Thursday, April 28, 2011

Childrens Eating Rules for Good Health

Chef Wendell’s Ten Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents

1.     Thou shalt not force, bribe or coerce thy child to eat.

2.     Thou shalt set a good example by eating at least five fruits and vegetables, three who grain products and three low-fat dairy servings per day.

3.     Thou shalt make mealtimes pleasant.

4.     Thou shalt encourage thy child to help in meal planning, preparation, and clean-up.

5.     Thou shalt back off when mealtime becomes a power struggle.

6.     Thou shalt accept the fact thy child is an individual and thus will dislike certain foods. (and there are many)

7.     Thou shalt accept food ‘binges’ as phases that will eventually pass.

8.     Thou shalt not give up on introducing thy child to new foods. Thou shalt realize it sometimes takes ten tries to get a child to accept a food.

9.     Thou shalt use this division of responsibility for eating: As the parent, thou art responsible for deciding when and what to serve. Thy child is responsible for deciding how much, if any, will be eaten.

10.   Thou shalt give thy child a food-based multi-vitamin / mineral supplement, not Flintstones, if he or she is a picky eater.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fruit Salad from China...sigh!

     As I read the label, my eyes widened, the heart began to pound, and suddenly my brain liquefied into a slurry of bewilderment and disbelief! If there’s a microcosm of the nutritional complacency extinguishing America’s health equity, it was staring me square in the face; plastic, hermitically sealed, supposed-to-be-good-for-you ‘fresh’ opaque cups of fruit salad in the grocery produce section.
     We’ve descended onto the shadowy sea bed of laziness. Red, white and blue unhealthy Americans are either embarrassingly addicted to convenience or too lazy to lift a knife. So much that Americans are buying carb-heavy Del Monte and Dole fruit cups of fruit salad which were harvested, hopefully washed, peeled, chopped, mechanically packaged and shipped from, yep, China and Thailand who have dissimilar interpretations of sanitation and chemical usage.
     We squawked about the deadly Chinese melamine scare, their toxic pet food, tainted infant formula and fraudulent vitamins shipped to us, but in a hazy stupor of suitability Americans still robotically disregard food labels and, without caution, grab and snarf cups of pre-made fruit salad.
Fruit cheaply harvested 10,000 miles away then shipped for weeks on end aboard a boat is DOA. The idea of an alleged ‘fresh’ fruit salad being delivered from Asia should be upsetting to you. First, your temple doesn’t deserve old, dead food lacking nutrition and second, it stimulates the economy of a politically competitive country on the opposite side of God’s green earth. This cup-o-crapola has sailed the bonny seas for weeks, even months. What part of this is logical? Can’t we take time to make a fresh, colorful fruit salad brimming with the living nourishment the Universe provided or have we become comfortably numb to what is essential to steward the health of our holy temple?
     The best way to store fruit till you use it is with the heavenly wrapping left on, rinds and peelings intact. Once the protective peels or coverings of fruits are cut, the fruits begin to degrade and lose their healing energy. This nutrient loss doesn’t occur immediately because it takes up to five or six days to show any major vitamin loss as long as cut, unpeeled fruits are stowed in the refrigerator, not an undulating transport tanker. After weeks and months, it decomposes into lifeless calories and the protective vitamin C and carotenoids become useless bilge.
     To receive the most disease preventing mojo, pull out the cutting board and a chef’s knife, wash, cut, prepare and then tightly seal your beautiful fresh fruit salad the day of the purchase to insure you’re getting the truest flavors and health restoring nutrition. Savor the moment.
Once prepped, due to oxygen, nutrients begin to flee. After a day or two languishing in the fridge, they’re probably aesthetically unpleasing, especially bananas and strawberries, so prudently prep only as much as your gang eats at one sitting. Be sure you keep it stored in air-tight containers in your refrigerator overnight. If you add blueberries, and I hope you will, use them as the final garnish. As you mix the salad they break up leaving little dark blue, eye-offending bits.
      Having fresh cut fruits ready to eat in your refrigerator makes it easier to make healthy choices at snack attack time. Try a mix of oranges, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, strawberry, and pineapple. To prevent indigestion, melons should always be eaten alone.
Now really? Do you honestly want your loving family to eat fruit cups that say “Made in China or Thailand?” I didn’t think so. Then return to the joyous, blissful act of cooking from scratch and support your local community farmer’s markets and family farms.
Fruit salads from China … sigh. Gimme a break.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bacon Worship: A bunch of bologna!

Meat and potato audiences get defensive when I present them the current science declaring bacon, yes, the quintessential all-American breakfast icon and sandwich condiment, is dreadful for the conservation of the health of the human temple. Well-meaning, yet na├»ve friends still jeer at my revulsion to pieces of preserved pork parts. You’d thought I’d run over Smokey, the family dog.

Seriously, it’s no joke, so please don’t kill the messenger. The dangers associated with cured meats aren’t pretty. The American Institute for Cancer Research says the lung cancer risk from processed meats is comparable to smoking ciggy butts. If you regularly eat cured meats, you’ll eventually end up needing to be cured yourself. Folks joke about and fiercely defend their misguided birthright to eat it till it oozes from every pore, but is it really ‘bacon love’ or greasy self-destructive denial for a fleeting moment of oral pleasure?

When informed of the dangers of eating smoked products, an intelligent, well dressed professional gentleman told me, “Well, you gotta die from something. So quit pooping in my punch bowl.” You need to wave the white flag and give up on this one, however, and simply love them with all your heart.

Curing meat as a method of preserving dates back more than hundreds of years and was used in almost every region of the world. Long before refrigeration could be used to keep meats free from the ill effects of unhealthy bacteria, the process of smoking or curing meat sufficed.

Unfortunately, as long as there have been cured meats, there have been health problems caused by this process. Ancillary epidemiologic studies show a higher diffusion of stomach and colon cancer in persons or communities eating frequently smoked meat or fish.

It’s no bologna: there’s no safe level of consumption, says The American Institute for Cancer Research. Unless you are fond of cancer, the study recommends avoiding all processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages, salami, jerky, lunch meats, prosciutto, and smoked salmon or lox.

Caveat Emptor my friends. Our friends at The American Institute for Cancer report the nitrates in smoked meats create adverse reactions for asthma and allergy sufferers, contribute to esophageal cancer, migraines, COPD, and stomach cancer. Oh boy.

Nitrates used to preserve color, meat fillers such as gluten, and preservative agents are potential cancer-causing agents. The un-holy, man-made chemicals in smoked animal parts contain lofty levels of tyamine that can trigger migraines and react dangerously with certain medications. Got hypertension? If you don’t and desire high blood pressure, cured meats are overloaded with sodium.

To further illustrate the insane proliferation of aberrant chemicals in our food supply, my jaw dropped with a thud recently reading a grocery store pre-made Sushi label listing carbon monoxide as a color-preservative: insane on any level. If you’ll excuse the pun, after reading it I was ‘exhausted’.

How could this be allowed to happen to a loyal, trusting, patriotic citizenry of the greatest country on earth? The love of money, extended shelf-life, aesthetics, and soulless corporate Fat Cats who brand us ‘’The Little People” and who are acceptable losses in their at-all-cost pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Americans don’t deliberately eat poorly, they just do; it’s all they know. Safeguard your loving family, since there’s no doubting the scientific validity. Anyone who disagrees is either working for the meat industry, hopelessly behind the times with their nutritional IQ, or has a death wish.

Be compassionate with yourself; your body is your buddy.