Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Movie night

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I had a wonderful weekend in Madison WI last weekend, I'm going thru some pictures and writing a post about it.  Great food, great history and a great guide.  More on that later this week.  In the meantime, why not watch a movie?  I'm going to list some of the better movies about food, granted some of them are not the most exciting films, but that's not the point.  The reason to watch these programs is to be educated about your food,  where does it really come from,  are the giant livestock pens as bad as they say?  Just how much pesticide is are you really eating?  Is Monsanto the great Satan?  These films will present the arguments and let you decide for yourself.

Most of these are available on Amazon Prime for free.  Don't have Prime?  You should, just click below and get it. Free 2 day shipping, free movies and TV you cant go wrong.  The prices you see below the links are the cost to stream if you don't have prime.



Now on to the movies.
Food Inc. 
This is a well done documentary on the state of America's corporate controlled food industries


Ingredients
Learn what chefs, producers and activists are doing to bring safe quality food to your table and benefit local producers.



In Organic We Trust
Just what is organic any way?  This film attempts to answer that and explains why it may be the answer to our broken food industry.


Well those are just a couple of the very informational videos out there.  In the future I'll write some more about food films and try to give some more in depth reviews.

Stay hungry friends
Peace
Del
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Friday, August 23, 2013

A recipe!!


I mentioned earlier that I have lost weight using a Mediterranean style diet (40lbs so far).  So I figured it was about time to put something up about it  This is just a quickie.

The Mediterranean diet is based on many of the best protein sources...especially those with the highest nutritional value.

Researchers suggest that healthy protein sources may help you maintain lean tissue while burning fat for fuel. And this happens without being sidetracked with constant hunger.

Eat this easy peanut butter & fruit wrap for breakfast or lunch to get your daily dose of healthy protein.

Ingredients (Makes 1 - 200 cal.)
1 8-inch whole wheat flour tortilla
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp 100% strawberry spread
1/2 banana (medium, thinly sliced)
1 tbsp granola

Directions: (Ready in 5 Min.)
Spread tortilla with peanut butter, then with fruit spread. Top with banana and sprinkle with granola. Roll up tortilla and enjoy!


Have a great weekend!!  And stay Hungry

Peace
Del


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Label madness


     We all hear "read the labels!", when it comes to buying at the grocery store.  But what the heck do those labels mean?  If you don't have a degree in chemistry it can be hard to decipher.  I think that it is easier just to know some things that you don't want to see on the label.  There is something like 45,000 items in a typical American grocery store, so knowing everything about every product is pretty much impossible.  I hope this list helps trying to navigate the confusion that is "nutrition" labels.

1. BHA
This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet. 

You’ll find it in: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles


2.PARABENS

These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues. 

You’ll find it in: Baskin-Robbins sundaes

3.PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL
Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. The telltale sign that your snack is soiled with the stuff? Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat. 

You’ll find it in: Long John Silver’s Popcorn Shrimp, Celeste frozen pizzas


4.SODIUM NITRATE
Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds. Ascorbic and erythorbic acids—essentially vitamin C—have been shown to decrease the risk, and most manufacturers now add one or both to their products, which has helped. Still, the best way to reduce risk is to limit your intake. 

You’ll find it in: Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Hormel bacon


5.CARAMEL COLORING
This additive wouldn't be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. How carcinogenic are these compounds? A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. 

You’ll find it in: Coke/Diet Coke, Pepsi/Diet Pepsi


6.CASTOREUM
Castoreum is one of the many nebulous “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor.  

You’ll find it in: Potentially any food containing “natural ingredients”


7.FOOD DYES
Plenty of fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals don’t contain a single gram of produce, but instead rely on artificial dyes and flavorings to suggest a relationship with nature. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors. The bottom line? Avoid artificial dyes as much as possible. 

You’ll find it in: Lucky Charms, Skittles, Jell-O


8.HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, used as a flavor enhancer, is plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids, glutamic acid, can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with free sodium in your body, they form monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive known to cause adverse reactions—headaches, nausea, and weakness, among others—in sensitive individuals. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as a byproduct of hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized.  

