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Snicci

What "other" people think is "healthy"

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I am on the Wellness Committee at work and we are rolling out a brand new wellness program for our company. We had a catered lunch meeting to reveal the program to everyone. A new Wellness/Fitness center is opening across the street and our company is paying for our memberships for the first year. There will be a new "healthy cafe" inside the center and the menu is approved by the hospital (which owns the facility). I asked them to cater our lunch with examples of what would be on their menu. Because I am doing another Whole30, I couldn't eat a single thing they brought:

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Sounds good right? The dressing was FAT FREE. The first ingredients were: Water, Sugar... I didn't read the rest. The front of the bottle boasted "FAT FREE" and "NO CORN SYRUP".

3 BEAN SALAD

Floating in God-knows-what

VEGETABLE/PASTA SALAD

Again, floating in some unidentified liquid

FRUIT SALAD

In a sugary syrup, I am sure.

GRILLED CHICKEN & CHICKEN SALAD WRAPS

Made with FAT FREE mayo, of course.

I'm sure the diabetics in my office didn't even have a clue how much sugar they were ingesting :(

I sure am glad that Ibrought my own lunch.

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I agree Snicci - it sends a very confusing message. There is a hospital not far from me that has a pizza and ice cream bar in the children's wing. Not kidding. These are kids that are in the hospital for injury (inflammation) or disease (many influenced by poor diet I'm sure), and the hospital is only making many of these issues worse by having that there. One of my friends works at the hospital in the billing department and I mentioned to her that I questioned if the pizza/ice cream bar is a good idea. She said that it's their way of trying to keep things fun and as close to normal as possible while they're away from home. Hello! That's part of what brought them to the hospital in the first place! Good luck to you as you figure out how to navigate around your "healthy cafe" :)

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We have a self-service "cafe" at my work where the "healthy" snacks and food options are labeled as such and segregated- it's mostly yogurt, cottage cheese, corn & rice chips, low fat wraps with who knows what in them, & salads with low-fat dressing. There are a couple plain fruit and veggie options but they are so overpriced as to not even be slightly worth it, and the veggies come with some sort of poison ranch dip. And don't forget the artificially sweetened gatorade & vitamin water! Ugh.

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This is one of many things that frustrates me so much about modern medicine and especially nutrition...

How fortunate that you are on the Wellness Committee and perfectly poised to be a changemaker! =)

Sometimes I find asking questions to be the most effective way...perhaps you could say something along the lines of this: "hi there, you're a healthy cafe, right? I thought added sugar and processed foods weren't good for you. Can you educate me on how these foods are better than other less-processed alternatives?"

I'm sure you've already tried and tried, but keep at it. Somebody's listening even if you don't think they are. =)

I bet you they'll be stumped and might eventually change! The beans and grains might take a bit longer but getting rid of the processed stuff would be a great first step...

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I loved this post; what an interesting conundrum, especially given the lack of good information that most people (unwittingly so) allow themselves to be in need of...

It's almost hard not to feel like a snob sometimes, especially when the intention of "healthy" food is there, but the execution is lacking. Why is it that the mass populus is so easily convinced that a "low fat" (and also LOW QUANTITY OF REAL FOOD) diet is going to more effective fuel the machine than a high quality, real food diet will?

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There is a hospital not far from me that has a pizza and ice cream bar in the children's wing. Not kidding. These are kids that are in the hospital for injury (inflammation) or disease (many influenced by poor diet I'm sure), and the hospital is only making many of these issues worse by having that there. One of my friends works at the hospital in the billing department and I mentioned to her that I questioned if the pizza/ice cream bar is a good idea. She said that it's their way of trying to keep things fun and as close to normal as possible while they're away from home.

I feel like there is a little bit of "victim mentality" at hospitals, especially around children. The attitude of, "Oh, it's so terrible that you're sick, have some pizza or ice cream to make you feel better." I can relate to the sentiment even if I can't excuse the method.

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It's so frustrating. It makes my brain leak out of my ears sometimes. My team at work is being, ahem, "rewarded" for fundraising efforts with a burrito lunch from a local restaurant. I looked at the menu and there is NOTHING I can eat there (nor would I want to). I have no problem saying, "sorry, there's nothing I can eat there due to food sensitivities," but where's my reward? I really wish we'd stop rewarding with food altogether. A pipe dream, probably.

