Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

By: Catherine Hu, 4th-year Undergraduate at UCLA studying Psychobiology

Juggling multiple exams, papers, and extracurricular activities are just a sample of the busy life of a college student, so throwing in healthy eating habits into the mix can be challenging. As stress builds and late nights heighten sweet and salty cravings, students often binge on less nutritious items; eventually, these continued habits can take a toll on their health.

In support of National Nutrition Month®, a campaign that encourages mindful eating and exercise, here are some ways to “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle.”

Snacking: Instead of chips, reach for a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a carton of low fat yogurt to curb pangs of hunger. Nutritionally dense snacks can help provide fuel for optimal studying. Not only will these alternatives help meet nutrient needs for the day, but they can also prevent overeating at the next meal.

Meals: For your meals, try to incorporate fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna into your diet. This nutrient is correlated to improved brain function and cognition, perfect for increasing focus during lecture. Look for whole grains for energy, as well as leafy green vegetables chock full of antioxidants to help delay brain aging.

Students often eat too quickly so that they can return to their schoolwork, only to feel too full and lethargic in doing so. It takes about 20 minutes for the body to indicate fullness to the brain, so it is easy to overeat if only 10 minutes are spent eating. A way to combat this is to have meals with friends, as the time spent socializing may help slow down eating. In addition, instead of scrolling through your phone or watching videos during dinner, consider focusing solely on the meal in front of you and savoring the flavors of each bite. This can help increase awareness of the food and the time taken to consume it.

Hydration: Since the body is 60% water, be sure to drink adequate amounts of water daily (about 2.2 to 3 liters). Water is important, because food that is consumed and stored as energy in the body need to be hydrated with about 4 times as much water per gram of food. In addition, water helps flush body waste as well as deliver oxygen throughout the body. Carry a water bottle around to as a reminder to drink, and make sure to increase intake of water during exercise.

By making a couple of changes and substitutions in your diet, it is not too hard to have good nutrition as busy college student. Once National Nutrition Month® is over, continue to maintain these habits for a healthier lifestyle.

For more information on National Nutrition month, visit

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Resolve to Un-Diet

By: Eve Lahijani, M.S., R.D. UCLA Residential Life Nutrition Health Educator

Dieting to lose weight is among the most popular resolutions of every new year. Unfortunately however, 95-98% of the people who go on a diet with the intention to lose weight – either don’t lose weight at all – or if they do lose weight, they eventually gain it back, and usually with additional pounds and even more obsessed with food.

Furthermore, despite our past ‘failure’ with diets, many of us return to them year after year to achieve our weight loss goals. Each time the weight is not lost or finally regained we blame ourselves. This frustrating pattern can be repeated indefinitely until we feel hopeless and defective for being unable to simply weigh less!

After all, how hard can it be, right?

The truth is, it is not your fault!  Diets don’t work, they actually set you up to fail!  That is, dieting itself causes food obsession, cravings and binges – which usually results in weight gain!

Here are some of the reasons diets suck:

·  Restrictive mentality: feeling deprived triggers the survival mechanism that backfires in the form of binges.

·  Denies enjoyment: feeling guilty for eating can make it difficult to savor meals leaving us unsatisfied at best, causing us to eat even more.

·  Encourage disconnect between body & mind: following arbitrary diet rules alienates us from our body’s inherit wisdom.  Those who get good at ignoring hunger are also good at ignoring fullness and are more likely to over eat.

·  Loss of power: following rules and regulations set by the The Diet is not natural, enjoyable or sustainable.  The inner rebel comes out and has you do the exact opposite of ‘the rules’!

·  Avoids the issue: for many, eating may be due to stress, boredom, loneliness, excitement, etc – dieting makes food more emotionally charged – so you are more likely to eat emotionally if you restrict food!

**Ugh, it’s all so crazy making!… And solvable 🙂

So this year instead of going on a diet learn how to:

•  Make conscious food choices that are supportive and satisfy YOU!

•  Enjoy food, tune in to every bite so you can finally feel satiated (and easily stop eating)!

•  Reconnect to your body’s wisdom to know exactly when, how much and what to eat!

