The Meal Matters Most

Stress musings and perspectives


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Can we start being as kind to Saturated Fat as we would an (unfairly) Jilted Lover?

My Sunday morning peruse of recipes and news led me to click on Jamie Oliver’s post “Dairy & gluten-free Chocolate Chip and Avocado Cookies”. It started off very politically correct and Jamie (correction: This was written by Bee Berrie of Bee’s Bakery) carefully skirting any political do’s or don’ts of agreement on removing such things as gluten and dairy and just discussing the joys of learning something new. This is the way many of us live our lives exploring options and respecting others curiosity and even issues. He does such a great job of expressing this until he gets to one sentence. “… butter is high in saturated fat – the bad type of fat that can increase the levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream”. I don’t blame Jamie Bee she is only repeating what she has heard. Replacing or getting larger variety of fats is healthy for us. But calling saturated fat “bad” is like yelling at your dog or your lover that he/she is bad when they misbehave. Continue reading


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How do you classify “good food”?

A recent question “What exactly is good food?”:

Here’s my reply…

For me I take the philosophy of a “stress approach” and systems (it depends on the system) approach to good food. So  fats/sugars can be physiologically stressful, so balance those main (high quality sourced) macronutrients (meat-carb-fat) with quality micronutrients (whole fruit, vegetables, herbs) or traditional sauce condiments that include fermented foods or dairy (probiotic source). This creates a “balanced” meal for our systems that is also delicious!

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“Are “Genes Are To Blame” Articles Really Leading the Public Astray?” The Epigenetics of Stress Mechanisms in Disease

 

MindHacks” writer Vaughan Bell’s tweet subsequently retweeted by “Not Exactly Rocket Science” Blogger Ed Yong states that the media turns “blame your genes” into attention-grabbing headlines. They worry the headlines are misleading the public into thinking they are no longer responsible for their problems. That the articles are for those who want to absolve themselves of responsibility for badly behaving toddlers or so they can blame their genes rather than themselves for being a lazy couch potato or binge eating. If we can blame our genes then we’re not responsible, right? But where does that thought process come from? Most likely from our instruction that genes are out of our control random things we inherent from our parents. Therefore if genes are to blame, then we, our environment, is not. Those were our choices, either our genes or our environment were to blame for such things.

In defense of the articles, that is not what the authors or researchers seem to be actually saying.  Continue reading


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Is drinking a Coca-Cola equivalent to drinking Apple Juice?

So I was out to lunch with a friend when he expressed to me that drinking a coke was no different than drinking an apple juice. That side-by-side the sugar content is similar (sugar, is sugar, is sugar) and therefore the potential negative impacts were equivalent. (*Note: My friend stated “no matter how fresh squeezed, cloudy or full of nutrients it was”).

apple juice

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Sugar vs fat: Twin Brothers

I find that I love this article about the Twins and the Sugar vs Diet experiment. However for me, what they miss is that a) sugar/fat are fuels that need to be cleaned up (and therefore eaten with nutritional powerhouses and clean-up antioxidant power spices, sauces, condiments etc), when sugar and fat are put together they are like super fuel and b) that process foods imitate healthy combinations of real foods (not choice between health food or “tasty” junk food), because the flavors imitate synergistic qualities of foods that would originally “buffer” the impact of the sugar and fat (ie acids “balance” fat, baking spices “buffer” sugar, tang from fermented foods all attenuate food-induced obesity or metabolic disturbance). Junk food is like an over-extreme source of energy, or jet fuel, a more intense version of energy, but because it’s all “flavoring” and not real foods, processed food is so incredibly damaging.


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Why I’m crazy about Sauces!! Korean Fried Chicken Wings and the awesome benefits of Meju and traditional Gochujang (fermented red chili paste)

Korean Fried Chicken from EatTheLove.com

Korean Fried Chicken from EatTheLove.com

Do you or do you not love chicken wings? Are you scared of them because you may think they are horribly bad for us or do you throw caution to the wind because they are just so wonderfully delicious with messy addictive sauces?!?

Well, here at The Meal Matters it’s all about the synergy of ingredients balancing the potential stress of a meal.  Continue reading


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Yoni Freedhoff and the Flawed Calorie Perspective: Would a Stress Perspective be better?

 

Yoni Freedhoff, MD, founder and medical director of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute has written an article entitled “Counting Calories Is Flawed but Here’s Why I Still Do It”.  His article takes the complex math of unique burn rates of foods and people and assumes these differences are irrelevant to calorie counting validity.  And hence why counting calories continues to be Yoni’s go-to obesity management tool.  Yoni says because it’s simple, it’s scientific and there’s nothing better yet, even if it’s technically not correct that a calorie is a calorie or that the human system complicates the math. Yoni feels he can still keep it simple by counting calories, just whole foods are less, some people can eat all they want and some can’t.

Yoni describes the differences in people:

Some of us are walking around driving Humvees while others drive hybrids. The Humvee drivers are the folks who get virtually no fuel economy for their energy stores and consumption. Humvee drivers are like that study subject who barely gained weight despite eight weeks of over feeding, eating whatever they want without having to worry about their waists. The hybrid drivers are the folks who can look at an indulgence and gain weight.

I see a lot of scientists reducing these concept to linear assumptions: that you can count them more or less in straight lines.  It certainly makes them easier to conceptualize and work with. Yoni reduces this down to burning rates with his car analogy; how many calories one burns. However this is a over-simplified version that leaves out the why.  Continue reading


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Food Stamp Challenge #1: Replace $1.59 Wendy’s Bacon cheeseburger.

Replacing the quintessential cheap fast food: The CheeseBurger

 

image   $1.59 or

$1.54?  image

You could probably make a straight up better cheeseburger, but I’m looking for instant satisfaction, quick and portable. I’ll  be packing or eating at home, so I wanted a similar convenience.  I thought a quick charcuterie-type food would be my perfect quick ‘snack food”. Traditional. Healthy. Satisfyingly deep, rich, bright and light.

Both of these items contain about the same amount of fat and calories (310) and the cost is almost the same. Continue reading

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