Posts tagged Health/Nutrition

Western diet associated with depression

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Western diet associated with depression : Winston Chung : City Brights.

My brother sent me this yesterday from San Fran — and although the paper only suggests that a ‘western diet’ may contribute to some people’s bout with depression — I am going to to say that I definitely think it does. So much has been studied about the effects of wheat and modern agriculture on us humans  that it’s hard to deny. You also feel like crap when you eat it — and if that’s the main staple of what you eat — how can you not be depressed. Mind/Body connection is something no one can deny —

A 2010 paper suggested that a ‘western diet’, composed mostly of meats, pizza, chips, hamburgers, white bread, sugar, flavored milk drinks and beer, was correlated with higher odds of depressive disorders in women. Conversely, a ‘traditional diet’, which was mainly fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and whole grains, was associated with lower odds of depression or anxiety disorders.Just as donuts and burgers are American, walnuts and fish aren’t a common stateside staple. The latter are where you might find omega-3 fatty acids, and supplementation with these ‘good’, polyunsaturated fats proved superior to placebo in reducing depressive symptoms in a randomized, controlled trial of over 400 subjects. A study published last month found an association between omega-3 deficiency and depressive and anxious behaviors in mice.

The Food Gods Speak: Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser Dish About Walmart, National Security, and Chicken Nuggets

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The Food Gods Speak: Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser Dish About Walmart, National Security, and Chicken Nuggets

Last week, food movement legends Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) sat down together with Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s Good Food, for a fascinating conversation that covered all of the major food stories of the past few months. For those of you who couldn’t make it in person, but want to know when Pollan last ate a chicken nugget, whether Schlosser thinks that Walmart’s new healthy food initiatives are for real, and what they think are the most important things you and I can do to make a difference right now, here’s my recap of the highlights.

More info about the Paleo way of eating

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The Paleo diet: Should you eat like a caveman?

Crossfit and Body Image

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Crossfit and Body Image.

This post resonated with me. It is so true — women especially spend so much energy on hating what they see. They can be the strongest, prettiest women you have ever seen but if you ask them – they can show you a laundry list of things that they ‘hate’ about the way they look. What do to about it? I have no idea — I have the same issues even with the progress I have made. I am a fit and healthy woman but can still give you a list of all the things that make me cringe when I see pics or look in the mirror.  We need to learn to be kinder to ourselves and realize that being fit isn’t a number on the scale —

She sees herself more negatively than she sees other people (all this body stuff isn’t rational, after all), at least that’s what I have always done. Other people were okay, but I was just awful. I still slip into that thinking sometimes when I look at less than flattering pictures of myself. Other people just took a bad picture, but I I must really look like that. Thinking of her wasting her youth on all that unrealistic cruelty to her own body made all my hurt and anger morph into pity and sympathy. I’ve been there, and thinking like that becomes way too normal. It doesn’t even feel weird anymore after a while; it’s just the way you talk to and about your body.

How is it possible that such a pretty little thing and such a tough Crossfitter could feel that way? What does it say about our culture that she would really avoid fun, active summer activities because she thought she looked fat in a bathing suit? How could all that negativity about her body be on her mind after doing a hard workout really well? I hate this about our world. I hate that she isn’t feeling how strong and useful and pretty and healthy her body is. I hate that there are so many women like her who feel that way every day of their lives.

Healthy Eating: The skinny on fats

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Healthy Eating: The skinny on fats.

Good information about fats. I have read recently all about Coconut Oil and how great it is for you. I’m waiting on my order to come in to try it and I will definitely let you know!

Of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) fats are generally cast as the villain of the group – often attributed with weight gain and an endless list of health problems. We know protein builds, maintains and repairs our cells and that carbs give us energy. However, most people remain in the dark about the many vital functions fat plays in our bodies. Instead it is often viewed as the macronutrient to avoid at all costs – with low fat diets and foods popping up everywhere in recent years.

A common misconception is that fat makes you fat! While it can contribute to weight gain, obesity is much more complicated than just eating too much of a single nutrient. It is true that a fat has 9 calories per gram (almost double the 4 calories per gram in protein and carbohydrates); however eating excess calories, from any source, can cause weight gain.

So now that we covered that common misconception, let’s move on to the next – that a fat is a fat. Again not exactly true. Not all fats are created equal. Some are good, some are bad and some are just plain wrong. So here is a rundown on the different types of fats and where to find them.

You Might Be Paleo

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You Might Be Paleo.

