Sunday, March 17, 2013

The End of Overeating

Hello Health Fans!

I know, I've been a terrible blogger ("Bad blogger, bad blogger!").  Heck, I haven't really even been a blogger since I haven't published anything in almost two months!!!

It's not because I don't love you all and it's not because I'm no longer interested in spreading the healthy word.  Quite the contrary.  I've been really busy keeping up with my schoolwork at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and busy preparing to start my Health Coaching practice.  Last month I taught a class on juicing at the local Community Education program - that was awesome!  I'm feeling pretty confident now that I'm on the right track in my attempt to share this new way with others.  That being said, in addition to all my other roles (husband, dad, teacher, guy who's trying to plan a garden for the summer), most waking hours are pretty chock full these days.  (My health coaching practice is now online at  It's still a work in progress, and I'll be doing a lot of updating and revising in the next few month, but I'm there, so check me out!)

I'm also in the middle of I guess what might now be my annual spring juice cleanse.  Today is day 13 I think, and it's going great.  I'm planning on 21 days this time around.  It's supposed to be a significant number in terms of completing a cycle.  My (totally amazing) wife joined me for the first ten days.  It was really pretty awesome to be doing it together.  She had no need to lose weight, but she ended up getting quite a bit out of it - learning for herself how invaluable real, whole and natural nutrition is.  I'm very proud of her, and soooo happy for her, too.

This Book!

I was inspired to write this morning, since a) I actually had the time (my wife and children out until later this afternoon), and b) I am reading the most FASCINATING AND DISTURBING book.  It's called The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

The book is a detailed look at the food industry and how they use the sciences of the brain (psychology, neurology, etc.), chemistry and the science of "food production" to deliver food products to consumers specifically engineered to make them want to eat (and buy) MORE.  It's really pretty freaking sinister, and if you haven't already tossed out most processed food from your house, this might really put you over that edge. 

For me, and I'm only about halfway through the book, it's even more of a wake-up call than many other things I've read and films I've seen.  In the book, the author David Kessler, goes through study after scientific study to show how these highly processed "hyperpalatable" foods are actually re-wiring our brains so that we continue to go back to them - we get "habituated" to them, practically addicted.  The scariest thing about this book, for me at least, has to do with our CHILDREN.  The danger for them is very real - even for those of us who make sure that our kids eat carrots and celery at dinner, these highly stimulating foods (pizza, doughnuts, chips) are designed to work on their brains, to make an imprint there so that they always come back for more. 
The book is easy to read, although in a few places, he gets a little more scientific/psychological than I can always follow, but it's mostly clear, clean prose.  He interviews dozens of scientists, food industry representatives, marketers and food creators.  Want to know all about the layering of sugar, fat and salt in a Cinnabon?  Well, he talks to that company's founder, as well as numerous others who detail the complex formulas used to put just the right amount of those three ingredients into everything from Panera's Asiago Cheese Bagel (my daughter's favorite) to Prego Pasta Sauce to the Southwestern Eggrolls at Chili's. 
I can't recommend this book highly enough at this point.  One great feature is that the chapters are super short, 5-6 pages each, so for those of use with limited time or short attention spans, it's perfect.  I think every parent in America should read this book, so get a copy from the local library and check it out.
Let me know what you think when you do, ok?
Be well, enjoy spring!!!