Healthy Living

When Food Is Just Numbers, I Never Win — Personal History

Our Personal History series invites cooks and eaters to tell the stories of their lives through food. Arianna's journey is one of learning (and relearning) food through the lens of numbers.

I know there was a time in my life when food was simply food and not just a bunch of numbers, but getting there requires some memory mining. I'd just turned 13, and was starting a new school in the fall. June through August were set aside for crafting a better version of myself — more mature, more outgoing, more popular — and the key to becoming this better self, I knew, was losing weight. This wasn't a new endeavor. I'd been unhappy with my body for as long as I'd been conscious of it, but I'd never had success in changing it.

I knew if I wanted to shrink my tummy, which had only expanded as I got older despite my mother's regular assurances that it was "baby fat," I'd need to get serious and regimented about what I ate. I needed a reliable system.

And then, as if by magic, Atkins happened.

I discovered Atkins maybe six months before it would become ubiquitous, during my family's annual summer vacation in California. Each year, we'd spend a week visiting my parents' longtime friends, whose family mirrored my own (parents from the Bronx having settled out West, two daughters, two sons), and this year I was especially fixated on Sandy, who was a week older than me. I saw her the way I saw most girls in my orbit, which is to say she was the personification of everything I wasn't: energetic, unrestrained, happy, and, most importantly, thin.


10 Simple Ways to Upgrade Roasted Broccoli — 1 Ingredient, 10 Ways

For weeknight dinners I'm all about super-simple sides. That usually translates to roasted veggies, with broccoli leading the pack. On its own, even the crowd-pleaser roasted broccoli can get a little boring and repetitive, but it certainly doesn't have to be that way. The easiest way to switch things up? Change the seasoning.


How Cookbook Author Laura Lea Goldberg Starts Her Morning — Healthy Mornings

(Image credit: Kate Davis)

Picture this: It's 2007 in Charlottesville, Virginia. My alarm wakes me with its angry red flashing at 8 a.m., which is the early bird special for me. My first lecture starts at 8:30, and I need at least 15 minutes to walk there.

I hadn't planned on going out the night before, but all my friends were celebrating a home sports victory at the Mellow Mushroom (yes, real name). FOMO won, so as I roll out of bed, I feel my brain rolling as well, which means I also need to factor in a stop at the local bodega.

Ignoring my tangled mess of sheets and messy bedroom, I throw on jeans and a sweatshirt, brush my teeth, and scrunch my hair into a bun. I grab my backpack and a chocolate-oat bar, and scurry across the train tracks to get my favorite fruit drink. I purchase two, along with an iced-filled Big Gulp cup, lid, and straw. I slurp as I walk and cram down the bar before walking into the large auditorium for the start of another college day.


How To Grill the Best Corn on the Cob — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

It's summer, which means that not only is your grill hot, but corn is finally juicy and sweet. The two need to meet. While I'd like to tell you it's as simple as throwing the cobs on the hot grill and letting the two mingle, there is some work that must be done to get the corn and its husk ready for the grill.


PSA: Being Healthy Isn’t a Contest, So Stop Trying to Win It — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be healthy — if it's a word I qualify for, or a word I even aspire to. I think it's a word that is generally more useful than things like "normal," in the sense that it allows for varying definitions based on goals and needs, but it also feels like an increasingly loaded word, full of judgment and constantly moving goalposts.

I know (vaguely) what it means for me to be healthy, from both a mental and physical standpoint, but I also know that it's not a constant state, or a mountain I will one day climb to the top of and sit upon for the rest of my life. My life, like anyone else's, is made up of millions of little individual choices, some better and some worse for me, and the battles are won much more along the averages than they are on any individual choice. And yet this sensible, how-am-I-doing-on-the-whole approach seems to have almost entirely disappeared from our culture, replaced by a violent pendulum swing that is always pushing us to indulgence or deprivation.


Organic Farming May Leave a Larger Carbon Footprint Than You Think — Food News

When you consume organic food, there's that feeling that you've done something good — for your body and for the environment. But organic foods are not what they seem. They offer consumers the promise of synthetic pesticide-free produce and are perceived to be healthier — studies have found conflicting findings about their nutritional superiority — but their environmental impact is being challenged, as it may be doing more harm than good.

If consuming organic fare and doing right by the environment is a top priority on your list, then the findings from a team of researchers from Germany and Sweden have some unfortunate news.


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