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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."
    --Hippocrates


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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hijacked: How the food industry turns diet advice into profits

In this month's cover story of the health letter publication by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action, information is revealed about how the food industry turns diet advice into profits. If it isn't confusing enough for people to educate themselves on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid, we get additional confusing information from the industry that supplies us with information regarding our everyday foods!

We all know that fiber is good for us. Why? As we all know, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (like beans, lentils and peas) are good for us as they largely contribute to a healthy metabolism and prevent constipation. These foods also help us in keeping our weight where it should be and they also help with the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes.

But, back to the cover story, knowing the right sources to get our daily fiber is extremely helpful. The food industry has made if far too convenient to give bad advice that they make believable by simply buying a food product that says it contains 3 to 4 grams of fiber for instance. Eating a fresh peach that contains about 2.2 grams of fiber is being compared to a Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle ice cream bar that contains 3 grams of fiber. One would think that the larger amount of fiber is better for you -- but, it's just not the case!

"Epidemiological studies show that eating fiber-containing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes has many good health outcomes," says Joanne Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota. "The evidence is strongest that those foods can lower the risk of heart disease, concluded the Institute of Medicine in 2002. But, they may also help prevent constipation, type 2 diabetes and obesity."

On another note, in realizing that Halloween is today -- Halloween can offer plenty of healthier food/treat options that don't need to take you out of the spirit of fun. Below are some links that offer healthier candy/treat options....

7 Healthy Halloween Candy Choices

6 Satisfyingly Sweet Options

Halloween Candy: 2014 Healthiest Treats




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't know much about fish? Take the quiz...

WebMD Fish Quiz: Fact or Fiction?

The Kaiser Permanente Mantra: THRIVE

In so many ways, that word -- THRIVE -- says it all! To thrive is to flourish, prosper and advance. What could be better than that for creating a healthy life where wellbeing is what to strive for in our every day lives.

In that same vein, I wholeheartedly agree with the need to thrive, flourish and prosper. In celebrating the everyday activities of getting up every morning to follow through with the routine things that we do, isn't that what it's all about? It seems so hard to believe that 75% of our healthcare costs go to treating chronic preventable diseases -- like diabetes. Isn't it worth minimizing that number -- especially when we know that we can do something about it?

While the industrialized food world does all it can to make us believe we can't live without their products; can't we see how those very foods have contributed to the demise of our own health? We live in a fast-paced society where it is just so convenient to not bother with what we think is the "small stuff". But, our health and wellbeing is definitely not "the small stuff". In order for us to thoroughly enjoy the everyday "small stuff" like waking up in the morning, having our coffee, hearing our loved ones get ready for their day and everything in between, we want to and quite frankly need to feel good and productive so we can carry on with our lives.

The best way to start out with creating a healthier better life is to eat those nutritious foods that give us that plentiful energy, makes us happy and makes those "small stuff" moments so worth it! After all, who really wants heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure -- no one! It is no guarantee that eating wisely and exercising everyday will prevent us from getting sick, but it is a definite guarantee that we'd be way better off taking care of ourselves than by not doing so.

A healthy diet is one of the most powerful medicines you have to keep you well. Eating nutritious foods increases your energy and is a mood improver and....it can add years to your life by helping fight off heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and even cancer.

Now, try to imagine going to a restaurant with your loved ones or friends and, instead of asking for the "go-to" fries for the table, you ask for a side of sautéed greens or baked or roasted sweet potato fries -- not necessarily because they are just good for you, but because those greens will have become the majority's choice. This is how healthy cultural change becomes a reality... To learn more about thrive, go here.






Monday, October 27, 2014

Mobile Apps: Delivering Home-Cooked Meals

There is a flurry of exciting technological advances when it comes to serving customers good, delicious and healthy food with the latest in mobile apps.

Mobile Applications include:
  • Sprig, Inc., delivers delicious, locally-sourced and sustainable food to your work or home.
  • Munchery, Inc., offers healthy meals to your door -- currently in San Francisco, but perhaps in many other neighborhoods very soon!
  • Spoon Rocket gives another delicious offering by providing on line orders for yummy food.
The cultural shift we are starting to see with the emergence of so many mobile applications such as the ones mentioned above could really change the way that we eat -- at any hour. Imagine having  serious hunger pangs on a late-night? Instead of heading out to Jack-in-the-Box or Burger King, what if people had the option of ordering food from the on-line kitchen door that offers healthier food options? Some delicious food to think about...



Friday, October 24, 2014

How much nutrition do you absorb from food?

The question of how much nutrition your body absorbs from food has always been fascinating to me. I mean -- it is so complex -- turning food into nutrients that your body than uses for energy and healthy cell formation to than getting rid of undigested food that your body no longer needs! 

In the following article published in Scientific American and written by nutrition diva Monica Reinagel, she answers a listeners question who asks:


 “We can measure the amount of vitamins and minerals in a food, but how do we know how much of that our bodies actually absorb? If a banana contains 422 mg of potassium, for example, do our bodies take in 100% of that? What factors determine how much (or how little) nutrition we get from our food?”
Answer: 
"There are, in fact, lots of things that influence what percentage of vitamins and minerals are absorbed, such as the other foods you eat at the same meal, how they are prepared, drugs or supplements you may be taking, even your age and the time of day. Taking all of these into account, you might absorb anywhere from 10 to 90% of a given nutrient from a given food!"

To learn more, check out the article when you click the link above.

