This post was originally published on this site

Do you follow a low FODMAP diet?

If so, be prepared for the inevitable… You’ll have to explain yourself at some stage at a party or social event.

This can quickly become tedious and frustrating – even embarrassing – but it doesn’t have to be.

Use this simple explanation to avoid anymore awkward and confused looks from your friends and family.

The FODMAP Elevator Explanation

Elevator-pitch

Ever heard of an elevator pitch?

In business terms it’s a short, persuasive statement you use to explain what your company does.

The idea is that you can easily say it in the brief time you’d be standing in an elevator with someone who asks.

FODMAP Elevator Explanation

Likewise, a quick and easy explanation of FODMAPs and why you’re on a low FODMAP diet is especially useful at social events.

I call it the FODMAP elevator explanation.

If you’re at a friend’s or a relative’s place and someone asks what FODMAPs are or why you’re politely declining certain foods…

You can say:

“FODMAPs refers to certain sugars known to trigger digestive problems. Eating a diet low in these sugars helps control symptoms, and it’s been incredibly beneficial for me.”

That’s it.

Some will be genuinely curious and ask more questions, but most people won’t. They’ll simply say, “Oh, okay. That makes sense.”

In fact, chances are there’s someone else in the room experiencing the same issues as you who just started learning about IBS and FODMAPs.

Using the FODMAP elevator explanation opens up a non-judgemental dialogue where you’ll now be able to help others too.

Easily Explain the FODMAP Diet 

Following a low FODMAP diet doesn’t have to be socially awkward.

Equip yourself with that FODMAP elevator explanation and be prepared to navigate all those inevitable situations.

Refer to the ultimate low FODMAPs food list and these low FODMAP recipes for ideas on what to bring to your next social event.

Lastly, if the FODMAP elevator explanation sounds too complicated to remember, just show them this article!

A version of this post originally appeared on Diet vs Disease as How To Easily Explain FODMAPs To Your Friends and Family

{ 0 comments }

8 Climate-Friendly Superfoods

This post was originally published on this site

Superfoods are gaining popularity—and for good reason. They directly support the immune system, reduce inflammation, support mental health, pack a nutritional punch, and boost energy, stamina and longevity.

Here are eight superfoods that are not only good for you, but also good for the planet:

1. Crickets

Crickets are loaded with protein. They also “thrive in hotter climates and survive off decaying waste and very little water and space,” Mother Jones reported. For this reason, crickets and other insects have been hailed as the “next climate-friendly superfood.” They can be ground into baking flour or protein powder, and added to cookies, brownies or milkshakes.

While eating crickets—or any type of insect for that matter—hasn’t completely caught on in the U.S., it’s making progress. Last year, fast food chain Wayback Burgers put out a fake press release as an April Fool’s joke about insect-filled milkshakes, but the idea was so popular that they rolled out their Oreo Mud Pie Cricket Protein Milkshake.

Related: Are Your Ready for Cricket Flour Cookies?

2. Pulses

They’re the dried seeds of lentils, beans and chickpeas—and they’re super healthy. They already make up 75 percent of the average diet in developing countries, but only 25 percent in developed ones, according to the UN.

That could all change, though. Pulses contain 20 to 25 percent protein by weight, approaching the protein levels of meat, which average 30 to 40 percent. They also require far less water than meat to produce.

3. Amaranth

“Amaranth is the new quinoa,” trend expert Daniel Levine told The Huffington Post. It’s a grain-like seed that cooks quickly and can be added to salads, soups and stews. It’s a complete source of protein just like quinoa, and it is loaded with fiber, B vitamins and several important minerals. Additionally, it’s been shown to reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

4. Kefir

Kefir is the trendiest fermented food right now (sorry, kombucha and kimchi). It’s high in nutrients and probiotics, and is incredibly beneficial for digestion and gut health. Many people consider it to be a healthier and more powerful version of yogurt.

To make it, “grains” (yeast and lactic acid bacteria cultures) are added to cow or goat milk. The concoction ferments over a 24-hour period and then the grains are removed from the liquid.

Related: 10 Vegan Sources of Probiotics

5. Teff

Sometimes written as tef or t’ef, this pseudo-grain (it’s technically a seed) has a high nutritional profile and a taste similar to that of amaranth or quinoa. This ancient grain has survived for centuries without much hybridization or processing. Like most other ancient grains, it’s high in fiber, calcium and iron.

