Hippocrates Must Be Rolling Over In His Grave!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

-Hippocrates

I recently read an article from MarketPlace entitled, “The Cost of the Common Cold,” and I was absolutely floored to learn that people living in the United States collectively spend close to $40 BILLION each year on cold remedies.  This grand total includes money spent on over-the-counter medications, trips to the doctor’s office, and visits to the pharmacy/drug store.  Hippocrates would definitely have a thing or two to say about this.   Therefore, this week I’m proposing that we take a page from Hippocrates’ book  by using food to avoid sickness.  Below is a list of foods packed with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that you’ll need to invigorate your immune system this winter season.  Of course, there are others that I don’t list (think oranges, chicken soup, etc.).  However, if you incorporate some of these foods into your diet this winter, you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your immune system and opting out of the $40 BILLION group!

1. YOGURT – Contains “live active cultures.”  This bacteria is essential in preventing pathogens from forming/living in your gut and intestinal tract.

2. GARLIC – Contains allicin, a powerful ally in protecting your body from infection.  In a British study, researchers gave 146 people garlic extract for 3 months and concluded that people who incorporated it into their diets were 66.7% less vulnerable to colds.

3. TEA – Is packed with the amino acid L-theanine, which is known to boost immunity.  L-theanine is found most plentifully in green and black teas.  COOL TIP:  Bobbing your tea bag during the couple minutes it brews has shown to get up to 5 times more antioxidants into your tea.

4. BEEF – Contains a substantial amount of zinc, a mineral that is critical in the process of establishing the white blood cells in your body.  These white blood cells are then able to distinguish between good and bad bacteria and they annihilate viruses in your body.  Choose grass-fed beef whenever possible.

5. CARROTS – Contain both Vitamin A and beta-carotene.  In particular, Vitamin A works to keep your skin flourishing and clean.  When you think about it, healthy skin is one of the most imperative parts of your immune system because it provides a barrier to prevent germs and other bacteria from entering your body.

I hope that everyone stocks up on these foods, practices good hand washing, and gets plenty of rest in order to stay healthy!  Let me know how you decide to incorporate these foods into your regular meal rotation!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

References:

EatingWell. Meredith Corporation. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.

Guy, Lisa. HealthNinemsn. Ninesman Pty Ltd. 1997. Web. 29 Web. 2013.

Schryer, Tamara and MacMillan, Amanda. Prevention. Kodale Inc. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.

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Controversial Coca-Cola Commercial

Shakespeare told us that “brevity is the soul of wit.”  I am telling you that brevity is the soul of this blog post due to studying for midterms!  One down and five more to go, hence this “brief” post.  Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts on Coca-Cola’s latest news.

Lately, Coca-Cola’s new TV commercial has been receiving much publicity in the news.  The main goal of the two minute ad is to shed light on the obesity epidemic in this country and also to publicize the things Coca-Cola has done to inform consumers about the soda that they’re drinking.  For instance, in the ad, Coca-Cola states that they have begun to showcase the calorie counts on the front of their soda cans.  This way, consumers don’t even have to turn the can to the back to read about the nutritional value.  Furthermore, Coca-Cola is suggesting that consumers control their portions of soda and they have started to increase the quantities of their smaller soda cans.

So I leave you with three questions…don’t forget to comment your answers!

1. Does Coca-Cola have a right to create a commercial spreading awareness about obesity when their product is one of this issue’s causes?

2. Should Coca-Cola only be showing the calorie counts of Coke on their soda bottles, or should other nutritional values be added, such as how much sugar their products have?

3. In your opinion, is what Coca-Cola  doing just more PR, or are they really trying to educate consumers?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

References:

Strom, Stephanie. NYTimes. The New York Times Company. 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

Resolve to be More Resolute in 2013!

This week I want to discuss effective strategies for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions, (especially the ones about food!)  First, here’s a touch of history about the New Year:  In 153 B.C., Janus, a mythical king, was put at the very beginning of the Roman calendar.  Janus had two faces, which allowed him to reflect on the past yet also relish the prospect of the future quite easily.  Overtime, the Romans started to look to Janus as a symbol of resolutions.  Surprisingly, January 1, had not been the start of the new year until 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar created a new calendar for his people to represent the different seasons more precisely.  Later, the Roman people named the first month of the year after their beloved Janus, who became known as the guardian of entrances.  Entrances into change in the human heart, appearance, mind, and soul.  Since then, New Year’s continues to be a celebratory time of fresh starts.

