Archive for June, 2010

If you are a Vegan, a Vegetarian or a Qualitarian (like me) you’re eating right for optimal health by reducing your intake of animal proteins and fats, and when consuming them, having the best quality.  But how do friends, parents, and even healthcare practitioners react? A lot of my clients tell me that despite the publicity for the health benefits of less animal, many will invoke the old myth, that vegetarians can’t get sufficient protein, in the name of “health”.  Let’s be really clear.  Gone are the days of having to combine foods at a singular eating occasion to achieve a “complete” protein – another meal of beans and rice, anyone?  And in fact, what we know of those eating occasions, is that they can actually be too carbohydrate dominant making weight maintenance and energy balance an issue. Today we know that, yes you can have your beans and rice (an ideal portion size of the combined rice+beans is about your fist, yes Shaq can eat more rice and beans at a serving than the average woman or man, and certainly child, despite the fact that when we eat out we are often given Shaq sized portions). But beyond rice n’ beans you can also choose organic berries with hempseeds (a complete protein), or quinoa (another complete protein) with cinnamon, nuts, oil, and stevia for a yummy breakfast bowl. Use tempeh (non-GMO, fermented soy, another complete protein) in a salad or in place of the “meat” in your sandwich. With hemp, rice, soy, pea and sprouted grain protein sources popping up everywhere, it’s easy, healthy and tasty to get sufficient protein not from animal sources. So go on, get your protein at every eating occasion and enjoy some of nature’s best tasting and nutritious treats. AKA products include those from companies like Eden Foods, Seeds of Change, Sunshine Burger,Nature’s Path, TruRoots, Lundberg, Amy’s Kitchen, Rainbow Light, Manitoba Harvest, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Pure Bar and more.

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Great NYTimes article this week about a Harvard study showing the benefits of brown rice versus white rice. Eating Brown Rice to Cut Diabetes Risk – http://nyti.ms/9xn06n

The key takeaways here are that the results were shown a) for actual brown rice – not brown rice flour pasta or puffed rice cereal or rice cakes which likely wouldn’t achieve the same results; b) that it was for swapping out brown rice for white rice.

Why? The article points out that the brown rice contains more nutrients – fiber, magnesium and we could add chromium too – compared to white rice. This is an example of why true whole grains trump refined ones.

If you want to try this suggestion make sure to choose an organic option which ensures more nutrients and less pesticides so that you get optimal health benefits from your food.

AKA loves Seeds of Change Organic rice, Lundberg Organic rice (not all are organic), Lotus has some organic, Eden Foods has organic too. A portion is the size of your fist and goes great with hemp seeds and spices and olive oil for a nutrient-balanced vegetarian eating occasion. Or try the rice with organic scrmabled eggs and chives and hot sauce for an “un-fried” rice option. Or mix it with nuts, cinnamon and stevia for a hearty breakfast bowl.

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I was just reading a great article in Natural Solutions magazine that I wanted to share with you. Since its summer, I get the question a lot, is white wine as good for me as red? I’ve often felt that it must be – thinking of my real and my French “grandma” (the woman who housed me when I lived in France) both of whom used to have a glass or two daily and lived to a ripe and active old age. But I also knew that red wine has resveratrol which isn’t in the white wine (its found in the skins of red grapes) so I started to doubt myself (but never “grandma”).

It appears that – according to Drs. Das and Bertelli of Connecticut and Milan respectively – white wine derives its cardio-boosting effects from two antioxidants – tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol – which are also found in olive oil. Interestingly, these antioxidants, like resveratrol trigger a gene that may slow aging, and have benefits for diabetes prevention and kidney function.

Keep in mind that these and other benefits of drinking wine relate to “moderate” consumption meaning 1 glass daily as a max for most of us.

So go on – love your summer whites. You can even upgrade their health benefits by adding some organic berries for extra antioxidant potential – and remember to hydrate as well with plain coconut water or a refreshing sparkling water like Knudsen’s Sparkling Essences. Speaking of organic, the article also points out that for optimal health benefits, when you drink any wine “reduce your exposure to toxins and help protect the environment” by making it one made with organic grapes. Check out Natural Solutions magazine June issue for examples of great tasting whites made from organic grapes.

