Tag Archives: food

Proper Nutrition for Healthy Skin

It might surprise you that what we consume is just as important as the products we use when it comes to keeping our skin healthy.  It’s important to get the nutrients we need to keep our skin looking great.

So, what foods can help keep our skin healthy?

  1. Eat foods rich in Vitamin A.  This vitamin is important for overall skin health.  Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots and low-fat dairy products.
  2. To help prevent age related issues caused by sun exposure, make sure you get plenty of Lycopene in your diet. Some foods that contain Lycopene are tomatoes, guava, and watermelon!
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids help nourish the skin and regulate oil production. Fish, flax seeds, and eggs are all examples of foods high in Omega-3s.
  4. Vitamin C. This vitamin can help fight wrinkles. Some foods that are rich in Vitamin C are sweet potatoes, squash, melons, and citrus fruits.
  5. Vitamin E helps repair damaged cells. Get the benefits by eating nuts and seeds.

A healthy digestive tract is also important to keep your skin looking great.  These are some additional nutrients you should include in your diet to help keep your gut and skin healthy:

Fiber – Foods rich in fiber will help your digestive system remove waste.

Probiotics – These healthy bacteria will help balance your digestive tract

Digestive Enzymes – These can assist in helping you get as much nutrition from the foods you eat as you can.  Look for a quality digestive enzyme.

I hope you learned something new from these tips.  Check out our infographic below that illustrates the importance of how proper nutrition and a healthy gut can help keep our skin healthy!

Personal anecdote from Maggie, author of WellnessWinz: When I started taking probiotics and eating veggies at every lunch and dinner, my skin improved dramatically! Wellness is in the little details and adjustments we make in our lives. 

Healthy Skin infographic non-branded

This article was contributed by Samantha Thayer at USANA Health Sciences.  Infographic design by Taylor Romney, and used with permission.  For more information on how you can love life and live it, visit us at our blog, What’s Up, USANA?. Thank you, Samantha and Taylor! I know I learned something and I’m sure readers did too!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea

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Wait, Food is NOT Fuel?

Precision Nutrition is a coaching, mentoring and support system that trains individuals to become Certified Nutritionists. These qualified professionals in turn help tens of thousands of people with their food choices and diet. To date, the Precision Nutrition coaches have helped 35,000 individuals lose over 450,000 lbs.! Precision Nutrition has advised companies like Nike, Equinox and Life Time Fitness, and has done consulting for sports organizations like the Seattle Seahawks and the USA Olympics. To put it simply, these professionals are on a mission. They have found excellent success in helping people achieve better health…and, yet, they don’t believe that food is fuel…hm…how can this be?

Girl at cafe

Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition recently published an article for fitness professionals called “No, Food is NOT Fuel.” Dr. Berardi writes:

“Something’s been bothering us lately. We keep hearing this analogy:

‘Food is fuel.’ You know, like gasoline.

And we keep hearing:

‘The human body is like a high-performance race car.’ You know, like a Ferrari.

So, you have to get enough fuel to run your car. Without getting too much, of course. Or else the Ferrari — uh, you — will get fat.

You also have to choose only really high-quality, high-octane, and expensive fuel. Or else the Ferrari — oh, right, you again — will gunk up and break down.

We’ve heard this analogy — this story — repeated over and over again. Ad nauseam.

And we think that’s a real problem.”

Sushi display

Why is this a problem?

For starters, if food were only fuel, and our bodies only cared about calories in versus calories out, then we could eat a handful of candy bars every day to get our “fuel” without negative consequences to our health. I’m trusting that readers are intelligent enought to figure out that this just simply doesn’t fly. 

How our bodies handle energy and gain or lose weight is far more complicated than this. Our bodies don’t just care about calories in vs. calories out for weight control. Our bodies are dynamic, complex organisms that are impacted by stress, oxidation, inflammation, hormones, the metabolism, and “toxins.”

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of New York Times Bestseller, Ultrametabolism, helps debunk the notion that food is merely fuel by highlighting “7 Myths that Make You Gain Weight.” These include:

1) The Starvation Myth: Eat Less + Exercise More = Weight Loss

Not always the case!

2) The Calorie Myth: All Calories Are Created Equal 

FALSE!

3) The Fat Myth: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

We need fat…big time.

4) The Carb Myth: Eating Low Carb or No Carb Will Make You Thin

We need all 3 food types: fats, carbs and protein.

5) The Sumo Wrestler Myth: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight

Not ideal for metabolism, need we say more?

6) The French Paradox Myth: The French Are Thin Because They Drink Wine and Eat Butter

If only…

7) The Protector Myth: Government Policies and Food Industry Regulations Protect Our Health

Sadly…we’re not protected. 

