By the title of this post, you are probably guessing that I will be naming off three fast food chains. Nope. I don’t feel as though they are that dangerous. I say this from the perspective that people know that “fast food” is bad for them. They go for convenience and addiction. Yes, addiction…the food is filled with ingredients that have been specifically formulated to create an addictive response in the brain. And, yes, these ingredients are linked to disease, obesity, diabetes…I could go on.
No, I think the average person knows exactly what they’re doing to themselves when they hit up these places. It’s the places that seem innocuous, and are positioned to be trust worthy that I feel are the most dangerous.
1. It all starts in SCHOOL CAFETERIAS
First of all, unless their parents packed a lunch for them, kids are trapped. Not only are they trapped, but there is peer pressure. I don’t know about you, but back in the day, it was a sign of prosperity if your parents could afford the hot lunch option. Taking a little brown bag or Cinderella lunch box when there was a hot lunch option was a sign that your parents could only afford a cold sandwich. I hope that has changed! Have you seen cafeteria food behind the scenes? I have, and it isn’t pretty. Going beyond cooked to death brownish green beans from a can, the additives in the processed foods add up to failure in the classroom. No wonder kids can’t concentrate after lunch! Food dyes and flavors that are linked to Attention Deficit Disorders abound. Sodas are the norm now…taking a kid from a sugar high to a crash by 5th period. The few schools in this country that have rehabbed their lunch programs have shown incredible results in higher test scores. But the majority? They are setting our kids up to fall short of their intellectual potential, and creating a disease profile in their little bodies. Pack a lunch!
2. Drumming up repeat business, and kicking you when you’re down would be HOSPITALS
Just when you thought you were in a safe place, and you are at your most vulnerable, wham! Your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack are filled with ingredients that may have led to your reason for being there in the first place. One would think that a hospital of all places wouldn’t be lobbying for repeat business. This is an example of being trapped again.
I’ve had the unfortunate experience over the last several years of spending a lot of time in hospitals. It’s either starve or eat lettuce…which is sort of like starving. Being sad and scared is not conducive to making good food choices, as I can attest! At one point, I was a patient, and was given margarine and sugar free jelly with white toast. If you have a basic understanding of nutrition, you know that this is basically poison. I asked for eggs, and could only get egg whites, based on old science that just won’t go away. The only “safe” drink offered was water, and it was tap water with fluoride and chlorine added for my enjoyment and to kill off what remained of the good bacteria in my microbiome to really finish me off.
One of the most disturbing hospital experiences I had was at the University of Chicago. I saw big signs promoting healthy eating, next to bins of junk food. It was October, so it was Breast Cancer awareness month, and there were huge cookies and cupcakes in the cafeteria with artificially colored pink frosting and a long list of ingredients which have been connected to cancer. And don’t get me started about all the sugar being passed out to chemo patients on the oncology floor! While being injected with powerful drugs that kill cancer (and non-cancer) cells, they are having cookies and candies offered to them. So many studies linking sugar to feeding and encouraging cancer cell growth, and this is still happening in “top” hospitals. The world has gone mad. Ok, I sort of went on a rant on this one, but what I learned is that you have to take your own food or let your loved ones provide it.
The third place is dear to my heart, and actually an area where we can all make a difference. CHURCH
Yes, church…as in coffee hours and socials. Those donuts they hand out while you walk into a Protestant church, and the full blown “break the fast” celebrations after liturgy can be one of the most innocent, and yet destructive things we can do to break down the very body that God blessed us with. It just doesn’t seem right does it? Worshiping God with all of our heart and soul, and then going immediately into a situation that hurts the body He gave us. My heart aches for those sweet Yia Yias and their cookies made with Crisco, and the men and women who are so generous with their time and food…but they just don’t know! That is my mission. To get Orthodox Christians healthy. I want to clean up the coffee hour, and have a safe place to go. A healthy table. No preservatives, no sugar, no refined flours, no GMOs, no pesticides, no growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial chemicals, excitotoxins, or inflammatory fats.
And that is what I’m working on. It’s called The Healthy Table, (I know, clever) and it’s a program to educate a leader in each church to head up a team that will provide safe options for people. It will be a free certification program, and is designed to bring health and vitality back to the Church. Our Body. A Body that is Glorifying to God. Stay tuned! If you are interested in participating, and haven’t signed up to stay in the loop with me…now is the time!