Welcome back, SNO blog readers! This week I’ve been thinking a lot about holistic health. I don’t mean the stigmatized “hippie” naturopathic medicine that may come to mind for some; I mean the dictionary definition of holistic: “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” At this point in 2018, I think some of the lines in the health and nutrition community have been blurred. There is a definite difference between health foods that are holistically healthy, and health foods that are highly marketable. For example, I’m sitting in The Living Room Cafe right now, and I ordered an acai bowl and an iced coffee with almond milk. Those not so deeply submerged in analyzing nutritional aspects of food as are all of you future RD’s might assume that what I just put in my body was “healthy”. In reality, the bowl of sorbet and sugary granola I just consumed probably made my insulin levels skyrocket, and the stored energy it provided me with will most likely stick around in my body for a while, considering I’m sitting here writing this blog post and not hiking up a mountain. The acai bowl is a great example of a heavily marketed “health food” that is not necessarily healthy. Besides the obvious capitalistic dilemma of some foods being marketed as health foods for the profit of the companies selling them, there is another huge aspect of holistic nutrition that I think could be even more important.
There are a lot of health foods out there that, good for you or are not, negatively affect another aspect of our ecosystem. An example that comes to mind immediately is something I’ve seen in juice shops and health food stores countless times: bee pollen. Bee pollen is the pollen from plants collected by bees and subsequently collected from the bees by beekeepers. Bee pollen has long been celebrated for its allergy-reducing and immune-boosting properties, and has been linked to the idea that eating local honey when visiting a new place will help you adjust to the atmosphere and lessen any allergy symptoms due to exposure to new plants and pollen in the air. I had heard about bee pollen’s allergy-reducing properties many times, and worked in a couple of juice shops that used it heavily, but never looked into it. It turns out that the problem with bee pollen is that the process of collecting it involves putting a comb-like screen at the entrance/exit of the hive, causing the pollen to be pulled from the bees’ limbs, but often pulling off their limbs as well. I hate to reference the movie that is essentially one enormous meme, but we could have a Bee Movie situation on our hands at some point. Bees use “stiff hair-like structures” (beeculture.com) on their legs to collect pollen, so if extraction of bee pollen de-legs bees in the process, it can’t be good for pollination and environmental well being in general. Furthermore, the bees need that pollen for the health of their colony, so if beekeepers collect pollen, bees have to forage more often, putting stress on the hives. Pollination is also essential to the growth of flowers, fruits and other plants that we need to survive. According to pollinator.org, “Somewhere between 75% and 95%  of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination – they need pollinators.” (pollinator.org).
Now maybe some of you knew about the downsides of bee pollen, considering it comes directly from the bee, and more and more people are looking into the protection of animals and insects alike with practices like vegetarianism and veganism. What a lot of people might not think about is the negative effects of almonds on our little pollinators as well. Bees and almonds have a symbiotic relationship. The almond trees need pollination from the bees to flourish, and the bee hives become stronger after visiting almond orchards because “Almond orchards provide honey bees with their first natural source of food each spring.” (almonds.com) and almond pollen is very nutritious for the bees. With the almond and almond milk craze taking over in recent years, we have to be very careful which and how much almond product we buy. Almonds are a winter crop, but because of the year-round demand for almonds and almond milk, there is less genetic diversity in orchards, and there is less almond pollen for the bees to forage and subsist upon, making for a less productive relationship between the bees and the trees. When buying almonds and almond products, be mindful of when and how much, and look for pollinator friendly products like Whole Foods “365 Everyday Value® Pollinator Friendly” Almonds and Almond Butter, which, according to the Whole Foods website, are “sourced from an orchard that works with conservationists at The Xerces Society to create a welcoming environment for pollinators. The orchard planted diverse wildflowers around the almond trees to provide year-round sustenance for local bees.” (wholefoodsmarket.com).
Basically, food and nutrition doesn’t stop at food and nutrition. In my opinion, it is imperative to take a holistic approach to health, ours and the planet’s. As important as it is for people like us to know things like the USDA recommendation that 45-65% of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates, or that Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in your diet because your body doesn’t produce them on its own, it’s equally important to remember to assess the external aspects of the food we eat, aspects that indirectly affect all of us, like the effect on our very important pollinators.