This is just a taste of some of the tell tale signs you are ‘Paleo’ —

  • Your friends admire your healthy glow.
  • You have a blog devoted to bacon.Your
  • mother thinks you’re too skinny.
  • You think Mother Nature is one cool lady.
  • You know what “biphasic” means.
  • There’s not a single whole grain in your house.
  • You have a crush on your butcher.
  • Your favorite snack is hard-boiled eggs and almonds.

Not all sources of protein are created equal

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In the most recent issue of Women’s Health magazine they had a short blurb about sources of protein and if they are all created equal –The answer was No. Up until recently, I never really thought about this. I always figured, protein is protein. But after looking into it and talking with others — you want to eat whole, efficient and complete food — and some would even say the info below should leave out dairy products all together and go pure ‘paleo’. One of the things I have found — we are all different and we need to try different approaches to see what works best for you, your lifestyle and your body type.  But the key take away here is not all protein is equal —

Many plant foods, including nuts and beans, can provide a good dose of protein, the best sources are dairy products, eggs, lean meat and fish. …Unlike plant based proteins, animal protein is complete, meaning it contains the right proportions of the essential amino acids your body can’t synthesize on it’s own. It’s possible to build complete protein from plant based foods by combining legumes, nuts and grains, but you’d need to consume 20-25% more plant based protein to reap the same benefits that animal-derived sources would provide…

Paleo Diet: ‘New Evolution Diet’

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Paleo Diet: ‘New Evolution Diet’ Author De Vany on Food and Exercise – TIME.

I am a believer in moderation but for me – switching to a mostly Paleo eating approach has really changed the way my body feels and looks. My skin is better, my energy is better. I am leaner and lost lbs that I had been trying to lose for a very long time.  I also have been doing HIIT via Crossfit and have gotten way more results than going to the gym for years, running on the treadmill and doing a few weight machines.  That never challenged my mind either. Crossfit not only teaches your body to respond, you also get a mental workout. You learn to push yourself beyond where you thought you could go. You learn to support and lean on others. For me – it works. For others- they may have to find what works in their own lives.

…if we really want to get fit, we should follow the lead of our ancient ancestors, Paleolithic humans who lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers some 40,000 years ago.

For more than 25 years, De Vany has been an advocate of what he calls “evolutionary fitness”: a regimen of low-carb eating and interval- or cross-training workouts (with periodic fasting) aimed at controlling insulin. But he has also become the grandfather of the growing Paleo movement, a health philosophy built around the belief that modern life — dating from the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago — is simply alien to our genes. Believers say that only by returning to a diet of wild game and fresh produce, eliminating grains and dairy, and exercising in short, intense bursts, can we thrive in a world of escalators and cheese fries.

Low Blood Sugar?

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Low Blood Sugar?

One of my readers recently asked if there were symptoms of having low blood sugar. The answer to this question is a resounding: YES. First off, low blood sugar occurs when glucose carbohydrates broken down tot heir simplest form is scarcely present in the blood stream. Glucose is the nervous system’s main and preferred source of energy, therefore, many symptoms related to low blood sugar affect mood and motor function.

You may experience low blood sugar when your diet is lacking in carbohydrate consumption, during or after intense bouts of exercise if not sufficiently fueled or after long periods of not eating.

Symptoms include:

– Trembling

– Sweating

– Clammy skin

– Irritability

– Hunger

– Difficulty focusing/thinking

– Headaches

– Clumsiness

– Paleness in face

– Loss of consciousness can occur if blood sugar drops too low

If you experience low blood sugar it is best to eat or drink something with fast acting carbohydrates like juice, fruit, a candy bar, protein bar, etc.

via BombergerPT: Blog: Low Blood Sugar?.

Women’s Set Points

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Women’s Set Points | Hunt.Gather.Love..

So interesting — I am conscience of body fat percentages and often wonder how women feel when they have sub 20% body fat. All I have read is about the danger of visceral fat, around your mid-section is the area you should worry about. Since I am not a super curvy person (read: I have no hips), that is exactly where i gain it if I am not watching what I eat —

I said I’d go to bed, but then I read something interesting. Lately there has been some discussion in the comments here about what level of body fat is healthy for women. Is it healthy for women to be as lean as men should be (below 18% body fat)? Some authors say yes. After all, don’t women in third world refugee camps have babies all the time?

Turns out it’s more complex than that. Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives is my go-to reference on this sort of thing and lo and behold it had some answers on this matter.

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