Health PSA :Avoid False Cures for the Coronavirus

Whenever there is a public health crisis, crowds have a tendency to overreact. This is an understandable reaction thanks to our very biology. Human beings are part of a ‘herd’ mentality. We rely on social behavior as part of our own survival. So when a group of people simultaneously get bad news, we tend to run high on the emotions of the people within a close proximity to one another.  It also doesn’t help that our own ideas and beliefs tend to be solidified by an “echo chamber”. In spite the validity of the information.

So, it is very easy to buy into things that aren’t in our own best interests or spread false information. In other words, panic is how fake news, snake oil,  and cults of personality happen. And the news about the Coronavirus is causing major panic. A panic that is causing people to react in ways that are counterproductive.

In lieu of the usual nutrition news we are going to cover the dos, and don’ts of managing your health during this time of pandemic.


Don’t Listen to Politicians and Celebrities and Do Listen to Doctors and Scientists

Everybody has at least one personal hero.  That is because, just like I mentioned in the beginning, we are social creatures. So, we can’t help but admire some people.   You may like a supermodel because of how gorgeous they are. Or you may like an athlete for how well they perform physical feats.  And it is worth admiration because they put in the hours and dedication into their profession.

So why don’t we give that same benefit of the doubt to doctors and scientists, when they give you medical advice?

Just because you admire someone that does not mean that they’re knowledgeable about every subject matter. Especially when it comes to something that is important as your health.

health, celebrity,
I do not trust my health to this.

They might have the occasional nuggets of wisdom here and there. However, if you expect their information to rival that of over 12 years of medical school, consistently tested evidence, and direct observation, then you are sorely mistaken.

As tempted as you are to think that the latest supplement in a supermarket might be enough to ward away the coronavirus or the flu, you are better off listening to the professionals about this.

Some of the highly recommended places to learn about the latest in an outbreak is the World Health Organization. Also, if you want to find a reliable resource on any subject matter pertaining to health as a rule of thumb periodicals, like peer reviewed journals from people who have dedicated their lives to that sort of research is also a good place to go.


Don’t Stock up on Medical Masks  or Hand Sanitizer and Do Keep Soap on Hand


panic buying, health

“Panic buying, according to Wikipedia, “is the act of buying unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of, or after, a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage.”

This phenomenon is not a new one. The act of hoarding supplies in an attempt to head off disaster is a survival mechanism. I recall my family stockpiling canned foods in anticipation for Y2K. Even hibernating animals store supplies for times when food will not be plenty. However, there is a difference between having a small back up and descending on supplies en masse like zombies in a movie.

Recently, a swath of panic buying is occuring for things like medical masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. At first, it seems inconsequential. After all, isn’t it good to have these things just in case? Not necessarily. For starters, using these supplies too much , or in the wrong way make them ineffective. Too much hand sanitizer can make your skin crack, adding more potential entry points for viruses to get in. Also, medical masks cannot protect you from the coronavirus. It protects other people from getting a disease that you are carrying.

It also leads to more dangerous consequences for doctors, healthcare workers, and other professionals. When things are bought out past the point of production, the supplies get more expensive. And if it is expensive, then Doctors will either have to charge even more from patients to cover the rising cost, or they will go without, creating a breeding ground for germs.

Instead of putting yourself and others in danger by buying out all the medical supplies, do keep some soap on hand. If you wash your hands regularly and pay attention to what you are touching, you are less likely to come out of this worse for wear.

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The Avocado Craze – Why Has it Been a Dietary Hit?

Have you ever noticed the growing trend that is avocado toast? It is a common breakfast item menu at most coffee shops and is often part of the brunch circuit of most mid-grade restaurants. This sort of trend is amusing, especially when you take into account where they come from and their association with Mexican food.  While avocados aren’t exactly a new food item, they have certainly become part of the “Hollywood” and “Granola” trend.  What do we know now about the avocado that we didn’t know up until recently?  What about it is avocado that people love the most and why should we incorporate it into our dietary life? Let’s find out.

What are Avocados?

