I have lived with self identified food sensitivities and allergies nearly all my life. Once the real culprits were identified by a IgG food sensitivity test, my life and health changed significantly for the better.
Years later when I started my journey to become a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert, I had no idea of the magnitude of additional changes that were to come from what I learned.
In the beginning, I made the easy changes to consume pasture raise meats, stop eating the top 10 GMO foods and eat more veggies (organic when affordable). Now I find I am paying attention to the other foods I purchase. I look for what country they are grown or produced in and the common farming practices used in those countries.
I now make a conscious choice when I purchase fish and seafood to look for wild or if wild is not possible due to cost farmed from specific countries. I look for products produced in countries that do not use significant antibiotics in the raise them. I consciously avoid fish and seafood from countries like India, China, and Vietnam and look for product from countries like Chile, Peru and other countries with better aqua-farming practices. I continue to monitor changes to keep up on the research, regarding what aqua-farmed fish and seafood are fed, and the farming conditions.
Just like buying organic, wild still tops the list though when I can afford it.
In my research for clients I have learned some astounding things about micro plastics in our oceans. Did you know that in a recent study of modern sea salt samples from around the world, all the samples contained micro plastics? Definitely a concern, but I have yet to give up eating wild fish and seafood and stick to ancient sea salt for my seasonings today.
One step at a time.
I recently noticed that I no longer crave sugar like I used to. This is most likely because I eat very little sugar today as result of eating a diet of whole foods and purchasing less processed foods. Understanding what consuming refined sugar does to my gut microbiome is the biggest deterrent. Sugar as an acid promotes the growth of the bad bacteria. This and the fact that when you eat refined sugar that is not immediately needed for energy, it goes straight to fat cells for future energy use.
We all know how hard it is to get that energy back out of your fat cells at a later date!
As a result I try to eat refined sugar in limited amounts, and to stick to sweeteners like coconut sugar which has a lower Glycemic Index (GI), takes longer to digest so it doesn’t go straight to fat cells and has actual minerals and nutrients unlike refined sugar.
Yesterday I had a big revelation about how far I have come in my journey.
With the opening of patios in Ontario, we stopped at a local Ale House after our morning bike ride. My husband ordered french fries, of course. For me, knowing that the oils they use in the process of cooking those french fries add more omega 6 to my diet was a concern. Omega 6 oils such as canola, soybean and corn are high in fatty acid which feed the bad bacteria in my gut microbiome. For me this was the last straw for eating restaurant french fries. Again, all this is not to say that I will not eat french fries ever again in my life, but more that if I am going to have them, they will be homemade in my oven with the good fats, avocado oil or coconut oil.
10 years ago, I could never imagine the changes I have made both unconsciously and consciously in my everyday eating habits, or that they would be so successful.
I feel good about my choices made to date which include consuming pasture raised meats, wild fish and seafood, Non-GMO foods and more veggies (organic when affordable), and avoiding refined sugar and fried foods. It is a journey though, and I continue to make additional choices everyday that will contribute to living my best life with better health going forward.
Have you made any conscious changes big or small in your everyday eating habits in the last year that you believe will benefit your long term health?I would love to hear about them!
Please leave me a comment below and let me know what they are.
We are on this journey together after all.
Food for Thought as we Explore the World of Food together.
The Food Sensitivity Coach and Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert
Most people who know me, and know my story, understand how strongly I feel on this topic, and how excited I am to be able to offer this service to my clients.
Most of my life I have lived with food allergies and gut issues. Food allergy testing was difficult at best looking for that IgI reaction and it was hit or miss whether my skin reacted the same way as my gut. Back then, some 35+ years ago, food sensitivity testing wasn’t even thought of.
Without reliable testing for food allergies and sensitivities available, most possible culprits were self identified by looking back at what I had consumed and trying to decide what could have possibly caused the issues I was experiencing. Now I know that unless you keep a meticulous diary of what you have consumed including beverages, then look back the possible 72 hours that a reaction could take to show itself, identification of the culprit is a crap shoot. Hit or miss at best.
