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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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Food for thought: Portion-sized pasta

In this enlightening article on "Why Italians Aren't Fat", many here in the United States may not realize that our portion sizes are very different from those served in Italy. Why not enjoy a completely delicious plate of pasta -- but, Italian style....

“The pasta we are all eating comes in a very controlled portion. When it comes to eating pasta, Italians are very measurement conscious. And it’s a very easy formula to follow: 100 grams (3-1/2 ounces) or less of pasta per person. It is never a heaping portion like one you would expect in the States.”

“The beauty in the Italian way of eating is that you might start with wild asparagus in season for only a few weeks or fried artichokes, then have a little pasta and something else and panna cotta for dessert,” says Auriana.

You get three for four different tastes in one meal. Nothing like a little variety at your dinner table, right? And, really when it comes down to it -- portion control would work wonders here in the States.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

22 Health Benefits of Ginger Root and Ginger Tea

There are so many different spices and herbs that are good for you -- some are better for weight loss, others are better for digestion and even others are excellent for good brain function. Overall, when you have an easier time with a healthy, functioning system, benefits can be seen in many ways.

The following is a really good list of 22 different health benefits to incorporating ginger root and ginger tea into your busy lives....

And...speaking of tea, there are a number of good benefits from incorporating tea into your diet. Read about Relishing an afternoon spot of tea.

Orthorexia Nervosa: Is it a real thing?

I can't help but wonder when food became such an obsession. Apparently, this condition -- Orthorexia Nervosa -- became a term used frequently starting in 1997 and it refers to the development of an unhealthy obsession with eating the "right kinds of foods".

On one hand, I can understand how people have become so obsessed with food due to information overload with such things as the right diet to be on, what foods not to eat or what foods to eat more of, and the list goes on and on. But, where does one draw the line between Orthorexia Nervosa and simply just eating a well-balanced diet? Now we have a condition that is all about food and our control of what we eat or don't eat? It's difficult not to be obsessed with food as we learn more about the science of food addiction, chronic diseases and how our bodies continually have been affected by all of it.

To learn more about Orthorexia Nervosa, refer to this link and to learn more about food addiction, learn more about it here.....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is a Paleo Diet Healthy?

This Wall Street Journal Article on the Paleo Diet gives a more comprehensive view on the "pros" and "cons" by two very reputable and competent sources -- Dr. KellyAnn Petrucci, naturopathic physician and certified nutritional consultant and Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.

First off, there is no doubt that the statistics of where we are health-wise here in the United States is astounding. "More than one-third of U.S. adults - close to 80 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - are obese, and as Americans' waistlines continue to grow, so do rates for chronic health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease".

In viewing the "pros" and "cons" to this diet, Dr. Petrucci believes that yes, the Paleo Diet is a good choice for her patients and so she stands behind this diet. She states that "a Paleo diet can reduce inflammation, reverse diabetes symptoms, lower blood pressure and cut cancer risk by providing a template of foods that are as close to nature as we can get today. Science backs this up."

However, Professor Nestle says that "we really don't know what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. As often as she argues, determining what people eat is the single most intellectually challenging question in nutrition science. It is extraordinarily difficult to get an accurate idea of what people ate yesterday, let alone 10,000 to a million or more years ago". She goes on to say, "The reason cave men didn't have chronic diseases like diabetes is more likely because they didn't live long enough and lacked antibiotics, rather than because they didn't eat carbohydrates".

Additionally, the Paleo diet is viewed differently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's nutritional guidelines in a number of ways.

The Paleo Template says to:
  • Make lean meats and non starchy vegetables the foundation of your diet.
  • Don't eat grains, dairy, legumes or added sugar
The USDA Template says to:
  • Eat grains, make at least half of them whole grains.
  • Don't eat foods high in solid fats.
Whatever the diet or non-diet one chooses though, there is no doubt that the fundamental tenets of nutrition are balance, variety and moderation. How everyone sees what these tenets really mean though is another debatable issue...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What Is Gluten?