The interesting thing about these types of fruit is that they are more or less a contradiction in and of itself. For example, while it is technically a fruit with carbohydrates, it is also contains healthy fats. The carbs are also mostly fibrous. Not only that but in spite of the fat content it has, it is low in saturation.  In other words, it is one of the more unusual fruit to come from a tree than most people realize.

avacado, dietary

Avocados are fruits that grow on a Persea americana tree and are mostly cultivated in Mexico, Central, and South America. While there are a variety of shapes and colors. One of the more common ones that most people think of are the Hass Avacado. This type is a pear-shaped fruit with green/ black skin on the outside and green pulp on the inside with a giant seed in the middle. The first mention of it in the English language was in 1696 and was introduced to the united states in 1871 via California.

They are an ideal fruit for export, and have a natural resistance for disease and insects. This is thanks to its tough and bumpy skin. So, it makes sense that it would be popular.  But what does it have to offer in terms of diet and nutrition?

Nutritional and Dietary Information for Avocados

Avocados have a combination of nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including but not limited to :

  • Potassium
  • Lutein (good for the eyes)
  • Folate (great for cell repair)
  • Vitamins B, C, and E.
  • It is also filled with carotenoids to go with natural fats. This helps with vitamin A absorption.

This type of fruit is also great at combating heart disease. According to Whfoods, it is also a help for your cholesterol. ” The addition of avocado to already well-balanced diets has been shown to lower risk of heart disease, improve blood levels of LDL, and lower levels of oxidative stress in the bloodstream following consumption of food. In one particular research study, participants in two groups all consumed a diet with the same overall balance, including 34% fat in both groups. But one avocado per day was included in the meal plan of only one group, and that was the group with the best heart-related results in terms of blood fat levels.”

It makes sense that it is part of the diet trends of today. It covers a lot of nutritional needs and is ultimately an easy way to add something to a healthy diet.  So, with that revelation in mind, it makes sense that it is starting to become a trend.



When you combine its horticultural origins with the nutritional benefits it has to offer, it is easy to see why California would hop on making avocados a health food trend. At least, there is a scientific study to back up its nutritional value. Also, it is not hard to get access to them in this scenario. This puts it a step above the scientifically unproven fads of essential oils and the obscure dietary superfoods such as goji berries.

So, barring allergies, it would be a good idea to eat the occasional avocado in your diet once in a while. You may be surprised by the benefits, and you might find something different that you would like.

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What is Nutritional Yeast?

Huntsville, AL – Whenever we hear about the process of making bread, yeast often comes into the picture. It is an interesting fungus that changes the property of sugar into alcohol. The presence or lack thereof is often a requirement in various religious texts and it is one of the biggest achievements in human civilization. So, what makes yeast nutritional in the first place? Is there a difference between both good and bad yeast? And why is it so important to people both past and present?  That is what we are going to find out.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a species of fungus that scientists call Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is a Latinized Greek term that means “sugar fungus” or “sugar mold”. They appear in nature on ripe fruits, such as grapes. It is not airborne like other types of fungus or mold, and often requires direct contact from either neighboring fruit or social wasps that act as pollinators.

The main uses for this type of yeast are for winemaking, baking and providing carbon dioxide for aquatic plants.

The fermentation of grapes and grains for wine and beer is something that predates writing. Most archaeologists and anthropologists believed that it was an attempt to preserve the sweetness of natural wild berries around the time people stopped being nomadic and started to cultivate their own farms.

Nutritional Yeast

But that is a different type of yeast when you compare it to the nutritional yeast that is in production today.  While it is still the same type of yeast, the process of making it into a food product.

Nutritional yeast is a  “dairy-free savory food seasoning especially favored by vegans for its cheese-like flavor.”

Cheese, much like any other preserved food, goes through a process not unlike fermentation, only it also has milkfat involved.  An excess of lipids that come from milkfat, as well as ethics regarding vegetarianism,  are often the reason why most people are looking for substitutes for cheese or any sort of savory byproducts.

Hence, the creation of nooch or nutritional yeast.


