Farmers Market Update

by | Jan 17, 2009

red bartlets

red bartlets

It has been ridiculously beautiful in San Francisco all week. Much nicer than it is here during the summertime, to be honest. You guys should all make an effort to visit the Ferry Plaza Market when the weather is like this. Trust me, you won’t regret getting up a little early–even on a Saturday.

In fact, it is so beautiful today that I am just going to tell you what I bought, post some photos then get out of the house. You should too!

Today’s purchases:

  • Napa cabbage (Capay Organics)
  • Leeks (Capay Organics)
  • Collards (Everything Under the Sun)
  • Kaffir lime & leaves (Bernard Ranches)
  • Sweet limes (Bernard Ranches)
  • Chinese broccoli (Chue’s)
  • Baby bok choy (Chue’s)
  • Garlic (Chue’s)
  • Meyer lemon (Hamada Farms)
  • Chandler pomelo (Hamada Farms)
  • Oro blanco grapefruit (Hamada Farms)
  • Melo gold grapefruit (Hamada Farms)
  • Rio red grapefruit (Hamada Farms)
  • Cara cara orange (Hamada Farms)
  • Blood oranges (Hamada Farms)
  • Kiwi (Four Sisters Farm)
  • Tofu (Hodo)
  • Tamarillos (McEvoy ranch)


UPDATE: Those awesome limes I bought last week were from Bernard Ranches, sorry for the late update.

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Should Doctors Recommend Wine To Patients?

by | Jan 15, 2009

Today I have an article out in Synapse called “Wine May Increase Heart Healthy Fats in the Blood.” I am making an executive decision that it is too science-y for this blog, so instead I would like to open a discussion about how doctors should treat information like this.

For you uber-nerds (like me), here is the PubMed link to the original paper.

Let’s start with some excerpts from my article:

  • Moderate alcohol consumption has long been known to be protective against mortality from coronary heart disease, but the biological mechanism of this effect is unknown. A new analysis suggests that drinking wine may alter the composition of healthy fats in the blood, mimicking the beneficial effects of seafood consumption and conferring protection against heart disease.”
  • “The beauty of this finding is that the improvement in fatty acid profile from wine consumption seems to be clinically relevant. Based on the current consensus, small dietary changes in fatty acid consumption have a large clinical effect, so a 38% to 50% increase in EPA levels among moderate wine drinkers is noteworthy. Similar levels of improvement in lipid profiles from studies of fish consumption have shown considerable benefit for cardiovascular outcome.”
  • “Thus, the present finding may offer dietary intervention as a possible method of cardiovascular protection, particularly when combined with increased omega-3 consumption.”
  • “In the present study, the difference between participants in the low fatty acid group who did not drink and those in the high fatty acid group who drank the most was an 83% increase in blood EPA, a change associated with a 50% to 75% reduced risk of heart attack. Such a dramatic difference represents a useful alternative to fish consumption for those who may not have access to seafood for whatever reason.”
  • “Thus, increasing both dietary omega-3 fatty acids and wine consumption may be helpful to protect against cardiovascular events. Plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in walnuts, soy, flax and canola oils, and one gram per day is the current recommendation for heart protection. “Moderate” alcohol intake is one glass per day for women and two for men.”

From a clinical perspective, the evidence that alcohol provides a tremendous protection against mortality from heart disease is undeniable. It is thought to work by both raising good HDL cholesterol and reducing blood clotting.

This effect is not limited to red wine, all spirits elicit substantial protection.

Despite these benefits, there are also a number of obvious reasons to avoid alcohol, particularly excessive consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with addiction, liver disease, stroke and can cause accidents and other behavioral problems.

Notably, benefits similar to those seen with alcohol can be conferred by increasing exercise amount or intensity.

If you want to experience the benefits of alcohol you need to use it in moderation, which is 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men, or possibly slightly more. More than one drink per day for women is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, however this effect is attenuated by sufficient folate intake.

Doctors have been recommending increasing exercise for decades, but only a small percentage of the population makes an effort to get enough to make it as valuable against heart disease as alcohol. Also, there is a large population of individuals that have physical ailments that prevent them from performing vigorous cardiovascular exercise.

