Monday, August 2, 2010

Food For Your Ears! Podcasts!

Believe it or not, I had never used an iPod prior to moving to Phoenix. Prior to moving here, I lived in a quiet, little neighborhood nestled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I commuted to work on my bicycle. I LOVED commuting to work because it was my time to soak up the fresh air along the Charles river and watch the crews get in their morning workouts. Thinking about this makes me miss Boston...a lot!

Anyway, the point of this posting is not to reminisce about my life in beantown, but to highlight some of the new joys of commuting to work. It's hard to believe that the word "joy" and "commuting" can coexist in the same sentence, but I'm here to tell you that they do! I'll admit, I would have never gone out and bought an iPod myself. I enjoy listening to music but not so much that I need to have it plugged into my head 24-7 like most teenagers these days. My boyfriend realized I was next to losing my mind while enduring the 1-hour commute both ways to work upon re-locating to Arizona. As a loving gesture, the iPod was a gift that I half-heartedly accepted a few months after my move. I was thinking to myself, "men really are from mars!" A few months passed and I decided to rig the iPod to my car stereo (it was as easy as plugging it in) so that I could listen to my "tunes" while driving. I quickly got bored of my music and wanted to add some new music which is when I discovered iTunes and stumbled upon "podcasts."

Podcasts are basically audio broadcasts that you can download and listen to at your convenience. Now, you have to remember, the extent to my listening was in the car, so I was looking for stuff that was going to entertain me and keep me awake while driving. I wanted to use the hour as a productive time to "reset" my mood for the arrival home. I considered downloading a book or something but I have a relatively short attention span and a propensity for dozing while driving, so the search was on for something short and entertaining. A few of the first podcast discoveries are still my favorites -- NPR's "This American Life" and "The Moth." These are great podcasts that are along the lines of someone telling a story...

As a Registered Dietitian, I quickly searched for podcasts that would help to keep me current on what's new in food, nutrition, health and otherwise. Here are a few that I listen to regularly:

  • The Ingles Information Aisle: Supermarket Dietitian, Leah McGrath is the dietitian for Ingles Markets based in Asheville, North Carolina with stores in Georgia, North and South Carolina(s), and Tennessee. Each month, Leah has a discussion with an expert on food, diet, nutrition or health. She keeps it interesting by inviting popular guests to talk on the show. Most recently she had an interview with Lisa Lillien, a.k.a "Hungry-Girl." Among other guests, she's had Dr. Diana Fleming from the "Full Plate Diet" and Nancy Piho, the author of "My Two Year Old Eats Octopus."

  • Food Sleuth (89.5 KOPN in Missouri): Melinda Hemmelgarn is the Registered Dietitian host for this show that is chock-full of useful information. She regularly hosts interviews with the nation's leading experts on food, agriculture, and health. Guests have included: Phil Lempert, a.k.a "The Supermarket Guru," Diane Welland, RD, "The Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Clean and more. 

  • The Meal Makeover Moms, "Cooking with the Moms Podcast": Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss are registered dietitians and the Meal Makeover Moms. They provide a weekly 30-minute show that provides helpful mealtime tips, kitchen creations and cooking insights to help any Mom feed healthy & fun meals that kids will actually eat!

  • KCRW's Good Food: Join Evan Kleinman each week to hear about the Santa Monica's farmer's market report (what's in season?), hear about current events happening "in" food and get down & dirty with the politics and issues around eating. 

  • APM's The Splendid Table: American Public Media (APM) offers a variety of great podcasts, this is just one about food. Hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, this is a broadcasts that celebrates food, culture and different food personalities (authors, chefs, etc.)

  • Cornell University - Cornellcast (*iTunes U): Search on iTunes but these will not be in the "podcast" section but rather a different section, entitled "iTunes U." CornellCast has a bunch of recent videos and recordings of compelling lectures, discussions on a variety of topics. Listen to Dr. Brian Wansink discuss "Mindless Eating" or listen to Chef Nutritionist, Ellie Krieger talk about her experiences as the award-winning Food Network personality. 

  • Food Policy: A World of Possibilities (*iTunes U): Listen in on experts speak on current issues facing food and our environment. This podcasts even downloads with study guides!
There are many, many more great things to listen and learn about on your iPod. So maybe men really AREN'T from mars after all! This was one of the BEST gifts that I've ever received (next to the Barbie Dream House, of course -- Christmas circa 1980). I'm even considering giving my Mom an iPod for her birthday this year...but I'm not sure I'll be able to handle the cross-continental, virtual instruction on this one!

Feel free to share me your favorites. These are just a few that I've discovered recently. Enjoy more than music to your ears!