For a while, and by a while I mean years, I’ve been feeling “depressed.” I say depressed with quotations because I haven’t been diagnosed yet so it could just be me feeling sad. Since I started college earlier this fall it has gotten a lot worse. I stopped going to my classes about a month ago, my anxiety was outrageous. I would go home every weekend and some weeks I wouldn’t go back and just stay with my friend. Last night I had, had enough. I’ve been wanting to tell my mother for some time about how I’ve been feeling and about wanting a therapist. Last night I ended up calling her sobbing on the phone telling her everything. So now I’m home, and coming home for good this weekend. I’m in the process of finding a therapist and withdrawing for college. It’s overwhelming but ultimately I know I’ll be happier when I have someone to talk to. I just thought I’d give a personal update, and if anyone has ever been in the same situation I don’t know if you feel comfortable maybe you could message me and tell me how you went about everything?
If you want to know more about sustainable food but aren’t sure where to begin start with our 3 Easy Steps. Simply educate yourself on the issues so you can ask the right questions in order to take action to eat healthier. In other words - Educate, Ask, Act.
What is Sustainability?
When a process is sustainable, it can be maintained indefinitely. Sustainable food production can be maintained indefinitely because sustainable farmers do not take more resources to produce food than they give back. A reliance on renewable resources - as well as on symbiotic relationships with nature and the surrounding community - means that these farms do not damage the environment, are humane for workers and animals, provide a fair wage to the farmer, and support and enhance rural life. Because sustainable farmers see nature as an ally rather an obstacle, they are able to produce more wholesome food while using less fossil fuels (thus lessening the impact on global warming), and without using any synthetic pesticides, artificial hormones, or antibiotics. To learn more about why sustainable agriculture works, visit Sustainable Table’s Introduction to Sustainability section.
What is Factory Farming?
Factory farming takes a mechanized approach to agriculture, based on the assumption that raising more animals in smaller spaces is more efficient than letting them live and graze naturally, and therefore more profitable. What this assumption ignores are the problems created when the realities of living creatures – what they eat, how they behave, how much waste they create – are at odds with the industrial systems created to maximize their production. But factory farms don’t just ignore the problems created by intensive animal confinement, they have found ways to foist those problems onto society. Rather than responsibly manage animal waste, take measures to prevent air pollution and soil contamination, or keep their animals clean and healthy, these large scale farms take short cuts and receive government subsidies, forcing taxpayers to pay for their problems. If factory farms were forced to pay for these costs rather than taxpayers, the system would no longer be seen as profitable. Consumers are already starting to notice this and are turning to organic and sustainable food instead.
What are the most important issues?
Both natural and synthetic hormones are regularly administered to factory farmed beef cattle to make them grow faster. rBGH is a genetically engineered hormone that increases dairy cows’ milk production, but also threatens their health. Studies have shown that hormones added to meat and dairy products may have negative effects on human health. Read more about rBGH and hormones…
The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70% of all antimicrobials used in the United States are given to farm animals, to compensate for filthy conditions as well as to promote growth. Increasingly, traditional antibiotics (which are a type of antimicrobial) are losing their effectiveness in the battle against infectious diseases because of antibiotic overuse which creates resistant bacteria. Read more about antibiotics…
Mad cow disease
Mad cow disease is a brain-wasting disease that is spread among cows through factory farm feeding practices. Humans can contract the disease by eating infected meat. There is no cure and the disease is always fatal. Read more about mad cow disease…
Genetic engineering (GE) is the process of transferring specific traits, or genes, from one organism into a different plant or animal. Much concern has been raised over the inadequate testing of the effects of genetic engineering on humans and the environment. And once released into the environment, these genetically engineered organisms cannot be cleaned up or recalled. Learn more about the problems with factory farming and genetic engineering from Sustainable Table’s Issues section…
It is your right as a consumer to know how the food you eat was produced. Use Sustainable Table’s Questions to Ask section and come equipped to the farm, store or restaurant to really
The Halo Effect
Like a lot of us, Wende Hageman, 36, is trying to eat a little cleaner and a little greener. She frequents the farmers’ market, opts for organic grapes and cereal, and buys only staples like ketchup and bread made without high-fructose corn syrup. Hageman thinks she’s shopping smartly, but is she being duped by false advertising? The name for labels like “no high-fructose corn syrup” and “organic,” which make you assume that a product is good for you, is health halos, and as many as 25 percent of foods and beverages on the market today wear them. “The danger is that you believe you’re justified in having a bigger portion of those foods,” says Brian Wansink, PhD, FITNESS advisory board member and director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, who coined the term. They’re especially treacherous for dieters; a recent study from the University of South Carolina in Columbia found that people who are watching their weight are more likely to be misled by labels. To help you distinguish the truly virtuous foods from those that are simply sinful, we’ve ID’d seven terms that are popping up on packaging and menus.
