When I recently had my annual checkup the first thing my doctor asked was, “Are you eating enough dairy? Dark leafy greens?” She hadn’t asked that question a year ago so I wondered why now? Part of that answer lies in the fact that I’m over 40. Call it 40-something. Though I lean toward good-for-you and good-tasting foods, I didn’t know exactly why she singled out dairy and leafy greens for this particular time in my life — or if I needed to add more. That’s when I got on the phone with Lisa Sasson, clinical associate professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, to shed some light on the “why dairy and dark leafy greens now” for those of us who are 40-something — er, 39 again.
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Being a recreational athlete means you take your sport and training seriously, but you have other priorities as well, such as work, family, and friends. Multiple demands can create a hectic schedule, and result in imperfect fueling choices for training – from heavy, fat laden snacks to eating nothing at all. Thankfully, there are a number of easy grab-and-go food options that you can pack with you at the beginning of the day that can keep you fueled anytime your training happens.
The new year may yet be months away, but for many of us, it’s the crisp days of autumn that feel like a true new beginning. Maybe it’s left over from that everything’s-ahead-of-us excitement that accompanied the start of a new school year when we were kids. New teachers, new friends – not to mention a new pencil box, maybe some new school shoes – meant a fresh chance to become the person we wanted to be.
Of course, nothing says we can’t capitalize on that fresh-start fall feeling even as adults. In fact, as Refinery 29 writer Justin Sedor recently suggested, following through on health resolutions may actually be easier to keep when the weather is more hospitable, before the temperature drops, the winter winds whip up, and the snow, slush and ice turn sidewalks slippery. Given this, Sedor suggested a series of “tiny tweaks” you could make to immediately improve your health.
Sure, they’ve been lurking on the shelves of health food stores for decades, but suddenly, it seems, seeds have been pushed into the limelight as the latest (and littlest!) superfoods. “Seeds give you a lot of nutritional bang for your buck,” says Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You don’t need to use much in order to get a good dose of protein, fiber and other nutrients.” Here, the seeds to sow in your diet — and the all the good things you’ll reap when you do.
You may be loading up on chia seeds and kale, but there are nutrition powerhouses all around you. (Probably in your pantry right now!) Here are 10 super foods most folks are missing out on.
Honey is one of the regulars in my rotation of natural sweeteners. It’s also traditionally eaten during Rosh Hashanah, to symbolize a sweet New Year. But the days of the honey bear as the lone option on market shelves is long gone.
There are over 300 varieties of honey in the United States. Each has a unique flavor profile, anything from mild to distinctively bold, and the honey hues range from nearly colorless to deep brown. Read more
As every parent knows, the season of running from school to countless extracurricular activities is upon us. How best to get everyone fed along the way? Avoid the temptations of the drive-through by having one of these nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals instead.
Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad (above)
Shredded rotisserie chicken paired with protein-rich quinoa will help soothe tired muscles after a long day. Kid-friendly vegetables, including carrots and sugar snap peas, are also in the mix, which gets a delectable sesame-soy dressing. Read more
It’s a cruel fact: Many of the foods that are potentially good for us also have names seemingly designed to trip us up. Who among us did not have the red-in-the-face moment of learning that quinoa wasn’t pronounced “kee-noah”? To spare us all future embarrassment in the aisles of the Health Food Hut, here’s a guide to several food words known to cause verbal stumbles.
What it is: This dark purple berry is now ubiquitous in health-food store products everywhere, thanks to its reputed superfood powers. It’s a storehouse of antioxidants and may help support the immune system.
How to say it: You’ll sound like a pro at the smoothie shack when you ask to have “ah-sah-EE” added to the mix.
Agar (also, Agar-Agar)
What it is: This gelatinous substance is derived from red algae and used as a thickener and gelling agent in foods like puddings, jelly candies, soups and sauces. Because it comes from a plant (unlike gelatin, which is derived from animals), it’s popular with vegetarians and vegans who can’t resist a good pudding.
How to say it: It’s pronounced “AH-ger,” which, beer lovers will note, rhymes with lager.