Books

5 Reasons Why Being Thin Doesn’t Mean You’re Healthy

03/02/2012

Thin main photoMaybe it’s because we can undoubtedly be a vain society that aligns all sorts of positive associations with beauty. The thinnest people are known as beacons of health. For most of us, our health goals lean more toward vanity than feeling good from the inside and out. 

In a country where advertisements shun any extra skin and beauty is somehow linked to wealth and fame, we all want to be thin. But a number of sources have shown that being thin doesn’t necessarily translate to health. 

1. It’s Not Just the Fat, But the Kind of Fat

A new study has shown that it’s not just being fat, but the kind of fat that’s the issue.

Time.com reported on the study.

[F]at deposited just under the skin doesn’t contribute that much to the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes or heart problems. But fat accumulated in deeper tissues and organs, within muscle and embedded in organs like the liver, for example, can put you at greater risk of these diseases. And that goes for lean people too: they might not have much visible fat under the skin, but may be sequestering so-called visceral fat inside their body.”

So it's true, there can be skinny fat people and it's all in the kind of fat when it comes to matters of health.

2. You May Miss Routine Health Tests

If you’re thin, you’re more likely to skip on important health tests that can stave off future illness. While weight does impact chronic health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, it's not the whole picture. Heredity along with diet and exercise, even with a high metabolism, can lead to these diseases later in life and if you’re not vigilant you could end up having a heart attack when you didn’t even know your blood pressure was through the roof.

3. Skipping Out on Exercise

Exercise is important for both lowering cholesterol and staving off diabetes. If you’re super thin, you may think that you don’t need to exercise but this is just false according to Oz Garcia, Ph.D., nutritionist, who wrote about one surprised patient:

A few years ago, one of my thinner clients who looked externally healthful came to me for a consultation after she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Rightfully, she was nervous and confused and couldn't understand how she had developed this disease, she thought only "fat" people were diagnosed with these types of conditions. When asked if she exercised, she shook her head, stating that she had never really had to think about exercising or eating healthy, that she had always been lucky to have such a great metabolism. 

Thin photo

Photo: Brand X Images

4. Osteoporosis 

If you’re not doing any weight bearing exercise because you’re thin and you’re not eating a healthy whole foods diet for the same reason, you could end up with brittle bones and even osteoporosis. You want to have some muscular tone in addition to being thin in order to avoid bone density issues later on.

5. Calorie Control Vs. Your Diet

Constantly worrying about being thin leads us to count calories rather than looking at the foods we’re eating. It’s much more important to take an aerial view of your diet based on the foods that you’re eating rather than the calories you’re consuming. Portion control is of course important but if you focus on loading your plate with fruits, vegetables and then adding on a fist worth of whole grains and protein, you’re sure to find your healthy BMI range instead of obsessing about being thin. 

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook. 

Thin inline photo

Photo: Brand X Images

Photo at top: David Delossy/Thinkstock

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook

More on Being Thin
Is Your Schedule Conducive to Being Thin? 
If Fat Runs in Your Family, Can You Avoid It? 
Mid-Morning Snackers Weigh More

Are These 6 Mom Truths Actually True?

03/01/2012

Moms main photoI can picture myself at the top of the stairs on the way to the sanctuary that was my bedroom as a teen. My mother yelled one of her truths back up at me. Or maybe I came home from school with a vicious cold, hacking my lungs out. Or was it that time I made my way home after the big dance, brought to tears by a friend disaster or a disinterested boy. In these memorable times my mom always had a piece of advice, whether it was welcomed or not. 

But was her advice true or was it just an age old myth passed down between generations? Find out the truth and so that you can pass it down to the next generation.

1. Chicken Soup for the Common Cold 

I wrote a while back that the medical journal Chest actually tested the healing remedy behind chicken noodle soup and found that it wasn't a myth at all. In fact, chicken noodle soup does work on cold symptoms.

Here's what the study found:

When [we] added chicken soup to a Petri dish full of inflammatory cells called neutrophils the ability of these cells to move around and migrate was decreased. Neutrophils are cells that help to fight infection but also cause inflammation which is responsible for some of the uncomfortable symptoms experienced with a cold.

2. Meat Tenderizer for Jellyfish Stings 

Meat tenderizers contain papain, which breaks down proteins, according to Paul Auerbach, M.D. And it does work to remove the pain from a jellyfish sting, but you should be careful not to leave it on the skin longer than 10 to 15 minutes because it can begin to irritate the skin as well.

