This past weekend Mary and I participated in our church’s (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; or aka, OLMC) spring festival. There were games for the kids, raffles, silent auctions and of course, every kind of festival food imaginable: cotton candy, hot dogs, snow cones, pizza, southwestern food and much, much, more.
We set up our display for the ME-gan Lifestyle book and enjoyed the day seeing long time friends and new faces out for an afternoon of family, friends, food & fun.
There were children everywhere and babies galore! Yep… lots of babies; every size, shape, color & disposition. As Mary and I scanned the crowd, we could not help but think of how many of those happy children and small babies would grow up to be burdened by an unhealthy life style that would make them miserable. Our first reaction was “that is none of our business.” But, still we pondered in silence…why does the most fun have to be associated with the absolutely worst food? The answer is both simple and yet profound: We have been conditioned to a comfort zone of food, even when (ironically) it makes your body very uncomfortable. In other words, it’s not a party unless it is bad for you! “Party on..dudes and dudettes!”
Actually, almost everyone that approached our booth said that they, their child, or someone they knew had to change to a gluten free, vegan (or both) diet. I find it odd that so many newborns & young children have food allergies already! We have our own thoughts on that!
As the adults passed by our display and stopped to inquire about the ME-gan Lifestyle, we were pleased that many of them had heard about Mary’s book and a gluten free diet and the vegan concept. The most interesting message was one of ambivalence or an occasional “I know I need to eat more healthy, but it is just too difficult & complicated.” As a reader of this blog, you know that is not the case, but that is what they believe or what they say to themselves. They go on to say, “I know it is the right thing to do, but not right now.” Which only begs the question: “When is the right time?” After you have been attacked by a disease and obesity or worse? Once again, the answer lies in the environment and peer pressure, let alone the assault of television commercials and billboards.
Eat, drink and be merry! Seriously? Well, I guess…but can we keep this decree in ‘context’ with reality?
Very few of us have the insight or strength to see trouble ahead before it smacks us in the face, or the heart, or our weight.
Sunday, as we left the church, we walked away with two very important lessons:
- 1. Don’t try to promote healthy eating in a carnival and festival environment where cotton candy is king; and
- 2. Many others do not want to confront doing the right thing until they are forced to, as the result of a “health event,” in themselves or with a loved one. The most common attitude we found is, “Don’t bother me with facts when I am trying to have a good time!” Alrighty then!
I must say though, there was ONE booth that did sell healthy foods and very pretty plants and flowers! They had fruits & veggies which were donated by our local Fry’s grocery stores.
Mary & I seem to think the best thing to do is to create a plan and work that plan until you achieve the desired results. All of which is directed by and accomplished by YOU! It seems to be human nature to either “take action now” or wait for a crisis to do it for us! We are either a follower or a leader. When it comes to YOUR health, which one do you want to be?
It is a true challenge to walk the line between trying to help others with only the best of intent and/or pushing a lifestyle on to those who refuse to listen!
Festive ME-gan love to you all!
Lee Bortel, guest writer for Mary