What Should I (wh)Eat Today?

Where Should Grains Fall into Your Diet…


grains image3

With so many diets out there, knowing what to eat can be confusing. Even if you aren’t on any specific diet plan, you still want to monitor what goes into our precious bodies! One thing I personally get confused on is what to do about grains. So many diets nowadays call for either low grain or (if possible) no grains at all. So what is the answer… are you supposed to eat as much grains as possible, or avoid grains altogether?

This is really a tricky trick question. No, really, like a trick question. Because there are two basic types of grain categories: Whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains, such as wheat flour, contain nutrients and fiber. Essentially, no modifications done to the genetic makeup of the grain whatsoever, meaning the three parts of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) are all still there. Refined grains are nutrient poor, because they lose those key qualities to them during the processing. Specifically, it loses the bran and germ part of itself. With the removal of the bran and germ, 25 percent of the grain’s protein and about seventeen key nutrients are lost.


Refined grains are also high in carbs that get digested and absorbed very quickly, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar and subsequent hunger and cravings. They are linked to obesity and many metabolic diseases. Numerous studies show that people who eat the most whole grains have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and tend to live longer. (You can check out some those studies HERE, HERE, and HERE!)


So why do so many diets call for no/low grains? Well 1) so many grains out on the market are refined grains, so it is easier for some just to say forget them altogether. And 2) grains are high in carbohydrates, so they are unsuitable for people who are on a low-carb diet. Diabetics may not tolerate a lot of grains, because of the large amount of carbohydrate.


So, what do you do now? Eat grain… eat no grain… CONSUME GRAINS UNTIL YOU BECOME A PIECE OF WHEAT?! As with most things in nutrition, all of this depends entirely on the individual. If you like grains and feel good eating them, then there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to avoid them as long as you’re eating mostly whole grains. On the other hand, if you don’t like grains or if they make you feel bad, then there is no harm in avoiding them either. Grains are not essential, and there is no nutrient in there that you can’t get from other foods. At the end of the day, grains are good for some, but not others. If you like grains, eat them. If you don’t like them, or they make you feel bad, then avoid them. It’s as simple as that.


*Be Proud, But Never Satisfied*


~Luke Pallo


Experiencing a Plant-Based Diet.

Plant based diet. image

This summer, I went to lunch with a friend, and in the first half of this lunch, she spent a good 20 minutes asking a million questions to the waiter about what contained the vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

I was really surprised by this, because normally this girl is all for meat and cheese. She explained to me that recently she had decided to move to a plant based diet, cutting most dairy and all meat out of her diet.

So today, I thought that I would share her experience, and her reason for making such a drastic change to her diet.

On the surface it seems like her choice is very similar to strict veganism. On her plan, she doesn’t eat any red meat or poultry, but she does eat some seafood and some eggs. Many of her replacements in recipes that call for meat, she uses shrimp, which many vegans choose not to eat. In a very similar fashion to veganism, she does not eat dairy, so any milk, cream, cheese and occasionally some eggs.

When she first introduced her diet to me, she told me that within the first month she lost almost 20 pounds, which she said was very rewarding, because she noted that it was a very hard adjustment period, when she was previously someone who loved meat and dairy products. There are a lot of cravings for her old type of diet, which she admits wasn’t always the healthiest.

Now however almost 4 months into the transition, she is really liking her new diet! She is constantly sharing new meat and dairy free recipes with me, and she says that she has gotten the hang of cooking with new ingredients and things that she is not used to.

She makes a lot of stir fry with tons of veggies, sometimes some shrimp and some rice or ramen noodles. This, she claims is her go-to recipe, because it is something that is really easy to meal prep for, as she lives on campus and has limited access to a kitchen. It’s also a meal that can be very versatile, you can always add different veggies, and different seasonings, so it doesn’t seem like you’re always eating a dairy free, meat free meal.

She even is getting less cravings, although it has taken a while, and they still aren’t always gone. (I think I hear her crave pizza once a week, but she is working on finding a dairy free pizza recipe, so I’ll keep you updated).

Although she is loving her new diet, and it has worked for her, not only for weight loss, but also to find a much healthier lifestyle (in all aspects), she cautions that this diet is not for everyone. She began this diet after doing extensive research, and learning about how the things she wanted to cutout, effect your body when you eat them and when you don’t. She also did a lot of research into how she could transition from eating a mainstream meat and dairy diet to taking those out, while still getting all of the proper nutrition.

The best advice that she would have for anyone deciding if this diet is right for them is to figure out why you’re doing it, it’s easier to stick to it if you have a solid reason that ties you to the importance, and won’t allow you to give up.

