You may know Dr. Ian Smith as the medical and diet expert from VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club, but he’s also the creator and founder of The 50 Million Pound Challenge, and a medical contributor to ABC’s Rachael Ray. Plus, Dr. Smith is the author of eight health-related books, including his latest that was just released this week – Eat: The Effortless Weight Loss Solution. (Let’s face it: This is one busy man.) Today I had a chance to interview Dr. Smith via video about if weight loss can ever really be effortless; his recent appointment by President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition; why “diet” is really a bad word; and more. Check it out: More
Topic: organic foods
One of my friends has orthorexia. The undiagnosed kind, of course. And undiagnosed by me (i.e. not a doctor). Orthorexia is a relatively new term (circa 1996-97), and is the latest, trendiest eating disorder out there on the health and wellness spectrum. (But it’s important to note that it’s technically not a medical term.) Orthorexia Nervosa is essentially an obsession with healthy eating. How could an obsession with something as good-for-you as healthy eating ever be considered a problem or a disorder, you may ask? I’ll tell you.
My friend, who could be described as an orthorexic in major denial, lives on and runs an organic farm. She only eats organic foods, preferably local. (That’s cool; I do that, too, whenever I can.) But my friend gets fewer than 10% of any food she puts into her body (and the bodies of her family members, who go along with it) from a supermarket. (Whoa. Okay, I can’t compete with that one.) And my friend takes these health- and environmentally-conscious practices a few steps further: Essentially, she only eats foods that come from her farm or the organic farms of people she knows personally. (That’s nice; we like to meet the farmers at our local farmers’ market, too.) No wait, let me clarify: This means that my friend doesn’t eat any foods that come from farms that may well be certified organic, produce delicious produce or meats, and have an excellent and nationally-recognized reputation — unless she has actually visited the farm herself and has physically shaken the farmer’s hand. More
As a Top Chef devotee, I was happy to catch most of last night’s All-Stars Reunion show. (Although, I had forgotten that it was on, so maybe devotee is too strong a word.) But I certainly didn’t think that anything airing on this kind of perfunctory, let’s-show-funny-behind-the-scenes-clips-of-all-the-chefs-and-hilarious-outtakes-of-the-judges’-bloopers would remotely relate to Blisstree. But I was wrong. The hour-long episode brought up a controversial issue that relates to food products, overall health, and the environment, which are topics we like to think we know something about here at Blisstree.
You don’t need to know the Top Chef All-Stars backstory (or even have watched any of the season) to understand or appreciate the scenario, which is this: Elia Aboumrad, one of the show’s contestants who made it very far in the competition during her original season, was the first person in the All-Stars season whom Padma asked to pack her knives and go. Which means Elia got kicked off quick. Clearly she was unhappy with the judges’ decision, because she did an interview with The Chicago Tribune‘s food blog The Stew, in which she slammed Top Chef judge (and chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author) Tom Colicchio and called him a sell-out. Why? For shilling for Diet Coke (he appears in one of the soda’s commercials) and for not having enough grass-fed beef or organic produce on his restaurant menus anymore. More
Last week, nutritionist and Foodtrainers founder Lauren Slayton brought us 10 foods you didn’t know contained protein, and this week she’s back stirring up some condiment controversy.
So your beef is grass-fed and your produce organic. You don’t microwave in plastic and you always recycle. Sounds as though when it comes to food and health you’re doing pretty well. Not so fast. There’s one area you may be neglecting: Condiments (and a few other suspect foods thrown in for good measure). Do you really know what’s in them? Sorry, but I’m here to burst your nutritional bubble. So here’s our gallery of ten condiments you should carefully consider before consuming. More
Think you’re always safe buying organic milk and meat? Think again. Just last week, the Department of Agriculture approved the unrestricted planting of genetically-modified alfalfa, despite protests from not only organic and public health advocates but also from more than 250,000 U.S. citizens. Since it’s a huge source of hay for cattle, most of us indirectly consume alfalfa if we have a diet that includes meat or dairy; and because it’s a “promiscuous” crop, its pollen can be carried by bees and spread around for up to five miles — making it nearly impossible to contain and keep separate from plain, regular old alfalfa, which almost guarantees contamination. GMO products, which often include pesticides, are not welcome (or legally allowed) in any part of the organic process. Needless to say, organic advocates are not taking the announcement lightly. More
Choosing A Good Mate Slows Fertility Decline… in birds, that is. Studies show that choosing the right mate slows the biological clock in some birds. We hope that’s true for humans, too. (ScienceDaily)
By now you know how we feel about New Year’s Resolutions (we don’t buy into them), but we really do want to eat smarter, better, and more sustainably in 2011 — and we think you should join us. So we asked our friend Denise Warren — who with her husband Tom, owns and operates Stone & Thistle Farm, an organic meat, poultry, and goat’s milk farm in the Catskills region of upstate New York — about her personal food goals (don’t say “resolutions”!) for the New Year. (Denise also writes about all aspects of family farm life on her blog Farm and Fable Musings; and Stone & Thistle offers overnight farm stays and restaurant-like suppers on weekends.) Here are her eight hard-core food, health, and environmental challenges for 2011:
1. Host a pantry swap in April so that ten years from now there won’t be ten-year-old pickled cauliflower in my canning cupboard.
2. Buy a milking cow so I don’t have to buy milk from the grocery store or bribe my family to drink goat’s milk.
3. Plant more exotic greens and edible flowers in the garden. More
Our pal, vegan chef Doug McNish, brags that his raw pumpkin pie recipe is the best ever, and who are we to argue? After all, he’s head chef at Raw Aura, the organic raw restaurant in Toronto. Here’s one way Doug will help you through the holidays (the dessert course, at least).
– Blisstree contributor Douglas McNish’s original raw pumpkin pie recipe
Our pal, vegan chef Doug McNish, brags that his raw pumpkin pie recipe is the best ever, and who are we to argue? After all, he’s head chef at Raw Aura, the organic raw restaurant in Toronto. Here’s one way Doug will help you through the holidays (the dessert course, at least): More
Our personal favorites? One Girl Cookies, based in Brooklyn, New York. Any and all cookies from this tiny, independent bakery/cafe run by a husband and wife team ship extremely well. Each delicate cookie bears a pretty girl’s name in either the Classic or Chocolate Collection. (We’re big fans of Lucia, Lana, Penelope, and Cecilia.) But you really can’t go wrong: They’re all fresh, delicious, and lovingly made by hand from the best available ingredients. And small enough so that you can eat a lot of them and not feel totally guilty. More
As part of a broad marketing effort to make over their menu and introduce more “real” foods, Wendy’s is swapping out its garden-variety fries for a new “natural-cut” version using russet potatoes with the skin left on, and seasoned with sea salt. But with a higher sodium content (a medium-size serving will contain 500 milligrams; the former fries contained 350) and no improvement in the freshness department (fries will arrive at Wendy’s frozen), it’s difficult to see the real benefit of these fried (fraud) potatoes. More