What’s Good This Week

Last week I did a photoshoot with local photographer – one of the moms from Niko’s daycare who I got talking to in the playground. 

I wanted to get some more lifestyle content to pepper into my Instagram feed for when I talk about nutrition and wellness and whatever, just to add more personality. Total influencer bullshit.

Anyways, we had a lot of fun doing it, and you’ll see the photos coming out over the next 10 weeks or so, but here’s a sneak preview. This is me touching my hair:

Here I am shopping for a loaf of bread. Because: carbs!

And here I am meaningfully looking at some flowers. Fun!

It was a fun photo shoot, though. We had a beautiful sunny day, and though it was cold it was a great time. And I love when women get to support each other’s businesses.

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For the past couple of months, ever since we night-weaned Odin and took his bottle away, he’s been sleeping through the night but waking up very, very early. Like, not cool early. 

I think I mentioned a while back that since this kid is impervious to any and all sleep training and is the king of the sleep regression, I eventually saved the white flag and invested in an internet sleep consultant so someone would just tell me what to do. It’s been money well spent, especially since my package came with several follow-up sessions to be used within six months. 

This past week I had two late nights out due to work events, and both mornings after, the little turd woke up at 4:30am and would absolutely not be re-settled, so I figured it was either time to sell him (I think I could get a good price) or enlist the sleep consultant again. 

Honestly, I didn’t expect them to tell me anything new, but hoped they’d put a new spin on things and perhaps point out something I hadn’t considered. Well. When she got back to me, she said, as I knew, that the #1 cause of too early wake-ups is too late a bedtime, and that the #2 cause is hunger.  

Although his older brother ate like a damn bird, Odin is a tank and will gleefully shovel food in anytime, anyhow. He eats three solid meals per day and plenty of snacks, so I didn’t expect that hunger might be the issue. But what she told me is that for some babies their internal clock is set to wake up pretty much 12 hours from their last meal.

We’ve been feeding him dinner at 5pm because he’s usually so hungry he can’t wait to eat with the rest of the family. And he’s been waking up at 5am. 

Coincidence? 

On Friday night we gave him his dinner as usual, but when he go in the bath I brought a banana for a snack and he ate the entire thing. On Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of the door to my room sliding open, and Niko came in whimpering that he couldn’t find it his blanks. I shushed him, not wanting him to wake his brother, and helped him find it. 

Then I glanced at the clock. It was SIX THIRTY in the morning. 

That’s the best sleep we’ve all had in MONTHS! And you’re telling me that all that was standing between me and a balmy 6:30am sleep in was a freaking banana?!

very excited about his new sweater!

Who knows if the pattern will hold. Probably not, because like I said, this kid loves a sleep regression. But you better believe I’ll be taking a damn banana into the bath for as many nights as it takes to get it right. 

I wanted to tell you this story because I know how hard it can be to ask for help. And maybe something like, “my kid keeps waking up too damn early” seems like a stupid thing to pay money for someone to help you with.

Let me tell you though, that help has been invaluable to me. I’m busy, I’m tired, and often times I’m hanging on by a thread. Having someone who will answer my dumb questions, filter all the information out there and give me what I REALLY need has been priceless.

It takes a village, they say, but sometimes you have to construct a village of your own. Sometimes you need to designate a mayor and pay the road workers and construct a community center.

Sometimes you need to raise taxes, or, err, pay for help when you need it. And that’s ok. No shame in that game. We’re all just trying to get some freaking sleep, right?

I was trying to take photos of soup but this guy had other ideas

I got an email the other day from a new reader asking my opinion about the latest pro vegan nutrition documentary, The Game Changers. 

Have you seen it? 

I haven’t watched it and I don’t want to watch it, but I suppose that if people keep asking me questions about it (he’s hardly the first), then I may have to watch it just so I can give an informed answer when people ask me about it. 

I hate nutrition documentaries. HAAAAAAAATE them. 

A couple of years ago a former colleague of mine who is passionate about sustainability and food kept insisting that I *must* watch the documentary du jour, What The Health. He was fired up by it, excited, and couldn’t wait to share his new knowledge with me once I’d seen it. 

Eventually I relented and wasted one hour and 37 minutes of my life watching that film. That movie was (in my opinion) an inflammatory, biased, irresponsibly reported, shameful piece of garbage. It made me incredibly angry watching it, and I still get all riled up whenever I think about it. 

The entire film offered an extremely narrow view of nutritional science, cherry-picking studies that supported the film maker’s views without offering even a glimpse of counter evidence. And the studies that he did use were widely mis-quoted, overstating what we know about how particular foods drive disease.

The film went on and on trying to convince viewers that a vegan diet is all we need to cure obesity, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and so on. His repeated claims towards veganism and cancer risk were the most infuriating, as, although there is clear evidence that certain lifestyle factors including (but by no means exclusively) diet can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers by around 30%, he incorrectly (and irresponsibly) states that only 5-10% of cancers are genetic; the rest are caused by diet.
 
