Pink Fuel For the Cure From Connecticut’s Standard Oil

Okay, it’s bad enough that Yoplait has a pink ribbon campaign, but I was shocked to see a Connecticut oil company started promoting “Fuel For the Cure” with a pink oil truck.

Come on!

From Standard Oil’s web site:

Standard Oil has pledged $3 for every delivery The Pink Truck makes for the next 12 months. It is our plan to make somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 deliveries with The Pink Truck and make a donation of approximately $20,000

Hmm, why is it that companies can’t just make a freakin’ donation if they believe in the cause so much? No, they need to drum up sales first, then make a donation. It’s sickening.

And more importantly, how do we really know for sure that the oil refineries aren’t ultimately causing breast cancer?

Yeah, it looks like it has a hand in causing certain blood cancers, along with damaging our kidneys, liver, nervous system and causing blood pressure and blood clotting issues. And if that’s not enough, it’s poisoning our environment.

So, keep up the good work, Standard Oil.

And add one more “pink ribbon” fiasco to the Susan G. Komen organization. Maybe someday you’ll actually find a CURE for cancer with all that money that floats your way! Nah, I doubt it.


Yoplait Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Scam

yoplait yogurt pink lid breast cancer scam

It drives me crazy every October when I see the Yoplait Yogurt ads for their “Pink Ribbon/Lids Breast Cancer” marketing ploy.

My biggest problem with Yoplait’s Pink Lid promotion, besides the obvious trick to gain more sales, is that highly processed, highly sugary food products like Yoplait Yogurt could possibly be one of the factors that increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer in the first place!

So to reiterate, they want you to buy (and consume) more of their sugary, chemical laden yogurts, just so they can send out (up to) $2 million for a cure for the same cancer that they possibly could be causing! It makes me crazy when I think about it!

Yoplait, why don’t you keep that $2 million and IMPROVE your own products so they are not loaded with sweeteners (including artificial) and unpronounceable chemicals and other highly processed junk!

It’s food products from companies like Yoplait that are making American’s obese and ill! When are we going to open our eyes to these huge marketing scams and just SAY NO!

If It Makes You Healthy By Sheryl Crow Cookbook Review

I borrowed the new Sheryl Crow cookbook If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons from the local library.

I always thought Sheryl Crow was healthy, I mean just look at her! Killer body, great hair/skin, gorgeous. That’s why when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was so surprising. But she realized that she really WASN’T eating as healthy as she thought and that needed to change pronto!

So, she consulted a nutritionist, Rachel Beller, and she learned more about health, wellness and nutrition. After radiation, she was heading out on a summer tour. She didn’t want to revert back to an unhealthy lifestyle on the road, so she hired a professional chef, Chuck White, who became her personal chef while on tour and while at home at her farm. He is also the co-author of her cookbook.

So, onto the cookbook.

It’s separated into two main seasonal sections: spring/summer (on tour) and fall/winter (in the studio). And within each seasonal section, there are chapters for each type of dish: appetizers, soups, salads, main, sides and desserts. I don’t normally like “seasonally” separated cookbooks, I find it’s more difficult to quickly find recipes when cookbooks are separated this way, but since it’s only in two parts, it’s not too bad.

The recipes are simple and fairly easy to prepare. Lots and lots of vegetarian recipes. But is there anything new? Eh, not really. There are a few golden nuggets like:

  • Sesame Shiitake Grit Cakes
  • Sofrito Rice with Green Chiles and Mango
  • Quinoa-stuffed poblano peppers with salsa romesco
  • Braised winter greens with fried pumpkin and feta
  • Chocolate-Avocado Mousse with Fresh Raspberries
  • Sticky Cashew Rice
  • Vegan Chocolate Mint Brownies (too much sugar though!)

The book is sprinkled with many healthy tips from nutritionist Rachel. I like that!

The photos of finished dishes are detailed and very helpful, but I thought some of the “other” photos seemed a tad awkward and too “posed”, like the one of Sheryl standing over the stove stirring soup in a Le Creuset dutch oven pot, while Chuck looked on.