•  Redeem your power and finally be in control of what you eat!

•  Face the issues by distinguishing between physical hunger and emotions – and address each of them accordingly!

By mastering the above points weight will naturally adjust to what is right for you! Not to mention all of the other benefits that come along with eating consciously – including, improved wellness, better focus, increased energy, less medications, enhanced enjoyment, etc!!

**Warning: making peace with food may make you happier, activate inner peace and cause spontaneous joy**

Happy Eating!


See this blog post, and many others, by Eve at:

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Influencing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015

By: Janet Leader, MPH, R.D. 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), established jointly by the US Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, drives the policies behind federal food programs and nutrition education.   While many of us wish the DGA would be more specific, more progressive and a little less industry-influenced, this is what we have for now.  Before 1980, there were no national guidelines at all.

As a nutrition advocate, I asked the question:  how do we influence the next DGA in 2015?  This is the challenge I put to students in CHS 130, Nutrition and Health.

A little background:  Every five years, the DGA is reviewed and updated, a process that takes almost two years.  According to their website, the government “appoints a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) consisting of nationally recognized experts in the field of nutrition and health. The charge to the Committee is to review the scientific and medical knowledge current at the time. The Committee then prepares a report for the (HHS and USDA) Secretaries that provides recommendations for the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines …”

The DGAC provides a public comment website, open to everyone. This is how the students worked together to influence the next set of policies.  Working in small groups, they selected issues they felt passionate about and wrote opinion papers.  Topics included:

·  Requiring industry to fortify non-dairy milks (nut, soy, rice) sold in schools with vitamin D

·  Encouraging the promotion of vitamin D to African-American populations of child-bearing age

·  Establishing a behavioral strategies section in the DGA to provide helpful ways to implement recommendations

·  Requiring the integration of nutrition education into the national Common Core standards for education

·  Reducing sugar-sweetened items sold in schools, based on the California model

·  Using the DASH diet to influence food package labels

·  Adding water to the My Plate model

Over the next few months, you will see some abbreviated versions of these papers in the Eat Well blog.  Or, you can go to the DGA 2015 website to see them online.

Be on the lookout for the 2015 edition of the DGA to see if they were successful!


Discover Dig at UCLA

By: Ian Davies, 4th-year Undergraduate at UCLA studying Environmental Science and GIS

Every Sunday at around 12:30, students gather at a little plot of land tucked away in the back of Sunset Rec. They pass through a modest bamboo fence, arm themselves with shovels, watering cans, and hoes, and descend on the fourteen vegetable beds and surrounding fruit trees.

This motley crew of undergraduate and graduate students might not look like a gardening collective, but their volunteer work helps operate the largest student garden on campus. Dig at UCLA: The Campus Garden Coalition, is a group I help run which repurposes underutilized spaces on campus into productive fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens for student use. None of us were experienced gardeners when we began. Rather, we were experienced eaters brought together by a mutual interest in food policy and the worrying disconnect between consumers and food production.

The result is delicious and educational. In the warm weather, we feast on fiery-colored tomatoes and curiously-shaped summer squash, while in the winter we enjoy dark leafy greens and root vegetables.

We nourish our minds as well as our bellies. We host workshops on gardening techniques, offer tours of our garden space, and transform our modest plot every week into a space for discussing food and sustainability.

Caring for own my food from vulnerable seedling to harvest has conferred a deeper appreciation for the farm systems which feed us all. I’ve also realized that for all of us, a little ingenuity can transform even the most cramped spaces into urban gardens, be it an apartment balcony or a bathroom windowsill. Gardening may not have been the easiest hobby to pick up at the beginning, but I’m happy to say I’ve found a life-long passion that I love sharing with others.

Dig at UCLA meets every Sunday at 12:00pm in the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. No experience necessary! Visit us online at to keep up with the latest updates, including the upcoming construction of a new community garden at Hershey Hall.


What I know, what I do…

By: Michael Goldstein, Associate Vice Provost, Healthy Campus Initiative

Everyone has a favorite comfort food.  For me it’s Jelly Belly Sours.  No, not the full array of a zillion Jelly Belly flavors.  I’m Mr. Willpower when it comes to them.  But, just Jelly Belly Sours… that’s a different story.

