Eating to Live on the Outside: Carmelita

Hooray! The week’s finally over, time to eat. And this week Eating to Live on the Outside is heads to Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant in Seattle, Washington. It looks good, lots of unique creations.

Okay, I’m staring at the online menu right now. Well, there’s not a ton of food to choose from, but definitely some interesting and creative options. Here’s what caught my eye:

Roasted pear salad, arugula, candied pistachios, Point Reyes bleu cheese and lemon-pistachio vinaigrette; I’m ditching the cheese.

Baby lettuces, Trampetti extra virgin olive oil, lemon and sea salt; I’m nixing the salt. The olive isn’t great. But I can deal with it.

White bean-quinoa cakes, Tagglasca olive tapenade, tomato relish, tomato gastrique and fried basil; the fried basil is a little iffy.

Grilled baby potato salad, green beans, smoked paprika vinaigrette and oil poached egg; no egg for me.

Butternut squash puree, Gruyere, candied pumpkin seeds, arugula and sage pesto; I’ll pass on the Gruyere, i.e. cheese.

Artisanal polenta cake, apple/sweet potato hash, foraged mushroom sauce and fried parsnip; the fried parsnip isn’t great. But I love mushrooms.

Farro Tagine, spicy walnut pesto, braised squash, Swiss chard and pomegranate molasses; greens and pomegranate, fantastic!

Wow, lots of exotic-sounding food at Carmelita’s! But if I had to pick, I’d go for the baby lettuce, olive oil, lemon salad or the butternut squash puree with arugula. Both look cool!

Carmelita’s might be slim-picking, but it still works! I dig it, but what about you? Check out Carmelita’s menu and tell me what you’d order. Until then, eat wisely. Peace.

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Hotdogs Linked to Leukemia Risk

Last year, it was discovered processed meats and cheese speed up the growth of lung cancer tumors. And now, new research in BMC Cancer found children who consume cured meats, like hotdogs and bacon, were 74% more likely to develop leukemia. It’s believed nitrites, which build up in cured and smoked meats, amplify cancer-risk. Conversely, researchers suggest the potent antioxidants in vegetables and soy foods may help protect against cancer; Reuters reports.

Not surprising, Dr. Fuhrman considers processed meat, like luncheon meat, as one of the worst meat options available and discourages eating them, especially expectant mothers. Women who eat hotdogs while pregnant put their child at risk for brain tumors later in life.

And other research has shown diets high in saturated fat, i.e. meat, increase the progression of prostate cancer, while eating lots of fruits and vegetables stomps breast cancer risk!

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Howard Stern Wants Six-Pack Abs...

The King of All Media, Howard Stern, is a health nut. He’s runs like crazy, meditates and watches what he eats. And in the past, he’s railed against trans-fat and his sidekick, Robin Quivers, is a vegan.

But Howard’s got a problem. He’s got stubborn belly fat he can’t get rid of. And it’s making him mental! He wants six-pack abs. Yesterday he vented his frustration on air. Here’s the transcript:

Howard: I thought I lost weight yesterday. But I gained weight.

Robin: How did you—what?

Howard: I’m very neurotic my weight, as you know.

Robin: So, you really thought you had been eating well, is what you’re saying?

Howard: Yeah. But then I get on the scale this morning and I was up to 198, which means I got to go into stealth-mode. No snacks.

Robin: Really pull it back? No desserts.

Howard: Nothing. That’s it.

Robin: Isn’t it horrible when you’re so good, and you still gain weight?

Howard: Yeah, I’m so good and I always still have that lip around my waist. I still always have that belly. I don’t understand how that’s possible. I’m thin. I work out.

Robin: You run!

Howard: I worked out yesterday like a madman, everything aches. And there’s no noticeable improvement.

Robin: This is just to stay where you are!

Howard: Yeah, it’s so frustrating. I want to be a hot guy! I take off my shirt and I got a six-pack.

Fred: But what you got to do is imagine if you DIDN’T work out. You’d be a mess.

Howard: Well, I have this new theory that guys who are in really good shape don’t run. They just work out with heavy-heavy weights and watch what they eat.

Robin: Yeah, we’ve seen those, the bulky guys.

Howard: I need that. I want to be bulky! I have such a pencil neck.

I know what Howard’s talking about. That belly lip is the hardest to keep off. So, to help Howard out, and anyone else who wants ripped abs, I asked Dr. Fuhrman for some advice:

We all come in various size and shapes and genetics play a significant role here, but keep in mind our metabolic rate slows as we age and it takes more exercise and no snacking to keep off belly fat.

But Howard is certainly on the right track. What also works very effectively is to eat carefully every other day; just eat vegetables beans and fruit, with no grains, oils or animal products. That means, no bread, olive oil and no egg whites on those days; just salad, vegetable-bean soup, steamed veggies and fresh fruit with just a few ounces of sunflower seeds and walnuts. On the other days, just a touch of the other stuff, either some whole grains or animal products, but not both.

A good way to get rid of this belly fat is with four days a week of heavy exercise. You do two days of pulling exercises and two days of pushing exercises. That means no exercise is repeated more than twice a week. Try working out on the weekend, plus Tuesday and Thursday.

Besides the upper body, core, back and abdominal work, walk on a high incline on the pulling days and do leg curls too. On pushing days use an elliptical, stair master or both, plus leg extensions and leg presses or jumps. The upper body on the pushing days would include the bench press, incline press, decline press, dips, triceps extensions and straight arm extensions. On the pulling days do chin ups, cable pulls, rowing, curls, upright rowing and abdominal leg lifts and crunches.

For Howard’s sake, I hope he gets ripped. He needs too! His head of security, a.k.a. Mambo Man, a.k.a. Ricky Man, a.k.a. Scores Man, a.k.a. Ronnie Dice Clay, is really short and really old and regularly falls asleep on the job. “Hey, what’s your problem man!”

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Fired for Being Veggie!

A New York foreign-currency trader was fired after his boss learned he was vegetarian. Ryan Pacifico was mocked and endured remarks like, "You don't even eat steak, dude. At what point in time did you realize you were gay?" And his former boss would go out of his way to make him feel uncomfortable, by ordering hamburgers and sausage pizza for weekly team meetings. Mr. Pacifico, a married tri-athlete, called the situation bizarre; The New York Post reports.

How silly. Being veggie is totally badass! Batman is a vegetarian. And Iron Man drinks green shakes. Actually, sometimes guys bust my chops about not eating meat, and doing Yoga, but they back off when I punch them in the face. Just kidding, I could care less.

In related news, earlier this month a group of flight attendants were fired for being too fat.

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United States Set to Block Genetically Modified Food...

The Office of the Inspector General, which audits various branches of the government, has warned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to closely monitor genetically modified (GM) foods coming from foreign countries. Meaning, the U.S. may block GM crops, animals and rice imported from countries such as China, India and Brazil, where research on genetically modified foods has intensified; via NewScientist.

But just last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration praised genetically modified animals. And will NOT require meat from GM animals to be labeled for consumers. I guess there’s a double-standard. American-made food monstrosities are exempt.

We love futzing with nature. Do we really need food coloring made from crushed beetles and pigs engineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids! Yuck.

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Health-Points: Thursday 1.29.09

  • More and more food is turning up counterfeit. It’s dubious, wild fish is turning out to be farm-raised fish, soybean oil if being mixed with high-grade extra virgin olive oil, honey is cut with high fructose corn syrup and sugar-water is diluting maple syrup; USA Today investigates.
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Study Compares Veggie Diets vs. Low-Carb --UPDATE--

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Steven Acocella, MS, DC, DACBN and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

At the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association researchers evaluated the short to medium term weight loss results of popular diets. Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity grouped the most popular diets into categories based upon the prescribed ratios of energy for each macronutrient. If you remember from Nutrition 101, caloric energy comes from only 3 sources, fat, carbohydrate and protein. For example, diets such as The South Beach Diet and The Atkins Diet derive 50% or more calories from fat while Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live derives the majority of energy from natural, unrefined carbohydrate.

The study looked at food intake over a 2 year period and included several hundred participants who followed the various diet styles compliantly. They then analyzed the relationship between a reduction of Body Mass Index (BMI), the diet style and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).

The Healthy Eating Index scores were highest for the vegetarian or near vegetarian diet style and lowest for the low carbohydrate, high fat diets. Conversely, energy intake was highest for the Low Carbohydrate group, often exceeding the average accepted recommendations of 2000 Kcal/day or men and 1500 Kcal/day for women. This is strange considering these were weight loss eating plans that were followed intently.

The weight loss results were no surprise. The healthiest body mass was seen in the vegetarian group. A direct, proportional relationship was seen with a rise in the percentage of calories derived from fat and BMI. As the percentage of fat calories increased so did those subject’s BMI. Total calories were also directly related to the percentage of dietary fat with the average daily energy intake for the vegetarian or nearly vegetarian group consuming 1450 Kcal/day and the high fat diet group consuming 2200 Kcal/day. Researchers noted the relationship between the Healthy Eating Index verses calorie and fat percentages were inversely related.

Putting all this together, this important study using an excellent group of subjects has made the following observations: diets low in fat have the highest Healthy Eating Index scores and are generally the lowest in total calories. Those subjects on these diets enjoyed the most favorable BMI measurements and other biomarkers of health. Conversely, the high fat, low carbohydrate diet styles have the lowest Healthy Eating Index scores and those that consumed this diet style had poor BMI measurements and other indicators of health.

It is worth mentioning that the authors of this study discuss a review of the literature suggests that weight loss is independent of dietary composition and is solely a result of total calories consumed. They suggest that their findings, although supportive of this confers that successful, healthy weight loss over time is a function of quality as well as quantity.

