Important News Break: Proposed ban on large sugary drinks in NYC

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already banned the use of trans fats in restaurants and required posting of calorie contents in chain restaurants. Under the Bloomberg administration, the city ran controversial ads warning against the obesity-promoting effects of soda. Mayor Bloomberg supported a soda tax and a ban on the use of food stamps for purchasing soda (though these measures later fell through), and also proposed a nation-wide voluntary salt reduction program for packaged and restaurant foods.

Now, in a bold and ambitious attempt to curb rising obesity rates, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed that the city prohibit the sale of sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces (fountain drinks, bottles, and cans) in delis, fast food outlets, restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, and street carts.

I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his efforts.

This new measure, if approved by the city’s Board of Health could take effect as early as March 2013, and would be the first ban of its kind in the U.S.

Sugary drinks are a significant contributor to our obesity epidemic: these calories are ingested with no bulk to create a feeling of physical fullness, and no fiber to slow down absorption of the sugars. There is a rapid and dangerous spike in blood glucose, followed by storage of hundreds of calories – without actually eating any food. On average, American men consume 178 calories each day from sugary drinks, and women consume 103.  About 25% of American adults consume more than 200 calories from sugary drinks each day.1 Single-serving, 20-ounce bottles and even larger fountain sodas have become the norm. Those calories add up quickly.

The most recent beverage consumption data from the USDA shows that the average American consumes over 35 gallons of sweetened soft drinks every year.2

The proposed ban wouldn’t extend its reach to all sugary drinks – supermarkets and convenience stores and would not be affected, nor would fruit juices or dairy-based drinks like milkshakes and lattes.  Also, there will of course be disagreement about whether the ban impinges on personal choice.

Regardless, the ban sets an important precedent. This proposed ban is important not just because of the reduced consumption in ounces of sugary drinks by New Yorkers that might result; it is important because of the psychological and social message the ban sends about sweet drinks and their contribution to ill-health and obesity.

The ban itself, by restricting what can be sold, places "harmful intent" on the fast food restaurants and other cheap food outlets that look to create addictive eating habits.

Am I the only adult alive in America who has never had an entire soda drink in their entire life?  I had tasted a sip of a few in my youth and it just tasted so artificial, I could not understand why others even liked it.  It is so disgusting to me to imagine pouring a liquid mix of sweetened chemicals down my throat; I would just as likely drink toilet cleaner. Nevertheless, maybe this law will spread and have the effect of making people rethink their self-destructive actions, and reduce sales of soda in general, over and above the reduction in size.  Who knows?

 

References:

1. Ogden CL, Kit BK, Carroll MD, et al: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS Data Brief: Consumption of Sugar Drinks in the United States, 2005-2008. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db71.htm.

2. Carbonated soft drinks: Per capita availability. USDA/Economic Research Service estimate using data from the Census of Manufactures. Data last updated Feb. 1, 2011. [http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FoodConsumption/FoodAvailspreadsheets.htm - beverage]

 

 

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My slumber party in cardiovascular intensive care

This past week I've spent time on a cardio intensive care unit at the bedside of my elderly father who's been battling pneumonia. The first night, as the early morning dawn was filterhing through a closed blind, I finally fell asleep curled up on a hard chair as I snuggled three pillows that a nurse kindly provided for my comfort.

One has much time to think in ICU as there’s not much else to do except watch the beeping monitors and listen to the quiet scuffles at the nurses’ stations. However, every once in a while a new arrival is wheeled past by an entourage of attendants; fresh from the recovery room.   

I was talking with one of the nurses, and she was telling me that most all of the patients in that particular unit were transferred there directly from heart bypass surgery. Looking through their glass doors, each appeared to be about my age; some looked a bit older, but most were "younger" looking. AND I'm sure that many will go right back to consuming chicken breasts, fries, and hot fudge sundaes as soon as they can get their hands on them again. After all, I’m almost certain that they were going to be sent home with a generous supply of Lipitor and Plavix so they could continue to participate in a gluttonous lifestyle. 
  

I'm beginning to think that perhaps it’s unethical to consume foods that promote disease. It's an astronomical burden not only to our health care system, but to the families who care for, and financially support these loved ones.

