FORTY NOW? “OLD” or “OUT OF SHAPE”

My sister Connie recently had her 75th birthday and has taken up strength training with weights. She was thrilled to learn that her health care plan includes a gym membership at no additional cost to her- but also wondered why she was unaware of this benefit for so many years.

Connie has always loved dancing but put it off for years because she was always so busy with her family. Since her husband died, things have changed. As she says, dancing is “in her blood.” It makes her happy so she dances several times each week.

Connie had me show her some strength and flexibility exercises that would ultimately help her improve her dancing. After just a few exercises she said to me “if I had started this at forty, I’d be in great shape now.”

Connie is in far better shape than the majority of gals her age. She has full range of motion in her shoulders and her legs are strong. She’s not overweight, even though she has a thick waistline.

She hates the way her triceps look- the back of the upper arm. They need toning. She also wants to strengthen her abs. The great thing about strength training with weights is that you can target specific areas of the body.

When her husband passed her life changed overnight. Even though her heartache was unspeakable, some of the changes were good for her.

She now helps out part-time at a family- owned day care facility. At work she lifts and bends and generally moves around quite a bit.  Soon she also started ballroom dancing several times each week. By now she has been dancing for two years.

Through the years Connie has gone through stages when she walked or jogged. For a while she was taking karate. But, as she explained, some kind of crisis always developed that would interrupt her habit.

I’ve seen several women improve their fitness level well after 70. A body can experience improvement at any age.

If you’re 40 and feeling old, you’re probably confusing “old” with “out of shape.” Forty years old isn’t old. At 40 you can only be older than you used to be.

Do something about your physical condition sooner rather than later. Why wait? There isn’t a good enough reason to do nothing good for your body.

In the journalism world they say that “no story” is a story. In the fitness world, doing nothing is doing something- being neglectful.

A little muscle makes everything better- including wrinkles.

HOW DO YOU MOVE? AGING POSTURE AND MOVEMENT

Posture and body movement can reveal, from a distance, a lot about an individual. When a person you don’t know is walking toward you, you can probably guess the person’s age range- long before a face comes into view.

Young people move distinguishably different than do old folks. What is it that creates this reality?

Does it have to be this way?

Is there value in striving to move like a chronologically young person? If yes, how do we achieve it?

How do you move and how do you improve?

May I share some thoughts?

Youthfulness is more about how you move than how you wrinkle.

A first step toward better fitness could be as simple as standing up straight. You may have forgotten about good posture for a few years.

Many of us have been sitting at a computer, hanging our heads forward and slouching with rounded shoulders, unwittingly. What to do? Set an intention to strive for good posture. Think “lift and straighten.”

Actions start with thoughts: setting an intention to do something is the first step toward doing it.

A good second step would be some gentle arm exercises that would invigorate the smaller help muscles in your arms and around your neck and shoulders.

Here is what inspired me to write this story:

I recently met an amazing looking woman. I was told she is either 84 or 85 years old.

This petite woman was fashionably dressed and had absolutely gorgeous legs- her dress length was just above the knee. When I saw her legs and heard her age I determined to learn more about her.

I’ll give you my punch line now- without making you read to the end of this article: one of the most amazing things about her, that I could visually observe, is how she moves.

This woman moves like a twenty year old. Her energy was flowing through her body so fluidly that her age was not perceptible.

At the moment I met her, we were in a circle of four people. She responded to our compliments with a physical response- a sort of dip at the knees along with a shrug of her shoulders- and a smile.

Envision Audrey Hepburn at 84, but with the same slim, upright, elegant posture she had when she filmed My Fair Lady. Imagine this dainty and most graceful form standing next to you. Her inner energy was “bubbling” as well.

I didn’t get as many details about this lady’s habits as I’d have liked to. I do know that she swims- that she does the breast stroke without putting her head in the water! She retired at age eighty from a career in fashion design. Lucille Ball, Mrs. Randolph Hurst, and Bobby Vinton were on her client list.

Now you surely know that this lovely lady was fascinating for many reasons.

Be encouraged by proof that physical beauty and resplendent health are possible well into your 80’s. Fabulous health when we’re seniors is something we need more of.

Genetics aside, healthy seniors started healthy habits long ago.

