The last episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution ended with a teaser about the appointment of a new superintendent for the LAUSD. This final episode of the season began with Jamie meeting with Mike of MLS at Patra’s restaurant.
Deno, Patra’s owner, reported that business had continued to be good with his new healthier menu. Mike informed Jamie (and us) that the new LAUSD school superintendent was willing to grant autonomy to schools that can show results. I also learned that schools are not eligible for reimbursement for the free lunch program if they do not serve flavored milk. Later, when we get to meet the new superintendent, he says that he wants to get rid of flavored milk in LAUSD schools, which we now know that he has accomplished. Jamie predicted that with Los Angeles taking such a proactive move, that soon we may see flavored milk eliminated from schools around the country.
With the new superintendent, Jamie was allowed to go back into West Adams High, even into the school kitchen, where he and his culinary arts students got to try out the new healthier school menu items.
My favorite part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution this Father’s Day week was Jamie’s visit back to the Barrett family to see if they have stayed away from fast food since his last visit. As Jamie strode up the sidewalk, he noticed that they were growing herbs and vegetables. The father and the teenage son answered the door in aprons, in the midst of preparing dinner for themselves and Jamie. They had even filled the living room with all kinds of produce in jest of Jamie filling their home with fast food on his last visit. The father stated that he had lost 16 pounds already and, most importantly, feels good about himself as a father now that he cooks and has dinner at the family table with his sons.
The episode started with Jamie visiting a convention for school lunch cooks. He let us know that it is not just the LAUSD, but he has also been denied access to 75 other school districts. The comments by the cooks and administrators made it clear that people are afraid of bad press.
I find it sad when we try to pretend that we are perfect and/or do not open ourselves up to improvement through real awareness. I work with people frequently who confess less than functional habits. Just because Jillian Michaels already works out daily, does not mean she is better than the person asking for help to start exercising more often. In fact, I often find that the person trying to make a change has more courage and is working harder than the person who has already developed a healthier habit. My favorite part of the school lunch cook convention was Jamie commenting on the fact that during airing of the Food Revolution, commercials for fast food or convenience food are also being aired.
After the disappointment in the last episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, it was a wonderful surprise to see that the administrator of West Adams High had hopefully found a loophole, so that Jamie and his kids could indeed cook for the entire school, at least as an assembly. The administrator said that the school was based on experiential teaching and preparing kids for college, so healthy eating fit right into their principles. In the mean time, Jamie continued his role of instructor, trying out different subjects beyond culinary arts.
In math class, Jamie taught about calories and consequences by allowing students to choose a snack between soda, chocolate bars, pizza, or oranges. He then allowed them to experience weight gain using weight backpacks. Jamie then took his math students out to the track having the students walk around the track enough times to burn the calories of what they had just eaten.
In episode two of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Jamie made another attempt to build a bridge with the LAUSD school board by visiting another school board meeting to give an update and express his hope that they could work together.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have made an impact, and the school board does not seem open to working with Jamie. Jamie was forced to take to the streets dressed as a tomato with a group of volunteers in fruit and vegetable costumes to create grassroots momentum for the food revolution. Jamie and his volunteers handed out healthy lunches, flyers with suggestions on how to get involved, and T-shirts with messages like “Let Jamie Oliver In” and “Feed Me Better” to parents and their children. Back in Jamie’s Kitchen, we got to see that Jamie was copied on at least 745 emails to the school board after this venture. Jamie was hopeful there were more than a thousand more on which he had not been copied and that these emails would make a difference to the LAUSD school board.
Team Eco-Lovers Sam and Brooks won their dream green wedding
This week brought us the season finale of Shedding for the Wedding. After three months of working out, dieting, and trying to lose weight at home, the final two couples – Sam and Brooks and Dawn and Adam – revealed their weight loss at a final weigh in that determined who would win their dream wedding.
First, we got to see how the six eliminated teams did after their individual eliminations. As each couple was revealed, it was very dramatic to see how much weight they had all lost. As Lindsey from Team Greek Week said, they all must have felt much more “sexy” and confident in their leaner and trimmer bodies. But, in the end, the couple that lost the most weight and, therefore, won the fantasy honeymoon at the Buchaneer Resort in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, was Team Big Band: Valerie and Dave.
Then it was all down to the Top Two Teams: Team Fun & Games and Team Eco-Lovers. When it was time for the couples to step up on the scale, it was obvious that both couples were very nervous. First went Dawn and Adam, who lost 112 combined pounds since they started the competition. Sam and Brooks jumped on the scale immediately afterwards, and had lost 161 combined pounds- making them the winners!