As you can see, there’s a lot more going on inside our bodies than meets the eye. For this reason, you may actually eat more than usual and somehow LOSE weight! Or you may forego all the usual culinary temptations and suddenly GAIN weight!

Friends over food

Laura Ingalls, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, NASM Personal Trainer, and Certified Running Coach, wrote an article for Run Haven titled “I Trained for a Marathon and Got Fat.” For the record, I’ve run a few marathons myself. During the first one I lost too much weight and was malnourished…the second one, yup…you guessed it, I gained way too much weight.

Laura writes “unfortunately, food is about more than calories. Food is about nutrients.” Her three reasons for gaining weight, in spite of exercising more, include:

You are replacing calories but not nutrients.”

Ex: Too many carbs like breads/cereals/pastas but not enough healthy proteins for zoochemicals and fruits/veggies for phytonutrients.

You are hitting the sugar hard, and you don’t even realize it.”

Ex: Too many sports drinks and supplements to replace the lost energy and water. 

“You are overtraining, under-recovering, over-stressing, and thus over-taxing your endocrine system.”

Ex: Only getting 6 hours of sleep after a long training run and getting up early to hit the gym for another hour of hard exercise. 

Laura and I both gained weight because of #3. Honestly, when I look back on my former training mistakes, I can only thank my body for trying to protect me. It thought I was in a state of emergency! I mean, major sleep deprivation combined with high stress, labor-intensive work days, a lack of proper nutrition AND marathon training? Are you kidding me? I would never disrespect my body like that again. But, thankfully, biology sent me a strong signal with an added 12-15 lbs. of weight, primarily added in my mid-section and baby face (didn’t need the extra puff!), so I got the picture. After a mild panic attack (or two), I got back on track and learned the importance of nutrition for the first time in my life…and by “learned” I mean internalized why it’s so important.

Like me, everyone has heard of the importance of healthy eating and exercise. It’s not fresh-off-the-press news. But, somehow we have a much harder time implementing changes in nutrition compared with understanding why those changes are important.

Spices in spoons

Why is implementing changes in our diets so hard?

I have trained a few dozen women who have come to the United States from other countries and, for the first time in their lives, have packed on weight. Most of these women have been thin and small-framed their entire lives, so when they suddenly bloat and gain weight, it’s very alarming for them.

Part of their weight gain could be due to a difference in how fresh and organic foods are in their cultures compared to the heavily modified and pumped-with-preservatives foods that are in abundance here in America. But, I think an equally important part of the sudden weight-gain equation is due to how food is tied to our culture…our identity…

A lot of people fall into one of two camps when they go through a major life change that challenges their identity:

Food-Averse Anxiety

-or-

Emotional Munching

The first group avoids food and often loses energy and weight. The second group also loses energy but it’s because their bodies are getting overtaxed by too much food processing on a daily basis due to emotional overeating (it takes a toll on the body to turn food into fat stores!). These two juxtaposed relationships with food reflect how intimately tied food is to our emotions…and guess what? That’s okay.

Boat of food

Food is a part of our life story.

So, I implore you to think about the following question: “What does my food say about ME?

Does it reflect that you’re feeling shameful or joyful during this season of life? Does it give you comfort or cause you stress? Most importantly, Dr. Berardi suggests you ask yourself:

“What would you like food to be?”

Once you start delving into that answer, a whole new world may open up. And, it’s yours if you want it.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz blue sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skinny Girls Who Eat Junk

You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered how other girls can get away with eating junk, while also retaining a slim waistline. I’ve had dozens of women complain to me that their friends can seemingly nosh on cheeseburgers and fries, down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or indulge in the bread basket on girls night out, without putting on a single pound. It’s time to solve the mystery! Here are a few ways that these girls-we-love-to-envy keep their weight in check.

Skinny Girls

1) They are burning calories through activity 

I can easily recall my super skinny days, back in high school, when I could chow down nachos, eat two plates of pasta, and a big bowl of Breyer’s chocolate ice cream every night, but this was only thanks to playing sports all year round. I was exercising for several hours every single day, and I was still growing. Could I get away with this now? No. Can I still get away with indulging here and there? Yes, because I exercise and practice portion control when eating. Good news, you can too!

It’s the same, simple answer we keep returning to: Calories Consumed = Calories Burned, for weight control.

2) This may just be a snapshot of their diet, not the way that they routinely eat

As I mentioned above, no one…and I mean no one, can get away with eating junky foods 24/7 that are calorie laden and fattening. Over time, it results in weight gain. If your skinny friend isn’t gaining weight, then she must be exercising portion control at other, less social and less visible, times of the day. She may be vocal in social settings, saying how she loves eating chips or hot dogs all the time, but she’s probably just being theatrical, or perhaps she’s trying to justify her indulgence out loud. It’s probably not meant to shame you or make you question your own weight and eating habits. Laugh it off and stick to the choices you want to make for yourself. If we tell teens to avoid peer pressure about drugs and alcohol, then certainly we can exercise a little self-control about food in social settings, right?!

