5 Simple Snacks For Your Next Flight 
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By Nikki Kang

Snacking is essential for staying alert and energized throughout the day and in-between meals. Traveling is no exception! With all the planning, packing and last minute errands, we don’t blame you for not prioritizing snacks. In fact we have you covered. Here’s what we like to pack in order to keep our energy levels intact, as we’re constantly on the move and traveling. 

One key to making sure your snacking is done right while traveling is planning ahead. Planning and prepping your snacks ahead can save time, money, and energy! Simple things like packing your snacks the night before an early flight allows for a number of benefits, such as: 

  • Less stress -  The thought of getting through airport security and making your flight on time calls for major stress, but having your snacks prepped and ready to go can not only reduce stress but can avoid a hangry outburst during those stressful moments. 

  • More variety - By choosing your own favorite snacks ahead of time you can avoid having to pick the not so appetizing options that you usually find on planes. 

  • Less $$$ - Purchasing items to snack on for you and/or the whole family saves money which might have been spent on overpriced snacks that may not have even been your first choice. 

These are some of my personal favorite on-the-go snacks which all provide great sources of energy, to help you feel full until you arrive at your final destination (meal): 

  1. Mixed Nuts/Seeds & Chocolate - Creating your own trail mix with your favorite nuts, seeds, and chocolate make for a perfect sweet and savory combo that provides a source of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, leaving you full and energized (not to mention a delicious sweet fix!)

  2. Popcorn - If you find yourself wanting something a bit more savory, popcorn is a whole grain, making it a great source of fiber. Feeling hungrier? Pair this with a protein like cheese, and the combo can help you feel more satiated until your next meal. Whether you pre-pop and make your own bag of popcorn or see a bag at the Hudson News right before boarding your flight, popcorn is a great way to keep you fueled. 

  3. Fruits- Dried or Whole - Whether you choose whole or dried, fruits of any kind can be refreshing and can help stabilize energy. The options are endless when choosing which fruits you may want to snack on and there is no harm in mixing them up! Although, when traveling, it may be easier to choose fruits that are firm, such as apples, pears, bananas, or tangerines so you can just throw them right in your bag, also minimizing prep time. 

  4. Hard Boiled Eggs - This snack provides the perfect source of protein and fat and in the carry-on snack size! Hard boiled eggs can be prepped the night before and left in the fridge so you have your snack ready to go whenever you are. 

  5. Veggies or Pita Chips & Hummus - This combo makes for the perfect way to get your daily intake of your preferred vehicle for dipping into a smooth and creamy source of protein. When it comes to bringing hummus onto a flight, as long as its below 3.4 ounces, you should be good to go. Luckily, most stores offer individual hummus packets that are only 2-oz anyway, so you should be in the clear with TSA!

Laura IuComment
5 Reasons Why BMI is BS
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By Nikki Kang

For as long as most of us can remember, a doctor’s visit almost always included a discussion on the magical number which supposedly defines your overall health status. Known as the BMI, or body mass index (or what we prefer: the BS Measuring Index!) the BMI is used to measure body fat (although quite inaccurate and we uncover why). Once the BMI is obtained, it then categories someone as  “underweight,” “normal weight,” “overweight,” or “obese”. Typically, these ranges are then further used to evaluate one’s disease risk. While the BMI has limited use in research, it has absolutely NO place in assigning or predicting health for the individual. So how did this number become a measurement as commonly used as a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff in healthcare? 

Brief history: The first version of the BMI was created in the 19th century and was actually called the Quetelet index. It was created by Lamber Adolph Jacque Quetelet, a Belgian astronomer. Quetelet created this index to develop “social averages” so he could then gather the characteristics of the “average man”. Thus the Quetelet index was not created for use as a health indicator but rather for gathering population data. It was later in 1972, when the Quetelet index was reinvented to become the body mass index, by Ancel Keys. Keys reused Quetelet’s index to argue the validity of MetLife Insurance’s data tables on desirable weight, based on height. His use of the BMI was solely in population based studies, and not for diagnostic purposes. During this time, Keys had also pointed out that BMI does not accurately reflect percentage of body fat. At some point, this advice was ignored, and has now continued to be used as a measurement of body fat. 