How Do You Make Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a dead form of yeast. It goes through a baking process to prevent the dangers of it getting active.  According to Bon Appetit,

“It’s the same strain of yeast bakers use to leaven bread, except it’s been pasteurized to dry out the yeast in order to extract its nutritional benefits.

This yeast is grown in vats of molasses, nutrients, and water. Once the yeast is mature, it gets poured out onto a conveyor belt and goes through a drying process that breaks it down into little flakes. The nutritional yeast you can buy at the store has a bright yellow hue and is most commonly sold powdered or in flakes.”

But just because something is trendy in whole food stores, doesn’t mean that it is nutritional in nature.  So, what type of nutrition does it have?

The Nutrition in Nutritional Yeast

For starters, one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains all 9 essential amino acids that humans need to get from other foods. This means that the yeast has a lot of protein. Nutritional yeast also has a lot of vitamin B, which can decrease high blood sugar levels.

And that is without the addition of extra vitamins and minerals. Some brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with more vitamins and minerals to make it a decent nutritional supplement.

All of these things, fortified or not, can support the immune system. It can also promote skin, hair, and nail health, as well as support a healthy pregnancy.

That sounds like that it lives up to its namesake.

How Do People Use the Yeast?

Typically, it is a substitute for cheese, so it would take the place where shredded cheese would normally go. It is often on popcorn toppings, mixed in with several types of salads, or anywhere else where a condiment might go.

If you think that it is a good idea to incorporate it into your diet, or at least try it once or twice, you can most likely find it in a health food store.

nutritional yeast


What is the 5/20 Rule for Nutrition?

nutrition, 5/20 rule

There are a variety of ways to come up with a nutritional plan. Sometimes, it involves a cycle of dieting based on activities, other times it is about finding a consistent pattern that you are willing to stick with. However, everyone is a little bit different with their specific needs, so no two diets are exactly alike. That doesn’t mean that there is no baseline for nutrition. That is why we have things like the FDA and nutrition labels on the food. From there we use it to figure out the recommended daily intake (RDI).

But the nutrition labels, without being taught how to read them, can be disorienting or a little confusing. So, how can you figure out that you are getting too much or too little for what you need? That is where the 5/20 rule comes into play.  But what is the 5/20 rule and how can people read it to get the right nutrition for them?

The 5/20 Rule

The reason the current nutrition label is sectioned out with the levels of nutrients is because of what was at the beginning of the article, everyone is different with their nutritional needs. Age, gender, medical conditions are variables that involve a slight tweak in food buying habits. Most food, whether nutrient-dense or processing will have their own statistics based on their properties, and the nutrition label is supposed to show these things so that buyers can know what they are looking for.

One of the more recent ways to translate if something on the label has or doesn’t have what you need is the 5/20 rule. When people state the 5/20 rule, they are stating the range of daily value.  5% is on the low end of a value. Anything that goes above 20% would be considered on the high end.

So, say you need to decrease your intake of sodium. You pick up a can of instant soup and look at the daily value. The label reads 40% per serving. That is way too much sodium to handle, so it’s probably best to avoid the soup.  Another example of reading is finding something that you do want. If you need extra vitamin C or calcium, you can probably get a better idea of how much there is on the label, also following the 5/20 rule.  It allows for flexibility based on what you know about your own dietary needs.

 The State of Newer Nutrition Labels

So, now that you are aware of how to read the nutrition labels, you will notice that there might be a few elements lacking on the labeling, or at least a few of them getting added in. That is because the rules behind what is involved with nutrition labels are changing. According to, “Most Americans could benefit from eating foods with high levels of fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D — all nutrients that are starting to show up on the new nutrition labels that companies making over $10 million must implement immediately and smaller ones must roll out by 2021.”

The new regulations for the nutrition labels that included these add-ins were passed into law in 2016. It has its origins in the 1960s and while it has gone through its own changes it has, by and large, had the same concept. Letting people know what is in their food and equip them with the chance to make healthy food choices.

It is easy to track the nutrition label history, its purpose,  as well as, the origins of certain diets. However, the 5/20 rule isn’t so easy to track. Why is the 5/20 rule not a common term? How long did nutritionists know them and when did this rule of thumb come from?