Traditionally cultivated in Ethiopia and Eritrea, teff can be grown in a variety of conditions. Teff “thrives in both waterlogged soils and during droughts, making it a dependable staple wherever it’s grown. No matter what the weather, teff crops will likely survive, as they are also relatively free of plant diseases compared to other cereal crops,” Whole Grains Council said.

“Teff can grow where many other crops won’t thrive, and in fact can be produced from sea level to as high as 3,000 meters of altitude, with maximum yield at about 1,800-2,100 meters high,” the council said. “This versatility could explain why teff is now being cultivated in areas as diverse as dry and mountainous Idaho and the low and wet Netherlands.”

6. Moringa

It’s often called the “the miracle tree” or the “tree of life,” according to TIME. It’s commonly found in Asian and African countries, and almost every part of it—pods, leaves, seeds and roots—is edible. It’s a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and iron. Not only does it pack a nutritional punch, it’s also a fast-growing, drought-tolerant plant that is a promising biofuel and medicinal source.

Related: Why Moringa is Known as ‘The Miracle Tree’

7. Kelp

Kelp grows super fast (up to two feet per day), and requires neither freshwater nor fertilizer. “And rather than contributing to our carbon footprint, as many fertilizers and food sources do, seaweed cleanses the ocean of excess nitrogen and carbon dioxide,” Mother Jones reported. One kelp farmer on the Long Island Sound even claims he’s restoring the ocean while producing a sustainable food and fuel source.

8. Waste-Based Food

This isn’t as weird as it sounds. In order to reduce food waste, restaurants are finding creative ways to use the edible parts of plants and animals that are often thrown out. Last year, award-winning chef Dan Barber held a two-week pop-up at Blue Hill, his restaurant in New York City, where he cooked with spent grain, cocoa beans, pasta scraps and vegetable pulp.

Written by Cole Mellino. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch. 

Related Stories:

{ 0 comments }

A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals

This post was originally published on this site

Looking for a way to enliven your meditation or self-care practice? Try using crystals!

The practice of using crystals as healing tools has been around for centuries, but in modern times, we’ve used our understanding of science to take the idea a bit further. The science behind healing crystals remains theoretical, but even apart from their healing properties, crystals are … well, really pretty. There’s no harm in using them in your day-to-day life to boost your mood, decorate your home and incorporate them into your meditation routine. If you’re new to the concept, here’s exactly what you need to know about crystals.

The Scientific Theory Behind Crystal Healing

First, let’s talk about the theory behind crystals and how they work. Crystals are solid matter, but the atoms within them vibrate at a very high frequency. This is due to how these beautiful crystals were first formed.

“They started out as liquid or gas situated under the Earth’s surface,” explains Elephant Journal. “When either the liquid or gas rose to the surface and cooled it bonded and formed to be what we now perceive as a solid state, with each atom organized in an orderly, repetitive pattern. These atoms vibrate at a very high speed and both temperature and sound can influence their frequency.”

The idea behind crystals, then, is that we can use their vibrational frequency to influence our own, and vice versa. Certain gems are traditionally known to embody various qualities and virtues, so we use that knowledge to let the gems influence our vibrations.

Common Crystal Meanings

There are many, many kinds of crystals, each with different qualities and attributes – and therefore, different meanings, according to proponents. Here are a few of the most common starter stones to add to your collection:

Rose Quartz

There are many different types of quartz you can collect, but rose quartz is one of the most beloved. It promotes healing, self-love and feminine energy.

Amethyst

Amethyst drives away negative psychic energy. This makes it a great stone for driving away nightmares or anxiety, promoting creative thinking and calm instead.

Citrine

Citrine is ideal for those on a professional or creative journey who want to manifest success. It is closely related to the manifestation of goals as well as clear, driven, focused thinking.

Clear Calcite

Calcite is related to breaking out of our shells and emerging in the next phase of our lives. Clear Calcite helps us to release old ideals that may be holding us back, allowing us to embrace the next stage of life.

Carnelian

Carnelian helps us to live in the moment and center our minds and bodies. This, in turn, can help us be more present in our relationships, professional endeavors and meditation practice. Additionally, carnelian can have a warming element, which can make it ideal for boosting our sex lives or keeping us warm on cold winter days.

How to Use Crystals

There are a number of ways to use your crystals once you’ve obtained them. First, you’ll want to rid them of any energies they may have picked up on their way to you, so you can start your journey together with a clean slate. Most collectors recommend washing the gem in some warm water with a tiny bit of sea salt, rinsing completely, and then letting the crystal sit outside under the moonlight to absorb its cleansing, calm lunar energy.