Is your health alarm ringing? Is it time to take on some good habits? Or time to break some bad habits? How about a “one for one” trade: give up one bad habit and pick up one good habit?

If all we ever see is senior people who are sick or having trouble getting around, then we might think that time and age alone will certainly cause this demise.

Obviously, numerous factors affect aging. Therefore, even with one’s best efforts put forth, things happen and the body changes. Aging will happen if you’re fortunate enough to live long enough!

Despite everything, we can always strive to be the best version of our self. Whatever that entails for you, keep the concept in mind: become more aware of what you can do to be the best you possible. What opportunities and choices are within your personal power?

Knowing something is possible can be a first step toward achieving it. Look around you for good examples to inspire and guide you.

Imitation is a primary mode of learning, therefore it’s important to have a good example to imitate.

Meeting this fashionable and fit woman who moves like she’s twenty years old was eye-opening. It was also very encouraging.

Now I believe any of us can be awesome 84 year olds.

Let’s see now, that gives me how many years to achieve awesomeness?

WAIT! EXERCISE ISN’T ALL ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS

Get past the thinking that associates the need for exercise with the need to lose weight.

Of course there is a relationship between exercise and weight loss- but the connection and the association between the two isn’t one that’s always relevant. 

There is a fundamental error commonly made in associating the need for exercise with the need to lose weight. No matter what you’re doing right or wrong when it comes to your weight and your food choices, exercise will always be beneficial and necessary for good health.

Of course if a person appears overweight it’s obvious that to some degree, exercise and proper eating have been ignored. But whether you’re at your preferred weight or carrying too much weight for your frame, you’ll always need exercise to be in your life.

At least half of fitness is eating well, followed by exercise and proper rest. Choosing fitness through proper eating and exercise is a choice and an opportunity that’s equally available and equally important to everyone.

Getting started with a fitness program is a choice that empowers you to take control of your life. You may find it difficult to get started but once you do your rewards will be numerous and invaluable.

Keep the issues of food and exercise separate in your mind because even though they affect each other, they are independent of the other.

One secret to success in life is learning how to help yourself- discovering what works and doesn’t work- for you.

Maybe what you really need is to learn how to enjoy exercise and to acquire some strategies to help you eat healthier food and avoid the bad stuff.

Once your body acclimates to exercise, then exercise should feel good to your body and your body will actually crave the exercise. It follows that if it feels good to your body, then it’s possible to learn to enjoy exercise- regardless of any previous negative experience.

Don’t regard exercise as something you now must do because you have become overweight. Regard exercise and proper eating as the fundamentals of good health that are available to you and provide you an opportunity to create good health for yourself.

A shortage of time for exercise is perhaps the most common excuse given for not exercising. You’re wise if your exercise plan includes at-home exercise because at home exercise provides the greatest opportunity for time management.

Does exercise directly affect your weight? Yes. However, here are some important considerations to think about:

  • What you eat is far more important to maintaining optimal weight than how you exercise your body. Bad food choices can be viewed as good opportunities lost. Bad food choices are you shooting yourself in your own foot.
  • Exercise isn’t only about burning calories while you’re in the middle of an activity. Your exercise choice (weight training, for example) could potentially and additionally help your body build muscle while losing fat.
  • You can affect and improve your basil metabolism with exercise choices that will change your body’s ratio of fat to muscle. Resting muscle requires more calories to exist than fat requires. Because you have more muscle you’ll be burning more calories- before you start your exercise routine. This amount of extra calories burned could easily eliminate the extra five pounds so many of us gain each year- that add up significantly when multiplied by five or ten years.

Getting out of shape is like getting into debt. The further you let things go the longer the recovery time. If you nip things in the bud everything is easier.

Don’t make things so difficult for yourself. No matter how far in a hole you are, you still climb out the same way- by getting started.

Don’t wait and don’t quit. Start now to create good habits for eating and exercise in your life. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. We can all be on a fitness journey while we are at different mile markers.

Get started as soon as possible but don’t rush the fitness process. Once you’re fitness process is underway you’ll gain multiple rewards. The most difficult part is the thinking about it before you get started. 

