The tide seems to be slowly shifting away from demonizing fat. While my family doctor admits my cholesterol is “so good it isn’t even on [her] chart,” she still isn’t comfortable with the fact that I cook with lard. Coconut oil and olive oil, however, are much more acceptable fats for food preparation. Fat is not unhealthy; it supplies energy, helps us feel more full, balances blood sugar, promotes cell growth, decreases inflammation throughout the body, and regulates hormones.
Not all fats are equal, though. Trans fats, or “hydrogenated” fats, have been considered contraband at my house for years. In addition to lard, coconut oil and olive oil are staples in my kitchen. The question of which to use for a specific recipe is more complicated than just the ingredient list. There is a bit of a science to cooking (and shopping) that can help you ensure that the recipes you use provide the full nutritional benefit to your family and do not create unintended health consequences.
Why the Smoke Point is So Important
When fats or oils reach a certain temperature, they begin to break down and lose nutritional value and flavor. At this point, called the smoke point, carcinogenic oxygen radicals are also generated. Recipes need to be evaluated by comparing the oils used with the temperature at which they are prepared.
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All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now! was written by Syd Hoffman, a former elementary school principal who was fascinated by the endless energy in her students. She started making changes and found a dramatic difference in her energy to the point of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She found that “it doesn’t take hours of exercise or spending a lot of money on special products to feel energetic. For most people, having all day energy is simply a matter of tweaking what you’re already doing.”
All-Day Energy is 100 quick tips written with a positive spin. It is a way to help you determine which of these exercises you enjoy; however, you may not know what works best for you unless you try each for a period of time. All-Day Energy is missing any plan or advice for integration; it is primarily inspirational with minimal effort at convincing readers to try each tip. While the suggestions are not in categories or any particular order, they do address all four types of energy – physical, emotional, intellectual, and existential.
I believe nearly all of the tips in All-Day Energy could be positive choices to improve energy, physical and mental health. There does seem to be some science and research missing that could explain and convince some people more. For example, there has been research that suggests visualization might actually decrease energy. I am also not sure I agree that taking vitamins is a healthy physical choice based on other things I have read. The variety of tips is interesting to me nonetheless.
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I was pretty excited to watch “Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam,” a production of Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. Most people in the mental health field are anxiously awaiting the official reveal of the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – the book that outlines and defines all known mental health disorders.
There are even debates about the potential changes. Whether you love it or you hate it, this book does make a big impact on our field. As a practitioner I am not a big fan of diagnosis, but I believe insurance is to blame for this more than the DSM.
Most people want their insurance to pay for treatment, even when simply dealing with the normal grief of losing a loved one, stress regarding life changes, or marital problems. However, for insurance to fund treatment, a diagnosis is required.
These kinds of situations, in my opinion, have led to the exaggeration of common life problems into diagnoses more so than the DSM itself. Most people, even when given the choice, choose diagnosis for the benefit of insurance-funded treatment. While this might save money and stress immediately, there are many longterm consequences of mental health diagnoses.
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I’m a bit of a neuropsychology nerd. I find it fascinating and so helpful to truly understand people. While I already understood that yoga can be helpful in treating trauma and PTSD, Dr. Bruce Perry, whom I greatly admire, introduced me to the idea that yoga can also be helpful in helping the brain develop in an organized fashion, especially for children who have been traumatized.
As a result, I routinely recommend adoptive parents practice yoga with their children. Whether your child has been adopted, traumatized, has other struggles or not, yoga can help him or her develop physical, emotionally, and neurologically; here’s why:
- Learning to control breath and body can help children feel more in control of themselves, which can be extremely powerful for children that have been traumatized, children that have been adopted, and children diagnosed with ADHD.
- Yoga has been known to enhance concentration and attention span, while teaching focus.
- Children can increase confidence by successfully attempting new poses and developing new skills.
- Flexibility can prevent injuries, and children can increase strength through yoga with little risk of injury.
I’ve been writing for Diets In Review for a while, but I just found out recently that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year; I am assuming following New Years Day.
With the rush of back to school and getting ready for the holiday season, I did not expect weight loss to be a high priority for many people. As the weather cools off and we look forward to boots and sweaters and layers, I expected fewer people to be concerned with dieting.
While I am slightly surprised to find out that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year, there are reasons why it makes sense.
Back to school time, at least for me, brings to mind fresh notebooks and clean slates. If you grew up thinking of each fall as a new beginning, then autumn might be the perfect time for a habit change for you.
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