You’ll find it in: Knorr Noodle Sides, Funyuns


     This is by no means a complete list of the crap you will find on an ingredient list that is potentially harmful to you, but it is a start.  Try to eliminate as much, if not all, of these things in your diet and you will have a good start on healthy eating.

Stay hungry my friends
Peace
Del      
 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Off to the Market!




     It's that time of year that farmers markets every where are in full swing.  Hopefully you are taking advantage of them on a regular basis.  In my opinion patronizing your local farmers market is one of the best ways to get good quality produce in your diet.  Not to mention supporting local growers and reducing your carbon food print as the product isn't shipped halfway around the world before it gets to your table.  I'm going to address what is and isn't considered "organic" according to the government and what it means to you in the future.  Today, however, I'd like to talk about just what you should be buying at the market.

     If you're like me, you head off to the market with certain amount of money in your pocket ready to buy some fresh produce.  When you get there, depending on the time of year, you can be overwhelmed with the wide variety of products and become unsure as to what to buy.  Here are a few suggestions.  Mostly from the good folks over at Rodale News.

The top 8.

1.Tomatoes
     A bland, mealy grocery-store tomato will never rival a fresh-from-the-farm-market tomato. And there are more benefits to local tomatoes than just taste. In Florida, where a third of the country’s grocery store tomatoes are grown,the exploitation  illegal immigrants on tomato farms is a persistent problem. And farmers in that state apply five times as much fungicide and six times as much pesticide as farmers in California, which supplies another third of the country’s fresh tomatoes.
2.Carrots
     You’ll never find anything but standard orange carrots at a supermarket, but you’ll find them in every hue, from purple to white, at local farm stands. Those colorful varieties, particularly purple carrots, have higher antioxidant values than commercially grown orange carrots, according to a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. They’re also better for the planet. The energy required to store carrots when they’re out of season or being shipped long distances accounts for 60 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with carrot production.
3.Berries
     Grab a pint of local strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, and you’re doing the planet a favor. Because they perish quickly and have relatively short shelf lives, berries are often shipped from farm to distribution center via air freight, the most fossil-fuel-guzzling form of food shipment, from South America, Mexico, Canada, and even as far off as Poland. You’re also doing domestic growers a favor: According to Food & Water Watch, the United States imports $220 million worth of strawberries, while selling just $1.5 million worth of domestically grown berries.
4.Onions
     Oddly enough, buying local onions could help save a farm. A few years ago, the U.S. government loosened trade restrictions with Peru, and the result has been a glut of imported onions that has dropped the price local farmers can get for their crops by half. As a result, domestic onion growers have slowly been cutting back on the number of onions they grow. All of Peru’s onion exports aren’t doing farmers there any good, either. The primary pesticide used on Peru’s onion crops, methamidophos, has been linked to sperm damage in farmers.
5.Asparagus
     Sales of this crop have also benefited from our neighbors to the south. Asparagus imports from Peru have grown steadily over the past decade and now account for 51 percent of the asparagus we consume. The vegetable is now Peru’s largest agricultural export. The USDA requires all shipments of fresh asparagus from Peru to be fumigated with the dangerous pesticide methyl bromide, a neurotoxic chemical suspected of causing cancer. If that’s not bad enough, the chemical shortens asparagus’s shelf life, so it doesn’t even taste good by the time it arrives at the store! The best-tasting stalks are at the farmers’ market, even if the asparagus season is fleeting.
6.Peaches
     Domestic, imported. Organic, nonorganic. Peaches just don’t taste good any other time of year than in midsummer, the height of their season, because they don’t hold up well during transport. Another benefit to buying local? Pesticides. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Produce, peaches are treated with more pesticides than any other fruit. Buying local means you can grill the farmer to see which chemicals, if any, he or she uses.
7.Grass-Fed Beef and Dairy
     Like organic food, the environmental impact of animal products has more to do with how they were raised than how far they traveled—which is why buying local beef and dairy is important. Animals raised entirely on grass produce 8 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 30 percent lower ammonia levels than corn-fed animals raised in confinement. Since the term grass-fed isn’t always reliable (it’s not well regulated), local venues allow you to ask farmers direct questions about how their animals were raised.
8.Anything Organic
     Despite the feel-good factor of supporting local farms, where your food is grown accounts for just a fraction of its environmental impact. It’s how your food is grown that matters most. According to agricultural researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, 11 percent of your food’s environmental impact comes from food miles, whereas 83 percent comes from how it was grown, particularly when it’s grown with the greenhouse-gas-intensive fertilizers and pesticides used on chemical farms.

