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July Foodie Penpal Reveal Day July 31, 2012

Posted by ToYourHealth in Public Health.
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This is not within my realm of public health posts, alas I have signed up with Foodie Penpals and must reveal the contents of the box I received this month on this, my only blog.

And I’m excited to share it with you!

Foodie Penpals is a fun foodie exchange initiated by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean blog. Lindsay will pair you up with a sender and a recipient, minimal rules, and tons of fun if you like sending packages to and receiving them from complete strangers.

This month, my Foodie Penpal was Chelsea from Troy, NY. I was surprised with a big box stuffed with goodies tailored to me. Yes, it’s true!

Foodie Penpal, vegan snacks, healthy diet

Chelsea went to her local Farmer’s Market where she finds Flour City Pasta from Rochester, and generously sent me 2 packages of unique pastas: chipotle shells and bon vivant orzo.

Chipotle shells, Bon vivant orzo

Here’s the bon vivant orzo prepared with the included recipe. This uses mushrooms, pine nuts, shallots and snow peas which I harvested from my garden, and a splash of lemon juice. Delish!

Vegan, healthy side dish

She also included 2 organic, vegan snack bars. Recently vegan, believe me, I have tried numerous vegan bars just in the hopes of saving a few hours of chopping and chewing. I haven’t found one that was actually palatable. But when I tasted and then gave my kids a bite of these bars, I heard, “Yumm-o! Let me have the rest of that awesome bar!” I had to reply that no, it was really just for me. That’s how fantastic the chocolate and peanut butter bars are. I will be on the lookout for Good ‘n Natural Fruit, Nut & Seed Bars to keep all of us happy.

vegan snacks, vegan diet

No, they’re really just for me.

It takes some moxie to send coffee to a Seattleite, but it’s like she already knew me inside and out. Chelsea sent Mocha Java from her fave coffee shop and nailed it. Totally my complete order. And it is perfect. She included a coffee-to-go mug and 2 reusable canvas bags for groceries as she knows we like to keep it green here in the Emerald City.

Chelsea was a sweetheart to stick to my dietary preferences and I loved having a bite of Troy right here in my own kitchen all the way across the country. Her lovely letter explained her choice of items on a personal level. Thank you, Chelsea!

Comment to let me know if you decide to sign up to be a Foodie Penpal. It’ll bring a welcome, quaint, yummy box to your door every month.

Is The Food Pyramid Killing Us? May 21, 2012

Posted by ToYourHealth in Public Health.
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diet, nutrition, food pyramid, heart disease, stroke, hypertension

Two groups of food pyramid promote leading causes of U.S. deaths

Hang in there with me for just a few minutes, folks.

The leading causes of U.S. deaths are heart disease, cancer, respiratory ailments and stroke. Right? In the vast majority of cases, these are attributed to poor nutrition, not genetics. What food groups do we as a nation consume the most? Meat and dairy. Consumption of which foods increases at the same rate as chronic disease and fatal illness? Meat and dairy. What are two of the main food groups the Food Pyramid encourages us to eat as part of our daily diet? Meat and dairy. Why would an agency of the federal government urge us to consume the two most unhealthy foods as part of each meal? (defended my 10-year old son).

Welcome to the Western diet, Western diseases and the cozy kinships within the USDA, a not unbiased agency which regulates and promotes their own interests. According to Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM),

The USDA’s statutory duty is to foster and assist in expanding uses in moving larger quantities of agricultural products throughout the private marketing system to consumers in the US and abroad. They compromise consumer health in favor of promoting specific food products.

The US spends more money on health care than any other developed nation, yet we have among the highest rates of preventable disease. Our convenient diets are nutritionally deficient, being high in fats, sugar, salt and animal proteins, as brilliantly researched by Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s famous 20-year China Study, and his subsequent work with the esteemed surgeon, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Forks Over Knives. Their independent and collaborative science illustrates that our bodies are engineered for optimum performance with plant-based nutrition.

For over a century, the USDA dietary guidelines have included meat and dairy as the primary sources of protein and calcium. A previous post, Calcium for Bone Health-Not What You Thought, details a direct correlation between animal-based calcium consumption and increased rates of osteoporosis.

The federal government is considering regulating our diets in an effort to tackle the obesity epidemic, especially in children, due to the amount of time spent and number of calories consumed during school hours. This is an appalling notion. There is obvious conflict mandating compliance with National School Lunch Program menus, and providing the very guidelines which promote obesity-related illnesses. Regular lunch entrees in my school district include corn dogs, breaded and fried chicken patties, breaded and fried chicken nuggets, fried mozzarella sticks, cheeseburgers and pizza. Always available: milk, ice cream, unhealthy snacks and drinks in vending machines. By contrast, a regular French school lunch in the town of Barjac, for example, consists of coleslaw, mussels mariniers, sautéed potatoes, and an organic, locally grown pear for dessert. Water and baguette are standard at every meal, of course. Karen LeBillon’s book, French Kids Eat Everything, details fundamental differences in their approach to school lunches. Menus are decided by regional school administrators and parents, there is no national food program, and there is a national ban on vending machines.

Each one of us is in control of our own health destiny. A plant-based diet not only prevents what’s killing us, but can reverse it. Dr. Esselstyn was shunned by the USDA after reporting his results, and the Food Pyramid still contains meat and dairy. In his TED talk, he explains our top killers are food-borne illnesses.

Your food choices are 100% up to you. What will you choose to eat today?

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Forks Over Knives is streamable from Netflix. It just might save your life.

Related Posts:

My Picks: Top 10 Superfoods For Disease Prevention

Location, location, location! The High Cost of Living in a Food Desert

Trickery, Manipulation and $50: A Plan for School Cafeterias

The Kind Diet


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