At the age of 35 I was so ill with unexplained gut issues that my health care team was prepared to do exploratory surgery to find out what was causing them! Pretty extreme in my eyes. Before surgery could happen, I attended a dinner and was seated beside another person with food issues. I learned in conversation that they had the same symptoms as I did and it had been suggested that they might have a canola allergy or sensitivity. The idea was a lightning bolt that could not be ignored. So I began to eliminate all canola which if you can imagine was no easy task. My health improved slightly, but I continued to have issues.
As the years progressed every time I had issues, I would try to identify and then eliminate whatever I thought could have been the cause. Soon I had a great list of what I was avoiding, but still had random attacks. I was stabbing in the dark.
Fast forward a number of years to when I learned about Food Sensitivity Testing, the IgG test to be exact. I was reluctant to have the test because I thought I had it all figured out. At the persistent encouragement of my family I finally agreed to having the testing done. When the results came in my Naturopath did not want to give me the list because she felt I would be overwhelmed. True, I would have been overwhelmed without the help of my daughter.
What I learned that day was that I was not sensitive to any of the foods I had been eliminating for some 30 years! Things like canola, yeast, nuts, vanilla, etc., etc., etc. Instead I was sensitive to gluten, eggs, dairy and a few other things. Mind Blowing! No wonder I had such a hard time identifying what was making me sick. I would inevitably have something I thought I was sensitive to with something that I was actually sensitive to. It was a perfect storm situation and no wonder that I couldn't figure it out on my own.
Food Sensitivity Testing changed my life, and today I am healthier, feel better, have more energy, sleep better and am happier than I was 30 years ago. Life is Good!
I have had clients who have had IBS - D for years, who had tried to follow the FODMAP diet as long as it was humanly possible, but still nothing made them better. In recent years it has been identified that people with IBS often have food sensitivities as the underlying condition creating the IBS. This has proven true with more than a few of my clients. After their food sensitivities were identified and eliminated for a period of time for their body to heal, their general health improved immensely, and their IBS - D was then under control.
Once you know the list of foods, we can make a decision on which ones need to be eliminated for a time, or which ones you will need to limit to eating once a week. After a period of about 3 months to allow your body to do some healing, I can then help you decide how to re-introduce the list of foods you have eliminated to see if they can be tolerated again. Some foods will be, but some others may need to be avoided for a longer period of time. Having worked with these tests personally and professionally I can attest that having someone guide you through the process is very valuable.
It is really a personal decision to test or not to test, but wouldn’t you rather be in control, have a starting point and know what to eliminate instead of going by guess work that could be completely wrong, like I lived for so many years.
For an experts view point on food sensitivities have a look at my blog post They Are Real.
In the past I have had to refer clients to various naturopaths to have IgG tests ordered, and wait while they visit a lab to have a blood draw done, then another wait to see the naturopath again to get the results.
I am so excited to be able to offer Food Sensitivity Testing (IgG) via an easy at home test kit. I literally order the test kit to be delivered to a clients home. They put 5 drops of blood on a test strip, let it dry and mail it to the lab. As soon as the results are completed, the results are emailed to me, and we can begin planning your healing journey.
You are not alone, I am here to help and now I can be with you through the whole process.
The Food Sensitivity Coach and Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert
Exploring the world of food with you.
Happy Gut! Happy Life!
I am sure you have all heard the saying ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ which is most likely true, but have you ever thought about how much your gut microbiome contributes to your happy life?
I have been on a journey recently, sharing information in my workshops on what contributes to a healthy gut, what doesn’t, and exactly what an imbalance in your gut microbiome affects, along with how fermented foods can help support gut health. In doing the research for my workshops one thing I learned and have been able to share is that a happy gut can indeed contribute to a happy life.
Did you know that the gut microbiome has a direct link to your brain through the central nervous system. Changes in the microbes in your biome have been proven to significantly affect things like mood, pain tolerance, cognitive performance, behaviour and mental health.
The gut microbiome is often called the ‘second brain’.
I was surprised just how much the ‘second brain’ can affect your feelings. I am sure you have often been told to trust your gut, had butterflies in your stomach or experienced a gut wrenching feeling. Those feelings actually begin in the brain and were communicated to the gut microbiome as a warning that something was happening.
