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Dec 3

Venus Williams launches Happy Viking, a plant-based food company – Fast Company

In 2011, Venus Williams was exhausted. The Grand Slam-winning tennis champion found herself out of breath and constantly tired. She was forced to pull out of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, and for the first time since 1996 she was no longer ranked among the top 100 professional women tennis players in the world. It was then that a doctor diagnosed her with Sjgrens syndrome, an autoimmune condition that causes dry eye and dry mouth, as well as fatigue. Suddenly, everything made sense.

After taking time off from the pro tennis circuit, Williams began overhauling her lifestyle. She wanted to keep competing at the highest level of her sport. To do that, she had to keep her symptoms in check. Her first move was changing to a vegan diet. It worked: She entered the 2012 season ranked number 124 and finished 100 spots higher at number 24.

Now, almost a decade later, she is launching Happy Viking, a plant-based protein company, created in partnership with Dyla Brands, the maker of Stur Drink Mixes and Forto coffee. The first product is a protein shake made from the recipe she has relied on to sustain her when she exercises. The shakeavailable on the Happy Viking website and on Amazon todaycontains 20 grams of protein (made from pea and brown rice), as well as amino acids for protein synthesis and nutrient absorption and prebiotic fiber to help with digestion. The shake is available in two flavors made from all-natural ingredients: vanilla and chocolate.

[After my diagnosis] there were times I just couldnt play. Thats where my journey started, Williams says. I learned so much about the food system and how it can affect your body and your health. As an athlete if Im not at optimal performance, someone else will be.

[Photo: courtesy Happy Viking]Happy Viking is not Williamss first business endeavor. She has spent years quietly building up a small business empire. The famously fashionable tennis pro has a 13-year-old clothing and skincare line, EleVen by Venus Williams, as well as V Starr Interiors, a commercial and residential interior design firm in West Palm Beach, Florida.

To accomplish all this, Williams does what she is known for on the court: She plays to her strengths. She says that building strong teams and delegating tasks to colleagues so she can focus on what she is good at has helped her run her businesses. Williams says that she loves to focus on the creative aspects of her work and the design elements, delegating other areas to her employees.

Another key skill: multitasking, which she honed studying online for a BA in business administration from Indiana University Eastwhile also competing on the tennis circuit; she completed her degree in 2015. Thats not to say it was a cakewalk: I made the mistake of taking accounting over the summer, which is when there are a lot of tennis tournaments, she says. My eyes literally got so dry and my vision got blurry because I was studying and training so much. Eventually, she dropped the class and took it a semester later.

The pandemic has been a reflective period for Williams, who says that down the line she wants to give back to her community. I love teaching tennis, she says. I actually love teaching beginners. So if I can help young people use their skills or become confident and healthy . . . thats whats next for me.

Until then, Williams has some advice for anyone who feels overwhelmedby lockdowns or any aspect of life. I have a good rule for when I feel overwhelmed or Im panicking, she reveals. If something goes wrong, I have 10 minutes to feel it and then I shut it down.

[Photo: courtesy Happy Viking]Happy Viking Protein Shake

Williams has relied on the recipe for her Happy Viking protein shake to help her post-workout recovery for the past 10 years after getting diagnosed with Sjgrens syndrome and going changing to a vegan diet.

EleVen by Venus Williams On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

Williams launched clean mineral sunscreen EleVen in May. The reef-safe formula dries to a sheer matte finish and works on all skin tones: Williamss sunscreen doesnt leave any white residue and is designed to prevent skin from looking ashy.

[Photo: courtesy EleVen by Venus Williams]EleVen Wonder Woman collection

Asked to pick a favorite item from her clothing line, Williams says she loves the Wonder Woman collection. Shes a fictional character that embodies who we strive to be. She is powerful, and has good values. She is always questioning herself to make sure her actions live up to her [own] standards. Some of her favorite items include theWonder Woman Stay Fit Legging, the Peak Windbreaker, and the Grind Catsuit.

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Venus Williams launches Happy Viking, a plant-based food company - Fast Company

Dec 3

Group works to restore knowledge and use of Shoshone ancestral foods – Oil City News

Members of the Restoring Shoshone Ancestral Food group: UW assistant professor Jill Keith, Caroline Mills holding chokecherry patties, Carmen Underwood with biscuitroot and Vernetta Pantzetanga with blue bells. (UW Photo)

CASPER, Wyo. The University of Wyoming said on Monday that the Restoring Shoshone Ancestral Food Gathering (RSAFG) group has been working to reclaim knowledge of traditional Shoshone methods used to gather and prepare foods.

UW says that the groups efforts were supported by a National Institutes for Health grant through the IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence at the University of Wyoming in 2018.

The grant was used to study the effects of Shoshone ancestral foods on health, identity, culture and well-being, UW says. The NIH grant assisted community efforts to identify traditional Shoshone foods and how they were used; gathering and processing of the foods; and preparing recipes for participants.

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A three-month long health study began in January but was interrupted in March due to the COVID pandemic. Participants in the study received Shoshone foods each week for four weeks and were asked to keep food diaries and meet in person each month, according to UW.

The data collection included a survey; biometrics, including blood pressure, height, weight and waist circumference; and blood draws glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides through Wyoming Health Fairs, UW says.

The survey also asked participants questions about how the traditional diet affected their overall feeling of cultural connectedness and wellness.

Findings from the study will help determine whether traditional Shoshone foods make an impact on health. UW says results of the study are currently being analyzed.

In addition, the RSAFG group is developing a photo and recipe book and are working to create a traditional food database.

Recipes include teas made from wild berries and fir needles; biscuits made from root plant flour; and soups made with wild game such as buffalo, deer and elk, UW says.

