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Food & Your Health - Essays & Recipes

Food & Your Health - Essays & Recipes

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Food & Your Health - Essays & Recipes

Lunghezza:
400 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 24, 2015
ISBN:
9780984288373
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

"This first Food & Your Health collection is a gathering of blog posts I have originally published exclusively for my followers. It offers you a wide review of subjects related to my passion, Food as Medicine. As a professional chef, teacher & culinary nutritionist, I use food as a way to help my clients with assorted diet-related health issues: heart diseases, weight issues, diabetes, cancer, food allergies among many health afflictions. I am also a strong anti-GMO protester (nobody messes with my food) and explain you why. In this book, I tell you where my passion food comes from (thank you Mamie), I ask you "What is food to you?", explain you the cost of not eating in season, teach you about cooking with fresh herbs, give you information on foods that help you lower your cholesterol, explain why I don't eat genetically engineered food and even tell you why you should not feed your pets most of the currently available pet food. To make it more palatable, I offer you recipes that, not only are tasty, but also relate to each subject I write about in my essays. I hope you enjoy my new effort to educate and feed you healthily. Bon Appetit! - Chef Alain Braux."

Reviews:

Alain Braux’s latest book ‘Food and Health continues his line of quality publications. This is undoubtedly a useful handbook for anyone who is following Paleo and longs for that authentic French taste. So should you buy this book? My recommendation is an unashamed YES. If you are serious about your health then this book is a ‘Must Buy’ and even if you only like great food then the recipes alone make this book one you should have and refer to more than any other one in your library of excellent food.

- Mark Moxom. Executive editor: Low Carb Mag. Founder: Paleo Messenger.

This is not your typical book. It’s lighthearted, direct, intelligent, funny, and yet quite serious. It is chock full of knowledge from a strong and proud tradition of French cuisine as it is from centuries-old tried-and-true nutritional wisdom. And there are tons of yummy recipes in here. This book comes with my highest recommendation.

- Joe Salama. Author, The Paleo Miracle & The Tao of Paleo.

Chef Alain subliminally educates the reader on the health benefits of his sensible recipes made with nutrient dense ingredients.  His essays gift the reader with simply extraordinary information as he travels through his personal culinary story.  He charmingly sneaks in “I told you so” lectures & GMO warnings!

- Jocelyn Lee. Executive Chef – CEO. Gourmet in Motion.

Once again Chef Alain Braux shows us his extensive knowledge in healthy cooking and passion for food education. Impressive essays and recipes for both professional and culinary hobbyists.

- Jefferson Anderson. Executive Chef. Healthcare/ Senior Care Sector

Another thoroughly researched and highly relevant tome for the times from Chef Alain Braux, an expert on Food as Medicine.

- Chef Christopher Daly. Executive chef – Founder of Hip4Kids.

Chef Alain has combined current nutrition information with his culinary expertise to create a culinary masterpiece. May I personally suggest to the reader his 'ratatouille' recipe. Combining sound nutrition, superfoods and creations that are delicious – now that is smart indeed’

- Kathy Smart, RNC, RSNA, PTS, HTC. Best Selling Author, TV Show Host. CEO of Live the Smart Way. 

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 24, 2015
ISBN:
9780984288373
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