     So there you have it, yes I know that buying beef and dairy at a market or other locally sourced option can be pretty costly.  But if you are limiting your meat intake to a reasonable level those costs should level out over time.  Get off to the market, you'll be glad you did.
    One word of caution, just because it's at the farmers market doesn't necessarily mean that it is local and organic.  Having a knowledge of what is in season in your area can help a lot, and don't be shy about asking the folks at the stands questions.  I recently found peaches at my local market that still had the product of Mexico sticker on it.  So be aware and ask questions.

Stay hungry my friends
Peace
Del






Thursday, August 1, 2013

Something you didn't even know you wanted.



You know that list that you put people on who make you mad?  Well now you can put it on paper that is made of the same stuff!!!  Panda Poo Paper!! Check it out.  We gave it the sniff test and there is no bad smell.  The paper itself is a little rough, but that's to be expected.  Over all a very cool thing,  and a very good conversation starter.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FAT




Trying to figure out the fat puzzle can be a real pain. Transfat, unsaturated, good, bad, indifferent it can be confusing to figure out nutrition. It doesn't help that every time you look, someone is telling you what you should and shouldn't eat. One day you're told to eat butter, the next day margarine and then back again. I was under the impression for a long time that you should only eat the whites of eggs. As it turns out, now the studies show that almost all of the nutrition of an egg is in the yolk, and the cholesterol there is "good" cholesterol.  You can go nuts trying to figure it all out.  So, here are 3 very simple (maybe a bit oversimplified) rules about fat.

1)If it's a trans fat (look for "partially hydrogenated oil" on the label), then don't eat it. Period. This man made substance has been linked to a variety of health issues, in particular heart disease.

2)If it comes from the ocean or from open fields (fish, game, free-range animals, or plants), it's good for you. From tuna to avocado to nuts to venison, this is unsaturated fat—the heart-healthy stuff.

3)Everything else—dairy fat and most of the meat we encounter—won't hurt you in limited amounts. But there are healthier things to eat. Just don't overdo it.

The biggest problem is that the big food manufacturers start adding fats to food that should be good for us.


Here is a list from Eat this not That (click the link to check it out) that calls out 6 of the worst restaurant offenders in the U.S. Do you ever eat these or something similar?

#6. Ruby Tuesday Triple Prime Bacon Cheddar Burger 1,333 calories, 101g fat 1,892mg sodium
That's more sodium than I try to take in for an entire day!! And close to 75% of the calories!!
     New rule: The more syllables in a menu item's name, the more fat there's likely to be in the dish. Less than 3 percent of the beef produced in this country earns the USDA's "prime" rating, and that's not a bad thing. Prime beef, as it turns out, is the fattiest beef you can sink your teeth into. If you really want a burger, you're better off heading elsewhere. Not one of Ruby's has fewer than 700 calories. Go with the Plain Grilled Top Sirloin and earn all the beefy protein without the superfluous calories.

#5. Chili's flame Grilled Ribeye with broccoli and mashed potatoes 1,460 calories 106g gat(44g saturated) 3,700 mg sodium
For a healthy diet, the USDA recommends you cap your daily saturated fat intake at 20 grams. This meal more than doubles that, and it's only 12 ounces of meat. Sure, ribeye is a notoriously fatty cut, but it's primarily the bath of butter that pushes this steak's fat count to such unhealthy heights. Switch to the Guiltless Grill Classic Sirloin and save an astounding 1,090 calories.

#4. Chili's Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla 1,650 calories 107 g fat (39 g saturated) 3,450 mg sodium     Traditional Mexican food is big on seasoning and light on cheese, but with this quesadilla, Chili's takes a different approach. Trying to appease palates primed for indulgence, the restaurant layers on the fat in four ways: cheese, ranch, bacon, and sour cream. Go with the Margarita Grilled Chicken and you'll cut the overall fat content by more than 80 percent.