Many chemicals used in the brain are actually produced by the gut microbiome. The chemicals that are needed for the brain to produce the powerful antidepressant Serotonin for example. When the gut biome is out of balance and unable to produce the amount of required chemicals then the brain cannot produce enough Serotonin, and depression can be one of the results.
This was an eye opener for me!
If the gut microbiome is not in balance the result can cause an imbalance in the brain which in turn can cause depression.
So in reverse, if we can treat the microbiome to get it healthy and in balance, would that reverse depression. it is certainly food for thought!
Often you hear of people suffering with depression being given prescriptions to help restore the balance in the brain, but what if that is just a bandaid fix and not a cure? The drugs have to be absorbed through the gut to get to the brain, and what do they do to the gut microbiome in the process? I wonder if that is being studied now? I certainly hope so!
Imagine if someone is being diagnosed with depression, and the health care provider continued to explore their gut health in light of the diagnosis? Then looked at their diet? Then imagine if they were referred to someone to help them make the necessary changes to integrate a healthy eating strategy in their lives. The results could be amazing!
Now I know and understand that fixing the gut microbiome is not something that happens overnight when you change your diet, and that to help people already suffering with depression something interim would most likely be needed until the gut was healed, but what if it was a healing process to the point where they might not need that prescription?
Food as Medicine, and Food for Thought!
Just imagine the world of possibilities! Exploring the world of food with you…..
Have you tried the tangzhong method to make your sourdough bread, yet?
I don’t know about you, but 2020 was a very long year, and 2021 is shaping up much the same. The one new thing I took up in May 2020 was making gluten free, dairy free sourdough bread.
It was a leap when I started. I was just someone who was bored and wanted to try something new. So I started right from the beginning with the thought that if it didn’t work, I would throw it out and move on. But it worked and I was hooked from the first loaf.
As the year went on, I continued to feed my culture and make my sourdough loaves. With each one I learned a little more, tweaked my recipe and technique a little. As I stumbled on new techniques, I researched and decided whether or not to give it a try. My sourdough bread just improved as the months went by.
About 2 months ago I stumbled on a technique called tangzhong.
Have you heard of it?
It is used in making Japanese milk bread. Well, at first I discarded the thought of trying it as I am both gluten free and dairy free, but then as I continued to have that word pop up in front of me I began to think that it might just work for gluten free and dairy free as well. So I gave it a whirl.
The tangzhong method is basically taking a bit of the flour and a bit of the liquid and making a roux of it, then adding it to the dough warm just before the sourdough culture. The dough then goes into the rising phase already warmed from the inside out.
Apparently, making the roux starts the starches in your flour, wheat or gluten free grain, pre-gelatinizing which in turn allows the starch to hold more liquid. This enhances the softness and the shelf life of the loaf.
Sourdough already has a great shelf life due to the sourdough culture, but I was intrigued at the idea of a softer loaf.
The result was quite amazing and the process literally took an hour and a half off my time.
That’s right 90 minutes off the time to make, rise and bake the loaf.
Now instead of letting the dough rest for an hour between mixing and adding in the sourdough culture, for the flours to absorb the liquid in the recipe, I just add it all in my special order ending with the warm tangzhong roux, and finally the sourdough culture.
Next the dough goes into a towel lined bowl covered with a damp towel and into my warmed oven which is turned off and the light left on to keep it warm. Here is where the other 1/2 is saved. Instead of letting the loaf rise for 4 hours, it is more than ready to bake in 3 1/2 hours.
My gluten free, dairy free loaf comes out with a soft enjoyable texture that has lots of bubble spaces or small holes. It stays softer for an extra day, but after that the softness can be brought back with a few seconds in the microwave.
Give it a try! If you are interested in receiving my Sourdough Bread recipe and method to create a gluten free culture click the link below.
Don't forget to keep me posted on the fun!
Food Sensitivity Coach, Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and
All round general Food Lover. Exploring the world of food with you.
They are REAL!
When you are talking about your food sensitivities does it feel like you are talking about a unicorn? Some people believe, other's just don't get it. Sometimes seeing, feeling and experiencing is believing. To start of my next series of blog posts, let's begin by hearing it from an expert.
