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Fun and Weird Food News March 30, 2010

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With food constantly on my mind this month, I’ve picked up some motivating, fun, and just plain weird food facts to share with you.

Good Food News:

• There are now over 4,000 farmers’ markets in the U.S. The number has doubled in 10 years;

• Sixty-six percent (66%) of consumers are trying to eat snacks with more nutrition, and healthy snack sales outpaced traditional snacks nearly 3:1 over the last few years.

• Many consumers are taking a simpler, more natural approach to the foods they eat, looking for foods with only a few ingredients, and as fresh and close to the farm as time and budget will allow.

• Organic food and beverages sales grew 13% in 2007 and are expected to continue at double-digit growth through 2010.

Fun Food News:

• Ever wonder what animals are in a box of animal crackers? One lion, one buffalo, two sheep, two monkeys, two tigers, three rhinos, five bears and six gorillas. (Source: Professional Chefs Association)

Weird Food News (from Sunday’s New York Times):

• 69.2: The percentage increase in the size of the main course in 52 paintings of the Last Supper over the last millennium, a study in the International Journal of Obesity found. The study, by the brothers Brian Wansink of Cornell University and Craig Wansink of Virginia Wesleyan College, also found that plate size increased by 66 percent and bread size by 23 percent. Brian Wansink says the findings suggest that the phenomenon of serving bigger portions on bigger plates – which pushes people to overeat – has occurred gradually over the millennium as food has become more abundant and affordable.

Whether it’s good, fun, or weird, food is an integral part of our days, nights, and thoughts. We can malign it, or we can choose to make peace with it, and enjoy the sustenance, aroma and flavor it adds to our lives.

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution! March 29, 2010

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If you missed the second episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, here it is: http://www.hulu.com/watch/138201/jamie-olivers-food-revolution-episode-102

I know it’s television and edited to create more drama, but are people really angry at Jamie Oliver for trying to bring the concept of healthier food to the unhealthiest town in America: Huntington, West Virginia?   The newspapers and radio jocks are apparently slamming him.   C’mom folks, he’s just advocating good, whole foods.

Weight is NOT the Issue! March 24, 2010

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Since I started this month’s exploration into the world of food, I’ve discovered so many interesting books! For instance, I was leafing through the April issue of “O – The Oprah Magazine” this morning, quietly in search of inspiration, when I ran across an article about a new book, Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth.

Here’s just a little taste (pun intended) of what I read:

“The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life.”

This simple sentence struck me as very true, very timely. How many clients and friends do I have who believe this to their very souls? I often hear the lament: “If I can just lose 5 pounds (or 10, 20, or 50), I’ll find someone who loves me, I’ll have perfect children, a successful career, and a peaceful life.”

Folks, I hate to break it to you, but that’s just not true. In fact, it’s an insidious misconception in our culture, particularly among women. And, it’s propagated every day by magazines featuring emaciated models, radio and television ads for crazy new diets, and tv shows based on weight loss.

C’mon, friends, we’re smart! We can bring this madness to a screeching halt! How? According to Roth, we need to change our own mindsets first. Rather than punishing the body, in order to invoke long-lasting change, we must treat it with kindness. “Not fight it. Not force it. Not deprive it. Not shame it. Not do anything but accept and…understand it.”

If this concept appeals to you, I invite you to read more about it.

I also encourage you to take these steps for just one month:

  • Change the channel when the “fat” TV shows come on, as lurid and tempting as they may be;
  • Buy interesting, thought-provoking magazines instead of the tabloids calling to you from the checkout line; and
  • Eat healthy, whole food rather than diet products. Learn what “food” is (and isn’t!) in this NPR interview with In Defense of Food author, Michael Pollan.

Soon, very soon, the publishers, owners and sponsors will get the message that their products are not the way we want to live our lives.

The Power of Resilience March 23, 2010

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Dr. Joan Borysenko is one of my favorite authors and teachers.  She’s a Harvard-trained, world-renowned expert in mind/body medicine and a dynamic spiritual leader.  I recently read she’s starting a new column for Oprah.com and her first one is on the Power of Resilience.  She has already has a book on the topic,  It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change, and she also has a short new quiz:  Are You Resilient?   I came out pretty resilient.  Life experience has a way of doing that for a person, if we let it.  How resilient are you?

Success Story! March 19, 2010

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In response to my food musings this month, Joanne in San Diego writes:  “It’s amazing how little we actually need to eat on a daily basis versus being super-sized!  Watching my intake I’ve lost 26 pounds since mid-January!! Used an Hcg diet aid for the first 6 weeks but now am on my own. Running every morning, of course, but lighter is definitely better in that department as well. Being a “diet-buddy” with one of the women who works for me got me started on a journey I definitely needed to take (just ask my PCP at Kaiser). I contribute — both $ and grab-and-go bags at my local market – to the San Diego Food Bank; how can we not do that?”

Thanks for your inspiring message, Joanne!  Now, friends, what are you doing for yourself and others?

Wear the Green! March 17, 2010

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And a happy St. Patty’s Day to one and all.  Wear green and enjoy this:

Famished! March 16, 2010

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Just published my Weekly Companion http://tinyurl.com/yfjre3s on the plight of 49  million Americans who are hungry.  My question is “What will you do about it?”    Your comments are welcome!

I Beat Oprah to the Story! March 15, 2010

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Wowie! I’m feeling so leading edge! Last week in my Companion,  I wrote about Thich Nhat Hahn’s new book, “Savor.” Today, a story about the book and an interview with the author is posted on Oprah.com. How do you feel about eating mindfully? Do you do it now? Would you consider making it a part of how you eat?

I Signed Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Petition March 12, 2010

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Wow, Friends. Have you heard about cute Jamie Oliver’s new Food Revolution? He’s the former star of Naked Chef and he’s using his fame to start a campaign for healthier eating. He even has a new show starting Friday, March 26, on ABC. It’s called, what else, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I’m looking forward to it because, yes, he’s adorable, and he believes something I believe too – everyone has the right to fresh, nutritious meals, and every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. I signed his for that today. I was number 13, 350. What number are you? http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution

Food 101 IQ Test March 11, 2010

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Just took this great little food IQ test and only missed one! Of course, there are only five questions, but it’s still pretty interesting. If you want to check out your own food IQ, here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/y8kg3f2