3. Reading in the Dark Will Ruin Your Eyes 

Due to the amazing resilience of the human eye, reading in dim light doesn't hurt our eyes. Dr. Katrina Schmidt says that  "Reading in dim light is not in itself going to ruin your eyes."

However our eyes do work harder in dim light and it is harder for your eyes to focus on what you're reading. But you won't cause any lasting damage to your eyes.

4. Put a Jacket On or You’ll Catch a Cold 

This is false and here's why. Colds are caused by viruses not from being cold. But more people do tend to get colds when it's colder outside and that's because "cold weather usually makes people stay indoors, which might increase the person-to-person transmission of respiratory viruses." says Robert Bradsher M.D.

Moms photo

5. To Have a Friend You Have to Be a Friend 

For those times when you came home hysterically crying as a result of a friend that let you down or maybe you weren’t so kind to another school mate, your mother may have reminded you that in order to have a friend, you have to be a friend. This couldn’t be more true. People tend to flock around good people and usually those that are the most deceptive and selfish end up alone or surrounded by friends that aren’t genuine. 

6. Hot Toddies for the Common Cold 

I can't say that my mom ever recommended hot toddies for the common cold, but it certainly would have made the ailment a lot more fun. However, both of my grandmothers found effectiveness in a good hot toddy. But does alcohol really help a cold? It's obvious why it would work temporarily, but alcohol also breaks down the body's immune system. So what's the answer?

According to Seattlepi:

In 2002, researchers in Spain followed 4,300 healthy adults, examining their habits and susceptibility to colds. The study, in The American Journal of Epidemiology, found no relationship between the incidence of colds and consumption of beer, spirits, vitamin C or zinc. But drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, was linked to as much as a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold.

So there you have it, truth for the ages.  

Photos: Jupiter Images

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook

More on Home Remedies 
8 of Mom's Most Time-Honored Home Remedies: Do They Actually Work? 
6 Holistic Flea Remedies For Dogs that Actually Work
9 Home Remedies for Hangovers 

Historical Texts Show the 8 Hour Sleep Cycle is a New Phenomenon

02/24/2012

Sleep encraving photoFrom deep beneath your comforter you awaken, anxious and then frustrated. First you realize that it’s the middle of the night and then you’re angry that you can’t get back to sleep. Lack of sleep has become symptomatic of our stressed out work week and our tendency towards anxiety. But what if it was much more than that? What if evolution was actually at play?

A number of studies compiled in an excellent BBC piece are saying just that. In fact, the eight hour sleep cycle is a myth. A. Roger Ekirch, a history professor at Virginia Tech has recently released the book At Days Close: Night in Times Past, based on years of research which documented our sleep cycle all the way back to the 15th century. What he found may surprise you. 

The Two Chunk Sleep Cycle

Diaries, reports, books, and art dating back centuries show that the sleep cycle was naturally broken up into two chunks of time. We went to bed at dusk, awoke for a few hours in the middle of the night, and then went back to sleep for another four hours. In the time between the two sleep cycles people read, wrote, prayed, chewed tobacco, and even talked to their neighbors. Documents show that this was a time when people often meditated on their dreams.

Prayer manuals dating back to the 15th century even referred to prayers that you could do between the sleep cycles and documents talk about how the time between sleeps was one of the best times of the day to conceive. It was a more natural way to sleep that didn’t revolve around artificial light. We naturally went to sleep when the sun went down and awoke in the middle of the night for a short break after which, we went back to sleep until sunrise.

The story in the BBC talks about how the two chunked sleep cycle started to disappear with street lighting when cities like Paris, Lille, Amsterdam, and London were all lighted up at night and people stayed up later into the evening. 

Antique bed photo
Photo: Thinkstock

But researchers think that our sleep problems today could stem from evolution; our bodies are supposed to wake up in the middle of the night, so when we view being awoken with anxiety, it makes it harder for us to get back to bed. 

So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, instead of viewing it with a sense of stress and frustration, why not use that time for meditation, yoga, reading, or writing? If any adjustments need to be made it’s likely in the time that you go to bed at night. While dusk might be out of the question, consider adjusting your sleep cycle so that you're not up long into the night depending on artificial light.  

Photo at top: photos.com

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook

More on Sleeping
5 Unexpected Foods That Prevent Insomnia and 5 Foods That Promote It
Mayor Wants Sleep Inducing "Lazy Cakes" Brownie Pulled From Shelves 
Stressed Americans Compelled to 'Sleep Text' 

What Do the Happiest Nations on Earth Have in Common?

