Spring Detox: Apple, Radish and Arugula Salad
Posted on May 10, 2013 by Integrative Nutrition
Spring is in full bloom, and with the change of seasons comes the change of produce on your plate. According to Ayurveda, many foods with a deep red color – beets in the fall, radishes in the spring, or berries in the summer – are great for detoxing your liver and supplying fresh oxygen to the blood.
Now that radishes are in season, this is a great time to start incorporating these crunchy, slightly spicy vegetables into your diet. If you aren’t a fan of their strong bitterness, try roasting them whole with the greens on for a hearty side dish. You can also munch on them raw with a sprinkle of sea salt for an afternoon snack with a kick!
- 10 radishes, finely sliced
- 2 cups of arugula
- 1 apple, cut in bite-size chunks
- 1 avocado cut in bite-size chunks
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in large salad bowl.
- Enjoy it as a side dish or on its own!
3 Healthy Habits to Manage Hormone Imbalance
Posted on May 2, 2013 by Integrativenutrition
You wake up sweating at 2am, get overly emotional around your cycle, and notice that your periods are not as regular as they have been for the past few months. Symptoms like these are especially common for women in their 40s, but no matter your age, they may be a sign that you’re hormonally imbalanced. But you might wonder: is the imbalance because you’re hitting menopause early, or is it caused by stress?
Of course, you should speak with your health care professional and get tested for imbalances so that you know for sure. Whether you’ve reached “the change” or not, there are certain healthy habits you can adopt to help smooth out your hormonal fluctuations.
IIN guest speaker and author of Accidently Overweight, Dr. Libby Weaver says that many of the changes women experience as they get older can be regulated or even reversed by looking at the whole picture and changing specific habits.
Here are 3 healthy habits that you can adopt:
Clean out the toxins
Your liver is an essential organ for metabolizing nutrients and clearing out toxins, including excess hormones, from your system. When it gets overloaded with toxins from everyday living, it cannot metabolize and excrete excess hormones as efficiently. The result? You may be getting overloaded with excess estrogen that is being recycled through your body.
Keep your body at its peak potential by clearing out any foods that may be suppressing your liver’s functioning. These include: alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, and synthetic substances such as pesticides, medications and skin care made with chemicals.
Choose liver-friendly foods
Add liver-supporting foods to your meals – such as dandelion greens, lemon juice, artichokes, and cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cabbages.) These foods will help your liver detox itself. Create a cleaner beauty routine and greener home cleaning supplies.
You can also add herbs and supplements that support women’s health to your routine – Omega 3 fatty acids can support your cycle; magnesium is essential for calcium absorption and also helps regulate sleep; Fenugreek tea can sometimes help with hot flashes and bloating.
Balance your adrenals by practicing deep breathing exercises, meditating, or taking yoga or tai chi classes. They will help calm your mind and keep your body from pumping out adrenaline, which can contribute to the hormonal imbalances. Clearing the toxins from your diet as instructed above will also help you relax and renew.
Which of these habits do you already include in your routine?
3 USANA Products Earn ConsumerLab.com Seal Of Approval
USANA� The Essentials(TM), Body Rox(TM) and Usanimals(TM) Pass Label Test
In a recent review of multivitamin supplements, the following three USANA products passed ConsumerLab.com's stringent label testing:
-- USANA� The Essentials(TM) -- Top-quality daily vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement for adults
-- USANA� Body Rox(TM) -- Complete daily vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement for teenagers
-- USANA� Usanimals(TM) -- Advanced formula daily vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement for children
"We are confident in our products. We know they contain exactly what is listed on the label, but it's essential to have third-party confirmation and approval," says Dan Macuga, USANA's chief communications officer. "We are pleased to see how well our products have performed in independent testing from reputable third-party organizations such as ConsumerLab.com."
During this review, USANA� The Essentials(TM), Body Rox(TM) and Usanimals(TM) met all the criteria and recommendations to receive ConsumerLab.com's quality certification.
"We use the highest-quality ingredients possible," says Dr. John Cuomo, USANA's executive director of product development and technologies. "We follow strict pharmaceutical quality protocols that guarantee potency and purity. This is reflected on all of our labels."
These product approvals come on the heels of another top honor. Recently, USANA was named the No. 1 Rated Brand in Direct Sales Based on Customer Satisfaction in ConsumerLab.com's 2013 Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users.
Since 1999, ConsumerLab.com has tested more than 3,200 products, 350 different brands and nearly every type of popular supplement in order to help consumers and healthcare professionals identify the best quality health and nutrition products. ConsumerLab.com is also the only third-party verification group that freely publishes its testing methods and quality criteria/standards.
Founded in 1992, USANA Health Sciences USNA +1.13% is a U.S.-based nutritional company that manufactures high-quality supplements and personal care, energy and weight-management products in its FDA-registered facility in Salt Lake City.
USANA's products, used by more than 600 professional athletes, are developed by the company's award-winning team of scientists and sold directly to Preferred Customers and Associates in 18 international markets. USANA has earned NSF Certified for Sport� certification for its SportsPak, Essentials(TM) (Chelated Mineral and Mega Antioxidant), Proflavanol� C100, Active Calcium(TM), Procosa� and BiOmega(TM) products. It has also earned NSF dietary supplement certification for its HealthPak(TM).
USANA is the No. 1 Rated Brand in Direct Sales Based on Customer Satisfaction in ConsumerLab.com's 2013 Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users. Named one of Outside magazine's "Best Places to Work" for four consecutive years, USANA has received more than 100 state, national and international accolades, including Utah Best of State, Stevie Awards, Australian Business Awards, NutriSearch Editor's Choice and others. For more information about USANA (www.USANA.com), USANA's products and company, visit http://www.usana.com/webhosting/holisticwellnessintl?page=page4
Can a Vision Board Help You Achieve Your Goals?
Posted by Integrative Nutrition on January 23, 2013
What exactly is a vision board?
It’s simply a visual representation of your goals: images that represent all the things you’d like to accomplish in your life—who, what, and where you want to be. The power of this technique comes from the fact that it allows you to spend time getting clear on your goals, hopes, and vision for your future. Creating a vision board as a way to focus on the things you want to achieve can help improve motivation, boost self-confidence, and foster behaviors that lead to success.
How to make your own vision board:
There are no hard rules when it comes to making a vision board—just have fun with it!
Step 1. Find images or words that capture your dreams and goals. (You may even come across images that spark goals that you’ve never thought of before!)
Step 2. Paste all your images on your board. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just make sure all the images stand so that you can see your goals clearly.
Step 3. Place your vision board in a place that will allow you to look at it often – your bedroom, office cubicle, or even bathroom! This way you can use your board as a daily
reminder of your aspirations and what you want your life to be.
While vision boards are a great jumping-off point for your goals, it’s important to remember that it’s not enough to just visualize your dreams; you need to take action in order to get results. It’s no secret that it’s easier to think, dream, and wish, than it is to do. However, once you’re clear on what you want, all you need is a plan to help you make it happen.
Are you ready to commit to your dreams, but need some help turning them into reality? Here’s a powerful tool that can help – Your Success Formula: Early Enrollment Bonus Kit. Every prospective student who enrolls by January 31 will receive this kit jam-packed with simple and effective productivity tools to help you convert all of your dreams, hopes, and goals on your vision board into reality.
Whether you want to make big changes in life, or you’re already living your dream, you likely have a few things that you’d like to accomplish. And we’re here to help!
While having goals is inherent to being human, it can sometimes be a mystery as to why some people achieve them and others don’t. It can be especially disheartening to watch the people around you find success, while you struggle with the motivation to achieve your version of happiness.
That’s why we’ve put together the following steps to help you take hold of your future and turn your dreams into reality. You can totally do it! Here’s how:
1. Have health. Regardless of what your goals might be, good health creates the positive energy necessary to materialize them. If your body and mind are clear, all other pursuits become easier. Make sure to eat nutrient-rich whole foods, drink plenty of water, stay active, and make time for relaxation.
2. Decide. While many of us have an idea of what we want, it doesn’t often translate into action and results. Taking a moment to pause and decide which goals to prioritize is a crucial first step in accomplishing them. Just be careful to avoid focusing on fears or limiting beliefs, and instead visualize your aspirations as already fulfilled.
3. Make a plan. Like a traveler without a map, you won’t get far if you don’t know how to get there. Create your plan by writing the main goal at the top of a blank page. Below that, write several big steps required to fulfill that goal. Do you need to do research? Save money? Connect with others? You can separate these steps into projects and tasks, create due dates for each task, and keep yourself motivated by having your list with you at all times. You can also enjoy the gratification of crossing tasks off the list as you complete them.
4. Ask for help. Independence can be a virtue, but not when it slows you down and prevents you from realizing your vision. Don’t be shy about asking for help from family, friends, or even acquaintances who are in a position to be of service. You’d be surprised how generous and supportive people can be!
5. Follow through. Determination is crucial for achieving the results you long for. No matter how big the obstacles that stand in your way, stay focused on your ultimate goal and commit to taking action every day to achieve it. Step by step, you will succeed - we promise.
What goals are you committed to accomplishing this year?
Many of us love the idea of a diverse, colorful salad because it is visually appealing. But beyond creating a vibrant plate, did you know varying your colors is good for your health?
Identifying the multitude of health benefits for each individual food can be a challenge, even for a savvy Health Coach. There’s just so many of them! But while whole foods like vegetables and fruit contain enough complex sources of nourishment to make your head spin if you tried to learn them all, they are generally categorized into a limited number of colors.
Thanks to the same phytonutrients (also known as phytochemicals) that offer plants protection from ultraviolet radiation and pests, all natural foods have a unique color, flavor, and smell. Simply looking at their color can give you great insight as to what element of health various foods are likely to support.
Most importantly, eating a wide array of colors every day is the best approach to getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Here are the most common food colors and their beneficial attributes:
White natural foods have a wide range of beneficial nutrients, such as anthoxanthins, sulfur, and quercetin. These substances boost the immune system because they are anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory, which helps the body fight infections.
Examples of white foods include garlic, onions, cauliflower, and daikon radish.
Green foods get their color from chlorophyll, a natural blood purifier that supports the liver and kidneys in the elimination of toxins. Among many other nutrients, green foods also contain high amounts of Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and building strong bones.
Examples of green foods include kale, broccoli, spinach, green beans, and celery.
Yellow foods are rich in Vitamin C, which helps reduce inflammation, prevent allergies, and maintain healthy skin, due to its’ ability to combat free radicals. Yellow foods also contain citrus bioflavanoids, which strengthens the collagen in your skin, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
Examples of yellow foods include lemons, pineapples, yellow peppers, and grapefruit.
Orange foods are high in beta-carotene, which our bodies transform into Vitamin A and antioxidants. These nutrients aid in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and infections by supporting an important part of the immune system: our mucous membranes. Beta-carotene also helps maintain healthy eyes and skin.
Examples of orange foods include carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, squash, and oranges.
Red foods are rich in the phytonutrients lycopene and anthocyanin, which greatly benefits the circulatory system by helping build healthy cell walls. This improves blood pressure, organ function, and circulation. Red foods also offer sun protection from harmful UV damage.
Examples of red foods include tomatoes, watermelon, beets, and red bell peppers.
Purple foods contain the most antioxidants of all the colors and therefore contribute to overall health, disease prevention, and longevity. They also raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, and help maintain a healthy brain.
Examples of purple/blue foods include blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, and purple cabbage.
What are your favorite colorful, healthy recipes?
Summertime means vacation, lazy weekends next to the pool, ripe nectarines… what’s not to love? Unfortunately, the scorching temperatures and blazing summer sun are less than kind to the largest organ of your body: your skin.
According to renowned dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, your skin is connected to all systems of your body, and a healthy complexion is a reflection of total wellness both inside and out.
You may already know Dr. Murad from his best-selling skincare line or his book The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger. We are excited to announce he will be joining our community as an Integrative Nutrition guest speaker, providing invaluable insight into his unique philosophy of Inclusive Health.
For those interested in learning more about Dr. Murad’s work, we will be hosting a live interview on Monday, July 23 at 2pm EDT. Tune in to to learn why skin problems are on the rise, how treating every cell in your body is more effective than spot-treating your skin, and what your skin can tell you about your overall health. Sign up now for the chance to hear directly from Dr. Murad.
And before you head outside this weekend, follow these summer skin-saving tips from our Summer Skin Care Guide:
- Choose sunscreens that create a physical barrier form the sun’s harmful rays, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
- Minimize damage by eating lots of antioxidant-rich foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which includes dark leafy greens and brightly colored veggies.
- If you do get burned, get some relief from the tried-and-true combination of aspirin, a cold shower, and aloe vera.
Get the guide for more on how to achieve healthy, glowing skin naturally. Licensed esthetician Sharonah Rapseik (Class of 2001) shares how to make your own brown sugar honey scrub and aloe cucumber mask – among many other therapeutic tips!
How do you protect and pamper your skin during the summertime?
Self-Massage for Health and Healing
Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage? The feeling of expert hands addressing all your body’s woes just feels so good. Unfortunately, most people reserve massages for rare occasions, given the expensive price tag. If only you could have a free pair of hands ready to massage you whenever you wanted… wait a minute, you do!
In the healing tradition of Ayurveda, massaging the body with oil for maintaining health is a common practice called Abhyanga, which is often performed as a method of self-care. Abhyanga is usually done with warmed sesame oil, infused with herbs according to an individual’s constitution, or dosha, but you can experience the health-promoting benefits of this wellness practice by using any natural oil that you like. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender or ylang ylang, can also enhance the experience.
Self-massage provides you with the same healing benefits of being massaged by someone else, without the cost or need for travel. Those benefits include:
- Releasing muscle tension
- Increasing circulation
- Boosting the immune system
- Improving lymph drainage
- Nourishing and moisturizing the skin
- Stimulating organ function
- Calming the mind
You can enjoy a self-massage at any time that works for you, however we recommend doing it before bed to help facilitate deep and rejuvenating sleep. Allowing the moisturizing nutrients of the oil to stay on your body while you rest will also provide overnight nourishment for your skin.
Here are some tips for your self-massage:
- Before you begin, make your mental and physical space conducive to complete relaxation. A 5-minute meditation, some gentle stretching, lighting a candle, or putting on relaxing music are all great ways to relax. Make yourself fully present and ensure that you will not be disturbed.
- When you’re ready, pour a small amount of oil into your palm and rub your hands together to warm it up. Begin the massage by rubbing one foot, then the other, making sure to get between the toes and gently pulling each individual toe. As you slowly move upwards, you can rub in a circular motion or up and down, spending as much time as you like on each body part. Try to cover all areas and engage your mind by appreciating each body part as you massage it.
