I read this fascinating book in its entirety on the plane from Miami to Los Angeles. It was a quick read and I found it chock full of interesting information about the food industry and how to simplify your health and nutrition in this over-processed, over-regulated world of food. How can we break down the mess we have created into a straightforward and uncomplicated way to feed ourselves? How can we change some of our ingrained eating habits and go back to pure, unadulterated foods?
Journalist, Michael Pollan (http://michaelpollan.com), offers a clear outlook on why we are all beyond confused about what to put into our bodies. Whether it is the advertising agencies, the government, food companies, or our own desire and impetus to eat healthy, we have digressed from the basics. The fundamental and most basic idea he proposes is to “Eat Food”, “Not Too Much”, and “Mostly Plants”. It’s as easy as that.
And my motto is very similar. “Eat Clean. Eat Small. Eat Often. Eat Healthy”. Don’t rely on the quick fix. It ultimately leads to disappointment. Slow and steady always wins the race.
I just watched this amazing documentary called “Killer at Large: A Documentary Exposing Why We’re Losing the War on Fat” directed by Steven Greenstreet. It’s fabulously done and really gets into the reason WHY America’s obesity epidemic is out of control, including an in-depth look at how advertising and the media influence our behavior and more importantly, our children’s behaviors and food decisions. The most shocking part of the documentary was the piece on the 12 year old girl, that with parental consent, had liposuction all over her body because “diet and exercise just wasn’t working anymore”. It’s heartbreaking to see that our young adults feel the need to take such drastic measures. And that parents are approving this type of behavior.
Please rent it. It’s definitely a must-see.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and healthy holiday season and are ready for 2011! I’m hoping it’s going to be a wonderful year! :) I also want to take the time to thank you for supporting me, and of course, my blog. It’s been an incredibly rewarding and fun experience for me and I look forward to writing a lot more this coming year so please check back often. And also, please feel free to email me with any questions or ideas for blogs.
Here’s to a year filled with happiness and good health!!
The happiest (and sometimes most stressful) time of the year is upon us! As is the numerous invites for holiday parties, work socials, and celebrations dedicated to this lovely month. While we rush around to buy the perfect presents, decorate our homes, and start thinking about our goals and dreams for the new year, we tend to lose ourselves in the process. Namely, we eat. And we eat a lot. Maybe you were “good” all year and are letting loose or you have allowed yourself to indulge this season. Either way, enjoy the food offered but at the same time try not to overdo it and begrudgingly have to add “Lose Weight” to the top of your New Year’s Resolution.
Here are some tips on what hors d’oeuvres and decadent foods to stay away from, ones in which to indulge, and the few to sneak when no one is looking!Read More»
Lately I have been hearing so much about the superfood, kale! Everyone is raving about it! The amazing benefits, the different ways to use it in your meals, and how we can get more of it in our diet. To be honest, I just started eating kale, as I was a bit weary about it before. But then my wonderful friend, Whitney, suggested I throw it in a smoothie and I was hooked.
Part of the cabbage family, kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable with similar disease-fighting characteristics as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. And fights disease, it does! Kale has the highest antioxidant rating based on the ORAC Scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) with a value of 1770. This nutritional powerhouse comes in way ahead of spinach, which has an ORAC value of 1260.Read More»
Expensive Pee. That’s what my professors call dietary supplements. And expensive they are. No wonder the supplement/vitamin business makes about 7 billion, yes, BILLION, dollars a year! And it’s only growing. But do dietary supplements really do what they claim on the bottle? How do we know that we are taking what is specified on the label when the formulas are not regulated by the FDA? This is a very controversial topic and one in which people feel very strongly about. You are either a supporter of dietary supplements and will spend the outrageous amounts of money to fuel the habit (or even possible placebo effect) or you don’t take them and disregard the hype. I would like to share what I know - some knowledge that I have learned in school and my personal beliefs on those little pills.Read More»
Now here’s the million dollar question and one I get asked very often…..How can I enjoy my nights out and still manage to look great? I want to go out with my friends on Saturday night but don’t want to feel bloated and horrible the next morning….what do I do and what should I drink?