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some thoughts on Steven’s post:

My health equation, Health = Nutrition / Calories is almost entirely ignored by the scientific community. If the micronutrient density index of a particular diet was published along with the other characteristics researchers would place less emphasis on the relative macronutrient composition and more on the micronutrient composition. Nevertheless, the long-term health potential of a given diet is based so much more on its micronutrient profile rather than its macronutrient profile.

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Green-News: Thursday 1.29.09

  • Experts fear global warming could create dead zones in the ocean, carbon dioxide-heavy ecosystems devoid of sea life, and these pockets of environmental inactivity could last for up to two millennia. Runoff from agriculture is already causing dead zones; the AFP explains.
  • Using available acreage for growing biofuel crops might exacerbate global food shortages and push up prices. That’s why South Korean scientists have developed a way to use marine algae or seaweed to produce ethanol, instead occupying land; NewScientist investigates.
  • The green industry could fire up the U.S. economy. In California, green-collar jobs are on the rise. Improved efficiency standards have created 1.5 million jobs over the last three decades, such as wind-energy technicians and solar panel installers; The Los Angeles Times reports.
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DHA Helps Brain Development of Premature Girls

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals increased DHA intake in premature babies improved the neurodevelopment of girls. Scientists gave breastfeeding mothers a DHA supplement or a placebo. The breast milk of the supplement group had .85% concentration of total fatty acids. The placebo group was only .25%. Researchers also tested two varieties of baby formula, one with a 1.1% concentration of total fatty acids and the other with 0.42%. At 18 months, infants were given standard developmental tests and those on high DHA diets scored 5 points higher than infants on a normal DHA diet and had less mental delay; via Martek Biosciences Corporation.

DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an essential nutrient for optimal brain. Our brains are 50% fat! And children's diets are notoriously low in short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which the body converts into DHA. DHA deficiency has been linked to dyslexia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. But according to Dr. Fuhrman, most people can make sufficient DHA from omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are found in walnuts, flax seeds, green vegetables, algae and fish that eat the algae.

And Dr. Fuhrman sells his own DHA supplement called DHA Purity. It’s veggie-derived, made from microalgae. Microalgae refers to phytoplankton, microphytes and planktonic algae.

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White Bread and Double Stuff Oreos...

A couple times a week I go to the store on my way into work, usually to reload on avocados, since they take a few days to ripen. Anyway, I finished my shopping and got on line at the register. A second later, a lady gets behind me and starts unloading her basket. I didn’t think anything of it.

Right away, an acquaintance recognizes her and the two start chatting. Mid-conversation I hear this, “Oh nothing. I just ran in. Buying some lunch for the kids.” On the register was a bag of white bread, two packages of double-stuffed Oreos, a box of saltines and roast beef and turkey cold cuts.

Now, say what you want about cold cuts, like how you shouldn’t eat them if you’re pregnant and that they were recently blamed for a listeria outbreak, but Oreos, white bread and crackers! Listen, I’m no doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m just an idiot, but even I know, that’s a horrible lunch, for anyone!

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t care that much, still don’t. But the lack of nutrition in her purchase gave me the chills. If that’s lunch, what the heck is dinner? McDonald’s and Taco Bell with a side of Wendy’s!

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Salmonella Peanut Butter, Lots of Kids Sick

Last week, it was reported that people in 43 states were sickened by peanut butter tainted with salmonella and at least six had died. And now, according to officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the 500 people who fell ill, 280 of them are under the age of 18 and the number of deaths has risen to eight, but none of the fatalities were children. And the source of the bad peanut butter has been traced to a single plant in Georgia. It is now closed; Reuters investigates.

But the worst appears to be over. The CDC claims the outbreak is waning, citing a decline in the number of new cases reported over the last two weeks. Schools, long-term care facilities and hospitals using the contaminated peanut supplied by King Nut, were among the hardest hit; more from Reuters.

Now here’s the creepy part. Last year, inspectors found mildew on the ceiling and other problems at the Blakely facility. But the issues were considered minor and supposedly cleaned up; via CNN.

And this spring, salmonella also struck Honduran cantaloupes. And no, not my pet turtle too!

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Times are Tough, So Eat Pasta?

We all know the economy is bad right now. People are pinching pennies. And that’s why, despite the obvious recession, pasta-makers are experiencing growth. Apparently, total pasta consumption in the United States rose by 0.4% per volume and this doesn’t even include sales by mega-retailer Wal-Mart. Shoppers are buying more pasta because it’s cheap; the Associated Press explains.

No doubt, junk food producers love to hear this! Some companies have already started pushing unhealthy cheap food. Because previous reports indicate during a time of recession people are more likely to ditch healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in favor of inexpensive stuff, like cereal and candy.

Okay, it’s not impossible to eat healthfully in these tough times. Just keep your eyes open. For example, every week I find all sorts of reduced price fruits and veggies. Hey, every little bit helps!

Via Fit Sugar.

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ADHD Drugs Give Kids Hallucinations!

According to a new study in Pediatrics many drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause hallucinations in children, even when taken as directed. Researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed 49 clinical studies, conducted by pharmaceutical companies, and determined ADHD drugs can cause psychosis in some children, specifically worms, bugs and snakes crawling all over them. The list of medications included Ritalin, Focalin XR, Adderall XR, Daytrana, Concerta, Strattera, Celltech and Metadate CD; Reuters investigates.

My goodness, how many Scrabble points is all that worth! Now, Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of bombarding kids with drugs for ADHD, calling these medications unnecessary. Instead, he recommends a nutrient-dense diet, devoid of processed foods and packed with healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. And avoid food dyes too! They’ve been linked to ADHD.

Oh, and it was recently discovered drinking a lot of instant coffee causes hallucinations too.

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Mr. President, You're to Skinny...

Wow. That’s some list! Recently, a bunch of school kids wrote letters to our newly elected president. And one little girl thinks he’s too skinny. Her advice, gobble down lots of hamburgers, cupcakes, cotton candy and French fries. Eek! Clearly, good nutrition for kids still is a long, long way away. Luckily, other suggestions were better, such as taking walks and reading books; via The New York Times.

I wonder what her parents are feeding her! Maybe she’s eating nothing but French fries, like this little girl, or hotdogs in shape of squids. I’m not sure which is worse, fries or hotdogs. Actually, they’re both horrible. Dr. Fuhrman considers hotdogs and French fries, along with other foods, like butter, cheese, doughnuts, salt and sausage, as some of the worst foods you can eat. They’ll shorten your life!

People are monkey-see, monkey-do. If kids grow up around parents who eat healthy, eating lots of fruits and veggies, kids will eat good stuff too. Hey, the main reason I love greens and beans is because I grew up watching my mother eat it, then I started eating it, now I eat it all the time!

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Family-Based Approach Helps Kids Lose Weight

Change the way kids think about health and lifestyle. According to new research, published by The Cochrane Library, family-based interventions, such as improving diet and more physical activity, help overweight children lose weight more than conventional self-help approaches. Scientists insist it’s important for parents to get involved and influence their children’s behavior; Reuters investigates.

Instilling healthy habits early is a great idea, especially when it comes to fitness. It’s been reported that a person’s activity level in youth, influences their over health as an adult. Maybe that’s why South Korea is giving away free gym memberships to children. Darn it! I want a free membership.

And don’t forget. Studies have shown kids eat like their parents. So dad, put down deep-fried hotdog!

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Green-News: Tuesday 1.27.09

  • The economy is suffering. And unemployment is rising. But green jobs are expected to boom, such as farmers, CSA coordinators, recyclers, conservation biologists and solar power installers. Currently, the solar industry employs over 25,000 workers, but it could leap to 110,000 by 2016; via FastCompany.
  • Speaking of community supported agriculture. There are plenty of reasons to eat local! Locally grown food tastes better, retains more nutrients, contains no genetically modified organisms, promotes genetic diversity, and is better for the environment and preserves open spaces; from Green Living Review.
  • Now, despite out obvious recession, interest in green products continues to grow. A new survey of 9,000 consumers revealed shoppers deliberately bought more green products in 2008 than any year before. In 2007, 32% of people sought green products, but in 2008 it increased to 34%; ENN reports.
  • Under the new administration, government officials are hopeful the "Bigger Better Bottle Bill" has its first real shot at becoming law. The legislation would impose a nickel deposit on non-carbonated beverage containers and invest unredeemed deposits into state cleanup programs; The Post-Standard explains.
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On Manager's Special 1.26.09


Ripe bananas only $0.73!



Great broccoli for $1.00.



Squash and zucchini $1.00.

Final total just $2.73. Perfect.

That’s a great haul! I eat broccoli a couple times a week. Squash and zucchini are cool. And bananas, I love bananas!

Veggies Scarce in Poor Communities

A new analysis of 54 studies in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals America’s poorer neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets selling a variety of healthy foods at cheaper prices and more convenience stores that sell less fresh food at higher prices. Minorities and low-income individuals living near supermarkets consumed more fruits and vegetables, in some areas consumption rose by 32%. Poorer communities are also more likely to have more fast food restaurants; Reuters reports.

In New York City, supermarkets are leaving low-income communities, making it harder for residents to find fresh food. Officials claim 3 million people live in high-need neighborhoods, classified as having too many health problems and too few supermarkets. Lack of healthy food and the glut of fast food joints are fueling alarming rates of diabetes and obesity in poorer communities.

But some people are taking a stand. Los Angeles city officials want a moratorium on new fast food restaurants and other L.A. residents are turning empty lots into vibrant vegetable gardens. Awesome!

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Take it Easy, Stress Will Make You Crazy!

Next time you’re freaked out, calm down. A new study in Neurology claims people who cope with stress are less likely to develop dementia. In outgoing, social people the findings were particularly high. A decreased risk was also observed in less social people that could still handle stress well. Researchers tracked 506 older people for 6 years, during this time 106 became demented. In the beginning, participants filled out questionnaires to determine their personality type and stress level; CNN reports.

