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iStock 175727304 CroppedAll humans reportedly possess a natural characteristic that can help explain why we can "learn" to love foods and things we once hated. While it’s common for young children to hate spicy foods, coffee or alcohol, we can learn to like the taste of things that our bodies are designed to reject in our younger years.

It's A Human Characteristic

Paul Rozin, a cultural psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, has looked in the phenomena of "benign masochism" – the idea that our bodies reject certain things such as amusement rides or sad movies.

And while we know these things can’t hurt us, what causes us to initially reject them is less easy to determine. Rozin, who was recently interviewed by Alison Bruzek of NPR’s The Salt blog, believes that most of these behaviors are likely to be the result of social pressures.

"I don’t know the answer," he admitted in the interview. "Some part of it is social. Social forces affect what we like, and the advertising industry knows that — that’s why they have endorsements by famous people."

Exposure Matters

The amount we are exposed to certain foods can also play a vital role. Rozin discussed during the interview how young children in Mexico didn’t inherently love spicy chillies, but grew to appreciate them by around the age of 4 or 5 years old.

"The experience of eating it a lot somehow converts what was an aversion to a preference."

Another term Rozin coined to describe such phenomenon was "hedonistic reversal," the ability that our brain holds to tell our senses that we’re going to turn something we ought to avoid into a preference.

So if your child is avoiding eating their peas or carrots now, don't worry just yet! Things might not stay that way as they mature.

11416 fastfood kids header

Read this first before you hit up your next fast food joint. Fast food is super convenient when you've had a long, hard day at work or when your kids have so many activities that a healthy, sit down meal just isn't possible. But do you know what fast food is doing to your kids? Well, according to a recent health study, fast food in-take is linked to asthma in children. So, put down that double cheeseburger and read on to find out why you shouldn't go to that drive thru. 

New research from New Zealand, published in Thorax: An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, found that there is a link between fast food and asthma in children. They looked at 319,196 teenagers from ages 13 to 14, and 181,631 children from ages 6 to 7, and compared them with diagnoses for asthma, eczema, and nasal allergies.

what-fast-food-is-doing-to-

They concluded that kids who ate fast food more than three times a week had a higher prevalence of asthma, while those eating fruits and vegetables at least three times a week had lower rates. In teenagers, asthma was also associated with higher intake of butter, margarine, and pasta.

The researchers pointed out that just because your child has fast food once in awhile, doesn't mean he or she will develop asthma. However, obese children are at a much higher risk for asthma. Researchers also note this study is still in the preliminary stages of their findings but the results, aren't really all that shocking. 

11416 fastfood kids

It all goes back to moderation. Johnny can have a cheeseburger once in awhile but it shouldn't be a frequent occurrence. If you know there will be no time in the day to prepare a healthy, home cooked meal, plan it out and make dinner the night before.

When you and the rest of the gang get home from work and school, you can simply pop your dinner into the oven. If you don’t have a slow cooker- you should. These can be a lifesaver. There's a ton of healthy recipes online and in books. Let your dinner cook itself while you do other work. 

instagram-eating-disorderA teen finds a unique way to kick her troubles away. Singapore teen, Ga Chin Lin, used the Instagram app to help her recover from an eating disorder. 

The 15-year-old wrote, “I used my love for food to pull me up and spur me on to a full recovery and now it has evolved into a full blown passion.” 

It’s not clear what eating disorder she suffered from, but the self-proclaimed “healthy and nourished lifestyle advocate” now has more than 78,000 followers who have joined the cause. She now provides recipes for amazing dishes like one she describes as “beautiful golden bronzed waffle with crisp burnished pockets.”

She revealed that she started small, but is now continuing to build her own brand.

“I started from researching recipes and basic food concepts and adapting them to make my own recipes. Now I’m beginning to branch out into creating my own.” 

She added that she loves natural foods, especially chocolate!

“I believe in and advocate body positivity, self love, nourishing one’s self and health in both physical and spiritual facets.” She describes her blog as a “humble” way to share what she loves.

What a way to give social media a good purpose behind it!

Photo Credit: Instagram

almonds-are-the-new-peanutsThese adaptations of almond butter will have you begging for more! Start using almond butter in a variety of recipes and you can reap the benefits of this nutritionally dense superfood. Almonds offer cardiovascular benefits not found in regular butter. They also offer a healthy serving of fiber which allows you to digest food. By using almond butter in recipes like soba noodles and steel-cut oats, you're hopping on the road to healthier eating patterns!

Soba Noodles with Almond Butter Shrimp

Use this recipe to impress friends and family with your healthy choices!
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp of lime juice (depending on preference)
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp wasabi
  • Medium size chunk of ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound of shredded napa cabbage
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 pepper: red, green, orange or yellow will work
  • ¼ shaved and cubed cucumber
  • Dash of sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Boil water and cook noodles for about 4 to 5 minutes. Rinse noodles in cold water and drain.
  2. Combine almond butter, soy sauce, coconut oil, lime juice wasabi, ginger and sesame oil in blender and blend until mixture is creamy and smooth.
  3. Place noodles into pain and drain the mixture on top. Add vegetables, almonds and sesame seeds. Combine all ingredients and serve.

Steel Cut Oats with Almond Butter

Make this recipe the night before in a slow cooker and you will be pleasantly surprised!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Overnight
Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond, coconut or soy milk
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • ½ cup steel-cut oatmeal

1-the-new-fad-ice-cream-cleanse

The newest cleanse fad is the ice cream cleanse diet, but is it healthy? According to sources, people are losing weight by eating ice cream and only ice cream for almost a week straight. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Experts say as yummy as it sounds, it isn’t that healthy. An ice cream parlor in Venice, California recently offered the four-day ice cream cleanse to those with a sweet tooth and looking to lose weight. But, what are the downfalls? 

Can Ice Cream Help You Lose Weight?

This California-local ice cream shop recently offered a four-day ice cream cleanse and people who did the cleanse said they actually lost weight. Their ice cream is organic, raw, and coconut-based (which means the ice cream is non-dairy), but it does contain honey.

Customers got five servings of ice cream a day in flavors such as Orange Crème and Master Cleanse (which has lemon, cayenne pepper, and honey) for $220. For that price, they also received a daily yoga class at the studio next door to the shop.

But the problem, experts say, is that because you are limiting your diet so much, you are missing out on essential nutrients that the ice cream just cannot provide. Also, anytime you eat less, you are likely to lose weight but many people who did the ice cream cleanse gained the weight they lost back. 

The cleanse consisted of coconut yogurt, orange crème, dark chocolate with Himalayan fire salt, the master cleanse and bee pollen, cinnamon and raw honey flavors. As kids, eating ice cream every day would have been a dream come true! But for now, you may want to just eat ice cream in moderation. 

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