Monday, April 26, 2010

To be or not to be a Rock Star

We use the term "rock star" a lot at IIN to refer to the amazing people making a difference in the world of health. These include the established food theorists and leaders from whom I have had the honor to learn. Although they all have their different theories and approaches, they are always an inspiration to me. I have become an enamored "food groupie" (a term my friend, Cara, came up with).

However, rock stars are not just those famous icons, they are anyone who makes a difference in our culture around food and health. My fellow classmates are total rock stars! Others are moms that teach their children to eat in a nourishing way, organic farmers, local farmers, movie producers who create films to build awareness of our food and environment, natural food cafe owners and employees, raw food restaurants and their patrons, environmentalists, fitness instructors, etc. As you can see, the list can go on and on. This past class weekend, in particular, featured way more rock stars than previous weekends. I thought I would spend this post to give you an idea of the type of people out there making a difference and the biggest takeaways from them.

Joshua Rosenthal-the founder of IIN, my teacher, a man with a vision to change how the world views food, a critical component in the trans fat ban in NYC...a true inspiration of thought, movement and dancing :)
Biggest Takeaway: Instill change NOW

Robert Notter-former "rat race" participant, now health coach who's impacted over 300 clients' lives, business coach to health and wellness business owners, teacher at IIN, a generous person with his knowledge and energy
Biggest Takeaway: Teach others because you will feel like a rock star

Dr. John Douillard-Ayurveda doctor who founded LifeSpa in Boulder, CO, offers holistic programs to support clients
Biggest Takeaway: You leave an emotional footprint. People around you can feel your energy just as flowers can feel you when you walk through a garden. Make a choice to leave a loving footprint.

David Wolfe-amazingly passionate  about raw foods and superfoods, some say he's a guru, founder of The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, proponent for great tasting health food
Biggest Takeaway: There is a scientific correlation between cooked foods & depression

Sadie Nardini-IIN graduate, yoga instructor, led us through a simple 10 minute meditation/stretching/relaxation/self-awareness/revitalizing exercise
Biggest Takeaway: Spend 2 minutes breathing

Vanessa Barg-IIN graduate, founder of Gnosis Chocolate, raw chocolatier, integrates superfoods into her chocolate, chocolate is sold all around the world and it tastes amazing!
Biggest Takeaway: Follow your gut when deciding what to do and do it!

Amy Kalafa-IIN graduate, founder of Angry Moms, bringing awareness to school food and health
Biggest Takeaway: We can inspire change through so many different avenues including making movies!

Rodney Fisher-IIN graduate, founder of the Marie Curie High School for Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions in the Bronx, principal of school, addressing low income students and empowering them, PhD candidate at UPenn researching on the effects of school foods on students
Biggest Takeaway: Think big and go even bigger

Nancy Easton-IIN graduate, founder of Wellness in the Schools, a NYC program that is building awareness and change in the school food system, 3 components to program-Food, Coaching, being Green
Biggest Takeaway: Change will not happen overnight, just keep working on it

Chef Bobo-executive chef at The Calhoun School who has changed his school's food to foods that are fresh and made from scratch, teaches at the school about food and cooking and growing food, spends less than $4 a day on food, mainly vegetarian options at the school, desserts are fruit 4 days of the week, author 
Biggest Takeaway: You can feed kids better without breaking the bank

Allison Carmen-IIN graduate, mom who changed foods at her daughter's private school
Biggest Takeaway: One of the biggest obstacles in impacting change is awareness-educate people and they will be advocates and start to ask questions

Morgan Carmen-daughter of an IIN graduate, at age of 5 said that she was not eating the school food because there are chemicals in it, spoke at the trans day "hearings" in NYC and won the heart of audiences, advocate for healthy, natural foods, a true role model; aka "Morganic"
Biggest Takeaway: There will likely be resistance at first, but keeping driving the message and people will start to hear and listen to you

Dr. David Katz-public health clinician and advocate, author, professor at Yale University of Medicine, tv personnel, building awareness on health via speaking to government and industry officials, believer in giving people the "skill power" to make informed health, diet and lifestyle decisions, founder of programs: ABC for Fitness (Activity Bursts in the Classroom), Nutrition Detective Program (teaching kids 5 simple steps to eat well), and NuVal (a rating system of 0 to 100 on grocery store items enabling people to make smart decisions)
Biggest Takeaway: We need to make drastic, deep changes to our environment/culture but each change is comparative to only 1 sandbag. We need to build an entire levee with multiple sandbags to prevent disaster. We need more than 1 change, more than 1 person working on this initiative and we need to work on it together.

It is really amazing the breadth of people making a difference in our world. The health and wellness problem is not an issue that will be solved overnight or by one person, or even a hundred like-minded citizens. This is a revolution! It's going to take an army. Are you in or out? Because if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Take the initiative TODAY and start with changing how you and your family eat. Email me TODAY for a health consultation. If you are interested in becoming a professional rock star/health counselor, email me with any questions about IIN and becoming a holistic health coach. Enrollment for classes end April 30th for the course that starts in May!  Don't hesitate to be a rock star!  Now is the time!

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