My Passion Project
Many of my followers know that I moved to Chatham, Ontario in March of this year. I was unfamiliar with the area, but somehow felt that moving here would be good for me. As I made my way around the city, I noticed a shocking number of obese and morbidly obese people. Now, I don’t need to live in a city full of pretty people, but it disturbs me to see so many people not caring about their health and well being. The North American diet has become quite atrocious over the last 30 or 40 years with the introduction of packaged and processed foods. People are opting for convenience over quality. To make matters worse, we also eat very large quantities of meat and wheat which contribute heavily to the bloated belly problem (no pun intended) and all of the health complications that go with it.
Sirens from 911 calls sound off around town all day long. For a population of just 43,000 or so, that seems a bit ridiculous. I decided to do some asking around to see if other people were seeing what I was seeing. No, it wasn’t my imagination. There is a problem here. I needed statistics, however, so I visited the Statistics Canada website and discovered the following:
· Over 60% of the people in Chatham-Kent are either overweight or obese. In fact, the region has one of the highest rates of obesity in Ontario.
· CK residents have more issues with pain, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and a myriad of other health issues than the provincial average.
· More Chatham-Kent residents die of avoidable health issues than the provincial average.
· CK residents drink more alcohol, smoke more cigarettes, get less exercise and eat fewer fruits and vegetables than the provincial average.
· CK residents tend to not value education. We have more people living here who have not finished high school than the provincial average.
· Interestingly, the number of people living at or below the poverty line is pretty much on par with the provincial average.
I preach my message everywhere I go.
One day, someone drinking a sugar and fat laden iced coffee told me that it’s expensive for single parents to buy healthy food. To put it politely, this is false. Fruits and vegetables don’t cost very much at all, unless you are only buying organic food. Buying basic food items, avoiding processed foods and foods laden with sugar will keep your grocery bill down. So will eating the appropriate amount of food for one person. If you eat three times more than you should, then you are spending 3 times more money on groceries than you need to.
To put this into perspective for you, lets look at how meat is consumed around the world. In most countries outside of North America a piece of beef the size of your fist is cut up in very small pieces and feeds an entire family of 4-6 people. In Canada and the US, that one fist sized piece of meat would barely feed a 12 year old. How many KGs or pounds of meat would you put in a stew? How many chicken breasts do you normally eat at dinner time? Most North Americans don’t even know how to cook a vegetarian meal. Dinner is not dinner without meat. Meat consumption is only part of the problem, though.
We also have a problem with sugar. Our packaging has everything written in grams and nobody has any idea what 16 grams of sugar is in your serving of cereal. It’s actually 4 teaspoons. Adding to that problem is that sugar in any form is never nutritious and we see at least 56 forms of it in our packaged foods. We even find them in recipes that are supposed to be healthy. Here’s some news for you. Honey is not a healthy alternative to sugar. Sorry. Unfortunately, labels like “All Natural Ingredients”, “Gluten Free”, “Organic” and “Vegan” are highly misleading. They may not contain sugar as we know it but they usually contain one of the following. People need to know that if a label has any of the ingredients listed below, it means it is bad for you. It’s that simple. Studies have shown sugar consumption to be related to diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease and even depression. Here is a list of some names for sugar that you should watch out for when you are grocery shopping.
Pick your poison!
I could go on all day about which foods are good for you and which are bad for you, but I’ll spare you the pain. The reality for 99% of the overweight population is that most have become that way because for whatever reason, they stopped caring about themselves. If you are overweight, chances are that at some point you said, “I don’t care”. That leads me to my next point. Not caring is a symptom of a greater problem. In my view, it is a broken relationship with your inner being. If you really understood the true essence of yourself, you would never give yourself permission to do yourself harm. That may seem a bit weird to some, but part of my mission here in Chatham is also to teach people how to mend their relationship with their inner being. The saying, “Healthy body, healthy mind”, is backwards. If you want to change your life in any way, it has to start from the inside. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body and a healthy and productive life all around.
There really is so much I can say on this subject and my plans to bring healthy living to Chatham-Kent. I’ll leave you with this video for now and tell you more in the coming weeks.
Few public relations & communications specialists have as diverse a background as Renée Cormier. Add published author, employee engagement specialist, sales and marketing strategist, entrepreneur and educator to her list of accomplishments. In her career Renée has held leadership roles in sales and marketing, developed and implemented national marketing strategies and was responsible for teams as large as 28 strong. She brings a wide range of experience and talent to her work.
Renée really shines in communications. She is known for developing and implementing comprehensive communications strategies and generating results through flawless implementation. With such strong business acumen, passion for her work and a natural talent for business strategy, Renée is definitely considered an important resource for her clients. Is your business in transition? Do you need help with your communications or public relations efforts? Contact Renée through her website.
Follow me on Twitter @reneecormierpr.
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