Category Archives: Uncategorized

Calorie Counter Spreadsheet

Calorie Counter Spreadsheet

February 28, 2012 in exercise, nutrition

Calorie-Counting-TipsMy dad wrote up this calorie counter spreadsheet where you can calculate your daily caloric needs, your carb/protein/fat percentage, and add exercise to see how many calories you burn. There is instructions on the side for how to use it. I’m sharing it in Google documents, so to edit it all you need to do is hit download. You can also use SparkPeople.com or SparkTeens to keep track of what you’ve eaten during the day. Hooray for good health!

One thought on “Calorie Counter Spreadsheet

  1. Siana says:

    I discovered your weblog site on google and verify a couple of of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the superb operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for ahead to reading more from you afterward!…

Leave a Reply

WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition Review

WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition Review

February 15, 2014 in Reviews

wholeI put Whole on hold at the library so I could learn exactly how nutrients and food work in the body. I wanted to know not simply if something was healthy or not but why.

The “tagline” for Whole is kind of misleading: “What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you imagine.” This book actually explains that we can’t know what happens when we eat an apple. The human body is actually vastly more complex than we can ever know – than we need to know.

Nutrition is way too complicated to understand completely. My original question – “Exactly how do nutrients and food work in the body?” – was coming from a reductionist mindset, which is precisely the problem of today’s nutritional logic.

Whole explores concepts of nutritional reductionist paradigms. It discusses how this phenomenon developed, and how and why media and the healthcare system is controlling our nutrition and information.

This definitely wasn’t the read I was expecting. It’s dense and complicated, but stick with it – it’s worth it. Whole, if you let it, will shake you right out of today’s current nutritional paradigm.

Leave a Reply

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT TEST!

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT TEST!

October 3, 2013 in Reviews

green-footprint-shutterstock11

I’m in an environmental science class this quarter, and it happens to be about sustaining our earth! I thought it would be more… sciencey… like you know, with flasks and stuff. It’s not. Yay.

Our last assignment was to find our ecological footprint then discuss it with our classmates. As you do this particular test, it shows you how big of an impact each decision you make makes. It goes through your carbon, housing, goods and services footprint. It gives you some info on your impact and how to reduce it. Really fascinating. I learned my state, Washington, thanks to all the hydro-power, uses the most renewable energy in the US! Yeah! Check out this sweet renewable energy map of the US.

Well, lets get down to business. If everyone lived my lifestyle, we’d need 1.88 earths. I am now on a quest to get that down to one. I mean really, what could be more important?

How many earths would you need for your lifestyle?

TAKE THE TEST!

Leave a Reply

The reductionist flaw in our nutrition system

The reductionist flaw in our nutrition system

January 8, 2014 in nutrition

While a reductionist focuses on single processes within the body, a wholist focuses on the entire system and its health. The reductionist says: Lets study what a vitamin does in the body! The wholist says: Lets eat healthy, plant based foods! America’s nutritional system is very focused on reductionism. It has hidden the big picture from us; the big picture being the whole body. Instead we focus on single nutrients, single processes. And this was intentional. Why? Because the big bucks are in reductionism. The big bucks are in pills and surgery and all that jazz. People don’t get surgery when the body was healthy in the first place.

American’s nutritional model has filtered through a lense of reductionism. We’re stuck in this paradigm that distorts the big picture of nutrition. We’re mistaken a part for the whole dang thing.

Campbell explains this using the good ole’ blind people and an elephant metaphor. A group of blind people are touching different parts of an elephant, disagreeing and arguing over what it is.

“It’s a rope!” says the person touching the tail.

“It’s a tree!” says the person feeling the leg.

“It’s a spear!” says the person feeling the tusk.

How can these people expect to come to an agreement unless they can see the whole picture – in this case – the whole elephant? How can we expect to understand the entire body if we are focusing on single parts?

