Hardly a day goes by when the media isn’t yammering on about a new study that finds we aren’t getting enough vitamin D, or calcium, or omega-3 fatty acids. But vitamin E? Almost zero play—save for a new PLoS One study that says nearly 90% of people in their twenties and 70% of people in their thirties aren’t getting enough, especially people who get their vitamin E through food alone.

The Insanely Important Vitamin that Most People Are Deficient In – EatClean


“Here’s a good rule of thumb: Once you find a version of a trendy health food at your local gas station, you know that Big Food is involved. And once they’re in the picture, things can get weird real fast. This is the point we’ve reached with green juice.”

4 Simple Rules for Picking a Green Juice – EatClean

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

how to eat healthy while traveling

Last summer, I did something crazy. Well, for me. I walked into a McDonald’s and ordered an Egg McMuffin for breakfast.

As I kid, I ate at the fast food giant all the time. I loved quarter pounders with cheese, and always got so excited during the Monopoly promotions, when you got to peel the stickers off your soda cups and French fry containers. Remembering how much I used to enjoy these meals, and thinking about how many people eat at McDonald’s every day (billions and billions served!), I expected this Egg McMuffin to be insanely delicious. But it wasn’t! Not at all. To say that it tasted like cardboard would be to make use of a worn-out cliché, but it’s the best descriptor I can think of.

I know. Why did I even stop there in the first place? Sam and I were driving from Austin back home to New Jersey for a summer visit. That’s a 27 hour trip, which we complete over two days. Which sounds crazy, but we’ve done it so many times now that it doesn’t feel like a big thing. Usually I pack food and restock at Whole Foods once along the way. But this trip, there wasn’t enough time to do any of that (long story!). “We’ll just get stuff on the road,” I said.

Such a mistake, especially that bland Egg McMuffin. I swore I’d never do it again, and now that we’re getting ready to drive home for the holidays, I’m starting to think about what meals and snacks to pack. Last summer aside, I always stick by a few rules that make the healthy-eating-while-traveling thing pretty easy. They’ve always served me well on our long drive, but also work for travel on planes, trains, you get the idea.

Remember, you need your hands to drive. We always stop driving to break for lunch, but breakfast is usually eaten on the road. That can be difficult and messy: Cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or any other liquidy thing requiring a spoon is out for obvious reasons. So are crumbly foods that you have to pick at like muffins. Hard-boiled eggs are OK if they’re already peeled, but they don’t taste great without salt, and it’s not easy to keep shaking salt onto an egg while you’re steering a car. What’s left? A fruity breakfast sandwich, which you can eat with one hand and almost zero mess. Make it the night before with whole grain bread, nut butter or cream cheese, and slices of whatever fruit you have on hand, maybe with a dusting of cinnamon or brown sugar to keep things interesting.

Think spa food. You know, healthy stuff like whole grains, nuts and beans, and fruits and vegetables. They’re the base of many meals that are easy to pack and eat, and that will keep without refrigeration: A wheatberry salad with kale, roasted beets, and sunflower seeds; whole wheat hummus wraps with avocado, lettuce, and shredded carrot; or if you’re feeling ambitious, brown rice veggie sushi. I like to prep meals myself when I can, but you can just as easily pick this kind of stuff up at Whole Foods. The point is lethargy is the last thing you want to feel when you’re driving long distances, and these foods will give you energy without dragging you down an hour later.

Snack on popcorn. I’m not normally one to advocate using food to alleviate boredom, but the monotony of the road when you’re driving across the country can be mind-numbingly dull. Snacks (plus a good book on tape) really do give you something to look forward to and help break up the time. I like popcorn because you can keep eating it forever, which offers at least some mental stimulation when you’re staring at the road and your spouse is asleep and you’ve listened to your entire music library twice already. It works just as well for shorter trips, too, because it’s light and relatively good for you, so you won’t feel icky after you finish it.

Pack what you’ll eat—not more. When you’re embarking on a long trip, you might get the urge to stock up on tons of food. Resist this. Either you’ll end up wasting it by not eating it, or you’ll be so bored from your drive that you’ll eat everything and get a stomachache. (I’ve done both.) Better to pack whatever meals you’ll be eating on the road, one snack you really like, and water. That’s all you probably need—and if you get crazy hungry and have nothing left, there’s always gas station peanuts!

Image: coconv

Categorized as Thoughts

How to Watch Your Wine Portions

how to watch your wine portions

This is the time of year when you start seeing tons of stories on how not to eat 9,000 calories at holiday meals, or which holiday party snacks and treats will make it least likely that your jeans don’t fit come January 1. All good stuff, and it’s so nice to know that pumpkin pie, my very favorite, is one of the least caloric holiday desserts out there. (Not that I’d avoid it otherwise. Now, I can just have two slices.)

But I’d venture to guess that alcohol has the potential to play just as big a role in the potential for holiday weight gain. Really, it might even be more dangerous, since the body isn’t very good at sending out satiety signals for liquid calories the way it is with solid ones. Plus, the more you drink, the sillier you get, and you tend to lose all sense of sanity when it comes to your food choices.

Above all, though, is that it’s really hard to accurately eyeball portion sizes for wine. You can blame that on the bartender: Restaurants and bars aim to pour six-ounce servings, but many pour more—up to eight ounces. Even though a proper wine serving is just five ounces, most of us have become accustomed to a more generous pour.

Happily, I came across a recent study by the great folks at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab which unearthed some of the visual tricks that cause us to pour ourselves more wine than we might’ve intended to. What’s more, it’s a goldmine of smart tips for how to portion out less vino—and still feel satisfied. Take a look!

Use a narrow glass. Compared to wider ones, narrow glasses cause people to pour around 12 percent less wine.

Hold your glass. Keeping it in your hand while pouring will encourage you to dole out less than if you placed it on the table.

Pour for yourself. Only if you’re able to do so without it being weird, of course. You’ll likely be more mindful of portion size than if someone else is pouring the wine for you.

Go for red. In the study, white wine drinkers poured themselves nearly 10 percent more than those who chose red, likely because the color contrast isn’t as striking. Plus, who wants to drink chilly white wine when it’s cold out?

Image via behance.net