There are two types of breakfast people: Those who love variation—they’ll sip a smoothie one morning, and dig into a bowl of chia pudding the next—and others who prefer routine, gravitating toward the same meal time and again.A recent TikTok that’s racked up 15,000 views shows that latter point in action: In it, Wendi LeBrett, MD, a gastroenterology fellow based in California, shares her favorite easy breakfast: a bowl of plain Greek yogurt topped with berries and walnuts, which she eats nearly every single day. So what’s so special about this combo? SELF connected with Dr. LeBrett to find out why it’s her daily go-to, both for supporting her gut health and for streamlining her packed morning schedule.“I find joy in eating this routine breakfast because it’s just as delicious as it is nourishing,” Dr. LeBrett tells SELF. First, let’s note the benefit of simplicity: Dr. LeBrett has limited time in the morning, so having a reliable recipe on standby—one that doesn’t require any cooking—helps her start the day with tasty foods that keep her hunger at bay. To make her meal, you only need a few scoops of Greek yogurt, a handful of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or whatever else you like), and some walnuts.TikTok contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.This three-ingredient recipe packs solid nutritional perks—particularly for your digestive system. Fermented foods like protein-rich Greek yogurt help support your GI tract because they’re rich in probiotics, Dr. LeBrett says. These “good” bacteria help keep your immune system healthy and thwart the growth of the not-so-fun microbes in your gut, which may contribute to bloating, diarrhea, or stomach pain, Jessie Wong, RDN, a registered dietitian who specializes in digestive health, previously told SELF. And the berries are a great source of fiber, Dr. LeBrett says. Fiber, a complex carb that most people don’t eat nearly enough of, contributes to that “full” feeling and helps keep your poop regular. (It may even ease certain symptoms, like diarrhea, for some folks with GI conditions like IBS.) Finally, the protein and fat from the walnuts also help keep you full, since your body doesn’t process those macronutrients as quickly as carbs. So you’ll likely feel satisfied up until snack or lunchtime, she says.Still, some folks might get tired of the same breakfast every day. If you like having lots of options, get creative and mix up the core ingredients, Dr. LeBrett says. For example, you can swap the plain Greek yogurt for a strawberry flavor, or even another creamy, protein-rich base like cottage cheese (some tubs even contain probiotics—just look for “live active cultures” on the label). For the add-ons, sub the berries for other fiber-rich fruits, such as diced pears or sliced apples. And if you need more sweetness in your bowl, give it a drizzle of agave or honey. Lastly, for a crunchy texture, you can swap the walnuts for almonds or peanuts.Of course, what you have for breakfast is just one piece of keeping your digestive system happy. But if it starts your day off right—and helps you get out the door quicker—why not give this simple meal a try? Your gut might just thank you!Related:
Tossing triple-washed spinach into a weeknight pasta recipe or using bagged lettuce as the base for your lunch salad makes meal prep a lot more convenient. But with several recent recalls linked to these kinds of products, I found myself wondering if they really are safe to eat without rinsing. Just this past spring, for example, a company in Georgia pulled salad kits due to Listeria concerns, and last summer, mixes in Minnesota were recalled for the same reason. So I decided to ask food safety experts their thoughts: Does washing them yourself add an additional layer of protection against illness? Or is it a waste of time? Here’s what I learned.First, “triple-washed,” “ready-to-eat, ” and “no washing necessary” salad mixes are exactly what they sound like: Greens that are cleaned before packaging, meaning you can (supposedly!) dig into them safely straight from the bag. More specifically, these terms describe any type of produce that’s undergone a complex commercial rinsing process, Ghaida Havern, MS, a food safety specialist at Michigan State University Extension, tells SELF. Think of the tool like a large, industrial version of a salad spinner that gently cleans and dries the produce, Martin Bucknavage, MS, a food safety specialist at Pennsylvania State University Extension, tells SELF. This method of rinsing works to remove germs, and goes above and beyond what you’d be able to do at