Eating out is very American, and in my case nicely linked to my family. As a kid I spent summers with my grandmother who believed in a three-hour lunch at a good restaurant. And to this day, my mother and I do our catching up at our favorite restaurants. Dietitian or not, in my family a restaurant table is equivalent to a kitchen table.
The fast food industry continuously lands in the center of the debate on our country’s obesity epidemic. If you’ve seen Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me,” which skewers fast food, then you know what I’m talking about.
As if in answer to the criticism, fast food restaurants are developing new “healthier” options. McDonald’s has its salads, smoothies and oatmeal; Krispy Kreme is planning to include options such as oatmeal, yogurt and juice; Carl’s Jr is working with Men’s Health on a new turkey burger; and other restaurants, such as Red Robin and Fuddruckers, also offer turkey burgers.
When I go to the grocery store and see the basic whole foods that are trending, I think of my father, who was born during the Great Depression. He and his seven siblings woke to a pot of beans on the wood stove and came home to a dinner of homemade bread, baked beans and collard greens, or vegetables easily found on the farms they lived and worked on.
As an adult, my father would talk about how poor his family was, and how the kids would tease him in school about his rustic lunch food, compared with his classmates who had peanut butter and jam sandwiches on sliced bread.
I recently tried Kombucha, a fermented tea touting health properties, for the first time and decided that after 30 days of use and research I’d write about my experience. Kombucha goes back thousands of years in Eastern countries such as China and Japan, but I’m one of those Westerners to whom it was brand new. My intent was to find non-dairy, non-pill sources of probiotics (like the good bacteria found in yogurt that support digestion).
So, my question in trying something new in the way of food or drink is how to make an informed decision? It’s easy to get caught up in the hype about something trendy. Read More | Comment
Protein powders, recovery shakes or protein bars are designed for rigorous body movement beyond an average 30-minute workout. Less than that, there is no need to resupply your carbohydrate store. (The same goes for exercise drinks. If you are working out for less than one hour, you have not depleted your body’s electrolyte stores enough to require a specialized drink.) Working out for one hour or more necessitates a snack or a meal, if the next meal of the day is upcoming.
If you are a body builder or athlete who regularly competes, trains or exercises longer than two hours, specialized products with added electrolytes and extra protein could be easy alternatives to whole foods, to get the nutrients you need to replenish your body quickly. When your body is working that hard, you burn more calories and break down more muscle fiber than the average person will at the gym. Read More | Comment
My daughter was the last to walk in her group of toddler friends. She was also the last to potty train, but the first to talk. She learned to tie her shoes more than eight months ago, and still struggles with that skill, but in only three months has adopted a perfectly formed “claw” for capturing three-note chords when playing the piano. She is nowhere near being able to whistle.
Kids take months and years to learn and refine their many skills and talents. Good eating habits are no different. Yet, we sometimes expect our kids to be instantaneously good or healthful eaters because we either model good eating or we tell them (what feels like a million times) that they can’t have ice cream before dinner, or seven juice boxes in a day.
Being single does not mean that life is less harried than for “marrieds” (thank you, Bridget Jones). Finding time for friends and family, workouts, bill paying, housework, even dating, can be a struggle with work demands.
The truth is, you get home, your energy is faded and you grab for the microwave popcorn, knowing it‘s not the best choice for your good health. But it’s convenient. It’s there. It’s quick. And even tasty. So how do you get past feeling that preparing healthful food, beyond opening a bag or box, is as much drudgery as doing your taxes?
What happens when you are too scared to eat? It might seem far fetched. But after a client recently told me that he was too scared to eat, I realized that I’ve had many people over the years tell me the same during nutrition counseling.
This particular client had weighed over 300 pounds about a year ago, and had lost more than 100 pounds on his own. However, he had done so by severely restricting his intake and abusing laxatives. We know that’s not the healthy way to lose weight, and he realized it, too, at some point, which was how he ended up in my office.
Television, the Internet, movies, magazines — we are barraged with words and images promoting the “good-looking” body type in vogue at the moment. Our culture defines beauty with an all-consuming intensity, and we take it upon ourselves to fit that “ideal” image. It’s simply human that we fall prey; it’s the world we live in, and taking notice, even aspiring to beauty, is just how we’re wired.
Take me, for example. I was into bodybuilding in my twenties because I was told I was too thin – and I’d be “ruined” socially if I didn’t go to the gym and gain weight. I used protein shakes with too many ingredients and hefty price tags to aid my transformation. Read More | Comment
But what to do? People get confused and scared by grim statistics and dire predictions about health and our diets. Organic, non-organic, local, commercial, GMOs, farm fresh, natural — it’s like you need to be a rocket scientist to grocery shop. And after all that, after doing “all the right things,” the food is less than yummy, and you’ve given up all the “fun stuff.”