Take Charge of Your Kitchen: Nutrition for the 21st Century


Dr. Ellen Feingold, M.D.

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Take Charge of Your Kitchen:
Nutrition for the 21st Century

by Ellen Feingold, M.D.
© Copyright 2009 by Ellen Feingold, M.D.

Introduction: Now Is The Time
    How to Use This Book
    About The Author
Table of Contents

If ever you needed to take charge of your kitchen, it is now.
We are living in a toxic age. Nothing is toxin-free. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the furniture we lay ourselves down upon to sleep, the clothing we wear touching our bodies, the cleaning products we use in every room of our homes, the medicines we ingest (ironically) to feel better, all filled with toxins. And this toxic bombardment begins even before the fetus is conceived, before conception. And that's because even the eggs in our ovaries and the sperm in our testicles are poisoned by chemical toxins.

What does all this toxicity lead to?
In some of us, because of the exquisite interaction between environment and genetics, our toxic-laden food, air, and water will lead us, after some ostensibly disease-free decades, to develop obesity, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, asthma, depression, or a myriad of other equally devastating but less common diseases, like multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and lupus erythematosus.

When we consider our unhealthful diet, we learn that its effects are cumulative, worsening with age. In a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), an unhealthful diet played a large role in the development of five of the ten leading chronic diseases* of older adults. Nutritional deficiencies and sub-clinical malnutrition "...could result in more rapid deterioration of health and early death."**

* Hypertension, all types of heart disease, coronary heart disease cancer, diabetes.

** Health Eating Index Scores Among Adults, 60 Years of Age and Over, by Sociodemographic and Health Characteristics: United States, 1999-2002, National Center for Health Statistics, May, 20, 2008, p 1.

The underlying malady is chronic inflammation.
Chronic diseases develop, medical science tells us, as a result of chronic inflammation. This is the main underlying factor, the common pathway, leading to all the chronic, degenerative diseases from which we are prone to die. These awful, debilitating diseases include the top five killers of American adults: heart disease (including hypertension), cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema), and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Chronic inflammation plays its major role in many of the 'lesser killers' too, like Alzheimer's disease and kidney and liver failure.

That's not the end of the story. Chronic inflammation also plays a prominent role in making obesity the killer it is, as well as helping to make arthritis live up to its painful and tragic reputation. And it is an important factor in the increasingly common immune system diseases, like autoimmune diseases (hypothyroidism is found in epidemic proportions and gluten sensitivity is becoming more prevalent) and allergies (both inhalant and ingestion, also occurring in epidemic numbers).

Why does chronic inflammation occur?
The reason why chronic inflammation occurs is because so many elements in our lifestyles poison us. Everything we do, from breathing impure air, to drinking contaminated water, to eating too much food containing too many toxic chemicals, to inhaling millions too many allergens every day, to eating fewer fruits and vegetables than needed to sustain good health*, are lifestyle choices that we, consciously or unconsciously, are responsible for making.

* For quantity recommendations on fruits and vegetables please see Chapter 3: Fruits and Vegetables.

Our bodies' biologic response to being poisoned with toxic chemicals is to mount the survival response called inflammation. This inflammation response occurs in every organ of our bodies. When inflammation becomes chronic, biologic organisms, like ourselves, get into all sorts of trouble.

Does chronic inflammation affect longevity?
Medical research has shown, beyond doubt, that people, on average, will live fourteen years longer adapting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. That is the reason I created my Longevity Diet and Lifestyle Program*.

* For my entire program, please see Chapter 8: Putting it all together into My Longevity Diet and Lifestyle Program.

What is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle?
The elements of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle are preventive actions that you take to avoid chronic degenerative diseases later on in life. I call them good health practices:

  • Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables* and consume a nutritionally healthy diet

* For recommendations of amounts of fruits and vegetables, please see Chapter 3. The majority of adults in the U.S. do not consume even at the very least 2 portions of fruits and 3portions of vegetables daily. Now that the recommendations for daily portions of fruits and vegetables have increased to 10 (and soon will be 13!!), only a handful of Americans achieve this level.

  • Increasing your daily physical exercise to at least 30 minutes every day
  • Drinking alcohol moderately*

* For definitions of alcohol in moderation, please see Chapter 3, What to Drink.