- For a full body effect, end by massaging your scalp and hair with the oil and leave it in overnight. This is especially nourishing for hair that tends to be dry, and has an added benefit of quieting the mind.
Practicing self-massage regularly will offer you the most benefits for deep sleep and emotional and physical balance, so make it a new ritual for wellness!
What are your favorite types of oils or tips for self-massage?
Water: Why Do We Need It Anyway?
The dog days of summer are upon us, and if you're experiencing anything like the weather we've got here in New York, you're probably getting cozy with the nearest air conditioning unit.
But let me propose another resource to get you through these hot, hot days - one you may think is too obvious to be even worth mentioning, but it's importance cannot be overstated. Yes, it's plain old water.
Is there really anything "plain" about it, though? Most of us know that the human body is mostly made up of water and that maintaining good hydration is essential for good health, but what exactly is water doing in our bodies after we drink it?
Lubricating. All of your muscles and joints need moisture and cushioning to work properly and avoid creating too much friction within the body. After you drink water, your cells absorb and allocate the water to plump up membrane, muscles, and cartilage.
Transporting. Water is your body's carrier service, whisking nutrients to where we need them. When we take in more resources than we need, or have any toxins in the body, water carries the waste out through sweat or urine. Water is like our own personal cleaning service, too!
Replenishing. Especially in the heat of summer, your body loses a lot of water through sweating, digestion, and even breathing. Keep drinking to stay in tip-top shape!
If that's not enough to convince you, here are some more great benefits of getting your daily dose of H2O.
Get great skin. Not only does drinking water help keep your skin moisturized, but water also plumps the skin to fill out wrinkles. Splashing your face with cold water can help shrink pores, too!
Lose weight. Drink water first when you think you're hungry for a snack - sometimes all you needed was a little hydration!
Relieve aches and pains. Many times, headaches and other pains are just the result of dehydration!
Boost brainpower and mood. A hydrated brain is a sharp and happy brain!
Energize. Without enough water to transport nutrients within the body, other systems have to pick up the slack and work even harder. This can leave you feeling pretty sluggish, so fill up that water bottle again and get chugging!
So don't let the heat get the better of you and keep drinking plenty of water for your body to feel fit and happy all summer long!
5 Ways to De-stress in 5 Minutes
We’ve all heard that chronic stress is detrimental to our health because it weakens the immune system, leaving the body susceptible to disease. Yet despite our best intentions, we often put off relaxation until “more important” obligations are fulfilled, which can take days, weeks, or even months.
It is equally challenging to accept the notion that we deserve time to ourselves, especially for parents, Health Coaches, and those who spend most of their energy supporting the needs of others. At Integrative Nutrition, we encourage a daily dose of primary food, since taking care of your own needs is the best way to ensure your capacity to be fully present for others.
Of course, there are times when it seems impossible to pause life’s pursuits. But that’s no excuse for giving stress the upper hand! These 5-minute relaxation techniques can fit into any schedule, no matter how full it already is.
Here are 5 ways to de-stress in just 5 minutes:
Stand up and stretch. Your body accumulates tension in areas like the neck and lower back, which can lead to aches and pains. If you don’t stretch at least once every 45 minutes, that pesky tension will take much longer to soften and dissolve. For those working at a desk, set a reminder on your computer to take a short break, whether it’s just a stretch or a brief walk outside. This simple act will increase circulation and promote relaxation.
Breathe. Breathing techniques are an excellent way to increase energy and alertness while simultaneously soothing the nervous system. These three breathing exercises, from Integrative Nutrition guest speaker Dr. Andew Weil, can easily be practiced at any time or place.
Make a cup of tea. It’s no wonder the Japanese have an entire ceremony devoted to the magic of tea! A warm and flavorful cup of health-promoting antioxidants is the perfect way to step back from a hectic day of ambitious projects. Simply boil some filtered water, select your favorite tea (we recommend herbal, white, or green), brew for a couple minutes, and add a touch of milk or honey (if you like). Close your eyes and enjoy this simple experience for a moment before continuing on with your day.
Visualize and smile. Ever notice how even thinking about your last vacation makes you feel instantly relaxed? That’s because visualizing and smiling actually causes a release of endorphins, which are natural stress relievers. Whenever you feel tense, just close your eyes, think of your favorite place, and smile.
Essential oils. Pleasant aromas have long been used in aromatherapy to improve mood and boost health. Essential oils come in small bottles which are easy to carry with you or leave in your workspace. Some of the best scents for stress-relief are basil, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. Take a long deep breath of the oil that most appeals to you, or dab a little on your temples for a longer-lasting sensation.
What’s your favorite way to relax when time is limited?
Video: David Katz Helps Teens ‘Unjunk’
David Katz is no stranger to the startling trend of increasing childhood obesity rates. As a prominent researcher in the fields of chronic disease prevention and weight management, he has been a tireless advocate for the promotion of health and wellness among children and adults alike.
Most of us know the cause of obesity is multi-dimensional. Sugary drinks, unhealthy school food options, an onslaught of attractive advertising, and our sedentary lifestyles are just some of the reasons we have come so far and grown so large.
But the Integrative Nutrition community doesn’t play the blame game. We are proactive and solution-oriented. Therefore, we welcome resources that could help us do what we can in our own communities, knowing that we are part of a vast network of individuals who are fighting the good fight in favor of health and happiness for everyone.
That’s one of the reasons we are honored to have David Katz as a nutrition expert in IIN’s curriculum. As the president and founder of the Turn the Tide Foundation, David has created a multitude of free programs for parents and educators who want to integrate health-promoting activities in their daily lives. And we’re proud to share the newest program to help spread awareness with teens and tweens: Vitality Rap, with the first music video 'Unjunk Yourself.'
When kids get together in support of a social issue, they can have profound cultural and political impacts. They just need the tools to help them spread the word. This program will ultimately become a library of music videos that are fun, engaging, and perfect for sharing. We encourage you to share the video, and explore the many free resources available to help you get involved.
Do you think anti-obesity should be the next campaign that teens rally together to promote?
Label GMOs to Give Buyers a Choice
Legislation calling for GMO labeling was shot down in Connecticut this month when food producers threatened lawsuits. A similar bill failed in Vermont in April, and fifteen more states are considering GMO labeling legislation soon. Will Big Food get the better of all of them?
We certainly hope not.
The production of genetically modified food is a widely debated issue, but the labeling of GMO products is broadly agreed upon – over 90% of Americans agree that genetically modified foods should be identified as such. Yet lawmakers’ efforts to meet the demands of voters are lost in the deep pockets of companies like Monsanto, for which GMOs are bread and butter.
America is one of the only developed nations that has no legislation requiring GMO labeling. The entire European Union, China, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Russia are amongst the 50 nations that include GMO information on packaging – effectively giving their populations the choice to consume or avoid GMOs as they see fit. Why can’t Americans be allowed to make that same decision for themselves? We have the right to know what’s in our food.
The good news is that Americans are making their demands known. Sites like Just Label It and Label GMOs are spreading awareness and collecting signatures to support GMO labeling legislation. The response from the public is overwhelmingly positive, and Big Food can’t ignore 90% of the population forever!
Get in on the action and tell the FDA what you think about GMO labeling!
