Eggs:  They got a bad rap for some years due to their “cholesterol raising, heart disease-promoting” saturated fat.  But in fact, properly raised eggs (you can find them pasture-raised at your local farmer’s market) were and continue to be a healthy option.  Use caution to avoid over-consumption of commercial eggs which are high in Omega-6 (inflammatory) fats. Read the rest of this entry »

In general I encourage cooking at home to eating out.   It is much easier to make a poor food choice than a healthy one in this country.  The standard American offerings are devoid of micronutrients and are full of sugar, unhealthy fat sources, and questionable animal byproducts.  Unfortunately, they are also cheap, readily available, and palatable.

Until our food quality improves significantly in this country, it is up to us as consumers to sift through the options and choose those that are highest in absorbable nutrients and least in offending agents.

The DC metro area recently had a power outage.  One of the most difficult challenges for me was that I couldn’t grocery shop, prepare, and store food.   Other circumstances like moving, emergencies, and unexpected life occurrences might make cooking at home impossible.

I think the occasional meal at a French or Indian restaurant is part of a healthy lifestyle, but I think it is also wise to have go-to easy, healthy options for when life leaves us with a warm refrigerator and a dark kitchen.

Below I list three of my top choices for eating out in the DC/Maryland area.  Read the rest of this entry »

Everyday recipes should include few ingredients and steps.  One can either make a big batch for multiple leftovers, or prepare with ease after a long day.  Roasted cauliflower is convenient and tasty:

1-2 heads of cauliflower

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Olive oil, preferably in a mister Read the rest of this entry »

So often I hear, “I tried every diet, and nothing has worked.”

For this discussion, it is first necessary to define what a “successful diet” is.  Is the goal of your diet to lose weight?  Gain muscle?  Correct a leaky gut?  Achieve pregnancy?  Reduce anxiety?  Gain energy?

Most of my efforts in experimenting with different diets have been centered around weight loss and management.  But since reaping other health benefits with dietary changes, I have expanded my personal definition of a “successful diet.”  If you learn something that leads to better health, is that not success? Read the rest of this entry »

Probably nobody ever got heart disease or cancer from eating too many vegetables either.   In fact, countless studies and articles suggest that the benefits of eating vegetables may include preventing and reversing long term, chronic illnesses.  Most diet plans even allow for “unlimited vegetables.”

I am constantly reading articles, watching documentaries, reviewing patient’s food journals, and I concur.  Eating more vegetables is related to better health.  Physical and emotional.  It’s also understood that high fructose corn syrup, sugar, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates are not good and can lead to degenerative diseases.   Unfortunately, many Americans’ diets are greatly lacking in the vegetable department.  Personally, I think a good goal is to eat 2-3 cups of cooked, non-starchy vegetables each day. Read the rest of this entry »

I love Thanksgiving and the holiday season.  The gathering of loved ones, time off from work, and of course good (and plentiful) food.  Although I have been at a healthy weight for many years now, the holidays still pose their challenges.  Holiday eating used to cause me much anxiety, but I have learned many skills over the years that I hope you find helpful for enjoying your holiday to the fullest, without sabotaging your overall healthcare and life goals. Read the rest of this entry »

You have heard me discuss the idea of “eating in accordance with the seasons” in previous blog entries. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in order to maintain a physiological balance of yin and yang, it is necessary to consider the foods we eat as they relate to the season we are in.  For example, during the cold winter months it is wise to eat more warming foods and spices like cinnamon and ginger, and in the hot months of summer we should eat more cooling foods like melons and mint.

Mother nature further guides us by providing different foods each season.  When we preserve a healthy yin/yang balance, we are promoting healthy sleep, appetite, emotional balance, immune function, and energy.

Grocery shopping in modern America is confusing for seasonal eating.  We can seemingly buy all foods all year round.  But have you tasted a strawberry recently? They are less sweet, less juicy red, and less satisfying than those we could buy a few months ago, in the heart of the summer months.  Read the rest of this entry »

Often I remind my patients that it is much easier to make a poor food choice in this country than a healthy one.  Our brains are bombarded by marketing that evokes all senses and arouses all emotions.  Unfortunately, the majority of what is offered is of poor quality (and that’s putting it lightly, in my opinion).

How often have you had a ‘sour stomach,’ felt overwhelmingly tired, or wondered guiltily how many calories were in that meal or snack that you got at a (fill in the blank):  cafeteria, restaurant, county fair, bar, or sporting event?  Washington, D.C. has made great strides in providing nutritional information at restaurant chains so we can be aware of what we ingest, yet I still find the options limiting and unacceptable.  I can make hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads that taste amazing, have more nutritional value, and have a fraction of the fat and calories of some public vendors.  It’s sad to see what could be a healthy meal messed up by poor ingredients and improper cooking techniques. Read the rest of this entry »

Recently the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed a new guideline for daily food recommendations.  Gone is the outdated food pyramid, and in its place is the “plate”.

In my opinion, this shift is one of the more positive updates in public health in recent years.  While time will tell what significance the new recommendations will have, I am thrilled to hear that the USDA is promoting that half of each meal consist of fruits and vegetables.

A huge step in a better direction.

Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and are relatively low in calories.  Bulking up on fruits and vegetables will properly nourish your body.  A nourished body is satisfied and therefore craves less throughout the day.  When we are full from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, there is less room in our bellies (and less desire) to indulge in high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. Read the rest of this entry »

While eating familiar foods at regular intervals is beneficial for the digestive system’s ideal function, variety provides a full spectrum of vitamins and nutrients.  Many of us get into a routine that includes our standard dishes with our ‘go-to’ ingredients.

In reviewing patient food journals (and taking a look at my own), I noticed that we often eat with great repetition.  For example we have the same breakfast (oatmeal) or side (rice) or vegetable (broccoli) throughout the week.  While these examples represent a staple of any healthy diet, their repeated use is limiting.

What would happen if, for example, we had oatmeal (from oats) on some days…and cereal from other grains and seeds on other days?  Mother nature has given a variety of options; surely they each have something to offer?

Quinoa is actually not a grain (it’s a distant relative of spinach), though its texture resembles one.  It is a seed, it is gluten-free, and one of the only non-animal sources of a complete proteinRead the rest of this entry »