I recently attended the Good Food Expo in Chicago, which featured a variety of local and sustainable foods and producers. It was a great opportunity to connect with other business owners, hear their stories and sample tasty, healthy foods made locally.read more
As humans we all need to eat. And regardless of our sex or ethnicity there seems to be a commonality that food is at the center of a lot of occasions. When we’re raised with food being at the center of so many aspects of our lives, it’s only natural that we create lifelong habits (even if we don’t know they exist), which show up in multiple ways.
When I first started working as a Health Coach, we are told to define our niche market. Since my passion is supporting busy adults on their weight journey with a focus on emotional eating, I automatically assumed I would work with women. Our culture has a tendency to stereotype that women are more concerned about their weight, body image and are more emotional than men, which is why a lot of healthy foods and diets are typically marketed toward women. However, it has been my experience that not surprisingly men care about their bodies and what they eat too. Similar to women, men can also have an emotional relationship with food.
When talking about emotional eating, we typically think about eating when stressed, happy, angry, sad or as a reward to name a few. But there are also common triggers of feeling insecure, unsafe, vulnerable or lacking connection that can draw us to food without even knowing it. Simply identifying the triggers can help alleviate the pull to food and enables us to develop new tools and approaches to address each situation.
For men it can be especially difficult to ask for help around food as it can feel taboo. However, having the right support is helpful when you know what you should be eating but have a hard time sticking to it. This cycle can feel daunting and lead to burn out but having someone to cheer you on when you’re feeling stuck can be helpful because having a third party to help us see what’s in our way can be all we need. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a smart and productive thing to do regardless of your sex.read more
It seems like 5-10 years ago barely many people knew about probiotics, what they were, or their health benefits. But not only have they become more mainstream, they are being used as a marketing tool for various foods, including granola, butter and even drinking straws.
I recently read this article about the differences between “designer food”-based probiotics and the natural forming organisms. The purpose of this post is to help break down probiotics and the best way to get them.
First, let’s start with what a probiotic is. According to WebMD, “Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.”1 They also support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection.
The reason we want probiotics is because it is said that 60-80% of our immune system is held in and around the digestive tract/gut. Therefore, when your gut bacteria are balanced, your immune system should also be balanced.
Probiotics can help promote healthy and balanced gut bacteria because they replace good bacteria after it has been lost, for example after taking an antibiotic. Some natural sources of probiotics include fermented foods such as:
- Kefir (unsweetened is best)
- Natto (fermented soybeans)
- Yogurt (natural and unprocessed)
- Raw cheese
People have been eating fermented foods for thousands of years but food manufacturers have recently been making foods with added probiotics due to the increase in awareness and interest. When deciding the best way to consume probiotics for you, my philosophy is to try to go as natural as possible and resort to a proven source. Therefore, I get my probiotics from a high quality supplement and from foods where the bacteria are naturally grown, such as Kombucha (no sugar added), sauerkraut or plain kefir. Since everyone’s body is different, it’s important to find a solution that works for you based on your lifestyle and what your body requires.
Source: 1WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics
Photo credit: JoongBoo Market, http://www.flickr.com/photos/85508296@N00/15189824058read more
Processed foods make up about 70% of the U.S. diet. The foods that many of us associate as being processed are things like chips and cookies but many breads, yogurt, salad dressings and cheeses are processed too. While these foods are convenient and sometimes taste delicious, many of them are loaded with saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium or ingredients (also known as chemicals) that we just can’t pronounce. The issue with these types of foods is that they can cause inflammation in our bodies and reduce immune function.read more