Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.21.11 AMEveryday, I read articles and listen to radio shows to help keep my food knowledge sharp so I can share it with others. I am often encouraging people to follow the advice of esteemed author Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Well, guess what? I just learned that I had to radically change my diet to help with my sensitivity to salicylates, and now, most plants are a no-go, and mostly organic protein and butter are a yes-go, for me.

Salicylate sensitivities can develop for various reasons, but women whose hormones are changing, can be very susceptible to this sensitivity.

I’m now on what is called the, FAILSAFE Diet. This link explains the diet and its raison d’etre, but there are many nuances so I highly recommend you speak with a healthcare practitioner of your choice, to learn more about what is right for you. In my case, I am following the diet without any carbs at the moment, and definitely no legumes, because of the lectins.

In four days, I am already feeling like a new person. I am sleeping better. I do not feel bloated, and am feeling clearer and sharper in my thinking. So many foods can cause a sort of brain-fog, namely wheat. I wasn’t aware I had brain-fog as badly as I did, until I started following the FAILSAFE Diet.

If you have symptoms such as mine (bloatedness, joint stiffness, brain-fog, etc.) you may be interested to read more about the FAILSAFE Diet in the link I shared above, and by running a search or two. As a whole and natural foods chef, I would never have considered this diet (i.e. mostly devoid of plants), but in doing so, it has made a huge improvement to my health and well-being.





I recently wrote this statement on one of my Facebook posts and decided to write about it further.

We live in a time when people seem to think that it’s okay (for example) to snag a taxi from you when they are clear that the cab is headed toward you. As long as the cab stealer does not make eye contact with you, then he feels he’s free and clear to do as he pleases and well, to (blank) with you.

I say, he, because I had this happen to me one windy, fall, Friday evening when I was dressed in black tie, with no cabs in sight. As “my” cab was heading toward me, this guy jumped out and took “my” cab. I went awkwardly running toward him in my 5″ inch heels and long gown saying, “Hey, that taxi is for me!” Quel surprise, he didn’t care. He quickly slid into the back seat hoping the cab driver would drive away fast enough for me not to be able to make eye contact with him. As he was closing the cab door, I stuck my head in and said, “Are you kidding me? You’re seriously going to take this cab? Come on buddy, I’ve been standing here waiting” Then I said, “I can see you, you know!” As if my saying “I can see you,” while making eye contact with him was somehow going to get this guy to grow a conscience. No surprise, he was unimpressed with my raw NYC bravery to confront the cab villain, and off he went.

What is it about our culture that has people think this is okay behaviour? Is it the same thing that has people not want to know about or think about how that food got to their table? Why are we so adverse to the truth, and so addicted to denial?

It’s hard to be in the food truth movement without sounding like an overbearing mother, the “Eat your vegetables” kind. I know there is a lot to contend with these days, with our air, our food, and our water being toxified, polluted, and degraded. It’s a lot, but is the answer to just ignore it hoping it will just go away? Is the answer to keep eating the factory farmed animals that are fed GMO corn with glyphosate that causes every known problem, condition, disease, and ailment imaginable? How is it better to ignore this, or rather I should say, for how long is it better? Like the guy who steals a woman’s cab, do we really think we can get away with making choices and taking actions that have an adverse affect on ourselves, other people, and the planet?

It used to be that the few were spoiled by the many, but the many usually had good values, and made ethical choices. Now, sadly, it seems those many are the few. The few who still have a conscience and who are still willing and able to act on their conscience accordingly. As grown adults, who’s holding us in check when we misbehave other than our own conscience?

The downline problems that come with poor choices are not going to go away by pretending they don’t exist today, or by not making eye contact with them. Just because you’re not looking at them does not mean they don’t see you.

Choose wisely what you eat, and be mindful of how it got to your table. Let’s bring a conscious movement back to our food choices and have that be the rule rather than the exception to the rule, and while we’re at it, let’s see if we can get people to be more conscientious about stealing cabs too. Hey, it’s worth a shot!

Thank you.

Sharon, T H E E C O C H E F



Me in NGI Chef's JacketWe’re a nation obsessed with food.┬áThe Food Network would not exist nor would it do so well, if we weren’t.

Is there anything wrong with that? Well, no. I am a certified chef and I love food. If I had to watch TV and had a choice between a cooking show and most other shows, I’d choose the cooking show, of course. I love watching them to see how a chef prepares a meal and what techniques they are using. Especially on CHOPPED, I am always enthralled by how quickly the chefs come up with the next course. Aren’t you? I could not do that. It is not one of my culinary talents. But in my observation, the focus of these shows, and the many cooking magazines, is not on the quality of the ingredients, just on ingredients.

So, is there anything wrong with that? Well, I believe it’s a big missing element. These shows have peaked everyone’s interest and have given people a passion for food and cooking. They’ve made it very sexy to cook. Everyone is a chef-in-the-making. But very few of these shows, if any, focus on the source and the quality of the ingredients, or how to use them properly. There are many raw and natural food-ists that shun at heating oils above a certain temperature, let alone using certain oils – like canola oil. I am a non-canola oil chef. Why, because I do not believe it is good for our health. Besides the fact that canola oil comes from a hybridized version of the rapeseed, there is debate about the process used to hybridize the plant . Most importantly, canola oil is usually highly processed and GMO. Even if it is cold, expeller pressed, organic canola oil, I don’t use it. There are far too many other oils that are sexier: coconut oil for cooking and hemp oil for salads.

But back to the cooking shows and our culture’s newfound passion (obsession) with food. While it’s great to see people embrace cooking so much, it would warm my heart to see them take it one-step further, and really learn about the source and the quality of the ingredients they are using: Organic; local; sustainable; grass-fed; pasture raised and pasture finished; fresh. These are the buzz words that come to mind.

And in addition to the source and quality of the ingredients, how the ingredients are prepared is also important, and in this case I am referring to grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These must be soaked in order to remove the nutrient inhibitors they contain. I am not aware of any cooking show using these items in the proper way; therefore, people are working with these items in a manner that is actually harmful to their gut health. Yes. They might as well buy a loaf of homemade bread at the bakery, rather than bake it at home, if they are using flour that does not come from a sprouted grain. And, none of the cooking shows talk about the water used in cooking. Distilled and properly filtered water are crucial to preparing a truly healthy meal, but it’s usually tap water that’s used on the cooking shows. Tap water that has chlorine and fluoride – two known carcinogens, that are also damaging to gut health.

So, you see, there are steps and instructions that are missing.

I don’t necessarily live-to-eat, as much as I live to source the healthiest food possible, and prepare it in a nourishing and loving way for my body and my soul. I regard food as a blessing. I guess you could say I live-to-love-food and its preparation, and in doing so, love my body. My wish for everyone that loves food, and cooking, is that they are inspired to take it to the next level, and learn to source quality food and ingredients.

Sharon, T H E C O C H E F