Monday, February 23, 2009


Hey, I'd just like to give a shout out to all my friends who have been reading my blog posts and emailing me! This is something I've always wanted to do and you guys are great. Please feel free to post your comments here so all the readers can enjoy them!

I have a couple of exciting events on the radar! This Friday, Feb. 27th, I'll be speaking and answering questions at the Winter Springs Rotary Club meeting! I am really looking forward to that.

Coming up in Mid-March, you'll be able to visit us at The Homegrown Gourmet's booth at the Winter Springs Mardi-Gras. I will post the exact dates when I get all the info. I will also be donating an appetizer to the dignitaries lounge....GOTTA LOVE THE ADVERTISING THERE!

I am considering doing a booth at the Taste of Oviedo in April but the jury is still out on that one.

It looks as though we didn't take enough of a beating at Central Florida Veg Fest back in October! We have decided to do a booth at the Orlando Earth Expo in April. It will be another joint effort between Get Green Organics Inc. (for which I am executive/consulting chef) and my own company, The Homegrown Gourmet! The rules are the same...all Vegan food. I've got a little time to work on a brand new Spring Menu for this festival. Turnout is expected to be around 20,000 (twice the amount of Veg Fest!). Yes...I know what I'm going to be asked...there WILL be The Homegrown Gourmet's now FAMOUS Vegan Cupcakes! I have a brand new one to introduce....Key Lime! Yes...we WILL have our equally famous "crack tea" (so named because people can't seem to stop drinking it!). I know we'll work our behinds usual but it's all good! Hopefully, by then I WILL be bringing hard copies of my Vegan cookbook! "The Homegrown Gourmet Cooks For The Vegan"

Also on the radar screen is taping two podcasts tomorrow. I will post the URL and times when I get them! I'll be featuring one simple, quick and nutritious recipe in each podcast.

We DOOOOO have our sights on a local cable network cooking show! We've already been in contact with a producer (whom I have worked with in the past on other projects) and he feels it would be a huge success! Now I just need to find SPONSORS!

Right now, I'm a little crazy with plans and publishing and writing scripts for the new youtube series, which we SHOULD be filming next weekend...hopefully. I will need to film six episodes in two days so there is a lot of planning going into that. We are getting better at it though!

I have NOT forgotten about the new article on hydrogenated oils! My fingers are SMOKIN' right now because I have SO many things to type! Look for the new article either by the end of this week or beginning of next week.

Remember, there are several ways you can contact me and I love to get your questions and comments!

Use the blog!
Email me at
Visit my website at
Contact me through
Call me at 407-610-9513

Until next time....Health and Happiness to all!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Soap Box

At the moment, I'm busy submitting articles for publication. Which by the way, one has already been accepted and is available to be seen under my NAME as S. Jill Anderson NOT as The Homegrown Gourmet. Go to and search under either my name or the article titles which is, "Dark and Leafy--Know Your Power Greens." That being said, I do want to let you know that a new blog article IS coming this week. I still have to cover another of my "Top 5" pet peeves; HYDROGENATED OILS! You KNOW that's going to be a hell-fire and brimstone (can I get an amen) post!

I would like to thank everyone for stopping in and reading. I encourage you to leave comments or questions. There is nothing I like better than dissing processed foods and ripping on prescription drugs. I will also (when I get finished typing it) post my story of how I came to be (self-titled) the F.D.A. which stands for "Food And Drug Antagonist". Of course, if you follow my posts you'll find that they are not always about the negative. Sometime I will feature a food that you SHOULD be including in your diet. My personal nominee is Organic Coconut products; especially the extra virgin cold pressed oil. We'll get to that later as well.

There will be links to some of my research sites posted from time to time. Don't take my word for the things I'm blogging about! Go to these sites and read and or listen to this stuff for yourself. Two of my all-time favorite health crusaders, Dr. Joseph Mercol and Mike Adams ( and Dr. Mercola's website is the largest site devoted to holistic living on the web with more than 5000 pages. Mike Adams is a total HOOT! If you've never watched any of his videos or seen any of his "counter-thinker cartoons", I hope you'll go check him out. He has youtube videos as well as a weekly live pod-cast. Another website that you should investigate is which has information that will help you improve all aspects of your life; emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological. Another thing on my mile-long list of things to do is to type out my personal horror story of a prescription drug reaction that nearly killed me, my severe addiction to nutra-sweet, a twenty year addiction to cigarettes AND mercury sickness (from the fillings in my teeth)...ALL of which were overcome through the help of a local maximized living doctor by the name of Dr. Matthew Herba (

There will probably be so many links that I'll be getting posts and emails saying, "ENOUGH ALREADY!" Please, share YOUR links with me too! The thing I've always loved about the holistic community is the willingness to share resources. I find that to be the case both in "the real world" and the virtual one. Until next time: Health and Happiness to all!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Protein - From Fiction To Facts

Undeniably, protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Many Vegans and to some degree, Vegetarians worry about getting enough protein in their diets. This vital building block can be found in MANY food sources and many of those ARE plants. Do you really even know how much protein you SHOULD be eating?

Protein actually comprises about 16% of out total body-weight. Certain things like our hair and skin, muscle tissue (and connective tissue) are primarily made up of protein. It also plays a vital roll for our cells and bodily fluids. Even your DNA is partially protein. The same can be said for the enzymes, neurotransmitters and hormones.

Our bodies are pretty efficient at reusing or recycling protein but we use great quantities of it just to LIVE. Protein is made up of Amino Acids; sixteen of them to be exact. There are nine that our bodies cannot make so we have to get them elsewhere. Meat and animal by products (eggs, dairy, cheeses etc.) actually have all sixteen amino acids. But vegetables and plant bases food such as whole grains need to be eaten in combination to achieve "whole" or complete proteins.