“Filters – mental and literal – become problematic only when we forget about them and think that what we’re seeing is the whole of reality, instead of a very narrow slice of it. Paradigms become prisons only when we stop recognizing them as paradigms – when we think that water is all there is, so we don’t even have a name for it anymore. In a world shaped by the paradigm of water, anyone who suggests the existence of “not water” is automatically a heretic, a lunatic, or a clown.” – T. Colin Campbell

But the battle between reductionism and wholism is pointless; both are necessary. One does not oppose the other; both are important. Wholism encompasses reductionism. Wholism needs reductionism to advance, and reductionism need wholism to remain relevant. An organ obviously is a single system, but it is a system that relies, depends, and communicates with the entire body.

“Each part is an integral element of the same system, all the parts are connected to one another, no one part stands alone. And this means each part affects and is affected by the other parts. Removing or modifying a part changes the whole, just as changing the whole … impacts the parts – that is, when one part is altered, all the other parts are forced to adapt to try and keep the system running.”

 

Further reading on this topic…

Why are supplements are suspicious?

How and why are we locked in this reductionist system? (Coming soon)

 

Campbell, T. Colin, and Howard Jacobson. Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. N.p.: BenBella, 2013. Print.

Leave a Reply

Now Foods Pea Protein Isolate Review

Now Foods Pea Protein Isolate Review

May 14, 2014 in Reviews

Yeah okay so it took a college nutrition class for me to find out that I’m not getting enough protein (ever since I cut out soy awhile back)91OPudlkMyL__SY450_. I had only been getting about 20 grams of protein a day, if that. I know, I’m terrible.

But the good news is I AM getting enough protein now! (Insert applause.)

Honestly I had a little bit of trouble finding a vegan protein isolate that wasn’t absolutely disgusting and inexpensive. That’s why I loved soy protein isolate – it tasted good, and was dirt cheap. But I reached the point where I could no longer soy (GMO, monocropped, deforestation, ect.) (soy is a verb now).

Hemp protein? Gross. Rice protein? Okay, but super expensive. Volcanic ash protein? Too hot. Eventually I stumbled across pea protein (or as my dad “cleverly” calls it, pee protein), and searched the web for the lowest price. The best deal I found: Now Foods Pea Protein on Amazon, which is now only about $7.50 a pound. I gave it a try.

Eventually my obnoxiously bright tub of pea protein arrived and my protein-deficient cells started cheering. I anxiously opened and tried it, straight up, because YO, you have to isolate your variables.

My first impression?

DUDE! This stuff is good I could eat it by itself!

Conclusion: Pea protein rocks. It tastes great, has a non-bothersome texture, and has all essential amino acids.

YAY! I will be ordering this stuff until the next studies come out proving pea protein isolate to be horrendously bad for you!

BUY SOME PEA PROTEIN!

Leave a Reply

The Progress and Adaption Principal

The Progress and Adaption Principal

June 14, 2012 in happiness

The human brain learns if pleasure or pain immediately follows behavior. However, if we are rewarded a few days after something we do, our brains have trouble connecting the two. Psychologist Richard Davidson describes two types of positive reinforcement. “Pre-goal attainment positive affect” is a feeling of pleasure you get as you pursue a goal, and “post-goal attainment positive affect” is a short release of pleasure once you reach a goal. Most of our pleasure actually comes from the journey, not our destination, and that is rooted in our biology. If we are so concentrated on reaching a particular goal and don’t enjoy ourselves along the way, we’re genetically setting ourselves up for disappointment. This is called the “progress principal”.

If you like video games like me, it would be like this. You’re playing Diablo III, flying right through, without enjoying the graphics, storyline, or awesome new spells you learn. Eventually you are facing Diablo and the game is over. You feel a few moments of pleasure but then realize you have nothing left to do. Disappointment follows, and you are left waiting for Diablo IV to come out to repeat the process.

