Election 2016: Soda Meets the Political Arena

According to a fascinating Huffington Post article entitled “We Don’t Yet Know If Soda Taxes Will Make Us Healthier,” written by Joseph Erbentraut, soda will make an appearance on the ballots of select Californian and Coloradan voters on November 8, 2016. In particular, Albany, CA; Francisco, CA; Oakland, CA; and Boulder, CO will vote to either pass or reject enacting soda taxes within their respective cities. Both Berkeley, CA and Philadelphia, PA previously enacted soda taxes so if the four cities above were to also enact the taxes, they’d join a minority of American cities. As I’m sure you can imagine, the American Beverage Association trade group, which represents the U.S. soda industry, is leveraging its fiscal power to halt the proposed soda tax in its tracks. Within California for example, the organization is spending a pretty penny–approximately $19.3 million–in an attempt to curb the legislation. Advocates who support the soda tax legislation speculate that if the proposed soda taxes were to be enacted, a domino effect would transpire, galvanizing other American cities to do the same. While these advocates, as well as the World Health Organization, stand strong in the conviction that these legislative measures will both halt and reverse soda purchasing patterns, dissenters aren’t so sure. Dissenters found their arguments upon the findings of studies noting negligible consumption effects of enacting soda taxes.

In your opinion, is the enacting of soda taxes the metaphorical equivalent of substituting a Band-Aid for surgery, or is this proposed legislation addressing one of the root causes of the obesity epidemic? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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



Rank, File, and Serial Number: The Halloween Candy Ratings You Won’t Want to Miss

Happy Halloween! This week, I wanted to pass along some of the highlights of a compilation by The Active Times entitled, “The Worst Halloween Candies and Healthier Alternatives.” I hope that you will find this information helpful as you purchase candy for the upcoming holiday.

Some candy The Active Times calls the “Worst:”

Candy Corn (wax is one ingredient that composes the mellowcreme in this candy, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (preservatives, refined sugar, and TBHQ, otherwise known as terry butylhydroquinone)

Skittles and M&Ms (hydrogenated palm oil, soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup)

Sour Patch Kids (artificial flavoring, citric aid, tartaric acid)

Tootsie Rolls (hydrogenated soy bean oil, sugar)

Some candy The Active Times calls the “Alternative:”

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn (whole grain, fiber)

Annie’s Organic Fruity Treats (Vitamin C, no preservatives or artificial flavors)

Dark chocolate (fiber, antioxidants such as polyphenols)

Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (no preservatives, no trans fats, organic)

Yogurt covered raisins (fiber, antioxidant known as resveratrol)

Be sure to check out the complete list of candies from The Active Times using the link above!

Now, for a few of my own ideas for healthier treats at Halloween:

Black bean brownies

Pumpkin bread

Homemade whole-grain pretzels

Prepare batches of each, and use Halloween-themed cookie cutters to create individually portioned treats.

What is your favorite Halloween candy? What are your go-to healthier treats for Halloween?

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


How ‘Bout Them Apples? You Won’t Want to Miss These 5 Apple Pairings…

As the leaves begin to turn from green to auburn, apples of all varieties abound! These quintessential autumn fruits taste delectable on their own, but they also pair wonderfully with savory and sweet elements. Check out my favorite autumnal apple pairings below:

  1. Slice apples and dip the slices into peanut butter. Not a fan of peanut butter? Try almond butter or cashew butter instead!
  2. Calling all cheese connoisseurs…enjoy a slice of Parmesan cheese atop a round of apple. The apple rounds serve as a crunchy substitution for crackers.
  3. Cube apples into bite size pieces and roast with cubed root vegetables such as beets, carrots, and parsnips.
  4. Dip apple wedges into Greek yogurt, and then sprinkle granola on top. This Greek yogurt parfait–reversed–is fun to make and to eat!
  5. Take a riff off of vegetable chips and prepare apple chips. Sprinkle the raw apple chips with a bit of olive oil and then top with cinnamon and nutmeg for seasoning. Roast until crunchy.

What are your favorite varieties of apples? What are your favorite ingredients to pair with apples?

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



The theme of this week’s post is aquaponics! In particular, I’d like to direct you to an article that I recently wrote for Food Tank. Here’s the link:


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