The RSAFG group meets each month to to collect, process and preserve foods such as yampah root and fireweed. Those meeting have elicited some peoples childhood memories of preparing traditional Shoshone foods.

Back in the early days, we lived on all of the wild game, big and small, RSFAG avisory member Vernetta Pantzetanga said in UWs release. I remember watching my gah goo (grandma) cooking the food for her large family.

Whether it was game meat or berries, it was the healthy way. Now, as I look back, I find myself trying to prepare good, healthy food for my family just like my gah goo.

UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Assistant Professor Jill Keith has worked with members of the group on the project for the last four years.

She says the efforts have uncovered knowledge that wasnt known such as how to dig up biscuit root and prepare it to make biscuits. Keith says the the photo-recipe book and traditional foods database will be important to sharing the groups work with the community.

The traditional foods database will be added to the groups website upon project completion and identify the various plants and when to collect them; house information for what the plants are used; and offer traditional recipes, UW says. The database is intended for community members to reclaim traditional knowledge, and the RSAFG advisory group will guide the process of sharing the database.

UW says that an elder member of the RSAFG group provided cultural training early in the project to inform people on how to respectfully gather plants.

Keith says that food has spiritual and cultural significance for people.

I would not want to speak to the cultural value of the food because I dont have an Indigenous lens, Keith told UW. But, Ive gathered and processed and preserved foods alongside community members, and its more than just collecting and eating food. Its really connected. That aspect of it being very spiritual is very, very important.

Keith said that commodity foods that are provided to reservations across the United States tend to contain high amounts of refined carbohydrates. Meats tend to be higher in fat content and the foods provided make for a diet that includes more dairy and salt than a traditional diet.

Keith said that traditional diets were healthier and that more physical activity was involved in the act of gathering and preparing the foods.

She said that reclaiming knowledge of traditional diets is important to addressing health disparities that may have come about due to changes in colonization and changes to food supply.

RSFAG member Caroline Mills recalled that her mother gathered bitteroot when she was young.

It was a chore to help put food on the family table, Mills told UW. Eighty years later, I enjoy gathering healthy food for my familys table. This is food that is not available in the local grocery stores. And all of the various berries provide antioxidants.

The RSFAG group worked with the Eastern Shoshone Business Council and UWs General Counsel to develop a data use and sharing agreement for the project.

All reports or presentations about study results must be approved by the RSAFG advisory group and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board before sharing, UW says.

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Group works to restore knowledge and use of Shoshone ancestral foods - Oil City News

Dec 3

Heidi D’Amelio’s Plant-Based Diet Involves Plenty Of Protein To Fuel Her Workouts – Women’s Health

Heard of TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D'Amelio? Of course you have. They've got 98 million and 43 million followersand climbing. Casual. And with more than 6 million followers herself, their mom, Heidi, is a star in her own right.

Charli and Dixie no doubt got their viral dancing queen skills from their mama. Heidi grew up dancing competitively and has always loved working out.

Two years ago, though, she totally transformed her bod with a 28-day fitness and nutrition challenge that involved shifting away from animal foods and hitting the weights hard. Since then, she's eaten mostly vegan. "I am plant-based, but I'm not perfect," she tells Women's Health. "You know, a piece of cake will do me in, but I always go the plant-based route if it's available."

She also considers food workout fuel. "Eating plant-based and lifting weights, I always get concerned about not getting enough protein," she says. "I want to be able to get through workouts, so I need to make sure I'm eating enough."

Well, if you've ever seen Heidi on TikTok, you know she pulls it off. The 48-year-old dances right along with her social media pioneering teen daughtersand says feels more energetic than ever.

Here's what Heidi eats in a day to keep up with her fast-paced fam.

Heidi gets a jump on every day by hydrating. "I usually start with a huge glass of water," she tells Women's Health. "I don't drink coffee or tea."

From there, around 8 or 8:30 a.m., Heidi has her first meal. "For breakfast, I have protein oats," she says. To make 'em, Heidi preps regular old-fashioned oats with water and then adds a scoop of mocha-flavored Vega Sport plant-based protein powder and a spoonful of peanut butter. (Sometimes she swaps in a chocolate- or vanilla-flavored, but mocha is her fave.)

Next, it's usually time for a strength training workout (and a post-workout refuel). "If I hit the gym next, I follow it up with a protein shake," Heidi says. Since her workouts focus on lifting heavy, Heidi knows replenishing her muscles post-sweat is key.

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By 11:30 a.m., Heidi is hungry, which means it's time for her midday meal. "Lunch will be kind of all over the board," she says. "I do like a nice big lunch."

One of her fave recipes: "this tofu scramble that I found on The Sculpted Vegan," she says. "She's vegan, she does lifting, and I really love following her stuff." The simple, delish meal mixes up tofu with spinach, quinoa, veggies, and sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds.

Heidi logs this meal (and her other eats) on MyFitnessPal to make sure she's nourishing herself properly. "I like to make sure I have good meals that are full of protein and will sustain me," she says.

For between-meal munching, Heidi sticks to fresh fruits and veggies. "We always try to have fresh produce, like snap peas, carrots, and lots of fruit in the house," she says. "We always have it out and usually out of boredom more than hunger I'll snack on that throughout the afternoon."

That said, Heidi prefers to stick to more formal meals and tries to put the kibosh on random snacking.

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For Heidi, dinnertime usually lands around 6 or 7 p.m. "I am a sucker for a good bean burger," she says. "I like it on a bun with pickles, caramelized onions, and maybe some vegan cheese." When she wants to mix things up, though, she uses her burger as a salad-topper.