I deal with stress by bashing my head against the wall. Kidding! Actually, for me Yoga is a huge stress alleviator. And a previous study reveals mediation and prayer techniques, like those found in Yoga, might change people’s gene activity and help them better react to stress. Shanti, shanti!

And other reports show being social improves memory and reducing stress helps you live longer.

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China, Lethal Punishments for Toxic Milk

In a swift and harsh act of justice, China has sentenced 2 men involved with the milk-melamine crisis to death and another man to life in prison. With 6 fatalities and 300,000 babies suffering kidney disease from ingesting baby formula tainted with melamine, a pesticide, China sought an abrupt and decisive end to a national embarrassment and has since taken steps to improve food safety; via BusinessWeek.

Initially China encouraged citizens to breast feed in order to avoid tainted formula and the United States Food and Drug Administration urged consumers not to buy Chinese-made baby formula. And recently research discovered exposure to melamine can cause painful kidney stones.

In 2007, the U.S. quarantined 6,000 hogs contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid, an ingredient in bleach and herbicides.

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Reporters Eat Junk Food...

Tuesday’s inaugural kept everyone busy. From the new first family to the old first family and everyone in between! And journalists get worst of it. CBS’s Diane Sawyer tells Rachel Ray on busy days her and her fellow reporters gobble down nothing but sweet and salty snacks all day.

Rachel Ray breaks my heart. She’s super cute. But that food she cooks. It’ll kill you. Eek!

Via That’s Fit.

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A Brand New Victory Garden!

Eat the View is petitioning the new president to a replant a large organic garden on the First Lawn with fresh fruits and veggies going to the Whitehouse and local food pantries. In the 1940s, to the support the war effort, Eleanor Roosevelt revived the First Garden and encouraged others to do the same, calling them Victory Gardens.

And now, this uplifting video, The Garden of Eatin': A Short History of America's Garden, tells the story of the Whitehouse garden, from its meager beginnings in the 1800s, when John Adams first planted it, to today’s call to bring it back. I say, go for it Mr. President!

Via CalorieLab.

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Heart Health: Potassium Good, Sodium Bad...

Salt’s a bad guy! Dr. Fuhrman says consuming salt boosts stroke risk and previous studies show sodium leads to hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure. Even sea salt is a bad idea. When he was on Studio 10 TV in St. Petersburg, Florida, this past November, Dr. Fuhrman explained the supposed health benefits of sea salt don’t out weigh the negatives.

And now, a new study in Archives of Internal Medicine claims high sodium intake and low potassium consumption increases heart disease risk by 24%. Scientists collected data from 2275 participants, ages 30 to 54, with pre-hypertension. After examining urine excretion, researchers determined those people peeing out more sodium and less potassium were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease; from FoodNavigator-USA.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with a myriad of nutrients and vitamins. And foods like strawberries and plums are excellent sources of potassium. So, go buy some!

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No Luck of the Irish for Subway!

Subway plans to open 119 new restaurants in Ireland over the next two years. But one health advocate is against it, urging the government to put a cap on the number of restaurants. Saying Subway’s food is too high in calories and fuels obesity rates. Foot-long sandwiches can have as much as 1,160 calories, providing more than half of most people’s daily recommended intake; The Times Online reports.

It’s been rough for Subway. This summer, a patron sued after finding a dirty 7-inch knife in his 12-inch sandwich. Then, back in July, New York City enacted calories-on-menus laws for all fast food restaurants, including Subway, hoping it’ll help consumers make smarter food choices. And the idea is catching on! The U.K. just announced a 6-month trial period for similar legislation; via Diet-Blog.

Oh, and a new study determined students are more likely to eat junk food, like soda, if their school is located within walking distance of fast food restaurants.

Via CalorieLab.

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Junk Food Ads in Health Magazines

Hypocrisy, thy name is advertising. A new study in the European Journal of Public Health reveals 25.5% of advertisements in 30 popular British magazines are for ready-made meals, soups and sauces, which are full of salt. Another 23% are for high-fat and sugary foods, like ice-cream, chocolate bars, sweets and soft drinks. Only 1.8% of the adverts are for fruits and vegetables. And here’s the kicker, many of these advertisements appear alongside articles with healthy messages; ScienceDaily investigates.

Can’t say I’m shocked! Now, in December, research came out claiming sophisticated marketing campaigns do not acknowledge a drug’s rarer complications and hides any lack of long-term testing, putting people at increased risk of serious side-effects.

As for food advertising, last year Kellogg’s announced it would cut advertisements aimed at young children.

Via That’s Fit.

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Eating to Live on the Outside: Green Elephant

Wow, it’s finally Friday! Good, I’m pooped. But before I pack it in, we’ve got to knock out Eating to Live on the Outside and this week we’re taking an internet trip to Maine and checking out Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro.

Okay, I just finished reading Green Elephant’s menu. It’s not perfect. I wouldn’t eat everything on it. But here’s what I might order:

Steamed Yellow & Green Beans

  • Spicy peanut sauce, yellow beans and green beans; very simple, very good!

Asian Vegetable Stew

  • Chinese broccoli, green mustard, cabbage, Napa cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, carrot and tofu; hopefully it’s low or no salt, because all those veggies are great.

Vegetable Clear Spicy Soup

  • Mushroom, butternut squash, onion, tofu and hot basil; same worry about the salt, but lots of cool vegetables.

Spicy Green Leaves Salad

  • Greens and spicy bean curd dressing; hard to beat greens.

Steam Assorted Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

  • Broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet corn, snow peas, carrot, green beans, peanut sauce, 5-grain tempeh and brown rice; I’d ditch the tempeh and the rice isn’t the most nutrient-dense thing in the world, but I can deal with it and look at all those veggies!

Tofu Delight

  • Stir-fried tofu, snow peas, carrots, zucchini, corn, bell pepper, onion, organic egg, celery, scallions, yellow curry sauce and served with buttercup squash and brown rice; I’m nixing the eggs and same thing with rice.

Peanut Curry

  • Coconut milk, soy meat, chickpeas, sweet potato, carrots, onion, peanut curry, mashed buttercup squash and brown rice; no soy meat for me.

Tofu Tikka Masala

  • Tofu, spinach, edamame, chickpeas, Masala curry sauce, served with brown rice seasoned with curry powder, peas, carrots and shallots; the edamame beans make this a lock for me. I love them!

Green Leaves Wrap with Mango & Herbs

  • Mango, herbs, greens and tamarind dipping sauce; well, if the greens are the wraps, this sounds very intriguing. Mango is awesome.

Pineapple Brown Rice

  • Brown rice, pineapple, sunflower seeds, soy meat, sweet corn, peas, carrots, scallions and organic egg; again with the rice and no egg for me.

Green Elephant works! Plenty of good stuff to satisfy your veggie desires. But if I had to pick, I’d order either the Steam Assorted Vegetables with Peanut Sauce or the Tofu Tikka Masala.

Now, I think Green Elephant is cool. But I’m a big dummy. So, what do you think? Flip through Green Elephant’s menu and let me know what you’d order. Until then, eat wisely! Peace.

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Salt Lake City is the Fittest City

The World Health Organization estimates 1.6 billion adults, ages 15 and up, were overweight and 400 million adults were obese, worldwide. So, where are all these fat people coming from? Definitely not Salt Lake City! A new survey found Salt Lake, Utah, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota are the top 3 fittest cities in the United States. But, Miami, Florida, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and San Antonio, Texas made the list as America’s top 3 fattest cities; via Men’s Fitness.

We better watch out! There’s going to be an all brawl between U.S. cities. In November, the Centers for Disease Control said Burlington, Vermont has the healthiest people in America. Although, Las Vegas has got to be happy, they broke their 2-year streak of being the fattest city in the country. Kudos!

As a nation, we need to reel this obesity thing in. Obesity costs the U.S. more than $100 billion a year.

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Britons Choke Down Healthy Food...

Many Brits love a full English breakfast, but hate nutritious foods, like spinach, mushrooms, lentils, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other vegetables. But, they still eat them! According to a new report, during their lifetime, people living in the United Kingdom consume 4,000 portions of foods they dislike, because they know eating them is healthy. Nutritionists are astonished by the amount of food people are forcing themselves to eat; The Telegraph investigates.

Wow, that’s hardcore! But not nearly as tough as the mums who started dealing hamburgers on the playground when the local school tried to improve its menu, now that’s gangster!

Via CalorieLab.

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Rubber Chemical Linked to Cancer

Your rubber ducky may be more dangerous than you think. According to a new study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine a chemical called 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), commonly used in rubber products, may heighten cancer risk. Researchers examined data on plant workers from 1955 to 1984 and 1971 to 1984 and determined those exposed to fumes during the manufacturing process were twice as likely to develop colon cancer and 4 times as likely to get bone marrow cancer; Reuters reports.

Great, another chemical to worry about! If you recall, Bisphenol-A (BPA) was all over the news last year. BPA is used to make hard plastic and has been linked to learning impairments and depression and prostate cancer and breast cancer.

So, be mindful of your environment, especially if you have kids!

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Green-News: Thursday 1.22.09

  • That dirty bottle with the red cap looks like trash. But it actually holds the first weapons-grade plutonium ever made. And no, it wasn’t found in some war-torn country. It was unearthed in Washington State, at an abandoned 1940s weapons plant; via NewScientist.
  • India has drawn a hard line against plastic bags. The capital city has banned all non-biodegradable shopping bags. And now, effective immediately, anyone caught with a plastic bag will face up to 5 years in prison and up to a $2,034 fine; DiscoBlog explains.
  • Southern China’s bustling factories are spewing a haze over Hong Kong, covering the famous harbor with pollution and threatening the city’s economy. Officials worry the poor air quality will force people to leave the city and no new people will move in; the AFP reports.
  • Creative agriculture may slow global warming. Planting crops, specifically those with waxy leaves, with traditional farm crops will reflect sunlight and reduce temperatures by 2 degrees in central North America and parts of Asia and Europe; via The New York Times.
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Cotton-Tailed Lettuce Thief!

