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Showing posts from October, 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 …

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 thin…

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...

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?”
"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…

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…

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.


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 jus…

High Tech Gadgets Help Moderate Food Intake « CBS Boston

Yes, high tech gadgets are the latest and greatest -- now more than ever. Imagine a fork that literally measures how quickly you eat or how many bites you take? This could be a really good thing for people who have trouble trying to lose weight -- if it only told you what foods were better to eat for your health. Would it tell you to eat a pint of HaagenDaz Ice cream slower or eat your salad slower?

High Tech Gadgets Help Moderate Food Intake « CBS Boston

Nutritionix: Making nutrition a top priority

What is Nutritionix?  Nutritionix happens to be the largest open database providing nutritional information to restaurants and grocery stores. This database is a great tool -- especially now -- due to so many dietary changes and needs of people everywhere. With that said, it also is about creating relationships with food manufacturers and restaurants by giving them access to the database where they can easily add accurate nutritional information about their products.  Originally created back in 2012, this application has grown significantly and is now available on the iOS app store as of last month. (Here is a Food Wisz-dom blog post about Nutritionix from 2012). This app is free to users and contains over 380,000 foods which also includes nutritional information on over 600 restaurants chains. Go to the Nutritionix blog to learn more about iOS availability, to learn more about the FDA's proposal to update nutrition facts labels on food packaging and what the biggest changes will mea…

10 Terrible Nutrition Myths

It is as natural to just about anyone to talk about what is going on in the news or what the latest trend is, right? This brings to mind that saying, "water-cooler talk" -- as what one hears from others or the media and thinking it is a credible source without checking credible sources. What about myths -- in this case, food or nutrition myths? These can be widely held, but false ideas or beliefs.

In doing my continued research surrounding topics of health & wellness, I came upon this website called The reason I like this website for starters is that it is an independent
resource of supplementation and nutrition in an encyclopedia format with research conducted by reputable sources in the editing world, then reviewed by folks with nutrition degrees and doctoral degrees.

This website -- founded in 2011 -- has a primary goal to provide unbiased information to its readers regarding nutrition and more. To learn more about this website, go here.

To read up on the…

7 of the World's Healthiest Foods

Aren't there so many lists of foods to eat, foods not to eat, foods that are high in fat or high in fiber?

This list on the 7 World's Healthiest Foods may not encompass every single healthy food -- because let's be honest, there are many of them -- but, at least it gives a good perspective on foods that we may not even think of, right? After all, it's not just Kale or Cauliflower...

How about 8 of the World's Healthiest Spices? This list is easy enough to incorporate into one's eating plan too.

What is the Optimal Diet?

According to what this article says, almost half of Americans are on a diet. many diets are there? For starters, you've got diets that are based on religious background such as a Hindu or Kosher diets. Then, you've got diets that are low-carb, vegetarian, low-fat, crash diets, detox, and diets that are needed for a particular medical reason. So many! But, what if you are one of the "fortunate" people out there that just happen to be born thin -- does that mean you can eat what you want just because you are thin? 

Dean Ornish, MD points out in this article that "an optimal diet is low in unhealthful carbs (both sugar and other refined carbohydrates) and low in fat (especially saturated fats and trans fats) as well as in red meat and processed foods." So what happens to all those people that stick to a diet like the Atkins diet? This diet teaches that by restricting carbohydrates and having more protein and fat is the way to go. But, then what happen…

Avoid the weekend food spiral with hearty meals

Here we go again -- another Friday and a weekend ahead of us. Isn't this what most people look forward to -- a great weekend? Absolutely! But, at times, there seems to be this invariably unhealthy outlook or fear of what we will eat as the weekend approaches. Is this you? I'd say more times than we would even like to admit, we may dread -- yet -- at the same time look forward to going out to Friday night dinner, drinks....Saturday - brunch - mimosas -- delicious dinner on Saturday night and on into Sunday leisure "eat what you like before Monday gets here".

