Food Is Not Your Enemy


Infant Formula: Safe or Scary?

Whether or not to breast-feed her baby is one of the most politically charged–yet highly personal–decisions a new mother will make. Breast-feed and she’ll get approving nods from some, the stink-eye from others (especially when Junior is hungry in public). Formula-feed and many will judgmentally question why, and others will give an understanding nod. While breast milk is nutritionally superior for baby, not to mention free, some women either can’t breast-feed or choose not to. But are the various infant formulas on the market safe? Or scary? Check out my latest column for AOL’s ParentDish to find out.



Are Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi Poison?

I’ve been hearing for quite a while now about the evils of artificial sweeteners like aspartame. But this article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls is particularly enlightening, and takes a look at the role that none other than Donald Rumsfeld played in getting aspartame approved during the Reagan administration. 

Among the health problems that aspartame can cause are seizures, multiple sclerosis, headaches, lupus, insomnia, fibromyalgia, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. Given that recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners tend to increase your appetite as well as your desire for sweets, think about whether your diet soda is really doing you any good.



It’s Not Just About “Eat Less, Exercise More”

The New York Times published a piece yesterday, written by Dr. Perri Klass, about how hard it is for doctors to tell their patients to lose weight if they themselves are overweight. Klass mentions how her heart just doesn’t feel in it when she tells her patients to “eat less and exercise more,” as she realizes just how hard it is to do that.

Here’s the rub: simply eating less and exercising more is not the answer, and the latest nutritional research shows this. It depends so much on what you eat, when you eat it, and how you eat it. But doctors receive virtually no training in nutrition–I’ve heard this over and over again from doctors themselves. Our medical schools could use a serious overhaul when it comes to teaching nutrition and preventative medicine.

This is one of the reasons why I do what I do–I can help people lose weight and improve their health by giving them individualized support that goes way deeper than simply telling them to eat less and exercise more. And I thank my kids’ pediatrician for recently entrusting me to help his patients get healthy.



Bottled Water: Necessary?
July 17, 2009, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Water | Tags: , ,

Marion Nestle, NYU nutrition professor and expert on food politics and marketing, can really make you feel like a sucker for drinking bottled water. Is it safer and more clean? Hardly. It’s essentially just tap water in a pretty package, marketed to us by food industry giants.

Yes, bottled water can be a great thing when you’re out and about and you get thirsty. But after you finish your bottle, instead of recycling it, why not reuse it instead? Wash it out, refill it with tap water, and bring it along on your next outing.



Deepak Chopra Asks: Which One of These Are You?
July 13, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Chronic Disease, Events | Tags: , , , ,

I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Deepak Chopra this past weekend. He spoke about the body, the soul, and the universe, saying that everything in the universe is made up of vibrations of photons, and that there is no color, no sound, no texture, other than as we create them in our own consciousness. Mind-blowing stuff.

I was particularly struck by two photos that he showed toward the end of his presentation. Are we the first image, of a man stressed out in all parts of his body by everything going on around him? A person with their fists up, ready to fight all the time? And can we become the second being, someone at peace with the world around them, who allows grace, light, and beauty into their life?



Potatoes: Safe or Scary?

There’s a lot of confusion around the potato — are these humble tubers good for you, or not? Do they make you fat? Do they cause diabetes? Or are they a nourishing food that should be a staple in our diets? Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out whether America’s favorite vegetable is safe, or scary.



Chanterelles!
July 8, 2009, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Mushrooms | Tags: , , ,

I’m in Stockholm right now, trying to type on a keyboard that is very similar to the U.S. keyboard, but which also has such keys as “ö” and “ä” where I expect other characters to be, so it’s messing me up a bit.

The highlight of my trip so far has been going into the woods in Ädelsö (I think that’s where the umlauts are supposed to be) to hunt for chanterelle mushrooms. It is a bit early for mushrooms, we were warned, but then my husband’s aunt showed us a good spot to begin our hunt. Sure enough, right next to the trunk of a birch tree, there were our first two chanterelles, which I found after carelessly kicking aside some dead leaves. We were told to look under leaves, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to find anything in this first random place I looked. But there they were, and once you find one, there are almost always a bunch more right nearby.

Chanterelles seem to like to spring up near tree trunks and next to large rocks. In all, we found about 25, a really good haul. We folded them into a giant omelet for dinner. Succulent.