HelloMy name is Alain Braux. I am the Executive Chef and Nutrition Therapist at Peoples Pharmacy in Austin, Texas.So far, I have written 4 books on healing through food. I strongly believe that given the right diet, our body can prevent most of our modern degenerative diseases and I try my best to help people affected with these diseases to regain a normal life. As a French chef, I also firmly believe that eating healthy food does not mean eating bad-tasting food. I make a point to provide my clients with a diet that they can only eat but also enjoy eating. What's the point of trying to get better with food you do not want to eat. Have you tried to eat hospital food lately?I sincerely hope my books will help you get reach or regain happy health through eating the tasty and healthy foods I suggest in my books.Merci for trusting me with your health. A Votre Sante.For more information about me, look me up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or www.alainbraux.com and www.healthychefrecipes.comPALEO FRENCH CUISINE. A practical guideHave you heard of the new, yet ancient Paleo diet?If you are allergic to gluten, dairy, grains and beans, this might be the book for you.If you are diabetic and cannot figure out how to heal from it through diet and without the side effects of drugs, this book might be for you.If you have been trying to lose weight for ever and ever and nothing has worked... so far, this diet might be the right one for you.If you are tired of the same old boring Paleo recipes, put a French twist on it with this book.Paleo French Cuisine is the right book to help you!In this book, I will:- Explain what is the Paleo diet in everyday words.- Explain the difference between Paleo and raw diet.- Expose you to my version of Paleo food – the healthy way.- Teach you how to buy healthy Paleo food.- Teach you how to cook Paleo food the healthy way.- Give 130+ healthy, tasty and wonderful French Paleo recipes.”Paleo French Cuisine” on Amazon.comSee what not one, but three doctors have to say about Paleo French CuisineChef Braux has done it again - another original, intelligent, and delicious cookbook - this time filled with Paleo Diet recipes that we haven't seen or tasted before. These original Paleo recipes are filled with unusual flavors, variety, and nutrient density that anybody can enjoy. I look forward to sharing this book with my patients. My real hope is that someone comes along, chooses 12 of these recipes and decides to sell them prepared to go. Congratulations!- Dr. Janet Zand, OMD. Author of Smart Medicine for a Healthier ChildPrior to enjoying Alain Braux's latest book triumph Paleo French Cuisine I thought that to be somewhat oxymoronic idea, mistakenly associating all traditional French food with the stereotypical crusty baguette and beret. Thankfully, this book has clarified those muddy waters. This is akin to a field-guide for healthy gourmands, providing you with a step-by-step process from farmers market to table. Full of helpful information, from the roots of the paleo movement, to the link between health and food to simple tips for healthy shopping, ingredient selection, healthy food preparation and finally - the fantastic recipes. Of course you'll see the Classics of French Cuisine in the Coq au Vin, but also the new and delightful Raspberry Muffins Frangipane or Gourmet Chocolate Pudding. If you're laboring under the delusion that paleo cooking is all meat and boring in its selection then this is exactly the book you need!- Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND author of DIY Health: For Women.Chef Alain Braux has created another mouthwatering masterpiece in Paleo French Cuisine. The depth of information about the background of the Paleo movement, Chef Alain’s expertise on healthy food preparation, and the delicious recipes with a French twist make this book essential for anyone tempted by the benefits of eating Paleo.The recipes and resources in this book inspire creativity in the kitchen so that living a healthy, clean lifestyle becomes a pleasure, instead of a chore. This book promises to be a staple in my kitchen and a critical resource for my clients.- Dr. Julia Strickler, ND. Doctor of NaturopathyHEALTHY FRENCH CUISINE FOR LESS THAN $10/DAY"Chef Alain Braux’s approach to healthy eating is literally “down to earth” in this delightful and extremely useful guide to balanced, nutritious meals on a budget. With a passion for flavor and fresh ingredients, Braux takes us through an eye-opening grocery shopping experience (including the 12 most contaminated foods in the produce section, and what “natural” really means on food labels), to alternative shopping choices (farmers’ markets, growing your own). Inspired by the foods he grew up with in his native France, Chef Braux’s recipes will not only sate the appetite, but can feed a family of four on roughly $40 per day! Try the Soupe à la Tomate et aux Pommes (tomato and apple soup, $2.03 per serving), the Crêpes aux Courgettes (zucchini crepes, $1.18 per serving), or the Poulet Epicé au Basilic (spicy chicken with basil, $2.56 per serving). A truly valuable guide to nutrition, plus who knew French cooking could be so affordable!""Once again Chef Alain Braux has written a stunning book. More than just a cook book