Dinners eaten out usually offer plenty of new plant-based options for Heidi to explore. "I like to see if they have something vegan; I like to try new things," she says. "[Restaurants] usually have some sort of vegan burger or something like a cauliflower steak. Or, I'll do a spaghetti squash with sauce red sauce. I love that." Plenty to choose from.

Early dinners mean Heidi often squeezes in a bit more protein later in the evening. "Before bed, I'm hungry again, so I'll do a protein shake," she says. "I cannot sleep if I'm hungry."

That said, she also knows just how to appease her sweet tooth when it comes calling. "When I eat, I always love to follow it up with a little something sweet," she says. "Lately, I've been making a big fruit salad for the end of the night with whatever we have. I'll put in a big bowl and we all have some."

If fruit doesn't quite jive, Heidi opts for a bit of a Hu Salty Dark Chocolate bar. "One bite is all I need," she says.

And, though alcohol isn't usually a part of Heidi's routine, she is game to try out a fun or interesting cocktail when out to eat.

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Dec 3

East Haven Native Catherine Gill Publishes Third Vegan Cookbook –

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Catherine Gill has followed her conscience when it comes to her diet since she was a young girl growing up in East Haven. That decision has since inspired her career with a longtime blog,, and having recently published her third cookbook with her fourth on the way.

Catherine, whose maiden name is Katie DOnofrio, remembers the first time she realized that meat came from animals.

When I was young, I put two and two together: I was eating chicken and there was a bone and I realized it was the animal, says Catherine. Wed go to farms to visit animals like this and I didnt understand why those animals were friends and others were on the dinner table.

From an early age, Catherine leaned toward vegetarianism, which was sometimes a challenge in her traditional Italian family, though she is quick to say that her family has always been supportive of her beliefs. After graduating from East Haven High School, Catherine spent two years at Sacred Heart University before transferring to UMass-Dartmouth to study literature and social sciences.

During her college years, she fully delved into a vegan lifestyle. Catherine was 19 when she decided to adopt a vegan diet after learning more about health and animal agriculture. At that time in 2003, there were not many resources for those with a vegan diet. With limited resources, Catherine made her own cheeses, egg substitutes, and more.

It was such a long time ago and it was tough, says Catherine. Now you can go anywhere and get vegan products, stuff we couldnt even dream of then.

With years of experience in creating vegan ingredients and cooking vegan meals, more and more people began to ask for Catherines advice. When she saw the demand, she decided to start blog on top of working her full-time job. After she was laid off from her job in 2010, she moved her blog to the front burner

It had been a nights and weekends hobby, but in 2010, I went full force with it, says Catherine. I wanted to make it easier for people for people to live a healthier lifestyle.

Catherines blog continued to gain followers as the vegan lifestyle became more mainstream. In addition to writing for her blog, Catherine also wrote for various health websites.

She also spent several years running Dirty Vegan Foods, a vegan bakery that sold its products to Whole Foods Markets in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, health food stores, farmers markets, and festivals. The name Dirty Vegan stems from Catherines early forays into veganism.

I started out as a junk food vegan, with plant-based junk food, so dirty was a reference to that and it grew into my nickname, says Catherine. You can find tons of vegan junk food, but now I like to eat a little bit healthier and incorporate more salads into my diet.

Since starting her blog, Catherine has also started a family. While Catherines diet is plant-based, the rest of her family is flexible in their diets. She not only enjoys sharing her recipes with her family, but with her followers as well.

Over the years through blogging and social media, Catherine has met many people in the vegan circle. She has been asked to consult on various projects, including projects at Disney World, such as reviewing the vegan options on menus for the resorts as well as at various festivals at Epcot.

As a trend toward healthy lifestyles has grown, Catherine has gotten more and more questions about how to approach a vegan lifestyle. She suggests starting small and staying positive.

When I started, I was one of few vegan bloggers, but now there are a countless number of vegan blogs so there are more resources out there, which is great, says Catherine. I always suggest people go slow with it and take small steps like substituting a meatless product or a regular cheese with a vegan cheese. With small steps like that, you eventually adjust and get there.

Catherine says that a vegan diet is kinder to animals, kinder to the environment, and kinder to your body, as many vegan foods are naturally free of cholesterol. She says that one way that people can work toward being vegan is by adopting Meatless Monday and growing from there, noting that any time you can add a plant-based meal to your diet, its such a plus.

As the demand for her recipes grew, Catherines blog began to garner more attention. In 2015, Catherine connected with Hatherleigh Press in New York, which approached Catherine with a book deal. Catherine began to work with the company on ideas for her first cookbook, The Dirty Vegan Cookbook: Your Favorite Recipes Made Vegan.

Catherine has since published The Complete Hummus Cookbook and the revised and expanded version of her first cookbook was just released. Her fourth book, The Complete Quinoa Cookbook, with more than 100 recipes, is due to be released in March.

Id post pictures on by blog and people would request recipes and began to say, We need a cookbook, says Catherine. For so many years, I wrote the blog as a hobby. I met such amazing people and online friends in the vegan community, but seven years later, when you finally get your foot in the door to write books, its like your dreams finally came true.

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Dec 3

5 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Defeated by IBD – Healthline

Living well with the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis consists of a lot of trial and error.

Finding your perfect treatment and lifestyle combination is like putting together a puzzle. Finding a piece that fits is exciting, but sometimes it feels like you try piece after piece that does not fit.

A few of these puzzle pieces are:

Sometimes, you might feel like you want to give up when all your energy is going into figuring out this puzzle. If youre at that point, these practices may help.

If you find yourself saying youre fine when youre not and never addressing the mental or physical toll your condition has on you, you might be suppressing your emotions.

This is common for anyone living with a chronic illness, since we learn to live through the hard days while trying to go through life normally.

