After four days in Houston, Texas for the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo it is back to the daily grind. =[ But let me tell you, the trip was a blast. I got to spend time with 54 other dietetic students from MSU and RD’s from all over the world. It was an awesome experience.
Throughout the three day conference there were informational sessions with guest speakers on nearly every topic under the sun (I am talking cooking demos to the latest clinical advancements and research) It was really hard to narrow down which sessions you wanted to go to (there were five to ten going on at once!) One of the sessions I decided on was one called “Seductive Nutrition: Making favorite foods healthy & irresistable” Sounds good, right? It didn’t disappoint.
Some things I learned from this particular session
- Seductive nutrition is the overlap between eating healthy and treating yourself
- Healthy is commonly mistaken for expensive, not as flavorful, and smaller portions… but this is SO not true!
- Oreo’s can be as ADDICTIVE AS COCAINE!! This one shocked me. The research behind this one related to the reward center response that occurs in the brain after we eat high sugar foods (which we are naturally wired to crave because they were scarce during hunter-gathering times which makes up 98% of human history!)
- When we satisfy cravings, especially for salt, fat, sugar (all naturally scarce foods) we respond by releasing endorphins which, in turn, make us feel happy =]
- Ever wonder why we can eat an ENTIRE carton of vanilla ice cream, or why it is the most popular flavor? This is because vanilloid, which is found in vanilla, is non-habituating. This means that the first bite will taste just as good as the last (as opposed to if you take a bite of steak the first bite is amazing, but that amazement wears off as you continue to chomp.)
- Rather than doing a 180 (like going from pizza to raw kale) it is best to adapt the “seductive nutrition principles” This idea involves taking favorite dishes and descretely making them more nutritious (adding more nutrients, not necessarily slashing the calorie count) By doing this people can still enjoy what they like, but increase nutrient content in the foods
Seductive Nutrition Pledge
I took the pledge! By taking the pledge I said I would find a favorite dish and make it healthier/more nutritious as well as decreasing it by 100 calories. Stay tuned for the recipe! I will begin developing it shortly.
All-in-all, the trip was a hoot. We met TONS of MSU alumni in Houston, which was crazy! What are the chances? In addition to it being a great learning experience we had a blast hitting the town on our off-time as well ;] Such a great break from the stress of the real world!
I will leave you with a picture of all of my goodies I got from the expo (every major food company…almost… was there giving away free samples…) We got enough food to feed an army!
How was your weekend?