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Spotlight On Spices! Issue February 2018 - 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans!
February 01, 2018

Happy February 2018

This short month is packed with an interesting array of national food days, and is the National Month for one of my favorites - Sweet Potatoes. Plus, there's the quirky mash-up of two holidays on the 14th: Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent) and Valentine's Day. With January in our past and with final New Year's resolutions in place, February will be a great month to ponder upon the following:

"Over the past century, deficiencies of essential nutrients have dramatically decreased, many infectious diseases have been conquered, and the majority of the U.S. population can now anticipate a long and productive life. At the same time, rates of chronic diseases—many of which are related to poor quality diet and physical inactivity—have increased. About half of all American adults have one or more preventable, diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and overweight and obesity.However, a large body of evidence now shows that healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout all stages of the lifespan. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflects this evidence through its recommendations."

Thus starts the introduction to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines which focuses on the big picture with recommendations to help Americans make choices that add up to an overall healthy eating pattern. The "Guidelines" is our special focus for this month.

THE SPICE OF LIFE - 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans!

The Dietary Guidelines is required under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, which states that every 5 years, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA) must jointly publish a report containing nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public. The Dietary Guidelines is based on current scientific and medical knowledge, and is designed for professionals to help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. Although designed for professionals, I thought it helpful for us all to be familiar with the latest guidelines so that we can be more proactive in our meal planning, and seek to incorporate more herbs, spices and natural ingredients into our everyday cooking.

The 2015-2020 Five Overarching Guidelines:

Guideline 1: Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.

Guideline 2: Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.

Guideline 3: Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.

Guideline 4: Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.

Guideline 5: Support healthy eating patterns for all.

Click here to learn more about the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, Nutritional Information for the general public, and Key Recommendations that are quantitative and provided for several components of the diet that should be limited. These components (added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium) are of particular public health concern in the United States.

Herb and Spice Aphrodisiacs to Feed Your Love Life:

Ancient lists of aphrodisiacs most often include: Chocolate, Anise Seed, Basil, Asafoetida, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Hot Chili Peppers, Licorice, Oysters, Sage, and Vanilla Bean.

Some foods, herbs and spices (e.g., chocolate, basil, vanilla) can have a direct impact on your love life by affecting hormones, brain chemistry, and/or energy and stress levels. Others like Garlic and Hot Chilies can help increase blood flow to genitalia; while others are psychologically suggestive (e.g., Avocado, Almond, Banana, Fig) and just plain old good for your overall health and well-being.

So, spice up your life and have a loving, lovely Happy Valentine’s Day!


February is the Month for:

National Sweet Potato Month

And, some of my favorite food days in the month include:

February 3 National Carrot Cake Day

February 4 National Homemade Soup Day

February 7 National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

February 9 National Bagel Day

February 9 National Pizza Day

February 11 National Peppermint Patty Day

February 13 Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

February 16 National Almond Day

February 17 National Cabbage Day

February 20 National Cherry Pie Day

February 21 National Sticky Bun Day

February 22 National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

February 22 National Chili Day

February 25 National Clam Chowder Day

February 26 National Pistachio Day

February 27 National Strawberry Day

February 27 National Pancake Day


Check here for the latest news on any spice recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts:

Food ALERT! Widget


Websites for Spice Retailers:

Atlantic Spice Company -

Durkee® -

Maison Terre

McCormick® -

Milford Spice Company -

Penzeys Spices -

Savory Spice Shop -

Spice Islands® -

The Spice House -

Spice Accessories Websites:

Bottles, Containers & Jars:

Bottle Store - -

SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. -


Online Labels -

Spice Racks:

Tubular Spices -

Spice Rack Source -

Check out our website that's All About Sweet Potatoes


Tell me what you would love to see in this eZine. I want to keep this publication fresh, relevant and highlight the herbs and spices that are of the most interest to you.

Use this Contact Form to give constructive feedback or ask questions. Thank you!

Ellen White

Eat Well. Live Well. Cook everyday with spices and herbs!

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