Trans Fat Scam: When “Zero” Doesn’t Mean Zero
Photo is courtesy of the
Centers for Disease Control
Everyone agrees that trans fat is terrible for you. So why are so many Americans falling victim to the trans fat scam—a hoax that’s leading them to unknowingly consume this harmful substance?
Unfortunately, a deceptive labeling loophole approved by the U.S. government allows many companies to market their products fraudulently as “trans fat-free.” The truth? These products are actually anything but.
What’s So Bad About Trans Fat, Anyway?
Made by an industrial process that forcibly adds hydrogen molecules to liquid vegetable oils, trans fats are solid at room temperature and don’t spoil as quickly as natural fats like olive oil or butter. These processed, altered fats have been widely used in everything from pre-packaged baked goods to deep-fried foods.
The problem with trans fats is that they interfere with the human body on a cellular level. They’ve been proven to raise bad cholesterol as well as lower good cholesterol, leading to coronary heart disease. There is a strong body of evidence that further links trans fats to cancer, diabetes, liver dysfunction, infertility in women, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Trans Fat Fraud: When “Zero” Doesn’t Mean Zero
As evidence about the damaging effects of trans fats began to surface, many manufacturers eliminated them (including partially hydrogenated oils) from their products. Governments around the world also made strides to reduce trans fat consumption.
The U.S. did its part, and in 2006, the FDA required all labels to list the trans fat content of their products. These efforts have been both commendable and effective – the American Medical Association reported a 58% decline in trans fats in American blood between 2000 and 2009.
Yet the FDA also gave food producers considerable wiggle room in their labeling, giving rise to what many would call a scam. Current law says that any food containing less than .5 grams of trans fat can “round down” and indicate trans fat content as 0 grams.
In essence, zero doesn’t always have to actually mean zero, and an item that is advertised “trans-fat free” might just be almost trans-fat free.
How to Avoid the “Zero Trans Fat” Scam
For those people who consume these foods throughout the day, trans fat intake can add up quickly without them even knowing it. At best, this loophole is simply misleading; at worst, it’s a deceptive lie that tricks consumers into eating a harmful substance.
The easiest way to avoid the “zero trans fat” labeling scam is to read the ingredient list and avoid anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils. Of course, another easy rule of thumb is to stick to whole, fresh foods that have no label at all!
27 Ways to Lift Your Mood in Minutes
What makes you feel amazing? What can snap you out of a bad mood in seconds?
One of the key things we learn at Integrative Nutrition is how to feel our whole selves with what we call “Primary Food” – the relationships, activities, work, exercise, and spiritual practices that fulfill our lives and fill us up in ways that food cannot.
Our community is great at feeding themselves with healthy doses of Vitamin L (love) and primary food. We asked our community what makes them feel their best, and here’s what they told us:
Working it out
Physical movement is high on the list. Many of us like to hit the gym, do some kickboxing, crank up the tunes and dance in our living room, shake it up in a high-energy Zumba class, or Zen out with yoga or tai chi.
Taking it outside
Connecting with nature, working in the garden, taking a long walk in the neighborhood or on the beach, or taking the dog for a walk were some favorites.
Having more fun
Fun and laughter are good medicine for down moods. Laughing with a friend, watching a funny movie or show, flying a kite, and singing are ways we cheer ourselves up.
Praying, meditating, journaling it out, writing a gratitude list, deep breathing, and reminding ourselves that this, too, shall pass, are all ways we go inside ourselves to reconnect and recharge.
Connecting with loved ones
Surrounding ourselves with our children, family, talking with a good friend, getting hugs, and even connecting with like-minded people on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets make us feel more connected and less alone.
Nourishing with energizing food
A warm cup of tea, cooking a healthy meal, an energizing juice, or a taste of chocolate can lift our moods.
The Benefits of Avocado Oil: Living a Longer and Healthier Life?
Could avocado oil fight aging and chronic disease? Christian Cortés-Rojo, a researcher at Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Morelia, Mexico, thinks it could prove to be a helpful tool in promoting health at the cellular level.
The oil, which is similar to olive oil in fat composition, could help to shield our bodies from and reduce the adverse effects of free radicals, damaged cells that can cause everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease. According to Cortés-Rojo, “avocado oil could eventually be referred to as the olive oil of the Americas.”
Free radicals are particles that are in need of an extra electron and to stabilize, will often obtain this electron by damaging stable particles. This can cause a chain reaction, creating many more free radicals out of previously stable particles. Though free radicals are caused by pollutants, cigarette smoke, radiation, and certain chemicals, they’re also produced by your immune system and are a natural part of the aging process.
Research has found that antioxidants are an effective way to stop these reactions and stabilize free radicals, minimizing the problems they can cause in the body. While many fruits and vegetables have excellent antioxidant properties, they don’t often penetrate far enough into cells to protect the powerhouses of cells, mitochondria.
“The problem is that the antioxidants in [vegetables and fruits like carrots and tomatoes] are unable to enter mitochondria, “says Cortés-Rojo. “So free radicals go on damaging mitochondria, causing energy production to stop and the cell to collapse and die. An analogy would be that, during an oil spill, if we cleaned only the spilled oil instead of fixing the perforation where oil is escaping, then the oil would go on spilling, and fish would die anyway."
Enter avocado oil. Through tests on yeast samples, Cortés-Rojo and his team have discovered that avocado oil has an unusual talent—it can reach the mitochondria and defend against free radical attacks. "We'll need to confirm that what has been observed in yeasts could occur in higher organisms, such as humans,” says Cortés-Rojo. However, the initial results allude to avocado oil’s exciting potential to protect against free-radical-related maladies, like chronic disease and cell aging.
You can cook with avocado oil exactly as you would with any other oil, if not with even more versatility – it has a high smoke point so it’s especially well suited to stir-frying, sautéing, and searing.
How do you protect yourself from free radicals?
IINsider’s Digest: Doctors in the Kitchen, Addictive Eating, and Chemical-Fed Chicken
The IINsider’s Digest gathers all the hottest nutrition topics around the web in one place for your reading pleasure. This week, one study exposes factory farming issues, another compares compulsive behavior between food and drugs, and doctors are learning to heal through healthy cooking.
Doctors Learn to Cook Healthy, ‘Crave-able’ Foods
Dr. Eisenberg is the founder and chief officiant of “Healthy Kitchens/Healthy Lives,” an “‘interfaith marriage,” as he calls it, among physicians, public health researchers and distinguished chefs that seeks to tear down the firewall between “healthy” and “ crave-able” cuisine. Although physicians are on the front lines of the nation’s diabetes and obesity crises, many graduate from medical school with little knowledge of nutrition, let alone cooking.
Can Food Really Be Addictive? Yes, Says National Drug Expert
Can food really be as addictive as drugs? Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, made the case that the answer is yes and that understanding the commonalities between food and drug addictions could offer insights into all types of compulsive behavior.
Arsenic in Our Chicken?
Two scientific studies suggesting that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed banned antibiotics and other chemicals raise serious questions.
Why Shift Work and Sleeplessness Lead to Weight Gain and Diabetes
Studies show that shift work and other sleep disturbances like jet lag can disrupt your body clock and increase the risks of obesity and diabetes. But, until now, researchers haven’t really been sure exactly how these changes affect the body’s metabolism.
