Live Well
December 2016

Getting the Food Industry Out of Our Kitchens

I recently listened to a radio interview of Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who is famous for his YouTube video on sugar (to hear the interview, click here and to hear the YouTube presentation, click here). In the interview, I heard some staggering statistics. According to Lustig:

  • 40% of the foods sold in supermarkets are processed.
  • 74% of the foods sold in supermarkets contain added sugars.
  • The food industry is worth $1.3 trillion, of which $450 billion are gross profits: The healthcare costs in America are $2.7 trillion, 75% of which is used to deal with chronic metabolic diseases (such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Fatty Liver Disease).

Essentially, this means that the government has to spend a lot of money (roughly $1.4 trillion, according to Dr. Lustig) to undo the damage that the food industry has done. Generally, we tend to be skeptical of government interference in our ability to choose what we believe to be right for us. However, it is the lack of government interference that has caused the health crisis that we now face. We have let the food industry wield excessive lobbying power in government and dictate what we should be purchasing at the supermarket. And, we tend to forget that the food industry is not out to make us healthy but, rather, to turn a healthy profit.

So, it comes down to us to ensure that we make the right choices. I have found that the key element to good health is not incorporating specific superfoods or following a certain diet. Rather, it’s just eliminating sugar and processed foods, and choosing whole, real foods. So, as you go into the holiday season, laden with sweets of all kinds, think of ways that you can enjoy your favorite treats without over-indulging. Here are a few simple things you can do:

  • Try to get your food from local vendors or producers. If you can’t make it to a farmers market near you, shop of the perimeter of the supermarket.
  • Favor home-baked over store-bought pastries and dessert. Most store-bought desserts contain added sugars so that they have a longer shelf-life.
  • Skip the soda. If you need to jazz up a drink, mix some juice and sparkling water.
  • Educate yourself and don’t rely on the food industry to tell you what to eat.

You’ll feel so much better in the New Year!




Gifts for the Foodies in Your Life

I can’t believe that the holidays are already upon us! So, as I do every year, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite holidays gifts for foodies:

  1. I recently started making baskets with local food delicacies, such as jams, cheeses, crackers, and maybe a homemade tea cake. I like to get baskets at Muji (check out and fill them up with different things from my local farmers market.
  2. If you don’t have time to create the basket yourself, there are plenty of websites with great ideas. Some of my favorites are:

    If you are looking for non-food gifts, some websites I like are:

  3. Gift certificates to local farm-to-home delivery companies. If you live in the Connecticut or Westchester area, ones that I like are CT Farm Fresh Express ( or Mike’s Organic Delivery (
  4. I’ve been experimenting with bread recently so the Beer Bread Kit from Williams-Sonoma recently caught my eye, as did the Wonderbag Slow Cooker at
  5. I believe that you can never have enough water bottles and my new favorites are the Swell bottles ( The best thing about the Swell Bottles is that they keep drinks hot and cold.