You’ve either heard of it, tried it, or know someone who has: gluten-free diets. While it works wonders for those with Celiac disease or gluten insensitivity, people across the country are shunning gluten to reduce inflammation, increase energy, eat healthier, lose weight or avoid carbs. Hence, the number of newly introduced gluten-free products has skyrocketed from about 103 in 2003 to 832 in 2008.
However, I say don’t do it if you don’t have to! Gluten-free diets tend to be higher in fat, and low in fiber and nutrients. Studies have shown that gluten-free diets can be deficient in fiber, iron, folate, niacin (vitamin B3), thiamine (vitamin B1), calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc.
Going gluten-free can lead to weight gain as well – especially if you rely on highly-processed gluten-free foods, “which tend to be higher in fat, calories and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts,” says Rachel Begun, a food industry consultant who has celiac disease. Without gluten-containing ingredients, which have a sticky component, gluten-free products may contain extra oil, butter or eggs to compensate. This creates a very calorie-dense product that may contain unexpected calories. It may also compel you to eat more than usual. After eliminating fiber-rich, gluten-containing products, you’ll feel less satisfied and want to eat larger portions of food – which could lead to weight gain.
However, many people choose to go gluten free anyway – and for understandable reasons. Some graciously do it to support a loved one who has Celiac disease, while others are just plain curious. Here are some tips to make sure you’re staying healthy while going gluten-free. Read more »
Every beauty buff and dermatologist will tell you that sunscreen is the best anti-ager out there, not to mention the only known foil to those ever-more-dangerous UV rays. In attempts to ensure that sunscreens are protecting us in the ways that they promise, the FDA has set new guidelines, requiring that when a sunscreen is labeled as “broad spectrum,” it has indeed undergone the correct testing to ensure it contains the right percentages of ingredients to adequately shield skin from UVB and UVA rays.
But, in the midst of all these new guidelines, there have been some casualties along the way: Namely, those über-convenient sunscreen wipes that made quick work of application. Wipe and you’re done. But the FDA states on their website that they do not consider wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes or shampoo eligible for approval. Read more »
You don’t need to go to Greece to have an amazing tapenade! You can eat some right in your own kitchen! What makes this trendy appetizer so appetizing? It’s the olives of course! A recent study found that consuming full-fat fabulous olive oil helped individuals feel fuller, faster. That means that this recipe can fit well into the regimen of anyone interested in losing a few pounds. Further, olives (and the oil that comes from them) may also play a role in protecting our bones and our liver too! That’s some big nutrition benefit from a small-sized food! Read more »
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently came out with new guidelines for the labeling and use of sunscreen products. This is based on the latest research and was done to minimize confusion and increase awareness and accuracy about ultraviolet ray protection from the sun. It is important information for each of us and those we care for. Make sure you are in the know before you hit the beach. Here are some facts about sun exposure to help you stay healthy, comfortable and looking good this summer. Read more »
Choice of Health Plans to Vary Sharply From State to State: “When a typical 40-year-old uninsured woman in Maine goes to the new state exchange to buy health insurance this fall, she may have just two companies to choose from: the one that already sells most individual policies in the state, and a complete unknown — a nonprofit start-up. Her counterpart in California, however, will have a much wider variety of choices: 13 insurers are likely to offer plans, including the state’s largest and best-known carriers. With only a few months remaining before Americans will start buying coverage through the new state insurance exchanges under President Obama’s health care law, it is becoming clear that the millions of people purchasing policies in the exchanges will find that their choices vary sharply, depending on where they live.” (New York Times)
Do the Health Benefits of Neonatal Circumcision Outweigh the Risks? “Circumcision rates in the U.S. have been falling since the 1960s, when the vast majority of infant boys had their foreskins removed before leaving the hospital. These days, approximately 57% of boys are circumcised in U.S. hospitals, with the procedure generally being more common among whites and less common among black and Hispanic populations, according to estimates. Other boys are circumcised in religious ceremonies shortly after birth. While many factors likely influence circumcision rates, part of the decline occurred after 1999, when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement saying the potential medical benefits of neonatal circumcision weren’t strong enough to recommend it as a routine procedure.” (Wall Street Journal)
