OHSWEKEN – At first glance Doug Henhawk is kind of an intimidating looking guy, but have a conversation with him and it doesn’t take long to see that he’s not intimidating at all.
“Usually people see me and think I’m threatening or something,” said Henhawk, a participant in the 12-week Healthy Roots challenge. “But I’m really not.”
Henhawk calls himself old-fashioned. He loves his family, listens to any kind of music that sounds good and can even hit a few high notes on his flute.
It is now beyond the half-way point of the Healthy Roots challenge — a challenge where nine individuals are sticking to a strict diet of pre-European contact foods while including different activities and healthy thinking in their every day lives. Henhawk sat down with the Two Row Times to give us an update on his progress.
“I’d get an A+ in effort if we were getting marked,” he said. “I’ve lost about 30 pounds, gone down a few sizes in clothes and most importantly, my mind feels sharp.”
The challenge is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change where each participant sets their own personal goals. Nobody actually does get marked or judged. If one participant wants to follow the food list to an absolute tee, good for them, but if another participant can’t for various reasons then the work they are still putting forth in other areas is still an accomplishment.
Henhawk said that his goal isn’t to lose weight, he wants to change his way of thinking when it comes to the food he is eating and he wants to feel better physically and mentally.
“I’ve dieted before when I was younger,” he said. “Well not really dieted, but I guess I used to be a lot more into weightlifting and exercising but my goal was different back then. This time it’s more of a mind thing, balancing both body and mind.”
In doing the challenge, Henhawk feels like his body has finally caught up to his mind.
“I’ve always felt and acted like a 20-year-old,” he said. “But my body didn’t always agree with my thinking.” He said that the challenge has kept him active and very involved in how he prepares food for him and his family. “I made catfish for the first time a few weeks ago and it has probably been my favourite meal so far from the challenge.”
He made trout recently too and didn’t like it very much.
“I probably just made it bad,” said Henhawk. “I usually like trout.”
Henhawk said that his family is his support system and that although he would still be able to do the challenge on his own if they weren’t participating, he loves doing it together and seeing changes in each of them. at the workshop on Thursday night.