I don't know, do we have a moral obligation to consider the well-being of others who may be left with the overwhelming responsibility of being a caregiver?

Do we have a moral obligation to not squander the world's food supply and financial resources upon ourselves?

Note the image above. The obese, depressed woman in the middle was me four years ago. Back then I had to consume nearly 3700 calories a day just to maintain 100 lbs of fat. Oops, pardon me, I’ll be politically correct and call it "adipose tissue". That's enough food to feed two or three people. Was that morally right?

Should any of us be devouring the resources of this world while children starve in third world countries; or worse yet, have no clean water to drink?

What is ethical?

Do we turn heads to the cries of the needy to indulge in pleasures that never satisfy?

Recently, I was on the Dr. Oz show. Yes, it was fun. Yes, it was a hoot to be able to inspire the women of America to shed pounds the safe and healthy way. No doubt about it, it was an experience of a lifetime; something that I can tell my future grandkids someday. Yet, I can't help but wonder why we, as a culture, have made eating for health such a negative, foreign thing as if it is to be avoided like the plague.  

Eating for health is never a "have to" . . . . oh my, just the opposite. We have an amazing PRIVILEGE given to us!!!

It's a "get to" . . . . to know and apply information that will literally save us kazillions of dollars and millions of minutes of needless suffering and shame!

What a joy.

What a privilege.

What an indescribable blessing to have the gift of health available to us, literally, everyday for the rest of our lives!



For anyone discouraged. For anyone down-in-the-dumps. For anyone feeling like food cravings are just too big of an obstacle to successfully and permanently overcome - don't believe the lie. There are some real down-and-outers out there; be free by running in the opposite direction of their negativity, and tune into the voice of Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional recommendations instead! Don't get ensnared and entangled by their ignorant deceit. They are only satisfied when they have enticed you into their net of captivity.

 

The truth of the matter is . . . disease is just too big of an obstacle to deal with.

Repeat: Disease is just too big of an obstacle to deal with.

No human should suffer needlessly. Our bodies weren't made to lie in ICU beds on beautiful days in May, hooked up to machines, and caught in a vicious cycle of expensive medications, lab tests, and doctor appointments for the rest of our lives. No way! Our bodies were designed to function in full health. Vibrant health. Unburdened by rolls of fat, aches, pains, and chests cut open & torn apart to temporarily repair the senseless damage within. We are masterpiece works of art - designed for beauty, fresh air, and a fully functioning body!

Kick fat and disease out the door.

Go for it.

Do it!

Don't hang out with those who think you are crazy for earning health back. Don't listen to those who think you are an odd-ball because you eat only when hungry.  Turn a deaf ear to the naysayers.  Cultivate new and healthy friendships; AND be willing to be laughed at, scoffed at, and ridiculed for living in health!

Be normal. Be free from addiction. Be vibrant. Be healthy!

Let's all replace the gluttonous hoarding of resources with selfless generosity by living in the best health that’s possible. 

Freedom to all!

 

PS   For those unfamiliar with my story, almost four years ago I lost 100 lbs (it took about a year); and most importantly, I got rid of toxic food cravings that controlled my life for over twenty years, high blood pressure, heart disease, and pre-diabetes.  I had literally starved myself to obesity by eating the standard American diet.  

My success tip is to follow Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional recommendations, no matter what. 

No excuse (to not do it, or to give up) is a valid one . . . .for to live in denial of food addiction's power is to remain its prisoner.   

 

 

image credits:  children; flickr by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)

 

Eat to Live misrepresented: help me set the record straight!

