Archive for Rants

MY FIRST VISIT TO THE FOOD BANK

Did the title of my blog catch your eye? Were you shocked to think that an employed person might visit the food bank?

Who do you think frequents the food bank? If you thought it was only drug users or people “abusing” the system, you like me are out of touch with reality!

My employer, Hub International Insurance Brokers, is a supporter of various community projects through their initiative called “Hub Gives” and again this year, Hub asked employees to volunteer time at a local food bank, then generously gave us paid time off from work while we volunteered! Check out the picture of the amazing group of people I worked alongside on my volunteer day at the Surrey Food Bank!

I remember watching a news story several years ago where people in line for the food bank were interviewed by the media. One man said he was there getting food so he could spend more money on Christmas presents for his children. Previously, I often donated items to the food bank, but that interview completely turned me against the people “abusing” our food banks. From that day forward, I only donated baby items. I told myself I would only help “those that could not help themselves”. What I saw at the food bank the day I volunteered was shocking to me!  Contrary to my belief, there were no drug users in the line, just families and employed persons trying to make ends meet. 

I also had a picture in my mind of people lining up every day to grab the “freebies” being offered. What I found out is that you must register before you can use the food bank to prove you are in need and you must re-register every six months to prove your continued need. On top of that, you can only come once every two weeks and only on your specified day. The food that is distributed will only last about four (4) days so no one is living high on the hog off the food they receive at the food bank; this is merely a way to try and make ends meet.

If you line up at the Surrey Food Bank, you will pass through an area where you receive a hamper (really a plastic bag filled with various canned goods). Next you go through the bread/pastry area and finally down a line of tables where various vegetables, salads, chips and juices are available, depending on what was donated that week. You must show proof that you are a registered client at each stop along the tables and the amount of food you receive varies depending on the size of your family and the abundance or lack of donations received.

I worked in two areas. First, I was at the food tables in charge of distributing raw parsnips and beets. I didn’t expect to be the least popular stop on the line! If you’re truly hungry, you’ll eat anything, right? That was what I used to believe.

The lady next to me was in charge of heirloom tomatoes and a lot of people had no idea how wonderful those are; they assumed there was something wrong with the tomatoes because they were not perfectly round and smooth. I was totally surprised how many people passed up raw vegetables in favour of the bags of chips and boxes of juice that were offered further down the line!

My second work experience at the food bank was in the area where the hampers were prepared. Depending on the size of your family, you got 1-3 cans each of soup, vegetables, chili-type meals, condiments, protein (in the form of canned tuna, salmon, ham or chicken), boxes of macaroni and cheese and packages of those dry noodles with flavoured sauce.

What really hit me while preparing those hampers was how fortunate I am to be able to choose what groceries I buy! How would you feel if you couldn’t decide what you were going to eat tonight? Yes, it is better than eating nothing, but I was very aware that I would have felt a lack of control.

On the news you sometimes hear about people being abusive to those trying to help them. I did not meet anyone like that; everyone I encountered was friendly, polite and very grateful for the help! The regular volunteers were spectacular as well! Such a compassionate group of people. I saw them treat each and every client as though they were family and friends.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I am a huge proponent of getting rid of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). A lot of food I saw at the food bank the day I volunteered contained GMOs (like a lot of the food in your local grocery stores). Obviously I would like to see that stop; however, I have conflicting emotions because many people could go without food.

What to do? I would like to encourage people to upgrade the food they donate to the food bank. Going forward, I commit to only donate food that is free of GMOs.

Have you like me ever donated old items from your cupboard? Several volunteers spend their time sorting donations and culling out stale-dated items and cans that are badly dented. I was delighted to learn that no outdated or poor quality food ever reaches the clients.

I hope I live to see the day when there is no longer a need for food banks, but in the meantime, let’s do everything we can to help the working poor feed their families the best possible food!

Perhaps you could donate a bit of time to help out at your local food bank? Christmas is coming. During the holidays, people in need are heavy on our minds. This year, let’s not forget the food banks when Christmas is over. Make it a habit to donate more often and all year round!

 

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WHY NOT GMOs… YOU GOTTA DIE FROM SOMETHING, RIGHT?

Thank you to the Institute for Responsible Technology for the bits and pieces of information I borrowed for this article.   Please read the entire report at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs:

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients.  Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996.  Food allergies skyrocketed and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems and others are on the rise.  Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor YET, doctors’ groups such as the AAEM advise not to wait before we start protecting ourselves and especially our children who are most at risk.

GMOs are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria.

Some of the biggest GMO crops in North America are corn, soy, rapeseed (canola or vegetable oil), cotton and sugar beets.  Go to your pantry and fridge right now and read the labels.  You are most likely eating one or more or all of these products in some form on a daily basis.

I want everyone to avoid GMOs and improve their health.  It makes me sad to hear so many excuses for continuing to eat foods containing GMOs.  Have you ever said “I don’t have time for shopping and cooking”, “I can’t afford organic”, “but it tastes SO good!”, or “you gotta die from something, right?”