#3 IHOP Chicken and Spinach Salad 1,600 calories 118 g fat (32 g saturated) 2,340 mg sodium
     Chicken? Good. Spinach? Good. IHOP’s Chicken and Spinach Salad—downright deplorable. You'll need to i-hop for four hours to burn it off. This salad is exactly what makes restaurant food so questionable and potentially unhealthy. The name makes it sound like a paragon of nutritious eating, yet the numbers reveal it to be just the opposite. The chicken here is actually fried chicken, and the spinach is little more than a small bed for bacon and cheddar cheese. You could snarf down six pancake short stacks and still take in less fat. Save yourself the waistline damage and opt for the Simple & Fit Simply Chicken Sandwich instead.

#2. Applebee's New England Fish & Chips 1,930 calories, 138 g fat (24 g saturated) 3,180 mg sodium
     The American Heart Association recommends eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. By doing so, you lower your risk of such chronic diseases as heart disease and cancer. But if you prepare fish by deep frying it in a tub of bubbling fat—like Applebee's does with this artery-clogging monstrosity—you reverse all those benefits. Opt for Applebee's Garlic Herb Salmon instead. It offers 109 fewer grams of fat, nearly two-thirds fewer calories, and a heap of flavor that will still leave you satiated.

#1. Cheesecake Factory Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken 2,300 calories 103 g saturated fat 1,517 mg sodium.
     Cheesecake Factory prefers to keep its nutritional stats hidden, but a law in California forced it to reveal saturated fat. Total fat is still a mystery, but this meal breaks through the 100-gram ceiling on saturated fat alone! The culprits here are the oversized portion and the thick, fat-riddled alfredo sauce. The typical restaurant recipe for this sauce relies on some combination of cream, butter, oil, and cheese, and there's no reason to believe that Cheesecake's version strays from the norm. Unfortunately, the chain offers no single pasta dish with fewer than 1,100 calories, so keep yourself safe by sticking to the new Skinnylicious menu.

Well, there you have it. It is possible to eat at a restaurant and not totally blow your nutrition plan, but it takes a little knowledge.


Stay hungry my friends
Peace
Del

     

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Food that's not food



Here is an interesting article over at prevention.com some may surprise you some may not.  But it's definitely worth considering.

http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/19-foods-arent-food?cm_mmc=ETNTNL-_-1366278-_-07192013-_-FoodsNeverEat-link

Stay informed and stay Hungry
Peace
Del


Friday, July 26, 2013

Where is the line?



   

     Going to take a slight swerve here. At least it may seem that way, but it does go to the direction of where I want this blog to go. Here are the questions I am struggling with; Do food ethics matter? If they do, then just what does that mean? Is the ethic simply that if we feed everyone all the time, then anything goes? It's not what I am addressing today but, does it matter how we grow grains and vegetables? By that I mean what chemicals are or are not o.k.? Genetically modified? Mega ag companies? And I could go on but these are things I will address at a later time. Today I'm going to consider meat and the animals that we raise for that purpose. This will just be a small piece of a very large and complicated puzzle so let's see were it goes.

     The thing that has brought this to the fore front for me is an ethical struggle I am having with something that would seem pretty irrelevant and minor. Pig wrestling. Yup, pig wrestling. Now let me get this out of the way up front, I'm not a member of PETA, I eat meat, I have hunted deer, ducks, geese, squirrel, rabbit etc. That being said, the more I learn about the processing of meat in this country, the more vegetables I eat. So what does pig wrestling have to do with food ethics? Maybe nothing, that's the struggle I am having.



This sums up some of the issue as I see it.
"It's widely agreed that because animals feel pain we should not make them suffer gratuitously. Some ethical theories go even further: because of the capacities animals possess, they have a right not to be harmed or killed. Such views concern what not to do to animals, but we also face the question of what we should do to assist the ones that may be hungry or distressed. And if we do, say, feed a starving kitten, does this commit us to feeding wild animals suffering through a hard winter?"
Animal Ethics in Context
Clare palmer
 (at a later date I'll give a bit of a review of this book.)

     I am not a farmer, never raised pigs and know nothing about hog psychology. But one argument that I will not accept or even consider is one that I have actually heard and read. "The pigs love it, they are having fun" NO, the events I have seen I don't think the pig was having much "fun". Here is a excerpt from an ad for a pig wrestling event.

