Digestive

7 Reasons Being Lactose Intolerant Doesn’t Mean You Should Swear Off Dairy

Have you noticed that every time you eat cheese, ice cream, or other forms of dairy you experience abdominal pain, gas, or bloating? If so, you may have lactose intolerance, or an inability to properly digest dairy products, says Karen Kafer, RDN, a representative with the National Dairy Council.

dairy

But being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you must forgo dairy at every meal. According to Kafer, the body produces an enzyme called lactase to help digest the lactose in milk. As we age, the body sometimes produces less lactase than it did from childhood, making it hard to break down dairy. However, many people with lactose intolerance can still tolerate at least 12 grams of lactose (equivalent to 1 cup of low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt) in one sitting, with little to no discomfort. So, being diagnosed with the condition simply means that you may need to moderate your intake.

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Nutrisystem Weighs in on the Safety of Low-Cal Diets, Suggesting No Fewer than 1,000 Cals a Day

Low-calorie diet plans are increasingly popular—just last month Rocco launched his 800-calorie-a-day weight loss program—so we asked Anthony Fabricatore, Phd, vice-president of Research and Development at Nutrisystem, about the safety of this sort of calorie restriction. Here, his thoughts on the trend including where Nutrisystem’s new low-cal jumpstart week, a 7-day accelerated plan called Fast 5—which in-house trials suggest can lead to a loss of 5 pounds in one week—fits in.

FAst 5

Says Fabricatore: (more…)

5 Teas for Good Health

Of my recent travels, London stands out as one of my favorites. After all, what’s not to love about a place that makes an event out of tea in the afternoon? Tea is a passion of mine, one that fits very well into my fitness journey. My tea love affair started many years ago when I used a cup in the morning to help me break my diet Coke habit. As I explored different varieties of tea I came to appreciate its taste and the other benefits to my overall well being. If your only experience with tea is of the sweet variety or a bag of Lipton let me give you some tips on how to add tea for wellness to your fitness journey.

tea

There are basically two types of tea: those derived from the Camellia sinensis plant (black, green, white, oolong or pu-erh) and herbal teas (herbal infusions). Unless otherwise indicated, all of the Camellia sinesis plant derived teas have caffeine. Herbal teas generally do not (yerba mate is an exception to this rule). Whole leaf teas are better quality than cut leaf. You’ll find cut leaf in most tea bags so I recommend purchasing a tea strainer and go with whole leaf where possible.

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Chicken, Quinoa Dominate Top 10 Food Trends for Second Year

Want to know which foods were hot this past year and what to expect for 2014? Foodily, the world’s largest social recipe network, keeps tabs on what visitors have been searching for over the years. Since 2011 the site has seen “the decline of red meat and the increase of healthy eating related searches,” says Foodily co-founder Hilary Mickell.

quinoa

What else is on tap for 2014?  Here are the top 10 trendiest, most searched for foods in 2013. BONUS: We’ve included our favorite recipes so you can be sure to fit them in this year!

Top 10 in 2013:

1. Chicken. This standard red meat alternative can get a little plain sometimes, but not with this Apple and Herb Dutch Oven-Roasted Chicken! Check out our tips to use the leftovers for equally as awesome meals for the rest of the week.

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Food Blogger Spotlight: Once a Month Meals

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the thought of what to feed your brood or found yourself schlepping to the grocery store three times a week because you didn’t have the organizational skills to plan for more than one or two meals in advance, let Kelly Seaton and the staff of Once A Month Meals lend a hand.

The site offers a low cost membership program that provides: Access to serving size customizable recipe cards, freezer directions, organized grocery lists, step by step cooking day instructions, and printable labels. Everything you need to cook a month worth of meals in one day. A video on the site explains the membership process.

Not sure if you want to commit to a membership but still want to peruse a variety of healthy recipes for free? You can do that too. Kelly tells us about a few of her favorite recipes below, but I’m jotting this one down for breakfast next week: Whole Grain Banana Pecan Muffins. Nom-nom!

whole grain banana muffins

More from Kelly at Once a Month Meals –

Why did you start your food blog?  Once A Month Meals started back in 2009 as a way to share information on how freezer cooking can help people get back into the kitchen creating meals they’ll love for better health and to ease their budgets.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? Once A Month Meals helps you to stay on track toward healthy eating. With seven different menu types, we focus on getting quality and diverse meals into your plan. We like to focus on seasonal ingredients when they are at their peak. Our Paleo and Diet menus help those on more strict eating paths to stay on track and not feel the need to indulge during a time-crunch.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? Our writers have always had an interest in food. Over the years, our attention has grown more focused on getting the right foods for our needs. And by healing with food instead of drugs.

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Food Blogger Spotlight: Amy from Fit Fun and Fantastic

Amy from Fun Fit Fantastic Living a fantastically inspired life of food, fitness, and fun? That’s the tagline for Amy Clevenger’s blog, Fit Fun and Fantastic.  The site is so bright and cheery, I wasn’t surprised to learn it actually started as an Instagram account before it blossomed into a legit foodie blog.

More from Amy including her recipe for Pumpkin “Ice Cream featuring a non-dairy alternative for sensitive bellies –

Why did you start your  food blog? I actually started my Instagram account first (@fantasticallyfit) as a way to share recipes and hold myself accountable. Then, after a few months, and at the request of some of my followers, I started FitFunandFantastic.com!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? My eating approach is focused on intuitive eating. I listen to my body. If I am hungry I eat and if I want candy I have it. That being said I try to primarily eat wholesome ingredients that are unprocessed and rich in nutrients. I also believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to live in the kitchen! Most of my recipes take less than 10 minutes to prep.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I definitely was not always this interested in healthy eating. My main sources of food before I taught myself how to cook were: cereal, pizza, and fast food. Until about 3 years ago the only thing I knew how to cook was a box of mac n’ cheese!

