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Category Archive for: ‘Eat Well, Be Well’

“Good” or “Bad” Food

Driving in a car with four children with varying musical tastes doesn’t give me much time for educational podcasts; however, there are a few stolen moments where I can listen to topics of interest without background commentary. This recent podcast by the Foodist really peaked my interest. How to Stop Moralizing Your Food Choices by Darya Rose. This is topic is something I believe many of us can relate too, how many times have we deemed our food choices “good” or “bad”. Demoralized ourself for eating too much or making the wrong food choice. Additionally, Rose talks about not demonizing real food (she uses the example of sweet potatoes and oatmeal). This is a topic that comes up all too frequently in the world of nutrition. Many diet plans mislead consumers to believe that certain whole, plant based foods are not beneficial, perhaps even harmful. Nutritious real foods should never be avoided unless one has a food intolerance of allergy. Additionally, avoiding real food in favor of weight loss shakes or other food substitutes takes away the pleasure that we should all derive from eating food.

Check out this podcast next time you have a free moment (or in the car with a child, who knows you may bring out the budding scientist in them).

“Good” or “Bad” Food

Driving in a car with four children with varying musical tastes doesn’t give me much time for educational podcasts; however, there are a few stolen moments where I can listen to topics of interest without background commentary. This recent podcast by the Foodist really peaked my interest. How to Stop Moralizing Your Food Choices by Darya Rose. This is topic is something I believe many of us can relate too, how many times have we deemed our food choices “good” or “bad”. Demoralized ourself for eating too much or making the wrong food choice. Additionally, Rose talks about not demonizing real food (she uses the example of sweet potatoes and oatmeal). This is a topic that comes up all too frequently in the world of nutrition. Many diet plans mislead consumers to believe that certain whole, plant based foods are not beneficial, perhaps even harmful. Nutritious real foods should never be avoided unless one has a food intolerance of allergy. Additionally, avoiding real food in favor of weight loss shakes or other food substitutes takes away the pleasure that we should all derive from eating food.
 
Check out this podcast next time you have a free moment (or in the car with a child, who knows you may bring out the budding scientist in them).

WHAT’S TRENDING?

I love reading the predicted food trends for the coming year. While a Google search will turn up an endless list of what’s treading for 2017, I enjoyed reading the top 5 from a recent Forbes article. Whether or not we will actually see these trends in 2017 remains to be seen, but I am sure many of us will welcome No More Kale (or at least not for breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

Good news for those of us who would like to consume more vegetables.

My favorite stand by is roasted cauliflower.

 

Vegetables will continue its rise on the dinner plate, as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for more vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and (if possible) request for vegetable crust for healthier pizza.

 

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

It’s quality vs. quantity when it comes to meat consumption.

 

Given the rise of vegetarian options out there, expect push back from the other end. This comes in the form of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants, which fortify people’s love for meat. Delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery, this “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers be in awe with the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Plus, you’ll get to eat them right away. 

 

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

Good news for the non-traditionalist breakfast eater.  I know a few people in my house will applaud this trend.

 

For many of us, all-day breakfast is hardly a new concept. But with many fast food chain offerings such as the “Brunchfast” at Jack-in-the-box and spiced up breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, what’s particularly unique about this trend in 2017 is how the texture of breakfast will change. Forget smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal’s. What you’ll find are the so-called, more “aggressive” crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri. As a bonus, smaller chains and independent eateries will justify these around-the-clock breakfast items as perfect hangover cures!

 

#4: KALE NO MORE

Full disclosure, I really do like kale, but am happy to see a much needed break from it’s role as the health savior.   Stick with a variety of healthy vegetables, your palate will thank you.

 

Remember the days when kale represented all that is healthy? Well, according to Whole Foods’ former global grocery coordinator, it’s time to say goodbye (at least when it comes to the consumer packaged version). Nowadays, there are many more options if you’re looking for healthy vegetables that are also good for reducing food waste. For instance, there’s a large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavors for different broths. And as for the waste-not economy, many chefs are looking out for newer, more interesting alternatives such as beet greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Since kale seems to have gone past its peak, get ready to find other yet-to-be-discovered vegetable for creative, new dishes.

 

#5: BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

I love the idea of packing healthy goodness into one delicious bowl.

 

First, there were acai bowls. Then, there was poké. In 2017, eating from bowls will be taking over further as restaurants are migrating from serving handheld items to placing in bowls like Korean bibimbap. There are many benefits to this trend. Not only is it less likely for what’s in the takeaway bowls to get splattered on the office desktop, it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. Moreover, holding a bowl would likely make you psychologically more prone to mindfulness. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. What’s not to like?