home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).All ready-to-eat produce is rinsed in facilities that follow Good Manufacturing Practices and a Food Safety Plan. These guidelines, which fall under the umbrella of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), advise businesses to implement proactive protective measures—like sanitizing wash water or guaranteeing the equipment is clean—to reduce the chances of foodborne illness, Bucknavage says.This is important because produce can contain germs that can make you sick. According to a report from the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration, 58% of E. coli. infections in 2020 came from vegetable row crops, which include leafy greens. Illnesses from those bugs, as well as from other common contaminants like Salmonella or Listeria, can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.It’s reasonable to want to avoid this, and you may think that rinsing everything again at home is the solution. But Havern says the industrial washing process is enough to keep you safe. Not only does she think it’s unnecessary to clean her pre-washed greens, but she also cautions that doing so can actually be a riskier move.“Do not rinse leafy greens labeled pre-washed, triple-washed, or ready-to-eat because you will risk the chance of recontamination from your kitchen,” Halvern says. The other experts who spoke to SELF echo this advice, which also lines up with the CDC’s guidance: By cleaning them again, you might be doing more harm than good.For example, if you wash your ready-to-eat greens in the basin of your sink without cleaning it first, bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella can transfer from a dirty cutting board you used for raw chicken to the produce, ultimately making you ill.
When I’m in the mood for a tasty, savory breakfast, I reach for two staple ingredients: eggs and cheese. So when my TikTok feed flooded with recipes prompting me to sub in feta for my usual sprinkle of Parmesan or cheddar, the new tweak caught my attention—especially considering its unique prep. The videos take the classic fried egg to the next level; you melt the cheese right in the pan to create a tangy, caramelized “crust” that serves as a nest for your protein.Let’s be clear: I’ve tried a version of feta and eggs in the past. One of my favorite brunch recipes is Shakshuka, a one-pan meal involving eggs baked into a seasoned tomato sauce and topped with those savory crumbles. Problem is its prep takes too long to add to my weekly morning meal rotation. This TikTok trend, on the other hand, promises a cheesy and delicious way to get breakfast on the table in just five minutes.I dug into more clips of this trend, which raised a few important questions. Does it actually take mere minutes to prep? Will cooking that crispy crust result in a hot, sticky, glued-on mess? Does it taste good enough to replace my regular scrambles and omelets? And then, of course, is it filling enough to keep me satisfied until lunch?When I woke up to an overflowing inbox and a bunch of assignments to turn in, I knew it was the perfect hectic morning to test out a quick-breakfast promise. I gathered my necessities: the eggs and feta, of course, a non-stick pan, and avocado oil, which has a high enough smoke point to allow your ingredients to crisp up quickly without breaking down.Then came the fun part: After heating up the oiled pan, I sprinkled in a handful of feta. A bunch of the tutorials recommended scattering the cheese on the outer rim of the pan to form a well before cracking the egg into the center of it, so I took that approach.Dominic Freddura
Non-alcoholic beer is seriously making a name for itself: Popular brands like Heineken and Stella Artois are now offering their own booze-free versions, and some bars and breweries are adding them to their menus, too.So how do these bottles compare to the real stuff? Regular beer is refreshing, aromatic, flavorful—and can cause some pretty major gas, too. Which makes us wonder: Do the spirit-free versions, also known as NA beer, still make you bloat just as much traditional IPAs do?No, really, because if they don’t, that could be a game-changer for folks who can’t stand that uncomfortable, tight feeling that bubbles up in their stomachs after downing a few brews. To get to the bottom of it, we connected with non-alcoholic beer and gut health experts to break down everything you should know about how those zero-proof drinks affect your chances of bloating.Before we get into the potential gut woes, let’s dig into what non-alcoholic beer really is.The beverage—which goes by a bunch of names, including