The Origins of the 5/20 Rule

The first mention of it online was in 2010. This is little before the USDA started to replace the food pyramid with the plate model in children’s nutrition programs in 2011. Some of the earliest sources online date back a decade on the website for the International Food Information Council Foundation.  According to them, ” The FDA hosted a webcast to discuss how we should use the information on the label to guide us in making healthy, balanced dietary choices.” This falls into the timing of the youtube videos that the FDA rolled out to garner more awareness about the 5/20 rule altogether.  It falls in the timeframe of the rollout of the pyramid/plate nutrition changes. That makes it safe to assume it is part of the nutrition information campaign during the Obama administration.

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One is the Lonliest Number: The Consequences of Eating Alone

Why Eating Alone could be Bad for Nutrition

There are a few nutrition guidelines that we hear quite often. Whether we are looking at the latest scientific article while eating alone or we are learning about nutrition in school, we remember a few things. Eat more vegetables, look for lean meats over fatty, limit sweets, etc. However, there are some basic nutrition rules or cultural phenomenon that would put most European or Asian countries leagues ahead of the U.S.

For example, it is par for the course for my friends in Italy for them to have supper around 7 PM, which sounds a little odd on paper, but they eat that late and snack during midday. This midday snacking and late meal prevents the regular occurrence of midnight snacks. The purpose of all of this is to decrease the chances of excess weight gain overnight.

Another thing they told me that piqued my interest was the discouragement of eating supper, or dinner, alone. In fact, when I asked them in a conversation about why they didn’t just pack a sandwich to prevent conflicting schedules, they immediately chewed me out. “You never eat dinner alone, you will eat more junk food than when you eat with your family.”

This piqued my interest. Is there any information that backs up this claim? How does it work on a scientific level? And what can we do with that information?

eating alone

Eating Alone Does Affect your Health

So, is there any scientific studies on the whole about the subject matter? Surprisingly, yes. According to South Korean scientists, who conducted a study, both men and women who ate two meals a day alone ran a higher risk of metabolic diseases and obesity. And not just by a slim margin. Men who regularly ate alone had a 45% greater risk of becoming obese. And this wasn’t a study that was several years old or outdated by a few decades, this was discovered as recent as 2017.

What is the reason for this statistical uptick? And more importantly, what does eating alone have to do with your eating habits? How do people who eat in groups fare better with nutrition than people who eat alone?


Psychological Reasons

One of the more interesting possible factors that could contribute to the increased risk of health problems from eating alone is loneliness. According to psychologist, Andrew Aybeta, “We rely on relationships for emotional support and stress management. Lonely people lack a strong social support system and are therefore more vulnerable to physical wear and tear of stress and anxiety. In turn, they’re at higher risk for developing stress-related diseases or conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.”

Human beings are social creatures. Human interaction is as much as a need as eating, sleeping or exercise. Without it, our minds and bodies will be more likely to give way to deterioration. That is why solitary confinement, a punishment of literally depriving a person of any human contact will drive anyone insane.
So, if this is all accurate, it is reasonable to assume that feelings of isolation can increase your health risk.
socializing while eating

Behavioral Reasons

However, it is not just a psychological reason. It also has to do with our behavior in public vs our behavior in private. For starters, “People who eat alone are more likely to eat unhealthy fast food or foods that, like frozen or boxed foods, that are quick to prepare. Who wants to cook a meal for one?”

Not only that, but people who eat alone are more likely to eat while standing up, eat junk food, and eat while distracted.  This can be a huge blow for people who not only had little nutrition education, but also are less likely to bother cooking for themselves.

And it makes sense. You are less likely to tailor your behavior and choices when you are by yourself. If you have no one to offer support in making positive food choices, what is reinforcing your good behavior? Alternatively, what is the point of eating slow and being mindful of your manners or portion size if you don’t have to share with anyone?


