Saturday, November 17, 2012

Twinkies Are Toast!

That's it! Twinkies are toast!

After a run of grocery stores, no doubt the shelves where the junk food introduced when Boomer's were kids will soon have some other brand of sugar fix to offer.

But it won't be from the folks who brought us Wonder Bread and Hostess cupcakes.They've shut their doors and given all their workers pink slips.

Somewhere between 1948 and 1950 I sank my baby teeth into my first chocolate, cream- filled Hostess cupcake. A bakery truck used to drive to our door out on our Ohio farm, and the driver would gleefully write out a bill on those occasions when my brother and I would let him in the door and unload the goods. 

I would wash mine down with a glass of chocolate-flavored Ovaltine, while my grandmother would lecture me about not chewing my food enough to let the digestive enzymes from my saliva do their work.(She also used to tell me a penny would turn green if I dropped it into a glass of Coke. I laughed then because I thought she was behind the times. Now I think she was brilliant.)

Absent back then,  Hostess products would have left a significant void in all of the sugary snacks available to Americans.

Not so now.

That's because high-fructose corn syrup laces most of the food products in those middle grocery aisles. If it's in a box or a can, it's probably got sugar, fat or salt; often, all three.

Back in the day when Twinkies premiered, most Americans were fairly fit. But as a society, we became more prosperous, we accumulated more stuff, and we began to eat a lot more food.

Food was no longer fuel for our bodies three times a day; smewhere along the way we became hooked, and food became a drug of choice.

Few people will go through withdrawal in the absence of Twinkies. There's still plenty of sugar out there.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Signficant Change Starts With Just a Shift

I attended an obesity conference here in town last week.

We all know the situation is grim. Just take a look around.

The room was filled with worried professionals who work to serve health care and wellness. They know it's a situation that not only destroys a person's health, but collectively it is on track to bankrupt the country.

Understandably, not a few people doubt their ability to make themselves healthier because they've failed before; and they assume that, should they try, they'll fail again.

Someone who is 25 or more pounds overweight (much of the population), living with the stress of an uncertain economy (most of the population) can't find the first rung on the ladder towards gaining some sense of control.

There seems to be little sense of "space" amidst the complexities of the world in which we live where we can collect ourselves and consciously decide our course, and then carry it out. We're blown all over the place by the winds of change.

We live in a culture of people who frame reality around the way it's gonna be someday rather than the way it is. Our minds reside in the realm of expectations, putting any decisions that might carry us forward on hold. Maybe that's what's been modeled for them in their families, or what's projected through media advertising. What we want is always somehow out of reach, but we wish and hope for that to change.

Those are extremely strong beliefs ~ enough to solidly stop any forward momentum.

Those are the beliefs of the disempowered, but it's really a short distance to empowerment.

That's becuase the most significant changes are only the slightest shifts; when you choose to go without fries when you order that cheeseburger, or drink from your water bottle instead of a soda cup.

It can be when you steam some diced broccoli and carrots to mix with the kids' mac and cheese; and then take them for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood instead of heading right to the TV.

Or maybe you give your husband or wife a hug and just say "I love you" for no reason, and feel how that feeds your heart so much more than does food.

Those represent those "first rungs" we're looking for on the road to better health!