  • No smoking and no use of any tobacco products
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Taking time for daily relaxation techniques
  • Seeking humor and love in everyday life
  • Seeking calm and beauty in surroundings
  • Practicing a positive outlook on life
  • Engaging in activities for intellectual stimulation
  • Doing things for other people
  • Performing daily oral health prevention activities
  • Avoiding risky behaviors (like unprotected sexual intercourse, riding at unsafe speeds and without a seat belt)
  • Avoiding all illicit drugs
  • Participating in preventive health testing.*

* Adapted from The Complete Self-Care Guide to Homeopathy, Herbal Remedies and Nutritional Supplements, by Dr. Ellen Feingold, 2008, p 2). For a healthy life, you will need to incorporate all the tenets of my Longevity Diet and Lifestyle Program. You will find my complete Longevity Diet and Lifestyle Program in Chapter 8: Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance.

What can you do to start on the anti-inflammatory journey?
I have developed Take Charge of Your Kitchen: Nutrition for the 21st Century to lead you step-by-step, towards a nontoxic kitchen, the greatest gift you can give your children, your entire family, yourself. I will teach you the answers to why, what, when, how, and how much*. It will help you to modulate and reduce the degree to which chronic inflammation damages yourself and your family.

* "Food is by far the most powerful clinical intervention in chronic disease. Learn to apply, and use it skillfully." From "The Right Order of Things: Peeling The Onion of Chronic Disease", by Mark A. Hyman, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, March /April 2009, vol. 15, No.2, pp18-20.

By this very decision, your decision to feed your family healthy foods, in a healthy way, in healthy amounts, you will prevent the development of eating disorders and obesity* in your children, your spouse or partner, and yourself. And not only obesity, but you've got a chance to prevent all those chronic, degenerative ailments that plague ours and our children's futures.

* Did you know? Your young children have the dubious distinction to be the only generation in the history of America whose longevity will likely actually decrease, probably by about 5.6 years.
Why? Childhood obesity is the reason for the decline in longevity. Childhood obesity is associated with a high risk for adolescent obesity. And adolescent obesity is associated with an even higher probability for adult obesity. And adult obesity often comes at the price of decreased longevity.
Some of the worst consequences of obesity occur in the child and adolescent. Along with obesity comes an increased risk for early puberty. Along with early puberty comes an increase in risky behaviors, many of which are self-destructive. Girls who undergo early puberty have the equipment without the cognitive development to process risks and consequences.

We, you and I, are going on an adventure together, focusing on nutrition for the 21st century, and learning to implement what we know. You'll find all the facts, the medical research, the shopping hints and guides, the recipes for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older persons. We'll start in the kitchen because that's the focal point of healthy eating. You will gain control of our entire toxic environment by gaining control of your kitchen. The process will take us to your supermarkets, your bakeries, your gourmet food stores, your preschools and schools, your churches and synagogues.

You will be prepared to give the gift of a healthy future to yourself and to your family. There is no greater gift.

Now, let's get down to learning how to Take Charge of Your Kitchen.

How To Use This Book
Taking charge of your kitchen in the 21st century is a process, an odyssey, a lifetime of travels towards health for your family and yourself. It's not something that happens overnight. Although many people will sit down and read this book cover-to-cover, it's not the only way to start making healthy changes. You can read just the parts that interest you currently, while you keep faith with yourself that you will return to other parts as they begin to grab your interest. You can look up specific topics in the Index or use the Table of Contents to direct your readings more generally. You can let your curiosity guide you through.

The main thrust is that you start someplace. Trust yourself to know where to start and when to begin the changes* that will help you to strengthen your family and yourself.

* But, remember that it's never a good idea to make too many changes all at once. The results can be overwhelming and discouraging. Mike McHugh, the first reader for this book, reminds me that it's like the old riddle, "How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time." For more advice on how to start making changes, please refer to Chapter 1, When To Start.

About The Author
Dr. Ellen Feingold is the author of The Complete Self-Care Guide to Homeopathy, Herbal Remedies, and Nutritional Supplements. She is a M.D. physician, a board-certified pediatrician, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics for more than 40 years. She now practices homeopathy, herbal medicine and nutritional therapies exclusively, in her private practice where her patients of all ages come with all manner of ailments.

