Hide

Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close
signs

What is INFObesity & Do You Have It?

We want better health, and so we seek better nutrition and health information, and we share that information. And then we seek and we share, some more. And we seek and we share, and we seek and we share and…  we become INFObese – the unhealthy condition of having too much nutrition and health information.

To be clear, information is not the problem and not all information is bad or wrong. Actually there is a lot of better quality nutrition information today.

But just like the fats we eat, while some information is needed, even essential, for our bodies to run better, too much overwhelms, weighs down, and interferes with our body (and mind) running better.

Too much nutrition information is a health risk. Do you have INFObesity?

Assess your current nutrition information load to find out if you suffer from this condition:

  1. Grab a piece of paper.
  2. Draw a bull’s eye with five circles (like a dart board).
  3. In the center circle, write “Me Today”. This circle represents who you really are right now. Write down your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, health status, choices, and resources.
  4. In the next circle, write “My Health – Top 5”.  This circle represents who you are based on the top 5 things that are most important to your current health status and health goals.
  5. In the next circle, write “Me, Myself, and I”. This area represents the roles you play in your life currently like friend, spouse, ballerina, and more.
  6. In the next circle, write “You Don’t Really Know Me”. This area is how a company would target you if they didn’t know you on a personal level (so by your age, gender, where you live, your household role, your work).
  7. In the final circle write “You Don’t Know Me at All”. The outer circle is not targeted to you at all.

Image courtesy of ashleykoffapproved.com

Now on a separate piece of paper, jot down all the sources of nutrition and health information that you encounter in a week. Your neighbor, your guardian, a tweet, a magazine article, a TV commercial, a package of food, a yoga instructor, a dietitian or doctor’s advice.

Now assign each of the sources to a place on your bull’s eye. What does your picture look like?

When most of your information comes from sources in the first two circles (the bull’s eye and the next circle), you are doing better. You can still have too much information, but at least you are getting information specific to who you really are right now and to your personal health goals.

Look at the rest of your bull’s eye. Are you taking in highly-targeted information more often? Or are there more sources in the outer circles than the inner ones? And are there too many sources overall? You likely suffer from INFObesity.

The good news is that now that you have assessed your current information status, we can address what needs attention. But first, keep what is already better. Make sure to note and keep the sources that fall closest or are in the bull’s eye. And to rely on their information more often. To reduce your INFOload and improve its quality, could you get rid of some of the sources on the outer circles, could you choose different sources, more targeted sources, more often?

Want better help? Stop guessing what your body needs to run better (based on non-targeted or less targeted information). The better nutrition membership tools will help you assess your current nutrition and health so that you can see what your body really needs to run better. Then additional tools, including the weekly #Do1ThingBetter challenges will help you make better, not perfect, choices more often. (You can join The Better Nutrition Membership to have unlimited access to these better tools and support from me and other members.)\

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com. Ashley is also available for nutritional consultations.

brain food

Should You Eat Healthy Everyday?

Recently I received a note from a trainer saying “things to be done EVERYDAY, eat healthy everyday…”. As I thought about this recommendation, I realized there are three issues it presents for almost all of us.

So before I answer, let me address those:

We have no working definition of “healthy” eating in this country.

Truth. Now that’s sad. We have government definitions. Those have influence from trade associations and also are very one-size fits all. We have practitioners (those who currently work with others – at least two people – on their health), we have coaches, we have influencers, we have authors, and we have currently healthy people sharing their takes, tips, resources and definitions of healthy. Then we have products marketed, even named, “healthy”. But what we don’t have is one definition of what healthy eating is today.

We have many days. Hopefully, you and me, we have lots of days ahead of us.

So to do one thing, several times, for all those days seems daunting, even unrealistic. When we give recommendations or set goals that are unrealistic, in my opinion, we are more likely to fail. I’m not sure humans versus robots are wired to do the same thing everyday.

We can control a lot.

