Health Kick Chick

Join me on my laymen's journey towards better health. Eat. Move. Rest.

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I’m now on Tumblr!

Hiya gang,

My desire to have access to the best/newest technology with minimal muss or fuss means that I’m leaving WordPress for Tumblr.  It’s been a fun run but a girl needs to be able to embed videos and add widgets without pulling her hair out.

Come on over to my new Tumblr page.  I’m baking cupcakes…;0)

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Video interview w/ Dr. Ian Smith (of Celebrity Fit Club)

Last week, I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Ian Smith on his thoughts about (pre) diabetes prevention and management. He gave some really great answers and I realize now that I would’ve loved to ask him about his thoughts on natural supplementation as a treatment. Next time. Enjoy!

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BTW, I think he jinxed me with his comment about refined sugars. I know plenty of people who’ve cut it out of their diets successfully for years.

Of course that night I had some Quaker Delights and of course they have HCFS. The larger Quaker Rice Cakes that I’m used to, do not so I assumed. Well, you know what happens when you assume…

Eat. Move. Rest.

One month without High Fructose Corn Syrup

For the past 31 days, I’ve been high fructose corn syrup (HCFS) free.  It all started last month when my forever friend suggested I try a fast for Easter to clear blockages around my life.  I did a modified fast that week eating only breakfast and a small dinner.  I did not allow any highly spiced or sweetened foods (only the occasional piece of fruit) into my diet at all.  By the end of the fast, I felt like my metabolism had reset.  I wasn’t as hungry as usual and most importantly, I wasn’t craving sweets.

What’s most interesting to me is that my heritage is firmly rooted in the Sugar Belt.  Every type of sugar has graced my table at some point: beet, Turbinado, organic raw, evaporated cane syrup, Sucanat, Demerarra, palm, sugar bricks and the less exotic brown and white varieties.  I fondly look back on sticky summers here I’d pass up a slice of cantaloupe for a 6 inch section of sweet, fibrous sugar cane.  We’d pour heaping tablespoons into the blackest coffees and drown it with creamer to make café con leche or sprinkle over savory foods for an unexpected touch.  Sugar was our friend. And yet, I don’t have a sweet tooth.  I love cake and ice cream but more often than not would rather have tortilla chips.

So then, why was it so hard to give up HCFS foods?  Because they are in everything.  When I made a conscious effort to go grocery shopping, I realized that I couldn’t just pick up foods that looked healthy.  I found the ingredient in everything from crackers to salmon burgers.  Salmon burgers!  I don’t trust HCFS esp. since fructose isn’t found naturally in corn.  It’s manipulated beyond recognition for a quick buck.  So, I don’t want to let a mass producers need for profit affect my waistline.  I’ve tried to avoid artificial sweeteners for some time now and moderate my use of HCFS.  But now, as I’m trying to eat more whole foods I realize that HCFS just doesn’t make the cut.

I’m taking a more active part in cutting it from my diet and have—for 31 days at least—been successful.  I choose more natural sugars like the ones named before and occasionally maple syrup, honey or (iron rich) molasses depending on my moods.  I even slather creamy raw honey on bread with PB for a quick sandwich full of antioxidants.  I’ve yet to try agave syrup and have had brown rice syrup in many of my favorite foods but not on it’s own.  I’ve recently sampled several brands of stevia and would rather go without sweetener than try any of the ones sent to me.  Blech!

At the end of the day, whether HCFS is good for us or not remains unclear.  How timely then, that the Mayo Clinic comments on HCFS in a Q&A today?

MSG, I think I love you

You’re kind of the bad boy of the food world.  Ever since I was little, I loved foods like Goya’s Accent and sofrito.  Hell, almost everything Goya makes has MSG in it and that’s why my food always tastes so. damn. good. When I used to go to my office near the US Goya headquarters, I’d get a little heady (the way one might get excited if they saw their favorite celebrity on the street).

I love how now with all the MSG backlash, the sneaky devil goes undercover as a number of confounding names including [autolyzed] yeast [extract], protein isolate or a number of other names.  From watching the Food Network, I learned that MSG is actually a naturally occurring substance that is recreated in chemical labs.  It has to be sneaky because half of the foods we all know and love wouldn’t have much of a flavor without the addition of this nummy ingredient.

Some people claim headaches, stomachaches or worse but these problems never seem to bother me.  I use it in moderation, of course, but would my famous Spinach Lasagna taste the same without adobo?  Could I ever give up my Gardetto’s?  Absolutely not!

MSG, I think I’ll call you “umami” to keep things PC.

Food tasting = Planning ahead

I’m so excited that today the Health Kick Chick will be participating in a food testing for Self Magazine’s Annual Food Awards. They’ve been very hush hush about which foods are nominated or even what we’ll be trying but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow’s posting will have plenty of pics (if they allow me to).

Today I also have a ton of food based meetings because of cancellations this week due to snow. So, I have one early afternoon meeting in my favorite coffee shop (the one with all the decadent divine Germanic pastries), then one a little later at a French bistro. I top off my day with the food tasting.

So what’s my plan of attack? Well, my secret weapon is always to start off my day with an extremely filling breakfast. Today, that means steel cut oatmeal. Though I’m not a huge steel cut oatmeal fan, I bought a big tub ‘cuz it was all the rage and I bust it out whenever I need to be in foodcentric situations later on in the day. It keeps me full for a good 5 hours and you can’t beat that with a stick.

At my first meeting, I’m bypassing my usual order (unsweetened soy cappuchino and 1/2 cinammon roll…drool) for a big cup of peach tea with honey for minimal calorie damage.

Lunch is a slice of veggie pizza. I must be the only person I know that can stop at one slice. But then, I’m a pizza snob and my pizza’s got to be good–no Dominoes for me.

Second meeting is going to be either another cup of tea or a bowl of a broth-based soup like the Garden Vegetable or Tomato Basil Florentine. Both soups are pretty high in sodium and very filling, so I might pass them up if I think they’ll make me too full for the tasting.

At the tasting, I’m allotting all my weekly "bonus" calories just in case. I’ll probably be the only maniac keeping tabs of nutritional information so I can readjust as needed but I’ve got to stay on track.

I just got Jari Love’s "Get Ripped" in the mail today from Netflix, so I’ll definitely give that a shot. It won’t undo my day but at least it’ll get my heart pumping.

So, a with a little bit of pre-planning I can make sure that my new week starts off successfully.

Back tomorrow with a review of Jari Love’s vid and pictures from the tasting 🙂