Food Revolution

By: Nikki Nies Jamie-Oliver

While obesity is a preventable disease, we’re currently on the losing end of the war.  It’s not only an American, first world problem.  As a global epidemic, Jamie Oliver has once again, thankfully, taken it upon himself to lead a Food Revolution!  While we’re by no means deprived of food, with so many options, more children than ever are malnourished due to the number of empty calories they consume on a regular basis.

Jamie Oliver explains the premise behind said Revolution!

“Since I’ve been working in America, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have come out to support the Food Revolution. More than 630,000 people have signed the petition, over 300,000 of you subscribe to our newsletter and thousands of you have written to me. The only message I keep hearing is that you believe your kids need better food, and that you want help to keep cooking skills alive. That’s why this Food Revolution matters.” -Jamie Oliver

It’s great to hear others acknowledge and understand the issue at large.  The Food Revolution is a great platform to help inspire all to get back into the kitchen to cook real food from scratch and get away from the pre packaged, processed products that are ubiquitously calling our names!  This movement has already made great strides toward health awareness and changing how we eat. Still not convinced change is needed?

Global obesity alarming #s:

  • More than 43 million children under 5 years old are overweight or obese
  • More than 1.5 billion adults are overweight or obese
  • With obesity, one’s life can be cut by 10 years
  • In the U.S., obesity costs $10,273,973/hr!

While the above numbers are scary stats, Jamie’s got a 6 point plan moving forward:images

  1. Cook more with the availability of community kitchens (i.e. church halls, healthcare centers and/or schools) that will help you learn the basics of home kitchen! By getting in the kitchen you can control portion sizes, ensure the use of fresh ingredients and it’s a great way to get the family together!
  2. An activist program is supporting parents that want to ensure better quality of food for their children.  There is a community website that encourages grass roots change nationwide in the U.S.
  3. With the Food Revolution truck, this mobile food classroom offers cooking classes
  4. Inspiring parents, caregivers, teachers and students to cook fresh meals and snacks on campus and throughout school district
  5. Within corporations, promoting a culture change: helping healthcare sectors to recognize the “investments” needed for better health in the future.  Also, providing employees the opportunity to learn essential cooking skills and fresher foods at canteens

What are you waiting for?!? There’s so many ways you can contribute to this revolution and be part of the change! Sign the global petition today! Learn more about this Revolution and how you can get involved today!

Photo Credit:Mazwo and Indiana Public Media


The Healthy,Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA)

food-assistanceBy: Nikki Nies

In December of 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296), which is valid until September 2015. While this act reauthorizes many child nutrition programs–National School Lunch and Breakfast program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program, the Afterschool Meal Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), many are not as familiar with the importance or impact it has on many American lives.


  • Increases after school Meal Program to all 50 American states
  • Supporting improvements to direct certification for school meals to reduce red tape in helping children obtain school meals
  • Allows state WIC agencies the option to certify children for up to one yea
  • Mandates WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) implementation nationwide by October 1, 2020
  • Improving area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the CACFP program
  • Enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings
  • Making “competitive foods” offered or sold in schools more nutritious

This act provided an additional $4.5 billion for these funded assistance programs.  With September 2015 quickly approaching, what will be the fate of HHFKA? The most recent passing of this Act had its own troubles with Congress having to figure out how to pay for the increased investments through offsets. After the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there were struggles of offsets to cover new costs that were required to break filibusters of legislation in the Senate.  Additionally, many congressional leaders find the distribution of SNAP funds is counterproductive in the big picture goal of solving world hunger.

HHFKA may not be the most glamorous topic to talk about at dinner, but it’s very worth noting.

Photo Credit: Single Mommie


Why You Need a RD in Your Life!

Original Image by USDA via Flickr
Original Image by USDA via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

 People are always striving for the latest, greatest weight loss tips.  There’s an exhaustive list of those willing to provide information, but more important willing to “sell” you the information.  One’s health is nothing to take a gamble on and I’m sure you want to receive the best guidance.

When seeking advice from a health professional, it’s best to know his or her credentials and what experience the individual has in counseling.  When you see the credential Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) after someone’s name, you can be certain he or she has gone through adequate training and schooling to be qualified to give nutrition advice.

If you’re unfamiliar with the credential RD or RDN, let’s just go through a quick overview of why you should be consulting a RD:

  • They’re nutrition experts: Using their expertise, they’re able to help people make unique, positive lifestyle changes.  RD’s are easily accessible at hospitals, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, worksite wellness programs, schools, private practice and throughout local communities.
  • Best qualified to provide nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for prevention, wellness and disease management
  • Can help reduce hospital doctor’s visits, hospitalization and/or reduced prescription drug coverage by increasing satisfaction levels and productivity
  •  Apply knowledge and practice of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) evidence based Nutrition Practice Guidelines, which are considered the “gold standard” guidelines to adhere to when working with the general public
  • Work as a team with other health care professionals to provide coordinated and cost effective care
  • Have received extensive training through academic, hands on and practical experience.
  • RD certification requires the minimum attainment of a bachelor’s degree, complete an accredited internship program and complete continuing professional education to uphold their competencies and credential
  • MNT provided from 6 months to a year has been contributed to a mean weight loss of up to 10% of body weight for clients
  • Helps lower blood pressure, lipid profiles, and A1C levels through continued counseling

And above all, RDs are working for clients to best meet not only their dietary needs, but to help clients live a healthier lifestyle.