Cooking has become mostly a spectator sport in America. There are more than twenty-five well-known celebrity chefs cooking on television today, yet fewer people are actually cooking than ever before. According to a recent food marketing survey, only 27 percent of Americans cook on a daily basis.1 It’s not that they don’t want to, though. In a separate survey, a full 98 percent of Americans said they preferred meals prepared at home.2 If that is Americans’ preference, then why aren’t they doing it? Continue reading
It’s 4pm and you’re only now starting to think about dinner tonight. Am I right? For me at least, lack of advanced meal planning is one of the top barriers to eating healthy and frankly, reducing stress. Especially given my family’s dietary restrictions (I am gluten free, though soy sauce is fine for me) – weekly meal planning has been my saving grace. It sounds so simple and yet so few people actually do it. I hope you’ll give it a try. And to get you started, I’ll share with you my own meal planning routing.
I’ve been trying to come to grips with the recent suicide of a family member. He became depressed after separating from his wife some years ago. We all thought that he would eventually get over it. We were wrong.
Many of us have experienced the agony of breaking up with someone special and I, for one, can absolutely relate to the feeling of despair that sets in. But in my case, up to now, I was always able to pick myself up and find reasons to go on with life. So why can’t everyone do this?? As with all things human, there’s never a simple answer and depression is a particularly complex topic. While there may be some people who are so afflicted by depression that drugs or physical intervention are necessary, I think that most of us are somewhere in the middle of a large spectrum of levels of innate happiness. Kind of like a happiness or life gratification scale. Those on the low end see little point in going on and those at the high end have a tremendous enthusiasm for life. I believe that where we fall (on average) on this spectrum is part biology and part the choices we make in life. Of course I can’t help you with the biology part – you are born as you are. However, I do believe that it’s possible to take steps to nudge yourself up at least a bit on the happiness and life gratification scale. Yet we’re almost never taught how. So here are a few of the methods that I’ve learned and apply in my own life, and which I’d like to share with you. And while some may sound easy, it’s the discipline of keeping them up that is the hard part. Continue reading
- Me: Are your vegetables organic?
- Farmer: No, sorry.
- Me: That’s too bad.
- Farmer: It’s really expensive to get certified, you know.
- Me: Ok, well what pesticides do you use, exactly?
The conversation quickly goes over my head. By now I’m also getting dirty looks for holding up the line. Sheesh, all I wanted to know is if these sweet potatoes are worth the slightly higher price compared to those at the neighboring stand. Isn’t there an easier way to differentiate the quality of the products at the different stands? Why yes, there is a better question. And one whose answer you can judge in 5 seconds or less. Continue reading
I’m a glutton for American convenience; big cars, big homes, space from my neighbors, cheap gas and electricity and easy shopping around the clock. Yet I can’t help but feel like a wasteful pig every time I’m in Germany. Here are 10 examples of how the Germans are so much less wasteful and more resource efficient than me. Continue reading
Imagine reading an article about cutting-edge new treatments for breast cancer, only the story isn’t actually about the treatments. It’s about the selfishness of women who receive these new treatments without ever having donated to breast cancer research charities. The article then suggests that these “free-loaders” bear some responsibility for the deaths of thousands of breast cancer victims who might have been saved by a new therapy that just needed a bit more funding. Could you imagine finding such an article in a prestigious journal like The Economist?
Food in America is ridiculously cheap. According to this 2014 article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, entitled Obesity and Economic Environments, “Americans are spending a smaller share of their income (or corresponding amount of effort) on food than any other society in history or anywhere else in the world, yet get more for it.”
American politicians would argue that low food prices help the poor and the economy; the poor now rarely go hungry and the economy is boosted through higher sales and exports. At least that’s the theory, but it is an extremely short-sighted one. Continue reading
Shortly before my 3 year old son was born, I began researching vaccines. I quickly realized I had opened a Pandora’s box. There was a lot of controversy surrounding vaccines. Confused and wanting to get my thoughts organized, I blogged about what I learned in this post, which is now one of the most popular on my blog.
Since then, the debate has only intensified – especially in the wake of the California measles outbreak, which has triggered a slew of stories on the subject. Articles and editorials in outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC News, Time Magazine, The Economist and many others vilify the unvaccinated and pro-choicers, portraying them as being ignorant and irresponsible. A few even suggest that the unvaccinated be sued and that doctors who support vaccine choice have their licenses revoked. But why haven’t I seen any stories that mention any of the concerns I raised in my post about the Vaccine Controversy, I wondered? I decided to look into it and now I’m now horrified by what I have discovered. Continue reading