Author Archives: Elizabeth

About Elizabeth

Liz Simmons is a fun-loving, stubbornly positive person who will try just about anything once. Her competitive spirit rarely says no to sand volleyball, but gets chilled out by practicing yoga. She's an avid reader whose love of writing led her to a bachelor's degree in communication from Wichita State University.

Trouble in Oz: Study Supporting Oz-Promoted Diet Pills Formally Retracted

dr. oz

Dr. Oz is making headlines again for products he’s promoted not passing “scientific muster.” Four months ago, the well-known doctor was skewered in a Senate hearing on false claims made in advertising for weight loss products; in part due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting those claims. Now, a study supporting diet pills containing green coffee bean extract (GCBE) and promoted by Dr. Oz has been retracted.

The study was one our own Mary Hartley, R.D. came out against, and now it seems the study’s lead researchers want to take it all back.

“The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, are retracting the paper,” the scientists posted in a statement online.

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What Do Americans Eat? Kale, Gluten-Free, and Organics Top 2014 Food Trends

food statistics

Food trends come and food trends go. One year we’re all raving about Sriracha, the next we’re falling for the cronut. For the last 30 years, Parade has surveyed those trends and other American eating habits.

This year, foods like snack bars and frozen sandwiches have risen in popularity. As more people eat on the go, convenience foods are going to see a natural rise. According to Parade‘s survey:

  • 27 percent of main dishes made at home are frozen or ready-to-eat meals.
  • 80 percent of our meals are prepared at home, and over half of them are made from scratch or fresh ingredients.

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The 9 Best Gilmore Girls Food Indulgences, or the Gastronomic Nightmare That is the Gilmore Girls’ Diet

gilmore girls food

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last 10 days or so in a Gilmore Girls-induced haze. Ever since the entire series was added to Netflix on October 1, I confess that I’ve been binge watching almost every night.

Several things have stuck out to me while re-watching the series. I’ve marveled at the quick, witty script, cringed at the awful early 2000’s fashion, and enjoyed pre-Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy. However, the thing that’s stuck out to me the most has to be the food. It’s a running gag that the titular Gilmore Girls eat like crap and somehow manage to still look amazing. To celebrate (and condemn) the gastronomic nightmare that is the Gilmore Girls diet, here’s a countdown of some of their top indulgences.

gilmore girls chinese food (more…)

Jennifer Lawrence Bashes Gwyneth’s Gluten-Free Eating Disorder; Ed Sheeran’s Vodka Diet

jennifer lawrence

When Celebrity Diets are No More Than an Eating Disorder

Leave it to Jennifer Lawrence to keep it almost too real. This time, the Hunger Games and X-Men actress is making headlines for sharing her not-so-flattering opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s gluten-free diet.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence called the Gwyneth’s diet choice “the cool new eating disorder,” describing it as “I just don’t eat carbs.”

Those are pretty harsh words for a diet that’s purportedly followed for medical reasons.

“It doesn’t follow that gluten-free dieters are then eating disordered. Many people have aberrant eating patterns but don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder,” explained our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD.

In her new book, It’s All Good, Paltrow wrote, “Every single nutritionist, doctor and health-conscious person I have ever come across…seems to concur that (gluten) is tough on the system and many of us are at best intolerant of it and at worst allergic to it.”

While gluten intolerance may be a real medical issue for Paltrow and her family, Lawrence wasn’t entirely in the wrong for labeling gluten-free eating as the latest “it” starvation diet. (more…)

Exercise is Driving Us to Drink! Do You Imbibe after a Workout?

drinking

We know exercise can make you thirsty, but a new study is suggesting physical activity is making people reach for something quite a bit stronger than water.

In the study, published in Health Psychology, researchers asked participants to track their alcohol consumption and when they exercised over three stretches of 21 days. Strangely, the records showed that people tended to drink more on the days they exercised more.

