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Read a Nutrition Label Like a Dietician

What I’m about to say may seem hard to believe but it’s true. A study was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior where they quizzed participants on the meaning of the food labels “BEST If Used By” and “USE By.” Despite the participants feeling confident that they understand the food label meanings, only 46% of participants knew the correct meaning of “BEST If Used By” and just 24% knew the correct meaning of “USE By.” And if that wasn’t enough, the study then educated the participants on the food label meaning and quizzed them again… Only to find that nearly half of participants still didn’t understand the correct meanings. And this got me thinking, if those two labels can be so easily misunderstood then understanding a full nutrition label must seem like rocket science. I mean let’s look at these two food … Read More

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30 Years Without Alcohol… Why?

Hello friends. I’m 29½ years old and I’ve never consumed alcohol. I’m assuming my mom didn’t consume alcohol either while I was in the womb for 9 months putting me over 30 years without alcohol. At least I think my mom didn’t drink while she was pregnant with me. Mom? You didn’t drink while you were pregnant with me, right? Mom?! No, I trust her. She wouldn’t do that with her favorite child. Maybe with my sisters but not me. Anyways, I thought it’d be useful to detail why I’ve never consumed alcohol, what is moderate alcohol consumption, how does it affect not only our health but our happiness, and what it’s like living alcohol-free in a world that can revolve around drinking. We have a lot to cover. Let’s get into it! I was raised in an alcohol-free house. I’ve never seen my dad consume alcohol and I’ve only seen my mom consume it about five times… Read More

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The Perfect Lunch

A few months ago, I outlined The Perfect Breakfast which is a fantastic way to start your day with whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices. And not only was the blueberry oatmeal dish I outlined delicious, but in case you didn’t enjoy it, I also put out a recent post on how you can start enjoying these healthy whole foods too. So, this week I’m covering the next meal of the day. Lunch. And there’s a lot I’m going to cover in this post as lunch is a terrific opportunity to load up on veggies, beans, and other food groups to ensure we meet the optimal micro and macro nutrients for the day. And I have some unique tips you won’t want to miss. So, let’s get into it! The main dish at lunch that I recommend is a salad. It’s our best opportunity to load up on raw cruciferous vegetables, greens, alliums, seeds, and sea vegetables. We should think of… Read More

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How to Like Healthy Food… Even Vegetables

If I asked the average person to try my daily oatmeal bowl, salad dish, cup of soup or even my black bean brownie, most of them wouldn’t immediately fall in love with it. They’d much rather stick to their processed cereals, oil dressed salads, heavily salted soups and sugar laced brownies. And when I say, “much rather,” I mean they’d cling to their current favorite foods as if their life would be over without them. Honestly, it’s a little disturbing once you understand the science behind it. But for those who’ve adopted a whole foods plant-based diet, these same healthy meals that processed food lovers dislike, are thoroughly enjoyable. So, why is it that healthy people enjoy healthy foods more than the average American? Why is it that so many people seem to be nearly addicted to these highly processed foods? And how can you not only like healthy… Read More

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Coffee and Caffeine… Healthy?

The consumption of moderate amounts of coffee increase energy availability, energy expenditure, physical performance, motor performance, cognitive performance, alertness, wakefulness, feelings of energy, concentration, focus, short-term memory, problem solving, decision making accuracy, and neuromuscular coordination and while decreasing physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. And yet, I’ve never once consumed a cup of coffee. Never buddied up with the world’s best friend Joe. I’ve stayed away from caffeine for nearly all my life despite the publicized benefits of coffee and caffeine. And it’s made me wonder, have I made the right decision? Am I missing out on America’s healthiest beverage? And should I start consuming coffee? Well, I did a lot of digging and… Read More

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What I Learned in the Emergency Room. Part 1.

A few weeks ago, on a Friday night, I started watching The Queen’s Gambit. A great Netflix show about a world chess champion. But shortly into the first episode, I noticed some pain in my left abdomen. It crept up quickly and after about 15 minutes, it was so painful that I could barely walk. I made my way down my apartment building’s stairs and out to my car. I had just enough energy and mobility to drive myself to the emergency room. Unfortunately, when I got there, there were many other patients with even more dire conditions than mine waiting to be seen which makes sense because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But after checking in and being curled up in pain inside the waiting room, I was finally seen by a doctor after about 2-3 hours just as the pain subsided. Despite the pain now being gone, my emergency room doctor still sent me for x-rays, blood tests, and… Read More

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The Perfect Breakfast

The earliest regular breakfast I can remember eating is Reese’s Puffs. Those things were delicious, but I could eat them forever and not get full. And because of that, I was always left hungry and craving more sugar-filled food. As I got more into health and wellness, I started changing up my breakfast. Slowly evolving from a sugar-filled, nutrient-void cereal to a wholesome plant-based meal. Shortly after Reese’s Puffs, I switched to two English muffins with peanut butter for years. But still, my hunger would reappear shortly after breakfast and while the meal was more nutrient dense than Reese’s Puffs, it was still lacking in nutrient variety and whole foods. After that I tried avocado toast and a smoothie each morning. This was better yet but there wasn’t an effortless way to meal prep and travel with it. It’d take about 25 minutes to make each… Read More

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Added Sugar Should Be Considered a Drug

Since nearly eliminating my consumption of added sugar 18 months ago, there’s been one significant effect I never expected. I’ve become one of my dental hygienist’s favorite clients. The past three times I’ve been to the dentist for a cleaning, my hygienist has said to me “your teeth already look beautiful” and “there’s barely any cleaning I need to do” and “looks like you’ve done a great job brushing and flossing.” But I’ve always brushed and flossed consistently for as long as I can remember, and I never received these compliments before. Even with my consistent dental hygiene and lack of any tooth decay problems, I’ve never had compliments like these. But since my reduction of added sugar, they’ve been plentiful. Now, it’s common knowledge that added sugar consumption can help lead to dental issues but until I actually took the step of cutting… Read More

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Here’s Why You Should Avoid Oil

Ever since the pandemic started back in March, I’ve doubled down on my fitness and nutrition efforts. And since then, I’ve lost around 10lbs of weight, primarily fat, bringing my total down to 160lbs. I can’t remember being 160lbs since high school or college. I’ve always been lean but losing this extra 10lbs surprised me. I didn’t expect it to happen since I had no intentions of dropping weight. But it happened and one of the main things I’m contributing it to is the complete removal of added oils from my diet. But aren’t oils like olive oil and coconut oil healthy for you? Isn’t fat or oil needed for a healthy diet? And how do you eat food like sauteed vegetables or salad dressings without oil? I took a deep dive into the current state of added oil consumption in the United States and researched all the facts and myths surrounding it. Here’s what I found… Read More

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What is Your Recommended Daily Salt Intake?

From the age of 17 to 25, I would get daily headaches. Usually they’d occur later in the day and would linger until waking up the next morning. They felt like a pressure headache with a slight throbbing pain that would become painful with movement such as exercise. Because of this, I got into the habit of exercising earlier in the day before the headaches would appear. But these headaches didn’t seem normal to me and most people I knew didn’t have daily headaches. So, I visited my doctor multiple times to troubleshoot this problem, but nothing really came from it. It seemed like daily headaches would be my new normal until I stumbled upon an obvious solution I should’ve recognized much sooner. Hydration. What I found was that I was almost always dehydrated. I didn’t consume a ton of water and I exercised a fair amount which was the perfect recipe for… Read More

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