James Fell, nutrition month and lasagna

I’d write up an intro about James but this photo says a lot of what you need to know.


When he isn’t cracking wise on Facebook, interviewing celebrities, and writing like he doesn’t give a shit what you think, he has been taking the time to mentor me. He’s a fitness columnist for a bunch of places, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. He wrote a book too. He told me he hates the title but couldn’t think of anything better.

James was willing to fill my first spot in a daily series of posts for Nutrition Month where I interview a new person each day on their opinions of food, policies and overall health.

Before we began the interview I cracked a joke and he laughed. It’s a good way to start.

What is your favorite food that people may consider unhealthy … something that the general public might classify in black and white thinking as unhealthy?
Beer. Definitely beer.

What’s your favorite thing to cook and who is your favorite person to cook with?
My lasagna (MAJOR profanity warning at that link). My wife can’t cook worth a damn so I like to cook with my friend Craig because he’s a damn fine cook and likes to drink while he cooks.

The lasagna is a good and easy choice because it’s reasonably healthy and can feed a ton of people with one dish.

What do you think the government should be focusing on within the realm of public health and policy?
I think they should refuse to engage in industry-government partnerships, I think they’re a terrible idea because food corporation profits are at direct odds with the health of the populace. (See more here on James’ proposed solution to obesity via government intervention.)

Do you think one person can make a difference in public health policy change?
Absolutely. We’ve seen that health policy has been negatively affected by one person (Minister of Health) by allowing food companies to have a say in nutritional policy, so I see no reason why it couldn’t be the reverse. Maybe the Prime Minister could decide that they were going to change the subsidies for certain types of food and stop subsiding the unhealthy ones.

If you were going to be stuck on an island for months and you could bring an unlimited supply of 4 food staples, what would they be?
Steak, but I don’t want to die so I need some healthier stuff too. So … I guess carrots, bananas and whole wheat / whole grain bread.

If you could get a message out to the general public about food, what would it be?
Try to cook at home using fresh ingredients as much as you can.

If you could cook a meal with anyone, who would it be?
Sarah McLachlan. From what I understand, she’s a pretty good cook and I have a little crush on her.

What’s your biggest pet peeve related to nutrition?
The glorification of dietary fat – especially saturated fat – right now is a major problem. It’s rife with unscientific misinformation that is not helping people lose weight or be healthy. Big gobs of butter in your coffee? Give me a fucking break.

What would be your favorite food/drink that The Food Babe says you shouldn’t consume?
Probably Diet Coke. I like the stuff but I’m sure she hates it because she can’t pronounce aspartame.

What is your favorite breakfast if you could have any breakfast in the world?
I usually have fried eggs and whole wheat / whole grain toast with a little butter and then salsa on top. If I’m eating out somewhere I’ll have eggs Benedict.

Does your job get in the way of what you eat?
I don’t think so. Because I work from home and my desk is 10 feet from the kitchen. I have constant access to the food I want. We rarely have treat foods in the home so I don’t have to constantly be on guard with my willpower.

Everyone has a different definition of what healthy really means. James says he is healthy and he still enjoys in moderation things that other people may deem as unhealthy.

Visit James’s site at www.BodyForWife.com.

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