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France

How Food Fads Will Destroy the Planet: How Much Is That Almond Worth to You?

How Food Fads Will Destroy the Planet: How Much Is That Almond Worth to You?

Whenever someone tells me the supposed health benefits of a particular food, I cringe. I cringe because with the "immune-boosting", "anti-oxidant rich" claims comes the immediate denigration of another real food as being particularly bad. The way I see...

Modern Eating Disorders Part Five: Finding Your Salvation

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At the end of Part Four of this series, I commented about finding a solution to the myriad of eating disorders that are plaguing our society. I also suggested that moderation is a farce…and I maintain that it is. In a previous article from a few years back I looked at how most people today view moderation when it comes to their diet. In short, the moderation lecture is usually given just before someone is about to stuff their face with an anti-Food item that does little more than temporarily satisfy a sugar, alcohol or caffeine craving.

To my mind, the only way that we can really tackle this issue of eating disorders is to surround ourselves with more Food, not less and to revere and respect it for the many virtues it has and all that it enables us to do. Think about it. Until a little over 100 years ago, for all of humankind’s existence the only food were those things that came out of the ground or otherwise were raised in nature. These foods have kept our species thriving on the planet — and healthfully so — for millenia.

However today, we are wooed by fancy packaging and guys and gals in lab coats telling us that many of those things were responsible for early death. Meanwhile, they urge us to trust some other packaged good that has only been on the scene for a few decades and, in more cases than not, have not been tested for it’s impact on health. While my vegetarian friends have bought this falsified information hook, line and sinker, my paleo friends take the opposite extreme unwilling to acknowledge the role that grains and dairy have served man over the past 10,000 years thus throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

To my mind, the best models we can follow are those of successful societies. When we do so, it is important do it with an open mind and be careful not to impose our own desires and expectations upon the information they still hold.

For example, the tiny island nation of Cuba boasts one of the largest numbers of centenarians on the planet despite having a diet high in pork (especially the fat), grains and alcohol — they smoke a lot more than most people too. However, when this info is shared by government dietitians, the recommendation is always to reduce the fat and meat intake in favor of beans which are “healthier” even though Cubans have proven that eating a lot of pork with its fat can be quite healthful! Same goes, coincidentally for the traditional diets of the French, Italians, Cretans and even the Japanese! Where the diet differs from the official government recommendations, the diet is altered to be more politically correct.

I, too, was guilty of this at one time. Having lived in France and working in a French newspaper, I have long had a relationship with French culture. Over the years, my female French friends have shared with me their diet tips. Twenty plus years ago when they were telling me how they stay slim, I thought they were nuts. After all, my government sources told me that fat wasn’t good, drinking unlimited amounts of water was good and exercise would cure all. But what I found in these women is that they all did the exact opposite and easily weighed about 20-30 lbs less than I did on average. How could I have been so blind??

The sad part is that with the speed of information and different pacts being made between governments, people around the world are slowly but surely adopting the American disdain for food. And with it comes disease and dysfunction. My hope is that these people will wake up sooner to recognize their heritage and embrace the wisdom of their forebears.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on this ride. I apologize for taking so long to get it out there. If you have any reflections on this series, I’d love to hear your input on it. Please leave your comments below


About Adrienne Hew

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Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.

Travel souvenirs: What are the best souvenirs to bring back?

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Traveling around different parts of the world, it’s always a challenge to find things that are new. In this age of globalization, it is easy to find the same boring stuff in practically every corner of the world. Of course I mainly only traveled to first world countries, or at least countries in the same hemisphere as me, but I still find that there are very few unique products that I can bring back to the United States.

So on all of our trips, we make it a point to go to health food stores or other specialty stores that don’t exist where we come from. One of the best things you can bring back from a trip is sea salt. Salt is the original local food.  We have a small collection of sea salt from all over the world:   Italy, Hawaii, Sicily, Spain, France, Germany, and so many other places. Each salt has its own character. The textures, subtle sweetness or lack thereof, are quite fascinating and are a nice touch to any meal you make when you return home.

Another thing I love to get when it bring back to the United States, so that I can enjoy them in the comfort of my own home is honey. Honey has got to be the other original local food. We have eaten local honeys from Spain, Jamaica, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy and France and just finished up a jar from Germany. It’s really fantastic to taste all the different flavors depending on what the bees are feeding on thyme flowers, coffee flowers or something else. The flavors are completely different and complex. Some surprisingly not as sweet as others and others so sweet it’s almost like a punch in the face.

One great food we like to bring back from our travels is coffee. I know, I know everybody says you shouldn’t be drinking coffee. However, even some of the strictest health gurus today are admitting that they enjoy a good cup of coffee every now and again. Remember when we talk about moderation we talk about real foods. And coffee in my opinion is one of those real food. Surprisingly, the coffee that I found the best in all of my travels over the last 10 years, is supposedly not the Kona coffee from Hawaii, nor is it the blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica. It certainly wasn’t the Costa Rican coffee that I had down there a few years ago. It wasn’t even the French coffee or the Italian espresso or cappuccino (which is the past was one of my favorite treats), but it was the coffee in Germany all places.  Germany had the absolute best tasting coffee I have had probably in my life. What was so great about it? It didn’t have a really acidic flavor and it didn’t even leave an aftertaste in my mouth. So we ended up bringing back about 4 pounds of it just enjoying at home. We drink a little (mine with lots of milk) on the weekends. A nice memory of a relaxing vacation in the exciting city of Berlin.

One last food that we like to bring back, but have to be careful with is cheese. You can only bring hard cheeses back into the United States. For the most part, in Europe at least you can still purchase wonderful raw milk cheeses which are packed with digestible nutrients lost in pasteurized versions. You are allowed to bring these back to the States technically, but with ridiculous raw milk regulations constantly becoming stricter and stricter in the US (so much for a free  country), it is more and more difficult to bring this back.

So sometimes if there is really good hard cheese from a place like Switzerland, I’ll buy a few pounds the day before I leave, have it vacuum sealed and put it in my suitcase. This is an amazing treat because the quality far surpasses most cheeses available in the  United States.

The final and most important thing that I like to bring back for myself is a cookbook — sometimes translated to English, sometimes not. Whatever I do, I make sure the cookbook focuses on traditional ingredients — the ones that have kept people healthy for centuries, not the politically correct versions that ruin every dish by using cheap vegetable oils or perhaps worse, giving low-fat advice. These books reveal the real ways that people eat, not the sanitized version pushed by overpaid scientists who lose their funding if they don’t push low quality industrialized products on people.

For my friends, I often will buy them one of the above gifts — if I have room. If not, a new thing I have found to be a great gift is shopping bags. Every supermarket in Europe seems to have reusable shopping bags for only a Euro each. They are often made of excellent quality and are a nice practical and compact souvenir that anyone would appreciate.

So what do you like to bring back from your travels? Well at least what you like to bring back that’s legal to bring back?


About Adrienne Hew

Adrienne-Hew_BlackWhite.jpg

Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.