FDA Says "No" to Corn Sugar, A Win for Real Food

This past Wednesday there was a great victory in the world of real food and nutrition labeling: the FDA denied the Corn Refiner's Association's request to rename high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar" on food labels. The application for a name change was submitted in 2010 due to the bad press that high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, has received in recent years. HFCS is a highly processed sweetener made from corn. The reason it is so predominant in the food supply is that government subsidies (your taxes dollars) encourages the overproduction of corn, making it prevalent and cheap at the market place. This corn is then used to feed livestock that are not designed to eat it and altered to be made into various "ingredients" found in processed food. Oh, and it's GMO to boot. No matter what your thoughts are on the safety of high fructose corn syrup (I never eat the stuff), this goes beyond its safety. The larger issue I see here is the consumer's right to know what is in the food they are eating. Ultimately, the name change was designed to confuse and deceive consumers by labeling the offensive ingredient as something that seems much more wholesome. If the name change had gone through, unaware consumers would have essentially had some of their power taken away in the market place. In a world where food and nutrition are often far more confusing that they should be, the last thing we need is a move such as this one.

Beyond that, it's still true that too much sugar in any form is a problem and processed foods should be limited. Stick to fresh, whole foods and you will be much better off.

How do you feel about the attempt to relabel HFCS as "corn sugar?" Sound off in the comments below.

Ending Body Hate and Embracing the Bikini

While I was eating my breakfast this morning (plain yogurt with cinnamon, apples, and granola, if you were wondering), I saw a news story that I knew I had to share with y'all. Fashion blogger Gabi Gregg, a plus size beauty, posted some photos of herself on vacation in a bikini. She got so much positive feedback that she decided to make a gallery of photos of other women showing off their own plus-size bikini bods. It serves as a celebration of beauty in every size and encourages other women to embrace where they are right now, not where they were or where they want to be.

Now, some have criticized Gabi for promoting overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle, but I totally disagree. Yes, overweight and obesity are serious health concerns, but so is self-hate. So many women, including myself, feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit. Many let that uncomfortable feeling impact their enjoyment of summer-time activities. Some won't even step foot in a pool or on a beach just because they don't feel beautiful as they are. No one should miss out on their own life just because of their size. It's important to remember that health is a journey, not a destination. You might see someone who is overweight and assume that they are unhealthy, when really the may eat clean, whole foods and exercise 5 days a week.

In addition, this message isn't just for those who are overweight or obese. Many people, no matter how "perfect" the body, have their own hang-ups or insecurities. Everyone can learn something from this beautiful lady and her wonderful attitude. Nothing is sexier than confidence.

What do you think of Gabi's bikini photos? Are you inspired to break out the bikini or do something else you've been afraid of?  Do you think her pictures promote overweight and obesity? Answer in the comments below. : )

Recipe: Memorial Day Edition! Yogurt Marinated Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

I'm happy to say that grilling season is officially here! The sun is shining, the pools are open, and everyone wants to do some outdoor cooking. One of my favorite things to make on the grill are kabobs. Not only do they cook quickly, but they are quite versatile and make it easy to create a large spread with something to please every palate. I like to make mine using a product called the Fire Wire. The long wire allows you to pack lots of food on to one skewer and they have a handle at the end that you can grab with your hand (burn-free) when it's time to flip. They are also nice if you have a round grill because you can snake them around, giving you a much more efficient use of the cooking space. I find they work better with meats than veggies, as the vegetables tend to spin around when it's time to flip, but it's still doable.

Now for the food! I cooked chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, red onion, and pineapple. The pineapple was cubed and grilled au naturale. For the veggies, I brushed them with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Both simple and simply delicious. The chicken was cubed and marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices which gave it lots of moisture and great flavor. Try this out at your next cook-out or for dinner with the family and you won't be disappointed. I know I"ll be making it all summer long!

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kabobs

serves 2-4 people


1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (thighs would also work, if you prefer)

1/2 cup organic, plain yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste



1. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl or measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

2. Place chicken in a shallow dish or large plastic bag and add yogurt mixture. Mix well to ensure the marinade is completely incorporated. Cover (or close the bag) and refrigerate for 3-6 hours.

3. Prepare your grill and heat on medium-low. When chicken is done marinating, remove from refrigerator and put on your favorite skewers. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes before adding the chicken and fill them completely, limiting the amount of exposed wood. This will help prevent a flaming skewer or the skewer burning and breaking into pieces.

4. Place chicken skewers on hot grill and cook, flipping once. A good rule of thumb it not to flip the meat until it pulls away from the grill freely. Don't be the person that moves the food around constantly. Place it on the grill and be patient. The results will be much better, I assure you.

5. When chicken is cooked, remove from grill and serve with grilled vegetables.

What is you favorite food to grill in the Summer? Tell me in the comments below! : )

Post Graduation Update!

I am happy to say that I am officially a college graduate!

The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, but it all turned out great (despite the rain) and my mom got lots of pictures with her new camera.

To begin the celebration, my family all came in on Friday and we went out for a pre-graduation dinner. We had to wait for over an hour (party of 12!), but that was fine with me because it gave us more time to chat and catch up. My cousin Allison and I talked extensively about our favorite nail polish brands and colors. We're both addicted and, let me tell you, our conversation only fueled my obsession.

The next morning, I got up bright and early to get photo-ready for graduation day! Then, the rain came. At first, I was irritated and a little upset. However, after I sat in the rain for a couple of hours I realized that the weather didn't matter at all. It didn't make my day any less special and, frankly, probably made the whole thing a lot more memorable.

Once the ceremony was over, it was back to my place for the potluck! As I told y'all in my last post, we used the website PerfectPotluck.com to organize our event. This website was an awesome tool and the party turned out great. I was so worried we wouldn't have enough food for our 50+ guests, but we ended up with plenty to spare. It was a great experience and I would definitely recommend this site to everyone.

Now, I'm back at home and preparing for the next step: my Dietetic Internship at Virginia Tech and planning my and Jasen's wedding! I'm so excited for the new adventures that lie ahead!