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Wellness

Filtering by Tag: prevention

Dear Disney.

Lisa Eberly

More important than any other post -- if you believe in what I'm trying to say below, please share and spread the word. Let's get Disney 'on board.' (A little cruise pun for ya there!) 

As many of you could see from my Instagram and Snapchat (lisaeberly), last month my family and I took my niece and nephews on the Disney cruise. Let me start by saying — Disney really knows how to do it right. Most everything was absolutely amazing and so well done, all with true Disney magic. My niece hung out with Minnie, Belle, Ariel, and was — I kid you not — on a first name basis with Cinderella by night 4. My nephew dressed up like a pirate and sword fought with me under fireworks in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. 

In all this amazingness, there was one huge and very saddening problem on my mind throughout my trip. One that I’m disappointed Disney didn’t take the opportunity to solve. 

I would argue that Disney has more magic and power over people at an early age than any other company. Disney shapes toddlers and young children’s interests, self image, and passions. My niece dresses up like a princess daily, my nephew sings the Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme song in the car. Even my 8 month old nephew can recognize the famous mouse. I myself remember dreaming about becoming a princess — all because of what Disney taught me. They are our first introduction to brand recognition and idolization in life. Before we grow up to want an iPhone or to look like a celebrity, we want a Mickey doll and to look like Cinderella. 

What Disney has is opportunity to reach into the brains of young children and mold them before anything else has a chance to. 

What is one of the biggest problems facing children in America today? Childhood obesity and overweight. Disney not only doesn’t aim to mediate this issue, but they blatantly contribute to it. 

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that overeating is not only inevitable, it’s downright encouraged. A ship that targets kids is even worse. My options for lunch were chicken tenders, fries, mac n cheese, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, pasta, and the list goes on. This was all placed across from the tiniest salad bar I’ve ever seen — an option of browning romaine or wilted spinach and a few veggies still defrosting. I understand that it’s difficult to get fresh fruits and vegetables on a cruise ship, but considering this ship ports every few days, I feel Disney could do better.

More important than my vegetable options are those of the children on the ship. All day long I saw overweight and obese children walking past, one hand holding a bowl of fries and the other an ice cream cone. Disney had opportunity — families are on this ship for a week, attending Disney restaurants, workshops, kids clubs, and seminars. I did not see a single class, event, activity, workshop, or anything about healthy eating or active living. Many of these families wouldn’t have any access or awareness of nutrition education if not on the ship — this was their chance. 

So, I’ll conclude with this: 

Dear Disney, 

Please find it in your hearts to take advantage of your Disney magic, brand, power, and influence to help make the world a healthier place. I see the small steps you’re taking — the healthy option on kid’s menus, the apple slices for sale at Disneyland — but let’s go BIG. You have more opportunity than any other company to solve, or at least lighten the load of, childhood obesity, giving children longer lives to tell their grandkids about the magic of Disney, more energy to run around your parks playing, and improved confidence to find the princess or prince charming in themselves. 

And hey, if you need a dietitian to help you, my door is wide open. Let’s get to work. 

Your pal,

Lisa Mouse, MPH, RD

Again, if you agree, please share this (click any button on the left!) to help us get Disney's attention to take action! 


Prevention & how to get everyone in on it

Lisa Eberly

prevention-cliff

If you’re reading a health blog, you totally get it. You already know that prevention is key and that good nutrition and fitness are essential to a long and healthy life. But, I’m sure you’re getting realllllly frustrated trying to explain that to, well, pretty much everyone you know.

I certainly am.

So how do you get Uncle Bob or boyfriend or grandma to get on board with a healthy lifestyle? You tell ‘em this.

Sure, you can try to cure a disease. You can try to fix a problem after its already happened. But that’s really, if you think about it, pretty dumb. Especially considering how easy it is to stop the problem in the first place.

