The Importance of Breakfast

Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Last week I published a post on intermittent fasting. This is another perspective (and, spoiler alert, the one I put more faith in).

ENERGY

photo 1Every body needs a certain amount of fuel to perform the most basic functions, like breathing, circulating blood and oxygen through the body, adjusting hormone levels, and growing or repairing cells. The more you ask of your body (as in, the more exercise you do), the more fuel it needs. During sleep, your body performs all of these functions as it repairs and rejuvenates your body. And depending on when you last ate and when you wake up, you can go anywhere from 8-15 hours without eating. This leads to decreased glycogen stores and make your morning workout or routine harder. Continue reading The Importance of Breakfast

Why Aren’t White Potatoes Paleo?

I know, it’s confusing. There are a bazillion different iterations of the paleo diet – some include dairy, some allow dark chocolate and added sugars in dried fruit, some are OK with paleo baked goods and some aren’t, etc. One thing most paleos do, though, is eat plenty of sweet potato, pumpkin, and winter squash but avoid the white potato. Why no love for the white potato in the paleo diet? Two words: glycemic index.

What Is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a number based on an equation developed by scientists a few decades ago to quantify the effect of various foods on blood sugar. Continue reading Why Aren’t White Potatoes Paleo?

New-found Super Power for Watermelon

We all know watermelon is a delicious summer fruit. But some new research has indicate that it might also be a recovery aid – results of a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed that a compound found in watermelon juice may help athletes recovery after exercise. Continue reading New-found Super Power for Watermelon

How Europeans Do Food Better Than Americans

I recently spent 10 days in Europe (Germany and Italy), and while I was there I enjoyed observing and experiencing the differences between their food/food system and ours. I don’t think I need to tell anyone that the way things are done there versus here is very different. You may have heard of the “French paradox”, by which the French (and other Europeans) eat diets higher in saturated fat and grains, yet are healthier and leaner than Americans. Look at this infographic of obesity prevalence around the world to highlight that point.

world-obesity-visualization

So, what’s the big difference? I don’t know 100%. But here are some things I observed while I was over there. Continue reading How Europeans Do Food Better Than Americans

Should You Try Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) has emerged as one of the many trendy diet options these days. Basically, “intermittent fasting” is the practice of periodically alternating between fasting – drinking just water and perhaps low calorie drinks like coffee – and non-fasting, i.e. eating normally.

Fasting Plans 

IF comes in a variety of plans and structures. The most popular of these are:

Empty Dishes

Periodic Fasting – eat normally for 5 days of the week. For 2 non-consecutive days, reduce calorie intake, usually to 500-600 calories. You can spread out the calories into smaller snacks or eat one meal after 24 hours of fasting (so, say you started at 7 pm the night before, you could eat 500-600 calories at 7 pm the next day).

Restricted Eating Period – eat normally, but only for a set window during the day. Most people using this plan eat during an 8 hour window starting around 10 am – 12 pm and lasting until 6 – 8 pm. This essentially equates to skipping breakfast and making lunch your first meal. Continue reading Should You Try Fasting?