A Rant and a Recipe

July 26, 2009

So I have to vent about an article that I read last week which really bothered me: “Surgeon General’s Heft a Weighty Issue”. I’m frustrated by the insinuation that if she were thin she would automatically be considered healthy. There are plenty of slender people out there who are not in good health, either because they have jeopardized their health to be thin (anorexia or bulimia) or because they are blessed with good genes that compensate for poor food choices and little exercise. To me it should be about living a healthy lifestyle and how she can help our country attain that goal. How she can teach people with limited incomes to incorporate fruits and vegetables in their meals? How to teach busy families how to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. We aren’t all in situations where are meals are prepared for us by a top-notch chef, with live-in help, and a gym on premises (Mrs. Obama). Even people with such services still struggle with their weight (Oprah). I understand that Mrs. Obama does make sacrifices to fit exercise into her daily schedule, but perhaps that’s possible because she doesn’t have to cook dinner or because she has help with her kids.

My other problem with the article is that we don’t know why the Surgeon General is overweight (and I’m not saying she is). I think most people assume being overweight a result of laziness or too much McDonalds. Could it possibly be from a medication or a health condition? Regardless, it’s none of our business.

Now I’m not saying “yay, let’s all be overweight” but I am saying let’s not judge this woman on her appearance. Let’s look at her qualifications and how she can can help America, and possibly herself, with the fight against expanding waistlines.

One of the ways that I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle is to eat more fruit and vegetables. One of my favorite snacks is fresh berries with about 7 or 8 crumbled up walnuts (for those health fats and Omega-3s) with a service of low-fat vanilla yogurt. It’s fresh, sweet, and it has a little bit of crunch. For me, this is a mid-morning snack because it doesn’t stay with me for very long. I think that substituting cottage cheese for the yogurt would give it more staying power as cottage cheese has almost 3 times the amount of protein than the yogurt and in a smaller serving size.

My other favorite snack is fruit smoothies. Living in California I am getting quite spoiled by all the locally grown produce, especially the fruit. We belong to a CSA and in addition, we go to the farmer’s market on the weekends. If I’m concerned that I’m not going to get to the fruit before it goes bad, I cut it up and put it on a cookies sheet and freeze it. After an hour, I remove it from the cookie sheet and put it in a ziploc bag. This way, I have individual pieces of frozen fruit instead of a frozen ball of fruit. When I’m ready for a smoothie, I mix together my frozen/and or fresh fruit (about 3 cups worth) with some yogurt (about a cup) and some milk or juice (about 1/2 to 1 cup, or however much you need to get the mixture to start to blend). If I am using all fresh fruit, I throw in about 6 ice cubes to cool things off. If it needs to be sweetened, I add in some honey. This makes two medium to large smoothies.

And now, for putting up with my rant, I will share my secret with you. To give your smoothie an extra nutrient bang, throw in a handful of fresh spinach leaves. You will not taste it. Will Not. You may see little green flecks in your smoothie but You Will Not Taste It. And/Or, add in some shredded carrot. The carrot is another great way to sweeten your smoothie. But the spinach is my big secret. Try it. Tell me what you think.

Edited to add: The spinach and carrot was something I read in Fitness magazine a few months ago. I don’t normally just throw random veggies in my fruit smoothies. Also, I’m a pretty picky eater so it was a Big Deal for me to try this. I’m glad I did!

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Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

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