Now I am pretty well informed about the research on how availability influences the amount we eat.  I know that there are scores of studies showing that, regardless of how hungry we are, if someone offers larger portions, we eat more.  Offer us bigger plates or serving spoons and we will take more and eat more.  And plenty of studies have shown that the enjoyment or satisfaction that we get from a food we love also depends on portion size.  We feel just as satisfied with a small amount as long as there isn’t more around to tempt us.

But back to those Jelly Belly Sours.  If you want them, you have to go to the supermarket where you can find them in little 3.5 ounce bags for about $3.50 or $4.00.  What a rip off.  The whole thing couldn’t cost the international Jelly Belly cartel more than a quarter.  Once I overcome my anger at the price and buy them I usually find that my craving is satisfied after one or two hands full; leaving the rest for another day.  But here on campus it’s a different story. The candy shop in Ackerman Union has a huge, clear canister filled with Jelly Belly Sours, and I have the “freedom” to take the exact amount I want.  I control the lever that sends them spilling into the big bag they give you.  I know how just much I need to feel satisfied and that’s what I take.  For the past few visits, I’ve kept my receipts and guess what?  Each and every time I wind up buying a good deal more than 3.5 ounces; sometimes a lot more.  Well, at least I must be lots happier with so much more of my favorite snack.  Not really. In fact, it usually turns out that all I can think about when those final precious beans enter my mouth is that huge, beautiful canister at the store.  I say to myself, “If I’d only held the lever down a few more seconds I‘d have some more, and that would be what I really need to satisfy myself.”

Of course, I’m strongly in favor of “freedom of choice” when it comes to most everything, especially Jelly Belly Sours.  But then, again…

Beauty and Richness of Food in Own Lives and Cultures

By: Janet Leader, MPH, RD, Associate Director of Nutrition Services, Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

With all of the buzz on campus about nutrition, I’m excited to teach a resurrected course this spring:  CHS 130, Nutrition and Health.

Here’s what I hope will happen in the class.

Students will take a look at the beauty and richness of food in their own lives and cultures.  From there, they will share their cultural choices with others, and learn why those choices are so important to them.  They will explore the basic concepts of nutrition and apply them to their own lives and real-world issues.

Using outside readings and films, students will come to class prepared to discuss controversies and conduct activities that will allow them to analyze their own diets and those of others.  They will recognize the changes that occurs in all of us as we move from being an infant to youth to adult and then to our senior years.  What are the changes in nutritional requirements as we move through these stages in our lives?  What are the healthiest way to meet those requirements?

We will also discuss how our behaviors and environments influence what we eat.  Why and how does it matter if you grow up in South LA vs. Santa Monica?  What changes are happening in our eating environment, both for the worse and for the better?  How can we make a difference in those changes?  Visiting community programs that apply nutrition and behavior theory, and inviting interesting guest speakers will excite more discussion.

I look forward to sharing my enjoyment of nutrition sciences and food with the UCLA students.  While the class is currently full with a waiting list, it will also be offered in the summer.

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My Adventure with the CSA Box

By: Julie K Kwan, MS, AHIP
Associate Director, UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library and UCLA Science and Engineering Library
Distinguished Librarian, UCLA Library

Last winter, a colleague posted on her Facebook page that she could get CSA boxes in her building. I assumed, enviously, that the boxes were delivered to her apartment building, but I soon learned it was the building where both of us worked! I had been looking for a CSA source for some time, and here it was right in MY building. I signed up immediately!

I was awestruck as I opened my first box. It was beautiful — the color, the texture, the smell. The carrots were short and fat. The avocado was gigantic. The leafy greens were shiny. I looked forward to the weekly surprise, wondering “what would be in the box this week?”

The first six months I read and tested recipes, explored new techniques, and practiced my cooking skills until they were perfect. I sautéed greens, braised carrots, and roasted beets. I started noticing changes in the way I ate. I started spending more time in the produce section at the grocery store. By spring, I started a garden in my back yard. And, it all started with a Facebook post!

