Dangers of snack shack food

How is that Nachos with cheese on top? or that Polish sausage?  If you kids play softball, you are no stranger to the snack shack menu. They are pretty much the same everywhere.  Equally bad!!

Hot dogs

Polish sausage

Nacho-Cheese

Chili cheese

French fries

Corn dog

Pizza

Soda

I cannot say anything good about any of the foods listed here.  When my kids used to play rec ball it was fun to go play or watch a game and eat some occasional snack shack food. But when we have jumped into the game of softball with both feet in, it is a little scary to think how many kids eat this food every weekend.  I am guilty of eating/letting my kids eat this food too, don’t get me wrong!  But I am realizing how bad this is for my family.

It just seems like so much importance is given to how our kids play in the game and we kind of slip up on the minor details like what they eat between games or after games.  I know there are times when we can’t take food into the park or we are in a hurry that we rely on snack shack foods, but these are crappy food we let our kids eat.

Lets see…. if a kid starts playing softball from age 8 until 18, that is 10 years of eating crappy food during weekends.  I am sure kids in travel ball play at least 6 to 8 months of softball every year.   Kids play so hard right now that they would burn through everything they eat.  None of the above foods would really bother them immediately but what they will develop is a habit that they will find hard to break once they are done with softball career.

With Diabetes, Fatty liver and other metabolic diseases on the rise, we really need to watch what we eat.  One reason for my enlightenment (can you see the halo around my head 😉 ) is that about a couple of years ago by accident I found out that I had non alcoholic fatty liver and also started having extreme joint aches.  I am a little chubby ;-0 (as my mom would say it politely) for my height but not extremely overweight or anything, so I was completely shocked that I had a non alcoholic fatty liver.  I hardly drink!  So what was causing my fatty liver?  I went to a liver specialist who after a bunch of tests said that the carbs I am eating are not metabolizing normally and get deposited as fat in my liver.  So I had to cut back on my carbs to 50%.  I am also genetically predisposed to this condition as a lot of people of Asian Indian origins have fatty liver but are not aware of it.

Growing up I lived on carbs.  For about 15 years I was a vegetarian. So I mostly ate carbs and vegetables.  I did not eat much protein.  Then, when I started having joint aches and aches in my back right side, my doctor ran a few tests for Arthritis, Celiac’s and food allergies but tests did not reveal any arthritis or allergies.  My doctor also recommended that I go see a nutritionist since my blood tests revealed a lot of inflammation.

I was debating which one to go to and then read a lot of reviews about Greenlite Medicine in the bay area.   I was very skeptical about weight loss places.  I did not join to lose weight but to just start feeling better and get rid of my joint aches.  I actually started going to my nutritionist Heynia Loro-Cooley. She is amazing and has a great personality.  She is like a cheer leader for good eating habits and weight loss.

I told them my problem and my goal.  From her experience, Heynia suggested that I cut back on carbs from wheat and rice (mostly cut out bread and rice completely for 3 months).  I was asked to eat more protein.  The first few weeks were pure torture.   I had never eaten so much meat before.  Totally was not cool.  I was also told to triple my water intake because I was not drinking enough water.  The reason I joined the program was to be accountable to sticking to my goal.  This was not a cheap program but in the 3 months I joined, I learnt what to eat and what to avoid.  Within the first week, my joint aches disappeared.  MIRACLE!

After 3 months  all of my blood work for liver enzymes came back normal.  Now after cutting more refined flour products, my joint aches disappeared.  I did not do any additional exercise.  My normal activities makes me take 8000 to 12000 steps on a daily basis, so I just did what I always do.  After 3 months I lost 2 of these fat deposits shown in the picture.

5 lbs of fat
5 lbs of fat

 This is disgusting isn’t it? To see fat in pictures.  This is just a model of the fat but weighs 5 lbs.  It has been a few month now since I stopped the program and I have gained a few pounds back during the holidays but have less joint aches.  This is the most expensive 10 lbs that I have ever lost in my life and I do not want to gain it back.  What I learnt from this process is that is so hard to lose weight as we get older and finding healthy snacks at softball parks is almost impossible.  The only place that I was able to get a nice salad is at Big League dream field in Manteca, CA.  I also learnt that carbs even though are essential to our body, if they are from the wrong sources can actually hurt our body.  I still have a lot of inflammation in my body and I am still trying to find out what is causing it..so it is going to be a long journey.

Long story short, what I am trying to say is please take care of your health and teach your kids good eating habits.  Occasional junk food from snack shack is not bad but to eat junk food every weekend is just not good for your kids or yourself.  The best gift we can give our kids is to show them by example what good and bad food choices are.   A close family member from my husband’s side was also recently diagnosed with cancer and now I am really trying to question everything I buy at the store and everything we eat (genetically modified foods are so rampant) without our knowledge and the things we do out of convenience.

I think softball fields should allow parents to bring healthy foods into the park if it is not available in their menu.  That’s fair isn’t it?

Wishing good health to your family and your superstar kids this year!!