Junior.SDSU.Foods and Nutrition Student.
Greek yogurt has been praised for years for being a miracle health food. A thick and creamy yogurt with more protein and less carbs than regular yogurt? Sign me up! Unfortunately, there is a dark side to the creamy Greek good-ness. Greek yogurt is actually a pretty wasteful and hazardous product to produce. The reason greek yogurt is so thick and protein rich is that it’s all curds and no whey, which means the curds and whey have to be seperated and the whey disposed of. For every 3 lbs of milk, only 1lb of Greek yogurt is produced. At first glance, this doesn’t seem that harmful, but after a looking into it a little I found that the whey that is separated is what's called “acid whey”. Acid whey can be used in very small amounts to fertilize land, which seems great but if it runs into water ways it is highly toxic, and lowers oxygen levels, which kills fish and other water and sea creatures. Greek yogurt is a $2 billion per year industry, so these companies aren’t just dumping a little bit of acid whey into the earth. Chobani alone dumps about 8,000 gallons, twice a day, 7 days a week (modernfarmer.com). The issue is with the scale, as it always is with the agricultural industry; supply and demand is what’s killing our environment. When you have so many people wanting greek yogurt, you have to increase dairy farm sizes to produce more milk, which means more resources consumed and more pollution produced (onegreenplanet.org). But it’s ok! Because there is always a solution! If we continue the way we are now, things are only going to get worse and we are straining our planet for resources as it is, but there’s no point in telling anyone about harmful industries or practices like it’s the end of the world, because it’s not. Lucky for us there are a million little sustainable practices we can all implement to keep mother earth alive, and well at that. If you’re an avid greek yogurt lover and consumer reading this, try regular yogurt, or a dairy-free option. Dairy-free options are delicious and require zero cows or dairy farms, which means no acid whey, no methane production, and less pollution! I hope this helped you realize that everything we do has an environmental impact, and how careful we have to be as consumers and (if you are one) omnivores. Stay happy, healthy, and green, everybody!
Junior. Foods and Nutrition Major.
This amazing, rich dark chocolate cake has been a staple of mine for the past three years, and I have made it for my sister’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and my birthday throughout the years (yes, I make my own birthday cake)! This cake is by far one of richest, most decadent cakes I’ve ever tried, and all of my friends could not believe that it was vegan and refined sugar free! It also is relatively easy to make, and is healthy enough that in all honesty, you could actually eat cake for breakfast!
This recipe is also a combination of recipes from Veggie Primer and Wife Mama Foodie, with a few little twists! Okay, now on to the recipe!
recipe adapted from Veggie Primer & Wife Mama Foodie
Hi SNO friends, I’m back from my little hiatus. I hope everyone had a lovely winter break and a happy New Year celebration. I’m choosing to use this space and time on the SNO blog to talk about the fateful promise 99% of our population makes to themselves every year on January 1st. That’s right, I’m talking about the dreaded New Year’s resolution. Kacey touched on starting the New Year off right with her post about healthy tips for 2018, but I’m going to assume that a few of you out there are itching to know more about the phenomenon that is the New Year’s resolution and why it usually doesn’t work out.
As nutrition majors and/or future dietitians, I think we all understand the concepts of health and balance, but that means it’s our job to spread the knowledge to those people out there still deciding that “new year, new me” means losing 20 lbs in a month. Health is all about knowledge, moderation and mindfulness. Lack of moderation and mindfulness are exactly why extreme starts to the New Year don’t make good long-term plans, and lack of knowledge is why people keep doing it. So if you’re crashing and burning after cutting out all carbs and counting all calories, here are some tips to modify your resolution into a lifestyle.
