Renegade Chef Tackles School Food Programs Posted on March 27th, 2010
Finally a voice of reason in a sea of poor food choices. Renegade British chef Jamie Oliver has the gumption to tackle America’s school food program. Oliver whose voice sounds like the adorable Geiko frog, does not mince words when he sheds light on the “slop” that is served on the lunch trays of the next generation of America’s Most Talented – our future leaders, movers and shakers – our kids! Oliver has taken it upon himself to change the way America eats. His new reality show Food Revolution is going to rock a few boats. Shocking statistics show that Huntington West Virginia has the highest obesity rate in the country. Oliver, slams what the typical American Mom is serving at home. Plus he challenges the usual lunch room fare – pizza, corn dogs, mac and cheese and yes – MILK – my bête noir and common allergen for most kids. Oliver put the focus on fresh ingredients and nutritious foods – freshly prepared. Jamie Oliver will be successful because he nailed the issue. The foods that we eat reflect our level of respect. He points out the current junk our kids consume indicates a lack of respect by parents and school nutritionists – in effect “child abuse.” According to Oliver a prisoner in a jail cell is given more nutritious foods than today’s kids. Bottom line: Respect your children and feed them foods that will build body and brain to create a generation of winners – not losers.
Milk Alternatives Discussed on the Today Show Posted on March 23rd, 2010
Yesterday the popular Today Show featured a segment on alternative milks. Good for them. As a health educator with 27 years of experience dealing with people with food allergies, many people are allergic or intolerant to milk. This can manifest in watery eyes, weight gain or digestive and respiratory problems. It is interesting to note that Sweden has the highest milk consumption in the world and the highest rate of osteoporosis. Useful alternatives are rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk and coconut milk. I am not in favor of soy milk because of its estrogenic effect – an increase in estrogen activity. Soy consumption can suppress thyroid function plus block the absorption of iron and B vitamins. Soy infant formulas are now banned in Britain, Germany and Israel. Calcium is an essential mineral and necessary for bone health but calcium can also be derived from a variety of food sources such as nuts, vegetables and certain grains or a by taking a calcium supplement. The piece was well done and offered a wide range of milk alternatives but many of them also have downsides. Skim milk, one of the “featured milks” on the program also has its downside. It is still cows’ milk – minus the excess fat. Skim milk can still cause problems for milk-intolerant people. Find out the truth for yourself. First thing in the morning when your stomach is empty, sit down to a glass of milk, wait 20 minutes and note any of the reactions described above. This is called a “challenge test” which I describe in more detail in my book “The Body Knows – how to tune in to your body and improve your health.”
So You Want to Live to 100? Posted on March 5th, 2010
Time Magazine tackles longevity in a recent issue. According to 2009 data presented by the US Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 1950 there were 14.5 octogenarians and in 2050, it is predicted that there will be 394.7 million age 80 or over. This is not good news for the health care system or communities and families with over-strained budgets. Do you want to live to 100? One look at the centenarians profiled in the time article – I’m not so sure. The Time article focused on gender, genes, low-calorie diets and even human sperm in the life-extender equation. Then it discussed the “Blue Zones” – areas of the world where people live the longest and why. Then costs were covered – be prepared for exorbitant. And then we heard from Dr Oz with his tips for living longer and better – sleep (easier said than done) exercise, vitamin D and eating right. In my latest book The Body knows … How to Stay Young, I tackle the aging question and at age 66 I think I am doing very well. I’ve got boundless energy, my waistline, my mental faculties, libido and passion – for everything I do. If you can come through the process of life pain-free and with your body intact – congratulations! If not, it’s time to get to work. If you are age 60 now, it is likely that the medical profession will keep you alive with drugs and surgery for another 30 years. But at what quality of life? There are 4 components to vibrant aging. 1: stop the body breakdown by reducing sugar and starch consumption, learn to de-stress and banish negative thoughts. 2: rebuild the body and blood sugars with the correct diet – a balance of protein, fat and starch in the form of vegetables, food based supplements, detoxification, exercise and positive thoughts. 3: balance hormones. Simply put, when hormone levels decline the body ages and falls prey to such diseases as cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis . 4: live your passion. Do what you love to do. My sense of the future in the healthy aging process resides in early life style changes. Start making the necessary changes at age 40 (when I did) and this is the perfect recipe to age well at 60 and beyond.