Food / Healthy Eating

How to Deal with Feeling Hangry, According to Experts

How to Deal with Feeling Hangry, According to Experts

If you notice that you’re starting to become moody, don’t simply label your feelings as “bad,” Fazio says. Instead, interrogate yourself a bit and get more specific. Understanding “bad” to be anxious, jittery, or fatigued can clue you in that you’re experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar, she says, so you can (hopefully) get something to eat before you lose it. Other emotional descriptors that might be a sign of budding hanger might include “foggy-headed,” “irritable,” or “impatient.”If your foul mood doesn’t seem to be associated with symptoms of low blood sugar, maybe you’re not hangry—maybe you’re just plain mad. Anger is a valid and, when managed appropriately, healthy emotion. Constantly writing off any irritability or anxiety as hunger-related won’t serve you well in the long run—because you might also be feeling depressed, or maybe your coworker really is that annoying. It’s true that sometimes you need some trail mix and a glass of water, but other times the fix may come in the form of a walk outside or a venting session with a trusted friend.Grab a snack that pairs carbs with protein.The obvious solution to feeling hangry is to eat something ASAP, but putting some thought into what you eat might help you feel better in the long term. According to Basbaum, the knee-jerk reaction to feeling “hangry” is often to reach for a quick snack that’s high in carbs. Your body is looking for energy replenishment, and foods with simple carbohydrates (think candy, pastries, and granola bars) fit the bill. They also tend to be what we have at hand at work or on the go.If those foods sound good to you, or they’re all you have access to, there’s nothing wrong with eating them (despite the way diet culture elevates certain foods over others). That said, they might not help you out of a hangry jam; Bausbaum explains that if you don’t pair your carbs with a protein source, you’ll likely have another crash in an hour or so. The goal, she says, is not to spike your blood sugar, but to stabilize it, and protein can help with that.Fazio recommends pairing carbs like fruit, toast, or crackers with high-protein foods such as Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butter. A high-protein smoothie or shake is another option, if you have access to a blender. If you’re on the road and hit a rest stop without a wide selection, Bausbaum says that pre-packaged peanut butter crackers or chocolate milk are decent options.Again, there are no wrong food choices here. If Doritos are calling your name, there’s zero shame in the nacho-cheese game. But if you’re set on staving off hunger, consider pairing your chips with some protein-packed beef jerky (or get chicken nuggets with your fries, or add some nuts to your ice cream) to help steady your blood sugar.Prevent hanger by regularly fueling your body.Plan A, Basbaum says, should be to prevent hanger from happening in the first place, and both she and Fazio agree that eating nutrient-dense meals on a predictable schedule each day is one of the best things you can do to keep your blood sugar and energy steady. If you’re regularly getting hangry, Fazio recommends taking an “audit” of each major meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to ensure that protein, fat, and carbohydrates (including fiber) are present to help meet your overall nutrient needs and keep your blood sugar (and mood) in a stable range.Of course, you don’t need to follow these guidelines to a T—no one meal or snack makes or breaks a “healthy” diet, and obsessing over food rules can lead to disordered eating (which can also worsen your mood, by the way). But if you’re regularly getting hangry, it might be worth experimenting with small changes to your eating habits, since consistently getting a variety of foods (and enough food overall) can keep your blood sugar in a happy, versus hangry, place.Related:

