Congressman Tim Ryan Talks Mindfulness & The Real Food Revolution

Last year, Congressman Tim Ryan published his book “The Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance Recapture the American Spirit,” and shared how mindfulness and meditation can transform one’s life. Now he is releasing a new book called “The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries and the Return of the American Family Farm,” encouraging the public to take control of their own health starting in their own kitchen.

Last Thursday, gathered at Deepak Homebase in ABC Carpet & Home in New York, he spoke about his passion on the topic, and was joined by New York Times bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman and producer of the films “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Fed Up,” Laurie David. “Fed Up,” is a documentary featuring Katie Curic, President Bill Cliton and others, exposing the food industry and sugar.

“I was inspired by the film ‘Fed Up,’” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Stress effects our health, but it’s also our food. Through a mindfulness practice you start to see how things are interconnected, and it kept coming back to food for me.”

He explained how his wife realized she had a gluten allergy, and they went to see Dr. Mark Hyman to get help.  He emphasized diet and how if she shifted it, she could heal herself. Hyman asked her what type of food she ate as a child, and how many antibiotics she took. After a few months of dietary changes, she began to feel better and is now healthier then she ever was before, said Ryan.

‘In Washington we put things in silos, like food, education, healthcare, and we need to start seeing how all of them are interconnected,” he said. “This may be the first generation that may not live as long as their parents.”

His new book is about how Americans can begin to build out a new food system and instead of subsidizing companies who make processed food to make it more affordable, we should be subsidizing the agriculture and farmers so they can move to a new type of farming that is healthier for Americans.

Ryan also suggested starting with major universities, such as Ohio where he is from. Ohio University has 60,000 students and if they agreed to take 2 percent of the food budget and spend it on locally sourced vegetables and fruits, and then increased it to 4 percent and then 6 percent, that is how we can create a market for the farmers.

“What about public schools and prisons, which are now relying on highly processed foods,” he said, explaining we need to start educating every child in America how to eat properly.

“We need a garden in every school yard and a kitchen in every singles school, and a salad bar in every cafeteria,” Ryan said. “We need Homec 2.0. If we are going to be a competitive country, you have to be a healthy one.”

tim-ryan-groupDr. Mark Hyman also spoke, explaining his approach is to treat the person as a whole, and to treat the cause not just the symptom, which is a paradigm shift for many doctors today. And much of the disease we deal with today begins with the flora balance in out gut. Our gut health is connected to our immune system, brain function, metabolism, and many issues faced today, from autism, depression, auto immune disease, eczema, asthma and migraines can go back to the flora in the gut, Hyman noted.

Additionally, Laurie David spoke and said the film “Fed Up” opened the eyes of many people to how much sugar is hidden in our foods, and how giving up processed foods and beginning to cook again is an important step in the Real Food Revolution.

“We have been told it takes too long and is too hard to cook, but these are marketing myths the food industry convinces us with,” she noted. “Our children are not being given a chance at a healthy future.”

She pointed out a deal Girl Scouts of America has with Nesquik to create a Thin Mint Chocolate Milk, but this chocolate milk has 12 teaspoons of sugar per serving, she explained.

“That is more than a kid should have in four days,” David said. “One mom who is a Girl Scout troop leader was outraged and started a petition on that people can sign now.”


She shared that 4 grams of sugar on a label is equal to 1 tsp of sugar, and one of the easiest ways to begin to eliminate processed ingredients and sugar is to make our own salad dressing. Sugar is the single biggest toxin we face, Hyman added, explaining its poisoning America more than any other toxin.

“We’ve outsourced our kitchens to corporations,” said Hyman. “We do have to cook ourselves out of this mess, and we do have to do it one kitchen at a time.”

For more information on Tim Ryan’s new book click here: “The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm”.

For more information on Mark Hyman click here.

For more information on the film Fed Up click here.

RECIPE: Lemon Garlic Basil Chicken

Looking for a quick and healthy chicken meal? Why not try this recipe for Lemon Garlic Basil Chicken from author Dr. Mark Hyman?

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A, and garlic is an excellent source of manganese, while also providing vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

The recipe makes four servings, and is cooked in 20 to 30 minutes!

Lemon Garlic Basil Chicken


4 five-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 garlic clove
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 tsp. fresh basil
½ tsp. sea salt


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and trim chicken breasts of any fat.

Mince the garlic clove, and combine it with olive oil, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, basil and sea salt in a bowl. Place the chicken breasts in the same bowl and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes, if desired.

Rub a cookie sheet or spray with olive oil to prevent sticking (or cover the pan with parchment paper). Place the chicken breasts on the sheet pan. Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes: internal temperature of the chicken breast should be 168 degrees.

RECIPE: Broccoli with Sauteed Carrots

Here is another great recipe from best-selling author Dr. Mark Hyman’s Web site. It’s a great vegetable side dish that is quick and easy to make, and packed with nutrition!

Broccoli with Sauted Carrots

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


1 medium bunch broccoli
2 large carrots
2 tsp. olive oil
½ tsp fresh thyme
¼ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. fresh parsley
¼ tsp. turmeric

Trim the broccoli into small pieces or florets. Peel and slice the carrot on a bias to form 1/4 inch oval thick pieces. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

In a sauté pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium to high heat. Saute the carrots in olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the blanched broccoli and all spices and herbs.