It’s wonderful that they highly encourage sustainable “seasonal” eating, but what was very disappointing but there are many contradictions. For instance, on page 45 “Ceviche Savvy”, there is a suggestion to use firm fleshed white fish like flounder, cod, or halibut. Cod and halibut can be two of the very worst sustainable seafood choices! And flounder is not much better, especially since it could contain higher levels of mercury or other toxins.

Another example from the Fall/Winter section is Barley & Vegetable Risotto. The recipes includes asparagus, which is usually considered a springtime veggie. And fresh raspberries are way too expensive in the winter months, so it seems careless to suggest using them for the chocolate avocado mousse recipe. Why not frozen raspberries?

Bottom line, I don’t recommend the book. Borrow it from the library, to see for yourself, but there are so many much better choices; especially since Sheryl Crow admits she is not a cook, so why is she writing a cookbook?

I apologize, but here is where I get a little mean. Would this book have been as popular without her name on the cover and her media promotion on all the daytime talk/news shows? In reality, you’re really buying a cookbook authored by her chef Chuck White. Sheryl adds a few comments here and there, describing how much she liked how a specific recipe tasted, but there is not much cooking input from her.

If you are talking about celebrity cookbooks, I think Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter cookbook is a better choice. Gwyneth is an experienced home cook and you know she is really cooking the recipes for her family.

I have nothing against Sheryl Crow personally, and I wish her continued good health. I really can’t fault her for trying to spread the word about healthy eating for cancer prevention; it’s such an important message! But there are just so many other cookbooks with the same message that stay true to local sustainable cooking.

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Eat Onions For Good Health

Onions are such an overlooked vegetable. They’re not as glamorous as veggie as say, asparagus, broccoli, or red leaf lettuce, and I think some people take them for granted. But they are surprisingly nutritious and a very delicious addition to your daily diet.


Onion Nutritional Facts & Info

Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion – iron and zinc can be difficult to absorb from whole grains. But it looks like when you add some onion or garlic to the grain, it improves the chances of absorbing the minerals by at least 10%, and up to 150%. More info.

According to the web site, “The flavonoids in onion tend to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh” so over-peeling an onion can take away a lot of important nutrition. also goes on to state that “The total polyphenol content of onion is not only higher than its fellow allium vegetables, garlic and leeks, but also higher than tomatoes, carrots, and red bell pepper. In the French diet, only six vegetables (artichoke heart, parsley, Brussels sprouts, shallot, broccoli, and celery) have a higher polyphenol content than onion.” That’s incredible!

Check out all the info on the page for onions. It’s fascinating.

Onions are a terrific source of Chromium, Vitamin C, Fiber and other nutrients. Onions are good for your heart, and cholesterol levels. Did you realize that onions also benefit bone density plus they have anti-inflammatory power.

Onions have been shown to lower risk of colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers. But I’m willing to bet that they are also beneficial for other cancers as well.

They also offer bacterial infection prevention. Chicken soup with onions. Yum. Beneficial for flu and cold season, along with a list of other bacterial issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Soaking onions in ice water or milk will reduce the “sharpness” – but then would they be as beneficial? Is it the strong bite of the onion that makes it so powerful? It can’t be good to wash away precious fluids down the drain. Something to think about!

Back to Drinking Tea Again

Now that the weather is starting to get colder, I’m trying to get back into the tea drinking habit. I stopped during the warmer months, and was just drinking tons of water, but it’s just so important to drink green (and black) tea!

I guess what made me think of it again was that my allergies have been the worst they’ve ever been in years! They were driving me crazy. Sneezing, sniffling, runny nose. The symptoms would be torture and then all of a sudden disappear, only to reappear again later.

I know green tea has been very helpful in the past when I have visited houses with cats. I’m highly allergic to cats, and bringing a big thermos of hot green tea has always helped alleviate the symptoms.

