Food Is Not Your Enemy

How Cooking Protects Us From Disease and Obesity

At the start of the 20th century, eating a meal out was a rare treat–only 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home, in fact. But now, 50 percent of our meals are eaten away from home. And when we are actually eating at home these days, many of those meals involve peeling a film off a microwave dinner.

It’s not such a mystery why this has happened. We’re busy! Most men and women are working full time, and there’s usually not someone at home cooking up a roast with three sides to have on the table by 6 p.m. Kids have to be shuttled around to sports practices and lessons. And it’s just so easy to not cook.

But not cooking comes with risks. Relying on fast food means high-calorie, low-nutrient meals. Takeout from the local Chinese or Thai or Indian place means huge portions and perhaps a lot of oil and who knows what else in the food. Frozen dinners tend to come with lots and lots of sodium and additives we’d be better off avoiding.

Taking the time to cook a meal with real, fresh, whole foods can make such a difference when it comes to your health and your weight, even if you cook just a few times a week (make extra for leftovers!). You’ll know exactly what’s in your food. You’ll have better control over your portions. And you’re more likely to make vegetables part of the meal.

These benefits will translate to weight loss and the prevention of the kinds of chronic diseases that come from eating too much sugar, fat, salt, and refined carbs (such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease). Isn’t all that worth some of your time? Plus, you won’t believe how much money you’ll save!

Save Money by Eating Your Way to Good Health

“At first blush, the notion of eating our way out of huge public health challenges like obesity, diabetes and heart disease may seem an overly simplistic and idealistic fix for complex, multifaceted problems. But health experts say that, in fact, an apple a day does keep the doctor away, and that many studies prove it.”

Nice affirming news from The New York Times. Companies like Safeway are realizing that health care costs are getting out of control, and are now focusing on preventative care. So many of today’s “expensive” diseases–obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer–are tied to diet and lifestyle choices and are quite preventable. And so, the reasoning goes, if an employer can encourage its workers to eat things like vegetables and whole grains instead of Doritos and McDonald’s, costs for health insurance will ultimately go down or at least stabilize. And it’s working.

The article acknowledges that it’s easier said than done to make dietary and lifestyle changes. There’s so much conflicting info about nutrition out there–which should you listen to?

That’s why I do what I do. As a holistic nutrition counselor, I help my clients discover what works for them, and I support them every step of the way–holding them accountable, but also serving as their biggest cheerleader. You can make lasting changes. And you don’t have to do it alone.

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.

How To Fix Obama’s Health Plan Before It’s Too Late

Dr. Mark Hyman, who’s on the forefront of changing the way medicine is practiced in this country, has posted a 9-point plan for fixing our health-care system on his site. It’s spot-on, emphasizing the need for preventative care and a change in the mindset that our every ill should be solved by taking a drug or going in for surgery. I highly recommend reading it.