Congressman Tim Ryan Talks Mindfulness & The Real Food Revolution

Last year, Congressman Tim Ryan published his book “The Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance Recapture the American Spirit,” and shared how mindfulness and meditation can transform one’s life. Now he is releasing a new book called “The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries and the Return of the American Family Farm,” encouraging the public to take control of their own health starting in their own kitchen.

Last Thursday, gathered at Deepak Homebase in ABC Carpet & Home in New York, he spoke about his passion on the topic, and was joined by New York Times bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman and producer of the films “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Fed Up,” Laurie David. “Fed Up,” is a documentary featuring Katie Curic, President Bill Cliton and others, exposing the food industry and sugar.

“I was inspired by the film ‘Fed Up,’” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Stress effects our health, but it’s also our food. Through a mindfulness practice you start to see how things are interconnected, and it kept coming back to food for me.”

He explained how his wife realized she had a gluten allergy, and they went to see Dr. Mark Hyman to get help.  He emphasized diet and how if she shifted it, she could heal herself. Hyman asked her what type of food she ate as a child, and how many antibiotics she took. After a few months of dietary changes, she began to feel better and is now healthier then she ever was before, said Ryan.

‘In Washington we put things in silos, like food, education, healthcare, and we need to start seeing how all of them are interconnected,” he said. “This may be the first generation that may not live as long as their parents.”

His new book is about how Americans can begin to build out a new food system and instead of subsidizing companies who make processed food to make it more affordable, we should be subsidizing the agriculture and farmers so they can move to a new type of farming that is healthier for Americans.

Ryan also suggested starting with major universities, such as Ohio where he is from. Ohio University has 60,000 students and if they agreed to take 2 percent of the food budget and spend it on locally sourced vegetables and fruits, and then increased it to 4 percent and then 6 percent, that is how we can create a market for the farmers.

“What about public schools and prisons, which are now relying on highly processed foods,” he said, explaining we need to start educating every child in America how to eat properly.

“We need a garden in every school yard and a kitchen in every singles school, and a salad bar in every cafeteria,” Ryan said. “We need Homec 2.0. If we are going to be a competitive country, you have to be a healthy one.”

tim-ryan-groupDr. Mark Hyman also spoke, explaining his approach is to treat the person as a whole, and to treat the cause not just the symptom, which is a paradigm shift for many doctors today. And much of the disease we deal with today begins with the flora balance in out gut. Our gut health is connected to our immune system, brain function, metabolism, and many issues faced today, from autism, depression, auto immune disease, eczema, asthma and migraines can go back to the flora in the gut, Hyman noted.

Additionally, Laurie David spoke and said the film “Fed Up” opened the eyes of many people to how much sugar is hidden in our foods, and how giving up processed foods and beginning to cook again is an important step in the Real Food Revolution.

“We have been told it takes too long and is too hard to cook, but these are marketing myths the food industry convinces us with,” she noted. “Our children are not being given a chance at a healthy future.”

She pointed out a deal Girl Scouts of America has with Nesquik to create a Thin Mint Chocolate Milk, but this chocolate milk has 12 teaspoons of sugar per serving, she explained.

“That is more than a kid should have in four days,” David said. “One mom who is a Girl Scout troop leader was outraged and started a petition on that people can sign now.”


She shared that 4 grams of sugar on a label is equal to 1 tsp of sugar, and one of the easiest ways to begin to eliminate processed ingredients and sugar is to make our own salad dressing. Sugar is the single biggest toxin we face, Hyman added, explaining its poisoning America more than any other toxin.

“We’ve outsourced our kitchens to corporations,” said Hyman. “We do have to cook ourselves out of this mess, and we do have to do it one kitchen at a time.”

For more information on Tim Ryan’s new book click here: “The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm”.

For more information on Mark Hyman click here.

For more information on the film Fed Up click here.