Even when we are doing our best to make smart choices when food shopping, it is difficult to resist well-designed packaging, clever advertising and nutritious-sounding product descriptions. As we know, packaged food is a huge business and the food industry has become expert at convincing us to buy expensive and attractive items which appear healthy.
When you’re fighting a cold, a headache or other minor ailment, home remedies can offer powerful support. Through research, education and lots of trial and error, I’ve built up quite a supply of natural remedies, and my medicine cabinet is overflowing with ingredients to help me and my family through everything from digestive complaints to cold and flu season.
Here our the top 10 natural remedies to support your health and the health of your families and friends.
Although they look appetizing and may even taste great, restaurant take-out and grocery-store prepared meals are often full of unnecessary sugar, sodium, toxic vegetable oils (such as soybean and cottonseed oil), and factory-farmed meats and dairy. We know that home-cooked meals are almost always the more nutritious option, but given our jam-packed schedules, making the time to shop and cook, (and clean up afterward!) can be daunting. Healthy home cooking inevitably involves sourcing fresh produce — something you can aim to do monthly.
Of the many resolutions we can make this year to improve our health, spending more time in the kitchen is one of my top recommendations. As numerous studies have shown, increased home cooking correlates directly with healthier dietary patterns. Thanks to the food industry’s sugary, salt-laden, factory-farmed foods, home-cooked meals are almost always healthier than prepared and restaurant meals.
As a nutritionist and health coach, I spend my days helping people change their diet in order to change their health. It is deeply rewarding to witness the transformative effects that nutrition brings to health and well-being. In my efforts to understand and translate science-based research for the benefit of my clients, last month I joined the Oldways conference, Finding Common Ground, where diet and nutrition experts convened for two days to reach consensus on what Americans should be eating. It was thrilling to listen to the world’s top nutrition scientists debating the merits of competing dietary philosophies.
Our relationship to food is inextricably connected to our cultural and family traditions, our social lives and our daily routines. Whether fueled by boredom, anger, or sadness, it is all too easy to eat for reasons other than hunger — “emotional eating”— which can lead to weight gain, sugar addiction, digestive distress, and other problems.
Apples are the ultimate fruit; they are readily available, store well in the fridge, and are perfectly portable for on-the-go munching. Slather a spoonful of nut butter on apple slices for a satisfying, protein-rich snack, or bake a cinnamon-sprinkled apple and serve with whipped cream or coconut cream for a healthy treat. Then there’s the ultimate favorite: the apple crisp.
In the early days of fall, nothing is nicer than gathering around a fragrant and nourishing stew at dinnertime. Braising is one of my favorite cooking techniques because it offers so much flavor with so little fuss. After quickly searing both sides of the meat, simply add liquid (wine, bone broth, vegetable stock) and let simmer.
Although time-consuming and arguably tedious, packing a lunch for yourself or your children can be a powerful way to express your love and support and set a healthy intention for the day. At its core, preparing food for others is an act of love — and, as a parent, one of the most potent powers we possess is to support our children’s health. Embrace the chance to make the meal special, healthy and tasty and your children will feel the depth of your care for them.
Last week, Katrine shared her healthy snack swaps and this week, I’m giving you more with a focus on mealtime. Sugary and/or high starch foods are ubiquitous in our culture but that doesn’t make them good choices. It may seem difficult to give up our favorite foods, but, ultimately, making changes to your diet simply means creating new habits.