South Central Farmers Cooperative delivers to several locations on the UCLA campus. You can sign up and go to the National Agricultural Library’s Community Supported Agriculture page to learn more and to find other farms and locations.


What are your New Year’s resolutions?

By: Peter Angelis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Housing & Hospitality Services, UCLA

It may already be the month of February, but it’s never too late to start thinking about personal health and wellness goals for 2014.  When I look around our own work environment at UCLA, I see tremendous opportunities for making healthy choices in the foods we eat and in our daily physical activity habits.

On the nutrition front, in Fall Quarter 2013, we opened “Bruin Plate” our newest dining hall on Campus and the FIRST health-themed dining hall in the United States.  If you haven’t tried it, please join us for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to taste a variety of unique dishes using unprocessed and sustainable “superfoods” like: kale, farro, quinoa, legumes, acai berries, lentils, and more.  The beauty of Bruin Plate is that making healthy food choices is not only easy, but extremely enjoyable because the flavor combinations are thoughtfully conceived and executed.  The feedback from our students, the main consumers of Bruin Plate’s fare, has been overwhelmingly positive and the number of people dining at this new venue has exceeded our estimates.  Perhaps it begs the question to ask why students are choosing “mindful eating” over the traditional dining hall “comfort foods” such as hamburgers, pizza, and fries.  Whatever the personal factors are for making this nutritional switch, we are excited to offer these new culinary choices and we are delighted that they are becoming so popular.

Another positive health trend that is developing in my own office is the example of fellow team members who are making physical activity a priority in their daily lives. Many of us have become “Fitbit” friends and we share in a collegial competition to obtain our minimum of 10,000 footsteps per day.  We are both walkers and runners and, with the LA Marathon coming up in March, we enjoy the convenience of training opportunities at our doorstep – whether it’s Drake Stadium for a noon stair climbing session or a fast walk along the perimeter of Campus.  Then, there are our BHIP aficionados who work-out at 6:15am before they even start their day in the office!  I encourage you to find your physical activity niche at UCLA with so many opportunities for improving your daily health through fitness.

I started running at the ripe old age of 50, and wish I had started decades ago.  My first mile was a very unpleasant experience.  Amazingly by my 10th try, I was up to the magical 3 mile mark and never looked back.  I really enjoy it and find it meditative and fulfilling.  It gives me an aerobic buzz that lasts many hours into the evening while clearing my mind in a way that separates work from life outside of work.  Running also gives me a perspective of LA that I had never realized before. We really live in a city that can be navigated without a car, bike or bus.  By taking differing tracks across town, you see new neighborhoods and stumble across places that you would never find just driving by.

My usual midweek run is the campus perimeter at 4.2 miles, preferring to handle it in the counter clockwise direction- although the Hilgard Hill is always a challenge even when warmed up by that point.  I’m curious when I run, why others go the clockwise route.  I sometimes wonder if they know something I don’t and I begin to second guess my strategy.  This sort of thinking helps me clear my mind and takes my thoughts away from the rigors of running.  Pandora is also an inseparable part of my running experience, where I rely on EDM to guide my pace and rhythm to match the incline or decline that confronts me (I’m an opera lover too but find that it really does not suffice for running).

On weekends, I often run from the Wooden Center to the Santa Monica Pier, which is roughly a 10K (6.2 miles) depending on whether you head down San Vincente or Montana after the VA.  After a cup of coffee and lunch, I can take the bus back to Westwood.  I think my running has greatly enhanced my understanding of the importance of eating right and getting exercise.  It has also allowed me to see the incredibly special places that are UCLA and LA.

If you don’t know where to get started or if you are looking for an opportunity to meet fellow UCLA community members who are making their New Year’s health resolutions into a reality, sign-up for the “True Bruin Move and Groove 5K Run/Walk” on March 30, 2014.  It’s being sponsored by UCLA’s staff assembly and the Healthy Campus Initiative, and this inaugural event is going to be a lot of fun.  Plus, it’s an opportunity to show-off our beautiful Campus to your loved ones as registration is open to everyone.  Start planning those healthy New Year’s resolutions today – you deserve it.

