Workout Nutrition: Post-Workout Snack

February 14th, 2018 Posted by Nutrition 0 thoughts on “Workout Nutrition: Post-Workout Snack”

Your goals for a post-workout meal or snack should be to recover, rehydrate, refuel, build muscle, and improve future performance. Some people feel like they should eat something immediately after a workout, but it’s really only necessary to eat something within 2 hours. This, of course, will depend on what you ate prior to your workout (and it’s intensity). 

What’s Going on in Wellness: January 2018

January 24th, 2018 Posted by Food for Thought 0 thoughts on “What’s Going on in Wellness: January 2018”

This month: 2018 promises new health trends, but some old health habits still ring true: get more sleep, eat whole foods, and…try insects???

Understanding Vitamin C

December 21st, 2017 Posted by Nutrition 0 thoughts on “Understanding Vitamin C”

Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble antioxidant. It’s considered an essential nutrient because unlike other mammals, humans are unable to make vitamin C out of other materials so it’s important that we get it in our diet.

Office Lunch Club: Salad

September 19th, 2017 Posted by Advice 0 thoughts on “Office Lunch Club: Salad”

Lunch can be one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a nourishing lifestyle at work. Bringing your lunch from home is probably the wisest choice, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t always happen. This is the perfect opportunity to set up some structure around lunchtime by including your coworkers.

6 Water Bottles You’ll Want on Your Desk

September 18th, 2017 Posted by Lifestyle 0 thoughts on “6 Water Bottles You’ll Want on Your Desk”

Maintaining good hydration may be as simple as trading in your plastic water bottle for something a bit more inspiring. Take a peek at these beauties to see it they might just do the tricks

What’s Going on in Wellness: August 2017

September 17th, 2017 Posted by Advice 0 thoughts on “What’s Going on in Wellness: August 2017”

This month: Hydration is key during the summer, and the Environmental Working Group has your tap water questions covered. We’re also defining “natural flavors” and “plant based diets”, finding old axioms on weight loss to still be true, and the conversation continues about coconut oil.

5 No-Kill Desk Plants

September 6th, 2017 Posted by Lifestyle 0 thoughts on “5 No-Kill Desk Plants”

A little green life on your desk can really help brighten your day – and you don’t have to take our word for it. Recent research has found that offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than ‘lean’ designs stripped of greenery. And it’s not just aesthetics. Through a process called photoremediation, plants can mitigate indoor pollution.

Workout Nutrition: Pre-Workout Snack

June 21st, 2017 Posted by Nutrition 0 thoughts on “Workout Nutrition: Pre-Workout Snack”

As you may know, I’m a big fan of keeping your energy level and blood sugar stable all day long. I encourage people to do this by eating balanced meals and snacks and by not going too long without food. Somewhere during this conversation with my clients, I always get asked “how do I eat around my workout schedule?”

What Works: April 2016

April 1st, 2016 Posted by Drew Approved 0 thoughts on “What Works: April 2016”

What works: April 2016

7 THINGS THAT WORK THIS MONTH:

  1. 5 Kitchen Must-Haves // Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Joe asked this question: “what are five things in your kitchen you’d never be without?” I found this question both fun and perplexing – I had no problem coming up with my kitchen must-haves, but felt tortured to narrow my list to only five. I ended up with: eggs, butter, navy beans, parsley, and hot sauce. What would be on your list? [A Cup of Joe]
  2. Spring Vegetable Tart // I made this asparagus and goat cheese tart/quiche for an Easter brunch and it was a hit. It would be the perfect thing to make on a weekend and eat a slice for breakfast each day of the week. If you’re looking for a good quiche crust recipe, I like this one from Urban Poser. [Bon Appetit]
  3. Helping Others Change Habits // It’s great that you want to help others develop more sustainable habits, but are you making a classic mistake? There’s one damning phrase that we tend to say when we’re trying to push our own habits and personalities on someone else. [Gretchen Rubin]
  4. Smoothies // So many of my clients find themselves subconsciously avoiding their beloved morning smoothies during the winter because it’s just too cold. With the onset of spring and sunnier mornings, I’ve found myself embracing the morning smoothie once again. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find my favorite recipes on Pinterest.
  5. Regulations for Ultra-Processed Food // The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization has released nutritional profile standards that help governments distinguish fresh or minimally processed foods from ultra processed foods. There’s a lot of work to be done, but these guidelines can eventually help regulate food marketing to children as well as food served in schools, inform warning labels, assess government subsidies, and a lot more. [Food Politics]
  6. Closed-Loop Cooking // Have you ever considered the amount of waste we produce when cooking? One woman’s story about reducing waste and eating well may inspire you to survey your trash. [Grist]
  7. Cooking Tips from Thomas Keller // Thomas Keller is the famed chef of The French Laundry, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc and he shares three simple tips for the home cook. Hint: it’s always about salt and heat. [Splendid Table]

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

How to Read Nutrition Labels

March 30th, 2016 Posted by Nutrition 101 0 thoughts on “How to Read Nutrition Labels”

I get questions all the time about which convenient, snack-type foods I recommend. While I’m always happy to share my favorites, it’s obviously not possible for me to review every product or know what you have access to in your local stores. So…I’m sharing with you the six things I look at on nutrition labels to determine whether or not a food provides good nutritional value.