If you eat the S.A.D (Standard American Diet) it is virtually impossible for you to be protein deficient unless you have an underlying medical condition. The dairy consumption ALONE would put most Americans at 2 or 3 times the necessary daily intake. Protein requirement is also dependent upon factors such as age, activity level and size. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day. That means that a person weighing 150 pounds should be consuming 55 grams of protein per day. This formula can be used to determine your requirement based on your own weight.

There are some situations in which we may require more protein added to our diets such as pregnancy and lactation. Growing children, the elderly, post-surgery or severe stress (trauma) often need additional protein.

As you can imagine, there are supplement manufacturers SALIVATING at the thought of all the people they can convince of the benefits of protein powders, bars, pills etc. There are so many people seeking convenience in their busy lives that these preparations seem to make sense. I suppose if the choice is a quick protein shake or skipping breakfast, the former is the better choice. It may be beneficial immediatly after a workout (one needs to actually SWEAT during this session) when the body will absorb and use the protein rapidly. Protein supplementation may be beneficial to Vegans and Vegetarians as well. However, if you pay careful attention to your vegetarian diet and include a wide variety of plant protein sources you can guard against muscle loss from lack of protein. Remember: the first "fuel" the body uses when it thinks it is being starved is muscle.

Now, if you should chose to supplement your diet with protein shakes, bars, powders or pills; you are faced with the daunting task of selecting from an overwhelming number of products. You could always ask your doctor; assuming he/she has any idea whatsoever about nutrition! You can also pop onto the internet and research some of the ingredients on the labels (which is what I do for just about everything). The most widely used source of protein used in mixes and powders is WHEY. You may also see RICE, SOY or PEA. A lot of mixes actually contain a combination of protein sources.

WHEY protein is derived from MILK. That lets it out for the Vegans! It is the most commonly used supplement. Whey protein is easily absorbed and used by the body. However, if you have lactose intolerance or dairy allergies these products are not for you. Read the label to see which type of whey you are getting. The concentrated whey is the most widely used and least expensive. It can have anywhere from 30 to 85 percent proteing. You can see that is a very wide range. A good rule of thumb when choosing a protein powder is, the less expensive it is, the lesser the amount of whey protein you may be getting. Whey Isolate is the other form and is higher in quality. Containing 90% protein, it is VERY easily absorbed by the body. It generally contains less fat and lactose as well.

Rice protein is a great choice for Vegans, Vegetarians and people with allergies because it is hypoallergenic. It is derived from brown rice and actually is a complete protein with all essential and nonessential amino acids.

Pea protein is an excellent choice for Vegans. I has no gluten, lactose, cholesterol or anti-nutritional by products. It is a highly soluble protein which makes it very easy to digest. Pea protein is vegetable based since it is derived from yellow split peas. This form of protein is also hypoallergenic. Not to get overly technical but analysis of this protein reveals a "high biological value" of 65.4% which indicates the amount of protein actually absorbed by the body. High bilogical value proteins are also excellent for nitrogen retention and immunilogical support.

Soy protein is made from Soy flour. Similar to whey in that it comes in two forms; concentrate and isolate, there are some noteable differences as well. Soy protein mimics estrogen. Three cancer studies have found "estrogen dependant tumor growth increased as the amount of soy isoflavonones increased." These studies were conducted by the National Institutes of Health. There are also studies published in 2000 by the American Association of Cancer Research which compare soy to whey. "Whey appears to be at least twice as effective as soy in reducing both tumor incidence and multiplicity." When taken with the fact that soy protein seems to disrupt thyroid function, these factors are scaring a lot of people off soy proteins. For good and valid reasons!

Whether you choose to get your protein from animal or plant-based sources there are many options available. Even though animal proteins are concidered to be of "higher biological value", plant protein sources CAN be combined to achieve the same standards as an animal-based diet. Personally, I recommend avoiding soy but you need to make that decision for yourself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

How do you like those insipid commercials about how High Fructose Corn Syrup is "just fine in moderation"? They conveniently forgot to mention that your body DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT SUBSTANCE. Once consumed, HFCS arrives IN TACT in the human liver which means you don't filter/process it. The word "moderation is a JOKE because people are comsuming this stuff by the GALLONS. It is literally in everything; even things labled as "health foods". It is the cheaptes and most widely used form of sweetener on the planet. HFCS was introduced into our food supply in the 1970's. Regardless of what the corn industry would have you believe, HCFS IS a man-made substance. It's relative inexpensiveness (compared to sugar) have made it the sweetener of choice because it increases profits for manufacturers. Some researchers believe that an astonishing 50% or MORE of peoples' daily calorie intake comes from HFCS! There are absolutely NO nutritional benefits from these calories by the way. Also, since HFCS metabolizes differently than sugar, it COULD cause an increase in triglycerides. It also blocks the the release of Leptin (the hormone our brain secretes that tells us we are full). Our tastebuds become accustomed to the exceptional sweetness of HFCS to the point that naturally sweet foods such as fresh fruits no longer satisfy. Again...the segment of our population MOST affected are our children because literally EVERYTHING marketed as a "kid food" is loaded with HFCS. It doesn't seem to be bad enough that they are being pumped full of MSG, Food Coloring, artificial flavorings, synthetic vitamins and trans fats but they need to get 100 to 200 pounds a YEAR of HFCS and sugar! No wonder the acronym for the "Standard American Diet" is S.A.D.

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Fort Myers, Florida, United States