July Newsletter
Eat Well. Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
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It's summertime.  We like to believe that summer is an easier time and, in many ways, it is.   Longer days, often a little less pressure at work, a vacation to look forward to.

For many who live with food insecurity, with school out, summer is a time of not having sufficient access to food, let alone healthy food.   I find this unconscionable in this day and age.

Eat Well

Access to healthy, affordable food is not a given for many families in this country.  Every day children go to school hungry and go to bed hungry.  In the summer, when school breakfast and lunch programs are not available, the problem is exacerbated.  Conservatively, 15 million children live in poverty in this country.  Nationwide 22.4% of children are food insecure, which means that at times they do not have access to enough food or nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy life.  In North Carolina, it is 27.3% of children.  North Carolina and Louisiana have the highest rates of food insecurity among children below five (data is from 2010 and 2011). The change in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will have a negative impact on these most vulnerable families in North Carolina.  In 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 23.5 million people do not have a supermarket within a mile of their home and 20% of rural counties are considered “food deserts”, counties where residents live more than 10 miles from a supermarket.  Interestingly, low-income zip codes have 30% more convenience store than middle-income zip codes.  This is significant because convenience store food tends to be more expensive and less healthy.
Many children eat unhealthy, sugar and chemical filled foods.  This often results in high rates of diabetes and obesity among children and is considered to be a contributor to behavioral and performance problems. I am deeply troubled by the impact poverty and lack of information have on so many children (as well as their parents). 

Fortunately, there are some amazing programs happening in the part of North Carolina where I live.   The Interfaith Food Shuttle has just announced a food truck that will provide food in Durham.  In Raleigh, the Oak City Outreach Center provided 1,101 meals to 672 people last weekend, meeting a need that was previously met sporadically, if at all.  The Jamie K. Hahn foundation in Raleigh is establishing a Raleigh food corridor, a two mile stretch in downtown designed to link diverse parts of the city around the common economic, social, and ecological benefits of local food projects.  These are great examples of progress around alleviating food deserts and there are others happening throughout the country. I have seen great examples in Philadelphia, PA and Austin, TX.   However, it is not enough.   Access to healthy, affordable food should be a right, not a privilege.
There is a growing army of men and women working to change the food world by bringing attention to the need to avoid toxins, talking about the value of real food, and demonstrating how to improve health through nutrition.   I believe that our energies need to be focused on those who are most in need.   Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  I am thinking about what I can do where I live to make a difference, what can you do where you live?



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Be Happy - Be Mindful

Do you find it hard to have time to eat a meal free from distractions?  Often our jam-packed days leave us little time to eat unless we combine it with some other activity -- working at our desk, driving to or from errands, or watching TV.  Not surprisingly, this often means that we make unhealthy food choices, overeat, or do not feel quite nourished or satisfied.   Eating mindfully is a way to take a break from the stressors of your day and truly nourish yourself.  Ideally, eat every meal mindfully, either alone or with loved ones.  Here are some suggestions for how to do that. 
  • Get out of the car.   Eating in the car is not only unsatisfying, it's dangerous.
  • Be present.  Pay attention to what you are eating, how you feel when you eat it, how it nourishes your body.
  • Chew properly.  Trying chewing every bite thirty times.   Notice how the food feels in your mouth, how it tastes, how it feels as you swallow it.   This is good for your eating experience, good for your digestion, and good for your energy levels.
  • Use smaller plates.  When serving yourself a meal, choose a smaller plate. This will force you to be more mindful of how much you eat.
  • Use chopsticks.  Chopsticks are a great way to focus on your food and the eating experience. 
  • Be intentional.  Think about how you want your mealtimes to be -- calm? serene? joyful? noisy? quiet? laughter-filled?  Decide what matters to you and then make it happen.
  • Be grateful.  Take a moment before you eat to feel gratitude for the food and the nourishment it is going to give your body.
  • Be prepared.   You will get hungry and you will eat, so think about what you want to eat in the upcoming days and have good, healthy food available so that you do not have to have a frantic rush to the grocery store at mealtime.
Pick one or two things and try them for thirty days.  Let me know how it goes!

About me

I work with organizations seeking to incorporate health and wellness into their corporate culture, individuals seeking to achieve their goals through health and wellness choices, and communities seeking to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a strategic planning consultant, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a HeartMath coach.
Copyright © 2014 Break Through Consulting, All rights reserved.

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