If you think you need help with nutrition, and your current habit of eating alone isn’t working for you, maybe you should consider eating more with your family, coworkers, or friends? There is nothing wrong with both getting the nutritional and emotional support you need so you can thrive. So, don’t eat alone if you don’t have to.

What is the Best Nutrition for Celiac Disease

When doctors, nutritionists, bloggers, and other experts talk about a healthy diet and nutrition, they err on the side of covering common issues. Obesity, for example, is always a hot topic for nutrition publications. This is often the case of the “squeaky wheel”. Basically, when a big issue demands attention, the ones that aren’t urgent get pushed aside. This isn’t because they are not as important, but it is often because it is not as overwhelming. It is not unlike the idiom of the squeaky wheel. So, when people who are suffering from cancer or anorexia pick up a publication,  they will not find the help they are looking for.

So, we will cover nutrition issues OTHER than obesity, to help people with a variety of problems. Because everyone is different, and there is no “one size fits all” thing for everybody outside of a general rule of thumb. So, take it with a grain of salt.

Celiac Disease

When we hear about gluten-free diets without any given context, usually we think of it as a passing fad. And while it is true that not everyone should believe every single thing they hear from dieting magazines or mlms, that does not mean that there isn’t a grain of truth (pun not intended) behind it.

There are people with gluten sensitivities out there. These conditions range from mild to severe, and there is legitimate scientific and medical evidence to support it.

The condition that causes the most issues with gluten sensitivity is celiac disease. But it is so rare, that most people are more aware of a gluten-free diet then they are the condition that requires it. So, what is it?

celiac disease

What Celiac Disease Looks Like

Celiac disease, according to Mayo Clinic, “If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.”

The complete list of symptoms include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Bloating or a feeling of fullness
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Itchy, blistery rash (doctors call this dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Headaches or fatigue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea
  • Nervous system injury, including numb or tingling hands or feet, balance problems, or changes in awareness
  • Poop that’s pale, smells especially bad, or floats (steatorrhea)
  • Weight loss

Causes of Celiac Disease

The interesting thing is that while we don’t know the specifics of what causes Celiac Disease, doctors and scientists are able to at least find a series of commonalities.

Genetics is a large contribution to the possibility of having Celiacs Disease. There has been speculation that the DNA of gut bacteria is also involved but there hasn’t been confirmed evidence as of yet.

Celiac Disease is also commonly found in other conditions such as:

  • A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
  • Addison’s disease

All of the above conditions have a genetic correlation or component, so there is a strong chance that genetics would be the key contributing factor to having Celiacs Disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Celiacs Disease. However, there is no cure for the condition. The only way to head it off is to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.

bread, gluten

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains. So, things like wheat, barley, rye, etc are right out in a gluten-free diet. That sounds simple, but the unfortunate truth is that a lot of materials that we use in foods are often utilized in other markets. Gluten can be found in certain types of kinds of toothpaste and medications.

Thankfully, there are hypoallergenic options for things like cosmetics and medication can exist without the presence of gluten as a binding agent. It just means that you need to exercise vigilance and check everything.

If you need whole grains, but can’t eat gluten, one of the ways that you can mitigate that is by substituting wheat with things like rice or potato. It can give you the same filling effects and fiber as some starches and it doesn’t rely on gluten as a binding agent.

Talk to a doctor or nutritionist if you think that you have celiac disease.

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What is the Best Nutrition for Kidney Disease?

When doctors, nutritionists, bloggers, and other experts talk about a healthy diet and nutrition, they err on the side of covering common issues. Obesity, for example, is always a hot topic for nutrition publications. This is often the case of the “squeaky wheel”. Basically, when a big issue demands attention, the ones that aren’t urgent get pushed aside. This isn’t because they are not as important, but it is often because it is not as overwhelming. It is not unlike the idiom of the squeaky wheel. So, when people who are suffering from cancer or anorexia pick up a publication,  they will not find the help they are looking for.