French Cuisine for less than $10 a day is a life style guide to help you save money, eat good tasty food but most of all to eat healthily" -- Marcella"Excellent recipe book for a tight budget. Thank you for carrying this book, i have already purchased the Gluten-free and dairy-free cookbook of this Chef. Wonderful!" -- Michele"Alain accepts that in today's busy world it is not always easy to purchase, prepare and cook the foods necessary to promote a healthy life style but he makes suggestions on how you can ease into a system to transform your eating habits. He gives hints and tips on buying food, what to look out for in the various food shops you'll come across and suggests bulk buying when possible. He explains various methods of cooking to keep the food you've purchased at its best and most nutritional and why certain cooking methods, deep fat frying, grilling etc, etc is bad for the food and ultimately bad for you.Alain gives a lot of information about the food industry and the government's part in that industry that will surprise and even shock you. He condemns all processed food because it reduces the nutritional value the processing causes. There are pages of other useful and interesting information surrounding every aspect of eating.Eat fresh and organic should be Alain's motto.Finally there are of course pages of fine tasty recipes, simply explained so you can follow them with ease. We particularly enjoyed his Grilled Pork Chops in Mustard and Sage plus the Spicy Chicken with Basil, two fine recipes that tasted yummy and kept within the budget, you can't say fairer than that." -- Terry"Beyond a COOKbook, Healthy French Cuisine is more of a FOODbook. About half of the book is devoted to nutrition, eating in season, and cooking techniques. My resolve to eat healthy by buying more local, in season produce was strengthened by reading Chef Alain's recommendations.The second half of the book is the seasonal recipes. Almost every recipe has modifications for a gluten free version. The emphasis is on eating fresh, healthy, and frugal by buying produce in season when it is at its cheapest and most nutritious. I made homemade tomato soup for the first time ever and discovered that I actually like it when it isn't out of a can! Other favorites were the chocolate truffles (made with prunes!), salmon leek wraps, and maple glazed pork chops.If you want a cookbook to stretch you with new ingredients and new methods, try Healthy French Cuisine. If you want recipes full of a can of this and a packet of that, look elsewhere. This is real cooking with real food." -- Jimmie"I have just finished reading Healthy French Cuisine for Less than $10 a day, and I am wowed by the information in the book. This is not just a cookbook, but it is more of a lesson in how to eat from fresh ingredients we find in our local farmers markets or gardens. The book is easy to read, and the recipes are also easily followed. Everything is very clear cut.The only criticism that I have is that I would first have to stock my kitchen with a lot of foods that I cannot find at my local supermarket or grocery store before I could make most of these recipes. Many of the stock items used in the recipes need to be purchased at a whole food store or health food store. Once I got stocked up, I could find the majority of the fresh foods at my farmers market or local grocery food chain.I have never cooked French food before, and these recipes make it seem a lot more accessible to the regular person. As a person with a very busy schedule, it is good to know that there are alternatives to buying lunch out, but I don't think that I will give up my restaurant eating out too soon.Definitely recommended to anyone who is interested in eating local, fresh, and healthy foods, as well as anyone who is looking to save money on their food over the long run." -- LakeErieArtist"Executive Pastry Chef, Master Baker, Nutritherapist, Macrobiotic Counselor, author of culinary books... Chef Alain Braux because of his experience and studies presents easy, healthy, affordable, balanced recipes with an open mind, diplomacy, respect, realism, clarity, humor and Love. I support his combat and engagement for building a better quality of Life for our minds and bodies". -- SandrineLIVING GLUTEN AND DAIRY-FREE WITH FRENCH GOURMET FOOD.“Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food. A practical guide”, is offering all people affected by gluten intolerance, Celiac disease as well as children on the autistic spectrum syndrome a way to understand their affliction. My goal in writing this book is to help you deal with it emotionally, give you practical advices on how to face this new gluten and dairy-free world and offer you more than 80 of my favorite recipes. I strongly believe that the foundation for good health is good nutrition. As a French chef I am convinced that healthy food does not have to be boring and dull to be good for you. I believe, based on my many years of experience as a French chef that healthy food can be and should be delicious as well.""This book contains a lot of information I didn't know like antacids can have gluten - really? I couldn't believe it! Nearly the first half of Living Gluten and Dairy Free with French Gourmet Food is full of practical and