As always, this is just one person’s experience, and it is always best to do your research and understand how your body might react. It is also always best to consult a nutritionist, dietitian, and doctor before making any diet changes.




Some sources she used when learning and researching:

“What the Health”-Netflix


How to Become Vegan- Steve Pavlina (book)

Holiday Diet

The holidays are right around the corner, and that means tasty dinners with even better desserts. In much regret, many people feel guilty for all the calories they consumed during the holidays and decide to start a new diet or working out hard after the new year. The main problem with this, however, is it seems many people are uneducated on different weight-loss diets that actually exist, and therefore give up on their New Year’s resolutions rather quickly. I am going to go over some of the most popular diets that may benefit you or someone you know who is trying to lose weight.

Turkey-holiday dietHolidays Holiday Diet

The Paleo Diet: This diet brings us back to the days of our long last ancestors. It suggests that the consumption of only lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole foods, while completely eliminating any process foods, sugar, dairy and grains can cut some inches off your waist. Studies actually show that by eliminating these things from your diet, you tend to eat about 300-900 less calories a day.


Vegan Diet: Veganism is often confused with vegetarianism, as they do relate but also are quite different. As a vegan, you do all the same things a vegetarian does, BUT, you also cut out all animal derived products, such as dairy, eggs, or honey. A major benefit of this, is any dieter can cut weight without counting calories. Veganism allows you to eat until you are full, but with your diet mainly consisting of natural foods, your calorie count stays low.


Intermittent Fasting: The other diets I talk about earlier all limit the foods you are allowed to eat. What if a diet exists that lets you eat like normal, but restricts the times you can eat? Well there is one, and it’s called intermittent fasting. There is a plethora of different ways to go about this, but one of the most popular was is 16/8 Method. This suggests that you skip breakfast and restrict your daily eating period to just 8 hours, while fasting for the remaining 16. The main reason this is so popular, is because if you incorporate the time you sleep, which on average is about eight hours, you only have to fast for half of the time you are awake.


After enjoying that Thanksgiving dinner or looking back to all the holiday cookies you ate, you may decide you want to change things up, and go on a diet in 2018. I want to remind you to do more research upon a diet you may chose and ALWAYS pick the one that best fits you. Someone can talk your ear off about what works and what doesn’t, but nobody knows your body like you do, so make sure you listen to it.


|Don’t forget about the little things in life. They tend to have a BIG impact|


-Tyler Kloss



For more information, check out Healthline’s article about weight-loss diets.





The Grocery List Makeover

groceryRoutine can be a hit or miss when it comes to someone’s diet. It might be the one factor that keeps your diet in check to stick to what you know, but sticking to the same old same old might be take a huge toll on your health. One thing that I’ve noticed in my personal diet is that I constantly end up eating the same foods. This hasn’t been brought up to my attention as a fault in my eating until my nutrition professor talked about how lack of variety is depletion of nutrients. Although it seems like a simple concept, it really clicked that our bodies need so much nutrients from a wide range of foods and we can only consume so much variety in one day, that’s why it is so important to switch up what we eat on a day to day basis. You may be sticking to health foods and that’s not the problem, the problem is sticking to the same healthy foods.


How to give your grocery list a makeover:

  • Ask yourself: are your “staple” items really staples?:
  • We deem certain food items as “staples” and it makes sense to have some basic food items that you feel are crucial for different recipes. It took me a while to admit that my weekly tub of hummus is not necessarily a staple item.
  • Shop according to a new recipe:
  • Look up a recipe that you have never tried before and enter the store with that recipe in mind. Often I find myself gravitating to the same foods simply because I don’t know what I would do with other food items, but if you come with a plan of attack you can quickly learn how to cook and use new foods.
  • Go through the motions and then don’t do them:
  • Observe yourself go through the grocery store just as you normally would. For me this means I would walk into the produce section, grab a tub of spinach, avocados and some sweet potatoes. But since I want to switch it up I would stop before actually putting this items in my cart and decide how I want to change it up, so instead this may mean asparagus, tomatoes, and spaghetti squash.
  • Aim for at least ⅓ of your list to routine items: Similar to number one, addressing staple items, check the ration of items you recognize and ones you don’t. Make sure that while you might have some routine items, the majority of your cart is brand new.
  • Shop according to My Plate: Sometimes we get so used to the foods we like that we don’t even prioritize balance the food groups. Make your list into sections of food groups and list the items that go under that food group. For instance: Carbohydrates: Brown rice, Sweet Potatoes, Whole wheat bread etc.

You might be a healthy eater, but being the same healthy eater might not be healthy at all. So switch it up, try something new and expand your grocery list horizon.


It’s a good day to have a good one.

-Alena Purpero