Category Archives: in the News

NHBPM WEGO Prompt: Calling BS…

Per the WEGO health post prompt today, I’m ready to call “BS” on a few things.

Any health-world professional will tell you that there are too many ways to accomplish one goal –weight loss, health improvements, muscle toning…whatever it may be – some great, some ridiculous. Most people go for the quick fixes, while some are in it for the “long haul” (hello, life).

The fluctuating trends in nutrition and fitness are even confusing to professionals at times – your friend told you almonds do WHAT? you’re running backwards because of {insert new theory on gait-changing}? you bought that super-food for HOW much?  – and we try hard to keep up! It’s anyone’s guess as to how these get started, but thanks to our friend the internet they spread so dang quickly.

Enter: blogs. Our space and time to speak without interruption! If I may, here are a few things I’d like to call BS on…

Low-caloriesnacks:

We all remember the craze of “100 Calories!” snack-packs, yes? I think they’re still around, but thankfully I see them less and less.

We all know that it’s pretty easy to only snack on 100 calories, right? And it doesn’t have to be in the form of depressingly small “cookie” discs? It can be a banana, a grapefruit, a large apple, a baked sweet/regular potato, a small handful of nuts, a spoonful of peanut butter or even few pieces of dark chocolate. The list goes on and on. Nobody needs to tell you exactly how many calories are in your snack – if they feel like they do, you should probably feel like there’s no need to listen.

natural-peanut-butter

Oil separation = a beautiful thing. Get stirring…

Reduced-fat peanut butter:

Let’s show peanuts some love! They don’t need anyone messing with them, and they certainly don’t need any sugar in their butter. Yep, reduced fat peanut butter is just sweetened and plumped up with additives (read: crap) to make up for the missing fat. It’s just an oil and it’s plenty healthy for you. Plus, some of those vitamins and minerals in there need fat for storage. They’ll thank you for going au natural.

Bacon-wrapped/flavored/infused-everything:

Clearly, as a meat-free eater, I’m biased here. And I’ll be the first to say there’s room for balance in all things – indulge, enjoy, balance, repeat. But the praising of bacon has gone a little bit far, especially when we consider what it is- cured pork meat, mostly fat. That’s it. There’s no rejoicing in the hidden nutritional content here! Nope, it’s just a lot of saturated fat, salt and protein.

If you’re a bacon-lover, enjoy a strip here and there with breakfast, or around a scallop or chocolate-dipped if you’re so inclined. But chew with caution!

cat energy drink

Energy-drinks, “Full of B vitamins!”:

You’re a smart crowd – you probably know full well that energy drinks, with their crazy loud claims and 1980s-style commercials, can’t have anything good going for them. Serious health risks aside (important to note, though), they are not your ideal source of B vitamins.

You’d be surprised how many people seem to think otherwise, and are genuinely swayed to maybe believe these drink-makers for 1.2 seconds when they see the “nutrition” information. Wait, what?…1000% of Vitamin b12?!

No food/drink/product needs to provide you with 1000% of anything; aside from the obvious fact that this can’t be natural in any way, the body can’t absorb all of that! Your urine will be pretty amped up, though.

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I’m sure that list could go on forever, but we’ll leave it at that for now.

Health-enthusiasts (I’m looking at you) – what would you love to call “BS” on?

16 Comments

Filed under Dietitians, food, health, in the News

What it Means: Four More & ACA

It’s not often you’ll find me touting political beliefs – the Obama-Biden bumper-sticker I received for donating to the campaign is on my fridge, not my bumper – or getting deep into discussions, debates or long-winded arguments. Rather, I do my own research (read, watch and pick D’s brain) and “like” photos and smile when I feel proud of what we’ve done as a country.

I voted for Obama

I cannot wait to take advantage of our DC life and head to the inauguration on January 20th. History, we heart you!