The premier of season two of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was better than I had hoped. It had everyone in my house shocked and engaged. I couldn’t keep up with the discussion on twitter because #foodrevolution was a trending topic with hundreds of tweets every minute. If you missed it this week, I will catch you up. Hopefully you can join the conversation tweeting live with us next week.
This season Jamie is in Los Angeles, but he has been banned from the LAUSD school system. Even after going before the school board, not like a celebrity but like any other citizen in a three minute slot, Jamie was dismissed unceremoniously. At one point, Jamie stated that his welcome in Huntington, WV, reportedly the unhealthiest city in the U.S., was warm compared to the cold shoulder he was receiving in L.A. Because he was not allowed in the schools, he asked school children and their parents to bring him food items from the school. Jamie stated that it was the worst school menu he had seen anywhere (and twitter seemed to agree). It was revealed that to save money, food is only prepared in one kitchen for all the schools in L.A. – the meals were only warmed in house.
Ruby got her groove back this week- and hopefully it sticks around.
Aside from a tough hike up Runyon Canyon in L.A. to prove her commitment to fitness and weight loss after an intervention of sorts from both her friends and trainer, this week’s episode focused on dating, and the insecurities it brings up for Ruby in terms of her weight, her tumultuous relationship with her ex, Denny, and perhaps surprising for some, her hair loss.
Ruby and her friends went to a fashion show for Evolution of Curves, a plus-size fashion line designed by a friend of Ruby’s, but she had her eye on something other than the clothes: a cute bartender, Ian.
With all the confidence in the world, Ruby starts chatting up the hot (smokin’ hot, if I do say so myself) guy, asking him about his tattoos, touching his arm, and batting her eyelashes like there was no tomorrow. Ruby was convinced that he would never be interested in her, but flirted her butt off anyway. To her surprise, however, they exchanged phone numbers, and he texted her almost immediately. Still convinced he probably only wanted to be friends, Ruby invited him to a concert anyway, where they had a fantastic time, and decided to do it again.
On this week’s episode of Shedding for the Wedding, it was finally down to the toughest three couples: David and Allison, Sam and Brooks, and Dawn and Adam. Now, the competition is really fierce, and as one contestant said, they are all now transforming into athletes.
The episode started out with an emotional surprise for the couples. The couples were told that they would be seeing models showing them their bridal party attire for their weddings. Instead of strangers, the couples were greeted by their maids of honors and best men. It was an emotional and exciting moment for everyone as the couples were reunited with their friends and family for the first time in seven weeks. The couples then picked out their favorite designer dresses and tuxes for their wedding parties.
Ruby starts the episode with a weigh-in, which reveals 347 pounds. Ruby’s weight gain is an eye opener for both Ruby and her friends.
Ruby, Jeff and Georgia discuss her state of denial and lack of determination. It’s difficult for Ruby to hear and it seems just as difficult for Jeff and Georgia to say. For the first time, Jeff tells Ruby that she is truly sick and needs to hold herself more accountable for her actions. The truth hurts but Ruby said, “When Jeff told me I was sick, it killed me but it helped me… I’m really out of control.”
Ruby holds the first Women’s Fat Night in Los Angeles. The women discuss the audacity of men who believe it’s okay to ridicule and mock large women. One group participant tells of a man who approached her: “This guy came up to us and just felt the need to express to us that we were fat girls. (He said) if he was as big as us, he would put a bullet in his mouth.” The girls all come to the realization that most of them have one thing in common: childhood abuse. Georgia said, “It was the most productive Women’s Fat Night we have ever had. Ever.”
In episode four, Ruby and the crew arrive in Los Angeles for their one month vacation with Ben.
The first thing they do is go to the water park, Raging Waters. The visit starts out a bit rocky as Ruby has trouble fitting into (and getting out of) a raft. “It was very frustrating for me that I can’t get into the rafts by myself,” she said. “But at least I participated.”
Determined to prove herself, Ruby decides to take on the biggest ride at the park, a water slide at the top of nearly 150 steps. She reaches the top but is hesitant to slide down, afraid that she will hurt herself. Conquering her fears, Ruby slides down The High Extreme and afterwards exclaims, “It was the best ride of my life!”
Episode three begins with Ruby and her friends getting ready for the big garage sale. Ruby is convinced that the sale will bring in loads of money, while the rest of the crew is skeptical.
Since the discovery of the forgotten letters in episode two, Ruby’s depression is escalating and her trainers, Drew and Shazi, are having trouble getting her to the gym. In an effort to keep Ruby active, her trainers are turning the garage sale into a fitness endeavor.
Making each step count, Drew and Shazi accompany Ruby to post signs for the garage sale. The group held small weights in their hands and did lunges down the street.
Depression is ruining Ruby’s motivation to workout but she admits that it helps elevate her mood when she does. “I’m a lot happier,” she says, “I’m energetic… it changes your whole mood.”