Eat it

Healthy Eating: keep it processed

Tvdinner I don't know about you, but I grew up on processed, sodium-filled, high-fat, well-preserved foods. It lasts longer and tastes better than any other kind of food to me! It up most of my diet as a child - and still does to this day.

But now when I go home to visit my parents, longing for a meal like Mom used to make, I'm faced with the tragic situation that my parents have fallen into the same trap as most -- they no longer see the value of processed food.  :(

Unfortunately, in our "Health Conscious" obsessed culture, people are seduced by advertisements and trends that say - "It's good for you to eat fresh foods" - but it's not necessarily the whole truth. This strategy did, however, work to sell the over abundance of soy. That's right, soy is only "good for you" because there was too much of it. Soy farmers had to do something to insure that this tasteless product sold. So, what did they say to entice consumers to buy soy products? They promoted soy as a health-food even though it's probably not true.

 Americans have been on this crazy "natural and fresh foods are best kick" because they've been told by "experts" that it's more healthy - and they believe it. This situation has compelled me to provide some education on the value of processed and prepackaged foods.

First, preservatives in most processed foods are natural - like salt, lemon juice, sugar, seeds, fruits and seaweeds - so I think that those in the "I only eat natural foods camp" should rethink their choice and stop denying themselves the pleasure of those processed delights that are prepared for good taste and (in fact) for good health.

Processing food rids it of many bacterias that could potentially be harmful to ones health. After all, processed foods - such as canned and frozen veggies, box potatoes and instant breakfast drinks and cereals - are fortified with vitamins and the daily nutritional requirements.  This often makes these savory dishes more healthy than "natural foods."

For example: The vitamins in veggies deteriorate almost immediately once they are taken from the vine, but if they are frozen (a process that is completed upon harvest) the veggies maintain their nutritional value until they are served on the dinner table. 

Processed foods also give us the option of eating certain foods that would otherwise be out of season. Because the shelf life is much longer, these food are eatable and safe to consume for a much longer period of time than natural food substances.

Honestly, how would you feel if you couldn't get your favorite food simply because it's the wrong time of the year? That's just down right un-American. One thing we do want is access; access to anything we want whenever we want it. And processed food (because it's preserved) solves this problem, making all kinds of food fresh and available all year 'round.


Check your labels... and your taste-buds. Keep it tasty and healthy by eating processed foods which keep better, longer and help your body get the nutrition it needs.

Processed food = Healthy eating!


Salt This! New York Health Department: An Open Response

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm on a salt crusade and anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome. If you don't like salt, or want it banished from your plate, that's your choice. But you have to agree that we all have the right to eat what and how we want. It's like the first amendment right to freedom of speech - only it's about freedom to eat.

But New York City Heath Department is now trying to take that right away by trying to control how much salt we eat -- whether we are eating out at restaurants or at home. Who are these people? Why the need to exercise supremacy over others? Tell me...what happened to freedom of choice in this country? It's getting more and more difficult to live decadently and I live in the City of decadence (well, one of them).

The New York City Health Department is asking the food industry to voluntarily lower salt in their products over the next five years. Their goal is to decrease salt level by 25% - TWENTY FIVE Percent! Ouch! And they have this inane idea that if they decrease it slowly over time, people's palates will adjust, get used to the lack of flavor, and won't notice that their food doesn't taste good anymore. That's ridiculous! What do they take us for - idiots? (That's a rhetorical question... of course they do and, unfortunately, many of us are.)

We've been here before:

Seriously, the idea is that it's somehow more healthy to eat less salt? People will believe anything! Don't they know that decades ago they were telling people not to eat so much pepper? That pepper produces hardening of the arteries and liver damage - In fact, it's six times as active as gin in producing cirrhosis of the liver. But there is no way we're going back to the days of prohibition. So, gin and pepper stay! 

It's not trendy to reduce pepper (or gin) in people's diet, not anymore. Now, it's much more popular to focus on salt as the evil. But does it really seem right to blame death and destruction on a natural substance like salt? Isn't it worse to put synthetic things in our system? Not according to the Health Department. What arrogance to think that we can do better than nature at providing good preservatives and flavor enhancers!

Many people buy into the idea that salt causes high blood pressure, heart problems or whatever the current rhetoric is; fear tactics that have little base in reality. What they consider healthy eating is, incidentally, not necessarily accurate. The truth is we need salt to live. Creating a salt deficiency is unsafe. But the Health Department thinks we're so stupid that we will believe anything they claim and, with this, they attempt to "handle" us.

