nutrition for millenials

What This Dietitian Thinks About The Whole30

 
Is Whole30 healthy?
 

SUMMER IS HERE!

As days are getting warmer, people seem determined to shed a few pounds and feel their best in their tank tops, shorts, & bathing suits, & this summer it seems as though the Whole30 is the way to do it. As the Whole30 seems to be the talk of the town, I wanted to share my two cents.


If you haven't heard of The Whole30, it's a strict 30-day elimination diet, prohibiting dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, & sugar (referred to some as 'paleo on crack'). The creators promise to solve your skin & digestive issues, allergies & chronic pain, improve your eating habits & relationship with food and 'magically' eliminate a variety of symptoms, diseases, & conditions - including, but not limited to: diabetes, Lyme disease, celiac, Crohn's, depression, eating disorders, infertility, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, & more! WOW! Sounds impressive, doesn't it?


To me, the diet is a bit ridiculous & extreme. 

Many Whole30 dieters do report feeling better over the course of their 30 days. However, when you limit things like alcohol, sugars, & processed foods, this is typically what happens. I do think there are other ways to feel better without such an intense, restrictive program.

 

One of my main issues with the Whole30 is the restrictive, fear-mongering nature. See below...

  • This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. 

  • Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a pizza, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident.

They actually published these things!


While, they claim it's not a diet, it very much is. You can see on their site the list of 'rules' that must be followed and lists of approved and prohibited foods and ingredients.

The restrictive nature of diets can cause people to just want something more. If they 'slip' and have a prohibited food it usually comes with guilt and shame - two emotions that should not be associated with food.

As you know, I don't believe in restrictive eating patterns unless medically necessary. They say they encourage a healthy relationship with food but with such harsh words and strict rules I find that hard to believe. 
 


The Whole30 diet also encourages followers not to weigh or measure themselves throughout the 30-days. This, I'm okay with! I think it takes the focus off of weight and emphasizes the way you feel.

They also discourage tracking your intake over the 30 day course. This, I don't think is necessary. There are huge benefits to tracking your intake, including making you more aware of your habits surrounding food. I encourage my clients to track their intake before our first session to help us both get a better picture of their current habits and daily intake. Many of my clients even enjoy doing so.


By eliminating so many foods and food groups and gradually adding them back in, some Whole30 followers report that they've been able to self-diagnose food intolerances after following the Whole30. This is great, however, it is usually best to consult your MD, ND, or RD before self-diagnosing.


And finally, many of the studies cited in The Whole30 have been misinterpreted and provide inaccurate claims.  Check out this site for chapter-by-chapter reviews of the scientific claims made in The Whole30.

You can read more reviews here, here, & here!

Healthier Cocktail Recipes for Your Summer Cookouts

12 Healthier Summer Cocktails.png

Memorial Day is just around the corner and for me that (usually) means summer is officially here!

With the warmer, sunnier, and longer days I'm finding both my clients and my friends are finding more opportunities to drink cocktails, microbrews, chilled wine, (or other drink of choice).

For whatever reason we seem to associate certain activities and seasons with various beverages. Growing up spending summers on The Cape, each afternoon we looked forward to cocktail hour on the porch after burning to a crisp on Neel Road Beach. The adults sipped cape codders and g&t's and us kids sipped ginger ale & cranberry juice.

With the warmer days, it's nice to come home after a long day to sit on the porch, beverage in hand, enjoying the last few hours of sunshine. I don't blame you. But do we really need multiple drinks each night? This time of year, with what seems like more opportunities to drink more frequently, it can be a tough balancing act when trying to lose weight or reach your health goals. 

Last week, I shared my tips for Choosing a Healthier Cocktail with my email subscribers (if you missed it you can download the tips below). I wanted to follow up with some actual healthier cocktail recipes. As always, the goal is not to be on a diet but rather to make healthier choices to benefit your health long- term.

