2012 – The Kitchen Rag

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I love food. I love making it, I love eating it, and I love sharing it with people. Food is one of the few things left that can bring us all together for a couple of hours away from our smart phones, car seats, and busy schedules. Food can create a safe environment for good conversation, honesty, and community building. Plus, there is the added benefit that wholesome, traditional foods are extremely nourishing for both emotional and physical health.   But do not let me fool you. I have not always viewed food as a great bonding venue and elixir of health. The last thing on my mind when I was in high school was to become a nutritional consultant. I was too busy being annoyed with the raw kefir and farm fresh eggs my mother would serve me for breakfast instead of the store bought cookies and fake soy yogurt my […]

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Purchasing a well balanced multivitamin can be quite a daunting process. I have stared at the supplement aisle completely frozen with indecision many times, often too embarrassed to ask for help. I wasn’t even sure what sort of criteria to look for … price, packaging, label, company, etc. Have you asked yourself on what basis you should buy a multivitamin?  Here are a few major tips I have learned through my micro nutrients class. Remember expensive supplements are not necessarily better! 1.Natural vs Synthetic When you see the word “natural” on a bottle it typically means that there are no questionable additives like food coloring, tar, corn starch, or sugar. The term natural refers to the fact that the supplement does not contain other unnatural ingredients. Here, there is a difference. Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, starch, and sometimes other additives.   The Real […]

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As the number of degenerative diseases is on the rise so is the search for new cures. Unfortunately, we still haven’t discovered a miraculous antidote that would heal our dear ones ravished by cancer, heart attacks, or auto-immune disorders. However, through proper nutrition, stress management, and exercise, we can help prevent some of these debilitating conditions, and in some cases even begin to reverse the damage. Often a depleted immune system is primarily a result of years of free radical damage. What are free radicals? An atom is in a stable form when each electron on the outer shell has a complimentary counterpart spinning in the opposite direction. Beerman (2010) explains that a free radical is an atom that has lost at least one of its complimentary electrons from the outer shell. This loss causes the atom to become highly reactive. It will frantically seek to add back the missing electron(s) to […]

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Recently I started a class on micro nutrients. I was excited about all the new information I was learning until I realized sheepishly that some of my views on vitamins and minerals had to change.While I still buy a rainbow of fresh veggies and fruits plus a large variety of meats, to ensure the consumption of a balanced array of nutrients and phytonutrients for my family, I have become acutely aware of the need for supplementation with a multivitamin. It was a rather difficult, humbling realization that took me a few weeks to process. Here are five reasons that convinced me to supplement with a well balanced, natural multivitamin:   1. Soil Depletion Industrialized farming has left our soils depleted. Out of more than 70+ trace minerals necessary for producing healthy, nutrient-dense crops, modern farming methods put only two to three trace minerals back into the soil after harvest. Lieberman (2007) explains that our soil is depleted of selenium […]

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I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. The first time I partook of the celebration I was eighteen. My host parents had an amazing spread of food, all new to me; from the cranberry sauce to the pumpkin pie to the sweet potato casserole. It was a feast of unknown flavors, smells, and presentations. Several years later I became more familiar with the holiday and became intrigued with one dish in particular: stuffing. Probably because we don’t have stuffing as a traditional holiday food in Europe. For the longest time I thought pre-packaged stuffing was more convenient than the homemade version. I was pleasantly surprised three years ago when I made my first batch of homemade stuffing that not only was it easy to make but I could tweak the recipe and use gluten-free breads to lower the amount of gluten in my meal. Are you interested in making your own homemade stuffing this Thanksgiving? This is a […]

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When I first came to the US I was horrified by the food prices. I remember walking into a grocery store and feeling completely overwhelmed. After ten minutes of shopping my brain shut down and I walked out. I gave my grocery list to my host mother and waited in the car. My college years were spent avoiding the supermarket as much as I could. Slowly, I began scouting out boutique grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and local butcher shops. I was raised on grass fed meat, raw milk, and fresh produce from our vegetable garden, and and I began to seach for ways to obtain the same kind of nutritious foods I grew up on, but without spending a fortune. It took me a couple of years, but I finally found ways to offer my family nutritious food on a tight budget. Here are ten rules that have helped me: 1. Eat food […]

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We live in a fast paced technical society where taking the time to eat three meals in a calm, relaxed manner is practically impossible. We eat while we are driving, talking on the phone, rushing out the door, doing homework, working, parenting, or, if we have the chance, staring at computers or TV screens. Do you experience indigestion, gas, or bloating after eating? Are you lethargic and fatigued at the end of a large meal? While these can be symptoms of digestive disorders or food allergies, before you  begin elimination diets, doctor’s visits, and blood tests, I encourage you to ask yourself one very simple question:      Am I chewing my food properly?   The first time I encountered the concept of chewing properly was during a lecture on digestion that I was listening to on my computer while scarfing down an egg salad. When the professor asked whether we […]

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Are you frustrated with American health care? Are you concerned for the future of your children? Do some of your family members live in nursing homes? Do you want want to stop supporting a system that is more interested in corporate profit than the health of your family? There are many ways we can make a difference. It is up to us to drop out of the old, broken systems of the conventional health care, and begin building a new one; one that reflects our new – and traditional – values. A few days ago my mother in law, an RN of 30 years, sent me this letter after another difficult day on the job. It was a reminder about what I stand for and why I am seeking a career in holistic nutrition Thank you for sharing Grace.You inspire me! For the past thirty years, I have been involved in the management of chronic disease […]

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For the last couple of weeks I have seen many of these cards on my Facebook news feed. While they are supposed to invoke humor, they are posing a serious question. What are we feeding little kids on Halloween? It would be nice if we were able to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup, hidden vegetable oil, and acetone in Halloween candy. I am not trying to say you should give your child a tablespoon of fermented cod liver oil as a treat for Halloween. But I would like to encourage vigilance about what we offer little ones when they come knocking at our door. Recent studies have linked high-fructose corn syrup to Autism, vegetable oil to heart disease, and white flour to Type 2 Diabetes. We can all try to be creative and avoid some of the worst offenders on the market. As a sign of solidarity to everyone making an […]

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Today is a hard day. While beautifully colored leaves are waltzing around in the air, I am watching my husband painfully trying to chew on a piece of buttered toast. Maybe not the best breakfast for someone with a severe outer ear infection. I move out of the room like a zombie and grab the raw milk from the refrigerator. I pour most of the cream in a glass and offer it to him. This is our initiation into the cold, grey season. The Northwest settles into a monotonous, constant drizzle from now till April. There are sheets and sheets of dark grey clouds covering the sun. While the mysterious fog, the colorful leaves, and the chilling rain have their own charm (Stephanie Meyer located her famous Twilight series here) there are quite a few people who struggle with seasonal affective disorder, severe colds, and fatigue. Some experts link this […]

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