necessary information for anyone facing the GFCF dietary challenge. The lists of food/additives with hidden gluten is extensive and the master shopping list will help anyone needing guidance about stocking a GFCF pantry. The second half is full of some of the best GFCF recipes I have seen in the two years I have been eating gluten free. I can't wait to try the Cranberry Walnut Scones (this weekend!)and the desserts look to die for. I have eaten the Raspberry Souffle and it's a delight and I am very glad to have the recipe. I show my culinary bias by raving about the sweet treats but there are amazing GFCF recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, and main dishes as well. I have waited for this book for a year and I am so glad it's finally in print!." -- Maggie Tate"This cookbook is full of amazing recipes and tips on everything from how to shop to how to cook delicious and allergy free food. As a personal chef and foodie I highly recommend this book." -- Celina at Food Smarty"This book has become my gluten-free, casein-free Bible. It is the most comprehensive collection of helpful information on the subject anywhere. The SAFE and Prohibited lists and appendices have taken the fear out of reading ingredient labels and have resolved many dietary mysteries for me, bringing me closer to being totally gluten-free. How liberating!! The recipes are delightful! Thank you Alain for sharing your ingenuity. The planet just got better." -- Liz"Alain, I cannot thank you enough for the information in your book. I never could drink milk, but I WAS eating a lot of cheese. I was not aware of Casein. I have been under the weather for quite some time. My feet were swollen up like footballs every day. I had dark circles under my eyes. After studying your book and going on to do further research, I put 2 and 2 together and figured it out. It took about a week and my feet after many long months of the swelling wentback to normal and stayed this way. I lost all my joint and muscle pain. My mind is so clear and lucid now. I feel so much smarter and I am having so much more joy working on my music book. Before, it was a labor of love. Now it is just love and joy. Thank you so much my friend. I wish for your success of the book and that you will reach into the farthest corners of the Earth to help all of those like me. You Rock!" -- John Patrick Mahoney"Living Gluten and Dairy-Free French Gourmet Food" is the second cookbook by Austin Chef Alain Braux. Alain has impressive credentials as a traditionally trained French chef but, even more interesting, is a nutritherapist - a term used in Europe for nutritionists who use only food as a healing medium, as opposed to conventional nutritionists, who usually work with supplements, homeopathy and herbal medicine. Since writing his first book, "How to Lower your Cholesterol with French Gourmet Food", Alain recently discovered that he was gluten intolerant and has gone on to compile his knowledge into a new book for those of us who love good food, more especially traditional French food.Alain's comment `gluten-free junk food is still junk food' is such an astute observation. He believes we should eat thoughtfully, be aware, and indulge carefully on special occasions.Features found in this book aside from the wonderful recipes:1) Narratives from people about their journey of GFCF discovery - one of these stories might be your `aha!' trigger2) Sympathy for the many reasons you may be attempting to self medicate and suggestions on how to find the right doctor3) Why keeping a food journal is so very important (there may be additional sensitivities)4) Setting yourself up for gluten-free and casein-free success5) A comprehensive list of resources for Celiac Disease and Autism including books, magazines, organizations, and online support6) Those mysterious food additives that could indicate `hidden' gluten - pages of them7) `Safe' and `not safe'; in medication, vitamins, toiletries, household cleaners... and much more." -- Gretchen and Rita" My praise for Alain Braux is for sharing his knowledge of beneficial treatments related to our bodies' health; many of which correspond with the foods we choose, such as cholesterol levels, acid reflux disease, and celiac sprue to name a few.As for his cooking versatility, think the best meat loaf (yes, it is gluten free) and asparagus like you have never experienced and then move up to heaven with his gluten free chocolate mousse cake... it is, after all, to die for.He is caring, sharing and fun to work with in his classes. His enthusiasm is contagious and his manner is genuine. He makes time to discuss better product choices with clear, knowledgeable and easy to comprehend reasoning. He has information for us all." -- Paula Storey. Austin, TX"Chef Braux's cooking classes are informative, fun, and the recipes are amazing! I can't thank him enough for the Provencal Boule bread recipe, my family loves it. I plan to take many more of his classes in the future." -- Kecia J. Austin, TX" Alain's flourless chocolate cake is the kind of stuff that dreams are made of. Guilt-free and liberating for people with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease. Simply divine!" -- Kaya Dupuis, Clinical Homeopath. Austin, TXHOW TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL WITH FRENCH GOURMET FOOD"Did I just dine in Nice?" You'll think so after cooking one of the great recipes in Alain Braux's book, "How to Lower Your Cholesterol with French Gourmet Food." Healthy French haute cuisine finding its way into your kitchen. The number of friends you have will grow. That too may lower your cholesterol!" -- Bill Swail, RPh. Owner of Peoples Pharmacy, Austin, Texas"Chef Alain Braux comes forward to tell us what he eats, what he won't eat, including why and how. Very few books will shamelessly succeed like this one to in reconciling "gourmet" and "healthy" and give you such a wealth of nutritional information and practical tips ... with an added pinch of French humor!" -- Brigitte Benquet. Previous owner of Brigitte's French Mediterranean Gourmet and Healthy Restaurant. Santa Clara, California."The secret to living... truly living and not just existing starts with us. We are what we eat....if we want optimum health, body and mind. It is a choice. Despite the steady growth of healthcare professions, we, as a society continue to become more ill due to over processed and bioengineered foods yet the answer is so simple. So basic. The answers are in this book. Chef Alain Braux will not only guide you how to achieve a healthy mind and body but his delicious and nutritious recipes can also help heal the body with joyous food. His book will lead to lower cholesterol, renewed energy and vitality that you thought you lost! If you buy one book on how nutrition and good food can change your life, this is it!" -- Kim Stanford. Co-Author of Gluten Freedom" This is a truly comprehensive and fascinating guide to help those seeking a healthier life-style. Chef Braux has brought the full measure of his expertise and knowledge to everyone. It embraces a full range of skills and recipes that can transform the average into the truly extraordinary." -- Chef Henny Schmidt. Executive Chef."Alain Braux is an extraordinary natural foods chef. His sensitivity to food and nutrition is remarkable. Alain has helped so many individuals create eating plans that are not only gluten and dairy free but creative and delicious. And - he makes the very best flourless chocolate cake - anywhere... I wish you the best of luck in your new adventure. Bonne Chance".-- Janet Zand, L.Ac., OMD, Dipl. Ac., Dipl. CH, ACN" A few years ago, my daughter, who is dyslexic and has a hard time staying focused, was also having allergic reactions to wheat and dairy products.I went to my friend Alain for help in educating us on how to change our diet. He prepared a shopping list for me and followed up with teaching me how to prepare delicious meals that were fun to make and left us feeling very satisfied and never deprived. He also went through my refrigerator and pantry and helped me get rid of all that was being toxic to our bodies, and gave me healthy alternatives to all of those foods that I thought I couldn't do without.My daughter showed great improvement. She no longer had dark circles under her eyes, and she was better able to stay focused. And I was enjoying making all those new dishes, feeling always satisfied with much smaller portions of the "good stuff", and feeling more in control by being able to take care of the problem in my own home.He taught us how to eat healthier and now I continue to buy the correct ingredients, and look back at how simple changes and knowledge have made great changes to our way of living.Thank you Alain for teaching me so much and reinforcing that "we are what we eat". Your patience, knowledge of nutrition, love for food, and desire to make us all healthier human beings transformed the way I see food."-- Ana D. Gallo, Architect. Austin, TX"Alain has truly found his calling with nutri-therapy, and his passion for the health of his friends and clients can not be overestimated. He is a treasure among the Austin health community." -- Ric Furley. Austin, TX" Chef Braux is an "Austin, Texas institution". His culinary artistry inspired many of us 1990's chef school students - his professional sophistication helped to put Austin onto the national gourmet scene.One word comes to my mind when I think about Alain - integrity. Chef Braux is not willing to take short cuts or make compromises in regard to product quality and client service. He always gives 100 percent of his energy and expertise.I trust Alain with my nutritional health." -- Achim "Chef Keem". Austin, TX" My wife Francoise and I have been counting Alain Braux among our friends for many years. From "Maitre Patissier" trained in Paris under the supervision of one the best among the bests in the pastry field, Mr. LeNotre, Alain is now an acclaimed Holistic Nutrition Counselor and Macrobiotic Counselor in Austin, Texas.He is extremely knowledgeable and his advices are always valuable. His seminar on how to lower your cholesterol with healthy gourmet food is simply an amazing example on how we can keep our arteries and our heart in good shape while appreciating a great treat at lunch and supper times.Alain can show you how Mother Nature provides all necessary ingredients. Alain's passion is to help each and everyone of us enjoy good meals while staying healthy. Best wishes Alain". -- Francoise and Jack Pointeau. Austin, TX