The Best Ways to Stir Natural Peanut Butter and Almond Butter

The Best Ways to Stir Natural Peanut Butter and Almond Butter

That’s it! You’re very welcome and please don’t @ me if you didn’t hold onto the jar tightly enough. I truly am sorry, but you’ve been warned.How to make stirring nut butter less annoying without an electric mixerMaybe you don’t have one, maybe you don’t believe in them, or maybe you don’t feel like cleaning the nooks and crannies of the beater afterward. I get it! In that case, the next few tips are for you.Store the jar upside down.If you’re a nut butter (and tahini) head like me, you may have heard this tip already, but it really does help. When you bring your beloved jar home from the store, turn it upside down before stashing it in your cabinet or pantry; this allows the oil at the top to slowly spread throughout the jar, making it easier to stir the nut butter when it’s time to dig in. And don’t store it right-side up after you’ve mixed it, either—flipping the jar on its lid also prevents the oil from re-separating.Another pro tip (me–I’m the pro): Stir the nut butter first (ideally with the electric mixer hack above) and then store it upside down. In my experience, the upside-down trick doesn’t usually work so well with a particularly separated jar; by mixing everything up first, you’ll make your life easier in the long run.If it’s really separated, stir it in a mixing bowl.The main reason it’s so frustrating to stir separated nut butter is because the jar is too damn small, and that’s especially true if you have a lot of oil at the top and extra-dry nut butter at the bottom. An easy solution to that problem: Dump your separated spread into a medium-sized mixing bowl so you have plenty of room to combine everything. Then simply return it to the jar, using a silicone spatula (if you have one) so it’s easier to get every last precious drop back into the jar.Use a knife.While the above strategies are the best I’ve discovered for making stirring nut butter less of a chore, if you’re going to do it the old-fashioned way for whatever reason, don’t use a spoon—a knife leads to less splattering, and less splattering leads to less cursing.Related:

The FDA’s New Plan to Label Some Foods as ‘Healthy’ Is a Bad Idea

The FDA’s New Plan to Label Some Foods as ‘Healthy’ Is a Bad Idea

It’s a lot to take in, and an easier way to conceptualize the change is probably to look at which foods would be added to the “healthy” list and which ones would be taken off of it. “Avocados, certain oils, nuts and seeds, water, and higher-fat fish like salmon, would meet the newly proposed criteria for ‘healthy,’ whereas they don’t meet the criteria of the current definition,” Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council, tells SELF. “Products that meet the existing ‘healthy’ criteria but wouldn’t now, according to the proposed definition, include white bread and sweetened cereals and yogurts that exceed limits on added sugars.”One problem with this new definition is that individual foods don’t really make or break our health.Implying that certain foods are healthy while others aren’t is reductive, to put it mildly. Even the dietary guidelines, on which this new rule is based, make clear that it’s a person’s overall diet that impacts their health, not each and every food choice.“Ultimately, the FDA wants to empower consumers to make food decisions that are ‘healthy,’ but they are missing the mark,” Samina Qureshi, RDN, a Houston-based dietitian and the owner of Wholesome Start Nutrition Counseling, tells SELF. Saying that some foods are healthy while others aren’t is far too black and white, Qureshi says.For example, white bread (which wouldn’t be considered healthy under the new definition) could be part of a balanced meal if it’s paired with a variety of nutritious sandwich fillings like turkey, cheese, avocado, and tomatoes. On the flip side, if someone eats just plain yogurt (considered healthy) as a meal, they’re not getting the same variety of nutrients. But that’s perfectly okay too—you don’t necessarily need a variety of nutrients in every meal or snack. Again, a “balanced” diet is about the big picture: eating different foods and enough food overall.Plus, what’s healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another.Maggie Landes, MD, MPH, a pediatrician based in Killeen, Texas, and host of the Health Can’t Weight podcast, tells SELF that health has different meanings to different people, and that what’s healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for another.Qureshi agrees. “Just because a can of low-sodium beans is labeled ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean that someone with IBS can sit there and eat the whole can of beans without aggravating their digestive symptoms,” she says. “The same goes for someone with poor blood sugar regulation—they also wouldn’t be able to eat a whole can of low-sodium black beans without it impacting their blood sugar and insulin levels.”There’s also the fact that focusing too much on “healthy” eating can be unhealthy. “If someone struggles with their relationship with food and sees this new ‘healthy’ label, they may get stuck in the rigidity of what the label means and think those are the only foods they are able to consume,” Qureshi says. “The new ‘healthy’ label and definition lack the nuance necessary for people to better care for their health in a gentle, culturally relevant, and balanced way.”

I’m a Dietitian and Here’s Why I Think ‘Emotional Eating’ Is Fine Actually

I’m a Dietitian and Here’s Why I Think ‘Emotional Eating’ Is Fine Actually

To say that the term “emotional eating” has a bad rap is an understatement. Diet culture has long gone out of its way to convince us that food is the absolute last thing we should turn to in times of stress or sadness. How many times have you read that if you feel like eating a cookie after a bad day, taking a warm bath and doing some deep breathing is a “healthier” choice? Or that if you’re stressed and feeling snack-y, you should drink a few glasses of water instead? I know I’ve seen and heard that stuff more times than I can count.And sure, sometimes a candle-lit bubble bath is a nice way to decompress. But as a dietitian who specializes in eating disorders and takes a non-diet approach to nutrition counseling, I can confidently say that relying on food for comfort isn’t inherently bad or wrong. Sure, eating gives us energy and nourishment, but it also plays a huge role in our social and emotional lives.I’m not saying that food should be the only thing you turn to when you’re having a hard time, or that eating to numb out your feelings is a great way to go through life—because avoiding emotions, whether that’s through drugs, alcohol, overexercising, or, yes, food, isn’t ideal. What I am saying is that demonizing emotional eating in all forms isn’t good for you, either.Of course food is emotional!There are a lot of people—namely fitness influencers—out there trying to convince us all that food is nothing more than fuel. (Soylent, Silicon Valley’s favorite “drinkable meal,” wouldn’t exist otherwise.) But for most of us, that will never be the case—and that’s a good thing.Food doesn’t just give your body energy; it “can also taste and smell really good, and even the texture can be extremely satisfying, resulting in pleasure and enjoyment,” Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, a dietitian based in Washington, D.C., who helps clients heal their relationship with food, tells SELF. In other words, the satisfaction you feel when eating your favorite foods isn’t just physical, it’s mental and emotional, too—and the fact that something we do several times a day can bring us a burst of happiness is pretty fantastic if you ask me.We also tend to associate food with positive emotions like connection and comfort. So many social occasions, whether it’s a traditional family gathering or a quick ice cream date with friends, involve food. This might be partly out of convenience—we all have to eat, so why not do it with others?—but the association between food and human connection goes much deeper than that.“We know how important the feeding process is for infants, and that’s obviously not just because the infant needs nourishment,” Kim Daniels, PsyD, a psychologist and emotional eating coach based in West Hartford, Connecticut, tells SELF. “That’s a time for close contact, coddling, and connecting—all of that is happening while the baby is eating.” So of course, Dr. Daniels says, a sense of comfort gets tied to food in our heads.

20 Foods Rich in Vitamin C to Add to Your Grocery Cart

20 Foods Rich in Vitamin C to Add to Your Grocery Cart

Foods with vitamin C are easy to find if you know where to look. And that’s a good thing, considering how important the nutrient is for your health.You might already know that vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, supports a healthy immune system. But the health benefits of vitamin C go way beyond launching strong attacks against germs.”Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant,” Caroline Green, RD, LD, a South Carolina-based registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, tells SELF. Antioxidants, as SELF reported previously, help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals. When free radicals are left unchecked, they can damage cells through a process called oxidative stress, which can set the stage for conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes, among others, according to the National Institutes of Health. So higher consumption of antioxidants may lower the risk of these diseases.Your tissues and skin need the stuff too. Vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin, is a key player in the formation of blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and the skin-smoothing protein collagen. “In fact, it’s perhaps even more important in collagen formation than protein is,” Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of Recipe for Survival, tells SELF. (Though when you’re talking about vitamin C for skin, topical vitamin C serums can also give you a boost.)The body also relies on vitamin C to max out absorption of minerals like iron (particularly from plant-based sources), so it’s a good idea to pair the two on your plate when you can. Think lemon vinaigrette on your spinach salad or a side of strawberries with your black bean soup.So, how much vitamin C should you shoot for each day? Well, it varies. People assigned female at birth should get 75 mg of vitamin C per day, though the recommended dietary allowance jumps to 85 mg during pregnancy and 120 mg while breastfeeding, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Those assigned male at birth should get 90 mg. And while that might sound like a lot, the vast majority of us are getting to these dietary allowances with no problem. “It’s fairly rare to have a vitamin C deficiency,” Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, a registered dietician nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist based in Los Angeles, tells SELF. (Severe cases of vitamin D deficiency results in a condition called scurvy, which causes anemia, poor wound healing, bleeding gums, and bruising.)In other words? You probably don’t need to make much of an effort to get your vitamin C fill. But if you want to make sure your bases are covered (or are wondering whether trying to get more is better), here’s what you should know.How can I get vitamin C naturally?Most experts agree that healthy eating means meeting your nutrient needs from food sources as much as possible, and the same applies to vitamin C. “The easy answer is, get more fruits and veggies!” says Green. “Consuming plenty of colorful plant foods daily should keep you covered when it comes to vitamin C levels.”

30 High-Protein Snacks to Power You Through the Day

30 High-Protein Snacks to Power You Through the Day

Snack time is a sacred time—staving off those mid-afternoon stomach rumbles is crucial part of a good day. But fighting off the pangs with high-protein snacks? Well, that’s a genius move. By keeping protein-packed snacks at your desk (or at the ready in your home office), you can make snack time work for you, fueling you up quickly so you can get back to your day ASAP.Along with the many body functions that protein supports (like maintaining muscle mass and helping your immune system function, as SELF reports), eating enough protein helps ensure you aren’t hungry again 45 minutes after your snack. This is because the amino acids in protein take a while for your body to digest, Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, certified exercise physiologist and author of Body Kindness, tells SELF. Another benefit of protein-rich snacks: They can help you overcome “three-thirtyitis,” that pesky wave of lethargy that washes right over you in the late afternoon. This is why Scritchfield recommends eating sources of protein throughout your day—not just in your main meals, though that’s important too—so that your energy levels can remain consistent all day, and that sneaky three-thirtyitis becomes a thing of the past.To really get the most out of your high-protein snack, though, it’s best to have one that includes other major macronutrients as well. According to SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and Food Heaven cofounder, it helps to pair your high-protein snacks with a solid source of fat and/or carbs too—the most satisfying snacks usually have at least two different food groups. (Besides, factoring in more nutrients will only make your snack game more interesting.)Coming up with healthy high-protein snacks that can be kept in your desk drawer can be tough. (Look, we all love a Greek yogurt, but it is not exactly shelf-stable!) Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of thinking up ideas for you. Here are 30 desk-friendly, healthy, filling snacks that will satisfy any kind of snacker—no fridge required.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

14 High-Protein Foods You Should Always Keep in Your Pantry

14 High-Protein Foods You Should Always Keep in Your Pantry

Getting enough protein to eat each day can be a challenge. One big reason? So many high-protein foods are, quite frankly, high maintenance. Meats, fish, eggs, cheeses, and dairy products—while all nutritional powerhouses and great sources of protein—also need to be refrigerated, and some of them also tend to go bad pretty quickly. (Fish? We’re talking to you.) But that doesn’t mean that the only high-protein foods out there are ones you keep in your fridge. People often overlook high-protein pantry staples, but they shouldn’t! There are so many great ones out there, which is excellent since protein is necessary for things like helping you maintain energy, supporting your muscles, helping your skin, nails, and hair, and more.To be considered a high-protein pantry staple, the food needs to be affordable, easy to store, and able to last for a long period of time. In this sense, pantry staples can be a lifeline, saving the day when you forgot to stock the fridge or just don’t feel like heading to the grocery store. So, SELF asked registered dietitians for their need-to-have, shelf-stable, high-protein ingredients. Grab a pen and start making your grocery list now. 1. Nuts and nut buttersMost nuts are a solid source of protein, but Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., owner of The Wellness Whisk, tells SELF she prefers to keep almonds on hand because of their versatility. “You can eat them alone, add to your oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, toss them into salads, or chop them up and add to a roasted veggie dish for some texture,” she explains. In addition to having 20 grams of protein in one cup, they’re also full of, “healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins such as calcium,” she says.Not a fan of almonds? Kate Geagan, M.S., R.D.N., also recommends walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts. Opt for nut butters if you’re looking for the same flavor, but a creamier texture. You can even make your own nut butter if that’s what you’re about.2. Cannellini beans”Having a can or two of beans in the pantry can be a lifesaver,” says Yeung. She explains that half a cup of these beans has eight grams of protein, and—similar to almonds—they have an extremely versatile flavor profile. She likes to add them to soups, pastas, and dips. “I’ll take some white beans and purée them with garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs and spices,” she says. Here’s some proof of the delicious wealth of white bean recipes out there.3. Pumpkin seedsNext time pumpkin-carving season rolls around, hold those scraps close! Or, you know, don’t—and just pick some up the next time you go to the store. Kris Sollid, R.D., the senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council, tells SELF that the humble pumpkin seed does a whole lot of lifting in the protein game. “Pumpkin seeds are packed with minerals like zinc and magnesium, healthy unsaturated fats, and protein,” he says. One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains about seven grams. 4. LentilsThis popular pulse may take a while to cook, but it’s so worth keeping in your kitchen. Jessica Levinson, R.D.N., explains that “they add a nice meaty, umami flavor to meals and can be used in vegetarian tacos and in place of meat in a bolognese sauce.” Oh, and just one cup has 18 grams of protein. If you’re saying an even bigger “yes, please!” to lentils after reading that, check out these lentil recipes packed with protein and flavor.5. PastaYup, that’s right! Pasta is an underrated source of protein. “All pasta contains protein, and some varieties are also enriched with additional plant-based protein. Pasta can be a good source of fiber and an excellent source of B vitamins (folate, niacin, and thiamin),” says Sollid. Protein-enriched varieties will pack the most punch, but both whole wheat pasta and traditional pasta can still have up to eight grams per serving. In case you need some inspiration, check out these easy pasta recipes using ingredients you probably already have.6. Garbanzo bean flourAlso known as chickpea flour, Geagan likes to use this baking alternative in sweet and savory dishes. It doesn’t have gluten, so it’s a great pick for people who have trouble stomaching that family of proteins. Geagan likes to use this flour when making pancakes, cookies, and falafel. 

9 Frozen Meal Delivery Services That Make Dinners Quick and Easy

9 Frozen Meal Delivery Services That Make Dinners Quick and Easy

While meal kits can make dinnertime easier, saving on trips to the grocery store and chopping ingredients, they still require time and effort. Enter frozen meal delivery, for when juggling work, childcare, and/or life in general puts too much on your plate, and makes even the most basic recipes seem too time-consuming and insurmountable. And the frozen meals you can get delivered aren’t the ones you may have in your mind’s eye when you think of this meal option. A new crop of companies is serving up delicious, often chef-designed dishes that reheat in minutes and solve the problem of what’s for dinner—quickly. There’s zero prep work and, most importantly, simple cleanup.Even better? Many of these new companies selling healthy frozen meals ship their entrées in recyclable packaging and have myriad options for most any dietary restrictions or tastes.From vegan to diabetic diet-friendly and more, read on for everything you need to know about the best frozen meal delivery services out there. Click ship and eat!All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.Daily HarvestWhy It’s Worth It: Daily Harvest started in 2014 as a weekly or monthly smoothie delivery service and has since expanded to sell soups, flatbreads, bowls, and other wholesome prepared foods that can feed you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything—from the sweet potato and wild rice hash harvest bowl to the artichoke and spinach flatbread and mint and cacao smoothie—centers on organic fruit and vegetables. Also, unsurprisingly given this list, everything is frozen, specifically with the aim of locking in as many antioxidants as possible while the produce is at peak freshness. If you’ve got multiple mouths to feed, new this year are Daily Harvest’s four Harvest Bakes, which are ready-to-bake dishes like a chickpea and coconut curry made with veggies, grains, spices, and sauces that you can pop in the oven and share in just 30 minutes. Everything on the Daily Harvest menu is vegan and gluten-free. Some items are also paleo or allergen-free too.

20 Healthy Costco Snacks You Should Stock Up On

20 Healthy Costco Snacks You Should Stock Up On

It’s easy to get derailed in big box stores like Costco, where it seems like they have both everything and nothing you need all at once. But Costco’s healthy snacks are not to be missed. And, luckily, they’re actually kind of hard to miss. Instead of making a beeline for the snack aisle, like you might in a regular supermarket, you’ll begin to spot Costco’s healthy snacks the moment you walk through the entrance. Look past the electronics and you’ll notice mountains of nuts, crackers, and dried fruits already beginning to appear. From there, it’s aisles upon aisles of nutritious and delicious treats just waiting to fill your cart and stomach. Though buying in bulk can sometimes feel like it costs more than it’s worth, there are so many pros to stocking up on a large scale, says Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., of Street Smart Nutrition. “Planning and preparation are key to building consistent habits, and part of that is setting up your environment to have access to what you need,” she explains. Basically, you probably won’t regret having a ton of cans of beans in your pantry, even if it feels excessive to buy that many in the moment. (And you’ll usually end up paying less in the long run despite the higher price upfront.)Yes, there are a lot of pros to shopping at Costco, but there are also a couple of important things to remember to ensure that you get the most out of your bulk-buying experience. For one, Harbstreet suggests sticking to dried and shelf-stable goods so that you don’t have to worry about anything spoiling before you’re able to eat it. And whenever you’re building your Costco shopping list, take stock of your personal situation. Ask yourself what you always have and what your needs are for that particular time of year to minimize food waste. Obviously, snacks are something worth having in bulk all year round, and these 20 picks from registered dietitians are worthy additions to your pantry no matter the season. From zesty olives to sweet dried mango, there’s something in this list for just about every craving. If you can’t make it to the store in person for whatever reason, know that many Costco must-haves—including the products here—can now be found on InstaCart or Costco online. If you’d rather shop in-store but don’t have a membership, see if a family member or friend will be kind enough to lend you theirs (and maybe accompany you on the trip). However you choose to bulk up your pantry, these are some of the best healthy snacks at Costco according to R.D.s. A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these recipes with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.

Introducing SELF Magazine's Healthy Eating Trailblazers

Introducing SELF Magazine's Healthy Eating Trailblazers

Back in January, SELF made a commitment to spend the year redefining four core elements of wellness through both a personal and public health lens, starting with food. Our goal was to upend our society’s historically restrictive view of what “healthy eating” really means. Green smoothies are great and all, but no one type of food should monopolize the meaning of healthy eating. But here we are, with so many of us buying into the idea—even unwittingly—that healthy eating essentially comes down to produce and protein. “It’s well past time to redefine healthy eating. Because healthy eating isn’t just about nutrients and superfoods and trendy diets; it’s also, crucially, about food access and sustenance; about fuel and nourishment; and about community and culture. And the way we talk about healthy eating should encompass all of that,” our then-editor in chief Carolyn Kylstra wrote at the time. So, to figure out what healthy eating really means, we decided to explore the topic through three essential pillars. The first pillar, physical health, encompasses vitamins, nutrients, that kind of stuff—not surprising when it comes to healthy eating as a concept, right? But then there’s the second pillar, emotional health, which is all about how the way we eat influences the way we feel and vice versa. Our final pillar, community health, is about how food—our access to it, our production of it, our consumption of it—shapes our health as a collective and as a planet. None of these pillars is more or less important than the others. Instead, each one is a vital piece of the overarching healthy eating puzzle.Since January, we’ve published articles investigating potential solutions to food insecurity and advice on how to combat the food guilt so many of us grapple with daily. We’ve asked registered dietitians to describe their favorite meals from their cultures and reiterated why carbohydrates are, in fact, not the enemy. There’s so much more—you can check out all of our recent coverage on these three pillars right here. And to drive home that healthy eating really is an individual thing, we published 10 Grocery Diaries, each one offering a snapshot of how different people shop for food with their physical and emotional health (and that of their loved ones) in mind.Now, as SELF’s interim editor in chief, I’m thrilled to share our March digital cover: Eat Well. In it, we celebrate 16 people whose work embodies our multifaceted definition of healthy eating. You’ll meet registered dietitians championing the simple joy of eating and a farmer growing crops as an act of food sovereignty. You’ll meet a certain tenacious host of Taste the Nation and Top Chef and an innovator creating animal products from cell cultures. Independent food and culture journalist Esther Tseng interviewed these trailblazers, drawing out the gems of healthy eating insight they had to share. Then SELF’s health editor Carolyn Todd and associate food and fitness director Christa Sgobba diligently combed through Tseng’s reporting and their own research to paint a vivid picture of each person we’re honoring. Finally, creative director Amber Venerable commissioned beautiful illustrations from artists Diana Ejaita, Jordan Moss, Abbey Lossing, and Asia Pietrzyk, working with associate art director Morgan Johnson to turn the designs into digital covers. Call it the cherry on top. Head over to our March digital cover story to see SELF’s list of people revolutionizing our cultural notion of what healthy eating really is. And eat well, friends.

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