A physician (Dr. John Torres) who fields health questions (“Ask Dr. John”) on Colorado news station 9NEWS has misrepresented the high-nutrient Eat to Live eating style to his viewers. When asked about my recommended eating style, this was his response (watch the video):

“Q: Dr Torres - Are you familiar with Dr. Joel Fuhrman and what do you think of his diet? Thanks, Shirley

A: This diet is known as the "Eat to Live" diet. It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products. Like most diet plans, it can help you lose weight and in some cases the results have been dramatic. But this is a very strict diet plan that will prove hard to maintain for most of us. As humans we tend to crave variety and if we try to stick to a restrictive plan it doesn't work. This is part of what accounts for the "Yo-Yo" diet phenomenon people experience with most diet plans…. “

Please leave a comment on the video page, and email the morning news show. Let them know that Eat to Live is a lifestyle plan for superior health and longevity. Ask them to have me on the news show, so that I can have an opportunity to respond to Dr. John’s erroneous evaluation of my recommended eating style.  

Dr. John calls Eat to Live “restrictive” and “hard to maintain” and states in the video “Even Dr. Fuhrman admits most people probably can’t follow this kind of diet.”

Restrictive and hard to maintain? Not for those who really read the entire book and implement it for 6 weeks. Once you do that and lose the addictive drives it gets easy.   I think more people have lost more than 100 pounds doing Eat To Live than any other program and maintained those losses for years. Charlotte, CalogeroScott, Bill, Sue, Theresa, Anthony, and Julia are a few examples.

Other diets cause weight “yo-yo” due because they don’t resolve food addiction, whereas addressing micronutrient needs and health makes Eat to Live the healthiest diet for life with the most permanent results. The “eat less and exercise more” advice does not work for most people. One will never be satisfied by eating smaller amounts of the same addictive foods.

High-calorie, low-nutrient foods (cheeseburgers, fries, processed foods, cake, ice cream, etc.) activate pleasure pathways in the brain, similar to addictive drugs1-5 and produce withdrawal symptoms often misinterpreted as hunger, leading to an addictive drive to eat more. If you crave this junk-food “variety” (as Dr. Torres suggests you will), you are destined to later-life misery with severe medical problems.Eat To Live is the answer for these cravings and to control excessive eating occasions.

The beauty of the Eat to Live diet-style is that eating more high-nutrient foods reduces the desire for low-nutrient foods. After a few months on the Eat to Live plan, people lose interest in the low-nutrient foods they initially thought they couldn’t live without. Eating to Live becomes their preferred way of eating. My colleagues and I have shown in a peer-reviewed scientific study6 that this style of eating diminishes uncomfortable hunger symptoms – people who eat this way feel more satisfied on fewer calories than they were eating before.

“It mostly focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited amounts of whole grain products. It avoids animal products”

Eat to Live does not require avoiding animal products completely, only limiting them to below 10% of total calories, since they are high-calorie, low nutrient foods and they cancer-promoting hormones increase to higher levels.

What about health, Dr. John?

Dr. Torres completely ignores the most important facet of Eating to Live: Health = Nutrients/Calories. Weight loss is not the only goal here. My book is called Eat to Live, not Eat to Lose Weight. My eating style focuses on the foods that are consistently associated in scientific studies with reduced risk of chronic diseases (GBOMBS – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds). Weight loss is merely a side effect of eating for excellent health – hundreds of my patients and readers have reversed diabetes, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases following this style of eating!

To Shirley, who submitted the question to Dr. John: Don’t rely on someone else’s opinion – read Eat to Live, understand the science of high-nutrient eating, and decide for yourself.

 

1. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats. Nat Neurosci 2010;13:635-641.

2. Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, et al. Neural Correlates of Food Addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011.

3. Stice E, Yokum S, Blum K, et al. Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food. J Neurosci 2010;30:13105-13109.

4. Bohon C, Stice E. Reward abnormalities among women with full and subthreshold bulimia nervosa: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Eat Disord 2011;44:585-595.

5. Stoeckel LE, Weller RE, Cook EW, 3rd, et al. Widespread reward-system activation in obese women in response to pictures of high-calorie foods. Neuroimage 2008;41:636-647.

6. Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, et al. Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J 2010;9:51.

 

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Eating for Health in Action: My Interview with Myra

I feel pretty grateful. Over the years at my now almost alma mater (one week until I will be able to hold (actually make that hug) my diploma!), I’ve met some wonderful, health conscious friends who view food as medicine, just like I do. This wasn’t always the case, especially during freshman year of college when I couldn’t find a sole who would rather consume a large salad over a greasy bowl of fries. I’d find myself in uncomfortable social situations, wishing I could just get my hands on some kale chips or fresh fruit while my new friends were cooking up hamburgers and pasta. Lucky for me, I’ve met health conscious friends over time and I figured it’s high time I interviewed one of these special friends so that they can share with you their experiences living health consciously in our world of junk food ubiquity.

