Super or Shady: A Closer Look at 6 So-Called Superfoods

superfoods, healthy eating

While healthy eating is key, what’s the cost? We looked at 6 popular superfoods and their impact on health and the environment. Someday in the future, instead of the 99th Marvel remake of Spider-Man, Quinoa Kid will have swept the nation, wowing critics and inspiring a generation of kids and superfood comic book fanatics alike. Its message will be clear: think outside the bubble of our everyday drudgery, imagine different possible diets, throw out fast food and defend their communities against threats to healthy eating, mindfulness and exercise. The Awesome Avocado Woman will follow in its footsteps, paving the way for a host of superfood franchises, complete with LEGO sets, lunch boxes and Lululemon collaborative prints. It will be glorious. Gone will be the days of patriarchal, jingoistic, external-underwear-wearing vigilantes. In will roll an era of winged wheatgrass heroes and kale-caped creatures, the evil clowns and corrupt colonels banished to        …read more

Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism: What Are Meltdowns?

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month. Is understanding SPD the key to helping someone experiencing a meltdown or shutdown? Whether it’s due to increased awareness of sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorders, I can’t say, but there’s no denying that the words “meltdown” and “shutdown” have been absorbed into our modern vernacular. But what do they really mean? We use “meltdown” colloquially to describe someone in a bit of a bad mood, but this belies the true meaning and experience of a meltdown. “Shutdown” is often used when we feel ignored or if someone hasn’t responded to us, but it, too, belies the actuality of the experience. So what are meltdowns and shutdowns? In simple terms, they are two sides of the same coin. According to Alis Rowe, author of Asperger’s Syndrome: Meltdowns and Shutdowns, they are an involuntary physiological reaction to “overload.” This can be from too        …read more

7 Little-Known Mental Disorders

mental disorders

These 7 lesser-known mental disorders affect more people than you may realize. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental disorder each year. While the most common mental disorders include anxiety and occasional bouts of depression, many individuals face lesser-known challenges, including the following seven conditions. 1. Trichotillomania Trichotillomania is a disorder that causes an irresistible urge to pull out one’s hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. There is some evidence that the disorder may be genetic, that hair-pulling episodes may be triggered by anxiety, and that it often occurs more frequently in people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In rare cases, people with trichotillomania eat the hair, which often results in the development of hairballs in the intestinal tract. One such hairball is on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC. The hairball, removed        …read more