Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's Try This Again, Shall We?

I apologize for the disappearing post yesterday. Here it is again, almost in its original form.

I read an article by HungryGirl over on Yahoo called Attack of the 1000-Calorie Meals which spotlighted a few of the most fat-laden meals at chain restaurants. What made me angry and sad at the same time were many of the comments that followed. A good number of commentators held the attitude, “We’re all going to die. May as well eat what we want” and “The government can’t tell me what to eat.”

Many people also commented that outrageously high caloric food items are “special treats,” things people don’t eat “every day” and when they do, people just need to “work out more” to make up for it. First of all, it is quite clear just looking out into any crowd that fat-laden, processed and unnutritious foods are not special treats, otherwise 65 percent of our populace wouldn’t be overweight or obese, and people are not working out more to make up for it. Also, there are long-term consequences for eating high-fat, low-nutrient foods even as “special treats.”

It’s time to open a can of whoop-ass on this country’s dietary ignorance.

I agree that the government shouldn’t tell us what to eat, but I believe in serious food regulations. The government forced cigarette and liquor companies to place health warnings on their products. So, too, should restaurants. And I’m not talking nutritional information brochures in every restaurant. Nope. I want full disclosure under each menu item: calories, fat and sodium content, the whole nine yards. Now I realize many Mom and Pop places have complained of the financial burden this would create for them. OK, how about they give a list of ingredients, just like we see on food packages in the grocery store? The only thing they’d have to change is their menu or maybe buy a bigger chalkboard.

And if these seems too constricting for adults, too “big brother,” I believe we, as a nation, are morally obligated to do something to save our children. Obesity is slowly killing them and robbing them of quality of life.

Do we really want to live in a society with, according to a paper published last year by Johns Hopkins University, an overweight and obesity rate of 86 percent by 2030? As Barbara Berkeley wrote on our Refuse to Regain blog last week, “The huge burden of disease that will come along with such an increase is expected to raise obesity related health-care spending from the current $100 billion to over $960 billion per year.”

And we thought the stimulus package was expensive. This is an every year expense, folks, not a one-time deal.

Education and regulation are imperative. Now. This isn’t about thwarting individual choice. It’s about helping people make better choices, and if they choose not to, they need to understand the health and economic price that they and everyone will pay.

I had a few other questions go through my mind when I wrote this:

1. Restaurants have long said that they’re just giving consumers what they want when they create their high-fat menus. I argue they are creating an atmosphere of want. If more restaurants created healthy alternatives, I believe people would, in time and with education, choose those items, too.

2. Is it possible to create a culture of healthy eating? And if so, how?

3. Who is more culpable? Is it always the individual or do food corporations and restaurants have a moral obligation to stop creating foods that are potential carcinogens?

Leave a comment. I look forward to the discussion.

--------------------
Note to Anonymous who left a comment on yesterday’s erased post: I appreciate your passion and I thought you brought out some excellent points that I considered when reposting this blog entry sans the paragraph that set you off. While I stand by the spirit of what I wrote, I can see how the tone was biased and unfair.

27 comments:

EatRunLitigate said...

I read this yesterday and wanted to tell you that I agree with 100% of what you have said. I was just thinking over the weekend how much people's choices might be changed if they are forced to see the calorie, fat and sodium content of the food they are about to order.

Anonymous said...

That's a hard one. I guess the fast food places are to be applauded for an attempt to offer something healthy on their menus. But - consider: we're traveling, or shopping or whatever, short on time, everyone in the car (but me) wants a burger. So we stop at a fast food place. I'm trying to eat healthy, so I order a salad, which looks pretty good on the poster. But in reality the lettuce is brown around the edges, the "meat" is just ripped up, stale, breaded processed chicken nuggets. Kind of makes you never want to order another salad. I wish fast food places would at least give you the option of a whole wheat bun. Now McD's offers apple slices as an option with their kid's menu, but having tried them I don't recommend!

Mara said...

I agree with you 100% Lynn. I long for a restaurant that offers healthy foods and not the usual burgers fries etc. I know in my case when I am rushed I will fall for that it is easy menu instead of trying to stick to my goals. I think we all should strive for doing better and I don't want our government telling me what I should do. There are too many people in the world doing a great job on losing weight and maintaining it I would love to see a story on that!