Enjoy a healthy and happy 2014!

Resources: To learn more about Bruin Plate and see photos of healthy menu items, you can visit:

This is Your Brain on Chocolate

By April Thames, Ph.D.

For those of us who are chocolate lovers, it is no surprise that the mere sight or smell of chocolate immediately peaks our mood and interest.  Think about the number of times when a friend or colleague brought a box of chocolate to a gathering, and you heard someone say, “Hmmm…chocolate.” Our love for chocolate dates back to the 12th and 16th centuries when the Aztec and Maya civilizations used chocolate as a religious offering to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl 1.  Chocolate was also believed to help build up resistance and fight fatigue. In the last few decades, neuroscience has started to look more closely at how chocolate benefits brain functioning.

Neuroimaging studies have invited participants to indulge in the tasty delight while examining brain activity.  For chocolate lovers, it was found that the brain’s reward centers become active, which was followed by reports of good mood2.  Not only does chocolate seem to pep up our mood, but research findings also suggests that chocolate has positive effects on brain function, cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance3-6.  With regard to brain function, chocolate has the potential to protect neurons from injury and suppress or inhibit neuroinflammation and oxidative stress7-9.

Recent studies have found that chocolate improved cognitive performance in the elderly!10,11 Now before you go out and stock your shelves with Snickers, you should know the “Bad” from the “Good” chocolate.  Good chocolate has not been alkalized, has been dried and cool-pressed rather than roasted, and is greater than 70 percent pure cocoa.  The good stuff contains cocoa butter (not milk fats!) and contains natural low glycemic sweeteners such as raw cane.  The “bad” chocolate usually contains ingredients of processed cocoa powder, refined white sugar, milk fats, hydrogenated oils and preservatives.  Questions to consider when deciding between bad versus good chocolate include: What is the origin and fermentation of cocoa? What was the production process from bean to cocoa liquor? What was the production process of cocoa powder or chocolate from this liquor?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What is the active ingredient that produces all these good effects?” “Does it only come from chocolate?”  Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which have been demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.  A study published in The Lancet12 showed that chocolate contained four times as much catechin, a type of flavonoid, as tea. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified, many of which are found in fruits, vegetables, teas, beer, and (of course) chocolate.  The capacity of flavonoids to act as an antioxidant depends upon their molecular structure.  Many of these different types of flavonoids are still under study and those that produce powerful antioxidant effects are of great interest given that oxidative stress or free radical damage is implicated in all diseases that are associated with aging (e.g., heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes).

Many foods have been quantified based upon their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), which is a laboratory-based test of how well certain substances (e.g., chocolate) protect vulnerable molecules from oxidation by free radicals. The less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the test substance. While this quantification method has been referenced across several studies, as of 2012 the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory eventually removed this information from their website due to growing evidence that the values indicating antioxidant capacity had no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health13. In other words, the ORAC test (which uses a test tube) cannot account for the complex biochemical changes that occur in the human body. Despite its shortcomings, some believe that ORAC can still be a useful tool for estimating antioxidant activity if one knows the limitations.

Knowing the benefits of good chocolate (remember…it’s the pure cocoa chocolate!) on the brain can certainly reduce those feelings of guilt when we are tempted to have a bite.

~Dr. April D. Thames is an Assistant Professor at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She recently received an NIH Career Development Award (K-23) to develop her laboratory in cultural neuropsychology, neuroscience, and health disparities. Dr. Thames has focused her research on the neurological and neurocognitive effects of infectious disease, substance abuse, and cerebrovascular risk factors among underrepresented groups.


1.  The Field Museum. The History of Chocolate. Available online at: history.html.

2.  Rolls, E., McCabe, C. (2007). Enhanced affective brain representations of chocolate in cravers vs. non-cravers. European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 26, pp. 1067–1076, 2007 doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2007.05724.x

3.  Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46: 1– 8.

4.  Engler MB, Engler MM. The vasculoprotective effects of flavonoid-rich cocoa and chocolate. Nutr Res. 2004; 24: 695–706.

