Weight Watchers announced last week that it would offer free memberships to teens ages 13 to 17. Yeah…I have a few thoughts on that.
So, I was minding my beeswax the other night when an angry email from a researcher popped into my inbox. He did not appreciate the vague reference (I did not mention the title, the publication, or the researchers names) to one of his studies in my Seattle Times column that had JUST been posted to the Times website that day. Dude must be part bloodhound.
I recently had a rather heated discussion with someone near and dear to me about the alleged association between higher body weights (body mass indexes, or BMIs, in the “overweight” or “obese” ranges) and health problems. Let’s just say that if our walking route had taken us a little closer to Lake Washington, I might have tossed him in.
I’ve been wanting to try proper matcha green tea at home for a long time—and not just because I was mesmerized the first time I watched someone add water to the beautiful green powder and whisk to create the tea—but never had. I finally got off the matcha fence when Kiss Me Organics offered to send me some of their USDA Certified Organic Ceremonial-Grade Matcha to try, which I did…with my own cute little bamboo whisk.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in many of my patients, I see a mixture of joy and angst. Much of that angst is because holiday meals have a reputation (often earned) for being indulgent and less-than-nutritious. But when you stop and take a closer look, there are many perfectly nutritious foods that we traditionally serve during the fall and winter holidays.
In my article this month for The Washington Post, “The totally unsexy path to healthy eating (and why we’re not following it),” I touch on an unfortunate fact about nutrition science. Namely, that more often than not it’s not exactly groundbreaking.
I was checking my email and raised an eyebrow at one of the subject lines: “This harmful ingredient lurking in everyday foods!” After, “How in the hell did I get on this woman’s email list?” My next thought was, “What is this alleged harmful ingredient, and how irritated will I be when I find out what it is?” Allow me to debunk this nutrition pseudoscience.
There are certain Mediterranean dishes that just scream “summer” and ratatouille is one of them, although honestly this dish will work any time of year, even if the staple ingredients—eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes—are not in season. I enjoy making a big batch that I can eat for days, especially when it’s too hot to want to cook every evening.
One of the unfortunate side effects of living in a dieting, weight-centric culture is that much of the value of eating well and being active gets wrapped up in the question, “Will this help me lose weight?” Our bodies are complex things, and there is never any guarantee that positive inputs (nutritious food, regular movement, adequate sleep, self-care) will lead to weight loss.
The reaction to my latest On Nutrition column, “Has your diet become your religion? How to balance your food choices,” has been interesting, as I suspected it would be. I’ve had some lovely emails, and a few that were, well, less lovely. Not surprising, since food and religion are both hot-button topics for some.
Happy Friday! I’m not trying to do links posts every week, because honestly there are weeks when I don’t find enough links that I want to share. This week is different, and I noticed as I was putting it together that it has a strong anti-pseudoscience bent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I love it when I see an intriguing recipe and I have everything for it on hand! When the latest email from Oldways landed in my inbox last week with the subject line “Fruit can be savory, too” I was hooked. I clicked on the link and saw the recipe for the Sorghum & Blues Salad and I said “I must make this.”
My latest On Nutrition column in The Seattle Times, “Coconut oil: It’s really not that good for you,” is my attempt to set the record straight on whether we should be eating coconut oil with abandon (hint: we shouldn’t). As a result, I received a number of questions via email regarding my suggestion in that column to use olive oil as a primary cooking fat.
I blogged about my recipe for rustic gazpacho when I first adopted it into my repertoire back in 2014. Much like ratatouille (more on this soon), it inexplicably fell out of favor after a few intense years. How fortuitous that I was re-inspired to make this fresh, lovely, easy soup as I was flipping through Nancy Harmon Jenkins “Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil” before giving a talk on the Mediterranean diet.
I have a handful of regular breakfast options in my rotation, but one of my favorites is what I call “Turkish Breakfast,” which is inspired by the hotel breakfast we had during our stay last year in Istanbul. It’s not only flavorful and satisfying, but quite nutritious!
Do you sometimes feel that you are pulled between two choices: one that satisfies an immediate impulse and one that you know in your heart of hearts will bring you greater benefits, even if you don’t feel the effects immediately? When you feel that internal tug-of-war, ask yourself “What would be the kindest choice?”
Happy Friday! I had every good intention to put together a “Links I Like” post for today…but I really couldn’t find any links I liked enough to share! But, I was inspired by this TEDx video, which landed in my inbox yesterday. In “The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger,” Shauna Shapiro eloquently […]
Hello there, it’s been a while. I didn’t intend for it to be a while, but all the extra moving parts in my life since mid-April (speaking engagements, lots of travel, a new puppy) on top of my usual moving parts (work, home, writing) kept blogging on my “to-do” list instead of on my “done!” list.
One of the things I love about spending time on a beach in Hawaii is the bodies on display. All kinds of bodies. It’s a really good reality check about your own body…namely, the fact that, yes, you have one and it’s carried you this far in life. I kind of got that Hawaii feeling when I watched Embrace. We all have bodies, and those bodies are not one-size-fits-all.
“Progress, not perfection.” Three important words that I invoke pretty much daily with my patients (sometimes I use the variation “perfection is the enemy of progress”). That’s one reason why I was delighted by the Washington Post article, “A weight-loss expert changes his tune: focus on enjoyment, not perfection.”
OK, I’ve decided it’s high time to do a pantry challenge. Mostly because MY pantry has become extremely challenging, full to the point where we sometimes don’t know what we have because we can’t see it. This has lead to buying duplicate items, which is not only annoying but makes the problem worse!
I confess that I subscribed to Julie Duffy Dillon’s “Love, Food” podcast months before I started listening to it. But once I started listening, I couldn’t stop, and I recommend it to anyone who feels like their relationship with food could use a little (or a lot of) healing. Here’s a Q&A with Julie herself.
