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Nutrition and wellness is tasteful

  • Exercise

    Exercise is a benefit to every part of the body--mind included.

    Exercise makes you look better, lose weight, and lowers your risk of many chronic diseases, and slows down aging.

  • Healthy children, healthy life

    "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces--just good food from fresh ingredients."
    --Julia Child

    "If we're not willing to settle for 'junk living,' we shouldn't settle for junk food."
    --Sally Edwards

  • Food is medicine

    "Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine."

    "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
    --Michael Pollen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So, what is ORTHOREXIA anyway?

I had heard of Orthorexia before, but, frankly it really didn't occur to me that it was such a "big thing". It makes sense though that it would be since we have such an obsession with food in general. I mean really -- many people have a fear of food! There's even a book about it called: "The Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat".

Orthorexia -- which by the way has its very own website -- is an unnatural obsession with eating healthy food. The term Orthorexia nervosa comes from the Greek "ortho" meaning "correct" and is meant to be a close parallel with anorexia nervosa. 

What is a healthy food plan anyway? In a book entitled, "Total Nutrition: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need" ,(From the Mount Sinai School of Medicine), one of the main key ingredients to take away as good knowledge is the importance of abiding by the principles of moderation, variety and balance. I mean really, isn't one of the joys of life in looking forward to a special meal with that special someone, or looking forward to a family dinner or even a fun girls' night out with delicious food?

It might be worth further investigating eating the right foods for your body type or even simply learning more about how food affects our overall health and well being.

Going back to the article, Orthorexia Isn't Healthful; Neither is the Standard American Diet, there are some good take aways one should leave with after having read this article.

A few points to remember about Orthorexia?
  • Orthorexia is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Dr. Steven Bratman, who coined the term, even writes that he "do[es] not claim that orthorexia nervosa is or should be a DSM diagnosis."
  • With Orthorexia, it is clear that an obsession with the quality/composition of meals exists. This obsession goes as far as having people spend several hours a day reading about or going out of their way to make the meal to exact specifications being careful not to eat unhealthfully. The unhealthful eating of foods that are not up to "healthful standards" leads to guilt and could even lead to imbalance and disruption of daily living.
The dietician that wrote this article even states that it is important for people to create and establish a healthier relationship with their food choices. Nothing can be more off-putting than being out on a Friday night with friends -- or even a date -- when all they seem to be concerned with is the amount of calories they are eating or the amount of fat that is on the pizza laid before you. 

Another good point that this article brings up is that of moderation. "What about moderation, some may ask? The problem is that "moderation" is a rather meaningless -- and completely subjective -- term. Ask 10 different people what it means and you'll get 10 different responses. For some, moderation may mean enjoying a bowl of ice cream every two weeks. For others, moderation may mean drinking soda with lunch every other day. 

"Everything in moderation," when doled out as blanket advice, unnecessarily and inaccurately equalizes all foods. It operates on the silly notion that peaches, Pop-Tarts, muffins, soda, lentils and tomatoes should all be approached the same way." 
This is not like saying: 2+2=4. Everyone knows this is true. Imagine if we could have a clearer more tangible understanding of the meaning behind eating with moderation? Clearly, we know that everyone is different and has different nutritional needs, but in getting to understand the way your body works without obsessing about what foods to eat or not eat, your body will respond much better to change and balance.
So much more to say on this topic, but to learn more, just read the article.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Inside Look: JBF's First Application

No fear in preparing those vegetables that were more than likely overcooked when you were a kid -- or, perhaps whoever was doing the cooking just didn't really know how to prepare vegetables so they actually taste good.

Here is an inside look at the James Beard Foundation's first application available on the Apple App Store for vegetable preparation! There is also plenty of information to read up on the latest food trends, environmental concerns, food issues, etc.

The recipes that you will find here are from award-winning chefs like Thomas Keller or Daniel Boulud or Mario Batali. If you go to the Apple App Store, you can download the app for free! What could be better...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

7 New Apps for Healthy Eating

It seems like we are in the midst of a whole lot of change with regard to how we see, buy and eat food. We've now got access to a wide variety of apps that instruct us on how to be healthier, the best places to go grocery shopping, how to avoid the "wrong kinds of foods" and so much more.

Here is a list of the latest 7 Healthy Eating Apps. Go to the link for more information about the applications. Eat your heart out!