I want to talk about one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: to lose weight. Think about your plan in the long term, and make sure you start somewhere tangible and doable for you. Unless your goal is to lose ten pounds or less, you most likely won’t reach your goal weight in the first month, so you need to be thinking past January. Making a tangible, doable weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle is key for sustaining your goal. If at this point in February, you’re feeling like you can’t do another sit-up or you’ll die, try and adjust your workout schedule to fit the rest of your long-term schedule. If, like many others, you went for the extreme on January 1st, switching from a daily to to an every-other-day workout is a really good change to make. Pick days that fit your schedule, and go kill it those days, then don’t feel bad about relaxing on the days in between. It’s more effective to have general guidelines than hard and fast rules. You’re more likely to want to deviate or “cheat” if you have strict rules that aren’t easy to follow. Here’s an example of a helpful thought process for general guidance: You know that you don’t want to go more than three days without working out. Here’s an unrealistic plan that would be super easy to ditch because it’s so hard: Vow to work out 2 hours per day, 6 days per week and stick to a daily caloric intake of just 1500.
Beyond the gym, we all know the real work is done in the kitchen. Make sure you eat enough and stop eating when you’re not hungry. It’s super easy to find information on caloric needs on the Internet. Your number will be based on your body weight and lifestyle. From there, you can figure out how many you need to lose or gain weight. If counting calories works for you, make sure you stick to your number. Making drastic cuts will not help your weight loss journey because you need fuel to burn build muscle and therefore burn fat. In fact, it could lead to disordered eating like binging/restricting etc. Cutting calories and carbs will also cut fuel to your brain, which is no good for your productivity at work and school. And as we all know, refueling after workouts and staying hydrated are highly important, otherwise all that exertion in the gym or out and about won’t do you much good.
Hope you all are having a happy and healthy New Year! Eat well, live well and study hard y’all.
Junior. Foods and Nutrition Major.
I think every college student could agree with the statement that sleep is pretty hard to come by once the semester is in full swing...and if you don’t agree with that statement, then I salute you, for you must surely have some kind of superhuman sleeping powers. However, there is good news for sleep-deprived students: certain foods can help you sleep better! Incorporate these foods into your bedtime snack and get ready to snooze the night away.
Almonds make for an awesome late night snack, thanks to their high magnesium levels that assist in preserving the quality of sleep and building strong bones. Eat them on their own, in trail mix, or in your favorite snack bar.
Honey has been shown to aid tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid, in entering the brain by slightly raising insulin levels. Try it mixed into your bedtime cup of tea for a soothing nighttime treat.
I don’t know about you, but hummus is always a go-to snack for me any time of the day. As it turns out, it is a good source of tryptophan, which is just another reason to break out the tub for a late night snack session. Try it with pita bread or veggies for a healthy and filling snack option.
It turns out oatmeal is not just for breakfast! Oatmeal is a carbohydrate-rich source that has been shown to aid in sleepiness, in addition to being a source of melatonin, that sleep-inducing hormone I mentioned earlier. Try it hot or bake it into a treat for a satisfying snack.
Walnuts also contain tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin and melatonin. Get creative in the kitchen and make a walnut-rich dessert to snack on before bed for a sweet sleep-inducing treat.
Turkey is infamous for its ability to cause drowsiness, due to its tryptophan content. It is also a great source of protein, which has been shown to promote a good night’s sleep. Eat it plain or pair it with some hummus to maximize its sleep-promoting potential!
I hope you find some bedtime snack inspiration from these amazing superfoods that can help you get the most out of your sleep. See the sources below for more information and to view the studies behind these fascinating findings.
Have a great week, sleepy SNO members!
Hello SNO! I hope you all had a great first week back at school...I know I did. Yay for O-Chem!
For those of you who are part of the SNO Facebook group, you’ve probably seen a few of the blogs and podcasts I’ve shared from time to time. I’ve gotten messages asking about some of the resources I’ve shared, so I decided it would be a good idea to compile a bunch of online information sources in one post! All of these blogs, podcasts, and social media accounts are nutrition-related and headed by RDs, health professionals, or nutrition students. In addition, most of these bloggers integrate some sort of intuitive eating or Health At Every Size approach as well. I know that many nutrition majors I’ve talked to here at State are interested in these approaches. It’s good to know that they are becoming more commonly used among RDs and health professionals. I hope you find this guide useful and that is helps you to further immerse yourself in the world of nutrition!