Mara
http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

McLauren84 said...

Hi Lynn,

I know you're taking a controversial stance, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And what's more, you're not even advocating controlling what people eat--you're simply recommending they are given the opportunity to make more informed decisions. I think the blissful ignorance of America's food culture warrants some kind of intervention. As Barbara pointed out, we simply cannot go on like this. Obesity is an epidemic and will continue to drain our country's resources if left uncontrolled.

While some people may claim an economic repercussion for obesity is extreme, what other choice do we have? Our nation is in need of an extreme overhaul. I appreciate your suggestions. This is definitely a provocative topic. I only hope something can be done to help our nation off its perilous path.

Anonymous said...

My (random) thoughts on these interesting topics:

1. I do think that it helps to make people aware of what's in the food that they are purchasing. Calorie/fat/carb counts on menus (or easily available) are a helpful way of doing that, and hopefully will make people more aware of what they are putting in their bodies. I haven't been to NYC lately, but I understand that they have legislated this for fast-food restaurants there.

2. That said, food is fundamentally different from cigarettes/alcohol. It's something that we need to function; we need to eat to live. We don't need cigarettes or alcohol in the same way. Legislating people's choices is extremely tricky. Frankly, I don't want to live in a society where there are some Diet Police who have decided certain food is Bad. Indeed, there's so much confusion out there now about what food is "Good" and what is "Bad," that I don't think we really can know. Lately, there's been a lot of talk about how whole grains aren't all that good for you, and people shouldn't be afraid of fat, etc. I'm not really sure what to believe, but I don't think there's a magic answer. The whole question about how the French people stay healthier than the U.S. people do -- even though they apparently eat a substantial amount of saturated fat -- is evidence to me that this whole question is more complicated than we think. And people can eat the occasional fast-food meal, and not blimp out -- it's a question of moderation and keeping track of what you are putting in your body.

3. I think you are correct when you say that it ultimately down to education and learning the right choices. Unfortunately, I believe that most of our eating habits are learned from our parents, and if parents don't live a healthy lifestyle and/or treat food unhealthily (e.g., binge, snack out of stress), their children are very, very likely to continue these eating habits. That has certainly been the case for myself and my sisters. I have been the only one of the four of us to have been able to maintain a healthy weight (and for me, it's a matter of being vigilant and thinking about this a lot). My sisters are all significantly overweight (200 lbs plus). Sadly, I see them passing exactly the same eating habits to their own children that my mother passed along to us. There seem to be only a few people who are able to re-teach ourselves, as adults, principles of healthy eating. Perhaps it's possible for schools also to send the right message to kids (and get them out exercising more), but I'm not really sure.

4. I'm not really sure how the health care cost argument cuts. There are studies that show that smokers die younger, and therefore actually end up costing society less money. I certainly don't think this is an argument for smoking, but I think that it's a little too facile to say that the U.S. is spending more money on obesity-related illnesses than it would if people weren't obese -- I don't think it's that simple. I also think there's a risk of demonizing obese people, which I don't think is fair.

5. While I do think it's hard to eat healthy while on the road or if you're very busy, I think that things have gradually changed over the past 20 or so years. Restaurants are being more forthcoming about what's in their food, and there are a few healthier options at most fast-food places. It's certainly not perfect yet, but I think that, if we reflect back to the McDonald's of the 1980s, we'd see that there are some differences (although portion size is still out of control). When I travel, it's really tough. Sandwiches brought into conferences are tasty and about twice as big as they should be. Cookies and sweets are brought in afterwards. I have gotten into a habit of bringing hardboiled eggs and chunks of cheese with me and eating these with a slice of bread . . .

-Maura said...

30 years ago, we had much less obesity in our society and there are many reasons why but two stand out to me: today we (as a society) eat much less real food than we did 30 years ago. Most of the food chain restaurants offer is really food-like substances full of chemicals and preservatives designed to offer 'good taste' at a very low price to the customer. The second reason is lifestyle. We have become a consuming nation and work untold hours to make money to meet our consuming needs. When we work all the time, we don't have time (or think we don't have time) to prepare real food at home, thus we go out to eat in restaurants, run by MickeyD's or Pizza Hut on the way home, or nuke a Stouffer's. The result is that most people don't even know how to cook the simplest of real foods.