02/18/2012

Norway main photoOver the years a number of polling services have taken pains to figure out which countries rank as the happiest countries in the world. And it’s a worthwhile endeavor because it allows us to find out what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. But while you’d think that a country of white sand beaches and coconut cocktails would bring the most sustainable bliss, it seems that surprisingly, weather doesn’t have a whole lot to do with country-wide happiness.

Both the Legatum Prosperity Index and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development have done a slew of polling to find out which countries rank high on the happiness meter and why. Time and time again the Northern European countries of Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands have ranked high on the list. In fact, Norway has hit Legatum’s top mark three years in a row, according to Forbes.

Canada, New Zealand, and Australia also do very well and the U.S. came in around the 10 mark and even lower on OECD's Index. So what do these happy blissful places have in common?

Personal Freedoms

All of the world’s happiest countries have a slew of personal freedoms. The governments are strong and the citizens feel that they have a roll in them. The more that citizens feel their views matter, the happier they were. And as an extension of political rights, the countries at the top of the list feel they have personal freedoms as well. Freedom to express opinions for one but also as in the case of Norway, decriminalization of drugs and prostitution. 

There are also fewer restrictions on labor. For example, in Denmark, which ranked number two, workers don’t have a whole lot of job protections, but they do have generous unemployment benefits. This gives citizens the ability to look for a job that they’ll be happy doing rather than worrying and taking the first job that comes up.

Read Also: 5 Ways to Find Happiness By Changing Your Outlook in 2012

Personal freedoms also extend to freedom to start any business you so choose. Every happy country listed also has a lower barrier to entry for small businesses, meaning the cost to start them is lower and the incentives to take such chances are higher. 

Denmark inline photo

Health and Happiness

The happiest countries were also the healthiest. The U.S. ranked highest in health services, spending high rates on healthcare which amounted to great vaccination rates, plentiful food, and clean water. But the U.S. did particularly poor when it came to diet. "People in the United States spend only 30 minutes per day on average cooking, the lowest in the OECD, as well as spending low amounts of time eating (1 hour 14 minutes per day, the third lowest in the OECD). But one third of Americans are obese, the highest rate in the OECD."

The countries that were the most unhappy, mostly located in Subsaharan Africa, also had the youngest average ages of death and extremely high infant mortality rates. Many of the worst off countries like Myanmar, Cuba, and North Korea don’t let pollsters in and they couldn’t get enough data in countries like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Haiti, according to Forbes.

High GDP

While money is by no means the greatest influencer of happiness, it does do a lot of good when it comes to providing healthcare, education, opportunity, and lower start up costs. Norway has a per capita GDP of $54,000 and it's among the richest in the world. But it’s not just that the country is rich, it’s that the per capita wealth is high. As a result of its wealth and its trust in government, it’s also among the most safe and secure countries in the world. 

Denmark has similar social equality but it’s also known for its low start-up business costs. Additionally, working hours are moderate, and in the case of high ranking Sweden, there are a lot of environmental protections in place. The highest rankers also had low unemployment, usually lower than 4 percent, which is an indicator of a stable economy, according to OECD Social Indicators

Trust 

OECD found that happy countries also had a lot of social structures including ties to family, friends, and community. And trust was among the most important features of happy cultures. In Norway, 74 percent of people said that they can trust people. This trust extends to government as well. 

Are you happy and do these social indicators hold true in your life? Let us know in the comments below. 

Australia inline photo

Photos: Thinkstock

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook 

More on Happiness
Second Guessers Question Their Way to Depression
Science Proves That Givers Live Happier Lives Than Takers
6 Tips For Finding Success Without Killing Yourself at Work in 2012

 

5 Tips For Sparking Your Own Creativity

02/09/2012

Creativity main photoIn the past five years I’ve watched the blogosphere expand to proportions one would never have thought possible. I’ve watch the clutter of ideas, websites, and ruthless social networking make the idea of success in this genre seem dim. But without creativity and innovation, you’ll find little success.

Creativity is a mix of novelty and usefulness and it’s at the heart of success, without it you’re set to be mediocre throughout your career. It may sound harsh, but cultivating passion and creativity in your work is what draws others. Without new ideas and ways of doing business you may not fail, but you certainly won’t succeed. 

Jonah Lehrer’s new book Imagination, How Creativity Works, brings light to the idea that it’s both group dynamics and solitude that leads to good work. Solitude combined with random interaction generates the best ideas. He talks about how simple brainstorming has been found ineffective but debate of ideas within a group is otherwise helpful and created the best ideas. 

