A few months ago, I spoke at a conference attended mostly by fitness trainers and enthusiasts, and I noticed that about 75% of them were wearing activity monitors on their wrists or clipped to their clothing. To be honest, it seemed sort of strange and obsessive, but–hey–everyone needs a hobby. So I feel a little sheepish about admitting to the fact that I am now the proud owner of a Fitbit One and am obsessively watching my daily step count and analyzing my sleep patterns! And I have to say, having an objective way to measure my level of activity really has made a positive difference. If I’ve failed to crack 10,000 steps by 8pm, I’ll go out for a walk instead of sitting down at my computer or popping in a DVD. For more on how “self-quantifiers” are using technology to monitor and improve their health, see this article I wrote for Intel iQ.
Once you start down the self-quantification path, it can be a slippery slope. My Fitbit One can be set up to coordinate with a number of popular online diet trackers, such as My Fitness Pal. But if you’re using one of these to log your calorie or nutrient intake, keep an eye out for this common hazard.
Last week’s podcast delved into a somewhat lower technology solution to persistent digestive problems. Read more about the FODMAP diet and whether it might be the solution to your tummy troubles. Sometimes, of course, tummy troubles are actually caused by food poisoning–but is there any way to know which food was the culprit? More info on that here.
Finally, fluoridation is a controversial topic that’s being debated in communities around the U.S. This week’s podcast reviews the main arguments for and against adding fluoride to the public water supply, along with some thoughts on the so-called “precautionary principle.”
For more food and nutrition hijinks, join me (and a few thousand other food- and nutrition-obsessed folks) on Facebook or Twitter.
Recently, a surprising pair of research studies shed new light (from two different directions) on an old question: Is late night eating bad for you?
The first finds that our appetite tends to peak at around 8pm. Should we listen to our bodies or to the weight loss gurus who tell us NEVER to eat after dinner? My thoughts in this podcast.
The second study found that eating late may, in fact, impede weight loss–even it doesn’t lead to eating more. Drat. My thoughts on how (or whether) to change your meal schedule in this podcast.
There was the usual round up of interesting questions in the Nutrition Diva mailbag:
Elsewhere across the web, my thoughts on sprouted grains in Men’s Fitness, some great new apps that can help you eat healthy and well for Intel IQ, and the debut of my new Smart Food column debuted in Baltimore Style magazine.
True confessions: I recently noticed that my dietary choices of late have been…well…less than optimal. What’s a Nutrition Diva to do? In this week’s podcast, I remind my listeners (and myself) of the power of planning. So often, the reason my day doesn’t quite as planned is because I really don’t have a plan. See if any of these tips might help you get back on track.
From the mailbag, we’re looking at the nutritional advantages of wild game, confusion about what’s included in the fiber on those nutrition facts labels, and an expectant dad worries about whether his pregnant wife is getting sufficient nutrients from her vegetarian diet.
Finally, looking for a way to stay motivated? Try crowd-sourcing your mojo! Here’s how.
Researchers made a fascinating discovery this month about diet and heart disease–and we all learned a new word: Carnitine. Unfortunately, there was the usual rush to translate complex research into a 30-second eat-this-not-that sound-byte for the evening news. Now that the dust has settled–and we’ve turned our attention to over-simplifying this week’s research findings–here’s my take on the significance of carnitine and red meat.
From the mailbag, a reader wonders what caused her veggies to become carbonated. (If you’re thinking lactic acid, you’re on the right track!) Another wants to know if there’s any such thing as a wholesome processed food. (Absolutely!) Here, also, is a round-up of what to look for when selecting a protein powder.
On Newstands now: Subscribers to Oxygen Magazine can check out my article on Eating Seasonally in the May Issue. Readers of Baltimore Style will find the first of a new monthly column I’ll be writing for that magazine in the May/June issue.
Second DietBet Game Announced: After a recent podcast on the pros and cons of social dieting and diet wagers, the popular DietBet website hosted a game just for Nutrition Diva fans. I wasn’t actively involved in the game but apparently it was a huge success. By request, they’ve set up another one beginning May 1st. Click here to learn more.
Podcast Listeners: Can you spare 5 minutes to give us your candid opinions about podcasts, sponsors and advertising? This survey is quick and painless–and includes a link to the results thus far, if you’d like to see how your views line up with everyone else’s. Thanks for your input!
Some people are always looking for a loophole…like this reader who wondered whether he could undo the effects of a high-sodium diet by drinking extra water. I’m afraid that strategy won’t get you too far. But I do have another strategy that could get you further. You can read about it here.
I’ve been “tweeting” nutrition news and notes for almost five years now but this recent tweet broke all previous records for “re-tweets.” (Click here to see what the fuss was about!)
Along the same lines, this reader question about low-carb diets for endurance atheletes sparked a lot of discussion, both within the Paleo community as well as among the long-distance running crowd.
Another reader wonders whether it’s possible to get too much vitamin A from vegetables. And finally, from the “Weird Facts” file: Turns out that hikers are savvier about nutrition marketing claims.
Coming soon: My response to the recent findings on carnitine in red meat!
After stalling for months (and dozens of requests), I finally waded into the Paleo pile-up with my take on the primary advantages and disadvantages of this approach. Happily, no angry cavemen have arrived on my doorstep (yet)!
As you may know, Paleo enthusiasts avoid dairy products entirely. But for others who consume dairy, this week’s newsletter entertains the question, “How much milk is too much?”
As warm weather approaches (here in the Northern hemisphere anyway), magazines and websites are trotting out their predictable features on diet and foods that supposedly melt belly fat. Find out whether there any truth to these “flat-belly” foods. And if you’re trying to trim your tummy, you might want to think twice about thumbing (or clicking) through those cooking magazines and websites. Not surprisingly, pictures of yummy foods can stimulate your appetite. Sadly, pictures of low-calorie vegetables don’t seem to have quite the same crave-inducing properties.
Have a great week!
What have you always wanted to know about coffee? I’ll be on the TODAY show this Thursday (3/14) to talk about America’s obsession with coffee and how it may be helping (or harming) our health. Tell the TODAY how you feel about your coffee and tweet your questions to the producers using the tag #caffeinatednation. We’ll be answering many of those questions during the segment, which should air about 8:20am (ET).
While you’re waiting, check out this week’s Nutrition Diva episode on diet-betting.A surprising number of people are finding success by signing up for programs that use financial rewards—or penalties—to motivate them to achieve their goals. It might be just the thing to jump-start your efforts, or to boost you across the finish line.
In fact, the folks at DietBet.com have set up a special game for Nutrition Diva fans to support each other in a friendly weight-loss wager. Check it out here. (Disclosure: DietBet.com is a new sponsor of the Nutirtion Diva podcast.)
And if you’re trying to watch your weight, you won’t want to miss this quick tip on the foods that are LEAST likely to satisfy your appetite.