Author Archive for: ‘smeyer’

Food Rules…Eat Foods Predigested by Fungi or Bacteria

  • Many traditional cultures swear by fermented foods (food that have been
    transformed by live microorganisms) ­
    yogurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce, kimchi, sourdough.
  • These foods can provide Vitamin B12 & probiotics ­beneficial bacteria that improves
    immunity & may reduce harmful inflammation

source: Michael Pollan Food Rules

Exercising the Truth – What Doesn’t Work?

  • If you exercise, its okay to sit for the rest of the day ­what you do the whole day is just as important. Stand up, sit less,
    move more & more often, ­at least every 30 
    minutes throughout the day.

  • You’ve got to feel some pain if your going to gain any fitness benefits ­ if an activity hurts you may already have an injury or you are doing it wrong.

source: Adapted from Nutrition Action

Skim Milk, the Obesity Culprit?

If you are an NPR junkie like myself you may have heard this story reporting that full fat milk is linked to slimmer kids. And if you do an Internet search you will find ‘compelling” stories that report skim milk is detrimental to our health. Before you rush to the grocery store in search of full fat milk, you may want to think about a few points.

As with any science, not all studies are well designed. In this particular study, researchers failed to look at how many calories these children were eating or other food choices they were making.

At this point I do not think there is enough data to warrant the switch from skim to whole milk. The jury is still out on this and there are many factors that contribute to weight gain or loss. That said, if your overall diet is rich in plant foods & low in saturated fat, a glass a whole milk occasionally is not likely to make a significant difference in your weight or cholesterol profile. Research shows that the real culprits in weight gain are the sugary drinks we consume on a regular basis (soda, juice, energy drinks, etc) & our limited physical activity. In addition, the standard American Diet (dubbed SAD by Mark Bittman) consists of largely refined carbohydrates, which in turn has led to poor health. I do not think skim milk is the culprit of the obesity epidemic.

Food Rules…Don’t Overlook the Oily Little Fishes

  • Wild fish are among the healthiest foods you can eat, but at risk due to overfishing
  • Avoid big fish at the top of the food chain – ­tuna, swordfish, shark
    - ­due to endangerment & mercury
  • Choose the most nutritious & well managed wild fish species
source: Michael Pollan Food Rules


Exercising the Truth – What Works?

  • You can lose as much weight walking as running as long as you work hard enough to
    raise your heart rate & break a
    sweat bear in mind moderate intensity exercise (walking)
    longer to burn calories than vigorous intensity (running)
  • Wearing a fitness tracker can help you lose weight – this tool lets you know how physically active you are throughout the day. Aim for 10,000 daily steps.

Source: Nutrition Action

Get to the Farmer’s Market!

Recently I was lamenting to my husband about the lack of inspiration for winter meals. Normally, I get my ideas from the produce available at the Lynchburg Farmer’s Market, but with the weather being unusually cold, I was relying on my husband to make our Saturday morning trip (in my defense I stay home and feed my hungry boys). Last week however, I decided that I was due for a market visit. My son Oliver and I put on our heavy winter coats and headed out the door in 20-degree temperatures. My husband had warned me I may only find cabbage and be very cold, but I was pleasantly surprised at the selections. Feeling energized I took in all the cold weather vegetables on hand; broccoli, cabbage (Tom’s inspiration for a modified Tom Yum soup), butternut squash, baby spinach (my daily salad) & of course kale. Though I am certainly not ready to start planning my summer garden, I stumbled upon a display of heirloom bean & vegetable seeds to plant come warmer temperatures. We ended our visit off by purchasing freshly ground whole grain flour from Wildflour Mill along with some tasty pasty treats from Lorraine Bakery. Oliver had no problem helping me haul the fresh eggs and apples knowing a warm homemade pop tart was nestled in the bakery bag ready for consumption.


Cure those winter blues by finding some winter inspiration at your local farmer’s market!

Food Rules…Eat wild food (when you can)

  • Make frequent use of wild greens, ­they are their own natural defenders and tend
    to be higher in antioxidants 
    (lamb’s quarters & purslane)
  • Wild fish, animals & game eat a more diverse diet and therefore are generally lower
    in saturated fat & higher in 
    healthy fats than typical meats

Source: Michael Pollan Food Rules

3 Resolutions…To Ditch – Part 2

  • Losing 10 # in one week: losing weight quickly results in regain (and more). Think slow & steady­ – no more than 1­2 # week
  • Cutting out fat completely: choose healthy fats: plant oils, olives, avocados, nuts, seeds
  • Banning dessert: restricting certain foods can lead to uncontrollable urges & overeating. Instead of good vs. bad foods think “sometimes” vs. “all the times foods.”

Source: Eatingwell

Does Wheat Make Us Fat?

Does wheat make us fat and sick is the title of a recent publication in the Journal of Cereal Science (yes that is an actual journal). Anyone who has stepped into a bookstore lately is well aware of the multitude of books claiming that wheat is causing all of our current health problems. Wheat BellyGrain Brain & Wheat Free Diet are among those seemingly endless titles. I find my head spinning when I hear another professional purporting the benefits of eliminating wheat from our diet. These researchers have suggested that wheat consumption leads to overeating and addiction, therefore resulting in our current obesity epidemic. Not only is there weak scientific evidence to back this claim, it also oversimplifies a very complicated problem. In my experience as an RD, I have found that obesity has not resulted from overeating healthy whole wheat grains, (such as bulgur, kamut, spelt, wheat berries, etc.) but rather consumption of refined breads (i.e. wheat), crackers, cookies & other processed baked goods; in general overconsumption of calories & limited physical activity.


Obesity is multifactorial; we cannot assign one specific type of food to our current epidemic.  However, what we do know for certain is that if we cut processed food from our diet (which includes processed wheat), increase our consumption of plant foods, engage in regular physical activity, we will lose weight and our overall sense of well being will improve.   Individuals that eliminate wheat from their diet are essentially limiting their processed food intake.  The culprit: high calorie, processed foods (not the wheat)


It should be noted that persons with celiac disease or wheat allergies do need to eliminate wheat from their diet.

3 Resolutions…To Get Healthy ­ Part 1

  • Eat more fiber: fruits, vegetables, whole grains & legumes (i.e. beans)
  • Cook dinner at home: make healthier versions of your restaurant favorites
  • Exercise 30 minutes per day: aim for minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise

Source: Eatingwell

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