My friend, Myra, is super cool. Not only does she share my love of salads with unusual toppings like eggplant and figs, but she also is never one to turn down an opportunity to keep her body in shape. Not only does she have experience dancing, but she currently teaches Zumba classes (a Latin dance inspired aerobics workout). Myra is as passionate about making the right food choices as she is about having a fun workout and we immediately bonded over this. She is an inspiring voice for anyone wishing to make superior eating choices and follow an active lifestyle. She gushes with enthusiasm about how both her nutrient-rich diet and creative workouts make her feel energetic, de-stressed and ready to tackle even the most frustrating term paper. Welcome to DiseaseProof, Myra!  

1)     What was your diet like growing up?

In elementary school and middle school, life for my family was all about convenience and what foods were at hand. We ate a lot of frozen foods, fast food and deli meats. My mom had a full-time job and our priority was always speed rather than health. As I got older, we began learning about the importance of making conscious food choices and our eating habits changed drastically. I haven’t touched fast food since middle school.

2)     What motivates you to make the right food choices now?

I like waking up feeling like I have energy and am ready to conquer the day without having to rely on coffee to get out of bed. I want to look and feel my best, and of course, this means eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve lost a bunch of weight eating more green vegetables, raw veggies and fruits and I’ve never felt better. Teaching Zumba classes means that I have to have enough energy to motivate others. I can’t do this if I fuel myself with junk foods. I’d actually feel nauseous or sick if I ate processed foods before a workout.

3)      How do you handle events with friends who eat conventionally?

I find it useful to have premeditated guidelines in my head of what foods I should eat for lunch or for the evening. Most restaurants are pretty accommodating when I ask for a salad with walnuts instead of cheese or a vegetable dish without salt. Knowing what type of foods I want before I go out helps me make the right food choices rather than ordering something spontaneously that I might regret later. 

4)     What advice do you have for those wishing to become more physically active?

People tend to think of exercise as something that they have to do, but it’s important to change your mindset about it. Exercise can be fun, used as a stress reliever, and an opportunity to focus on yourself. It doesn’t have to be painful the same way that healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland and taste awful. If you are more open to the idea of beginning an exercise program, there are certainly ways to make it fun and something to look forward to. It’s important to be honest with yourself and your goals and there are so many different types of exercise programs to try- it’s important to find a form of exercise that’s suits your personality.

Myra is a wonderful role model for her students, but an equally nice person and friend. The picture here is of Myra and I at the dock by our local farmers market. Thank you for the inspiring interview, Myra!

 

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother’s Day we salute all the mothers who are raising children to appreciate and embrace eating for health. It’s no easy task in the midst of a culture fixated on junk food that’s readily available everywhere one turns.  And it’s even more difficult if we, as moms, are getting a late start in establishing healthy eating habits ourselves.

However, we must persevere and creatively find ways to feed our children high-nutrient foods even if peers, close friends, and extended relatives are eating for disease. The childhood years are laying the foundation for cancer and other diseases to occur later in life; it’s not the time to throw-in-the-towel and give up.

Dr. Fuhrman wrote in Disease Proof Your Child, “I tell parents that if they follow my advice their child will no longer require frequent visits to the doctor. With most frequently ill children, more medicine is not the answer.”

“More and more evidence emerges each year that the diets we eat in our childhood have far-reaching effects on our adult health and specifically on whether we get cancer. Similarly, there is an abundance of scientific research that supports the need for a dietary lifestyle that protects our children from other serious diseases.” 1

 

Moms, let’s keep keeping on!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The above picture was submitted by one of our Disease Proof readers; this is daughter Clara, age 10, enjoying a green smoothie made with papaya, banana and spinach.

