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Showing posts from May, 2014

Food 101: With Michael Pollen

Good article on knowing the appropriate products to buy at the grocery store.

Mass-produced foods also line the shelves of nearly every grocery aisle. "A lot of what you see in the supermarket I would argue is not really food," Michael says. "It's what I call edible, food-like substances."

Why don't you take care of yourself?

I am frankly astounded by folks who work really hard at what they do; yet, they really aren't aware of the foods they are eating. It all starts out like this....

Breakfast: Perhaps an all egg-white omelette with veggies -- great. Even wheat toast, okay. How about a little yogurt -- could be good, but have you checked the ingredients on the back of the yogurt carton to make sure it isn't loaded with sugar? And the topper -- coffee, we all drink it, me included. But, what do you add to it? Creamer? Check out the following article on creamers....good or bad? You decide, but make sure to read beyond the calories because my friend -- calories are not just calories, there is more to the science.

Lunch: What about a turkey sandwich? The idea sounds terrific, especially if you have it with real wheat bread, but what else do you put on your turkey sandwich? Read up on what can make a turkey sandwich a great choice for lunch or a not so great choice here.

Dinner: The last meal of the d…

Fed Up: The Movie

An incredible movie to watch. We all thought and perhaps even continue to think that it is "calories in; calories out" or just "work it off with exercise" -- that is not enough. So much is in the foods that are offered to us in the regular grocery store -- so many processed foods, that really aren't foods at all. So, how do kids in particular stand a chance against what food companies "feed them" through the media? There is plenty of "food temptations" out there to keep people -- kids -- coming back for more and more.

This has got to change. And, if you haven't heard, "experts predict more parents will outlive their children". That is astounding news.

The 10 Healthiest Food Pairings

It seems pretty amazing to me that we could pretty much go to any grocery store -- Ralph's, Albertson's -- and pick up foods that are currently not in season. What is the purpose of eating seasonally if we don't do precisely that and why should we care? Good question!

There is a reason why we have seasons and why foods grow at certain times of the year. Did you know that "eating in tune with the seasons isn't just a matter of sensuous asparagus suppers in June and preferring parsnips with your Christmas meal, there's also some evidence to suggest that your body gets more out of certain fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year.

Logically, the nearer your food has been grown to the place you live, then the less time it has spent on a boat, plane or lorry, and the more nutrients and vitamins it is likely to have retained since being picked. This is especially true in the case of vitamin C, which is notoriously unstable."

Imagine if people ate food…

GMO labels cost families $800/year: Guess who paid for the study?

It is difficult to truly be unbiased with regard to making a sane decision -- pretty much about anything, but taking a closer look at the interests of those that provide the particular study, (such as the one attached to this article), is it enough to really make a good evaluation of your own? Do you have all the facts, are your statistics from a good source? is the article one that is reactive or does it really attempt to bring in all of the facts -- good and bad -- so you can make a reasonably good decision about how you feel about it?

Currently, there is so much talk about GMOs and labeling and so much more. I definitely agree that I want to know the source of where our food comes from -- as I'm sure most everyone does, but how do you know that the source you are getting your information from is a trusted source?

Upon closer evaluation, this article brings to light that there may be interests that are served that aren't completely impartial. Is that okay with you when you a…

Food: Transforming The American Table

In sharing a little of this and a little of that with regard to changes in food, such as the top "10" superfoods or "the dirty dozen", the following is a well-done compilation of "Food: Transforming The American Table 1950-2000" which is located at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

This exhibit gives a great overview of how American eating/shopping for food has changed significantly over the past 50 years. The exhibit shows a reflection of how we have progressed and evolved over the years and how this comes to life at the "American table".

An short overview of the food transformation?
 In the 1950s, we saw an introduction to many pre-made convenience foods that became popular. These foods were known for being cheap, quick and easy to prepare.The 60s was a time of great change and with that came more complex recipes and flavors, i.e., Julia Child and her French influence, interest in vegetarian foods, fondues and the rise of junk food. Ag…

The Debate on Palm Oil use in our Food

Have you heard of Palm Oil? If not, you should find out. Palm Oil has become quite common and is used in products that you couldn't even imagine would contain such an oil. Some of the products that contain palm oil? Processed ones -- such as cookies, crackers and microwave popcorn. How can anyone ever guess this was the case unless you carefully read the ingredients on the back of the label?

The bottom line really has to do with knowing your source and knowing whether it is a reputable one that will tell the whole story or leave parts out. Your can read an article about Palm Oil that NPR wrote, here.

According to NPR:
"Food manufacturers are using palm oil. But it's not an ideal replacement.
There are environmental concerns about how palm oil is produced. And what's more, from a health perspective, palm oil is high in saturated fat.
In one , people who were put on a diet rich in palm oil for about five weeks saw their LDL cholesterol (that's considered …

The #1 Myth about Yoga

Although yoga is not about food, they are very connected. Have you heard of chakras? There are foods that actually provide fuel to the various chakras of the body. One can take care of their body by also taking care that they "feed their body" with proper stretching, exercise and a good attitude.

You can learn more about the connection of chakras with food by going here.

To learn more about the #1 Myth about Yoga, go here.

What Farm To Table Got Wrong

It is outstanding to know that, according to this article, "80% of Americans say sustainability is a priority when purchasing food", that puts a new spin on eating local. This could mean that eating local could truly change the way we eat and at the same time make lasting change to reshape our

But, certainly there is more complexity to this farm to table issue than just literally going from "farm to table", right? And, simply because farmers' markets and people going to more local or farm to table restaurants doesn't mean that that is the way everyone eats. It would be great to see more of the local foods as the default food, rather than fast food. The tragedy here is that "Big Food" is not getting smaller, it is actually growing bigger and more competitive. "Despite being farm-to-table’s favorite targets, corn and soy account for more than 50 percent of our harvested acres for the first time ever. Between 2006 and 2011, over a …

Food Companies and Nutrition Educators -- who wins?