Let this be a lesson to you. Do not leave your bag of greens around your pet rabbit. You may be left with a bag of pellets.

Oh, and watch out for canned green beans too. Sometimes they come with a free mouse head. Yucky!

Via ICanHasCheezBurger.

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Way More Americans Could Go on Statins!

Pretty soon, 11.2 million more people could be put on cholesterol-lowering medications. A new study in Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes reveals statins, such as Crestor and Lipitor, can lower heart attack and stroke risk by 44%. Currently, 33.5 million older Americans, with high cholesterol and hypertension, take statins. However, authors of the new study, called JUPITER, believe 44.7 million people now fit the criteria for statin therapy, meaning more and more prescriptions; HealthDay News reports.

Not all news on statins is good! Just last week, research came out linking statins, like the aforementioned Crestor and Lipitor, with rare eye disorders, including eyelid-droop and double-vision. That means 11.2 million more people will have googly eyes!

I guess it’s easier to prescribe pills and meds, than fruits and vegetables, which naturally reverse and prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.

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Pollution Linked to Arrhythmia and Scientists Get the Lead Out

A new study in the European Heart Journal claims patients with implantable heart defibrillators are at greater risk of ventricular arrhythmia, a potentially fatal heart rhythm, when exposed to air pollution. Of the 211 participants observed for 33 months, researchers determined 73 patients had rapid abnormal heart rhythm due to pollution; Reuters investigates.

In related in news, researchers from South Korea may have figured out how to remove dangerous metals, like lead, from people’s blood. Appearing in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, scientists claim magnetic fields can fish out harmful metals from the bloodstream. High lead levels can cause anemia and brain damage; via Reuters.

And chemical contaminants, specifically pesticides, are actually causing fewer male births in both animals and humans.

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Eating at the Inaugural...

Yesterday was a big deal for America! We swore in a new president. And like all big parties. They served food! Not for everyone of course, just the guests of honor. And the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon featured a bunch of Fuhrman-unfriendly foods. Eek!

The menu included seafood stew, first. Followed by pheasant and duck served with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes. And lastly, apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glace, for dessert. Each course was accompanied by wine or champagne from California; via The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

We’re all hoping for change. But that menu sure seems like more of the same. Barely a veggie in sight! Well, at least President Obama, like many presidents before him, is way into exercise and fitness. He likes playing basketball and lifting weights.

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Japan Says Cloned Meat is Good to Eat!

On the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that genetically modified animals can enter the food supply. Yesterday, Japan announced cloned meat, like Dolly the sheep, is okay to eat. Officials claim available scientific information shows cloned animals are just as safe as conventionally bred livestock; Reuters investigates.

Actually, last year, the FDA said the same thing when they approved the consumption of cloned meat, from animals like cattle, swine or goats. But, much like their stance on genetically modified animals, the FDA does not require labeling meat as coming from clones. I guess it’s supposed to be a surprise!

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Antibiotics in the Soil and Veggies...

A new report in the Journal of Environmental Quality claims crops grown in fertilizer made with livestock manure actually absorb the antibiotics injected into cattle. Researchers point out that an alarming 70% of antibiotics produced in the United States are fed to livestock and 90% of those antibiotics are excreted in farm animal urine and feces. Putting vegetables at risk, even those grown on organic farms, exacerbating the fear over antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Environmental Health News investigates.

It gets worse! Last week it was discovered many pharmaceuticals, like cholesterol-lowering medications, painkillers and tranquilizers, are polluting our drinking water. Eek!

Also, in humans, antibiotics are over-used and misused. According to Dr. Fuhrman, doctors are too quick to prescribe antibiotics for conditions that will resolve on their own, like ear infections.

Via TreeHugger.

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Preschool Lunches, Parents Skimp on Healthy Stuff

This fall, a study revealed the food supplied to 94,000 public and private schools by the United States Department of Agriculture is of poor nutritional quality, too many high-fat foods, like pizza and chicken nuggets. In California, fruits and veggies only make up 13% of the total money spent on school food.

And now, new research in Journal of the American Dietetic Association claims most bagged lunches, packed by parents, did not have enough of fruits and vegetables. Researchers studied the lunches of 74 children from 5 different childcare centers, observing their packed lunch for 3 days. They found only 29% of the packed lunches had adequate fruits and vegetables. And many parents were more likely to pack foods kids liked, rather than healthy, nutritious foods; HealthDay News reports.

Not surprising. Some parents feed their kids pizza and French because they don’t like vegetables and fruit hurts their mouth. Kooky! That why Dr. Fuhrman says it’s the parents’ job to set the example, if you want your kids to eat healthfully, start eating YOUR fruits and veggies! Monkey see, monkey do.

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Peanut Butter, All Sorts of Recalled!

It’s been in the news for a couple weeks now. But in case you haven’t heard. There’s a big peanut butter-salmonella outbreak going on. Kellogg’s recalled many products, like snack crackers, using peanut butter after people in 43 states fell ill and at least six have died; the Associated Press reports.

Actually, this isn’t the first peanut butter-salmonella recall. Back in 2007, Peter Pan and Wal-Mart brand peanut butter sickened over 300 people in 41 states. That’s why I buy natural peanut butter. I’d rather stir my peanut butter, than puke it up!

Oh, and this summer tomatoes got a bad rap for salmonella too. But it turned out to be some ornery jalapeño peppers instead. Muy mal.

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Green-News: Tuesday 1.20.08

  • Sorry spring-breakers, tequila is not good for the environment. The region of Mexico, where tequila is made, cannot re-grow blue agave cactuses, tequila’s prime ingredient, fast enough. The blue agave takes 6 years to mature and increased production has made tequila unsustainable; from NewScientist.
  • Climate change whacks the environment. But it also harms human health. And not just from pollution. An epidemic of nephropathia epidemica, which can cause internal hemorrhaging and death, in Europe is being blamed on booming vermin populations, due to warming temperatures; ScienceDaily explains.
  • A group of major U.S. corporations, including 3 automakers, has announced a joint pact to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. A spokesperson for the coalition says America, has the will, the capabilities and the courage to eco-innovate, even in these tough economic times; via ENN.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has settled a lawsuit over their failure to adequately monitor mercury emissions from cement plants. In 2007, a group of 9 states sued the EPA. As part of the settlement, the agency will now regulate cement plant mercury pollution; the Associated Press reports.
  • More bad news for the EPA, this time 6 environmental groups have sued the EPA over a rule that doesn’t require dairies and livestock farms to notify officials when harmful materials, like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, found in cattle urine and feces, are released; the Associated Press investigates.
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On Manager's Special 1.19.09


My favorite, ripe bananas! Only $0.83.



More bananas $0.96.



And some apples for $1.40.

Final total $3.19. Sweet!

I'll probably freeze and blend most of those bananas and apples are always cool to have around.

FDA Calls Genetically Engineered Animals Cutting Edge...

In a statement last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said genetically engineered animals, not including cloned animals, hold substantial promise for improving public health, i.e. these creatures can enter the food supply, but not before rigorous scientific testing. However, the FDA will not require companies to label that their meat has come from genetically engineered animals, outraging consumer groups. One organization claims the FDA is disregarding consumers' right to choose; CNN investigates.

There’s a bizarre compulsion in this country to futz with what Mother Nature took millions of years to perfect, like do we really need purple tomatoes infused with snapdragon genes or carrots with scorpion parts? I doubt it. Not to mention, an experiment in 2007 showed rats fed genetically modified corn developed signs of kidney and liver disease after 3 months.

And as for cloned meat, it won’t be labeled either and many health experts don’t want it.

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Research Questions Traditional Heart-Risk Assessments

Two new studies, one in the American Journal of Roentgenology and the other in the British Medical Journal, cast doubt on the long-established Framingham Risk Score for evaluating cardiovascular disease. The Framingham score assesses risk based on age, gender, total blood cholesterol, HDL, smoking, blood pressure and taking blood pressure medication. The first study did not accurately predict risk for a group of 1,653 people with no history of heart disease and the second revealed the Framingham score did no better than chance in predicting the 108 deaths; HealthDay News reports.

Okay, I admit, this report made me woozy, way over my head! So I asked Dr. Fuhrman about it. Here’s what he had to say:

Medical studies are clouded when they only look at the symptoms of unhealthy behavior such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These easily measurable numbers correlate with unhealthful lifestyle and diet-style, but they could reflect past habits, not present ones, plus they are not the sole cause of heart attacks.

These numbers do not incorporate other more critical factors such as diet-style and exercise tolerance and body weight. So if one person had higher cholesterol but was eating significantly healthier and exercising more, they might be at significantly lower risk than a person with a lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but with more intravascular and cellular oxidative stress from their low nutrient diet.

Hopefully that clears it up for you. Now, in other heart-related news, a recent report showed even a little extra belly fat can increase cardiovascular risk. And, in attempt to curb his own heart troubles and those of his city, Chicago’s health commissioner is encouraging everyone to go vegetarian!

Like Dr. Fuhrman says, a vegetable-based diet is the best way to aggressively reverse heart disease!

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VitaminWater Gets Sued!

Quite frankly, I think energy drinks are stupid. And apparently so do consumer groups. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola, producers of VitaminWater, for making undeserving claims about their product, such as preventing chronic disease and supporting immune system function. CSPI points out that VitaminWater’s 33 grams of sugar in each bottle promotes obesity, diabetes and other health problems and the advertising is misleading; via Reuters.

Other “health” and energy drinks have also drawn heavy scrutiny. A couple years ago, a whacked out beverage called “cocaine” was pulled from stores and Red Bull, which has been linked to stroke risk, has been bashed for its dangerous caffeine load and marketing to children.