non-alcoholic, low-alcohol, alcohol-free, or near beer—is simply regular brew stripped of booze. There are two ways to do this, Scott Lafontaine, PhD, an assistant professor of food chemistry and non-alcoholic beer researcher at the University of Arkansas, tells SELF. One method involves using a vacuum to remove the ethanol, while the other relies on a filtering process to get the job done, he says.While these processes seek to remove the booze, it doesn’t necessarily mean the resulting product is going to contain absolutely zero alcohol, Dr. Lafontaine says. NA beers can still have up to 0.5% of alcohol, which is similar to the amount found in most kombuchas, he says. So if you’re seeking out beer that completely nixes the hard stuff, it’s important to read the label on your can: You want to make sure it says it’s 100% free of alcohol.The process that removes alcohol is really the only factor that sets NA beer apart from the traditional stuff, Dr. Lafontaine says. The ingredients that make up non-alcoholic beers don’t actually differ too much from those in regular pints—so yes, they still contain grain, hops, yeast, and water.This means that just because the beverages are free of booze, they’re not necessarily lacking brewmaster magic. There are all kinds of craft non-alcoholic beers on the market, like ales, stouts, lagers, pilsners, and more, Dr. Lafontaine says.Can non-alcoholic beer cause bloating in the same way regular beer does?Sorry, but the consensus from the registered dietitians we spoke with is that yes, it still can make you feel that discomfort—and its fizz is mainly to blame.“One of the biggest culprits related to why non-alcoholic beer makes you feel bloated is its carbonation,” Amanda Sauceda, RD, a registered dietitian who works with people with digestive disorders, tells SELF. (That’s why you may also feel bloated after drinking seltzer water or soda.)Booze-free beer contains yeasts, and when those microorganisms feed on the sugar from the grain, they produce carbon dioxide, Dr. Lafontaine says. When that gas enters your stomach, it can cause symptoms like abdominal discomfort and stomach distention or swelling, Tirzah Mpagi, MS, RDN, LD, tells SELF.
Before you start your meal prep this weekend, you might want to take a closer look at your frozen veggies: A bunch of them just got recalled, according to a statement released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).On August 22, Washington-based Twin City Foods, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of their frozen Super Sweet Cut Corn and Mixed Vegetables due to potential listeria contamination. Affected brands include Kroger, Food Lion, and Signature Select, and their frozen veggie bags were sold nationwide, the release reports.The recall includes the following products:Kroger: Kroger Mixed Vegetables Carrots, Super Sweet Corn, Green Beans & Green Peas (32-ounce packages with UPC code 11110865854); Kroger Mixed Vegetables Carrots, Super Sweet Corn, Green Beans & Green Peas (12-ounce packages with UPC code 11110849625); Kroger Super Sweet Corn (32-ounce packages with UPC code 11110865786); and Kroger Super Sweet Corn (12-ounce packages with UPC code 11110849618)Food Lion: Food Lion Mixed Vegetables Carrots, Corn, Green Beans & Peas (16-ounce packages with UPC code 35826005090) and Food Lion Super Sweet Cut Yellow Corn (16-ounce packages with UPC code 35826079855)Signature Select: Signature Select Golden Corn Super Sweet (12-ounce packages with UPC code 21130090655; the brand is sold at some Safeways and other stores.)The best-by dates on the affected products range from November 2024 to January 2025. (For more information on specific dates and codes, check out the release.)The recall was initiated based on a customer’s third-party lab results of the frozen corn, according to the release. Thankfully, there haven’t been any reports of related illnesses so far. Still, the company recommends that you check your freezers and, if you see any affected bags, throw them away or return them to the store for a refund.Listeria bacteria can cause an illness called listeriosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms vary, but can include fever, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures, and typically show up within two weeks after eating affected items. In most people, listeria infections are mild. Still, they can be serious for folks who are pregnant, older than 65, or who have weakened immune systems, reports the CDC. If you believe you may have eaten the recalled vegetables or are experiencing any of the effects listed above, call your health care provider.
