Food Is Not Your Enemy


My Favorite Advice From the Twitterverse

Every day I make a point of trying to learn something new. Our knowledge of nutrition and health is constantly changing, shifting, and growing, and it’s important for me to keep up on what’s happening in my field. In addition to reading scientific journals and studies that cover nutrition, one of the ways I like to do this is to follow on Twitter some very wise people who are passionate about improving our health and well-being. Below are some of the best tweets I’ve come across lately, tweets that contain some excellent food for thought …

Michelle May M.D.‏ @EatWhatYouLove Jul 12

Feeling overly hungry doesn’t mean you need more food than usual; it just means you need to eat soon.

My comment on this: This is so smart. So many of us think that if we’re super hungry, we need to order more food or put more food on our plate, when in fact, a normal portion will do just fine. This is an issue of timing, not quantity.

Frank Lipman MD‏ @DrFrankLipman Jul 4

For many headache sufferers, a diet lacking in magnesium may be part of the problem. So I recommend magnesium-rich leafy greens as well as cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.

My comment on this: I have seen this work with my clients! On several occasions more greens led to fewer or no headaches.

Frank Lipman MD‏ @DrFrankLipman Jun 7

Crucial to develop healthy habits…..because once a habit is developed, they work effortlessly for you, partly because the brain loves habits. When actions become habitual, they are automatic.

My comment on this: Building healthier habits over an extended period is a big part of what I do. This is why I don’t meet with my clients just once or twice, but 6-12 times over 3-6 months. We need that much time to overwrite our old unhealthy habits with new healthier habits.

Blue Zones‏Verified account @BlueZones Apr 27

The five pillars of every longevity diet in the world are: whole grains, tubers, greens, nuts, and beans. If you’re an American and eating a cup of beans a day, you’re probably adding 4 years to your life expectancy.

My comment on this: Blue Zones is all about tracking what leads to a healthy and long life. Beware of fad diets that try to tell you that whole grains, root vegetables, and beans are on the “no” list. Evidence from around the world proves they should be at the top of your “yes” list.

Dalai Lama‏Verified account @DalaiLama May 4

Scientists warn that constant fear and anger are bad for our health, while being compassionate and warm-hearted contributes to our physical and mental well-being. Therefore, just as we observe physical hygiene to stay well, we need to cultivate a kind of emotional hygiene too.

My comment on this: This speaks for itself!

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Sugar, Not Fat, Causes Heart Attacks
February 11, 2014, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Chronic Disease, Eggs, food politics, Food/Health Blogs, Sweets | Tags: , , , , ,
I totally love the work done by Dr. Mark Hyman. He’s a firm believer in fixing the causes of our health problems, not just the symptoms. The latest newsletter from him said the following:

“It’s over. The debate is settled.

It’s sugar, not fat, that causes heart attacks.

Fifty years of doctors’ advice and government eating guidelines have been wrong. We’ve been told to swap eggs for Cheerios. But that recommendation is dead wrong. In fact, it’s very likely that this bad advice has killed millions of Americans.

A rigorously done new study shows that those with the highest sugar intake had a four-fold increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes. That’s 400%!”

Eye-opening, right? But depressing that we’ve been led down a bad path by some specious government recommendations.

When in doubt, choose the whole, natural foods that humans have been eating for generations (like eggs). And question the “wisdom” that we’d be better off eating a food made in a factory.



Milk and Sugar Cause Acne, Study Finds
May 2, 2012, 12:34 pm
Filed under: Dairy, Food/Health Blogs, Sweets | Tags: , , ,

For years many dermatologists have denied there’s a link between diet and acne. Finally, a study has found that dairy, sugar, and refined carbs DO in fact cause and worsen acne.

Personally, I have found this to be true. If I eat too much sugar, a day or two later my forehead will break out.  As soon as I get myself back on track and limit dessert and go heavy on the fruits, veggies, and fish, my skin improves.



Pizza Sauce To Count as a Veggie?

Echoing the days when President Reagan declared that ketchup counted as a vegetable on school lunch trays, now it’s looking like the sauce on frozen pizza may be headed for the same distinction. Thanks, lawmakers. At a time when our nation’s childhood obesity rate is skyrocketing, should we really be looking to cut corners like this, and find ways to ensure that our kids are served no extra veggies and fruits with their school lunch? Do we really want to pat ourselves on the back for serving our kids frozen pizza, justifying that this is a healthy option?

UPDATE: And…. yes, the House of Representatives has in fact now voted to protect pizza as a vegetable.



Why It’s So Hard to Keep the Weight Off
November 1, 2011, 11:34 am
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Healthy Lifestyle, weight loss | Tags: , ,

Time Healthland ran an interesting and somewhat frustrating piece about what happens to dieters’ bodies once they lose weight. In a nutshell:

“When obese people lose body fat, levels of the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells, drop. That signals to the brain that the body’s energy stores are low, slowing metabolism and triggering hunger.”

Anyone who’s ever lost weight may have experienced that sense of surprise and dismay at how easy it is to put the weight back on–if you eat the same things as your friends who were never fat you might put weight on, while your friends would not. This hormone issue is the reason why.

I believe it helps matters if you didn’t lose the weight via a crash diet in the first place. Taking a slow, gradual approach that involves using foods that naturally regulate your appetite resets your “normal” habits and allows your body and mind time to adjust. This is the way I go about working with my clients. If you’d like to find out more about my approach and how I can help you, visit my Web site.


Nutritionists and Dieticians Influenced by Food Industry Giants

Disturbing piece about just how much sway companies like McDonald’s, Kraft, and Coca-Cola have over the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and its members. These companies are now actually exhorting the dieticians and nutritionists who are ADA members to encourage their clients to eat processed food, as processed foods “represent sources of important nutrients,” according to one exec.

It’s nice to see that some members are walking away from the ADA as a result of Coca-Cola sponsorships and the like.

This is one of the reasons I chose not to pursue a career as a registered dietician, and instead went the alternative route to become a holistic nutrition counselor. My approach and my recommendations are based on using whole foods and science not funded by the food industry. The fact that some dieticians are buying into what the likes of Kellogg’s has to say about proper eating is pretty alarming.



LYFE Kitchen: Truly Healthy Food Brought to You By Former McDonald’s Execs?

Crazy! But great! Apparently a couple of former execs from McDonald’s are planning to open a “fast food” restaurant, LYFE Kitchen, that will serve truly healthy foods, including grass-fed beef and dishes under 600 calories, all for low dough. Dr. Mark Hyman, the brilliant integrative medicine doc, has been advising them on their vision, so I can’t help but think this might be the real deal.