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Dishing It Up for Autumn

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It Up for AutumnSummer sure seemed to zoom by pretty quickly, didn’t it?  Though it was marvellous to have such summery weather right through September 7 this year. As I write this, however, the mercury has decidedly dipped and the trees are showing hints of autumn colour. Yes, autumn is imminent with the autumn equinox arriving on September 23.

So my lead story in Dishing It Up for Autumn is about beating “autumn anxiety” for those, like me, who lament summer’s passing.  Enjoy!



This month in Dishing It Up for Autumn

  • Eight ways to beat autumn anxiety
  • New Research Reveals Why You Shouldn’t Add a Banana to Your Smoothies
  • 5 nutrition “rules” runners can forget
  • Boost Your Mood with These Healthy Snacks
  • Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones

Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each story …

Eight ways to beat autumn anxiety
“Strategies for dealing with a seasonal slump in mood were among the issues investigated by researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh….Here’s what they recommend we try to put a spring in our step”. Interestingly, one of their recommendations is to drink four cups of coffee a day (1 every 4 hours), although they did clarify that not everyone has the same response. I certainly wouldn’t as coffee gives me the jitters. If you are prone to autumn anxiety, you might also wish to consider a side-effect identified in another recent study: bruxism (aka grinding your teeth at night).
Read more …

New Research Reveals Why You Shouldn’t Add a Banana to Your Smoothies
When we want a mood-boost, we tend to reach for sweet things. So I recommend you sate your sweet-cravings with whole foods like fruit, or treats that are sweetened with fruit (rather than processed sugar). Not only is it better for your waistline, but fruits contain a lot of health-supporting nutrients, called flavanols, which are good for cognitive health (among other things). So I was intrigued by this study that found that an enzyme in bananas, called polyphenol oxidase, can impair the availability of flavanols to be absorbed after intake. I’ll let you read the full article, but essentially it distills down to this rule: don’t mix bananas with berries.
Read more …

5 nutrition “rules” runners can forget
Like many, I run to bust-stress. And my mileage goes up in autumn. Not only is the cooler weather easier to run in, I usually have more stress to bust than I do in summer. So here are some rules you can forget if you are a runner. A key one is the first, about running in a fasted state (the idea being to improve the body’s ability to use stored fat, rather than carbs, as fuel). I did this for years also until I came across Dr. Stacy Sims. She tells us that “women’s bodies already preferentially use fat and protein for fuel. Because of this, fasted training in women increases cortisol levels, causing a cascade of poor adaptation, fatigue, depression, anxiety and a build-up of body fat.” This was an eye opener! Since then I’ve always had a pre-run snack.
Read more …

Boost Your Mood with These Healthy Snacks
Here are some other healthy snacks that boost mood. Coffee is on this list (note the bruxism issue, above) as are blueberries (remember not to consume them with bananas). But also on the list are dark chocolate, which is a healthy indulgent treat, and vitamin D-rich foods such as tuna. I eat about a can of tuna per week in lunches (though not more, due to the mercury content). It is a great protein source and quick to prepare. Click here for the recipe for a simple Tuna Salad Plate. It is full of protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep your energy and mood stable for hours.
Read more …

Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones
Netflix just recently released this documentary. “Travel around the world with author Dan Buettner to discover five unique communities where people live extraordinarily long and vibrant lives.” It’s a good reminder of healthy practices we can all benefit from in the autumn and winter of our lives. And the subjects are both charming and inspiring.
Watch more …


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