I started eating healthy and gained weight

Laurie writes:

“In the last year I’ve changed my diet and added back good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds (which I used to avoid due to fear of fat). I also started making kefir and yogurt. I feel SO much better. However, the added calories have slowly added pounds. So my question is….How do we fit in all the healthy foods we need to be eating and still limit calories?”

You’re not the first to have this dilemma, Laurie! Nuts, seeds, and avocados are all healthy foods but it is possible to get too much of a good thing.  Continue reading “I started eating healthy and gained weight” >

Is stevia an artificial sweetener?

Cathy writes:

“Regarding the recent Nutrition Diva episode about artificial sweeteners, how exactly do you define “artificial” when it comes to sweeteners?”

Cathy is absolutely right that the terminology used to talk about sweeteners is vague and I should be better about defining my terms!

Caloric vs. noncaloric

Sweeteners can be divided into two broad categories: caloric and non-caloric. Even there, it gets fuzzy because virtually all “non-caloric” sweeteners are not truly zero-calorie, just so low in calories that we consider them non-caloric.

I think it’s smart to limit your consumption of both caloric and non-caloric sweeteners to around 5% of calories (or the equivalent amount of noncaloric options).

See also: What’s a safe intake of noncaloric sweetener?

How natural is it?

Although we often use words like natural, processed, refined, synthetic, and artificial to describe various caloric and non-caloric sweeteners, these are not precisely defined terms or categories. Continue reading “Is stevia an artificial sweetener?” >

Eating meat without feeling guilty

About ten years ago, I cut way back on the amount of meat I was eating, from 3-4 times a week to 3-4 times a month. I wasn’t worried about my health. And I enjoy a good steak or roasted chicken as much as anyone. I stopped eating meat mostly because I felt guilty about it.

I had concerns about the treatment of the animals I was eating, the environmental impact of large scale livestock operations, the sustainability of it all. I tried to research which farms and brands were raising their animals humanely and responsibly but it ended up being easier just to order (or cook) vegetarian meals instead. Continue reading “Eating meat without feeling guilty” >

Make your own calcium-fortified cashew milk

In the ever expanding category of nondairy milk, cashew milk has become a favorite. Although soymilk is a closer match for cow’s milk in terms of protein, it does have that distinctive beany flavor. (Which I don’t find unpleasant…just pronounced.)

Cashew milk, on the other hand, has a much milder flavor. To my palate, at least, it is the most dairy-like in taste and mouth feel. It’s also–by far–the easiest nondairy milk to make yourself, which can save you big bucks. You can even add your own calcium and vitamin D!

Cashew milk is the easiest to make from scratch. No boiling, skimming, straining. Click To Tweet Continue reading “Make your own calcium-fortified cashew milk” >

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” >