Patty James M.S., C.N.C.

Nutritionist. Chef. Author.

Corn, Corn, Everywhere!
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Possible Corn derived food ingredient:

This list is not all inclusive of ingredients to avoid. Tip offs can be the generic use of ingredients without specifying their nature, for example: “natural” flavor, vegetable (which vegetable?), starch (which starch?), syrup, and so on. Be aware that most corn is genetically modified (GM or GMO) and I know that I don’t want to consume GMO’s nor do I want to support companies that use GM ingredients.

  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Baking Powder (corn starch)
  • Brown Sugar – look for use of Caramel color.
  • Calcium Citrate – the calcium salt of citric acid.
  • Caramel – coloring used in soft drinks, derived from corn or cane sugar.
  • Cellulose, Vegetable, Powered, etc.
  • Citrate – can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid, or to the esters of citric acid. An example of the former, a salt is trisodium citrate; an ester is triethyl citrate. Forms of Citrate include: Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and more.
  • Citric Acid – Often times derived from corn.
  • Corn
  • Corn Meal – items baked sitting on Corn Meal such as Bagels, Breads or Pizza, may not list Corn Meal as an ingredient
  • Corn Starch – in most over the counter medicines that come in a dry pill form. Yes, this includes Benedryl too. Watch for Corn Syrup in the liquid forms.
  • Corn Syrup
  • Decyl Glucoside – used in personal care products such as shampoo.It is produced by the reaction of glucose from cornstarch with the fatty alcohol decanol, which is derived from coconut.
  • Dextrin, Maltodextrin – thickening agents found in sauces (check those frozen veggies!) salad dressings, and ice cream
  • Dextrose (glucose) – corn sugar, found in cookies, ice cream, and paired with glucose in hospital IVs unless specified not to! Can also be used as a carrier with anesthetic shots such as Lidocaine and Novocaine! Dextrose is also injected into meat, lunch meats and deli cuts. Be weary of “honey baked” items, the sweet flavor may not be from honey.
  • Ethanol – made by fermenting sugars produced from cornstarch
  • Excipients- are substances used to bind the contents of a pill or tablet. My dictionary mentions honey, syrup, and gum arabic, but cornstarch is also a possibility.
  • Ferrous Gluconate – i.e. as found in canned olives, and can be manufactured form corn or potato acid.
  • Flavoring – Artificial or “Natural Flavors”
  • Golden Syrup – Sometimes recommended as an alternate to Corn Syrup, but it may contain corn syrup as well.
  • Glucona delta lactone (“GDL”) is a recently appearing additive in cured meats.
  • Honey – May contain corn syrup, as corn syrup can be fed to bees
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Invert syrup is enzymatically treated bulk corn sugars, used because it’s not so thick as corn syrup.
  • Iodized Salt –  Dextrose (corn) can be added to salt.
  • Lactic Acid – Commercially, lactic acid can be made synthetically from chemicals or organically as a byproduct of corn fermentation.
  • Lauryl Glucoside – is a surfactant used in cosmetics. It is a glycoside produced from glucose and lauryl alcohol.
  • Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium salt o fcitric acid.
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Malic Acid
  • Malt
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Maltitol – (also known as Maltisorb and Maltisweet) Commercially, maltitol is a disaccharide (formerly SPI Polyols), Cargill, Roquette, and Towa, among other companies manufacture it. Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch, often corn.
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol – A naturally occurring alcohol that is often combined with corn derived sugars.
  • Methyl Gluceth – an emollient used in cosmetics manufactured from corn sugar and cornstarch.
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –  MSG can be made from corn.
  • Polydextrose – It is a food ingredient classified as soluble fiber and is frequently used to increase the non-dietary fiber content of food, replace sugar, reduce calories and reduce fat content.  Note: Dextrose, Sorbitol, and Citric Acid are all on this list of ingredients derived from corn.
  • Polylactic Acid (PLA) – Plastic made from cornstarch  (U.S.) or sugarcane.
  • Polysorbates (i.e. Polysorbate 80) -are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.
  • Potassium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.
  • Powdered Sugar – contains corn starch
  • Saccharin – in powder form IS Sweet’N Low and therefore contains Dextrose.
  • Sodium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.
  • Sodium Erythorbate – is produced from sugar derived from sources such as beets, sugar cane and corn. It is a food additive used predominantly in meats, poultry, and soft drinks.
  • Sodium Starch Glycolate –  It can be derived from any starch source (rice, corn, potatoes, etc).
  • Sorbitan – is a mixture of chemical compounds derived from Sorbitol.
  • Sorbitan Monostearate – an ester of sorbitol and stearic acid. You will see this ingredient used in Yeast (and possibly other places as well).
  • Sorbitol – You will find this in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste
  • Starch – often this is corn starch unless it specifies something else, like potato starch
  • Sucralose – Sucralose by itself may be corn free, though it is likely one best to avoid. Repackaged as the brand Splenda, it will contain dextrose and/or maltodextrin.
  • Sweet’N Low – contains dextrose and sugar substitutes in powder form generally contain Dextrose.
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • Vanilla Extract – most brands will have corn syrup, though you can find organic brands that do not, though the alcohol may be corn-derived.
  • Vegetable-anything. Unless you know exactly what the vegetables are, you should be suspicious of any ingredient with vegetable in the name, including vegetable oil, vegetable broth, vegetable protein, vegetable shortening, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and vegetable mono- and di-glycerides.
  • Vinegar, Distilled White – can be made from any sugar, but corn is the most common ingredient to make this- Corn that has been converted from starch into sugar.
  • Vitamins – Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E (Tocopherols). Use caution with products that are “enriched” with added vitamins. The vitamins may be corn-derived, or corn-derivatives may be used in the binding (if solid) or suspension (if liquid) of the vitamin compound.
  • Xanthan Gum – a food additive that is used as a thickening agent. It is found in sauces, spices, and commonly in Gluten Free foods. Xanthan Gum is most often grown on corn, or corn sugars. If an item includes Xanthan Gum and states it is corn-free, call the manufacturing company and inquire as to the source of Xanthan Gum to be sure.
  • Xylitol – You will find this in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste
  • Zein – used in time-release medications
Another Birthday, Books and Cobbler
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Another Birthday, Books and Cobbler

