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March Madness: Basketball, Bunnies & Debates

Kim Galeaz, RDN CD 

I’ll be having my own kind of March Madness this month - the kind only a practical dietitian can have when balance, moderation, and sensibility get lost in hysteria.

1. Basketball.

Elimination is essential in a basketball tournament– but I find it maddening when eliminating certain foods and beverages – whether it’s high-salt restaurant foods or sugary beverages – is considered health-promoting. It is more realistic and sustainable to balance salty, sugary, and high-calorie foods within your overall eating plan. So as you cheer your alma mater or favorite teams, opt for plenty of calorie-burning activity to offset the extra party foods and beverages. Remember to pay as much attention to your personal health as you do to the office pool.

2. Bunnies.

Easter heralds the start of the annual “bunny bashing” - Don’t put chocolate Easter bunnies in your kids’ baskets! Too much sugar! This hysteria is typically followed by suggestions for “Easter basket makeovers,” most starting by eliminating the big chocolate bunny. Or worse yet, eliminating the Easter basket entirely. I find this maddening, because I consider the chocolate bunny tradition as a teachable moment. Teach kids how to enjoy chocolate in moderation along with nutrient-rich foods and beverages, that elimination and avoidance isn’t necessary. Teach them that rituals, traditions and seasonal festivities are the foundation of a rich life.

3. Debates.

As I watch all the presidential debates, I wonder what the candidates would say about taxing foods and beverages. Or about bans and restrictions on sugary beverages. Do they support such extreme measures under the guise of improving public health?  Or would they be more moderate and reasoned, suggesting education and personal choice as the more sustainable way to improve health? I certainly hope they’d choose the latter. Otherwise, you’ll have to add me to the 80% of Super Tuesday primary voters who at exit polls indicated they were angry/dissatisfied with current elected officials. 

Kim Galeaz RDN CD is an Indianapolis-based registered dietitian nutritionist and believes in vibrant aging and optimal health by blending and balancing all food/beverage choices with a daily dose of positive attitude and activity. As owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications, she’s a recipe creator, writer, speaker, spokesperson and advocacy consultant for the food, beverage and agriculture industry. Find Kim’s nutrition tips & recipes @KimFoodTalk

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