"Hog wrestling is a competition where four person teams enter the mud pit/arena and try to catch a hog and lift it up onto a padded barrel. The porkers are clearly in their element, the competitors clearly are not. The whole thing ends up being a tremendous amount of fun."

from an event in Crivitz, WI July 20 2013




I can't say for sure, but that pig doesn't look it's in its  element, or like it's having much fun.

     Now with that out of the way. Who cares? It's just a pig. What's wrong with having a little fun? Most of these events benefit charities or causes, that makes it o.k. doesn't it? The only people that complain are tree huggers, PETA freaks or city people that have no clue. The bigger, more "pig friendly" of these events use several pigs and each pig is only in the ring once and with a strict time limit. So they really care for and protect the pig, right? Hey if weren't for these events these pigs would probably already be on someones plate, so we are doing them a favor.

     Hopefully, you are starting to understand my dilemma. But Del, this reads like you are dead set against it. Maybe it does. Maybe I am. And it is the way I am leaning. But here is the thing, I regularly complain about people putting human emotions and thought onto animals. Do animals have and show emotions? I have been around animals enough to know that, to a degree, yes they do. But I think we make a mistake when we equate those instincts with human emotion and rational thought. Take the photo above. It's very easy to put a human emotion on that pig because of the way it looks. Is it emotion as we know it or is it simply a projection of the fight or flight instinct? I am not sure, and no, neither are you unless you are the "Pig Whisperer".

     So now that this is as clear as the mud in the ring, lets muddy it up a little more. Forget the ethics (yeah right), is it legal? It depends on how you read the law and which side of the argument you are on. Let's look at the relevant Wisconsin state statute. (I'm using WI because that's were I am).

     Chapter 951 of Wisconsin law deals with Crimes Against Animals. This is a three page document, which you can look at here. But, let me read for you what it says about pig wrestling or does it say anything about it?  You decide.

951.08
"(1) No person may intentionally instigate, promote, aid or abet as a principal agent or employee, or participate in the earnings from, or intentionally maintain or allow any place to be used for a cockfight, dog fight, bullfight or other fight between the same or different kinds of animals or between an animal and a person. This section does not prohibit events or exhibitions commonly featured at rodeos or bloodless bullfights."


     If you come down on the side of pig wrestling is unethical and illegal, you focus on the highlighted section above. The "between an animal and a person" thing, Well that seems clear cut doesn't it? Nope. The other side of the legal argument is that first, this isn't a "fight" and second "this section does not prohibit events or exhibitions commonly featured at rodeos or bloodless bullfights". So it comes down to how read the law and what you consider these events to be. I've never seen a pig wrestling event at a rodeo or bullfight, so I don't know how "common" that could be. Is it a fight? Maybe, maybe not, but I have never seen the pig grab a human and stuff him in a barrel. Obviously lawyers on both sides are pretty convincing that they are right, it is there job after all.

“Since pig wrestling is between an animal and a person and is not commonly featured at rodeos or bloodless bullfights, we feel this is a crime against animals as per Wisconsin Law,” says Lynn Paully co director of the AFA. "Moreover", she notes, "not only are those who run or participate in pig wrestling competitions breaking the law, but a spectator of such an event is also in violation of Chapter 951 and could face felony charges."

But then again,

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard says "I do not believe that what is occurring here could be described as a ‘fight.’ I also strongly suspect that what is described here is akin to exhibitions commonly featured at rodeos. For these reasons, this office declines to take further action at this time in this connection.’

     Well that clears that up doesn't it? So where does all this leave me? I'm not going to say that if you enjoy watching or participating in one of these events that you are a terrible evil person, or that you can't go to one. (telling you what to do offends my Libertarian sensibilities). My simple rule is this, "first do no harm". Which leaves it for you to decide if this causes harm or not. And that is what I want to accomplish, put the topic out there and let you decide.

I'm going to end it here. I could go on and on and still not make things any clearer or sway one side of the argument or the other. So what do you think? Does it matter? Is there such a thing as ethics in the treatment of food? And just where is the Line?

Tofu wrestling anyone?