 

Blended Mango Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2  ripe mangos, peeled and chopped or 2 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup chopped spinach
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk

Instructions:
Place mangos in a food processor or high-powered blender.
Add the spinach and half the lettuce. Blend until well combined. Add the milk and remaining lettuce. Blend until creamy.

 
 

Waldorf Blended Salad
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1/2  cup pomegranate Juice
1 apple, peeled and cored
1/4 cup walnuts
4 cups kale and/or Boston lettuce
1/4 cup water or ice cubes 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:
Blend all ingredients in high powered blender.

 

 Related post: Moms, we have the most influence 

 

PS  For the fun of it I'm posting two pictures below that were taken on Mother's Day weekend, exactly four years a part.  The image on the left was taken in 2008, and the image on the right was taken this Mother's Day weekend.  Little did I know twenty-five years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, just how important it would be for me and my family to eat a high-nutrient diet. 

Moms, it's up to us to lead the way and set the example for our children to follow.   We set the pace.  We purchase over 90% of the nation's food supply.  What a privilege and responsibility we have to change the food culture for generations to come. 

Go greens!  Go Moms!   

                                        

1.        Fuhrman, M.D., Joel, 2005, Disease Proof Your Child, pp. xxi,xxii, Martins’ Griffin, NY 

Chocolate Goji Berry Stars

Makes 20-25 stars depending on the size of each star

Everyone deserves a little decadence now and then, especially as a post-meal treat. My dad has always instilled in me the importance of consuming plenty of nutrient rich vegetables and beans in a meal and then I can treat myself to a few of these amazing little guys. And boy are they tasty! It certainly does feel wonderful to get my greens and then as a beautiful end to treating my body right, have one or two of these melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Goji Berry Stars to finish off one heck of a satisfying meal. 

Today it was raining and gloomy where I live and most of my friends have been stressed out studying for final exams (I’m in my last semester in college). I got lucky and finished my last exam early, so I knew today was the perfect time to head to the kitchen and whip up something special for me and my over-worked friends. I had a blast making these stars, which contain just four ingredients and are raw and gluten-free. They came out so divine considering the few ingredients and I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you. They are a fantastic dessert and quite rich, just like dark chocolate, so it only takes one or two to feel oh so satisfied. I say share them with your friends like I did or refrigerate them and you have a stash that can last for a few weeks. I hope your mouth loves them just as much as mine did!

Chocolate Star

Ingredients:

1 and ½ cups walnuts

8 medjool dates (the medjool variety are soft, perfect for this recipe)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

handful goji berries

Directions:

Grind walnuts in a blender until they turn into a fine powder. Pour the walnuts into a big bowl. Pit the medjool dates and add them to the bowl with the walnuts. Using freshly washed hands, knead the walnuts and the dates together with your hands, molding the date/walnut mixture into one evenly mixed ball. The dates will add stickiness and the walnuts and dates should combine together well. Add the cocoa powder and continue to knead the ingredients until thoroughly mixed into a chocolaty ball. You can then use this ball to create mini discs, as pictured below. Place the goji berries into the shape of a star on top of the chocolate discs! And voila! Now you’ve got these mini chocolate treats to relish be it rain or shine. 

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Have a plan and stick to it

Getting out and staying out of food addiction isn't that hard per se, but one must be vigilant and persistent at all times. 

I liken it to learning to ride a bike. 

A beginner may have some spills before he/she learns proper balancing skills to ride a bike without falling.  It may even take some extra reinforcement like a parent’s helpful hand of guidance, or a pair of training wheels attached to the bike for stability, but eventually with practice, one learns to successfully ride without thinking about it anymore. Riding a bike becomes automatic, and then one is no longer focused on the learning process, but instead enjoys the pure pleasure of the scenic ride.  

However, one must always be careful not to ride too fast on gravel, not to ride near the edge of pavement, and pay close attention to busy intersections; otherwise a major accident could happen, even to the most seasoned cyclist.  Likewise, I’ve learned that it still takes careful planning and diligence on my part to continue to make wise choices that prevent me from wandering back into food addiction.  