I’ve noticed that some of the unhealthiest looking people are the ones chugging down these drinks.

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Cyclists May Have More Osteoporosis

You’ve probably heard it before. Exercise is really good for your bones. It makes them stronger. But a new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise claims cyclists were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop osteoporosis or near-osteoporosis. However, biker riders did have less body fat and more muscle. Adding running or weight lifting to a workout can help stimulate the bones and keep them strong; via KiroTV.

In other news, the osteoporosis drug Fosamax has been linked to esophageal cancer. And, getting plenty of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is a great way to keep bones strong and healthy. So is using a weighted vest.

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Kids Talking Spinach...

I’m not much of a kid person. But these kids are pretty freaking cute. It’s a commercial for an insurance company, which stinks, but the little boy is priceless. It’s spinach, not Spanish!

Now, not all kids are enthusiastic about veggies. This little girl is totally whacked out about green beans. She REALLY doesn’t want them. Maybe she needs a visit from Captain Vegetable!

Via TrueHoop.

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Instant Coffee is Far Out, Causes Hallucinations...

Old hippies and frat boys will love this. A new study in Personality and Individual Differences claims people drinking 7 or more cups of instant coffee a day were 3 times more likely to hallucinate; psychotic experiences such as seeing ghosts and hearing voices. However, experts have their doubts, but, and this is really freaky, according to the report, 3% of people regularly hear voices; via BBC News.

Now, if hallucinating wasn’t bad enough! Previous research reveals daily coffee intake can actually shrink women’s breasts, 3 cups of coffee per day resulted in an average breast size 17% smaller than women who drank under 3 cups a day. Going insane and small boobies, sounds like a nightmare!

And other dangers of coffee, i.e. caffeine, consumption include heightened risk of osteoporosis, miscarriage and heart disease. So, is that morning pick-me-up really worth it? Probably not.

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Lack of Sleep Leads to More Colds

This is ironic. I’m both exhausted and sniffley today. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine claims people who sleep for less than 7 hours every night may get more colds. Researchers examined healthy men and women between 2000 and 2004 and found participants who didn’t get enough sleep were more likely to develop a cold after being exposed to a cold virus, backing up previous studies suggesting sleep deprivation may impair immune system function; Newswise reports.

Crap! I better go buy some tissues. Now, not getting enough sleep is no joke. Other research has associated lack of sleep with heart problems and obesity and 40 million Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. That means there are a lot of sleepy fat people running around with bad hearts. Eek!

And another way to avoid a cold, and even the flu, is practicing good hygiene, like washing your hands.

Via Vitamin G.

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Eating to Live on the Outside: Herbivore

Inspired by Chicago’s vegetarian health initiative, this week Eating to Live on the Outside digitally visits Herbivore vegan restaurant in California. And I got to say, I really like it!

Okay, I just finished scouring Herbivore’s online menu. Here’s a list of food I might order. And you’ll see that the salads are fantastic! Take a look:

Scrambled Tofu

  • Tofu, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes and toast with fruit spread; sounds good, but I’d pass on the toast.

Basil Pesto Scrambled Tofu

  • Tofu, potatoes, basil pesto and toast with fruit spread; same deal here.

Southwestern Scrambled Tofu

  • Tofu, salsa, potatoes, black beans, guacamole, vegan sour cream and corn bread; I’d nix the faux-sour cream and corn bread.


  • Oatmeal with grilled bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon; the syrup is a little iffy, but I can deal with it.

Roasted Almonds

  • Almonds with lemon-cayenne seasoning; seems good to me.

Vegetable Sampler

  • Char-broiled vegetables, pesto, tahini, lemon-garlic sauce and baguette; the veggies being charred stinks, but it might work, and no bread for me.

Sweet & Sour Noodle Soup

  • Rice noodles, tofu, spinach, carrots, broccoli, oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, pineapple, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro; okay, soup is always dicey, because you never know just how salty it is, so ask the wait staff first. Now, the rice noodles aren’t great, but the rest of the stuff is awesome!

Coconut Noodle Soup

  • Rice noodles, tofu, spinach, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, bean sprouts, oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and coconut; same thing with this.

Green Salad

  • Mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, avocado, red cabbage, onions, bean sprouts, tomatoes, red beets, mint and dressing; very cool, but dressing on the side.

Spinach Salad

  • Spinach, mushrooms, red onions, toasted walnuts, roasted red peppers and hemp dressing; I dig it!

Green Papaya Salad

  • Green papaya, tomatoes, green beans, red cabbage, carrots, onions, peanuts, mint, lettuce and tamarind dressing; papaya salad is one of my favorite things to order.

Indonesian Noodle Salad

  • Rice noodle, greens, tofu, cucumbers, pineapple, orange, sprouts, mint, cilantro, red cabbage, onions, sautéed oyster mushrooms, ginger and peanut or tamarind dressing; I’d skip the noodles and stick the dressing on the side.


  • Lime marinated oyster mushrooms, tofu, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeño peppers and crostini bread; I’ll pass on bread.

Quinoa Salad

  • Quinoa, spinach, kidney beans, red onions, celery and lemon shallot dressing; same thing with the dressing.

Roasted Red Beet Salad

  • Red beets, greens and balsamic dressing; I like it.

Raw Kale Salad

  • Kale and lemon olive marinade; its hard to beat kale!

Raw Red Beet & Spinach Salad

  • Red beets, spinach and lemon shallot dressing; same thing with the dressing.

Kung Pao

  • Char-broiled vegetables, peanuts, cilantro, brown rice or basmati rice and a green salad with Dijon mustard dressing; I’d go with brown rice and get the dressing on the side.

Red Curry

  • Char-broiled vegetables, red curry, potatoes, cilantro, brown or basmati rice and tofu; brown rice again.

Lentil Loaf

  • Lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, seasonal greens, red beet sauce and crostini bread; passing on the bread.


  • Eggplant, potatoes, soy protein, tofu ricotta, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, marinara sauce and crostini bread; same deal with the bread.

Herbivore is loaded with awesome food! Especially the salads, they’re probably your best bet. If I had to chose, I’d either order the Green Papaya Salad or the Indonesian Noodle Salad. They both rock!

You might try Herbivore’s juices and smoothies too. They’re made with cool stuff, like beets, spinach and pomegranate. So, check out Herbivore’s menu and let me what you’d order! Eat wisely. Peace.

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Gardasil Denied Approval for Women 27 to 45, Again!

For the second time, U.S. health regulators have denied approval for the use of Gardasil in women, ages 27 to 45. Officials want more long term clinical data. Merck’s Gardasil is said to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. Following the denial Merck’s shares dropped 79 cents. Merck is also pushing Gardasil for use among men; Reuters reports.

Now, Gardasil is no wonder drug! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received 7,802 instances of people suffering an adverse reaction to Gardasil and the vaccine only protects against 4 of the 100 strains of HPV. It also killed a 17-year old girl from New York. Not to mention, this spring the FDA ordered Merck clean up a manufacturing plant where Gardasil is produced.

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Chicago's Health Chief Says No Meat!

The windy city is well known for big beefy “Da Bears” fans, but Chicago Health Commissioner, Dr. Terry Mason, wants all Chicagoans to kick the deep dish pizza and go vegetarian. This January, Dr. Mason, a practicing urologist, won’t eat any meat. Dr. Mason, who has high cholesterol and had a coronary stent implanted in 2005, hopes his example will encourage others, especially African-Americans, who have a high rate of hypertension and high cholesterol, to cut harmful fatty foods; The Chicago Tribune reports.

Kudos to Dr. Mason! Lots of cool people have gone veggie. And who’s cooler than Batman! That’s right, the dark knight himself, Christian Bale, is a vegetarian. Even Batman knows fruits and vegetables offer excellent protection against cancer and heart disease reversal.

And switching to a vegetable-based diet is good for the planet too. Meat and other animal products strain the environment and require vast amounts of natural resources to produce, unlike fruits and vegetables which are far less taxing. So eat your veggies, lots of them!

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Cell Phones Don't Cause Eye Cancer, But...

Ever since the days of those prehistoric 1980s cell phones everyone wonders if mobile phones are cooking our heads with cancer. The research is conflicted. Some studies say they boost cancer risk, like brain cancer, but now, new research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute claims regular cell phone usage does not increase a person’s risk of getting eye cancer. After studying 1,600 people for about a decade, scientists detected no link between cell phones and cancer; Reuters reports.

Actually, a year ago I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on mobile phones and cancer risk. And he admitted it’s hard to say. “The bottom line is we don’t know,” he explained, “Cancer causation is a 20 to 50 year process. So we have to follow young people for more than 20 to 30 years to really have answers here.” Good idea! Currently the largest study on cell phones and cancer was only 10 years.

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Green-News: Thursday 1.15.08

  • The rainforest houses the world’s largest collection of plants and animals. Scientists call it our heart and lungs, but the Brazilian Amazon has suffered major deforestation, more and more land is being cleared for cattle pastures. In some areas, deforestation has increased by 50% in 1 year; from LiveScience.
  • Maybe old people can replant the rainforest! A new study suggests gardening helps older men and women feel better. Researchers claim on most days gardeners meet the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity and in the spring many people spent an hour gardening; Reuters reports.
  • And a Japanese firm plans to manufacturer CD and DVD cases with rice-plastic. The composite material is 10% rice and consumes significantly less fossil fuel during production and emits 10% less carbon dioxide than traditional materials, but the hybrid cases are more expensive; from CleanTechnia.
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Young Adults Don't Take Heart Risks Seriously...

You might not realize it. But heart disease starts early, i.e. childhood. According to Dr. Fuhrman, lifetime cholesterol levels are affected by the food choices we make as kids. In fact, for many people, even if they adopt a healthy plant-based diet later on, they still might not obtain as favorable cholesterol levels as they would have had, had they started eat healthfully as a young person.