Combine this intake of chemicals and food like substances with an increasingly sedentary and stressful lifestyle and you have one sure outcome: an obese and sick nation.

Instead of demanding our restaurants provide us with nutritional information, I say we demand they serve us real food made from real ingredients as preservative free as possible. And serve us normal portion sizes.

I also think we need to bring food back into the home. We need to be preparing our food (real, please) at home and eating together as families.

I think these two actions will do more to help with the obesity problem than anything else.

:::: stepping off the soapbox ::::

Shelley said...

I know enough to not order mayo on a sandwich, and get the salad dressing on the side when I'm eating out. But there are *surprise* huge amounts of hidden calories in items that I wouldn't have guessed, so I appreciate it when the nutrition information is readily available.

That said, I ate at Pei Wei last week, and checked their nutrition information online to figure out the best choices for me. Their salads looked great, calorie-wise (even including the dressing) until I noticed at the far right side of the info that each salad serves TWO - had I not seen that, I would have doubled what I thought I was eating! So boo on them for their trickery!

Flo said...

I think that education is a main factor in eating right and I would view nutritional info on a menu as education. It wouldn't be the government telling people what they can and can't eat, it would just provide the information necessary to make an educated decision. I completely missed the memo where restaurants started cooking salmon with butter!! Hello!! Butter on salmon. The only way I found out was when some overzealous chef put way too much on mine. I got a piece of "grilled" salmon floating in butter. I went ballistic and now always ask if the salmon is prepared with butter and tell them not to use any on mine. So yes, nutritional information would have been extremely helpful. A calorie count of 400-500 on a piece of "grilled" salmon would have made me question it. So, what I'm really trying to say, is that I think it is a matter of information availability and putting the nutritional information out there is not the Diet Police but just more information to make the best choice.

Sybil said...

I read your post yesterday and could literally FEEL the anger seething out of the post and just couldn't quite respond to it. I do think you are being naive. Do you truly want government involvement in food choices? The very same regulatory government that you would put in charge of regulating food is the one that has brought us to our current state of obesity with the Food Pyramid.

Additional information - fine. Additional regulation? I can't think of much that has ever been solved by additional government regulation.

If you don't know what I'm talking about regarding the government/food pyramid I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of Gary Taubes book, Good Calories Bad Calories (called Diet Delusions in the UK) and read it for an education on why we are a nation of fat people. Another easier book to read is by a Dr. Carlson called Genocide.

What I am saying is that if you believe our government has our best interests at heart, and that they will steer us down the path to health and fitness - you are living with your head in the sand and are sadly mistaken.

Personal responsibility is required. And, as long as people want the easier softer way, they will not change. Until people get the 'click', they will not change.

VeeGettingHealthy said...

I agree that restaurants have the right to serve the foods what most people are willing to pay for. People, though, must be willing to accept the consequences for their actions/food-intake. But it is hard - finding restaurants that don't SALT everything, or those that use butter AND olive oil when cooking.

I love to watch cooking shows but could never cook what they show. All the salt, pepper, fats, complicated processes - I'm fairly simple.

But I'm also grossly obese. I need to admit that it's because it's easier to get a big mac fries and strawberry shake than to grill a chicken breast and grab a handful of carrots. The fast food is tastier than the chicken and carrots, too... msg, fat and salt.

I blogged last week about this. We were healthy basic eaters 10,000 years ago. We ate to keep us going until the next meal. We were concerned with the basics of life. Now... we eat for pleasure and entertainment and comfort. Very little nutrition enters into it.

Ok, I've lost my train of thought. Basically, everyone should take responsibility for themselves, which should be TAUGHT from infancy.

Vee - www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Carla said...

Lynn, I'm sorry I missed that disappearing post. It sounds like a good 'un!

I agree entirely that all restaurants should be required to fully disclose the ingredients and nutritional breakdown of each item of the food they serve. It should be clearly posted on the menu and on the packaging the food comes in. There is no logical reason why anyone could object to that, as it in no way could be construed and contravening sort of 'human rights' or 'free choice'. And it's the same sort of regulation that items sold to us in supermarkets have to adhere to.