Creativity is the fuel that drives the car of success, but digging it up from deep within the trenches of drudgery can be trying. What drives creativity in your world? Where do your biggest and brightest ideas surface and why did they choose that time to appear? I spoke to numerous creative voices: writers, artists, pubic relations executives, and political minds to unlock what forces help them bloom with new ideas. 

1. Better Than Brainstorming

It’s long been a question as to whether it was the group dynamic or solitude which led to creativity. While working from home by yourself can be helpful at times, the best ideas need to be bounced off each other. Lehrer cited Albert Einstein’s quote “creativity is the residue of wasted time.” Political writer Connie Green agrees, though she works from home, she finds the group dynamic, or at least a colleague to bounce ideas off of, to be crucial. 

2. Dive Right In

Diving right in is another premise for cultivating creativity coined by Natalie Goldberg in her book, Writing Down to the Bones. She talks about writing without the thinking mind, in other words, writing the first thought that comes into your mind. Writer Kelly Quayle agrees, “I’ll just start writing anything that comes to mind about the topic, even if it’s my frustration about not being able to capture it. Afterwards you can generally find some nugget, no matter how small, to keep working around.”

Creativity inline 2photo

Photo: Chad Baker/Thinkstock

3. Listening to Music 

Connie Green says that music helps her to find that spark of new ideas. “It’s an emotional trigger and emotions are at the heart of creativity.” Artist Susanne Harris agrees saying that solitude and good tunes help her to get going and once she has that new idea, she’s excited to run with it. 

4. Finding Clarity

“Clarity and peace of mind will enhance your career,” says celebrity yoga guru Steve Ross in his book Happy Yoga...”One brilliant move is far more powerful than a hundred muddled, mediocre moves.”

PR guru Katie Alice Walker agrees. She has to be in the right mood to cultivate creativity."I've learned that it's something that I can't force or schedule. But if I really need to get creative, I like to find something good on Pandora, light a candle and run outside to cut some fresh camellias to put in a vase on my desk. Those things remind me of the flexibility and freedom I have in my job, and that helps me find creativity." 

5. Outside of Your Comfort Zone

When our muscular mind is flexed it can choke the life out of new thoughts. Sometimes the best ideas come to the surface when we do something totally different. Getting out of your routine is sometimes the move that pushes us toward creativity. Kelly Quayle goes out on the porch, the beach, or to the top of a hill overlooking miles of empty farmland in search of that fresh inspiration. 

Creativity inline photo

Photo: Paul Sutherland/Thinkstock

While technology has put us into 24/7 cognitivity, that’s not always a good thing for our creativity. Allowing us the extra time to step out of the box, if you’ll excuse the however fitting cliche, is what can take us that extra step toward success in whatever we love most. 

Photo: Thinkstock

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook.

More on Finding Success 
6 Tips For Finding Success Without Killing Yourself at Work in 2012
5 Ways to Find Happiness By Changing Your Outlook in 2012
 

What Causes Bad Moods and How Can You Actually Benefit From Them

02/08/2012

Bad mood main photoYou started your day as you normally would, rolling out of bed, brewing a fresh cup o’ Joe, and then seamlessly gliding into your routine. But somewhere, somehow the entire vibe of the day took a turn for the worst. The causes of a bad mood are as varied as the stars in the sky depending on your personality type and your life’s situation, but what actually happens biologically when you’re in a bad mood? 

Jonah Lehrer over at Wired described what goes on when your mood goes sour. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology said that we usually hold ourselves together based on self restraint and bad moods and the aggression they cause usually come from losing that very rational thinking that had formerly held us together.

Bad moods happen when your ability to self regulate is depleted. “Participants low in trait self-control were particularly likely to express intentions of behaving aggressively in response to provocation, whereas participants high in trait self-control did not express intentions of responding aggressively," according to the study.

What causes a depletion in self regulation? Well, that’s the same thing that causes that nasty mood in the first place. Maybe it’s your starvation diet, a painful caffeine headache, or even a particularly trying hangover. Some studies have also shown what many of us already feel, that the weather can turn a good mood upside down in a few minutes flat. “[A] study of 16,000 students in Basle City, Switzerland, although not the most robust study designed, found that nearly one-third of the girls and one fifth of the boys responded negatively to certain weather conditions. Symptoms reported included poor sleep, irritability, and dysphoric (depressed) mood.”

Bad mood photo

Photo: Thinkstock

But in fact this grumpiness can be good for you. The BBC reported on a study that found that we do our best work when we’re pissed off. “The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain promotes information processing strategies.”

