August 01, 2010

Jillian stirs frybread furor

Some reactions to frybread's being named one of the 50 fattiest foods and the Losing It with Jillian episode:

The Horror of Fry Bread?  The Truth about Mindful Eating

By Susan AlbersJillian is passionate about her job and about helping people manage their weight. Each week, she expresses her commitment to this goal on the show. She is amazing in her dedication to helping people make healthier choices. In the show, she used creative strategies to get this group engaged and dedicated to changing their unhealthy eating habits.

Jillian discovered that her stance on cultural foods is a controversial topic. This was pretty clear by the reaction of the community. Jillian’s stance was unwavering. She seemed to suggest that you should nix culturally infused foods if they aren’t the healthiest.

There was some debate about whether Fry Bread is a "traditional Indian food." But, no matter what culture you come from, it’s likely that you have particular foods that are part of your heritage. So what do you do? Give up your Knish, tamales and handmade perogies?

This is where mindful eating can be helpful. You can still eat foods important to your culture but in a new way. It is about savoring them, eating mindful portions and balancing it in your life.
Comment:  I'm not as enthusiastic about Jillian Michaels as Albers is. Michaels is getting paid for every TV show, book, and DVD she produces. What she gives of herself is a different matter. Her inclination in the Yavapai-Apache case was to help only in low-cost, low-effort ways. Fly out a diabetes expert, organize a single walk, and give free memberships in basically costs her nothing.

It goes back to the "3 am phone call" question I asked. How much does she help people when she isn't being paid for it?

More criticism of frybread

Go easy on that tasty fry bread

By Colleen SimardIt's not surprising that in the U.S. native Americans suffer from high rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases, like diabetes, similar to aboriginal Canadian rates. In fact, it's time we back away from the fry bread, too.

It was a really tough road for the Plunkett-Marquez family, but four of them ended up losing about 150 pounds (combined) in only six weeks.

I've been aware of the dangers of fry bread for a while. I actually try stay as far away as I can from anything made with white flour, like white bread, white pasta and our beloved native staple: fry bread. I'm a multi-grain or whole-wheat flour lover.

Just like the Plunkett-Marquez family explained, fry bread is a relatively new but treasured part of our culture, but something we shouldn't hold on to so tightly.
Fry bread furor:  Standing by a food tradition in a negative light

The traditional Native American food has been condemned as the fattiest food in the state. How are Native Americans standing up for their culture?

By BryAnn Becker
People expect the food at Native American celebrations, DeCory says. "It's become so inculcated in our feasts and our ceremonies, when we have food, that everyone thinks, 'Where's the fry bread?'"

She tries to encourage women to cut the fry bread into small pieces at traditional events, like powwows and sun dances.

"Fry bread, for those of us who are trying to lose weight, trying to not get on the diabetes train, that's one of the things that we can't be eating," she says.

But cutting out the food may not be feasible--or practical.

"It falls into the category that I call a splurge food," Shearer says. "It's one of those foods that's a treat, something that you might have at the fair once a year. ... Certainly not something you want to have on a daily basis, for obvious reasons, because there's nothing in the bread that's really of any nutritional benefit."

The long-term solution may be going back to a more traditional diet that doesn't include flour and processed foods.
Comment:  I like how this article counsels "moderation" but defines it as eating frybread once a year. Yeah, you can keep enjoying your frybread as long as you don't eat it 99.7% of the time. In other words, moderation is the same as abstinence with an annual lapse.

For more on Losing It with Jillian, see How Jillian Came to the Rez and Review of Losing It with Jillian. For more on frybread, see Frybread = "Impending Doom" and Frybread = Prison Food.

Below:  "Mary Tsosie mixes the ingredients for her frybread." (Devin Wagner/Argus Leader)


dmarks said...

If you don't like it, don't eat it. There. the frybread problem completely solved in one sentence.

Rob said...

Poverty Begets Poor Eating Habits

[T]he poorer you are, the more likely you will have to resort to lower-quality foods to feed yourself. As the authors put [it], "...the present analysis is the first to provide vital evidence that it is the foods of lowest energy density (excluding beverages) that are showing the most marked increases in price."

Eating Healthy on a Food Stamp Budget...

[W]hile it might be possible to have a healthy diet on a food stamp budget if everything else in your life is going perfect, that is usually not the case for those who have to rely on a tight budget just to feed themselves and their families.

Anonymous said...

I have a Oglala Lakota woman in a documentary of mine explain at length how frybred is not traditional. That all its roots are European and that it is a contributor to what is killing them so young through diabetes. It certainly sounds like a European recipe to me.