3) They don’t beat themselves up for eating what they want

I have coached lots of women to stop self-shaming when they eat foods they desire. It’s one of the most important things that I help with women with, and many of them tell me that being easier, not harder, on themselves has helped them manage their health for the first time in years. Ironically, emotional reactions to food, and feelings of shame, often lead to MORE eating, not less.

An article from MyFitnessPal’s Hello Healthy blog states that “we usually end up getting mad at ourselves for overeating. This sets us up for a vicious cycle of stuffing feelings with food (and thus not dealing with them), possible weight gain or excessive exercise and self-recrimination … until the cycle starts all over again. How frustrating!”

So, if you have a late-night of eating the whole bag of popcorn, when you intended to only scoop out two handfuls, move on from it. Tell yourself that tomorrow is a new day and that you have the power to make good choices each with each and every meal and snack.

But, maybe your friend isn’t getting away with as much as you think…

“Smoke and Mirrors”

Although some girls enjoy their greasy and sugary foods without immediate weight gain, there may still be health consequences to their actions. They may not be getting all the essential nutrients that their bodies need. For example, if “Kelly” tends to eat instant oatmeal and a banana in the morning, a turkey wrap and chips at lunch, and a small dish of pasta at night, she is probably not getting enough protein in her diet.

Although Kelly’s portions are modest, allowing her to remain slim, she may have brittle hair and nails because of the missing protein. This, combined with a lack of fruits and vegetables, may also cause Kelly to have skin problems (skin that lacks luster, breakouts, is aging quickly, etc.). Additionally, if she isn’t getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that her body craves, then Kelly may not have good energy throughout the day.

In short, what’s happening on the outside of our bodies (i.e., how we look) is not always reflective of what’s happening on the inside…

So, is it okay to eat junk or is “clean eating” the best practice for weight control?

what to eat

It depends. It’s important to figure out what is going to work best for you. While clean eating, i.e., focusing on a natural diet full of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, is definitely a step towards a healthy lifestyle, WebMD explains that certain diet protocols for clean eating, like The Eat-Clean Diet, are “so structured, restrictive, and unrealistic” that they “may be difficult to follow long term.”

WebMD further suggests that any diet plan that is based more on opinion, than on scientific evidence, must be taken with a grain of salt. Although people love to share their personal triumphs, we should all be wary of professionals who base their dietary recommendations solely on their own experiences. We’re all a little different physically and emotionally, and that changes how we eat and what we want to eat.

If you feel like you’re only eating healthy because you “should” be, then you’re in a deprivation mentality, missing out on the experience of pleasureful eating. When kept in check, pleasureful eating can be a part of a healthy eating plan.

Once you’ve recognized that there is not a “good” or “bad” food persay, you can start to break the chains of a dieting mentality. As I alluded to in my Detox Diets: Do They Work? post, “including foods considered unhealthful in a healthful eating plan can foster satisfaction to ensure a healthful eating pattern over the long haul.”

Here is one defintion of normal eating provided by Human Kinetics:

“…being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it – not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint in your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasureable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad, or bored; or just because it feels good.”

Note: This is different from chronic emotional eating.

We’ll discuss that another day. 

This perspective implies that eating mostly nutrient dense foods will be helpful for your body, and that there is room to eat “forbidden foods” for pleasure here and there. An ice cream on a Friday night won’t spoil your waistline. Enjoying your favorite bubbly on a date night doesn’t mean you’ve ruined a healthful eating streak. If we stop fearing foods, we may just find that we don’t crave them as often, and we can start enjoying them in moderation alongside a balanced eating plan.

So, eat clean all the time if it works for you. If it doesn’t, don’t shame yourself. Just try to balance your intake of indulgent foods, and find ways to eat mindfully at every meal. The greens that once tasted bitter or repulsive can and will taste better once you take the time to think of ways to prep them to fit your palate. And, well…chocolate cake will always manage to taste amazing.

it's okay to indulge at times

 

Me + Lava Cake = Love

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz logo 2

 

 

References:

Hudnall, M., & Kratina, K. (2005, January 1). Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/bad-hair-nails-diet-foods_n_2964618.html

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/how-to-break-free-of-emotional-overeating/?utm_source=mfp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly20150330&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuKvPZKXonjHpfsX66%2B0tUK6%2FlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4DTsVlI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSrTFMblm0LgLXhM%3D

http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-clean-diet-review?page=3