Tag Archives: nutrition

Can We Please Stop Calling Food “Bad”?

Last weekend, I attended an event that was followed by a potluck-style meal. Across the table from me sat a woman in her mid-50s and a little girl about nine years old. I didn’t know these people, so, being the socially awkward creature that I am, I was mostly focusing on eating my food instead of making conversation. However, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation across the table. The woman turned to the little girl and said, “I’m being bad. I’m on a diet that says I can only eat proteins and vegetables, but I’m eating these potatoes.”

I cringed and bit my tongue. That was neither the time nor the place for what I desperately wanted to say, so I’m saying it now.

Please do not say that you are “bad” for eating any food. Food can be “bad” in only two instances. One: it tastes bad and/or is poorly prepared, as in, “Don’t go to that restaurant. Their food is  bad. Even my rottweiler couldn’t chew the steak.” Two: It is spoiled, as in, “Don’t drink the milk that expired last week. It is bad and will make you sick.” Otherwise, food is not “bad,” and eating it doesn’t make you bad.

What you eat has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you are kind, or compassionate, or interesting, or funny, or loving, or independent, or courageous, or any other adjective that is part of what makes you “good.” Nor does what you eat make you sinister, or evil, or mean, or gossipy, or rude, or needy, or foolhardy, or any other adjective that could possibly be “bad.” Maybe what you eat makes you less healthy. Maybe what you eat even makes you fat. But “fat” and “bad” should not be synonyms — and especially not when talking to an impressionable young girl.

Like most women, I’ve struggled with body image for as long as I can remember. I’ve flirted with disordered eating, and  I’ve had my lists of “bad” foods. I’ve eaten and then felt guilty more times than I can count. You probably have, too.  We’ve been down that road. We still go down that road, even though we hate it.

So let’s change that. Let’s keep our daughters, nieces, students,  and friends from a lifetime of guilt, of feeling “bad” because of a certain food or food group. Let’s teach our kids — and remind ourselves– that some foods are less nutritious than others and should be eaten less frequently, but that food is not associated with morality. Let’s teach them that food’s main  purpose is to keep us alive and healthy, and that while some foods are better at that than others, food’s minor purposes also include pleasure, celebration, etc., and those things also have a vital place in our lives.

That lesson begins with not only what we say, but what we do. So stop riddling yourself with guilt when you indulge in something you love to eat. Stop showing our girls that the occasional less-than-healthy  snack makes us less-than-worthy people. Stop calling food “bad,” and maybe, just maybe, the next generation of women won’t have to fight that same old battle.

Product Review: Skoop Superfoods

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a company called Skoop. The e-mail explained that Skoop is a small company out of Boulder that makes protein and supplement powders, and it asked if I’d like to try their products. I checked out their website, and I started to like the company before I even tried their products. I like companies with personality, and Skoop’s “Simple Care and Feeding for Human Beings” instruction manual and fun charts and graphics made it a likable company from the start. I agreed to try the product because I wanted to know if the product could match that personality.

Spoiler alert: it did.

Disclaimer: Skoop sent me their products to try in exchange for a review. I wasn’t compensated in any other way, and the opinions here are my own. I wouldn’t lie to you just to get some free protein powder. 

Skoop sent me a bag of their B-Strong protein powder, as well as some samples of their A-Game superfood supplement and B-Lovely supplement for skin. All of Skoop’s products are gluten-free and non-GMO (neither of which are important to me, but they might be for you), and all consist only of natural, plant-based foods.

B-Strong is one of the tastiest plant protein powders I’ve tried. Most are chalky and have a distinct aftertaste, even when mixed in a smoothie. B-Strong doesn’t have that aftertaste or that off-putting chalky texture. It’s even not too bad mixed with only water (usually powder-and-water blends make me want to gag. This one’s not exactly delicious on its own, but it’s better than most. And it’s tasty with almond milk). Filled with vitamins and minerals, 16 grams of protein, Omegas, and antioxidants, and without weird chemical ingredients, B-Strong makes a good post-workout drink or addition to a more-substantial smoothie. I’ve been using it in overnight oats lately, and it’s mighty tasty that way, too.

A-Game is a powder made with 41 “superfoods,” from veggies and fruits to probiotics  to herbs and extracts. For 50 calories, A-Game supplies five grams of fiber and a ton of nutrients. I tried the Sweetgreens flavor, and while it was a bit… interesting … on its own (even Skoop describes it as an “acquired taste), I couldn’t even taste it when it was mixed in smoothies or oatmeal.  I consumed a packet of A-Game on a couple of days that I knew my veggie intake would be less than ideal; starting the day with A-Game ensured that I was at least closer to getting the nutrients I needed than I would be otherwise.

B-Lovely is a powder that’s formulated to “protect, support, and nourish” your skin. Like the other two powders, B-Lovely is a blend of plants and extracts. I was sent only three packets of this one, so while I can attest to its decent fruity taste, I can’t really give information on its effectiveness on my skin.

Overall, I’m impressed with Skoop. Its only drawback is the price. B-Strong runs $67 for a 30-serving bag; A-Game, $65; and B-Lovely, $47. High-quality protein/supplement powders are expensive. I get it. But that’s simply not in my budget.

If it fits in your budget, though, Skoop is a great product, and I definitely recommend it.

Have you ever or would you ever try Skoop?