The Power of Protein – What’s enough? What’s too much?

Protein Facts

If a little is good, more is obviously better. Wait! Not so fast! Protein is both powerful and necessary to maintaining health, BUT in the case of this macronutrient, more is just more and not better.

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Protein is necessary for muscle growth and development.

First, let’s take a look at what proteins are and what they do in the body. Proteins are made up of amino acids (think of these as legos) and provide the major structural components of muscle tissue, brain tissue, the  nervous system, blood, skin and even hair and nails! It doesn’t stop there – this macronutrient also provides a transportation system for minerals, vitamins, fats, and oxygen. It even plays a role in maintaining the acid-base balance and fluid balance. Although we derive energy from consuming protein, it is the body’s least preferred source of fuel for activity and rest. However, during times of starvation, the body  breaks down its stores to provide a source of fuel. (more…)

The Health Halo Phenomenon

What is the Health Halo?

“Gluten free!”

“Reduced fat!”

“Sugar free!”

“Trans-fat free!”

If it looks healthy and says it’s healthy – then it is, right? Not always. Just because certain products contain added fiber, Omega fatty acids, or have fewer calories than the original version doesn’t mean it has added nutritional benefits.

The “Health Halo”: a term given to those subtle, but persuasive words or phrases listed on food packages or clever marketing schemes. For example, when a food label says “organic” or “low fat”, we tend to automatically believe the food is healthier if not even “good or us”.  (more…)

Giving Thanks for The Energy of the Season

The Thankful Season

Thanksgiving is around the corner and instead of doing the usual “healthy tips” post, I want to spread a different, less tangible, message – one of energy and light.

Energy – What goes out comes back

As you all know, I’m a scientist by nature and by education and by profession. Laws of energy tell us that energy is not created or destroyed; instead energy is transferred from one form to the next. Scandle-light-1421222-640x480cience also tells that we are carbon-based lifeforms made up of – you guessed it – energy. We are energy in a physical human form. It stands to reason, based on these ‘laws’, the energy we are made of is influenced not only by the energy around us, but the energy within us (our thoughts, emotions, actions). Is it too outlandish to suggest if we want to receive good energy, we have to give good energy? Stated simply: to get the light, we must give the light. This means giving light and energy to not only ourselves, but to others. (more…)

What’s Your Health Literacy IQ?

The Good. The Bad. The Outlandish. Who can tell? faq-1236275-640x640

“Do not take this medication if you are pregnant or become pregnant. Do not take this medication with any product containing aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen without the consent of a physician. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medicine. If you suffer from diabetes, liver disease, kidney dysfunction, or Crohn’s disease, do not take this medication.” WOW – that’s a lot of “don’ts”!

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It’s November…I mean…”Movember” for Men.

The Movember Movement

Welcome to the month of Movember formerly known as November.  During this time, men join together in an effort to raise awareness about men’s health and the preventative practices men can employ to reduce their overall risk of disease and illness. As a fun, but symbolic gegoodfellas-1517032-640x480sture of brotherhood and unity, men start the month of November clean shaven and grow a moustache for the entire duration of the month – literally changing the face of men’s health.

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The Home Gym – Tips for Creating an Effective Workout Space at Home

Gym Vs. Home – What’s Effective?

“For a workout to be effective and beneficial, it must be done in the gym”. 

Okay, let’s just call this what it is -preposterous! Yes, there are certain types of training and strength building that are best accomplished inside of a well-designed gym with a variety of quality equipment available. That said, it is possible to build a quality home gym that supports a decent sweat!  (more…)

Healthy Holiday Know-How – Keeping it Balanced and Joyful

Holiday Celebrations – Organized Chaos

scarecrow-1-1171267-640x960The holidays: a time for merriment, joy, food and fun. But before the fun begins, there’s the planning, the packing, the traveling and the other stressful “to do’s”. Part of getting past the chaos and stress is finding ways to simplify and manage the many “methods of madness” surrounding holiday preparation practices and processes.

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Decoding the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines – Keeping it Simple

Simplify the Complex

If you’re like me, you appreciate succinct, simple and easy to understand (and apply) health and nutrition information. One look at the lengthy 2010 Dietary Guidelines document tells us the information contained within those pages is anything but succinct, simple, or easy. This week’s post reduces the complexity of the guidelines and summarizes what dietary practices we need to implement and/or change to positively influence overall health and wellbeing. For a full examination of the updated guidelines, visit 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.

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Go Pink! Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Go Pink for a Great Cause

October: Although the trees are smattered in shades of gold and orange, this month is also recognized by another color: Pink. October is Breast Cancer Awareness; I’m dedicating this week’s post to the efforts our various communities make each year to bring awareness to this disease and honor those who are fighters and survivors of its destruction. Let’s become informed citizens and work together to celebrate survivorship and memorialize those who fought a very difficult, personal battle. (more…)