Archive for May, 2009

What’s not getting cut in this economy? Organic food — yup! In a new study by Kiwi magazine and the Organic Trade Association (OTA), we learned that while organic consumers may be purchasing their organic food from different places or in bulk, they are still staying organic. Yeah! More coming on other findings next month.

I just spoke at an amazing roundtable with several organic brands (Nature’s Path, Amy’s Kitchen, Late July, Lundberg Farms, Organic Valley) as well as the OTA, the Rodale Institute, and Rodale editors. It was fascinating to discuss the state of organics and to be able to show that despite critical attention to their wallets, folks won’t give up on what they know to be better.

To sum up the day, when asked if organic is truly “better” and why? Here’s what I offer: it comes to a question of eating a) food or b) food + chemicals…. You decide

Right now at stores near you, you can be an Organic Hero: buy a Nature’s Path product and an Organic Valley product – send in their labels and you get a free subscription to Organic Gardening

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If you are training, your body needs every bite for fuel and recovery. Nature provides it in nuts, seeds, and legumes…and Nuttzo combines them for a great tasting fuel and recovery tool for athletes. Nothing artificial, the body needs the minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein that Nuttzo provides. Adding ground and whole flax provides fiber and omega 3s which aids in heart health, reducing inflammation, and helps you feel full for longer. Getting protein from organic vegetarian sources is eco-friendly and body-friendly, Nuttzo can help with maintaining a healthy weight and digestion. Spread Nuttzo on apple slices, into celery, on a sprouted tortilla and slice some strawberries on top, or have it by the spoonful pre / post-workout.


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Experts say with summer upon us, the risks of the (swine / h1n1) flu may subside…until winter months. Phew! One less thing to worry about, right?!

No. Preventive efforts for the flu should begin today. Consider this list as important for you, your family, your friends as any summer reading list!

  1. Vitamin D for immunity! Its a natural antibiotic. Less sunscreen? Test your levels? Take a supplement? Yes! Yes! Yes! According to Dr Soram Khalsa (www.vitamindrevolution.com) – because, as he shares,  you’d have to drink nearly 20 glasses of milk a day to get the D you need, this is one case where a food first approach won’t do it
  2. Good bugs keep bad bugs at bay. Read up on my prior blogs about probiotics – start now as it takes a good 1-2 months to amp up the system adequately
  3. Shroom…yep, mushrooms. I’ve blogged on them before but when it comes to immunity your ‘shrooms are such great supporters – eat shitakes, take a quality mushroom supplement daily like Host Defense by New Chapter or Mycotaki by Metagenics
  4. Color you pretty…aim to get in a rainbow of fruit and vegetables from now forward (from Nature, not Skittles or Froot Loops please). Nature wrapped up immunity in different colors so we’d have an easy way to make sure we got what we needed. Choose oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries and so on and you’ve gotten all your body needs — yes, organic matters (frozen organic works if you don’t have access to fresh)
  5. Alkaline your lower digestive tract: use lemons and limes, eat more vegetable (vs animal) protein, skip the sugar, and don’t overdo it on alcohol…these steps will help support the good bacteria run interference vs the bad.

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Cheerios came under fire this week for a potential “overpromise”…can their cereal really lower your cholesterol in 3 weeks? And if so, is making such a claim placing them in the “drug” category vs the food one?

These questions are likely here to stay in the Obama era with an empowered FDA and an administration looking at issues such as food safety as well as corporate “promises” to their consumers. For this, I am thrilled as I daily help patients, healthcare practitioners and the media sort through advertising messages. And I know what I’m talking about as I started my business career making ads and their strategies as an account executive and account planner at one of the largest ad agencies in the world.

My take on this issue is that two parties share responsibility: the advertisers AND you, the consumer.

If it sounds to good to be true it is. While the FDA sorts out where perhaps messaging has gone too far, I believe that we as consumers need to tackle our side of the deal. We need to prove to these companies we aren’t that gullible.

Clear scientific data shows that lowering cholesterol AND maintaining appropriate cholesterol levels begins with a healthy diet (with a good balance of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids; a reduction of sugar; an increase in vegetables and legumes; and an avoidance of chemicals), may layer on dietary supplements, and even may require a medication. It includes looking at your digestive system – is your food getting where it should and is waste being eliminated regularly? And finally, it takes sleep, relaxation, activity and behavior modifications.

This is not a 30 second or 15 second commercial…this would be an infomercial…or better yet, a 30-60 minute session with your healthcare practitioner ( a physician, a dietitian, a therapist…) to help you develop the best plan for you to optimize your cholesterol (and your overall health while you are at it).

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I’m so excited to be sitting at the View as Elisabeth reveals her book – the G-Free Diet (G stands for gluten)- for which I contributed the nutrition.

We’ve come a long way in the G-Free world. With great tasting products that also meet the needs of those following a G-Free Diet. Using the best, I designed AKA goodie bags for the audience of the View, and while you didn’t get one, I wanted to share what it contained. Then read on for some key points about a G-Free diet.

  1. Amys kitchen makes G-Free frozen meals (great to have on hand), and salsas, beans, and soups
  2. Lundberg Farms Rice Chips are a great snack treat (15 grams is a portion) and you can dip it into guacamole for a healthy fat
  3. Envirokidz and Natures Path- organic and gluten-free… And delicious too?! Are we dreaming?! Bars and cereals to choose from
  4. Allergaroo – dinners designed for kids with food allergies, they taste great and are very convenient
  5. Align – a probiotic may be helpful, the right probiotic is critical. The Bifantis strain aids all 5 digestive complaint symptoms
  6. Ians cookies and bar – great tasting and convenient small packs
  7. Enjoy Life – an excellent source for allergy-free foods from cookies to chocolates and more
  8. Glutino – another excellent source of G-Free products that satisfy as much as the G-containing foods do – I included the pretzels…a favorite
  9. Natural Calm magnesium – this mineral is critical to overall health but especially digestive wellness and we lose it in food processing and when avoiding grains. The RIGHT kind of magnesium without any fake stuff, Natural Calm continues to be my number one recommended choice
  10. WoW bakery – mmmmm, baked G-F goods
  11. Coconut Bliss ice cream – you’ve heard me rave about it before, but the fact that its G-Free makes it all the better.
  12. Healing Movements Cultured vegetables and Coconut Kefir – what any digestive system needs to stay healthy, these naturally probiotic-rich foods are delicious and highly effective.

That’s all for now…more G-Free to come

The most important thing to remember when following a G-Free Diet is that the SAME nutrition concepts for optimal health hold true for you as someone eating Gluten. Yup! I said it…the SAME rules.

  1. 1) Eat foods closest to their nature-made form. (An apple vs apple juice vs apple leather / roll-up vs apple sour patch kids…you get my drift)
  2. Aim for nutrient balance: Some carb-protein-healthy fat + unlimited vegetable at each eating occasion …caution, it can be easy with some G-Free product only diets to miss out on your protein and healthy fats…this will not lead to optimal energy, weight, and health
  3. Pit Stops versus Fill-Ups. For optimal efficiency and to prevent storage we need to refuel with only enough energy to use about every 3 hours. Don’t let yourself run on empty or “backload” (a term I coined meaning eat lightly all day and get all your calories at night)

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