This time of year, people tend to go in one of two directions, eating-wise: Either they double down on their dedication to a healthy diet and forego every sugar cookie, candied pecan, and cheese plate they encounter—or they say some version of “screw it” and dive head first into the buttered mashed potatoes (or cookie platter).
Learning to love—no, crave—the only non-controversial food group.
I was cooking up some turkey bacon for my kids’ breakfast when my husband read me the headline about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to designate processed meat as a “Group 1 carcinogen” (that’s the same category as cigarettes). Up until that moment, I’d been pretty proud of the recent addition of bacon to our morning repertoire and was pleased to cut out carbs and replace them with “healthy” protein. Now I was throwing my hands up in frustration. Was I poisoning my children?
Quick—which one fruit most reminds you of summer?
Did you say watermelon? If you didn’t say watermelon, I suspect the beautiful photo gave it away. Anyway, if you did say watermelon, you’re not alone; I conducted an informal poll at a recent get-together, and every single person I asked (all 8 of them) said watermelon too.
Healthy eating begins with two simple principles:
Processed Foods = Bad
Whole and Minimally Processed (WAMP) Foods = Good
The idea that eating whole foods is good and processed foods is bad may seem self-evident, but it’s not as obvious as you might think. In fact, pinpointing WAMP foods isn’t simple. Processed foods can be sneaky and disguise themselves as healthy foods without our noticing.
For example, we all know that chips, fries, and doughnuts are processed junk-type foods — that’s obvious. But what about bagels, cereal, and yogurt? Maybe not—it all depends on the ingredients that make them what they are. Most bagels are full of refined, processed wheat, and mainstream cereals are stuffed with processed sugar — they’re certainly not WAMP foods. The fact is there isn’t a standard, regulated definition of the words “whole” or “minimally processed.” You’ll need to learn what makes a food WAMP and what doesn’t because labels on packages won’t tell you.
Luckily, there are a few key attributes that flag a food as WAMP.
Just as our grown-up taste buds are programmed to enjoy glorious, nourishing foods from Mother Nature, so are our babies’! Babies have a hardwired fondness for sweet tastes from the moment they enter the world. Their first sweet stop? Mother’s milk. From there, usually sometime after six months, babies begin to eat “solids,” which gives us parents an opportunity to guide their taste buds in a way that will allow them to explore and experiment with a broad range of flavors. The goal? By showing them what true, natural flavor really is, babies have a chance to fall in love – on their own – with foods that love them back!
I’ve lost a pound in four days, and we’ve eaten healthy, organic meals the past three nights.
New diet? Nope. I just signed us up for organic produce home delivery.
I received my first delivery this week, and it’s already delivering much more than I had hoped for: a reason to try new recipes, eating fruits and vegetables I’ve never ventured to buy in the grocery store (hello, kale!), and losing weight in the process.
Also, I swear, the carrots just taste better.
Now that it’s springtime, we’re craving light, zesty meals to counteract all the comfort food we ate this winter. That’s why we love this vegetarian- and vegan-friendly Mediterranean dish from the Gaiam Cafe. It’s healthy, refreshing and easy to make, and the leftovers make for a great no-cook lunch side. Serve it with hummus and flatbread and some juicy olives.
From time to time, we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live fit, live healthy, live green and live happy. Here are our latest finds, just in time for Spring! From wild new workout hybrids to sweet-smelling charities, we’re sure you’ll find something to pique your interest.
I know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how the more I learned about industrial agriculture and food processing, the more I felt like Neo in the movie The Matrix. Once Neo is exposed to the reality of his world (that humans are actually raised purely to create energy for machines, and a virtual reality has been created to placate the people in their “pods” so they never become aware of their predicament), he can’t go back to his previous existence — even though he probably really wants to.