Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best of Luck, Leake Family!!!

A friend of mine (age 47) just sent me an email and told me that he has been to four doctor visits so far this week, plus a trip to a vascular surgeon and constant monitoring of his blood pressure which seems to be looming at around 188/150, even on medication. He's the latest in a string of my friends who are at high risk for stroke or heart attack directly related to dangerously high blood pressure.

Heredity and stress levels play a small role in that, but for the most part we can thank our wonderful American Diet. This is a guy who is constantly updating his Facebook status and at least three times a week he says something about Taco Bell, Wendy's, McDonalds, or Starbucks.

I'm pissed off about this, faithful readers. We are slaves to Cheap and Convenient. But here's an interesting article about a family on an interesting mission. I applaud them; I don't think I could do it.

No Goldfish. No Froot Loops. No store-bought ketchup or Chick-fil-A runs. Those are some of the new rules that one North Carolina family has instituted as it goes cold turkey on a whole foods diet for 100 days.

And despite the increased food bill and the major overhaul of their cooking habits, the Leake family seems pretty pleased with the results.

"It's pay now, or pay later in health care costs," Jason Leake told the Charlotte Observer.

Lisa Leake, a mother of two, was inspired to make the drastic change after reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. She told the Observer she was horrified to learn what she was feeding her children.

So out went the refined sugars, refined grains, deep-fried foods and fast foods. Ideally everything has five ingredients or fewer.

Lisa launched her own blog, 100 Days of Real Food, to chronicle the family's ups and downs with the new diet (sample posts: "Day 9: The Donut Incident" and "Day 60: P.F. Chang's and the Gum Controversy").

The site also offers "10 Reasons to Cut Out Processed Food," and "Real Food Defined (AKA 'The Rules')." Lisa's reason numero uno:

Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.

And the Leakes also encourage readers to pledge to try switching their own families over to a whole foods diet for 10 days to give it a try.

While the family has seen plenty of health benefits as a result of their switch, according to the Observer, they will loosen the rules a bit when the 100 days are over. Jason, for example, is craving deep-dish pizza.

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