Sales of gluten-free products, which are designed for people with celiac disease, or an inability to digest gluten (the protein in wheat, barley, and rye), have doubled since 2005. The boom is thanks in part to celeb devotees like Gwyneth Paltrow, but the market-research firm Packaged Facts reports that people are going G-free in an attempt to ease ailments like irritable bowel syndrome and attention deficit disorder. Shoppers also think these foods will help them lose weight.
Reality check: These pricey products aren’t necessary unless you have celiac disease (only about one in 133 people does, according to a study) or gluten sensitivity, which means you test negative for celiac but still suffer symptoms like diarrhea and migraines when you ingest the protein. “Gluten-free doesn’t automatically equal healthy,” says Shelley Case, RD, author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. And these foods won’t help you lose weight: They tend to be higher in calories and lower in fiber than regular grain products because they have to pack extra starch, fat, and sugar to make them palatable, Case says. Also, most are not enriched with iron and B vitamins as are other refined grain products, so you may miss out on key nutrients.
Some cities, including New York, Baltimore, and Boston, have banned man-made trans fat from restaurants. It’s created when oils are treated with hydrogen gas to increase shelf life and change texture. The nasty side effect: Trans fat boosts your total cholesterol while lowering artery-declogging “good” HDL cholesterol and elevating “bad” LDL cholesterol, says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University in New York City. While consumers seem to be getting the picture, they’re confused about what “trans fat-free” means: In a survey by the New York Times, people said a meal labeled with this moniker was lower in calories than another meal, even though the first actually contained more.
Reality check: Thanks to an FDA labeling loophole, manufacturers can claim that their product has zero grams trans fat if it contains a half gram or less per serving. So eat more than one serving and you could consume plenty of this dangerous fat. For example, if you eat two handfuls of crackers, a granola bar, and a couple of helpings of cookies in one day, you could be taking in nearly 2.5 grams of it, even though their labels all claim “0 grams trans fat.” Scary stuff, considering that the American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 2 grams a day. Always check ingredients lists: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils are a dead giveaway. Shop for margarines and peanut butter without trans fats or hydrogenated oils. For the most part, trans fats show up in junk food, like snack cakes, doughnuts, and tub frosting, so buying fewer of such foods will automatically slash your intake.
No High-Fructose Corn Syrup
A few years ago researchers suggested a link between high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and rising rates of obesity and diabetes, and the sweetener became public enemy number one. More than a third of consumers now say they avoid all foods containing it, according to Mintel, a market-research firm. Many companies have replaced HFCS with other sweeteners in a wide variety of products, including juice and ketchup, and proudly proclaim it on their packaging.
Reality check: The label is often a gimmick, especially when it’s slapped on highly processed foods, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It. “HFCS isn’t all that different from regular sugar,” she says. Case in point: According to recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there’s no evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is metabolized differently from or more closely linked to obesity than other sweeteners. What is bad for you: too much sugar in any form. Don’t buy products that list any sweetener, including honey, molasses, sucrose, fructose, and fruit juice concentrate, as one of the first four ingredients. And remember that four grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon. You would never dream of dumping three teaspoons of the sweet stuff on your breakfast, but that’s the amount in one packet of flavored instant oatmeal.
This word is on everything from peaches and parsley to bacon and burgers, and in surveys people consistently say that local foods are healthier and tastier than their out-of-town counterparts. The number of farmers’ markets in the United States has increased 40 percent since 2002, and the number of “local” claims on menus rose 13 percent in the last year alone.