Add one new good food habit as you eliminate one bad one. What you don’t know before you start improving your eating habits is that your taste will change and you won’t miss what you thought you would.

All reasons are good reasons to work out. Forget about yesterday. Today is fresh and new. You can start with the littlest bit of exercise and add more when you’re able.

Exercise moderately if you care about longevity and avoiding injury.  

To be well enough to be able to exercise is a beautiful gift that everyone doesn’t possess. Exercising your body is a way to give thanks and praise for your gift of good health. You’ll be demonstrating respect for your gift by doing what’s within your personal power to take good care of it.

If you’re interested in losing weight then examine and adjust your food choices and eating habits. You’ll never end the stay-slim struggle simply by exercising. A tug-a-war will continue.

You will end your stay slim struggle when you merge together good choices for exercise and eating- and turn those choices into habits.

Embrace the gift of being able to work out. Regard your fitness habit as a truly priceless gift you’re giving yourself. Exercise and proper eating will make you think better, feel better, look better, and be better.

Be moderate. Be consistent. Become healthy. Stay healthy.

DEBUNKING EXCUSES: WHAT’S YOUR BEST ONE?

Expert Author Frankie O'Brien

If you want fitness encouragement you have found it!

Debunking excuses- it’s what we like to do. We can help you debunk your best excuse.

Have a silent conversation with yourself. What’s your best excuse for why you don’t exercise or why you don’t eat better?

It’s not difficult or time consuming to be in great shape and it can be accomplished for free.

Challenges can be overcome or worked around.

Reasons can’t be debunked.

Excuses beg to be debunked.

If a person has a “true” reason for being out of shape and having the bad habits that go along with being out of shape, then compassion is appropriate. Hint: that situation is highly unlikely.

Begin to focus on fitness and challenge yourself to become fit. Fitness consciousness is something that grows and progresses throughout one’s life. As science grows and improves, people’s knowledge grows.

Our spirit grows too. As it grows we desire self-improvement. Be thankful for the inspiration to become fit. We are here to give encouragement and direction.

Healthy exercise and nutritious eating habits are fundamentals of self-improvement.

Don’t berate yourself about your yesterdays. Decide to do better today.

You do need at least a bit of desire to become fit and some respect for fitness- or the world and all its temptations will consume you.

If the desire is there you can do so much good for yourself by living by two sound basic principles:
• Exercise moderately and regularly throughout your entire life. At the very least keep your moving parts moveable by doing toe touches and arm circles. Do you remember the lyrics “bend and stretch, reach for the sky” from a children’s song? People become stiff from too much sitting. They become just as stiff from excessively standing in one position. Stiffness isn’t good. Ridding yourself of stiffness- or preventing it- would be a good beginning goal for someone well over 40 who would describe himself or herself as very out of shape.

• Eat food made by Mother Nature- in its original form. When you stick to eating her foods that are still in their original form, you get in touch with your “true” hunger. Hunger signals become distorted from eating foods created in laboratories with the help of food scientists. True hunger tells your body it needs food. Then is when you eat Mother Nature’s food. Because you ate Mother Nature’s food, you’ll get in touch with your body’s “I’m full” signals, and you’ll easily stop eating before you’re stuffed. You can cheat occasionally of course. But be careful because every habit starts with “one.”

If you focus on these two principles your life will be better than if you don’t. Give yourself the priceless gift of a lifelong fitness habit. Create happiness in your life by creating good health.

DEBUNKING EXCUSES: FITNESS ISN’T DIFFICULT

Debunking excuses- it’s what we like to do.

Have a silent conversation with yourself. What’s your best excuse for why you don’t exercise or why you don’t eat better?

It’s not difficult or time consuming to be in great shape and it can be accomplished for free.

Challenges can be overcome or worked around.

Reasons can’t be debunked.

Excuses beg to be debunked.

If a person has a “true” reason for being out of shape and having the bad habits that go along with being out of shape, then compassion is appropriate. Hint: that situation is highly unlikely.

Begin to focus on fitness and challenge yourself to become fit. Be thankful for the inspiration to become fit. Maybe you found this blog post because you need encouragement. We are here to give encouragement and direction.

