The Art of Savoring…the “Master of Taste” Dr. Paul Rozin Checks in from Paris

Jan 28, 2013 by

Welcome to the third installment of the “Health Epicurean” series with World Wise Beauty.

How do you maximize pleasure when eating? Epicureans would say you should savor the experience.  How do you savor the experience? Well you start by slowing down.  For example, sipping wine slowly while nibbling cheese is really an art for the French.  But maybe “savoring” is an important part of their cultural value system which encourages the pleasure of eating.  We humans are fascinating and majorly influenced by our culture,  so I thought I would reach out to Dr. Paul Rozin, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania for some wisdom.  Dr. Rozin’s recent studies has been likened to the work of a gustatory anthropologist.  A gusta what you ask?  Let’s just say he’s a “Master of Taste”!  No worries, this is not a college course.  Sometimes complex theories can be condensed into digestible ideas–no pun intended! 

Truly Herself,  Lauroly

Welcome Dr. Rozin.  Thank you for dropping in from Paris to share some of your fascinating research with us.  I couldn’t help using this title for our Q&A as your recent studies have focused on food experience and the pleasure of eating. What a wonderful focus for research! 

Dr. Paul Rozin:  Eating is one of the great pleasures of life.  Eating, including shopping for it and food preparation, is probably the third most time consuming activity in our life (after work…assuming that isn’t about eating, and sleep).  So we should enjoy it and not spoil it by worrying about every bite.

Lauroly Q:  You have spent a lot of time studying cultural differences when it comes to the relationship between food and pleasure.  What have you found are the major differences between Americans and Europeans?

Dr. Paul Rozin:  Most of my work compares France and the USA. Generally, Americans are ambivalent about eating, especially women.  They are worried about their weight (eating of course, is related to weight) and also about healthy diets.  French, who live longer than Americans and weigh less, mainly eat to enjoy the taste and social experience of eating.

 Lauroly Q:  Why do you think diets and nutrition fads are so prevalent here in the states?

Dr. Paul Rozin:  Everyone, all humans, including medical scientists, are subject to fads.  But Americans, because they don’t have a strong culinary tradition (unlike France) are more subject to fads that involve changes in what one is eating. Also, it is probably true that the Protestant ethic makes one feel more responsible for one’s weight and diet, and encourages change, and we are constantly offered new recipes of a healthier body and lighter weight by diet change.

Lauroly Q:  How can Americans shift to the pleasure principle regarding eating?

Dr. Paul Rozin:  We have to serve less, like the French.  It would also help to eat more social meals, with people together not watching TV, and paying more attention to the food and even talking about it.

Lauroly Q:  There have been several best-selling books in the U.S  with the following titles:

All of the countries highlighted in these books have in some sense homogeneous societies with deeply ingrained cultural influences when it comes to their relationship with food.  How do we find our own healthy relationship with food here in America?  I see the next best-selling book with a title like this: The American Woman’s Fight with Food: The cost of eating and the decline of pleasure.  Yes, a very gloomy book concept, but in reality we aren’t even sure of our food safety and sources anymore.  On the bright side I see another trend developing. We are becoming a multi-cultural country and beginning a love affair with bold flavor and spices.  Maybe the blending of cultures will be our bridge to pleasurable eating? What do you think? Give me hope…

Dr. Paul Rozin:  I like what you are saying.  American food quality is excellent, and very diverse.  We have plenty of food to enjoy; we should just eat it more slowly and eat less of it.

Lauroly Closing:  So we have to “slow down and savor”!  Sounds way too hard for us Americans.  But I sure will give it a try.  I might start my savoring practice with the chocolate chip cookie waiting for me in the kitchen.  Only one of course! Thanks so much for dropping in Dr. Rozin–enjoy Paris and all it’s pleasures!

WWB SHARE:  A gift for true foodies! If you would like to take a crash course with Dr. Rozin sitting comfortably at home–this is worth clicking through to! Check out a really interesting YouTube video of Michael Pollan ( Food Author) and Dr. Paul Rozin at the University of California, Berkeley.  The video is entitled “Edible 103: The Psychology of Food” .  

WWB CHAT: What is your favorite culture when it comes to epicurean delights?  Let’s travel vicariously through each other!

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Be Your Own Guru! The Diet of ALL Diets is Yours…

Jan 23, 2013 by

 

Clean Plates

Health Eating for Vegans and Carnivores

I just caught this piece (below) “4 Tips For Bio-Individuality by Jared Koch of Clean Plates” posted on LinkedIn.  I was thrilled to discover more about Jared’s book and his website www.cleanplates.com/. His book and website is perfect for this Healthy Epicurean series and I am sharing his best tips right here!

Why was I so thrilled about this piece of wisdom from Jared?  Because before I ever heard the word bio-individuality I always had an inner sense that we all are different and “no one size fits all” diet or was right for everyone.  I became a vegetarian as soon as I moved out on my own because I had values regarding the ethical treatment of animals.  As I took on this new diet, I no doubt made mistakes and did not eat properly.  I went on for years as a vegetarian but my health seemed to devitalize in some areas.  No longer a total vegetarian I am now a “flexitarian”.  I still don’t eat any meat but do eat fish and eggs occasionally.  I don’t use cosmetics or cleaning products that test on animals and I don’t wear fur or leather coats ( my personal values).  I try to be conscious about all sentient life but I had to listen to my body and find the right diet for me .  In my heart of hearts I would love to be a pure vegan but I had to make choices right for my personal health.  We all do.  So listen to Jared’s ideas and take a deep breath of relief.  Start being your own guru!

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

4 Tips for Bio-Individuality, by Jared Koch

 

Vegan.  Raw foodist.  Vegetarian.  Forager.  Carnivore.
The question isn’t “Which should you be?” It’s “Which one are you?”

That’s the basis for bio-individuality, which essentially means that we’re all unique beings with unique nutritional needs. What’s best for you may not be best for the person next to you (or even for other people in your family). And once you figure out the foods that make your body thrive, you’ll be at your healthiest. Here’s how to tailor your own custom-made, ideal diet:

1. SEND DOGMA TO THE DOGSPeople often get caught up in the rules of a specific diet, such as vegetarian, raw foodist or vegan. But not every aspect of those diets may be right for you as an individual. Listen to your body: sticking to rigid rules can make us stop paying attention to our real needs.

 2. TUNE IN. If you suffer from stomach upset, skin problems or chronic lack of energy, that could be your body telling you that its biochemistry is off – and that something in your diet isn’t right for you. You may love wheat and eggs, but if they don’t love you, it could be worth trying a change.

3. EXPERIMENT. If you’re showing symptoms, you might try going off certain foods for three to four weeks, to see if they clear up. Common culprits include dairy, sugar, gluten and highly processed foods (because they can contain so many chemicals). Often, it’s a chemical or a dye, not even a food group, that causes a sensitivity.

4. COOK SOMETHING UP. Trying out recipes from different dietary styles can also help you understand what your body needs. In the new Clean Plates Cookbook, we included recipes to suit everyone from raw foodists to meat-and-potato lovers (plus quite a few of those recipes come from celeb chefs like Jamie Oliver and Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione), so you can mix and match according to your taste.

And remember the key tenet to bio-individuality: no matter how convinced someone is that their diet is right for you or how tempting an extreme diet may be, to feel your best, just be yourself.

 

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“Little Changes” Add Up…from Rockstar to World Wise Beauty Icon

Jan 18, 2013 by

 2013 WWB ICON: Kristi Marsh, Author of “Little Changes” book, Producer of “Choose Wiser Events” and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Rockstar Award recipient.  

Welcome to World Wise Beauty. Thanks so much for joining me for a Q&A.  Lets first recognize we have simpatico in our pursuit of wisdom! There is a quote I love from Edith Wharton “There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it”.  You have certainly been both to so many as an author, public speaker and advocate for women’s health.  You founded an organization called Choose Wiser dedicated to educating women about the interactions between environmental toxins and their personal health and have gone on to do so much more.  Wish we had more space to cover all your great work but I would love to talk about your terrific new book called “Little Changes”.                           

Lauroly Q:  The tagline of your book “Tales of a Reluctant Home Eco-Momics Pioneer” sounds so light but you actually became enlightened about conscious lifestyle after going through aggressive breast cancer at the young age of 36 with three small children depending on you.  How did this scary experience compel you to change your lifestyle approach?

Kristi Marsh: We all have trigger events that challenge us to push our healthy lifestyle standards higher. Mine happened to be breast cancer, even though I was a long time healthy eater and gym member. It was in between chemotherapy treatments that I witnessed my body’s obsession to heal, repair, and give me the best life possible. I couldn’t help but ask myself, ‘Why would I ever want to compromise that gift’? I could resume with the comfortably familiar conventional mainstream ways that I was raised with, or, I could question what I brought into my home and influence the health of my body and my family. Six years later, with incredible purpose, I can say nothing has ever felt more right. Now, my book and speaking events has become the ‘trigger’ for many others. I am very fortunate to be living the life I am now.

Lauroly Q: As a breast cancer survivor of early stage cancer myself,  I was shocked when I received my diagnosis.  I thought my healthy, mostly vegetarian lifestyle would protect me from getting cancer but I know now there are so many other things that factor into the causes of cancer.  There are environmental factors that we just don’t think about.  What I liked about your book is you don’t try to scare people with information but rather provide actionable ideas so they can empower themselves.  Your personal learning process became a big adventure!  Tell us more about your adventure and how your “green and clean” lifestyle has gone beyond just eating healthy.

Kristi Marsh: The seriousness of science, the overwhelming fear of toxins, and the gravity of diseases and disorders—while devastatingly real—can make the message hard for many people to hear. It isn’t that we are uninterested or don’t care. Just the opposite. We are busy loving, caring women, raising families, juggling careers and taking care of the world! Who would want to decipher possible carcinogens in a hair product? Study acronyms like BPA or GMOs as a hobby? And wouldn’t change be expensive? These questions went through my mind so I went on a journey to explore if choosing wiser could be accessible, affordable, and dare I say, fun. In creating Little Changes, I flipped the personal environmental health message upside down to add humor, lighted hearted learning, whimsical illustrations, and to invite the reader through my journey. Weaving my personal story (and revealing some very private emotions) into Little Changes turns the message from a “how-to” book into a read-my-story and you-can-do book. The moral of my story? We all can have an amazing impact on the health of our bodies through what we choose to bring into our homes. It is incredibly empowering to have such a personal effect on our families.

Lauroly Q: The title of your book “Little Changes” and the philosophy behind it is very appealing to me and I am sure to others as well.  You have said ” there are so many people reluctant to make changes in their lives because they think it is going to be expensive or time consuming”.  Can you share with us just a few examples of how we can make wise but little changes today toward a healthy lifestyle inside and out?

Kristi Marsh: Absolutely! While Little Changes has taken off with book clubs and as a random-act-of-kindness gift, my passion is speaking. When I speak at conferences, I focus on a topic, such as “Budget Friendly & Goin’ Organic” or “Deliciously Green & Clean.”(Creating cleaning products from kind kitchen ingredients.)  It is easier to narrow the overwhelming options by focusing on something you enjoy. At Choose Wiser, I encourage people to replace one product with a wiser choice and move down the list.

  • Check your nail polish to see if it contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that we do not need to paint onto our nail beds. Not all nail polishes contain this, which makes it a simple place to choose wiser.
  • When you run out of a window cleaner, make your own with vinegar and water, a just as effective kinder option minus ammonia and you save three dollars! Make sure to celebrate your forward momentum and your journey is on its way.
  • My number one piece of advice? Simple: Don’t do this alone!  I am a huge believer that women are more alike than we are different, and that there is a neighbor, carpool friend or booklover who has the same curiosities. We tend to do all the work alone. Instead, reach out and say “hey, I am interested in learning more about this topic” and all of sudden you have half the work to do and twice the fun. 
For those who like to jump in and enthusiastically start making healthy changes, I am honored to host a girl’s weekend retreat in April.  The Home Eco-Momics 101 Retreat is boot camp kick start set in a lavish mansion retreat. I am delighted to have a rockstar cast of speakers, and a place I can spoil guests with gourmet food and a full SWAG bag. I have never seen an event like this offered to women before – a safe, intimate place to learn among like-minded women who are ready to create healthier homes.

Lauroly: Thanks so much Kristi for joining us here at World Wise Beauty and for being the candle light for so many women striving to keep themselves and their families healthy. Wishing you continued health and wellness as you spread your light and wisdom. You are officially a World Wise Beauty Icon but I also need to congratulate you on your recent “ROCKSTAR”  award from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics! Rock on Kristi!

Learn more about her award and the great organization behind it here: http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=1069

Maybe our blog community can share positive little changes they have made in their lives too? Would love to hear from everyone!

Truly Herself
Lauroly

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“Don’t Judge A Book by its Cover” Model Cameron Russell Bares All…

Jan 17, 2013 by

"The Mona Lisa"

“Looks Aren’t Everything”. Believe Me I’m A Model…

 

If you were more beautiful, became skinnier or had longer legs would you then be more comfortable in your own skin and happy?  Think again and listen to an articulate, wise and honest model ( YES MODEL!) talk about the power of image and perception.  Open your mind instead of your eyes and hear what top model Cameron Russell has to say at TEDX talks.  Click on link below and check out what she is wearing and not wearing–you will be surprised!

Trulyherself,
Lauroly

Looks Aren’t Everything!

“Image is powerful…but image is also superficial” Cameron Russell, Model
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“Eat Only What You Like!” A Q&A with Marion Nestle Ph.D and Best Selling Author

Jan 14, 2013 by

Best Selling Author “Marion Nestle”

 

Welcome to the 2013 Healthy Epicurean Q&A series with World Wise Beauty. Our first Q&A is with Marion Nestle, Ph.D and best selling author of numerous highly respected books on food and nutrition.

Marion also has an excellent blog called Food Politics which is a great place to learn how to become a savvy food consumer as well as a healthy epicurean!  You can also follow her on Twitter @marionnestle

 

Welcome Marion: I am so pleased you could drop in for my “Healthy Epicurean” series here at World Wise Beauty.  I chose the name of the series because so often I think people think eating healthy is not pleasurable.  I recently interviewed a prominent Professor of Psychology (next Q&A for this series) who conducts comparative research on various cultures and their relationship with food and pleasure.  He found through his research that as Americans we believe “more is better” and we also tend to eat out of convenience rather than a social pleasurable experience.  Most of what he observes I agree with but what I would like to unpack with you is how we developed this attitude “more is better”.   I would say as a consumeristic society we do depend on the “more is better” value system to keep the economy churning.  You wrote a great magazine article for a trade magazine entitled ” How the Food Industry Hijacked Nutrition”.  Let’s start with this provocative premise…

Lauroly Q: Do you think we have been bamboozled by our food industry?

Marion Nestle: I wouldn’t use bamboozled. The food industry is just doing what it is obliged to do: everything it can to sell more products. Unfortunately, this means big advertising budgets, health claims on food packages, and marketing directly to children. It also means deflecting attention from all that by engaging in partnerships and alliances, focusing on physical activity and personal responsibility as causes of poor eating, and working behind the scenes to lobby legislators not to do anything that might harm sales. That’s really what it’s about.

 Lauroly Q:  Money and politics sure are clashing these days.  This was never so evident when Mayor Bloomberg of NYC mandated a law on portion size for sugary drinks.  There was so much backlash from the soda industry and from libertarians who believe “we should all live and let live”.  I heard this from all kinds of people I know, “If they are stupid enough to drink too much, well that’s their problem!” Same reaction happened with cigarette smoking regulations over thirty years ago.  But when it comes to children and teens I don’t think mature choices are quite developed yet.  How did we all buy into “it’s ok to market massive amounts of sugary drinks to kids” when we know research tell us it’s bad for their health?

Marion Nestle: I attribute it to skilled food industry marketing. Food isn’t cigarettes. Food is multiple products and a much more complicated message than don’t smoke. It’s eat this instead of that, use moderation, or eat less, messages that are easy to interpret in very different ways. Until our campaign laws are changed to prevent corporate cash donations, legislators will necessarily have to pay attention to corporate health rather than kids’ health. Election campaign contributions are the root of evil in American society but legislators benefit from them so are unlikely to anything to change them.

Lauroly Q: When I was a kid I would go horseback riding with my Dad and after a day of exercise we would stop at my Aunt & Uncle’s house for a short visit.  They would serve me a small juice size glass of coke and one Hersey kiss candy. I was in heaven and it was a total treat because I wasn’t served soda at home.  Later as a teen in high school I was drinking a can of soda with lunch every day! I had soda not because my mother packed it for me but because I could buy it in the cafeteria. It became a normal thing to have with lunch.  Today one soda a day would be considered moderate as many people drink more and the portion sizes have increased.

Your new book with Malden Nesheim “Why Calories Count–From Science to Politics really helps us to understand why calories count whether it to be too much or too little.  I admit I was initially scared by your title because so many women and girls have become overly obsessed with calories the last twenty years. What are you attempting to teach us with this new book?

 

Marion Nestle: We most certainly do not advise counting calories (too inaccurate to be worth the trouble). The main take home message is that if you are concerned about weight, you absolutely must find a way to cope with today’s “eat more” food marketing environment. The entire purpose of that environment is to get you to eat more, not less. One other take home message: larger portions have more calories. I know it sounds like duh, but I don’t think you need any other explanation for the increased prevalence of obesity in our society. People are eating more, and so much more that we’ve forgotten what reasonable portions look like. The best advice I can give anyone trying to lose weight is to just eat smaller portions. It works every time.

Lauroly Q: How do we enjoy eating when we are learning so much of our food may not be good for us or may even harm us?

Marion Nestle: I’m inclined to answer this as “Don’t worry. Be happy.” A healthy diet simply means eating plenty of vegetables, not eating too much junk food, and not eating too much in general. Eat what you like, be sure to eat vegetables at every possible occasion, and if you have a weight problem (and who does not?) eat smaller portions. This leaves loads of room for enjoying eating, which should always be a pleasure. Maybe follow this rule too: eat only what you like.

 Lauroly: Thank you so much for sharing your wise and enlightening thoughts with us Marion.  For a country so obsessed with food and diet you would think we would teach nutrition in school?  Instead of wood shop maybe we can have a nutrition elective in high school?  Or maybe you can start an on-line nutrition school? This is the bright and wonderful side of our American society–we are always coming with ideas!

 

Marion Nestle: I’m so in favor of schools as a starting place for dietary change. I admire Michelle Obama for picking school meals as a focus for change. You as a parent can go into a school and make a huge difference in what kids eat. Teach kids where food comes from and how to grow, prepare, and cook it, and they will have a healthy relationship with food forever. How’s that for a good idea!

Great ideas and grounded wisdom from Marion Nestle we all can appreciate! How about all of you? What makes you a healthy epicurean?  I add cinnamon to my oatmeal and ginger soy glaze to my salmon!  Flava is what makes eating pleasurable!  Share your yummy recipes and thoughts on being a healthy epicurean. I would love to hear from you!

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

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