Struggling with Seasonal Eating? This Infographic Makes it Easy!

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Thanks to ZeroCater for providing this great post! Save the infographic to your favorites or pin it on Pinterest so that you can refer back whenever you’re planning a seasonal meal. You can see the original post here.

Step into any grocery store at any time, and you’re likely to find the same collection of produce. There will be carrots year round, as well as bananas and apples, probably even blueberries, peaches, spinach and cucumbers.

Most of us realize those food items aren’t actually in season most of the time they’re available for sale. Out-of-season produce lacks taste, texture an even nutrition. (Ever had an imported tomato in the middle of winter?) It’s rarely grown close to where you live, meaning huge amounts of labor and fuel go into getting you your peaches in December—when the fresh season in places such as Georgia usually winds down in August and September.

What you may not realize is how great and far-reaching of an impact searching out as much local produce as you can will make on your community. You’ll be supporting local growers and reducing the need for long transport times for food. Why else are these choices beneficial, and what should you look for? This graphic can help take the mystery out of seasonal eating. (If you take a look at fall, the whole pumpkin spice craze becomes a little more understandable. But only a little. Pumpkin spice Cheerios, anyone?)

zerocater seasonal eating infographic

Need help planning healthy seasonal meals? Join my next Q&A session for diet and lifestyle tips you can rely on all year long.

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Dealing with Allergies [Infographic]

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Thanks to Blink Health for this fabulous infographic!

Allergies are the result of an immune reaction to an otherwise benign substance. Whether it’s pollen from a field of ragweed or a protein in a food, the body mistakes it for an invader and launches an attack. This is different from an intolerance, which produces symptoms with no immune response, and can range from a runny nose to full-fledged anaphylaxis.

Instances of allergies, especially food allergies, are on the rise in the U.S., so the folks at Blink Health have put together a handy infographic with statistics and suggestions for management. There’s a lot of good info here, so take a look!

Click the thumbnail to view the full image.

blink health allergy infographic

I think it’s interesting to note the number of potential allergies that relate to animal products. For example, I didn’t know it was possible to be allergic to leather (apparently it’s because of the chemicals used to process it)! The best thing, in my opinion, is that allergies can be managed naturally with supplements like bromelain and quercetin. Remember to always consult with your health care practitioner before beginning any supplement regimen.

Looking for more helpful tips? Follow GGW on Facebook! Weekly livestreams, recipes, articles and more.

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What is Binge Eating Disorder? [Infographic] — National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

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As part of this year’s series of posts for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness), I’d like to shed a little light on the epidemic of binge eating disorder, sometimes called compulsive overeating.

When the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) was released in 2013, it finally included binge eating disorder (BED) as a “real” eating disorder. In previous editions, BED was lumped in with other disordered eating in the “eating disorders not otherwise specified” category and had no concrete diagnostic criteria.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) summarizes the characteristics of this eating disorder as outlined in the DSM-V:

The key diagnostic features of BED are:

  1. Recurrent and persistent episodes of binge eating
  2. Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
    • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  3. Marked distress regarding binge eating
  4. Absence of regular compensatory behaviors (such as purging).

Source: New in the DSM-V: Binge Eating Disorder

A prevalence of 3.5 percent of women, 2 percent of men and 1.6 percent of young people suffering from BED makes it the most common eating disorder in the country.

Far from being a simple problem with overeating or a “lack of willpower,” binge eating disorder involves complex emotions that include a feeling of shame towards one’s behavior, body or both.

The infographic below provides a great deal more information on this disorder.

If you think you may be suffering from BED or another eating disorder, take NEDA’s free screening. Just three minutes and a simple anonymous survey could save your life.

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“3 Minutes Can Save a Life” — National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016

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Today marks the start of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness), an annual observation headed up by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to bring more awareness to anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED). Millions of people around the world struggle with some form of disordered eating, and many do so without their friends and loved ones ever knowing. It’s a very personal, very private struggle tied up with complex feelings of guilt and shame that keep sufferers from opening up about what they’re experiencing and miss out on the critical treatment necessary for recovery in most cases.

This year’s theme, “3 Minutes Can Save a Life,” aims to change all that. NEDA has developed a short, anonymous online screening that anyone can take to help determine if disordered eating patterns or full-blown eating disorders are present. If you have any concerns at all about your own eating patterns or the habits of a loved one, I urge you to take the screening. A few minutes of your time could mean the difference between getting treated and spending years suffering with a painful physical, mental and emotional disorder.

If you’d like to get involved in spreading the word, visit NEDAwareness.org for images and printable resources to share during this important week. Tag #NEDAwareness on social media to keep the conversation going. There are also many events taking place online and off to help spread awareness of this silent — and potentially deadly — epidemic.