So, we will cover nutrition issues OTHER than obesity, to help people with a variety of problems. Because everyone is different, and there is no “one size fits all” thing for everybody outside of a general rule of thumb. So, take it with a grain of salt.


kidney disease, anatomy

Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney issues, just like cancer, diabetes, and other common chronic diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Damaged kidneys are less able to filter the blood as well as healthy kidneys. This can lead to impurities and waste still being in your system, increasing the chance of toxins building up.

Chronic kidney disease or CKD develops in stages. The earlier stages are less detectable because there are no visible symptoms that people can tell right away. According to Medical News Today, “Around 30 million people in the U.S. may have CKD to some degree. Being over 60 years old increases the risk of CKD, as does having a family history of it.”

So, what are the stages of it so you can tell whether you have it or not?

Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

There are 5 stages of Chronic Kidney Disease. They all range from mild to severe with the first stage being the least amount of damage. A quick rundown of each stage includes:

First: The first stage is when your kidneys are healthy and working well, but you have other signs of kidney damage. There could be physical damage to the kidney or protein in the urine.

Second: The second stage is when you are showing signs of kidney damage, in spite of normal readings.

Third:  The third is when your kidneys are not working as well as they should. There could be visible symptoms at this stage that range from swelling of the hands and feet, back pain, and frequent urination. There is also other health complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease.

Fourth: This is where your kidneys are moderate to severely damaged. Not only would you suffer from all the symptoms from above, but this is the stage right before kidney failure altogether. You would also have to visit a kidney doctor, as well as prepare for dialysis, and/or transplant.

Fifth: This is the last stage which means the kidney is either failing or has already failed.  The symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling sick and throwing up
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Back pain
  • Urinating (peeing) more or less than normal
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble sleeping

This is the stage of kidney disease that leads to death, if not severe health complications.

During every stage of kidney disease, doctors recommend for patients with the condition to see a dietician or a nutritionist. That means a special diet combined with treatment can at least curtail the chances of your kidney disease getting worse.  But what sort of diet do people suffering from kidney disease need?

renal diet

Nutrition for Kidney Disease

If your kidneys are not healthy, then they are not going to stand a chance with a lot of impurities and unhealthy foods that produce more waste. The kind of waste it can hardly handle is excess phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.  On a lesser note, it is also a good idea to decrease the amount of protein in your diet.

When you decrease those, what is left over is part of the renal diet. Foods on the renal diet are often high in fiber, lean proteins, and antioxidant-rich foods.

The states these tips below for those who are looking to follow the renal diet.

  1. Limit high phosphorus foods such as:
    • Meats, poultry, dairy and fish (you should have 1 serving of 7-8
    • Milk and other dairy products like cheese ( you should have
    one 4 oz. serving)
  2. Avoid dark grains, dark colas, dried fruit, beans, and whole grains

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Activities that Make you Active : Hiking

When it comes to getting a workout in, you want to make it a hobby that you want to engage in. It is a great way to both stay in shape, and keep yourself motivated. After all, we all do what we want to do both on a conscious and subconscious level. So, how do you get into a hobby that gets you in shape?  You learn about it! So, we are going to cover how to get into a new hobby that will get you in shape. This one involves nature, survival and relaxation, hiking.


Hiking is a great way to get in shape using the natural elements. It is also a way to get in touch with nature and provide a greater understanding of the world around you. However, if you are unfamiliar with the basic health and safety measures that come with hiking, it can leave you in a medical emergency.

So, if you are starting out, you want to make sure that you not only try to get your workout in but also know how to take care of yourself. So, what are some requirements for nature hiking?hiking, trail

Get in Shape Beforehand

While there are easy trails, there is going to be the occasional elevation and uneven pathways. To make this easier from couch to hitting the trails, you do this by making a transition in between.

Walking two to three times a week can help acclimate your body to the elevated heart rate that is common during hiking. It is also important to wear the same shoes that you plan on hiking with to prevent blisters. Also, wear a light pack on your back so you can get used to the concept of carrying equipment.

 Know your Trail or Find Someone Who Does

If you are going in blind, and are unfamiliar with any outdoor trails it is a good idea to start out with a short trail. There are a variety of trails that vary in both difficulty and length. The last thing you want to do is pick a difficult trail that will increase the chances of you getting hurt or turn you off the idea of hiking.