But to this day the American Heart Association–the same agency that recommended the low-fat, high-carb diet that many argue actually promotes heart disease–refuses to recommend moderate alcohol consumption. The basic tenet of their argument is that alcohol is not necessary because heart protection can be achieved in other ways, and the risks outweigh the benefits.

Is this right? I’m not so convinced.

Do you think doctors should discuss the potential benefits of alcohol with their patients? Should the AHA change their recommendation?

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What Is A Tamarillo?

by | Jan 14, 2009

Tamarillos or tree tomatoes are egg-shaped fruits native to South America. Being from San Francisco I had never heard of them until two weeks ago when I found them at my favorite farmers market.

That day I only bought one. The next week I got a full bag of them.

I will not deny that these little fruits are strange. The color alone could be the topic of an entire post. Their flesh is orange like a persimmon, but the soft black seeds are nested in a deep red gel, making it seem as if they are bleeding when you cut them open. Although that sounds kind of gruesome, they are actually beautiful to behold. If I were a food painter, I would certainly seek out some tamarillos to be my subjects.

The taste of my first tamarillo surprised me even more than its appearance. I had expected it to be, well, I’m not sure, but the person I bought it from said it is usually served with either sugar or salt, like a tomato. I guess I was expecting it to be more savory or acidic. In my estimation it was closer to sweet, and seemed to perfectly meld the flavors of passion fruit, kiwi and tomato.

Strange, but delicious.

Unfortunately the skin does not lend itself to palatability. It is tough, bitter and very sour. Best to do away with it completely. The seeds, however, are edible.

Unripe a tamarillo can lean toward sour and bitter, so I am told it is best to eat them when they are dark red and softer rather than harder (they never get very soft).

Tamarillos are high in potassium, manganese, copper and vitamins A, C, E and B6.

All I know is that I am going to keep buying them until I can’t find anymore.

Do any of you have experience with tamarillos?

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Green Up Your Pasta Puttanesca With Kale

by | Jan 11, 2009

I was never sure if I liked pasta puttanesca. In fact I am not even sure how many times I had eaten it before last week. That’s why I was so surprised when I found myself suddenly craving this distinctly Mediterranean medley of flavors.

Who knew?

I admit that anchovies, capers and olives scare me a little (okay, a lot) with their pungency. For that reason–once I decided I had to make it–I was careful to get high-quality ingredients (the antidote to every scary food you think you don’t like). The last thing I wanted was overly fishy pasta for dinner.

I got my anchovies from Whole Foods, and the kalamata olives and capers from Trader Joe’s. I got my canned tomatoes from TJ’s as well.

The only other ingredients required were olive oil, garlic, chili flakes and parsley.

The recipe I used was a super easy one from Cook’s Illustrated (you have to pay for a subscription to see their recipes) that claimed you could make the entire sauce while your pasta is boiling. I have the utmost faith in Cook’s to guide me through a flawless meal, so I made very few changes to their original recipe.

My main concern was that as a single, busy person in the city I wanted a more balanced meal than just pasta and sauce, and I would rather not go to the trouble of making a side dish. I solved this problem by adding some steamed dinosaur kale to the puttanesca, which turned out to be a perfect, crispy complement to the robust sauce and chewy pasta. The dish ended up truly fabulous.

You can use whatever kind of pasta you like, but this time I went with rigatoni.

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Pasta Puttanesca With Kale

(modified from Cook’s Illustrated)

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 0.5 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 0.5 bunch dinosaur kale, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 0.25 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • rigatoni or pasta of choice

Place a steam basket into pot of shallow water and boil. Add kale and cover. Steam 10 minutes.

Bring several quarts of water to a rolling boil (prepare sauce in the meantime). When water is boiling add 1 tsp salt and pasta. I prefer to make only enough pasta for one meal (~0.5 cup dry), since it does not keep particularly well once cooked. The sauce makes 4 servings and stores up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Press or finely mince garlic and soak it in 1 tbsp of water in a small cup or bowl. Open your can of tomatoes and drain them, reserving 0.5 cup of liquid. Prepare all other ingredients before adding pasta to the water.

Immediately after starting your pasta boiling, heat a pan on medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. When the olive oil swirls easily in the pan add anchovies, garlic mixture and chili flakes. Stir continuously until garlic just begins to brown, about 2 minutes, then add tomatoes and simmer.

When pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Moisten pasta with some reserved tomato liquid and toss.

After sauce has simmered about 8 minutes toss in capers, olives, kale and parsley. Mix to combine. I tossed in some excellent Stonehouse olive oil at this point to brighten it up. (Don’t bother with this if you only have cheap olive oil.)

Add an appropriate volume of sauce to your pasta, toss and serve immediately.

If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and tell us what you think!

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Farmers Market Update

by | Jan 10, 2009
fennel

fennel

Lucky be the ones who found their way to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this morning. It was bright and sunny, so naturally I expected a bone-chilling cold down at the Embarcadero. But by global warming some miracle it was actually pleasant today, approaching 70 degrees. T-shirt weather if I’ve ever seen it.


It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful mid-January morning at the market.

This week the produce was very similar to what I found last week. Fennel is starting to become more abundant, as you can see by the main photo. And the pomelos seem to just keep getting bigger and bigger.

As for my purchases, the kohlrabi I bought last Saturday got me excited about root vegetables that are edible raw. So today I got a couple lo bok, a green relative of the daikon or Japanese radish (sorry I didn’t get a good picture). These vegetables are super crisp and moist, with a texture similar to jicama. They are relatively sweet for a vegetable and make a great appetizer or side dish when cut up into slices or sticks.

I also tried to buy some kaffir limes, but the guy said he forgot them this week and will definitely have them next week. I got an assortment of other citrus fruits to make up for it.

The most notable new purchase I made today was a whole free range chicken from the Golden Gate Meat Company. That’s right, I bought meat! I want to make a soup this weekend to take with me to work for lunch. As always, I will keep you posted on my experiments.

I also stocked up on tamarillos.

Today’s purchases:

  • Free range chicken (whole)
  • Tamarillo
  • Lo bok
  • Rio red grapefruit
  • Cara cara orange
  • Blood orange
  • Meyer lemon
  • Kiwi
  • Romanesco
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Traditional broccoli
  • Kabocha squash
  • Dino kale
  • Pink lady apples
  • Pomegranate
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Yirg coffee

Any of you find anything interesting today?

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Farmers Market Update: Citrus!

by | Jan 8, 2009
citrus

citrus

Winter fruits are different from summer fruits and the undisputed king of winter is the citrus genus. Here in San Francisco we should feel thankful to have such a great bounty to start the New Year. Don’t forget the freeze that killed California’s citrus crop back in January 2007.

This week the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market had all the basics–oranges, grapefruits, clementines, lemons, limes–but half the fun is trying all the unusual varieties available.

Pomelos look like giant grapefruits with super thick skin. They come in several different varietals, each with a unique flavor and juiciness level. Interestingly, I find the less juicy pomelos to be the sweetest. You can eat them without making a complete mess of your hands and each individual pulp is like a little balloon filled with liquid candy.

At the farmers market you can find yellow, white, pink and green pomelos, and the skin color does not necessarily correspond with the color of the flesh inside. I think the green pomelos with pink flesh are my favorite, but they are all great. Eat them plain or add them to a refreshing winter salad, just be sure to remove the thick membranes that separate the sections.

Even oranges become deceptively interesting when you get them from local farmers. On the outside Cara cara oranges are virtually indistinguishable from navel oranges, but inside the flesh is pink like a ruby grapefruit. Blood oranges–great for juicing–are prized for their deep red flesh and richer taste.

For me one of the most surprising things I have discovered about citrus fruit is that lemons and limes are not always as pucker-inducing as you might guess. Meyer lemons taste like they have already been sugared and baked into a meringue pie. The juice is a little tart (though still drinkable) but the skin is so sweet and flavorful you have to try it to believe it. I zest it into everything this time of year.

One of the truly bizarre fruits of winter is the Fingered citron. Also known as Buddha’s hand, these large, tentacle-covered citrus fruits are primarily ornamental but can be used for their zest. Wikipedia claims that in Chinese and Japanese cultures they are sometimes used as air fresheners. Their white pith is not bitter as in most citrus fruits, so the “fingers” can be cut off and used in cooking. You might want to pick one of these up if you are entertaining or decorating your dining room or kitchen. They would make an interesting and unique centerpiece for a table.


