In wrapping up his 30-day health challenge dubbed the “Rangel Resolution,” Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who represents the 13th Congressional District of New York that includes Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, unveiled the Rangel Resolution Recipe e-Book. The electronic cookbook is a compilation of recipes collected during the month of March from participants of the Rangel Resolution, which aimed to encourage healthy eating and highlight the need to make healthy food accessible, affordable, and available to everyone. Included in the e-cookbook are Rangel’s signature smoothie and breakfast recipes, as well as Mrs. Alma Rangel’s famous crab cake recipe.
“We received a lot of great tips from participants on how they can make healthy eating fun and affordable,” said Rangel. “I hope this recipe book shows how simple it is to make small changes in people’s diets that can lead to big improvements in their health.”
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The Rangel Resolution consisted of the following three simple rules:
- Replace all sugary beverages with water;
- Eat breakfast every day; and
- Eat at least one additional serving of fruits and vegetables a day.
Consuming one can of soda a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22% and can result in gaining almost 15 pounds in one year. Studies have shown that eating breakfast increases energy throughout the day and fights off the midmorning slump. For children, eating breakfast can boost performance in school and improve their diet. According to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce risks for diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
“Most days in Congress, I make a smoothie to get my extra serving of fruit,” said Rangel, who shared his tropical smoothie.
“Smoothies are rocking my world right now. I know I’m only like 20 years late to the party but here I am and I’m making these from fruit and juice, no bananas, no dairy, just masses of fruit,” said Heidi Gough (@EatlikeULoveU), founder of eatlikeyouloveyourself.blogspot.com, who tweeted her grape and berry smoothie during a #FoodFri Twitter Chat hosted by Rangel with MomsRising.
Diana Limongi (@dianalimongi) of ladydeelg.com, also shared her recipe for a ham and egg sandwich on Twitter: “I was heading to class so needed [breakfast] to be a good one to help me focus.”
Mrs. Rangel also contributed her famous crab cake recipe with an anecdote: “I am a Floridian and grew up on the Gulf of Mexico where we would go to catch the crabs with our nets. We had to keep up with the crabs because they would try to crawl out of the pail. My mom would go down to the docks and buy snapper and chowder with tomatoes and potatoes in a big pot. I grew up on fish. To this day, I rarely cook red meat at home.”
“Our own health is vital to the health of our families and communities. When people lack the key ingredients of a balanced diet, they also lack the recipe needed to fight preventable diseases,” said Rangel. “We must commit to ensuring that healthy food is an option for everyone, not a luxury for the few.”
In addition to offering participants easy steps to take to get healthy, the Rangel Resolution initiative also aimed to raise awareness about food inequality. Though most people have the option to lead healthy lifestyles, many others remain without access to nutritious, affordable food and therefore may find it difficult to adopt habits that can prevent common diseases. Food inequality can come in a variety of forms: it can mean that a community does not have a supermarket that provides fresh produce, or it can mean that fresh produce already available is simply too expensive.