1) Food Scores: This app provides consumers with an extensive listing of hard to understand supermarket labels that are actually made to be more understandable with a little help from this app. Consumers can become more educated with making smarter food choices, great idea!

2) Up by Jawbone: This application provided to you by iPhone actually links Apple's Health kit in a streamlined digitized fashion with such things as food diary, sleep session logging capability and more...

3) Kurbo: This application is a great tool, particularly focusing on childhood obesity since it has become such an epidemic. What does it offer? The only safe and long-term solution in helping to change lifestyle habits to much healthier ones.

4) JBF Vegetables: This app, which originates from the well renowned New-York based James Beard Foundation, focuses on providing its customers with the simple joys of cooking with fresh vegetables. How great is that! Having famous chef educators sharing recipes with step-by-step photographs!

5) HowGood: This organization which was started by a Brooklyn, New York-based research organization wants to provide its consumers/customers with understandable grocery store aisle transparency. The products -- well over 100,000 -- get a full description that includes impact on health, society and the environment.

6) Rise: This application allows consumers to have access to a virtual coach in nutrition that is there to cheer you on with your future successes.

7) BluePrint: This is a pioneering company that's main focus is on demystifying fruits and vegetable juices organically. There are even cleanses available with motivation tips and more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11 Mobile Apps for your next Farmers Market Visit

People everywhere expect to get the most delicious and in-season produce at their local farmers market. You know -- that produce that contains the least amount of pesticides too.

The following are 11 Mobile Apps that can change the way you shop at a farmers market, and can also really benefit the sellers as well. A brief description of each application is provided below, but to read more about each of them (as well as links associated with them) go to the article here.

1) The Dirty Dozen App. This app is free and published by the Environmental Working Group which is a nonprofit environmental research organization. The purpose of this app is to give the buyer the best conventionally raised produce with the lowest pesticide rates and -- just so you know --the produce that has the highest pesticide rates.

2) The Farmstand App. This application draws out a list of over 8,700 farmers markets world-wide while also connecting shoppers with the markets for the purchase of locally grown food. It supports the local community and also provides support to users by sharing photos with each other. Markets can be sorted by both opening times and location.

3) The Good Guide App. This application has the capability of rating products and food producers as reported by everything from produce to pet food as well as their health, social benefits and environmental issues. Even fresh produce, dairy and meats can be sorted using filters that distinguish organic, vegan and more.

4) The Harvest App. This application supplies its shoppers with a listing of pesticide levels on fruits and vegetables as well as providing methods for choosing the ripest and best piece of fruit/vegetable that is in season. It even gives you storage tips. Also, refer to this seasonal calendar for your in season shopping needs.

5) The Harvest Mark Food Traceability App. This app is free and it provides a 16-digit Harvest Mark code or QR code for all fruit, vegetable and dairy brand products that participate in providing their brands labels to the application itself. This process enables food producers to connect with their customers by offering more transparency.

6) The Locavore App. How cool is this! This app has a large database that contains local farmers markets, farms and even CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) as well as vendors that sell organic produce and in-season fruits and vegetables.

7) The Love Food Hate Waste App. Once again, this handy app is free and produced by a United-Kingdon organization called WRAP. It allows shoppers to better hone their cooking, kitchen and shopping habits in order to reduce food waste. Imagine going to the grocery store to pick up items that you actually need and don't duplicate which saves $$$!

8) The Seafood Watch (U.S.)/Good Fish Guide App. (U.K.) This application is also free and works both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom! This app provides the most sustainable seafood options at the market and also gives consumers the best choices and those to avoid. This app even has a traffic light rating system!

9) The Seasons App. Although this app is one that you pay for, it does offer a large database with a natural growing season and availability of a large amount of produce from herbs to fruits and everything in between. It even gives you photos and world-wide farmers market locations too.

10) The True Food App. What a great app to have and it is free! This app, which is created by the nonprofit environmental advocacy organization Center for Food Safety, assists shoppers in finding which foods contain GMOs!

11) The What's On My Food App. Lastly, this app which is created by PAN (Pesticide Action Network), is free and offers access to a large up-to-date database of all pesticides used on a variety of produce. Did you know that watermelon in the United States can have up to 26 different pesticide residues on them when they reach their market destination? The app also uncovers the health/side effects of each of these pesticides! Wow!