Fast forward to the 21st century where preoccupation with weight has surged due to the emphasis placed on one’s BMI, leading people to believe that they are “overweight” or “obese”. But the fact is there are so many misconceptions about the BMI and in reality, the numbers are super arbitrary. The obsession with BMI has led to an increase and fascination in weight loss programs, diets, drinks, and books; The only people that seem to be benefiting from these weight loss products is the industry which is supplying them. Those investing in these products find themselves facing a number of other consequences that come along with dieting, such as fixation with food and their body, weight cycling, eating disorders, decreased self-esteem, and many other issues which can disrupt mental health and wellbeing. 

As the consequences of dieting seem to be increasing, one may question whether or not there is more harm being done than good. This question has been asked, and has led researchers to also challenge the validity of the BMI.  What was found was that the BMI is not as accurate of a health indicator as we have all been made to believe, and here are 5 reasons why its total BS: 

1. BMI does not differentiate between lean body mass, body fat, muscle, tissue or fluid.

The BMI is used to determine body fat mass. However, when calculated, lean body mass vs body fat mass cannot be differentiated. In order to really differentiate between the two, you would need a fancy X-ray called a DEXA scan, which is costly and honestly unnecessary. Therefore, an individual can have a higher BMI, but it may be due to lean body mass rather than body fat mass (which is typically what is associated with disease risk). 

2. A BMI doesn’t tell you how “healthy” you are. It doesn't take into consideration body composition or health behaviors. 

Those with a “normal” BMI may have underlying health issues and might not be aware because they are considered to have a “healthy” BMI (weight biases like this are harmful and affect people of all sizes). There are so many other factors which contribute to an individual’s overall health status and are typically ignored in the presence of a low or high BMI. If someone with a “normal” BMI finds themselves with high blood pressure or high blood sugar, they can technically be considered as “unhealthy”, because these factors put them at higher risk for chronic diseases, not their BMI. This is true for both ends of the spectrum, where someone with a higher BMI may be perfectly healthy according to their labs. This is why it’s essential for practitioners to assess an individual’s bloodwork, whether or not they are engaging in joyful movement, and if they are well nourished.  Some may argue that BMI is a quick way to (supposedly) assess modifiable behaviors but you know what’s also a quick and more accurate way to assess modifiable behaviors? Asking if someone is eating a variety of fruits/vegetables, if they drink alcohol or smoke, or engaging in physical activity. Can you imagine what a visit to the doctor’s office would be like if medical providers encouraged these changes rather than focusing on weight? 

3. BMI alone is not an accurate indicator for morbidity/mortality rate. 

In most studies, BMI is used to assess morbidity/mortality risk. However other factors are almost always ignored. These other factors which can play a role in morbidity/mortality rate include family history of disease, smoking, alcohol consumption/abuse, exercise, mental disorders, and history of dieting. When it comes to identifying the “obesity” weight ranges, studies also fail to identify at what point in the life cycle has the weight gained and the rate at which the weight is accumulating. Moreover, fat is not a disease. Bodies exist in all shapes and sizes. By assigning a disease (e.g. obesity) to a body size, even when the individual is eating well, has great bloodwork and engaging in joyful movement - this is dehumanizing and promotes weight stigma.  


4. Increased BMI in children is expected due to puberty.

While the BMI measurements for children take their age into account, it is still not an accurate indicator of health. This is because during and after puberty, both males and females acquire changes to their bodies, which allow for an increase in BMI. When girls go through puberty they must gain a minimum of at least 10% body fat in order to get their first period, whereas when boys go through puberty, they tend to gain weight slowly over the years. The BMI misses these nuances. These are normal changes expected to occur during adolescence, and are not reflective of poor health. 


