will cause cancer, obesity and ultimately kill you.

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The lesson should be focused on what nutrients we need to survive, and how much we need of each kind to maintain good health. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the three macro-nutrients needed for survival. In general (and of course this will vary depending on personal nutritional needs), we need about

  • 45% to 65% of calories to be carbohydrates.
  • 20% to 35% of calories to be fat.
  • 10% to 35% of calories to be protein

Where does soda fit into this? Let’s look at Coca Cola nutrition!

So yes, a can of regular Coke has 39 grams of sugar, which is a lot of sugar compared to some other foods. But does that make it a bad food?? NO. Nowhere is it written in the nutritional handbook of life does it say that sugar is bad for us. In fact, sugars are pure carbohydrates, making them essential for life. Other foods that contain a lot of sugar are ice cream, cake and cookies.

In the end, it is our CHOICE on what we consume. And whatever we choose, whether it be drinking a soda, water, juice or wine… , if you choose with understanding of nutrition coupled with the goal of maximizing health and happiness for your current situation, you have made the right choice!

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Now for the irrelevant, but relevant question of the day: Do you like soda? Is so, what is your favorite kind?