THIS WEEKS TIP TO THROW DOWN WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN CAME TO ME WHILE ATTENDING FDIC INTERNATIONAL 2015 THIS PAST WEEK. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW, FDIC IS THE LARGEST CONVENTION FOR THE FIRE SERVICE IN THE COUNTRY. NOT ONLY WAS I ABLE TO MEET THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN FOUNDER JOHN CARPENTER, BUT I ALSO MET SO MANY OTHER FIREFIGHTERS STRUGGLING WITH HEALTHY EATING IN THE FIREHOUSE
My experience at FDIC was nothing short of amazing. With it being my first time, I was unsure of how F&H Co. would be received by my fellow firefighters. After "setting up shop" in the 555 Fitness booth, it became apparent that this would be a great few days. Many of the people I met came to us already interested in fitness and health in the firehouse, so it made it much easier to make the transition in conversation from workouts to cookouts. And through these conversations I realized there was an underlying issue......
It seemed to be a common thread among the many firefighters I met, they want to eat healthier at the firehouse but are usually met with some resistance from the rest of the crew. These brothers and sisters on the front lines of firefighter health are doing their best, but I could tell need a little help. So here are a few general tips to get your crew on the road to eating healthier in the firehouse:
- Do your grocery shopping before heading into work if possible. This will help in shopping for better ingredients without the "influence" of those who may be keen on grabbing the bag of potato chips.
- Focus on meals that are not too far from what the crew usually cooks and eats. If your typical meal consists of a meat, vegetable and potato or bread, stick with that at first. But the key here is portion size, cook more greens and vegetables than potatoes. By doing this you are essentially "forcing" them to eat less carbs and starches, without them realizing it because it is a familiar meal.
- Start off slow, focus on one meal a day at first. If lunch is more like a cheat meal, make sure dinner is a little healthier. This will lessen the chance of you being stripped of your cooking duties.
- And lastly....just cook. I found the best approach is to make the meal and serve it. Sure their will be some resistance at first with a fair share of "what the hell is this?", but stick with it. The more delicious and healthy meals you make, the better your chances are in making a change. You have to start somewhere, and that is in the firehouse kitchen with you!