Exercise

Sunday cooking adventures: Time to call it quits?

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Homemade pizza with fresh vegetables, low-fat ground sirloin and whole wheat crust.

I’ve been thinking about this site a lot these last few months.

Those of you who’ve been following me since I started with a Facebook page in April that later grew into this web site know my history and my purpose. I want to develop a weight loss sight for African American women. Why? Because 80 percent of us are obese or overweight, a major predictor of needless death (and misery) at an early age. We could be very healthy into our 90s. But we are dying young, in our 50s and 60s. Losing weight and living a healthier life are doable and possible. And you can eat better without extreme diets that leave out entire food groups or days of the week when you can eat. You should be able to eat well, reasonably and until you are satisfied every day. That’s what this site is about.

We have to do this for ourselves. Because if we don’t take it upon ourselves to be healthy, no one else will. Our families need us. Our friends need us. We need us. We need to love ourselves enough to do this. We need to not die of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes at young ages, as so many African Americans do.

And there’s more than eating to be concerned about. For many of us, daily activity is non-existent. We don’t walk. We don’t run. We don’t bike. We don’t garden, do vigorous housework or walk across a large parking lot. We don’t walk our dogs. We don’t go up and down stairs, we use elevators and escalators. We sit and watch TV, play video games, surf the web, talk on the phone, read FB.

We are also stressed. Our jobs or lack thereof. Our families. Our finances. Our debt. Our homes and cars. Life today if tough. It’s not always easy to get a grip on things. Heck, sometimes it seems as though it’s NEVER easy. (And as a side note, exercise is a great stress reliever. Try taking a walk around the block the next time someone is standing on your last nerve. It really works to calm you down.)

For me, today’s stress is in the weekly, Sunday cooking. Starting with the shopping and the prep on Saturday. Then getting up early Sunday morning and helping my husband get going. Then starting the laundry, and finally, getting into the kitchen to cook for my husband, my dad who drives up every few weeks to take home a box full of food, and sometimes for my stepson who is now away at college but comes home some weekends to eat (like this one).

While its fun and meaningful to cook for my family on the one hand, it is definitely a stressor to cook 2-3 meals a day for 3-4 people that’ll last 7 days a week. Maybe I’m asking too much of myself. But over time, I have found that cooking for myself is the only way to be sure of what I’m eating. And as I’ve said before in this column, food can either kill you or make you healthy. It’s your own choice.

There is no good end to a bad-carb, overstuffed, non-active scenario. Such a lifestyle only leads to strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and its complications (think amputations and blindness), heart failure and ultimately, early death. That’s the reality.

Don’t get me wrong. You all know I am far from perfect. I have my binges and I miss plenty of workouts. And I beat myself up because I am not as perfect as I want to be.

But I try. We should all be trying to do the best job we can, to live the best life we can, to live the longest life we can.

So I started this site as a stepping stone to a weight loss site for black women. Something with better tasting, non-extreme recipes. Something that contained easier workouts to get you started. Something with tips for managing our health. Something with tasty, good food that won’t kill you.

Is it working? Do you want this? Is there something different you are looking for? If I brought you chef tested recipes for African Americans, more tips about working out, prepared foods created with black people in mind…would you be interested? Would you want someone to revamp your unhealthy recipes?

What do you want?

Are you interested in seeing this Web site continue? What if Sunday cooking adventures ended tomorrow, would you notice or care? Why or why not?

I’m asking — please talk to me. Let me know what you’re thinking and what you’d like to see — and where you think I should go from here. Be honest. And thanks ahead of time for your suggestions.



13 responses to “Sunday cooking adventures: Time to call it quits?”

  1. Pamela Floyd says:

    I would really miss this site. I really enjoy your cooking adventures and I have tried and recommended many of your recipes. If you are tired, then by all means take a break! However, if God has called you to do his work, don’t let the enemy win!! Black women need help and you are giving it…………………… Maybe a marketing campaign for your site?

  2. Darci says:

    Julie, I’m glad you started it, and I hope you will continue. Recipes, workout tips and ideas for stress relief all sound good to me.

  3. Rosemary says:

    I know for certain that I need that pizza! Keep it up, Julie!

  4. Thanks for all of your comments. I think I am just finding myself at a crossroads where I need to leap into forming a more powerful company and website — and figuring out how to do it is a challenge. Stay tuned. I’ll keep it up this blog, and make it bigger and better.

  5. Absolutely. I agree with you my sister. We need to get fit for a long healthy life style. We should be aware of what we are putting into our bodies, and eat healthy.
    Thanks for your support.

    Geraldine

  6. Sandra Davis says:

    Please continue with the Sunday Cooking Adventures. consider ways to make it more interactive and more of a sharing experieinces. maybe testimonials. You are an inspiration. If it takes a village…and it does…find ways to create a village around this. But don’t overthink yourself out of it. don’t give up. We need this…maybe more than you! :-)

    • admin says:

      Sandra, testimonials is a really good idea. Thanks! If anyone out there is interested in sharing their experiences, let me know!

  7. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME SEEIN THIS. IAM A DIABETIC, HYPERTENSIVE 68 YEARS OLD TRIES TO REMAIN ACTIVE. I AM MARIED TO A NICE GUY WHO HAS CANCER AND I DO COOK VERY HEALTHY. WE EAT LITTLE RED MEAT BUT MOST FISH. I FOLLOW THE ADA DIET FOR OLD PEOPLE. THE PROBLEM IS EXERCISE. WE GET OUT AND GO DANCING 1 OR 2 TIMES A WEEK. WILL FOLLOW YOU IF YOU KEEP ON KEEPING ON.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your feedback. I’m 58, so I know it’s a difficult finding appropriate activities that are low impact, enjoyable and get the job done. I often post videos from my own trainer, and she also works with older people who are trying to remain active (though you only see the kids in her videos). I’ll work harder and finding more variety for working out in your 50s, 60s and 70s.

  8. Chevy says:

    Keep the site going, don’t give up. Revamping some of theses holiday foods that are fattening would be a good idea. You know how we are about our holiday food:)

    • admin says:

      LOL! No kidding, I know what you mean. I don’t think I planned well enough to get those recipes up on the site before Thanksgiving. Usually I try out one or two new things though before the holidays (the mac and cheese with the cauliflower white sauce was a tryout for the holidays if you didn’t see that one…). If I try anymore I will post them, and I will try to do more for the Christmas-Kwanzaa season.

  9. Ann Olson says:

    Can you get some partners, Julie, who can help relieve some of the demands on your time? I do think it’s a hugely worthwhile endeavor, but I also know how much is on your plate and how tough it must be to keep this up. You have a special voice, and a great approach. How could you get some help?

    • admin says:

      That’s a good question. Sandra Davis (higher up) suggested getting people to post testimonials. I like that idea. But you’re right, I need to find ways to share the work. I’m working on it.

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