When Balance Just Isn’t Possible

We talk a lot in the wellness movement about balance, the art of keeping all aspects of your life in proper perspective, not neglecting one area for another.  It’s an important concept, and when you’re able to live that way, you tends to feel calmer, more relaxed, and, well, balanced.  But life has seasons that may demand us to pay more attention to one aspect than usual, and in those times, balance goes out the window.   Continue reading

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Why You Need Fat in Your Diet

Courtesy of mack2happy. This thai coconut soup looks absolutely amazing!

While carbohydrates have been the subject of a lot of controversy in nutritional circles, fat has been downright demonized.  Ever since the McGovern commission in the 1970’s, Americans have been told to reduce their fat intake in order to avoid heart disease.  We’ve blamed dietary fat for everything from obesity to diabetes to heart disease and strokes.  You can now find a low fat version of just about any food that naturally contains fat, and these products are being consumed at enormous rates by people eager to follow nutritional advice and avoid heart disease.  But where has it gotten us?

Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans.  Obesity rates are growing, diabetes is striking younger and younger, and while more people are surviving strokes, that’s mostly due to improved treatments.  If fat really causes all these things, shouldn’t we be seeing results by now?  Continue reading

Carbs: Friend or Foe?

Carbohydrates have gotten a lot of bad press lately.  With the popularization of high protein diets like Atkins, a lot of people have gotten the impression that all carbohydrates are bad.  I have to agree that the standard american diet is WAY too high in carbs.  After all, until recently the food pyramid recommended up to 11 servings of whole grains a day!  Yikes!  I think that’s enough to make anyone gain weight and develop blood sugar issues.  But do we really need to swing the other direction and eliminate carbohydrates completely?  Let’s take a look at some basic information about carbohydrates, and I think the whole issue will become a whole lot clearer. Continue reading

Why Diets Don’t Work

Ok, so I know I said we’d spend this week talking about macronutrients.  But in preparing this post, I realized that maybe we should talk about diets and why they don’t work.  My ultimate goal is to explain why its important to eat whole foods and keep your macronutrients balanced, and I think it’ll make a whole lot more sense if we talk a little about fad diets first.  So, sorry for the teaser, but I think you’ll find this information very enlightening, especially at this time of year when you may be trying to find your own dietary plan.

Photo from Zirconicusso

First of all, let me start this post by saying I’m not really fond of the word “diet”.  When most people think of diets, they think of calorie restriction, self-denial, and inevitable failure.  Not exactly something people get excited about it.  The word diet can actually just mean whatever food you eat on a normal basis.  But, for the sake of this post, we’ll talk about diets in the negative sense.  Like I said, most people don’t get excited about the word, and for good reason: your body knows they don’t work.  Even if your brain has fooled you into thinking that the quick path to health is found in the is the latest diet book hitting the store shelves, your body isn’t fooled. Continue reading