Tag Archive | dietary haiku

Instanutrition

I scurried around the kitchen. There was dinner to be made. I peeled, chopped, sauteed and simmered. I sweated as the hot summer air mingled with the heat from the stove. I held an icy glass of water against my cheek. I ran the compost out back. I let the cat out. I let the cat in. 20150614_173007 (1)

My daughter sat calm and cool at the table. She asked me a few questions. She danced her fingers around a little. She called me over to look at some things. Way sooner than the time it took for the meal to be ready and without barely moving a muscle, she created a new portal into the universe for me–by opening an Instagram account for The Nutritionist’s Dilemma. She turned the first MyPlate Haikus into little lovely portraits. She chose nice hashtags and linked this to that. She set the table. She let the cat out.

Please take a moment to enjoy my Instagram messages and to follow me on Instagram at Lifeseedsnutrition. There, I hope to highlight the little morsels of collective poetic wisdom that illuminate the experience of self-nourishment that many have contributed to my blog along with other pearls that I have gathered along the way. The concept is to cobble together a creative and meaningful expression of how feeding ourselves may look and feel. It is a conceptual revisioning of the dietary constructs of a MyPlate model of nutrition. (These messages can also be seen at the bottom of the blog’s sidebar.)

New myPlate Haikus or poetic phrases and myPlate Plates are always welcome and will be necessary for me to hold my space in this new environment. For general instructions and examples, please see Accepting Haikus. We will see how this goes. It could be fun.

Also for your viewing pleasure, here is a video of some of the ongoing work of Michelle Obama to brighten the futures of the nation’s children through nutrition and health initiatives. For the past four years, the First Lady has sponsored a rather competitive children’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge cooking contest. Winners are chosen from each state and U.S. Territory and are treated to a Kids’ “State Dinner’ at the White House. The impressive recipes of these culinary kids are also compiled into a nice cookbook. This year’s event was held a few weeks ago and (spoiler alert) included a surprise guest.

The gathering also provided a platform for the First Lady to announce her new anti-big food advertising campaign FNV--which interestingly employs the efforts of celebrity athletes– which is something I wrote about in my last post. This initiative is also worth taking a look at. Clearly, she is committed to pulling out the stops.

Hey, I can now follow Michelle on Instagram. And who knows, maybe she might follow me. And, maybe next year, your amazing child can be a winner in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Check it out.

As always, thank you for your support, sharing, and readership of The Nutritionist’s Dilemma.

In health, Elyn

MyPlate Plate

myPlate Plate

myPlate Haiku

Blueberry bushes

Three children with empty pails

Pluck, pluck, crunch, exhale. by Michael

Dietary Haiku

japanese maple

Image by cskk via Flickr

Here are a few things that happened in my nutritional life this past week. First, I had a client come into my office bummed out about being fat. She sat down and immediately pointed to different parts of her body that she deemed fat. Of utmost disgust were her arms and her big belly. They definitely had to go. She quieted a little as she said she didn’t mind being big in the thighs and butt, and she thinks her hubby actually likes her like that. I asked about her eating habits. A number of issues presented, including the fact that her husband is incarcerated.

I asked how she felt about my making some suggestions. Without skipping a beat, she replied that she would think it was none of my business and I should leave her alone. Despite her distress, she was not ready for change–a common human experience. Most often I find some traction, but I did not try too hard in this instance and gave her space. (She did eventually come back and see me again.)

Next, my very own brother, in a comment on my last post, “Diet for a Small Caterpillar” informed me that only a small percentage of people actually care about nutrition. I wanted to protest, but he is my big brother and he does seem to know about a lot of things.

And, then, like the very next day, the United States Government, without giving me very much notice, obliterated the Food Pyramid and issued the newest expression of the most up to date dietary guidelines–the USDA My Plate.

Briefly, here is my initial response to the Plate. Though I appreciate the challenge and consider it an improvement, its teaching concept has been around for a while now, so I am surprised it is being touted as something unique and innovative. While hailed for its message to eat more fruits and vegetables, I think that is also old news. It is overly simplistic as our national food icon. It does not realistically relate to how people eat breakfast and lunch, and is not relevant to how many even eat dinner. It does not align with most cultural cuisines and supposes a basic meat and potatoes dietary structure. My dinner plate rarely resembles it. It evades many deeper nutritional questions about protein, dairy, fats and digestion. Disconcertingly, right under the plate it says “Balancing Calories: Enjoy your food but eat less.” This makes a broad assumption about all eaters and ignores the serious issues of those who may need to eat more for various reasons.

Essentially, this model has convinced me that it is time to abandon such efforts. If what my brother says is true, that few people even care; or as my client suggests, that not everyone wants to hear it, why do we keep trying to promote this short shelf life, stale message with such a stagnant image. Maybe it is time to try something new to spread meaningful dietary practice.

I sometimes enjoy a line of iced teas from a Japanese company called Ito En. On their bottles, they offer a nice little haiku. The bottle I have now says: ten heron heads blow as pampas grass in the morning fog. Lovely, even though it doesn’t stick to the 5–7–5 traditional haiku structure. Perhaps that’s because the tea is distributed in Brooklyn–who knows. Anyway, I am thinking that we should develop haikus with various themes to promote nutritional messages with greater nuance. Or, perhaps it would be more American to create some jingles. This could give employ to many creative artists, and I am sure their output would be funnier or more beautiful than anything produced by our governmental agencies. Michael Pollan’s missive, Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants, could be turned into a catchy dance number.

Just as I was about to declare the week a washout, one other thing happened. On Friday, I was at one of the three schools where I work. It was my last visit before summer vacation. I prepared a little healthy snack for the kids I had met with during the year and called them down individually to say good-bye. The message I try to instill in these young children is that they each have an amazing and wonderful body. They are all smart enough to choose to care for their body in various ways and can make many decisions for themselves about what and how they choose to eat.

In this closing session, I asked these adorable nine to thirteen-year-olds, what have they been paying attention to based on things we had previously talked about. Without explanation, they each understood this vague question and all had at least a small answer. Some had big impressive answers. My dimming faith was ignited once again. So, maybe this is the relevant dietary inquiry–What are we paying attention to? There is a lot to choose from in this crazy nutty nutrition world.

What message would inspire you or what do you think we need to hear? Is the truth of the matter that our governments’ policies are incongruent with appropriate dietary promotion or our personal experience as eaters? What are you paying attention to?

Please allow yourself a creative moment to pen your own dietary haiku or jingle and send it along. Let’s see what emerges.

In health, Elyn

Related Posts: Your Pyramid; Diet for a Small Caterpillar; Accepting Haikus