Young People – Your ONLY Chance is to Wake Up

Here are some quotes about the current climate for young adults:

From 1 in 2 New Graduates Are Jobless or Underemployed article,  “Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University who analyzed the numbers, said many people with a bachelor’s degree face a double whammy of rising tuition and poor job outcomes. ‘Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college,’ he said.”*** (see quote source at bottom of page)

One-third of children in the U.S. eat fast food everyday.  (Bowman et al. 2004)  An article on obesity states, “it is hard to envision an environment more effective than ours [in the USA] for producing…obesity” (Ebbeling et al., 2002, p.478)  This article was referring to the sheer number of environmental factors that contribute to rising childhood obesity.  (Environmental factors such as coke and vending machines throughout school and college settings.)  In 2009, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption “increased dramatically in the past decade in the United States, in parrallel with the rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes” (Bleich, Claire Wang, Y., Wang, Y., & Gortmaker, 2009, p.9).

Young people are a product of what our society collectively values and prioritizes.  Certainly, we are free to choose as adults, but it’s important to remember the teachings about diet that modern children have already received.  If you listen to my “Top Ten Talk,” I explain why neurobiologically, making diet changes is easier said than done.

About our food choices:  “…we do not make food choices in a vacuum.  We select diets in a marketing environment in which billions of dollars are spent to convince us that nutrition advice is so confusing, and eating healthfully so impossibly difficult, that there is no point in bothering to eat less of one or another food product or category.  We may believe that we make informed decisions about food choice, but we cannot do so if we are oblivious of the ways  food companies influence our choice” (Nestle, 2003, p.360).

(Dr. Haas sums up our current mainstream American attitude on food and diet: “People in general have become out of touch with nature and possess little instinctual or rational basis for their diet, and as a result can become emotional about it.  Thus they may defend their diet and resist suggestions for change.  Many people in the United States are not familiar with natural foods and do not know how to maintain good health; they eat mainly what is marketed by corporate America.”  (Haas & Levin, 2006, p. 522))

“USDA officials believe that really encouraging people to follow dietary guidelines would be so expensive and disruptive to the agricultural economy as to create impossible political barriers (italics mine)” (Nestle, 2003, p. 364).  The author goes on to say that “in all too many instances…the government serves business interests at the expense of public health” (Nestle, 2003, p. 367).

Is there a theme yet?

I want to help young adults grow the eating and lifestyle habits necessary to be able to live a long and healthy life.   I DREAM about the future.  And I’m writing this article in the hopes that it will spark something inside you to begin to believe and DREAM, too.

I am prepared to STAND UP and FIND FOLKS who want REAL CHANGE.  This change is occurring in increasingly larger pockets of the population: such as at farmer markets or with the 20,000 plus graduates at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


I recommend that young adults follow these steps in order to FIND their dream future:

1. Get clear.  Get clear in your head, heart, and body.  The world around you is numbing, but YOU DON’T HAVE TO.  Getting clear is the FIRST STEP to authentic happiness in your life.  If you are currently numbing, (whether it is from overwork, drugs, sex, alcohol, or food,) you cannot imagine what a life without those substances constantly affecting you would feel like.  Find help.  Contact me or reach out in your community.  Olympic athletes don’t win gold without a coach and the same is true for anyone wanting to create deep and permanent change in life.

2. Find what gives your life meaning and do it.  Many people, (very unfortunately,) are walking around afraid and without hope.  Their greatest vision at this moment is that they are able to arrive home safely, be left alone, and perhaps make enough money to comfortably live with their needs fulfilled.  THINK BIGGER.  THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.  The healthcare system, the prison system, social security, our environment, all these things are not being cared for properly with the current systems that exist.  YOUNG PEOPLE COMING INTO THE WORK FORCE, it is YOU who are going to institute CHANGE.

3.  Constantly engage in self-care.  Dr. Siegel states it best when he says, “Caring for your self…is an essential daily practice–not a luxury, not some form of self-indulgence.  But you may have heard people say that self-reflection is only for the selfish, that we need to ‘get out of our lives’ to really find meaning.  Then why would we spend even a moment looking inward?  Why has research demonstrated that self-awareness is a starting point for emotional and social intelligence?” (Siegel, 2010, p.3)


If you haven’t seen it already, this very popular 19 minute talk on TedTalks by Ken Robinson explains why we need to encourage children to be embodied and creative.  Young people–getting a clear diet and finding passion in your life is intricately linked to being all the things that Ken encourages in his talk!



Questions? Contact me at

Remember, I want to help you live the healthiest life possible! –GreenLightHeidi



***quote from this abc website

Bleich, S., Claire Wang, Y., Wang, Y., & Gortmaker, S. (2009). Increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89, 1-10. Retrieved from

Bowman S, Gortmaker S., Ebbeling C., Pereira, M., & Ludwig, D. (2004).  Effects of fast food consumption on energy intake and diet quality among children in a national householdsurvey.  Pediatrics, 113(1), p.112-118.

Haas, E., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

Nestle, M. (2003). Food Politics. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Siegel, D. (2010). The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, Inc.

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