Food Is Not Your Enemy

Happy Meal Toys To Be Banned?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is going after McDonald’s and demanding that they stop including toys in their Happy Meals, saying that these trinkets lure children into eating unhealthy food.

As with the ice cream truck wars, I have mixed feelings about this. Parents can simply say no to their kids and refuse to go to McDonald’s. But the problem is, too many parents don’t say no, because they don’t really see what the big deal is about eating there. It makes their kids happy, so why not?

The problem is that USDA scientists have found that people eat 500 more calories on days they consume fast foods compared with days they don’t. Eating just one fast-food meal per week WILL lead to weight gain over the course of the year.

So maybe we do need a crackdown here. There are regulations now about advertising junk foods to children on TV, after all. Isn’t including a Buzz Lightyear toy in a box with a fatty hamburger, fries, and a soda a way of advertising junk food to kids?

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for Buns??

There’s something very odd and disturbing about the fact that the more we hear about how the U.S. is in the midst of a terrible obesity crisis, the further the fast food and chain restaurants go in their attempts to offer insanely high-calorie food. Behold, Friendly’s Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt, a hamburger which is encased between two grilled-cheese sandwiches instead of buns:

1500 Calories
870 Fat Calories
79g Total Fat
38g Saturated Fat
180g Cholesterol
2090mg Sodium
101g Carbs
9g Dietary Fiber
4g Sugar
54g Protein

Why, Friendly’s, why?

Meat, Junk Food Blamed for Early Puberty in Girls
June 15, 2010, 5:16 pm
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Meat | Tags: , ,

Horrifying, yet not completely surprising: a new study has found a link between high consumption of meat and junk food and the onset of early puberty in girls.

According to AOL Health:

“[The] study that analyzed 1,000 girls found that breast development began at an average age of 9 years and 10 months, which was a year earlier than what the results of a 1991 study showed. Researchers added that this also makes them more susceptible to long-term breast cancer risk.

Other scientists from Brighton University found that 7-year-old girls who ate meat 12 times a week were 14 percent more likely to reach puberty by the age of 12 than those who ate meat four or less times a week.”

This Could Be You
June 15, 2010, 11:55 am
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle, weight loss | Tags: , ,

A couple of new testimonials are now up on my site:

“My thought in starting with Jen was that no one ever reaches peak performance in anything without a coach. This is true in sports, music, business … so why not health? Paying Jen to coach me on eating and living healthy in general accomplished just that. Instead of years of broken promises to myself, I made good changes that stuck. Measurable, too … 180 to 160 lbs. and cholesterol from 245 to 154 in six months.”

-Dan Hoffman, Brooklyn, NY

“I love putting on my dress slacks and skirts in the morning and having the leftover waist band. I need to move down to a smaller size. There was no dieting involved with Jen–I lost 7 lbs. without even trying! I am no longer bingeing on candy and sweets. For some reason I don’t have the desire. I used to be thinking of my next meal/snack all the time, however, my cravings have been curbed and food is in a better place in my list of priorities now.”

-Charlee Miller, New York, NY

Are you ready to change things up for yourself? If you are, then contact me for a free consultation, which can take place in person or over the phone.

It’s Always Time to Eat
June 14, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle, Restaurants, Sweets, weight loss | Tags: , , , ,

There didn’t used to be a McDonald’s in the children’s department of Macy’s Herald Square. Or a Starbucks at Barnes and Noble. Or a café at the library. Or drive-thrus open 24 hours a day. Or burritos and donuts at gas stations.

Over the past generation, we have seen a new phenomenon develop: the constant availability of food. Every minute of every day has become an opportunity to eat. My favorite example: Last year I accompanied my daughter’s class to Ellis Island, and watched as a family bought several bags of M&Ms from the ferry concession stand at 10 in the morning in order to tide them over during the 20-minute ride. Would this family have otherwise thought that they all needed candy that morning if it hadn’t been for sale right in front of them?

If you go to Macy’s to buy your child a bathing suit at 4 p.m., suddenly he wants a cheeseburger because he sees the McDonald’s right there. Is he even hungry? Would he otherwise have asked you for any food at all if he hadn’t smelled it and seen those familiar golden arches?

When I was in Paris a couple of years ago, I noticed that many restaurants simply didn’t serve food if it wasn’t what was considered mealtime. But in the U.S., it’s always mealtime, or at least snacktime. We’re encouraged to eat wherever we are, and, surprise surprise, it’s not vegetables or fresh fruit that’s pushed on us, but the junkiest junk foods. And no matter who you are and how healthy you try to be, it can be pretty tough to avoid that temptation all the time.

It’s unlikely that this is going to change–food companies want to make money, so they’re constantly looking for ways to get you to eat more. Putting food in your face everywhere you turn is a really effective way to do that.

To avoid getting sucked into the habit of grazing all day long when you’re out and about, before you pull into the drive-thru or wander into the mall food court because you smelled cinnamon rolls, stop and think–am I actually hungry right now? Or am I about to buy this food simply because it’s there? Would I have felt the need the get a snack right now if I hadn’t seen this concession stand?

This may sound simple, and you may wonder if it would actually make any difference, but awareness is the first step in making changes in your life, and can be very effective. Try it and see what happens.

Discount for Brooklyn Based Subscribers

If you’re a subscriber to the Brooklyn Based newsletter, in addition to a free one-hour consultation, if you decide to sign on for my six-month holistic nutritional counseling program, you will receive one free session, a $125 value.

Information about my program and how I can help you can be found here.  And if you’d like to sign up for a free consultation, you can do that here.  Mention “Brooklyn Based” when you sign up and you’ll automatically receive your free counseling session should you decide to work with me (for my six-month program) after we have our consultation.

(Note: While this post was initially published in 2010, the offer still stands in 2013!)

Are You In It for the Soccer, or the Donuts?

Love this piece from the National Action Against Obesity blog about how sideline snacks have seemingly taken on greater importance than the actual soccer game or other sport kids are playing on a given day.

I have experienced this myself, and felt it was crazy that parents assumed my daughter’s AYSO soccer team couldn’t go for one hour without stuffing food into their mouths. And I did wonder if it was the donuts, not the game, that got some kids excited to come to the field each weekend.