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Food & Your Health - Essays & Recipes - Alain Braux

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Thank you Mamie - Merci Mamie

My food story started a long, long time ago... or at least, it feels like it.

Once upon a time, in a tiny village in Normandy, France there was a small farm run by Mamie, my rough and rustic grandma and her husband. Why did I single out Mamie for this story? Because, she took care of her grand-children for a couple of years and without us (and her) being aware of it, she taught me a lot about the basics of food as I practiced them all along my professional life as a professional chef and even to this day.

At the time, I was about 8 years old and the only thing I knew about food was that it was right there in front of me on her rough farm table where she put it for us to eat. In the beginning, I didn’t know where it came from but I was about to learn very quickly.

Now, there was nothing fancy about her farm. It was tiny by today’s standards. It did not have in-house plumbing and toilets (the trip to the outhouse in the middle of the night was an adventure), no central heating and certainly no air conditioning. And yet, we were happy. Her little farm was (mostly) self-sufficient. She had her own "jardin potager (kitchen garden) which she grew with care without any chemical pesticides. Mind you it was not a pretty flower garden. It was for food only. Mamie was all about being practical. She also raised and killed her own rabbits and chicken for food and eggs. Once in a while, she would trade a chicken for one of those 2 kilos pain de campagne (country-style bread) she would stretch for a whole week. The one memory I have of that bread is that we were never allowed to eat it fresh. We ate it only rassis" (stale). That way, she made sure we were not tempted to eat too much of it. That was not economical.

Although we knew she loved us, she was no sweet old lady like you can find in the storybooks. She was a "paysanne", rough and tough with large hands reddened by the added laundry she did by hand for the rich folks for extra spending money. The last thing you wanted as a kid was to have her pull on your ears or give you a spanking. You would remembered that for a long time, believe me, and learned not to repeat the same mistake twice.

During spring or summer, she would send me to the garden with instructions, Go pick a salad, a couple of tomatoes, a few radishes and some herbs. I was taught how to pick the veggies at the peak of freshness. Sometimes a few leaves were eaten by our miscreant "escargots ou limaces (snails or slugs) that loved her lettuce. Whatever the local fauna needed to live on by stealing a little bit of food here and there from her, birds, bugs, rabbits and other local rascals was what she called nature’s take. She showed me how to clean and drain the salad with a panier a salade" (salad strainer), wash the tomatoes and trim the radishes. That was my job. I had to earn my keep. No lazy bum around that farm.

She grew as much fresh food as possible during the growing month and jarred the excess for the winter. So, even though we were not allowed to get close to the large boiling pots of water used to sterilize the jars, we were expected to pull the strings off haricots verts, clean and pit the few fruits we had: apricots, peaches and a few strawberries to help prepare jams and jellies for the long cold season. There was a lot of work to be done and we were not given breaks very often during canning season. I probably learned my work ethics from her way back then already. No slacking was put up with around her farm. We had to survive on our limited resources. My grandpa did not earn a lot of money. He was a taciturn man whose lungs were damaged during World War I and the only job he could find was to be a night guard at a nearby factory. He worked all night and slept most of the day. We were told to go play far away from the house or stay very quiet in the kitchen if it rained while he was resting.

Although Mamie’s food was no cuisine, it was solid poor folk’s peasant food. All of it was fresh, solid, non-processed and home-made. She never really taught me how to cook but I was expected to help with some of the kitchen duties and chores. Lesson learned. We had fresh food from the garden with some local cheese and "charcuterie during growing season and lots of soups and stews with pain rassis" (stale bread) during the cold winter days. She never baked. We did not have an oven. No dessert, no fruits unless they were in season or canned. She kept the best ones for canning. We ate the not so perfect ones. Once a year only, we received one orange as a Christmas gift. She was using her rustic wood-fired heated stove for cooking and even used it to heat water for our weekly bath taken in a large laundry tub place in the middle of the kitchen, the only room in the house that was heated by our fireplace. No central heating and no running hot water in those days. And you know what? Not only had we survived, all of us turned out to be strong and healthy kids.

