By Whitney Wasso, MECKids Blog Ambassador
The Get Kids Movin Tour featured a variety of fun festivities for kids to get moving, including a wonderful interview with phenomenal fitness experts such as the amazing soul singer, Green Tea and “Healthanista,” Tosh Patterson. Here’s the wisdom and fitness advice they shared with youth and families to keep them moving!
Green Tea: In the health industry, I’m a certified group exercise instructor. So I teach step aerobics and I teach strength resistance. I also counsel people on how to eat healthy and how to still eat cakes and pies while you’re doing your thing. If you stop once you have that little taste you start binging for it all the time when you aren’t eating the cakes and pies. I teach people how to do that, so that is what I do.
Tosh Patterson: In regards to what I do, I help people with two things. One, how to lose weight if you have been on a diet for a decade or more. I help people figure out how to keep the scale moving again, so that you have success and I teach people the power of juicing fruits and vegetables. I’m a huge juicer! So I love juicing and that is one of the ways I got healthy. I like to show people the power of juicing.
Interviewer: Many people think that healthy eating is more expensive, they think it’s nasty what do you ladies have to say about that? Tosh Patterson: Because I buy so many vegetables to juice them and eat them, it’s actually not expensive. As you buy more fruits and vegetables, you are probably buying less cookies and less chips and that money is going towards fruits and vegetables instead.
Green Tea: I would say that I have a group of seven: 3 kids, a husband, 2 cats, and 1 dog. So it can get expensive when you’re trying to eat healthier because you’ll notice that certain things cost a bit more if it is healthy. So if you go to Starbucks, the smallest size of cups they have is a short and nobody knows that. People think the smallest cup is a tall. The short is not even on the menu and sometimes the smallest size which is a regular 8 ounce cup cost the most because it’s a regular portion size for a cup; it sometimes costs more than a tall but it’s a healthier choice. So just an input from me, I always ask my clients how much they spend in the grocery store and if they say $200, I can relate to that because when I go grocery shopping every two weeks, I always get fresh produce. I don’t do anything boxed or any frozen veggies. I do everything fresh and I still get all of my stuff for $200. So, I teach my clients that with that $200 budget that you have when you’re buying hot pockets, pizza and steak and all that stuff you can still get fruits and veggies.
Interviewer: So what are some of your favorite meals and what are some snacks kids could make for themselves?
Green Tea: For snacks, I would say always keep live fruits or veggies in the house. I have a drawer in my house filled with tangerines, apples, kiwis and bananas something that is a go-to and always have that on you when you’re hungry. And here is what parents and kids could make for themselves, an english muffin pizza! What you do is get a light english muffin. The english muffin has two pieces, you add a little tomato sauce, sprinkle some reduced mozzarella cheese and put any size of turkey pepperoni. Let your parents help you put it in a toaster oven or regular oven for a couple of minutes so the cheese can melt. And as a result, the kids are happy because they have two pizzas when it’s really only one english muffin.
Interviewer: What would you suggest to some parents on meals that are affordable for children on a weekly basis?
Green Tea: I would say that I would keep in mind when I make dinner that I have protein, starch, and veggies. I try to keep that in mind all the time. So I can take some chicken breast, put it in the oven, season it a little bit, some cabbage and then have a veggie with it. So different things like that. So I try to think like that. Or if I want to do quesadillas I would do it with chicken and a little bit of cheese and then I’ll have a vegetable or a salad. So I always try to keep those things in mind: a whole bunch of vegetables, you have different options for your sides. You could have brown rice, you could have yellow rice if you want. You could have cabbage or cauliflower. All these different things so I try to keep them on the side. So I plan ahead of time. If you keep that in mind that you have a meat, you have a starch, and you have a veggie. If you have a whole bunch of veggies, a whole bunch of meats, sometimes kids get a little tired of chicken but you can do so much with chicken. Or one thing that I do that is very easy, you know how to cook cabbage, you can get some sweet Italian sausage and add it to the cabbage, so that is something really easy to do.
Other female: You guys won’t like this answer but I stopped eating fast food for the most part, a couple years ago, just as it has been for the effort to save money and it turned into a part of my lifestyle, so I really don’t eat fast food. But one of the things I stumbled on, I was cleaning my car and I found an old french fry from the Golden Arches and the french fry did not look a day old, at all. So, it really got my attention and I wondered why didn’t it have green mold on it? And why didn’t it look weird? And so I decided to do an experiment and if anybody in the audience wants to see it after this panel. But on Sunday March 31st, I bought a four piece chicken nugget meal from the Arches and it is still sitting on my counter untouched, unchanged. It does not smell and it’s sitting next to a cucumber that has completely shriveled up. It’s got nasty. It’s like mold and everything and it leads me to the conclusion that the fast food is not real food and it does not nourish us and it’s not worth spending our money on. If you want to see my project. I have pictures with me and so I would encourage people to move away from fast food because I don’t think it’s real food. Because if it’s like that on my counter, it hasn’t changed, its not green, its not moldy, it doesn’t smell, then what is it doing in my body. And do we want to put those thing in our bodies? I don’t think so! We want to nourish ourselves, we want to nourish our bodies and we want to be well, not just to look good and be a certain size but so we can live a healthy life and have a good internal body as well, and we only get one body!