For instance, it’s typically my habit to get up at the same time every morning, sit and read with the therapeutic light, exercise, and then shower and get ready for the day. Those times that I make repetitive, unwise choices like staying up too late the night before, resulting in my early morning routine thrown out the window – if habitually repeated, I eventually become psychologically out-of-sorts . . . and then I become apathetic. [I’m not referring to an occasional late night or two here and there, because life happens, but repetitive poor planning stringed together for several days on end.]

For me, apathy is dangerous, because the “I don’t care” attitude is the stepping stone into the slippery slope of addiction.  Even with the physiological cravings for the standard American diet gone; practically off the radar screen of desire anymore, I could still revert back to psychological and emotional attachments to food if I’m not careful. I could easily eat oat bars with almond butter when stressed, or fruit sweetened ice-cream when not hungry.

For recovering food addicts it’s important not to fall prey to the “I don’t care” trap as a result of poor planning and unwise choices.

Have a plan and stick to it, no matter what ~ one of the keys to ongoing success.   

 

 

image credits:  flckr by paulhami and Team Traveller

Let's Boycott Our Processed Food Nation

A few days ago, I was explaining my nutritarian diet to an acquaintance when he made a remark about the apparently dreadful sounding blandness of my diet. “You just eat plants? What?! You poor dear. That must be horrible, honey.” Boy did this get me frustrated! Putting aside the fact that I think the foods I eat taste divine, his comment got me thinking, what’s really sad here is our nation of over-processed eaters whom have become so far removed from the taste of real foods. The reality at the heart of his comment was that most people have now been conditioned to only enjoy the taste of heavily salted or overly sweetened processed foods.

Strawberries. Flickr: clairity

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Americans are obsessed with the flavors of packaged foods and we are now eating 31 percent more packaged food than fresh, and we consume more processed foods per person than the individuals of any other country. We certainly do love our TV dinners, chips, sweet and salty snacks and ready-to-eat meals.  My theory is that if we have to tear open a bag, unwrap plastic or open a box, people will assume the food will be tasty.

I recently read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which is a sobering account of how far off the deep end we’ve become as a nation of processed food loving peoples.  I’m sure any reader will agree with me that a meal of fresh tropical mango and papaya salad with thinly-sliced raw greens and coconut-lime dressing is just not going to maintain its natural flavors (or even stay fresh), if it were shipped from California to Connecticut and then had to stay on the shelf in a grocery store for a few more days after that. While French fries might not be as prone to perish as a tropical mango and papaya salad, those little fritters just aren’t going to maintain their natural freshness or flavors of the original potato either.  In reality, almost all of the foods we buy in packages contain artificial flavors produced by food scientists in white lab coats in factories in northern New Jersey.  I learned this and infinitely more in Fast Food Nation, and besides being a huge walking and writing advertisement for the book, my point is that our bodies haven’t evolved to eat this artificial processed junk yet and until we do, we need to begin evaluating where our food comes from and what ingredients are added to them.

So, not only do I love the natural, unprocessed foods that I cook for myself, I know there won’t be any of the ingredients that go into producing the artificial flavorings of a Burger King strawberry milkshake, such as amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, anethol, butyric acid, hydroxyphrenyl-2-butanone, methyl benzoate, or other obscure most of us have never heard of.  Mind you, there are no real strawberries added to processed strawberries flavorings like this one. As my dad likes to say, our taste buds are adaptable and it takes time to adjust to the subtler flavors of natural plant foods.  Once going nutritarian for even just a few weeks, taste buds can change and fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds become more desirable. My mouth waters at the thought of a fresh kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing, a Portobello mushroom burger or chocolate cherry “ice cream” made from bananas and almond milk.  I love the taste of the foods I eat, I love that I’m not consuming any ethyl methylphenylglyci-date (an actual chemical used as an ingredient in many artificial flavors), and most importantly, I love being healthy.  So who’s with me on a quest to avoid processed foods for good? For all of you already healthy eaters, how do you feel when someone thinks your diet is absolutely tasteless and you know it can be knock-your-socks-off delicious? As our obesity epidemic and disease riddled society continues to flourish, we are going to have to say no to those processed packages and hello to the new age of unprocessed, nutrient-rich plant foods.