What if you could live off Victory?

What if you could live off Victory? | Simone Biles of USA, by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil, CC BY 3.0 br, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50496207

Simone Biles of USA (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil).

The Olympics celebrate the human form: bodies that move – blood pumping through veins, muscles twitching, brains firing. A place where gravity seems to be as awestruck as the rest of us.

What if you could live off Victory? |Kōhei Uchimura of Japan, by Agência Brasil Fotografias.

Kōhei Uchimura of Japan (Agência Brasil Fotografias).

What if you could live off Victory? |Kōhei Uchimura of Japan, by Agência Brasil Fotografias | Kohei Uchimura of Japan, by Roberto Castro/brasil2016.gov.br - http://www.brasil2016.gov.br/pt-br/noticias/com-polemica-no-ultimo-aparelho-uchimura-leva-mais-um-ouro-no-individual-geral, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50612158

Kōhei Uchimura of Japan (Roberto Castro).

What if you could live off Victory? | Diego Hyplito by Roberto Castro/brasil2016.gov.br - http://www.brasil2016.gov.br/pt-br/noticias/com-polemica-no-ultimo-aparelho-uchimura-leva-mais-um-ouro-no-individual-geral, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50612158

Diego Hyplito of Brazil (Roberto Castro)

What if you could live off Victory? | Kai Qin and Yuan Cao of China. By Agência Brasil Fotografias - BRITÂNICOS VENCEM E BRASILEIROS TERMINAM EM ÚLTIMO NO TRAMPOLIM DE 3M SINCRONIZADO DOS SALTOS ORNAMENTAIS, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50605571

Kai Qin and Yuan Cao of Chin (Agência Brasil Fotografias).

Even as newscasters contextualize the athletes by their nations of origin, the games are a rare chorus in an often discordant world, its very premise a celebration of effort and victory over the latest political skirmish. John Williams, theme composer for four Olympic games, quite possibly said it best:

The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that’s wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.

What if you could live off Victory? | Germany vs. Canada, by Agência Brasília - Alemanha x Canadá - Futebol feminino - Olimpíadas Rio 2016, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50584138

Germany vs. Canada (Agência Brasília).

What if you could live off Victory? | Neda Shahsavari of Iran & Aleksandra Privalova of Belarus, by Javid Nikpour - http://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/media/1395/05/17/1150796/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C-%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%A9-2016-%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%88, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50528559

Neda Shahsavari of Iran & Aleksandra Privalova of Belarus (Javid Nikpour).

What if you could live off Victory? | Colombia vs. Nigeria, by Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil - http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/rio-2016/foto/2016-08/colombia-e-nigeria-na-arena-corinthians-em-sao-paulo, CC BY 3.0 br, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50608704 São Paulo - Colômbia vence a Nigéria por 2x0 na Arena Corinthians (Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil)

Colombia vs. Nigeria (Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil).

The food of Victory

As I watch the players struggle and triumph, I can’t help but consider the food that makes those heroic bodies move. Despite some athletes endorsing frosted cereals and golden arches, I know the truth about good nutrition is far more complex. Back when I used to lift weights (another, bizarro lifetime ago), there was a lot of oatmeal, fresh fruit, eggs, and leafy greens in my life.

I shopped for produce obsessively.

San Francisco Farmer's Market by Sasha Martin

Shopping with a mind towards nutrition takes more time, energy, and money.

When any of these resources are thin, a person’s diet will be lacking – and we don’t have to be athletes to suffer the consequences.

In my career as a food writer, I try to shake up the world’s food story. Instead of focusing on poverty and war, relief efforts and famine, my goal was (and is) to unlock beloved recipes from all nations – to shine a light and honor their culinary victories. To tell the good stories. I began in February 2010 with Afghanistan and, by November 2013 I’d cooked more than 650 recipes from 195 countries, ending with Zimbabwe. Many of you have been with me since the beginning (Shoutout! Hugs and love to you!). As you know, the recipes are here, free of charge, to serve you and your families.

This collection of international recipes is another sort of victorious arena – a culinary Olympics, an edible chorus in a sometimes discordant world.

 

Recipes from every country in the world

However.

The truth is that no one can live off of victory alone. We must make a global effort to ensure that there is adequate nutrition for all. And, fact of the matter is, right now there isn’t.

Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said:

We live in a world today where the state of nutrition is relevant and important to each other country. […] In a world in which each half knows what the other half does, we cannot live with hunger and malnutrition in one part of the world while people in another part are not only well nourished, but over-nourished.

She said this back in 1970. And it’s true today.

But I promise the situation is not hopeless.

How can you help?

Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lights the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs.

Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lights the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. (Tim Hipps)

We need to light a fire under this issue.

We can start with nutrition education in our homes and schools – so we can raise a new generation of policy makers who give a darn (yes, yes, yes – lunch, snacks, after sport treats are educational opportunities!).

And then we can continue our efforts by taking part in global movements that put pressure on today’s global leaders. I’ve chosen to be a part of the #HungerFree movement to ensure good nutrition and the right start for all children in the world.

#HungerFree & the Olympics

Here are two simple ways for you to get involved and make a difference while enjoying the Olympic games.

1. This Olympics, lift your voice

One voice is lost in the wind, but many voices change the world. Join in on the #Nutrition4Gold conversation as we call on world leaders to #InvestInNutrition by increasing financial investments in nutrition, scaling up interventions that are proven to work and targeting the most vulnerable, ensuring a #HungerFree future for all children!

TWEET NOW: “World leaders: take action to ensure good nutrition & the right start for all children #nutrition4gold #Olympics2016”

2. Share a global meal

At your next Olympics watch party, cook a healthy meal inspired by your favorite athlete’s home country and then SHARE A PHOTO using the hashtag #nutrition4gold – then get all your friends to share too!

FOR RECIPE IDEAS and a party resource kit, visit my friends at HungerFree. They’ve put together an awesome collection, as well as these 10 other reasons to host any Olympics party.

All that’s left is to begin…

Rio de Janeiro - Cerimônia de abertura dos Jogos Olímpicos Rio 2016 no Estádio do Maracanã. (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

Torch lighting at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, 2016 (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

Until the next time, cheering you on with much love and good health to you and yours.

xxoo
Sasha

 

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