‘It changes your relationship with food’

After suffering a severe leg injury, a Michigan man turns to a culinary medicine cooking class to focus on his health.

‘It changes your relationship with food’

In February 2020, while running through the Atlanta airport to catch a flight, Steve Johnson noticed a severe pain in his calf.

“I had 22 minutes to get between the gates in Terminal A and Terminal D,” Johnson said. “I made it, but I had some challenges in the process.”

The New Era, Michigan, resident journeys extensively for his job, so he’s well accustomed to the rigors of travel. But as he boarded this particular flight and took his seat, he couldn’t ignore the leg pain.

Later, he met with a doctor.

“’You’re going to be down for at least six weeks’—that’s what the orthopedic surgeon said,” Johnson said. “And he was right almost to the day.

“My weight reached 250 pounds and I wasn’t able to work it off with exercise. I was literally down for six weeks with the calf injury.”

COVID-19 restrictions went into effect shortly after his injury, further limiting his ability to stay active.

“I had some challenges during COVID, like everybody,” he said. “I developed bad habits over time. I’ve always been overweight, but I hadn’t been in the Class 1 obesity category before.”

With the leg injury, he didn’t like where things were headed. He knew that if he wanted to keep his weight in check, he’d have to do it by way of diet.

So he enrolled in a culinary medicine cooking class program.

Learning the steps

Johnson, 49, likes to cook.

When he saw information about a culinary medicine cooking class program offered through Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, where he works part time as a pharmacist, he grew intrigued.

“I took it the first time because it looked like a neat class and I wanted to learn healthier cooking,” Johnson said. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but growing up we rarely ate healthy.”

He took the program in the fall of 2020, but missed a class due to travel. He took the program again in the spring of 2021.

In addition to working part time at Spectrum Health Ludington and Gerber Memorial Hospitals, Johnson works full time for a pharmacy management company.

The spring and fall classes were offered virtually, with participants cooking at home during each class. They learned new skills and used ingredients provided through a grant from the local health department.

A registered dietitian and culinary medicine chef led each class, operating from the Spectrum Health Lifestyle Medicine teaching kitchen at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

“I absolutely loved it,” Johnson said. “Instead of watching somebody cook in a test kitchen, it teaches you to do all the steps for yourself.”

Many of the class participants experience positive results from the program, said chef Elizabeth Suvedi, manager of the Spectrum Health culinary medicine program.

“It’s pretty cool to hear the participant’s feedback,” Suvedi said. “From feeling more confident with cooking, to understanding the health benefits of eating healthier, it is inspiring to hear stories such as Steve’s.”

The program is also bringing people together.

“We get a lot of feedback that people also enjoy quality family time, being together and the bonding that happens when you’re in the kitchen,” Suvedi said. “Not only the social time, but the cooking skills and health benefits that result for the entire family.”

Positive results

The lifestyle changes—eating right, exercising again—has Johnson feeling great.

“It changes your relationship with food,” he said. “I’ve lost 30 pounds, which is great. And I haven’t really had to give up anything to do that, which is also great.”

At each cooking session, a registered dietitian provides practical information on vital nutrients, portion control, colorful plates and reading nutrition labels.

“The focus is on optimal health and ensuring what you’re eating are things that will help your overall health,” Suvedi said. “It’s being mindful about staying away from processed foods, added sugars, fried foods and red or processed meats.

“It’s learning how to cook with less oil and to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet – in a way that’s also delicious.”

Class participants get recipe cards to help them make a variety of healthy dishes.

“There’s no excuse not to put the material into practice,” Johnson said. “Having the recipe cards gives you a quick and easy guide to the program and helps you remember some of your favorite things.”

Top on his list? Bell Pepper and Chicken Skillet.

“This is by far the most awesome recipe from the program,” he said. “It uses so little chicken, but it fills you up. This recipe tastes fantastic. It creates enough to literally feed an army.”

He passed the recipe along to his mom, who now cooks it about once a week.

“Just from me taking the program and sharing the recipe, I think six different people make this dish now and absolutely love it,” Johnson said. “So it has a wide reach in terms of making the community healthier.”

Working ahead

Originally from East Lansing, Johnson lives on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan—a home previously used as a vacation home by his parents. He often takes an early morning walk along the beach to start his day.

“Every morning I try to walk between two and three miles,” Johnson said. “Exercise is paramount—and not getting injured again is paramount.”

Johnson added an exercise room onto his garage to make fitness a priority.

“I haven’t weighed this little since my freshman year of college,” he said. “The goal for me is overall health, because the weight impacts your knees, it impacts your cardiovascular health. And so if I want to enjoy a healthy retirement, which I do, then it’s important to act now and make some changes so I can.”

He’s now at 219 pounds. His goal is to reach the overweight category versus the obese category, which for him would be 215 pounds.

“I just missed it by a hair,” he said of his last official weigh-in.

Johnson likes to work ahead, prepping meals and sometimes freezing them for quick and easy cooking later to accommodate his busy schedule.

“It’s proof that you can eat and do things that are healthy with a little planning,” he said. “The program helps you to make better choices that are still tasty and delicious.”

Johnson has become an advocate for the culinary medicine cooking class program.

“It’s a phenomenal way to practice skills you already know, most likely, but you’ll pick up a few new things,” he said. “It’s a series of small changes that help you make a big difference in your overall health. The culinary medicine team helps you put all of that together.”

Source : Health Beat More   

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The Propaganda War (And How to Fight It)

Every totalitarian system in history has used the power of visual propaganda to generate a new "reality," one that reifies its official ideology, remaking the world in its own paranoid image. New Normal totalitarianism is no exception. For example, take a look at this panel copied from the landing page of The Guardian — one of the global-capitalist ruling classes' primary propaganda organs — on July 17, 2021 … This isn't just "biased" or "sensationalist" journalism. It is systematic official propaganda, no different than that disseminated by every other totalitarian system throughout history. Here's the one from the following day … Forget about the content of the articles for a moment and just take in the cumulative visual effect. Official propaganda isn't just information, misinformation, and disinformation. It is actually less about getting us to believe things than it is about creating an official reality, and imposing it on society by force. When you're setting out to conjure up a new "reality," images are extremely powerful tools, just as powerful, if not more powerful, than words. Here are a few more that you might recall … Again, the goal of this type of propaganda is not simply to deceive or terrorize the public. That is part of it, of course, but the more important part is forcing people to look at these images, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, at home, at work, on the streets, on television, on the Internet, everywhere. This is how we create "reality." We represent our beliefs and values to ourselves, and to each other, with images, words, rituals, and other symbols and social behaviors. Essentially, we conjure our "reality" into being like actors rehearsing and performing a play … the more we all believe it, the more convincing it is. This is also why mandatory masks have been essential to the roll-out of the New Normal ideology. Forcing the masses to wear medical-looking masks in public was a propaganda masterstroke. Simply put, if you can force people to dress up like they're going to work in the infectious disease ward of a hospital every day for 17 months … presto! You've got yourself a new "reality" … a new, pathologized-totalitarian "reality," a paranoid-psychotic, cult-like "reality" in which formerly semi-rational people have been reduced to nonsense-babbling lackeys who are afraid to go outside without permission from "the authorities," and are injecting their children with experimental "vaccines." The sheer power of the visual image of those masks, and being forced to repeat the ritual behavior of putting them on, has been nearly irresistible. Yes, I know that you have been resisting. So have I. But we are the minority. Denying the power of what we are up against might make you feel better, but it will get us nowhere, or, in any event, nowhere good. The fact is, the vast majority of the public — except for people in Sweden, Florida, and assorted other officially non-existent places — have been robotically performing this theatrical ritual, and harassing those who refuse to do so, and thus collectively simulating an "apocalyptic plague." The New Normals — i.e., those still wearing masks outdoors, shrieking over meaningless "cases," bullying everyone to get "vaccinated," and collaborating with the segregation of the "Unvaccinated" — are not behaving the way they're behaving because they are stupid. They are behaving that way because they're living in a new "reality" that has been created for them over the course of the last 17 months by a massive official propaganda campaign, the most extensive and effective in the history of propaganda. In other words, to put it bluntly, we are in a propaganda war, and we're losing. We can't match the propaganda power of the corporate media and New Normal governments, but that doesn't mean we can't fight back. We can, and must, at every opportunity. Recently, readers have been asking me how to do that. So, OK, here are a few simple suggestions. The vast majority of obedient New Normals are not fanatical totalitarians. They're scared, and weak, so they are following orders, adjusting their minds to the new official "reality." Most of them do not perceive themselves as adherents of a totalitarian system or as segregationists, although that is what they are. They perceive themselves as "responsible" people following sensible "health directives" to "protect" themselves and others from the virus, and its ever-multiplying mutant "variants." They perceive the "Unvaccinated" as a minority of dangerous, irrational "conspiracy theorist" extremists, who want to kill them and their families. When we tell them that we simply want our constitutional rights back, and to not be forced into being "vaccinated," and censored and persecuted for expressing our views, they do not believe us. They think we're lying. They perceive us as threats, as aggressors, as monsters, as strangers among them, who need to be dealt with … which is exactly h

The Propaganda War (And How to Fight It)

Every totalitarian system in history has used the power of visual propaganda to generate a new "reality," one that reifies its official ideology, remaking the world in its own paranoid image. New Normal totalitarianism is no exception. For example, take a look at this panel copied from the landing page of The Guardian — one of the global-capitalist ruling classes' primary propaganda organs — on July 17, 2021 …

This isn't just "biased" or "sensationalist" journalism. It is systematic official propaganda, no different than that disseminated by every other totalitarian system throughout history. Here's the one from the following day …

scientists' plea

Forget about the content of the articles for a moment and just take in the cumulative visual effect. Official propaganda isn't just information, misinformation, and disinformation.

It is actually less about getting us to believe things than it is about creating an official reality, and imposing it on society by force. When you're setting out to conjure up a new "reality," images are extremely powerful tools, just as powerful, if not more powerful, than words. Here are a few more that you might recall …

Again, the goal of this type of propaganda is not simply to deceive or terrorize the public. That is part of it, of course, but the more important part is forcing people to look at these images, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, at home, at work, on the streets, on television, on the Internet, everywhere.

This is how we create "reality." We represent our beliefs and values to ourselves, and to each other, with images, words, rituals, and other symbols and social behaviors. Essentially, we conjure our "reality" into being like actors rehearsing and performing a play … the more we all believe it, the more convincing it is.

This is also why mandatory masks have been essential to the roll-out of the New Normal ideology. Forcing the masses to wear medical-looking masks in public was a propaganda masterstroke.

Simply put, if you can force people to dress up like they're going to work in the infectious disease ward of a hospital every day for 17 months … presto! You've got yourself a new "reality" … a new, pathologized-totalitarian "reality," a paranoid-psychotic, cult-like "reality" in which formerly semi-rational people have been reduced to nonsense-babbling lackeys who are afraid to go outside without permission from "the authorities," and are injecting their children with experimental "vaccines."

The sheer power of the visual image of those masks, and being forced to repeat the ritual behavior of putting them on, has been nearly irresistible. Yes, I know that you have been resisting. So have I. But we are the minority. Denying the power of what we are up against might make you feel better, but it will get us nowhere, or, in any event, nowhere good.

The fact is, the vast majority of the public — except for people in Sweden, Florida, and assorted other officially non-existent places — have been robotically performing this theatrical ritual, and harassing those who refuse to do so, and thus collectively simulating an "apocalyptic plague."

The New Normals — i.e., those still wearing masks outdoors, shrieking over meaningless "cases," bullying everyone to get "vaccinated," and collaborating with the segregation of the "Unvaccinated" — are not behaving the way they're behaving because they are stupid.

They are behaving that way because they're living in a new "reality" that has been created for them over the course of the last 17 months by a massive official propaganda campaign, the most extensive and effective in the history of propaganda.

In other words, to put it bluntly, we are in a propaganda war, and we're losing. We can't match the propaganda power of the corporate media and New Normal governments, but that doesn't mean we can't fight back. We can, and must, at every opportunity. Recently, readers have been asking me how to do that. So, OK, here are a few simple suggestions.

The vast majority of obedient New Normals are not fanatical totalitarians. They're scared, and weak, so they are following orders, adjusting their minds to the new official "reality."

Most of them do not perceive themselves as adherents of a totalitarian system or as segregationists, although that is what they are. They perceive themselves as "responsible" people following sensible "health directives" to "protect" themselves and others from the virus, and its ever-multiplying mutant "variants." They perceive the "Unvaccinated" as a minority of dangerous, irrational "conspiracy theorist" extremists, who want to kill them and their families.

When we tell them that we simply want our constitutional rights back, and to not be forced into being "vaccinated," and censored and persecuted for expressing our views, they do not believe us. They think we're lying. They perceive us as threats, as aggressors, as monsters, as strangers among them, who need to be dealt with … which is exactly how the authorities want them to perceive us.

We need to try to change this perception, not by complying or being "polite" to them. On the contrary, we need to become more confrontational. No, not violent. Confrontational. There is actually a difference, though the "woke" will deny it.

To begin with, we need to call things what they are. The "vaccination pass" system is a segregation system. It is segregationism. Call it what it is. Those cooperating with it are segregationists. They're not "helping" or "protecting" anybody from anything. They are segregationists, pure and simple. Refer to them as "segregationists." Don't let them hide behind their terminology. Confront them with the fact of what they are.

Same goes for the rest of CovidSpeak. COVID "cases," "deaths," and "vaccines" get scare quotes. Healthy people are not medical cases. If COVID didn't kill someone, they are not a COVID death, period. "Vaccines" that do not behave like vaccines, and that are killing and crippling tens of thousands of people, and that have not been adequately tested for safety, and that are being indiscriminately forced on everyone, do not get to be called vaccines.

OK, here comes the big idea, which will only work if enough people do it. You probably won't like it, but what the hell, here goes …

red nazi triangle

This is the red inverted triangle the Nazis used in the concentration camps to designate their political opponents and members of the anti-Nazi resistance. Make one. Make it out of fabric, paper, or whatever material you have at hand. Put a big, black "U" in the center of it to signify "Unvaccinated." Wear it in public, conspicuously.

When people ask you what it means and why you are wearing it in public, tell them. Encourage them to do the same, assuming they're not New Normal segregationists, in which case … well, that will be a different conversation, but go ahead and tell them too.

That's it. That's the whole big idea. That, and whatever else you are already doing. The triangle is not meant to replace that. It's just one simple way for people to express their opposition to the totalitarian, pseudo-medical segregation system that is currently being implemented … despite all that other stuff you've been doing, and that I have been doing, for 17 months.

All right, I can already feel your disappointment. You thought I was going to propose a frontal assault on Klaus Schwab's secret castle, or a guerilla naval attack on Bill Gates' yacht. Cathartic as either of those endeavors might be, they would be (a) futile, and (b) suicidal. Frustrating as it has been for all of us, this is still a battle for hearts and minds. Essentially, it is a War on Reality (or between two "realities" if you prefer). It is being fought in people's heads, not in the streets.

So, let me try to sell you on this red triangle thing. The point of a visual protest like this is to force the New Normals to confront a different representation of what they, and we, are. A representation that accurately reflects reality.

No, of course we are not in concentration camps — so, please, spare me the irate literalist emails — but we are being segregated, scapegoated, censored, humiliated, and otherwise abused, not for any legitimate public health reasons, but because of our political dissent, because we refuse to mindlessly follow orders and conform to their new official ideology.

The New Normals need to be forced to perceive their beliefs and actions in that context, even if only for a few fleeting moments at the mall, or in the grocery store, or wherever.

Think of it this way … as I explained above, they are basically performing a theatrical event, conjuring up a "pandemic reality" with words, actions, and pseudo-medical stage props. What we need to become is that asshole in the audience who destroys the suspension of disbelief and reminds everyone that they're sitting in a theater, and not in 15th Century Denmark, by loudly taking a call on his phone right in the middle of Hamlet's soliloquy.

Seriously, we need to become that asshole as conspicuously as possible, as often as possible, to disrupt the show the New Normals are performing … and to remind them what they are actually doing, and who they are actually doing it to.

Consent Factory's segregation tweet

Look at the white people in the tweet above tormenting that girl who is just trying to go to school like any other student. The New Normals do not want to perceive themselves that way, as a pack of fanatical, hate-drunk segregationists, but that is what they are, because it is what they are doing … but it is not what most of them are by nature.

Yes, some people are congenitally sociopathic, but no one is inherently totalitarian. We are not born fascists or segregationists. We have to be programmed to be that way. That's what the propaganda is for, not to mention all the other authoritarian conditioning we are subjected to from the time we are children.

Or that's the gamble, or the leap of faith, behind the inverted red triangle thing. It is a basic non-violent civil-disobedience tactic, which works on people who still have a conscience and haven't gone full totalitarian yet.

Granted, it might not work this time — we are already at the stage where they are going to imprison restaurant owners for serving the "Unvaccinated" — but it might, and what have we got to lose?

About the Author

C.J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.

Source : Mercola More   

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