Stay hungry my friends
Peace
Del

some other sources
http://www.nopigwrestling.org/

http://allanimalsblog.org/tag/pig-wrestling/

http://www.caldronfallsbarandgrill.com/hogwrestling1.html

http://www.fdlreporter.com/article/20130720/FON0101/130720015/Pig-wrestling-Eldorado-community-picnic-video-


Monday, July 22, 2013

A long time coming.

Hello again,
     It's been awhile between posts.  Why?  Well, I have been on a bit of a transformation and desire to change the focus and content of this blog.  I am going away from a typical food/recipe blog and will be writing about all things food.

     First, let me address the change in my personal motivation and for the change of my "food conscience".  Last March, by the prompting, prodding and general complaining of my wife, I made a long over due doctor appointment.  (and our insurance company said I had to.)  When I went to the doctors office I weighed in at 251 pounds,  my cholesterol was way high (and the good was way low),  my blood pressure was way to high, glucose was high, I had fatty liver and had continuing back issues.  There is a condition called metabolic syndrome which is diagnosed based on 5 conditions including good and bad cholesterol (HDL and LDL), glucose levels, blood pressure, and BMI.  If 3 of these factors are not within a healthy range you are determined to have metabolic syndrome.  Being the over achiever I am, I qualified on all 5!!  Here is the thing, I felt pretty good.  Sure I knew that most of my back issues had to due with my weight, my energy was a bit low, and I avoided anything physical because I knew that I would either hurt myself or wouldn't be able to do it.  So what to do?

     My doctor gave me some ideas;
1. Do nothing and probably be dead in 10 years or so. (not a very appealing option)
2. Start vigorous exercise. (again, not very appealing)
3. A complete change of lifestyle and how I look at food and activity. (not terribly appealing, but more so than the other options.)

     I will get into the specifics as we go along, but for now I will briefly outline what I did.  First of all, your spouse, significant other, family or who ever else is important to you must be on board and willing to change with you.  In my case my wife was not only willing but had been waiting for me to get off my butt and do something.  With that done,  toss out all of your perceptions of food, especially in the western world and even more so in the U.S.  What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat all have to change.  I went with what is commonly called the "Mediterranean Diet", honestly I went this way because I like the food of the Med.  I quickly learned that "diet" as we view the word is a stupid thing.  In our usage of the word it almost always refers to a way to lose weight, I know that it has been said in many places many times but it is worth restating,  DIETS DON'T WORK!!!   What works is a lifestyle change, not temporary but permanent.

     I can honestly say that as of today I have only started half of the lifestyle change, that change being what I cook and how much I cook.  I am just now starting the more active part of the change and I will get into that as we go along.  Just by changing what and how much I eat the results have been amazing, if I do say so myself.  After just 4 months my cholesterol is within normal ranges (my HDL is still 2 points to low but that could be heredity, or will improve as I get more active), blood pressure is normal, and I have lost 33 pounds!!! Yup, 33 pounds just by changing my view of food!!  And that is where I am going with this blog.

     My plan?  Post about the food changes I have made and other options you can chose.  Let's have a discussion on where our food comes from and if our food chain is healthy.  Organics?  Natural?  Local? What the heck is all of that and does it matter?  Food politics, activism, and is Monsanto the most evil force on the planet? Or, is fast food and the companies that supply them?

     Raw, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, ancient etc... what are they, and do they make any sense?

      These are just a few topics to address.  I'm nobody's expert, but what I do have is time to read and a love of investigation.  I hope to be a clearing house of sorts, of all things food and "diet".  I will always give you my sources so that you can check them out yourself and decide what is what, and when possible I will point you to opposing opinion so you can be fully informed, particularly on topics of food politics. (things like GMO, organic certification and others)

     I will also review books, websites, TV shows and anything else I come across that may be of interest or is suggested to me.  Along those lines,  this is a very, very good book that I would recommend to anyone interested in the topic of "Mediterranean" eating and it's benefits.  I will have an in depth review of it in the future.

So that's it.  I know this post is a bit scattered, but I will narrow the target for each post as we move forward.

If you shop Amazon Please us the links on my page to go there.  It helps me out a lot...THANKS!!!
Stay hungry my friends (for the truth)
Peace
Del
 Oh, I am going to leave up the posts from my previous blog just in case you want to check it out.