And now, new research in Circulation claims young Americans who are told they have low risk of heart disease, could have a high lifetime risk. The study examined people under the age of 50, determining that individuals who had low risk of heart trouble over the next 10 years, already had damage to their arteries that might cause problems in the future, 91% of the participants had risk of heart disease; Reuters investigates.

Actually, previous reports have show heart disease begins developing in men during adolescence and the American Heart Association recently revealed obese kids can have middle-aged arteries. Now despite the benefits of eating fruits and veggies for you heart, some researchers recommend giving kids statins instead. Eek!

Vicks VapoRub Dangerous for Little Kids

Children’s cold medicine has drawn heavy fire lately. Health officials are concerned over the possible health risks. In fact, last month, Canadian health officials urged parents not to give kids over-the-counter cold remedies, even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considered banning children’s cold medicine

And yesterday, researchers in Chest revealed Vicks VapoRub, a popular cold remedy, triggers respiratory distress in children younger than 2, when incorrectly applied under the nose, causing airways to swell and fill with mucus. This reaction is normal in adults, but infants and toddlers’ have narrower airways, putting them at risk. But researchers are quick to point out. Vicks clearly states their product should never go under the nose of children under the age of 2. And while not tested, generics could pose the same danger; Reuters reports.

Oddly enough, many of these cold remedies may not even work in little kids, placebo works just as well.

Hourglass Shape a Thing of the Past

Curves have long been associated with female beauty, such as Marilyn Monroe, but not anymore. In Current Anthropology, researchers reveal the pressure of demanding jobs and being more independent are causing women to produce more hormones which make them physically stronger and able to handle more stress. It’s also causing them to gain more weight around their middle than their hips. As a result, many modern day sex symbols, like Keira Knightley, have angular or “straight up and down” figures; The Daily Mail reports.

The findings are a little confusing. What do beautiful actresses have to be stressed about? Which Chihuahua best matches their handbag!

Via That’s Fit.

Melamine Linked to Kidney Stones

Chinese milk products tainted with melamine, a chemical used in making plastic, ignited a frenzy this fall, sickening thousands of children and contaminating foods like green beans, candy and baby formula. And now, a new study in International Journal of Clinical Chemistry and Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine claims melamine exposure alone is enough to cause kidney stones and the greater the exposure, the larger the stones. Scientists compared various urine samples from children who consumed tainted milk; via Reuters.

The hubbub over melamine prompted the FDA to open an office in Beijing, China to sure up food safety regulation and imports to the United States.

Via The New York Times.

More Obese Americans than Overweight Americans

Well, its official, we’re doomed! According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of obese Americans now outweighs the total number of overweight people, 34% of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7% of people who are overweight. In 2005-2006, researchers say one-third of Americans were obese, a startling 72 million people, and the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980, however the trend of overweight has remained stable during that time; via Reuters.

We shouldn’t be proud of this milestone, especially since obesity has been linked to poor health and migraines, cancer, thyroid inflammation and other diseases. So, based on this research, we’ve got a wave, scratch that, a tsunami of sick people on the horizon.

But, oddly enough, a recent study actually claims obesity protects against heart disease. It’s cuckoo!

Fit Kids Make Healthy Young Adults...

A new study in Pediatrics claims a person’s level of fitness as a child influences their health as an adult. Of the participants, Norwegian students, those who were more physically active at age 13 were less likely to become obese and develop high blood pressure in their 20s and mid-30s, but this effect dissipated by age 40. Leaving researchers to recommend staying fit as you grow up; Reuters reports.

With so many schools cutting gym programs and obesity soaring worldwide, a lot of attention is being paid to keeping kids active. The National Football League has its Play 60 campaign and recently, India’s health minister suggested making Yoga mandatory for all school children.

Oh! And remember, the television is the enemy. Children that watch too much TV are unfit.

Oprah Packs on the Pounds, Again!

Months after ending her stint as a vegan and saying, “I will forever be a more cautious and conscious eater.” Oprah Winfrey has admitted she’s ballooned to more than 200 pounds. She blames anxiety-eating and binging on organic, multi-grain blue chips; The New York Post reports.

Celebrities go on diet rollercoasters all the time. Singer, Alanis Morissette did. She packed on 20 pounds, but after following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live, now she looks hotter than ever. So Oprah, email me and I’ll make sure Dr. Fuhrman gets it!

Green-News: Tuesday 1.13.09

  • People are getting hip to green energy, like wind and solar. Now, solar panels might be the cool new thing to stick on your house. But there’s a problem. When it snows, they get covered, rendering them powerless! So, many solar system owners are calling for a solution; The New York Times investigates.
  • California is considering legislation that would require retailers to only sell the most energy efficient LCD and plasma TVs. Naturally, industry leaders are opposing the laws, saying it’ll drive up prices and some manufacturers fear they won’t be able to meet increased standards; The Los Angeles Times explains.
  • Nowadays, even fitness is high-tech. Most gyms look like arcades. Seems like nobody just runs in the park anymore! So, if you’re looking to green your workout, consider buying a reusable water bottle, taking a bike ride, wearing organic workout clothes or encourage your gym to go green; via Huddler.
  • States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, have agreed to cut carbon emissions from transportation fuels. The effort will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting sustainable usage of renewable fuels; SustainableBusiness News reports.
  • Drinking water in the U.S. is in trouble. A new report has detected 11 unusual pollutants, including gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug, and naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug associated with heighten asthma risk. Experts say the low levels do not pose a health risk; via NewScientist.

On Manager's Special 1.11.09


Broccoli, just $0.51.



More broccoli, still only $0.51.



And a bunch of onions for $0.74.

Final total $1.76. How can you beat that!

I could eat broccoli everday and onions are always great to have around.

Cut Back Meat, Save the Planet...

You shouldn’t eat a lot of meat. It’ll boost your risk of heart attack, cancer and other diseases. But the rearing of livestock also beats up the environment, polluting water supplies and generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases. That’s why many scientists are scrambling to repurpose cattle emissions, i.e. cow farts, burps and poop, into sources of energy, specifically methane fuel.

Now, those systems cost money and might not always be practical. So here’s a simpler solution, don’t eat as much meat! It doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian, vegan or even flexitarian, but some experts insist if Americans cut meat consumption from 12 ounces per capita to only 3.1 ounces per day, roughly the size of a deck of cards, we’ll slow global climate change; Fresh Greens explains.

Not a bad idea. Especially when you consider Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid, he recommends eating foods like meat and dairy very infrequently.

Via Serious Eats.

Women Less Active than Men

Presenting at the UK Society for Behavioral Medicine’s annual conference, researchers claim both young girls and women over 70, aren’t as active as their male counterparts. In children, boys tended to play very physicals games and run around like mad men, but girls spent more time in smaller groups, engaging in conversation, verbal games and socializing. In older folks, exercise levels were down among both genders. However, men did more intensive activities, but rested more. While women engaged in lower intensity activities, like housework, for longer intervals; The BBC News investigates.

Staying active and exercising is important for everyone, especially women. Exercise can help build stronger bones, staving off osteoporosis.

Via That’s Fit.

Slumping Economy, Slumping Diets

Okay, no matter what side of the political fence you fall on, we can all agree, the economy is in toilet. For most of us, money is tight. And according to experts, this spells trouble for the already horrible American diet. People might become more inclined to ditch healthier foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, for cheaper, horrible foods, such as fast food and cereal; Reuters explains.

And previous reports have claimed up-ticks in candy sales are directly related to recession. But, you can survive hard times healthfully, if you keep your eyes open! You can find plenty of great, reduced priced produce at most supermarkets and farmers markets are a haven of affordable fruits and veggies.

Fruit and Vegetable Lapse...

You’d certainly be better off eating them, but here’s a time-lapsed look at what happens to various fruits and vegetables left to decompose for 74 days. It’s pretty amazing to see how quickly the strawberries fall apart and how durable the onions are. And the potatoes are certainly opportunistic! That growth you see towards the end is sprouting out of the spuds. I’m part nerd, so I find this stuff fascinating.

Now, for the opposite end of the plant lifecycle, check out the organic tomato I grew on a pile of garbage this past summer. “On the path unwinding. In the Circle. The Circle of Life.”

Too Fat to Fly, You're Fired!

This week, 9 female flight attendants for Air India, who could not meet the company’s weight standards, were fired. The crew members were said to be significantly overweight and had been given time to lose weight, but did not. The airline cites fitness and efficiency concerns for the weight standards, but the lawyer for the flight attendants calls the firings illegal and plans to file paperwork with the Supreme Court; CBS News reports.

No doubt, this is unfair, but I wonder. Is having slim employees on a plane, something I imagine has weight limits, a necessary requirement. If so, going forward, the company probably should print this on the job application.

Statins May Weaken Eye Muscles

A new study in Ophthalmology claims statins, very popular cholesterol-lowing drugs, may cause rare eye disorders, like eyelid-droop, double-vision and weakening of the muscles that control eye movement. Researchers examined 256 cases where statins, such as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor, were associated with eye-muscle disorders, of the cases, 62 patients reported no more eyelid-droop or double vision after they stopped taking the medication. Experts call this side-effect rare; Reuters investigates.

Statins might make drug companies a lot of money, but they come with a price. According to Dr. Fuhrman, other side-effects of statins include hepatitis, jaundice, liver problems, gastrointestinal complications, low platelet levels and anemia. And many doctors question whether statins even prevent heart attacks at all!

There’s a better way. A diet rich fruits and vegetables improves cholesterol and reverses heart disease.

Too Much TV Leaves Kids Unfit

SpongeBob and MySpace might be super cool. But new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests teenagers who spend more than 2 hours in front of a television or computer each day, had less endurance during a standard running test than their peers. However, the findings do not support the theory that watching television or playing on the computer makes kids out-of-shape, but still, researchers recommend parents set clear rules for computer usage and TV time; Reuters reports.

