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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Sitting is the New Smoking

Uploaded: Feb 5, 2015

"The fact that the average adult spends 50 ? 70% of their day sitting is no surprise to anyone who works in an office. But few realize the health consequences suffered as a result of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, or the effects it has on society at large."

And so begins the fabulous KQED Forum show, aired on December 2, 2014. I encourage you to listen to it.

Past studies have found that the more hours people sit, the more likely they are to develop diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and potentially to die prematurely ? even if they exercise regularly. Also, the more one sits at work, the more one tends to sit after hours. And going to the gym at the start or finish of the day is not enough. Alan Hedge, research professor at Cornell and Syracuse, suggests we vary motion throughout the day, with an optimum of 20 minutes per half hour sitting, 8 minutes standing, and 2 minutes stretching. Our bodies are meant to move, not over-sit or over-stand.

Exercise/movement is important not because it builds sculpted bodies, but because it gets the lymph system going and helps pump blood back to our heart (the venous return). Turns out more movement put us in a better mood, helps us think more creatively, and be more responsive to working collaboratively.

Therefore, Doctor Stec has a prescription for you. No more always picking up dinner after work, sitting down to eat, and then sitting down after to watch TV. Instead, go home, stand up, and make your dinner. Yes, Cooking is the New Black! It's the trendy response to a day at the office. Let's call it kitchen yoga from now on, with the end result of a delicious healthy meal for you and yours. And because the energy of the cook goes into the food, not only do we benefit by moving after a long day of sitting, our dinner does too, cooked with high-vibe hands of loving grace, rather than hands of indifference. There's nothin' like a home cooked meal ? and now we know even more reasons to do it.

Make sure you have a good mat by the way. Most of my clients don't have anything to stand on in their kitchen, so you probably don't either. Mats really make cooking more pleasurable. I use a "Wellness Mat," but there are many brands out there with colors and styles that fit well with any kitchen.

So get up, stand up. Stand up for your rice! Get up, stand up, don't give up the night!

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Posted by Steven Rice, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Best _Food_Party_ column ever! Cooking at home as a movement practice- Love it! And you get more healthful food.

Posted by Rational, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Thank you for this very thought provoking short piece. Excellent writing. To an extent says everything about what is wrong with us today and what could be so easily right.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Feb 7, 2015 at 9:24 am

Thanks Rational. And Steven Rice Fitness, quite possibly? I'll tell you folks, THAT'S one guy who knows how to move!

Posted by mom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Feb 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Thank you, Laura. Now please send a copy of your post to the school district! We do nothing but teach kids to sit from morning to night, tooling at "low grade clerical work", as Ken Robinson calls it in "how to escape education's death valley" to the knowing laughter of the audience.

Someone should at least let the school districts in on the irony of "Do what we say, not what we do..."

I loved the photo of your anti-fatige mat!

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Feb 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

So true Mom. What a crazy thing to do to kids.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Feb 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

So true Mom. What a crazy thing to do to kids.

Posted by Robert, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 11, 2015 at 10:53 am

This was just covered by the Onion:

Web Link

Posted by Laura. Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Love The Onion! Thanks Robert

Posted by CarlVerner, a resident of North Bayshore,
on Dec 23, 2015 at 1:57 am

CarlVerner is a registered user.

You can get a good front door mats as well as anti-fatigue mats for your kitchen, so that by just simply standing over the mat you can reduce the fatigue caused by standing for long hours. To know ore you can visit Web Link online.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Best advice I have ever been given, sit and eat with your family at the table, then leave the table and eat no more.

Sitting snacking in front of the tv is too many people's downfall.

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