If you or your family were ill, you would do everything you could to find a cure, wouldn’t you?  Doctors are reporting that 100% of their patients experienced improved health when they removed GMOs from their diet.  Why wait for illness to strike?  Be proactive and learn how to avoid GMOs today!

Have questions?   Contact me at http://debrondeau.com/contact or deb@debrondeau.com and if I don’t have the answer, I will find it for you.

Your health is your most precious possession!  Please do everything you can to protect it.  Don’t delay; start today by making even one small change!

GMO project certified

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ORGANIC IS TOO EXPENSIVE… WANT SOME WHINE WITH THAT CHEESE?

I wish I had a dollar for every person that told me they can’t afford to buy organic! 

The picture below caught my eye on Facebook this week…

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When you compare what it costs to buy organic versus what you currently spend on groceries, are you including all the extras you buy for yourself and the family during the week? Do you include snacks and fast food meals? You might be surprised how much you are actually spending on “food”!

Where could you cut back and free up money to buy more nutritious food? Fast food, chips, sodas, coffees, muffins, candy? Maybe all of these?

You don’t need to give up all your pleasures, but what if you skipped some for a mere two days a week and used the extra cash to pad your grocery allowance so you could buy some organic items?

It isn’t necessary to buy everything organic. Some produce have thicker skin and I believe they are less likely to absorb pesticides. A short list of examples is avocados, onions, mangoes, asparagus, grapefruit, sweet potato and cantaloupe.

WARNING: organic or not, wash ALL produce!

Read the picture above and really take in the message. Ask yourself “what am I spending money on that I could live without”? It may surprise you how much extra money you can free up each week!

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FILL ‘ER UP…. WITH DONUTS & FAST FOOD!

Driving down the street the other day, I was struck by the fact that most gas stations today have fast food restaurants connected to them.

Have you ever wondered how that trend got started?  Do you think an executive at one of the big gas stations was sitting with their feet propped up on the desk one day, pondering the world’s problems and suddenly jumped up shouting “Aha!  I know what the world needs; another place to buy fast food!

I’m being facetious of course.  In fact, my research found that it was actually the other way around.  It was food stores in the eastern United States that installed gas pumps and began selling gas.

Another thought – did the selling of food and other items also play a part in removing full service pumps and employees from a lot of gas stations?

Obviously the gas station would reap the additional profits of paying fewer employees, but think about it…  if you have to get up and out of your car to pump your own gas, you are much more likely to walk into the store and purchase something than if you remained seated in your car.

Do we really need access to more fast food?

Do you have a trick that helps you avoid sabotaging your good eating with these temptations?

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

 

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FAT MANNEQUIN ALERT!

Look at the picture below before you read another sentence…

Be completely honest…  what was your first thought?

The mannequins in the picture below are size 12 and size 16.  The average woman is a size 14.  Some people – “they” – are saying that displaying these mannequins condone obesity.  WTF!

The first time I looked at the picture below, I honestly thought those mannequins are fat!  We are so accustomed to see skinny, unrealistic size models that now “average” women look enormous in comparison.

But every time I look again, the mannequins look more normal to me.  It is my opinion that we need to see more average-size women in advertising and in stores so our children (and all people) become less judgmental of their bodies and begin accepting that women of all sizes are beautiful (because they are)!

I believe children and adults can learn to love and accept their bodies if they are not constantly subjected to abnormal body images in magazines and stores.

What do you believe?  Please share your thoughts!

FB post - large mannequins

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I’M GETTING WET!

Pee seems to be my theme this month.  I wrote a blog on incontinence in the gym recently and yesterday on my radio show I shared a story about my humiliation in the tiny room from HELL at 33,000 feet.  You know which room I’m referring to, right?

Have you had an encounter of the unpleasant kind in an airline washroom?  Well, if you were hoping that one day this room might get larger, prepare for disappointment. It seems the opposite is true…

Delta Air Lines has announced it will be the first airline to feature a smaller lavatory on board their planes. The shrunken toilets are expected to debut later in 2013 and are part of Delta’s redesign of their Boeing 737-900 planes. They say the smaller toilets will allow for an extra 4 rows of seats on the plane according to the Daily Mail.  No doubt other airlines will be following suit before too long.

You don’t have to wait for humiliation to take action!  What if today you get a coach and start your healthy eating and exercise program to obtain your ideal body!

 

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WARNING… ABANDONMENT ISSUES AHEAD!

I was reminded of something last weekend, which I feel compelled to warn you about…

There are people in your life that will abandon you if you insist on losing weight.  They might leave after 50 lbs. or after 100 lbs., maybe even as early as after 20 lbs.

Whenever you do something outside the “norm” of your social or family group, you are going to upset somebody!