Professor Forgas said: "Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world."

So whether your too tight jeans pissed you off or you garnered a bit of road rage on the commute back from work, there’s certainly a biological cause and maybe even a biological benefit from your untamed crankiness. 

Photo: Thinkstock

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook.

More on Moods
Break the Cycle of Negative Thinking 

10 Ways To Tell if Your Marriage Will Last

02/07/2012

Just married coupleThe modern marriage is just a little less bleak than in the 1980's when divorce numbers peaked. It’s decreased from 50 percent to 41 percent. And having been married three years ago myself, I too was curious as to what research showed about the keys to marriage longevity. I wanted to outline not just a list of overwhelming prediction statistics, but what makes the stats the way they are.

In short, marriage is no easy feat and it takes a certain kind of couple to not only survive but thrive, 10 and 20 years after walking down the aisle.

1. A Certain Kind of Commitment

Those in marriages that last and those in marriages that end in divorce, both claim that they're committed to their relationship, but it's a certain kind of commitment that did well over the long haul. This larger commitment meant taking active steps to make their marriage work even when the relationship wasn’t going well. These steps may go against what they wanted, according to one study. In a long term relationship, both parties can’t always get their way. 

2. Bank Account Relationships

Science Daily reports that the bank account relationship has nothing to do with money (we’ll get to that one later). It relates to marriages where you’re often keeping score of how many times your mate got their way. This is an indication that a marriage will not last. When you’re in an argument, are you more concerned with who wins or are you more concerned with the strength of your relationship? The goal at the end of a battle  should always be building and maintaining the foundation of a healthy marriage.

3. Forgiveness Factor

Those relationships where each mate was able to forgive the other’s behavior tended to last a lot longer than marriages where couples were constantly trying to change the other’s behavior. Additionally, being able to let go after a fight instead of continuing to burn the flame of anger, also led to a happy marriage, according to Science Daily.

MORE: Take this Marriage Quiz

4. The Transition from Romance to Partnership

Affection and love are certainly important at the start of a marriage but if there is too much emphasis on keeping the flame burning, that’s a recipe for disaster. Couples have to be able to make the transition from romantic relationship to working partnership without too much of a blow. Passion fades but it’s the ability to maintain affection, respect, and similarities that really matter.

Cartoon bride photo

Photo: Thinkstock

5. Courtship Length

The length of the courtship is another really important, though not surprising indicator. There can be no delusion as to who the person you’re marrying really is. You have to be able to paint a realistic picture of each other. And that criteria shouldn’t be shallow, it should be the important traits of your mate’s personality. If not, once you get married the landslide of negativity that could follow is often too much for your marriage to handle, according to Psychology Today.

6. Your Own Happiness

Just because you’re happy, doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is happy, but on the other hand, if you’re full of discontent, it can cause problems for your marriage. Couples who either let their own discontent spill over to their mate, or blame their mate for their discontent, were far more likely to get divorced.

 7. Conflict Diffusion

The ability to communicate while in an argument is very important. Communicating over the larger issue that’s fueling your fire is extremely important to being able to withstand negative events. It’s not the conflicts that come up, but how you react to them that matters. How you diffuse conflict without ignoring it, is really important to your marriage. When you don’t communicate between one another, their’s often a lack of understanding of your mate, which can eventually lead to a loss of affection. It’s that loss of affection that's even more of a harbinger of disaster in the end. 

Marry me photo

8. Open Disclosure of Opinions

Couples that feel their mates are the only one that truly understands them tend to last. Most of us have that feeling at first, but it begins to subside if you don't cultivate it. You should be able to disclose all your weird quirks without fear of reprisal. Rude awakenings tend to end marriages. You should be open about politics, religion, kids, family, and most importantly, how you want your life to pan out. 

9. Money Fights

One study found that couples that fought about money once a week were 30 percent more likely to get divorced. Do everything that you can to avoid fighting about money, the largest of which is don’t live beyond your means. Living beyond your means leaves you stressed out about money, and therefore causes conflict.

10. Age Gaps 

Age gaps, not surprisingly, result in a larger rate of divorce, according to the Daily Beast. This is especially true if one half of you was divorced before your current marriage. Age gaps are particularly trying for your relationship's intimacy. They also result in differing views of the world and differing goals for the future. 

Older couple phot

Photo: Jupiterimages

Photo at top: Stockbyte

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook. 

More on Marriage
How to Build Marital Bliss 
10 Dating Ideas for Married Couples
Is there such a thing as the seven-year itch? 

