does the nba really care

 

does the nba care

As a sports fan that is married to an avid sports fan I watch my fair share of sporting events and ESPN. I have noticed something that I find a bit contrary.

Both the NBA & the NFL have outreach programs geared towards public health and exercise. The NFL has Play 60 which is a program to encourage physical activity in kids and to promote healthy eating. The NBA has NBA Cares which is an organization that in their words, “addresses important social issues such as education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.”

These groups require generous donations of time and money on the parts of the players and the leagues. While they certainly get a great personal reward from helping, it is also about the public image of these organizations. Maybe I am a little cynical, but I think any organization that spends advertising dollars to talk about the good deeds they do is working a public relations angle. Which is fine because my beef isn’t with the fact that these amazing acts aren’t done 100% altruistically. Showing positive role models for both kids and adults is important and probably makes a great impact when a popular sports figure is involved.

Seems that if the NBA really cares and the NFL really wants you to properly fuel up to play then they should be paying attention to the mixed messages their organizations and their employees are sending.

Athletes doing commercials for soda, fast food and unhealthy snacks doesn’t fit with the message these organizations are trying to send to kids. Kids aren’t able to distinguish that LeBron, and other athletes, is just advertising and isn’t actually eating at McDonald’s. Hell, some adults probably believe athletes are heading through the drive-thru and picking up a Big Mac and a large Sprite on the way home from practice. I am guessing LeBron isn’t hitting up McDonald’s and probably doesn’t have his fridge overstocked with LeBron mix Sprite. If I had to guess, I would guess his kids either don’t get soda or only have it in very small amounts because he knows it isn’t good for them. I also don’t believe he drives a Kia to game night, (he did used to ride his bike so maybe he is just that frugal) but that is a different ethical issues as his influence over car buying isn’t having a negative impact on the health of America.

Athlete endorsements of Gatorade put that drink on the map. Which is understandable since it was developed for them, for the purpose of rehydrating them during times of intense exercise. Its intention was never to replace water for them or anyone else. It was to quickly replace a loss of fluids in the Florida Gator athletes and later all athletes. Allegedly the heavy sodium and potassium, both needed for proper hydration, in the drink made an unpleasant taste so they added sugar to make it tolerable. Not a huge concern for athletes because they would use the extra calories, or energy, in the course of a game or a workout. The kid on the couch isn’t working that off playing Madden. Sugar drinks have the largest impact on the current obesity crisis in the country. Obesity affects 17% of children and adolescents, ages 5-19, according to the CDC.

If the NBA and NFL players took the time to think about the impact they have on the children in this country before they decide to make a buck it could have a positive impact. The biggest impact would certainly come from them speaking out against sugar drinks, fast food and junk food in general. Choosing not to use their image to sell junk to the fans would just be a nice first step towards a positive change and a lot less hypocritical when they show up at an event and tell kids to eat their vegetables so they can grow up to big and strong.

grilled fish with watermelon salsa

Weeknight food should be unpretentious, flavorful and fun. Weeknight summer food should also be refreshing and light with a minimum of oven time.

Grilled fish with watermelon salsa fits the bill on all fronts. Adding the rice adds a bit of oven time but it is minimal and if you are one of the lucky ones with air conditioning you won’t even notice. If you aren’t one of the lucky serve it over lettuce for a delicious summer salad.

grilled fish with watermelon salsa

I recently finished my first class for culinary school and my fearlessness to create new recipes has skyrocketed. All it takes is a little inspiration.  To come up with this recipe I drew from some Pinterest inspiration, a suggestion from my chef at school, a new technique I learned in school and a mental library of flavors and combinations.

I started with Pinterset and the fish. I don’t know how I got to this pin for mahi mahi burrito bowls, but it looked so good I made it the day I saw it. It tasted as good as it looked and we have had it a couple times since. While I like it I wanted to make something that was a little lighter. Something that would be good to eat on hot, humid summer nights. Which for me meant a little less heat and chili flavor. I thought cumin would make a great flavor for seasoning without being overpowering. I had adobo seasoning in my spice collection which sounded like a perfect blend. I figured not everyone keeps adobo on hand so I made my own mixture of this list of spices. With the change to the fish there was going to have to be a change to the salsa. Strawberry and mango go great with heat but didn’t sounds as refreshing as I envisioned. Not to mention it didn’t sound as good with cumin.

grilled fish with watermelon salsa

Light bulb moment number two. Salsa doesn’t have to always be about the tomatoes, onions and peppers. There are certainly other options, strawberry and mango for instance. I wouldn’t have considered watermelon if the chef teaching my culinary class hadn’t mentioned it. Something about his quick mention of watermelon salsa, had me at the store before I knew it buying watermelon, cilantro, jalapeño and limes so I could give it a whirl.  I love making salsa because I find cutting up vegetables very therapeutic. I think my mind clears and my heart rate goes down considerable when I am preparing ingredients for a salsa. I don’t know why it is salsa specifically, but it is one of my favorite food to prepare.

watermelon salsa

While I love making salsa I used to hate making rice. I have always struggled with making rice. I could never figure it out but I always seemed to cook it past the point of done. When I learned how to make rice pilaf for school and it kept coming out correctly every time I tried it I was in love with the technique. I started to think that if cooking rice is all about the ratio of liquid to water it isn’t really that hard and I could make rice pilaf with just about any liquid. This idea was reinforced by the pinterest inspiration where the rice calls for coconut water and coconut milk. I combined my technique with her idea for coconut water and I was off and running.