I’ve written quite a bit on the subject of eating disorders and body image in the past:

The infographic below expands a bit more on the last post in the list. Hashtags like #thinspiration and Instagram accounts that are flooded with pictures of unrealistic bodies serve to drive those already prone to disordered eating to pursue unhealthy habits in an attempt to achieve physical perfection. For those trying to recover, such posts can be triggers that send them right back down the rabbit hole of illness.

Whether you suffer from an eating disorder yourself or simply don’t like something about your body, I encourage you to make this week the week you start to learn to love your physical shape. God has blessed each one of us with a very special, unique vessel in which to live, and that alone is something to stand in awe of.

Celebrate your body. Embrace what it can do. And get help if you’re stuck in a cycle of disordered eating and can’t get out — there is hope. <3

Eating Disorders and Social Media

Credit: Can Social Media Feed Eating Disorders? by LifeWorks

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Year in Review: What Happens When You Start Eating Healthy?

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When I tell people that I sometimes enjoy salad for breakfast and don’t crave sweets, I’m often greeted with the same sort of look I might get if I’d just stepped of a flying saucer. I understand–if someone had told me a few years ago that I’d be at this point one day, I wouldn’t have believed it, either!

It’s hard to explain how much better it feels to eat healthy to someone who hasn’t experienced the change themselves, but the folks at Fresh ‘N’ Lean have put together an infographic that does a pretty good job. So the next time your friends just can’t seem to understand why you’re singing the praises of kale, point them to this to give them some perspective–and hopefully inspire them to try a plant-based diet for themselves!

healthy eating infographic thumbnail

If you’re looking for some help transitioning to a plant-based diet or getting back on track, I can give you the tools you need to succeed. Schedule a consult today and start enjoying vibrant health!

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Your Guide to Alternative Sweeteners [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Sugar, how do we love thee? To the tune of 22 teaspoons per day, 13 to 16 teaspoons more than the recommended amount.

Sugar in all its forms shows up almost universally in packaged foods. From condiments to baked goods, just about every processed product contains some kind of sweetener. You’d expect to find it in Oreos and Cocoa Puffs, but what is it doing in ketchup? And let’s not forget about soft drinks, which are essentially sugar water in branded bottles.

What is all this sugar doing to us? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Most sugar in processed foods comes in the form of high fructose corn syrup, one of the most highly refined sweeteners out there. Next in line is regular old white sugar, infamous for its ability to trigger hyper behavior in small children everywhere.

Unlike natural sugar sources such as fruits, these sweeteners contain no nutrients whatsoever. Your body has to pull vitamins and minerals from other resources to metabolize them, leaving organs and tissues short of the support they need to operate. And since most people aren’t eating fresh, whole plant foods to replenish these nutrients, they wind up chronically deficient and more prone to disease.

Refined sugars also don’t have any fiber to buffer their absorption into the bloodstream. They get broken down quickly and wind up circulating as glucose, the main fuel source for cells. These quick spikes in blood sugar can cause the pancreas to overreact by producing too much insulin in an effort to “clean up” the sweet mess. This produces the infamous “crash” that comes after eating a hurried lunch of a candy bar and a bottle of soda out of the office vending machine. Too many spikes and crashes puts strain on the pancreas and eventually blunts cell sensitivity to insulin, setting the stage for Type II diabetes.

There is some evidence that shows sugar plays a role in suppressing immune function. According to Bauman (2013), studies have shown that sugar intake not only makes it harder for some types of white blood cells to combat infection but also reduces the numbers of other types responsible for recognizing and eliminating pathogens. Eating sugar may also deplete the body of the nutrients it needs to mount a healthy immune response when necessary.

With all this evidence stacked against sugar, what’s a lover of good (vegan) sweets to do when the craving for a treat strikes? Check out this infographic from Health Perch for a comprehensive list of alternative sweeteners to satisfy the occasional desire for a sugary treat. Remember, though, that all sugar is sugar and eating too much “healthy” sweetener can cause the same problems as too much refined sugar over time.

sweetener alternatives
What’s your favorite way to satisfy your sweet tooth?

References
Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. (2013). Therapeutic Nutrition Part II. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College

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Infographic; Top 100 Food Blogs

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Who loves infographics? *raises hand*

I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for these fact-filled graphics with their accessible information and quirky pictures. I’m even more of a sucker for them when they’re related to food!

QV was recently featured in this “Top 100 Food Blogs” infographic along with 99 other tasty blogs around the Internet. Not all of them are vegan, but if you’ve been cooking plant-based meals for a while, you know that inspiration can come from any source! With a few simple substitutions, recipes on any of these blogs can be made into tasty vegan versions.

I’m honored to be included in the lineup and hope you enjoy the other blogs, too!


Top food blogs

An infographic by the team at Rebateszone

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