How to Easily Get More Variation In Your Diet | The Health Sessions

7 Stress-Free Strategies to Get More Variation in Your Diet

It’s the first rule of healthy eating: eat a wide variety of foods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDA and DHHS, 1980) advises you to consume something from all 5 major food groups: fruits and vegetables, (whole) grains, meat, poultry, fish and legumes, dairy products, and fats and sweets. You should also try to vary with ingredients within each food group.

But did you know that on average, we only eat 25 different kinds of foods in 3 days? In contrast, research suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to collect over 55 unique plants to secure food all year round. That’s a pretty big difference! But why should you want to bring more variation to your daily diet?

Read more >



4 Simple Ways to Make Exercise a Habit | The Health Sessions

4 Simple Ways to Make Exercise a Habit

This article is written by Veronika William

You find yourself out of breath after climbing the stairs, again. “Enough is enough,” you declare. You march into your local fitness center and sign up for a membership. Perhaps a pal in the same boat joins you. After all, if you have a workout partner, your chances of sticking with the program drastically increase.

For the first few sessions, you’re unstoppable. A week later, one of you can’t make it. “No problem,” you insist. By the end of the month, you haven’t swiped your membership card in more days than you’re comfortable admitting. By the next month, your gym bag is dusty and you’re five pounds heavier.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. A healthy lifestyle cannot be achieved overnight. It takes some degree of effort to make it a routine. For most of us, starting a new workout regimen is easy. Sticking with it, however, often seems next to impossible. Good news: it’s not.

If you’ve repeatedly tried–and subsequently failed–to move your body on a regular basis, consider these 4 tips to turn exercise into a habit.

Read more >



14 Winter Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day | The Health Sessions

14 Winter Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day

They’re one of most popular ingredients for crushing colds: winter citrus.

And it’s not hard to see why. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system strong. What’s more, those juicy oranges, lemons and mandarins contain powerful antioxidants that protect your brain and improve your heart health by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Of course you can make fresh orange juice of add a slice of lemon to your cup of tea to get these health benefits. But if you don’t want to throw away those treasured fibers or consume too much fructose, it’s best to enjoy winter citrus as a whole fruit. You could star citrus fruits in porridges and sweets, put slices in salads or add a zesty element to your sheet pan dinner.

Before you go all-in on winter citrus, it’s important to know that grapefruit interacts with common medications like cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood thinners, pain medication, certain antidepressants and antiviral drugs. So if you’re taking prescribed meds, please check with your doctor or pharmacist if it’s ok for you to consume grapefruit.

With that crucial note in mind, bring a burst of brightness to dark days with these 14 winter citrus recipes!

Read more >



How the Overuse of Antibiotics Affects Your Gut Health | The Health Sessions

How the Overuse of Antibiotics Affects Your Gut Health

This article is written by Richard Lin. 

Antibiotics are the most effective form of treatment for specific conditions. Unfortunately, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) determined that approximately 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessarily written each year . That’s 47 million in total! While overprescribing antibiotics might seem harmless, the overuse of these medications can have lasting effects on your overall health.

The purpose of antibiotics is to rid your body of bacteria strains that have become overabundant in the body. However, these medications also destroy healthy bacteria. 

Without these microbes, your gut is a wide-open area prone to pathogens. These pathogens can overtake your gut microbiome and compromise your health. Let’s go over the potential dangers of these prescription drugs and how to improve your health using probiotics. 

Read more >



11 Gluten-Free Lunch Box Ideas | The Health Sessions

11 Gluten-Free Lunch Box Ideas to Bring with You

Over the past decade, more and more people have been eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons.

Not just because they suffer from celiac disease – a serious autoimmune disease in which the digestion of gluten leads to damage to the small intestine – but also because they follow a Paleo lifestyle or a low-carb diet.

Personally, I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free foods as part of the Autoimmune Protocol. But there’s one meal I struggle with: lunch time.

You see, I’m from the Netherlands, and a typical Dutch lunch consists of a whole wheat sandwich with cheese or deli meats. We love our bread, so much so that we pack our work lunch boxes with ‘boterhammen’, bring bread rolls on a day out and eat toasties in lunchrooms.

Now when I’m at home, I don’t mind whipping up a veggie-packed omelet or heating up leftovers from last night’s dinner. But on days when I’m off to the playground with my kids, I really miss simply putting sandwiches in my bag and heading out the door. Carrying a thermos of soup around on my bicycle feels like a recipe for disaster, so what other portable, no-heat, gluten-free lunch options are out there?

Before we dive in, let me get one thing straight: gluten are not necessarily your food enemy. Not everyone has to avoid the protein found in grains like wheat barley and rye. But if you do want to go gluten-free, check out these 11 ideas for a gluten-free lunch box.

Read more >