The Food Revolution is a concept developed by Jamie Oliver, a well known and successful celebrity chef, who wanted to personally challenge himself and find a way to “give back.” Realizing that he could create positive change through cooking, he decided to try to change the way people were eating, especially in the schools where children ate their meals every day. Oliver made his concept into a television show in 2010, and for those who watched, we were in awe of the work he did to change the way people were eating in the small town he was visiting. When he arrived, some children couldn’t even identify basic fruits and vegetables because they had never really eaten any of them! He worked hard to change the lunch menus in the local school and the residents’ homes.
For some of us, the concept seems easy enough. Swap out the junk food and make healthier choices. For others, it’s really not that easy. Whether it was the confusion of navigating the world of nutritious food, lack of healthy options, or the difficulty of getting out of bad habits, the town pushed hard against this food “revolution.” Jamie Oliver pushed back. He believed in it and is still working hard to create a “national movement to change the way America eats” and wants people to “stand up for REAL food!”
We face these challenges daily with ourselves and with our kids. We are always encouraging our children to “eat their vegetables,” but as they grow up, they need to learn to make their own healthy choices and know that those choices will affect the way they look and feel. They have to understand and appreciate the benefits of “real” food.
Lindsey Shifley, a Mundelein resident, volunteer, and local ambassador for the food revolution, is trying to spread the word about how changing the way we eat could actually change your life. She knows this first hand, as her reason for “cleaning up” her pantry and getting rid of the junk food is very close to her heart. She had been watching her young daughter struggle socially and academically for a while, and she realized that the diagnosis most likely would be ADHD. She knew that she could take her daughter to the doctor, have her evaluated, and start her on a medication that would help her, but Lindsey decided before she took that step, she would give it her all, trying some things at home first.
She began her process by eliminating all refined food, all artificial colors and flavors, and unnecessary preservatives from her family’s diet. She began taking a more real and natural approach to the food she was feeding her family. It wasn’t easy at first, but she knew the family had to be on board, or it wouldn’t work. Her supportive husband stood by her, and the family began eating more clean than they ever had before. It was not easy, but pretty soon, it became second nature. The best part? Within four days, they noticed a change in their daughter at home. She was reading and had a complete shift in her focus. She seemed happier too. Unfortunately, the school had not yet noticed any real changes. When Lindsey went in to meet with the school, one teacher admitted that she had heard that sometimes eliminating gluten and dairy can have some positive effects as well. Lindsey knew that this would be a real challenge, but willing to do anything to help her daughter become successful, she tried it. Within two weeks, the teacher had emailed her and said the changes were dramatically noticeable. At home, their daughter was almost symptom-free. As they adjusted completely to clean eating, there were, of course, temptations. A slice of birthday cake at a friend’s party looked awfully good, and Lindsey knew that she had to let her daughter make her own choices. Like many of us, she has to make those decisions about food, and they aren’t always easy.
The Mundelein Food Revolution is a movement to try to revolutionize the way we eat. We all enjoy a splurge once in a while, but eating healthy and clean regularly, makes you feel better, have more energy, and is good for your body and mind. Lindsey is an ambassador for the food revolution here in Mundelein and has organized a FREE community picnic to celebrate all things healthy. Want details? Check it out:
Food Revolution Lake County
May 17th, 2013, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Diamond Lake Sports Complex, 26630 IL Rt. 60/83, Mundelein
There will be music, games, crafts, and activities for all to participate in. Families are invited to come and enjoy the fun! Pack your own picnic basket full of healthy, wholesome food, and join other local residents at this special event along with Village Homesteading Mundelein, Little Lake County, Whole Foods Kildeer, and The Greater Libertyville Mundelein Junior Chamber. You can check out the event web page here to get more details. Make sure you RSVP, as they want to know how many to expect.
Want to learn more about the food revolution? Check out the main web page, “like” the local Mundelein Food Revolution Facebook page, or check out Lindsey’s own personal blog, all of which will help you to keep up with informative articles, delicious, healthy recipes, event updates, and information about how you can make a difference.
Together we can bring back real food and educate our children so they can live longer healthier lives!