Mother Talk

'Conselho de Mãe'

"Eat healthy, exercise, sleep well, make sure you're dressed comfortably, laugh every day, out loud, and learn something new, every day." 

"Oh, and eat one brigadeiro every day as well. Only one. I know it's hard :) " 

Mom Amelia

Favorite quotes from I don't remember where I got them:
"Eat what you need not what you want."

"Stop rewarding yourself with food, you're not a dog."

My own quotes:

"You are not a trash can, stop putting crap in you."

"If you are sad, look for a friend not a refrigerator."

"If you are bored, open a book not a kitchen cupboard."

More Mother Talk:

- don't gulp your food - enjoy every bite of your meal
- put the fork down after every bite, that helps slow down the eating frenzy
- fruits and veggies, of course, every day, more veggies than fruits
- good eating habits start with your trip to the market.
- there are no forbidden foods, just forbidden quantities

Buy organic whenever you can! It's more expensive I know, but find the market with the most reasonable prices. If you are not picky there is always something at a good price. And think about how many times you buy junk food you don't need. Do your math. A Starbuck's coffee cost an average of 3-4 dollars. Don't buy one single Starbuck's per week and spend those 4 dollars in organic food. You can get organic stuff anywhere nowadays. Costco had great deals by the way. Don't buy soda or candy bars and use these extra bucks on organic food. It pays off in the end.

Tomatoes can be expensive if they are organic. But it's worth it.  Trader Joe's usually has fair prices. Tomatoes and any produce with thin skin that you eat whole without peeling are the worse. Tomatoes are usually loaded with pesticides. You can read about it on a website called What's On My Food. The article about tomatoes is What's in your tomatoes? 

Eggs - buy cage free and grain fed.

Ground beef is another item that you can easily find organic. It's usually one to two dollars more than regular ground beef, which is perhaps 1/4 of a Starbucks coffee - Ha!

Cereal Sorry, but cereal does not have much nutritional value. Just read the list of ingredients. So if you really want to have cereal for breakfast then top your cereal with lots and lots of fruits and some nuts.

Don't buy junk food! If you buy junk food you will eat junk food! And then you will go out to get some more! They are made to hook you. This is not an exaggeration. Junk food is made, built, engineered to make people addicted to them.

Water is good! Squeeze some lemon in it!

Bottled Water In the US most bottled water are overrated. They are glorified tap water that hopefully went through extra filtration. Check the quality report for your local water and you might end up saving bucks.

Milk 2% is better. Believe me you get used to it quickly. I buy the 1% now.

Almond Milk - Coconut Milk - Cashew Milk - are great substitutes of regular milk

Put fruits where you can see them! The first thing you should see when you enter your kitchen is a fruit!

Put veggies where you can see them!

Open Your Refrigerator. The first things you should see when you open your refrigerator are vegetables and fruits. Chop them and put them in snack size containers. Then the next time you're hungry just grab one of the boxes.

Better to peel apples and cucumbers. Many have a layer of wax, so if you are not sure, peel them. Persian cucumbers do not need to be peeled. The ones at Trader Joe's are great.

Are you starving? Eat a banana, a handful of baby carrots, a handful of nuts, a cucumber or have a smoothie to stop the craving and then think what else you want to eat.

Always have some protein for breakfast! boil an egg for example.

Margarine is not food! It's a bad science experiment! Buy real butter. However don't overuse butter.

Don't think I am a food dictator. I actually think you can eat whatever you want, just not too much. Look at the French. They are skinny and they eat sugar, butter, crème fraîche! Ooh la la!

On this blog there are lots of healthy food and a few sinful treats, but that's what they are, occasional treats.

Coke, Doritos, and Cheetos, Oh my! 
You HAVE to read this article entitled The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food from "The New York Times Magazine". It's long but you HAVE to read it. After you read it you will never look at junk food the same way and you will resent what the food industry has been doing to us. When it comes to what we eat 'free will' might be an illusion. We are all manipulated by a system that makes 'wants' become 'needs'. They flood our brains with subliminal messages to hook you, and engineer junk food to make us addicted to them. Besides, if you live in a western country you probably live a life of pleasure seeking and self-gratification, because you think this is the path to find happiness.

This is an excerpt from the article I mentioned above that particularly touched me as a Brazilian. "Dunn (one of Coke's executives at the time) was making frequent trips to Brazil, where the company had recently begun a push to increase consumption of Coke among the many Brazilians living in favelas (slums). The company’s strategy was to repackage Coke into smaller, more affordable 6.7-ounce bottles, just 20 cents each. Coke was not alone in seeing Brazil as a potential boom; Nestlé began deploying battalions of women to travel poor neighborhoods, hawking American-style processed foods door to door. But Coke was Dunn’s concern, and on one trip, as he walked through one of the impoverished areas, he had an epiphany. “A voice in my head says, ‘These people need a lot of things, but they don’t need a Coke.’ I almost threw up.”

Just to end all this on a positive note let me tell you a bit more about Dunn. He tried to change things at Coca-Cola and was finally fired. Dunn still wanted to work in the food industry. Just not selling junk anymore. As a result he was the mastermind behind the marketing of baby carrots. He used the same strategies he used for junk food and it worked. Just look at how popular baby carrots are nowadays. And like the article says, what are baby carrots? Just plain, fresh small carrots. No added sugar. No creamy sauce or dips. No salt. Just baby carrots, washed, bagged, and sold into the deadly dull produce aisle. 
And we all love it!

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