Throughout Dr. Feingold's varied professional career, nutrition has been her touchstone, the underlying reason why her therapies are so effective in restoring health. Her premise is that if her patients' personal nutritional programs are unhealthy, homeopathy and the rest of alternative medicine cannot hope to restore health.

Dr. Feingold's deeply personal connection with healthy nutrition stems from her maternal aunt, Aeda Zwillich, (may she rest in peace) who, ahead of her times by at least a quarter century, led a nutritionally sound life for close to 100 years. She was Dr. Feingold's first nutrition teacher. This book is dedicated to her memory.

You may contact Dr. Feingold via her website: drellenfeingold.com


To my aunt, my mother's sister, Aeda Zwillich, who was my first and longest-running teacher of good health through nutrition, with great appreciation for your energy, wisdom, and wit. You were decades ahead of your time. And even today you would be! I wish you were here, still teaching me what you know.


This is where I say thank you, thank you, thank you, to the special people who made this book come to life.

My husband Michael, my best friend. My encourager, my one-person cheering section. Michael and I have carried on a healthy lifestyle conversation for all of our married life. Michael is and always was the food shopper in our family. He collaborated with me to write Chapter 4: How to Shop for Food.

Felicia Marjorie Feingold Seaton, my daughter and teacher. My nutritional interests, present throughout my life, widened and intensified as a result of this amazing woman.

Jessica Gay Weiner Feingold, my daughter-in-law and prime motivator to write this book. This book's genesis was spawned by the ideas of this resourceful, resilient, remarkable woman.

Mike McHugh, my first reader. His incisive comments always led me back to the manuscript, making it better.

Ellen Mae Pell, Rhoda Dombchick, Phoebe Mont, Miriam Burr. As my steadfast friends, they always encouraged and supported my efforts.

Anonymous managers and clerks at ShopRite Supermarket and Trader Joe's, both on Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, who always answered my questions as I learned more and more about foods that feed Americans.

Friends and family members, both in the U.S.A. and Israel, who contributed recipes and tips throughout this book.

Table of Contents

Introduction Now Is The Time
    How to Use This Book
    About The Author
Chapter 1 Nutrition for the 21st Century:
It All Starts in Your Kitchen

    Family Mealtimes
    When to Start
    Ways to Encourage Enjoyment of New Foods
Chapter 2 Why Do We Eat?
    What Is Ordered Eating?
    Rules of Ordered Eating
    The Trick: Prepare Ahead
Chapter 3 What to Eat
    Fruits and Vegetables
    The Colorful Diet
    Organic vs Non-Organic
    Carbohydrates: Complex vs Simple
    Whole Grains and Fiber
    Sugar Substitutes
    Food Colorings and Food Preservatives
    Food Allergies and Sensitivities
    Fats and Oils and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Vitamins and Minerals
    Healthy Culinary Spices
    Processed Foods, Prepared Foods, Fast Foods, Salty Foods
    What to Drink
Chapter 4 How to Shop for Food
    Cardinal Rules for Food Shopping
    Getting The Most Quality and Quantity For Your Money
    Grab your Cart, Let's Shop Around The Perimeter
    Grab your Cart, Let's Shop Down the Aisles
Chapter 5 When to Eat
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks
Chapter 6 Where to Eat Outside Your Home
    Eating Out / Ordering In
    Fast Food
    Tips For Preventing Calorie and Salt Overload When
        Eating Out in All Types of Restaurants
Chapter 7 How Much to Eat
Chapter 8 Healthy Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance
    Your Daily Nutritional Program: The Longevity Diet
        and Lifestyle Program
Chapter 9 Healthy Nutrition For a Lifetime
    Healthy Nutrition During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
    Healthy Nutrition for Infants, Toddlers, Children
        and Adolescents
    Healthy Nutrition for Elderly Persons
Chapter 10 Safe Handling and Cooking of Food
    What are Foodborne Illnesses?
    Tips for Safe and Healthy Food Preparation and Cooking
    Tips for Healthy Cooking
Appendix Books To Read Next
    Recommended Books on Nutrition and Weight Loss
        for the 21st Century
    Recommended Cookbooks
    Recommended Websites, News Letters and Magazines