Health

Great Grains: Barley, the Perfect Food for Health Ninjas

This is the fifth post in the series “Great Grains," highlighting unusual whole grains and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet. Check out posts on bulgur, millet, rye, and

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Event Preview: Food + Justice = Democracy

If you are on any type of local food listserv in Minnesota, you’ve received an invitation, or two, or ten to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food + Justice = Democracy national meeting, convening September 24 -26 in downtown Minneapolis.

IATP’s goals for the convergence are lofty; the conference is billed as a national meeting to change the food justice narrative, where “participants will co-create a national food justice platform to push our government and our political leaders to prioritize a fair, just and healthy food system.”

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Globally Aware: Learning About Food Issues from Another Hemisphere, Part 4

In my life, I have access to everything I need and want and more. I often go through my day without thinking about this privilege, easily fulfilling my daily desires: moving from the food coop or farmer’s market to the drugstore to the gas station to the post office, all within minutes of my home. Having just spent a year living in South America, away from all of these conveniences, I have gained a renewed and humbling appreciation for all that I have in America. As a middle class, white American, I experience an access and abundance that is quite extraordinary. In Minneapolis, I also have the good fortune of working as a public health nutrition educator and cooking instructor. Much of my work aims to improve the access and ultimately the health of other Americans who, for a variety of reasons have less ease within the system.

 

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Eating to Love: The Pause That Refreshes

*The information and opinions contained herein are for educational and entertainment purposes only. They are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical and health advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.

This is part 2 of a series about changing your relationship with food. Part 1 was Eating to Love: The Challenge to Eat Responsibly.


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Bones, Calcium, Controversy

I hired a new doctor this winter and had a pre-visit questionnaire prior to my first appointment. Among other questions about my health, the nurse’s aid asked me, “Do you get a least three servings of milk or milk products every day.” To which I responded very confidently, “Yes.” 

 

“That’s terrific!” she said. 

 

I had just lied to a health professional. 

 

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Eating to Love: The Challenge to Eat Responsibly

I have a problem. I am a meat lover and a devotee of all things rich, creamy and sweet. Eggs are my favorite breakfast food. When I eat a Hostess Cupcake, I enjoy it immensely and without a trace of irony.

 

So what's the problem? Is there anything easier, gastronomically speaking, than to find a good cut of meat or low-cost dairy products or processed foods in the United States? Even consumers who balk at the worst and most cruel aspects of modern industrial farming can, with relative ease, find sources of  grass-fed beef (humanely raised and slaughtered), free-range eggs, milk and cheese from benign family farms if they're willing to spend a few dollars. The world should be my oyster. Pun intended.


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Multivitamin...Do I Need You?

As a Health Coach, people often ask me what supplements they should be taking. Notice, the question isn’t usually if they should be taking them at all, but what they should be taking. A lot of health care practitioners including doctors, chiropractors and nutritionists recommend daily consumption of dietary supplements, especially multivitamins. This recommendation comes in response to the average American diet, which includes only three servings of fruits and vegetables each day instead of the recommended seven to nine. French fries are counted.  

 

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Why it’s Ethical to Eat Meat

The belief I’m about to argue — that eating meat is ethical — has been, for me, 25 years in the making. For much of this time, paradoxically, I was a vegetarian because I thought eating animals was morally reprehensible.

 

What a self-righteous twit I was.

 

At my in-laws’ traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I recited graphic details about industrially raised turkey. (Do you know what debeaking is?) At the counter in a fast-food restaurant, I’d loudly order a cheeseburger with no meat. (I want a bun, cheese, pickles, lettuce and onions…but no meat!) At a neighborhood pig roast, I asked the host if he had ever read Charlotte’s Web. (You would never be able to eat pork if you had.)

 

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All About Sprouts, Part 2. Recipes and Nutrition.

This is part 2 of a piece of work about all things sprouting. Part 1 takes you through the basics of what you can sprout and how to sprout it. There are also guidelines for specific sprouts. Finally, Part 1 is also where you will find a list of sprouting resources and literature. Part 2 focuses on how to eat and cook with sprouts as well as many of the nutritional benefits of them.

 

How to Eat Sprouts

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Time for Spring Cleansing

Feeling overindulgent after a season of weddings, BBQs and backyard parties last summer, I started working on my wife, trying to convince her to join me in cleansing through the month of October. I have cleansed with varying levels of success over the past decade, always learning something new about myself and my relationship with my food. After much cajoling she agreed and we harangued a few more friends into doing it with us – strength in numbers, you know?! Our plan was to eliminate animal products, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, gluten-containing grains, sugar…all the good stuff. The goal was to get really simple and find the “reset” button on our eating habits. 

 

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