In the meantime, I’m trying to really wrap my brain around what this means. Given my profession and passion, the things that matter to me are education and changes to student loan laws (if/when I go for that Masters…), changes in agriculture and environmental laws, and last but not least the Affordable Care Act.

With ACA in effect, this re-election means:

  • Women have control over their care. ‘Nuff said. (Why this was ever not the case would be a separate conversation…)
  • Coverage must be provided for: pre-existing conditions (this is huge; you know the significance of this when you see it first-hand) and pregnancy (under job-based plans).
  • Medicare recipients will save money on the cost of services and prescription drugs.
  • “Gender-rating” is essentially eliminated – meaning women can’t be charged higher because, well, we’re women. Because we’re of “child-bearing” age and might cost the health insurance companies more. Coverage also “vastly improves” for other minority groups.
  • Light is shed on preventive services. What this will mean, long-term? Who knows. But it’s a step in the right direction. For now: “You may not have to pay a copayment, co-insurance, or deductible to receive recommended preventive health services, such as screenings, vaccinations, and counseling.”
  • For example: “depending on your age, you may have access — at no cost: Counseling on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthfully, treating depression, and reducing alcohol use.”

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I realize this post is quite out of character here, but I hope that won’t always be the case. It’s so important that we’re aware of these things and invested in what it means for each of us!

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Moving on to other fun things we do in DC…run! I love the Tuesday night lululemon run club because it gives me a weekly run along the waterfront and underneath the Kennedy Center, coming up to Lincoln and seeing the National Mall. We had a great election-night turn-out, as we all tried to pass the time and enjoy a cool evening in our city:

Lincoln memorial at nightwomens memorial DClululemon georgetown run club 11.6.12

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And with all of that, I bid you happy post-election day. Good-bye ads, hello to four-more-years!

How was your election day/night?

Non-US peeps – were you interested, too?

9 Comments

Filed under Dietitians, health, in the News, new things!

Finally Reading: In Defense of Food

I may be four years behind the game here, but my nightstand is finally holding the pages of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

That it is. I’ve never read any of his books cover-to-cover, but have been in support of his message since my own diet philosophy started evolving in early 2010 (see: DOTR’s first post). “Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.” Yes, that!

in-defense-of-food-cover

I’m only just starting Chapter 9 (Bad Science), and wondering how and why it took me so long to pick up this book. It’s a quick read, easy to digest and giving us facts from a variety of angles (unlike many of my old nutrition textbooks). It’s an insight into the history of the United States’ “food rules” (aka Dietary Guidelines) and an invitation to think outside the cereal box, grocery store or (old) pyramid scheme.

I can’t wait to get Sections II & III, looking more into the modern rise of diseases, the “Industrialization of Eating” and “Getting Over Nutritionism” – i.e. our new fangled eating habits that seem to be doing most people no good.

More insight to come…

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So, have you read this yet? Is it on your bookshelf (virtual, wish-list or otherwise)? Thoughts??

And…go!

8 Comments

Filed under Dietitians, food, in the News, what to eat

TTT: Dinner, Tour Faves & Idle Time

A mid-week holiday is one way to totally throw off any routine, an uncharacteristically strong storm that causes power outages all around this city’s suburbs is another! Either way, we’re still here and finding ways to enjoy summer as we ignore the 100+ degree days and continue the countdown to vacation. In the meantime, these {Three Things Thursday} highlights take precedence:

1. The 15-minute Polenta Bean & CSA Zucchini dinner:

White Bean Zucchini & polenta Mix

1 zucchini, halved & sliced
1/4 c yellow onion slices
1/2 polenta “tube”, sliced & quartered (or 1 cup polenta, uncooked)
1 tomato, middle removed, sliced
1 cup white kidney beans
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
~1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium; add zucchini and onion, sautéing until softened.

Add polenta pieces & tomato slices. Stir frequently – polenta will soften and begin to spread, use water as needed, adding in 1 tbsp at a time. Mix in basil leaves & kidney beans, continue to stir and cook until the mixture is heated through. Season if needed.

