Most of us have heard that eating carrots will improve our night vision, but what’s the real story on carrots? Besides their sweet taste, carrots contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which provides the distinctive orange color and helps the body create vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision, especially night vision, and boosts the [...]
Spring has sprung! Kind of, sort of—well, just enough to get me in the mood to clear out the old, stale, winter energy and usher in some fresh air. This means combing through closets, the pantry, and recirculating stuff that no longer serves. It also means cleaning out me. Winter is an inherently stiller time—that [...]
Spring, glorious spring, with its air of fresh possibilities, is the perfect time to do some cleaning and cleansing. Gather up everything green you see in the grocery store and make yourself a big pot of Spring Greens Gumbo. You’ll have so much energy that the spring housecleaning will feel like a summer breeze. Spring [...]
Maryelaine “Mel” Sotos, MS, RD, LDN, Kripalu nutritionist and guest blogger All calories are not created equal. Some self-proclaimed weight-loss experts and personal trainers might argue with that statement (an image of a buff drill sergeant–like trainer on a popular prime-time show comes to mind), but no matter who or how famous my critics may [...]
Almost right away, our teacher asks us to draw a “memorable food experience.” Nothing gets adults past their fear of anything, even drawing, faster than food. Gripping crayons passed around in paper cups, we sketch elaborate Thanksgiving tables, giant pots of comforting stew, and quite a few lobsters. When our teacher, Kripalu nutritionist Kathie Madonna [...]
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 [...]
By this time of year, we’re all ready for some warmth. Here at Kripalu, we serve a selection of tasty, healthy staples that keep everyone nourished through the winter. Many of these are available at our Buddha Bar, which provides macrobiotic and vegan options daily, including organic grains, steamed vegetables, and legumes. Here are two [...]
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.
Does eating organic make us mean?
A recent study conducted by researchers at Loyola University New Orleans looked at how food related to morality: how and whether what we eat influences how we think and act. The results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, revealed that eating organic foods can most definitely impact morality, kindness, and attitudes toward others—but not necessarily in a good way. Participants who were exposed to organic foods, the study reported, volunteered significantly less time to help a stranger in need. They were also far more judgmental about others’ actions as they related to food and non-food subjects. In short, people who ate organic food were more likely to be jerks.
While most of the organics-loving people we know are kind, generous, lovely non-jerks, the results of the Loyola study could perhaps be explained by what Aruni Nan Futuronsky, a certified life coach and program advisor for Kripalu Healthy Living programs, calls “the curse of consciousness.” That is, the more we know, the more we want to impose that knowledge onto others. As we make changes for ourselves it becomes easier to notice those who have not made those changes for themselves, or who otherwise live differently. We may then judge them, even unconsciously.