Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fit Piglet’s GMO Briefing

GMO is not just another buzz word; it’s serious business. Someone is playing with your food before it gets to you, and I’m certainly have some feelings about that. There are a lot of arguments and politics around this subject, but for now, I’m only interested in discussing how it personally effects you and your family. So let’s first establish, what does GMO mean?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Selected individual genes are transferred from one organism to another, even between non-related species. These methods are used to create genetically modified plants – which are then used to grow GM food crops.


The initial objective for developing plants based on GM organisms was to improve crop protection; introducing chemical products in the name of insect resistance, virus resistance, and herbicide tolerance.

Here’s how it goes down:

“Gene insertion into plants is done by shooting cells with a “gene gun” or using bacteria to infect the cells. Then the cells are cloned into plants. The DNA of GMOs, for example, can have hundreds or thousands of mutations, and the activity of up to 5% of their natural genes can be significantly changed. Even the inserted gene can be damaged or rearranged, creating proteins that trigger allergies or promote disease.”

The list of studied health effects for GMO is long, and still new. What we find out over the long term has yet to be seen. For now, here is a short list of health risks associated with these foods:

Reduced digestive enzymes, impaired digestion
Reproductive problems, fertility problems
Decreased immune function
Accelerated aging
Increased, uncontrollable allergy symptoms

GMO food companies created a false perceived advantage that translated to the consumer as lower prices and/or greater benefit (more durable/increased nutritional value). Recent studies are showing this to be false. The truth is, you get what you pay for.


So now what? Where do we go from here? How do we know what is what? The best place to start – awareness. Spread the word! Most people don’t realize that there are GM ingredients in an estimated 70% or more of all processed food. Here are a few tips to keep you a step ahead:

~Eat Freshitarian! Buy and consume whole, organic foods. Prepare simple, delicious meals for yourself. Inflate your imagination and maximize nutritional benefits.

~The major GMO crops are soy, corn, canola, cotton, sugar beets, rice, and alfalfa. Each has added bacterial genes, allowing plants to survive a deadly dose of weed killer, like Roundup; avoid them. Also, Hawaiian papaya and a small amount of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are engineered to resist a plant virus, so watch those labels… Which brings me to my next tip!

~Know the secret produce codes! If it’s a 4-digit number, the food is conventionally produced. If it is a 5-digit number beginning with an 8, it is GM. However, do not trust that GM items will have a PLU identifying it as such, because labeling is optional – for now. If it is a 5-digit number beginning with a 9, it’s organic. There is a pop quiz on this later… Squeal! Just kidding!

~If you must purchase a labeled product, be sure the label says 100% organic. Also, just because something says “organic” on it does not mean that it doesn’t contain GMs. In fact, it can still contain up to 30% GMs, so be sure the labels say organic.

~And finally, shop local. While more than half of all GM foods are produced in the US, most of it comes from big time, industrial farms. This Saturday, visit your local market and talk to the farmer. Ask them about their farming practices and feelings about GM foods.

Remember, eating fruits and vegetables is what’s really important. So if organic or local farmers markets are not available to you, just do the best you can. Always clean and trim all your produce, get lots of exercise, and plenty of rest. Healthy is the new skinny! Oink!

The Freshitarian Lifestyle ~ Who? What? How?

We’ve heard of Vegetarian and Vegan; even Flexitarian. So now, what does it mean to eat Freshiarian style? It’s exactly as it sounds. Food that is fresh; not processed or preserved.

In my book, “Fit with Flavor, your Guide to the Freshitarian Lifestyle,” I explain how to transition from a fast paced, on the go existence, to a new way of thinking and eating. Being in the right frame of mind, and ideally, the with the support and participation of everyone in the household, this can easily go from fantasy to reality. Oink!

So where to begin… I believe we all deserve to know what we’re purchasing, but more importantly, what we’re willing to put consume. Most of us are very confused, and rightfully so. We have so many contradictory truths on television shows, commercials, radio ads and print advertising like magazines and newspapers. We have also been taught to overlook ‘healthy’ and that ‘skinny and lean’ is what’s important. This has created some deep holes in our hearts and no matter what our weight, some people still struggle with poor body image. It’s all relative. Being so weight-loss focused, we have lost our creative and intuitive abilities in regards to health and wellness.

Education is of the upmost importance. No one wants to be deceived. Food and marketing companies conspire to find new ways to keep you as a customer and purchase their products. They know the new trends and key words that will get your attention, labeling things low sugar, high protein, low carb, low calorie, gluten free, etc… Learn to effectively read labels, and if you can’t pronounce some of the words on the ingredients list, I highly recommend reconsidering your purchase. When we use our knowledge, we are empowered to make better decisions.

The goal of the Freshitarian lifestyle is to avoid consuming pesticides, preservatives, food colorings, flavorings, and other factory made wanna-be food products. The best case scenario is 100% fresh, organic food pulled from the ground or off of a tree. Our society keeps us so busy that this may seem extreme or unrealistic. With that said, we  move toward “better,” simply reducing our labeled product consumption, and adding more fresh, earthy elements to our menu everyday. In the beginning, try aiming for a grocery cart that’s 60-70% fresh food, with no ingredients label, and 30-40% labeled products.


For a better understanding, review the effective eating questionnaire on pages 18-19 of my book, ‘Fit with Flavor.’ Begin by considering these answers when meal planning; that’s a really great place to start. It can be very eye opening when we start tracking what foods make us feel low energy, bloated, and acidic, verses foods that energize us and help us vibrate higher. The more earth foods we eat, the more we increase our vibration, which increases our quality of life. That’s the Freshitarian lifestyle and I’ve seen it work on so many levels, with so many families. Do it for you. Do it for the family. It’s a Fit Piglet Revolution! Squeal!