Sorry to threadjack!

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I think it'll take many many years for most people to catch up to the (old) idea that low-fat isn't healthy. There are many powerful interests that make loads of money off this junk so where is the motivation to give up on processed foods and processed grains?

I've tried to explain it for years over and over to my parents, both of whom have diabetes. I send articles, loan them books. They are both smart. But they see my position as yet another opinion in a sea of opinions. And then my dad will explain that he doesn't buy my mom the chicken thighs she likes because of the fat content.

Just keep trying, I guess.

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I have just stopped talking to people about it, to be honest. I found that even the people that asked what I was doing because, "you look so fantastic, what are you doing differently???" STILL told me what I was eating wasn't healthy. Or that they "could never give up bread". It was making me crazy. Now if someone is REALLY interested, I send them the link. Otherwise I say, "I try to eat quality meat, veggies, and fats" and leave it at that.

I am teaching my 11 year old daughter what is healthy and how to make better choices. She gets it and is making changes on her own now. I have decided that is my big win.

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My husband has finally been noticed at work for his "strange eating habits". Someone told him the other day that what he's eating isn't really healthy (coconut oil straight from the jar, lol!) because it has saturated fat. sigh.... Maybe he should have been drinking fat free dressing instead?

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I'm actually in a similar situation. I'm running a study in which we're conducting interviews and focus groups with physicians and medical students looking at their perceptions of nutrition education in our medical school's curriculum, as well as how they (the physicians/medical students) view their role in educating patients about nutrition in their practice (or future practice, if we're talking with medical students). We don't ever get into what type of diet they prescribe/would prescribe, but I did have my favorite student make a negative comment about eating paleo; he actually equated it with the Atkins diet (that's a BIG pet peeve of mine--I was so sad when he made that comment!). I was in the middle of moderating a focus group and, therefore, am suppose to stay as neutural as possible, but it was hard.

I'm just not at the point yet where I feel comfortable "pushing" my views of nutrition on the students, nor do I feel like it's appropriate to do so because it will interfere with my study. I have, however, started telling colleagues/co-workers what I believe about nutrition and food, especially as it relates to children. I've also noticed there's been an increase interest in the stuff I bring from home :) (yes, I'm bragging!)

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My husband ended up quitting his position on the wellness committee at his work because the direction was so helplessly SAD. Realize he's a paleo ex-professional athlete so he is pretty fit and healthy, while the other committee members were overweight women. Aside from the low-fat-all-crap food they were pushing for in the cafeteria, they wanted to offer a voucher at a local sporting goods store for employees. My husband was like, "great, people can buy bike helmets or jump ropes or weights and stuff." And the rest of the committee was like, "No, this isn't for toys! It's for things like treadmills and stationary cardio equipment." Like a $25 voucher is going to help you a whole lot buying a treadmill. Their hearts were in the right place, but it was too much for my practical husband!

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The sugar thing is one of the things that made me the angriest when I was doing research leading up to my whole 30. I had been eating fat-free everything for years, never checking the labels to see how much added sugar had been packed in there to make up for the skimmed fat. Now I am known to regularly throw little tantrums at the grocery store, where I angrily blurt out "WHY DOES SUGAR NEED TO BE IN THIS? THERE IS NO REASON FOR SUGAR TO BE IN THIS."

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The sugar thing is one of the things that made me the angriest when I was doing research leading up to my whole 30. I had been eating fat-free everything for years, never checking the labels to see how much added sugar had been packed in there to make up for the skimmed fat. Now I am known to regularly throw little tantrums at the grocery store, where I angrily blurt out "WHY DOES SUGAR NEED TO BE IN THIS? THERE IS NO REASON FOR SUGAR TO BE IN THIS."

 

This is me, ALL. THE. TIME. Especially when looking at things like bacon and deli meats. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!

 

Sigh.