So, what did I learn from Mamie? I realized much later that good, healthy food did not have to be fancy. It was certainly not processed. There was no chemicals sprayed on her garden so her food was untainted by poisons in pesticides and we had learned that nature taking its share was the natural way of things. Our fruits and veggies may not have been perfect and shiny but they sure tasted great. Once in a while, when I knew she was not watching (remember those large hands?), I would steal a strawberry still warm from the sun and savor its warm juices while pretending to do my job and it was great! A little guilty pleasure was added to the yummy strawberry flavor and it made it taste even better.

All of that rambling on to say, Thank you Mamie for teaching me to appreciate real food.

What is Food to You?

Food as Food

Most people would agree that food is offered to keep us alive and feed our body. But is that the only function food has for us as human beings? Is that the only function of food to you? Not to me. Let me tell you how I see my food.

Food as Tasty Pleasure

As a French chef, food is pleasure, fun, enjoyable and exciting. Unlike what a few people think, you do not have to spend untold amounts of dollars to experience the pleasure of good food. Go the closest farmers’ market and pick that freshly picked sweet and juicy Texas or Georgia peach and bite into it. Let that juice run down your chin and lick your fingers. Pick a ripe, still warmed by the sun strawberry from your garden and savor it right there on the spot. Climb a cherry, apple, fig or any other fruit tree and eat their fruits right of the branch and tell me if it has to cost a lot of money to enjoy it. No, it does not. It’s one of the simple pleasures of life. To me, what is more important is the freshness and the flavor of that steamed baby carrot drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or of that baby kale sautéed in bacon fat. What is food for you? Can you tell me about your food pleasures?

Food as Happy Memories

For me, food is also happy memories. Slowly crushing a blackberry in my mouth reminds me when my brother and I, when we were kids, used to pick them off the wild bushes in the countryside. Letting a dark square of chocolate melt in my mouth reminds me of that first kiss from that special girl on a Nice’ plaza. Eating that crunchy fresh salad reminds me of my grandma telling to go to her garden and pick a young lettuce, rinse it and shake all the water off – that was my job then. The taste of freshly made rum crepes covered with home-made apricot jam reminds me of my mom making them only for Mardi Gras – a special treat in our family. These are only a very few of the memories I have connected to food.

Will you share with me your food memories?

Food as a Healing Medium

I personally see healthy food as the simplest and cheapest way to stay healthy – as in, not being sick. To stay in shape without having to spend a lot of my precious time in running or exercising; instead, I spend it on dancing. To not spend my hard-earned money on gym memberships. To not spend my money on doctors’ appointments, pharmaceutical drugs, hospital stays and unnecessary heart surgery. In other words, I use food as my daily tasty medicine. Shouldn’t you?

The question I keep on asking myself as a nutritionist is, Why are most of us swallowing mysterious foods that are unhealthy, greasy, fattening and loaded with sugar and mysterious ingredients no one can pronounce (don’t get me started on GMOs), and then complain because we have heartburns, gain weight, give ourselves diabetes (type 2) and heart attacks. Wouldn’t it be simpler to pay attention to the quality of the food we ingest and live a happier and healthier life without feeling miserable? Can you explain me why most people in this country do that to themselves?

Food as a Social Medium

For me, food is also a way to get together with my friends, hang out, joke, argue, drink and play music. It does not have to be in a restaurant. It does not even have to be fancy food. A pot of pasta, a nice side salad and a fruit tart will do the trick for me. All that counts is the company I’m with. Having a good, simple time with my family or friends around food sure beats a soiree at a fancy restaurant any time... plus I don’t have to dress up. Keep it simple. Make it a pot luck if money is an issue. Who cares? You are amongst friends. Sharing food and a good time together is more important than trying to impress your friends with a fancy spread. If they are your friends, they will show up at your house no matter what is on the dinner table. They come for you, not to be impressed. Can you remember a great food-sharing gathering at your house or at a friend’s home? Wasn’t that fun and a source of great memories?

