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An easier way to stay on track

Keeping a record of everything you eat–whether you jot it down in a notebook or use a mobile app like My Fitness Pal–can be a very effective tool for improving your eating habits. Part of it is increased awareness and part of it is the accountability. Even if no one ever sees your diet log but you, you may decide to pass on that random cookie or doughnut hole if you know it’s going on your “permanent record.”

On the other hand, it’s kind of a pain. Even with the convenience of a smart phone app, logging every bite you eat every day quickly becomes tedious. Most people start to drift away from the habit after a week or two–often, when they have a day they’d just as soon be “off the record.” And the benefits of that increased awareness and accountability gradually slip way.

A simpler way to stay on track

Continue reading “An easier way to stay on track” >

What’s the optimal timing for meals and exercise?

Every week, there seems to be a new study or analysis on these questions, such as the one I reviewed in last week’s Nutrition Diva podcast, and others that I’ve tackled in countless other posts and podcasts over the years.

Having spent so much time reviewing all this evidence, I thought I’d share with you my typical eating/exercise schedule. Continue reading “What’s the optimal timing for meals and exercise?” >

Next 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade starts March 13th!

Over the past 2 years, over 400 people have participated in the 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade program. And in just a few weeks (March 13th, to be exact), we’re going to do it again!
These 30-day nutrition and fitness challenges are super popular these days, and for good reason. They’re a great way to kick-start healthy routines and to stay motivated long enough for new behaviors to become established habits. And even though there are already plenty of them out there, I wanted to offer my followers something unique…something fun, effective, and based on solid science.

I put everything I know about nutrition and the psychology of behavior change into the 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade program. I really really hoped it would make a difference in people’s lives, and was thrilled to have over a hundred people sign up for the first challenge.

But nothing could have prepared me for what happened during those next 30 days. Continue reading “Next 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade starts March 13th!” >

Is fruit more nutritious when it’s ripe?

Evie asks: “Is fruit more nutritious when ripe than unripe? For example, would a green banana have less potassium than a yellow one?”

The nutritional content of fruits (including those fruits we think of as vegetables) absolutely changes as the fruit ripens. Whether you would consider it more or less nutritious might depend on your definition, though! Continue reading “Is fruit more nutritious when it’s ripe?” >

Can an anti-inflammatory diet ease aches and pains?

Q. “My physical therapist suggested I go on an anti-inflammatory diet to help with joint pain. From what I can find on the Internet, this is a diet that limits saturated fat and simple carbohydrates (white flour, sugars) and concentrates on fruits, veggies, fish, olive oil and whole grains. Is there evidence that an anti-inflammatory diet can help with pain?” Continue reading “Can an anti-inflammatory diet ease aches and pains?” >

What to look for when choosing an infant formula

What to look for when choosing a baby formula

Kelly writes:

“I recently gave birth and despite my best efforts, breastfeeding did not work out for us. Can you provide some kind of framework to make a good choice of formula? I’m sad I can’t give my son breastmilk and I want to give him the next best thing. Are there certain ingredients to look for or to avoid ? Is organic worth it? 

Although breast-feeding is considered to be ideal, there are many for whom this is not possible.  (As a side note, my sympathy goes out to those who are made to feel guilty or inferior for feeding their infants formula. Promoting the benefits of breast-feeding is one thing; demonizing or criticizing women who cannot or do not breast-feed is another.)

I also sympathize with parents faced with the daunting prospect of choosing the “right” formula from an overwhelming array of options.  Let me start by ratcheting down the angst: Babies are remarkably resilient. Like larger humans, they have the ability to thrive even when they do not always have perfect diets. That said, of course we want to do the best we can for them.

Although this should not take the place of the advice of your pediatrician, here are a few thoughts on what to look for and/or avoid in a baby formula. Continue reading “What to look for when choosing an infant formula” >

Are there nutritional benefits to dehydrating fruits and veggies?

“I read that dehydrators are the in thing this year. Clearly dried fruits are going to contain more sugars per handful than the original fruit but might there be nutritional benefits from drying foods?”

Food dehydrators can be a great way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables and to create portable, nutritious snacks. Although dried fruits are ever-popular, you can also dry vegetables and herbs.

So, when fresh garden tomatoes are overflowing your counter-tops in September, you can load them into your dehydrator and dry them to use through the winter. Green beans or kale leaves can be lightly salted and turned into addictive crunchy snacks. With a little extra prep, you can make your own homemade fruit leathers, crackers, and jerky! More ideas here. Continue reading “Are there nutritional benefits to dehydrating fruits and veggies?” >