Trying to explain food sensitivities to someone can be challenging, but this wonderful video from Dr. Brenda Tapp, one of the naturopaths I work with, does a great job.
Watch Dr. Brenda Tapp as she talks about food sensitivities.
I am living proof that they are real, and knowing about them since my IgG test years ago has changed my life.
For those of you who do not know my story, I have suffered with food allergies and sensitivities all my life. Over 30 years ago, traditional medical specialists were going to do exploratory surgery to see if they could ‘find’ out what was wrong! Whoa, wait a moment here…… they were going to cut open my gut to see if they could find what was causing my issues at the time.
The next week I was at a dinner and seated beside someone else who needed to avoid some foods. He told me that recently his allergist had suggested that he may be reacting to canola. He had similar issues to me, so I went home thinking that before they cut me open, I needed to try eliminating canola to see if that’s what it was.
Now at that time I was living in Winnipeg. Oh yes, that is where a lot of canola is grown. Beautiful fields of yellow in the summer. I was breathing it in, it was on my skin and it was in most of the processed foods I was eating at that time.
The long and the short of this story is that I did eliminate as much canola as possible from my diet and 3 weeks later I was considerably better, not perfect but better.
Let’s fast forward 25 years. I had self identified over the years that I needed to avoid canola, yeast and nuts, but I still was not healthy, and had random bouts of symptoms.
That is when Dr. Tapp came into my life.
After much encouragement from my daughter I agreed to have the IgG test done, and it was quite a shock. I thought I had it all figured out, but clearly I was wrong.
The IgG test showed I was super sensitive to gluten, eggs, diary and a number of other things.
How could that be?
Well, I was a perfect storm when I was self diagnosing. If you think about it, whenever you eat canola, yeast and nuts, most likely you are also eating gluten, eggs and/or dairy. Yup that was me.
Of course from that day, I eliminated the foods I tested sensitive to and today more than 5 years later, I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. Amazing!
Having that IgG test done gave me a place to start to make a difference in my life and my health.
In the video Dr. Tapp talks about the other way to identify what you are reacting to, and that was how I did my own self diagnosing, but it is sometimes difficult and time consuming.
Your health and wellness is so important, especially today.
If you feel you may be sensitive to some foods I highly recommend having this test done. It is often covered by extended benefits. I know it was covered by my benefit plan.
Once you have your test results, when you are wondering how do I do this, I am here to help you get started, that is what I do.
I help people integrate a specialized diet into their everyday lives.
Whether it is knowing what foods and ingredients to avoid, or what foods you CAN eat, that is what I help with. I help you know what to watch for when shopping, cooking, sharing a kitchen, making family meals, and lunches too.
I am here to help you navigate the wonder world of food that is out there.
Take the guess work out of finding a path to feel what the most wonderful you feels like!
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover passionately exploring the world of food.
Thank you to Gin Quist Photography for the perfect Unicorn photo!
I love this photo of my granddaughter Violet doing her shopping, when she was about 3, rushing nilly willy down the baking aisle.
Have you ever thought about how and what you shop for and what your personal food philosophy would be?
Now that my course to become a Culinary Nutrition Expert has begun, this is one of the assignments I have been given and it has been enlightening.
Over the years I have adopted different food strategies, low fat, low sugar, more veggies, etc, etc, etc. All those health washing ideas printed on the packaging of processed foods that I purchased, but I have never really put it all together, and wondered if it was good for me and my family.
I know all too well, that as my children were growing and I was busy working, getting meals on the table was the most important thing. Then getting to the end of the week so that we could relax for a couple of days before it all started again. Even though I am a planner by nature, it all just never came together to think about our overall food and eating habits.
I have also been overweight most of my life. When I think of the different diets I tried, lost weight then gained it back when I went back to my old habits, it was a downward spiral.
Maybe if I had a food philosophy back then it might have been different.
If I knew some of the things I have learned over the summer doing the pre-reading for my course, things might have been different. I accept that I cannot change the past and I am now in possession of some knowledge that I think will help me walk the future at a healthy weight.
So what is a food philosophy?
