Thursday, December 2, 2010

Controversial .. Perhaps? : Welfare & WIC vs Food Choice

Good Morning folks : )

When I first sat down and thought about writing this post, I started to get a little nervous as this blog has usually been on the light and airy side featuring healthy recipes, work outs, etc but maybe the snow has also brought in with it a need for truth. I know that the welfare and unemployment systems have been a topic of controversy for a very long time and especially now with benefits running out in the past week. However, I ran across an article yesterday that really got me thinking and to be honest a little perturbed. (oh yea.. I said it.. perturbed)

I read an article yesterday that was discussing white potatoes being added to the list of approved food for WIC and how one man went on a potato diet for an extended period of time to prove they are not detrimental to your health. He lost weight, his cholesterol and blood pressure came down and obviously that must mean that the food is healthy? Anyone remember the Twinkie diet? yea that guy lost weight too ...that doesnt mean that its healthy to shove a whole box of processed white flour, sugar and cream into your mouth everyday.

It was a comment on this article however that got me thinking about how the government handles food for those less fortunate ( or those working the system). The comment sounded something like this (paraphrasing of course)

" I went to get my mail in my apartment building and saw a woman on her Blackberry smartphone with her coach bag, hair and nails done.. complaining that she didnt get her welfare check yet" The comment really got to me because it was the perfect example of how people cheat the system. This got me thinking about government programs dealing with food. I have seen first hand how people abuse WIC and welfare..I think we all have.

I have been behind someone in the grocery store with their cart filled with freetos, cheese curls, soda, sugary cereals, pop tarts, cookies etc. and diapers. Obviously,there was a child at home and I have seen it all be paid for with food stamps. My heart ached for the poor kid who wasnt going to see even one green vegetable. The only piece of food that came from the earth in that entire cart were bananas.. Everyone likes a treat now and then.. and I dont know one kid that hasnt eaten some smore flavored pop tarts but come on.. and you are using government money to feed your kids food that will make them unhealthy, overweight, lose focus in school and basically raise the chances that your child too will become unhealthy or unable to educate themselves therefore perpetuating the welfare cycle?

I have also seen first hand accounts of people with joint incomes brag about how much money their husbands make "under the table" and then talk about how they use WIC as cigarette ashes are falling on their 8 month pregnant belly. If you dont care enough about your babies health to not smoke the entire time youre pregnant than why do you care if they get healthy food options? and if your spouse makes so much money (illegally I might add) then why are you using the WIC program? You can afford a loaf of bread and fruit..why are you draining the system when there are others that could truly use the help?

I understand that there are truly good people with great work ethics out there that use these programs correctly and it really helps them. To these people I say I am sorry you are struggling and I commend you for doing everything you can to provide for yourself and your family in hard times. I know its not great to focus on the bad.. but I havent heard much of any discussion about these types of topics in the blogging communities and I would really like peoples opinions! Whether you agree with me or not.

So I guess the question I am posing is.. are these programs working? Should the government regulate what food you can buy if you are on welfare? Especially if you are stating that you cant work because of health issues? ( depending on the health issue of course)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a 14 hour marathon thanksgiving

Good Morning everyone!!

I apologize for being absent for so long from the blogging community. I believe I havent written anything since about a week before Thanksgiving. I would like to say I was too busy but the truth of the matter is that I just didnt feel very inspired to write anything. The same things that had concerned me before are concerning me now.

For Example,
Have you seen the new and improved HFCS commercials? The one with a man walking his young daughter through a field of sunflowers telling you that your body doesnt know the difference between corn sugar and cane sugar because he has talked to scientists? The part that makes me angry about this advertising campaign is that they fail to tell you that both sugars are chemically enhanced. Yes your body cant tell the difference between the two BUT your body also doesnt recognize either compound as FOOD. All your body recognizes is that they are two foreign chemicals.

But anyway,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know that mine was very busy but very worth it. My boyfriend came in to Pittsburgh and we decided that we were going to split the time between both holiday traditions. So in the morning him and his highschool buddies played in a "Turkey Bowl" while I ran to Starbucks to get coffee and brief the family on our days plans. Small Starbucks coffee with a shot of Hazelnut is delicious!!

Once I picked Dwayne up we were on the road to my hometown of Warren Pennsylvania. Its basically the smallest town in the world but its where I spent the first 18 years of my life. We went to my moms side of the family first (which was being held at my aunts) and ate our first meal of the day. It was soo good.. there were sweet potatoes, turkey, vegetables..MMmmm. I managed to keep my portions small because I knew that there would be a lot of good food that day.

Once we spent a few hours with my moms side, we left to go spend dessert and coffee with my dads side which is part of the wonder of a divorced family I guess. We got there just in time for some pumpkin pie and after dinner drinks. Dwayne thoroughly enjoyed talking sports and sipping Manhattans with my cousin. It was short lived though and we were off to Pittsburgh again.

The drive was so scary because it had been raining all day, it was dark and we were driving in areas without street lights. I was behind the wheel and I dont see very well at night to begin with. We hydroplaned once or twice on the way to the party we were heading to. I think what should have been two and a half hours ended up being closer to three and half but we were safe and thats what matters!

We ended our night with the "Whiskey and Pie" party that one of Dwaynes friends has every year. We walked in to a table filled with different kinds of desserts from pecan pie and pumpkin roll to some crazy strawberry concoction that kind of looked like stewed tomatoes in a crust. We ate dessert, drank wine and hot tubbed ending the whole day around 330am. It was a very very long day but I wouldnt have changed it because we got to see everyone that we wanted to see.

I didnt feel stuffed at any point during the day .. I probably indulged more than I should have on the different desserts but kept the portions small and didnt feel gross and tired by the end.

My gym being closed did mean that I couldnt work out for 5 days because I am not one to run outside in the rain or if its below 45 degrees. I hate the cold.. it makes my chest hurt to breath in cold air while running.. I wont do it.. I always look at the diehard runners in all their winter gear from my nice warm car and think "use a treadmill" haha

But yesterday it was back to the grind of the gym and it felt good. I am thinking about trying to be strict on my cardio between thanksgiving and christmas because the break for Christmas will be even longer with out being able to exercise. I will be traveling home and to NC after that for New Years. I want to have a little wiggle room..