Reality check: Fruits and vegetables grown nearby have advantages, says Kate Geagan, RD, author of Go Green, Get Lean. Supermarket produce is often in transit for days, which can affect nutrients; vitamin C and folic acid are especially prone to degrading over time. But those apples, pears, and berries at the farmers’ market are usually at the peak of nutrition and flavor. It’s a common mistake, though, to assume that high-cal foods like local butter are healthier than what you would find at the grocery store. “If it’s a splurge item like ice cream or a burger, it should still be a splurge. It shouldn’t suddenly become a mainstay just because it’s local,” Geagan says. Local meat and poultry aren’t automatically healthier, but the animals were probably raised more humanely than those in factory farms. Still, local doesn’t mean organic, so if you’re trying to avoid pesticides, antibiotics, and added hormones, ask the farmer or seller how the food was grown or raised.
In a recent survey nearly half of shoppers reported putting more whole grains in their grocery carts. Why? “Because they’re healthier,” three-quarters of them said. And there’s no shortage of options: More than 3,000 new whole-grain products, including cookies and chicken nuggets, hit the shelves last year.
Reality check: The whole truth is that whole grains are healthier. Whole wheat flour has 25 percent more protein, 78 percent more fiber, and 93 percent more vitamin E than refined flour. But don’t be fooled by lookalike labels; buy bread marked “100 percent whole grain,” not just “made with whole grains” (the latter could be mostly refined flour). Use these two steps to see through sneaky packaging: (1) Read the ingredients list (whole should be in the name of the first ingredient, as in whole wheat flour, not simply wheat flour); (2) Check the nutrition facts. “Look for whole-grain products with at least three to four grams of fiber,” says Susan S. Zabriskie, RD, a dietitian for the Whole Grain Council.
This label may as well read “Eat me!” People down nearly 30 percent more candy when it’s labeled “low-fat,” according to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research. “Promoting just this one positive aspect of the product was enough for most people to assume they could eat more of it,” researcher Pierre Chandon, PhD, says.
Reality check: Many low-fat foods have just as many calories as their full-fat counterparts. Manufacturers may dump extra sugar into low-fat ice cream, cookies, and salad dressing to improve flavor. Plus shunning fat can backfire if you’re trying to drop pounds. “Fat helps you feel full, so you end up eating less overall,” Young says. A low-fat diet is also tough on your ticker: Filled with refined carbs, like white pasta and sweets, it lowers levels of HDL cholesterol and increases blood fats called triglycerides. Instead of fearing all fat, increase your intake of healthy monounsaturated fats (found in almonds, avocados, olive and canola oils, and sesame seeds) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish, like salmon). Low-fat foods that are still worth buying are lean cuts of meat and poultry and dairy staples like milk, cheese, and yogurt (buy plain and sweeten it yourself). All that’s missing is saturated fat and extra calories.
When Cornell University researcher Wansink asked people to compare identical cookies labeled “organic” and “regular,” the “organic” ones were rated better tasting, lower in fat and calories, higher in fiber — and worth paying more for. People who said they were trying to eat greener were twice as likely to be swayed by the “organic” label. “These people are highly sensitized to buzzwords like organic,” Wansink explains.
Reality check: In some cases organics are better for you. Organic milk contains higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, another beneficial fat that may help fight cardiovascular disease and weight gain. “Beef from organically raised cattle tends to have less saturated fat, more omega-3 fatty acids, more vitamin E, and more carotenoids,” Geagan says. Organic produce carries less residue from pesticides, but not all of it is worth the extra bucks. Opt for organic when it comes to produce that is most likely to be contaminated (see “Produce Cheat Sheet,” on the next page). You can skip organic when buying grain products, like chips, noodles, cookies, and crackers; grains don’t tend to have much pesticide residue anyway. When you do choose organic, look for the USDA Organic seal to be sure all ingredients are organic.
These images we post on our blogs shouldn’t be comparisons to our bodies. Our structure and build is completely different from everyone else so how in the world can we compare ourselves to other people? These pictures are for motivation and inspiration. If we keep trying to compare ourselves we will only end up losing confidence in our abilities and confidence in our bodies!
Just finished my second liter of water, moving onto my third now. I think this sinus infection has increased my thirst, I’m not complaining though!
Parties can expose you to a slew of new bugs, says William Schaffner, M.D., president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. Traveling can make you sick, too, given the close quarters, coughing fellow passengers, and germy tray tables, seats, and armrests. And feeling stressed can majorly increase the odds you’ll catch a cold, a study in Epidemiology notes. Low humidity in cooler months also means viruses stay in the air longer and are more easily picked up, Dr. Schaffner explains.
