February 2014

A Day in D.C. (A Retrospective)

On a crisp Thuirsday in January of 2012, I had the privilege to testify before the USDA with my friend and colleague, Dr. Neal Barnard, president and founder of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. I presented the following comments on the first draft of the USDA dietary guidelines, to be released this December.

I am honored to be here to comment on such an important topic.

Why Choose HEALTH When You Can Choose Dinner in a Bucket?

Walk into a fast food restaurant and look at the menu closely. Your head will spin at the sheer number of options available to wreck your health and accelerate your arrival at the Pearly Gates. They may call it convenient and even more criminally…food, but what they’re really doing is robbing you of your health…and giving you a big, fat gut in the process.

My Story of Growing up Italian and Where It Got Me to Today

My life began when I was 14. Okay, I was born fourteen years before that, but…

I was raised in a big Italian and Irish family, with extended clan members roaming wildly in and out of our house and lives on a daily basis. With the exception of my Irish father, we all cooked…my brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and of course, my mother.

I’m Mad As Hell

As my mother used to say, I’m so mad I could spit. The collapsing dollar, recession, lost jobs, multiple wars and political unrest, global natural disasters, and, as Peter Finch's character declared in the 1976 film Network, “air you can’t breathe, water you can’t drink, and food you can’t eat.”

I can’t tell you what to do about the economy, politics, terrorism, or global warming (although I have a few opinions about that), but I surely can tell you what we can do about the food we eat.

Fit for Human Consumption

If we took cooking seriously, we could change the human condition. I’m not kidding. French food expert, Jean-Anthelme Brillat Savarin once said that cooking made us who we were; that the discovery of fire in cooking “had done the most to advance the cause of civilization.” In 1964, anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss regarded cooking as a way to distinguish humans from other animals. Since then, other anthropology experts, including Richard Wrangham of Harvard University contends that it was the discovery of cooking with fire, more than anything else that made us human.

President Bill Clinton… National Treasure

From little fat boy to the national poster boy for healthy plant-based eating, the former President has become…in my view, a national treasure…a shining example of what we can do to create health if we put our minds…and wills to it.

The B-12 Dilemma

In our house, 1998 has a pet name…the year from hell. Everyone has them…those years that you literally count the days until they end…even living a macrobiotic lifestyle does not guarantee immunity to such years. We may like to think that it does, that living natural, whole lives makes us somehow magically immune to disease and other natural disasters. Well, maybe not everyone thinks this, but I surely did. I thought that having had…and survived cancer through macrobiotics (trial by fire, in my case) ensured that the rest of my life would sail smoothly along.

They Don't Call Them Essential Fatty Acids for Nothin'

The year was 2003. Living a plant-centric lifestyle for more than twenty years and teaching healthy cooking and eating macrobiotically for more than fifteen years, I thought I had it all handled…nutrient-wise anyway. I ate well, lots of seasonal, organic vegetables, beans, tofu and

Get the Glow

It’s that time of year again…time to start spring-cleaning! And I’m not talking about the usual scrubbing, dusting and mopping, though I do enjoy a tidy nest! It’s no secret that good food is integral to health and vitality and spring is a great time to start cleaning things up. I’ve created a menu of delicious dishes that will help to detoxify and nourish the body and set you on the path to more radiant skin. So what are you waiting for? Grab your beauty products (hint: they are in the produce aisle) and get glowing!

Eat Your Way to Better Sleep

We all want a great night’s sleep. Just about every expert will tell you that many of the ills plaguing modern society have some roots in sleep deprivation. Study after study tells us that not getting enough sleep impairs us in the most dramatic ways. New thinking even refers to fatigue as a modern illness. Our 24/7 connected lifestyle might just be increasing our risks for various diseases including cancer and heart disease, not to mention increasing the risk of obesity. So much for all that Facebook time we spend!