Instead of ignoring these emotional cues, try:

Expressing emotions is different from dwelling or complaining and is a normal, healthy part of being human. Check in with yourself: Are you bottling emotions and feelings or allowing yourself time and space to let them out?

Whether you love making lists for every little thing in life or youre a bit more spontaneous, lists are helpful when you feel like youve exhausted all options when it comes to your health.

Try making lists of:

Keep these on your fridge or tacked on a bulletin board. These reminders of tangible tips can be grounding when you feel lost and overwhelmed.

Its true that the little things can mean so much. If you can find these small moments (hint: they are everywhere) and enjoy them, the hard-hitting days that IBD brings will hurt a little less.

Here are some ways to create moments of joy:

Even when it feels like youve exhausted all options, there are always some things in your power.

Focusing on what you can change to improve how you feel while loosening your grip on what you cant change takes a lot of stress and pressure off of you.

Here are some ways to take back control:

Whether its changing where you live, switching up your workspace, or going for a walk, a new physical location can help clear your mind and help you think in new ways.

Sure, everyone needs to pay bills, but are there things you are committed to or people that you see that are not adding to your life?

Chicken soup might not fix everything, but theres a reason we turn to it when were not feeling well.

In times of stress you might let your food choices fall to the wayside. Staying hydrated and well fed is a basic need that will support you mentally and physically.

Talking with other people who live with IBD can feel validating when you feel like you are going out of your mind.

Some ways to find connection include:

Sometimes its also great to just talk to a friend who doesnt have IBD who is good at listening and being there for you.

Living with an autoimmune disease like IBD is like running a marathon, not a sprint.

Bad days will come and go, and taking on these practices and tools can help you be a more resilient IBD warrior.

Alexa Federico is an author, nutritional therapy practitioner, and autoimmune paleo coach who lives in Boston. Her experience with Crohns disease inspired her to work with the IBD community. Alexa is an aspiring yogi who would live in a cozy coffee shop if she could! Shes the Guide in the IBD Healthline app and would love to meet you there. You can also connect with her on her website or Instagram.

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Dec 3

Natural Grocers Reveals Top Nutrition Trends for Next Year – Progressive Grocer

Exploring ways to boost personal health through nutrition will play a crucial role for consumers next year, according to Natural Grocers' fifth annual Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2021.

Natural Grocers' nutrition education team, made up of health and wellness experts ranging from registered dietitians to certified natural foods chefs, collaborated with the retailer's buyers and analysts, studied consumer-shopping preferences, examined the latest research, and scrutinized the impact COVID-19 has had on its communities in order to pinpoint their predictions for next year.

"Our trends this year are dramatically different than previous years' in that they're far less fleeting. COVID-19 is a pandemic that sits on top of another pandemic inthe United Statesof malnutrition and poor long-term health," remarkedShelby Miller, MS, Natural Grocers' manager of scientific affairs and nutrition education. "Hence, 2021 holds broader trends that focus on improving nutrition to support our own health, as well as the health of our communities and our environment."

Natural Grocers' Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2021 are:

1.Consumer Health Is D-pendent on Vitamin D

This nutrient plays a critical role in whether or not the immune system functions sufficiently and responds as needed. It is essential for maintaining healthy lungs, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and bones. It also supports positive moods, brain function and cognition, a healthy weight, children's health and muscle tone. According to Natural Grocers, between 40 and 80% of American adults are deficient in vitamin D, while approximately 90% have suboptimal levels. Because darker skin hampers the body's ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight, supplementation is especially important for people of color.

In March, FDA introduced the Whats In It For You? initiative to help consumers use the new Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, which now includes required listings for vitamin D.

2.Everyday Immune Support for the Long Haul

Consumers have recognized the importance of "armoring up" and supporting their immune system on a daily basis so it can function optimally over the long haul. Dietary supplements can make daily, long-term immune support easier.

The COVID-19 outbreak prompted a big spike in sales of supplements supporting immune health. For example, according toSPINSdata, the supplement industry in general saw double-digit increases in week-to-week sales unit percentages during each week in the entire month of March.

Boosting immune competence can come from basic nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc.

3.Better Blood Sugar Balance

Many options are available to support healthy blood sugar balance. More consumers will forego sugar-sweetened beverages, seek no-added sugar products, and try the keto diet. Adding supplements that support blood sugar balance will also be of interest for example, alpha lipoic acid is well-known to support insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization. Balancing their blood sugar will allow consumers to benefit from a better mood, more balanced energy levels and overall long-term health.

4.De-Stressing in a Healthy Way

The pandemic has certainly pushed added stress onto American consumers. De-stressing is crucial for overall health and is specifically beneficial for immune health, as stress hormones like cortisol significantly impair the immune response.

According to Natural Grocers, consumers will look to de-stress with nutrients to support their bodys ability to better cope with stress. These include magnesium, EPA and DHA from fish oil, B vitamins, vitamin C, phosphatidylserine, curcumin and adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola.

Additionally, Acostas recent survey, conducted between June 12 and 17, offers waysthat retailers can meet the needs of the new mentally and financially stressed consumer.The marketing agency suggested stressed-out shoppers will appreciate shopping opportunities that make them feel "back to normal."

5.Olive Oil Makes a Comeback

Olive oil has always had a place in the "good fat" category. This oil has a well-known role in the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet its noteworthy phenols and polyphenols contribute to its nutritional benefits, including its anti-inflammatory properties.

To help increase their olive oils sales, grocers should incorporate associate and consumer education and sampling events next year to take advantage of this growing trend.

6.The Climatarian

Consumer researchis showing that while personal health is still a major driver for buying organic, consumers are shifting to buying organic for environmental reasons. So get used to seeing the term "climatarian," an individual who is making food choices with the intention of changing how food is grown shifting from a chemical-intensive model to one that promotes soil health, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems an important way to address climate change.

