What Real Health is all about

Well, it’s the holiday season and I have been very busy..too busy to even keep up with my blogging.  But it is New Year’s Eve and I am home , finally taking a moment to prepare for the New Year.  I went to Healthtrax today to set up my table to advertise my next Move it to Lose it! session that is scheduled to start in 2 1/2 weeks.  I have even been too busy to work on my program.  But going to the gym and setting up my table reminded me that life does really exist outside of my kitchen walls and that life will return to normal in a few more days.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the opportunity to cook…a lot!  I LOVE to cook.  I really enjoy cooking from scratch.  Learning how to make everything from the basic ingredients that nature has brought to us all is my way of connecting with life and myself.  There is a special bond that one can feel when we go back to the basics in life; feeling like a true product of the earth.  It’s like growing a flower or a vegetable from a seed, some water and the dirt.  It just feels good.  This is how I feel about cooking.  It is my way of creating something from within myself and sharing it with others.

This year, I decided to make cannolis from scratch, even making the ricotta from scratch.  This may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me it is a big deal.  When I was growing up, my mother hated to cook and my father did all of the cooking.  My dad is the pickiest eater on earth and let’s just say I wasn’t exposed to the "culinary arts" as a kid.  Like many who look back on their childhood and think of what they cherish and what they wish was better, I look back and wish I had that "comfort food" home.  The kind where mom made everything from scratch and every cookie was made with love.  Ok, so I am getting all mushy here, but even though I didn’t have this as a child (as most children today probably don’t) it is the mother that I try to be.  And for someone who is a self-taught cook, it feels like a huge accomplishment to make anything from scratch.  And those cannolis were good!

So what does this have to do with health?  I’ll tell you.  As I prepared those cannolis, I thought about how many people would be shocked to see the ‘weight loss" teacher making and eating cannolis.  I thought about how so many people have been taught mis-truths by the media for so very long that no one really knows what health is really all about. 

So here is my opportunity to defend myself and educate the public.  What’s better for you; a cannoli or jello?  Beleive it or not, its the cannoli.  Why?  Because it is a natural food.  It is made from milk, cream, lemon, flour, sugar, pistachios, sugar (natural) and cocoa.  All natural ingredients that are meant for human consumption.  Jello is an artificial food with artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. 

Healthy living is not about cutting out fat and calories.  Fat is not the enemy and neither are calories.  The enemy are foods made in a laboratory with chemicals and substances that are not meant for the body.  The other enemy is lack of physical activity combined with overcomsumption and imbalanced diets.

Fat is necessary for many types of cooking based on the chemical bonds that fat molecules make with the molecules from the other food ingredients.  Ditto for sugar.  When you cut these out, the food doesn’t bind correctly and some wierd food is formed.  Have you ever tried to make a pizza at home with fat-free cheese?  The cheese doesn’t even melt!  It turns into some plastic looking substance.  That just isn’t right.  Who cares about the 40 calories you save.  Society needs to re-learn that healthy food is natural food. 

Learn the basics; meat, dairy, fruits, veggies, and grains along with natural fats.  This is what you should eat.  Lot’s of fruits, veggies and grains, some meats and dairy and a little fat and sugar.  It’s that simple.  Keep the chemicals for something other than human consumption and go back to enjoying your life.  It’s whats good for you.

Happy New Year!

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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