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One  of my coworkers had recently dropped a lot of weight and was explaining her "healthy" program called Herbalife to another coworker today... from what I heard you replace two meals with their smoothie mixes and have a balanced dinner- boring!  I didn't really want to get involved so I quietly heated up my chicken and spaghetti squash and thanked God that I can get healthy and lose weight while eating REAL FOOD! (even if it is slower than what I perceived as a form of starvation... )

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It's a real problem. I went to volunteer at a women's shelter the other day with a group from work. We were to help to prepare and serve lunch. Most of the food was donated, but this is what they had. The main protein was some BBQ chicken or beef that looked ok (but I'm sure it was loaded with preservatives). Then they got either two slices of bread or a bun. Then a bag of chips (low fat!), some awful looking pickles, some salad (mostly iceberg lettuce) unfortunately doused with a big glop of dressing. Then desert. My first job there was to take donated bakery cakes from the local supermarket chain and slice them up and put them on trays. So I spent about one hour doing this while having to smell the fake sugar with all that gluten and food coloring and whatever was on it. I amost barfed.

 

I know some calories are better than none, but this was horrid food. No wonder most of the women there were overweight. I feel bad for those people. I know I sound ungrateful to the people who donated food, but I can't help but think something better can be done for these women.

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Went to visit my nurse practitioner today for something minor. We were just chatting a bit, and I casually brought up W30. She didn't know anything about it, so I briefly explained. She immediately recoiled and said she could never give up bread, chocolate, wine, etc. And then she added, "You know what I've heard good things about? Nutrisystem."

<facepalm>

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My husband was firmly in the 'can't give up bread' category. Until, after 6 months of eating decently at home (he still had toast in the mornings if we ate at home, and I never said anything about WHAT he ate but he ate whatever I cooked for dinners, which were mostly compliant or at least paleo with the occasional dessert), we went on a month of leave after eating two weeks of other peoples' cooking (I had surgery and friends cooked for us, then we were staying at a friend's house after our furniture was shipped) on our way to moving overseas.

 

Over that month and a half, he watched as our health deterioriated due to everyone having 'gluten free' options for me that weren't what I should've/wanted to eat. By the end of it, we were buying food and making it ourselves, we both were craving veggies/meat/not bread so much. We were seriously dying to have roasted veggies, and I did lettuce wraps for lunch instead of the super heavy gluten free buns my mom found so I could "eat like a human again."

 

The only thing I tried to do over the month and a half was, whenever my husband noted something that one of us was feeling that wasn't normal, to relate it to our food intake. So the fact that I gained 7 lbs, he gained 10 - because of all the grains. We slowed that number WAY down and I didn't gain any in my last week, mostly due to my stubbornly  trying to eat plan-ish (not perfectly, as I wasn't about to buy tons of food, but on plan 2 meals a day if possible). The way both of us had trouble sleeping and were constantly tired - again, food-related. My skin and nails being awful and peely? Doesn't happen if I eat paleo.

 

And I'll be darned if today he didn't say that, once we set up our house, we'll eat paleo at home. We won't stress about it while out (other than my needing to be GF due to Celiac's), but in our house we'll be paleo with special treats being gluten free/homemade or for special occasions (like dinner parties).

 

We're in a hotel now, so we're not perfect but we're better than before. I'm just glad he realizes how much of a toll grains at every meal did to us. Cereal/toast/muffins for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and pasta for dinner? No thank you! From him, either.

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I hate it. Part of my job in the winter is managing a private dining room for a membership club, and the food is super gourmet. We had a great chef the first half of the season, then he left and another chef replaced him. The first chef was all about real food, housemade, and the new chef is lazy and buys a bunch of stuff frozen. The members complained about the first chef because everything he made was "heavy" - yes, he used butter and cream, but he made a lot of grassfed red meat, homemade salad dressings with real ingredients, etc. They complained because everything was too fatty and would clog their arteries.

 

The new chef buys salad dressings with soybean oil, sprinkles bread crumbs on everything and buys cheap, farm raised frozen fish, but the members think it is healthier because it's lower fat.

 

I tried to explain it to one of them, and they totally didn't believe me. Can't convince anyone who doesn't want to listen, I guess. I forsee this trend to grow though, and eventually more people will think the way we do.

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