Welcome to my Blog about Food and Well-being!

I am often asked to share my knowledge of food and recipes. After changing my diet four years ago from a typical "Western" diet to a mostly whole-foods and plant-based diet, I have seen incredible changes in my health and well-being. I have spent countless hours researching and love helping those who are ready to feel better. The underlying theme? YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Read on to find out more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Genetically Modified Foods - The Cause for Our Diseases?

I've written about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in previous blogs but it's recently received some media attention, so I'd like to discuss it again. Please see the bottom of this blog to link to a website where you can get more info and learn what you can do to stop GMOs.

GMOs have flooded our food supply and there is mounting evidence it is the culprit for our allergies, asthma, autism, inflammation and even cancer. What is a GMO product? Big companies like Monsanto and Bayer spend millions of dollars in research to transform natural plant seeds to "super seeds." They tweak the DNA and even add pesticides to the seeds so they become self-resistant to insects, fungus and disease while growing faster and larger plants. It's a way to get more product on the shelves faster - without regard to human health. Published reports say these products are safe, but it's those exact companies that are funding the reports. Those companies also have lobbyists and even top-level executives working at the FDA. 

Almost every other developed nation has banned the use of GMOs on farms -except the U.S. The FDA believes that unless a product is "proved dangerous," it can still be grown, manufactured and sold to the public, usually without any labeling to warn buyers of what they may be purchasing. Other nations' "FDAs" believe that unless a product is "proved safe," it can't be grown, manufactured or sold to the public. The U.S. consumer is the lab rat and what we're proving is that something is making us the sickest nation on the planet, spending the most money on healthcare than any other industrialized nation. Coincidence? 

What's scarier is what these genetically-modified foods do to our bodies. Your immunity is there to fight off foreign matter, whether it be a virus, infection or even a bug bite. It detects anything in the body that isn't supposed to be there and then triggers an immune response to fight it. A GMO product is a foreign protein, developed in a laboratory and not found in nature. So what does your body do when you ingest a GMO product? It develops an immune response to fight it. The response could be an allergy, asthma, inflammation or illness. The more frequently you eat these ingredients, the harder your immune system has to work to fight the foreign protein until you develop a chronic condition that has to be medically treated, if it can be at all. Constant inflammation leads to cancer and deterioration of your intestinal health, which is where your immunity lives.

Since 85% of processed foods are now genetically modified, you have to be a savvy consumer to avoid them. The worst offenders are any corn and soy products. This includes corn oil and soybean oil or anything cooked in/with them, corn on the cob, corn kernels, popcorn, canola oil, cottonseed oil, edamame, tofu, or soy protein (found in protein bars, shakes and cereals to boost protein content). 

You can still have that bag of tortilla chips, though. If you buy these items ORGANIC, they aren't GMO and most will label it "non-GMO." Only buy organic tortilla chips, corn chips, corn tortillas, edamame, tofu and gluten-free products that contain corn or soy. Check ingredients. If you see anything in the label that refers to corn or soy and it isn't labeled organic or non-GMO, DON'T BUY IT! Unfortunately, most restaurants don't spend the extra bucks to buy organic, so there's not much you can do except avoid ordering anything with corn and soy in the ingredients. Some restaurants buy locally-grown, organic produce, but you have to ask to be sure. 

I'm writing this not to scare you but to anger you. Unless we band together and raise hell about this, we will continue to be fed this GARBAGE that is literally killing us and our kids. Here is a great website (STOP GMOs ) that gives you info on where you can start making noise. There is a movement to get rid of these things from our food supply, but the more people that join it, the bigger different we can make. Take the time to educate yourself and get involved! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

What I Want for Christmas

Christmas is a time of year when even moms can ask for a few things without feeling guilty. I'm not asking for much this year but I can tell you what I want most of all:
  • for people to be able to get off of medications
  • for people to not need doctors so much
  • for kids to not have food allergies
  • for people to give up their sugar addiction
  • for everyone to be able to eat wheat
  • for the FDA to do what's best for the consumer instead of the lobbyists
  • for Monsanto to stop genetically modifying seeds
  • for people to realize that convenience foods are our downfall
  • for veggies to take center stage on our plates
  • for cows, chickens and pigs to be treated kindly
  • for our food to be labeled honestly
  • for labs to find a cure for cancer instead of how to make food shelf-stable
  • for  produce and eggs to be bought from local farms
  • for people to realize their bodies crave whole, un-messed with foods
I started my little blog because I researched so much health information I wanted to share and people were always asking me about things I've learned. It is my way of passing along the information and offering encouragement for those wanting to make a change. It starts one person at a time.

I love hearing stories from my readers about how they've tried something new, how they've succeeded in getting their kids to eat quinoa, how their child is doing better in school since cutting out the processed foods, and how much better they feel since trying this "whole foods" thing out. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do know what I've learned makes sense and has changed my life and many others for the better.

Each of us have to make a decision for ourselves and our families - will we continue to eat the foods we know aren't great for us and chalk it up as "oh, it's fine...lighten up...it's just McDonalds," or will we finally realize that when we put junk in, we feel like junk? It's easy to tell ourselves we'll try eating better some day, but what about NOW? Isn't it time? Aren't we and our kids worth it? Is it a pain to buy ingredients to cook instead of prepared meals yet not a pain to be in and out of doctors' offices, on medications and feel like crap half the time?

As the new year approaches, I challenge all of you to give yourself two weeks on a whole foods-based diet (no processed foods, no artificial ingredients, lots of veggies, high quality protein, and minimal cow dairy) and see how you feel. If you have any questions, ask me on the blog and I promise to answer. Everyone I talk to who has tried it says they've never felt better. Aren't you ready to feel better? Have more energy? Clean out your system and boost your immune system? It's time. You can do it. No more excuses. It's a Christmas present you give yourself.