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Food Fads Through the Decades

Oh my, I’ve been scream-laughing reading the Vintage Recipes Ads. I grew up in the 70’s and this article has my sides hurting from laughing so much. Take a look at these pictures!!!!!! Did you eat any of these?


Thankfully, my mom is a really good cook and is also health conscious. But some of these make me question how my generation even made it past the 70’s!!!!

So, let’s take a look at the FOOD FADS and diet fads through the decades.  These were listed in bon appetit magazine as follows:

Fruit cocktail. According to Fashionable Foods: Seven Decades of Food Fads, when Prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920, it dramatically shifted dining habits in addition to drinking rituals. Fruit cocktails garnished with marshmallows or sprinkled with powdered sugar came into vogue, though not as dessert. They replaced oysters on the half shell served with Champagne as the dinner party opener. Hmmmm. who knew?

Diet Fad: Smoking

Gelatin everything! Salads that contain the world “gelatin” or “congealed” make me gag a little. The “in” crowd began serving these architectural marvels (that jiggled!) at social gatherings during the Great Depression. Cooks were not shy about sticking any old ingredient into the cold molds: chicken, hard-boiled eggs, grapes, grated carrots. EEEEEWWWWWW

Diet Fad: Grapefruit a day.

Canned meat. The lingering effects of the Great Depression and rationing for World War II dictated culinary trends during this time period. Enter SPAM. The canned meat marvel became a staple of soldiers’ diets and caught on among civilians, both as a buffet option (fruit cocktail-SPAM loaf please!) and eventual punchline. The only thing more lasting than SPAM’s “indefinite” shelf life has been its popularity. To date, Hormel Foods has sold more than seven billion cans. Can you believe that?

Diet Fad: They Cayenne Cocktail. (Yes, Cayenne pepper infused juice.)

Casseroles. The Middle America staple goes by many names–casserole, hot dish, funeral potatoes–but it has always been defined by one key element: It is traditionally made entirely from processed ingredients, including canned tuna, tater tots and the quintessential binder, cream of mushroom soup. The end result often takes on the characteristics of glue and mush, yet this comfort food starred at picnics, family reunions and church receptions. Still does, in fact.

Diet Fad: Cabbage is where it’s at. Eat cabbage all day. eat as much cabbage as you want! 😉

Instant and Imitation food. Despite the proliferation of hippie home cooks experimenting with ethnic cuisine, food companies flooded the market with NASA-inspired just-add-water products, such as instant mashed potatoes, freeze dried coffee, powdered cheese mix and scientifically-engineered Tang. The introduction of Easy Cheese, Bac-Os bacon bits and Cool Whip cemented these science project foods (some of which we still turn to every day) foothold in society.

Diet Fad: The point system (weight watchers). Forget health conscious. Let someone else decide the necessary magic system .

Fondue—This idea is great in theory–crusty bread dunked in melted cheese; strawberries drowned in chocolate–and yet horrible in execution. Concerns of double dipping, spillage and the communal hot pot turning into a petri dish of germs all raised red flags. Then a Canadian design company decided to market the same concept, except as a chocolate fountain, making it all but impossible for one to dip his banana into the waterfall without staining his shirt.

Diet Fad: The little magic pill- Ephedra (ephedrine and caffeine). Pharmaceutical mania in full swing.

Pasta Salad. In 1982, Florence Fabricant made a sweeping declaration in The New York Times by proclaiming, “The pasta salad, that darling of the carry-out shop, is here to stay.” That was an unfortunate reality for anyone who believed that mixing cold noodles with vinegar or mayo and sliced canned olives was a wise decision. The trend took a turn for the worse when salad dressing companies entered the game. Just pour a bottle of Wish Bone over those tri-colored tortellini’s and–voila!–a summertime favorite.

Diet Fad: Slimfast- ready-made meal replacements.