Next, you’re ready to start using your crystal. As mentioned above, the frequencies of the crystal’s atoms are changed by sound and temperature, so one of the best ways to get started is to warm them up. Two ways to do this safely are to hold the gems in your hand, or to place them next to a candle.

Focus on the crystal and meditate on the idea of your vibrations merging together. This is the meditative train of thought you’ll always want to return to – the idea that your vibrations and those of the crystal can be interchangeable. This will allow you to absorb the crystal’s properties, and vice versa.

In addition to meditating on the crystal, you can sleep with it in your hand, use it to decorate your spiritual altar, keep it in your purse, wear it around your neck or on a ring, or place it near you when you’re participating in self-care treatments such as facials, massages or baths.

All of the above are fantastic ways to bring the magic of crystals into your day-to-day life. Though the science behind the idea is still theoretical, there’s no doubt about it: Collecting crystals makes your home and life a lot prettier, and it’s also a ton of fun.

Related Stories:

{ 0 comments }

8 Hacks to Making Your Workspace More Inspiring

This post was originally published on this site

What does your workspace look like? If you’re actively working at your workspace, it may be covered in an eclectic layer of paperwork, electronic cords and old yogurt lids. And let’s face it, that’s not an inspiring place to work.

The design of your workspace is more powerful than you’d think. In fact, a positive workspace can set the framework for greater inspiration, productivity and creative success. It can help you feel more in control and better able to focus on your work. Not to mention happier while you’re doing it. So how can you reap the tremendous benefits of working in a space you love? Well, for starters…

Make sure you have a quiet space.

First things first, if you’ve been working from a cafe, your couch, or worse, your bed, it’s time to upgrade. Working on the couch is not a breeding ground for creativity and inspiration—it’s the breeding ground for Netflix and Facebook breaks. Find a corner of your home (or even a dedicated separate office) that is quiet, private and exclusively your own. If that means converting your walk-in closet or laundry room into a workspace, then that’s what it’s going to take. Find your own little version of a workspace and stake your flag in it.

Optimize your soundtrack.

Research has shown that around 70 decibels of background noise is most conducive to focus, concentration and creative thinking. In fact, having a little soundtrack to your work actually improves your workflow and is much more comfortable than a place that exists in near-silence. Try instrumental music (like movie soundtracks, jazz or classical) or invest in a noise machine that generates white noise. You could even try an online sound generator like Coffitivity, which offer tracks that capture the hustle and bustle of your favorite cafe work spot.

Choose the right mood lighting.

Any old lighting won’t do. While a well-lit workspace is important for your eyesight and productivity, you don’t want it to be too bright. According to a German study, dim lighting actually encourages freer thinking and improves innovation. While this might not be what you’re looking for when you’re filing taxes, try dimming the lights when you’re embarking on a new project or brainstorming. It may just encourage that spark of creativity you’ve been searching for! Trying to let as much natural light in as you can is an excellent idea, too.

Decorate with intention.

It is important to decorate your space with things that inspire and define you. Don’t just order some mass-produced prints online. Hang clipboards on the wall with magazine photographs that inspire you. Place found items that you love on your shelves. Work struggles can make us feel less than joyful. To combat this, surround yourself with inspiration and positivity.

Creative wooden desktop

Curate your clutter.

Inspire yourself with the right kind of clutter. Think novels, magazine articles to-be-read, notepads and aesthetic trinkets. My desk is full of handmade pottery filled with writing implements and found feathers, notebooks, doodles, post-its, a Werner Herzog book, geodes and a plant. Every single item on my desk inspires me. If it doesn’t, it goes into a drawer.

Create a snack stash.

If you want to be able to stay at your workspace for long periods of time, be prepared. Bring in snacks or have a stash of granola bars and nuts that you can dig into if you need a pick-me-up. Also try keeping an electric kettle and some tea nearby so that you can refuel and feel cozy. And, of course, a large pitcher of lemon water for hydration. A dry brain is not a good work brain.

Get a plant.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, a plant can bring some life and vibrancy to your workspace. Green may also be the color of creativity, so the more plants, the better. If your not a plant-person, try a small succulent or a cactus—they are practically indestructible!

Related: 9 Indoor Plants to Cultivate This Winter

Limit technology.

Unlike plants, too much technology can suck the life out of a space. Yes, you probably need a computer, but try to keep your workspace as a distraction-free zone. Set up your computer so that it doesn’t remember your social media or video passwords automatically. That way there’s a sort of moat you have to cross to get to your most distracting pages and applications, which can dissuade you from procrastinating. Also avoid distracting text messages by putting your phone on Do Not Disturb during periods of intense focus. Free your mind up for the work at hand and take frequent breaks to indulge your technology habit, or, even better, get some fresh air.

