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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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 Great Reasons to buy Locally-Sourced Food

With the proliferation of people wanting to know where their food comes from, there is also an increasing amount of reasons to buy and eat locally-sourced food whenever possible.

In buying locally sourced food, people can rest assured in knowing that their food will not only
be delicious, but it also supports good sustainable farming practices and contributes to the local economy. In addition, consumers can truly feel good about making better economical food
choices that don't involve miles of unnecessary food travel.

There are many more reasons in buying local, here are 10 reasons:

1)    Fresh & Tasty Food

2)    Sustainable Farming

3)    Natural tasting food -- truly natural -- with no preservatives

4)    Local Economy

5)    Ecosystem Benefits

6)    Less distribution costs

7)    Diversity of Diet

8)    More Eco-friendly

9)    Healthier for us

10)  Creates self-reliance

Monday, August 25, 2014

6 Essential Vegetables to Eat

There are a variety of great fruits and vegetables out there to be sure to keep in your diet. But, the following are 6 vegetables that really are life-promoting, nutritious and delicious...

6 Vegetables That Might Save Your Life

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

10 Foods To Seriously Consider Not Eating Again

The following is a list of 10 foods that should simply be eliminated from your diet. I'm sure that as you carefully read labels in the grocery store about other products you find, you will find that eliminating them is the way to go. Easier said than done I know, but isn't your health worth it?

Here is the list of the 10 foods:

1)    Margarine:  "The latest discoveries suggest that fat is NOT bad for your health as the government and food producers have been telling us since the 70's." Margarines do have quite a bit of trans fats (which we know are bad for us), artificial colors and don't forget calories. In many ways, a greater danger than butter is!!

2)    Artificial Sweeteners: The deceiving thing about artificial sweeteners is that they can promote weight gain, can increase the chances of getting diabetes and can also harm the kidneys.

3)    Tomato Sauce: Many times even store-bought tomato sauce has more than may contain refined sugar or even corn syrup and extra sodium just to make it taste better.

4)    Frosting: The store-bought frosting is really bad! It has a ton of sugar, trans-fats, corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors and other added preservatives.

5)    Strawberries: Don't get me wrong -- strawberries are very good for you, just not the non-organic kind. Non-organic strawberries are more than likely contaminated with pesticides. "A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that some strawberries contained residue from as many as 13 different pesticides."

6)    Sprouts: Although sprouts are a great source of nutrition, it has been found that commercially-produced sprouts have a tendency to become contaminated by germs and bacteria. As this article mentions, sprouts are pretty easy to grow on your own.

7)    Cookies: Now I'm not going to lie -- I love cookies too. The thing is if you are going to go down that "cookie-road", it's always best to have homemade cookies when you know what ingredients are really in them. Packaged cookies -- you never know what they really contain -- anything from hydrogenated oils, loads of sugar, artificial colors/flavors and preservatives.  All of those are super bad for your health, but you knew that already I'm sure.

8)    Frozen Pizza: Once again, if you knew the harmful ingredients that went into a frozen pizza, you may re-consider. Some of the dangerous ingredients in these pizzas? MSG, nitrates, a lot of salt and a lot of sugar. If you want pizza so bad -- why not make your own?

9)    Soda: Kind of a no-brainer; but the food industry has made it so addictive that it is difficult for people to give up! There is nothing "natural" about soda, let alone good for you. It's like liquid sugar essentially...

10)  Fast Food:  "When you realize that many fast food restaurants are basically serving up warmed-over garbage, it becomes a lot easier to resist stopping for a quick burger and fries."

Monday, August 18, 2014

If We ONLY Knew What We Were Eating...

Given your own choice, would you eat something that could seriously and potentially harm your health? If you knew that the foods you are feeding your kids were not good for them in the long run, would you care? If you knew that you were pre-diabetic and you didn't even know it or if you knew the foods you were eating were promoting more of a chance of getting sick, would you still eat them?

Today we have so many concerns regarding our food -- how it affects us, how much we should eat, is it nutritious enough, does it cause allergies? How does what we eat affect our chances of ending up in a hospital due to a chronic disease that could have been prevented if we only paid more attention to eating/living better? We hear it all the time in the media, in schools at our jobs -- "these are the 10 worst or best foods to eat"; "foods that cause weight gain or weight loss"; "too many food additives" and so on and so on.

It just is wise to read up from reputable sources that could be verified as factual and ones that give explanations with statistical information as an example. Some of the best and current news to keep up with is really learning what affects our overall health. How can we eat better? How can we live healthier? How can we be the most productive? How do we live more healthfully?

Here are some good links to look at:

Dear American Consumers: Please Don’t Start Eating Healthfully. Sincerely, the Food Industry

How Eating Healthy & Unhealthy Foods Affects Your Body

The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Panel

Food Allergies: Why are they so common today?

Obesity-promoting food environments

Friday, August 15, 2014

Where do you find High Fructose Corn Syrup anyway?

If you haven't heard about the dangers of eating/drinking high fructose corn syrup, its time to get informed. Just google it. This is the stuff that should be avoided at all cost -- it is the "stuff" found in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks.

If you haven't heard about the dangers of drinking sodas, get informed. It is common knowledge at this point that as the use of high-fructose corn syrup has increased, so has the level of obesity and all of the other chronic related diseases that go along with it. Even though there still isn't enough evidence suggesting that HFCS is any less healthy than other sweeteners, there is a definite link to being associated with type 2 diabetes and a host of other health problems.