Consumers will also recognize that prioritizing regenerative/pasture-based meat and dairy products as another crucial method to make a significant difference.

Retailers like Walmart have committed to become regenerative companies to help battle climate change. Nestl has also recently committed to reduce the carbon footprint of its most emissions-intensive ingredients by working with supply chain partners and beef ranchers to help scale regenerative grazing practices in the Northern Great Plains inMontana.

7.Affordable, Healthy Meals at Home

Most consumers have been cooking at home more since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. However, priorities have recently shifted and they are now searching for quick and affordable solutions to cooking, meal planning and meals that do not require a lot of prep. The year 2021 will pave the way to reinventing what cooking at home looks like.

Offering balanced dinner meals, like Fresh Markets Ultimate Dinner Meals, and meal kits will be key. In fact, according to a new report from Grand View Research, the meal kit delivery marketis predicted to achieve revenue of $19.92 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 12.8%.

8.Vegetables Will Be Front & Center

Natural Grocers indicated that produce in any form canned, frozen and fresh provides what's known asnutrient density. A nutrient dense food is something that packs loads of nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and plays a major role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Veggies are some of the most nutrient dense foods, which is why they've remained a crucial part of diet recommendations. In 2021, consumers will make it a priority to try new veggies, incorporate more produce-laden recipes and be on the search for new weekly staples that leave them feeling healthy and satisfied.

Additionally, veg-centric is a trend in entres that started in restaurants. It began when foodservice and restaurant customers asked for dishes with vegetables as the main course.

9.Get Back to the Basics to Be Rooted in Health

Natural Grocer predicts, as we move into 2021, consumers will be going back to the basics to take control of and actively improve their health. This means prioritizing sleep, cleaning up their diets, making time for exercise and daily movement, and recognizing the value of foundational supplements. To help consumers prioritize their health, Natural Grocers expanded its free nutrition education program, which is customarily in-person, to include a virtual guest presenter series and online personalized coaching sessions with the company's nutritional health coaches (NHCs). NHCs offer their expertise via free one-hour phone or video coaching sessions. Shoppers who live in a state with a Natural Grocers' store canfill out aformto request their coaching session and receive personalized care tailored to their individual needs, as well as a collaborative plan for success.

10.Customized Fitness Nutrition

Natural Grocers predicts a decline in grab-and-go, post-workout foods and a rise in customized fitness nutrition and supplementation to optimize consumers workouts. Rather than grabbing a water and protein bar after their workout, in 2021 consumers will transition toward pairing whole, real foods with supplements that fuel movement and aid recovery. Consumers will be attracted to magnesium to support healthy muscle recovery, MCT oil to fuel more efficient workouts, collagen to support healthy joints and ligaments, beets and greens powders for healthy blood flow, and a B-complex vitamin to keep them energized for workouts.

Natural Grocershas more than 3,500 employees and operates 160 stores in 20 states. The Lakewood, Colorado-based company is No. 94 on ThePG100,Progressive Grocers list ofthe top foodand consumablesretailers in North America.

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Natural Grocers Reveals Top Nutrition Trends for Next Year - Progressive Grocer

Dec 3

For Giving Tuesday, Here are Plant-Based Charities to Support – The Beet

Most weeks, we love to share the plant-based products that we are obsessed with, and we make sure to let you know about the best new plant-based products and healthy or vegan launches that are worth buying. Since today is Giving Tuesday, launched by the 92nd Street Y in our hometown of New York City, 12 years ago, it seemed like the perfect time to flip it and reverse it and let you know where we will be giving today, and in the weeks to come, as the world appears to need more of a helping hand than ever.

Our charities are personal choices, and span from the environmental to the social, saving wilderness and public spaces and offering vegan meals to families in need of healthy food now, during a worldwide pandemic. We hope that you feel good (or great) when giving to causes you care about in your own lives and that you see this as a helpful idea-generator for deciding where you want to lend your dollars today and your hands every day. Here's to giving, and to feeling so good.

When I learned that one of the most beautiful wildlife preservations on the world, the Arctic Refuge, would possibly be threatened by drilling, I got upset. It turns out this is not the only pristine wilderness that needs our help right now, and the Wilderness Society has made it its mission to protect outdoor spaces and prevent private companies from developing land or drillingor otherwise ravaging the natural beauty of our dwindling wild places: Bears Ears National Monument, Tongass National Forest and other threatened wild places need your help, the society tells us. If you have always loved polar bears and other magestic creatures, now is the time to come to their aide.

The Wilderness Society is working hard to preserve the world's open spaces and defend the natural world against deregulation that would allow private interests to destroy the wilderness, across the continent and beyond. Today the Wilderness Society is matching 5 times your gift today. So $20 becomes $100 due to the generosity of their supporters. You don't have to give a lot to have a big, icy impact. Polar Bear hugs all around!

Freedge is an international organization that works to implement community fridges stocked with free food and produce in neighborhoods that typically have less access to healthy options in an effort to promote equal access across areas in the US, Canada, and South America.

Food insecurity is an important issue to me, and I believe it should be at the forefront of the vegan movement because although preaching to others that they should adopt a diet free of animal products is easy, due to socioeconomic circumstances that include a disproportionate amount of food deserts and food swamps in low-income and minority communities, a vegan or plant-based diet is not a realistic option for everyone.

Freedge also strives to educate community members about healthy options, which is equally important, because education is another barrier to developing a well-rounded diet. The work that Freedge is doing seeks to supply underserved neighborhoods with a take what you need approach which not only fosters the development of healthier lifestyles but also deepens a sense of community. You can donate directly to Freedge, or visit the organizations website to learn how to implement a community fridge in your neighborhood.