I can't help but wonder, though, why people find it necessary to eat every time they leave their homes. Surely it is possible to go shopping and make it back home without having to stop and feed your face. I fail to believe that anyone is going to starve to death between Walmart and home. Why not try just skipping it a couple of times. Wait until you can get home and make your own delicious meals. I think a lot of the problem is just laziness, instant gratifcation and some sort of misguided 'screw you I'm going to eat what I want' attitude that's got us into this mess in the first place.

My opinions about food and eating might be considered extreme, unrealistic or fanatical by some. I've kept my weight off, though. And I've never fainted dead away for lack of a fast food fix during a shopping spree, either. I won't even go into a fast food place to pee. What they sell there isn't food. Don't get me started! Full disclose of ingredients and 'nutritional content' is the least they owe their 'users'.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Wow. When you guys discuss, you discuss! Thanks for all your thoughts. I appreciate your honesty and opinions.

Naive, though? Now? Hardly, Sybil. Before I lost weight, perhaps. I'm quite aware of how I got fat. I was ignorant and chose to not educate myself about what is in the foods I was eating. I also ate too much of it, plain and simple. I truly believe the government needs to FORCE restaurants to disclose their ingredient information on each and every item. Keeping its citizenry safe is the role of government, and offering education and prevention is key to getting people eating right.

Vee, if ONLY good nutrition could be taught from birth. Children learn from their parents first and foremost. Thank you for your forthrightness. I love your honest (and your blog, BTW).

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Carla, we were posting at the same time!

Here's what I do when I go out. I bring my own food. I even bring my own food into restaurants! LOL If my kids want to go to Applebees, I bring along extra tomatoes, my own salad dressing and whatever other salad fixins' I like and ask the server for a BIG plate of spinach and tomatoes. That's all. Then I dig out my bag of REAL salad stuff and proceed to eat my meal. I hate going out to eat, actually. It's a real pain in the butt to find stuff that's healthy and I've given up trying at most places.

Also, when I go to babysit my granddaughter, I bring all my food with me. That's why god invented little coolers :) I will not pay for crappy "food on the go" anymore. I make a much better meal than any fast food restaurant. ///word

Carla said...

I forgot to respond to your questions:

1. Restaurants have long said that they’re just giving consumers what they want when they create their high-fat menus. I argue they are creating an atmosphere of want. If more restaurants created healthy alternatives, I believe people would, in time and with education, choose those items, too.

--I don't think people will choose items that are labelled 'healthy', but I also don't believe that most peoople realise how bad some of the item are. If that deep-fried onion were labelled up on the menu: '2,310 calories, 134 grams of fat(44g trans fats) (206% daily recommended total intake), carbohydrate 241g (80% recommended daily total intake.' In the face of that information, it's hard to say, 'What the heck, it's my birthday.' And I think people would choose something with lower numbers.

2. Is it possible to create a culture of healthy eating? And if so, how?

--To be honest, no legislation or advertising or campaign is going to do this. People have to want to and they have to raise their kids to want to. But that doesn't mean those of us who do want to should have full disclose to the information we need to give us a fighting chance of making a good choice.

3. Who is more culpable? Is it always the individual or do food corporations and restaurants have a moral obligation to stop creating foods that are potential carcinogens?

--Food corporations and restaurants have an obligation not to willingly harm consumers. If people want death foods, they can find them elsewhere besides restaurants and supermarket shelves. I don't see anything wrong with junk food stores. Why shouldn't the junk be relegated to separate shops, instead of health foods? We've been shunted off into dusty corners long enough. Bring the wheatgrass and the tempeh out into the sun, send the Sugar Frosted Flakes into the dark and dusty old shops, I say!

liesl said...

Amen. Amen! AMEN! Couldn't agree with you more. I live in New Zealand (which many claim is a very healthy country) yet I cannot eat at any of my favourite cafés. Favourite because the coffe is good, service is good and atmosphere is good. All of my favourite places have only pastries, cakes and "treats". Yes they serve sandwiches - but they are revolting. They're a soggy mass of wilted lettuce and mushy tomatoes with who-know-how-old ham or chicken. And the odd café that DOES sell salad or something vaguely healthy, serves it with so much mayo and dressing and bacon bits - I tried it once and was so nauseous from the fat content. Should have had a piece of cake....

My point is..... I am trying very hard to lose weight. And I am doing it. Only 1 kg at a time. But making choices at cafés/restaurants is just useless. I now make sure I don't go out over meal times.

liesl said...