The bottom line is if you are concerned about your health -- be smart and have less sugar.

As the following article points out, Hide and sweet: Surprising Places You'll Find High Fructose Corn Syrup, there are several surprising places where HFCS is found in food.

1) Honey: Honey is often "adulterated" with added sugars to make them more affordable...
2) Beer: "The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that the list of acceptable ingredients
in beer ranges from fish bladder to beaver's anal gland to high fructose corn syrup."
3) Protein Bars: It is wise to check the back of the label before reaching for what you make think is 
healthy protein bar alternative. Many of these bars contain high fructose corn syrup -- many times more sugars than a candy bar! It sort of defeats the purpose of having a great workout, doesn't it?
4) Bread: Once again, reading the back of the label is so important. Somehow HFCS is "sneakily" added to many breads.
5) Tonic Water: I guess nothing is sacred! Tonic water contains 22 grams of sugar per 8-oz. serving and HFCS is the second ingredient used after water!
6) Mac n' Cheese: Although this food type is seen as being "savory", there still is a high level of HFCS added to it. Some other terms used for the bad stuff could be "corn syrup solids" or maltodextrin.

Here's another link describing what High Fructose Corn Syrup is by the Mayo Clinic

Monday, August 11, 2014

The High Cost of Sitting Down with the Industry

As the registered dietician who wrote this article points out, the food industry as well as the soda industry are "spreading their good word" of their ongoing relationship of "good will" with health organizations in order to combat the growing public health problems that we have in this country.

But, how can we honestly believe that organizations like Coca-Cola and McDonald's truly have the public's best health interest at heart? Aren't these two organizations part of the unhealthful food web that we are trying to extricate ourselves from further plummeting down the unwholesome rabbit hole of bad lifestyle behaviors?

This is what happens when health organizations and Big Food/Big Soda try to come together...
"Health organizations have -- or should have -- one simple goal: help Americans achieve healthier lives. Coca-Cola has one very specific goal: sell as much product as possible. Expecting Coca-Cola to prioritize health over profits borders on delusional."

As an example to further understand where an organization like Coca-Cola has their real interests, it is important to understand their real intentions. This is what they argue or rather claim on their Coca-Cola Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness website/page:

1) "Studies show that under some circumstances, intake of sugars can boost performance on cognitive tasks."
  • In addition to the point made by Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, there is plenty of undeniably statistical evidence that sugar is actually a poison to the body. If you don't believe me, check out the following books/writings of Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist from UCSF.
2) "The U.S. Institute of Medicine found that very high and very low intakes of added sugars were associated with lower micronutrient intakes. The report suggested an intake level of 25% or less of calories (energy) from added sugars in the total diet based on data showing decreased intake of some micronutrients in some population groups exceeding this level."
  • This is just a fact that the food industry wants people to believe -- really? cutting back on added sugar can actually interfere with good nutrition? Makes no sense... What the Institute of Medicine really did say is the following:
  • "Added sugars should compromise no more than 25 percent of total calories consumed. Added sugars provide insignificant amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other essential nutrients. Major sources include soft drinks, juice drinks, pastries, candies and other sweets.
3)  "The causes of diabetes continue to be a mystery."
  • Upon reading many of the articles from this blog, there is evidence that Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. "About 9 cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps: keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet and not smoking.
To learn more about this issue, read the article...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Invest in YOUR Health; Invest in YOUR Retirement Account

I find making a powerful comparison about investing in one's health or one's retirement account can make a strong impact on the way we view health in general. Many times we don't even think about what we are eating as we run from one appointment to another or we attend a business luncheon with less than desirable food choices. And how many times does one stop and think to compare their retirement account to their health -- especially on a day-to-day basis when we are just trying to work
hard, pay the bills and spend some time with family or friends?

As this article points out, drastic changes need not be made, but making changes that are good for our health can add to healthier years and that becomes a smart investment. If we can start to think of placing more value on how much we spend and how much we save, we can then draw that same parallel to how much good food or unhealthful food choices we make. Ultimately, what we save in our retirement accounts is really up to how much we value our quality of life and our happiness. This same premise could be used for the investment of foods we eat. After all, we really are what we eat.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Did you know that SUGAR has 56 different names?

According to Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist from UCSF, the increase in obesity over the past 30 years is due to the amount of sugar that is seen in our diets. Sugar has been noted as being the main culprit to the outrageously out-of-control obesity epidemic that we see today.

Learn more about the 56 different names given to sugar that continuously "trick us" at the grocery stores and learn of ways around the deceptive nature of the big food corporations.

Below are some ways to implement better shopping habits and what habits we should be avoiding in order to make our lives healthier...

  • Shop the edges of the store, not aisles for real food
  • Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, found in wild fish and flax
  • Eat fruit as dessert, and if you’re craving cookies or cake, make your own
  • Increase consumption of micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables
  • Up your fiber intake. Fiber protects your liver from sugar, says Lustig, and keeps you from overeating.
  • Eat more whole grains like farro, quinoa, steel-cut oats, hulled barley or brown rice
  • Drink your calories. Avoid soda, sports drinks and juice
  • Shop hungry—it leads to poor food choices
  • Eat anything with “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list. That means it contains trans fat, which our bodies can’t metabolize and ends up lining our arteries.
  • Buy anything that has sugar as one of the first three ingredients
  • Eat corn fed beef or farmed fish. Corn oil contains omega 6 fatty acids, which lead to inflammation
  • Buy processed food. “If it comes with a label,” says Lustig, “think of it as a warning label.”