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, February 12, 2013

Genetically Modified Salmon? Your Chance to Comment

If you've read any of my blogs, you know how I feel about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The FDA has approved the science of genetically altering plant proteins for years and now 99% of U.S. corn and soybeans are genetically modified. What does that mean? Unless you buy organic corn and soybeans, every corn chip, tortilla chip, corn tortilla, corn, edamame, corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil (and all foods fried in those oils), tofu, corn flour, soy flour, soy protein, and any food containing these items (such as cereals, cereal bars, protein bars,crackers, chips, breads, dressings & marinades, mayonnaise etc.) are genetically modified. 

The FDA states that GMOs have not been found to be harmful and can therefore sold to the public. Many other industrialized nations have banned the use of GMOs in their food supply until GMOs can be proven safe. It takes decades to see the effects of an ingredient on the general public, so it may be years before we see the correlation between GMOs and our health. Critics believe GMOs may be at the root of our food allergies, other auto-immune diseases, certain cancers, autism, learning disabilities, and other diseases that have been on the rise since the introduction of GMOs. Even if there is a one percent chance that the critics are correct (and I happen to think that percentage is much, much higher), are we willing to take that chance?

Genetically modified foods have had certain proteins that have been "messed with" so the plant can grow with specific characteristics, such as disease and pest resistant, faster growth, larger growth, and drought resistant. The new proteins created in the lab are not naturally found in nature, therefore our bodies do not process them the same way as a protein made by God. Many believe these lab proteins are wreaking havoc on our digestive systems, which house our immune systems. Our immune systems were created to fight off foreign substances and these proteins are recognized in our bodies as a foreign substance. If so much of our food supply is genetically modified and contains these lab proteins, our immune systems are in constant "fight" mode and not functioning as they should, hence disease, illness, etc.

Making things worse, the FDA is about to approve the first genetically modified ANIMAL - the salmon. The Chinook salmon has been altered with a gene from the eel to create a new salmon that grows faster and larger than any other natural salmon. The FDA has yet to require that these salmon be labeled as GMOs because their research shows that if people knew it was genetically modified, they wouldn't buy it. Even the FDA recognizes that GMOs aren't attractive to the consumer, yet they refuse to allow us to even know if our food is genetically modified or not.

If you Google "genetically modified foods" or "genetically modified salmon," you will get a long list of articles to read. I found one on a local news station that tells the story of the salmon with links to the FDA where you can voice your concern in hopes that the FDA will at least require labeling (link HERE). I highly encourage you to take the time to read the article and email the FDA this week before the decision has been made. It takes seconds and could change the course of our food supply. 

What's at stake? Farmers of corn and soybeans say with the persistent droughts, they can't survive and the genetically modified seeds yield drought resistant crops. The salmon fishery that is responsible for the genetically modified salmon believe the growing world population will surpass food supply and this is a way to ensure a robust salmon population. 

What do you think? Comment on this blog to let me know!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Have You Started Yet?

We're now in February and I'm curious to know how many of you have started cutting out the processed foods to move towards a more whole foods diet. It's so easy to say it's a resolution, but when you get down to it, it can be overwhelming. I know. I was where you are once.

It's funny to me that so many people I run into inevitably ask me questions about what they should or shouldn't eat, where they find certain ingredients, how they get their family to jump on board, and why it all matters. I have a sweet friend who knows WAY more than I ever will about food and I've peppered her with hundreds of questions for years. I never thought I'd be the go-to girl for nutrition, but I'm happy to share my knowledge with anyone who wants to listen! All of us have a story to tell and mine for now is about how to use the foods God gave us to nourish and heal our bodies. Are you ready?

If you haven't quite started yet, please take the time to read through my blog archives. There you will find critical information you need to know before you get started. Start at my first blog entry and work your way to the present. I go through everything from dairy to seaweeds to grains to organics and GMOs.

For those of you in my area, I am starting Whole Foods tours for anyone interested. For a small fee, I will meet you and up to two others at Whole Foods and walk the aisles, answering your questions and showing you staples you should consider adding to your supplies. Each session will last 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I hope to familiarize you with ingredients you may not have tried before and educate you on why they are important to your diet. If you are interested, please contact me at joineatingtolivewell@gmail.com.

I know starting anything new is daunting. But it's also exciting to mix things up, learn something new and try something different. Everyone I know who has cut out the processed foods in lieu of fresher ingredients has told me how great they feel. It's your turn. Read the blogs, come to Whole Foods with me, and ask me questions by making a Comment to this blog.

Check out my recipes page and if you have a recipe you'd like me to try, I'd love to hear about it! Send me the recipe in the Comment section and if I like it, I'll post it to the Recipes page.

Here's to a healthier YOU in 2013!