Yesterday, I watched Episodes 3 and 4 of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution while doing some work. I have to admit, this show pushes my emotional buttons.  That’s even with the extra space for my assumptions that cast members (if that’s the right word) are coached to act a certain way or do certain things.

Maybe it was the scene with the extra-large coffins that got me? The teenage girl whose doctors supposedly told her she may only have five years to live? The father who died after gastric bypass surgery?

I felt kind of like a tool for getting choked up by a TV show, but I couldn’t help it. This stuff is compelling, and I hope it gets viewers to pay more attention to their own health as well as the well-being of their loved ones.

It still blows my mind that there are people out there who can’t seem to grasp the importance of preventive healthcare. What is it going to take to make folks understand that short-term changes can have long-term benefits? Investing in yourself is important. For example, eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise can help ward off diabetes (and its costly treatments) later in life. I don’t even want to get into the health insurance aspect of it or the notion that a society comprised of healthy individuals may function more efficiently.

I guess I just have to accept the current reality. We live in a culture that tries to sell us tangible, short-term satisfaction in the form of unhealthy foods over potential long-term health benefits. “Quick and easy” weight loss is valued over slow-and-steady lifestyle changes that help develop and maintain a healthy mind and body.

To be fair, yesterday I ate pizza (vegetable pizza is still pizza) at lunch and for dinner, Chris and I went to Gazala Place, one of our favorite Hells Kitchen haunts, where we shared a falafel platter (totally fried, not baked), a spinach-and-goat-cheese boureka (nothing light about fluffy pastry, especially when it’s stuffed with cheese), and hummus and pita. I also enjoyed a small glass of red wine.

dsc01751 - Episodes 3 and 4 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

On the flipside, the day had also included yoga and lots of walking, and this morning I was at the gym, lifting weights and getting in some cardio while I finished reading for class.  And since we don’t eat like that every day, when we do indulge in higher-calorie treats, I feel like the experience is much more satisfying.

It’s all about balance, and I think our country needs help learning how to achieve one.  While I don’t think Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is any kind of panacea, I do think it has the potential to at least open up people’s eyes to the dire need for change.

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