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New Times / Commentary

The following article was posted on March 6th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 32

Bites: Veggie tales

BY MAEVA CONSIDINE

I don’t ever recall having a hard time eating vegetables as a kid. I’m sure my family would contest this statement, but the truth is that vegetables have always sort have been … all right by me.

And really, every kid should love vegetables. They’re usually covered in a thin layer of dirt, and—let’s face it—they taste a whole lot better than chugging glue straight from the Elmer’s bottle or than any of the other countless, inedible, objects children wrangle into their mouths every day.

Yet vegetables remain at the heart of most dinner table battles. In the holy war that is the American diet, vegetables are the Civil War-era musket, and carbohydrate-filled, partially frozen, processed foods are the assault riffles.

They just can’t compete.

But we need change, damn it! And snow peas! I, like many of my fellow Americans, struggle with weight and healthy living. I’d call the decisions to eat right and exercise lifestyle choices, but the term lifestyle choices is just a little too lackadaisical. Watching Mad Men is a lifestyle choice; painting the bedroom a nice, soothing, chartreuse is a lifestyle choice. Eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and just generally choosing to not lie on the couch all day while you guzzle Hershey’s chocolate syrup straight from the bottle is self preservation.

It can be incredibly difficult to know where to begin in the fight for your health. Even people well versed in the effects of processed, calorie-filled fast foods on the body can still struggle with a well-balanced diet and exercise program.

Thankfully the folks at Champions for Change think it’s about time we steer this ship (the U.S.S. B.M.I.) away from treacherous shores (Obesity Island), and they’ve developed some neat programs and free demonstrations to help get you started.

Champions for Change is a part of the Network for a Healthy California’s Gold Coast Region, which is in turn a program of the California Department of Health. Champions for Change is offering several free, local demonstrations and lectures on how to properly feed your family.

There’s a demonstration scheduled for March 15 in the San Luis Obispo Albertson’s parking lot (771 E. Foothill Blvd.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can come learn a few things about a refined palate and taste a delicious recipe, all in time to shift your shopping list for the week in a healthier direction.

There will also be several other demonstrations in San Luis Obispo, as well as the Five Cities area, in the month of March.

Along with Champions for Change, the Network for a Healthy California also offers several programs for children and programs geared toward Spanish-speaking communities such as “Power Play” (helps children focus on physical activity as well as the importance of fruits and vegetables) and the “Latino Campaign,” which also offers materials and resources in Spanish.

To see a full list of free demonstrations, and to dig your heels into some really good knowledge about healthy living, visit goldcoastnetwork.org.

Calendar Maeva Considine really does love vegetables. I swear. Send her your food-related news via bites@newtimesslo.com.