How to Spot Pseudoscience

On Our Minds


Finding Food Freedom

We’ve heard a lot of chatter over this past summer. Questions such as “how do you stick to eating healthy with all the parties?” or “what do you need to avoid at the BBQ?” While at times some straight up mainstream nutrition advice (what not to eat) is what the reader wants, we find this type of messaging to be way too over simplified. This creates more dichotomous thinking, which is “diet talk’s” BFF… Right v. Wrong and Good v. Bad. This is a direct path that ultimately leads to failure.

Rather than focusing on “diet talk” we want to help our clients understand the nutrition while also tuning in and listening to their bodies. This collaboration of knowledge and your physical self will lead you to sustainable success.

The message is more about choosing foods that your body is truly craving while maintaining an awareness about how certain foods make you feel – mentally and physically. This is food freedom.

We realize that this is not as easy as it sounds. It’s takes time and patience to bring mindfulness to your food choices, and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight.

What does this type of eating look like? It might look something like this at a BBQ: You’re craving a cheeseburger, so you put it on your plate. You have a choice of macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and regular salad. You know that the salad will provide nutrients that make you feel good, and you love a good macaroni salad so you put both on your plate. After the first bite of macaroni salad, you decide it’s not all you imagined, so you leave it alone. You love the burger, so you slow down to enjoy and savor it. The salad makes you feel energized and helps you avoid leaving the meal feeling bogged down and tired. You toss your plate when you’re finished. A little later on, you’re not particularly hungry, but Aunt Sue’s famous pie is on the table and you want to have a piece. You finish half and feel satisfied and physically comfortable rather than overfull. You don’t think about food again until you’re hungry. Happy mind, happy body, freedom from guilt and shame.

The more you restrict and follow food rules, eventually the more out of control eating may become (even though you might feel in control by setting those restrictions initially). If this doesn’t make sense to you, ask yourself “How have restriction and food rules served me? Are they sustainable? Do I feel my absolute best mentally and physically?” While there may be some short term success or happiness, it is unlikely to last long term.

If you’re wondering about food freedom but not sure how to get there, we’re here to help!

In Good Health, 
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina

How to Spot Pseudoscience

How many times have you been tempted by the trendy supplement, new diet book, or the miraculous super food?

The claims sound legit, they use fancy, scientific terms on the label, and they swear it will produce “life-changing” results. Part of you knows better, but deep down you wonder “Could this be it? Is this the miracle I’ve been waiting for?!”. We can bet that 99.9% of the time the answer is a resounding NO. These marketing campaigns are fueled by pseudoscience and a desire to make a profit.

What is pseudoscience?

Pseudoscience is a collection of ideas or beliefs that claim to be based on science, but fail to back it up with sound, scientific evidence. Pseudoscience can be recognized by its language by use of scientific and technical terms to make you think it’s the real thing.

“Our supplement works by activating a co-enzyme that supports fat oxidation”

It also uses words that raise emotions or make you question whether it’s too good to be true:

“Proven to get rid of that muffin top in as little as 2 weeks!”

Sometimes it uses personal testimonials:

“I’ve never had more energy in my life, I’ve lost 10 lbs, and my hair is growing back! This stuff really works!”

Some of these products may include a study to “support” their claims, but this does not mean that the study followed the scientific method. If you cannot find the study in a peer reviewed journal or if you cannot find the credentials of the authors involved in the study, that’s a serious red flag. If you do find it, make sure you check whether the test subjects were human (many studies use rats, mice or cells). If it’s humans, were they healthy? Was the study placebo controlled? Was it reproducible? Most of us won’t go that far, which is why pseudoscience is running rampant in today’s society.

Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably pseudoscience. Save your money and your sanity.

Quote of the Month

"When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important."
  —Ellen DeGeneres

On the Lighter Side


Recipe of the Month:
Sesame Tofu Poke Bowl

Image Credit- Shelly Westerhausen TheKitchnPokeBowl_5_of_10.jpg

Perfect no-cook meal for a hot August day! Feel free to use fish or chicken instead.

For the Tofu:

  • 14-16 oz extra-firm tofu, drained

  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1-2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh peeled ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Cucumbers:

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

For the Bowls:

  • 2 cups cooked rice or quinoa

  • Any combination of the following: shredded purple cabbage, cubed avocado, sliced scallions, fresh cilantro leaves, sliced radishes, shelled edamame, bean sprouts, shaved carrot ribbons, spiralized veggies, sesame seeds, diced mango


  • Press the tofu: Wrap the block of tofu in a few layers of paper towels, then place on a dinner plate or cutting board. Weigh it down with a heavy object like a skillet, pot, or large can for at least 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, place the cucumbers in a medium bowl and add a few pinches of salt. Gently squeeze and toss with your hands until they begin to release liquid. Drain, return to the bowl, add the lime juice, and toss to coat; set aside.

  • Pat the tofu dry and cut into small cubes. Whisk together the tamari, garlic, lime juice ginger, sesame seeds, and toasted sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the tofu and gently toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the excess marinade.

  • Assemble the bowls: Divide the rice or quinoa between 4 shallow bowls. Top with the tofu, cucumbers (seasoning them with more salt, if needed), and any other desired toppings. Drizzle with the reserved marinade, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn

lisa brown