Category Archives: Food Additives

Whole Food Plant Based diet and avoiding food additives

A New Record

obesity Last semester I took a class in Childhood Obesity. I spent fifteen weeks studying the policies and practices around childhood obesity. In the end  I concluded that the problem isn’t childhood obesity; it’s adult obesity. For every overweight/obese child there are three overweight/obese adults.

This idea was validated last week (Jun3 22, 2015). The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) released a new analysis on weight in America. The conclusion? We’re fat and getting fatter.  The study found that in the population of those 25 and older 75% of men and 67% of women are overweight or obese.

Worse yet, for the first time Americans who are obese outnumber those who are overweight.  30% of women and 40% of men are overweight while 37% of women and 35% of men are obese.

Despite all the diets, the information campaigns, the warnings and social pressure to be thin we are getting fatter. Researchers blame our lifestyle, processed foods, inactivity and technology. And Lin Yang, the chief researcher for the study says “This is a wake-up call to implement policies and practices designed to combat overweight and obesity.” Unfortunately, she is resoundingly silent about what those policies and practices might be.

After weeks of studying food policy, years of studying nutrition and watching a few documentaries: Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, Fed up and Supersize Me, I have some ideas about where we need to start.

Over the next couple of months I will be writing and talking food policy and how to create change. Feel free to contribute to the discussion — your ideas and comments are wanted and appreciated!

Posted in environment, Food Additives, GMO foods, John McDougall, processed food, T. Colin Campbell, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment

2013, The Obesity Epidemic and Plant-Based Nutrition

“This is another fine mess that you’ve gotten us into, Stanley.”

In case you were culturally deprived when you were young, that quote is a rather famous accusation voiced frequently by Ollie in the Laurel and Hardy comedies. About the only thing that I never heard Oliver Hardy blame Stan Laurel for in those movies was his weight. Obesity was not viewed as a national health crisis in the twenties thirties and forties, hunger was closer to home for a lot of our population.

The weighty have always been among us. They have never been as dominant in numbers as they are today. Along with the new fat epidemic comes symptoms of ill health that worry us (a lot) when we exhibit them. Added to that are diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes; all common problems related to the obesity. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diabetes, excitotoxins, Food Additives, plant based diet, processed food, weigh loss, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Year of Being Vegan: 2012 Lessons Learned Part 4

I have always been a plant-based eater; a vegetarian. Over the last year David and I decided to become vegans. It has been an incredible learning experience! Between now and the end of the years I will share some of the things I learned.

Advanced Label Reading

I was shocked at the things that end up in “healthy” vegan foods. I guess this is really an expansion on unhealthy vegan diet choices.

I started reading labels many years ago when I quit sugar. Over the years I had gotten a little sloppy about really reading labels. I would check for sugar content and if there wasn’t any that seemed good enough. When David discovered that he was wildly reactive to MSG in all it’s forms, I started examining labels again and was shocked at all the forms of MSG that end up in our foods. Follow through on the two MSG links in this paragraph to get more info. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, Food Additives, GMO foods, processed food, vegan, vegetarian, Vitamins, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Year of Being Vegan: 2012 Lessons Learned Part 3

I have always been a plant-based eater; a vegetarian. Over the last year David and I decided to become vegans. It has been an incredible learning experience! Between now and the end of the years I will share some of the things I learned.

fat cookMany “Healthy” Vegan Recipes are NOT!

The decision to be vegan meant David gave up meat. And we gave up cheese and eggs. Meal planning became a challenge. I spent a couple of hundred dollars (all of it on used bookstores) and many hundreds of hours pouring over menu plans and recipes.

My biggest take is that many vegan recipes do not fit my definition of healthy food. Many of them contain ingredients that I wouldn’t eat on a bet: (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, environment, Food Additives, gluten-free food, GMO foods, plant based diet, processed food, Protein, Soy, sugar-free food, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luxury Problems

weightlossI have a big-time luxury problem! You see instead of “spring cleaning”, we do “fall cleaning”. Most of the spring is devoted to getting the garden in shape. If the house suffers, it’s not like we spend much time inside between March and October. We are, however indoor, a lot, between November and February. So it is either clean up or sit and look at clutter all winter. I, personally, hate clutter!

One of my life “rules” is about changing closets with the season. Each spring and fall I sort and discard clothes:  if I haven’t worn it, it goes! This year I added the caveat that if it didn’t fit it had to go as well. Recently, David and I spend a lot of time looking like we are wearing someone else’s clothes. They are way big and don’t come close to fitting. A lot of them were marginal last year but this year they are just flat out ridiculous! So out with all the XL and a lot of the L size clothes. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, Cote Home Grown Fare, diary-free food, Food Additives, gluten-free food, plant based diet, processed food, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s the Salt Shaker

salt shakerOne of my greatest morning pleasures used to be reading the New York Times online. In our present political silly season. . . not so much! But every now and then, there is a piece that tickles my funny bone. The latest one was in the science section and called Some Restaurants Reduce Salt but Critics Call Moves Unnecessary.

The piece reported on the new table top salt shaker holders – see picture.  In an effort to cut down on the unhealthy effects of sodium the company has replaced salt shakes with these little signs.  If you have trouble reading it it says: (more…)

Posted in excitotoxins, Food Additives, GMO foods, processed food, Resturants | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cinnamon: great aroma and much more!

All the muffin experiments reminded me of how much I love cinnamon! There are few aromas that make me happier. Probably for a good reason, since a Western Jesuit University study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and decreases feelings of frustration.

Closely related to the smell is the taste. What would apple pie be without cinnamon!? We use it in pancakes, waffles and baked goods. Adding a dash of cinnamon to coffee makes even the worst swill palatable. And a dash of cinnamon is the secret ingredient in tomato soup. (more…)

Posted in Breakfast, diabetes, Food Additives, weigh loss, Whole Food Plant-Based Food Kitchen | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Chia Pets and Chia Seeds

chia petI can’t remember where or how I came across my first Chia Pet.  I think was some time in the late 70s.  What I do remember is how amazed I was that people would actually buy one of those things!   I probably should not have been, since I was around for the whole pet rock thing.  Chia was promptly relegated as a tagline to several lame jokes. (more…)

Posted in Food Additives, minerals, Protein, Vitamins | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Plant-based Fourth of July

No long weekend this year; the fourth is right in the middle of the week.  I hate when that happens.

Traditionally the 4th is a time for “All American” picnic foods.  Things like hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans, corn on the cob, potato salad, pasta salad. strawberry shortcake and cherry pie.  I have the  Hamburgers, Baked Beans and corn on the cob covered. That just leaves the salad and dessert.

(more…)

Posted in additive-free food, Beans, burgers, diary-free food, excitotoxins, Food Additives, gluten-free food, menu, salad, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating Out–Subway Offering Vegan Sandwiches

Plant based eating is becoming almost mainstream! Subway is offering vegan sandwiches in the South (Virginia and Maryland).

The news made me remember a trip to the Southern US thirty years ago.  My most vivid memory of the trip is that I almost starved to death!

We were traveling and eating in restaurants. Every day, feeding myself was a challenge! The first hurdle was finding anything vaguely vegetarian on the menu.  If I found something besides salad I still had to be very careful.  Lots of added bacon (salad dressing, baked potatoes, even mac and cheese) and foods cooked in lard. Asking the server about the ingredients was a whole other problem. Mostly the people who served me and the people I ate with couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t eat any meat. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, excitotoxins, Food Additives, Resturants, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment