Friday, September 19, 2014

Working out the kinks

I am going to need to figure out how to edit this, as I'm not Dr. Carl... so its really not "Dr. Carl's" blog, its the Natures Express blog... But do you care?

Things at the restaurant are going well. We have a new lease, food is coming out well, the team is amazing, and we are all having fun! The customers love us again, and though sales have been down since the changeover, morale is up! Because the food is coming out well.

There were a lot of things said about the changeover that were not true, and I would urge people to think about what may or may not be true. Natures express is far from extinct, as some have suggested...

J Levine,

Monday, August 25, 2014

Changes and improvements

You may have heard that some things have changed, or some rumors.
Well, there have been some changes and there are some rumors. I've sold natures express, as my time to devote to the project has been "slim-to-none" for the last couple of years. Three people were laid off, not fired as some suggested. New management has taken quite a bit of flack for no valid reason. I understand that the employees were angry, but in the restaurant business anger is generally not a sentiment to "take public" but I appreciated all who worked hard under my employ.

There were no qualified candidates to hand off management to from within, as my head chef turned the job down. I found some buyers who are dedicated to my vision of sustainable healthy vegan food. Their choice of management is excellent, and the people from Donut Farm (Pepples Vegan Donuts) serve some of the best non-gmo vegan food in the state as well as run a 100% organic vegan bakery.
Pepples is an Alameda county certified green business, as Natures' Express hopes to be soon.
I hope to encourage all who enjoy the food at Natures' Express to encourage Mr. Levine and his team as they forge ahead, and make my vision an economically sustainable one for the first time.

Please continue to support the restaurant, as our recipes, food, vision, and mission is indeed the same.
Onward and upward, all of us, and God save the kale!

Dr. Myers

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sustainable Tuna. Is there such a thing?

I used to really love fishing. Sometimes I even fantasized about the future when I would have both the time to fish and some grandkids to show how to wait patiently for a bite.

I also loved to eat seafood – tuna steaks and lobsters were my favorites. But after becoming vegetarian 20 years ago, I quit eating seafood. While occasionally I still miss eating fish, I really miss fishing.

A while back, I went to the Seattle Aquarium with my two grandsons. I find aquariums fascinating, now loving fish for the fish themselves – the incredible variety, their stunning beauty, and their joy (I presume) to be alive. While I still feel sad that my fantasy of fishing with the grandkids isn’t going to happen, sharing the wonders of the life of the sea brought joy to all.

However, when lunchtime arrived, I found the cafeteria disquieting. While my opinions represent a minority perspective, it now seems odd that after showing us how wonderful sea creatures are and how our fishing practices are ruining their habitat, I am supposed to revel in the fact that certain fish are not yet endangered, so eat up! At one time that perspective made perfect sense to me as well.

When we got home, I did a little research on sustainable fishing. The Monterey Aquarium has extensive consumer information as a guide. What I found was disconcerting.

For example, under Albacore Tuna (one of seven kinds of tuna the Monterey Aquarium discusses) their summary table advises:

  • The best choice is U.S. Pacific or Canadian Pacific albacore tuna caught by troll or “pole and line.”
  • Avoid all longline albacore caught anywhere in the world (except Hawaii). This is a problem because this method of fishing tends to catch older fish that have accumulated too much mercury.
  • Avoid even “wild-caught” albacore in the North Atlantic.
  • At a retail level canned white tuna is both a “best choice” and an “avoid.”
  • All the other market names they give – Longfin Tunny, Shiro Maguro, and Tombo are also confusingly both a “best choice” and an “avoid.”

So, all of the market names are both the best and the worst!

The bottom line is that consumers wanting to learn about sustainable or healthier albacore tuna find information that is, at best, confusing. And if the world of tuna eaters all ate just the tuna from the U.S. or Canada Pacific, how long would that be sustainable? Does this seem nuts to anyone else?

If you want a truly sustainable tuna sandwich – try ours. There is no threat to the health or the population of Garbanzo Beans (the base of our “hold the Tuna”) – that we know of.

Bon app├ętit!

By Dr. Carl Myers

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our kids deserve a better world

Our children live in an obesogenic world. That is the medical term for the things in our environment that make us fat.

The causes behind the child obesity epidemic include a sedentary lifestyle plus a diet that is:High in sugar

· High in fat

· High in salt

· Low in fiber

The average 8 year old watches 4000 junk food commercials a year encouraging them to eat the worst of the worst. After 4000 commercials, who is going to listen to Mom?

No surprise - high fat and high sugar diets create fat kids.

Children 40 years ago rarely had high cholesterol, hypertension, or glucose intolerance. Now 60% of kids who are overweight have at least one of these problems. Obesity in kids also increases asthma, liver dysfunction, sleep apnea and Type II diabetes.

We have known this for years, so why does the problem of childhood obesity continue to get worse? Some blame the schools, some blame the parents, and some blame the soda companies or fast food joints.

Kids have a sugar habit even before they start school. Four year olds eat over 60 pounds of sugar per year – 40 pounds more than recommended. What can be done?

