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Showing posts from March, 2015

What Does Organic Really Mean?

Organic is such a "buzz" word today, isn't it? But, do people really know what organic is and why we should eat organic? Something else to think about for those of my readers that really try to eat as healthy as possible -- it's at least important enough to eat organic foods that are more susceptible to pesticide residue. I've heard time and time again that eating 100% organic is too expensive or just not possible each and every time. Okay, I can understand that -- especially if budget happens to enter into the equation and frankly, who isn't on a budget! Here is an inspiring article on what organic really means and the reason to eat organic as much as possible.

Hence, the following shopper's guide to pesticides in produce provided by EWG is important to have on your refrigerator door. In addition to the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables to buy organic is a list of the "Clean Fifteen" fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pe…

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 Sta…

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 abo…

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 …

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.

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 …

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…

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 ed…

9 Foods to Help You Lose Weight

It's always good to have additional foods that you both love and will help you in the fight against  weight gain.

The following are 9 foods to help you do just that!

9 Foods that Help Shed Pounds

1) Hot Chile Peppers

2) Mushrooms

3) Eggs (watch how you prepare them)

4) Apples

5) Soup (avoid cream-based soups)

6) Beans

7) Green Tea

8) Pears

9) Cinnamon

Having a Healthy St. Patrick's Day

How to Fight the Obesity Epidemic

It is an interesting topic to discuss, isn't it? The Obesity Crisis. People either have an opinion, thought, idea, statistic or blame for this crisis. 

Some countries are taking different approaches than the United States like the Puerto Rican government that is attempting to fine parents for overweight children or the Brazilian government and ministry of health that is taking obesity seriously. They are focusing on providing stricter food guidelines for the public as well as providing school programs where 40% of their food is sourced locally.
And what about the Australians? 

The Australian government is all for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and obesity prevention through initiatives they have like:

Get set 4 Life - Habits for Healthy KidsThe Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National ProgramHealthy Spaces and PlacesLearning from Successful Community Obesity InitiativeHealthy Weight Information and resourcesAt some point, we can see that governments around the world have imple…

Public Awareness: Obesity in America

The link below is presented by and serves as a helpful tool for patients, students and healthcare professionals to connect and collaborate. There are plenty of good resources provided to such readers that includes, but not limited to a comprehensive look into the public health field, the latest in health policy updates and other information with regard to public health involvement.

The website, FoodTechConnect, was first started back in 2010 as a blog to seek out new ways that date and technology can work together to make our food system better. Since that time, it has flourished to become a credible source for various food and ag tech startups as well as initiatives. The founder of FTC had the great sense to gear this blog to make it a good resource for such startups to connect with each other; hence, it has been a great success.

Now consumers can learn more about such important issues that affect the foods they decide to eat, how it affects their health and how it affects the environment as well.

Here is an example of an article that exhibits how consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to making the ask for REAL FOOD....

Three things diets don't teach you

I, as well as millions of other women, (not always the case, but most of the time), have dealt with this issue for as long as we can remember -- what diets don't teach you. Living in a society of instant gratification and physical beauty counting more than "inside" beauty has been one of those dilemmas we've faced, and will probably continue to face until healthy progress in this area develops more and it is happening!

So what are we to do? Change your attitude! One of the first things that we are taught as soon as we leave the womb is that woman should look like those skinny models you see in magazines like "Vogue" or "Cosmopolitan". It takes courage to be proud of who you are, no matter what your weight is -- it's just so sad that so much time is invested in looking good on the outside instead of making your "inside" better, smarter and stronger.

The thing is though if you chose to eat a majority of real foods instead of processed …

WSJ: Food for Thought on Healthy Eating Guidelines

It's no wonder that consumers are and have been confused for some time when it comes to food serving sizes. For starters, as discussed in the article that came out in The Wall Street Journal from this past weekend, there is confusion between two different sources that we look to for guidance -- the dietary guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture (online) as they both contain conflicting information.

What really is a proper serving? One ounce, two ounces? And how do you really measure those amounts? Do they vary? Our government provides conflicting information as well with regard to what the latest health food is these days such as -- are cholesterol and certain fats really all that bad and are coffee and alcohol really given a bad rap or enough praise and so on.

The USDA and HHS dietary guidelines revise their guidelines every 5 years basing these revisions on the latest medical and scientific research conducted by expe…

A Mixed Review on the Turmeric Health Trend

There is no doubt that the health benefits found in turmeric have been well known for thousands of years in India and now those spice benefits have been widely used here in the United States as both a spice and a medicine. We can now see turmeric's use in a variety of ways from being added to smoothies as a health booster to being added to casseroles or cocktails and certainly as a medicine seen in kitchen/bathroom cabinets. While all of these things are good, instead of merely jumping on the "health bandwagon", it is good to know some of this cherished spices' history.

If you haven't known by now, the turmeric plant is native to India and is also part of the ginger root family. It has been used as a potent healing remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for the past 5,000 years (Ayurvedic medicine is a natural healing system from India), and has been used in Indian kitchens long before its powerful health benefits were discovered here in America.

Another interesting note abo…

Cooking your vegetables is a good thing!

While raw food diets are extremely popular these days, they can also be a challenge to follow. It seems that dieters that follows this diet may have their own interpretation of how much to eat, whether or not the products are indeed organic, whether or not they are easy to prepare and will they satiate the palate. Additionally, it's not like raw dishes are standard on any restaurant menu, it could be more difficult to find something to eat. How willing are you to sacrifice the time and money to eat this way 24/7?

Something to seriously think about before investing time and money into a raw food diet is to assess whether all the vegetables you decide to eat are actually better cooked or raw. The act of cooking many vegetables allows for the release of more nutrients that are important for proper and optimal absorption.

Rui Hai Liu, a professor in the department of food science at Cornell University who has studied the affects of heat on food, has stated that "common wisdom say…

Enabling Healthy Eating With Personalized Food Identities

The following informative article outlines the various roles that food actually plays in the lives of people everywhere. Certainly food is meant to be eaten not only for sustenance and nutrition, but also as a means of survival. But, so much is dependent on the different lifestyles we lead -- perhaps some people eat because they are hungry, but don't really care what's in their food so long as it "fills them up" or others are more careful with their food choices.

Today, with the way that our food system has become so derailed, many people just want to know where their food source comes from and what really constitutes a healthy diet. If we are not careful, we become largely influenced by what society and our environment says is good or safe to eat. But, do we really know? What happens if you go to a new restaurant, but you have a food allergy or have a food intolerance? How can you be sure that that meal that is brought to your table is prepared as carefully as yo…

Being Healthy Is More Than Being Thin

Weight has become such an obsession with us now-a-days, hasn't it? When you can hear someone say: "You are so skinny, how lucky are you!" Or "Being skinny is healthy". Not necessarily true. There are many people out there who are very thin -- but, it doesn't necessarily mean they are healthy. I know that I myself am not "skinny", but I am pretty healthy. There is a big distinction.

First off, you've got to love who you are and that means both mind and body. This may sound "cheesy" or "corny" to you, but the fact is, being comfortable in your own skin is amazingly important for your health, self-esteem and outlook on life -- period.

The video below from Supermodel Carol Alt is inspiring as she talks about the distinction between being skinny and being healthy -- not, one in the same!