Welcome to our first edition of “Your Weekly Wellness Report”, where your PaleoHacks editors break down what’s going on in the health and wellness world. Each edition, we’ll fill you in on the best reads from the web. We’ll talk food, health trends, diets, lifestyles, and fitness, plus a whole lot more.
This week, we’re ushering in trendy food predictions with Women’s Health, ditching the calorie counter at Self, and debating diets and weight loss at The New York Times. We’ll also follow one woman’s 30-day hot yoga journey at the New York Post, and learn why lemons might be just as good as Xanax at PureWow.
We’re well into the new year, and with that, we all start forecasting what the next big food trends are going to be. What’s in store for 2019? According to Women’s Health, we’ll all start slathering our (Paleo-friendly) toast with watermelon seed butter. This, and a variety of other seed butters like tahini and pumpkin seed, will take the coveted spot of traditional nut butters (like almond and cashew butter). This is great news for Paleo people with nut allergies (as long as they’re free of added sugars and other funky ingredients).
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Other big food predictions for 2019? The war on food waste will push forward with people accepting more “ugly” produce. There’s also more reasons to use food scraps in recipes and utilize more jackfruit as a go-to meat substitute – probably because it makes great “pulled pork” sandwiches.
With all these new foods to try, you might also want to take stock of the calories you’re consuming – or not? According to an article over at Self, counting calories might be a misguided way to maintaining a healthy diet.
For starters, it’s nearly impossible to know the exact calorie count you need to consume without some super-expensive machinery and complicated science, known as indirect calorimetry. It’s also difficult to know how many calories you’re actually consuming, as nutrition labels have a 20 percent margin of error, and you can’t quantify exactly how many calories your body absorbs from food.
Instead, focus on cooking with a wide variety of wholesome ingredients and avoid ignoring your hunger cues by eating more mindfully. This is a message we can definitely endorse.
Counting calories or not, we can all agree that dieting is a tricky world to navigate. In a reflection on diet and weight loss, The New York Times broke down the fact that even with decades of research, it’s incredibly difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the long-term effects of trending dieting methods.
We also don’t know exactly why the obesity epidemic has steadily creeped up in recent decades, especially because so many factors of modern life should have contributed to better health, like the wider availability of fresh produce, the uptick in gyms and walking, increased nutritional awareness in schools, and somewhat healthier lunches in schools.
But we’re also battling unhealthy trends like immense portion sizes, an abundance of available snacks, dining out more often, and a cultural tolerance of weight gain. Still, current research hasn’t found just one culprit.
What do we know, then? People have massively varied responses to different diets, and diets like Paleo, keto, vegan, and more may work better for one person than another. If you’ve found something that makes you feel your best, you should probably stick with it.
…a study that found the scent of citrus fruit (yuzu fruit, specifically) to significantly decrease anxiety, depression, confusion, and anger after just 10 minutes of inhaling it.
But we don’t spend all our time reading about food and diets – exercise is important, too! One woman recounts her experience practicing hot yoga for 30 days straight over at the New York Post. It’s enough to have us saying #goals, but for reasons that don’t include a drastic body transformation.
For one, we learn that it’s not about perfecting poses or chiseling abs, but rather demonstrating just what amazing things your body is capable of. It’s also about drawing attention to the littlest things: our breath, our thoughts, and the warm welcome at the yoga studio reception desk.
The writer acknowledges that she didn’t see a massive physical transformation that month (she didn’t drop 15 pounds or develop a six-pack), but hot yoga helped melt away her anxiety and bring clarity to her mind.
On that note, did you know lemons might just have the same stress-melting effect? PureWow reports on a study that found the scent of citrus fruit (yuzu fruit, specifically) to significantly decrease anxiety, depression, confusion, and anger after just 10 minutes of inhaling it.
Although PureWow is suggesting this humble lemon is better than Xanax, we’re still going to recommend you talk to your doctor before switching your mental health meds for citrusy scents – but definitely give these edible mood-boosters a try!
As we bid you adieu for this edition, we hope you find these reads just as interesting and thought provoking as we did. So go ahead, give watermelon seed butter a taste, sniff up some citrus, and take calorie counting with a grain of salt. Until next time!