I would say that a food philosophy is an overall strategy that governs how you shop and make decisions regarding the food you purchase for consumption. As well, it goes to whether you process the foods yourself or purchase already processed. Sometimes it also goes to what you are willing to do, have the time for and what you feel is out of your wheelhouse of skills to do, like growing your own, or preserving, making jam, baking, etc. It is also something that will always be changing and evolving.
Previously I would have said my food philosophy was that I am a “Gluten Free, Vegan who eats Meat” with food sensitivities. If I think about that I guess it makes me an oxymoron but the statement covers off a lot of my sensitivities. Now however I have realized it is more than just that.
Although I was already eating whole foods, I now find that I am eating even less processed foods than I used to and when I do purchase them I look for organic, Non-GMO products where sugar is not in the first five ingredients. I consume grass fed, pasture raised meats and poultry, raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones as my budget allows. I prefer wild fish whenever possible, but if not cost effective I look for farmed fish raised without antibiotics. I also try to purchase local foods when they are in season.
I think that the biggest influence on my latest food philosophy, would be Michael Pollan’s book In Defence of Food. I agree with him that real food should be our source for nourishment, vitamins and minerals before looking to supplements to achieve optimal health.
I would say my current food philosophy is that I am a “Gluten Free, Vegan who eats Meat”, still an oxymoron, that is sensitive to gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, almonds, banana, and pineapple. I try to purchase products that are organic, Non-GMO and whole foods that have been humanely raised, without antibiotics and hormones. I also prefer to do as much processing of food at home where I control the ingredients.
That is mine! What would your’s be? Is it something you have given some thought to? Or is it something you have not really been concerned about?
Please let me know in the comments on my blog, I would love to hear what your food strategy is!
This is such an amazing journey, I have grown so much already!I look forward to further exploring the world of food with you.
Stay tuned, there is still lots coming to share and ponder on.
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover passionately exploring the world of food.
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I hope you have been enjoying my journey to get ready for my Culinary Nutrition Expert program that begins in 2 short weeks. Yikes!
It has certainly been an interesting journey for me so far. I have read books and viewed documentaries I never would have thought to read or watch. I have learned so many things that I knew were out there, but never had the time to explore or become passionate about.
I can’t believe how much this new learned information has already changed my life, and look forward to more to come.
You know when you are going through daily life, sometimes you just have to get to the end of the day, then rinse and repeat. It takes time to think about things differently and decide what fits into your life and what doesn’t, at least not yet.
It all began with a desire to help my clients with food sensitivities be able to approach their food lives with a positive spin. Focusing on whole, not processed products to heal and become healthy once again.
But then it all changed and this journey became not just about my clients but about me and the food choices made in my home.
The information I was reading and watching began to have a huge impact on my everyday life and the decisions made in my home. My husband jumped on board watching documentaries with me.
We began to question what we had done for so many years. I think that is amazing.
So what are some of the changes we have made?
1. We don’t worry so much about eliminating fat as possible from my diet. We eat healthy fats, including some saturated from animal products. We try to use the appropriate fats to compliment each of the foods we are eating. Olive oil for salads or cold dishes, avocado oil for foods that are being cooked at a higher temperature. We stay away from canola, soy, corn and cottonseed oils that are most likely from GM crops.
2. I now realize that big business has really done their best to make me crave the processed foods in my cupboards that I just couldn’t leave alone. So I have eliminated many of those foods and opted for whole foods that will keep me satisfied. I have to say it was hard at first, but now I don’t crave those foods even when I see other people eating them and that has made a huge impact.
3. One of my big wake up moments was the day I realized that this is not a diet, this is a choice. This is a choice to fuel my body with foods that will keep me full, healthy and give me the energy I desire.
4. I have to say the documentary King Corn had probably the most profound effect on me, and it has little to do with corn. Instead it is all about feedlots and how cattle are treated while they are being fattened up for my consumption. Fattened on GM crops that yes I would prefer to avoid, but more importantly, I want to consume meats from animals that have had a good life, in a pasture with sunshine, that eat the grains and grasses they consumed long before GM crops were around.
