Pumpkin spice: The strange science behind your craving

Pumpkin spice: The strange science behind your craving

We love pumpkin spice stuff (most of us). This type of spice has been used by people for thousands of years and brings with it some physiological benefits.  This article on CNN.com has a good review of this phenomenon. –Dr. Anderson

Each fall, as leaves turn golden and the crisp autumn air carries the scent of pine, Catherine Franssen awaits her husband to bring home the latest pumpkin spice-flavored concoction he has discovered at the grocery store.

Source: Pumpkin spice: The strange science behind your craving – CNN

Study: High Fat Saves Lives

Study: High Fat Saves Lives

Every so often a study comes out that breaks the convention. This month a large study of how diet effects mortality was released in the medical Journal, The Lancet. This study looked at over 135,000 people over 10 years.

The bottom line, people eating higher carbohydrates have higher mortality.  Low fat diet also increases mortality.  In other words, people who eat more fat live longer.  The sweet spot for fat is 35% of your total calories.

I quoted the study below.  I did a podcast on this topic a while back called Eating to Get Fat.  I explore why fat does not make you fat.  –Dr. A


they found that people eating high quantities of carbohydrates, which are found in breads and rice, had a nearly 30% higher risk of dying during the study than people eating a low-carb diet.

And people eating high-fat diets had a 23% lower chance of dying during the study’s seven years of follow-up compared to people who ate less fat.

The results, say the authors, point to the fact that rather than focusing on fat, health experts should be advising people to lower the amount of carbohydrates they eat. In the study, which involved 135,000 people from 18 different countries, the average diet was made up of 61% carbohydrates, 23% fat and 15% protein. In some countries, like China, south Asia and Africa, however, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet was much higher, at 63% to 67%. More than half of the people in the study consumed high-carbohydrate diets.

Source: Low Carb Diet vs. Low Fat Diet: Research Offers a New Answer | Time.com

The Whole30® Program

[My wife and I just finished the first 30 days of the Whole 30 Diet.  It went great. Id recommend it if you are struggling with weight or think you may have a food sensitivity.  After 30 days you reintroduce certain foods and track how you feel. This helps you isolate what food may be a problem for you. -DrA]

What is the Whole30®?Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it.

Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped?

These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing.

Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

Source: The Whole30® Program | The Whole30® Program

Willpower — Not So Powerful.

Willpower — Not So Powerful.

“This time I’m going to lose the weight.” “I have had it! I’m going to start exercising and eating right!”

Living a healthful lifestyle is not rocket science. In fact, you know what you should be doing right now. (Put down the donut). Why is it that we so often fail in making good choices in our health? One possibility it we set ourselves up for failure.

Here’s the typical scenario. Billy wants to start exercising. He starts going to the gym 6 days a week for 45 minutes. This lasts 2 weeks then he misses a day. He feels bad about it but tries harder. After a month he is back to his couch potato ways, never to darken the door of a gym again. He failed.
Billy set himself up for failure. He was unrealistic about his abilities and most of all his willpower.

Psychologist and lead researcher Loran Nordgren, PhD, of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management says “The key is simply to avoid any situation where vices and other weaknesses thrive and, most importantly, for individuals to keep a humble view of their willpower.”

Keeping a humble view of willpower is key. Make realistic goals. Maybe plan to exercise twice a week for 12 weeks, then increase. Set yourself up for success then build on it. When it comes to diet, try to focus on one thing first. Maybe you need to cut soda, or eat 1 extra serving of fruit a day. Give yourself a time frame and celebrate when you make your goal. Then set another one.

Keep it real and you will succeed.

Dr. Craig Anderson

Introducing the Fall Makeover

By: Dr. Anderson

Welcome to a new season – Fall.  I love when the seasons change.   This change of season brings about an opportulogonity for other changes, in your habits.  It’s a great time to to assess where you are in life, set goals and make improvement where needed.

Fall is also a time to gain weight.  It’s well know that people gain weight in the Fall.  I think there are several reasons. 

  1. More clothes to cover your body so a few extra pounds wont hurt.
  2. Animals store more fat just before Winter.  Humans may have similar wiring that encourages eating.
  3. More social eating.  Halloween parties, football tailgating, and eating in groups for any reason promote grazing and consuming large amounts of calories.
  4. More couch-potato-ing.  Less sun means less activity.

To help combat this trend, I am happy to announce my Fall Makeover.  This post is the first of 8 weeks of posts and workshops aimed to support you in your health goals

We will cover it all. 

  • Diet and exercise, how and what to eat. 
  • What stress does to the body
  • How the body works
  • and some good ole’ fashioned anatomy.

Each week (or more) I’ll post an article on the blog with links and recourses for you to read and use.632e0d61755d165f71ac8cfbf94450d2

Every other week we will have an in-office workshop.  I have a series of 5 free workshops planned, the first on is October 6th.  They are scheduled for every other Tuesday, register here

We are also going to do some tracking for you.  If you like, we will take your weight and blood pressure starting the first week of October.  Then as you progress through the season you can see your progress while you implement what you are learning during our Fall Makeover.

Attending the workshops are not needed but highly recommended.  Let me know if you want to join the process by registering.

Have a healthy day!

Dr. Craig Anderson

Top Cyclists on Tour de France Skip Pasta

At this years Tour de France, one team has decided to skip the traditional pasta meals and replace them with low-inflammatory foods. 


Dr. Craig Anderson

Smoothy Recipe

I’m a big fan of smoothies. Here is a great recipe to start with. Throw all this into a high speed blender and you are set. It will be around 350 calories. If you have other suggestions please leave a comment. Thanks.

  • 8 oz of milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of frozen fruit (Raspberries, blueberries, bananas, etc.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt one scoop of protein powder

Extras: Peanut Butter; Oatmeal; Ground Flax Seed; ice (if you use fresh fruit)

Dr. Craig Anderson