Wholly Health

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H1N1 Webcast April 30, 2009

Filed under: Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 11:30 am

Looks like the pork industry won. Swine flu is now called H1N1.

If you’re interested, the CDC is having a webcast today (Thursday) at 1:00 PM ET to answer questions from the American people about H1N1. You can submit your questions to: hhsstudios@hhs.gov 

If you watch the webcast, comment back here on your thoughts. I’m interested in hearing what people think about this situation… i.e. How concerned are you about H1N1? Do you think the media is playing this up too much?

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Carbon Footprint Calculator April 29, 2009

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 11:44 pm

The Nature Conservancy

This is cool– The Nature Conservancy site has a calculator that estimates how big your print is and what you can do to shrink it. Check it out here.

 

Can I Get Extra Rendered Beef Fat in my KFC Grilled Chicken? April 28, 2009

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 1:51 pm

KFC Grilled Chicken

I just love the fast-food commercials with lots of toned, active models enjoying the all-American staples; burgers, shakes, french fries and of course, fried chicken.

The latest KFC commercial for their new grilled chicken is a perfect example of this silliness.

KFC has made their grilled chicken their go-to item for “health-conscious” customers. Here’s what KFC writes on their website:

At KFC, we take great pride and care to provide you with the best food and dining experience in the quick service restaurant business. KFC offers a variety of menu items for those that want lower fat, lower calorie choices, including Tender Roast and Honey BBQ Sandwiches, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and green beans.

 Wow. “Great pride” and “best food,” eh?

Hmmm…  my “best food” list doesn’t include sodium phosphate, MSG, trans fats, more MSG, chicken fat, beef powder (eww), rendered beef fat (I’m getting nauseous now)… Yikes, I can’t continue. Here’s the ingredient list:

KFC® Grilled Chicken Fresh Chicken Marinated with: Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate Seasoned with: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast, Beef Powder, Rendered Beef Fat, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and Not More Than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added as Anticaking Agents. Contains Wheat and Soy. 

On a good note, the nutrition stats look better for the grilled chicken than for the originial recipe chicken. The serving sizes for the grilled chicken choices are smaller, but when adjusted for this, you’ll save about 119 calories, 17 grams of fat and 610 mg of sodium by going with the grilled chicken breast (vs. the original recipe breast). You won’t save any cholesterol though. Find the KFC nutrition facts here. 

Interestingly, KFC also has a few online health resources. The health websites are part of Yum! Brands (who also bring you Taco Bell, Long John Silvers A&W and Pizza Hut). Here’s what Yum! Brands believes:

We believe eating sensibly, combined with appropriate exercise, is the best solution for a healthy lifestyle.

 Isn’t that nice? It fits perfectly with their health website, “KeepItBalanced.com”.

My favorite part of the Keep It Balanced website is the homepage. I love how the family is noshing on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, coleslaw and soda. Hmmm… no vegetables in the picture though (mashed potatoes don’t count as a veggie and the KFC coleslaw with 180 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving doesn’t either). Wouldn’t “balanced” suggest a slice of tomato or a lettuce leaf at the very least? 

YUM! Brands has also partnered with “eFit4Me”, which is an interactive online fitness and nutrition program. I’m not going to knock eFit4Me, because I really don’t know anything about it. But, I am going to knock YUM! Brands for being involved with it.

Here’s my message to YUM! Brands:

 

Dear YUM! Brands,

 

 

1.  You are not a health and wellness company. If you truly take “great pride” in serving the “best food”, then take the dollars you waste on these health websites and spend them on improving the quality of your products.

 

Start by taking out the trans fats and MSG from your products (because they are in most of your items) and remove the propyl gallate (a possible carcinogen) from your rice.

 

Then, remove the sodium nitrite (another possible carcinogen) from the sausage, bacon, ham and “ham flavor” that go into your products. Don’t forget to get rid of the BHA (carcinogen and can cause liver and kidney problems) from your “Kentucky Nugget” and your rice.

 

Also, make sure to get rid of the 36 menu items that have high fructose corn syrup in them (that’s 36 food items, not including drinks). 

 

Looks like I’m on a roll… get rid of the Blue 1 (a possible carcinogen) from your potato salad, stop offering salad dressings with yellow 6 in them (possibly associated with tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney), get rid of the sauces, desserts and the pot pie that contain red 40 (studies of safety have been flawed, may cause adverse health effects).

 

I’ll stop now. But, realize these are just a FEW of the crappy (and possibly dangerous) ingredients you put in your “best food” at KFC. I cringe at the thought of the junk that goes into the food at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silvers… 

 

 

 2.  I suppose this is a continuation to the above… I understand that the only way to justify such poor quality food is to overuse the cliché, “everything in balance.” But, I don’t think toxic food additives used by a company to save a buck should be considered in the “everything in balance” motto. You may want to go with a different motto… Perhaps something more truthful. Something like this maybe:

 

“A few chemicals shouldn’t hurt you. Plus, even if they did hurt you, your lawsuit against us would never hold up in court- there are too many variables. As a bonus, we’re making a killing selling you a cheaper food product than the kibble you scoop into your dog’s bowl! Seriously! Isn’t that brilliant?”        

 

It’s a little rough now. Just rework the words a bit.

 

 

3.  People don’t frequent your establishments because they are seeking out a healthy, balanced meal. Though it’s great that you have reduced fat and calories from menu items, you’re missing the point of “health-conscious”.

 

Health conscious consumers now have an expanded understanding of what “healthy” means. For example, consumers will look at the nutrition facts for the usual fat and calorie counts, but they also want to see an ingredient list that isn’t full of fake food. A healthy consumer will also want meat products sourced from ethical farms and a  company who follows environmentally conscious business practices. 

 

 

Helpin to “Keep it Balanced,” 

Aimee   

 

Swine Flu Information April 27, 2009

Filed under: Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 3:35 pm

Piggy Prophylactic Measures

Warnings like this can be scary. I feel my heart race a little every time I hear new info about swine flu. And unfortunately, even though I haven’t eaten a piggy product in years, I wouldn’t be immune to it.

I have to continue to remind myself that our government is taking fast, aggressive steps to prevent the worst from happening. And these dynamic preventative actions are a good thing (learn more about the nonpharmaceutical interventions used in the 1918 pandemic and how these interventions affected disease transmission and mortality– it’s a fascinating article).

However, amidst this government urgency, citizens can get caught up in the worst-case scenarios and freak out. It’s vital then that people are getting their information from trusted sources and feel confident about the measures they can take to stay healthy. With aggressive emergency preparedness from our government and with calm, knowledgeable citizens, we’ll be well-prepared to handle additional cases of swine flu.

 

Listen to this interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Just click the play button next to “Swine Flu: No Cause for Alarm.” 

 

Listen/watch the CDC podcast for some general information on Swine Flue– it provides info on what swine flu is, transmission, treatment and preventative measures.

Here are simple measures we can all take to help keep our communities healthy:

1.   If you feel sick, stay home from work/school/public places. Seriously, stay home.

2.  Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wash hands frequently.

3.  Go to the doctor if necessary (see symptom lists from links below)

4.  Stay calm and rely on accurate information. Don’t trust the sensationalized media messages just looking to add viewers. With less anxiety and fear, your immune system will stay stronger.

 

Depend on these sources for accurate and up to date information on Swine Flu:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (Gotta plug my school!)

 

HOPE Community April 24, 2009

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 12:05 am

For an example of a truly ethical and compassionate organization doing some big work and awesome green construction, check out HOPE Community in Minneapolis, Minnesota Read the NYT article about them, “In Minneapolis, a Block Transformed.” 

Don’t miss the video below. It’s an inspiring example of the important role we each play in creating a healing, nurturing and fun community. Who wouldn’t want to live in an environment like that?

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3108736&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Hope Community from Azeta Garthune on Vimeo.

 

Eco Skyscrapers April 23, 2009

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 2:21 pm

Related to the earlier post from today, here are some green building techniques that are being used. Hopefully, more companies step up and get rid of their nasty footprints.

I gotta admit though, it’s almost comical to see the companies who have recently been highlighted for their green initiatives (Bank of America and Citi). I guess this is where all the bailout money went…

 

 

 

Though the motives of these huge businesses may not be as heartwarming as they claim, it’s always a good thing if they are cleaning up their carbon footprints. Do you think these corporations deserve an applause for their green initiatives?

 

Vertical Farming

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 12:40 pm

 

 

I’m not sure how I feel about taking the land out of farming. What do you think? Would you support vertical farming?