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Detox Diets and Fasts Do Not Work and May Increase Toxins in the Body

bottle

To detox or not to detox? That is the question I had for Gerard Mullin, MD of Johns Hopkins University as he spoke about nutritional detoxification at the 2013 Food & Nutrition Conferences and Expo a few weeks ago.

Dr. Mullin said that toxins are everywhere – in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the things we touch.

Bisphenol A (BPA), a carcinogen, is in plastics, dental sealants, canned food linings, and cash register receipts.

Phthalates, other carcinogens, are found in fatty milk, butter and meats, along with personal care products, detergents, children’s toys, printing inks, and more.

Heavy metals, like arsenic, mercury and lead, are in food, batteries, paints, plastics, and fertilizers.

For the most part, toxins are “endocrine disruptors” that change the way our hormones regulate bodily functions. In animal studies, endocrine disruptors are linked to cancers, birth defects, diabetes, and other diseases. What is worse is that, when they work together, the sum of their actions is greater than the whole, and they are stored practically forever in body fat. Whether or not an individual develops a problem depends on genetics, level of exposure, and the quality of nutrients in the diet. (more…)

The Cotton Ball Diet is Trending Amongst Young Girls Despite All Logical Reasoning

Let’s eat cotton balls so we’ll feel full … to whom did this ever sound like a great idea?

Apparently it’s sounding better and better to young girls across the country who are gobbling up the newest trend in diets (read: eating disorders). Not exclusive to teens and tweens, it’s no surprise that models are swallowing this new take on eat-less-weigh-less, too.

It appears to work like this: Dip the cotton ball in your choice of beverage. In the video, lemonade, orange juice and a smoothie were shown being used as the lubricant to make these cotton balls more palatable. Some dieters do this before a meal, limiting the amount of real food they’re able to consume; other dieters consume the cotton balls exclusively.

Nothing good can come of doing this. Absolutely nothing.

Dr. Doug Nunamaker, a physican at the direct care practice Atlas, MD in Wichita, Kansas called it “pretty much one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard people trying in order to lose weight.” We are quite inclined to agree.

Followers of this absurd trend stand to lose more than just weight, as any level of extended use will bring on malnutrition, which has warning signs of anemia, diarrhea, hair loss, disorientation, loss of concentration, weakness, lack of energy, dried and cracking skin, and can even lead to organ failure and death in some cases. (more…)

Abby Bales Makes Running Half Marathons Post-Colostomy Look Like a Walk in the Park

Sometimes the passions that drive our lives just sneak up on us like a happy accident. For Abby Bales, running started early. By the 5th grade she was running short track distances. One year later her long distance running career started on a whim. As Bales was preparing for volleyball tryouts the next morning, a friend called and asked if she’d be interested in trying out for cross country instead. That phone call directed Bales into the sport she still loves today. While starting was easy for this natural talent, continuing has presented its challenges. However, what most of us would call a challenge, Bales has made look like a walk in the park.abby bales marathon

From the sixth grade cross country team all the way through high school, Bales has run competitively. She completed her first marathon, the 2003 New York City Marathon, as a way to stay fit after graduating from college. She continued to rack up marathon finishes over the years until her first real hurdle appeared in 2010, when a diagnosis for ulcerative colitis “quickly became very serious and debilitating.” Bales stated that her running suffered, even though she managed to complete two marathons during flare-ups of her condition.

Bales was not responding to medication and got very sick. By 2012 she had her colon removed and replaced with a temporary colostomy bag for five months. Despite this huge obstacle, training commenced.

“It was really, really hard to start training again because my muscles were so atrophied and depleted after the surgery. It was a major surgery and my organs leached amino acids from my muscles to heal, which meant I had zero muscles left. It had never been that hard for me to run ever in my life,” said Bales.

Bales had plenty of reasons to throw in the towel, but clearly that’s not her style. After regaining her strength, Bales ran even with a colostomy bag. (more…)

Food Blogger Spotlight: Abby from The Frosted Vegan

Abby from Frosted VeganMy favorite place is over the Kitchen Aid, covered in flour/powdered sugar/batter in yoga pants or a favorite pair of too fancy shoes while trying to keep the kitchen from looking like a bakery exploded.  ~Abby The Frosted Vegan

People, I have five words for you: Cinnamon. Raisin. Loaded. Almond. Butter. This is just one of the many recipes that has me adoring The Frosted Vegan this week.

In the past, if you’ve avoided vegan websites because you thought they were all about 101 ways to cook tofu, think again. Abby has been in the kitchen helping her Dad and Grandma since she was old enough to reach the countertop. Her blog is loaded with delicious recipes, vibrant photos and stories about the inspiration behind each dish.

Recently we asked Abby to tell us a bit more about The Frosted Vegan.

Why did you start your food blog? I have always wanted to start a food blog, but I finally decided to take the plunge last year after I moved away from my hometown and I wanted to share dessert recipes with my dad. I honestly wish I’d started sooner, but already so thankful for the community I’ve become a part of, food bloggers are pretty awesome people.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I eat a primarily vegan/plant-based diet, occasionally eating cheese or dairy in baked goods, but I try to stick to whole foods as much as possible. I believe in indulging in moderation and that nothing should be “off limits”, if you want it, have it! I connect more with how I feel after I eat something, if I feel bad after, I probably won’t eat much of it again.

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