Fat free. Bags of Frito-Lay’s WOW Chips fat free potato chips advertised “All the Taste 1 Gram of Fat.” Wow indeed! The secret ingredient was Olestra, a calorie and cholesterol-free fat substitute. Sales skyrocketed to over $300 million in the first year alone, which meant that plenty of folks discovered the side effects of Olestra: an urgent and unanticipated need to run to the bathroom. Not surprisingly, sales slipped to $200 million two years later. The product is still around today, however, it has been re-branded as “Light” chips. Olestra is still listed as the second ingredient. Bathroom, anyone?

Diet Fad: Anti-carb movement & Fat free everything.

The Atkins Diet. Nothing about this diet made sense. As long as people cut back on carbs, they could gorge on all of the marbled steaks, cholesterol-friendly eggs and robust cheeses they could stuff down their gullets. At the height of this weight loss fad, 10% of Americans followed the starch-averse nutritional plan. After carb cravings returned in 2005, that number fell to 2%, Atkins Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy and bakers everywhere breathed a sign of relief.

Then, Energy Drinks. Yikes

Diet Fad: Atkins followed by Juicing for weeks at a time followed by the SouthBeach diet.

Bacon everything. Don’t blame the bacon bacchanalia that has swept the country on the delicious pork product. Point the finger at the cooks who have taken the cultural obsession about 12 steps too far and put bacon in places it never should have been in the first place: donuts, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, cakes–the list of sugary snacks runs out the door and around the corner. Hardee’s and Burger King are now selling a bacon sundae, which seems to be a good sign. Usually, once Corporate America gets on board, the trend is on the way out.

Also, Frozen yogurt shops. Gluten free eating,

Diet Fad: Paleo- (Dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee were taken off the table in favor of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, and fish.)

As we embark on the close of 2017 and welcome 2018, I wonder what food fads will emerge this year. Any ideas? Happy eating.





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Embrace Your Weird

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There is part of us that wants to think we are just SO unique. Am I right? And I will be the first to say that in some ways I fully believe we are.  BUT.  Yes, BUT, here’s the funny thing: We are also all so weird, and in THAT we are similar! We all have weirdness lurking in the shadows. Sometimes we hear about weird ancestry stories where great aunt so-and-so always wandered down the road when it rained looking for her long lost love. (ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic). But it seems more common than not that each family has the mysterious stories intertwined with weirdness. Maybe your families’ story will be about you 😉

I was thinking about how weird I seem today. I’m nibbling on oatmeal for the 3rd time because I am in some kind of Mast Cell flare-up. And I know not a ton of people know how precarious it is to not know exactly what might trigger a full-on anaphylaxis episode (a smell, a molecule, a bite). Again, I (in my weird state) take my “concotions” (Restore and quercetin, black seed cumin oil, DAO enzymes…) -you get the drift. Weird supplement stuff. Weird needs. But if I took a few minutes to chat with you, I can almost guarantee that you have something hidden behind your “normal smile”. You have some weird thing, idiosyncrasy, crazy thought. intuition. fear. dream. Don’t you? I see you thinking about that. You know you’re weird.  hahaha

I think we should just let that be ok. Talk about the fact

that you like to touch trees when you walk past them

or need 2 more hours of sleep than most (it’s a real thing)

or can’t stand socks on in bed

or like to twirl your hair when you think

or take supplements for things people don’t even know exist

or randomly take detours on back roads (dirt roads, preferably)

or eat each food group one at a time on your plate, never mixing

or love to look for shark’s teeth

or never drink your drink until your dinner is done

or if you could, you’d always eat dessert and skip dinner

or  that you think maybe spirits already teleport and our bodies are trying to figure out how to catch up

or maybe you talk to people (from your mind to theirs) really believing that they “hear” you

or you can’t swallow a pill

or you are convinced that God allows your ancestors to look down and smile on you

or that “sunshine beach cravings” are real needs like pickles and ice cream (no pregnancy required)

or ___________________.


In some ways, all of the weirdness bonds us together in similarity, doesn’t it?

Embrace your weird. You’re in good company.

embrace your weird

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Take-away’s from 2016

Take-away’s from 2016:


  1. My body is my friend. Believing good things are happening in me in the midst of feeling ill is faith. It is part of the path to healing, which involves the spirit as much as the body (‘You are the Placebo’ is a good book)
  2. There are amazing people in this world, spreading cheer, love and light all around. I found in my most vulnerable places, full of need, I could see them (feel them) more clearly.
  3. Food is so awesome.(especially Krispy Kreme doughnuts).  Yes, eating is nourishment but also an avenue for connection and pleasure. We eat for more reasons than just staying alive. It’s a beautiful need/want see-saw that vacillates between our body and spirit.
  4. Sometimes we have dreams… and then we must grow to accommodate them.
  5. Menopause is cruel. BUT, menopause shows us where we are most vulnerable, then asks us to be ok with that. All that is left is the strength and beauty that was always there, just hidden.
  6. I am strong. And so are you. We are strong
  7. Friends can make difficult places easier and easy places meaningful.
  8. I think I believe in mental telepathy, or a cousin to that.
  9. We can be surrounded by people and feel alone. We can be alone and not feel lonely.
  10. A baby’s entrance into this world grounds us here into the tangible but simultaneously elevates us into intangible worlds of divine magical mystery. (Thank you, angel Lennon.)
  11. Watching a toddler allows us to see again that what we witness every day is a miracle. (I love my sweet Moses.)
  12. We all desire validation. We must accept it as a gift from God. It was never meant to come from others.
  13. Spouses can/do change. Spouses can reveal us to us.
  14. Nothing/no one can destroy love.It DOES win
  15. No one can steal us, unless we let them.
  16. Sometimes old horses help us believe more deeply.
  17. Las Vegas is emotionally loud.
  18. Pursuing that which fuels the soul makes time irrelevant.
  19. Everyone is relevant
  20. Spanish Moss in the trees make everything seem heavenly
  21. Eating bread (from Ingrained Bakery) on a park bench with my parents is special.
  22. Ask myself “how do I want to feel?” It will answer the “what should I be doing” questions.
  23. We are all so very much alike.
  24. This too shall pass (even elections)
  25. “What if” questions should be asked more frequently
  26. Ask more questions to those we don’t understand.
  27. RV living is an adventure. (plan winter in a warm place)
  28. Sometimes we need a nice neighbor late at night.
  29. Seeing a newborn calf can make us want to live on a farm.
  30. Zip-lining is really fun. do it.
  31. The “most” ______person we know, could be our child. (Teachers and inspire-ers are not always before us chronologically 😉 (ie. Brooke, Jake, Josh, Jordan, Natalie, Eli, Bethany)
  32. We are never too old to try.Never.
  33. If we listen, we hear.
  34. Unfortunately, tans fade and wrinkles last. 😉
  35. Life changes can happen anywhere because change starts within us. (the secret life of change)
  36. Never underestimate a full moon. It can take our breath away.
  37. Maybe growing old can be more about the “growing” and less about the “old”.
  38. The sand, water, shells and sky consistently deliver mystery and stability.
  39. A country song in all of it’s simplicity can reveal our human complexity.
  40. What we know doesn’t make us better.
  41. Sometimes a year ends before we feel “ready”
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Perfect Campfire Cooking…or Backyard Dinner?


–Perfect Campfire Cooking–

Get charcoal briquettes in the fire pit. We had a mixture of wood and briquettes. We let them get hot for about an hour.

Cut Zucchini, Squash, Onion, Carrots, Broccoli into 1 inch similar sizes. Cut potatoes a bit smaller than other veggies. Cut corn off of the cob.

Mix well. Put contents in the center of 12″ by 24″ piece of aluminum foil.

Some in our group added meatballs. Some added chicken. It’s super flexible. Throw in what you like.

Drizzle with oilve oil. Sprinkle salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste. (You could use any seasoning you enjoy).

Close the packet as tightly as possible. Use a second sheet of aluminum foil to create a basket with a”handle”.

Put packets onto the grill and let cook about 20 min. After grilling, we opened and added steamed rice to our packets.

More than anything, it was fun (and healthy).

Now, can someone pass the bag of marshmallows?  😉