5. A low BMI does not increase longevity. 

Another common misconception is that a lower BMI equates to living a longer life. However, many studies have shown that those who are “overweight” or “obese” actually have greater longevity than those who are of normal weight. One study has even concluded that obesity is not a notable risk factor for mortality, especially when socioeconomic status and other risk factors are controlled for. 

References: 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890841/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3041737/ 

NewsLaura IuBMIComment
5 (Non-Diet) Healthy Habits to Start Today

Hey guys!

I’ve been doing a lot less mindless scrolling these days, and dedicating more time to do the simple things I love — like journal, read and even re-evaluating my life around technology. At the end of the day, we co-create the environment we’re in, what we choose to do with our free time and what we expend our energies on.

Instead of focusing on body based healthy habits, I want to share with you 5 awesome, NON-DIET based, healthy habits I’ve taken on. Hope you’ll join me!

Protect your energy - … Especially the energy you have when you start your day!

I’ve been thinking so much about social media lately and the insane amount of time we waste mindlessly scrolling on Instagram. I used to start my day in bed like this: snooze a few times, scroll through Instagram and then begin my day. Sometimes my head would spiral into comparison mode (no one should start their day off like this) and mostly I just wasted precious time. Going down the rabbit hole that is Instagram can be soul sucking energy.

Now, I wake up without looking at Instagram and don’t respond to emails or texts until I’ve taken care of me. I feel more refreshed and happier.


Starting Journaling - I know this sounds cheesy but there are so many benefits. Something magical happens when thoughts get transferred from mind to paper. Below are two ways you can go about doing this. 

Stream of Consciousness Journaling - This is a great tool to alleviate stress and improve your mental health. The key is to write down any thought that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be a complete thought or sentence. This is a no-judgement where you can write how you’re feeling, from what bothers you to what excites you.

Allowing your thoughts to flow gives you space to increase self-awareness and improve your creative potential. Ever take long hot showers, zone out while reflecting on things and suddenly a new idea/different perspective pops into your head? This is the magic that often happens when we self-reflect. 

Gratitude Journaling - This is a favorite of mine and helps cultivate mindfulness. Start anywhere from listing 1-3 things that you are grateful for. I know people who do this exercise every night but I’m usually wiped by then, and so I like to do it every morning while drinking coffee. (New habits are formed when it works with your schedule, not against it!)



Writing what you are grateful for helps you gain clarity on what’s important in your life, shifts the focus to what you have rather than what you don’t. 


Move Your Body in any direction, however you want. If dancing is your thing, turn up the music and dance! Yoga? If you can move your body you can do yoga anywhere. #truth. If you’re new to it please message me, I’m happy to share virtual recs and studio recs in NYC!  If you want to try classes, you can Google “free Classpass trial in (your state)” to test it out! 

BUT here’s the catch: Instead of focusing on an end goal (weight loss, toned arms, abs) can you consider shifting the focus to feeling GOOD?! The best exercise is the one that you enjoy and it will bring out the feel-good endorphins! 


Breathe - Yup. This is probably the most underrated advice out there but it’s probably the best advice I’ve ever received and I’m sharing it with you.

Whenever you feel tension, anger, sadness, stress, nerves and anxiety, I encourage you to return to your breath. Breathe in deep belly breaths and long exhales 3x and see what happens. 

And because getting really great at what we do means practicing it not only when times are tough, but when things seem “easy, ” I’m going to encourage you to breathe deep belly breathes when you are doing dishes, standing on a crowded subway, walking up a flight of stairs, sitting at your desk. Can you relax a little? Release some tension in your body? Stress contributes to inflammation in the body so anytime you can let go and release is a gift to the mind and body.


Set the Scene for a Restful Night - OK. Be honest. Think about how many times you pick up your phone in a day, how many hours you spend staring idly at a computer screen at work, TV screen at home, and phone screen for all other hours in between. AHH! 

Our brain and bodies can pick up cues from the environment. Any lights or electronics keep the brain wired. Sleep is such an underrated healthy habit to cultivate. I recommend turning off the electronics, dimming the lights 30mins to 1 hr before you sleep. You can use this time to read, journal, or better yet, spend time with yourself or your partner ;)