Misen en Place = Everything in its Place

When you make a healthy life change what steps do you take?
Some people throw everything out and start brand new. Start a gym membership, start a new job, divorce, move across country, etc. 
What happens then?  It works for a little while, untilllllll…..Until what? 
Until your stress level go up again. Life comes at you and you back to your comfort zones.  Wether it is going back to stinking thinking, a bad relationship, ice cream, etc. 
How do you stop yourself from going back to old unhealthy habits? 
Misen en Place.  Pronounced “mees un plah”.  It is a French Culinary Term that means “Everything In Its Place”
I spoke about this briefly on my March 30th Live Cooking Scope.  The cookies did not come out right.  Which was not a problem, because things happen on live tv. That was not the real issue. The real issues were I was not as focused on the measurements as I thought I was. And, the biggest issue was I did not have a backup plan.  Aka Contingency Plan. My Misen en Place was a little out of wack.  
It wasn’t a total loss because I told myself when I started out live cooking there would be mistakes, accidents and issues.  I realistically put things in there place. 
And that is what we all have to do when it comes to dealing with life.  Especially, when you are trying to make healthy life changes.  As soon as you try to do something good for yourself obstacles, speed bumps and stumbling blocks all of a sudden drop out of the sky. They usually come in the form of one of the following: family relations, financial relations or health issues. 
The big question is how do we keep ourselves from not easily falling back into old unhealthy habits?  No one is perfect. We all have our moments. 
The best way to not go back to our old familiar habits is to take baby steps. We can’t run a marathon if we can even do 20 mins on the treadmill. We need to be realistic with small changes that build upon each other. That way we can establish a strong solid foundation of healthy habits. 
After awhile you won’t believe you even used to do some of those old bad habits. 
One of the hardest things to change are eating habits. Even harder is having the whole family change together.  Changing your pantry basic is first step.

MSG The Food Additive of the Day

The following information is just that information.  It is not meant to be a substitute to visiting your doctor or professional medical advisor.  Your life is a result of the decisions you make.  After reading this information do your research, talk to your doctor and start to ask yourself questions about your personal health desires.  You reading this is not an accident.


MSG Is a result of  processing proteins to create enhanced food flavorings.  Proteins naturally breaks down in our bodies and our foods in various levels.

(1) MSG or free glutamic acid is also found in many health foods as a result of vegetable protein breakdown or hydrolysis. These MSGs or free glutamic acids are not added into food as a flavor enhancer but exist in varying quantities in many foods as a result of protein breakdown

(2) When proteins are ingested in their natural state, the stomach breaks these proteins down only into L-glutamic acid.  When proteins are processed, heated, hydrolyzed or fermented as in the flavor enhancer MSG or proteins powders, veggie proteins etc… they break down into both D and L-glutamic acid.

(2) Monosodium Glutamic Acid (MSG) refers to a chemical process in which glutamic acid is isolated, and then, bound to a sodium molecule and purified into a white powder that is added to foods as a flavor enhancer.

Some studies suggest MSG can cause the following issues:
  • Obesity
  • Increased production of insulin
  • Dysplasia (enlargement of an organ or tissue as the result of abnormal cell proliferation).
  • Migraine, Headaches, Autism, ADHD, Seizures, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s
The following are USDA FAQ’s and answers concerning MSG:

(3) Will I know if there is monosodium glutamate (MSG) in a processed meat or poultry product?

MSG is classified as a flavor enhancer by Federal regulation. When it is added to a product, it must be identified as “monosodium glutamate” on the label.

(3) MSG and hydrolyzed protein related?

Yes. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. It is found in virtually all food and, in abundance, in food that is high in protein, including meat, poultry, cheeses, and fish.

Hydrolyzed proteins, used by the food industry to enhance flavor, are simply proteins that have been chemically broken apart into amino acids. The chemical breakdown of proteins may result in the formation of free glutamate that joins with free sodium to form MSG. In this case, the presence of MSG does not need to be disclosed on labeling. Labeling is required when MSG is added as a direct ingredient.

(3) Can hydrolyzed animal or vegetable protein be identified as “natural flavoring” on the label?

No. FSIS regulation requires that animal or vegetable proteins must be specifically identified in the ingredient statement on the labels. The source of the protein must also be disclosed. On the label, you will read “hydrolyzed wheat protein” or “hydrolyzed milk protein,” not just hydrolyzed protein.(2)

If you feel confused about MSG or not sure if it is affecting you, consider eating a cleaner diet of food.