Advice for Diet Soda Lovers: Skip The Chips
Got a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi habit? Lots of Americans do. Consumption of all types of diet soft drinks has been on the rise. And as a nation, we drink an estimated 20 percent more of diet drinks now than we did 15 years ago.
Antibiotics for Livestock Will Require Prescription, FDA Says
Farmers and ranchers will for the first time be required to get a prescription from a veterinarian before using antibiotics in cattle, pigs, chickens and other animals, federal food regulators announced on Wednesday. Officials hope the move will slow the indiscriminate use of the drugs, which has made them increasingly ineffective in humans.
IINsider’s Digest: Neal Barnard on vegan health, Chinese Medicine and cancer treatments, and stress makes you sick
The IINsider’s Digest gathers all of the week’s hottest nutrition headlines around the web. In this edition, Integrative Nutrition Grad Nick Valencia speaks on where vegans get their protein in the Miami New Times. Visiting Teacher Neal Barnard is featured in USA Today about a controversial commercial about vegans and extra seating space on airlines. A Chinese herbal combination is found to support cancer treatments. Psychological stress is shown to reduce your body’s ability to fight disease and inflammation.
“Where Do Vegans Get Protein?” A Plant-Eater Answers This Common Question
Featuring IIN Grad Nick Valencia
Miami New Times
Every vegan who's been at plant-eating for any length of time has been faced with this question. Ironically, it often comes from the mouths of the unhealthiest and least conscious eaters in the world, and is directed at lean, immensely healthy and energetic beings.
A novel option for extra space: Pay $10, sit next to a vegan
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Neal Barnard
Want to avoid being squeezed on your next American Airlines trip? If dietitians at the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have their way, the bankrupt carrier could raise much-needed cash - and create better traveling conditions for its passengers - by offering a $10 "Sit Next to a Vegan" option on flights.
Chinese Medicine Goes Under the Microscope
Wall Street Journal
Scientists studying a four-herb combination discovered some 1,800 years ago by Chinese herbalists have found that the substance enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer. The mixture, known in China as huang qin tang, has been shown in early trials to be effective at reducing some side effects of chemotherapy, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The herbs also seem to bolster colon-cancer treatment: Tests on animals with tumors have shown that administering the herbs along with chemotherapy drugs restored intestinal cells faster than when chemo was used alone.
6 Reasons Organics Can Feed the World
The latest "feed the world" scare tactic has been a really good way for Big Ag folks to shut down arguments for any agricultural path other than the one they promote. And we're now seeing it repeated verbatim as a fact over the dining room table, across the kitchen counter, and in the grocery store aisles. Here are a couple of good sound bites to throw back the next time friends, family members, or even strangers tell you we need super-chemicals and GMOs to feed the world.
The FDA Enters Withdrawal: The Future of Antibiotics on Farms
Last week, a U.S. district court judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move forward on ending the use of several antibiotics in food animals except to treat disease. In doing so, the court sent a clear message to the agency: do your job.
Can Food Really Be Addictive? Yes, Says National Drug Expert
Can food really be as addictive as drugs? In an impassioned lecture at Rockefeller University on Wednesday, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, made the case that the answer is yes and that understanding the commonalities between food and drug addictions could offer insights into all types of compulsive behavior.
Is Psychological Stress Causing All of Your Health Ailments?
Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. For example, psychological stress is associated with greater risk for depression, heart disease and infectious diseases. But, until now, it has not been clear exactly how stress influences disease and health.
February is all about one thing: Love. Or as we like to call it: Vitamin L. This month we will be exploring the various relationships that not only help define who we are, but bring us closer to our happiest, healthiest selves!
Let’s start the series with a relationship that has been proven essential to our health and well-being: Friendship.
What would life be without our friends? Slightly lonely? Probably. Much less fun? I think so.
But could being friendless also affect your health? Several studies say yes.
In 2006, a study, involving 3,000 women diagnosed with cancer, was conducted to see what effect friendship had on cancer patients. Researchers found that women, who had 10 or more close friends were four times more likely to recover from the disease.
In The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship, author Jeffery Zaslow, shares similar findings. The story centers around cancer survivor Kelly Zwagerman, who leaned on her long-time friends for support as she battled the disease.
When Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she immediately reached out to her closest childhood friends, who showered her with love and support. One woman sent her a blender and smoothie recipes after Kelly complained of painful sores in her throat from the treatment. Another knit Kelly a hat, knowing that her head would be cold once her hair started to fall out from the chemotherapy.
Kelly, who has since beat the disease, credits her recovery to her lifelong friendship with the women from Ames, Iowa.
But friendship is important not only for those with potentially terminal diseases— it also provides the support each of us needs to live our best lives. I’ll use myself as an example: Surrounding myself with close friends makes the good times great and the bad times bearable. My friends also keep me on track. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, which means I sometimes get so overwhelmed with my commitments that I lose sight of my big goals. If it weren’t for my friends’ constant support of my endeavors—and their gentle reminders of why I’m working so hard—I wouldn’t be as successful or as happy.
Or, as music legend John Lennon sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
How about you? Why not get together with your favorite friends this week? It’s a great way to give yourself a mega dose of Vitamin L.
Here’s a powerful exercise to try: wherever you are, wherever you go, simply look at the people around you. According to recent findings from the American Heart Association, one third of everyone you see has high blood pressure.
Hypertension is not just for grandfathers any longer. A whopping one in three Americans now have it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hypertension is now common in everyone from toddlers to college students to grandpas (and grandmas.)
More commonly known as high blood pressure, the disease occurs when blood pumps too forcefully through blood vessels. The great push of blood stretches veins and arteries out of shape. The vessels then tear and develop scar tissue as they try to heal. These scars act like burrs, on which cholesterol gets caught and builds up. Another scenario: vessels tear and rupture, sending fast-flowing blood everywhere.
The thing is, elevated blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath, dizzy spells) until it’s in its late stages, meaning most people don’t even know they have it. By then, they’re already at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
So why the increase? A lot of it has to do with America’s rapidly rising obesity rates: over 33.8% of American adults and 17% of children ages 2 through 19 are clinically obese. Plus, people are increasingly sedentary, and they’re eating more high sodium manufactured food than ever before—two more strong factors for high blood disease.
Fortunately, hypertension can be both prevented and treated with lifestyle changes alone:
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can raise your blood pressure by causing your heart to work harder—thus creating stronger blood-flow—to support excess weight.
- Eat a plant-rich diet: Studies have shown that diets rich in vegetables and fruit help reduce the risk of hypertension as well as reduce current levels. Plant foods are also rich in potassium, a nutrient that is known to lower high blood pressure.
- Limit sodium to 1,500 mg or less: Salt causes vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels. This means blood has to push harder to get through the narrowed vessels. Two easy ways to cut the sodium in your diet is to limit the amount of salt you add to your food and avoiding sodium-rich processed foods.
- Be physically active: Regular physical activity—between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise most days—can lower blood pressure levels. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon. Even smaller amounts of exercise—such as 10 minute-increments spread throughout the day—can help.
- Limit alcohol use: Three or more alcoholic drinks in one setting temporarily increases blood pressure, while repeated heavy drinking can lead to permanent increases in blood pressure.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking injures blood vessels, making them less supple and less able to handle increases in blood pressure.
Or, an easier way to look at preventing and helping to treat hypertension: live healthily. As Latin poet Marcus Valerius Martial said: “Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well.”
Did you know that meditation and sex offer the same effects on the brain? And as it turns out, those effects are pretty good!