Think of disease as a cliff. There’s this big scary cliff with a hmm…let’s say a 10 million foot drop. As soon as we are born we are slowly walking toward the edge of the cliff. Until we fall off. At the bottom of the drop, there’s treatment. There’s an ambulance that can take you to a hospital. There’s pills and surgeries and all that jazz to try to help your body, but let’s be real, you’ve already fallen 10 million feet. Oh, and you never know how close you are to the edge of the cliff. Until you fall.

I bet you’re thinking: what kind of idiot population has such a dangerous cliff in their neighborhood?! Better yet, what kind of idiot population hasn’t done anything to stop people from falling off the cliff?!?! Prevention is simple. Prevention is a fence around the edge of the cliff that says ‘BEWARE: 10 MILLION FOOT DROP.’ Prevention is a net ready to catch you 2 feet off the edge of the cliff, so you can just prop yourself back up. Prevention is a brick wall closing off the cliff. A healthy diet and regular exercise are that net or that brick wall.

Prevention isn’t something that just happens. You can’t prevent chronic diseases and death just by saying you prevent them, or by waiting for prevention to happen. Sitting on your butt waiting for something to happen is the opposite of prevention, and trust me, you’re going to pay for that in the long run. You know, when you’re lying at the bottom of the drop thinking ‘ugh…someone should really put a fence up there.’ You know, that is, if you survive to the bottom of the drop.

Prevention is being proactive. It is making a healthy life happen for yourself, not waiting for it. It is not making excuses or saying you’ll start when you’re older. Prevention is BUILDING that brick wall. It’s PAINTING that fence. It’s SECURING that safety net.

So, I know you’re all doing those things because you’re all smart and proactive. Share this with someone you know who could use this kick in the tush to get up and make the healthy, long life everyone wants happen today. 

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To Cleanse or not to Cleanse...

Lisa Eberly

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Let me preface this by saying that juice cleanses are NOT recommended by dietitians and that they will NOT help you lose real weight or make you “skinny”. You might lose a couple pounds of water weight, but as soon as you eat again, that’ll change. In fact, fasting & restricting food actually decreases your metabolism. That being said, I am an advocate for cleanses (well, obviously, I make my own and sell it). Here’s one of the few reasons why.

No matter how healthy you are, your body takes in a lot of junk. Everyone has their moments and eats junk now and then, healthy packaged foods are still packaged foods, and even if you are 100% clean eating whole, natural foods, you’re still breathing. As long as you’re breathing, you’re building up yucky free radicals in the body.

Oxygen causes the buildup of free radicals. This is a wholeee long process that takes place in the mitochondria (oh yea, remember high school bio?) that I cannot wait to have the time to write about in an easy-to-understand way (stay tuned for Nourish the book!). In the meantime, basically, oxygen → free radicals → aging, cancer and other diseases…the list goes on. If the human body were a bicycle, oxygen is rust.

So, before I get too off-track, let’s answer this: what does this have to do with cleanses?

Well, antioxidants are pretty much free radical killers. You all know berries and other foods have antioxidants, but I bet you didn’t know that your body naturally makes really powerful antioxidants without food, called superoxide dismutase-2 (let's call this SOD2 for short!). But, the process of eating and metabolizing food turns off these little guys, which further adds to the free radicals running wild.

When you are on a cleanse, a juice one or a calorie restricted one, you give your body the chance to not only give the liver and other organs a quick break (which they don't really need, but hey, might as well!), but more importantly, your body has the time to build up its natural antioxidants (primarily SOD2) to alleviate the buildup of free radicals. These natural antioxidants have been suggested to prevent aging, cancer, alzheimer’s, diabetes, and so many other diseases.

I personally don’t like the idea of starvation and strict juice cleanses. That’s one thing I (and my clients) love about my cleanse: they are never hungry and you don’t have to give up eating food. 

If you don’t calorie restrict, I highly recommend a cleanse every month or few months. Not to lose weight, not to look thin, not to avoid dieting, but rather to build up the body’s natural defenses to fight disease and encourage healthy aging. You’ll thank me when you’re a healthy, active old man or lady!