The question of whether raw milk is safe to drink might be just as polarizing as the “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” discussion. But it’s way more serious: There’s a whole lot more at stake when you’re gulping down a glass of unpasteurized dairy than smashing a footlong.Just last month, for example, an outbreak linked to raw milk sickened a group of children in Minnesota. And last summer, another one in Tennessee led to the hospitalization of two infants. Despite these reports, interest in raw milk is growing. Supporters claim that its purported benefits—like “boosting” immunity or offering more nutrients than pasteurized milk—outweigh its potential risks. Still, the legal picture remains murky. To date, the sale of unpasteurized dairy is allowed in 30 states, but prohibited in the other 20, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).So what’s the real deal behind raw milk? SELF connected with a few food safety experts to get all of your questions answered. Here’s what you should know.First, let’s take a look at what “raw milk” really means.Simply put, raw milk is unpasteurized; it hasn’t been heat-treated for a specific period of time to eliminate harmful pathogens that might be in it, Nicole Martin, PhD, an assistant research professor in dairy foods microbiology at Cornell University, tells SELF. That means the drink doesn’t undergo the processing necessary to help prevent foodborne illnesses (more on those later).In 1987, the FDA mandated that milk sold in the US must get heat treated, John Lucey, PhD, the director of the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tells SELF. That means that the products you see on grocery store shelves have been pasteurized, so they’re less likely to get you sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Despite what raw milk fans may believe, the pasteurization process doesn’t mess with the nutritional makeup of the beverage. It doesn’t change the concentration of protein or minerals in the drink, according to a 2015 review published in Nutrition Today. What’s more, evidence for immune-boosting effects just isn’t there, either. Raw milk doesn’t pack enough antibodies—proteins that help build up your body’s defenses against illness—to make a difference health-wise, according to the FDA. “Ultimately, we haven’t seen any [overall] proven benefit from consuming raw milk,” Dr. Lucey says.So what are the health risks of drinking raw milk?According to a 2022 study conducted by the CDC, there have been 202 raw milk-related illness outbreaks from 1998 to 2018 (the most recent data available).That may not seem like that high of a number, but if you compare the likelihood of getting sick from pasteurized milk compared to the raw stuff, a pretty clear discrepancy emerges, Dr. Martin says. While unpasteurized products make up a minuscule percentage (less than an estimated 1%) of total dairy consumption in the US, they account for 60% of all dairy-associated outbreaks, according to a 2012 review in Emerging Infectious Diseases. And you’re 840 times more likely to get ill if you consume raw milk products compared to the pasteurized stuff, according to separate research from the CDC.
Dunkin’s latest product launch is sparking some chatter—and no, it’s not their looming pumpkin spice line: Their new boozy canned coffee and tea drinks will be hitting stores in a few weeks, according to the company’s announcement on August 14.The Dunkin’ Spiked line will include eight flavors: Original, Caramel, Mocha, and Vanilla iced coffees, and Slightly Sweet, Half and Half, Strawberry Dragonfruit, and Mango Pineapple iced teas. The 12-and 19-ounce drinks will be sold at US retail stores in 12 states—Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont—starting in late August and early September.The beverages contain real coffee and tea, as well as a malt base. The boozy iced coffees will have 6% ABV, while their spiked teas come in slightly lower at 5%, according to a press release a Dunkin’ rep provided to SELF. For comparison, that’s roughly the same amount of alcohol you’d find in a beer.Mixing coffee or tea with booze isn’t new, of course—cans of Twisted Tea have sold for decades, and espresso martinis have been a popular order at bars for even longer. But when one of the largest coffee brands in the country drops a line of spirits, it makes you think a little harder about the blend. Specifically, it brought up the question: Can that combination of alcohol and caffeine be a potentially dicey mix? SELF connected with a registered dietitian to get all of your questions answered. Here’s what you should know.What happens when you mix caffeine with alcohol?First, let’s talk about what you can experience with both of these substances. Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning that it revs up your central nervous system, boosting your alertness and energy levels. As a result, taking in too much of it—more on that below—can cause symptoms like insomnia, jitters, anxiety, fast heart rate, upset stomach, nausea, or headache, Amanda Sauceda, RD, a registered dietitian who works with people with digestive disorders, tells SELF.On the other hand, alcohol has the opposite effect on your body, says Sauceda. Booze operates as a depressant, meaning that it slows down your central nervous system and brain activity. This can influence your mood and behavior, making it hard to think clearly, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).When you mix the two, caffeine can cover up the sedating effects of alcohol, says Sauceda. This can mask the warning signs of having taken in a little too much booze, like slow responses and mental fogginess, she explains. So it could make you think you can drink another round, and as a result, you can become more intoxicated than you realize.Plus, the combination can increase heart rate and blood pressure, Sauceda says, which can raise the risk of heart attack or other issues, especially in folks with hypertension. What’s more, it can also make you more likely to become dehydrated, too, she says.
