Diving Right In...

Welcome Photo courtesy of Gracemagazine

Welcome to my very first blog online... ever.  I'm not going to lie, it's a little bit nerve-wracking.  But regardless of that fact, let's go!

This blog is meant to serve as a means for me to provide nutritional advice or tips, hone my writing and communication skills, and have a little bit of fun spending time on the field which I am studying and love.  Nutrition!  I am fortunate enough to be passionate about my classes and prospective career, and to have found that passion early on.  

I hope that this becomes for you a place of information and interest.  If you ever have any questions or topics you would like me to touch on, by all means ask them!  I would appreciate honest and candid feedback on all levels, so please don't be shy.  

The First Order of Business

Some of the most recent and slightly depressing news just released by the government shows us that we are still up against this obesity epidemic.  There are both some negatives and positives to highlight.  

On the negative side, 66% of adult americans are overweight or obese with the rates within each state holding steady or rising.  Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that the population of overweight children has exceeded 30% in 30 states.  The fact that children are starting out behind the eight ball is leading to chronic disease, higher healthcare costs, and an incalculable number of social, mental, and emotional effects.  

On the positive side, the rate at which the obesity epidemic has spread over the past 15 or so years seems to have slowed down.  We are starting to see a change in the landscape of nutritional standards in schools.  While the bar is not set very high, the standards are being met in more schools every year and 20 states even have weight screening programs for children and teens.

I don't personally believe that the scale or BMI is the be-all-end-all measure of health but it is a good tool to use to measure health at a population level.  While it seems a daunting task I do believe that through education, community programs and support, and self-discipline we can reverse this trend and implement a healthier image of America.  

But How?

The first thing you can do is to begin enjoying and tasting the food you're eating.  This probably sounds easy when you first read it but it can be hard!  How often do you graze food while watching tv?  Or grab stuff straight from the box/bag instead of putting on a plate or in a bowl?  Or eat on the go as we're so prone to do in this multitasking world?  You can start to break these habits (among others you may start to notice) by sitting down without noise and distraction (except good company of course) and tasting and enjoying your food.  It's a nice way to take a break from everything else that's going on.  Plus you'd be surprised at how you can enjoy all the flavors of food more.  

Another thing you can do is to set a healthy tone in your home.  Remember that your family picks up on your food habits and vice-versa.  Sitting down to a family dinner, snacking on real foods instead of processed items, and even drinking water will become the habits of your children/siblings/relatives.  Knowing that your actions are affecting more than just yourself might help you to make healthier choices on a daily basis.

These are just two things to think about the next time you're making food and nutrition decisions.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the nitty gritty of nutrition (the calories, the grams of protein and fiber, the exercise regimen) that we forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.