Seasonal solutions: Go fish. A study of stressed-out students at The Ohio State University in Columbus found that popping fish oil capsules cut anxiety by 20 percent. To fend off germs, tote alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And you should also guzzle water and get a flu shot: The vaccination takes about two weeks to kick in, so don’t wait until the last minute, Dr. Schaffner says. Hate needles? Ask your doctor about the nasal spray form of the vaccine—it works, too.
Breakouts may mean there’s too much on your plate, says Sandra Read, M.D., a dermatologist and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology. Stress raises levels of cortisol, which in turn ups oil production. Plus, getting a bit too joyous with the cocktails can dehydrate you, resulting in dry skin; and winter air parches you from the outside, making skin flaky. Lack of sleep can bring on another problem: skin-care laziness, Dr. Read says.
Seasonal solutions: When your to-do list makes you want to smash the nearest ornament, soothe stress, sleeplessness and skin with a 10-minute warm bath. Afterward, apply moisturizer while your skin is wet. “That will trap moisture in your top two layers of skin,” Dr. Read says. Alternate drinking alcohol with H2O to slow your intake, and stay hydrated—wake up refreshed, not hungover.
Live Christmas trees smell divine, but mold from the tree can set off some not-so-fun allergy symptoms, says William Berger, M.D., clinical professor of allergy and immunology at the University of California in Irvine. It’s not just the greenery: Chemicals in deteriorating newspaper used to cushion decorations can trigger allergies and asthma, as can potpourri and smoke from candles and wood fires. Even natural gas fireplaces can irritate your lungs if the hearth isn’t well ventilated, warns J. Allen Meadows, M.D., chair of the Public Education Committee for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Seasonal solutions: Save the forest, and choose an artificial tree. No need for pink aluminum à la Charlie Brown; these days, many look like the real thing. Store ornaments in plastic containers, suggests Clifford Bassett, M.D., fellow of the ACAAI—and take trees down soon after the big day to limit dust and mold (wipe down the fake ones, and store in a container that keeps the tree clean). As for that roaring fire, use a glass screen or doors to block ash and fumes from entering the room. Buy unscented soy candles, which may be less irritating, and lose the potpourri; instead, greet guests with the scent of apple cider mulling with cinnamon sticks on the stove, then toast to their health!
A Blizzard of Belly Aches
That roast beast—and those sumptuous side dishes—can shake up your bowl full o’ jelly. “High-fat foods delay stomach emptying, which can cause bloating and heartburn,” says Jacqueline Wolf, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. A sneaky heartburn culprit? Mints. Peppermint eases cramping but the burn can be a side effect: Mint relaxes the muscle that bars acid from entering the esophagus, Dr. Wolf explains. Finally, low-fiber feasts can cause constipation.
Seasonal solutions: Obvious but smart: Ease off the rich stuff. Choose leaner white meat over dark and sweet potatoes (hold the butter) over mashed, which often come drowning in gravy. Aim to eat 30 grams of fiber a day, and avoid tummy-hugging outfits, which can put pressure on your stomach, Dr. Wolf says. Exercise helps keep your system operating smoothly, as does lots of water.
Nearly two thirds of women feel down this time of year, according to a HealthyWomen.org survey. Why are we often more teary than cheery? “It’s hard to live up to the holiday fantasy,” says Srinivasan Pillay, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. We also assess life at the end of the year, highlighting the future’s uncertainty. On top of that, the lack of sunshine (December 22 is this year’s shortest day) can bum you out, Dr. Pillay says.
Seasonal solutions: Recall what you’re grateful for, Dr. Pillay suggests. Write thank-yous, or find ways to give back, such as compiling care packages for troops. A study in Personnel Psychology found people’s moods improved by 25 percent after helping others. And plan a January getaway. Vacation planners felt cheered for two months before leaving for the actual trip, notes a study in Applied Research in Quality of Life. What better way to turn your gray mood sunny?
I’m still in the process of organizing everything for you. If you have any requests on posts, or questions feel free to ask.
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
7. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.
8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
9 Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
19. Sugar can cause premature aging.
20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
22. Sugar contributes to obesity
(for old followers coming back, and for new followers)
- inspirational pictures of bodies and yummy healthy food
- instructional and fun workouts
- weekly challenges (along with the occasional monthly challenges)
- healthy and delicious recipes
- health articles
- health and fitness tips (obviously)
- unconditional love and advice to the best of my knowledge
- a non judgement zone (just like planet fitness)
- a little bit of fashion/beauty worked in there because who doesn’t like that?!