The 5-2-1-Almost None Program is a fantastic start.

It stresses a daily routine for kids with 5 or more fruits and vegetables, no more than two hours of screen time, at least one hour of physical activity, and almost no sugary beverages.

It’s time to leave the obesogenic world behind!

Make the 5-2-1-Almost None guidelines the healthy choice for your family.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Change your world one step at a time

Do you have a bad habit that you would like to change? Experts divide a
person’s readiness for change into six groups:

1. “I don’t want to change” (Precontemplation)
2. “I might consider changing” (Contemplation)
3. “I’m planning on how to change” (Preparation)
4. “I’ve changed” (Making the break)
5. “I don’t want to go back to the way I was ” (Maintenance)
6. “I’m thoroughly changed” (Transformation)

Understanding one’s readiness greatly increases the chance for success
and each stage requires a different approach.

In stage 1, before one is really ready to change you might ask
yourself, “If I were to stop, why would I? Common answers include “To
save money” or “To be a better influence on my kids”. Such “what if”
questions plant the seeds for future change.

In Stage 2, one is ready to think about change. Collecting all the facts is
helpful at this stage. Comparing the gap between one’s principles and
one’s actions can generate motivation.

In stage 3, when planning one’s strategy for change it is helpful to be
inspired by others’ who have kicked your habit. Learning from your
own previous attempts is also key. Let your friends know your plans
and elicit help along the way. Create a rallying cry. For instance “This
Christmas I will once again be a size 10!”

When you are actually ready to start a change, make sure you are
prepared. Spur of the moment action plans are unlikely to succeed. Set
the stage for success by developing and sticking to your comprehensive

Stage 5, the maintenance stage, requires vigilance. Overconfidence is
the biggest cause of slipping up. For example, learn to celebrate in new
ways - even if it means avoiding your previous drinking buddies. Like a
boy scout, be prepared. If you slip, get right back on your plan. Don’t get
derailed for good.

Tackling an addiction can be the most difficult obstacle one ever faces -
but freedom when one succeeds is ever so sweet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We all live in a nanny submarine

Healthy Yuma 2011 is a community effort to help those opting for healthier lifestyle choices. This raises some concerns.

Is this a “nanny state” effort? Is this a misguided project trying to exert excessive control over people’s lives? Shouldn’t we let everyone come to their own conclusions? After all, don’t people already know what foods are healthy?

Unfortunately we already live in a “nanny” state. Government strongly influences what we eat through billions of dollars of direct and indirect agriculture subsidies. Less than 5% of that money goes to the most healthy, highly nutritious foods, while the rest goes to less healthy food or pure junk.

You can see the result of this subsidy imbalance everywhere. Our employee break rooms are toxic food dumps while our celebrations are sugar on top of sugar. Our daily food routines overcome our natural tendency to be fit and healthy, leaving us fighting those extra pounds of fat.

So our current governmental nanny is alive and well, supporting a food
environment where our kids are addicted to soda and salty snacks even before they are out of diapers. Our nanny has revolutionized our children’s diseases as well. Thirty years ago hypertension and high cholesterol was rare. Doctors even needed to rename adult onset diabetes as Type II diabetes because it is now a disease of kids, too.

The Beatle’s Yellow Submarine artfully sketches the benefits when we are in balance with our priorities:

As we live a life of ease,
Every one of us has all we need,
Sky of blue, and sea of green,
In our yellow submarine.

Societies are so immersed in their culture that it is easy to forget its profound
influence. It is time to reconsider ours.

As we live a life diseased,
Every one of us consumed in need,
Feeling blue, and feeling green,
In our nanny submarine.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just the facts, ma’am”

Sergeant Friday, from the Dragnet series, was careful not to get derailed in getting to the bottom of a case. He was only interested the facts. So, here are just a few facts – see if you can figure out the identity, of the offender. The facts were recently released in a World Health Organization report.

Here are the clues. What is it?

  • The world’s third largest cause of disease and disability
  • The cause of almost two and a half million deaths per year
  • The cause of over one in five cancer deaths
  • The leading cause of death in men from age 15 to 59
  • The cause of 30% of deaths from injuries

This offender can make you permanently stupid, or in medical jargon cause
neuropsychiatric dysfunction.

Have you guessed yet? The cause of this destruction and a real poison to our health, is the abuse of alcohol.

Is it a growing problem? In AZ it is. Newsweek recently reported that binge drinking is up 74% in AZ, in the last decade.

However, because alcohol is addicting and getting smashed is somehow cool, such facts alone are unlikely to change risky behavior. But there comes a time when people decide enough is enough.

So if alcohol is disrupting your life or the health of your relationships, there is no better time than now to begin the process back to normal. Call 866-407-4380, to assist you in getting started, whether for you, your family, or a friend.

Healthy Yuma 2011 is a year for the citizens of Yuma County to join together to get healthier, a time to pitch in, to make a better community. What do you plan to do?

This is Dr. Carl Myers for Healthy Yuma 2011.