By the way, just because it says "Weight Watchers" on the label, doesn't mean its healthy. I was shocked to compare a WW item and regular item. Felt like I was missing something. The WW item had 1.5 time the sugar of the regular item.

The Fatty Cake Girls said...

I would LOVE to see total nutri info on the packages and menu of all items at all restaurants. People would think twice before gorging. I'd also love to see a USRDA next to the calories. This Whopper is 75% of your USRDA of calories! I bet you'd go, sheesh...I'll get the grilled chicken sandwich. I have a software program that will tell you exactly what the calorie, fat, protien...even vitamins are if you just enter in the recipe. So as far as I'm concerned it isn't too great of an effrot for a mom and pop shop to get the nutri info published IN PLAIN VIEW!! I'm not into the government telling me what to eat, but I sure would appreciate them helping me get all the info I can before I stuff myself full of a heart attack in a sack! I hate fast food, and I really would love to see some alternative fast food places (other than subway for God sake!) where I can get something that not only looks and seems healthy, but actually is! I'm horrified at some of the nutri info on these so called diet friendly foods at these FF places. I eat out a lot. Yes, I could cook at home, but I LIKE to eat out. I would like to see some healthier choices that didn't consist of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli once in a while! And it would be nice to pay half as much for half as much food! Why does everything have to be so freakin' big?? Ah well, welcome to the land of excess.

Anonymous said...

Knowledge is power, and I fully agree with full nutritional disclosure....had I known then what I know now, I would have steered clear of the seemingly innocent entrees at my favorite eateries.

Linda B said...

The fast food joints really do not want to print nutrition info on the menu. Over time, sales would decline. You may eat that 1200 calorie fatty burger today, but that number is going to stick in your head and help you the next time you drive through all the shiny lights beckoning to you on your way home.

I didn't realize how tempting all those places are until last week. My normal commute does not pass by one single opportunity to buy food. But, last week, the husband's truck was broken and I had to drive him to work 3 mornings. On day 3, I had a revelation (I'm a slow learner). His route takes him down a 2 mile stretch of every flashing, shiny junk food purveyor known to modern America. I found myself plotting excuses to stop & partake. Keep in mind, I had to retrace the same 2 miles to get to my work - so that was 6 times of exposure.

What kept me from stopping? Knowledge about the absolute lack of nutrition, & I believe, real food, in any of the fast products for sale along that route. I know about the calories/fat/sodium/additives in that breakfast sandwich. AND I chose my good health over the feel-good moment found only in the first 2 bites. The consequences far outweigh that momentary pleasure! And, the only reason I know how lousy that food is for my body is that I purposefully researched the topic - AFTER making the decision to lose the weight for the last time. When I was 280 pounds, I wasn't going to make any effort to do so. Had the nutrition info been on the menu, it would have played out differently.

I think it's good that this topic is so heated. Our society has got to figure this out; keeping a dialogue open and humming is the best way. Controversy and tough stances draw attention. Legislation - I don't know. Our elected officials have a knack for messing up a good thing. In the meantime, we can all send a message with our wallets.

Andrea said...

I have a very hard time eating in restaurants. I'll think I am making a good choice and then see the scale go up a pound or even two the next morning. It really has become a stressful event to go out to eat. We have cut back on the practice of eating out from about twice a month to pretty much not at all. It helps with the monthly budget as well. Maybe if more people start shunning restaurants, they will begin to question why we are changing our habits and look for ways to change. I'm sure they can offset costs of information (not convinced that would break the bank) by giving more reasonable servings.

natalee said...

I am so glad you re posted this...Good for you.

Scale Junkie said...

I really agree with you. I think it comes down to personal responsibility though.

Restaurants keep increasing portion sizes to stay competitive, people want bigger, they want value and lucky for the restaurants its easy to load up a plate with inexpensive items like pasta or potato.

Have you ever ordered from the "diet" menu at a Chinese restaurant, all of the ones around here charge several dollars more for steamed chicken and veggies...so you get charged extra for the cooking method and saying no to the sauce?

You can get a grilled chicken sandwich at Chik-Fil-A but if you want it on a whole grain bun it costs extra, to "upgrade" to fruit instead of fries costs extra too.