A great way to do this is to research the trails beforehand. There is usually a difficulty rating system, as well as an eta of how long a hike will take.

Another way to make this work is to hire someone or find a friend who knows how to hike, as well as how the trails work. Safety in numbers is an important tactic when you are hiking. So, if you have an expert on your side, then you are more likely to not only have a fun time, but you will also be able to learn the right way to handle the trail you are hiking on.

Check the Weather

The day before and even a few hours on the day of the hike, it is important to check the weather. This information will not only help you figure out how to dress and where to pack, but it can keep you from getting caught by surprise.

You can even learn the telltale signs of weather patterns so you can decide whether to take a longer or shorter hike. For instance, the shape of a cloud can help you determine whether it is about to rain long before they go grey.

hiking, trail

Get the Right Hiking Equipment

You want to be well prepared for a hike The right equipment can make your hike enjoyable and can increase your chances of survival in the wild if you plan on camping.

According to

“The 10 essentials have gradually shifted from a list of items to a list of systems. These are the systems you should pack to stay safe in the outdoors, including facing a potential overnight. Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, expand or minimize each system. For example, on a short summer hike near services, a compact emergency blanket should be fine. However, a remote winter hike would require something more extensive. 

Ten Essential Systems

  • Navigation (map & compass)
  • Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  • Insulation (extra clothing)
  • Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (extra water)
  • Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag) .”

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What is the Best Nutrition When you are Fighting Cancer?

cancer cellsWhen doctors, nutritionists, bloggers, and other experts talk about a healthy diet and nutrition, they often err on the side of talking about the most common issues. Obesity, for example, is always a hot topic when it comes to nutrition publications. This is often the case of the “squeaky wheel”. Basically, when a big issue demands attention, the ones that seem less like an emergency at the time get pushed aside. This isn’t because they are not as important, but it is often because it is not as overwhelming or shouting for attention. So, when people who are suffering from cancer or anorexia pick up a publication,  they aren’t going to find the help they are looking for.

So, we are going to cover nutrition issues OTHER than obesity, to help people with a variety of problems. Because everyone is different, and there is no “one size fits all” thing for everybody outside of a general rule of thumb.



This is the sort of condition that is life-changing enough to be serious but common enough for everyone to have at least heard of a person or have been related to one with it.  It is enough of an issue for children’s television programs to tackle it. It is also something that is often talked about when charity work comes up around the Holiday Season.

So, what is cancer and why does it have nutritional needs?

Cancer is a condition in which cells grow at an abnormal rate. Our bodies are made up of cells. They carry our DNA, and merge together to create our matter. Because our cells are for animals, they have a life cycle.  When our cells stop working, they both replace themselves via asexual reproduction, then shed away. The number of cells in our bodies are fairly even with their reproduction rate. In other words, if one cell dies, another one is replaced by our body. However, there are times when our cells grow too fast.

Instead of replacing dead cells, they take up too much space and leech off the energy meant for other parts of the body. They become too many cells for your body to handle.

Types of Cancer

According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, there are several types of cancer. These include: ”

  • Carcinomas begin in the skin or tissues that line the internal organs.
  • Sarcomas develop in the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle or other connective tissues.
  • Leukemia begins in the blood and bone marrow.
  • Lymphomas start in the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers develop in the brain and spinal cord”

The treatments for these types of cancer vary according to location, and where they spread, so there is no 100% cure for every type out there. The remission of cancer depends on how early doctors catch it, and your ability to bounce back from a severely weakened immune system that happens during treatment.

protein, muscle building, cancerWhat is a Good Diet for Someone Who Has Cancer?

While it is obvious refined carbs, processed food, and sugars are a bad diet plan as a rule of thumb, there is more to it than that with people who have cancer.

For example, according to Nutritionist Carla Prado, who published over 150 studies on the subject within a year, the number one threat to cancer patients is a loss of muscle mass.

