Diet is a Four Letter Word

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a diet. It’s likely most of us have, given that we live in an image-obsessed, diet-crazed society and that the quick fix weight loss business is a multibillion-dollar industry. More importantly, did dieting work for you? If it did, were you able to meet your goal and keep the weight off?

Dieting is a hard row to hoe. It’s not conducive to having a social life nor is it uncomplicated for those who prepare meals for others. When we diet, the journey is not as rewarding as the destination. It’s an experiment in deprivation that we subject ourselves to with determination and resolve to “do it this time.” But the percentage of people who achieve their goal via denial and sheer willpower and who maintain this newfound image is very small.

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No More Plastic Bottles or Delivery Services: Easy Ways to Enjoy and Preserve Water

If you’re like me, you don’t think much about finding the perfect water source when you’re really thirsty; you just want to drink. Water is one of the essential elements of life, a sustaining force that not only quenches our thirst but is also integral in everything from agriculture to transportation to sanitation and personal hygiene. Water is essential for survival, not only for individuals and communities but also for the preservation of our environment.

How can we satisfy our own need for this precious resource while preserving it for future generations?

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Getting to Know the Minneapolis Public Schools Food Service Department, Part Three: The Unsung Heroes

One of the most striking things about the people who work at the Minneapolis Public Schools Food Service Department is how upbeat they seem. Just look at their picture above. From left to right, they are:

Larry Jones (Operations Manager - School Sites)Ricardo Abbott (Operations Manager - Nutrition Center)Joe Hollenback (Culinary Supervisor)Nicole Barron (Accounting & Business Systems Manager)Irfan Chaudhry (Assistant Director)

Do you notice something strange? They're all smiling.

"There are a lot of people in every business who are happy with the status quo," Nicole tells me, "you're not going to find it here."

"Summers used to be so easy," Irfan says, "but we don't take any vacation anymore. We want to make sure we give our kids the best food we possibly can."

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Stuffed Full of Gratitude

This time of year really does give me the fuzziest of warm fuzzies, even when the temps are in the teens. We’re huddling ‘round the fireplace, planning family gatherings, digging out the star-shaped cookie cutters, hanging lights, and trying our best to ignore retailers’ best efforts to convince us that the season is all about buying stuff.

The holidays are about togetherness, which helps keep the focus on expressing gratitude for what we already have. Too often, it’s easy to become dissatisfied with things as they are. With an estimated 1,500 advertisements bombarding us each day, we can fall prey to feeling as though we aren’t enough or that we don’t have enough or that what we have isn’t good enough.

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Minnesotan Psychiatrist Touts Mood-Altering Foods

Last year for Valentine’s Day, I wrote a blog post that asked the question: “Can Food Get You in the Mood?” The subject was aphrodisiacs, e.g. foods that can boost your mood for sex.

Minnesotan psychiatrist and author Dr. Henry Emmons takes it a step further. He claims that the right foods can take mood-boosting into every aspect of your life. Not just your love life.

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Happy Thanksgiving - Eat, Drink, and Don’t Worry

Thanksgiving, and the holidays in general, can be a daunting time for those who are watching their waistlines. With so many food-focused festivities taking place bam bam bam, sheer terror strikes many a heart. Yet terror is antithetical to what the holidays are about and that terror can do way more harm than pumpkin pie lovingly crafted with butter crust and topped with real whipped cream.

‘Tis true, most of us eat more on Thanksgiving than we do on a typical day, but this doesn’t mean you’re going to gain weight. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, world renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, “Fortunately, the idea that Americans put on between five and 10 pounds over the holiday season is more myth than reality. A National Institutes of Health study published in 2000 showed that the average holiday weight gain is just over one pound.”

Going Rogue

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Brussels Sprouts: Tiny Yet Mighty

You say brussels sprouts, I say Brussels sprouts, she says brussel sprouts. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…a rose cabbage, that is. This is what the Germans call these baby brassicas (“rosenkohl” = rose cabbage) that may be the funkiest and prettiest vegetable you’ll ever see growing. A tall, single leaf-topped stalk supports 20 to 40 buds crammed together like peas with no pod.

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Getting to Know the Minneapolis Public Schools Food Service Department, Part One: the Overwhelming Need for Good Food

"Sorry I'm late," Nicole Barron, Food Services Accounting and Business Services Manager for Minneapolis Public Schools tells me. "There was a baby food recall, and I had to run over to Target to see what they had left and make sure it got over to the schools."

"Baby food?" I ask jokingly, cluelessly. "Is that for my kids?"

"I don't think so," Nicole answers, "it's for high school kids who have babies and need to feed them during the day."

The depths of my lack of understanding are only starting to become clear. Students with babies? We're just barely scratching the surface.

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What's So Bad About Ice Cream For Breakfast?

One morning last week, after getting my kids on the school bus, I returned to my computer and posted this quick note to Twitter and Facebook:

just when you think you've seen everything, a 3rd grader shows up at the bus stop eating an ice cream cone for breakfast

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Getting to Know "For the Health of It" Columnist Jill Grunewald

We at Simple, Good, and Tasty write, think, talk, and meet with people about local, sustainable, organic, good food all the time.

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