Fitness consciousness is something that grows and progresses throughout one’s life. As science improves, people’s knowledge grows. As our spirit continues to grow we desire to experience self-improvement. Exercising regularly and good eating habits are fundamentals of self-improvement. Don’t berate yourself about your yesterdays. Decide to do better today.

You do need at least a bit of desire to become fit- or at least respect for fitness- or the world and all its temptations will consume you. If the desire is there you can do so much good for yourself by living by two sound basic principles:

  • Exercise moderately and regularly throughout your entire life. At the very least keep your moving parts moveable by doing toe touches and arm circles. Do you remember the lyrics “bend and stretch, reach for the sky” from a children’s song? People become stiff from too much sitting. They become just as stiff from excessively standing in one position. Stiffness isn’t good. Ridding yourself of stiffness- or preventing it- would be a good beginning goal for someone well over 40 who would describe himself or herself as very out of shape.
  • Eat food made by Mother Nature- in its original form. When you stick to eating her foods that are still in their original form, you get in touch with your “true” hunger. Hunger signals become distorted from eating foods created in laboratories with the help of food scientists. True hunger tells your body it needs food. Then is when you eat Mother Nature’s food. Because you ate Mother Nature’s food, you’ll get in touch with your body’s “I’m full” signals, and you’ll easily stop eating before you’re stuffed. You can cheat occasionally of course. But be careful because every habit starts with “one.”

If you focus on these two principles your life will be better than if you don’t. We welcome your questions if you want to discuss something we haven’t addressed.

Later on when our book “Shut Up and Work Out” is finished we hope you’ll want to buy it. We want your input if there’s something you think we should discuss in our book. Regardless of anything else we share our fitness knowledge from the goodness of our hearts.

There you have it. If you want to know more about how to accomplish the two steps of exercising regularly and eating food in its original form, then let’s have some fun and grow together. Visit our website http://www.fithealthylady.com  Leave a comment for Frankie or ask Nina a question.

Thanks for visiting the blog http://www.getfitwithfrankie.com

DEBUNKING EXCUSES: LET’S HEAR YOURS!

Debunking excuses- it’s what I like to do. Let me hear your best reason- or excuse- for why you don’t exercise or why you don’t eat better.

It’s not that difficult or time consuming to be in great shape.

You do need a sincere desire to be fit or the world and all its temptations will consume you. If the desire is there you can do so much good for yourself by living by two sound basic principles:

  • exercise moderately and regularly throughout your entire life
  • eat food as made by Mother Nature

There you have it. If you want to know more about how to accomplish those two steps then let’s have some fun together. Visit our website http://www.fithealthylady.com Leave a comment or ask a question.

NATURE’S TABLE: THE NAME SUGGESTS A RIGHT DIRECTION FOR RESTAURANTS

I was driving along the Florida Turnpike a couple days ago and stopped at one of their newly refurbished rest stops.

I appreciate a clean and attractive environment but on one level the beautiful facility made absolutely no difference to me because the same junky fast food was offered there as is offered everywhere else in our country.

I was traveling with my lovely husband. As we walked back to our car he remarked how beautiful everything about the food court was-particularly the restaurant equipment and the layout of the space.

I asked what he thought about the restaurants included in the food court. He had no comment regarding the restaurant concepts or their food offerings. We were focused on entirely different issues.

Thankfully I saw something that impressed me: a concept called Nature’s Table. I love the name! I didn’t make a purchase because I wasn’t hungry at the time. If ever a name suggested a right direction for eating, this has got to be it. I’m not sure if the promise is kept but check it out if you get the chance. It sound like someone somewhere cares about providing good food to America.

For me it’s sad to see nothing but junky fast food restaurants all around our country. It’s sad for America because our wonderful country is sliding into ill health as we habitually eat food that’s inferior to what we could be eating.

Our country would be better off if more of us were more particular, more demanding, more discerning or more determined to do our nutritional best.

ELIMINATING SUGAR: RIGHT CHOICE FOR WRONG REASON

There’s an article in the news about a family who eliminated sugar from their diet for one year and all the benefits they experienced for having eliminated sugar. They did a good thing the wrong reason. The good thing they did was to start the practice of label reading while grocery shopping. We should all be reading labels while grocery shopping. We need to be discerning about our food choices.

