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By: Liz Williams Date: 2/28/12

I have absolutely no psychological training, but I love playing armchair psychologist.  I am very willing to speculate on the reasons why someone makes odd choices or acts in a nontraditional manner.  It’s fun.  I do not take myself seriously in doing this, but my pursuit of armchair psychology is supplemented by my willingness to read about psychology and watch psychiatry-related television shows and movies. 

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD Date: 2/24/2012

Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, can you hear that noise? It’s the sound of your heart beating, working hard on your behalf, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, year after year. The heart is one of the most amazing organs in our body, and American Heart Month in February gives us time to pause and appreciate its hard work. As my colleague mentioned in her post earlier this month, there are all kinds of intangible benefits that are connected to heart health and exercise and the same is true when it comes to the diet.

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By: Katie Burns Date: 2/22/12

It seems like just yesterday my colleague was blogging about an arsenic “scare” (Arsenic in Apple Juice: Do You Really Need to Worry?), and now the media is buzzing about another arsenic issue—arsenic and brown rice, specifically organic brown rice syrup. 

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By Sarah Romotsky, R.D.  Date: 2/17/12

I’ve been teaching spinning classes for more than seven years now and have watched people transform their lives, both physically and mentally, through exercise. When I ask people who come to my spin class why they enjoy it and keep coming back, the answer usually involves something about muscle tone and weight loss/management. These responses are not surprising, since these are the benefits of exercise we can see. They are the tangible results that come with physical activity that help let you know that the physical activity you are doing is making a difference.

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By: Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, Author, The Small Change Diet  Date:2/15/12

Recently, I was a guest on the Doctor Oz Show to discuss whether or not a person can become addicted to food. To prepare for the segment I searched for conclusive science-based evidence pointing in that direction.  An important and recurring question was whether or not the body goes through physiological withdrawal in the same way it would for drugs and alcohol when we stop eating a particular food.  My research into controlled human trials on the topic left me unconvinced.

 

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By: Erika Wincheski, University of Maryland Dietetic Intern Date: 2/13/12

More than a month into the New Year may be a good time to take stock of those resolutions we made to improve various aspects of our lives. I don’t know how it is for others, but despite all the advice floating around about how to stick to our commitments, it still can be very challenging to avoid disappointment. According to a recent study, about 75% of Americans maintain their resolutions for at least a week, with 71% hanging in there for two weeks. Not surprisingly, the percentage keeps decreasing as time increases.

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By Kimberly Reed, Executive Director,International Food Information Council Foundation  Date: 2/10/12

 

I would like to wish Let's Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, a very happy second birthday.
 
The First Lady celebrated this anniversary in Iowa with 14,000 students. She highlighted an important concept in combatting obesity – energy balance (“calories in” should equal “calories out”) – when she led the crowd in dancing the “Interlude” (a dance that originated at the University of Northern Iowa). The First Lady also emphasized that “you do not have to be the President of the United States, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, to make exercise a regular part of your life.”
 

 

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 2/8/12
 
Some days, it seems one can’t turn on the television without hearing some story attempting to scare us about our food: whether it has to do with salt, sugar or even low levels of naturally occurring chemicals, these types of stories are part of our reality.  

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By: Liz Williams, Southern Food and Beverage Museum Date: 2/6/12

I think that one of the most important things that happens in the kitchen is the transfer of the wisdom of civilization.  It happens naturally and without effort.  It happens when generations cook together.  And one of the terrible consequences of not cooking is the loss of the opportunity to pass down that wisdom. 

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By: Sarah Romotsky, RD Date: 2/3/2012

Growing up in Los Angeles, California, the closest I had ever been to a farm was buying produce at farmer’s markets. Sure, I was supporting local agriculture and seeing the faces of some farm workers, but I still had no real understanding of where the food I was buying came from and who was putting in the effort to produce food that was safe, affordable and of the best quality possible. After visiting a few different farms in Indiana recently, however, I’ve realized just how important and relevant the “story” is of how food gets from the farm to my fork.

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By: Christine Bruhn, PhD Date: 2/1/12

New Year’s Resolutions are often hard to keep. People can avoid the “sins” of the past for a short time, but long term adherence to the good life is tough. A commitment to act in accordance with safe food handling, however, doesn’t require any big sacrifices, and it can mean a better life for you and those you cook for.

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