I can barely keep track of how many people are in my immediate family—somewhere in the thirties and growing, when you count siblings, spouses, their children, and their children’s spouses and kids. Yes, we got the “go forth and multiply” memo. I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for several years now for those of my family who [...]
Wondering if the Mediterranean diet is for you? What seems to work well about this way of eating is that people actually enjoy it, and so tend to stick with it. And that’s a good thing, according to recent research. A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, of 10,000 women in their [...]
Does what you eat affect how you feel? Well, yes! As a nutritionist who, for more than two decades, has observed the degree and depth to which this connection makes itself clear—for those I work with every day, and in my own body—it’s obvious: What you eat impacts how you feel on the physical, energetic, [...]
Often a guest will land in my office at Kripalu for a nutrition consult and say, “When I’m bad, I eat…” and rattle off his dietary “sins” in great detail. He’ll say, “And when I’m good, I eat…” and report a reasoned—even enlightened—diet in union with his ideals and body. For decades, willpower was thought [...]
Clean organic produce is more widely available than ever before, yet whenever I check out at my whole foods grocery, I imagine my father (a rural farmer cash-on-the-barrel sort of guy) fainting dead away at the grand total. The price of grass-fed meat, high-quality dairy, and organic produce can be daunting, after all. If you desire [...]
While the media frenzy about the flu season we’re facing this year has ebbed, we are still in the midst of cold and flu time. There are various things you can do every day to boost your body’s immunity and preventive health naturally. Here are just a few things to keep in mind. Plants are [...]
The concept of detox seems to speak to our very nature. From the story of Jesus in the desert to the holy days of Ramadan, the appeal of purification through renunciation, as a means of preparing ourselves to operate on a higher level, has deep roots in spiritual and religious history and practice. Today, products for [...]
Grains have a wealth of benefits to offer, from fiber to plant proteins to phytonutrients and B vitamins. There is a caveat, however. You can only reap these benefits if you’re eating whole grains.
When grains are refined (a process in which the outer bran and inner germ are removed), they can be made into a wide variety of cheap foods that will last almost indefinitely, but deliver few nutrients. Refined grains act more like sugar in the body, which may make them easy to overeat. But as you make the switch to whole grains—and become more attuned to what real foods taste like—you can savor the fullness of a whole grain right down to the flavor of its germ. Your body, and your taste buds, will thank you.
You may have heard a lot about gluten lately, the protein responsible for the wonderful chewy texture of breads and other baked goods. It’s true that many people are sensitive to gluten, which has helped spark a deep exploration of gluten-free grains like millet and amaranth, and alternative sources for flour, like coconuts and garbanzo beans. But for the majority of us who digest gluten well, wheat, rye, and other whole grains with gluten remain a wonderfully healthful choice.
With a bit of inspiration and a willingness to get creative, it’s easy to tune into the allure of whole and gluten-free grains, and discover the ones you love best.
Food is life. It not only provides nutrients for our bodies, but it can also bestow love and vitality—prana—to our entire being. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to offer our love to friends, family, and community by infusing the food we make and share with gratitude and good wishes (and to make Kripalu’s Pumpkin-Chocolate Pie!)
In many families, when we gather at the table we begin by saying grace, an expression of gratitude for the life our food provides, and a blessing that honors our guests. The practice of saying grace not only gives voice to our appreciation, but also offers us the chance to harmonize with others and with the food we eat. Pausing before we eat to experience our food through the senses supports digestion. This cephalic (meaning “in the head”) digestion actually triggers the flow of digestive juices and prepares the body to receive food.
It’s an exciting season for foodies: Fresh local produce is at its peak! We know that gathering produce at the farmer’s market connects us to the earth and to our community, but is there a nutritional advantage to eating locally grown food as well? Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment (HCHGE) reviewed the literature and came to similar conclusions. Those adept at using their senses to guide their health choices already know the answer—just notice the colors and aromas of produce from your garden compared to the supermarket.
To maximize the nutrient density (a measure of food quality that compares foods by nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants per calorie) of your produce, consider the farm-to-table path it takes. Generally, the longer and more complex this path is, the less nutrient-dense the food on your plate. According to HCHGE, the nutritional quality of produce depends on the variety chosen, growing methods, ripeness when picked, post-harvest handling, storage, extent and type of processing, and distance transported.