Sugar gets the bad rap even when many times the worst problem with a food item is not the added sugar. When reading an ingredient list, as soon as I see bleached flour I stop reading and decide to reject that food item because of the use of bleached flour.

Too much of a good thing becomes bad if enough of the right good things aren’t included. Even when the presence of sugar appropriately sends up a red flag the sugar is often not the worst culprit.

The family primarily stopped eating sausage, salad dressings, cold cuts, crackers, and bacon.

People who want to eat only food that’s good for them will either infrequently or never eat any of the above food items for reasons that have nothing to do with sugar. At the very least they should carefully scrutinize any occasional selections in these categories because those foods are mostly bad for you even if the sugar were removed.

Yes you can improve your diet by rejecting food items containing sugar but the really good choice this family was making was getting into the habit of reading food labels.

Eliminating sugar helped them identify Frankenstein foods to avoid- foods that couldn’t exist without the help of a laboratory- foods that should be avoided for multiple non- sugar related reasons.

Foods they avoided have ingredients as bad as or worse than sugar – like saturated fat, nitrates and bleached flour.

The list of non-garden ingredients for most salad dressings is so long that the print on the label must be miniscule to make room for it.

It’s a challenge to find a nutritious cracker in a regular grocery store because most crackers are made with bleached white flour.

Cold cuts are some of the worst foods you can ever eat. You can feel the fat on your tongue and teeth when you eat a bite of bologna. Bacon? Please. No one needs to be eating a slice of pig fat- sugar or no sugar.

If you decide to eliminate sugar from your diet you’ll indirectly do some good for yourself because by doing so you will eliminate most processed foods. You might even save time in the grocery store because you’ll have eliminated the need to enter multiple aisles. You’ll necessarily have to resort to fresh whole foods.

It’s true some people either can’t eat sugar or may be very sensitive to any kind of sugar in their diet. Even if you aren’t sensitive to sugar, eating too much of one thing means you’re likely shorting yourself of something else you need to be eating. Even if you’re eating organic sugar sprinkled on top of your fresh blueberries it could be bad for you because you filled up on blueberries and didn’t get other needed nutrients.

Sugar, fat, and salt have become such buzz words. The mere presence of sugar, fat, and salt in our food does not tell the whole story of what we need to know in order to choose foods that are nutritious and delicious choices.

What should we do? Do we need to be food scientists to know how to eat?

Try to eat foods that don’t need an ingredient list- food that Mother Nature created. If there is an ingredient list be sure to read it. If it’s a long list probably you should keep shopping.

The good thing about any of this is that someone somewhere is trying to be conscientious about food and proper eating. That’s a good thing.

Reading labels is a great habit and increases awareness of what you’re eating. If you want to be naughty that’s one thing. You don’t want to unwittingly shoot yourself in your nutritional foot.

Eliminating unnecessary food purchases like cookies and chips helps you better afford quality food. Organic choices are good because (if you can trust the efficacy of the label) you’ll know that it was grown without toxic pesticides or genetically engineered seeds.

Organic or not, you have a better chance of making healthy grab-and-go choices if you stick to what Mother Nature has made-whether it’s sugar, fat, or protein. Fresh is the finest food on our planet. Thanks for reading to the end!

IS OUR FOOD “RIGGED” TOO? HOMEMADE VS FACTORY FOOD

Today it seems like fewer and fewer people understand what “homemade” or “made from scratch” or “fresh” mean. These terms describe how people ate back in the 1950’s and earlier.

One could almost refer to this time in food history as the “pre-Wonder Bread” era. I remember in the early 1960’s when we first saw Wonder Bread- it seemed an amazing novelty because it was incredibly light and fluffy. We didn’t stop to think about how it got that way- that it had been stripped of all its natural nutrients.

Homemade used to mean more than just “assembled” in your kitchen- by combining pre-fab mixes and spice packets. Cookies are not homemade or made from scratch if you simply baked them in your kitchen using a refrigerated roll of factory made dough.

Made from scratch meant that no ingredient- no component of the recipe was pre-made in any way. Every single component of the recipe was a singular food item. Food made from scratch has disappeared from most kitchens today.

