How the USDA came to be Responsible for What Americans Eat

food pyramid comic

As you may know, our nutritional guidelines (the food pyramid and plate) come from the USDA.  The weird part about that, is that the main responsibility of the USDA is to represent food suppliers (not food eaters).  It’s quite a conflict of interest to have the representative of food suppliers telling Americans what to eat, no?  How could this happen?

Here is an fascinating (and quick) video from NutritionFacts.org on how this came to be:

>>>The McGovern Report | NutritionFacts.org.

Apparently we’ve known since the 70′s that reducing meat and dairy intake is the first line of defense against many late onset diseases. Sadly, no government entity has truly stood up to the National Dairy Counsel or the National Cattlemen’s Association then or since. Its not quite a conspiracy…but its close lol.

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Happy Earth Day!

Ive been trying to come up with a good way to celebrate Earth Day. I decided that the best thing I can possibly do is to get the information to the people! What info you ask? Big news: adopting a vegan diet the most beneficial thing you can do to preserve our environment. I’ll share it with you via infographic…

info2info1Of course, there are way more great reasons out there for adopting a plant-based diet from an environmental conservation perspective and others, but this should get you started.

If I can give someone the info they were looking for to make the switch to a plant-based diet, even for just 1 week, I will have done something stupendous for Earth Day. Try it out, you’ll like it :)

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Breakfast Through a Straw: My New Smoothie Obsession

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Allie is jealous of my smoothie deliciousness.

I posted about the NutriBullet a while back, and I am proud to say I have used it almost every single day since! My most frequent drink is this one at breakfast time.  It has pretty much everything you could ever need in it to start your day.

Recipe:
1 handful of greens
1 frozen banana (peeled, sliced and frozen the night before)
a small handful (less than 1/4 cup) of quick-cook type oats
6-8oz chilled coffee (I brew the night before and put it in the fridge)
a splash of vanilla almond milk (or soy)
1TBS ground flax seed
6-8 raw cashews
5-6 raw walnut halves
optional: 1 tsp agave (I find I don’t need this if the banana is ripe enough)

This is super filling and gives you a kickstart without making you jittery. Play with different types and amounts of greens, as well as different flavors of coffee to get the perfect mix. You could also add cocoa powder or cinnamon for extra flavor, or ice cubes if you like it frostier.

Getting 1-2 tablespoons of flax everyday is awesome in so many ways.  Flax has been shown to aid in weight loss, prevent blood sugar spiking, improve skin hydration, reduce skin sensitivity, help PREVENT BREAST CANCER, and IMPROVE BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL. So hop to it ladies, eat your flax!
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Here is some of the research:
Reduction in Ki-67 in benign breast tissue of high-risk women with the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2010 3(10):1342 – 1350

Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin. Cancer Res. 2005 11(10):3828 – 3835

Supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2011 24(2):67 – 74

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PPK Rice Noodle Salad with Sriracha- Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I made Post Punk Kitchen’s Rice Noodle Salad with Sriracha- Grapefruit Vinaigrette today and it was awesome!  Here is the link to the lovely PPK recipe:

http://www.theppk.com/2013/03/rice-noodle-salad-with-grapefruit-sriracha-vinaigrette/

I ended up subbing broccoli instead of cucumbers, and that was great too. This is a nice refreshing cool dinner that feels more satisfying than a greens-based salad. To punch up the protein I had a tad higher ratio of tofu to noodles. Thanks PPK!

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EU Officially Bans Animal Testing on Cosmetics

Bunny

Just in time for Easter- Good News for Bunnies!

-The European Commission, claimed the decision “is in line with what many European citizens believe firmly: that the development of cosmetics does not warrant animal testing.”

Well said, European Commission, well said.

Click here to go to the Article

Click here to go to the Article

You can bet this will affect US products as well (to some extent); Yay!
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The Protein Bowl

Hi all! Time for a real-meal recipe. I have thrown out quite a few yummy desserts and snacks, but here is the real whole-foods deal: behold The Protein Bowl.
IMAG0337Quinoa + Black Beans + Avacado = delicious protein-y bliss

Did you know you should always rinse your quinoa before cooking it? Quinoa is naturally coated in saponins which taste bitter to ward off insects, but they can ward off humans too!  Saponins can also inhibit digestion so for a tastier and more comfortable dining experience, rinse your quinoa :)

IMAG0335With a whopping 16g of protein, 16g of fiber and only 330 calories, this tasty little dish is a great post-workout meal.

For a single serving, you will need:
3/4 cup Vegetable broth
1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup of Canned Black Beans (or cook your own if you are into that)
1/2 an Avocado
Red Chili Flakes (optional)

Cook the quinoa in a small saucepan over medium heat (covered) in the vegetable broth for 15 min or until the hulls spiral out from the grains and they are tender. If there is still extra broth, you can strain it out.

While this is cooking, heat up your black beans on the stove or in a microwave.  When the quinoa is ready, assemble the dish: Scoop the quinoa into a bowl and make a dent in the center to hold the beans. Scoop in the beans and top with chopped avocado. Sprinkle with chili flakes to taste.

Enjoy!
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Raising Vegan Kids Growing in Popularity

5%

Did you know that 5% of American Adults and 3% of American Children are Vegan???

A re-post from the Baltimore Sun about the growing number of vegan families:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/bs-fo-vegan-family-20130320,0,6654871.story

Check it out :) I don’t know much about this topic so if you have any good references please comment!
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