Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mind Body Green: Good and Bad...or at least funny

There is a site called Mind Body Green that I first came across through an interest in yoga. It's one of those group-blog-like sites with articles from lots of different people on lots of different topics, mostly in the health-and-wellness genre. It's definitely a site that requires reading with a critical eye as many of the sources are more anecdote and opinion than rigorous science. But some of the contributors are MD's and PhD's. If, like me, you're looking for some yoga tips or meditation exercises there are worse places you could look. However, some Mind Body Green articles make me cringe.

I'll start with one I liked:

Don't Blame Big Food For Our Health Problems, Just Stop Buying Crap

The title is fairly self explanatory.  What I love about this article and others like it is the message regarding personal responsibility.The gist is this: companies can only sell what we are willing to buy. If you don't like it don't buy it. Change will come with knowledge and choice, not laws and restrictions. Companies want to make money. This is not evil. In fact, it can work in your favour.  

The same goes for non-food items. For example, some years ago, a warning was going around that cheap candles made in china were being found to have lead in them (same is true of some made-in-china chinaware by the way). Even if selling these candles were made illegal immediately (cause, you know, the government works fast like that) who is checking every candle coming out of china for lead in the wick? Personally, I didn't wait for anyone fix the candles. I just stopped buying cheap, made-in-china candles. So did a lot of other people. When we know better, we do better. Higher quality, locally-made candles are now a lot easier to find than they were 5-10 years ago, because that's what people are willing to pay for.

Now for some Mind Body Green articles that make me laugh (and roll my eyes):

1) A Raw Chocolate Caramel Pie To Die For;

2) 3-Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches;

3) This Is The Mother Of All Vegan Mac-N-Cheese Recipes.

Before I elaborate let me say, I am not writing this from either a 'pro' or 'anti' stance on veganism, raw foods, paleo, or any other diet/lifestyle. I am in no position to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't eat. If you have found a diet that works for you and it falls into one of these categories (or doesn't), awesome.

What raises my eyebrows when it comes to these recipes is the names. If you have chosen not to eat a particular food, why go to such great lengths to pretend you are still eating it?

1) Caramel definition: a liquid made by cooking sugar until it changes color, used for coloring and flavoring food. Note the word 'cooked' in the definition. There is no such thing as raw caramel. If it is raw, then it is not caramel. In this recipe, the 'caramel' layer is made up of macadamias, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. That is not to say this pie wouldn't be delicious; why not call it chocolate coconut pie?  I also feel the need to point out that maple syrup is made by boiling tree sap--not exactly 'raw' either. You might as well eat real caramel. They are both cooked sugar. 

2) Ice Cream definition: a frozen food containing cream or milk and butterfat, sugar, flavoring,and sometimes eggs.The only thing that could make ice cream less vegan would be if it was steak flavoured. The three ingredients in this recipe are: bananas, strawberries, and oats. All good things, but it's a fruit-ice sandwich not an ice cream sandwich.

3) Cheese definition: the curd of milk separated from the whey and prepared in many ways as a food. And to make the mac-'n-cheese sauce creamy one traditionally adds milk, cream, and/or butter. Need I say more?

(Definitions from

As for this one:

A Kale Smoothie That Tastes Like Ice Cream

I call bullshit ;-)


  1. Thanks so much for visiting and deciding to follow my blog. Looks like there's lots to explore here on yours!!! A word, though, about kale smoothies as made by the blogger you linked to: she's only got a cup of shredded kale (practically nothing) hidden in a mix of two bananas, lots of dates, maple syrup, cashews and vanilla flavoring. Although I've never made it, trust me: judging by the very pale green color of the result, you'd hardly know the kale was there at all. Of course, whether or not you like dates, cashews, vanilla, bananas and maple syrup is another story….

  2. You're probably right that it doesn't taste like kale, but I don't think it would meet my expectations for ice cream either :)