Participants in the study reported more physical activity from Thursday to Sunday, meaning they exercised more on the weekends. They also drank more too, but it’s already known that people drink more on weekends than they do during the week. It would have been case closed for the study had the researchers not put a control in place to account for increased drinking on the weekends.

“We adjusted for the day of week, so any associations between physical activity and alcohol consumption could not be attributed to the fact that it was, for example, a Saturday,” said lead study author David E. Conroy in a statement. (more…)

Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper Actually Want You to Drink Less Soda

soda

There may have finally been a breakthrough. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have all announced that they plan to work to reduce the number of calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent in the next decade.

The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Soda makers are facing increasing amounts of pressure to do something as sugary drinks continue to contribute to rising obesity rates.

Though obesity rates are still going up, there’s no denying that the idea of being healthier is appealing to more and more people. The last several years have seen customers moving away from consuming soda.

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Your Favorite Pumpkin Treats are Full of Hidden Sugar, Fake Flavor

pumpkins

It’s already started: the time of pumpkin-flavored everything. Though many are cynical about the abundance of pumpkin, there’s no denying its power as a product. It’s estimated that we spend around $300 million a year, mostly between September and November, on products that at least kind of smell and taste like fall.

Essentially, people are going bananas for pumpkin. In fact, it’s one of the only vegetables that can claim a fandom. The thing is, most of the pumpkin products you can find this time of year don’t contain any pumpkin at all, just fake, processed pumpkin flavoring.

Take for example the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. The beverage doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, just artificial flavoring. The same can be said for the new Pumpkin Spice Oreos and many other products that will appear on shelves in the next few weeks. (more…)

This Simple Math Equation Will Keep You Hydrated During a Sweat Sesh

drinking water

“If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” This nugget of knowledge came from my swim coach when he explained to us the importance of staying hydrated at a meet. Coach was on the right track, but not 100 percent correct. Thirst is a good indicator that you should grab a drink, but doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dehydrated.

Trying to figure out when and how much water you need to drink before, during, and after a workout isn’t as easy as it may seem. Our friends at Shape Magazine are trying to make sense of it by asking: how much should we drink and when?

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“I Will What I Want.” The Powerful Statement Behind Under Armour’s New Campaign

Under Armour’s commercials traditionally focus on the gritty, tough side of athleticism, sending the message that wearing their products will turn you into some muscled, gruff super-athlete. With its new women’s campaign, however, Under Armour is taking a different approach.

The campaign began with an ad featuring ballerina Misty Copeland. A pioneer in her field, Copeland is one of the only African-American dancers to be a part of the American Ballet Theater (ABT). In her commercial, she demonstrates her athletic ability and grace while a young girl’s voice reads a rejection letter from ABT; the rejection letter Copeland received when she initially applied.

In the letter, Copeland is told she has the wrong body for ballet and is too old to be considered for the program. She has clearly proved the letter writer wrong as she proudly dances across a stage while her credentials are displayed: Soloist, American Ballet Theater.

The ad went viral, and so did its message, “I will what I want.”

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Battle of the Beverages: Tea is Better for Long-Term Health than Coffee

hot tea

It’s sure to start a battle of the beverages, but a new study is making the claim that tea may be better for your long-term health than coffee.

Presented in France, this study looked at the overall health of both tea and coffee drinkers for seven years. As Shape reveals, those who drank tea had a 24 percent lower non-cardiovascular mortality rate than coffee drinkers.

The presenter of the study, Nicolas Danchin, M.D., Ph.D., said in a release, “If you have to choose between tea or coffee it’s probably better to drink tea. Coffee and tea are important components of our way of life.”

That’s definitely true. Many people simply can’t start their day without a few sips of tea or coffee. Happily, this morning habit isn’t a bad one to develop at all. Both tea and coffee have been shown to have health benefits when consumed in reasonable amounts.

According to Professor Danchin, tea may even be a better choice than abstaining from either drink. (more…)