I wasn’t sure how my husband would feel about watermelon salsa so rather than ask I just made it and waited to see what he thought. I probably underestimate his trust in my cooking abilities and his adventurousness with food just a bit. He was a little surprised to find out it wasn’t a traditional pico de gallo salsa, but it was a pleasant surprise and we had very few leftovers any night we have this.

grilled fish with watermelon salsa

The layers of flavors in this dish really work well together. Like I said if you don’t feel like turning on the oven you can easily serve the fish and salsa over lettuce. I would suggest something like a romaine. Salad is also a great option if you manage to have any leftovers.

Thanks to Wayfair for including me as part of the 15 course meal. Check out hashtag #15recipes on instagram to find more of the recipes featured in this meal. I am the 9th so there are already 8 other great recipes and 6 more to come. If you follow Wayfair or myself on twitter you will also get the recap post after all 15 posts have been shared.

15CourseMeal_600x200

 

grilled fish with watermelon salsa
Grilled fish with watermelon salsa served over coconut lime rice pilaf
Servings Prep Time
4 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
grilled fish with watermelon salsa
Grilled fish with watermelon salsa served over coconut lime rice pilaf
Servings Prep Time
4 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
fish
watermelon salsa
coconut lime rice pilaf
Servings: people
Instructions
prep
  1. Mix cumin, oregano, cayenne, garlic, pepper and salt with olive oil.
  2. Season fish with salt and pepper and pour olive oil mixture over fish. Coat fish evenly and put in fridge until ready to grill.
  3. Mix diced watermelon, onion and jalapeño with cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper in a large boil. Stir well and place in fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Start making the rice if you are using it
coconut lime rice pilaf
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Heat clarified butter and olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan that is oven safe.
  3. Place coconut milk and coconut water in a pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add onion and saute over medium heat until onion is flavorful and soft. Do not brown or caramelize
  5. Add rice and stir in oil to coat. Cook rice for 2 minutes.
  6. Add boiling stock to rice and cover
  7. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from the oven and fluff with a fork just before serving
fish & serving
  1. Remove fish from the fridge and squeeze the juice of the lime over the top just before placing on the grill or in a grill pan on the stove.
  2. Grill fish until cooked almost completely through. Time will depend on the thickness of your fish.
  3. Put all the ingredients out and let everyone create their own perfect dish
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a bone to pick

It isn’t easy to keep up with all of the issues around food. Issues like GMO’s, food safety, diets and sustainable farming practices. The messages out there can be conflicting depending on who is delivering the message. Different government agencies have different opinions, some farmers don’t agree with each other and then there is the sensational half story you sometimes get from the news. So if you want more balanced information where can you turn.

Whether you are new to reading about these issues or you consider yourself extremely up to date and knowledgeable about the issues A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman is a great place for you to land.

A bone to pickYou might know Mark Bittman as the man behind, How to Cook Everything. You may, or may not, also know that he writes a weekly column in the food section of the New York Times. I unfortunately don’t have a daily subscription to the New York Times and don’t search out articles so I don’t catch a lot of his articles. Opening this book and realizing it is a compilation of these articles from 2011-2014 years was a pleasant surprise.

The book is divided into 6 chapters: Big Ag Sustainability, and What’s in Between; What’s Wrong with Meat; What is Food; The Truth about Diets; The Broken Food Chain; Legislating and Labeling. My favorites were the last two. I think these two topics are the ones I am most passionate about and reading these columns gave me more clarity, more information and sound answers to questions I was struggling to answer for myself. Questions that deal with whether I am a foodie, what should a food label look like and advertising junk food to kids.

What I loved about those chapters, and really all the chapters and every article, is that he doesn’t write alarmist journalism. Each article is passionate and informed, but none of them made me feel shame for eating certain foods and none of them made me feel like doomsday was just around the corner. Most of them made me feel like I have a choice in what our food system looks like from here, most of them made me feel like I could be part of the solution and all of them made me feel like he genuinely cares that this fight turns out well and that none of these issues are black and white.

One of my favorite quotes from the book came at the end and sums up how I felt after reading the book.

 “The point is that no major food issue will be resolved in the next 10 years. As pioneers, we must build upon incremental progress and not be disheartened, because often there isn’t a quick resolution for complex issues…. So, let’s call for energy, action-and patience.” 

That quote is from a column on January 1, 2013 and it rings true over two years later. Progress is being made. Sometimes it is one step forward two steps back, but it is there and it will continue if we all make educated choices about what we eat, who we vote for and what we are willing to accept as the norm. We need to all be part of the discussion so we can come to a solution for our broken and harmful food system. A system that isn’t just harmful to you and me, but also to future generations and the planet we live on.

If you are one of the pioneers that wants to change the food culture in our country and the world then this book is for you. If you want more information to find out if you too could be a pioneer this book is for you. It is well written, informative, rational and logical. It will give you an insight into the world of food that you didn’t have before. It certainly did for me and I counted myself among the highly educated on the issues surrounding our food.

If you would like to get the book and learn more you can purchase the book at Amazon through this affiliate link* A Bone to Pick: The good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMOs, farming, and more

What is your biggest concern about the food we eat?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions and ideas are my own. 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission, at no cost to you,  if you make a purchase  after clicking on the link.