Today fresh seems to mean either not frozen or not rotten. Fresh is defined by those of us who grew up back then as just picked off a tree, straight out of the ground, or straight off a vine. That’s the highest meaning of fresh.

The study of linguistics tells us that language is a living breathing entity and that if people decide to change or adopt a meaning, then doing so makes that adaptation acceptable. Apparently the original definitions of the terms “made from scratch,” “homemade,” and “fresh” are outdated. Maybe these terms have met the fate of the dinosaurs. Let’s hope not.

Why is any of this important? It’s important because we don’t know all that we’re really eating or how the edible chemical ingredients are affecting us when our food is factory made rather than made from scratch.

Factory made foods have all sorts of considerations that homemade and made from scratch foods don’t have. Factory food must have mass appeal. Artificial ingredients are added to make food appear more attractive and to extend shelf-life. Flavor enhancers- flavor potentiators are added to ensure that the fat, sugar, and salt doesn’t fail to excite and ignite the taste buds of the consuming majority.

What’s wrong with that? Now food tastes so unnaturally good that the taste rather than hunger is driving the eating and we’re able to eat inordinately large amounts of food. Appetite distortion happens. Having an appetite used to mean that you were hungry. Now it means you’re in the mood to eat.

Eating when you’re hungry and stopping before you’re stuffed is no longer a guiding concept for eating. We end up eating more than we need to eat before we’ve realized it.

Even if you’re conscious about eating the proper amount of food, it’s a constant tug-o-war between appetite (the mood or desire to eat) and true hunger (the body’s need for fuel).

I suggest we focus on each of us discovering how much fuel we need- no extra-no shortage. Then we can wisely learn to discern how to best enjoy our required allotment.

When we use laboratory ingredients to improve taste, we don’t realize when we’re full because the flavor potentiators trick our body into a state of confusion. Before we realize it we’re uncomfortably stuffed- yet often undernourished by what we’ve eaten.

As a young child I watched my mother make pasta using only eggs, flour, and a pinch of salt. She made doughnuts from the same kind of flour and coated them with sugar by shaking the hot cake doughnuts in a brown paper bag. We had green beans growing in our back yard garden as well as several fruit trees. I once watched my mother catch a chicken. I’ll leave out the details on all that happened to the chicken from when she caught it running in the yard until she got it into the frying pan.

I was in a nationally acclaimed diner the other day and observed the pies in the display case. These pies looked homemade mainly because the meringue was at least five inches high.

I had to discover the truth about these pies before I indulged either money or calories on them.

My server assured me that they were made from scratch- that the restaurant pie maker came in regularly just to make the pies and pastries and that all their pastries are made in-house by hand from scratch.

I had a really hard time believing this- maybe because I spent my early childhood in the Show-Me State of Missouri. It’s so rare nowadays for a restaurant to make food from scratch- especially a large volume restaurant.

I was trying to be polite and courteous but my disbelief must have been obvious. He summoned the manager to further assure me.

To my surprise and delight the manager invited me to come downstairs to see for myself exactly where all these beautiful pies were made. I felt honored and was so excited to get a sort of peek behind the curtain.

These people were so nice- I’ll never forget how nicely they treated me. But the reality of what I saw is a disappointment I’ll never forget.

I saw their restaurant supplies- cans and cans of pre-made mixes. If their pies were truly made from scratch these restaurant supplies would have been unnecessary. I would have seen only basic ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, fresh strawberries and fresh apples. Instead I saw giant cans of apple filling and strawberry glaze. But these individuals believed they were making homemade pies. Instead they were assembling pie on the premises. Not any part of the pies was made from scratch.

Each time I think about that restaurant experience I’m somehow saddened. These people were trying so hard and putting a lot of sincere effort and love into feeding people- all the while unconscious of how they were missing the important mark of feeding people real, whole foods.

The solution to obesity in our country could be for each of us to get in touch with our true hunger, to eliminate all artificial ingredients from our daily diet, and to eat food that is not just homemade, but made from scratch. Keep restaurant visits to a minimum- unless you have a favorite haunt that makes the food from scratch on site.

