I just returned from an overseas trip, spending 17 hours in the air and several more hours in airports. Since I’m always a coach-class traveler, I was reminded of how difficult it can be to find healthy food at a reasonable price when you’re flying.
Ditto for road trips: our family drove from Denver to Seattle last summer, and the wasteland of fast-food chains and truck-stop convenience stores clustered around interstate exits is downright depressing if you want a quick bite that’s not burgers, fries or rotisserie hot dogs.
The key, I’ve learned, is to prepare your own portable meals ahead of time. Travel, especially flying, can be draining, not to mention dehydrating. It’s important to choose foods that are high in protein and complex carbs, to maintain blood sugar levels – and to drink lots and lots of water. Those tiny plastic cups the airlines provide won’t suffice — bring your own water bottle and fill it from a concourse drinking fountain once you clear security.
With just a bit of preparation time, you can enjoy easy, energy-sustaining snacks that taste better and cost a lot less than most ‘food on the fly.’ If you’re traveling this holiday season, mix and match a selection of these easy snacks — no need to bother with a cooler or utensils; most items will last outside the fridge for a while, and most can be eaten right from your hand.
Although new research suggests that fewer people are dieting in America (yay!), many of us are still puzzled when it comes to figuring out how to achieve optimal health, longevity and vitality. As a culture we’ve been trained to look at what we put in our mouths as the main event — the food, the calories, the protein, the fat — but we’re not taught or encouraged to look at what comes out of our bodies.
We want to turn this perspective around with a bold (and obvious) statement: Everyone poops. Yep, everyone sits on the porcelain throne. You already know this, so let’s get right to the reason we’re bringing it up in the first place.
Waste = weight.
The number one weight loss secret that nobody really talks about is the fact that the extra poop sitting around in your colon is one of the main causes of excess weight. When you learn to rid your body of extra waste on a regular basis, weight loss and maintenance become effortless.
How do you lose weight? Substitute diet drinks for sugary drinks. Eat low-fat foods. Just eat less of the bad foods — it’s all about the calories. We are told, “Just have more willpower.”
These ideas are false. They are food- and diet-industry propaganda that makes and keeps us fat and sick. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major causes of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics.
We are told it is all about making better choices. If we all took more personal responsibility, we could stop this obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more, all of us would lose weight. These ideas hold us hostage.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting wiped out by all these juice cleanses. Maybe it’s because I already sustain a pretty healthy diet, but personally, the moment I’m done with a juice cleanse, I end up eating worse food than I did before!
Cleansing has turned into an enormous business, and on many levels, I feel that it preys on people’s guilt and self-hatred: “I have been eating so badly — I need to cleanse.” It’s like a form of punishment. Once we have incurred the punishment, we are then absolved — free to do as we like — because we have paid the price. The problem is, the price can get pricey. Some of these cleanses can cost hundreds of dollars!
By The FIRM Nutrition Expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
I love winter, but I don’t love that cold feeling I get on my insides. In order to fight back against the cold while staying on a healthy meal plan, I’ve come up with these simple 100-calorie-or-less warming recipes that will heat you up from the inside out.
Take a look below and you’ll find that warming comfort food does NOT have to be fattening!
Looking to add more kick to your oatmeal, baked goods and salad toppings? Why not give these super seeds a try?
Grain-like seeds such as chia and teff have been gaining popularity in the mainstream over the past few years. And what’s not to enjoy? They are versatile, gluten-free nutrition powerhouses rich in protein and fiber, among other important nutrients.
My yoga instructor has warned me not to eat for two hours before my class, but when I find myself fantasizing about doughnuts during Downward Dog and worrying I won’t have the stamina for another breath in Warrior Two, I know I need a little bit of pre-workout sustenance. Something that’s portable, so I can throw it into my gym bag and nosh on the way, and something that has just the right combination of nutrients and ingredients to give me long-lasting energy and endurance. Oh, and if it can taste good too, then I’m sold!
Twenty years ago, as a freshly minted doctor, I swallowed the propaganda that doctors are invincible — that “MD” stood for “medical deity.” During my training, one of my surgical residents told me, “real doctors don’t do lunch.” I thought I didn’t need to follow the same rules of biology like everyone else. I believed sleeping, eating real food and resting were luxuries, not necessities.
In fact, even though I knew all about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle and had always exercised, I felt I could push the boundaries of my body. When I started my medical career, I worked 80-100 hours a week as a family doctor in a small town in Idaho. I delivered hundreds of babies, ran the emergency room, and saw 30-40 patients a day. Sleep was an afterthought. I ordered Starbucks coffee by the case straight from Seattle, bought an espresso machine and served up 4-5 espressos a day. I lived in a perpetual state of fatigue and pushed my way through on adrenalin.
A while back, a few members of The FIRM Believers Web Club started chatting about how they make “green monsters” in their blenders using spinach, kale, avocado and other green gems. These monsters were essentially the healthiest drinks that I’ve heard of!
The idea was somewhat novel to me. Because I really enjoy eating whole vegetables, I’ve never really considered juicing. And because I am not a fan of juicers that extract the fiber out of the fruits and vegetables, I never really considered making my own juices. But these FIRM Believers changed my mind, and my blender is now getting a workout!
We’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.
As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.