 

Rising Vitamin D Deficiency in New Moms Causing Deadly Outcomes

02/04/2012

New mom photoVitamin D is a mysterious nutrient in that the most available source doesn't come from food, but from the sun. Doctors usually recommend a moderate 15 minutes of basking in the sun without suntan lotion. Although in the winter, it's impossible to produce Vitamin D from the sun if you live north of Atlanta because the sun never gets high enough in the sky for its ultraviolet B rays to penetrate the atmosphere.

And because of Vitamin D’s lack of availability in the winter and our new found need to stay inside, a peculiar and alarming trend seems to be surfacing amongst young moms. Doctors have recommended breastfeeding as nature’s perfect baby food, loaded with the nutrients needed to give your baby the best. While breastfeeding is still known to be healthier, if you're severely deficient in certain nutrients, your baby will have the same problem. Unfortunately, more and more moms are deficient in Vitamin D. This means that their breast milk has the same deficiency.

See Also: Rhode Island Hospitals Stop Offering Formula to Encourage Breastfeeding

As a result, babies are developing rickets, which causes brittle and bowing of the bones. It's a disease that was long thought to have vanished in a nutrient rich U.S. But our fears of the sun seem to be bringing it back. The New York Times reported on the rickets problem. “Physicians have known for more than a century that exclusive breast-feeding may be associated with vitamin D deficiency and rickets, and that the condition is easily prevented and treated with inexpensive vitamin drops or cod liver oil. But doctors are reluctant to say anything that might discourage breast-feeding.”

See Also: Couch Potato Kids Causing a Rickets Resurgence?

New baby photo

Photo: Thinkstock

To make matters worse, rickets and the brittle bones it causes can lead to small and large fractures in new born babies. And in fact, the BBC reported on a slew of babies whose deaths were blamed on Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) when in actuality they had extreme Vitamin D deficiency. “[D]octors say that vitamin D deficiency and associated diseases such as the bone disease rickets could potentially explain deaths and injuries that are often thought to be suspicious.”

Studies have shown that it’s particularly important that pregnant women take even more than that recommended for most people. “In [one] study, 500 women who were at least 12 weeks pregnant took either 400, 2,000, or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. The women who took 4,000 IU were least likely to go into labor early, give birth prematurely, or develop infections." You should of course consult your doctor before dosing on Vitamin D. 

It’s a scary phenomenon that’s easily prevented through supplementation, and even more importantly, awareness. Many doctors don't know to diagnose rickets and Vitamin D deficiency and the knowledge would stave off so many dangerous outcomes.

Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook.

Cute baby photo

Photo: Siri Stafford/Thinkstock

Photo at top: Thinkstock

When Vegan Diners Won the Lottery

01/26/2012

Vegan-pesto-pasta-319Candle Cafe is one of my favorite vegan hotspots to visit in New York City, an area with no shortage of meat-free options. The cafe was opened nearly 20 years back when, according to the New York Times Health Blog, Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson won the lottery and used their earnings to open a restaurant. 

The obviously successful venture was followed up by the more upscale Candle 79 and most recently, the Candle 79 Cookbook

“One thing people think is that with vegan cooking there’s going to be compromises,” Ms. Pierson told the New York Times Health Blog. “But you’re not missing anything. It’s about the herbs and spices and the things used to flavor foods.”

Twenty years later, Candle Cafe is still pleasing vegans and reminding carnivores that meat isn’t a necessity. And now, even if you’re not in the New City area, you can still enjoy some take home treats in the Candle 79 Cookbook

I tried a handful of recipes in this simply gorgeous cookbook but was most thrilled by their take on pesto. It's one of my admittedly selfish fears in a vegan diet, the loss of pesto–a salty, rich, and tasty food that’s a mainstay in my diet. But thanks to the Candle 79 Cookbook, it’s no longer an issue.

vegan pesto pasta photo

vegan pesto pasta photo 2

Candle 79's Vegan Pesto 

1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic
1 cup pine nuts
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Method

1. Add basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast to a blender. Drizzle in olive oil as you blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

2. Serve with 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta or gluten free pasta, cooked according to directions. Garnish with pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.

Photos: Sara Novak

 Like this? Follow me on Twitter  and Facebook.

More on Vegans 
Why Do Vegetarians and Vegans Weigh Less? 
7 Ways to Eat Like a Vegan Super Athlete 
Do vegetarians have better skin? 


Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


Advertisement

Advertisement

 

shows

 

video

 

mobile

stay connected

our sites

shop

corporate