I recently started hiking and trail running as a way to decompress and unplug after my long, busy weeks. Now that I’m fully engulfed in my Sunday adventures, I eagerly count down the days until I can lace up my sneakers and enjoy the outdoors.Sometimes, though, the weather isn’t always up to par, and I return home with soggy, icky feet. I’ll admit it: I’ve always gravitated mainly toward sneakers that look fly versus functional, weatherproof kicks. That left me in a predicament—I don’t want to skip out on a good hike or beach run, but I also prefer not to have to compromise on style.So when I received a pair of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX to test for SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards, I was excited to think that I may have finally found a solution to my problem. The trainers contain Nike’s GORE-TEX material, which is supposed to keep your feet dry. And on top of that, they’re really cute. So I was curious: Would this shoe look good with my everyday fits and protect me on my adventures despite gloomy forecasts? I decided to give them a go to see for myself.Who it’s forThe Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX is a shoe for folks who love to hit up trails, whether they’re jogging, hiking, or simply going for a nature walk.They’re also for those who aren’t afraid to get a little bit wet on their outdoorsy adventures, either. Thanks to their GORE-TEX upper, which keeps water out, this sneaker is the type you’d pull out on a rainy day. Basically, if you’re a fan of Nike’s popular and long-standing Pegasus road running sneakers, but plan on taking your shoes on rainy excursion and tricky terrain, these might be an option for you.Out of the boxAlthough the appearance of outdoorsy trainers shouldn’t really matter too much—because chances are you’ll probably ruin them by stepping in mud or dirt—these kicks are very cute. What popped out first to me was their sleek and modern look, mainly because I’m used to trail shoes being super bulky and kinda ugly. I tried out a pair in Barbie pale pink and sophisticated teal, which looked super chic and even garnered a bunch of compliments.I have to say, though, their streamlined look, especially around the toe box, worried me a little bit, since I have wide feet. Still, I laced them up and got to testing.Fit and feelI tried the Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX in my standard size, which doesn’t change when it comes to wearing tennis shoes, casual kicks, or running ones. Upon first wear, they fit snugly with about a half inch at the top of the sneaker to allow room for my feet to breathe and wiggle around a bit. While I was nervous about their narrow width, they still worked out for me because of their stretchy lining. They were also very cushiony, making them feel extra comfy for those longer trails.On the trailLuckily, with all of the rain NYC has been getting this summer, it wasn’t difficult to pinpoint a day to test these Nike trainers. I took these out on muddy terrain for a 20-minute trail jog. On that first run, I was looking for them to have four qualities: a springy cushion, a lightweight feel, enough stability so I didn’t slip, and the ability to keep my feet dry. Not only did they exceed those expectations, but they even provided some extra surprises—like preventing rocks and pebbles from slipping into my sock thanks to the lining on the back of the sneaker.