But we can’t control each day, and as such, life happens where eating healthy one day may be not just a choice to skip but a reality – like a winter storm happens, and the stores are closed except the gas station and it’s out of most food. This isn’t an excuse, but rather a reality. Not a frequent reality, but it busts the everyday goal.

So NO you shouldn’t eat healthy everyday. But what you do need to do is give your body the resources it needs to run better, more often. To do this demands that you a) Assess where you are at b) keep what’s better and c) act better, not perfect, more often. That’s right, move over “eat healthy everyday” and enter “choose your better nutrition more often.”

Semantics are everything. What goal are you working towards? Have you written it out? Have you said it out loud? Is it doable? Need help?

Let’s get better, together.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com. Ashley is also available for nutritional consultations.

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Aging: Your Better Nutrition Guide

Another year older, another year wiser, but will it be another year of better health? Aging can feel like an un-plug-able drain on our internal resources with no way to stop the process and thus maintain your current health status or, even harder, improve upon it for healthy aging. Fret not as with better nutrition you can and you will help support better health whether that means healing, maintaining, preventing or optimizing your health as the body ages. So what does healthy aging look like?

Nourish All Your Systems, Together: The whole body needs better nutrition but we don’t need different nutrition for better health nor for healthy aging. The good news is that key nutrients support the whole body’s total health. So when you consume probiotics, yes you are helping support a healthy digestive system but that also supports immune health which reduces overall stress and enables better heart health and brain health and so on. Same goes for a daily dose of broccoli’s glucoraphanin which enables detoxification, which removes unwanted toxins, which makes it easier for the body to do its daily tasks, which supports healthy skin, immune health and so on.

Know Your Numbers (and Levels): While there are certain nutrients every body needs, your body ages better when you know what you specifically need to replenish, restore, and support.

  • Get labs drawn every six months including your vitamin D (25OH), your sed rate and CRP (markers of inappropriate inflammation), your HgBA1C (once a year is fine unless you are working on yours) to assess pre-diabetes/diabetes, heavy metals to assess toxin burden(s) and other labs may include stool or breath test for bacteria, omegas, and Berkley Heart Lab for knowing what your cholesterol really looks like.

R&R for Building Better Habits: You are never (EVER) to old to build better habits and that includes recognizing and replacing those that aren’t serving you with ones that will enable better health. While your myelin production may have slowed (learn more about this important brain matter in an awesome book “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle building better habits can and should happen.

  • Identify what habits you currently have – list them all out on a piece of paper – ranging from taking the dog out to checking your email or social media. Then vet them into lists – better health enabler, better health deducting.
  • For the better health enabler habits, write down what it is that motivates you to do these? How did they become habits? How would you feel if you didn’t do them one day? Several days?
  • For the better health deducting habits – pick 1 or 2 that you really want to change and that will give you the biggest bang for better health by changing them to a better health enabling habit. Maybe you don’t take your supplements or you are having 3 glasses of wine a day or you have stopped being active or you have trouble sleeping.
  • Now look back at the better health enabling habits descriptions – what motivates you for these, how do you make them happen – and write down a few thoughts for the 1 or 2 habits you picked – what could you do differently today and tomorrow and this week and next month? What would motivate you to do these? What would you have to give up to do make these happen?
  • Just Do It… give yourself one month to see if you can create a new better health enabling habit by improving one that was previously deducting. Then put a calendar reminder each week for the rest of the year (the year that you are remodeling this habit not the calendar year) to check in on how you are doing.

Aging can and should be awesome. Like anything, healthy aging takes work – you have to train daily to age better – but the work is worth it when you age with better health. Have personal questions about your better aging Rx? That’s what I am here for – so make an appointment for an initial consult with me today.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

heart with heartbeat

Skip these 5 Foods for Better Heart Health

There’s no shortage of marketing messages about what’s best for heart health and some of it is well, just plain wrong. Here’s my top 5 offenders – don’t believe their hype, choose my real deals instead.

1) The”Oat” cereals

AKA the Sugar & chem lab project bombs – cereals like Honey nut cheerios & Honey bunches of oats or getting “fully loaded” oatmeal with added sugar & dried fruit – my heart just skipped a beat – not in a good way. AKA better: choose organic oats and add spices, nut butter and / or hemp seeds. We are loving Natures Path’s new plain Qi’a oatmeal

2) Fat-free dairy

Mooooove away from this stuff – research shows full-fat dairy is associated with lower risk of obesity (which means lower heart disease risk too) and likely due to the hormone profile change when the fat is removed, as well as the fact that without the fat it’s harder to feel full which means you fill up on other calories. AKA better: choose organic whole milk or skip the dairy and choose full fat coconut or cashew etc.

3) Pieces, Parts and Puffs

While potatoes pack in heart healthy potassium and rice provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – when we over process them and then add salt and other chemistry lab projects we end up with a heartbreak. AKA better: whole bean or potato chips with added spices not loads of salt.

4) Soy sauce or soy protein isolate in bars or protein powders

We hear soy and think heart health but the truth is these are heart failures. Highly processed parts of soy contain none of the good stuff – fiber, omegas, antioxidants that we find in whole organic soybeans. AKA better: whole organic soybeans or organic tofu or organic tempeh – and “protein” powders and bars that contain them or other whole quality plant sources like hemp and quinoa.

5) Heart shaped candies

They look so love-ly and even have such sweet quotes on them. But they aren’t the sweet friend for heart health that you think – artificial dyes and chemistry lab corn syrup are not the basis of a lasting love affair. AKA better: choose a little heart-healthy organic dark chocolate (that’s >65%) and if you do want candy try authentic sweets – organic, free of artificial dyes etc – like those from our friends at TruSweets.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

blueberries

Super Food! 5 Rules That Make Food Super

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a Super Food! Like the arrival of super heroes to save the day, super foods landed upon us in the last decade and now we are all supposed to load up on them to save our days. But are they really so super? Let’s get better Super Food nutrition, simplified and see!

Super Food Rule #1

ORGANIC FOOD is SUPER, chemistry lab projects are not. No bells and whistles required, no need to be found or able to leap tall plants in the Amazon or Balinese jungle, no need to grow where no one else grows… just need to be food, from a seed or having eaten the plant, whole or minimally processed, grown without excess of harmful pesticides. So while chemistry is a SUPER fun class (or can be), and is SUPER awesome at helping us test and learn things, let’s focus on consuming more organic food, most often.

Super Food Rule #2

Better Nutrition is SUPER. When your body gets what it needs, wants, and recognizes most easily it functions most efficiently and effectively to deliver you the better health you seek. Whether it’s better energy, better skin, better heart health, better immune health, better all of the above health – you get it, your body will too when it gets better nutrition. So check out the Better Nutrition Simplified plan and assess how SUPER your nutrition is today to fuel better health tomorrow.

Super Food Rule #3

Nutrient balance, not calorie counting, is SUPER. Your body doesn’t need fuel, it needs the right fuel for the right parts and activities. That means carbs for quick energy including brain fuel, fats to promote healthy inflammatory response and sustainable energy, proteins for muscles, hormones, and enzymes and all your non-starchy vegetables for routine and deep clean up and removal of unwanted “dirt.” So make any nutrition pit stop SUPER by balancing your nutrients.

Super Food Rule #4

SUPER is as much about what a food is free from as it is about what it contains. Plenty of super food products and ingredients being sold may be full of a high amount of an antioxidant but also full of binders, highly processed and even artificial ingredients. Conversely, some may be isolates of the “super” ingredient but it is not so super without its comrades from the whole food form. For example, if your gluten free cereal is made from refined flour and then has added isolated ingredients like a vitamin or mineral (not even in the same form as found in the food) then there’s nothing SUPER about it. Instead get an organic gluten free cereal with whole or minimally processed ingredients and if you need it, take a quality organic multi as a supplement (not sure if you need it a supplement, that’s what I am here for, fill out the supplement evaluation form here and send it to me so I can help you)

Super Food Rule #5

DIY is SUPER, but so is Some Assemble Required (thanks IKEA for that phrase). When you buy ready to eat food, it may be ready and fast but it likely has ingredients that keep it ready and fast and as such make it a little less super. For example, instead of buying a ready to eat yogurt parfait, try adding Nature’s Path Qi’a coconut chia super flakes to your plain almond yogurt (or make my cashew cream and top it with the super flakes) for a delicious, better nutrition pit stop because you control the quality, quantity, and nutrient balance making it a SUPER FOOD version of your desired eats or sips (same goes for your lattes and your smoothies, see the Better Liquid Nutrition Simplified quick start guide).

If you know me, you know that I believe in Better, not superlatives like Super or Healthiest and certainly not Perfect. I am in the business of helping you have more, better days and that begins with better nutrition. But I get that we may want things to feel SUPER, so I hope this helped you sort the SUPER from the Not So. Got more questions? I have Answers, so send them my way for an #AskAshley answer to help you have another better day fueled by better nutrition.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

brain-food

4 Tips to Eat Better To Protect Your Memory

When it comes to aging better, better nutrition is your better weapon because it gives the body the resources it needs while reducing intake of items that irritates and overwhelms. Better nutrition comes from making better not perfect choices more often. So what are those and how can you enjoy them – after all, with age we’ve earned enjoyment, right?!

Did you know that adults (~60-85) with dementia who had more frequent intake of persistent pesticides had worsening cognitive function?[1] It makes sense – both for those with dementia and those seeking to avoid it – as these pesticides irritate, overwhelm and disrupt the body from efficient and effective work, daily. Overtime, eating foods or applying products that contain these pesticides or pesticide residues impact the body’s ability to function better. Thus, there is real value in assessing your diet, supplements, and skincare to see how you do on one of the core 4 principles of better nutrition: quality.

Years ago, I became a Qualitarian and according to research, aging adults should too! Being a Qualitarian means that you focus as much on the quality of what goes in and on your body most often as you do on the other nutrient factors as well as on the source. Here are a few key tips to help you improve the quality of your intake more often.

1. There’s No Perfect Nutrition

But there is better nutrition and it comes from making better not perfect choices more often. That means that you do not need every choice to be organic, but your top foods, supplements, and skincare should ideally be organic more often.

2. Whole Is Better Than Pieces & Parts

Today there are a lot of ways to get in nutrients but not all of them deliver better nutrition. For example:

  • Packaged foods that are made of refined ingredients – pieces and parts like “flour” “protein isolate” “Nonfat” or “syrup” – that then have fortifications like minerals, vitamins, and probiotics present nutrients but not in the form or balance of nutrient found in whole, minimally processed foods.
  • Packaged foods that have whole foods but also have added nutrients – those added nutrients are less likely to be in a form found in food, or presented in balance with other nutrients the way they would be in food.

3. Some Assembly Required

Let’s be real, we often need nutrition fast, but this doesn’t mean compromising on the nutrition quality. By assembling ingredients – like spreading almond butter on a pear, or popped corn onto which you add olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and toss in a serving of hemp seeds – rather than purchasing a ready to eat item like a fruit and nut bar or flavored pre-popped or microwave popcorn – you get better nutrient balance, can monitor quantity better, and can make your choices full of better quality nutrients from whole foods.

4. Get Enough Coq10

Read about this nutrient that is critical to healthy aging, including brain health and memory.

Want help making better not perfect choices more often to support healthy aging? Join The Better Nutrition Membership and get real support (from me) and unlimited access to exclusive members only content including tools to help you assess your current nutrition, keep what’s already working, and better tools to help you act better not perfect more often.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

 

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014003250