“Patients with low muscle mass experience more complications, longer hospital stays and lower survival rates. Muscle is very important for movement and balance, for posture, strength, and power, but it’s also a reservoir of amino acids,” said Prado. “The more you lose, the greater the consequences. Nutrition interventions could improve cancer treatment, making a high-protein, high-nutrient diet a crucial tool in the fight against a life-threatening illness.”

So, the place to start would be to figure out what type of foods contribute to building muscle mass. This is where protein from meats and whole grains come in. Lean beef, fish, legumes, egg, whey, and oatmeal are a great source of these things. Vegetables are also a good supplement for this to serve enough as fiber to help keep cancer patients regular while they are on a high protein diet.


Of course, you want to consult a doctor before going on any diet. And this isn’t a cure for the disease. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t make the fight more bearable, or at least buy you more time. And really, time, no matter how much we have it can be a precious thing.

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New Year New You Hindsight is 2020-Part 2

A Healthy Lifestyle for 2020

Have you ever anticipated the New Year in a way that felt almost like catharsis? Did you hope that once the clock turns to midnight that the whole world will suddenly synch up and make sense again after a year or several years of hardships and insanity? This New Years is the start of a new decade. A decade of promise and possible closure. So, at the beginning of 2020, and in the spirit of new beginnings we are going to talk about ways to kick your health and nutrition journey.  Granted a lot of those are going to be repeated. However, with a lot of this blog being a catalog of two years worth of information, a refresher wouldn’t hurt. Here is part 2 of New Year, New You with more advice in healthy lifestyle changes.

Avoid Trigger Foods and Enablement

Junk food, lifestyleWhile you don’t want to deny yourself any treats on occasion, having them around the house where it is easily accessible is not a good idea. Not even the person with the strongest will power can avoid trigger foods forever when they are within easy reach.  Especially if there are people who either do not understand your health goals. Or who are trying to address another need in your life who are happy to enable those bad habits.  So, if you are having trouble with specific types of food, and you want to make your immediate environment easier to handle, here are a few things that you can do to make things work.

First, remove all trigger foods in your house, workspace, and car as much as possible. The less you have immediate access to them, the more likely you are going to stick to your positive lifestyle changes.

Second, communicate with other people about your health goals. If you live with other people in the house or have a partner, you want to let them know that you are planning to keep junk food our sweets out of the house. Talk to them about what you are willing to have in front of you and what you aren’t. If your friends and family are respectful, then they will respect your boundaries.

Third, if you are going to indulge at all, stick with small portions. For instance, if your weakness is cookies and you have been more consistent in your healthy habits, indulge in some of those 100 calorie packets. Those things have a predetermined serving size and a portion that is enough to be guilt-free.

Pick up a Hobby

hobby, healthy lifestyleLet’s say that you are focusing on your nutrition, and exercise routine. Combined with work and other responsibilities, it can be easy for your life to get stressful. When your brain is on food, from obsessing over the subject, it can get frustrating. Especially if you are feeling psychological hunger after workouts. Or you are actively trying to get over the hump of bad eating habits.

This is where distraction comes in. Believe it or not, distraction, while not well received in many aspects of life can be useful. Especially in cases where attention is consistently demanded like school, work, or church. However, in this case, it is quite useful.

When you feel an urge to binge, and you know you just ate, look into focusing on an entirely new activity. Whether it is something creative, or something that focuses on another aspect of life completely, it can serve to break the possible food obsession in your brain.

The last thing you want to do is make your new lifestyle so difficult to keep up with that you cannot focus on anything else in your life. Healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits are supposed to enrich your life, not make you miserable. So, find something that you enjoy doing.


Lifestyle changes and healthy habits are hard choices to make.  But you can still make them with the right know-how and support from an optimal environment. Don’t be afraid to state what you need, take up space, and ask for help from the right people you need it from. Especially if this new lifestyle change is something you are not familiar in dealing with. Communication and humbling yourself to others who know how to handle this subject are the only ways to make new habits stick. And you want those to stick if you want a happy healthy lifestyle.

If you ever need a nutritionist in the Huntsville, Alabama area, and you are ready to start that new lifestyle change today, please click on the pop up at