It is unfortunate that with regard to so many things, it seems that the "Almighty Dollar" is the one that wins. In this particular case, for dieticians to continue to practice, they need to complete "x" amount of hours for certification/credits. They do this by attending their annual Dietetic Association meeting.

But, why is it that McDonald's is sponsoring this and providing lunch for this conference? It seems like a conflict of interest, right? It is in the best interest of food companies to keep those that speak against them, i.e., nutritionists, dieticians at a close range of influence, don't you think. It is incredible strategy on their part. But, at the same time, why aren't those that attend this lunch able to purchase or even bring their own lunch?

It speaks volumes of what the food industry is attempting to do by placing blindfolds on those that oppose them. But, once again, it is up to those attending the conference to speak out against …

A New Prescription: Eat Your Veggies

For oh so many, eating your veggies is the last thing they want to do. But, if quality of health and thoroughly getting the most out of life as well as minimizing the chance of getting chronic disease are important to you -- then, listen up: Eat Your Veggies. 

No matter how many physicians or nutritionists or other health-oriented folks are saying that eating plenty of vegetables is important, there is good reason for it. This is no mystery. It is in continually working to make the appropriate changes to ones diet that there are better chances of maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy mind and an overall healthy body.

As the article clearly indicates: "It’s started writing prescriptions for vegetables. For now, it’s just a pilot project at HealthPartners clinics in Hugo and White Bear Lake. But if the experiment succeeds, the Bloomington-based health organization could expand the project across the Twin Cities to address the high — and rising — rate of childhood obesity. Near…

5 Essential Herbs to Add to Your Food/Medicine Pantry

In looking for ways to make you feel better, especially if you are trying to get over a nasty cold or flu, there is a simple solution. The following 5 essential herbs are terrific to making you feel better and improving your health. They are worth a second mention because everyone wants to feel good and productive, right?

(1) Lemon Balm -This herb has can be used for various remedies from colds/flu to help teething babies with pain.

(2) Ginger - Ginger has been known to work wonders as well for various remedies such as digestion issues, an immunity builder, and great for coughs, colds and even menstrual cramps.

(3) Turmeric - There is no doubt that this herb is simply magnificent. Turmeric helps in anything from skin problems to heart issues to improving liver function. The liver is absolutely critical for sustaining life by actually processing important food nutrients and removing toxins from the body.

(4) Dandelion - Dandelion is a superfood, what else can you say...

(5) Elder -- As…

Kids and healthy food

It is fascinating to note that according to the article, "If they know it's good for them, will they eat it?" kids typically reject foods that are good for them, precisely because they know it is good for them and more than likely does not taste good. This must also carry on through adulthood because as much as I hear people say they want to eat healthier in restaurants for instance, they still may choose foods that are not necessarily the healthiest. How do we make healthier food choices the default rather than fried foods for instance?

There still seems to be a stigma with vegetables for instance -- not everyone is on board with ordering roasted brussels sprouts or curried carrots or a variety of greens -- instead such foods as mac n' cheese (not necessarily bad, you just aren't aware of how much butter and cheese is used; if you made it at home, it could actually be much better for you since you would limit many of the fattier ingredients) or parmesan french …

Health 101: Putting It All Together

How is it that we all strive to be healthier, yet it seems so difficult to really define what "healthy" is? In general, I suppose most people know that healthy is showing signs of good health or simply put being without injury or disease. But, there is so much that goes into health -- not just food.

The more time I spend speaking with people who are interested in improving their health -- be that nurses, dieticians, physicians, teachers and even neighbors -- there is no immediate answer like just lose 5 to 10 pounds or cut out sweets or don't eat after 7 pm.

It is in putting it all together that progress is made. What do I mean by that? Start out with increasing your knowledge about getting healthier, building social networks and getting involved in your local community. There are social as well as environmental factors that are involved with creating a sense of good health in people.

Social determinants of health encompass the circumstances by which we are born, live, …

More good news on the health benefits of spices and herbs....

This is a nice compilation of spices and herbs that help out with overall health benefits. No, they may not be magical, but they sure do have some wonderful qualities that make them surprisingly good for our health. Check out the article here....

EWG's 2014 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

As if it's not bad enough that we try to eat healthfully every day, but we also need to be mindful that not fruits and vegetables are created equal. We all should know about the "dirty dozen", right? If not, here is the list.

Now going upon it's 10th year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has provided us with a list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce in 2014 from most to least. It may be difficult for everyone to buy organic all the time, but at least in trying to avoid those foods that are most contaminated, good food choices can be made consistently. Here is the EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Foods To Help You Age Better

Doesn't everyone want to age better? Have you ever heard of any woman or man that stated that they wished they looked older than they actually were? I'd venture to say that the answer is: NO!

So, why not do what we can to control the things that we can -- such as in controlling the foods that we eat on a daily basis? Many scientific studies have been conducted over the years to dismiss foods that are too fatty (bacon) or that are too processed (sugary sweetened cereals and more) in lieu of foods that are less processed, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains as an example.

What will it take to get a healthier food strategy going without having people feel deprived of foods they think they can't or shouldn't have? For people who already have issues with their heart or diabetes or simply being overweight -- how did they get that way in the first place and how can they reverse it to improve their health? Like anything, sometimes we find ourselves in situations think…