Imagine having some sort of cancer and watching this bullshit film trying to convince you that if only you’d eaten a vegan diet you could have avoided it. 
a collander full of kale, a bowl of crispy chickpeas, croutons, and vegetarian caesar dressing on a grey background
 
Add to that his “case studies” of women who were able to drastically improve their health with just two weeks (two weeks!) of veganism. Toss away the walker! Throw away ALL of your pills including heart medication, painkillers, and antidepressants! It isn’t that simple, and it’s shameful that he was trying to convince people that veganism is a magic pill. It’s not. 

To top it all off, he was cold-calling organizations like the American Heart Association and asking their RECEPTIONISTS long-winded and detailed questions regarding their policies and recommendations, and then using their lack of responses as “gotcha!” moments to “prove” that these organizations are hiding something.

It was one hour and 37 minutes of irresponsible journalism and shoddy science. 

As you can tell, I’m not excited about watching another one of these documentaries. 

But to answer the question that this person asked me:

It almost sounds too good or obvious to be true which is why I’m reaching out to and asking people like yourself for their thoughts on the movie and the benefits of plant based diet.

Listen, there’s do doubt that people – all people – could benefit from eating more plants. The science on that is crystal clear. And the planet benefits from it to, so it’s win-win. 

Does this mean we should all become vegans? Lord, no. 

It means you should add more plants to your diet in the way that works best for you. 

Another colleague of mine was telling me that she watched The Game Changers with her son, and she was super excited about incorporating more vegetarian meals – and more vegetables – into their routine. (Related: 9 Ways to Get More Vegetables Into Your Diet – And Why You Should)

As much as I was rolling my eyes about yet another nutrition documentary making the rounds, her excitement about adding more plants to her diet is undeniably a good thing. 

And changes can be simple. Perhaps it means opting for Meatless Mondays or being vegan before 6pm or however that goes. Maybe it means you always order vegetarian when you’re dining out. 

Maybe it means developing a relationship with a local butcher and only buying meat that you truly know the source of. There are many ways to get more plants into your diet, and you have to figure out what that means for you. 

I’ve been vegetarian (I do eat eggs and dairy) for over 25 years now, but I don’t have an agenda about it. I don’t push vegetarianism in any form on my friends or colleagues or clients. 

I know that The Game Changers movie has a totally different slant than What The Health, and focuses largely on vegan athletes. I think that’s great. Let’s showcase the fact that you don’t *need* meat to perform and that you can, in fact, get plenty of protein in your diet from eating plants. 

(I’ve got a guide to protein for vegetarians and vegans, and a couple of high protein vegetarian meal plans you can check out if you’re interested)

So, have I just been burned by a few bad documentaries? Do I need to watch this movie? How do you feel about nutrition and health documentaries in general? 

Let’s talk about it! 

ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK

Have you tried maca before? This week I shared one of my favourite ways to take this malty flavoured adaptogen, a Maca Latte! It’s easy and delicious, so I hope you give it a go. 

two ceramic mugs with maca lattes on a grey surface

And then I gave a gem of an old post a much needed makeover. This recipe for 5 Minute Mac and Cheese for One is going to rock your weeknight world. So easy. So delicious. So fast to make. 

Mac and cheese for one in a ceramic bowl with a glass of wine in the background

WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL

Here’s a look at what’s trending this week, according to Google Analytics:

1. Homemade Pumpkin Purée. Pumpkin season still going strong!

2. Amazing Vegan Gravy. Gotta give the people what they want!

3. Turmeric Latte Mix. Another delicious drink mix you gotta check into. 

4. Low FODMAP Snacks. So good to see this post doing so well!

5. Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry. Such a cozy recipe at this time of year. 

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

Jillian left the following comment and 5-star rating on my Vegan Banana Waffles:

Overhead photo of vegan banana waffles on a blue plate topped with sliced banana, and a cooling rack of waffles to the side

I never write reviews…like NEVER…until now!! These waffles are AMAZING! My husband and I fight over them in the morning 😉 I double the recipe and then when cool, store them in the freezer. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

I just made another batch of these today! I love keeping them in the freezer and my kids eat them for breakfast during the week. Case in point:

Very early morning floor picnic

WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB

icon of globe with text "what's good around the web" 1. The Power of One Push-Up: Several simple ways of measuring a person’s health that matter more than body weight.

2. How to make self-care actually feel like self-care.

3. This just in: Fecal transplants work better than antibiotics to treat deadly bacterial infection. Pass the poop!

4. How Instagram spoils your relationship with food

5. How to be a better friend



 

Comments

  1. Claire says

    1. Those pictures look great! The bread looks delicious-thanks for normalizing carb eating.
    2. I’m starting to realize that spending money on things that bring you immense joy or take away a significant amount of stress are totally worth it. We recently got a housekeeping service, and I feel not at all bad about it!
    3. YES, let’s each more vegetables and fruits and whole grains and cozy soups and wear comfy pants. I had similar feelings to you about What the Health, but I do tend to watch the documentaries anyway.

  2. Allison says

    All I know is that watching Game Changers got my meat obsessed hubby on board with eating more vegetarian meals so that can’t be a bad thing whether the info in the film is accurate or not!

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