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Taking the time to eat healthy: it's Slow Good!

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | Lifestyles | February 20th, 2006



With the February blahs calling and New Year's weight loss resolutions a distant memory, one event will have your mouth watering and your heart pumping a little healthier.

The Healthy Living Partnership of Middlesex-London is coming to Fanshawe's Forwell Hall and bringing their slow cookers to promote the “It's Slow Good” campaign, which encourages healthy eating, physical activity and a smoke-free lifestyle.

“We realized people are living incredibly busy lives,” said Public Health Nurse Ruby Brewer, who is associated with Healthy Living Partnership. “As a studentů you don't have time to take care of yourself.”

Six Culinary Art students will be chopping, dicing and slicing up the best original slow cooker meals in a competition that will be judged on taste, originality and price on Wednesday, February 22.

Students will be showcasing their recipes for judges and students to taste in two separate competitions, the first from 11-12 and the latter from 12-1. Hamilton Beach will be supplying slow cookers, which will be given to audience members and participants.

“The big focus will be on how to eat well and be active,” said Brewer.

She said a slow cooker is a great appliance for students because a healthy meal can be prepared with little effort and on a small budget.

“With four students all putting in $5, you can make one hell of a slow cooker meal.”

Fitness 101 will also be on hand to do Pilates demonstrations and nursing students will be monitoring heart rates.

Brewer emphasized the importance of exercise, especially in today's fast food, high carbohydrate/high fat lifestyles that are typically associated with the student diet.

“People underestimate the benefits of walking,” said Brewer, who recommends that students find the time to walk to school or even find a friend to go for a stroll at night.

She said that exercise is more than running on a treadmill or doing aerobics at the gym, and although those are great fitness resources, there are alternatives.

Although the Slow Good campaign is unique to the London-Middlesex area, another slow campaign is heating up in kitchens and restaurants all over the globe.

The Slow Food Movement began in the late 80's in Italy when traditional foodies were put off by the growing trend of fast food restaurants. According to the movement officials, “Slow Food is a reference to living an unhurried life, beginning at the table.”

Slow Food opposes the “standardization of taste,” like you would find in fast food chains around the world, and strives to protect the cultural identities that are associated with foods. Over the past 100 years 75 per cent of traditional European and 93 per cent of traditional American food products has been lost.

The London chapter of Slow Food includes restaurants like Murano on Waterloo Street, Home on King Street and the Braywick Bistro on Dundas, which all incorporate the experience of eating with high quality ingredients and uphold the Slow Food mantra.

In the spirit of athleticism, the movement also has close ties to the current winter Olympic hosts, Turin. Each fall, Turin is the home of the annual Salone Del Gusto, a food and wine extravaganza organized by Slow Food.

For information on Slow Food in London visit www.slowfoodlondonontario.ca. To learn more about leading a healthy lifestyle and the initiative of the Healthy Living Partnership visit www.healthylivinginfo.ca.

For a list of healthy recipes to make in your slow cooker, follow the links on the Healthy Living website. Just one of the delicious recipes is:

Mulled, Spiced, & Spiked Apple Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 to 3 cups bourbon or fruit juice
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir well.

Cover and cook on preferred setting:
Low - 3 hours or High - 1.5 hours

Stir well before serving.

See this week's Chef's Corner for more great slow cooker recipes.

It's Slow Good
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