January's over and by some estimates, 64 percent of our New Year's resolutions are, too.
But the intersection of American Heart and African-American History months -- where studies show black men and women aren't faring well in the battle against cardiovascular disease -- February is as good a time as any to give those healthy eating goals another try.
From a social media campaign that makes it perfectly acceptable to photograph your food to healthy-eating tips served up by an NBA wife, here are three ways to give your January jump start a restart.
Make room, Meatless Mondays. Image activist, Michaela angela Davis is continuing her mission to dispel the vices that she says are keeping the black community's obesity epidemic going strong. On the heels of a month-long fitness campaign that challenged women to work out for 30 minutes everyday, Davis is kicking off a community-based "movement moment" around healthy eating this month. The motto? "If you are what you eat, be fresh." That means nothing processed, fast, refined or fried for the month of February (and beyond). Check out the campaign's Facebook page to join in.
This grassroots initiative, designed to encourage healthy eating among families across the U.S., called on some big names in the culinary world to help get their message out this week. (Rachel Ray, Mario Batali and Dale Talde all lent the campaign some culinary cred.) Today, Oakland-based chef Nikki Shaw (who's also the wife of NBA legend Brian Shaw and a finalist on the Next Food Network Star) serves up seven tips for healthy eating and this Championship Trophy Strawberry Smoothie that's perfect for an afternoon snack. Ingredients: 1 - cup fresh strawberries, sliced 1 - cup fresh bananas, sliced 1 - cup organic yogurt ½ - cup apple juice, no sugar added Directions: 1. Arrange a single layer of the sliced fruits on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap & freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Smaller slices of fruit freeze faster. 2. Combine frozen fruit, yogurt & juice in a blender. Cover & blend for 1 minute until smooth. Servings: 2 | Prep time: 1½ hours | Cook time: 0 minutes
From the folks who brought us the African Heritage Diet Pyramid comes a week-long initiative, commemorating the foods, flavors and healthy cooking techniques that were core to the wellbeing of African ancestors from across the diaspora. The challenge: To enjoy at least one dish at home or at a restaurant inspired by the cuisine of African-American ancestors this month. Oldways' “African Heritage Dine Around” section offers restaurant suggestions across the U.S., along with recipes like this: Black-Eyed Pea Salad Ingredients: ½ medium-size red onion, diced 1 celery stalk, diced ½ red bell pepper, diced 2 cans (15 oz. each) of black-eyed peas, thoroughly rinsed (rinsing canned beans reduces up to 41% of sodium) 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil juice from ½ lemon fresh dill or parsley, ½ cup chopped Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: 1. Rinse the black-eyed peas. 2. Dice the celery, onion, and bell pepper into small cubes. 3. Put the onion, celery, bell pepper, and black-eyed peas into the mixing bowl. 4. Dress the salad with the vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Nutritional Analysis: Calories: 140, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 183mg, Carbohydrate: 21g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 7g Yield: 6