So here are some tips and tools I use when I go out. I feel that I have managed to find a happy medium between enjoying what I am drinking (I mean honestly…who wants to dilute their wine with a spritzer??????), while cutting down on the unnecessary calories, and still being able to go to yoga the next day. But let me add a disclaimer saying that sometimes the rules get broken and I succumb to the yummy margaritas at my favorite Mexican restaurant. If this happens, just pick yourself up the next day and promise yourself it will only be vodka sodas the next time you go out!!!Read More»
Water…. it’s a precious commodity. And our bodies could not live without it. I am sure you have always read or heard that you should drink 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day. So that’s 64 ounces of water which is a little less than 2 liters. At the same time, that can seem like a very daunting amount of fluid to consume throughout the day. I get it…you don’t always want to be running to the bathroom! This recommendation also includes other drinks and foods that you consume and don’t even realize you are adding to your “water bank”. Oranges, cucumbers, and watermelon have a very high water content so eating an orange can satisfy a small portion of those 2 liters.Read More»
I have a big presentation next week on Vitamin C in my Advanced MicroNutrient class. I figured since I was doing so much research regarding this essential nutrient, I thought I would share some of my information!
Vitamin C is abundant in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, guava, red & yellow peppers, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts, and grapefruit. There are plenty more fruits and vegetables that contain good amounts of Vitamin C but these are excellent sources. The average adult needs about 75-90 mg/day. And let me tell you…that is a VERY easy amount to consume in a day. A 1/2 cup of red peppers provides you with 142 mg of Vitamin C – that’s more than the Recommended Daily Allowance. But not to worry. If you are consuming whole food products with high levels of Vitamin C, you won’t reach toxic levels in your body due to the water-soluble characteristics of the vitamin. That means you are more or less going to pee out the Vitamin C that you don’t absorb. Your body is an incredible regulator of such nutrients and will get rid of what it doesn’t need or what it has too much of. So if you eat 5 oranges in a day, your body is going to use and absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin C and then excrete the rest.Read More»
Everyone has heard that you should eat 5 small meals a day. And if you haven’t heard it, then there you go. Eating frequently throughout the day keeps your blood glucose levels stable, your metabolism burning, and decreases the urges to become ravenous the next time you sit down for a meal. There have been plenty of times that I forgo my snack before dinner and end up consuming an EXCESSIVE amount of food (or become real good friends with the bread basket). The times that I do make sure to have a snack in between lunch and dinner (closer to the time that I will be eating dinner), I make good choices and eat the right portions. But hey…sometimes we blow it and that’s OK!Read More»
Did you know that 1 pound of body fat is approximately equal to 3500 calories? While that seems like an outrageously large number, the over-consumption of high caloric foods and large portion sizes makes it a fairly easy number to get to. Often. Of course take into consideration the calories you burn throughout the day, especially if you are frequently exercising.Read More»
I love smoothies and shakes. I’d much rather drink my calories than eat them…and I don’t necessarily mean at the bar. :) But I really like to have a nutrient dense shake in the morning because I never have much of an appetite. This helps me to make sure I always have breakfast – the MOST important meal of the day.
So while I do enjoy Jamba Juice, I do not enjoy the outrageous calories and excessive grams of sugar that saturate almost all of their smoothies. Some of the smoothies have more sugar than TWO Snickers bars. WILD! Possibly one of the culprits of America’s out of control obesity rate! And let me also say that sugar makes you fat….fat doesn’t make you fat.
Now here is my tasty, healthy, nutrient dense shake recipe! It’s a great breakfast, after-workout recovery drink or anytime you want something delicious – without compromising the scale.
Since I am on the topic of sugar additives, I wanted to address a few questions I received about Splenda & Stevia.
- Primarily made of Sucralose, this non-nutritive sweetener is derived from the natural Sucrose (table sugar), with a chemical structure composed of three alcohol groups, attached to three chlorine atoms. Yes, chlorine. Not to be alarmed though. Chlorine is in our drinking water so it’s something we consume on a daily basis. But obviously in very small amounts. According to the American Dietetic Association, they deem Splenda as a “safe” sugar additive. And so does the FDA….
Last night I watched a fascinating documentary on the history of Aspartame suggested to me by my great friend, Allie, who also happens to be my partner-in-crime at CSUN. Sugar-additives are a very hot topic right now (well…always have been) and I find that most people often ask me about the sugar-additives they can and can’t have. Since most people shun the high-caloric drinks, many take refuge in the “no calorie, no sugar”versions of the same drink such as Diet Coke, Diet Snapple, Crystal Light, any soda with a ZERO in the name, etc, etc. This lengthy food list that uses Aspartame as a “sweetener” also includes chewing gum, yogurt, nutritional bars, gelatin, Equal, Nutra-Sweet, cereals, juice drinks, maple syrup, candy and my personal favorite, vegetable juices. When did we find the need to start sweetening vegetables???!!!!????!!Read More»