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Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter

Hopes and Concerns for 2020


Welcome to a New Year!  Rather than the traditional New Year's resolutions topic, I felt we could look ahead to hopes and concerns for the new year.  Let's get up to speed on current events that affect our food and environment health.  I'd like to share what is important on a larger scale and some possible solutions.  Here's my top ten list.

  • Food Safety — We don't want to go through another year of not knowing whether it's safe to buy romaine lettuce, eat at Chipotle or order a hamburger.  Better tracking as to where and how contamination happens is necessary in order to control this problem.  Funding has been reduced and controls have been loosened within the FDA and USDA under the current administration.  Contact your representative to ask for improvements to food safety so we can feel confident that our food will not make us sick.

  • Access to Healthy Foods—Would you choose healthier foods if they were more available to you?  Whether you're at school, work, out shopping or dining out it can be difficult to make good choices.  Variety is important but being able to determine which menu item is healthier will allow you to make an informed decision.  We could use better support from retail food suppliers by giving us healthier choices and providing nutritional information.  Knowledge is power.  Vote with your dollars, spend your money on food retailers that support healthy eating.

  • Added Sugar— More and more food manufacturers will be transitioning to food labels that include "Added Sugars".  Previously, only "Total Sugars" were required on the nutrition facts panel, thus we were unable to decipher what was derived from naturally occurring sugar and what was added.  This is good news, my pet peeve was the inability to determine how much sugar was added to yogurt since the naturally occurring sugar from lactose was lumped together with added sugar.  This is especially helpful if you're trying reduce sugar in your diet!  Look for more improvements to the nutrition facts panel in 2020.

  • Climate Friendly Foods— What's good for our bodies is good for the planet.  Choose fresh food since processed foods are energy intensive and take more fossil fuel to produce.  Lessen the environmental impact with organic foods which are not grown with synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or growth hormones, and are not genetically modified.  Choosing organic reduces greenhouse gases and builds carbon storing soils.  Do your part and buy local foods that don't rely heavily on fossil fuels to transport.

  • Processed Faux Meat— The new meat alternatives have hit the market.  Are the Impossible Burger/Meat or Beyond Burger/Meat different from previously marketed meat alternatives?  The drive for better beef imitations has brought about the era of highly processed or lab created "plant-based meats".  Unfortunately, these products may help the planet more than your health.  They are high in calories, sodium and saturated fat; nutritionally similar to many of the actual meat products.  With the Impossible Burger/Meat there are concerns regarding the "heme" that makes it look and present like red meat.  This is created from something called "soy leghemoglobin", made from genetically engineered yeast which has been poorly tested.  Check out other meat alternatives that go beyond the impossible and read the nutritional information.

  • Bees and Pesticides— We need bees and other pollinators to pollinate our food crops.  Of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the food supply, 71% are pollinated by bees.  Bee population rates have been declining rapidly.  Research indicates that a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids are largely to blame.  Our government has delayed actions to reduce or eliminate these threats to bees.  Center for Food Safety is fighting for bees in court.  Buy organic to support the farmers that don't use pesticides.

  • Affordable Health Care— Will we continue to have affordable health care coverage to have important visits to the doctor or nutritionist, to treat illness or for preventative care.  The current Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is slowly being dismantled piece by piece.  These actions could lead to higher costs, less coverage or difficulty in finding health care coverage, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.  Stay informed on changes to the ACA and let you representative know how important affordable care is to you.

  • Clean Air — We all need to clean air to be healthy and perform outdoor activities.  We need support from our government to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants.  Additionally, we can do part by driving less, being energy efficient at home, buying local and in season produce, and consuming less meat.

  • Microplastics in Our Food— Plastics in straws, food packaging and water bottles can cause us to ingest microplastics (small bits of plastic).  Some of which can contain endocrine disrupting chemicals that lead to health problems.  Let's reduce our exposure to plastics in food by avoiding straws, purchase or store food in non-plastic containers and drink water from glass or stainless steel bottles.  Additionally, we'll reduce plastic waste in the environment.

  • Affordable Health Care— Will we continue to have affordable health care coverage to have important visits to the doctor or nutritionist, to treat illness or for preventative care.  The current Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is slowly being dismantled piece by piece.  These actions could lead to higher costs, less coverage or difficulty in finding health care coverage, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.  Stay informed on changes to the ACA and let you representative know how important affordable care is to you.

  • Emotional Health— Currently there are more tips and tools available for managing our emotional health, whereas this health issue had been an unspoken or hidden disorder.  Many websites for coping with various mental health issues are available in order to see help.  I just came across an NPR article called Tips for Emotional Well-Being in 2020.  Seek guidance or information if you are struggling with emotional issue, whether mild or severe, this is an important part of our over all health.

Here are few reasons to see a nutritionist/personal trainer/health coach: relieve tension and stress in the body, properly train or progress in an activity, improve your microbiome, assess nutrient intake, disease prevention through evidence-based diet, and exercise, maximize exercise performance, improve sleep quality, enhance mental clarity, optimize digestion and nutrient absorption, establish long-term healthy habits, meal planning for a whole foods diet and eat in a way to sustain the planet.  Please consider Sheri for nutrition counseling and/or fitness appointments to help you develop a healthier lifestyle for you and the planet. 

FITNESS/NUTRITION in the NEWS


Identify Weight Loss Scams
Check out the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website that helps consumers identify false weight loss claims.  In addition, it provides links to other resources and where to report fraudulent claims. www.ftc.gov/weightloss



Sheri is a Certified Nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, with over 15 years of clinical counseling experience, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with advanced certifications in medical exercise, senior fitness and health coaching.  All nutrition consultations include exercise guidance, dietary analysis and meal plans to meet your individual lifestyle, calorie and nutritional needs.

Free introductory 15-minute appointments are also available.

To schedule an appointment with Sheri Mar, email:   info@EatWellBeFit.com  or call:  206.789.6440


Do you have a nutrition topic for the month?
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