5. I have been revolted by the photos of plastics in our oceans for quite a while, but just hadn’t worked out how to replace them in my home. I now use beeswax cloths to store vegetables and left overs, as well as glass containers. My tooth brush was a big problem until they began to sell bamboo tooth brushes where the handle can be recycled once the bristles are removed. I also now look seriously at the packaging my food products come in, and that enters into the decision to buy or not to buy. Even a small step can make such a difference.
6. Previously I never really felt the organic label on my food was worth the cost, but after learning more about how organic foods are never GM, and that being grown in the soil with weeds, and pests, those plants have to work harder to grow and thrive and there is a reason. They may not provide convenience for the farms, but they may provide more nutrition to me. The jury is still out on that one.
There are more changes as well, but I will leave the list at that.
Suffice to say, I have found the spark and the passion again. I am excited to begin my program and move into a whole new world of food. Hope you will continue the journey with me.
During this challenging and amazing time, what has given you a spark of inspiration? Please put a comment on the blog post to let me know.
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover passionately exploring the world of food.
From birth we try to protect our children from so very many things. Some things are easier than others. What they eat is at the top of the list for many and that food is controlled by our choices good, bad, informed or blissfully ignorant. I must admit that some of my choices in the past were blissfully ignorant.
If you want to start a controversial conversation, you just have to say the word GMO and it is amazing how many people have a passionate opinion.
The next documentary I chose to watch as my Culinary Nutrition course start date draws closer was Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives by film maker Jeffrey M. Smith released in 2012. Let me say, that I realize that this was released 8 years ago and there have been a significant number of changes in research since that time.
Genetically modified does not just mean taking the genes from cows and putting it into pig DNA to get a tougher hide on the pigs. Today it also means changing the DNA of seeds to be pest resistant.
When scientists first started looking at GM, it was to produce hardier crops, or to get a desired effect. One idea was to make crops less susceptible to weeds and pests, so that the farmer didn’t have to spray crops with insecticide. Many farmers at that time suffered health consequences from spraying toxic chemicals.
A friend reminded me that there are some good things that have been GM, and I try to remember that documentaries offer an opinion for you to research and decide what information you choose to accept.
This film taken at face value is enough to scare the pants off you! It covers a lot of territory regarding GMOs, but I am going to focus on the insecticide Bt (bacillus thuringienis) which occurs naturally on leaves and in soil around the world. It is approved for use in Canada and has been deemed to not pose unreasonable risks to human health.
Interesting phrase, ‘to not pose unreasonable risks to human health’. What does that mean?
Today, corn and a number of other crops have been modified (GM) to produce the insecticidal proteins that occur naturally in Bt.
So how does Bt work? When the insect takes a bite of the crop, the insecticidal proteins work to rupture the insects stomach to kill them and to protect the crop.
My response to that was WHAT about when humans eat the crop????
This is where it got interesting for me. If the insecticidal proteins break holes in the guts of insects, what does it do to us? As a person who suffers with food allergies and sensitivities, this is a big question for me.
When Leaky Gut occurs, holes in our gut allow food to pass into the blood stream that has not been properly digested for the body to use. The body then can identify the undigested food as a foreign body (which it is) causing an immune/allergy/sensitivity response.
Incidents of Leaky Gut or gut issues have skyrocketed in recent years, could this be the reason? And how many other diseases and conditions are made worse by the use of Bt? Could something that naturally occurs in nature be the cause? Or is it something else.
According to the film , of the top 10 GM crops today and the derivatives of those crops, more than 70% of the processed foods on our grocery store shelves today potentially contain ingredients that are GM without us knowing it.
As of today, there is no mandatory labelling of GMO products in Canada or the US. When polled 80% of Canadians and 90% of Americans today want to have that labelling.
The top 5 GM crops today are soy, corn, cotton, canola and sugar beet. How many processed foods do you currently consume that contain those ingredients or ingredients made from them?
I would hazard a guess there are many in your cupboards.
From my previous reading and blogs, I have learned that when the big money is behind a cause, and some researchers start saying that something those companies are promoting is harmful or incorrect, the researchers are often discredited to the point of where their reputations are shredded and their research buried. Such was the case in The Big Fat Lie, regarding saturated fats, that we now have learned some years later is not as harmful as originally designated.
