February is Just the Facts

This month, Sprout writers dug deep into some of our favorite topics: fitness, food trends, and food politics chief among them. This month we hope you’ll open your mind and discover what’s great, and not so great, about the latest trends sweeping the nation, about the hottest spice on the shelf, and what goes on behind the scenes at your local grocery store.

First up! Ally Gallup takes a closer look at the high-fat breakfast beverage known as Bulletproof Coffee. Is there a nutritional reason for consuming the buttery concoction? Mireille Najjar takes a step further and tells us about the science behind trendy MCT oil. If you still haven’t gotten your high-fat fix, then check out Katie Mark’s analysis of what happens to your blood biomarkers if you go on a high-fat, ketogenic diet.

If winter weather has you feeling the blues, spice up your life and learn about the amazing health benefits of turmeric from Nusheen Orandi. Or, if you need a chuckle, read Emily Finnan’s “nutrient gossip column” and learn which vitamin is best represented by Taylor Swift.

Meanwhile, what’s going on at your grocery store? Friedman Justice League members Rebecca Rottapel and Rebecca Boehm review the documentary Food Chains, which examines the social and political injustices that keep grocery prices low. The Justice League hosts a screening this Thursday, so you can also see for yourself!

Looking to start your New Year’s exercise resolutions a little late? Katherine Pett examines the pros and cons of trendy barre classes, the ballet-based workouts. She wonders: do barre classes really work?

Make sure to check out news for Friedmanites this February! 

Did you know there are free meditation sessions every Wednesday morning on campus? Matt Moore spoke with the facilitators—both Friedman students—and learned the benefits that can come from practicing meditation.

Grace Goodwin did everyone a huge favor and listed the best restaurants in Central Square for people with specific diets.  Yes, there are places where your gluten-free friends and your vegan friends can both get what they want!

Finally, all Friedmanites were forced to make friends with Juno this week when we had two snow days in a row. We asked for your pictures to show us how you made use of the snow day. Check out the sledding, relaxing, and snow angel-ing that kept us productive on our days off!

Here’s to an unexpectedly frosty February,

Katherine and Matt

In this Issue:

Bulletproof Coffee: the Breakfast of Champions?

by Ally Gallop, RD, CDE
IMG_4790Imagine waking up in the morning to a breakfast of butter, oil, and coffee.  Better known as Bulletproof Coffee, it’s the new rage in the diet world.  With proponents noting marked improvements in alertness, hunger suppression, and weight loss, bulletproof coffee and its creator are altering the morning routine. But once you start to navigate through BPC’s claims, the science doesn’t align.

The Science of MCT Oils

by Mireille Najjar

While medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils are known to be effective fat substitutes for those with abnormal fat metabolism and absorption, it is unclear whether these fats are effective in increasing energy expenditure and assisting in significant weight loss.

How Does a Ketogenic Diet Affect YOU? Part 1

by Katie Mark

If you could tap into your approximately 40,000 calories of stored fat during endurance exercise instead of relying on your 2,000 calorie storage of carbohydrate fuel, would you do it?

Turmeric: The Health Benefits of a Spicy Life

by Nusheen Orandi


What if adding only a fraction of a teaspoon of something to your cooking could prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease while also having anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties? This is no magical drug, but a spice that comes in a delectable shade of orange in your local grocery store. Turmeric, that is.

If Vitamins Were Celebrities


by Emily Finnan, RD, LDN

Vitamins have received so much media play lately you’d think they were celebrities. But what if vitamins really were celebrities? Would they be the troubled reality star or the all-American movie hero? Read on for our take!

Movie Review: Food ChainsFoodChainsTheatricalPoster-e1409496194559

by Rebecca Boehm and Rebecca Rottapel

From the filmmakers of Food, Inc. and Fast Food Nation, this new documentary portrays the struggles of U.S. farm workers who experience conditions from slavery and low-wages to sexual harassment and total lack of legal power.

Look Behind the Bar: Can Barre Classes “Sculpt” Your Body?

by Katherine Pett

Barre is a fun, challenging, joint-friendly way to get a workout. But don’t buy into the hype; barre classes can’t make you look like a dancer.

New Weekly Mediation Group on Campus Provides Chance to Enhance Mindfulness, Lower Stress

by Matt Moore

Nutrition and fitness now have company as components of wellness at Friedman. Students and staff have a brand new opportunity to practice meditation and improve their mindfulness skills at weekly sessions facilitated by Kurtis Morrish (FPAN ‘16) and Micaela Karlsen (PhD, NEPI ‘17).

Central Square: A Destination for Special Diet Dining in Cambridge

by Grace Goodwin

It’s often a struggle to find delicious spots to eat when you have to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan.  But in Central Square, there’s a place for everyone to eat and enjoy!

Friedman, Meet Juno! What Friedmanites Did During the Snow Days

Juno Emily Finnan

Due to the severe storm, Friedman students experienced that rare Boston phenomenon: the Snow Day.

We asked you to send us your photos of how you spent the day!

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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