Eating more fruits & vegetables (unprocessed),  also more organic and fewer GMO foods is a good place to start.

Other Names For MSG:

Accent Seasoning (MSG is the only ingredient)

Anything “protein fortified”

Anything “hydrolyzed”

Anything “enzyme modified”

Anything containing “enzymes”

Anything “fermented”

Anything containing “protease”

Autolyzed Plant Protein 

Autolyzed Yeast


Calcium Caseinate

Calcium glutamate

Citric Acid (when processed from corn)



Glutamic Acid

Hydrolized Plant Protein (HPP)

Hydrolized Vegetable Protein (HVP)

Monopotassium Glutamate

Monosodium Glutamate

Natural Flavoring

Natrium glutamate 

Natural Meat Tenderizer

Sodium Caseinate

Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor) 

Soy sauce extract

Soy protein

Soy protein concentrate

Soy protein isolate

Yeast Food or Nutrient

Yeast Extract

ingredients that may contain or produce MSG during  processing:


Bouillon and broth


Any “flavors” or “flavoring”

Natural flavor



Citric acid, Citrate

Anything “ultra-pasteurized”

Barley malt

Malted barley

Brewer’s yeast


Malt extract


Sources of Information:

(1) Hunger For Change

(2) LifeSpa

(3) USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

Xylitol The Food Additive Of The Day

The FDA has approved xylitol as a food additive or sweetener.

Xylitol is a carbohydrate found in the birch tree and in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables and is therefore considered natural.  It is a white crystalline powder.  Since it is a refined sweetener,  so it doesn’t contain any vitamins, minerals or protein.  Therefore, an“empty” calorie.

Table Sugar: 4 calories per gram.     Xylitol: 2.4 calories per gram.

Xylitol looks and tastes like sugar, but has 40% fewer calories and it has a very Low Glycemic Index and Doesn’t Spike Blood Sugar or Insulin.

The glycemic index measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar. Xylitol is only 7, compared to regular sugar, which is 60-70.

•dentists like it because it is not converted to acids that cause tooth decay in the mouth.

•It is believed to be a big component in fighting middle ear infections in children.  Some studies showed that children who chewed Xylitol gum reduced their chances of developing an ear infection by 40%.

•If you take large amounts of xylitol, such as 30 to 40 grams, you may experience diarrhea or gas. Increasing the dose gradually may help minimize these effects.

•Xylitol is Highly Toxic to Dogs.  When dogs eat xylitol, their bodies mistakenly think that they’ve ingested glucose and start producing large amounts of insulin.   This can lead to hypoglycemia and be fatal.

Sources of Information:





For The Love Of Food

I love food!!  I really do, especially desserts.

As a baker, I love the various combinations of flour, sugar, butter, eggs and flavorings.  When I am in my kitchen measuring, creating, baking and tasting, I am in therapy.
WE all need therapy, wether you admit it or not.

My customers and friends say they love or would love to eat the desserts I create, but….they are vegans, have gluten sensitivities or prefer organic ingredients.  So I expanded my baked goods to reflect one or all three requests.

Like most people I thought using ingredients that are organic, gluten-free or vegan was going to be too expensive, going to taste like tree bark and that I would have to by a lot of other ingredients to replace the flavor.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Some of my recipes actually taste better.

Watch me live on www.Periscope.tv/cookinmeanjean. We will discuss food additives, definition of food label terms, define organic, etc.  It is free to watch and type in your comments and questions.

I go live Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, 6:50am Arizona Time.  Currently that is MST.   Since Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time, we don’t change time,  just switch time zones.  March 12th is Daylight Savings Time and Arizona will then be PST.
(Just for clairification we don’t ever change our clocks we just pick the time zone that matches our clocks.)

Also, I have started having live cooking demos once a week, usually Thursday nights.  I like to take my test recipes to work and get my co-workers opinion’s  on Friday mornings.

Please join me.  I would really love to see your comments, questions and suggestions.

My Passion

My name is CookinMeanJean (government name Jean E. King).  I created this website to encourage, help and teach everyone about eating cleaner.  

This site will relate to organic, gluten-free and vegan desserts.   Starting with mostly organic.    I say “mostly organic”, because I don’t believe that the world we live now can be 100% organic.  The cotton in our clothes is genetically modified.  If you choose to be 100% organic, you will limit yourself to a very small list of foods, clothing, grooming products, etc.

We all must start slowly and realistically.  There is no need to throw everything out of your pantry when becoming more organic.  It is best to start with baby steps.