I love birthdays and have another in a few days. I don’t take birthdays or breaths for granted and each year my goal is to end that birth year wiser than I began it. For me wisdom comes from creating a textured life with experiences and lessons from which I can learn and grow.

My personal growth comes not only from life experiences but also from being a curious sort and an avid reader. Sipping my tea in the morning, I read all types of scientific journals and articles to keep current on topics relating to health and nutrition. In the evenings I read anything from novels to what most would consider ‘self-help’ books. I find psychology fascinating–what makes people tick– and the correlation to physical health is not only interesting but also useful in my nutrition practice.

Many of these books will warn about feeding your ego. Once I was walking to a health symposium at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, and stopped at a coffee shop to get something hot to drink. I noticed two men sitting under the eaves down the alley and I purchased them sandwiches and coffee. They were thankful and I felt good. On the way home I called my daughter Olivia, told her the story and wondered if I gave for them or for the feeling that giving gives me. Is it just an ego rush, I asked? She listened and said,

”Mom, who cares? There are two less hungry people in San Francisco today.”  In other words, don’t over-think.

Here are some of my favorite psychology-type books.

The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Anatomy of the Spirit  by Dr. Caroline Myss

The Seat of the Sould by Gary Zukav

Anything by Pema Chondron

The Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield

The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale

Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson

Back to that birthday coming soon…..I’m more of a pie or cobbler girl than a cake girl, and this is my favorite over-the-top sugary/buttery cobbler. Once a year won’t hurt.

Blackberry Cobbler

If you like you may use strawberries or peaches. Please use organic ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 ½ cups unbleached sugar

1/1/2 cups water


2 ¼ cups unbleached flour

¼ teaspoon salt

3 ¼ teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder

¾ cup unsalted butter

½ cup milk, room temperature

3 cups blackberries, or other fruit

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons unbleached sugar


Melt the butter in a 9X13” pan in the preheated oven. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the syrup ingredients over low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat.

Make cobbler dough by placing the flour and salt in a large bowl and cutting in the butter until particles are fine. Add the milk and stir until the dough leaves the side of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle ¼”thick. Spread the berries over dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Roll up like a jellyroll and slice into

1 ¼” thick slices. Place in the pan with the melted butter. Pour the syrup around the slices.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. At this point sprinkle the cobbler with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until light brown.


Excel at your job and be home for dinner!
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I am co-chair of the Health and Medicine Member-Led Forum at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Next month I’m chairing a program that will give us all some great tips on how to, as the author told me, excel at your job and be home for dinner! Join me!

New Services Menu…
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I have updated the services I offer. More choices, so more ways to obtain or maintain your good health!

Spring Menu Ideas-Vegetarian
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Just a little inspiration….If you like, simply alter the recipes to include your favorite fish or meats.



Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Tempeh ‘Bacon’

Sliced Strawberries


Lentil Croquettes on Spring Greens


Asparagus Guacamole with Crudites

Risotto with Fresh Peas and Saffron served with a spring mix salad and fresh spring veggies

Chocolate dipped Strawberries



Scones with Fresh Berries and Yogurt Cream


Quinoa Taboulleh on Spring Greens with Warm White Beans and Mustard Vinaigrette


Fava Bean Puree on Crostini

Fresh Pea and Radish Salad with Lime Vinaigrette and a Stuffed Tofu Cutlet

Lemon Curd Tarts



7 Grain Hot Cereal with Spring Berries and Home-Made Almond Milk


Mustard Greens with Cannellini Beans and Sherry Vinaigrette


Marinated Goat Cheese on Endive Leaves

Lima Bean and Spring Vegetable Soup served with Tortellini and Pea Pesto

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie



Tempeh Hash with Poached Eggs


Lemon Goat Cheese with Crudités and Toasted Hemp Bread


Grilled Vegetable Taquitos with Cilantro Salsa

Aztec Stew

Citrus Tart



Fresh Strawberry Yogurt with  Home-made Granola and Mint Syrup


Roasted Fennel and Apple Sandwich on a Toasted Baguette with Curry Mayonnaise


Caponata with Warm Sourdough Toasts

Pasta Primavera with Spring Vegetables and Spring Mix Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Strawberry Shortcake



Fresh Fruit Salad and Oatmeal Muffins


Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables and Mint Vinaigrette


Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Creamy Asparagus Soup, Spring Vegetable Casserole with Chive Dumplings

Lime Tea Cookies



Baked Eggs with Black Beans and Cilantro Pesto


Roasted Potato Salad with Horseradish and Watercress


Wild Mushroom Tart with Thyme

Artichoke and Chickpea Lasagna with Lemon Béchamel served with Braised Kale and Preserved Lemons

Spring Berry Trifle