On average, happiness levels of lottery winners and even paraplegics returns to normal after a year, which is because of the “adaption principal”. Humans are very adaptable creatures – we have to be – so we can continue to evolve and survive. Our brains are sensitive when it comes to conditions changing but not so much to the big picture of our lives. For example, a lottery winner adapts to their new lifestyle and eventually takes their new conditions for granted. Their big house is now normal. The expensive food seems dull. Jonathan Haidt writes, “People’s judgments about their present state are based on whether it is better or worse than the state to which they have been accustomed.” Have you ever noticed how exciting a phone upgrade is, and after a few months it is just a regular old phone? Ah… the adaption principal at work.

According to the adaption principal, our happiness is largely heritable and it doesn’t really matter what happens in our lifetime; we will always return to our brains’ normal level of happiness. If we become richer our expectations raise. If we lose money we don’t have as many expectations and normal pleasures become luxurious. We strive and pursue what we don’t have, and when we finally get them, toss them aside and pursue something else.

Cites

Haidt, Jonathan. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. New York: Basic, 2006. Print.

Photo credit here.

Leave a Reply

The Happiness Formula

The Happiness Formula

June 25, 2012 in happiness

The “happiness formula” was created by Lyubinsky, Sheldon, Schkade, and Seligman who study positive psychology at PENN state. What I love about their research is they really break down the components to happiness. The formula is H=S+C+V. Overall happiness (H) depends upon your biological set point (S) plus your lives’ conditions (C) plus the voluntary activates (V) you take part in.

There are interesting conditions that have been shown to potentially reduce or raise happiness. The first condition is noise you are exposed to. Research shows we never fully adapt to chronic sources of noise – it inferences with concentration and increases stress. Another negative condition is long, traffic-filled commutes. Again, it increases stress and we don’t fully adapt. However, ideal driving conditions can be relaxing and enjoyable.

Lack of control is another condition that takes away from our happiness. In a study by David Glass and Jerome Singer, when they gave people an option to turn off a loud, random burst of noise, they were less distressed even without turning it off. I know when I’m given a choice in my life I feel a lot less stressed. Research shows we have a greater sense of engagement, energy, and happiness we feel a sense of control.

One last condition that contributes to happiness is having positive relationships in our lives. The more relationships one has leads to a happier person, and happy people tend to value and enjoy relationships more. On the other hand, negative relationships can be extremely taxing on a persons’ happiness. With this amazing new research on happiness we can really break down our lives and evaluate how we can be happier people.

Cites

Haidt, Jonathan. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. New York: Basic, 2006. Print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

The Soy War

The Soy War

July 13, 2012 in nutrition

Soy_FoodsI’m constantly hearing arguments about whether soy is or isn’t healthy. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Here are the arguments.

Soy milk is processed. True. Like other kinds of milk, soy milk is processed. Ideally, we could all soak our soy beans and strain them to make homemade, un-processed soy milk. Although, this is not extremely practical for everyone. We won’t die if we drink processed soy milk as long as it is in moderate consumption. If you are on a die-hard unprocessed diet, you’ll probably want to avoid many soy products.

Soy contains dangerous estrogens that can cause cancer. No evidence has been found to support this claim. Estrogen is a hormone naturally found in human bodies. The phytoestrogens that has been called dangerous are also found in flaxseeds, sesame seeds, hummus, garlic, peanuts, and more. One study found that men who consume soymilk daily actually had a 70% reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Soy products are genetically modified. That is true. Some are. It’s best to buy Non-GMO or organic.

Soy contains anti-nutrients causes trouble with digestion. True – these anti-nutrients, or trypsin inhibitors, can upset digestion. These substances are deactivated by cooking and fermentation. Soy milk is unfermented so it is best to drink in moderation. Interestingly, Thomas Badger and his colleagues found that infants on soy milk formula don’t suffer from any specific digestion issues.

These days all health related topics seem to be controversial. In the end we all get to make our own decisions and know personally what is best for us. If you like soy products (like me), you continue to enjoy them in moderation.

(Photo credit here.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Homemade Pudding

Homemade Pudding

July 18, 2012 in nutrition

I’ve always been a fan of pudding but those pre-made packs you buy at the store are always so full of artificial colors, additives, ect. It didn’t even occur to me I can easily make my own homemade pudding at home until recently! All it requires is a few ingredients and about five minutes.