Food as a Political Statement

Right about now, you must be thinking, What is he talking about? Yep! I am talking about food as a way to express your political belief. No matter whether you are Republican, Democrat, French or Chinese, food is one thing we all have in common. What we eat is what connects us as humans. So, when corporations and governments conspire to create and support Frankenfoods – otherwise known as GMOs (genetically engineered organisms) against the will of the people, I say it is a political issue. About 90% of the American population wants to know what’s in their food. Don’t you? Don’t you want to know what’s hiding in the food you feed your own children? I sure do. So why are corporations and even our own government resisting labeling GMO foods? Profit, pure and simple. Don’t tell me it’s more complicated for them to label GMOs here than it is in Europe where they already are forced to do it. It’s not. More than 60 countries all over the world already label their GMOs. Other countries ban it all together. Why not America?

So, regarding the political issue, we should all vote to support GMO labeling in the whole country. Yes, we barely lost in CA in 2012, in WA in 2013 and in Oregon in 2014, but that does not mean we lost the war against GMOs.

Vote, support them, email your friends. Do whatever it takes to stop these corporations from poisoning us and our children. If that does not work, let’s put pressure on food manufacturers to label their own products. If you’re a mom, join the Moms Across America group here: https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica or join the Institute for Responsible Technology here: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ and many more.

Another easy political way for you to take care of this issue is to vote with your dollars. That’s right! When you go grocery shopping, choose to buy only non-GMO Verified products, USDA Certified Organic food or buy your fresh food form the farmers you trust at your local farmer’s market. It’s that easy! Every dollar you choose NOT to spend on GMO-loaded food is a signal to the food corporations that you’re mad and you’re not going to take it anymore. Now, go vote at your nearest grocery store and tell me how it feels to be politically engaged with your food. Frankly, I’d rather vote for good food than a bad politician. Regain control over your food and show them who’s really in charge.

Doesn’t that feel great? I knew you would.

Food as an Emotional Support

We all have problems and personal issues to deal with. One of our favorite ways to help us feel better is through food. I understand. I do that myself once in a while too. But why pick food that will make you, 1. Feel guilty afterwards and 2. Possibly damage your health? Why not eat healthy food instead? For example, one of the most legally addictive product out there – besides booze and cigarettes – is sugar. Yes, sugar. As a matter of fact, food manufacturers know that very well and make sure to introduce us to that addictive substance very early on: baby formula loaded with sugar, sugar added baby food, etc., to train our palate. We love the sweet flavor.

If you pay attention to your food labels, you will notice there is some form of sweetener, natural of artificial, in almost all of our processed food, even in salad dressings and soups of all places. Why? Because sugar is addictive and you’ll want more and more. What’s the solution? Getting off sugar or high fructose corn syrup would be nice but almost impossible to do.

Instead of refined sugar and HFCS, we can choose to eat less refined forms of sugar such as raw organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, honey and even raw agave nectar. Instead of artificial sweeteners, use plant based Stevia only. So, although I understand that you might feel down once in a while but may I suggest you switch to a healthier form of sweetener. Or eat more fruits. You’ll feel better about it.

Are you Afraid of Food?

As a Frenchman, it still puzzles me how typical Americans are scared of their food. They have been bombarded with so many negative (and false) messages regarding food over the years that I can understand why. Not everyone is a nutritionist. But I have an easy answer for you: if you eat crap, you will feel like crap. There is no lying about it. Food can be your medicine but it can also be your demise. If you eat a constant diet of fast and processed food, if I were you, I would worry too. But really, is it so difficult to pay attention to the quality of your food? You should NOT be scared of food, you should LOVE it, enjoy it, savor it, embrace it as what it is, a source of nourishment, health, pleasure, memories and yes, as a political statement as well.

So now, go out there and start enjoying your food with my blessings.

The Cost of Not Eating in Season

The Real Cost of Food

Being able to buy any food at any time of the year does not mean it does not cost us. For example, there is the cost of shipping that food to your grocery store. Do you really believe that all that supposedly cheap food is really cheap in the long run? Granted, labor and production costs might be lower in other countries, but what about the shipping cost and the added energy cost and the damage caused to our environment? Wouldn’t you rather eat a fresh apple picked nearby than an apple picked in New Zealand weeks before it reached you?

Eat Local Food

Eating seasonally allows us to eat a wider variety of foods at their peak of freshness, flavor and goodness. Wherever we live, our bodies

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