by Sally Wadyka in Books, July 17, 2014
by Dana Angelo White in Food Fight, July 16, 2014
Research in recent years has made it clear that losing weight and getting healthy isn’t something that happens in a vacuum. One study that garnered numerous headlines several years back found that a person’s chance of becoming obese increases by 57 percent if a close friend is obese, 40 percent if a sibling is obese, and 37 percent is their spouse is obese. That’s some hefty (pun intended) pressure on your social circles.
But Harvard professors Walter Willett, MD, and Malissa Wood, MD, have taken the research several steps further. Their new book Thinfluence examines how friends, family, colleagues, online communities and the environment exert influence over your health behaviors — and how you can make them work in your favor. Here, Dr. Wood talks about what it takes to stay on track.
Who exerts the biggest influence over your behaviors and why?
For most people, it’s whoever you spend the most time with. And that often ends up being your co-workers. You might spend more time with them than you do your family and eat more meals at work than you do at home.
What are some ways these people can negatively — or positively — influence your own behaviors and choices?
The influences can be very powerful. If you work with a group of people who like to go out and eat unhealthy food every day for lunch or always order in pizza when you’re working late, those decisions will shape your behavior. But, for example, I’m lucky enough to work with several women who all decided to make some efforts to get healthier by eating better and exercising more. I spend all day with these people, so that has had a very positive effect. Read more
by Amy Chaplin in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, July 15, 2014
Looking for that morning or afternoon buzz? Caffeinated creations — including coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks — vary not only in their pick-me-up powers but also in their nutritional benefits. Find out which ones offer the most (and least) perks.
Caffeine content: A typical cup of coffee (8 fluid ounces) contains 80 to 100 milligrams.
Perks and minuses: While black coffee contains an almost nonexistent amount of calories (about 5 per cup), too much cream and sugar will quickly change that. On the plus side, coffee is rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants that may benefit brain and heart health.
by Emily Lee in Healthy Recipes, July 14, 2014
Juicy cherries, creamy coconut milk and a generous amount of vanilla come together to create a delicious frozen dessert that’s ideal for scorching days. These are not your regular pops loaded with refined sugar. Small amounts of honey and maple syrup give just the right amount of sweetness and pair well with both the fruit and the vanilla-bean-flecked coconut milk. The pops are quick and easy to put together, and it’s also fun to experiment with layering the ingredients to create different patterns. The only difficult part is waiting for them to freeze!
by Alia Akkam in Healthy Recipes, July 13, 2014
Would the French approve of some of these lighter twists on their greatest culinary hits? Would Julia Child? Maybe not. But in honor of Bastille Day, let’s just say, vive la différence — and la deliciousness.
Light Nicoise Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Chock-full of olives, bell peppers, plump cherry tomatoes and chunks of tuna fish, this Riviera staple hints that the French have known a little something about healthy eating all along.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, July 12, 2014
Just a few minutes of scorching heat will transform any farmers market find into charred, perfectly smoky bliss.
Grilled Ratatouille Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
A swirl of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and rings of red bell pepper and red onion — combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh basil — turn this dish into a colorful, barbecue-perfect side salad. Read more
by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, July 11, 2014
The old butter-versus-margarine controversy has been thrust back in the spotlight. With more consumers favoring wholesome, natural foods, margarine has taken a backseat to butter. But can the full-fat delight actually be part of a healthy diet?
by Toby Amidor in Food News, Food Safety, July 10, 2014
In this week’s news: Rappers delight in healthy eating; Alice Waters predicts a farmers markets bonanza; and scientists do the important work of building a healthier hot dog.
That’s Doug E. Fresh — As In, Fresh Salad
Recently, the Future Leaders Institute charter school in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood hosted a rap performance by Adrian Harris, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group the Cold Crush Brothers. For those familiar with the group’s work, it might be surprising to hear that the artist is focusing his lyrics these days on fruits, vegetables and how to stay healthy. It wasn’t an isolated event. Along with hip-hop artists like Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D and DMC , Harris is part of a movement developed by Hip Hop Public Health that has musicians working with doctors and nutritionists. With songs, videos and games, the artists and health care professionals encourage audience members to become “hip hop public health ambassadors” to their families. Interesting bonus: Some genre purists have heralded the initiative as a chance for hip-hop to return to its roots as a medium for talking about issues of local and social concern.
by Andrea Strong in Grocery Shopping, Trends, July 9, 2014
Researchers claim they have a solution for those suffering from peanut allergies. But is a hypoallergenic peanut all it’s cracked up to be?
by Amy Chaplin in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, July 8, 2014
Halva, the Middle Eastern sesame candy, is a dessert favorite. Dense and rich, it tastes like peanut buttery fudge and is often layered with ribbons of chocolate. What could be better? Just one problem: It’s traditionally loaded with sugar. Israeli native Shahar Shamir was a huge halva fan too, but as a former dancer keen on keeping healthy, he was hesitant to dig in.
A home cook since the age of eight (his mother taught him everything he knows), Shamir decided to fiddle with a recipe of his own, grinding sesame seeds with honey and roasted nuts, and making something that more closely resembled a nut butter than a candy. His rendition also dispensed with the usual hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors. He served his new-fangled halva spreads to friends at dinner parties. They went wild.
Summer days (and nights) call for refreshing, light meals that require little or no advance planning. Much of the time, a salad of the leafy variety will hit the spot, but it might not be substantial enough to get you through to the next meal. Here, chickpeas replace the lettuce in this Greek salad, transforming the dish into a meal that’s ideal for lunch or dinner.