The following article gives a better understanding to what gluten is and how it affects our bodies. Harold McGee -- for those that may not know -- is a well-recognized author who writes specifically about the chemistry and history of food science, cooking and molecular gastronomy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Doctors Want to Ban Fast Food From Hospitals

I'd say it's about time that fast food is banned from hospitals. After all, hospitals are the places where sick people go to get well, right? At least, that is what is supposed to happen. There have been countless studies conducted on the end results of fast food on the body, yet it makes no sense that hospitals still have these fast food facilities within the hospital premises.

Alas, times are changing and physicians are becoming more involved in making a difference with their patients' choices in lifestyle behaviors. This starts with good food. A nonprofit group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is working toward formulating the right equation to hospitals in general about their questionable relationship with fast food. How can people not know the harmful effects that are caused by eating fast food and why are those that are healthcare experts  not properly teaching their patients about the harm that is caused to the body by eating such foods?

How can one be sure that the hospital has your best interests at heart when some hospitals profit more depending on how much fast food is sold in their facility? In the words of Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra of the Royal Free Hospital in London, he states "The junk food industry's aggressive and irresponsible marketing has even been allowed to hijack the very institutions that are supposed to set an example: our hospitals". Well said! He writes about the food industry's controversial marketing tactics in the June 2013 article published by the British Medical Journal.

To name just a few of the effects of junk food to the body -- start by knowing that not only are you (as a patient or anyone else for that matter) taking in extra calories, you are also promoting insulin resistance, blood sugar spikes, depression, acne, high blood pressure and many more...

A few other links to articles related to the topic of banning fast food from hospitals are listed below:

Doctors Fight to Ban Fast Food From Hospitals

Fast Food Ban Made by Doctors

Statistics of Health Risks From Eating Fast Food


Friday, March 20, 2015

Imperfectly Delicious Produce? To buy or not to buy....

Have you ever been to your local farmer's market and seen the apples, pears or oranges being sold? No, not every single apple or orange or pear is perfect -- like the ones you may see at your local grocery store -- but, have you taken a bite of that fruit whilst in season? Wow! Now that is what fruit is supposed to taste like! Delicious!

While I'm sure that all farmers/vendors at farmers markets do their best to provide their patrons with perfect fruit or veggies, it may not always happen. But, you can be sure that the fruit or veggies they have ready to sell is at the peak of flavor since it was probably picked hours before it was sold to you.

In this article, "Imperfectly Delicious Produce: A new outlet for ugly, but good produce", indicates that the produce that is not necessarily pretty to the eye, can most certainly be delicious to the palate.
And...not only is it delicious, but seasonal fruits and veggies are at the peak of nutrition too.

It gives me a sense of joy and relief at the same time that the Bon Appetit Management Co. in Palo Alto, CA has started a program that utilizes much of that "ugly" produce that normally goes to waste and instead is using it in its new program called "Imperfectly Delicious Produce". (Bon Appetit has been on my reading list for many years and it is worth it).

This program has allowed for the aggregators of produce and farmers to bring their "blemished" items into Bon Appetit kitchens where they will be used to produce delicious and nutritious meals.
Not only will that allow for food waste to be minimized, but at the same time, it will feed people that actually need and appreciate it!
Odd-sized fingerling potatoes
Odd-sized fingerling potatoes

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Farm to School: From Fries to Kale!

Sharing a really good story like the one mentioned here in this blog post may give hope to elementary schools in the country as well as parents everywhere. 
It's hard enough for people (let alone children) to think of the food supply in relation to everyday school lunches, but how can they keep interested and coming back for more! Thus far, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's Growing Minds Farm to School program gives a shining example of the strong possibilities of a healthier relationship to food.
After all, food really is medicine and in teaching students at a young age the importance of eating real food, the connection to better health can become more and more possible. 
"Since 2002, the program has educated more than 15,000 children in 120 Western North Carolina schools about local food and farms. ASAP says the program gives kids opportunities to learn about local food and farms in the classroom, cafeteria and community, including such activities as edible school gardens, farm field trips, classroom cooking with local food and locally grown food served or provided via taste test in the cafeteria." To learn more, go to the link above.