Now, most of my recommendations for a nutritious diet include foods that don’t have nutrition labels at all – things like vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, whole grains, and so forth. But we all have at least an occasional need for convenient, packaged items and need to know how to decipher the information on the back of the box. Here’s what to pay attention to next time you’re at the grocery store.

HOW TO READ NUTRITION LABELS-2

1.

Ingredients

This is the first place I look when I’m analyzing a food label. Really, the ingredients should tell us almost everything we need to know when deciding whether or not to buy a product. Unfortunately, many of the ingredient names are unfamiliar to us and we need to rely on some of the other facts to make a decision. Ideally, the ingredient list won’t be very long (5-10 items or less) and you can recognize everything on the list. Imagine that you were going to make this item at home – is this how you would make it? Any packaged foods are going to have added preservatives and stabilizers to make them shelf-stable, so there will likely be at least one or two things you’re not sure about. The most important things to avoid are: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, MSG, aspartame, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

2.

Sugars

If you recognized added sweeteners on the ingredient list, it’s probably best to avoid the product. If you’re not sure if a product contains added sugars, look at the sugar value. Sugars are part of the overall carbohydrate count of a food. Grams of sugar can come from added sweeteners, fruit, fruit juice, dairy, and carbohydrate foods like beans and grains. It’s best to choose items with very low sugar values (ideally under 5 grams of sugar per serving), but the value on the nutrition label sometimes doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, a fruit-heavy product will likely have a higher sugar value even if there is no added sweetener. Some companies are tricky in that they reduce the serving size of an item so that it appears to contain zero grams of sugar. If a food contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, it can be listed as containing 0 grams of sugar. Pay attention to the serving size to see if it’s realistic for you to follow. For example, if there are 4 servings per container, but you plan to eat the whole bag, it’s possible you’re eating up to 2 grams of sugar. The best way to understand sugars is to know how to recognize them in the ingredients. There are TONS of names for sugar, and other than looking for anything ending in -ose, here are some names of added sweeteners:

agave nectar – barbados sugar – barley malt – beet sugar – blackstrap molasses – brown rice syrup – brown sugar – buttered syrup – cane juice crystals – cane sugar – caramel – carob syrup – castor sugar – confectioner’s sugar – corn syrup – corn syrup solids – crystalline fructose

date sugar – demerara sugar – dextran – dextrose – diastatic malt – diatase – ethyl maltol – evaporated cane juice – florida crystals – fructose – fruit juice – fruit juice concentrate – galactose – glucose – glucose solids – golden sugar – golden syrup – grape sugar

high fructose corn syrup – honey – icing sugar – invert sugar – lactose – malt syrup – maltose – maple syrup – molasses – muscovado sugar – organic raw sugar – panocha – raw sugar – refiner’s syrup – rice syrup – sorghum syrup – sucrose – sugar – treacle – turbinado sugar – yellow sugar

3.

Sodium

I’m actually a fan of salt, but too much sodium can certainly be a problem because it can impair kidney function, lead to high blood pressure, and increase risk of osteoporosis and stomach cancer. The majority of our sodium intake comes from packaged foods, rather than from food we make ourselves at home because salt acts as a preservative, making packaged foods more shelf-stable. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that individuals consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and that certain groups limit their intake to 1,500 mg per day. At these values, it’s wise to aim for less than 500 mg of sodium at each meal. When you analyze the sodium content of your food item, be sure to consider the sodium content of your entire meal or snack – it may need to contain less than 500 mg in order to keep you under the recommended limit.

4.

Fats

Fats are an important part of a balanced diet, so it’s not necessarily beneficial to look for foods with low fat content. The trick here is to pay attention to the types of fats the food contains. Aim to avoid trans fats completely. You’ll see these listed in the ingredients as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The nutrition facts section calls out trans fats as well – how helpful! But again, food companies can be sneaky. The FDA allows companies to list 0 grams on the label even if it contains up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Like in the sugar example, if you plan to eat 4 servings of an item, you could be consuming up to 2 grams of trans fat, which has been found harmful even at low levels. The FDA is working to remove trans fats from the food supply completely, but until that happens, be aware that cookies and crackers are the most likely to still contain oils with trans fats. Fat is important for satiety, brain health, nutrient absorption, and so many other things! If your food contains less than 3 grams of fat, it’s considered a low-fat food and it would be wise to add some nourishing fats to your meal or snack like avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, oils, or whole dairy.

5.

Protein

A balanced diet contains some protein, which can help curb sugar cravings and fuel your brain on a busy workday. If you’re looking to balance each meal and snack, aim for about 7-14 grams of protein per snack and 21-28 grams of protein per meal. If your food item doesn’t contain enough protein, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip it – it just means that you might want to add something to it to make a complete meal or snack.

6.

Serving Size

As I mentioned in some of the points above, it’s important to note the recommended serving size as you’re analyzing each part of the nutrition label. Compare the serving size to your intended portion size to calculate the actual amount of nutrients you will consume. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to the serving size listed unless the multiplied nutrient amounts will put you over your desired intake.

As I’m sure you noticed, there’s a lot I left out of my analysis, i.e. calories, cholesterol, vitamins, etc. These facts can provide good information, but they’re not the first things I look at when analyzing a product. Ultimately, my goal is to help you discern a nutritious food on your own – so let me know in the comments what additional questions you have about nutrition labels and ingredients for me to address in another post!

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