Roller coaster of uncertainty
Nothing like a little uncertainty to launch us on a roller coaster of emotions. One moment we're feeling great and the next, we glimpse a headline, receive an email, or get a call that casts a barrage of self-doubt and throws us down in despair and we doubt everything we knew (and feel).
This roller coaster is real (and normal) when you are charting the unknown. It's particularly challenging if you are a person who is used to being in control and always having the answer. It can lead to some pretty intense lows. So what can you do?
Do I "need" to eat vegetables?
If you feel like you don’t eat enough vegetables each day, you’re not alone. According to the most recent data from the CDC, only 1 in 10 Americans actually eat the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. There are many reasons it’s a challenge - cost, access, food waste, increased preparation time, limited knowledge / skills, and taste preferences are all known and real challenges.
But what’s the big deal? Can you replace the value of vegetables with other foods or a supplement? The answer boils down to food chemistry and health research.
It’s easy to post tips and suggestions for people to try on the surface - “eat this” or “buy that.” But how do you begin to help people address their deeper thoughts and beliefs?
One strategy is visualization. People are perhaps most familiar with positive visualization. Books and social movements like “The Secret” inspire the notion that we are in control of what happens to us. Does that mean we are responsible if / when things go awry?
The practice of nutrition feels divided into many (many) “camps” these days. Many feel their way is the “right” way leaving those not in the nutrition field trying to make sense of where they belong.
Family norms - a case study
Fueling high school athletes
Time to launch into another year of high school sports. If you're a coach (or a parent) you might be trying to figure out ways to get your athletes to reach their full potential. Check out the below post to understand some of the challenges (and solutions) in keeping teenage athletes fueled.
How to help others eat better
It's easier than ever to find an article about "healthy eating." A quick search on Google provided over 860,000,000 results...and another 35,800,000 videos (yikes).
I recognize and appreciate that people are passionate about nutrition. I also recognize that once we find something that "works" for us, we want to shout it from the roof tops! I truly believe that many professionals should talk about food to with their clients - it's a cornerstone to health. However, it's important to recognize whether the "truth" you preach to your clients is helpful or harmful.
What's the "best" sugar?
Taming tummy troubles
Food to fuel exercise
I straddle two worlds in my professional life. On one side, I specialize in manipulating and challenging bodies as a personal trainer and athlete - helping people move better and farther. On the other, I help people heal their relationship with food and bodies- calming internal criticisms and rigid food/movement beliefs to find a place of balanced living.
One might argue these worlds don't blend. Admittedly, sometimes I feel at odds with myself. Athletes and fitness buffs are bombarded with messages to ignore their bodies - challenge themselves, go beyond their comfort, and crush their bodies. While my eating disorder world argues movement should only be reserved for joy. But can their be joy in athletics? Or is it just a place of punitive manipulation?
Can everyone achieve "health?"
We all want to be happy with our food and “eat well.” However that means something different to everyone – eating for a health goal, in alignment with our spiritual/cultural values, and/or in relationship to our taste preferences.
But eating well isn’t simply a choice. If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it! Other circumstances and situations can make it hard. Many people “make the decision” only to find it hard to make it last more than a meal or two. What gives?
What is diabetes?
A big part of my day is explaining diabetes to patients. It's easy to get lost in the medical jargon. When you keep it simple, it's easier to understand what you can and cannot control (video below!)
When do I need a sports drink?
People are designed to eat every 3-4 hours. When you go more than 4 hours without eating, you tend to get overly hungry. When you get really hungry, you’re more likely to overeat. You’re also most likely to crave “junk food.” Snacks keep your hunger in check, however not all snacks are created equal.
(also published on the Cambridge Health Alliance Blog)
It’s no secret that New Englanders love Dunkin Donuts. With a shop on most corners, it’s a convenient place to grab a snack, meal, or a coffee. But how does it affect your health and what are the best choices? I took a look at their nutrition information to find the answer.*
Eggs...Friend or Foe?
Eggs..One day they’re hot and the next they’re not. It’s a common question in my office. Eggs are controversial because the have dietary cholesterol. However, the cholesterol you eat does not necessarily have the biggest impact on the cholesterol in your body. First, you have to understand a little about dietary vs serum (blood) cholesterol. Or if you’d rather not, skip down a few paragraphs to the nitty gritty.
Do I need a protein supplement?
This is a common question in my office, especially from people looking to lose weight and/or build muscle. While protein shakes can be a helpful tool, they’re not for everyone. To understand whether it’s right for you, consider your goals and the science behind it.
DISCLAIMER: The writing here is for informational and educational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for individual care. Your needs may vary. or individual support, please contact a provider.
Please note it's been a number of years since I have updated these posts. The content and philosophies may have changed as I've grown as a provider. Please reach out with questions or concerns.
Dietitian, personal trainer, mother, wife, runner, and endurance athlete supporting well-being, one bit and bite at a time