Grab a fork, and enjoy!

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2. Cav & Cancellara – making us proud!

I’m a huge fan of both Mark Cavendish & Fabian Cancellara. Luckily their strengths are different (sprinter, all-around strong rider + Time-Trial King), so I can cheer for them at the same time. Cancellara is proudly donning the Maillot Jaune (aka Yellow Jersey) – meaning he’s currently in the lead, thanks to his ridiculous TT performance in the Prologue. Cavendish took his first stage win nice & early, showing us how it’s done and doing his World Champion jersey* justice:

Cavendish World Champion TDF Stage win 2012

Image Source.

*The striped white jersey is only worn by the World Champion of that year. His “SKY” team name is clear, along with their sponsors, but he stands out from the team. 

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3. Summer Speak: Are you “Busy”, too?

Opinionator, New York Times – The Busy Trap

D found and shared this article yesterday, and I couldn’t help but do the same. This is worth a read, a re-read, and a long thought process about how “busy” we are and why. My favorite line is undoubtedly this:

If your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary.

If you know the books, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of the statement. It’s true.

The point of it all, is this :

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. …it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.

Downtime/rest/recovery – whatever it’s called in your routine – is necessary. Our brains need the break, just like muscles do. Think about it, and pencil it in! We’re all “busy”, for whatever reason(s), but we can all make room for an idle moment (or two…).

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With that, cheers to your day! Enjoy it. We’re almost through the week!

Who’s watching who in the Tour? Favorites?

What will your down time look like over the weekend?

6 Comments

Filed under cycling, dinners, in the News, Meatless Monday, recipes, things I Love

Wisdom from the WWW

I’ve been hushed by Tuesday night’s {free} Bootcamp workout at the the lululemon Georgetown store; Sgt. Ronald took payment in the form of sweat, maxed heart rates, muscles worked and lactic acid dished out in full. Kate & I will certainly be back for more, once we can walk & run without waddling again.

On my off days, I read. My current nightstand companion is All the Money in the World, teaching me a few lessons in how to play offense, spend mindfully and get myself across the pond sooner than later.

Online, I’ve found these gems worth passing along:

Live Every Day Like You Travel
via Tiny Buddha

As travelers, we often take a step back and let our new surroundings teach us a thing or two about a thing or two. We open our minds to new possibilities; we relax, remembering that the world still spins when we aren’t worrying about and completing daily mundane tasks. We explore, learn, pause and breathe.

Oh how the days, weeks and months in between would be different if we had that traveling mentality more often.

Take a Cheat Day

via Greatist.com

First, note the absence of the word “binge”. While you may find balance and intuitive eating more of a mindset than a daily choice – or in some cases, a struggle – there is still something to be said for the indulgences we enjoy. Asking me to “give up” dark chocolate may as well be like telling me to stop running. 1) I won’t. 2) There goes my balance. On a plant-based diet, I feel like I get my fair share of nutrients everyday, and then some. Add a piece of dark chocolate, for antioxidants? No, because I love that bitter sweetness. Balanced.

Life is short; eat well, exercise often, and find your balance. This article provides insight into the science of the off/”cheat”-days.

10 Health Mistakes You’re Making Right Now, because You Think You’re Too Busy

via Huffington Post

Starting in January, I was back on a 9-5 schedule for the first time in well over a year. Yes, I had obviously been working, but not necessarily in that norm. It was surely an adjustment, but my routine adapted fairly well to a few tweaks. Here, there may be fewer posts, more “quick n’ healthy” recipes, and a week where yoga just happens at home, not in a studio. But no major life changes have ever proven to rock my priorities. My sanity thanks the priority-setting side of my brain for that.

You’re not too busy. Here are 10 points to shake you back into shape.

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What have you been reading lately? Feel free to share some www .cm wisdom!

5 Comments

Filed under food, good days, in the News, learning, things that make me Happy