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to cook like Michael Pollen

Okay, okay, I don't necessarily believe that you need to cook like Michael Pollen -- but, I do like his explanations as to why eating wisely with the following 4 rules of eating is important. According to Michael Pollen,"between one-fifth and one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions result from our food system." 

In creating a time where cultural change is not only advantageous, but much needed to making a healthier and cleaner planet, it is equally important to educate consumers to make wiser choices with regard to being smarter consumers and eaters. Similarly, in promoting people to cook at home more, several benefits can be gained. 

By eating foods that have been carefully chosen, there would than be less reliance on those foods prepared by corporations where the ingredients or the quantities used are not known. This means that those that don't cook at home on a regular basis have no real knowledge of how much fat, sugar or salt is really consumed -- even though it may say the amount on the label. In fact, in Pollen's book, "Cooked", the argument for "taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable," is made. 

In addition to shopping at farmers' markets, growing vegetables, and carrying cloth grocery bags are great ways to help prevent climate change, Pollen offers other good practices that can reap excellent rewards when it comes to being more sustainable. 

1) Buy frozen. In the past, this had not even occurred to me to buy frozen on a regular basis. I thought "why should I" when I live in a continuously generous climate of 70 degree weather all year around. But, what do people that live in colder climates do? Upon doing more research between the difference of buying fresh vs. frozen vegetables for instance, "frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed." 

2) Cooking at home. In the words of the famous Julia Child, "Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy." And, what do we value? 

3) Raid the refrigerator. Many times it is about being creative and cooking with the ingredients we already have in the refrigerator.

4) Make cooking an "equal opportunity" event where everyone participates -- husbands and kids.

Friday, November 7, 2014

How long does it take to form a healthy habit?

I'm not sure there is an exact science to this, but certainly there is a good chance that healthy habits can be formed with desire for positive change and repetition. Conventional wisdom gives a timeline of around 60 days to build a habit, but this could be different for anybody. So much can depend on age, your environment, your current personal health and being able to admit that a healthy habit should be formed to begin with on this journey of forming a habit.

According to the 5 Steps for Creating Healthy Habits, that magic bullet (the miracle drug, etc.) isn't the right answer. Here is a brief outline of the 5 steps for creating that healthy habit...

1) Set goals by baselining your health. Start out by assessing where you are in your life. How are you feeling? Do you know you need to lose weight or should lose weight -- what about smoking? Do you smoke? Start by writing down your goals and seeing where you want to be realistically. "It would be great if I quit smoking" or "it would be great if I lost 8 pounds".

2) Set priorities. This article indicates that you should list out things that you are good at already and things that you may need work on doing better. List them as "hot spots" or weaknesses or "sweet spots" things you are doing well.

3) Identify harmful patterns. Maybe the harmful habit is not sleeping enough or not drinking enough water throughout the day -- this can change with more attention to changing it.

4) Make steady changes. Getting out of our comfort zone can be the most difficult, especially when those of us that love a regular routine, get shaken out of it. But, if your job is on the 4th floor of a building -- instead of taking the elevator -- take the stairs for the week.

5) Reinforce good decisions. Maybe in rewarding ourselves for one of our small victories, we change what we are rewarded with by going to a movie instead of having a slice of cheesecake...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nutrition Facts Video: Hospitals Selling Sickness

Is it possible to remove fast food operations from hospitals? Hospitals -- the place that literally houses many of the ill/sick people that need proper care? Check out the video below....

Nutrition Facts Video: Hospitals Selling Sickness

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

At last...Fast-food chains going...healthy

For all those people out there who haven't quite caught on to the meaning of what healthy is -- no worries. There is plenty of good stuff out there. But, I have spoken to people who are really not "in the mood" to change their minds and give up fast food altogether. There is no need to go completely cold turkey after all. It's just a matter of time before our culture starts a healthier food shift -- and that's really a good thing!

Instead of merely saying "healthy"foods though -- why not use other deliciously descriptive words like...flavorful or full-bodied or zesty or just delicious and good for you!

The following article, Bye-bye burgers: New Fast-food chains bet on healthy eating, gives a sense as to where America's interests lie with regard to locally sourced and healthy foods.