 

Source: Forbes

WHAT’S TRENDING?

I love reading the predicted food trends for the coming year. While a Google search will turn up an endless list of what’s treading for 2017, I enjoyed reading the top 5 from a recent Forbes article. Whether or not we will actually see these trends in 2017 remains to be seen, but I am sure many of us will welcome No More Kale (or at least not for breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

Good news for those of us who would like to consume more vegetables.

My favorite stand by is roasted cauliflower.

 

Vegetables will continue its rise on the dinner plate, as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for more vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and (if possible) request for vegetable crust for healthier pizza.

 

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

It’s quality vs. quantity when it comes to meat consumption.

 

Given the rise of vegetarian options out there, expect push back from the other end. This comes in the form of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants, which fortify people’s love for meat. Delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery, this “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers be in awe with the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Plus, you’ll get to eat them right away. 

 

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

Good news for the non-traditionalist breakfast eater.  I know a few people in my house will applaud this trend.

 

For many of us, all-day breakfast is hardly a new concept. But with many fast food chain offerings such as the “Brunchfast” at Jack-in-the-box and spiced up breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, what’s particularly unique about this trend in 2017 is how the texture of breakfast will change. Forget smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal’s. What you’ll find are the so-called, more “aggressive” crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri. As a bonus, smaller chains and independent eateries will justify these around-the-clock breakfast items as perfect hangover cures!

 

#4: KALE NO MORE

Full disclosure, I really do like kale, but am happy to see a much needed break from it’s role as the health savior.   Stick with a variety of healthy vegetables, your palate will thank you.

 

Remember the days when kale represented all that is healthy? Well, according to Whole Foods’ former global grocery coordinator, it’s time to say goodbye (at least when it comes to the consumer packaged version). Nowadays, there are many more options if you’re looking for healthy vegetables that are also good for reducing food waste. For instance, there’s a large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavors for different broths. And as for the waste-not economy, many chefs are looking out for newer, more interesting alternatives such as beet greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Since kale seems to have gone past its peak, get ready to find other yet-to-be-discovered vegetable for creative, new dishes.

 

#5: BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

I love the idea of packing healthy goodness into one delicious bowl.

 

First, there were acai bowls. Then, there was poké. In 2017, eating from bowls will be taking over further as restaurants are migrating from serving handheld items to placing in bowls like Korean bibimbap. There are many benefits to this trend. Not only is it less likely for what’s in the takeaway bowls to get splattered on the office desktop, it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. Moreover, holding a bowl would likely make you psychologically more prone to mindfulness. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. What’s not to like?

 

Source: Forbes

Eat Well, Be Well Returns!

The Eat Well, Be Well blog is officially back. The blog was on an unofficial hiatus after my family welcomed our daughter home in March 2016. Life has now settled into a new normal and it’s time to get back to writing about one of my passions, health & nutrition. My hope in re-starting this blog is to provide useful, reliable information regarding current nutrition trends. The world of nutrition is ever changing and it is certainly not always easy to decipher the science behind it (and honestly sometimes there is absolutely no science behind it). I would love to hear from you dear readers, what do you want to learn about? What questions do you have regarding current nutrition trends? Fitness? Wellness? Please email me at smeyer@merig.com and tell me your ideas.

Bringing Awareness to Daily Eating: Benefits of Mindful Eating

mindful-eating

I had the opportunity recently to attend a mindful eating retreat “After the First Bite” and was amazed at how much better I felt after three days of being aware and paying attention.  When we are on “auto pilot”, we tend to act (eat) first and then become aware of what we have done (eaten) afterwards.  Mindfulness of when, why and what we eat, how it tastes, where it comes from, and how we feel after we consumed it can help bring a natural and healthy change to this everyday process. 

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  1. Helps Us Slow Down
    One of the biggest issues in general is eating SO quickly. You can be out to dinner with someone and by the time you blink a few times the food on their plate is completely gone. Eating quickly is both bad for digestion and it’s also bad when it comes to controlling the quantity of food you’re eating. Practicing mindful eating can help you tune in and pay attention to the food you’re eating, which in turn can help slow you down.
  2. Promotes Eating Less
    Paying attention to the food you’re eating can not only help you enjoy it more, but because you’ve slowed down to tune into your food, it gives your brain and stomach more time to communicate and sense fullness, a process that takes about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Can Boost Satisfaction
    So after slowing down and eating less, what you’ll realize is that you actually have time to listen to what’s going on inside of you, and there is a greater chance that you’ll feel more satisfied. The entire process of tuning into what you’re eating in addition to how it looks and what it feels like, can help promote feeling satisfied, and for many, this is after eating much less food than they once did.
  4. Helps to Better Nourish Your Body
    Proper nourishment for our daily life is the main function of eating.  Paying better attention to what you’re eating and planning ahead can be beneficial when it comes to providing more nutrients to your body, and usually when people start paying attention to what they’re eating, they also usually start to pay attention to providing better nutrition which is a major plus for the body.

Want to Learn More…

Give Thanks

thank-you

As I was preparing to write this blog, I came across the usual array of articles about holiday weight gain, including one about how much exercise is required to burn off your Thanksgiving dinner. Rather than add to the litany of advice about holiday eating (and guilt) I have decided this year to focus on what Thanksgiving is all about: giving thanks. 

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday where we celebrate with friends & family, coming together for a meal of traditional favorites. Many of us have foods we prepare each year that bring us a great deal of comfort & memories. For me personally, my favorite Thanksgiving dish is Corn Bread, Wild Mushroom & Pecan Stuffing. This dish is filled with lots of hearty goodness. I add extra veggies & skip the heavy cream lending to a decent nutritional profile. 

So this Thanksgiving rather than obsessing about the calories you put in your mouth, enjoy time with friends & family, go for a walk (or turkey trot), be mindful of the quantity of food your consume (no “thanksgiving full” this year) & quite simply, give thanks.

Our Relationship with Food

rel-to-food

When it comes to eating very few of us would argue that our relationship with food has many psychological components.  Eating based on only physical cues (i.e. physiological hunger) can be a challenge in today’s world.  Many of us use emotions, social cues, etc. to choose when & what to eat. The past few months I have been reviewing intuitive Eating Principles for my practice & the message that has resonated with me is “permission,” permission to eat, permission to actually enjoy food. That is why I loved this recent blog from Raise Healthy Eaters, which highlights the change in our relationship with food when we actually give ourselves permission to eat

  • I give myself permission to not have chocolate cake because it just doesn’t sound good.
  • I give myself permission to work out because it will enhance my day, even with an out-of-control to-do list.
  • I give myself permission to skip my work out because it will only add more stress to an already packed day.
  • I give myself permission to have coffee with a friend because I need connection, even though time is limited.
  • I give myself permission to cancel with a friend because it’s just one of those days.
  • I give myself permission to blow off my Sunday to-do’s (grocery shopping, getting ready for the week) and stay in my PJs with my kids, order take out and watch a movie because I just know I need a break.
  • I give myself permission to spend much of my Sunday getting ready for the week because I know it’s going to be a crazy week.
  • I give myself permission to pursue an interest or different career even though it will sound crazy to my family and friends.
  • I give myself permission to focus on what I’m doing now, and not feel like I have to do anything more to impress anyone.

As you can see, this advice does not just apply to food, so go ahead, give yourself permission.

 

Habits That Stop You From Eating Healthy

healthy-eating

Like most people, I struggle to maintain healthy habits, especially as we enter into the busy season of back to school & sports.  Of course, one can always find excuses as to why they aren’t maintaining their healthy habits.  However, there are some habits that always interfere with eating healthy, despite the season. Summer Tomato came up with a great list of Habits That Stop You From Eating Healthy:

Avoiding the Grocery Store:

Not Sleeping Enough

Not Keeping A Stocked Pantry

Buying out of Season Veggies

Ignoring your Dirty Kitchen

Over- Exercising

This article gives some great basic tips and reminds me it is quite simple to adjust my habits to keep my on track when it comes to healthy eating (& exercise). 

The Number One Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

losing-weight

I recently came across this article on a popular fitness blog. I almost immediately dismissed the article as another piece telling the reader they are eating too may calories, not fasting enough, not burning enough calories, etc, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. It is not a topic that is often discussed when talking about weight loss, but “too much” dietary restriction is often the culprit when weight loss fails.

Metabolism 101 is that the body will go into starvation mode and store what food it does get when it’s not being fed. I see this often when working with college students who believe extreme calorie restriction is the answer to their weight problems. We all know calorie restriction can be a slippery slope, so what is the best approach? As the author states, eating enough calories to keep you satiated, but enough to create a calorie deficient that results in a 1 to 2 pound weight loss per week. It’s not a glamorous recommendation or a magic bullet, but one that is proven to work.

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