HEALTH FOR THE SOUL: WHY IT’S SO HARD TO EAT RIGHT

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“What’s good for you does not always taste good.”


GOOD EATIN’

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life is eat right. It’s so hard because all the bad stuff taste so good. How come they can’t figure out how to make good for the soul food taste just as good as soul food? For me, growing up in the family I grew up in, it was always festive to have the family come together for dinners. There would be so much food, you were literally asked to take it home otherwise it would have to be thrown away. But we’re not talking about healthy eating like fruits and vegetables, yet if there were, they even had a nice touch of salt, pepper, or even a sugar additive.

ETHIC CONNECTIONS

Image result for soul foodI come from a predominantly African American family, and we eat a lot. As a matter of fact we eat so much, that as an ethnic group we are more genetically predisposed to sicknesses sometimes stemming from the food we eat. And who can blame us: catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, pig feet, rib tips, turkey, ham slices, ham hocks, and that’s just the meat. The vegetables are cabbage, cornbread, yams, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, collard greens, and black eyed peas. And if you thinkImage result for soul food desserts that’s a lot, well how about our dessert menus: sweet potato pie, egg pie, chocolate pie, banana pudding, peach cobbler and German chocolate cake.

HEALTH RISK

The health risk stemming from this type of good eating can have long lasting effects on the human body. As a matter of fact African Americans at a much higher risk of illnesses already, but it increases once you observe the food we eat. According to an article on WebMD entitled, “Why 7 Deadly Diseases Strikes Black Most,” it explains the disparities with sicknesses in Black people as oppose to their White counterparts. We are at higher risk of Diabetes, Strokes, Heart Disease, and high blood pressure. So being already susceptible, on top of the food doesn’t make the situation better.

NOW WHAT?

So making sure you not only eat right but also exercise is beneficial in the long run. Because there has to be a fine blend of the two. And yes, even a guy as healthy as myself, I hate having to eat right, but it’s a must that we take care of ourselves. Because the last thing we want is to be a burden on ourselves, or others around us who have to care for us when we get ill.


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EAT TO YOUR HEART CONTENT: HOW WE BINGE ON DAYS LIKE TODAY AND MEANING BEHIND IT

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“Comfort food is the best food.”


Today is the 4th of July, marking the 241st year that the Declaration of Independence was signed. But this topic today is not about the celebration. Today’s topic is about all the food that will be consumed from cookouts today. We all look forward to the holidays because it gives us an excuse to binge on all the food we want to eat. As a kid growing up, my mother would take my sister and I to the parade. We would sit there until the parade was nearly over, then head to the cookout at a family member’s house. And you can just about guess the food that lined the picnic tables.

I’m talking all kinds of good eating: Catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, meatloaf, turkey, honey ham, brats, BBQ ribs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cabbage, sweet rolls, black eyed peas, mashed Related imagepotatoes, fried okra, yams, sweet potatoes, corn bread. The meat would be smothered in two to three types of gravy; soda, Kool aid, juice, sweet tea, some brews, and water would be the beverages of choice. And it didn’t stop there, you can’t forget about the desserts: banana pudding, chocolate pies, sweet potato pie, lemon pies, egg pies, German chocolate cake, pound cake, and ice cream.

The above food was the meals my family would consume on this holiday. But now that I am an adult, I don’t look at the holidays the same anymore. Not that they are not important, it’s just that living on my own, cooking on these days are not as special. I could always go to visit family, yet it’s not the same. Now most would say, start your own family. But I am far from ready for a family of my own. I think back to when I was growing up and the meals the family would have together. As time went on, people married, moved away, and some even passed away. Now, it seems far less special as when I was young.

And I guess that’s why these once great times to eat together have changed. There were children that used to fill the premises, and adults as well. But eating as a family, especially on holidays takes on new meanings. That Image result for soul food desserts banana puddingfeeling of being stuffed and sitting back with your pants zipper undone is not quite there anymore. Now the portions have gotten cut down because we have to live after the cookout. Fewer children and more teens who themselves are thinking about moving outside the home town for college. So now, there are middle aged to elderly adults left.

 

 

And in the end, the 4th of July reminds me of the great meals as a child. The firework show, even consuming small portions of leftovers the next day. You know, I never looked at the 4th as an Independence holiday, rather a special day family came together to have a feast.


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LOW INCOME OPTIONS: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO EAT IN SCHOOL

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“If we don’t feed them who will.”


Growing up in school I remember having lunch provided to me because it was based on the income my mother made. Some days I would make a bag lunch from home and come to school. But then, there were students that did not have enough money to eat lunch at school. They would have to stand off to the side and if there were no more meals left, then they wouldn’t eat. Luckily, this only happened a few times in the school year. But I have a different view on the public school lunch choices. What if schools gave students breakfast and lunch at school. There are poor kids that don’t have enough food at home and could use the meal.

How much would that cost if kids were able to get public school breakfast and lunch? Or better yet, could someone offer that as an endowment to a school? My best guess is that I don’t see our American government enacting something like this, but what about a private donor? Someone with enough wealth could give to a school. They could set up some sort of fund that grants children free breakfast and lunch at school. But it would have to be at a smaller school because the cost could run really high. For example, I used to attend a school of only 300 middle and high school kids combined. Yes, that’s right, only 300.

So, when it comes to feeding this small group of students, it may be possible. I guess that’s why I want to build wealth because I want to do those types of things. It seems cool to see kids have interesting things you didn’t have in school. For instance, free gourmet breakfast, lunch, and on some occasions dinner. Wouldn’t that be nice, giving free meals to students that might not gain meals at home. So many young people are being raised in poverty and barely have meals at home. It makes sense to provide those meals at school. So where do we as a society go from here as it pertains to our young people having adequate meals?

In the end, our children need to be fed. They perform better in school when they have meals. And just because some don’t have meals at home, should they feel the wrath in school. I know that we should not be teaching them that someone owe you something, but it’s a question of focus in school. And it is their focus that will aid in their learning.


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