They claim that people get 80% of their salt intake from the way the food is cooked or packaged not from table salt...well, they've never sat at a table where I'm eating. I grew up on processed food and have used (what would be considered by their standards to be excessive amounts of) table salt on that food - all my life...and guess what? I have LOW blood pressure. If I ate less salt, my blood would simply stop pumping and that would be a tragedy. I could die. So stop the silliness and let us eat food we like and need. Let us determine what's healthy for our own bodies. And, quite honestly, if it does kills us - which it won't - isn't that our choice? I'd rather die of salty food than a flavorless life.

Oh, and then, one of the worst arguments comes from Dr.Thomas Farley (New York City Health Commissioner) who said, “Consumers can always add salt to food, but they can’t take it out,” True, you can always add salt - and I do. But has he ever tasted food that was not prepared with enough salt and then tried to add enough salt to it after preparation? It never works right - the food always just tastes bland or weird. You try this and you'll see what I'm talking about.

And think of the cost to the food industry to implement such a feat...taste testing and recipe changing takes time and money. Who will bare the cost of this? Us - the consumer! We will have to pay more for food that is not delicious.

I know some people who have been wooed by the Health Department's claims and are trying to lower their salt intake. These people will not be impacted by this "out with the sodium" incentive.


Again, my argument is:

We should have choice - about lifestyle, about beliefs and about food!

People can currently buy less-salty packaged food goods and low-sodium menu items if they choose to now. So why force all of us to do that? I mean, I'm not going to make you eat your vegetables, and I certainly won't eat them. But I will, absolutely, fight for your right to eat them, no matter what anyone else thinks!

What's a sodium deficient girl, like me, to do?
...Start a salt crusade! Join me in maintaining our right to be salty.

Click here to go to our facebook SOS (Save Our Salt) group - let's change the world


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Eating Nuts?!?

Nuts eat nuts I know what you're thinking ;)
But I'm actually not talking about those kind of nuts!

Seriously,  I'm talking about peanuts here. And I'm talking seriously about Peanuts

So I was at Grand Central Station yesterday and what did I see? Giant Peanut People handing out free peanuts to passers by! You better believe that peanut industry must be suffering to put on such an elaborate promotion.

Using the tag-line: "Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life,"  The National Peanut Board is trying to make peanuts look good --- or silly.  They even had peanut plants.Nut plant nutman

They're trying so hard to repackage Peanuts as "good for you" instead of a deadly killer. Good luck with that...

By now everyone knows that Stewart Parnell, CEO of Georgia's Peanut Corporation of America (now bankrupt), told his plant manager to send contaminated peanuts out, even though he now is taking the fifth.

His fatal mistake caused at least 9 deaths and hundreds of sick consumers. Over 2100 items were recalled in late January after cases of salmonella had been traced back to peanut products. The largest product recall in history.

I took some nuts... but I didn't eat them. I'm not ready to risk my life just to taste some nuts. But that's just me. However, I did enjoy the costumes!


To help consumers identify affected products, FDA has initiated a searchable database of recalled products that is updated daily or as additional recalls are identified. 

Just Eat it


Don't restrict your food intake: let your body decide.

I believe this for 2 very important reasons:

  1. Who's happy when they feel limited?
  2. It's not fun to focus on something as mundane as food intake.

Besides, we all know what we like, so just eat it.

When you have a craving for a certain food it's because that's what your body needs at that time. Trust it. Because if you have a craving and you don't fulfill it, you’ll suck down everything else and still not be satisfied. You know what I'm talking about!

Limiting your food consumption based on some ideas that someone else has about what's the best way to eat can be dangerous. Restricting your consumption often triggers feelings of deprivation which many over compensate for by eating even more.

There are 2 ways we are told to restrict our food intake: by portion or by type of food (e.g."don't eat fat") or both. I find that if we don't restrict what we eat then the portions take care of themselves.

Our bodies tell us what and how much we need. If we hold back on our food intake and don't eat enough sustenance to fuel our body, we'll crave highly caloric items - because our body is still hungry and is afraid it's starving. It's our body's way of taking care or itself. We all know when we are full. So stop eating when you are -- even if there is food left on the plate. Simple.

Or on other point, if we don't eat what we want when we want it, we'll try to satisfy that craving with other foods and find we eat far more that we intended because the body's craving is not satiated.

Having a piece of chocolate is much better for you than eating 15 helpings of fruit (if for no other reason, then you can stop focusing on the food craving and move on with your daily life)

If you pay attention to your body, you'll have the exact physical body you should.

So...just eat it!