It’s International Mindful Eating Day! I’ve been increasingly mindful about being mindful, because this year I’m really working on further cultivating mindfulness skills. If you feel like you could benefit from a little more mindfulness in distracted times, I have a few resources for you.
I had a wild hair of an idea a few weeks ago when I was out for a walk. I’ve have some small tweaks to my life that I’ve been intending to make for a while now (ahem), mostly in the area of stress reduction, but it just hasn’t happened. An accountability group, I thought, is just what I need!
I like this infographic not just because it mentions olive oil (!) but because it makes the point that healthy diets may include different ingredients (i.e., foods), but what they have in common is the vital nutrients we need to keep us healthy. As I say often, there are different ways to eat nutritiously, but all nutritious, health-promoting diets have some common denominators.
Mindfulness is experiencing some backlash lately, but I think the dismissal of mindfulness is based on the unfortunate co-opting of the term, which in many people may contribute to the pursuit of being “perfect” about being mindful. As in other endeavors, don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.
I’ve recently expressed my opinion about the futility of creating a static meal plan (eat this on Monday, this on Tuesday, and so on…with no deviations!) for anyone other than myself. But dynamic plans, where you have a chance to easily make substitutions, is another thing entirely.
Does your social life revolve around happy hours, restaurant dinners, lunch dates, coffee-and-pastry meetups and Sunday brunches? This can interfere with your healthy eating goals—but it doesn’t have to.
If you are making a commitment to eat healthier, that commitment shouldn’t get tossed out the window the minute you experience a change in your daily routine. It’s pretty easy to get in the habit of eating healthy at home and bringing healthy brown bag meals and snacks to work. What’s a bit trickier is extending those good habits to what you eat when traveling upends your normal routine.
Happy Friday! No links post this week, as I’m traveling to visit family on the East Coast and had writing deadlines up until the nanosecond I left for the airport. But please enjoy this week’s column in The Seattle Times, appropriately titled “What you need to know about iron.” Stay strong!
If you work outside the home, a huge chunk of your day is spent in the workplace, which makes that your second most important food environment (after your home). It’s also an environment that can be unpredictable in what temptations it sends your way. If your job is stressful, and stress makes you want to eat, that’s one more factor you need to consider.
Why is it important to be master or mistress of your food environment? To begin with, most of us lead busy lives, with multiple demands on our time. If we get hungry, and healthy food isn’t easily accessible, but non-healthy food is, guess what we’re probably going to eat? That’s right, the non-healthy, easy-to-grab food.
It’s a refrain I hear a little too often: “I just need someone to tell me what to eat.” In today’s age of rampant nutrition confusion, I sort of get it—but on another level I don’t get it, not at all. I’m not your boss, I’m not your mother, and I’m definitely not the food police. As adults, we need to be able to make decisions about the things that are important to our health and happiness.
Whenever possible, I like to know where my food comes from, on both a geographical and personal level. Personal, as in whose hard work do I have to thank for the tasty, nutritious foods on my plate. Last week, I was fortunate to be able to take that behind-the-scenes look at the California Walnut harvest.
I love walnuts and eat them pretty much every day, partly because they are delicious and versatile, but also because they are rich in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid, or ALA. As with other omega-3s, ALA is extremely healthy, but it’s also a more fragile oil. In other words, it can go rancid easily if not stored properly. Here’s what you need to know.
I try to brown bag my lunch everyday, and my favorite brown-bag lunch, hands down, is some sort of a salad. This salad is tasty and healthful and reasonably hearty, although you could absolutely add some leftover chicken or salmon, or part of a can of tuna. I often do. And it goes without saying that this salad will taste better when packed in a mason jar.
Last week, I was sitting with a group of my Menu for Change patients at an event, and one of my long-time patients said that whenever she tells someone about Menu for Change, they ask her, “So, what’s the diet like?” She looked at me, and we laughed, and I said, “I would rather die than put someone on a diet.” And that’s the truth. Because diets don’t work.
For some reason, I haven’t made this black bean & turkey chili for ages. I decided it was just the thing to make Monday after the end of a long day of writing. It’s the perfect sort of dish for when you are feeling brain tired and uninspired…it’s simple, tasty, hard to mess up, and doesn’t require too much chopping!
A handful of years ago, I read a New York Times opinion piece on how our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence. While on the surface this had nothing whatsoever to do with nutrition, it made me ponder how this might relate to eating and physical activity habits. In other words, are we prone to being victims of self-delusion?
My interest in the chickpea flour, water and olive oil pancake known as socca peaked when we were planning our first-ever trip to the south of France. Socca is popular not just in southern France and Italy. The traditional—and best—way to cook it is in a wood-fired oven (mobile or otherwise), but you can easily make do with your home oven using a skillet or pizza pan.
I know how much better my weeks go when I meal plan, and having tasty leftovers (in the fridge or freezer) is an important part of my planning. This is why I count Ellie Kreiger’s newest book ‘You Have it Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals’ as an important resource.
I plan to write a much longer piece about olive oil for The Seattle Times in a few months, but I was so excited by what I learned about this healthful oil when I was at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) a few weeks back that I wanted to offer a “highlight reel,” so to spea
Today is the first-ever Alaska Wild Salmon Day. We are lucky here in Washington state to live so close to Alaska, home of well-managed wild salmon runs. If you don’t have plans for dinner tonight, I suggest you swing by the store and pick some some gorgeous, omega-3-rich wild salmon for yourself!
Odds are, you’ve noticed the tagline in this site’s header: “Helping you achieve optimal health and mind-body wellness…one bite at a time.” So what’s that about, exactly? It’s about this: Healthy eating is not an all-or-nothing deal. It exists on a spectrum.