Reality Overload

First, let me say that critics & their comments are welcome!

Now, I want to address Reality Overload. The reason that I started this blog was that I was experiencing an overload of information - and accompanying lifestyle changes. What happens when we start down a rabbit's hole of information is that it's hard to stop and take a break. Maybe first we feel put off by the ridiculous propaganda spewed at us on a "Corn Syrup is Natural" commercial (paid for by the corn syrup manufacturers) and decide to look into it some more. We snowball down a path of information that leaves us feeling sick, like in The Matrix, when Neo experiences "real world orientation" and proceeds to hyperventilate, vomit and pass out.

Instead of doing that, I am taking a break from getting this blog started. Normally, at this point, I would abandon a blog completely, but I really like this one and I'm not willing to give it up. There's a lot of information coming at me and a lot of decisions to be made, and in balancing it all (work, family, friends & home), the blog needs to go onto the back burner.


Mean Girls

I have a confession to make.
I used to be vegan. And now I'm mean.


[An Eye-Closing Bite of] *Stovetop Creamed Coconut Rice Pudding*

You know, 'cause that first bite is so good, your involuntary reaction is to close your eyes... and say "Yummmmm."

Okay, I'm new to the blog-world, so... please be nice to me? :) I'm saying this because I'm including this post as part of Pennywise Platter Thursday 02/18/10, and it might be the first blog post on this blog that people actually read. That makes me a wee bit nervous! (Prior to this one, I've just been kind of warming up, amusing myself and sometimes my husband.)

Anyway, I woke up early craving this. I couldn't find a recipe that fit my ingredients (I'm not running to the store at 6 am) and my criteria (Real Food!), and I was feeling too impatient to do the 2-hour oven bake, so... I made a recipe up. The result is rich, wholesome, satisfying and, to quote my husband, "Great for breakfast." It's also great as a dessert or snack. This makes 4-6 servings (4 as a breakfast, 6 as a snack).

And now, the recipe you've been waiting for. I've never made this before. I've never made any rice pudding before. Yeah... I'm kinda new to the cooking thing (only about 1.5 years of solid practice).  But try it anyway!


Taking A Bite Out of Propaganda

Learning that I'm not the only one put off by Whole Foods' adoption of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's ANDI scoring system, I'm compiling a list of other people's comments which I've found worth reading, along with easy-to-digest bites from those pieces.
Photo source: Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Blog

Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low-Carb: Low-Carb Community Responds to Whole Foods Exclusively Marketing A Low-Fat, Vegetarian Diet:
"Dr. Fuhrman is the author of a book I reviewed several years back entitled Eat To Live and is certainly no fan of animal-based, high-fat, low-carb diets. I’ve given him an opportunity to explain the basis for his beliefs in an interview on my podcast show but he has refused... [ANDI] gives plant-based foods a way to appear more nutrient dense than animal-based foods which are just as chock full of vitamins such as A, D and K, DHA, EPA arachidonic acid, taurine, iodine, biotin, pantothenic acid, and vital minerals like sodium, chloride, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum and chromium..."


Whole Foods' Blogger Responds to My Comment on Their "Nutrient-Density" Scoring System

The Whole Foods Market Blogs are written by Whole Foods Market employees. One of them, Lauren of Dedham, MA, posted on her blog about a scoring system which awards scores to foods based on specific factors. This system, called ANDI, was developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who calls himself a "nutritarian" and runs multiple websites, one of which is "Eat Right America". You can read more about Dr. Furhman here, and more about the ANDI system here. You can read Lauren's blog post about the ANDI system here.

I left a comment on the blog post. This was my comment:

My question about the ANDI scoring system is regarding a potential contradiction in values. The system might be rendered ineffective in foods such as walnuts, fish and olives, where the calories from fat can bring the ANDI score down, because the vitamins are fat-soluble, requiring that the fat which nature has built-in to those foods in order to carry the nutrients into the human bloodstream. What do you think? Maybe I am missing something.

4 Hearty Bites of A Nutritious Egg

1. Organic or Omega-3? Cage-Free or Free-Range? The labels are confusing. The Humane Society of the U.S. spells it out for us in this guide. Basically, egg carton labels boil down (no pun intended) to 3 basic things.

2. The health of the hen. This is directly related to the health of the eggs. Consider what effects there are of a woman's health on that of her reproductive system. Stress can cause missed periods, food can affect fertility, and a variety of circumstances can affect libido. We are not entirely different from many of the animals in this regard. The best labels for selecting eggs laid by a healthier hen: Certified Humane (typically, these are organic as well) and Animal Welfare Approved (though rare to find in supermarkets).


2 Bites of Creamy, Full-Fat Yogurt (Or Cheese, Milk, etc.)

What yogurt is supposed to look like. Photo Credit: Larry Jacobsen

1. Without all of the naturally-occurring fat in dairy products, our bodies don't properly digest the protein, calcium or vitamins from them. Fat-free and low-fat dairy products don't make sense in the natural world.

2. In contrast to the propaganda peddled into westernized cultures for the past few decades, the truth remains that consuming naturally occurring saturated fat is actually, truly good for you. Naturally occurring means that it's produced by nature, not people.

Discover for yourself:
Fat-Free Food: A Bad Idea
Trimming Off Fat's Bad Rap
Why Whole Milk is The Healthiest Choice
Moo and Don't Hold The Fat
Skimming The Truth


2 Bites of... Lighter Fluid?

1. TBHQ is a chemical preservative. It's also a form of butane - yeah, lighter fluid. TBHQ is used to try and keep vegetable oils in processed foods from going rancid. It is carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and therefore toxic.


2 Bites of High Fructose Corn Syrup

1. Those Sweet Surprise commercials that you thought were misplaced SNL skits? Those are paid for by the Corn Refiners' Association - the old, crusty guys making billions off of the cheap, easy-to-grow, genetically engineered, pesticide-ridden corn grown on industrial fields to be mutated into an unnatural product called corn syrup in a science lab.


2 Bites of Ammonia-Infused Beef

1. For anyone who hasn't seen Food Inc., it might be a shocking new fact that ground beef is saturated in ammonia to kill the infectious E. Coli that commonly plagues grain-fed beef sources.


1 Bite of Pumpkin: Or Is It?

1. Canned pumpkin, it turns out, is actually not 100% pumpkin 100% of the time. There's nothing unnatural in the can (except perhaps BPA, considering it is a can, but save that for another bite), just other forms of squash. Canned pumpkin is harmless (again, aside from BPA present in can linings) other than the fact that a label may be misleading.

Discover for yourself:

Canned Pumpkin: What Is It Really Made Of?
Reasons To Use Canned Pumpkin

3 Veggie Burger Bites: Why Soy Scares Me

1. Soy is very cheap and very easy to grow. Many food corporations like to use soy in any way that they can to replace more expensive ingredients in food. They have spread popular rumors that it is a healthy protein, good for you and a great alternative to meat.

2 Bites Dipped in Olive Oil, a.k.a. "EVOO"

1. Olive oil is first extracted by cold pressing, then potentially "treated" with various chemical and mechanical processes. The difference between EVOO and other types of olive oil (light, extra light, etc.) is the level at which the oil has been processed.