May 10, 2017

If you've ever casually discussed sports nutrition, you may be familiar with the concept of an anabolic window. The idea is: after you exercise, your body is in a ramped-up state of protein absorption and muscle re-synthesis. In order to maximize your muscle-building potential, you should consume an easily digestible form of protein as soon as possible post-workout.

I.e. drink that protein shake after your workout to maximize your gains.

However, a new study suggests you may not need to down a protein shake after your exercise session. This research compared protein consumption before exercise to after exercise, and found no difference in the amount of muscle synthesis. 

The previous concept of an anabolic window pointed to research done on participants in a fasted state, which doesn't apply to the majority of us when we go to exercise. This is important to note, as eating protein before your workout may be just as beneficial. 

This data is valu...

February 9, 2017

In case you’ve missed the recent stream of news, Nutella is being pulled from grocery store shelves in Europe due to a fear it may cause cancer. Before you skim these headlines and run to trash your chocolatey spread, let’s examine the facts.

The European Food Safety Authority, an organization similar to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration, recently released a report stating when palm oil is heated above 200°C (392°F), it forms glycidyl fatty acid esters – compounds which are genotoxic (damaging to DNA) and carcinogenic (cancer promoting).

While Nutella certainly should be evaluated, many other food products also contain palm oil - including ice cream, bread, chocolate, and peanut butter. Even so, when you read Nutella’s ingredient label, it’s understandable why consumers would be concerned. Ingredients are listed on packages by weight in descending order, and the second ingredient in Nutella is palm oil, following sugar.

The swirl of controversy around Nutella’s potential can...

December 20, 2016

The following is an archived post

Understanding portions and servings is often perplexing for folks of all ages and it may be difficult to make sense of all of the recommendations and various terminology. First, let’s define the following:

A “serving” is the amount of food recommended in consumer education materials and by professionals for dietary guidance.


A “portion” is the amount of a food you choose to eat at any one time — which may be more or less than a serving.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations for children aged 1-10. Of course, proper nutrition is very much individualized, so a child may need more or less food based on activity levels, health status, or other reasons.

In general, recommendations are categorized among the 5 food groups: fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.

For all children 1-10 years old, the serving suggestions are the same:

  • 2-3 servings each of fruit, vegetables and dairy

  • 6-11 servings of grains

  • 2 proteins

Take note...

November 17, 2016

The following is an archived post

The term mindfulness has been thrown around quite a bit lately in the health world, from psychology to exercise, and particularly when it comes to diet.

According to Psychology Today, mindfulness means a state of active, open attention on the present. We often focus on  coaching adults when it comes to techniques of mindful eating as it can help moderate overeating, but these tools can also be extremely useful with toddlers, school-age children and adolescents.

Despite any mealtime struggles you may have with your children, it’s fortunately never too late to educate them on mindful eating habits in ways that avoid negative interactions and tedious lectures. 

Check out these 5 great ways to foster mindful eating behavior in your home. Don’t feel pressure to try all suggestions at once – perhaps pick one as a starting point and stick with it for a while. Habits don’t change overnight and consistency is key to see progress.

  • Don’t reward heal...

September 8, 2016

The following is an archived post

Cooking is an essential part of life and has been for periods of human history. In fact, the “cooking hypothesis,” although controversial, is believed to explain why our ancestor, Homo erectus, emerged in our evolution with larger brains and smaller teeth than earlier species.1

Cooking makes nutrients more available—meat and other tough foods (like fish and some raw vegetables) can be chewed, digested, and absorbed more easily into the body. Some foods must be cooked to get rid of toxins and be edible in the first place, such as raw lima beans. When nutrients are abundant, growth and development are possible.

Today, nutrients (and calories) are extremely abundant and easy to obtain without significant energy expenditure. This may be partly to blame for the rise in obesity and chronic disease. Although the food we eat is “cooked,” many do not often prepare the food they eat themselves for a variety of reasons, such as time, lack of skills, cost and mo...

August 16, 2016

The following is an archived post

We’ve heard the stories of all of the Olympic athletes that eat huge meals and still manage to stay in great shape. How do they do it?Well, for one thing, at least during training season, it is their job to exercise. Many of us spend the majority of our time sitting still, burning very few calories. Olympic athletes spend the same amount of time each day doing seriously vigorous and intense exercise. In order to fuel all of that activity, they have to eat what may seem like huge amounts of food, but relative to their activity level, it is entirely appropriate. The key here is balance – of calories taken in to calories expended.

What can our kids and student athletes learn from Olympians aside from working hard and dreaming big?

They can learn to adjust eating according to activity level. In order to fuel their activities and keep their bodies in top shape, successful athletes adjust their diets according to their workout loads each day. On days where they...

March 29, 2016

The following is an archived post

As a dietitian working with K-12 independent schools, it is my passion to share the value of healthy eating with students and our school community partners. Unfortunately, we do see eating disorders, as well as disordered eating (a wide range of abnormal eating behaviors, many of which are shared with diagnosed eating disorders) across age and gender in our student populations.

We have also seen the rise of a relatively new condition — orthorexia nervosa. While currently not recognized as a clinical diagnosis, like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa), many people struggle with the symptoms associated with this term, as coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1996.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the leading non-profit organization in the U.S. advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders, defines orthorexia nervosa as those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with o...

March 13, 2016

The following is an archived post

Caffeine is the most available and widely used psychoactive substance in the world and is the only drug legally accessible and socially acceptable for consumption by children and adolescents. Some studies have shown that adolescents are the fastest-growing population of caffeine users, with 83.2 percent consuming caffeinated beverages regularly and at least 96 percent consuming them occasionally. With this in mind, researchers developed a study to determine attitudes and beliefs as well as factors influencing caffeinated beverage consumption among adolescents.

Source: Increased education could help adolescents limit caffeine consumption: Negative outcomes of caffeine consumption could be curbed with more instruction, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

February 17, 2016

The following is an archived post

A new study is yet another piece of evidence that eggs are making a comeback.

For a long time, it was recommended to limit egg consumption, as yolks are high in dietary cholesterol, which was thought to be associated with heart health risks, as high levels of cholesterol in the blood is associated with coronary disease.

But in recent years, researchers have found that consuming moderate amounts of dietary cholesterol is not linked to a significant rise in blood cholesterol. In fact, yolks are rich in a variety of nutrients beneficial to overall health and may even be heart-protective.

The new study out of Finland supports that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol (the equivalent of one egg per day) is not associated with elevated heart health risks.

While adult men were the subject of this study, a 2013 study suggested that eating more eggs eating is not associated with higher blood cholesterol in adolescents, regardless of how much physical acti...

December 7, 2015

The following is an archived post

Think healthy this holiday season and make sure your family’s wellness is a priority. Talk with your children about the importance of eating healthy during the holidays. Getting them involved now will help them develop healthy habits for holidays to come.ere are some healthy ways to ensure your family puts wellness first this holiday season:

  • Serve well-balanced meals throughout the day to prevent overeating during the holiday dinner.

  • Encourage your children to say, “No thank you,” when they are full.

  • Drink milk or water and avoid juices and drinks that are high in sugar.

  • Add fruits and vegetables to holiday recipes to increase the vitamins and minerals your family will be eating.

  • Pick out a new red or green fruit and vegetable to try for this year’s holiday meal.

  • Remind kids that a healthy holiday meal includes food from all the food groups.

  • Go for a family walk together while food is baking or after the holiday meal.

...

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