If you think kale is overrated and hell is other people eating avocado toast 24/7, keep reading! Healthy and wholesome eating isn’t always easy. But developing healthy eating habits could be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. Not only can a balanced diet make you look and feel better physically, but it can also affect your mood and mental health. If you’re hungry for knowledge and want to snack on some useful tips about nutrition, grab a bite of our favorite books, apps, podcasts, and videos below. Think of it as an educational lunchbox, part of The Wellness Starter Pack.
Eating amazing food is one of the most delicious pleasures of life. However, chomping down on pizza whenever you get hungry can quickly turn all the pleasures into guilt and suffering. If you’re a musician with an unpredictable schedule, tons of late-night gigs and countless days spent on the road touring, getting the proper nutrition you need can be a challenge.
Can you afford a personal chef who meticulously calculates your nutritional needs and shows up in your bedroom studio with perfectly balanced meals three times a day? We thought so. In that case, you can choose to ignore all this and drink beer for dinner or take matters into your own hands and understand why nutrition is key to unlocking your better self. Healthy eating is not about fad diets and constantly downing the currently trendy superfoods. So ignore the hype and focus on understanding the basics of the food-mood-body connection. Let’s start with some food for thought in the form of books, apps, podcasts and videos.
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“Too many daily decisions about what to put into our bodies— how to put what in where, and what to do with that body once it’s full of things.”
Doctor-turned-journalist James Hamblin’s book should be compulsory reading for all ages. He explores and answers health questions in a genuinely hilarious way, covering areas such as eating, sleeping, drinking, feeling, and much more. Imagine a human anatomy coursebook turned into something you actually want to read. Science has never been this entertaining and educational at the same time.
“On average, we consume 71 pounds of caloric sweeteners each year. That’s 22 teaspoons of sugar, per person, per day.”
Did you know that junk food stimulates the brain’s reward system in the same way as addictive drugs like cocaine? It’s designed to make you keep eating it, to crave more and more. If you have a hard time cutting down on crappy food (and you’re not alone), check out this excellent book that reveals the naked truth about the food industry and its processed foods. Investigative journalism at its best, for those who need some inspiration to make a change.
“I believe what you choose to put on your plate is the most important health intervention anyone can make.”
Want to get started with a healthier diet? Amazing! But what are you supposed to eat? What if we told you that there are trustworthy doctors out there who are making cookbooks to supercharge your health? Dr. Rupy Aujla’s recipe collection was created by using medical knowledge, so you not only will be eating tasty and healthy meals but will also understand the science behind food as medicine.
No matter if you’re a novice or a passionate cook, Yummly’s got just the right recipe for you. It’s like a super clever Google for recipes, searching the web for delicious content, then serving it to your feed after your personal preferences. Search for recipes by diets, allergies, price, ingredients, prep time and more, and get suggestions for what to cook depending on what’s in your fridge. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal!
Price: Free with optional premium subscription, 2-week free trial
With this mindful and easy food diary app, you can track what you ate, why you ate and how it made you feel. It’s not about snapping Insta-ready compositions of every crumb you consume but about being more aware of your food choices, eating habits and your relationship with meals. Just like keeping a journal can improve your emotional health, keeping a food diary can help reveal unhealthy habits that you can turn into healthy ones.
Price: Free with optional premium subscription, 7-day free trial
While healthy eating is important, let’s not forget about something that’s just as important: staying hydrated (breaking news: coffee and beer doesn’t count)! If you have a tough time remembering to drink more water, this simple yet efficient app will be your new unexpected BFF. Get reminders when you need them and track your water consumption to build a good water habit and feel better!
Price: Free with optional premium subscription
If you have a hard time understanding how the connection between what you eat and how you feel works, tune in to this podcast! Licensed nutritionists and dietitians explain how your eating habits and food choices affect your mood, energy, focus, and overall health. You’ll learn about the link between food and mental health, the food connection to headaches and migraines, nutrition for depression and much more.
As you know by now, eating and exercising go hand in hand when it comes to living a healthy life. In this podcast by Precision Nutrition, home of the world’s top nutrition coaches, you will get practical tips for incorporating both in your life. These insightful soundbites about getting in shape without the usual bias and judgment will teach you what small steps you can take to start your own health journey.
Award-winning dietitian and nutritionist Paige Smathers’ podcast focuses on popular topics in nutrition and explores the dark side of nutrition, our struggle with food. In each episode, she interviews wellness and health experts, discussing topics such as eating disorders, negative body image, the distinction between mindfulness and intuitive eating, toxic diet trends, practical cooking tips for one and much more.
This short animation explains a really complicated matter in a really fun way. That complicated matter (literally) is the brain. When you eat, you not only feed your tummy but also fuel your brain. Every bite has an effect on your brain and impacts your functioning, mood, and energy. Which foods cause the post-lunch apathy and which ones keep you awake at night? Let’s check the brain to find out! Spoiler alert: this video contains super cute animated nuts and pizza slices!
Nutritionist, microbiologist and neuroscientist Ruairi Robertson knows how to capture your attention. In his TEDx talk, this passionate scientist explains how our bellies and brains are physically and biochemically connected in several ways. Ruairi believes food is the secret formula to global public health. He clarifies how our intestines can influence both our physical and mental health, and how our diets are key to this relationship.
Another animated lesson, this time about our sweet notorious nemesis: sugar! Research neuroscientist and food addiction pioneer Nicole Avena explains why you should enjoy sweets in moderation. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar every day. That’s 57 lbs each year, per person. And your brain doesn’t like this. Sugar is an addictive substance, creating havoc in your dopamine system, making you craving more.
Editor’s note: This article is part of The Wellness Starter Pack, which is a collection of videos, interviews, and articles exploring some of the most challenging health issues music makers experience today. Think of it as a toolbox for health, specifically created with music makers in mind.
The information within The Wellness Starter Pack is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician or a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.