The Real Life RD
Rachael Hartley Nutrition
The Lean Green Bean
Paige Smathers, RD
Jessi Haggerty Nutrition
My Daily Declarations
Freedom Nutrition Wellness (AKA the Donut Eating Dietitian)
Julie Dillon, RD
Heather Caplan, RD
Kara Lydon (AKA the Foodie Dietitian)
RD Real Talk
The BodyLove Project
Nut Butter Radio
Finding Body Freedom
Don’t Salt My Game
Instagram (many of these are the accounts of the aforementioned bloggers)
There you have it...a whole lotta dietitian and nutrition bloggers to fill your Instagram feed with some positivity, real talk, and nutrition knowledge. Whether you’re an avid reader like me, a podcast enthusiast, or someone who can’t stop scrolling, I hope these inspirational bloggers can be helpful to you. If you stumble upon something from this guide that you particularly find useful, feel free to share it on the Facebook page so all of your fellow students can draw inspiration from it as well!
Have a great second week back, SNO! Happy reading...or listening...or scrolling!
Freshman at SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major.
2018 is officially here! What better way to ring in the New Year and make some positive changes than to start implementing a healthy routine? Routines don’t always have to be strict and structured; they can give you the ability to do healthy, positive activities on a regular basis so that, before you know it, they become habits. Here are some ways to start your own healthy routine for 2018 and set yourself up for the best year ever…
2. Find what makes you feel good...and do that!
When it comes to diet and exercise, you don’t have to dedicate yourself to Whole30 or go on a BBG kick to get healthy. Simply figuring out what foods nourish you and what movement brings you joy can help you be your healthiest, happiest self. Browse Pinterest for recipes that seem interesting and appealing to you while still packing in the nutrients, and try out different forms of exercise to find what fits best into your lifestyle. Once you start incorporating more nourishing foods and joyful movement into your life, you can make a habit out of it by stockpiling recipes to make throughout the week or meal prep, and make exercise regular and rhythmic. Maybe you exercise every day or maybe you exercise twice a week; finding what works for your body and your schedule are key components to any kind of sustainable health plan.
3. Do things that nourish your soul.
It’s all well and good to nourish yourself physically, but what about emotionally and mentally? Self-care is so much more than taking care of your body; it’s taking care of the whole self. Some healthy options I could suggest are journaling, reading, walking on the beach, volunteering or spending time with loved ones; any activity that boosts your mood can help you to fully embrace the healthiest, happiest version of you. Self-reflection helps you evaluate how you’re doing in this current phase of life and pay attention to your struggles and triumphs. Giving back to the community allows you to connect with others and make a positive impact on people’s lives. Incorporating both of these wellness components can give you a major self-esteem boost and help you take care of yourself so that you can give back to the world around you.
4. Balance work and play.
If you’re like most college students, your daily life is a constant battle between huge amounts of school work and academic commitments on one hand and friends, family, and fun on the other. One without the other is a recipe for disaster, so try to plan a couple fun events or outings each week, so that amidst the busyness and chaos of college life you will have a few things to look forward to that give you a much-needed break from school work.
5. Use a planner or calendar to stay on track.
I have found that using a planner with a fun design and easy-to-read format really encourages me to write down your goals and stay on track, but if planners aren’t your thing, a calendar (paper or digital) can also help you accomplish the same goals. Define when you will work on certain assignments, take note of deadlines, write out club meetings, your work schedule and volunteer events, and keep track of all of the healthy habits you’re trying to start and maintain. For example, you can write down what days you plan on making what meals or make grocery lists, and figure out which days you have a block of time that you feel you can use for exercise and other physical activity. Last but not least, schedule time for yourself, whether that means meeting a friend for coffee, taking off for the beach, or simply planting yourself on the couch for a Netflix marathon. This will help you to maintain that work-life balance and ensure that you are taking care of all areas of wellness, versus the two that most people focus on this time of year (diet and exercise). Try to keep your schedule fairly regular so that these healthy habits become rhythmic and, well, more habitual than scheduled. Before you know it, you’ll have a routine that allows you to stay on top of all of your commitments and take care of yourself and give back to others, so that you can truly become the healthiest version of yourself in 2018.
I hope that these tips to start a healthy routine for 2018 inspire you to take charge of the year and fulfill its potential to be the best one yet. As always, do what feels good for you, be patient with yourself, and know that nobody has it “all together” (especially nutrition majors, am I right?). If you see healthy living as a journey rather than a destination, you can enjoy the trip, rather than focusing on the end goals.
Happy New Year, SNO! May your sweet potatoes be sweet and your biology lectures even sweeter!
Freshman. Foods and Nutrition Major.
Hello, fellow foodies! I’m back this week for another recipe roundup, this time with some cozy recipes requiring minimal prep and minimal stress. The holiday season is finally here, which means it’s time to bust out the cozy sweaters, Christmas movies, and festive mugs. However, along with all of the holiday festivities comes studying for finals, shopping for gifts, traveling, busy schedules, and long days that make you wanna throw the towel in and just order take-out by the time they’re finally over. Here are some easy and cozy recipes to throw together this holiday season that will leave you feeling nourished, warm, and glad you cooked after all!
1.Slow Cooker White Chicken & Quinoa Chili via Eat Yourself Skinny:
2.10 Minute Healthy Crispy Chicken and Avocado Wraps via Gimme Delicious:
3.Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato via Kara Lydon, the Foodie Dietitian:
4. Southwest Chicken and Quinoa Bowl via Frugal Mom Eh:
5. BBQ Sweet Potato Pizza via Vegan Richa:
6. Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Skillet via Recipe Runner:
7. Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa, and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers via Foodie Crush:
8. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Farro Chili via Eat Yourself Skinny:
9. Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake via Fit Foodie Finds:
10. Sweet Potato Nachos via Fit Foodie Finds:
I hope you enjoy this recipe roundup and that you get some meal inspiration to carry you through the holiday season! Go ahead and add those ingredients to your grocery list so that you have them on hand, and get ready to cook up some cozy dishes. Have a great finals week and holiday vacation!
Freshman. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition.
Finals are upon us, which is definitely a stressful time for every student, but have no fear, because I’m here with some tips to perk up and sharpen up so you can make the most of your endless hours in the library!
I hope some or all of these tips were helpful :) I know all you health-freaks are studying your butts off right now and I wish you all the best of luck on finals. Remember, take care of yourself for this last little push and you’ll be physically and mentally able to enjoy your winter holidays!
Junior. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major
Finals are finally here...and that means stress, stress, coffee, and more stress! Here are some tips to keep you healthy and on top of your self-care game during this busy time of the semester.
1. Make a game plan.
Write down a list of everything that you want to accomplish during the day, including which assignments you want to tackle, upcoming tests and study plans, deadlines, and any events or meetings. This will help you see the overall objectives, and whether or not you’re putting too much on your plate. Too many things on your Monday to-do list? Figure out which ones can be put off and schedule them for another day!
Another tip: instead of cramming last minute, try studying for tests a little bit at a time; for example, focus on a chapter or two a day for each class. This will help you apportion your workload into manageable fragments and make the task of studying for finals far less daunting!
2. Write down positive affirmations.
Stressful times can really cause us to question ourselves and our abilities, so make it a point to write down a positive affirmation every day. Write it in a place where you know you will see it often, such as in your planner, on your calendar, on your desk, on a sticky note on the fridge, or on the bathroom mirror, so that it will catch your eye several times throughout the day. You can find examples on a positive affirmation app, get ideas from Pinterest, or simply create your own. Encouragement and inspiration can really motivate you to tackle your to-do list. You can also ask your friends or roommates to check in with you to make sure you’re staying on track. Gently, of course!
3. Eat satisfying meals and snacks.
When I say “satisfying”, I mean foods that you genuinely enjoy, are nourishing, and will give you sustained energy. This can be especially hard to do during finals season, when all you wanna do is drink some coffee and hit the books, but will really ensure that your brain has enough sustained energy to endure long hours of classwork and studying. Focus on healthy fats, plenty of protein, and filling foods that will help you power through. Snacks are also an important way to sustain energy, so pack some healthy options with you on your way to class or the library, such as fruit and nut butter, a protein bar, or veggies and hummus. Stock up so you always have these on hand!
