Archive for January, 2012

Giveaway: Make Your Own Whole Food Bars

Time for another giveaway. This time around, you have a say in the final product, since the prize is your very own case of You Bars (a company I blogged about three years ago, and am happy to see do very well).

The You Bar customizations and options are fantastic. Not only are the vast majority of ingredients organic, they are also commonly not found in commercial whole food bars. Want some maca powder in your bar? You got it. How about a sunflower seed butter base? Cacao nibs? Hemp seeds? Apricots? Perhaps some organic rice protein? No matter what your dietary needs or preferences, you will be able to create something.

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3 Little-Known, But Crucial, Vitamin D Facts

Vitamin D is a nutrient (well, technically a hormone) that has had a substantial amount of research devoted to it over recent years. As someone who enjoys keeping up with the latest findings, I am often dismayed at the outdated — and often inaccurate– information shared with the public.

Below, three crucial, but little-known, vitamin D facts everyone must know for the sake of their health.

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Kellogg’s Misleads And, Yes, Farmwashes

Time to check in with one of Big Food’s latest campaigns. In this instance, we turn our attention to Kellogg’s, which has rolled out quite the online defense of their various cereal lines.

How do you make sugary, genetically modified, minimally nutritious products appear wholesome and a “great start to the day”? Behold:

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On Paula Deen and Diabetes

UPDATE (1/17): Paula Deen has announced she has been living with Type 2 diabetes for 3 years. Oh, and she’s endorsing Novo Nordisk.

UPDATE 2 (1/17): Dear members of the media: dietary fat has nothing to do with diabetes. Please stop trying to connect it with butter, lard, and deep-frying.

Rumors have circulated since last Spring, but according to multiple reports, Paula Deen is apparently days away from announcing that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (and living with it for a while?).

Allegedly, the decision to publicize her condition is financially motivated, as several sources report that she has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the makers of a diabetes medication (Novartis, according to reports not Novartis, which has denied bringing Ms. Deen on as a spokesperson).

I know — and in other news, water is wet (take a look at Ms. Deen’s “ultimate fantasy deep fried cheesecake” and Krispy Kreme burger). The ‘big news’ to me isn’t Ms. Deen’s medical condition, but rather that her “coming out party” will essentially be a drug company’s latest press release. It’s a worrisome message.

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Q & A Roundup

I thought it would be fun and informative to feature some of the more interesting questions I have received via email and social media over the past few weeks. Here they are — with my answers, of course — for your perusal.

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3 Easy & Tasty Sea Vegetable Recipes

As regular Small Bites readers know, I am a vocal fan of sea vegetables. They are highly anti-inflammatory, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids not found in other plant-based foods, and offer a nice array of vitamins, minerals, and other healthful compounds.

Alas, since sea vegetables are not a part of traditional North American cuisine, most of us did not grow up eating them, or perhaps even knowing what they looked and tasted like.

Except for some offerings at Japanese restaurants (maki rolls with nori, seaweed salads, and miso soup with a few bits of seaweed), our exposure to all this great underwater produce is rather limited.

Before I provide the 3 recipes,some helpful information:

  • You can purchase sea vegetables at health food stores, Asian markets, Whole Foods, or through websites like Maine Coast or Eden Foods.
  • Keep in mind that you are buying dried sea vegetables, most of which you will then rehydrate at home. Sea vegetables expand quite a bit after being soaked (as much as five times their dried size), and these recipes don’t call for large amounts anyhow. You are getting a lot more food for your money than you may originally think.
  • In terms of flavors, arame and wakame are milder, hijiki is somewhere in the middle, while dulse, nori, kelp, and kombu have stronger flavors.

And now, let’s talk food!

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You Say ‘Water’, I Say ‘Snake Oil’

The beverage industry has always been home to potions that try to provide “added value” (and calories, artificial ingredients, sugars, dyes, and cost) to the very thing most people need to drink more of — water.

If you thought few things could top the ridiculousness of Coca-Cola and Nestlé’s “calorie-burning” canned drink Enviga (which, thankfully, landed on shelves with a resounding thud in 2007), check out these four “aqua-ceuticals”.

Warning: this post may cause forceful eye-rolling.

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Speaking With…: Judy Converse

Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD has been a registered dietitian for over 20 years. She has a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of Hawaii, a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition from the University of Vermont, has undergone biomedical treatment trainings since 1999, and is well versed in Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) treatment protocols.

Prior to setting up her practice, she worked as a research technician, nutrition educator, grant writer, and outpatient dietitian. She has authored three books as well as the first web-interface accredited learning module for health care providers on nutrition and autism (see her CV for more details).

Judy wrote a guest post a few months back on the medicinal effects of proper nutrition on ADHD and dyslexia. This time around, I wanted to get her perspective on how traditional medical models deal with autism, and why such treatments are ineffective. Our interview follows:

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Why The Media Needs a Vegan 101 Course… Stat!

With vegan eating increasingly becoming more mainstream, I thought it was time to compile a list of recent articles to see how the media frames and discusses the issue. Despite some improvements, there is certainly room for more.

Below, what the media continues to get wrong — and how it can avoid making the same mistakes.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Shopping Guide

Last year’s “ultimate olive oil guide” was so well received that I thought it deserved a bigger and better sequel.

While everyone else this year will be talking about the Mayan calendar, we’ll be over in this corner talking about something the Mayans ever-so-intelligently loved, worshipped, and cherished like gold: chocolate.

My view of chocolate is undoubtedly passionate, yet objective. I don’t think of it as a magical elixir or a  — groan — “super” food. It is, however, very healthful.

Sadly, a lot of chocolate out there — and I’m talking all sorts of price ranges here — is harmful to your health, the environment, and the well-being of farmers.

I guarantee that after reading this post, you’ll never shop for chocolate the same way again.

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