When I started to do a little research on my own to see what was being said about this documentary, what I found was a lot of reviews that slammed what was being said, and questioning not only Jeff Smith but also the experts that he had on camera in this film. Literally, I did not find one review of support, which brings to mind that similar situation, and considering most of these reviews were done by researchers and universities that are dependent on the money from large corporations that deal in GM seed. Makes me wonder…..
Are the risks to our health being whitewashed in favour of big money and more profit once again?
As with everything, you need to make your own personal decision about what you consume, but for me this issue is too glaring, not to sit up and take notice. While I can’t vouch for the research used in this documentary, what was being said mades too much sense to me just to discredit it without further consideration.
Did you know that any product marked Organic cannot be genetically modified?
That makes me feel better, and there is an app from the independent agency called the Non-GMO Project that certifies products Non-GMO. You can also look for their Verified Non-GMO labeling on food packaging.
Sometimes, in the World of Food you find things that are a bit unexpected. Good and Bad!
What are you feelings on this blog, and/or the GMO issue? Please post a comment on the blog and let me know.
Exploring the world of food with you.
Food Sensitivity Coach and Food Lover Exploring the World of Food.
It’s time to take a break from reading and listening to books, and watch some documentaries. I must confess, I have not watched a lot of documentaries up until this point, but I think I am hooked.
Have you ever looked at a family and made a comment like ‘you can tell they are related’? I know I have, and I must also assume that others have said the same about my family………
Many family traits come through our genes, including hair colour, skin tone, size, shape and height. We have no choice or control over some, but others are affected by what we learn from our parents.
There are just so many documentaries on the recommended watch list for the assignment in my Culinary Nutrition course that starts next month. Fed Up: It’s time to get real about food directed by Stephanie Soechtig and narrated by Katie Couric, was one I thought would be interesting.
As I talked about in a previous blog, sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
I have never seen anyone addicted to a whole food, like a peach, but have definitely seen people craving certain processed foods and drinks. What about you?
For this film, the documentary makers interviewed teenagers about 14 years of age that were very obese, looking at what they ate, drank and what they did. Some of the teens were physically active, where others experienced limited physical activity literally limited due to their size. Active or not, it really seemed to make no difference.
To note here is that all calories are created equal when it comes to the energy required for your body to process that food into useable energy. When calories taken-in are in excess of what is immediately required for energy, the body stores those excess calories in the form of fat for future use.
Some calories require energy just to change them into a form that is usable by the body, like whole foods. Others come in the form of easily available sugars that do not require digesting. Those easily available sugars, such as many of the hidden sugars in processed foods, if not required for immediate energy, are converted directly into fat for later use.
It is easy to see in those terms why a diet with excess processed sugars puts weight on us.
BUT, is that the whole picture!
Next, the filmmakers began to interview the teens’ families, and I had a startling revelation.
Almost all the parents were obese as well, and the teens were eating the way their parents were teaching them to eat!
The filmmakers then started to adding up the amount of sugar consumed and amount of processed sugars consumed was astounding!
Families were then taught how to choose and make, whole foods meals and snacks. They were encouraged to buy less processed food, to be aware of nutrition labels and product ingredients to make better food choices.
Easy right? The best laid plans…….…
Convenience is one of the reasons that processed foods were developed and we all have enjoyed that convenience.
For all of us, when we think we are busy and don’t have time, those processed foods creep back into our diets.
Does that happen to you? Or do you just up your planning game to make sure the right foods are available?
In addition to thinking about the sugars in processed foods, since watching this documentary, I have thought a lot about how I have taught my children to eat!
Positive or negative we have all tried to provide nourishing foods for our families to the best of our abilities at the time.
I know for myself, when my children were young, I never knew how easy and quick it was to provide more whole food choices for my family and I didn’t understand the differences between whole food sugars and processed sugars.
Over the past few years I have began to make many different food choices regarding the processed foods I purchase, so I thought I was making good choices.
After watching this documentary, I jumped up and ran to my cupboard to look at ingredient labels, and the hidden sugars. However imagine my horror at what I found!
