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10tv Health & Fitness Expo
Recipes As Seen at the Live Demonstration!


We’ve been seriously discussing weight as an issue here in the United States now for pretty much a decade and in 2010 most of us might think that the message is getting through, there are healthy items on many menus now and if you go up and down the isles of pretty much any supermarket you can clearly see many low fat, low sodium, high fiber options being offered and even fast food restaurants have added healthy jargon to their advertisements.  The Biggest Looser is in it’s what, 10th season now?  There are even two Biggest Loser hotels, but is our health improving?  Is America really getting the message?


In an article entitled “Vital Signs: State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults --- United States, 2009” published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on August 3, 2010 it was reported that obesity prevalence or the total number of cases in the United States rose to 26.7% in 2009 up from 25.6% in 2007 and 23.9% in 2005.


Let’s put that in perspective; given a total population in the United States now of 310 million that’s 82,770,000 obese individuals, almost 83 million people!  That’s beyond shocking to me; that’s just crazy! 

Obesity uses the body mass index or BMI as a measure of body fat based on height and weight.  For a man 5 foot 10 inches tall – roughly my own height – only 174 pounds represents a BMI of 25 or being overweight.  For me a weight of 209 pounds would indicate a BMI of 30 representing obesity and bringing with it a significant increase in risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and even a long list of cancers according to a 517 page report entitled “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective” published in 2007 by the by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).


If you make an oval with your hands over a map of the United States with the top edge on Ann Arbor and the bottom on Tallahassee, the left side on Dodge City and the right over the Outer Banks, the fat belly of America will be inside of that oval with Kentucky, just south of us here in Columbus, Ohio right in the center!  All of the 9 states with a BMI over 30 will be inside of the oval; Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.  But 7 of the 9 states with a BMI over 28 will also be inside the oval as well; Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas.  Only 2 states that have a BMI above 28 are not inside of that oval; South Dakota 29.6, and Wisconsin 28.7.  Ohio at 28.8 has the 15th highest BMI out of 50 states with notoriously unhealthy states like Texas coming in with BMI levels below it.  Columbus is right at the center of this very serious disconnect between lifestyle and health and just by living here your chance of having a high BMI is increased.


It can’t be that all those people want to be that way, it can’t be!


Something’s wrong with our approach to this problem.  The main strategy employed by our health care system – of which I am a member – is something called “moderation.”  You can see this all over the place.  The idea is to reduce calories by simply eating less of the same things you eat now.  Clearly this doesn’t work for everyone, it didn’t work for me and I coach and counsel other people that don’t speak the language of moderation.  If you cut open a bag of potato chips and start to divide them amongst 10 smaller bags as a tactic to employ moderation...maybe you’re thinking that you could eat one of those smaller bags a day for 10 days...and the chips are gone before the smaller bags are full; if for you Cherry Garcia is a food group and the cup they sell it in is one portion, then moderation probably isn’t going to work for you and you might need to employ something called lifestyle modification as opposed to just lifestyle moderation.  If moderation works for you and it does work for a segment of the population, then get on it!  But for another much underserved segment of the population moderation does not work and modification is a far better choice.


There’s another issue here though.  What’s so special about the geographic areas in the fat belly of America; the Southeast, Deep South, and the Midwest?  This is what I call the meat and potatoes, comfort food belt.  We like our greezy comfort food up in here, yes we do!  And that’s not a misspelling of the word greasy either, you folks with family in this area know what I mean; greezy is a whole different thing.  The food we eat here cuts right across racial and social lines.  I don’t care if you’re black, white, red, or yellow if you’re from the comfort food belt you know what a plate of greens, a piece of corn bread, and helping of black eyed peas are supposed to taste like...and that’s the problem.  That food is almost impossible to recreate without excessive amounts of salt, fat, and sugar especially if you’ve decided to cut or reduce meat, milk, and oil as well; you have to be able to really cook!  What makes it almost impossible is that we have almost three entire generations of Americans now that can’t cook, and those of us that think we can cook are actually only doing something called assembly using partially processed foods that we just combine.


I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m about to arrogantly state that as a Chef I've always known how to do this...wrong!  Let me assure you, in 2003 it was a sobering moment when I discovered that I couldn’t cook my way out of a paper bag if it had a hole in it without the culinary crutches of salt, fat, and sugar!  I had to teach myself to cook all over again from scratch and I have a degree from one of the the best cooking schools in the world with 25 years of hands-on experience on some of the finest international resort and restaurant properties!  If I had to learn it, I know others do!


So in my cuisine I go right after the hard stuff first.  I make West Indian Style Rice and beans, I make Hoppin’ John, I make southern style braised greens, and split pea soup that you’d swear had a ham hock floating around in it, but with absolutely no meat, no oil, and no dairy, low in sodium, and with no refined sugar or processed foods except a few condiments and flavoring agents which can also be left out if they give you the heebie-jeebies.


If you think you would benefit from a lifestyle modification strategy and you’d like to have some help or just want to hear some more then click the link and have a look at the services offered by or EMAIL ME TODAY and make an appointment for your FREE initial consultation and Let The Healing Begin!!  Include your phone number so we can get going right away!


Here are the recipes that we went over at the 2010 10tv Health and Fitness Expo.

Rice and Beans is the staple food of the plant-based diet.  This is a very basic version that’s kind of a hybrid of a West Indian and South American version and seems to satisfy the American palate rather nicely!


           Rice and Beans



These Braised Greens are modified from recipes I learned in the West Indies and from watching my grandmother in Chattanooga.  In the West Indies they use the leaf of the dasheen plant, a staple root in the Caribbean, to make something called callaloo that is very similar to these braised greens.

            Braised Greens



Like quinoa, buckwheat is not a true grain, but because it cooks like rice and has many of the nutrient values we associate with grain we tend to just refer to it as a grain.  It is actually a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel.  This is a nice light and fruity salad that you can eat right in the hottest part of the day and it will refresh like a cool drink!

            Buckwheat Salad