Your workspace should be a place you love going to. Invest the time in making your workspace beautiful and soothing. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to get work done, even taxes!

Related on Care2:

{ 0 comments }

8 Reasons Why You’re Still Hungry After Eating

This post was originally published on this site

Do you ever feel hungry soon after finishing a full meal? Why does this happen? Hunger is your body’s way of telling your brain that you need more food. It actually results from a variety of complex interactions between your digestive tract, hormones and nervous system.

Unfortunately, many things can disrupt this complex system. See if any of the following issues might be throwing your hunger signals off track.

1. YOUR BREAKFAST WAS TOO SMALL

A University of Cambridge study followed 6,764 adults for almost 4 years and found that those who normally ate 300 calories or less for breakfast gained twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more. It’s believed that eating a big breakfast helps regulate your blood sugar throughout the day, which leads to less food cravings and hunger.

Researchers recommended eating a larger percentage of your daily calories at breakfast and a lower percentage over the rest of the day to help control hunger and excess weight gain.

2. YOU’RE THIRSTY

Symptoms of dehydration can actually mimic hunger. You might experience fatigue, headache or difficulty concentrating. You may even feel your stomach growling. And you don’t need to be severely dehydrated either. These symptoms can easily arise when your body’s normal fluid level drops by a mere 1 or 2 percent.

So, next time you feel like a snack right after a meal, reach for a glass of water instead. Then wait a few minutes and see if your interest in food washes away.

3. YOU ATE CANNED FOOD

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly found in the lining of canned foods, where it will leach into the food itself. BPA is known to cause obesity, among other health problems. Harvard University researchers believe this is because BPA causes surges in the hormone leptin, which can lead to food cravings.

Other food sources of BPA to watch out for include soda and beer cans, reusable water bottles and other storage containers, and restaurant food because of the various packaged ingredients that many restaurants use.

Related: Which Canned Foods Still Contain BPA?

4. YOU DRANK TOO MUCH SODA

In addition to BPA, the high fructose corn syrup contained in many sodas can pose problems. Fructose has been found to reduce blood flow and activity in brain regions that regulate hunger. It also impedes the function of hormones that tell your body you’re full. Interestingly, this is not true for other foods like fruit, vegetables and even table sugar. These all contain balanced amounts of glucose and fructose, and glucose is known to produce feelings of satisfaction and fullness. Whereas, fructose does not.

Watch for high fructose corn syrup on the ingredient labels of other foods like cereals, snack foods, condiments, candy bars, salad dressings and many other prepared foods.

5. YOU ATE TOO FAST

Your stomach sends hormonal signals to the brain to tell it when you’re full. But it can easily take up to 20 minutes for these signals to register. So, if you scarf down your meal in record time, you run the risk of continuing to feel hungry and overeat before your sense of fullness kicks in.

Give yourself at least 20 to 30 minutes to eat and enjoy your meal. Research has also shown that eating slowly can result in eating fewer calories and feeling more satisfied overall with your meal.

6. YOU SKIPPED THE FIBER

How quickly a food digests affects your sense of fullness. Fiber stays in your stomach longer than simple carbohydrates and sugars, which increases your feeling of fullness for a longer time. Fiber is also low-calorie, which makes it preferable to fats and some other longer-digesting foods.

To take advantage of this, try to fill your plate with high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes instead of highly processed foods. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated as well as help bulk up and move the fiber through your system, which also reduces hunger.

7. YOU’RE NOT REALLY HUNGRY

Sometimes we eat for a variety of psychological and social reasons. We may be triggered to eat from stress, or as a way to deal with difficult emotions. We might eat as part of a social gathering, or perhaps due to social pressure. Boredom and mindless eating can be other issues.

If you find yourself overeating or making poor food choices for emotional or social reasons, you may want to start changing these patterns. Try to become more aware of the times you eat when you’re not even hungry. What’s going on at these times? Can you deal with the situation more constructively without overeating?

8. MEDICAL ISSUES

Certain medical conditions can cause an unusual increase in hunger, such as diabetes, pregnancy, tapeworms, thyroid issues or even some medications. If feeling hungry after eating is a persistent problem for you, speak to your doctor to find out if there’s an underlying diagnosis causing the hunger that you’re unaware of.

Related on Care2

{ 0 comments }

108 queries in 0.632307 seconds.