I've been thinking more about food lately and the impact of growing up in a country and family that valued eating a healthy balanced diet. All of the meals I grew up with included vegetables, carbohydrates, protein and fruit/fruit salad. It was simply how it was and that was the norm. We were never afraid of starch/carbs or vegetables and we didn't grow up with guilt around food! On rare occasions my parents would allow us to have chocolate or ice cream e.g .after Church on a special Sunday. Of course I probably would have wanted this more often because I was a kid and loved sweet things, but I truly appreciate the fact that this was just the norm in the family and culture and it has led to a lifelong simplicity around how I eat and think about food. I hope parents and adults realize that we do have control over what the food norms are in our own homes - even with financial limitations and all the cultural pressures that we have to eat and drink food that we were not born to eat! I still remember what we ate when we were broke - our go to food was rice and cabbage - I may have complained or been tired of that occasionally, but I survived and actually like both foods still!
One of the many highlights of our Run Like a Kenyan...In Kenya trip this year was traveling with a sports nutritionist/author who was studying the diets of elite runners. The Kenyan runners' diets are basically the common diets of most of the general population in Kenya - they are carb heavy (healthy carbs) and very well balanced. Our guest has written some wonderful articles about the Kenyan diet (Eat Like a Kenyan, Run Like a Kenyan) and the importance of loving your diet. You can get some wonderful tips from the articles, whether you are an athlete or someone trying to improve your health.
You can also check out our short videos one is 1.37 minutes: Ugali Powered - A post marathon interview with Matt Fitzgerald highlights a participant's marathon experience. And the other is 4.12 minutes: The real Kenyan experience with Matt Fitzgerald, which is a summary of the highlights of our trip.
To learn more about our trips visit our Run Like a Kenyan...In Kenya website.
Also feel free to enroll as a student in one of my upcoming continuing education courses to learn how to treat Childhood Obesity.