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Got Belly Fat?

A couple of years ago, our family took a trip to Disney World. My husband, a native Floridian, had been waiting for this moment since practically the moment our older daughter was born. As we walked into the park, we all took everything in—the bright blue, cloudless sky, the characters waving us along Main Street, the rides beckoning us in the distance. We were all excited.As the day wore on though, I noticed that along with all the princess nick-nacks, sugary treats were EVERYWHERE, on every corner and in every shop. I had packed our own snacks and water in a backpack, so we managed to avoid most of these “treats.” When we stopped for lunch though, the buffets featured mainly processed carbs and endless...

Three Reasons to Drink Bone Broth + A Recipe

There’s been a lot of talk about “super foods” over the years—foods that are jam-packed with nutrients and promote the health and wellbeing of those who eat them. I have my own list, and bone broth is in the top three. And, while the revival of interest in traditional foods (HOORAY!!) has brought many of these foods back onto grocery store shelves, buying bone broth in a carton may not have all the health benefits of homemade broth, and great-quality broth from the refrigerated section of your local store is likely to set you back quite a pretty penny. The easiest solution? Make your own! But first, what’s so great about bone broth anyway? So glad you asked. Here are three reasons to enjoy this...

Could It Be Hidden Candida?

As I shared in a recent blog post, I’ve been “running” for a long time: grad school, career, children, child who wouldn’t sleep, child who couldn’t speak. Speech therapy, research, treatment protocols, back to school, career change, business launch. Whew. I don’t regret any of it, and I don’t hold myself out as particularly remarkable. We all bust our asses. What I also find in the women I speak to is that our own self care tends to come in dead last. This was true for me too. So, this past summer, I really went to work on prioritizing my own health and wellbeing. There were a few reasons for this: I can’t take good care of others if I’m all wrung out; I want...

The Secret to Getting Stuff Done

There is only one reason I’m writing this blog post right now instead of getting into bed for some hard-earned beauty sleep, and it’s the same reason I’ll be getting up at sunrise the day after tomorrow to go for a run. Accountability. You see, as I learned from the brilliant Gretchen Rubin and her framework of the Four Tendencies, I’m an Obliger. I readily meet outer expectations, though I may waffle on meeting internal ones. And apparently, of the four tendencies, Obliger is the most common, so I know I’m not alone. A friend and I who are both trying to kick our blogging habits into gear, and who are both Obligers, laid out goals for ourselves on our publication schedules, and to make...

Keeping Halloween Healthier

Halloween has always been one of my very favorite holidays. For me, it's all about delight, whimsy, and trying on new personas, allowing even grownups to enter the land of make-believe and indulge in being someone or something else for a few hours.  For my two daughters, there's also the magical surprise of knocking on a door and having it opened with joy and generosity, even if that door belongs to someone they don't know. The (subconscious) message is that we live in community. I cherish this.  On the other hand, as a nutritionist who came into this field by helping one daughter overcome a major health challenge, I'm particularly cautious about cramming their little bodies with sugar bombs, artificial colors and flavors, and mystery ingredients. I...

This Mama’s Journey

Not many people know my personal mama journey. Long (long . . . long) before my now-husband ever brought up the subject of marriage, he brought up the subject of kids. I know this isn’t the norm for dudes, but this dude was a little different. I knew from the very beginning that having children someday and being a good father to them was top of his life list. We dated a few years, got married, and around a year in, decided to start trying for a baby. I didn’t have raging baby fever, but it seemed like the time was right. I got pregnant pretty quickly and easily, and excitedly started planning for the arrival of this little bundle. We went to our first “pregnancy...

Your Cells Don’t Need a Candy Shell

You remember the old M&Ms ad, don’t you? “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”? I can still picture a commercial from my childhood in which happy kids romped at a playground without the dreaded chocolate melt. I was totally sold. This miracle was achieved with the famed candy shell, which protected the chocolate inside from warming and melting in a kid’s grubby little paw.But that candy shell doesn’t just do its work on the chocolate. The refined sugar in the candy does something sickeningly similar once inside your body. The process is called glycation.Glycation is the process by which sugar molecules in your system hook up and cross link with proteins and shellac over the outer membrane of cells, creating “advanced glycation end...

Sweet and Spicy Holiday Nuts

The truth must come out. I'm a total nut for nuts--and I come by it honestly. Sit me down with my dad and a bag of pistachios, and let's just say one of the three of us ain't coming out alive. There's a lot to love about nuts: prepared correctly, these little powerhouses are packed with nutrition:Protein Fats (awesome brain food: nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are inflammation busters) Fiber (awesome gut food) Antioxidants Minerals and vitaminsOn the flip side, nuts--as well as grains, legumes, and seeds--contain chemical compounds known as phytates, which are "anti-nutrients." These anti-nutrients bind with minerals so that our bodies can't absorb them. Some animals produce enough phytase, an enzyme that breaks down phytates, to allow them digest nuts...

Are Probiotics REALLY that Important?

I’ve heard variations of this question on quite a few occasions, probably because I can get a little evangelical about both probiotics and hydration, two simple but often-overlooked ways to improve your health. Since humans have morphed from folks who eat ferments into folks who eat Fritos over the last several hundred years, it’s simply not part of our conventional consciousness to consume fermented or cultured foods, and lots of folks don’t even trust food that isn’t pre-packaged. We’ve become bacteria-phobes who lather on Purell all winter and coat children’s playthings with Microban to avoid the scurge of bacteria.The thing is, beneficial bacteria are incredibly important to the health of your gut, and gut health impacts everything from mood to immune function. Did you know...

Chai-Spiced Chia Pudding

I'm just gonna acknowledge this up front. Sugar and I? We go way back. Way, way back. And I'm guessing I'm not alone here. Getting off sugar was one of the hardest things I've ever done, only a little behind getting off coffee. I won't say I never indulge anymore, but since the painful period of going sugar free, I'm thoughtful about my indulgences and when I do want something sweet, I reach for honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar before the refined stuff.Sometimes though, I just want a little sweet treat, and on those occasions, it's great to have an arsenal of recipes that won't put you into a sugar coma. This pudding is one such recipe. It's packed with healthy, filling fat from the coconut...