Leave it to Jimmy Kimmel and late night TV to be the harbinger of the next big thing in dietary science. I mean, he is the guy famous for the “I ate all your Halloween candy” videos after all. So when I read a new study about gluten sensitivity (or lack thereof, as you shall soon see), the first thing I thought of was his “What is gluten anyhow?” sketch a couple weeks ago where he asked people on a gluten-free diet what it is they’re hiding from. Jimmy makes all the science fun: (click through to see video if it doesn’t show up in your reader)
“I live in LA, eating gluten is akin to satanism.” [Truest sciencey science ever]
Gluten is a combination of two proteins found wheat, barley and rye. You’ll never be dumb again. You’re welcome.
Jelly Bean (r) and friends know they are working it.
90210 wasn’t really my jam. (Sure Luke Perry was cute and all but Jordan Catalano stole my flannel-shirt-wrapped heart on My So-Called Life. I’m a monogamous TV dater.) So Tori Spelling has never been one of those actresses I’ve had strong feelings about one way or the other. There was a brief moment when she had four kids close together while I had four kids close together that I got a little squishy feeling for her but that evaporated in a sea of tabloid covers. Yet she confessed something recently that’s been on my mind ever since:
In her latest book, Spelling It Like It Is, Tori actually admitted to lying to Us for a post-baby bikini body story to make her version of events more palatable. To lose weight after her fourth kid she said she went on the “Just Keep Your F*cking Mouth Shut and Eat Air diet.” But she knew that starvation wouldn’t make her relatable to new mothers struggling with their weight.
Growing up, “food fight” didn’t necessarily mean gleeful spaghetti slinging or flour flinging, like in the movies. (Although there was the time my sister rolled in a plate of Jell-O. She was one. Of course we still tease her about it.) Sometimes a food fight just meant that we were arguing because we were hungry – Hiltons don’t tolerate low blood sugar well. I don’t remember who first made the connection between hunger and anger (probably my mom, she’s a very smart nurse and also, well, our mom) but I can remember more than one time where my mom charged into a screaming match with a granola bar in each hand, waving them at us and telling us to just eat something already. Of course I was insulted that she thought an oatmeal cookie was going to fix my VERY SERIOUS THANK YOU teenage problems. Yet it worked more than I’d like to admit.
Don’t get mad at me, the scientists said it. (Plus, you know how I love a good pun!)
Eating animals has been one of the greatest existential problems of my life. Which either means I’ve had a pretty easy life or I’m prone to dramatics. Both? Seriously though, the decision whether or not to eat meat has caused me more agony than childbirth. Hahahaha no. Childbirth was like PTSD-level pain. But it’s definitely worse than watching all 27 (ish) seasons of Friends and being disappointed that Ross and Rachel ended up together. Or even that time I chopped jalapenos and then took my contacts out with my fingers.
Part of the problem is that it never quite seems resolved to me. I was a vegetarian for years, a vegan for a couple of years and then after getting pregnant and completely flunking out of veggie school (I made out with a Big Mac in my car), I gave it up for good. I was happy being vegetarian but I began having health problems (you can read all the gory details here if you like) and this see-sawing was a major cause of my orthorexia. I just decided that if any research said a food was bad then I wouldn’t eat it. Turns out there’s a lot of research. Which is how I ended up with five safe foods and not being able to eat anything else! When I started intuitive eating, I realized that body intuitively wanted to eat dead animal carcasses. There’s no pretty way to put it but there it is.
Best eye makeup EVER.
Wait, that sign has words?? My whole world view was rocked one day in 5th grade when my parents took me to get my eyes checked. It turned out that not only was I near-sighted but I was so near-sighted that the fact that signs contain actual words and not just blurry pictures was a shattering revelation. I remember marching out of the optometrist’s office and reading every sign I could find – just because I could.
Ever since then my consistently worsening vision has provided my family with a trove of embarrassing and hilarious stories. Like the time when I was 16 and jumped on the back of a boy in the swimming pool, thinking he was my brother that I’d been horsing around with. I quickly realized that despite wearing the same color swim trunks as my brother, he was not related to me in any way when he turned his head and said dryly, “Excuse me, can I help you?” I still had my legs locked around his waist when I spotted my brother several feet away laughing so hard I thought he was going to aspirate his own tongue.
Did you know lots of lip balm has sugar in it? Katy Perry, you’re welcome.
“Sugar is the new nicotine!” proclaims Action on Sugar, a consortium of scientists and doctors whose mission is to reduce sugar consumption and diabetes worldwide, in a new public awareness campaign.
According to their press release, “This group will initially target the huge and unnecessary amounts of sugar that are currently being added to our food and soft drinks. Action On Sugar will carry out a public health campaign, to make the public more sugar aware and thus avoid products that are full of hidden sugars. Children are a particularly vulnerable group targeted by industry marketing calorie dense snacks and sugar-sweetened soft drinks.”
Public health! Awareness! The children!! – they certainly hit all the high points for making a headline-garnering campaign but are they correct? Is sugar really the health menace to society that nicotine is? And should we be fighting it the same way we fight cigarettes?
What was the last thing you did right before climbing into bed? If you’re like me, you brushed your teeth, just like your mama always told you. And then if you’re still like me, you play a few games on your phone. And then maybe check Facebook one last time. And then start completely freaking out because one of my friends commented on my post about food dyes that I also need to check my kids’ toothpaste because they often contain dye ohandbytheway fluoride is a neurotoxin. Goodnight! Sleep tight! Try not to think about how, at least according to some people, that little nightly ritual of scrubbing your teeth with toxic, neon-gel paste and then rinsing it off with toxin-laced city water is lulling you to sleep with dreams of cancerous tumors dancing through your head. Or if not death, at the very least that fluoride bath will make you stupider (ha!), to the tune of about seven IQ points.
Oh I have SO done this!! But baggies are a pain. I discovered when my kids were infants that those little formula measuring plastic containers were perfect for holding the right serving of protein powder and they’re made for pouring into bottles!
Clandestine labs. Secret testing. Underground smuggling rings. But this crystalline powder wasn’t being sold on a street corner but rather at Wal-Mart, GNC and other mainstream retailers. And yet Craze – deemed supplement of the year by BodyBuilding.com – may have more in common with street-corner meth than with the protein powders and vitamins it currently shares a shelf with. At the end of last year Japanese scientists announced the discovery of a “methamphetamine-like compound”, N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (NADEP), in the hugely popular workout supplement and scientists in four other countries confirmed it in their own tests. (And now we know why it’s so highly rated! Speeeeeeed! Whee!) The company has temporarily stopped production to look into the claims.
Dr. Peter Attia, like many new doctors, thought he had this whole healthy living thing figured out. So much so that when a woman came into his ER one night in 2006 with uncontrolled type II diabetes and needed a foot amputation, he had nothing but “bitter contempt” for her, for allowing herself to get that way. “If she’d just watch what she ate and exercised a little she wouldn’t be in this position,” he remembers thinking as he unceremoniously lopped off her limb.
So far, Attia’s story is like so many countless other doctor interactions with obese patients – sad, too common, and not terribly helpful. But then Attia’s story changes from the common narrative, in three important ways.
1. He recognized the unfairness of his attitude, even as he was thinking it.
2. He got metabolic syndrome – a precursor to type II diabetes – himself, just a few years later despite watching what he ate and “exercising four hours a day.”
3. He questioned the conventional wisdom about obesity, turning the research of it into his life’s work. Which led to a very interesting conclusion.
Sugar substitutes are not my friend. From lab rat to gym rat, really they’re not anyone’s friend. And yet over the years I’ve ingested way more than my fair share. I remember one incident, remembered only to my roommates as The Day Licorice Died And Took Our Cleaning Deposit With It.
I was a young college co-ed, trying my darndest like all young co-eds in the 90’s to look smokin’ hot in my infantalizing baby doll dresses, ripped up jeans and decidedly unsexy combat boots. All of which involved A Diet. Every girl I knew was on one. And having a long relationship with Anorexia, I knew I could do A Diet too. I was great at diets! So after weeks of deprivation, I finally splurged some of my hard-earned waitress money on sugar-free licorice. I love licorice. My roommates all loved licorice! I hated calories. My roommates all hated calories!