SC Governor Mark Sanford recognizes healthy citizens this week
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and First Lady Jenny Sanford will be honoring residents of South Carolina who epitomize healthy living principles in a special open house at the governor's mansion in Columbia, SC on Thursday, May 18, 2006 as part of the Healthy SC Challenge.
As part of the upcoming awards ceremony, my healthy activity tip was chosen to be featured on the Healthy SC Challenge web site as well as at the open house on Thursday afternoon.
My activity tip was one of 7 chosen statewide and here's what they wrote about it:
Jimmy Moore of Spartanburg County has improved his healthy by exercising everyday. In just one year, he went from weighing 410 pounds to 230 pounds. His favorite workout is the elliptical trainer at the YMCA during his lunch break! He believes that the key to his success is daily commitment, and he attributes his health improvements to a low-carb lifestyle.
Hey, hey, hey, how about that? I was so honored to have my activity tip chosen as one of the winners and kudos to the selection committee for choosing a low-carb success story as part of their Healthy SC Challenge.
However, when this program was launched one year ago, I had my reservations about it because it looked like all of the nutritional information provided on their web site was geared more towards eating a low-fat/low-calorie diet than anything else. As you know, weight loss is definitely NOT "one-size-fits-all" and I was disturbed that there was nary a mention of livin' la vida low-carb.
As a result of this blatant omission of information, when they began soliciting healthy living tips and recipes from South Carolina residents earlier this year, I asked the question at my blog whether the Healthy SC Challenge would be open to low-carb considering the main focus of their web content looked like it was centered on low-fat and low-calorie.
I suppose that since they chose to print a snippet about my commitment to livin' la vida low-carb as one of their winning healthy activity tips, you could say that the answer to that question is "yes."
Nevertheless, I find it very odd that their request for "healthier version of traditional Southern foods" recipes (I had entered my low-carb fried chicken recipe, but it was not chosen) only produced ONE low-carb dish: Salmon & Egg Scramble. Although this excellent low-carb recipe contains just 1g net carbs, 9g fat and a whopping 30g protein, the low-fat focus of the Healthy SC Challenge came back front and center with the following disclaimer at the end of the recipe:
"While this recipe has many vitamins and nutrients, it is also higher in fat and cholesterol. To optimize health, keep portion size low and pair with some whole wheat toast and/or some fruit.
"To optimize health?" Yeah right! What if you don't worry about fat, cholesterol, and portion size or think that whole wheat toast and certain fruits have too many carbs, hmmm? I would GLADLY eat a full-sized portion of this Salmon & Egg Scramble recipe all by itself and not even think twice about it because it will keep my hunger at bay for hours with the incredible 30g protein in it! Adding the toast or even some fruit will be contributing some unnecessary carbohydrates at breakfast when you want to start your day off with a protein bang.
Meghan Wood, the Director of the Healthy SC Challenge, stated previously in a response about my concerns regarding their low-fat/low-calorie focus that the main goal of the initiative is "to improve the overall health of our state." I can appreciate that sentiment, although I have yet to see it in any of the recommendations and tips at the Healthy SC Challenge web site.
The following are just a few healthy eating tips that I submit to fit their criteria:
1. Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
2. Eat healthy carbs while avoiding sugar, white flour, and starchy foods.
3. Don't reduce fat unnecessarily because your body needs fat to function.
4. Consume more berries, fish, green leafy veggies, and nuts.
5. If you are hungry often, then add extra protein to your diet.
I don't think any of these suggestions are incompatible with the goal of wanting "to improve the overall healthy of" South Carolina or any state for that matter. Will they have the courage to make these suggestions available to the public or will they keep on trumpeting their low-fat/low-calorie mantra over and over again until they are blue in the face? We'll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, Christine and I are looking forward to visiting with Gov. and Mrs. Sanford and the other honorees in Columbia, SC on Thursday afternoon and we'll be sure to take some pictures to share with you from the event.
Again, I am happy to have been chosen to represent someone whose life has been radically changed thanks to healthy low-carb living principles and I will do my best to represent the millions of us who follow this way of eating with dignity. That's all we want is for others to respect our nutritional approach to health. If it has resulted in weight loss and healthier lives, then the least we deserve is credence to the low-carb lifestyle. I applaud the Healthy SC Challenge for doing that.