In Conversation: Well + Good

Is calorie counting so last year? On Tuesday, March 3rd STORY at Macy’s hosted Melisse Gelula, co-founder of Well+Good, and a panel of nutrition experts to discuss the new era of eating. 

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Left to right: Gelula, Knauer, Dr. Tate, Maffucci

In conversation was Ali Maffucci, Founder + CEO of Inspiralized, registered dietitian Molly Knauer, and Doctor of Behavioral Nutrition Chinara Tate. Together, the women debunked the myth that calorie is king and focused on a new mindful way of eating.

Here are some key points that I took away from the conversation:

  • Calories are not nutrients, so comparing 100 calories of almonds to a 100 calorie cookie isn’t the same. What we feed our bodies should be determined by nutritional value instead. “Nourishment is devoid of judgement,” Dr. Tate pointed out, “It’s meant to pleasure you and isn’t about the good vs bad.”
  • Eating is not a one size fits all mentality and we shouldn’t base our habits on the habits of others. Veganism isn’t for everyone, nor is keto, going carb free, etc etc. What works for one might not work for you. The takeaway is to experiment with different eating styles and find what fits.
  • New York City, and major cities in general, are a hotbed for hyper information. Our minds are being supersaturated by wellness market trends, making it difficult to keep up sometimes. Is coffee good for you? Is a glass of wine a day healthy? My answer to both of those questions is always yes, research be damned. So, while it’s important to stay informed, it’s crucial to learn the difference between trends and facts.
  • The food market has wised up with target marketing. As consumers, we need to wise up to what we’re being fed, literally and figuratively. At the end of the day, organic, non-GMO gummy bears are still gummy bears.
  • Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and avoid the center sections. The real foods, those with an expiration date, are located in the refrigerator or freezer sections while processed foods, those with additives meant to last longer, typical sit in the middle.
  • To become a smarter consumer look at who you’re following on social media and pay attention to a company’s ethos. Smaller brands have bigger voices through the everyday consumer posting genuine feedback while bigger brands tend to follow the values of the founder/CEO. A good example of this is Kind Brands CEO Daniel Lubetzky.
  • Take time to pause and become a mindful eater. Staring at a screen, such as your computer or smartphone, takes the focus away from what you’re consuming. When we switch our attention to our meal, and those around us, we are eating intuitively. We’re pausing, conversing, and focusing on what enters our body. Doing this allows our body, and stomach, to speak to us more clearly.
  • Apps recommended by the experts: Woop (Gelula) Headspace (Knauer), Sweat, Think Dirty (Maffucci), and Pinterest (Tate).

 

What do you think about this conversation? Is there a topic you’re more curious about? Add in your comments or questions below.

 

Interior Design Our Lives

How many interior designers, architects, and so forth are there? The answer is: a lot. And without any scientific or psychological proof, or input from the professionals, I’ve concluded, based on my own personal experience, that the décor of a room has a direct effect on overall well-being.

I’ve recently moved and, for the first time ever, am completely designing my bedroom to fit my tastes. The reasons this was never done in the past is an entirely other column in itself (best saved for the mental health issue). Pinterest has been a huge help, as has walking into numerous home stores, combined with a few online quizzes of “What’s your decorating style?”

It turns out, my style falls under the banner of “eclectic farmhouse.” I blame Chip & Joanna Gaines’s “Fixer Upper.” Neutral tones, wooden accents, plants everywhere, clean lines with modern finishes, and the occasional travel trinket.

Without any professional help, combined with my obsessive need to only buy things I can touch or see in person, the process has been exhausting. This is only a single room. How do people decorate entire houses? But each piece I end up adding to my mini sanctuary sparks joy (thank you, Marie Kondo).

In my previous rooms I felt like a guest overstaying my welcome, sometimes by years. Many times, I’d allow mess to accumulate, feel anxious upon entering, lose sleep, wake up with a chip on my shoulder. As my room now comes together, I’m finding the opposite to be true. I can’t wait to open the curtains with the sun rising, and each inch of the space is utilized for function. It feels like me. Through this, I’ve started meditating more and become more productive.

The way we walk into a spa, a high-end fitness studio, or even that luxury hotel room, we should want to walk into the doors of our own living spaces. My room feels like a mini getaway and yet has a sense of self at the same time. Artwork from global artists met through my travels, a desk for writing, a chair by the window to sink in and drown out the world, a mirror to add depth to the space . . . it all takes me away from the outside world and creates a safe space, one I’ve created. That adds peace, clarity, motivation. It adds a sense of self.

 

This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here