A fascinating article in Scientific American titled The Neurobiology of Bliss--Sacred and Profane reported on a study that suggests that the brain reacts the same way to meditation as it does to sex. Both dissolve our sense of self-awareness, separating ourselves from our ego.
In the article, lead researcher Gemma O'Brien, explains that people meditating and having an orgasm both experience "diminution of self-awareness,” "alterations in bodily perception" and “decreased sense of pain.”
When you meditate, the left side of your brain lights up and when you have sex, the right side of your brain lights up.
Why is this a good thing? Both experiences lead to a cessation of mental chatter and help you lose physical and mental boundaries.
Tibetan Buddhist monks have created the greatest measured spike in activity in the region of the left prefrontal cortex, which correlates with happiness. The monks achieve this state of happiness by simply meditating on compassion. Essentially, wishing others to be free from their suffering reduces our obsessive self-concern.
You can check out more on the study at Scientific American.
In the meantime, if you are new to meditation, look for a meditation class near you or you can follow these easy instructions.
How to meditate
The purpose of meditation is to make your mind calm and peaceful. Meditation simply means to become familiar with your object, which could be a variety of different things – love, compassion, the faults of anger, or improved concentration. These are just a few the topics you could choose to make your mind calm and happy.
- Sit with your back straight but relaxed around a straight spine.
- Allow the muscles in your body to relax.
- Draw your attention inward by focusing on the breath.
- When a thought arises, gently bring your attention back to the breath.
- Set an intention – e.g. I want to improve my concentration, I want to reduce my anger, I want to increase my compassion. Your intention will inform your meditation.
Contemplation – Examples
- To improve concentration, focus on your breathing.
- To reduce anger, think about on the good qualities of a person and the bad qualities of anger.
- To increase love and compassion, think that everyone has the same two wishes: to be happy and to be free from suffering.
- When you find your object of meditation, hold it for as long as you can.
- When you notice you have lost your object, engage in contemplation again.
- Send all the positive energy gathered during your session to the benefit of others.
- You can think about specific people or everyone who has problems, wishing them to be free from those problems and to experience happiness and good health.
- Carry your object of meditation with you as much as possible.
- Try to integrate the meditation into your daily life.
- Remind yourself of the benefits of your practice.
Last week, Medicare announced they will now reimburse physicians for providing weight-loss counseling to obese patients. This is a small, but crucial victory against the health crisis, sure enough, but it brings with it a new set of questions.
Medicare is a government run insurance program providing coverage to the elderly, the disabled, and those below the federal poverty level. The new policy allows for face-to-face counseling every week for a month, then bi-weekly meetings for 5 more months. If a patient is successful in losing at least 6.5 pounds, Medicare will continue to cover the sessions for a year.
This is fantastic news for the millions of Americans enrolled in government insurance, many of whom fall into the nation’s poorest, and also most obese, demographic.
The fact that Medicare recognizes and is actively taking steps to fight obesity is definitely a step forward, but there is still a caveat. Since insurance has not previously covered weight-loss counseling, most physicians have no training in counseling. In some cases, doctors have little background (less than 25 hours in all of medical school) in nutrition at all.
Furthermore, this benefit is available only to those with a BMI of 30 or above (clinically obese), and offers no preventive care for those at risk for weight gain. Physicians' time is only covered for retroactive measures, when a person is already at severe risk for weight-related illness.
On the upside, Medicare's new policy may encourage doctors to seek out weight loss training, which would be wonderful, both for patients and the healthcare system.
Even more wonderful, though, would be for Medicare and other health insurers to recognize the growing profession of trained and certified Health Coaches who have the tools, the training, and the time to help those with weight and health problems. With insurance support, doctors and Health Coaches working in tandem could provide the personalized care to end more struggles with obesity and save more lives than ever before.
Medicare’s new obesity counseling option is definitely a win for the health movement, but what do you think are our new steps?
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” - Aristotle
Happiness: elusive for some, natural for others; it is the primary goal of all humans and animals.
A recent article in Men's Health magazine suggests that where you live is an indication of how happy you are. Honolulu, Hawaii, as it turns out, is where the happiest people live. For those of us who struggle through the long winters of the Northeast, this isn't surprising news. But if a tropical area with oceans and beaches is the key to happiness, how did Boston, Manchester, and Fargo end up with high happiness grades?
St. Petersburg, FL was named the saddest city. Detroit, Memphis, Tampa, Louisville, and Miami all received an “F” as well. According to Men’s Health, Florida is a pretty depressing place to live, so sunshine certainly isn’t a factor in the happiness score.
Cities were graded on a few different metrics including suicide rates, unemployment rates, and the percentage of households taking antidepressants. The magazine also factored in the “number of people who report feeling the blues all or most of the time.”
While external conditions like your environment and a job can impact how happy or sad you are, finally it’s your response to your conditions and feelings of connection to others in your relationships that are the real sources of happiness. Include a regular exercise routine, a spiritual practice, and a healthy and nutritious diet, and you have a grade A+ for a happy mind. People who lead a healthy lifestyle are happier.
With positive lifestyle changes, anyone can achieve the happiness they are looking for. Try these five tips from Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness to turn that frown upside down.
- Find work you love or a way to love the work you have.
- Have healthy relationships that support you.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat more whole organic foods.
- Develop a spiritual practice.
Whether you live in the happiest or saddest city, these methods for increasing your primary food will definitely help you to be happier and healthier.
Diabetes Set to Rise to Alarming Rate by 2030
The rising rate of diabetes is a far cry from new news. As the Western diet of fast food spreads worldwide at a rapid pace, increased diabetes and obesity rates have been quick to follow.
However, a recent report from the International Diabetes Federation has shed new light on the increasing urgency of the issue:
“The number of people living with the disease is expected to soar to 552 million by 2030 -- equating to three new cases every 10 seconds -- up from 366 million in 2011, unless urgent action is taken.” the International Diabetes Federation told Reuters.
That’s 1 in every 10 adults worldwide that will be living with diabetes.
In light of this announcement, which coincides with National Diabetes Day, the need for better health and wellness education is evident – especially because the majority of diabetics have type 2, a preventable illness that is directly linked to poor diet and lack of exercise. If gone untreated, this disease could lead to a vast number of related illnesses including heart disease and stroke.
In addition to the crippling health effects of diabetes, people pay thousands of dollars every year for prescription drugs to help them live with the illness. Global sales of diabetes prescription medication reached $35 billion dollars in 2010 and are expected to rise to nearly $45 billion by 1215.
The role of health coaches and healthy living organization is now more important than ever. First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign “Lets Move!” and the introduction of My Plate, the FDA’s new diagram of the recommended American diet, are playing an important role in encouraging people to eat healthily and stay active.
Health Coaches can also help by teaching people to prevent and manage diabetes through their food choices. It’s possible to control the effects of type 2 diabetes simply by replacing highly processed, sugary meals, and drinks with whole and natural foods.
It is also important to educate parents and children about the benefits of healthy eating. Teaching parents to shop for and cook healthy meals can hopefully reduce the appeal of fast food restaurants and encourage them to feed their family whole foods. As children carry these healthy habits into adulthood, this could help to reverse the expected increase of diabetes rates.
What are some of the things that you are doing or plan to do to fight diabetes in your community?
Nutrition News: The IINsider's Digest
Did you miss the news bites this week? Don't worry, we collected the hottest topics right here in one place for you to easily digest.