So here are my ideas for Food Resolutions in 2013:

1. Eat breakfast every morning.

2. Go organic to the extent that your budget will allow.

3. Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet.

4. Chew your food slowly.

5. Drink more water.

6. Stick to only eating  when you’re eating…skip meals in front of the TV or computer.

7. Cook more.

8. Avoid food as a coping mechanism.

9. Savor each bite.

10. Get rid of the mindless snacking.

Here are some strategies to make your Food Resolutions a reality in 2013:

1. Know for sure why you’re making a New Year’s Resolution.  Remember that if you don’t feel passionate about changing something in your life or adding something to your life, the chances that you’ll stick to your resolution will decrease.

2. Write your food resolution down.  As soon as you get it out of your head and onto paper, it becomes more real.

3. Set yourself up for success.  If your resolution is to not eat junk food, don’t let lots of junk food pile up in the house.  It will act as a constant distraction, and it will become difficult to focus on what you really want to focus on.

I’d love to hear your Food Resolutions and how you plan to make them happen!

Until Next Time…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

References:

—. GoalsGuy. GoalsGuy Learning Systems Incorporated. N.D. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

Ingredient Profile #2: Red 40

I hope that everyone enjoyed last week’s double post!  I was experimenting with the scheduling feature (it worked!)  and didn’t want to interfere with my usual Tuesday delivery.  

Ever wonder what Doritos, doughnuts with pink frosting, the outer shells of M&M’s and fruit roll-ups have in common?  They all contain Red 40, which is just one of the multiple synthetic dyes that lurk in our food.  In fact, giant food manufacturers and industrial corporations pour approximately 15 million pounds of these artificial chemicals into their products each year.  But why do they do it exactly?  Strictly as a means to make their products more enticing to Americans, thereby increasing their sales revenue.  There is absolutely no added nutritional value to Red 40, (or Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 5 or Yellow 6 for that matter).  In fact, it has been scientifically proven that Red 40 is carcinogenic.  This declaration comes from the findings of the following contaminants in Red 40: aniline, benzidine, and p-cresidine.

Scrupulous research also indicates that the effects of Red 40 and other synthetic dyes is even more detrimental to children.  Due to the fact that their organs and organ systems aren’t fully grown, smaller amounts of these artificial chemicals lead to larger and more concerning health conflicts.  For example, Red 40 has been proven to cause aggressiveness, irritability, and learning impairments.  Furthermore, one of the most concerning side effects of the consumption of Red 40 is how it increases hyperactivity.  The more frequently a child consumes it, the more probable it is that they’ll suffer from restlessness and attention problems.  Interestingly, in a 2007 study conducted in Britain, children fed beverages with an array of these artificial chemicals portrayed wild and overactive behavior within an hour.  Thus, a few years back, the British government made a request that companies terminate the usage of such synthetic dyes in all of their products.  On July 20, 2010, the European Union demanded warning labels on dyed foods.  This is a portion of the warning that appears on the labels in Europe today: “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

You can purchase a McDonald’s Strawberry Sundae in both the continents of Europe and North America.  However, it fascinates me that in Massachusetts, the sundae you receive is colored with Red 40, while the sundae you receive in Britain is colored with strawberries.  Real strawberries…imagine that!  It’s baffling and sad that the standards and quality of ingredients used in the USA are often less than the standards and quality of ingredients used elsewhere.  This week, try to eliminate Red 40 and other synthetic dyes from your diet and let me know if you notice a difference in how you feel.  Also, remember that eating is sort of like voting.  If you want to change our food system or you’re tired of the “food” that isn’t really food, only purchase products that you believe are or should be the American standard.  It really does take one person at a time to make a difference!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

References:

Bruso, Jessica. Livestrong. Demand Media Incorporated. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

—. Child-Behavior-Guide. Child-Behavior-Guide. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

—. CSPINET. Center for Science in the Public Interest. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

Fulton, April. NPR. NPR. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

Shapley, David. TheDailyGreen. Hearst Communications Incorporated. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

Stokes, Milton. EatingWell. Meredith Corporation. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012.