Let’s just say, there were definitely products that I will never purchase again, but this is a journey of learning. You cannot change your choices of the past, only your choices in the future.
There are so few things we can control in today’s world, but the food we make, purchase, consume and feed our families is something we can control.
There is a whole world of food out there to explore. We have so much more whole food available to us today, then we did 75 years ago. Explore your world of food.
What new whole food will you try this week? Post a photo of it in the blog comments to inspire it others with a new food choice.
Food Sensitivity Coach and Food Lover exploring the world of food.
As a Food Sensitivity Coach, I have had some clients who needed to eliminate corn from their daily diet. As I began my research into what foods contain corn, I was astounded to find that corn is in almost everything, from baking powder, spices to the sugars that are in almost all processed food. It was a real eye opener for me.
In prep for my Culinary Nutrition course this fall, I next needed to view a number of documentaries from a list provided. King Corn, the 2007 documentary directed by Aaron Woolf caught my eye right away.
The documentary was actually a fun one to watch as it followed 2 recent university grads who decide they want to grow an acre of corn and follow it to market. It seems like a reasonable thing to be able to do at the beginning, but what they found was not quite what they expected.
This is August in Ontario and don’t we all love our corn on the cob fresh from the field. This is not the corn we are talking about.
The corn we are looking at is the corn that has been designed to the exclusion of all other corn species to be used in big manufacturing, to be used as in animal feed, literally designed to be in our everyday lives.
I have to admit I was shocked when they started talking about feed lots for beef cows. I must be naive because I never realized that a beef ‘feed lot farmer’ only owned his cows for 120 days to fatten them up (on corn of course).
During their stay on the farmer’s feed lot they don’t have a nice life of wandering in a pasture like I imagined, instead they are confined to a small area waiting for them to reach the right weight to go to slaughter.
Fattened on corn is the quickest method to get cattle market ready and I am certain the same remains true for chickens, hogs and other animals that are consumed by the population in general.
This method has been developed to produce enough for the demand and make a good profit.
My uncle raised cattle on his farm when I was growing up. His cattle came in and out of the barn, wandered in the pasture eating what they chose. He baled hay to feed them in the winter. They weren’t fed corn at all as I recall, but I also remember that he would have his cattle for at least a few years before they went to slaughter not 4 months.
He also raised chickens who ran around the yard and terrorized me - but they tasted great when my aunt cooked them. Unfortunately there were always new chickens to keep me running.
There is the difference!
He could have never made money by today’s standards if each animal had to be fed and taken care of for a couple of years, waiting for it to grow and fatten up naturally on grasses.
Next, I thought about the fish I buy. Much of the fish offered today is farmed, and what are they fed but corn! Is that natural for a fish to eat corn?
Luckily, I have now found a supply source locally with grass fed beef and free range chickens. And when buying my fish I now look for wild caught from Canada if possible.
I think the most concerning thing for me is that big manufacturing has found ways to make corn into cheap sugars to use in the manufacturing of processed foods. High fructose corn syrup is now used less than it was in 2007 as we now know how very bad that type of sugar is for us to consume, but what about what it has been replaced by? Is it better for us?
At the beginning of the film, the 2 university students had their hair tested for corn and shockingly enough there was evidence of corn in their strands of hair. Mind blowing right?
I think it is safe to assume that if each of us had our strand of hair examined, the researchers would find evidence of corn in our hair as well as a result of the amount we have consumed.
How does that happen? If you do an internet search of what foods contain corn or corn by products you will be blown away by the length of that list. (Scroll down to see the products corn may be used in) How many have you consumed on a regular basis?
The one thing we all can control today is our food choices and their sources.
Today we are all so very busy, that sometimes it is just easier to take what is put in front of us to purchase without thinking about its origin.
We eat what our food eats! Food for thought!
Helping you explore your world of food.
Food Sensitivity Coach and Food Lover Exploring the World of Food
The Food Sensitivity Coach
I am passionate about exploring the world with a view to food allergies and sensitivities. I look forward to sharing with you what I find, from books, blogs and websites to recipes, hacks, inspirations and opinions, join me in a journey to live your best life.