Try to eat food made from scratch. Get away from the Frankenstein foods that can only be made with the help of food scientists and their brilliant laboratories. Eat food made by Mother Nature- food that grows in a garden or hangs from a tree or bush. Learn to use spices to make your food taste great!

It’s easy to understand what has happened to our food. If you were a factory owner who had invested millions of dollars in your business operation you’d do everything you could to ensure your return on investment. So what if you throw into the recipe a few edible chemicals to ensure success? So plenty!

Factories could show more integrity and less fear by creating healthy choices instead of trying to trick us with chemical ingredients they’ve so cutely named flavor enhancers and flavor potentiators.

Granted not everything about food and farm life back in the day is better than today. We’ve gained beneficial knowledge over the years about what not to eat-like undesirable fats- but we still need lots more research about foods and edible non-food ingredients and how they affect us.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget the old school meanings of homemade, made from scratch, and fresh. We don’t have to accept a rigged food system that causes hunger signal distortion. We have kitchens in our homes.

Let’s not rely upon factories to make our food. Let’s not buy food that has been “rigged” to make sure our taste buds won’t forget it so that ultimately company executives will get richer while America becomes obese.

Eating factory made food rather than made from scratch or homemade with fresh ingredients will never be a solution to reducing healthcare costs or creating a healthier America. Do I hear an Amen?

A FOOD ANGEL ON YOUR SHOULDER: WHAT IF?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a food angel on your shoulder reminding you to show self-love by helping you pass up bad food choices in your moment of temptation? Probably every human being would benefit from such a reality.

There’s a comedian who has a comedy act about eating cinnamon rolls at the airport. It’s very funny. But not very well hidden are a couple significant clues about why we make eating choices that aren’t good for us. There’s mention of self-respect and sadness.

There’s an implied timing issue too, that while we’re in line waiting to make our bad choice we could possibly change our minds and decide to walk away. This is the moment when you need to listen to your food angel.

The comedian refers to himself several times as “fat.” Boldly and blatantly using the word “fat” got him loads of laughs because using the word “fat” is taboo. Instead we refer to ourselves as being big or having curves.  Euphemisms sometimes send up a red flag.

The important issues surrounding being large or being curvy have nothing to do with appearance.

I feel badly for overweight people because it’s so obvious that they’re making bad food choices on a regular basis. There’s no hiding. The slim people make bad food choices but think they’re getting away with it- or so it appears.

The important issues are the ones that allow you to consciously treat your body disrespectfully over and over again feeding it foods that are worse than just a nutritional opportunity wasted.

You know you’re too heavy when you jeopardize your joints by carrying more weight than they are designed to handle. Even a truck has a recommended maximum weight load.

It would help if all across America we didn’t have so many restaurant chains and convenience stores serving and selling us bad food.

These same restaurants could today start using their kitchens to cook up something much more nutritious while still delicious and affordable. We need convenience food creators to create more nutritious “grab and go” food. Let’s challenge them to do so!

Bad food is put in front of us at every turn. When you’re hungry it’s really hard to say no to junk- but it’s possible.

Ask your angel for help. Travel prepared. Use your handbag for more than just make-up. Your car has compartments for healthy treats. In fact, leaving food in your car takes fewer steps than dragging it all the way into the house.

Some people can go for hours without eating. Those people don’t mind feeling hungry. They actually like the feeling of having an empty stomach. Waiting to eat is less of a challenge for them.

Other people are very different. They start feeling desperate and must have food immediately whenever they feel hungry. If you’re one of these people then you’ll probably always need to have nutritious snacks readily available.

We all need to avoid eating all the tempting indulgences that we typically punish our bodies with while calling them treats.

Can you eat too much if you only eat nutritious food? Too much of a good thing is still too much. The food angel probably frowns much less when we eat too much healthy food rather than too much seriously unhealthy food. Consider unlimited cans of green beans verses candy bars of any variety.

Make friends with the imaginary food angel sitting upon your shoulder who reminds you constantly that you deserve only good things and helps you know what good things are. Your angel, your conscience, will teach you that a treat is only a treat if it serves your body well. If it’s not nutritious, if it doesn’t enhance and foster good health, the angel will remind you that it’s an indulgence and a punishment but that you deserve better.

Indulge occasionally if you must but don’t make it a habit. That’s all.