brownriceNews of a new method of cooking rice that supposedly cuts calories in half just about broke the internet a couple of weeks ago. As is so often the case, the headlines got a wee bit ahead of the science. Here’s what you need to know (including an important precaution).

Although I was partly amused and partly saddened by this article on the drive to “optimize” everything, it nonetheless served as the inspiration for last week’s episode: 9 Ways to Optimize Your Breakfast

Want to optimize your hydration? There’s more to this than the old 8×8 rule. Find out how much water you really need to drink in this article, written as part of my collaboration with PUR water filters.

Two good questions from the mailbag:

Are dates a healthy way to sweeten processed foods?

Does sourdough bread have any additional health benefits? 

Elsewhere on the web, this overview of the benefits (and hazards) of juicing includes a few kernels of wisdom from me.

And if you have time for an extended listen, I had a lovely and leisurely conversation with Thom Walters of the ZEN Commuter podcast, on (among so many other things) how to avoid unnecessary nutrition anxiety.  ZEN Commuter is on iTunes and Stitcher, or you can listen on Thom’s website. Every interview should be so pleasant.

Have a great week!


Monica on Dr. Oz: What’s the deal with designer milk?

by Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN on April 8, 2015

ND on OZ

Should you drink whole milk or skim? Enhanced skim? What about the new “designer” milk from Coca-cola? I recently sorted it all out for Dr. Oz. Watch the clip here.


My conversation with Jamie Logie on the Regained Wellness podcast

by Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN on March 31, 2015

regained wellnessLast week, I had the pleasure of being Jamie Logie’s guest on the Regained Wellness podcast. We talked mostly about diet and inflammation but somehow favorite books and movies, the dangers of Netflix binging, and other fun stuff also came up. You can find Regained Wellness on iTunes and Stitcher, or listen here:


Is all red meat the same? Once again, experts are telling us that red meat is bad for us. And once again, I have to question the wisdom of lumping everything from fast-food burgers to grass-fed bison into a single category. In this week’s podcast, I have four tips for eating red meat without compromising your health or nutrition. You can read or listen to it here.

I also discussed the new dietary guidelines with Tom Hall on WYPR’s Maryland Morning, which you can listen to here.

I recently taped a segment for the Dr. Oz show about the new “designer milk” by Coca-cola. That episode should air in a week or two but in the meantime, here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of their new Fairlife milk product.

Looking for ways to drink more water? Here are five sneaky ways to up your H2O without really noticing.

From the mailbag this week, a question about whether vitamin E can help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and another on the seemingly arbitrary way that fruit and vegetable servings are determined. (There is actually a method to the madness.)

From the department of “silly questions people love to ask nutritionists” is this Huffington Post article on what various nutrition experts would order if forced to eat at McDonalds.

Finally, if you’re reading this on a phone or tablet computer, you’ve no doubt noticed that we (finally) have a functional mobile-friendly site for you! (Thanks for your patience). This is thanks to our new friends at, who make it easy and affordable to mobilize an existing site. If you have a website that is not yet mobile friendly, you have about 3 weeks to fix that before Google’s new algorithm erases all signs of your existence. Bmobilized can save your bacon.  (Not sponsored. Not an affiliate. Just grateful!)


St Patricks Day PancakesThis week’s podcast, on new research linking common food additives with weight gain, may be one of the most important shows of the year so far. But not because of what it reveals about these food additives. Rather, because it’s a glimpse into the fascinating future of nutrition science. In fact, I find myself looking at every nutrition question (and nutrition facts label) just a little bit differently since having written it.

Last week’s show also turned things on their heads a bit, with new questions about the glycemic index, a concept that has become dietary dogma.

From the mailbag, a listener wonders whether powdered vegetable juice would be a good substitute for at least some of his daily vegetable ration.  And another wonders why liver is considered a healthy thing to eat, when its job to filter toxins out of the blood.

Earlier this week I was a guest on Bert Martinez’s popular Money for Lunch show. We were talking about anti-inflammatory diets and why they are suddenly all the rage. If you want to listen in, our conversation starts at minute 18:30.

And for a fun (and nutritious) way to celebrate St. Patrick’s day on Tuesday, check out Nutrition Upgrade #2.


Water: The Overlooked Ingredient

by Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN on March 5, 2015

7417277818_24db95a92e_z[1]Remember when there were just two kinds of coffee: regular and decaf? Now, we’re invited to savor the subtle distinctions between coffee grown in the Andes versus beans from Ethiopia. It’s the same with chocolate, olive oil, wine…even salt! Down the street from my house is a store devoted entirely to salt, with hundreds of types from around the world. And it’s not simply about finding your favorite: one is perfect for fish, another for tomatoes, a third ideal for sprinkling over fruit salad.

Despite all the minute attention being given to ingredients these days, the quality of the water we use in our food and beverages is all too often overlooked. Click here to learn more.

[The linked article is part of a collaboration with PUR water filters.]


Not-ellaFirst things first: Here’s a recipe for the cocoa cashew creme that everyone is raving about! (You’ll never go back to Nutella.)

If you’re trying to improve the overall quality of your diet, be sure you’ve got both of these two critical factors in view.

It’s not uncommon for drugs to deplete nutrients in the body. If you’re taking the drug every day for years, even subtle effects can add up. Here’s a look at what you want to watch out for if you take birth control pills or HRT (plus a link to info on  on other drug-nutrient depletions).

And if Science Fair is the thing you miss most about grade school, here’s a project for you to work on while we wait for Spring to come: How (and why) to do an N of 1 experiment.


Product Review: Tumeric turmeric-based elixirs

by Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN on February 18, 2015


Tturmeriche good folks at Tumeric (no, that’s not a typo; that’s how the brand is spelled) recently sent samples of their turmeric-based juice drinks and power shots for me to review. Knowing my interest in diet and inflammation, I guess they figured I’d be impressed by a product-line based on one of the most anti-inflammatory spices in the world. They were right!

The traditional Indian ingredient is being heavily researched as a potential preventive for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,  and other inflammation-related conditions.  And turmeric-based juices are a great new way to get more of this health-promoting spice into your diet.

The Tumeric brand elixirs offer a potent dose of fresh-pressed turmeric juice blended with traditional Indian herbs and spices.  My favorite is the original elixir, a spicy combination of turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cayenne (!), lightly sweetened with honey. A 12 ounce bottle contains 70 calories and 15g of sugar–about half the sugar of orange juice.  The Golden Milk, made with turmeric, coconut cream, chia, and hemp milk, is more like a meal, with 270 calories, 11 g of protein, and 14 g of fat per bottle. (I’m not crazy about the taste of coconut cream, but if you are, this one is worth checking out.)

One advantage to the 3-oz, 70-calorie “PUREprana” shots is that they also feature black pepper, which enhances absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

At $6 per 12-ounce bottle, this is definitely a premium product but one that’s unique, well-formulated and a nice addition to the category.