Food Is Not Your Enemy

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain
November 3, 2009, 11:49 am
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, weight loss | Tags: , , ,

Halloween is over, and the fear has officially begun. We’re moving into the season of overstuffing ourselves.

Dr. Andrew Weil offers some sensible tips on approaching the upcoming gorgefest. Read them here.

4 Weight Loss Tips for Your Family
August 18, 2009, 11:28 am
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, weight loss | Tags: , ,

When the children of overweight parents are also overweight, people often talk about a genetic factor–it’s inevitable that the kids are heavy, because it runs in their family. But is it nature, or nurture?

Several times in the past when I was at a town or hotel pool, I noticed a stark difference in the habits of the kids who were fit and those who were heavy. While the lean kids were swimming, the heavier kids were walking back from the ice cream truck with huge cones of soft serve. I once even saw a couple of overweight sisters eating licorice and candy bars while in the water–candy handed to them from the edge of the pool by their overweight mother.

If parents are overweight, they tend to pass down their eating habits to their children. This may take the form of portions that are too large at mealtime, or mid-day ice cream cones several times a week, or fast food for dinner on a regular basis, or soda and juice drinks consumed several times a day. More often than not, when you observe the eating habits of overweight children, it’s not a mystery why they’re overweight. They’re simply taking in too many calories.

In order for children to attain a healthy weight, they–and their parents–must create healthy habits, for the whole family. Here are some very basic tips on doing this, courtesy of Dr. Andrew Weil.

Mushrooms Make Vitamin D?
June 5, 2009, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Mushrooms | Tags: , ,

Looking to get more Vitamin D into your diet? It turns out Vitamin D–which helps create strong bones, boosts our immune systems, and helps ward off cancer, autoimmune diseases, and hypertension–is created by mushrooms (even picked or dried ones) that have been exposed to sunlight. Place your mushrooms gills up in the sun for six hours, and they’ll provide you with a megadose of this crucial vitamin.

For more nutrition surprises, visit Dr. Andrew Weil’s site, where, in addition to offering this mushroom advice, he extols the virtues of orange tomatoes, crushed garlic, and more.

The Problem with Acid-Reflux Drugs

Like antibiotics, which doctors will sometimes even prescribe for a cold (caused by a virus, not a bacteria), just to give their patient the sense that they’re doing something to get better, doctors have been overprescribing acid inhibitors in the past few years. And this week, The New York Times published an article indicating a link between these drugs (including Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid) and pneumonia.

I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Andrew Weil speak at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition a couple of weeks ago, and he warned about the dangers of using these types of drugs long-term. Suppressing stomach acid is not necessarily a good thing, as our stomach acid is our first defense against foreign microbes. If the acid is suppressed through drugs, it can’t kill off dangerous organisms that may enter our gut (through tainted food, for instance). Dr. Weil offers some alternative treatments for reflux on his Web site, which I urge you to check out if you suffer from this disorder.