Head Lice Don’t Take Summer Off: “If any of my neighbors had seen me ironing my daughter’s mattress while wearing a blue shower cap, they undoubtedly would have thought I was nuts. But after we found nits — lice eggs — in my 9-year-old daughter’s hair, I panicked. I washed her hair in olive oil and vinegar. I put her dirty clothes and linens in large plastic bags and washed them in hot water. I crammed pillows and stuffed animals into the dryer and set it on high heat. And yes, I even ironed her mattress because a friend told me heat kills lice. I’m embarrassed to say I wore that shower cap too often during the first few days after lice became part of our lives. I didn’t just wear it for ironing; I also used it when I tried to comb the nits out of Emma’s hair after using an over-the-counter lice treatment creme rinse.” (CNN)
Looking to “shake” off extra weight for the summer? Get started by checking out these nutrient-packed smoothies! Loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, these easy-to-make drinks will help you detox, beautify and energize all summer long.
Click here to learn more about each smoothie and get the recipes.
It seems more and more that the “lazy days of summer” are becoming a thing of the past. With adults – and even children and teens – becoming increasingly more scheduled, summertime can render us saddled by fatigue trying to meet the demands of increasingly busy work, family and personal lives.
The effects of fatigue can be significant. Mental and physical fatigue is very closely intertwined and may be considered one and the same. The negative impact of mental fatigue can be seen in things like decision-making, perception, critical thinking, judgment and problem solving. Physical effects of fatigue can lead to decreased immunity, and vulnerability to a number of ailments including colds and flu, headaches, muscle weakness, low motivation and irritability.
A simple two-step process can diminish negative consequences of fatigue:
1. First, recognizing and acknowledging that fatigue is present.
2. Proactively adjusting decisions, actions and priorities to accommodate diminished capacity due to fatigue. If, for example, we sprain our ankle, we make decisions like wearing appropriate shoes or taking an elevator rather than stairs to adjust to our physical state. The same can be done to mitigate against the detriments of fatigue. Important decisions can be postponed, known stressors can be avoided, second opinions can be solicited and special assistance can be requested.
In essence, anyone can use intentionality, strategy and planning to diminish the negative effects of fatigue dramatically. Get ready to enjoy summer and stay energized, and don’t let fatigue hold you back.
How does your garden grow? You may have a few humble window boxes or an ambitious veggie plot, but did you realize that when you’re playing in the dirt, you’re protecting your physical and mental health while you do so? Gardening can reduce incidence of heart disease, osteoporosis, stress, and weight-gain. No wonder this is one of the most common hobbies amongst centenarians around the world! And the best news? Studies show that you don’t need to dig up your entire yard to reap these benefits, a few houseplants or urban window boxes will do the trick! Read on to unearth the secret benefits of gardening. Read more »
We are so used to eating radishes raw in salads that when I heard someone mentions roasting them, I needed to give it a try. They turned out deliciously mild and soft – yet still with a little bite and crunch at the same time – very good! You can use them warm as a side dish or serve them at room temperature with some cocktails. Either way, they are winners. Leave a little of the stems on, they roast up nicely and are perfect for picking up the radishes with your fingers and don’t forget to eat the stems too – they do add extra crunch.
2 bunches of little red radishes
1 tablespoon olive oil, or more if desired
large pinch of sea salt
splash of balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the radishes, cut off the long root ends and trim the leaves down to about one and a half inches. Cut the radishes lengthwise into halves, toss them with the oil and salt and spread in a single layer on a low rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the stems are crispy and some brown spots have formed along the cut surface. Transfer radishes to a bowl, sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar, adjust the salt and perhaps splash a little more olive oil over them. Serve warm or room temperature.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups
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