When I lived in Europe I'd often hear tales from people who just LOVED American restaurants because two or three could share one meal. I remember my nieces were so excited because they were going to McDonalds on Saturday because they had been good all month...it really was a treat for them. I think we've lost sight of that here in the states. Fast food has become a way of life and for too many years it was MY way of life.

Now its up to me to change which brings us right back to personal responsibility.

Great post (sorry for the super long comment)

Cassandre said...

To annymous number 2, I say this. I am a nurse at a community hospital. We are a very busy place and keep track of our biggest admission diagnoses. Last year our number one thing was complications due to diabetes, especially type 2. 6th on the list was COPD. So while I feel that you are on the right path saying that smoking is a choice and it kills, diabetes is majorly on the rise, thus increasing health care fees. I will tell you from first hand experience that the majority of our admissions aging 30-60 are there because they are not only 200+ pounds, but they are having complications from their diabetes. When I think of a hospital, I think of 70 year olds, not 39 year olds with amputations because they thought that going to McDonalds "just this once" wouldn't hurt them. People who say that they are giving themselves a treat, typically give themselves a lot of treats. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out when you see what they look like, or even their children. But there are also people who will never gain a pound and still eat terribly. So just because someone is 130 pounds, don't think for a second that they're healthy. My father in law recently suffered a heart attack and most of it could have been prevented if he had watched his choletrol more closely. He is 60 years old, and weighs 170 pounds. But his favorite food of choice is Wendy's and doughnuts.

In regards to teaching your children, I believe it does start with the parent. I make smart decisions in front of my daughter and while she's only 17 months, she chooses peas over cookies any day. When some other moms were calling me a "prude" because I have never let her have fast food a day in her life, I think about what they are teaching their children. They tell me that they only go so that their child can have the toy in the happy meal. If my kid wants a toy that bad I'll take her to Target, sans the trans fat.

I think it all has to start with someone. By putting in a menu what all is involved with a simple chicken quesadilla appetizer, perhaps people may make better decisions. I know I'm not perfect, and I never claim to be. But I can tell you one thing, when I was a waitress, we'd see a lot of peer pressure regarding girls going out to eat, and saying to eachother, how can you eat that? I think that by adding in how incredibly bad it is for you would make everyone think twice, including myself. Salads aren't the healthiest thing on the menu, that's a known fact. And anything to me that is concidered fast food isn't going to do anything good for you.

We all must live by example. My mother does a great job of that. I can thank her for being healthy during both of my pregnancies, especially for always setting the best example. I have never been a part of the clean plate club, nor have I ever been allowed to eat junk before dinner.

Desert to my daughter is applesauce or mangos. Isn't that the way it was supposed to be?

sybilizedliving.wordpress.com said...

Has anyone watched the movie Fat Head? It's an interesting 'take' on the fast food restaurant. It's not available in Australia yet but I've heard it is excellent.

Lynn, I'm surprised my 2nd comment wasn't posted. Perhaps it was lost in cyberland? I don't believe it was offensive - just asking for clarification on what you deemed appropriate regulation by the government. No worries.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Hey, Sybil. Yes, everything's cool. I never saw a second post, though. I'll look for the movie. Thanks for the recommendation!

RachelP said...

Hi Lynn - I too think like Sybil, in that I really think people need to take responsibility for their actions, and realize that their actions have a great impact on others. I like the warnings on cigarettes and alcohol - not because they protect the consumer, but because they protect those who could be impacted by the consumption (2nd hand smokers/would-be drunk driving victims). As a vegan personal chef, I do sometimes use caloric or fattening (but heart healthy) ingredients, but balance them with low calorie, vitamin-rich foods. I not only support the healthier, vegan lifestyle for the consumer, but for everyone else (factory farming = terrible for our environment/planet). That said, if any of my customers want to know exactly what they're eating, I can tell them the ingredients, but simply cannot give them a caloric breakdown (i'm not a dietition or scientist, here!). I think that restaurants should have their ingredient lists readily available, and people will have to take accountability and see RED FLAGS like hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrups, and preservatives. It's intuitive after that!
Phew. That was all over the place.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

RachelP, if you see this comment, could you send me an email at lynnbering@verizon.net? I loved your comment and would love to know if you have a blog or website I could look at and refer readers to. Thanks! I really appreciated your comment.