Award-winning singer and longtime vegan Billie Eilish, helps to the word about her mother's nonprofit, Support+ Feed. Maggie Baird is the creatorof the organization which supplies plant-based food to hospitals, shelters, and first responders across Los Angeles and New York City.

Theinitiative was created in Los Angeles on March 27th and in New York City in April due to the coronavirus hardships on vegan restaurants and frontline workers. The mother-daughter-duo who actively promote the nonprofit on social media has served nearly 50k plant-based meals to people in need, with the help of volunteers and donations.

Support + Feed provides plant-based meals prepared by local restaurants and businesses to people experiencing food insecurity in BIPOC and other communities, with several goals: nourish those in need, provide education, support the small business community, and positively impact the climate crisis.

The easiest and most effective ways toplay a partin saving the ocean includereducing your waste such as cutting back on plastic, conserving water and donating to charitiesthat aretaking huge steps in saving the ocean such as Ocean Conservancy.

Ocean Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that has been devoted to making the ocean a healthier environment for marine life and coastal communitiessince 1972. Overfishing, climate change and pollutionare just a few reasons that marine life and the ocean have been put at risk.Ocean Conservancy has developeddifferent programs to combat climate change such as organizing the world's largest effort to remove trash from beaches, working with scientists, indigenous communities and legislators to protect the Arctic, and restore the Gulf of Mexico from the damage it still faces from the BP oil disaster.

Ocean Conservancy takes action in both communities and in government relations pushing for funding and attention in at-risk areas.In honor of Giving Tuesday, Ocean Conservancy is pledging that every donation will be triple matched up to 100K by the board of directors and donors. You can donate to Ocean Conservancy here.

EcoHealth Alliance is a nonprofit global environmental health organization that is present in over 30 countries including the United States. It is dedicated to protecting the health of people, animals and the environment from infectious diseases. This organization is incredibly important especially since the current coronavirus pandemic has shown the potential for both humans and animals to be at risk from the virus and the impact the coronavirus has had on everyones health globally.

This organization is an environmental science and public health leader that works to prevent pandemics in global hotspot regions. EcoHealth Alliance has a wide variety of programs that focus on bio=surveillance, deforestation, one health, pandemic prevention, and wildlife conservation. You can donate to EcoHealth Alliance here.

The Food Trust works with farmer's markets across the US to provide nutritioneducation, with corner store owners to stock healthy food and encourages grocery store development in underserved communities.

If you're able to give support to the Food Trust, you'll be helping their mission to ensure underserved communities have access to affordable, nutritious food and provide education about how to live a healthier life. The organization combines policy change with community-based programs like farmer's markets that accept SNAP benefits, providing local foods in school cafeterias, and increasing the availability and awareness of healthy foods in corner stores.

With just a$60 donation, you can help fulfill the Food Trust's mission by funding 40 free produce bags for kindergarten families, along with healthy recipes to make at home.

Original post:
For Giving Tuesday, Here are Plant-Based Charities to Support - The Beet

Dec 3

Ask the Doctors: Insulin is at the heart of both types of diabetes – Santa Ynez Valley News

Dear Doctors: We keep hearing about Type 2 diabetes, and I'm embarrassed to say, I don't actually know what it is. What does it do, and how do I know if I have it?

Dear Reader: To understand diabetes, we should first talk about glucose. That's the sugar our bodies make from the foods that we eat, and which our cells use as their main source of fuel. Glucose travels throughout the body via the blood, which is why it's also often referred to as blood sugar. However, it's not immediately available to the cells. That's where insulin, a hormone manufactured by the pancreas, comes into play. Insulin helps transport glucose from the blood into the cells, where it can be used as energy.

When someone has diabetes, it means that the insulin part of that energy equation isn't working properly. Either the body isn't manufacturing enough -- or any -- insulin, or it isn't responding properly to the insulin that is present. That leads to blood-glucose levels that are too high.

Over time, high blood levels of glucose are dangerous. Adverse health effects include damage to the circulatory system, vision problems, nerve damage, stomach or intestinal problems, slow healing, kidney disease and an increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to coma, and even death.

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin. It often develops early in life, but can occur at any age. This type of diabetes is managed with diet and exercise, plus the use of medications and insulin.

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Ask the Doctors: Insulin is at the heart of both types of diabetes - Santa Ynez Valley News

Nov 19

The Mediterranean Diet Is a Healthy Eating PlanBut Its Far From Universal – Well+Good

There are some eating plans that have been controversial from the get-go, like the ketogenic diet, Whole30, and intermittent fasting. But the Mediterranean dietan eating plan that advocates for lean proteins, whole grains, seafood, and plenty of vegetables along with the occasional glass of winehas long been the least problematic of any eating plan, quick to be endorsed by doctors, dietitians, and other healthy eating experts.

Its easy to see why. The Mediterranean diet is the most studied eating plan in the world, backed by decades of robust clinical research. Hundreds of studies have found it to be beneficial in many ways, from supporting brain and heart health to reducing inflammation and keeping the gut healthy. All these reasons and more are why U.S. News and World Report has named the Mediterranean diet the best eating plan three years in a row. These benefits are also why the eating plan has been extensively covered by Well+Good.

But theres a blaring problem with the Mediterranean diet that many have failed to see, including the editors and writers of this publication. The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan that was created by Westerners, studied by Westerners, and is recommended to everyone, says Gerry Bodeker, PhD, who has researched and taught in medical sciences at Oxford University for two decades and is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University.

Dr. Bodeker works with private sectors, governments, and United Nations organizations, currently serving as senior advisor to a UN University project on Asian traditions of nutrition. He says that recommending the Mediterranean diet to all people not only ignores the foods and eating patterns of different cultural traditions but can also work against people nutritionally. If youre going to have a global health message, you need to make sure it fits every single culture, Dr. Bodeker says. The Mediterranean diet, for all of its benefits, does not quite fit the bill.