So, I figured it was worth a shot to try to clear up my allergies, and guess what! It’s working! I’ve only been drinking a cup or so for 3 days, and already I can see a major difference. My allergies are not bad at all. I’m still a big clogged up, but at least I am not dripping and sneezing every 10 minutes. And it’s so much better than taking a prescription pill!

And green (and black) tea is great for all sorts of other ailments, including cancer prevention and treatment, with its anti-oxidants. I usually drink decaf, but I’m going to try to get into the normal caffeinated green tea. I’ll just make sure I drink it early enough in the day so it won’t affect my sleep.

I need to purchase some more herbal teas too for night time use. Chamomile is lovely, as is lemon herbal tea.

I used to purchase my loose herbal fruit teas from Adagio Teas but I just looked back at my order history, and it’s been years since I last purchased. Yikes. The tea in my tins is years old. Not good. I also am a bit nervous using hot water in the plastic IngenuiTEA teapot I have. It’s a great tea brewer, but I just don’t think boiling water belongs in plastic.

I emailed them to inquire about BPA in the tea pot that was purchased a few years ago and they replied (very promptly) that "Our ingenuiTEA teapot was tested by SGS and found to be BPA-free."

That’s good news for current users, but they didn’t really give me a direct answer about my older model. I don’t know if they are using the same manufacturing process as years ago.

I have a little metal tea ball thingie that I will use to brew my loose tea from now on just to be on the safe side. I did find an older glass Bodum tea pot (see photo below), but the middle brewing part is also made of plastic. As I said, even if it were BPA free, I just don’t think plastic should be heated in any situation.

Adagio teas brewing

They also aren’t offering 5oz tea “refill” bags for customers that already have tins. When I inquired, they answered: "Since your last order, our metal tins had given way to flexible packaging, making the “refill” option no longer necessary, as all teas now come in bags."

So I asked if the tins were still okay to use, but they didn’t answer. To be fair, it could be that question got lost within my BPA question. I assume they are fine to still use, since Adagio is still selling the tins as an extra purchase. They might even be better quality than the newer ones!

I still don’t know that I’ll be ordering again from Adagio. They offer wonderful, high quality teas, but it’s so darned costly.

My last order (Nov 2007) of Fruit Medley herbal tea cost $6.50 for 5 oz refill bag. Now it’s $6 for only 3 oz. Add on shipping $3.75, and that’s almost $10 for 3 oz of tea!

I’m going to explore some of the teas at Whole Foods and compare. I admit it’s going to be hard to find such good quality, but we’ll see.

Biggest Loser Season 10

I might be a total sap, but this season looks to be so inspiring!

I love learning about the contestants! Very motivating for me to keep on the right healthy path!

One woman, Shanna Masten (38 years old) from Arizona really got to me. She is a breast cancer survivor, having gone through treatment a year ago. I haven’t talked about it publicly yet, but both my mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other. And I had a little scare that required a biopsy, which thankfully turned out to be nothing.

Anyway, Shanna reminded me so much of the situation with my sister and mother. She said that getting breast cancer wasn’t her “choice”, but losing weight IS her choice. She weighed in at 242 pounds. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the ranch, but she’ll be working hard at home (I hope)!

I’ll be rooting for all the contestants and cheering them on. They seem like a nice group of people. I like when they seem like they’re in it for health, not necessarily for the back stabbing game play!

Here is the first episode video on NBC

UPDATE October 5, 2010: Not so happy with this season so far. I thought I would really like the contestants, but I don’t like how it’s turned into more of a game vs losing weight & getting healthy. I am disappointed that it’s all about losing the most weight possible, and 5 pounds is looked upon as a failure. Come on!

Also, I don’t like the new placement of the “yellow line” at all. It just doesn’t seem fair to the girls, since it’s virtually impossible for them to lose as much as the boys. The whole thing is not fair!

I am not feeling inspired by anyone and the trainers are really pissing me off too. Jillian and Bob are getting more and more commercial! yuck!

We’ll see what happens next week