Food for Thought – Introducing Adelle Davis

Similar to my “Ingredient Profile” posts, my new “Food for Thought” posts will highlight people or ideas as they pertain to nutrition.  Throughout 2013, I hope that once a month I’ll be able to expose you to some unknown or rarely discussed people, places, and beliefs about food.  Therefore, I believe it is only fitting that the spotlight for my first “Food for Thought” post be focused on Adelle Davis, otherwise known as the USA’s “First Lady of Nutrition.”  Born in 1904, her groundbreaking work in the nutrition field and her passionate spirit for health and wellness for all inspired many to change the way they ate.  As a nutritionist, Adelle Davis planned diets for more than 20,000 people.  That’s a CRAZY number of people to have worked with and each of these people had their own set of health obstacles that she had to contemplate and keep in mind.  In addition, Ms. Davis authored four books entitled,  Let’s Cook It Right, Let’s Have Healthy Children, Let’s Get Well, and Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit.  However, I think her most powerful impact on the nation today is the quotes she left behind to inspire all of the children of the world born after her lifetime.  Here’s one of my favorites:

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

~Adelle Davis

There’s a world of truth to this statement, making it both  joyful and a little startling.  Through this statement, we discover that the freedom to make our own food choices and work towards being more healthful is empowering, but at the same time, maybe a little scary because all of the onus is on us.  Nobody is forcing us to eat a certain way, adopt a certain diet, buy a certain type of food; in fact, we’re doing it to ourselves, for better or for worse.  At its crux, Adelle Davis’ saying illustrates that we can’t do anything without food, without sustenance, without energy.  Nevertheless, if we don’t control what we feed ourselves, the food starts to control us.

But when we feel as though we’ve veered off of the right path in terms of nutrition, can we change?  Absolutely.  Adelle Davis also firmly believed that “deficiencies in vitamins, mineral elements, or other nutrients can cause illness that is reversed when the nutrients are added to the diet in an educated way.”  When our diet is made “adequate” we can then go on to be all that we were meant to be and more.  In taking care of ourselves, we can either be the stepping stone or the stumbling block.  And that’s why I love working on this project and this blog.  Because I hope to teach people that each of us has all of the control and tools to become more educated about the food we eat.  We just have to use them.

I hope you have enjoyed my first “Food for Thought.”

Until Next Week, Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Since I Can’t Always Be With You (SNIFF)…

I offer FOODUCATE for all of your future trips to the grocery store.  What is FOODUCATE you ask?  FOODUCATE is basically me, my project, and everything I’m trying to accomplish in an APP.  And the best part about the APP is, it’s totally FREE!

FOODUCATE was created by a San Franciscan father of three (and an avid techie) named Hemi Weingarten who wanted to invent something that provided some answers to often difficult questions about food choices.  After scratching his head one too many times himself at the grocery store, he had to admit that even a graduate degree didn’t prepare him for the monumental task of finding the right foods to feed his children.  Therefore, he took matters into his own hands and embarked upon a lifelong adventure to bring other people out of the darkness and into the light about nutrition (my hero!).  I admire that he educated himself through books, Internet articles etc., to make his vision of FOODUCATE come to life. What I love most about this nutrition APP is that it is not funded (thus it is not controlled) by any gigantic food corporations.  That means that the information you receive from it is never manipulated, changed, or controlled, it simply is what it is (rather like my blog!).

Each time you click on FOODUCATE from your Smart Phone, tablet, or other electronic device, the APP will bring you to a homepage with two options: “Scan” and “Browse Food.”

Once you click “Scan” you’ll have the opportunity to scan the barcode of any food product you want to learn more about.  Within seconds, FOODUCATE will locate the product in its vast database and provide you with a clean, concise, and informative description of its nutritional pros and cons.  Furthermore, FOODUCATE will also “grade” the food you scanned (it’s just like school), present a complete nutrition label for it, and calculate how many FoodPoints the product has earned.  FOODUCATE assigns each product FoodPoints based on its nutritional value…the lower the number, the better the food is for you.  In addition, FOODUCATE has the capacity and “intelligence” to sort through complex health claims and perplexing ingredients.  It also offers fun facts and just so much more.

If you click the last option, “Browse Food” the APP will bring you to a homepage with numerous subtitles, each about a specific type of food (from fruits & vegetables to cooking & baking to condiments.)  As you click through the general options and the choices get more specific, you’ll have access to a reservoir of information.  FOODUCATE gives you practical advice about what to look for in certain products at the grocery store, it defines the roles that vitamins and minerals play in fueling your body, gives recommendations about eating based on your health (it will explain what to do if you’re on a low cholesterol diet, for instance), and displays succinct summaries of tricky ingredients (such as maltodextrin).  I find that while the “Scan” portion of the APP is more hands-on and can be used at any grocery store, this “Browse Food” part of the APP is perfect anytime you have a minute and are curious about the food you eat.

I hope that many of you reap the  benefits that FOODUCATE has to offer and you’re ready for a healthier 2013!  Happy New Year!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

P.S. Please let me know if you download FOODUCATE and what you think of this APP!