In this week's digest:
- Raw food health benefits
- Commuting and your health
- USDA Dietary Guidelines: not so good?
- Couple nearly split over holistic healing
- Healthy Diets: US News ranks them
- Loneliness and the effects on your health
- Processed foods: the weird ingredients
- Farm Bill needs nutrititious approach
Woman Finds Tangible Health Benefits From Uncooked Foods
Courier News/Chicago Sun Times
Linda Hodges said she got to where she could hardly make her bed in the morning for the burning sciatica pain in her hip and shooting down her leg. The pain had gradually worsened to a point where she knew she had to do something or lose her mobility completely. Her husband passed along a suggestion from a friend to try an out-of-state, live-in health institute that had done the friend a lot of good. The center’s treatment was “raw living foods.” It was better than surgery, Hodges thought, and she gave it a try. Read more.
Commuting to Work Linked to Health Problems
Those Tedious Dietary Guidelines: Two Nutrition Profs Sound Off
Harvard Nutrition researcher [and Integrative Nutrition guest speaker] Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston think the 2010 guidelines and plate are a vast improvement over the 2005 guidelines and confusing family of stripy pyramids the plate replaced. Read more.
Doctor and Wife Nearly Split Over Cancer Diagnosis, Holistic Healing
The first signs of what would turn out to be a virulent cancer began at Christmas, when newlywed Corinna Borden was visiting family, hundreds of miles away from her husband. In bed that night, an intense pain welled up under her right breast. She was only 29. Read more.
What Makes a Healthy Diet?
For the Lonely, Sleep May Suffer First, Then Health
How Low-Fat Foods Get Their Texture
Pull any packaged food item off the shelf and chances are it has a long list of mysterious ingredients with highly scientific names like "methylcellulose." If you're like us, you may puzzle and even worry a little over these unappetizing words. Read more.
2012 Farm Bill Deserves Transparency and a More Nutritious Approach
It was inconceivable that Congress could come up with a worse Farm Bill than the lulu it produced the last time around. But leaders of the Senate and House agriculture committees are poised to continue giving away billions to growers of unhealthy crops without so much as a single committee hearing or vote. Read more
Can't keep up with the latest nutrition news? You don't have to! We'll do it for you! We've collected the highlights from around the web in one place.
Good, bad or neutral, we have the stand-out stories consolidated with their short intros!
U.S. touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing animals that become meat
The Washington Post
On Myplate, the federal food diagram published in June to show Americans a healthful diet, half of the plate contains fruits and vegetables, while roughly a third is made up of grains and about a fifth is reserved for “protein”: meat, eggs, beans and nuts. A separate, smaller circle is designated “dairy.” The food plate looks healthful enough, but federal incentives to farmers reflect an entirely different agenda. Read more.
General Mills Says It Can't Cut Any More Sugar From Its Cereals, Because Kids Will Hate Them
If General Mills takes too much sugar out, then the cereals will be too bland and kids won't like them, argues the company. Plus, the cereal has to float in milk for a few minutes, and that's harder to pull off with less sugar. Read more.
Where Folks Live Plays Role in Health Disparities: Study
US News & World Report
White and black Americans who live in poor neighborhoods struggle with many of the same health disparities, which suggests that where a person lives plays a larger role in health disparities than previously believed, according to a new study. Read more.
A Legal Loophole For Raw Milk Lovers: Call It 'Pet Food'
Food fresh from the farm is undeniably appealing. Raw milk enthusiasts take it one step further: They like their milk fresh from the cow — skipping pasteurization.
But it's illegal to sell raw milk in stores in most U.S. states, and fans have been known to go to great lengths to buy dairy in its purest form. Read more.
Foodmakers Win Scaled Back Marketing U.S. Guidelines for Kids’ Snack Foods
U.S. regulators, facing resistance from companies including Nestle SA (NESN), the world’s biggest food company, and Kellogg Co. (K), scaled back proposed guidelines that may have limited advertising to children for food with added sugars, salt and saturated fat. Read more.
Childhood obesity war a food fight?
As the nutritional guidelines for advertising food to children backed by first lady Michelle Obama have drawn mounting opposition from the food industry, White House officials and others in the administration have been irked to find one of their former colleagues — Anita Dunn — playing a key role in the pushback. Read more.
Processed food has its place; just choose wisely
The dietary zeitgeist favors foods that are “whole” and “local” over those that are “processed” and “packaged.” But omitting processed, packaged foods can make it hard to meet your body’s dietary needs. And although not all processed foods are of equal quality, the best of them can deliver lots of nutrition without doing you any harm. Read more.
What are your thoughts on these news worthy stories?
*The views expressed here are not necessairly those of Integrative Nutrition.
In celebration of the fact that September is locavore month
and foodies worldwide have pledged to eat locally produced
food, we’re sharing a local, seasonal recipe that’s a perfect choice as we near the end of the summer season! IIN grad Kilee Johnson, nutrition consultant and founder of Whole Nutrition, stocked up on items from a local produce stand and created this simple, healthy recipe.
Fresh Corn, Tomato, Avocado and Black Bean Salad
2 ears of fresh sweet corn
1 can of rinsed black beans
Small handful of fresh parsley
Large handful of fresh cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste
- Husk the corn and place it in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately drain the corn. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator.
- Dice the tomatoes and avocados. Chop the parsley and cilantro. When the corn has cooled off, slice it from the cob and put all the ingredients besides the lime in a medium sized bowl.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the salad and gently stir until everything is mixed together. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and you have a refreshing summer salad.
- Serve this as a side dish or over a bed of fresh greens.
Challenge yourself to eat locally throughout September. Not only is eating locally-grown food better for the environment, but it’s usually fresher, more nutritious, and more flavorful, too! To find locally grown produce in your area, visit Eat Well Guide, a great resource for searching local, sustainable, organic options by geographic location. The search results can be narrowed by categories such as farmers markets, restaurants, bakeries, and so on. If you’re lacking local options, LocalHarvest has an online store.
Celebrities turning to a vegan diet have been making quite a splash in the media. Everyone from Alicia Silverstone to Mike Tyson has converted to a healthy, vegan lifestyle. The newest public figure to join the club: former US president, Bill Clinton. A man famous for his love of Big Macs and French fries while in office, his new dietary decision may have come as a surprise to Americans. But after two serious health scares, including triple bi-pass heart surgery in 2004, changing his diet may have saved his life. He tells Dr. Gupta in a CNN interview, that his new lifestyle was necessary to improve his health:
“I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette,” Clinton said, “because even though I had changed my diet some and cut down on the caloric total of my ingestion and cut back on much of the cholesterol in the food I was eating, I still — without any scientific basis to support what I did — was taking in a lot of extra cholesterol without knowing if my body would produce enough of the enzyme to support it, and clearly it didn’t or I wouldn’t have had that blockage. So that’s when I made a decision to really change.”
While it is wonderful that President Clinton is happier and healthier on his new vegetarian and dairy-free diet, it is important to remember that being a vegan is not for everyone. Of course, no one needs fast food or packaged food high in sodium and trans fats, but before you declare yourself a full-fledged vegan, make sure that a diet void of all animal products is right for your body.