The very first Mediterranean diet study was published in 1958 by an American physiologist named Ancel Keys. He called it the seven countries study. The study (which only included men) focused on the connection between dietary habits and heart disease rates in Greece, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and Finland. His study found that rates of heart disease were lowest in Greece, Italy, and Spainregions bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet, as identified by this study, sparked decades of additional research into the lifestyles benefits for all aspects of health.

What has remained consistent in the following seven decades is how scientific researchers, doctors, and nutrition experts talk about the Mediterranean diet. While the plans benefits largely come from the consumption of specific nutrients (a specific balance of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and complex carbohydrates), the foods often recommended for achieving said benefits typically come from a list of foods (like olives, fish, and feta) traditionally eaten in Greece, Italy, and Spainthe three countries that were the focus of Keyss research all those years ago.

The wide body of research on the Med diet has been used to support its preeminence in the health world. Yet here lies one of the biggest problems with the Med diet: The majority of researchers are white, and the studies they conduct are primarily on white people. Despite Congress passing the Revitalization Act in 1993, requiring the inclusion of women and people of color in federally funded studies, fewer than 6 percent of all clinical trialsare funded by the National Institute of Health (the government body that provides billions of dollars in research grants each year)meaning that many more studies (including those researching the Mediterranean diet) arent incentivized to include Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in their research. It also means that many conclusions drawn about the Mediterranean diet may not apply to BIPOC communities, since they are largely left out of studies.

Dr. Bodeker says the lack of racial diversity in Med diet studies is a huge shortcoming. This the nutritional equivalent of white entitlement, Dr. Bodeker says. Its the dominant group recommending their way to the world sending the message of our way is the best way. Its the same colonial messaging based on lack of interest and knowledge of history and suitability for other cultures.

Using primarily white participants in Med diet studies also reveals an extremely selective view of what it means to be from the Mediterranean. The region doesnt just consist ofGreece and Italy; it also includes Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Yet these communities and their cuisines are typically not included in the research on the Mediterranean diets benefits.

In an effort to make the eating plan more inclusive, proponents of the Mediterranean diet often say that its macronutrient proportions, not the specific foods, explain the diets superior health and longevity benefits compared to all other plans. But thats not necessarily true either. Dr. Bodeker says the Okinawa diet (which comes from the Blue Zone community of Okinawa, Japan) contrasts with the Mediterranean diet in several key ways, including higher carb consumption, more mono/polyunsaturated fats, fewer saturated fats, and zero dairy consumption. Yet despite these major differences in diet, Okinawans regularly live to be over 100 in good health.

Its not that one diet is better or worse than the otherits that the Mediterranean diet, for all its merit, isnt the only way to eat healthily, nor is it necessarily beneficial for all peoples. [A large percentage] of the Mediterranean diet is cheese and yogurt, but 60 percent of East Asians are lactose intolerant, Dr. Bodeker says as an example. If people who are lactose intolerant eat dairy, it will have an inflammatory reaction in the gut.

Global health dietitian Megan Faletra, RDN, says that many cultures, in fact, have naturally healthy ways of eating that were fundamentally altered by European colonialism. We dont have a strong food culture here in the U.S., so we try to commodify, or white-wash, many global food cultures, she says. For example, traditional Mexican food consists of plant-based staples, such as corn, beans, and rice. Our Indigenous ancestors didnt drink milk or consume dairy, and they werent necessarily vegan, but they didnt eat as much animal products as is in our diets now, food activist and Food Empowerment Project founder Lauren Ornelas previously told Well+Good. It was European influence that led to the rise in cattle herding across Latin America, which changed meat from a special occasion food to one that one served at every meal. Yet another example is Samoans living in Hawaii. They traditionally ate fish, fruit, and vegetables, Dr. Bodeker says. White settlers later introduced meat, flour, sugar, and alcohol into their lives. Now, they are 80 percent more likely to be obese than white Americans.

Interestingly, both of these cultures follow similar basic macronutrient principles as the Mediterranean dieta focus on vegetables and fruit and lean animal proteins. Yet only one cultural-specific way of eating has been celebrated in the health world as the end-all, be-all of nutrition: the Euro-centric Mediterranean diet.

To be perfectly clear, the Mediterranean diet isnt unhealthy. The health benefits researchers have found are realat least when applied to the people included in their studies. The Mediterranean diet offers a healthy eating model that promotes variety, moderation, and predominance of plant foods over animal foodsAs a proponent of the Mediterranean diet, I advocate its core principles to my patients and community, says Shahzadi Devje, RD, a registered dietitian who has written about race discrimination in nutrition. However, the challenge lies in translating these principles into specific foods and meals that are culturally appropriate. It is not a simple plug and play modelneither should it be.

Championing one cultures way of eating over all others isnt just a matter of semantics; it has consequences for the health of BIPOC communities who arent part of that specific cultural tradition. Devje says trying to impose the Mediterranean diet on everyone can create a barrier for some people to live their healthiest lives. The selective foods characteristic of traditional Mediterranean diets such as nuts, fruits, bread, olive oil, and wine are not staples in other cultures. At least not in mine, she says. Requiring someone to adopt those foods in order to be healthy might make it harder for them to comply with the eating plan.

Building cultural competence is vital in supporting dietary change for patients and communities alike, Devje adds. Our nutritional recommendations must not conflict with cultural values. Rather, they must be culturally compatible. Only then will they be practical, sustainable, and enjoyable.

Expecting a healthy diet to look like the Mediterranean diet also ignores the many systemic reasons that impact what and how people eat, adds Devje.People from ethnic minorities struggle with many standard measures of health and quality of life: financial means, satisfactory living environment, sense of independence, health, education, and support, she saysall of which impact their overall health and well-being, including their ability to eat healthfully. The relationship between food systems, race, and health is complicated, she says, and we need a new model to better reflect the needs of the communities most at risk of diet-related diseases.

The reality is, the mainstream dietary messages we see endorsed in public health policy, research, guidelines, and media target affluent white consumersundeniably excluding ethnic groups, who do not identify with such narratives. Why are we surprised then by the state of health disparities, Devje says.

Faletra adds that when doctors and dietitians talk about the Mediterranean diet, they often focus solely on its nutritional qualities, removing the cultural aspects such as physical activity and spending time with loved ones that also contribute to the health and longevity of Mediterranean peoples. Its important to look at eating in the context of culture, she says. Who are you enjoying the food with? What is the lifestyle like? But she says those critical questions are often ignored in mainstream discussions about the Mediterranean diets benefits.

While its important that doctors and dietitians keep their patients and clients cultures in mind when recommending healthy eating plans, many Americans heritage consists of numerous cultures, not just one. Beyond that, being inspired by foods from a wide range of cultures makes meals more enjoyable. These factors are also important to consider.

One question I often recommend dietitians ask clients is, What foods make you feel good?' Faletra says. She agrees with Devje that its important to think about what foods are accessible to a person as well as what foods are native to the region someone lives. This will ensure that the recommended food choices are sustainable, too.

Faletra adds that unprocessed whole foods were originally the staples of nearly every single food culture around the globe. The specific types of whole foods may differ depending on where youre from, but its a commonality that spans eating cultures around the globe. Guiding people to help figure out the whole foods that make them feel good is one way to make healthy eating more intuitive and fun, Faletra says, while making room for the foods important to ones cultural background and context.

Devje says its also important that there are more communities equitably represented in policy, education, and research to make nutritional recommendations truly appropriate for all people, not just some. We must also tackle race discrimination by engaging with people from ethnic minorities to understand the factors that influence people of color differently and disproportionately. They must have a voice and be represented at all levels, she says. Only then, she says, will health providers and researchers be able to truly understand the cultural influences on patient values and behaviors.

It bears repeating that the Mediterranean diet can be a healthy eating plan; its just not the only one. We need way more cultural competency and inclusivity in the way that we talk about food and health, Faletra says. Thats the only way were going to serve more people and enable them to be seen.

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The Mediterranean Diet Is a Healthy Eating PlanBut Its Far From Universal - Well+Good

Nov 19

The pros and cons of the keto diet, according to one dietician – Yahoo Sports

Watch: What is the keto diet and how does it work?

Halle Berry swears by it, Kourtney Kardashian cant get enough of it, and Gwyneth Paltrow has dabbled with it in the past. The keto diet is much loved by celebrities due to its fast results, however, is it all too good to be true?

Registered dietician, Dr Sarah Schenker, believes that while there might be some possible health benefits to it, in her mind its not the perfect diet.

The biggest problem though, in my opinion, is that it's not sustainable, she says.

Read more: Drink regular fizzy drink instead of diet version when eating carbs, study suggests

It will work to begin with, but you can't sustain an eating regime like this and if you don't learn to change your eating habits over the long term, once you go back to your old habits, you will gain all that weight you lost and you'll just have to start all over again!

So, what is this diet that promises quick weight loss without sacrificing favourite foods such as bacon and eggs?

It is actually a modern day version of the old Atkins diet, so it's very low carbohydrate, high fat, high protein, explains Dr Schenker.

She continues: The difference is it concentrates on healthy fats and healthy proteins, rather than too much processed meats and saturated fats, which was the problem with the Atkins diet

The biggest reason people look to the keto diet is for a fast weight loss. Dr Schenker says this happens because denying your body carbohydrates pushes the body into ketosis, causing the body to use fat as a fuel.

The result of this is that you lose a lot of weight very quickly, so people love it when they first start the keto diet, because they see really good results and they're very motivational, says the doctor.

Aside from helping with motivation, there are supposed health benefits to the keto diet, including controlling insulin response.

Read more: Vegetarian diet rich in nuts and soy reduce the risk of stroke

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One study in Italy, also showed that those patients on a keto diet experienced less migraines than those on a different type of diet, while another review looked at the positive impact a keto diet has on epilepsy seizures.

While this is good news, there is still much more research that has to be done on the true health benefits of a diet that is low in carbohydrates.

One aspect of this diet that puts off a lot of people is keto flu where dieters experience a lack of energy, fatigue and an inability to sleep properly. Dr Schenker say this does pass after a few days but its sometimes enough to put people off the diet.

She believes however, one of the biggest downsides is that youll probably have to take additional vitamin and mineral supplements while on this diet.

She says: When you exclude carbohydrates from your diet, particularly whole grains, along with other things like beans and pulses and even fruit and fruit juices, aren't strictly allowed on the keto diet, you could miss out on valuable nutrients, such as vitamin C, maybe magnesium.

Read more: Nutritionist reveals surprising reason carbs aren't bad for you: 'Let's rephrase that'

Due to not being able to include roughage from foods like beans, pulses and fruits, theres a slightly more embarrassing side effect of the keto diet constipation.

The other thing is it's quite hard to get enough fibre because you're not getting the whole grains, advises Dr Schenker.

You might find that you start to suffer things like constipation or other bowel problems.

If youre having digestive problems on the keto diet, try choosing low carb, high fibre options such as chia seeds, avocadoes, cauliflower and flaxseed.

Watch: Everything you need to know about gluten

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The pros and cons of the keto diet, according to one dietician - Yahoo Sports

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