Saute for 2 more minutes or until the carrots are tender.

RECIPIE: Vegetable Tofu Scramble

We found this gluten-free, dairy-free entrée on Dr. Mark Hyman’s Web site – author of “Utra-Prevention” and “Ultra-Metabolism.” “The tofu absorbs the flavor of the vegetables as it browns on the outside,” he explained.

Vegetable Tofu Scramble

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes


1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1/2 medium pepper)
1 cup roughly chopped shiitake mushrooms (about 6 medium mushrooms)
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced oregano
12 chives, snipped into small pieces

Cut the tofu into 2 equal pieces. Slice each piece in half, horizontally, making a total of 4 slices. Press and drain the tofu by placing the slices in a single layer on a shallow dish or tray with paper towels underneath and on top of the tofu. Place another dish or tray on top the tofu and weight it down with several cans of food or a heavy skillet. Refrigerate for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut the tofu into small cubes. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and red pepper and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, tomato, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the tofu, oregano, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the tofu has browned. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the chives.

Editor’s Advice: Embarking on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Elevated Existence attended the annual Omega NYC conference a week ago in New York, and I had the pleasure of attending a workshop by the best-selling author of “Crazy Sexy Diet,” Kris Carr, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) expert Nick Ortner.

I’ll admit, I was new to Carr’s work, but was intrigued by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. I have suffered from chronic sinus inflammation for more than 10 years, and was getting tired of the antihistamines. (I’m sure many of you can feel my pain!) Also, I had recently read “Ultra-Prevention: The Six-Week Plan That Will Make Your Healthy for Life,” by Mark Hyman, M.D. and Mark Liponis, M.D., which recommends a more plant-based diet for easing inflammation and better overall health.

So I attended the workshop (read all about it in our June 2012 issue out soon!) and became inspired. Carr is a wonderful, living example for what she teaches, and as someone living with what the doctor’s call an incurable cancer, I applaud her for taking healing into her own hands – and sharing what she has learned to help others! It’s been 10 years since was diagnosed, and her cancer has not progressed at all! BRAVO!

What inspired me was her complete self-care plan, which includes physical, emotional and spiritual health. Our June article will go into more depth, but I wanted to share the small changes I am making in my diet in hopes that I will inspire you to do the same!

One of the things I love about Carr is she is NOT an all or nothing girl! She is vegan, eating an 80 percent plant-based, gluten-free diet, but encourages people to “lean into” a healthier diet. For example, start by adopting a 50/50 plan – 50 percent of every plate of food is vegetables, and the other 50 percent is dedicated to a grains, meat, tofu, etc. (and the meat amount shouldn’t be bigger than a deck of cards if you choose that option). Also, incorporate what she calls “green juice” into your daily routine (more about that below!)

So far, here are the changes I have made:

–      Dairy is the first thing I decided to eliminate since I suffer from chronic sinus inflammation. Dairy contributes to this, as well as creating excess mucus in the body. I already drink almond milk, so it was really just cutting out cheese, butter, etc.

–      Since meat has always been part of my diet (I grew up in an Italian, meatball-loving family), I decided to start slow. I’m eliminating red meat, and only eating chicken, turkey or fish no more than once per day (eventually cutting down to a couple times per week.)

–      I’ve added a PB8 probiotic supplement to my daily routine. (I also take a multi-vitamin; vitamin D3; Omega 3; vitamin C; and Calcium Magnesium supplements daily. I’m a big fan of Andrew Lessman’s vitamins)

–      Incorporating more vegetables into every meal.

–      Significantly cut down on sugar and chocolate (thank goodness those Cadbury Crème Eggs are off the shelves!)

–      I bought a brand-new Breville juicer (thank you Bed, Bath & Beyond for your 20-percent-off coupons that never expire), and am drinking at least 8 ounces of green juice every morning. (Carr recommends 16 ounces per day, and I’m going to build up to that. But I’m starting slow!)

Now a quick word on the green juice — A basic recipe using a juicer (which is different than a blender) is a combination of the following: cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, green apple and lemon – and there are many variations on it. Carr advises in her book “Crazy Sexy Diet,” if your stomach tends to be sensitive, you can start with straight up cucumber juice, and then gradually add other ingredients that might be harder to digest. I started with cucumber one day, then added celery and green apple to that, and then I recently started adding a handful of spinach.

Well so far – I’ve cut down on antihistamines (about every other day from daily), and I’m feeling really good about doing something for myself and my body – or what Carr called the “God Pod.” And as of writing this blog, it’s only been one week!

I highly recommend her book “Crazy Sexy Diet” if this blog is at all interesting to you. She offers so many brand-name recommendations for replacing gluten, wheat and dairy products, as well as recipes and a wealth of information about the things we put into our body. She also offers detox tips, such as dry brushing the skin daily!

And be sure to check out her Web site, for more advice, recipes and tips!

Here’s to living a healthy, inflammation-free life! Thanks for the inspiration Kris!

Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine