Sixty-five percent of adults in Georgia are clinically obese or overweight. News flash: that’s over half of us. That’s getting dangerously close to three quarters of us. Yikes. We [Americans] are as unhealthy as we have ever been. Obesity and chronic disease run rampant, especially here in the South, where—let’s face it—we kind of love to eat. We do our best to make smart food choices and exercise, which we can’t always be perfect at given our hectic schedules and lives on the go. So what do we do? Is there an easier way to prevent the diseases that so often come with our modern lifestyles? Food=Medicine >>
Need a little kick in the pants to take charge of your life and your health? Check out Steven Rankin’s story. While serving as a sheriff’s deputy in south Georgia in 2006, he made what he thought was a routine traffic stop late at night. While simply trying to tell a driver to turn his music down, Steven was shot point blank in the face, the bullet destroying the right side of his jaw and fracturing his C1 vertebrae. It remained lodged in his spine for four years and led to a whole slew of health problems that his doctors wouldn’t acknowledge could be attributed to, you know, a bullet being stuck in his neck.
Ladell Hill is onto something. Just look at that glow (and no, he is not a vampire, I’ve confirmed). He simply eats clean and he moves every single day. Ladell comes from a line of healers. Growing up in Lebanon, TN, he watched his grandfather–known as the local medicine man–drink from streams and snack on raw sweet potatoes. He shared with Ladell secrets about the body’s natural oils and the healing properties of plants. Desperate to learn more, Ladell sought to learn the science behind his grandfather’s wisdom and vowed to continue his legacy by becoming a personal trainer and wellness consultant. He decided to dedicate his life to promote healthy living, starting on the inside. And so Chuice was born.
The story of Chuice >>
It’s tough to expect kids to have an active and healthy lifestyle when we’re serving them a rectangular piece of cheese pizza, some sugary canned fruit cocktail, a cookie, and a carton of milk for lunch five days a week. Yet that’s exactly what a lot of schools are still doing. (At least in the U.S. — check out these fascinating images of school lunches around the world if you have some spare time.) Georgia Organics is changing that with its Farm to School program, and yesterday, The James M. Cox Foundation announced that it would be providing a $250,000 grant to help bring healthy food to Georgia’s students.
How many students can this help? >>
Talk to any nutritionist and they’ll tell you to watch out for processed foods in your diet, but not everyone understands exactly what that means. Obviously, things like Froot Loops, Coke, and meat that’s breaded and molded into dinosaur shapes count as processed foods. But you’re reading a health and wellness publication right now, so let’s go ahead and assume that the majority of your current diet doesn’t consist of tubes of raw cookie dough and boxed mac ‘n cheese (please say we’re right about this) and get more specific. What about things like frozen vegetables, canned beans, or juice? Are they “processed”? Yep. Simply put, any food that has been altered from its natural state is processed food — but not all processed foods are created equal. More on assigning labels, shopping the perimeter (not THAT Perimeter), and pronounceable ingredients >>
New WellATL columnist Kathleen Lorey will spend the next 12 months making serious changes to her health and life — and sharing the experience with you. In truth, her journey is probably going to last way more than one year because once you start down that path to better health, it’s hard to stop… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s meet Kathleen and find out what spurred her to make this life-changing commitment to better eating and regular exercise. And remember, it’s a brave and vulnerable thing to write publicly about such a big lifestyle change. As with other stories that have been shared here, if Kathleen’s column inspires you, motivates you, helps you see that you aren’t alone in whatever struggles you face, or just makes you want to cheer her on, it has done its job and we hope you’ll let her know or share your own experiences in the comments.
Many of us, at some point or another, have gone on a diet: a regimen for how, what, and when to eat. But the term “diet” has a negative connotation because it’s associated with limitations and restrictions. When we approach eating and food choices based on a need to lose or eliminate extra pounds, rather than focusing on how to best nurture, support, and fuel our bodies, we are starting from a negative place of restriction and unpleasantness. Desperate to get out of this uncomfortable situation as quickly as possible, many of us choose to follow a pre-defined and easily understood “one size fits all” formula (diet) that may have worked for someone else, in hopes of finding the weight loss results we are looking for as quickly as possible. These diets will generally either impose boundaries on our choices based on calorie counts and portion sizes or exclusions of specific macronutrients (protein or carbohydrate) — or sometimes, both. Instead, try this… >>
With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and National Fritter Day standing between now and the end of the year, I’m betting we’re all in for lots of celebrations. This time of year is wonderful for gatherings with family and friends but not so great for steering clear of high-sugar dessert tables. While delighting in seasonal treats might seem fun at the time, increased sugar often leads to undesirable behaviors and weakened immune systems. With that in mind, here are some things our family does before we face the Sugarplum Fairies. Sugar highs, be gone! >>
When you first meet your nutritionist, they don’t know whether you need a massive intervention because you’ve been shoving Twinkies down your gullet 24/7 or you just need a few extra tips and recipes to complement your mostly clean and healthy eating habits. WellATL asked Decatur-based Nutrition Therapy Consultant Jenn Pilot which two questions she would pose to new clients to determine how well they are (or aren’t) eating — and what the answers reveal about our diets. Here’s what she said. >>
While many say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and I totally agree), I think that needs a bit of clarification. I believe that it’s not just breakfast that’s crucial, it’s a protein-filled breakfast. After all, your brain needs fuel to enhance concentration and focus for the school or work day. Would you put water or oil in your gas tank if you were about to take a road trip? No. Well, sugar and processed carbohydrates certainly aren’t your premium gas. The recipe and instructions >>