The thing is with a little discipline and forward-thinking, weekends can be just as delicious and nutritious than ever before! So order in on Friday night and get that delicious pizza, but measure your own "inward strength" first by starting out with a glass of water and eating your salad first. You know yourself better than anyone else; hence, you know those trigger-go-to-comfort foods that quench that …

In need of a precise handheld allergen detector anyone?

If there wasn't enough to worry about with what foods we eat, then what about all the hidden ingredients found in foods whose origins aren't identified properly? Normally, the articles posted to this blog target the importance of knowing where your food comes from, how it gets literally from the farm to the fork and also bringing it all home with home-cooked meals that are better for our health (& taste).

There are other concerns on the horizon with regard to our food -- namely, food allergens. How is it that many food allergens were not heard about or talked about as much as now? How is it that the number of people who have a food allergy is getting larger, but there is no clear answer as to why. One can learn more about the facts and statistics of food allergies by going here.

 With all that said about food allergies, then why don't handheld allergen detectors exist for the "everyday joe" who is likely to suffer from a mysterious food allergy? This blog pos…

Eating Smart When Dining Out

In a follow up to the very last past blog post to this blog which targets home cooked meals as being well-founded -- for both your wallet and your health -- this blog posts addresses the following article on Eating Smart When Dining Out.

Practically anyone who eats out at a restaurant feels the sense of satisfaction that the meal which they are about to eat will be a treat of indulgence. For one, the meal is seen as a "treat" simply because labor and effort were not involved in the preparation of it. To the individual who just ordered that meal, that is half the battle -- no preparation, no stress, no worries.

The thing is though, restaurants know that people lead busy lives and that time is a luxury -- a luxury that most people don't want to "squander" on in the kitchen. But, with that said, there is a price to be paid. That price? Not really knowing where that restaurant food came from -- did the food come from a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) o…

How can we make cooking at home delicious, affordable and easy?

Cooking at home makes so much sense for so many reasons. Not only is cooking at home good for your wallet, it also is good for your health.

If for instance, you want to make spaghetti and meatballs, by making it at home you can add your own ingredients and amounts. Have you seen what the regular jar of spaghetti sauce contains from your local grocery store? Typically a jar of Prego Spaghetti sauce contains...sugar. Isn't that what we need to avoid?

If you are in a hurry, certainly there are other easy recipes to follow that are quick to make and tasty. What about simple roasted vegetables and baked chicken? What about baked fish? Here is a link to some easy, quick and healthy recipes...Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes.

Also, check out the article below which contains informative and useful information for the benefits of cooking at home...

Making cooking at home delicious, affordable and easy

Get to Know Our Hack//Dining Google Challenge Winner Hive

These are exciting times. Many of the business drivers that can and will ultimately change our food system are continuously growing and changing.

HIVE presented their application to enable creative innovation in a Google+ Hangout where they shared their successful vision of a personal training and nutritionist application with an offering of a reward system to participating employees. By incentivizing employees to live healthier lives, their impact on others within their scope of influence can prove to be tremendous -- and, well, habit-forming in a really good way!

Along with several other business drivers that would influence our food system such as demographics, the changing role of chefs, public health and sustainability, information technology is making its mark to improve opportunity for a healthier workforce and beyond.

Below is an introduction to their offering....

The Importance of Collaborative Food Sourcing

We can all see that there is a definitive trend with people wanting to know where their food source originates. While it may only be a trend in some places to have this knowledge; at some point, what if it became an overall cultural change? By becoming a cultural change there is also an opportunity for people, despite their financial status, to not only know more about food origin, but more importantly, be able to afford good, healthy food.

People who frequent fast-food establishments may not share in the curiosities of food origin, but why shouldn't they? By continually educating people on the importance of knowing where their food source comes from, fear of food poisoning and food recalls can be minimized. Additionally, chronic diseases can also become less likely to occur and good health care habits can become better established for future generations to come.

Others affected by food sourcing? By having more collaborative efforts along the food system chain, local economies gr…