Healthy Living: Who is it for? (and a tutorial!)

A quick and full-of-goodness scrambled egg tutorial at the bottom! I promise the read is worth it but feel free to skip down. 🙂

On Saturday, September 20th, NBC’s TODAY show held “Shine A Light” Health Fair in Baltimore City, MD, in conjunction with Living Classrooms and the Baltimore City Health Department.  The event was part of the year-long “Shine a Light” campaign, dedicated to helping the city improve its health and fitness by showing city residents how to exercise in creative ways; encouraging and teaching healthy cooking and eating; and empowering the city residents to improve their lives on their own.  All in all, a great message and goal that I could analyze and discuss for multiple posts so I’ll move on for now.

A little background: part of the reason the TODAY show selected Baltimore is because of the city’s high rates of diabetes, obesity, and residents who smoke.  However, the problem is greater than just the simple “health + fitness” formula: Baltimore’s easy access to drugs, lack of conveniently accessible grocery stores, abundance of gas station convenience stores, high infant mortality rate, and lack of funding in public schools for gym class or sports makes it one of the least healthy cities in the country.  And those items aren’t even the entire list! As a resident of this fine city for over 2 years, I see this clearly.

But on the other hand, I also see the exact opposite lifestyle all over the place.  Indeed, we are a city of contradictions! Personally, I experience farmers markets and exercise fanatics.  People who choose to bicycle to work instead of drive. And the best part, group fitness classes in parks scattered throughout the various Baltimore communities. These things are what I see and experience in Baltimore.

I went running Saturday morning around 7 a.m. and on Sunday morning around 8 a.m.  My favorite time of the day in the city is the morning (on weekdays it has to be about 6 a.m. to get the same effect); no one is outside, no sirens or panhandlers, the harbor is quiet and pretty, and the only other people out and about are the other runners.  It’s a strong community, the people who jog around Baltimore city and explore the history on foot, whether within a Meet Up! group, a community oriented group like Friends of Patterson Park, or just neighbors and friends.  However, it is clear that the young middle-class adult exercise community lives in a city that is functionally miles apart from the city residents the TODAY show focused on.

The point of this rambling is that healthy living comes in all shapes and sizes.  I believe that a person’s affinity for healthy living comes from how you were raised and where.   My parents don’t exercise but due to living on and running a farm, they never stop moving.  When I moved to a city, first Columbus, OH,  then Baltimore, I had to find a way to be just as active but without the built-in exercise that is living on a farm – hence, now I marathon!  I have friends who exercise because they hate only having law school in their lives.  Others have health issues that need to be controlled.  And for The Pilot, if he doesn’t exercise and get all the extra energy out, it leads to some cranky times in the house.  (Admittedly, I have the same issues – I once had a temper tantrum because I didn’t have time to run the 12 miles I was scheduled to and could only do 6.  Pathetic, I know. #nojudging)

So, who is healthy living for? Everyone. But in their own way. You can’t force someone who has been taught that Doritos and Sprite are dinner to shop only at the farmers markets any more than I can make my roommate train for a marathon with me or The Pilot make me do a Triathlon next weekend. We all should live healthily on our own terms! With that said, the TODAY show’s message of demonstration, encouragement, and teaching is a wonderful vessel to bridge the gap and show an alternate healthy living style to those who may not have been taught the basics of healthy eating and working out.

I’m passionate about this because I have seen the disparities, and how much they can drive a wedge between people, communities, and specifically, socio-economic groups. I’m from a mid-western farm; you think that working criminal defense in Baltimore only taught me how to file paper work? Nope! So much life learning came with it.

So, work with what you have! Don’t ever feel like you have to buy specific, organic things at the store. Empty out your fridge and put together the things you love anyway to do some healthy eating and a little treat will be that you’re wasting less food! Cha-ching!

Scrambled Eggs with Peppers, Tomatoes, Ham, and Cheese (aka: the stuff that was going bad in my fridge)

I had all this stuff in the fridge and it was starting to go bad.  I don’t eat an egg a day, I get sick of them easily so sometimes they sit too long.  Mix it up to make it more exciting!

First: chop up your veggies and put them over heat.  Whether you brown them or just soften them up, they just taste better with the soft eggs when they are a little soft too.  Then, I chopped up the ham and tossed it in with the veggies.  I browned it all up and when it was good and crispy like I prefer.  When it was done, I put it aside.

Next: mix together some eggs and milk (salt and pepper if you are a fan of that).  Put it in the same hot pan you just used for the veggies and ham.  Make the eggs however you like and when they are almost done, add in the veggies and ham.  Mix together.

Finally, the cheese!  I had sandwich cheese so I laid it on top and put the lid on for a minute but if you have shredded you can probably mix that in with the veggies!

Finish it all to your preference, make a fresh cup of coffee, and enjoy! You just prepped a great meal, you saved some food from being thrown out, and you are still on your healthy living trek!

L

For more information on the “Shine a Light” program: http://www.today.com/allday/tag/shine-a-light

And how it is at work in Baltimore:

http://www.today.com/health/shining-light-weekend-todays-baltimore-health-expo-2D80163205

http://www.today.com/allday/todays-weekend-team-shine-light-healthy-lifestyle-habits-2D11897190

 

 

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