It is not because your friends or family are bad people or that they do not love you or want the best for you, but, generally, people do not like change. And when you do something that moves you out of “normal”, they will want to put you back in your place.

I wonder if you have ever heard one of these statements: “come on, one won’t hurt” or “you can go back to your healthy eating after the party / after the weekend / next week / next month”?  Well they might as well say on the 12th of Never, because that is likely to be when you will recover from that sabotage!

You are going to have to decide RIGHT NOW!… are you 100% committed and who are you doing this for?  Because unless you are ALL IN, you are likely not going to make it!

And I have to tell you, this applies to anything important in your life, not just weight loss.

So, what’s your answer?  Are you committed to do this for you?  And are you prepared to let the saboteurs go if that is what is required for you to get back to health?  

Only you have the answer… 

Clip Art - Question mark

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HOW TO AVOID GMO FOODS

In my last blog you learned what is a GMO. It is my opinion that all foods containing GMO ingredients should be clearly labelled, but until this happens you can still choose to avoid buying and eating GMOs. I believe if we avoid purchasing products containing GMOs, big food companies will take notice.

The Non-GMO shopping guide issued by the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) can be extremely helpful. It gives tips on avoiding GMOs, lists the brands that have had some or all of their products verified by the Non-GMO project, and provides a list of invisible GM ingredients. Get a copy of this guide for your purse at NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.

GMO Free Canada also publishes a list of some hidden GM ingredients. Here is a small sampling of the ingredients that may be made from GMO unless they are organic or declared non-GMO: Aspartame, baking powder, corn syrup, corn starch, fructose, lecithin, monosodium glutamate, tofu, vitamin E and xanthan gum. For a full list and many other informative articles go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/gmofreecanada/.

Another helpful document is The GMO Detective written by Bobbie Blair. This document tells you some foods to avoid or at least question and gives you a way to do this. Please send me your email if you would like a copy.

Remember to vote with your dollars on this issue!

 

 
  Flowchart: Summing Junction: GMO

 

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GMO – WHAT’S THAT?

If you follow me on Facebook, you are aware that I am passionately opposed to GMOs.  

I am surprised when some people ask “what is a GMO?” so I would like to share a brief explanation.  GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism.  These organisms were originally created with the hope that they would reduce diseased crops and increase the world’s food supply, but it is becoming very clear that they have not achieved this idealistic result and I believe GMOs are causing more harm than good!

The basic concept is to take a gene or “feature” from one organism and insert it into the DNA of another to make a better, stronger organism.  To improve a tomato’s endurance in cold weather, they have taken a gene from a fish that likes cold water and inserted it into the tomato.  They also insert pesticides into corn so it can repel attacks from bugs and other pests. They claimed this would cut down on pesticide use, but again this has not proven true.

The first genetically modified (also known as Genetically Engineered) foods hit the shelves of US grocery stores in 1994 and today most US soy bean, corn and sugar beet crops are genetically modified.  A lot, probably the majority of processed foods in your grocery stores today, contain genetically modified ingredients so you are eating these “unproven” foods and feeding them to your children.

I say “unproven” because the testing that is done on these foods is not done by an impartial third party.  I think people have the mistaken impression that the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) tests all food before making a decision if it is safe to be consumed by the public.  It is actually the company manufacturing the product that does their own testing then submits it to the FDA.   So the decision if a food is safe is based entirely on reports done by the company that will profit if the product is approved.  Makes me go hmmmmmm

So you might be asking yourself “What’s the big deal? If she doesn’t like GMOs, just don’t eat them.”, but it’s not that simple.  You see, labeling of GMOs is not required and no one is volunteering to label their products because they know they will lose sales.  I would like to see labeling, but the big corporations that use GMOs are pouring millions of dollars into the fight to stop mandatory labeling.

Please educate yourself on this topic.  Then if you are as concerned as me, vote to get rid of GMOs or at the very least have them labelled!  Vote with your dollars.  Choose to buy products that specifically state they do not contain GMO ingredients.  Buy organic wherever possible.  Shop at your local farmer’s markets and avoid the inside aisles at the supermarket where so many products include GMOs.

I am not against progress; I am against unleashing these substances on the world without careful, unbiased testing to ensure they are safe.  I don’t believe that is too much to ask!  Do you?

I welcome your comments….

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THINK ORGANIC IS TOO EXPENSIVE? Have some (organic) cheese with that whine!

My granddaughter asked me today about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Her friend thinks they are perfectly safe to eat.  In a free society everyone should have the right to choose what they eat!  That is why I believe that all food should be labeled.  I want the option to avoid GMOs if that is my choice!

I was going to write a long article on this subject, but then I found this picture (worth a thousand words).  Thank you GMO Free Canada (http://www.facebook.com/GMOFreeCanadaGroup)!  This is for the United States, but it fits the Canadian attitude of “organic is too expensive” as well!  I believe we’ve lost track of what real food is and what it should cost.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!  Click on the blog title to comment…

  

 

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