4. Make time for YOU!
Yes, you can have fun during finals week. Plan on leaving the last two hours of your night open to do whatever it is that you want to do, whether it be watching a good movie, reading a book, creating something, or spending time with a friend. Knowing that the two-hour break is in your schedule, and then actually giving yourself this much needed break after a long day of hard work will help to rejuvenate and relax you before bed so that you don’t feel like you just got hit by a train full of textbooks when you wake up the next morning!
5. Get a good night’s sleep.
This is especially important. You may be the king or queen of pulling all-nighters, but this may prove costly when it comes down to how you’ll feel in the thick of finals week, when productivity is necessary. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night so that your brain can really soak in all of the information you have been working so hard to retrieve and so that you can have enough energy to tackle your to-do list and tests. The aforementioned point about leaving the last two hours of the night for yourself will help you wind down after a hard day of work, so make sure to incorporate some fun and playfulness into your day to ease you into a good night’s sleep. Avoiding screens for the last hour before bed will also help you get quality sleep.
Finals don’t have to be frightening; by following these five tips you can emerge from finals week like a champion and put all of your unnecessary worries to rest. With a little bit of time management and a whole lot of self-compassion, anything is possible...even passing biochem! Good luck on finals you healthy, hummus-wielding warriors!
Freshman. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition.
Alright, whip out the fairy lights and mistletoe because it’s December, people!! To celebrate the season I thought I would share a seasonal recipe that my mom used this past Thanksgiving and is to freaking die for. Winter squash is in full swing, so what better than a super tasty butternut squash soup? You can find the recipe below, pair it with your favorite sandwich and/or salad for an ideal winter meal.
To make a vegan version like my goddess of a mother did for me, simply leave out the brown butter and replace the sour cream with vegan sour cream. According to her the vegan sour cream, “would make a pretty dollop” so I highly recommend.
Junior. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition.
Hello, turkeys! It’s almost Thanksgiving which means friends, family, and FOOD. To make your holiday recipe scouting a little easier, I’ve put together a list of some amazing and festive fall recipes for you to try out on Turkey Day. Enjoy!
Freshman. Foods and Nutrition Major. SDSU.
Happy Sunday, everybody! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which means two things: no school, and TONS of food. Thanksgiving (these days) is a holiday based around being with friends and family, sharing love, thanks, and delicious meals, which I absolutely love. I want to share some tips and tricks for having the best Turkey day you can have!
Thanksgiving is a lovely time for so many people, but I know from all my Thanksgiving experiences that it's super easy to overeat. Over-eating is extremely common among Americans who can afford to do so, especially around the holidays. According to calorie control.org, the average Thanksgiving meal is about 3,000 calories, and could be up to 4,500 (keep in mind that’s 1,500 calories more than USFDA recommends for an entire day). Overconsumption of calories is a major contributor to obesity in the U.S. today, and very easy to fall prey to. While the Americans who can afford to put food on the table often put too much, there were still about 15.6 million households in the United States that were food insecure as of 2015 (meaning they can’t afford nutritious food or that they can’t afford enough food the sustain the household at all). Foodforward.org, states that, “According to a 2014 EPA study, America throws away more than 38 million tons of food every year”, so of the American households that can afford enough food, a large portion of it is simply thrown in the garbage. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to not let that tryptophan get the best of you, and eat just until you’re satisfied. In addition, you can donate canned goods and even Thanksgiving leftovers to those in need! If you’re looking to donate leftover Thanksgiving food, most food pantries will take them, and you can find one near you by following this link: https://www.foodpantries.org/.You can also look into donating leftovers, canned goods, or other food to your local food bank! You can find the nearest one here: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.
Giving back is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Get some friends and family together to donate food or volunteer (here’s a website to find some awesome non-profits in your area:https://greatnonprofits.org/categories/view/homeless-and-housing?gclid=CMqoofGOybgCFcqe4AodiWoA9A). Give thanks this year by spreading the love and helping someone out! I hope you all have a happy, healthy, lovely Thanksgiving!
Foods and Nutrition Major. SDSU.
Hey SNO fam! Today I wanted to share something a little different that has really been igniting my passion lately: Health at Every Size.