 
 

The recipes and tips (above) are meant to help you choose healthier beverages without feeling deprived or like you're missing out on the fun. Because we wouldn't want that!

Keep these in mind for all your summer cookouts!

 

 
watermelon mojitos.jpg

Watermelon Mojito

Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Culinary Nutrition Expert

healthy-raspberry-blackberry-spritz-mojito.jpg

Raspberry Blackberry Spritzito

Whitney English Tabaie, RD
To Live & Diet in L.A.

Spicy Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita

Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Culinary Nutrition Expert

Soconut Summer Cocktail

Ginger Hultin, RD
Champagne Nutrition

Frozen Mango Coconut Daiquiri

Marisa Moore, RD
Marisa Moore Nutrition

low sugar margarita

Low Sugar Beet Margarita

Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD

healthy spritzer

Pinot Grigio Melon Ball Spritzer (and more!)

Abbey Sharp,RD
Abbey's Kitchen

Abbey also shares tips for choosing lower calorie cocktails, a Mango Kombucha Margarita and a Watermelon Mojito!

cucumber herb spritzer

Cucumber Herb Champagne Sparkler

Sharon Palmer, RD
The Plant Powered Dietitian

skinny margarita

Skinny Margarita

Christy Brissette, MS, RD
80 Twenty Nutrition

bourbon iced tea

Bourbon Iced Tea

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD
Shaw Simple Swaps

The next two are mocktails, but do as you please - add your favorite liquor or sip as is.

Berry Lavender Lemonade

Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD
One Hungry Bunny

Strawberry Blood Orange Mocktail (and more!)

Lindsey Janiero, RD
Nutrition to Fit

 

Thank you to all the fabulous RDs who contributed recipes to this post! Be sure to check out their sites for more recipes and nutrition tips!

What is 'Healthy'?

 
(This is the first pic that showed up when I typed 'healthy' into the stock photos site - I thought it was general, but fitting. Happiness can play a role in your healthy too, can't it?)

(This is the first pic that showed up when I typed 'healthy' into the stock photos site - I thought it was general, but fitting. Happiness can play a role in your healthy too, can't it?)

 

 

Everyone seems to have a different definition of 'healthy.' Which I think is great. There is no one definition and it is totally personal to your beliefs, health needs, lifestyle, and more. 

My healthy is a lot of different things. It means having the energy to do the things I love; being mindful and doing my best to listen to my hunger and fullness cues; choosing foods that make my body feel good most often; including lots of veggies; getting a good night's sleep on most nights; being active but choosing the types of activities I enjoy; being flexible around food and not having restrictions or labeling foods as 'good' or 'bad'; allowing myself to have chocolate or cookies or beer or fries if I want to.

I'm sure most people I see at my local co-op would include  'local' and 'organic' in their definition, while some of my patients at the hospital may include low saturated fat and sodium, and those with celiac may include gluten-free in their definition. I think this is great, and goes to show that there is no one perfect 'diet' or way of eating. Each person is unique and so are their health and nutrition needs.

 

 

You may or may not know that many of the food claims we read on food packages are regulated and defined by the FDA or USDA ('low-sodium', 'good source of', 'light' or 'lite', 'natural', 'organic', etc.)

In 2015, KIND bars were called out for labeling their bars as 'healthy.' Although they're made up of most poly and monounsaturated fats, the total fat content in the bars exceeded the amount allowed by the government's definition.

'Healthy' was originally defined back in the 90s when we all feared fat. Now that we know how essential fat is to our brain and body functions, and that different types of fat act differently in the body, we're taking another look at the word (20 years later!).

 

So, my question for you is...

How do you define 'healthy'? What does 'healthy' mean to you?

Is it based on certain nutrients or food groups? Does it have rules and regulations? Does it include exercise, movement, a good night's sleep? Is it your relationship with food? Let me know!

 

(btw...healthy can now be used on food labels if the fat content is primarily composed of mono and polyunsaturated fats or if the product contains at least 10% of the recommended daily value of either potassium or vitamin D)