Winter cruciferous vegetables are also abundant right now at the market. The cruciferous (Brassica) family is extremely diverse.

The term cruciferous means “cross-bearing” since the four petals of their leaves resemble a cross. Popular cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage and kale, but also root vegetables such as turnips and rutabaga. Cruciferous vegetables are usually what we are talking about when we say “green leafy vegetables,” and they are thought to have anti-cancer properties.



One of the best things about going to the farmers market is discovering new things. At McEvoy Ranch today I stumbled upon something called a Tamarillo, or Tree tomato. Tamarillos are native to South America, but are also common in New Zealand and a few other countries. I have not yet busted open the one I bought, but I was told it can be eaten raw with either salt or sugar (similar to a tomato). The skin is thick, tart and not usually consumed.
And in case you have forgotten, it is still crab season!

This winter do not be afraid to stare cold weather in the face and make your way to the farmers market whenever you get the chance. You will certainly not regret your trip, particularly if you are adventurous. If you see something you are unfamiliar with ask the vendor what it is like and what you can do with it. You just might find yourself a new favorite food!


Today’s purchases:

  • Green pomelo
  • Cara cara oranges
  • Sweet lime
  • Satsuma mandarins
  • Meyer lemons
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Shinko Asian pear
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sunchokes
  • Baby bok choy
  • Romanesco
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Treviso (radicchio)
  • Shallot
  • Assorted small potatoes
  • Scharffen Berger chocolate (Tomé-Açu)

UPDATE: This article is also available at Synapse.

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Some More Susceptible To Images Of Delicious Food

by | Jan 7, 2009

A study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that certain individuals are more susceptible to images of appetizing food, making them hungrier and raising their risk of overeating.

The study

Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural network connections of people either more or less sensitive to images of delicious looking desserts. The most sensitive individuals had stronger brain connections between regions known to be involved in impulse and reward circuitry.

Also, the degree of a person’s sensitivity predicted how much he or she wants to eat after seeing appetizing food, and can affect overeating even in the absence of hunger.

This study is the first to examine the neural networks involved in food suggestibility in humans, but it supports similar findings reported in rodents.

The implication is that some people may be much more strongly influenced by food advertising than others, a phenomenon that can trigger overeating and ultimately weight gain.

What does this mean for you?

My guess is that you know whether or not you are someone who is deeply affected by images of food. This might suggest it is in your best interest to actively avoid watching commercials and flipping through glossy food magazines (and blogs) with images of decadent foods.

If you really enjoy food publications (I hope you do!) you could try switching to something like Cook’s Illustrated, where the images are technical rather than appetizing. The best alternative, however, may be to only tune in to those media sources that make healthy food look delicious, like this blog!

I definitely won’t be offering up pictures of chocolate cake and cookies in the near future.

What do you think, are you deeply affected by images of food and does it make it difficult for you to control what you eat?

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Quick Fix: Warm Sausage Salad à la Trader Joe’s

by | Jan 7, 2009

A couple weeks ago I was visiting friends and family down in Southern California (Orange County & Inland Empire) and on the first night found myself without my farmers market, without my Whole Foods and without a decent (or healthy) restaurant for miles and miles and miles. And miles.

The evening was getting late, so the only respectable option on the horizon was my beloved Trader Joe’s. But I have to admit, TJ’s is not exactly my first choice when it comes to produce. While they do have a small produce section with moderate variety, the stuff they carry is always pre-packaged and a little, well, let’s call it *off-fresh*. Not bad or old, but not exactly the pinnacle of freshness either.

I do not mind their bagged salad greens, however. Even at Whole Foods I buy the boxed kind because it always seems a little cleaner than the bulk bin. I don’t mind farmers market dust, but back-of-a-grocery-store-loading-dock dirt? I’ll pass.

So salad it was. I bought their herb salad mix, which has a nice assortment of interesting flavors. Salad is tough in the winter though. For starters, tomatoes are inedible. The Persian cucumbers looked okay, so I bought those and a bag of avocados.

What really takes the meal to the next level though is a sausage, onion, red pepper and mushroom sauté. The heat from the pan wilts your greens, adding a warmness to your fresh green salad. Eureka!

The secret is to use a sweet onion. Trader Joe’s always has several different onion varieties in little bags, so just read the labels and you’ll be fine.

