Bootleggers Alley beach after a storm
I am happy as a clam that I finally met Doug a couple of weeks ago. I had read about him in a magazine and thought his work in community nutrition education was incredible. He is well past retirement age and yet so full of desire to help others lead happier, healthier lives that he exudes the vitality of someone half his age. And so, as you may guess, I looked up his phone number and called him. "Hi Doug, we haven't met..."
Several years ago, he and his wife began to gather people around their kitchen table to talk about ways to eat better and create more physical and mental well-being through better nutrition...uncomplicated, you-can-do-it stuff. He has a passion for food and people put right out there on the table. I mean...just that combination of food, people and a table is reason enough for us to meet! Now, years later, their volunteer work is blossoming and because of their efforts, people are changing their lives for the better around their own kitchen tables. How wonderful!
His work has grown into an organization with a nationally renowned board, including some docs from The Cleveland Clinic, the #1 hospital for heart health. Doug's group sponsored the Wellness Workshop I took Mom to a couple of weeks ago. Hundreds of people were there. He and I had a chance to talk and I told him I want what he is serving for my own health and I want to share it with others. We talked some more last week and yesterday and are working out a plan for me to be a part of this and "bring it home". Keep your fingers crossed.
This The Red, White and Food shout out is for Doug and all his passion for helping others is creating. Doug and his Wellness Foundation choose to "be the change you wish to see in the world", another favorite Gandhi quote. And, because I am so ignited by both their visions, here is what I did.
Last Saturday morning, instead of "teaching" parents about good nutrition for themselves and children, we sat in a circle and had a "conversation". I laid out the principles of eating well for optimal health and then we talked about it for about an hour. Everyone participated, asking questions ranging from why their daughters are developing so young to sharing tales of a former job in a pork processing plant. Oh, my. The co-ordinator of the program called me later in the afternoon and asked, "What did you say to the parents? They all seemed so relaxed and so appreciative of the fruits and veggies we served!''
Pay dirt! I think I will conduct "workshops" like that from now on!
And here is a video of former President Bill Clinton on his dramatic weight loss. Listen in. He starts his day with a shake, just like I do...Presidential stuff! The doctors and studies he talks about are the same ones I have been talking about on this blog and all these doctors mentioned are the very ones on the board of Doug's Wellness group. I am so hopeful I can bring this here!!!
Here is a shake recipe from Doug's group...
Blue Dynamite Smoothie
1 cup water or almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 handfuls of kale* or 1 handful of kale and 1 handful of baby spinach*
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 scoop protein powder (I add this..so does Bill. I have some great powder rec's if you need them)
Blend and enjoy. Serves 1.
*The addition of greens is not as odd perhaps as it seems. Greens do not really add much flavor but they add body and a nice "chew" to the shake. I used to use a "green" powder and once I switched to fresh greens, I was hooked! Give it a try before you pass this recipe by!