Upon asking Andrew Weil, M.D., naturopath, teacher and writer on holistic health about absorbing all nutrients in the body he says, "it depends" - on the nutrients themselves and what is already in your stomach when you consume them. To learn more about this topic, go here

Another certain thing is that eating the right kinds of foods is what truly heals our bodies and more than likely will keep us out of the hospital due to lifestyle changes that could be better -- "food wise". Thoughts? There is no doubt that food as medicine only promotes good health and optimal well being -- and -- frankly, who doesn't want that?






Thursday, October 23, 2014

ONLY...Two Rules for a Good Diet.

In the Opinion Section of the New York Times yesterday, I found this well-written and to-the-point article by Mark Bittman (journalist, food writer and author) which focuses on us placing our efforts on what truly makes a good diet.

In this article, it is made clear that we have a much louder voice than we may realize. While our food system is in need of help, we can do something every day to make our own choices. It really is in implementing a few simple rules that involve making a strong effort to avoid eating junk food/processed foods whenever possible, eating more greens every day and start cooking!

The one thing I do love about cooking is in the choices of ingredients that we can use while preparing a meal. At times, it could even be fun to "think outside of the box" and use that hidden spice "Turmeric" that you have hidden in your pantry or that Swiss Chard that is sitting in your vegetable crisper or what about those turnips that you bought last week? Maybe you were thinking of making something special with them -- or not. Now-a-days we have so much information at our disposal. If you don't know how to prepare the turnips -- what can you do? What about looking up recipes on the web? So easy and you may just create a dish that becomes a "keeper" in your recipe arsenal.

Lastly, as Mark Bittman points out, "No need to rely on corporate benevolence or the government getting things right. The power lies with you." Let's take the power into our own hands, take care of our health and see how far we can go...


What's in your refrigerator?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10 Restaurant Trends for 2015

Hard to believe, but 2015 is merely 71 days away! That's a little over 2 months! So what can we expect with changes in the restaurant world? The following are 10 trends for 2015...Below is a brief description of the 10 trends, but to get an even better understanding, go to the article listed in the link above.

1) Pictures. Customers love their phones and their cameras, so what better way to enjoy
your food than by taking a picture first.

2) Small-minded. In this sense, small-minded is not a bad thing. Diners are enjoying smaller
yet adaptable food portions and it looks like we will be seeing menus that are more targeted toward proper menu labeling.

3) Food service demand grows.  Now technology has made a serious impact in the food world with sophisticated onsite restaurants to focus their efforts in education and healthcare as an example. With regard to restaurants, there will be more demand for pop-ups and more tech friendly devices that encourage further food service growth.

4) Signature beverages. While many restaurants distinguish themselves with their cocktail lists, signature beverages will not necessarily mean strictly alcoholic beverages. Now, there will be more non-alcoholic versions presented on menus like pressed juices or special teas.

5) Food-focused Asian Influence. Yes, more spicy ramen noodles and Asian street food.

6) Going bold with bitters. This list can include anything from darker coffees, intensely flavored chocolate and hoppy beers.

7) DIY Health. Menus become more flexible with the particular needs of the diner like adding gluten-free options or Paleo options or Vegan...

8) Micro-local. There will be more of a focus on local all around. This includes house-purified water and locally manufactured beers and liquors.

9) Value in the people. What does this mean? Consumers will and are becoming more aware of the importance of fair treatment and generally good opportunity for the employee. Farmers are becoming more valuable as well.

10) Generation Z. This is the generation that comes after Millennials. As younger diners make more demands for high-tech service, the food experience will become even more meaningful and awareness will become heightened in the digital world.





Monday, October 20, 2014

The Real Food Revolution

Frankly, I just don't step into a regular grocery store like Albertson's like I used to -- even from a few months ago. Unless you go to the grocery store with a list of things that you "stick by" -- or, you go to when you are not hungry -- or, you go when you had a lousy day and you just want to get something quick for dinner tonight, it's virtually so difficult to pass up on temptation.

What is the temptation?

It is not just the foods that you find in the center of the supermarket that typically carry all of the  chips and sodas and other processed foods, but so many "junk foods" are readily available and easily seen as soon as you walk in the store. This means you need to be prepared mentally to have a strong will every time you go into a regular grocery store without easily slipping in a six-pack of soda or a bag of chips or low-fat cookies in your cart. Fortunately, I believe I have a pretty strong will, but what about the millions of others who just find it so difficult to pass up on the Oreos that are on sale?

If you are going to go to the regular grocery store -- prepare and learn how to shop better. Try sticking to the perimeter of the supermarket where you get your produce, meats and dairy and avoid the center aisles if possible. Here is a good reference to check out. Many times it is the convenience of available junk foods that can easily "throw us off of our game" and promote unhealthy eating behaviors.

As the following article points out, the convenience we have in picking up fattening foods at the
grocery store is making things far too easy for people. "Interventions targeting the issue of convenience and quick or efficient preparation of nutritious alternatives to fast food could be more promising."

It truly is not that difficult to cook at home -- and, it can be done relatively quickly. It is just a matter of planning and practicing and seeing the benefits it will give you and your family in the long run. There is so much information on how to cook a healthy meal -- in your local community, on the web or simply by just asking around.

Here are a few more websites that are helpful in introducing cooking and being able to cook just about anything to what carbohydrates we really should be eating and even ways by which we can get involved in a Real Food Revolution as presented by Congressman Tim Ryan.