Everyone seems to be seeking ways to cool off during one of the hottest summers on record—myself included. I mean, my handheld fan can only do so much. So when my TikTok feed started filling up with folks beating the heat with spoonfuls of shaved ice made from frozen fruit, I was intrigued.Basically, the trend—which first went viral when food blogger Frankie Gaw showcased his own version—promises to turn frozen produce like strawberries or mangos into a cold treat similar to snow cones simply by grating them. But I know that hyped TikTok recipes can be just okay-tasting at best, and a flat-out waste of time at worst. So, was this new shaved ice made from frozen fruit worth a try?It actually took me a couple of weeks to give it a shot myself—I just have way too much experience with viral recipes never quite tasting as good as they look online. But soon I started seeing more and more culturally-specific iterations of the dish as the trend started to gain greater traction. I came across halo-halo, a Filipino style that involves shaved ice, condensed milk and tasty toppings, and was even more excited when I saw that my own Haitian culture has a version called “fresco,” too. At this point, the hack started feeling pretty significant—connecting with culture through food has always been a priority for me—so I decided to try it out.Gathering the ingredients to make the homemade shaved ice was easy. A few days before I decided to test this hack, I went peach and nectarine picking, so I had a bunch of stone fruit dangerously close to going bad. I also wanted to use up some sad-looking apples and plums that were sitting on my counter as well. I’m always looking for practical ways to get through my fruit haul so I don’t have to throw anything out—and besides, rainbow snow cones were my favorite flavor as a kid, so why not replicate that with nature’s bounty?Then came the prep work, which in the case of this hack, was all about freezing. I washed my fruit well under running water (super important, since you’ll be eating the peel), and popped them in a bowl and then into my ice box, where they chilled overnight. Your fruit must be really frozen before moving on to the next step, or they won’t grate properly—nor taste quite as refreshing.When it was time to start the actual hands-on work, I took inventory of my tools. This hack is nifty because you likely have all the kitchen instruments on hand—a specialized shaved ice or sorbet machine isn’t necessary. You may have noticed a microplane (a fancy zester with tiny holes) in some of the videos, which can help shave the fruit into smaller bits. But not everyone has one of those handy—myself included—so I tested it with a regular grater, and it worked out great. Just make sure to use the finer side of the shredder, which creates wispier fruit remnants (and thus fluffier results).
Kiwis are an ultimate summer snack: They’re delicious in fruit salad and genuinely tasty on their own too. But you may want to pay special attention to what’s in your crisper because a bunch of them just got recalled, according to a statement released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).On August 8, David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC—which sells under the brand name Zespri in the US—announced a recall of their organic kiwis due to potential listeria contamination. According to the release, the affected fruit has been sold in 14 states.The potentially contaminated products were sold in one-pound clamshell packaging under the brand Zespri and labeled “Organic Green Kiwifruit.” The kiwis were shipped between June 14, 2023, and July 7, 2023, to Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Affected products have the UPC code 818849020093 and contain fruit stickers with the GTIN barcode 94009552.According to the statement, the company became aware of the potential listeria contamination after the Kentucky Department for Public Health conducted a routine sampling on July 7. So far there haven’t been any reports of illnesses associated with the recall. To make sure it stays that way, the company recommends you check your fruit and, if you see any affected kiwis, toss them in the trash. Seriously, even if they look delicious and ripe—don’t eat them!That’s because infections caused by listeria bacteria—called listeriosis—can be really serious. Symptoms can include fever, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures (in severe cases), and typically show up within two weeks after eating affected items. In most folks, listeria infections are mild, but they can be more dangerous for people who are pregnant, older than 65, or who have weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you believe you may have eaten the recalled fruit or are experiencing any of the effects listed above, talk with your health care provider.What’s more, listeria is a “hardy” germ, the CDC says. It can spread to fruit that comes into contact with contaminated surfaces at the processing plant, and it can grow in the fridge and even in the freezer too, reports the FDA. Cooking food to a high temperature can kill the bacteria, but that’s not exactly a practical solution for produce like kiwis meant to be eaten fresh. That’s why the recall recommends trashing any affected fruit.David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC didn’t list the stores that sold the recalled fruit in their statement. However, according to Zespri’s website, major retailers like Whole Foods, Walmart, and Costco typically sell that brand of kiwi. If you have any questions about the recall, you can contact the company at 1-866-698-2580 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT. Bottom line: While summer is the best time to eat this tasty fruit, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your well-being—so check your kiwis carefully.Related: