Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the government’s new version of the slightly archaic design, MyPyramid. Fittingly, this new design is called MyPlate. Instead of the 2 dimensional pyramid with a heavy focus on grains, dairy, and protein, the new design is in the shape of a plate. Divided into three sections (looks similar to a circle graph), one half represents fruits and/or vegetables, one quarter whole grains, and one quarter lean protein. Attached to the plate is a small side of dairy (fat-free or low-fat).
One of the main goals the government set out to achieve with MyPlate is to teach Americans proper portion sizes, by demonstrating that you can enjoy your favorite indulgences but in small quantities. Furthermore, the USDA also stresses serving small portions at every meal. Most importantly, the change in design addresses high sodium and high sugar intake. On theUSDA website, they advise Americans to watch their salt consumption by decreasing their intake of frozen foods, soups, and breads, in addition to decreasing sugary beverages and replacing with water.Read More»
Antioxidants are always being touted as a MUST for your diet. But what they do and their importance to our diet and our bodies is a bit confusing. Here’s the lowdown on nature’s super powers.
Every day, our bodies are exposed to oxidation and free radicals. Free radicals are unavoidable. They are spawned from the environment – pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, herbicides, pesticides, gas fumes, toxic chemicals, etc, etc. But it doesn’t stop there….free radicals can also be formed from derivatives of our bodily functions – metabolism, stress, and some are produced by the immune system to neutralize viruses and bacteria. The most common form of free radicals in the human body is oxygen (I know…that sounds so strange since we couldn’t live without it). The oxygen molecules moving around inside our bodies become electrically charged and try to steal electrons from other molecules, which can lead to DNA damage or extensive molecular destruction.Read More»
Food dyes are in the news right now and are causing quite a stir. About two weeks ago, the FDA brought together an expert panel of doctors, scientists, and consumer specialists in Washington to discuss the potential dangers of food dyes. This panel was to determine if there was enough evidence to require food makers to put warning labels on their products, advising consumers that food dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Interestingly, the research was inconclusive in determining whether or not food dyes were causing or perpetuating hyperactivity in children, therefore, they warning label did not pass. But they did say that eliminating food dyes have shown positive results in children with hyperactivity. The FDA concluded that there needs to be more research done to find this causal association.Read More»
In honor of being asked to give a Sports Nutrition presentation to the Oak Park High School Track team in Southern Cali, I felt it was incredibly important to discuss a part of Nutrition that many times goes unnoticed. EXERCISE NUTRITION! Properly fueling your body before, during, and after exercise can make a HUGE difference in your energy levels, performance, endurance, and strength. But one of the most important aspects to all of us that exercise our bodies often, is SEEING the results we are looking for. If you don’t take care of your body – fueling and replenishing it properly, you may as well consider that work-out useless. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. Sometimes we take our bodies for granted. We expect them to give us what we want in kickboxing, let us go deeper in the yoga stretch, or run that mile faster than the last one. We find we can push our bodies most of the time but what are we doing to give back? Are we giving our body the fuel it needs to sustain the energy needed and then recover? This is when nutrient timing becomes incredibly vital.Read More»
Let’s face it – we are an overstressed society. Too many commitments, too many things to do, too many obligations, and too much work. While many of us have mastered the art of multi-tasking (and take pride in doing so), we have spread ourselves much too thin and because of this, our health is starting to plummet and our weight is skyrocketing.
Stress is not easy to control, let alone get rid of. It’s in our blueprint and our hectic lifestyles perpetuate the problem. But what is it really doing to our bodies??? You may be the type of person that exercises frequently (at high intensities for that matter), eats healthy, and does all the right things to maintain a healthy status quo. The only problem is that your weight is not budging. You can’t seem to drop the excess lbs, especially in your abdomen. This is the moment to re-evaluate your lifestyle and figure out if stress the confounding factor.Read More»