Ingredients

1/2 cup milk and 1/2 water or all milk/water, depending on preference

1 tbsp corn starch

Dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 packets sweetener (table sugar, Splenda, agave, Xylitol… whatever your preference)

Directions

In a pan on the stove, mix milk and cornstarch together. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat on medium until boiling while stirring constantly. Once boiling, it will start to thicken. Heat until desired thickness. Serve and enjoy, or stick in fridge/freezer if you want it cold. You can also add cocoa powder, cinnamon, peanut butter, or other ingredients to make different flavors. I personally love cocoa powder – chocolate pudding is my favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Q&A with a Reader – Maria’s Eating and Exercise Habits

Q&A with a Reader – Maria’s Eating and Exercise Habits

July 31, 2012 in nutrition

I’ve been pen pals with a girl named Maria who and lives in Denmark! She’s very health conscious and I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A for a blog.

What foods do you typically eat, and how do they make you feel?
– I eat a lot of vegetables! I try to incorporate vegetables into all my meals, and also snack on them during the day. To me, vegetables are key to a healthy diet. They keep me from getting bloated, give me all the nutrients I need and makes me feel good and “clean” on the inside. I also eat a lot of fruits, nuts (especially almonds), beans and fish.

Do you feel healthier if you drink a lot of water?
– Definitely! I rarely drink anything other than water (well, except for my morning smoothie and the occasional coffee), and I’m usually pretty good at remembering to drink a lot of it. Whenever I’m travelling or something else gets in the way of my usual water intake, I can feel my energy lacking though, which tells me that water is important for me.

How much do you like to exercise every day, and how does it make you feel?

– I’m a total endorphins junkie, and I usually exercise for about an 1-1½ hours a day, 5-6 times a week. If I go for several days without exercising, my mood drops and I start being grumpy. A long run always put me in a better mood!

What are your favorite exercises and how do you stay motivated?
– I try to do a lot of different forms of exercising, to keep myself from getting bored. Running is and probably always will be my favorite form of exercising, but I also enjoy taking boxing, Pilates and yoga classes at my local gym. For the most time, I’m pretty good at staying motivated – I’m very competitive (in the way that I always want to beat my own records), which is one of the reasons I enjoy running so much. I rarely have days where I don’t want to run, but when it comes to strength training I currently have a really hard time to get myself to do it! I keep reading how good it is for you, and I know that it will probably benefit my running, but I am just so bored with it! Whenever I feel like this, I try to remind myself why I exercise. I want to live a long, happy and fulfilling life, and I want to be that grandmother who is still going strong at 90! When I keep that in mind, it helps my gain more motivation.

Do you like to listen to music, watch movies, or for it just to be quiet when exercising?
– I always listen to music while I run, but I feel like it’s more a “background” kind of music, than it dominating my whole run. Whenever I do other cardio workouts, I NEED something to distract me or I’ll get bored after 20 seconds, so I watch television, turn up the music louder, or if I’m at home on my dad’s stationary bike, I keep my laptop in a window next to me, so I can use it. Reading blogs AND exercising at the same time is awesome!

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
– Peas. My family always make fun of me for this, but I LOVE green peas to death! I eat them in every shape and form, and especially like them completely fresh or frozen.

How do artificial sweeteners make you feel?
– I try to stay away from them as best as I can. This is hard, though, since they can be hidden in pretty much anything nowadays, which is why it’s important for me to eat fresh, organic and clean food. I rarely ever drink soda, but I remember drinking some Coca Cola Zero at a friend’s birthday party last year, and I became so bloated the rest of the day. It made me feel awful, so I try to stay away from it.

What is your least favorite unhealthy food?
– Probably hotdogs. I think sausages tastes terrible, and people always put so much dressing and condiments on their hotdogs. I’m pretty weird, because I absolutely HATE all kinds of dressing. I don’t even like the tiniest bit in my salads and sandwiches, so I will substitute it for pesto to give it more taste. I LOVE pesto. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>