Trader Joe’s also has a fantastic cooked sausage selection and I like them all. This time we went with Cilantro Chicken, but follow your heart when you are picking a flavor for your own salad.

If you are vegetarian you can substitute tofu or just skip the sausage.

A perfect any-season healthy meal in about 15 minutes.

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Warm Sausage Salad à la TJ’s

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Trader Joe’s cooked sausages (any flavor)
  • 1 bag of salad greens
  • 1 small (or 1/2 medium) sweet onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper (optional)
  • 6-8 brown crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 Persian or Japanese (small) cucumbers
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Good quality vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Slice onion and bell pepper into slivers about 1 inch long. Clean mushrooms and slice into desired thickness. Dice the cucumber and avocado. Cut sausages into thin slices.

Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat until it swirls easily. Add onions and peppers and cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes.

While the onions and peppers are cooking, empty salad bag into a large bowl add and the cucumber and avocado. In the summer, tomatoes are a nice addition too. Who doesn’t love summer tomatoes?

Dress the greens with olive oil and vinegar (balsamic is my favorite), and season liberally with sea salt and cracked pepper. Toss with tongs and set aside.

Don’t forget to monitor your vegetables while you are tending to your greens.

When ready, add mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook until mixture starts to slightly brown then add sausage, making sure the cut ends touch the surface of the pan. Continue to cook until the edges of the sausage start to brown, 4-6 minutes.

Scrape contents of the pan on top of the greens and mix well with tongs. This salad serves well with a chunk of baguette and even a bowl of TJ’s boxed Tomato and Red Pepper soup.

Enjoy!

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Controlling Blood Sugar May Help Preserve Your Memory

by | Jan 5, 2009

High blood sugar levels are known to accelerate aging and decrease longevity in many different species. Now it seems blood sugar may also be tied to how well you keep your memory as you age.

Aren’t you glad you have cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugars since you started reading this blog? I thought so!

A new study published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology examined the effect of high blood sugar on the region of the brain responsible for memory formation, the hippocampus. Researchers examined patients with either diabetes or stroke (in other, non-hippocampus, parts of the brain) and determined that both groups had defects in the hippocampus compared to normal patients, but the problems were in different hippocampal subregions.

Patients with diabetes had defects in a part of the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus, which has been shown to be especially sensitive to aging and memory loss. Stroke patients had problems with a region of the hippocampus called CA1.

Diabetes is a disease that involves misregulation of blood sugar, so the scientists examined if blood sugar levels alone correlated with problems in the dentate. This is important because some patients that have not been diagnosed with diabetes may still have high blood sugar levels. The scientists did indeed find a correlation between high blood sugar and hippocampal deficits in the dentate gyrus. Interestingly, blood sugar levels were also linked to memory performance.

Correlational findings are very interesting, but it is easy to imagine situations that would give this result without there being a causative role for blood sugar in memory function. One reason this study is particularly compelling is because they repeated the analysis on rhesus monkeys and found the same relationship between blood sugar and hippocampal defects.
Even better, they were able to show a causative relationship between blood sugar regulation and dentate gyrus deficits in mice. In this experiment the scientists induced type 2 diabetes in the animals, then measured hippocampal function. Mice that could not regulate blood sugar had hippocampal deficits in the dentate compared to control mice.
Taken together, this study provides strong evidence that high blood sugar levels are related to hippocampal and memory dysfunction.

What does this mean for you?

This is actually great news for the rest of us because blood sugar is something we can self-regulate fairly easily.
The study’s principal investigator and professor of neurology at Columbia University, Dr. Scott Small says,”This would suggest that anything to improve regulation of blood glucose would potentially be a way to ameliorate age-related memory decline.”

That means both diet and exercise may work together to preserve memory function into old-age by controlling blood sugar.

“We had previously shown that physical exercise strengthens a part of the brain involved with aging but, at the time, we didn’t know why physical exercise would have this selective benefit,” Small affirmed. “Now we have a proposed mechanism. We think it’s because subjects who exercised had better glucose handling.”

Though the role of diet in hippocampal function has not been directly tested in humans, evidence is mounting that it is important for maintaining cognitive function and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.

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The best way to control your own blood sugar levels is to eat and live in a manner that improves insulin sensitivity. An added bonus is that you will probably lose weight, live longer and reduce your risk of a bunch of other diseases too, including cancer.

Sensitivity to insulin is affected by two dietary factors: 1) How much glucose is in your blood at any one time and 2), the composition of fat in your diet. It is also improved by exercise.

Keep these things in mind when you eat if you want to control and improve your insulin sensitivity:

  • Limit sugars and refined carbohydrates, including all white bread, white rice and pasta.
  • Choose whole, intact grain carbohydrates such as brown rice and oats.
  • Make vegetables the bulk of your diet.
  • Consider substituting legumes for carbs.
  • Reduce saturated fats from red meat and dairy
  • Eat more healthy fats from fish, olive oil and nuts.
  • Avoid processed foods with hidden sugars, yogurts and salad dressings come to mind.

Basically just eat real food and you’re on your way. And don’t forget to keep reading this blog to learn how to make healthy eating both easy and delicious.

Let me know which of the above suggestions you find the most difficult to follow and I may be able to give you a few pointers….

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New Year’s Solution?

by | Jan 2, 2009

To be honest, I don’t really believe in the New Year’s Resolution. By nature I am a person of action and do not need an excuse to make my own life better.

If there is something important in my daily routine that I feel needs improvement I don’t wait for January to make the change. Instead I live by the Nike slogan and Just Do It.

Thus the first question I pose to readers today is:

Does a new digit at the end of the calendar really make it easier to go to the gym or eat a salad?

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Next there is the issue of sticking to your Resolution. From what I understand, most people abandon their New Year’s ambitions after a couple months (or even weeks) of half-hearted effort.

To me this proves that resolving to do something is relatively meaningless. In my opinion, if there is any point to this year-end exercise at all, things must actually get done.

Maybe we should change the name to New Year’s Solution?

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But perhaps I am too harsh.

Rather than hoping for change, for many people the New Year may simply be a time for reflection and evaluation:

What has and hasn’t worked in 2008? Should I approach anything differently in 2009?

This kind of personal reflection I applaud, but what still troubles me is that so many people make the same Resolutions year after year without ever achieving their goals.

This year I will lose weight! This year I will get in shape! This year I will use my gym membership!

If you don’t believe me take a stroll through your local Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore and check out the number of diet books on display at the front. Notice their bright pinks and yellows designed to get your attention.

Never is the promotion of weight loss books as shameless as it is in January.

We are all supposed to try our failed resolutions again this year, keeping the hope alive that one of those neon programs will become our salvation and finally we will achieve our lifelong dream of being thin and happy.

*yawn*

I am not interested in this phony brand of Resolution.

Over and over diets have been shown not to work and even promote weight gain, so they are not your answer.

Health problems and body fat do not appear in a single splurge, but rather accumulate bit at a time as a result of poor lifestyle decisions. So it is not logical to believe that a quick, short-term weight loss will correct them.

This year (as in every year) I recommend moderation as the best solution for health. And I propose that the most effective way to build good habits and reduce bad ones is to make small, gradual changes to your daily routine.

Moderate changes that you can easily manage are the ones that can be maintained and built upon.

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If you do intend to make changes to your habits this year, I wish you the best of luck. I designed this blog to provide tips, advice and information to help cultivate a practical, healthy lifestyle.

My approach begins with establishing the mentality that diets don’t work and health is achieved through habits, not single actions. With a handful of tools and simple tricks, even the busiest among us can streamline health to be an automatic part of our lives.

To get the most out of Thought for Food, subscribe via email or RSS feed.

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On a final note, the road to health begins with inspiration.

This year I would love to learn your personal New Year’s Resolution success stories. Were you ever able to quit smoking? Maintain your workout routine? Lose weight? Adopt a new hobby?

I invite you to share with us your New Year’s Solution and tell us what obstacles you overcame and why you think you were able to achieve your goal.

Your success could inspire the rest of us to find New Year’s Solutions of our own!

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Discuss Thought for Food:

  1. Does the New Year help you make improvements in your life?
  2. Do you think there is a difference between a Resolution and a Solution?
  3. Is moderation a reasonable alternative to dieting?
  4. Do you have a New Year’s Solution to share?
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