Transparency—Pending

Pepperidge Farm, Swanson’s Foods, Bolthouse Farms, Pace, Prego, Spaghetti O’s all have something in common—they are owned by Campbell’s. Yes, the makers of the chicken noodle and tomato soups many of us ate while growing up.

The above brands also have something else in common; Campbell’s plans to begin disclosing if genetically modified foods (GMOs) are in their products.

Denise Morrison, their chief executive, stated: “We are operating with a ‘Consumer First’ mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do.” She went on to say: “In addition, we have declared our intention to set the standard for transparency in the food industry.”

Connecting with the above, Morrison also said: “Today, consistent with our purpose, we announce our support for mandatory national labeling of products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) and propose that the federal government produce a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging.”

The above quote is interesting, because of the pending legislation, “The Safe and Accurate Food labeling Act” (H.R. 1599), that the House of Representatives passed in July 2015 (still to be voted on in the Senate). Among other things, this legislation would ban states from passing laws requiring the labeling of GMO foods. Interestingly, this act has been referred to by opponents of the legislation as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act). With her above remark, Morrison is opposing both the above legislation and the major food companies supporting H.R. 1599.

We have no way of knowing what brought about Campbell’s shift—oh, to be a fly on the wall to know their thinking. I would have loved it if Campbell’s had also issued a challenge to Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, General Mills, ConAgra, Nestlé, and other food companies, to follow Campbell’s example regarding the labeling of GMO ingredients.

As you know from my previous posts (October 12, 2015, “The Right To Choose” & September 21, 2015, “GMO & GE—Different Names, Same Process”), I strongly believe in transparency and having the right to know what’s in our food.

Morrison also stated: “I want to stress that we’re in no way disputing the science behind GMOs or their safety. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence indicates that GMOs are safe, and foods derived from crops using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods.”

No mention is made to which research she is referring to or who sponsored this research—was it the food industry or was it independently conducted? Also, Morrison fails to mention the scientific research showing that GMOs are not safe to eat.

I possess a “yes/but” mindset of Campbell’s announcement.

Yes, since I am opposed to GMOs, I am pleased by Campbell’s announcement and will follow their progress over the next one to two years to see if they’re fulfilling their promise “to set the standard for transparency in the food industry.”

But, in this ongoing discussion and in light of Morrison’s endorsement of GMOs, we need to be provided with and have access to all the facts and information concerning this important topic.

Again, contact your senators to let them know your stand on H.R.1599.

“Begin It”

In the spirit of the beginning of 2016, please take a moment to read the following quote from William Hutchinson Murray’s The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then, providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

You just have to take action. As I have mentioned in the past, begin with a small, positive change and then, watch the ripple effect that change has on your life.

Again, Happy New Year!

Got Gratitude?

As this year is ending, I would like you to make a list of all the positive/good events that have happened to you during 2015. Please don’t think about any negative incidents that may have occurred.

Why? Because we tend to spend too much of our time dwelling on the adverse aspects of our lives and beating ourselves up about them. What’s the result? Not only are we creating stress, we also are living our lives in the past or the future—what might have been or what could be—while missing the present moment.

I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions because they tend to emphasis negative feelings we have about ourselves. Can you guess what happens when we don’t fulfill them?

Instead opt for small changes that you can easily manage like: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, not trying to find a parking place close to the door, drinking more water, reducing your sugar intake, cutting back on processed foods, etc. Small changes produce significant results.

Also, continue with the list I mentioned above. At the end of each day, think about three good/positive things that happened to you during the day. This easy, simple change leads to beneficial results.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016.

Weighing The Percentages

In November of 2015, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), released statistics for the “Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youths: United States, 2011-2014.

During this time period, the prevalence of obesity was:

  • For adults: slightly over 36%
  • For youths: 17%
  • For women: 38.3%
  • For men: 34.3%
  • For youths: no difference was seen by sex.
  • Obesity was higher for middle-aged, 40.2%, and older, 37.0%, adults than for younger adults, 32.3%

For detailed information, please visit the CDC link.

We know the obesity rates having been going up despite the heavy emphasis on calories in/calories out, exercising more, watching your fat intake, (feel free to add your own), etc.

I like this quote from Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories: “Once the ‘truth’ has been declared, even if it’s based on incomplete evidence, the overwhelming tendency is to interpret all future observations in support of that preconception. Those who know what the answer is lack the motivation to continue looking for it. Entire fields of science may then be ignored, on the assumption that they can’t possibly be relevant.”

With Taubes’ thought in mind, I believe the time has come to take a step back and acknowledge the fact that the above beliefs (calories in/calories out, exercising more, watching your fat intake, etc.) about weight loss/obesity that have been drummed into our heads for decades are wrong. Think about it. The result of using these beliefs as the basis for fat loss for all these years—obesity rates still continue to rise.

Let’s break the cycle. The time has come for a new perspective. More on this in 2016.

A Simple Step

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions such as your heart rate, digestion, hormones, etc.; this system works without us having to think about it.