Television has a nasty reputation. A previous report claims sitting around and watching good TV makes people more likely to overeat, the brain becomes distracted and doesn’t realize it’s over-consuming. And commercials make it worse! On average, children ages 8 to 12 are exposed to 7,600 ads a year, teenagers about 6,000 and little kids, ages 2 to 7, 4,400 commercials a year. Eek!

Go outside kids! You haven’t lived until you’ve spent hours throwing a tennis ball against a wall.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Kaya's Kitchen

It’s Friday, time for Eating to Live on the Outside. And this week I’m keeping it local. I’m looking at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar, New Jersey. Based on the website, it looks good!

Okay, I just finished clicking through Kaya’s menu and it’s got a lot of potential. A ton of great salads and some other food that might tickle your fancy, take a look:

Oriental Sesame Salad

  • Mixed field greens, diced tofu, carrot, mushroom, red onion, alfalfa sprouts and oriental sesame dressing; I dig it, but I’m getting the dressing on the side.

Spring Salad

  • Mixed field greens, plum tomato, cucumber, carrot, sprouts, celery, bell pepper, sliced avocado, red onion and lemon-ginger dressing; very cool, avocado rocks!

Spicy Cajun Tofu Salad

  • Mixed field greens, carrot, plum tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, sprouts, Cajun grilled tofu and ranch dressing; I think the dressing is vegan, but it’s still going on the side.

Baby Spinach & Fresh Mozzarella Salad

  • Baby spinach, field greens, grilled Portabella mushroom, plum tomato, fresh mozzarella (dairy), roasted red pepper and balsamic vinaigrette; I’ll pass on the cheese.

Summer Salad

  • Mixed field greens, plum tomato, carrot, cucumber, sliced avocado, red onions, sprouts, sunflower seeds and dressing; lots of good stuff here.

Harvest Salad

  • Mixed field greens, sprouts, raisins, chopped apple, dried cranberries, carrot, red onion and dressing; this is great too! Dressing on the side.

Grilled Veggie Melt

  • Marinated & grilled zucchini, squash, peppers, onion, eggplant, portabella mushrooms, tomato and vegan or dairy cheese; all those veggies are too good to pass up, but no cheese for me and I’d order it with steamed organic vegetables, instead of the other options. And the bread is a concession I can deal with.

Hummus & Avocado

  • Homemade hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion and a warp or roll; same thing with the side and bread here too.

Portobello Mushroom Platter

  • Sliced Portobello, eggplant, zucchini, squash, roasted red pepper, tomato marinated and grilled with garlic-tamari and brown rice; sounds great, I deal with the rice. I don’t eat a lot of rice.

Happy Buddah Stew

  • Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, eggplant, chick peas, seitan, green peas, sauce and brown rice; lots of nice veggies here, now I’m not a big seitan fan, but I’d be okay with it in this instance.

Kaya’s Kitchen looks pretty good. And it’s in New Jersey, which makes it even cooler. My top two choices would be the Harvest Salad and Spring Salad. Like always, salads reign supreme!

So yeah, Kaya’s Kitchen works! But what do you think? Check out Kaya’s menu and tell me how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Until then, eat smartly! Peace.

Obesity Boosts Ovarian Cancer Risk

Older obese women are more at risk for ovarian cancer than women of normal weight. Printed in Cancer, new research studied 94,525 women, ages 50 to 71, for 7 years. During that period, 303 participants developed ovarian cancer. Scientist determined obese women, i.e. having a body mass index of 30 or more, were 1.26 times more likely to get cancer; The New York Times reports.

Obesity has also been linked to other cancers, like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

FDA Cracks Down on Crushed Beetles in Food

Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth. Apparently food producers have been grinding up bugs to make food colorings for years! Beetles are a source of carmine or cochineal extract, which makes red, pink, orange and purple. And there’s been very little restriction on its use. A spokes person for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has lobbied to get carmine banned, said there is no way to tell how many products contain the dyes, it can be anything red. The FDA has decided to act now, due to reports of allergic reactions, requiring manufacturers to list carmine or cochineal in the ingredients; The Palm Beach Post reports.

Sounds yummy! There’s actually a big obsession with cramming bug parts into our food. Recently, Greenpeace unveiled a series of advertisements, featuring green onions shaped like spiders, scorpion carrots and peapod grasshoppers, to raise awareness for genetically modified ingredients in food.

Not to mention, a previous experiment showed rats fed genetically engineered corn developed signs of liver and kidney toxicity after 3 months. The corn contained a compound to repel insects.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to C-Sections

According to a new study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism low vitamin D may increase the likelihood of having a Caesarean section. Researchers examined 253 births at a Boston hospital from 2005 to 2007 and determined women with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D were nearly 4 times more likely to have an emergency C-section than mothers with normal levels; The New York Times investigates.

Vitamin D is an important, but overlooked, nutrient. We get it from the sun. Our bodies convert ultraviolet rays into a chemical, which acts like a hormone, and tells our intestines to absorb more calcium and phosphorus. And other reports have associated vitamin D deficiency with hypertension, heart attacks, rickets and cancer. Dr. Fuhrman sells his own vitamin D supplement called Osteo–Sun.

I was born via C-section. But that’s because my horns and tail got stuck.

Walking Fights Age-Related Weight Gain

Walking just a half an hour each day might help keep you from packing on the pounds as you get older. The research, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined 5,000 men and women, ages 18 to 30, for 15 years, revealing those who walked 30 minutes a day reduced weight gain by 1 pound. The results also found those who exercised more during their middle adult years were more likely to maintain their weight as they got older; WebMD reports.

It can’t get much easier than walking. Heck, it’s what we evolved to do! But a lot of us are too busy with work and don’t have the time to walk around for a half an hour. So try taking the stairs instead, it’s been proven to improve heart health. And simple stretches at your desk can keep the blood following too.

Now, if you can, get running! A previous study showed runners actually live longer.

Via CalorieLab.

Green-News: Thursday 1.8.09

  • Hong Kong has major pollution issues. In fact, 1 in 5 residents are considering leaving the city due to poor air quality, which would leave the local economy in disarray. And just last year air pollution reached it worst levels ever. But, the city has yet to introduce new air quality standards; from the AFP.
  • South Australia has put the kibosh on plastic shopping bags. Even 100% degradable plastic bags are out! As of May 4 retailers using any form of plastic bags will be fined $5,000 AUD and if bag suppliers try to peddle shopping bags to retailers, they could face fines of $20,000 AUD; from TreeHugger.

More Americans Have Multiple Chronic Conditions

A new study in Health Affairs claims more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses than ever before. The percentage of people with 3 or more chronic illnesses rose from 13% in 1996 to 22% in 2005 for ages 45 to 64. It increased 45% for ages 65 to 79, jumped 54% for individuals older than 80 and among all ages, figures went up 6% from 1996. And data reveals the number of Americans with 1 chronic condition, like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart failure, was 41% in 1996 but rose to 44% in 2005. Obesity and inactivity are being blamed; Reuters reports.

And these maladies are hitting us in the wallet too. On average, obesity and it’s sequelae cost the United States more than $100 billion a year and physicians and hospitals usually fail to make a long term impact on the health of their patients, which is evident when you consider a recent report revealing 24 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, a risk factor for many chronic diseases, up 3 million since 2005.

Children's Weight Issues Overlooked

A new analysis of 60,000 medical records revealed pediatricians fail to diagnosis weight problems in children. Reporting in Pediatrics, researchers determined 54% of obese children and 74% of severely obese kids were diagnosed, but only 10% of overweight children were given a weight-related diagnosis, meaning doctors are missing an opportunity to intervene before weight issues get out of control; The New York Times investigates.

Not surprising, some parents can’t even recognize their child is overweight or obese, could be because parents themselves are overweight and previous research claims kids eat like their parents and if parents don’t eat and live healthfully, they shouldn’t expect their children too!

And unchecked childhood obesity is being blamed for more kids taking drugs for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and other chronic conditions. Eek!

Trillions Spent on Healthcare, Tax Soda

According to a new report, Americans spent $2.2 trillion on health-related costs in 2007, roughly $7,500 per person. Illustrated in Health Affairs, health spending accounted for 16.2% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2007. And at 6.1%, this is the slowest growth rate since 1998. Researchers attribute the broader use of cheaper generic drugs for the decline; Reuters reports.

What did you expect? More active, healthier living! Now, with healthcare expenses raging into the trillions, it’s no wonder why politicians, like New York’s Governor David Paterson, are proposing taxes on hurtful foods, like soft drinks. And in this video New York’s Health Commissioner, Richard F. Daines, MD explains how the soda tax would work. Just ignore the stuff about milk.

Eat Slowly, Lose Weight...

I’m a slow eater. I don’t rush, period. And findings in the British Medical Journal suggest people who eat fast and fill up quickly are 3 times more likely to become overweight than people who eat at a more leisurely pace; via RealAge.

Actually, eating MORE can help you slim down too. High fiber foods, like green vegetables, beans and fresh fruit, fill you up quickly and provide lots of nutrients, but are low in calories. So you’ll feel satisfied and still lose weight!

In fact, Dr. Fuhrman cites lack of a fiber as a primary reason why people get fat.

Via That’s Fit.

Fruits and Veggies Tied to Breast Cancer Survival

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals women with early-stage breast cancer may live longer if they adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and avoid things like red meat and refined foods. Researchers followed 1,901 women diagnosed with breast cancer for 8 years and found those maintaining a healthy diet had a lower overall death rate than those eating a Western diet, i.e. lots of processed meat, high-fat dairy and white bread. This trend held up even when other factors were considered, like tumor size and smoking; Reuters reports.

Actually, previous research, also in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, claims breast cancer survivors who eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day are less likely to develop recurring tumors. And pectin, a compound found naturally in citrus fruits and used in jams, has been shown to inhibit the growth of proteins responsible for cancer progression.