5.  Corti, R. Flammer, A.J., Hollenberg, N.K., and Lüscher, T.F. “Cocoa and cardiovascular health,” Circulation, vol 119, no.10: 1433–1441, 2009.

6.  Almoosawi, S., Fyfe, L., Ho, C., and Al-Dujaili, E. “The effect of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate on fasting capillary whole blood glucose, total cholesterol, blood pressure and glucocorticoids in healthy overweight and obese subjects,” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 103, no. 6, pp. 842–850, 2010.

7.  Martorell, P., Forment, J.V., de Llanos et al., R. “Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans as model organisms to study the effect of cocoa polyphenols in the resistance to oxidative stress,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 2077–2085, 2011.

8.  J. F. Bisson, A. Nejdi, P. Rozan, S. Hidalgo, R. Lalonde, and M. Messaoudi, “Effects of long-term administration of a cocoa polyphenolic extract (Acticoa powder) on cognitive performances in aged rats,” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 94–101, 2008.

9.  D. L. Katz, K. Doughty, and A. Ali, “Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease,” Antioxidant and Redox Signaling, vol. 15, no. 10, pp. 2779–2811, 2011.

10.  Nurk E, Refsum H, Drevon CA, et al. Intake of flavonoid-rich wine, tea, and chocolate by elderly men and women is associated with better cognitive test performance. J Nutr 2009;139:120-7

11.  Desideri G, Kwik-Uribe C, Grassi D, et al. Benefits in cogni- tive function, blood pressure, and insulin resistance through cocoa flavanol consumption in elderly subjects with mild cogni- tive impairment: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study. Hypertension 2012;60:794-801.

12.  Ilja CW, Hollman, P., Kromhout, D (1999). Chocolate as a source of tea flavonoids.  The Lancet, vol. 354 (9177), p. 488.

13.  US Department of Agriculture (USDA) database for the ORAC. Retrieved online from

Classics in Eating Research: Babies are masterful eaters

By A. Janet Tomiyama, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology

Everyone knows that we need to eat healthy to be healthy, but that’s often easier said than done. There are a lot of different foods out there, and it’s hard to keep track of all the different vitamins and minerals we need. I don’t know a single person who keeps a running tally of their recommended daily intake of, say, Vitamin E to make sure they’re getting 100% each day. I certainly don’t!

That’s why the study I’m about to describe to you is so amazing. First of all, it was published all the way back in 1928, but still remains a classic today, and I include it every year in my Introduction to Health Psychology (PSYCH 150) class. Second of all, I think it has some of the neatest research findings I’ve encountered.

Clara M. Davis, the author of the study, took 15 little 6-month-old babies and let them eat whatever they wanted, for every single meal, from of an array of 34 different foods. Some of the foods the babies got to eat sound funny today – things like bone jelly, brains, and both sweet and sour milk. Others are more familiar, like carrots, peas, beef, and oatmeal. The nurses were told to never offer food or interfere in the babies’ eating in any way. This sometimes led to what Clara Davis described as, “a dietitian’s nightmare – for example, a breakfast of a pint of orange juice and liver; a supper of several eggs, bananas, and milk.”

But here’s the surprising thing: the babies’ health at the end of the study was perfect. (Many doctors were brought in to check). Somehow, the babies had the intuitive ability to get the optimal balance of macro and micronutrients.

The most astonishing example of their masterful intuitive eating was demonstrated by one of the babies who entered the study with rickets – a disease in which the bones are too soft due to malnutrition. Davis describes, “…we put a small glass of cod liver oil on his tray for him to take if he chose. This he did irregularly and in varying amounts until his blood calcium and phosphorus became normal and x-ray films showed his rickets to be healed, after which he did not take it again.”

There are many lessons we can learn from this study. For example, maybe it’s not so important for parents to force their children to eat what they believe is a healthy meal. Maybe we need to be eating more brains. (Just kidding.) If you want to read the study for yourself, you can find it here – it’s short and very charmingly written. As we head into holiday season, it might be worth it to take a moment, check in with your body, and see what it’s hungry for.

~See Dr. Tomiyama’s website for additional information: