Archives for the month of: May, 2013
I was shocked to find that they actually sell MSG...

I was shocked to find that grocery stores actually sell MSG. I thought it was only an additive in certain processed foods.

So, I’ve been talking about healthy things we should eat… but what about the ingredients and foods that we should avoid? One of the biggest things that I watch out for in processed foods, especially in asian food markets, is MSG.

What is MSG?

MSG is short for monosodium glutamate. It is an excitotoxin, which basically kills or damages nerve cells by being over stimulated by neurotransmitters.

Why are MSG in foods?

MSG is basically a “food enhancer”. MSG tricks your taste buds into thinking that what you are eating tastes good and is highly nutritious. Also, MSG promotes the increase of insulin, making your blood sugar drop, which makes you feel hungry sooner.

Damages of MSG?

– Create migraines

– Damages nerve cells

– Damages hypothalamus which regulates body temperature, food intake, sleeping patterns, autonomic nervous system

– Especially damaging to children with ADHD symptoms. Glutamate can disrupt dopamine production, a problem in children with ADHD.

Information from:

Bock, Kenneth, M.D. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics. New York: Ballantine
Books, 2007. Print.

Simontacchi, Carol. The Crazy Makers. New York: Penguin Group Inc., 2007. Print.


Because I posted the benefits of artichokes, I thought it was best to follow up with a recipe containing artichokes! Here is a spinach artichoke dip that I found on Martha Stewart’s website that I changed a little to make it a little more healthier. Also there is no baking/oven involved!

Here is the link to the actual recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3/4 cup low fat yogurt
  • 4 ounces neufchâtel cheese or a lighter cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.


– High in fiber: A large artichoke can contain about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber.

– High in antioxidants: quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin are some of the antioxidants in artichokes

– Supposedly prevents the risk of cancer: Artichoke leaf extract is said to induce apoptosis and reduce cell proliferation

– Increases bile flow: The pulp of the artichoke leaves contains cynarin, an antioxidant, which increases bile flow. Bile is the fluid produced by the liver that breaks down lipids

– Good for the liver: some antioxidants in artichokes, such as cynarin and silymarin, help the liver.

– Great for digestion: Artichokes are a natural diuretic, improve gallbladder function, good for the liver, and aid digestion.

– Reduce cholesterol levels: Inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, which reduces cholesterol. They lower bad cholesterol (LDL), while raising good cholesterol (HDL).


– Green foods contain the pigment, chlorophyll, which act as a detoxifier. It can also help bad breathe, neutralize free radicals, and aid blood to deliver oxygen to cells.

– They are also rich in antioxidants, protecting the body from toxins ingested and from the environment.

– Green foods help balance our pH level, since they are alkalizing. Now, with modern diets, our meals tend to be more acidic.

– They have nutrients that help the immune system and help fighting bacteria and viruses.

– They also contain many essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, E, K, and B.

Food Cravings and Nutrient Deficiencies

Found this amazing photo! Here are a list of cravings and what nutrients you are usually lacking when you have those cravings. Also, they add in a list of some healthier food options containing those nutrients you need!

We all have that weakness food. That food in the grocery store that we know we shouldn’t buy, but we just have to put it in the cart, or hidden somewhere in the pantry so we are not tempted, but end up not having just one piece, but the whole entire box. Eating healthy IS hard and there are going to be times when one craves a cookie, chips, a burger, or fries. But how do we manage these cravings? How do we make sure that we only take a little, and not end up engorging ourselves in our unhealthy foods? It’s all about portion control and substitutions. I have many weaknesses, but my biggest is probably instant spicy ramen noodles. Although, I buy the ones without MSG, it is packed with sodium and probably has absolutely NO nutrients. So my post here is all about how to take those delicious cravings and unhealthy foods and make them “healthier” (or at least add more nutrients) and feel fuller on less.



I would suggest buying dark chocolate and when you do eat it, throw in some nuts or dried fruit with it. The nuts will fill you up faster and the fruit will give it some natural sweetness to the dark chocolate (if dark is too bitter for you).

Ramen Noodles:

Now whenever I am craving ramen noodles, I will split the ramen noodle in half, and then add broccoli or whatever other vegetable. I still get the delicious taste, but with half the processed noodles, while still feeling full afterwards. Plus the vegetables add nutrients to the sodium packed meal.


One of my newest obsessions is kale chips! Not sure if they are actually as healthy as they say, but are probably healthier than most potato chips. Also, it is very easy to make your own chips without all the processed additives. Just thinly slice any type of root vegetable (mandolin slicer works best), put it in a pan, throw in a little olive oil and salt, and bake until crispy. Same goes for fries, you can easily make them yourself!


I’d say substitute it with fruit.