We are in the midst of a major sea change regarding our country’s—if not the world’s—perspective on food and nutrition. Bit by powerful bit, regular people are reclaiming control of the fuel they put into their bodies. Many are learning for the first time what constitutes real, whole-food nutrition and are taking extra effort to source it locally, sustainably and organically. At last, people are learning to cook again, sharing these skills with their children and reviving old traditions of preparing food and eating it together.
We are very fortunate to be seated at one of the best tables in the country to witness this. IDEA is headquartered in San Diego, which may well rank among the most active local/artisanal food communities in the nation. We are surrounded by small farms that raise organic, free-range livestock and gorgeous fruits and vegetables year-round. If you think you can’t get fresh, organic food in San Diego, you have put absolutely no effort into discovering the local bounty!
We believe that like exercise, food is medicine and has tremendous healing power for our obese and overweight nation. But, as with exercise, it has to be the right kind of medicine and it has to be administered by those who have the knowledge to do it safely and effectively.
The conversation about this at IDEA has been passionate enough for us to consider deconstructing what have long been considered sacrosanct boundaries for where a fitness professional may tread regarding food and nutrition coaching or advice—but only with apparently healthy clients. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe you could have more of an impact on client successes if you could do more in the food/diet/nutrition arena? Do you feel your scope of practice limits you and your clients? If so, in what way do you feel hindered? Do you push out your boundaries in the interest of helping clients? If so, to what extent? Please e-mail editor in chief Sandy Todd Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on this.
One fact remains disturbingly clear: the agricultural-industrial complex is far from dead or even struggling. The behemoth that churns the mass production of fast, processed “Frankenfoods” that literally make us sick is not going quietly into the night. Truly, this is a David and Goliath proposition. The whole, natural food movement is indeed gathering steam, but it is outmatched by sheer size, powerful political lobbies and seemingly endless marketing dollars flowing from the processed foods industry. Their reach is invasive.
That much was evident in late September at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo at the San Diego Convention Center. The largest booths in the massive convention hall were brand-name giants that America knows and loves, and they had their best marketing-foot forward courting the thousands of dietitians on hand. However, situated all around these enormous brand-name islands were many small start-up companies that are stepping boldly and proudly into the arena with their bona fide natural products. There are more of these vendors every year, and people are taking notice of their product lines. We certainly are.
Next year is going to be a watershed year for IDEA in terms of nutrition. We are committed to bringing whole-food and nutrition education—which we feel could be even more essential than exercise in the obesity equation—to the forefront in our industry.
On January 5, watch for the launch of a new e-newsletter, IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips. We know from a reader survey specifically about nutrition conducted in July that 77% of you are providing some sort of nutrition service to your clients.
Our survey also revealed that almost 96% of you wanted an information vehicle focused solely on food and nutrition—and we have developed it for you. IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips will be published six times per year and will be free to anyone who has an interest in the subject matter. Content planned includes practical “how-to” aspects of food, cooking and nutrition; tips and tricks for staying on track; healthy recipes demonstrated on video; weight loss/diets; nutrition research, whole foods and sports nutrition.
We are extremely excited about this and other nutrition plans we have for 2012. This is just the beginning of a great new era, and we invite you to join us in making it an unparalleled success.
Yours in health,
Kathie and Peter Davis
PS: Wishing you safe and happy holidays!