June 2008

In a weeks' time I will be running my 2nd half marathon, which for those of you who don't know is 13.1 miles. This has been a great motivator for me to get outside and hit the pavement. Find something that interests you and motivates you this summer, whether it is going for a hike on vacation or participating in a bike-a-thon in your area, now is a great time get moving and take advantage of these warm summer months.

Congratulations to Jonathan Killgore for winning the May contest, in which he successfully listed 5 of the 12 foods that one should buy organic. He has won a brand new reusable grocery tote as well as a 3oz sample bottle of the new Amalaki health drink - Zrii www.eatlivelaugh.com/zrii
-Amy Vermeer-

" A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs."

~ Joan Welsh

This month's issue

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What you need to know about MSG - Monosodium Glutamate

MSG is a flavor enhancer found in countless foods, in many restaurants and in some cases school cafeterias. Now for the more technical explanation (consider yourself warned): MSG is a single sodium salt of glutamic acid. This seaweed extract, is now commonly produced chemically through the fermentation of sugar or molasses. Symptoms associated with the ingestion of MSG can range from headaches, agitation, tightness in the chest, increased heart rate and numbness or tingling. With these symptoms being what an adult experiences, imagine the impact on small children. Infant formulas and baby food contain MSG, which with babies being four times more sensitive than adults I would refer to MSG as a poison as they are most at risk.

The FDA currently has MSG on their "Generally Recognized As Safe" list as a food additive. To top it off over 85 million pounds of MSG are added to the overall US food supply each year!! To avoid the intake of MSG, you must read labels and also remain aware that MSG exists in common foods from soups and crackers to candy and a variety of process foods found in your local grocery store. Some good examples of these are your standard packaged sliced meats and hot dogs. You should also beware of salad dressings and sauces. For a powerful 6 minute video to that speaks to more of the affects of MSG please view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xph84bNde1U
For a great MSG-Free taco seasoning, please see the recipe of the month.

Get Fit

This time of year it is as if the excuses to skip a workout seem more acceptable. Either it is so beautiful out that you don't want to be inside the gym OR it is too hot out to do anything, especially anything that will make you break a sweat voluntarily. The weather doesn't care or notice whether or not you workout, but your body will. If hitting the beach this summer isn't enough motivation to keep you on track, try these tips::

  • Mix up your workout-Try a new class, machine, or route. You will be amazed at what muscles you are not working
  • Play like a child-Jump rope, ride a bike, swim, do jumping jacks
  • Pump up your music-With the right mix in hand you will (almost) never want to stop
  • Wake Up-A morning workout is gift from the Gods. Sure it might be painful getting up early, but once you are done you are done. and now you're afternoon/evening is free

Recipe of the Month
MSG-Free Taco Season

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: n/a
Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
1-2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp cumin


  1. Combine all ingredients and run through blender
  2. Use 2 Tbsp and 1/2 cup water to 1 lb. of meat
  3. Simmer 10 minutes

Giving Back

How far can a dollar get you? Would you believe me if I told you, you could have one tree planted for every dollar donated in the Atlantic Forest? This forest is one of the greatest repositories of biodiversity on earth, rivaling that of the Amazon, which is located in Brazil. There is only 7% of the forest remaining, which means there is a huge need to help revive this once abundant forest. Tropical forests are the lungs of our earth and the Atlantic forest at one time held an important role to help regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate. To start having you trees planted please visit www.plantabillion.org

Action Items:
  • I continue to encourage you to read your labels while at the grocery store. Avoid products that list MSG, look for alternatives or in some cases look at making your own
  • Take a look at the great tips given this month in our new "Get Fit" section by Lis Soltes
  • Want to help regulate our climate and keep our air free of carbon dioxide? Plant a tree or five! To date there have been over 320,000 planted but we have a long way to go.

Forward to a Friend

It is such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

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Eat, Live Laugh newsletters are intended for overall general wellbeing. If you have condition specific concerns please feel free to contact me.