Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Sugar. How sweet it is!…Is it really?

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

We’ve become junkies. We reach for it in happy times, in depressing times, at all times. Not only in the form of those shimmering white crystals, but also in the chemically engineered equivalents in sweets, drinks and desserts designed to bring that comfortable warm, relaxing glow at the end of a meal, dunking in our coffee, enhancing our soft drinks, a midday or after school energy boost, snacks that replace real food, and that stress releasing melt of alcohol/sugar at the end of the work day. Reaching for it is so matter-of-fact that most of us never give a thought to the fact that we’ve become sugar addicts, addicted to the ‘pure’ form and all additives containing all the scientifically engineered chemical forms that we and our children cannot live without. But the most insidious effect on us, besides the well known publicized physical calamities of obesity, ADD, diabetes…, is on our psyche, our mental state, our inability to cope with life’s twists and turns whether self made or not. Our dependence on it makes us victims of the worst side effects, the diseases of unhappiness and depression. It’s a vicious cycle: physical disease = depression/depression = physical disease. That cycle has to be broken.

Refined sugar is responsible for creating an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Mental and emotional disorders are now linked to sugar consumption. Hence, “Sugar Blues”. How do you usually ‘stop’ it? Reach for more sugar. And so we have the 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM coffee/tea breaks with caffeine, a perfect partner for sugar also in the soft drinks that your kids have with their sugar fix – uppers and downers harmoniously together ‘to get you going’. In one form or another it is in just about every processed food and drink that is manufactured. Put this in perspective. We are hooked and have become numb, used to having our ‘down’ times, taking mood elevators to numb us even more so we can ‘cope’. That’s not coping; it’s drugging which brings even more depression.

Refined sugar is a refined carbohydrate which is extremely hazardous to your health. It enters the bloodstream very rapidly creating an ideal environment for developing addictions. It’s a fast energy booster and mood elevator, an addictive drug often compared to other heavily addictive substances like heroine and opium. It should also be included in the DEA’s ‘most wanted’ list. Natural sweeteners and sugars, on the other hand, are more complex and enter the bloodstream slowly. They’re not chemically refined and are closer to whole foods, containing their own nutrients that feed the body; they don’t rob or deplete it.

Simple to say: “Stop eating sugar.” So tough to do. I know. When I was about (more…)

Farmer in Chief

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Dear Mr. President-Elect,

It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration–the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact–so easy to overlook these past few years–that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.

Complicating matters is the fact that the price and abundance of food are not the only problems we face; if they were, you could simply follow Nixon’s example, appoint a latter-day Earl Butz as your secretary of agriculture and instruct him or her to do whatever it takes to boost production. But there are reasons to think that the old approach won’t work this time around; for one thing, it depends on cheap energy that we can no longer count on. For another, expanding production of industrial agriculture today would require you to sacrifice important values on which you did campaign. Which brings me to the deeper reason you will need not simply to address food prices but to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change. Unlike food, these are issues you did campaign on — but as you try to address them you will quickly discover that the way we currently grow, process and eat food in America goes to the heart of all three problems and will have to change if we hope to solve them. Let me explain. (more…)

ABOUT: Wellness Chef Helen Sandler
Lecturer, personal chef, teacher, wellness coach, & speaker, Helen promotes a healthier lifestyle through common sense, organic / natural approach to a happier, positive life.

Helen Sandler is used to being an innovator and at the cutting edge of whole foods whole grains awareness. After graduating from SUNY, New York with a teaching degree, she began to follow her real passion for healthy cooking which took her from Los Angeles to Boston to attend the cooking school of the late and great master Japanese natural chef, Aveline Kushi. Later that passion took her to Kyoto, Japan to continue her studies, where she spent four more years learning the art of healthy Japanese cooking (Seishoku).

As Wellnes Chef Helen she is the featured authority at CTNgreen /wellness with articles in the library there and the virtual paperless magazine at CTNGreen Magazine