The powerful phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables have anti-aging effects, promote cardiovascular health and also lower the risk of other cancers, like prostate and pancreatic cancer. And a recent reported linked fruits and vegetables with reduced risk of colon cancer too.

Breastfeeding Helps Kids' Lungs...

In the past, research has shown breastfeeding can increase children’s IQ, decrease risk of obesity and release happiness hormones in babies. And now, a new study in Thorax has determined children who are breastfed for at least 4 months have better lung function than children breastfed for shorter periods and then given a bottle; Reuters investigates.

Dr. Fuhrman advocates breastfeeding until age 2. This allows plenty of time for the mother’s antibodies to be passed along to her child. These nutrients are necessary for proper immune system function, maximizing intelligence and protecting against cancer, like breast cancer.

But sometimes breastfeeding can go berserk, like this crazy restaurant that cooked with human breast milk. Very gross!

Is the Fitness of Your Significant Other Important?

FitSugar is kicking around a great question. When picking a partner, or as some would say, following in love, do you consider your potential mate’s health and fitness habits? Does it even matter?

As for me, I’ll be blunt. I won’t even date a girl that doesn’t exercise regularly. And I prefer if they eat healthfully too, not necessarily like I do, but let’s just say, I’ve dated more than a few vegans and vegetarians. And since we’re being frank, I’ll admit it. I've actually ended a relationship because the girl stopped exercising and brought snack cakes into my apartment. Oh hell no!

Sorry, but for me, a healthy lifestyle is one of those make-or-break issues, among other things, but what about you, are the diet and exercise habits of your significant other important? Do tell.

Green-News: Tuesday 1.6.09

  • Every year tourists flock to New York City’s Times Square to ring in the New Year. But this year, after the 1 million guests went home and a ton of confetti was released, the city was stuck with 40 tons of garbage to clean up, sanitation crews worked until 8AM; the Associated Press reports.
  • Following the massive coal ash spill in East Tennessee, nearby water supplies have tested high for arsenic, lead, chromium and other toxic metals, ranging 2 to 300 times higher than acceptable drinking water standards, even as far as 2 miles downstream; The New York Times investigates.
  • A Swedish town is set to recycle heat from a local crematorium. Cremating human remains releases toxins, such as mercury from dental fillings, and in order to clean this gas it must first be cooled. So recovering this heat can be used to feed the public heating system; from TreeHugger.
  • Scientists have invented cement that absorbs earth-warming carbon dioxide. Traditional cement actually produces 5% of the world’s total carbon emissions. But this new formulation uses magnesium silicates and eats large amounts of carbon dioxide as it hardens; via The Guardian.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is dying. At the current pace, researchers fear all new growth will stop by 2050. Since 1990, robust corals have slowed in growth by 14%. Scientists cite warming sea temperatures and ocean acidification for the decline; The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

On Manager's Special 1.5.09


Bunch of apples just $1.58!



My favorite! Super ripe bananas for $1.00.



And more bananas $1.00.

Grand total $3.58. Awesome.

Yup, I've got a lot of blending to do and smoothies to make! 

Osteoporosis Drug Fosamax Linked to Esophagus Cancer

A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a connection between the osteoporosis drug Fosamax and esophageal cancer. Since the drug debuted in October 2005 and up to May 2008, the FDA has received 23 claims of patients in the U.S. being diagnosed with esophagus cancer. Fosamax is the suspect drug in 21 cases and the concomitant drug in 2. Experts urge not prescribing Fosamax to patients with Barrett's esophagus, a condition caused by chronic acid reflux and is a precursor to esophageal cancer; ABC News reports.

And in April, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked Fosamax and its generic alendronate with irregular heartbeat. Researchers compared the heartbeats of individuals taking and not taking the drug, revealing 6.5% of those taking medication had irregular heart rhythm and only 4.1% of individuals not taking medication had irregular heartbeat; via

Preventing osteoporosis is key. According to Dr. Fuhrman things like checking your vitamin D levels, exercising regularly and avoiding salt—which can leach calcium from bones—helps women avoid osteoporosis. Also, wearing a weighted vest can help strengthen bones.

Keep Your Fitness on Track, Log Your Progress...

As a kid, I logged all my exercising, religiously! Every rep, mile, pushup, pull-up and minute spent hitting a punching bag was accounted for. Nowadays I don’t write it down, but I keep a sharp mental tally.

And the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends keeping an exercise journal. Here are some suggestions to keep your fitness on track:

  • Write down every physical activity that you do each day, including what you do and how long you spend doing it.
  • Don't just log going for a run or lifting weights. Everyday chores that burn calories count, too. Track activities such as cleaning and vacuuming, or even walking the dog.
  • Keep the journal with you, so you can write things down before you forget.
  • Commit to entering information in the journal every day.

You know this already, but it pays to exercise. Recent research shows exercise curbs appetite and reduces anger and aggressiveness in obese children. Heck, even our president-elect is a fitness junky.

Actually, last year I blogged about my diet and exercise routine for a week.

Via HealthDay New.

Wallace and Gromit to Promote Health

Short films by the creator of the stop-motion duo Wallace and Gromit are part of a new government program in the United Kingdom to help fight childhood obesity. The first animated advertisement featured primitive man evolving into a sedentary lifestyle and then shocked into exercising by pictures of fat pumping around his body. Estimates claim by 2050, 90% of children in the U.K. will be overweight or obese; Reuters reports.

In the United States farmers previously teamed up with Disney to put stickers of popular characters, like Mickey Mouse, on fruits and vegetables to help encourage young children to eat their veggies. Not sure how that worked out. But it’s certainly better than Scooby Doo on fruit snacks!

Do You Work in a Restaurant?

A funny thing happened yesterday. A couple months ago I switched Yoga studios. I like a vigorous practice and my old studio cut back on classes. Now, as luck would have it. My new studio is two doors down from a farmers market.

I’ve been shopping there for a while now. Here’s the stuff I bought yesterday: chicory, Bartlett pears, Bosc pears, broccoli, blueberries, red grapes, apricots and pineapple chunks. A smaller than average purchase for me, it only cost about 18 bucks.

Now, when it was my turn in line, the cashier, who I see every week and never makes small talk, asked me, “Hey, do you work in a restaurant? Because you always buy lots of stuff.” I smiled. I guess a short Italian guy buying bunches of produce every week does look like a restaurant owner, especially in New Jersey, the land of pizzerias and delis.

I laughed and told her no. To be brief, I explained I eat a vegetable-based diet and that I don’t eat meat. She wanted to know if I was a vegetarian. I said, “Sort of.” Telling her I eat fish once a week, but most of my diet is fruits and vegetables. She seemed to get it and thanked me for my repeat business.

So, has something like this ever happened to you? It wasn’t a first for me, but it was still pretty funny. Maybe I should open a restaurant. Apparently I look the part!

Enjoy Canned Ham!

Nope, I haven’t lost my mind. And yes, canned ham is disgusting. But not this kind! He’s a little cutie. And you know you want one.

The Haminal combines all the qualities of a guinea pig, hamster and a pig, crammed into a can. And at only $15 a piece, I may have to order a thousand of them!

Listen, playing with canned ham is certainly better than eating it. But if stuffed veggies are more your thing, check out these must have toys.

Via Serious Eats.

Alanis Morissette Eats to Live

Success stories come in all shapes and sizes, no pun intended, but it’s always cool when celebrities get fit. And singer Alanis Morissette recently dropped 20 pounds on Eat to Live. Take a look at this video from E News Now.

Well, there’s nothing ironic about that—horrible joke, I’m sorry. Congratulations Alanis, you look great! And for more weight-loss triumphs, check out Followhealthlife’s success stories category or head over to

Oh, and here's an interview with Alanis from OK Magazine. She talks about how she found Eat to Live.

Smoking Ban Cuts Heart Attacks

In 2003, the town of Pueblo, Colorado passed a municipal law making work environments and public places smoke-free. Since that time, heart attacks have dropped by more than 40%. The CDC tracked hospitalizations for heart attacks and found in the 18 months before the ban there were 399 hospital admissions in Pueblo, but in a year and a half following the ban, heart attack admissions dropped to 237, a 41% decline; Reuters investigates.

Refreshing to hear, because just a year ago a report revealed the U.S. Congress was not doing enough to curb smoking. Saying many states are failing to take anti-smoking action, but meanwhile cigarette companies continue to spend billions to market tobacco products.

Promoting smoke-free initiatives can also save billions. This summer research by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education showed that California saved $86 billion in healthcare costs, by investing a scant $1.8 billion in anti-smoking programs.

Diabetes Still Slamming the U.S.

Type-2 diabetes continues to wreak havoc in the United States. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, up more than 3 million since 2005. This staggering figure also means increased incidences of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, kidney disease, nervous system damage and other diabetes-related complications. Not surprising, experts cite weight-loss and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy diet, as the best ways to stave off type-2 diabetes; HealthDay News reports.

Don’t be 24 million and one. A vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet not only prevents type-2 diabetes, but can reverse the effects of the disease. Many of Dr. Fuhrman’s patients actually kick their need for insulin! Wholesome foods, like green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds are the perfect medicine against type-2 diabetes.

In other diabetes news, recent reports show cancer is more lethal in diabetics and eating eggs boost diabetes-risk.

Captain Vegetable Redux

Actor and comedian John Leguizamo commits career suicide—oops, I mean—does a noble act, by revealing he is the mighty Captain Vegetable, the legendary champion of eating veggies. I’m not sure whether to feel proud of him or embarrassed for him.

Actually, you can’t beat the real thing. I like the original Captain Vegetable better. I’m sorry, but something about a grown man in tight green spandex and an onion head doesn’t make me want to eat healthier. Makes me want to call the cops.

Oh, and Happy New Year everybody! See you tomorrow.