If you haven’t already heard of the "Health at Every Size" movement, it was started by Linda Bacon who wrote the book Health At Every Size which is has now essentially become “a website and a social movement whose purpose is to encourage bodily acceptance and self confidence with one's body, often by the rejection of dieting. Proponents aim to improve the standard of living for people who are overweight or obese by promoting healthy lifestyles and anti-discrimination efforts. Generally, these efforts do not include weight loss as a direct goal.” (Wikipedia) A lot of people are probably thrown off by this title and think, "Well, what about the millions of Americans and people worldwide who are obese? And what about people at the other extreme? They certainly aren't healthy at their size."
And you might be correct, depending on the individual circumstances.
But the point of Health at Every Size is that health shouldn't be limited to weight or an appearance of health, but rather the feeling of health and the existence of health...even if it isn't visible. A thin body may be diseased and an larger body may be in top-notch health, but sadly our society makes associations and assumptions that are often scientifically incorrect, equating body type with the presence or absence of health. Health is so much more complex than weight and calories and nutrients...it's about the little things that you are doing each day to take care of yourself and make sure your needs are met: nourishing your body, moving your body, engaging your mind, connecting with loved ones, savoring the things that bring you joy, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when you need them. If all of these are habits that make a person healthy...then why are our assumptions about health determined, judgmentally, by how much space we take up?
Of course unhealthy lifestyle habits lead to lifestyle diseases...but these diseases can occur in any sized body. Until current and future health care providers start looking past the number on the scale and looking toward patients’ self-care practices, it seems that society will always be waging a war against weight.
That being said, I don't expect every health care provider to drop what they're doing and switch to a HAES approach. My hope is that even if all health care providers can't adopt HAES, they can at least learn from it, and see why America's obsession with weight is anything but healthy. And for all of you future dietitians, nurses, doctors, psychologists/psychiatrists, counselors, and other health care personnel, I hope that HAES might open up your mind a little more to the ways in which we can create a culture that embraces bodies of all shapes and sizes and acknowledges the ways that they can be healthy, happy, and nourished.
Here is Dr. Bacon's book. Take a look if you are interested in learning more about Health at Every Size:
Freshman. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition.
I'm back for part two of my series on gut health. If you haven't already read my post on why gut health is important, go ahead and read it here:
Now that you have an idea about why gut health is important and all of the things it can do for our mood and optimal functioning, here are some tips to get your gut on track! I have personally dealt with gut issues off and on for the past few years, but once I discovered these health habits, I saw radical changes in the way my gut functions and the way that I feel overall!
2. Eat sprouted grains
While eating sprouted grains doesn't necessarily introduce more bacteria into your gut microbiome, it does ensure better digestion and makes the grain’s nutrients more readily available. Soaked and sprouted gluten is easier to break down in the digestive tract, which means it’s easier for the gut to do its work. In addition, sprouted grains tend to have more fiber and be more nutrient dense than regular non-sprouted grains. If you're looking for a good sprouted bread to try out, I recommend Alvarado Street Bakery!
3. Cut down on stress
I cannot emphasize this enough y'all!!! Managing stress is a hugely important component of optimizing gut health, as you can probably tell from my previous post. Stress can wreck havoc on the little guys in our gut and alter digestive processes via the gut-brain axis (the connections between the gut and the brain) which can lead to anything from indigestion to full-on digestive disorders such as IBS and leaky-gut syndrome! Cut down on stress by:
Exercise not only promotes peristaltic contractions to occur in the gut which can promote digestion, but it has also actually been found to increase the number and diversity of microbial species in the gut! This doesn't mean that you have to go out and run 10 miles every day because #guthealth...this implies that moving in any way that feels good to you could actually go a long way as far as promoting healthy gut flora. Walking, running, biking, hiking, rowing, yoga, swimming, dancing...whatever way it is that you like to move, do that! There is no "right" way to move...simply getting some movement in each day can have amazing effects on your microbiome, and not to mention your mood, energy, and focus.
I hope you find this guide to a healthier gut useful and that you are able to apply a few of these suggestions to your life. As I mentioned earlier, I can attest to each and every one of these...since developing these practices, my gut has changed phenomenally and let-me-tell-ya, it feels amazing. Here are the sources I consulted when compiling these tips...feel free to visit them for more information on gut health!
SDSU. Freshman. Foods and Nutrition Major.
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