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In this month’s O Magazine, I advise how to avoid weight gain each decade – and to loose if need-be – to avoid the health risks of excess weight as you age.

Eating Through the Ages

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Last month I had the pleasure of tasting organic strawberries from the Carmel area that were divine. Since I grow my own, and watch daily for just one to ripen to perfection, I have such respect for those that do this organically on a larger scale so that we may all enjoy these delicious fruits pesticide-free. So imagine my shock, horror, and sadness to learn that California may legislate to allow a toxin to be used on our berries. What up California??? At a time when we have drained so many of our other resources we now want to harm others? Help me – help us – stop this by signing and posting this petition. Let’s keep our Strawberry Fields TOXIN-FREE Forever…

Dear Friend,

You may have heard that California, the nation’s largest agricultural producer, is on the verge of approving a potent carcinogenic gas for use on strawberry fields and other food crops. The chemical — methyl iodide — is so toxic that scientists in labs use only small amounts with special protective equipment, yet agricultural applications mean it could be released directly into the air and water.

Whatever California decides, the only surefire way to keep this poison away from our food and farm workers is for the U.S. Environmental Protection agency to re-evaluate and ban methyl iodide at the federal level.

I just signed a petition to the EPA asking them to de-register methyl iodide for agricultural use. Will you too?


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Natural and organic products industry sales hit $76 billion.
Even in tough economic times, the natural and organic products industry reports 4.8 percent growth.

BOULDER, Colo. (June 2, 2010) – Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine’s June Market Overview reports sustained growth for the natural and organic products industry. With more than $76 billion in total revenues last year, the industry grew 4.8 percent from 2008, despite an economy that saw many consumer-spending categories decline.

This research shows that certain categories are experiencing double-digit growth. Gluten-free food sales, for example, grew 12 percent over the previous year, proving this growing segment is more than a food fad. Dietary supplements continued to be top sellers, and categories like digestive health experienced almost 16 percent growth as consumers showed strong interest in condition-specific health areas, including heart health and immunity.

“Overall, consumer concerns about health and wellness in the face of rising medical costs are driving interest and demand for healthy foods, dietary supplements, personal care items and other natural and organic products,” said Anna Soref, editor-in-chief of Natural Foods Merchandiser. “I believe these positive numbers for the natural and organic products industry in a tough year like ’09 demonstrate that the industry is recession proof.”

The Natural Foods Merchandiser’s 2010 Market Overview is a comprehensive report detailing sales results for the natural and organic products industry. In addition to overall spending figures, the Market Overview also reports results by product segments, average sales per store and overall business statistics for natural products retailers.

In addition to its own proprietary research, the Natural Foods Merchandiser Market Overview incorporates sales data from SPINS, a Schaumburg, Ill., based market research firm, and interviews with a variety of industry experts, such as Steven Mister, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Also included in the Market Overview are the results from a recent survey conducted by iVillage/Delicious Living magazine. Researchers polled almost 5,000 women about their attitudes on health, and how those attitudes influence purchasing decisions and brand selection.

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Best ways to have ton of energy
By Kimberly Goad, Health.com
May 29, 2010 7:52 a.m. EDT

(Health.com) — If you didn’t know better, you might think that all the energy necessary to get through the ups and downs of an average day could be found in a powder, a pill, or a suspiciously small can. If only! But here’s the good news: getting — and, more important, keeping — your energy level high is a breeze. Just take a look at these expert tips and tricks.

1. To get your first energy boost of the day: Eat a little something

Studies show that breakfast-eaters enjoy more energy and stay in a better mood throughout the day than their breakfast-skipping counterparts. But we’re not talking just any breakfast.

“Muffins, granola, and croissants are energy zappers,” Los Angeles–based dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., says. “They’re high in sugar, sodium, and less-healthy fats, providing carbs but rarely protein. So you get superhigh in the morning, and two hours later you’re picking yourself up off the floor.” (more…)

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