By: Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD and Deb Taber
Packing healthy meals make you more energized and healthy. Eating healthy leads to a healthy life style and overall a better life!
To have a healthy diet there many different steps. There are several different portions of food to pack for lunch to be considered healthy. For example:
By Lyssa Balick, MS
Insulin resistance is a condition where your body does not respond properly to insulin and as a result, your body cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Over time, this can make it hard for your body to control glucose and may lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time (1).
Both aging and lifestyle factors can affect the way your body produces insulin. Factors that lead to higher insulin resistance include:
While genetics and aging do have an impact, small changes in lifestyle factors can make a big difference.
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 recommends consuming a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of foods, which includes a variety of vegetables and fruits. But did you know that most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables? On any given day, Americans over the age of 2 years consume less than 1 serving of fruit and less than 1-½ servings of vegetables, far below the recommended intakes.
Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients and fiber that helps your body stay healthy. In addition to providing key nutrients, eating fruits and vegetables while staying within your body’s recommended caloric needs, can help you control your weight.
By Lyssa Balick, MS
What is Spice MyPlate?
Spice MyPlate was a nutrition education concept co-developed by The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and The Institute for Integrative Health in 2012 (1). The premise was to combine best practices for nutrition from the MyPlate food model with hands on educational experiences using spices and herbs to make flavorful meals and snacks (2).
In 2013, students from two Baltimore City High Schools learned about 12 core spices and herbs and how to incorporate them into their meals. They were compared with a control group who learned about MyPlate, but did not learn about spices and herbs or how to use them in their meals. The study showed that when students learned about spices in an interactive way that included meal prep and cooking, they were more likely to consume whole grains and protein foods and their attitudes towards eating vegetables were more positive compared to the control group(3).
By Michelle Pearce, PhD
Over one third of people in the US are on a diet. Even when diets are successful, 50% of people gain the weight back after 12 months or less. With 70% of Americans obese or overweight, we desperately need to find a way to better manage our weight and take care of our bodies.
Thankfully psychologists have figured out a more effective way of eating and managing our waistlines. What they have discovered is not a diet or a weight loss gimmick. It’s not about prioritizing one type of food over others or banishing a food group from your plate. In fact, it has less to do with what you eat than with how and why you eat. This more effective way of eating is called mindful eating.
Foods to help you sleep better, foods to avoid and foods to consume prior to bed
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD
Did you know 1 in 3 American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep per night? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Getting less than 7 hours is associated with poorer overall general health, and can negatively affect cognitive functioning, mood, glucose metabolism, appetite regulation and immune function (Halson 2014). As if that wasn’t bad enough, did you know that not getting enough sleep can also influence our food choices and cause you to eat more? According to a 2014 review (Chaput 2014), not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase snacking and the number of meals consumed per day. Unfortunately, we don’t tend to reach for fruits and vegetables when we are tired, and the increase in food intake tends to be from high calorie, highly processed foods lacking many of the nutrients our bodies need.
By Jason Bosley-Smith, MS, LDN, CNS, FDN
Memory, focus, thought, creativity, analysis. Our brains perform these functions and many more in the daily processing of information. Perhaps even more essential, our brains regulate the bodily processes necessary for basic survival. Even the slightest impairment to brain function can be felt in dramatic fashion throughout our bodies whether it’s a lack of mental clarity, altered mood, or a downstream effect in the way we digest food.
According to Gómez-Pinilla, dietary factors can affect multiple brain processes by regulating neurotransmitter pathways, synaptic transmission, membrane fluidity and signal-transduction pathways.(1)
A nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet rich in colorful plant foods and healthy fats serves as the basis for brain-supportive nutrition. To truly target and enhance these various brain processes, research suggests that there are several nutrients that are of particular value:
By Chris D'Adamo, PhD
A lot is talked about in terms of how diet and other lifestyle modalities, being more active, managing stress, not smoking, can reduce the risk of getting cancer. But if you're someone who is living with cancer, there are a number of strategies that you can use to optimize your prognosis.
I'll break this into a series, but in this video we're going to talk about inflammation and metabolism as two very important areas of cancer prognosis that can be modified through
food and supplements.
Watch the video here:
By Kalpana Shere-Wolfe, MD
Ayurveda, which literally means knowledge of life, is the ancient medical system of India. Ayurveda states that we are made up of the same substance as that of the universe – we are an integral part of it and therefore should follow the natural laws of the universe. The major elements or mahabhutas of Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth which make up our world are also part of us. From these arise the doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha which are responsible for maintaining proper function and balance of body and mind. Vata consists of Air and Space and is responsible for bodily functions that involvement movement such as circulation, heartbeat, respiration, elimination. It has the qualities of cold, dry, mobile, subtle, rough, and light. Pitta consists of Fire and Water and is responsible for digestion, metabolism and energy production. It has the qualities of hot, sharp, sour, pungent, liquid, flowing and oily. Kapha consists of Water and Earth and is responsible for physical structure and fluid balance. It has the qualities of oily, heavy, cool, slow, dull, sticky and stable.
By Rebekah Owens
We often hear about what we should or shouldn’t eat, but did you know that HOW you eat, WHEN you eat and HOW MUCH you eat are also very important for good digestion and health? Harvard Medical School published an article on Mindful Eating, which is a great way to use mindfulness meditation as part of your mealtime and snack time activities. Additionally, there are ways to enjoy your food more and eat less using a few simple tricks. These are not just for weight loss; they are beneficial for every eater across the board for best digestion and increased meal enjoyment. Food should be fuel for your body, mind and soul. These tips will help you in your quest for best health.
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From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: