Without guidance or a ton of motivation, the nutrition and health world can be such a muddy, contradictory place. It is a space where two intelligent people can be using scientific studies to argue polar opposite points. It can be overwhelming, confusing and it’s no wonder that a lot of people stop looking for answers and continue doing what they’ve always done.
Researching and wading through the information and marketing can be a nightmare. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, trainer or expert in anything but I do want to live a long, healthy, happy life while having minimal impact on the wellness of the planet and the life of animals. So, where do I go when I have a question regarding health?
NutritionFacts.org is a non-profit started by Dr. Michael Greger and is the first place I look when I have a question. They upload new videos and articles daily on more than 2,000 health and nutrition topics. There’s an app and podcast also available so one can get their nutrition education anywhere at anytime. I’m always on there searching the video database for specifics or just video hopping carnitine to Omega 3 vs 6 to store bought chicken to 3 straight videos on soy. (it’s been getting a bad rap but organic GMO free is FINE. Don’t believe the hype.)
Dr. Greger is the man and is doing the world a huge service by assembling a team and wading through all these studies and condensing it into easily digestible videos. AND it’s a non-profit organization. He could easily be charging a small fee or just using advertising and boosting his bank account but he never wants his ethics to be questioned. He’s an impartial reader of the latest science and relays that information onto the public. His Daily Dozen recommendations are major, laying out the twelve foods one should try to eat daily to get their daily recommended dose of everything. I love this man so much I might name my first-born child, boy or girl, Dr. Greger.
Cronometer is a site and app that helps track and count calories and nutrition data. It’s easy to use, measures 60+ nutrients and has a log of 300,000+ foods. I don’t track my macros or count calories but every once in a while I’ll write in what I’m eating for two or three days. The app gives me an easy to read nutrient and calorie profile of my consumption day to day and lets me know if I’m hitting my daily recommendations for vitamins and minerals. I did it a few weeks ago and noticed I wasn’t getting as much calcium as I’d like so I added more calcium rich foods into my diet.
For me, it’s a super useful tool to see if the meals I’m currently hooked on are giving me all the vitamins I need because, like most people, I go through phases of cooking the same 2-3 breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We’re creatures of habit. Cronometer helps me tweak my habits to make sure I’m on point.
Simon from Plant Proof is a physiotherapist who is getting his Masters in Nutrition. He’s written for numerous publications and worked with some big name athletes and recently Chris Hemsworth on a health program in Australia. The site has some great write-ups on vegan health, lifestyle and recipes. He also has a podcast with the same name and hosts experts from all sorts of disciplines and they discuss healthy living. Full of helpful information and easy to consume aka a win-win.
I really enjoyed his episode with Nimai Delgado, the legendary, vegan pro body builder. They dispel a ton of the vegan myths around fitness and plant based diets.
Another awesome episode was with the gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewiscz. They talk about the importance of the microbiome and the vegan influencers (mutiple) who had stomach issues and introduced animal products back into their diet, causing their followers to question their own dietary choices. It was a weird phenomenon.
Also he has an episode with Dr. Zach Bush who is one of my new heroes. He talks about modern food growing practices and how it’s killing the soil and ultimately the nutrition in the food we eat. Apparently, a tomato now has a tiny fraction of the nutrients that it did 40 years ago. He’s a FASCINATING speaker and his non-profit organization Farmer’s Footprint is helping farmers get out of the cycle of pesticide use and return them to a sustainable no GMO, no till, no pesticide way of farming that can make them more money, while giving consumers the quality of produce that our grandparents used to enjoy.
I’ve personally come a long way on my health and fitness journey. These three tools helped a lot, along with a few jacked vegan YouTubers What I Eat in a Day videos and the fact that I’m getting older and my lifestyle choices are reflecting that. While I’m glad I had those ‘staying out until 6 am Spanish nights,’ I don’t long for them. Now it’s all about getting up early, moving my body and smashing a nutrient dense smoothie bowl. Oh, how the times have changed.
I hope that was useful. I couldn’t recommend these resources more. They’re simple and straightforward. Give NutritionFacts and PlantProof a follow on social media. The knowledge they drop daily is game changing.