My last true “7 Interesting Things I Read This Week” post was exactly a month ago, and I collect articles to post like they’re going out of style, so choosing only 7 for today was a challenge! I decided to work through my bookmarks in chronological order, which is why many of these articles are a few weeks old. We’ll catch up soon enough! Enjoy this week’s links!
7 Interesting Things I Read This Week
- Food Manufacturers Betting on Gluten-Free: When business and nutrition interact, you can be pretty sure my interest levels will be piqued! I found this article, which explains how food manufacturers are investing in the proliferation of gluten-free food items because of their predicted continuing growth, to be interesting and frustrating at the same time. Of course, I support the availability of gluten-free items for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities, or others who choose to avoid gluten. At the same time, capitalizing on consumers’ vulnerability by implying a gluten-free is healthier when it is really loaded with lots of extra sugar and/ or saturated fat is just not fair. If you haven’t gotten my free pdf on “7 Nutrition Myths that Will Change How You Eat Every Day,” get it now – it explains a bit more about the gluten-free phenomenon.
- 10 Reasons You Need to Sleep Even if You’re Busy: I’ve mentioned before that prioritizing sleep is one of my worst health habits. In my old job, it wasn’t uncommon to be working 8am-midnight, work on the blog until 1:30 or 2am, and get up at 6am to run. That leaves jut four hours for sleep, and I’m embarrassed by the number of times I “made that work.” I’ve been prioritizing sleep lately, and working on getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and it’s amazing how quickly your body adjusts! Now, if I get 6 hours, I feel tired the next day. I think this goes to show that sleep is incredibly important, and even if we can squeeze by with less than we know we need for weeks, months, or years, doing so reduces our productivity, health, mood, and more.
- How to Evaluate Supplements: I covered most of WebMD’s tips (and more!) in my recent post on how to choose supplements (including how the FDA regulates supplements as food and does not require manufacturers to prove their claims!), but I wanted to share this perspective as a follow-up. The article gives a few additional tips for choosing the form of supplement (liquid vs. pill) and the storage of supplements.
- Fresh Salad Vending Machines Testing in Chicago: I’ve been seeing some great versions of healthy (or healthier) vending machines popping up all over the place. The community center where I hold my Girls on the Run practices has packaged snacks that are a bit healthier, and a gym I visited last week had a machine stocked with protein bars and healthier post-workout-snacks. But the ability to get a fresh, nutrient-packed salad from a vending machine sounds like a dream come true! I hope this company is successful and continues expanding, especially for the benefit of those for whom preparing food is not an option. (As a side note, my mom always talks about eating moldy ham-and-cheese sandwiches out of a vending machine in college … disgusting!)
- The Best and Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Sick: Sadly, this is a time of year when people tend to get sick more frequently. While Greatist must have overlooked my Healing Vegetable Soup (ha!), the list they have here is full of tried-and-true options that will help you feel a bit better when you’re under the weather. Remember (as they mention) that when you’re sick, even if food doesn’t sound too appealing, you do still need to eat to help your body repair!
- The Case for Full-Fat Dairy: For so long, it’s been engrained in my mind that healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are beneficial (and they are!), but that we should stick to low-fat dairy. I’ve heard some of the most influential nutrition speakers talk about this, and yet, recent studies are beginning to show otherwise. It’s not so much that there are health benefits in full-fat dairy that don’t exist in low-fat dairy (although some believe that full-fat organic milk has more Omega-3s), but the increased satiety from eating full-fat dairy may cause us to eat less overall. Amelia wrote a great post that touched on this a few weeks ago. Overall, I’m still on the fence here. As I’ve been working to decrease my sugar cravings, I’ve also been experimenting a bit with full-fat dairy … and while I’m not 100% sold yet, I’m anxious to continue reading the research and learning what works best for my body. (I also have a surprise recipe coming tomorrow that involves full-fat yogurt!)
- 10 Secrets to Happiness You Keep Forgetting: I’ve focused on positivity (here and here), gratitude (here), and a few of the others listed in this article, but it never hurts to have a reminder of the many things we can do to improve our happiness.
(*Note: all pictures are from the linked articles, except the supplements one, which is from my original post).
Spill It Sundays
I’m linking back up with Arman’s Spill It Sundays this week, on a related topic … fat! I’ve mentioned many times that I used to be “scared” of fats, particularly nut butters, olive oil, and avocados. However, over the past 5 years or so, I have gradually increased the percentage of fats in my diet, and find they are some of my favorite foods! I go through nut butters shockingly quickly (a good thing for my Sweet Cinnamon Eggy Oats!), and try to include avocados in many meals. While the majority of fats will continue to come from the sources I think are the healthiest (including fish, olive oil and olives, avocado, nuts and seeds), I’m beginning to experiment with other sources, as I mentioned in point #6 above.
Check out some of my healthy-fat-laden Birthday meals from Friday … I enjoyed:
- (no-sugar, no-grain, no artificial sweetener) pancakes with Sunbutter and a grapefruit for breakfast
- A salad with chicken patties, veggies, and avocado plus homemade vegetable soup for lunch
- Filet mignon, lean bison steak, arugula-cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (recipe coming soon!) and lots of grilled veggies for dinner, and
- A pumpkin mugcake (again, no-sugar, no-grain, no artificial sweetener … meaning not actually that delicious!) with almond butter for dessert.
I’m experimenting with increasing my lean red meat intake from 1-2 times per year to once per month or so. As you can tell, I’m consistently tinkering with my own personal diet, and I love doing so! I know that the experimentation and knowledge I’m always gaining will help my health coaching clients as well!
So tell me in the comments … Which article was the most interesting to you? Have you ever eaten out of a healthy vending machine? What is your favorite healthy fat?