Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do You Know What's in Your Food?

Unless you've been living under a rock, President Obama signed the controversial Healthcare Reform bill earlier this week.
Buried deep within the bill is a requirement that all fast-food places post their nutritional info on the menu by 2011. I remember a few years ago when businesses started printing brochures that contained the nutritional info--but how many people really look at that prior to making their order?
I think people will be shocked to see the caloric value and fat intake of their favorite fast-food items. Did you know that a Chipotle tortilla ALONE has over 400 calories??? I want to say it has roughly 12-13g of fat as well, but they no longer post their nutrition guide online ;-)
Just think what your Chipotle burrito contains by the time you do the tortilla (that's a meal in itself!), rice (plenty of carbs there), beans (nothing wrong there), meat (at least it's hormone free), cheese & sour cream (oh god, just let the cellulite spread further across your thighs ), guac (but that's a good fat!) and salsa (yay for more veggies!)...then add some chips & soda and you're screwed for the day. The average Chipotle burrito contains 1,000-1,500 calories and your entire daily intake shouldn't surpase 2,000! Don't get me wrong--I love Chipotle and get a sick, twisted kick out of eating an entire burrito bowl in one sitting, but it's just plain bad on the waistline.
I will be the first to admit that I'm not a lettuce salad-and-no-dressing-with-a-side-of-celery-sticks type of eater. Not even close...everything is fine in moderation....I love a great deep-fat-fried chimichanga covered with cheese sauce, but I'm only going to eat it about once a month.
When I was at my endocrinology appointment this past fall, he was telling me that the number of practicing endocrinologists is not growing, in fact it's falling--but yet diabetes is exploding like crazy (ps I don't have diabetes--that's not why I was there!). I realize that not everyone can control whether they end up with diabetes or not, but so much of the risk factor is influenced by diet and lifestyle. To me, it's an easy choice--eat healthy & feel good or eat crap and suffer for it later. And don't even get me started on what poor lifestyle choices will end up costing the healthcare industry...
I realize that healthy food isn't cheap...we've all heard about those studies where someone has to live on food stamps for one week and they find they can't buy their organic head of lettuce as it costs too much. Then they end up stocking up on potato chips, processed cheese, soda, higher fat ground beef, etc b/c they can't afford the healthy alternatives.
I've been on a strict meat-free diet since the first of February and my body is loving it--I'm convinced that being vegetarian is for me. My chronic headaches no longer exist and my digestive system is finally normal after years of IBS. I originally intended to go vegan, but so far I'm happy with just cutting out meat.
Last week, I finally caved in a purchased a "lifetime" membership to People's Grocery, the local health/natural food store. It cost $50 but I get 15% off my purchases, I am entitled to member-only sales, I have access to overstock items and I also will be involved with their annual profit sharing. After shopping at Dillons & Hy-Vee for my vegetarian items, I realized that People's really doesn't cost much more. They also have a deli that has homemade naan, fresh hummus, soups, salads, etc and all the options are super healthy. It's SO much more enjoyable than trying to pick between fried chicken legs, pork friend rice or chicken strips!
All in all, I can't wait for 2011..there's times I end up hitting the drive-thru, but it will be nice to see what the nutritional value of my food is (or lack thereof) before I order. Now if we can only get them to eventually post all the additives and preservatives!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Collegiate Athletes & Inter-Personal Violence

I'm pretty sure we're all aware that UNI upset KU in the NCAA tournament this past Saturday...and I couldn't be happier!
It's not about a KU/K-State rivalry. It's about Sherron Collins not getting a second National Champs ring.
Some of you may be well aware of how absolutely disgusted I am by Sherron Collins. And for you of those who weren't aware, well, hold on because I don't hold back!
Sherron raped a girl IN AN ELEVATOR on campus and got away with it. KU pressured the DA's office to refrain from filing charges and guess what, no charges were filed. Eventually the victim filed a civil suit and Sherron decided not to cooperate.
What makes me sick is that the KU community acts like NOTHING happened and has the mentality that he's completely innocent of the accusations. Did any of you watch the K-State game played at Allen Fieldhouse on Senior Night? The fans might as well bow down and start washing Sherron's feet. Their support of him is absolutely sickening. He should be sitting his ass in Leavenworth but instead Bill Self and the KU program are standing behind him. And I want to know what's wrong with Bill Self to condone such violent behavior...But, I'm happy to say that karma finally hit Sherron on Saturday night and he will not be awarded with another Championship!
I realize that inter-personal violence perpetrated by athletes is not isolated to just KU. K-State has their share of it and I'm disappointed with how our Athlete Department has handled recent players. This fall, a football player was arrested for battering his pregnant EX-girlfriend. And the fact that she was his ex at the time highlights just how dangerous and violent this athlete is. At the time, he was the third string quarterback but during the season his position changed and he was given PLENTY of playing time.
As I was professionally involved with this incident, I was waiting for the local papers to jump all over it. Sure enough, they did. I was patiently waiting for Bill Snyder to make a statement and take his predicatable course of disciplining his player within the confines of the football program.
However, days went by and Snyder did NOTHING. As mentioned above, this athlete was given playing time. What happened to the Snyder who was known for keeping his players under control and laying a heavy hand?! Maybe he was more concerned with creating a winning record his first season back and didn't care that his players are assaulting pregnant women and ultimately harming the fetus. But yet, Snyder is involved with TONS of child-centered movements throughout the state. It's time Snyder truly walks his own talk.
*FYI--1 in 4 pregnant women are assaulted at least once during their pregnancy*
This isn't the first time such a thing has happened at K-State and it won't be the last.
However, these incidents make me proud to have been part of the Creighton community. Dana Altman, current Men's Basketball coach at Creighton and former K-State Head Coach, is touted for recruiting athletes who will do something with themselves after they leave college. Many people will say this is why he was fired from K-State. As the story goes, the big money people at K-State didn't care who he recruited as long as they were winning the games and Altman refused to play their games.
When I was at Creighton, the student-athletes were pretty decent people all around. Yes, we did have Terrell Taylor who was an incredible baller and he ended up with a criminal case after he left for the NBA...but this was a rare problem for former Creighton athletes. The Omaha community wouldn't pick up the World-Herald and frequently read about the Creighton athletes getting into legal problems. The past few basketball seasons haven't been the best for Creighton, but at least Altman realizes that character is more important than the way someone handles the ball.
Now that Collins will be gone, I can go back to enjoying my KU basketball. My Granddad Alcorn and Grandma Taddiken are responsible for getting me started on the team and I have to admit, they're hella fun to watch. But I cannot sit there and watch a team that has been built around someone who can't keep their penis in their pants. Hey, it's true of Sherron--he's fathered 3 children already so it's pretty obvious that he likes to do it regardless of if you're a willing participant!