The ANS has two branches—the sympathetic (SNS) and the parasympathetic (PNS). The SNS is responsible for the fight-or-flight response. Thus, stressful situations will active this system; one way being through the release of stress hormones. Perhaps you’ve heard, our bodies cannot tell the difference between an actual threat and a perceived one.

The PNS opposes the SNS—hence the relaxation response which supports such functions as digestion, repair, and the release of hormones such as growth and sex.

The SNS and PNS balance each other. Unfortunately, we live in a high-stress world, and when the SNS becomes over-active, think of issues like the breakdown of body tissue and fatigue, our bodies are thrown out of balance.

On a daily basis, we are reminded of the negative aspects of stress such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure—you are in SNS mode.

A simple trick to shift into PNS mode (again, the relaxation response) is to concentrate on your breathing and make you exhalations longer than your inhalations. Try to do this for at least five breaths when you’re in a stressful situation. Notice I’m not adding to your stress by asking you to count breaths or the length of them.

With this simple step, you’re tricking your body to shift from the SNS’s fight/flight mode to the PNS’s relaxation response. Remember your body cannot tell the difference between real and perceived stress.

Give this a try; I believe you’ll find yourself beginning to relax.

Uniquely You

In “Could Your Healthy Diet Make Me Fat?,” David S. Ludwig writes about an Israeli personalized nutrition study that “. . . suggested that dieters may be mistakenly eating a lot of some foods, like tomatoes, that are good for most people, but bad for them. And it raises the possibility that an individualized approach to nutrition could eventually supplant national guidelines meant for the entire public.”

He also refers to one headline stating “this diet study upends everything we thought we knew about ‘healthy’ food.”

Ludwig ends his piece by saying,

“Despite the hype, personalized nutrition is not ready for practical application in the clinic. But this exciting field of research may help explain why people respond so differently to diet based on biology. In this way, personalized nutrition may build upon, rather than substitute for, national dietary guidelines, providing a common ground for all sides in the ‘diet war’ to declare a truce.”

A personalized nutrition approach is already in place. I was glad to read Ludwig’s opinion, because for the last nine plus years, I have been an Advanced Metabolic Typing® Advisor, and Metabolic Typing® has been around for over 37 years.

Simply put, did you know you are actually very different, biochemically speaking, from every other person who ever was or ever will be? It’s true. Your body’s biochemical makeup is as unique as your fingerprints!

For genetic reasons, we’re all very different in the way that our bodies process foods and utilize nutrients. Throughout man’s evolutionary history, people all over the world have been forced to adapt to widely varying environmental circumstances, including very different climates and food supplies.

As an example, traditional Inuit thrive on very large quantities of meat and fat, while people born in the tropics stay healthy eating fruits and grains and other light vegetarian fare. Do you know your unique genetically based nutritional needs?

Keeping the above in mind, think about the following situations you may have found yourself in:

  • You want to lose weight, so you try your best friend’s diet. She loses 35 pounds quickly, but you can’t seem to shed an ounce.
  •  Your friend, the vegetarian, thrives on pasta and vegetables and has boundless energy. But when you imitate his diet, your energy plummets, and you can hardly drag yourself out of bed.
  • You eat all the best foods, take only the finest quality supplements, you exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. Yet you still don’t feel well.
  • You believe in nutrition, but you’ve given up on it. It’s impossible to make sense of the confusing and contradictory information flooding the market.

Once you identify your metabolic type, you’ll know how to select just the right “body fuel:” foods, food combinations, and nutrients that will enable your body to function at peak efficiency. Through this approach, you also may:

  • Optimize your physical energy and your mental clarity.
  • Lose weight naturally and maintain your ideal weight.
  • Strengthen your immunity.
  • Slow down the aging process.
  • Enhance athletic performance.
  • Overcome mood swings and depression.

With Metabolic Typing®, you can put an end to the confusion about what diet is right for you. If you’re interested in learning more about Metabolic Typing®, please contact us through our website My Body Physics. LLC. Thank you.

4 Questions

In The New York Times’ November 22, 2015 Sunday Review, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote an opinion piece, “Are Good Doctors Bad for Your Health?” In it, he discusses a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine analysis of 10 years of data: “It found that patients with acute, life-threatening cardiac conditions did better when the senior cardiologists were out of town.”   Dr. Emanuel points out there are no explanations for this fact.

Toward the end of his piece, Dr. Emanuel offers good advice; he says there are four questions patients should ask whenever their doctors are proposing an intervention (“whether an X-ray, genetic test, or surgery”). The four questions are:

  1. “What difference will it make? Will the test results change our approach to treatment?”
  2. “How much improvement in terms of prolongation of life, reduction in risk of a heart attack or other problem is the treatment actually going to make?”
  3. “How likely and severe are the side effects?”
  4. “Is the hospital a teaching hospital?” The reason for this, “The JAMA Internal Medicine study found that mortality was higher overall at nonteaching hospitals.”

Given the time constraints placed on medical professionals today, we need to be our own health advocates. It’s our health—the clock be damned. Don’t be shy about asking questions, and if necessary, ask for clarification and ask again. Get all the available information before making a decision, and if necessary, ask for a second opinion.