According to bio-individuality, every person is different and has uniquely individual nutrition requirements. Depending on your age, gender, natural body shape, metabolic rate, blood type, and even cultural descent, everyone needs different foods and nutrients to feel their best. For example, people of Scandinavian descent might need a diet that includes high-quality dairy whereas people from Japan might need a lot of seafood and rice to feel their best. Consider eliminating foods one at a time to see how you feel with out them in you diet or consult your doctor or Health Coach to figure out what type of diet is right for you.
If you do decide that a vegan diet is for you, that’s great too! Just remember to get plenty of plant-based proteins and fats such as dark, leafy greens or nuts in your diet so that your body continues to get the nutrients it needs.
The best thing about New York City is that it is extremely walkable. You can see all that Manhattan has to offer without ever stepping foot in a cab or bus. Here is a list of excellent walking tours in NYC that will lead you past several of the cities greatest landmarks and iconic New York locations. And the best part? They are all decently priced or free!
The Highline Park is the Parks and Recreation Department at it’s finest. An abandon elevated train-track was repurposed into a park, complete with a walking path, several places to sit, people watch and eat as well as incredible architecture and landscaping to complement it all. From the Highline, you will see incredible views of The Meat Packing District, Chelsea, The Hudson River and even the Empire State Building in the distance. You can also take a seat right above 10th Avenue and watch the traffic go by through a panoramic window to the street.
For a quick lunchtime jaunt or a lengthy walk, the West Side Highway is easily accessed from the Javits Center. You can pick it up right outside the front door and head north to pass the Intepid Battleship and head toward River Side Park on the Upper West Side. From there, you will have excellent views of the Hudson River, the famous Trump high rises and Midtown Manhattan. You can also choose to go south from the convention Center towards the Hudson River Park, where you will pass Chelsea Piers, The Meatpacking District and have an incredible view of downtown Manhattan. One walk for each day of the conference!
This iconic bridge has a great pedestrian walkway that you can pick up right at city hall in downtown Manhattan. The length of the walk is about two miles, across and back, and provides one of the best views in the city. You will see the entire Manhttan skyline, The Manhattan Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, and the Brooklyn skyline. Not to mention the bridge itself, which provides the perfect photo backdrop.
Central Park is the ultimate green oasis for city dwellers. Take a walk down the Mall and Literary Walk, an iconic staple in most romantic comedies, or catch a few rays on The Lawn. Of course you could also see the Castle at the Turtle Pond, Hike Threw the Bramble or pay your respects to The Beatles in Strawberry Fields. Whatever your needs, Central Park is sure to impress!
Midtown is the heart of Manhattan and 5th Avenue is in the center of all the action. Start your walk at the Flat Iron building on 23rd street, pass Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center and end with the high-end 5th avenue shops, the Plaza Hotel and Central Park at 59th Street! Still in the mood to walk? Keep going North on 5th Avenue to check out Museum Mile between 82th and 104th Street, where you can stop in at The Met, The Guggenheim or the Jewish Museum to name few.
Are you a music lover? Check out where it all began on Bleecker Street in the West Village. Start your trek on 8th Avenue, heading East on Bleecker. You’ll pass several record stores, and if you’re feeling adventurous, head up a couple of blocks to 8th Street and check out Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady recording studio. But of course, if you’re not a music fan, Bleecker Street provides some excellent shopping and eating as well!
Click on the swirls in our interactive map to find the locations on this list! Or view a larger version of the map in Google Maps here.
We are living in uncertain times--news of economic woes, rising obesity rates, and chronic disease splash headlines daily. Why curl up with a Big Mac and cry over the Wall Street reports when we can turn parking lots into vegetable gardens and shipping containers into lettuce fields?
A recent report on Bloomberg.com details far-reaching plans for urban agriculture in cities around the US. Utilizing urban areas to raise crops will not only create jobs and save consumers money on food bills; it carries the added potential of creating healthier lives.
Moving away from packaged, processed foods purchased from corporate grocery stores, to a diet full of fresh produce grown and sold locally is a win-win situation. Turning food deserts into areas where copious amounts of agriculture are grown, will create jobs at the local level. Using abandoned industrial areas to produce the food needed to regain America’s health is a plan for a brighter future.
The Bloomberg report states, "with only 2 percent of the nation’s agricultural land used to grow fruits and vegetables, according to USDA statistics, there is opportunity for urban farmers to fill the gap."
So why isn't every abandoned lot across the country turned into a garden? The federal government continues to subsidize Big Ag rather than investing in local farmers markets and urban farms.
“Modest public funding for 100 to 500 otherwise- unsuccessful farmers markets a year could create as many as 13,500 jobs over a five-year period,” wrote Jeffrey O’Hara--an economist at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists--in a study released August 4.
The plan to produce urban agriculture could easily save the economy and lives.
From top ten lists of American cities consuming the most fast food to extreme weight loss reality TV shows, the American obesity epidemic has led to widespread public scrutiny of our SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle regularly consisting of fattening, processed, and low-nutrient meals.
But did you know the majority of overweight and obese Americans live in areas designated by the Department of Agriculture as “Food Deserts”? These “deserts” are areas where at least 500 people or 33% of the population live more than 1 mile (10 miles in rural towns) from an affordable food store. Because of this, the residents of these areas end up turning to fast food joints or convenience stores for their daily meals because they cannot afford or do not have access to healthy food.
“Food Deserts” should not and do not have to exist. First Lady Michelle Obama was recently quoted on the subject in the New York Times saying, “This isn’t some mysterious issue that we can’t address. We know the answer. It is right there.”
Mrs. Obama’s hard work on her campaign to reduce childhood obesity in America has paid off this week as several superstore giants have pledged to take part in her Partnership for a Healthier America and provide healthy food options for all Americans. As reported by the New York Times, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and several other stores pledged to open or expand a combined 1,500 stores throughout America in areas designated as Food Deserts.
Wal-Mart alone pledged to open or expand their food sections to include fresh produce and other healthy items that they do not normally stock within 275 stores nationwide by 2016. Along with providing much needed nutritious foods these new retail food oases will also create 40,000 new jobs.
What can we do to help? Educating others the importance of making smart nourishing choices and how to prepare healthy food is another important step in fighting obesity. Consider volunteering in your community or your surrounding area with organizations like Food Day and become a part of the solution.
Posted by Integrative Nutrition.
We know that hormones and antibiotics given to livestock remain present within the meat these animals produce, and it’s not a surprise these chemical substances are also present in the dairy products from these animals. What is shocking is the sheer number of chemicals that make their way into these products.
A new study reported by Mail Online shows that up to 20 chemicals ranging from the sex hormone 17-beta- estradiol to painkillers like Niflumic acid can be found in milk. This study, done by a Spanish-Moroccan research team, tested twenty samples of cow’s milk to reveal trace amounts of these anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers ranging up to three millionths of a gram per kilogram of milk.
It is said that this highly sensitive testing method, which takes only 30 minutes to detect chemicals in foods, could be a breakthrough in food research. Foods can now be tested for harmful substances in a short amount of time, telling whether or not it is safe for human consumption.
While trace chemicals found in milk may not pose an immediate threat on the milk drinker, over time they could build up in your body, causing a variety of health problems. The best way to decrease your intake of these potentially harmful substances is to limit or eliminate non-organic animal products from your diet. Buying organic dairy and meat whenever possible will lower your risk of ingesting these harmful chemicals.
How do you feel about this new method for testing the level of chemicals in food? Do you think it is important to know what is in your food, even if it is just trace amounts?