Archive for October, 2010

Check out my advice in this Hoffington Post on acai.

It’s happened to so many stars before, a sweetheart is discovered, she succeeds on her merit and talents, but then eager to get a piece of her success, some build her up so high she can only help but fall (in someone’s eyes) and she often loses fans as people are left wondering was she ever really “all that.” Is this the story of a Hollywood starlet or that of a Brazilian berry? For me, this is the story of my relationship with the Brazilian berry — açai.

I remember several years ago when açai came to the U.S. I thought that the little berry with big flavor offered a great option for antioxidants and noticed that it also contained fiber and an array of omega fatty acids. Was it more olive than blueberry, I wondered? When I saw that it was organic and fair trade, I decided it was worthy of my recommendation and added it to a coconut water smoothie recipe in my first cookbook (“The ProHydrator” Recipes for IBS) to provide antioxidants to athletes and those suffering from digestive inflammation, and all those in between. I played with frozen plain açai and found that its lack of sweetness (minimal fruit sugar natural to the berry) allowed me to use it for savory and sweet dishes. And all was açai berry sweet in the world. (more…)

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In other blogs I talk a lot about prevention tips or healthIER options for Halloween, I want to address a question I get  asked often (and not just on Halloween)- what do I do if I OD on sugar?

Its important to note that there are all sorts of sugar sources – fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, cane sugar vs organic sugar, sweeteners – artificial or not, legumes, grains, and so on. And that one’s favorites can be very different – candy lover vs pasta queen or fruit-can’t-get-enough-er. Regardless of your preferences though, the body’s response (and what we seek from sugar) is likely to be the same.

I want more ______
Energy, happiness, to not say “I can’t have” and so on…all translate to “I want more sugar” messages

And so, I provide some tips:

The body gets an inflated (but real) sense of energy / even euphoria, but when that drops its going to cry out more loudly for carbs. To address:

  1. Make sure to focus on sleep, yoga, breathing
  2. Try magnesium for relaxation (from foods or I like Natural Calm as a supplement (I work with them)
  3. Don’t go cold turkey the morning after and skip all carbs altogether but go back to portion control, nutrient balance and eating frequency principles (every 3 hrs). See the AKA menu worksheet on my website
  4. Use a crutch- you can use quality lean proteins as a crutch (have an extra portion or grab when you crave sugar) until the intense cravings pass.
  5. Remember not to beat yourself up – that’s mean 😦  but also can contribute to keeping the cycle going (you get sad or frustrated and then have carbs to feel happy).

Happy Halloween! And remember a holiDAY is one DAY which shouldn’t derail any of us if we go back to our Qualitarian lifestyles the next.

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AKA explains on Good Morning America Health (Video)

Recently the phrase “made with Ancient Grains” has popped up on everything from pastas to cookies to granola packages at  Costco.  Today, I set out to explain the health benefits of  Ancient grains versus modern ones (and there are several) but also to point out that one still has to make the Qualitarian choice note that all the products I selected for the segment are organic which means by definition they are also non-gmo – when it comes to these oldie but goodies, as well as abide by my key nutrition principles of portion control and nutrient balance.   Special thanks to my new friends Bob Quinn (kamut Montana farmer and whole grain historian) and chef / writer Lorna Sass (her “Gruffles” made from kland’s / Nature’s Path Ancient Grains granola are divine and her cookbook “Whole Grains for Busy People” will allow you to enjoy ancient grain health benefits on a modern day schedule).

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I enjoyed providing ideas for this month’s Shape magazine article “Eat this before your next big event,” and think you will enjoy the information here too. That said, I want to clarify my comments and the smoothie recipe for those of you looking for a pre-race option. Liquids can be great for getting the nutrition in without having the digestion have to work as hard – and especially if you are nervous which can affect your stomach and digestion – I recommend making a smoothie and having it about two hours before your race. While you do want to have carbohydrates (in the example recipe the carbs are: coconut water (11 ounces is 1 carb serving), cherry juice (4 ounces is 1 serving carb), a banana (1/2 banana is 1 serving carb), and blueberries (1 cup is 1 carb serving) it’s important not to overdo the carbs and equally important to consume a source of protein which was left out (for nutrient categories and portion information see  AKA menu worksheet). So while each of the ingredients noted could be great in a smoothie – the portions would need to be adjusted for optimal power or swop some out. For example, if coconut water, skip the banana or reduce to a half portion. Studies show that even 1 ounce of tart cherry juice can be effective so perhaps reduce that amount or cut the portion of added blueberries and banana. In terms of protein, I’d look to add a protein source such as organic hemp, rice, or whey proteins which will give your muscles power and also sustain the energy benefits of the smoothie. A favorite addition to AKA smoothies are chia seeds, from the popular “Born to Run” book. For brand ideas see the AKA lists.

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When it comes to genetically engineered foods, there’s so much that we don’t know and I’m not interested in being part of a further human experiment. What we DO KNOW is scary (and has caused food companies in other countries to ban these foods) – digestive issues, allergies, infertility and more unfavorable health impacts. In the Huffington Post, I recently compared GMOs to 2nd and 3rd-hand smoke – and think how long it took us to reach a tipping point against the effects of others’ smoking on us. Food (as opposed to geneticall engineered food) for thought, eh?

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ADA Food and Nutrition Conference Invite

ADA Food and Nutrition Conference Invite

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Originally posted on Huffington Post:
See the Energy Makeover Update ABC News

When not spending time at the office, at work meetings, or her son’s sporting events, Marissa comes home to her apartment. Home should be a place that fosters our best energy. And yet, as I learned when I was recently at a Smart Living event in Boulder, Colorado many homes today have numerous energy “deductors” that can detract not just from our energy, but from our overall health as well.

See this month’s segment on “Good Morning America Health” to learn what home energy makeovers Marissa received and why. Check back at the end of the month to see how she feels after having lived with these new items and routines. But first, here are some in-depth responses from my interview with Smart Living expert Scott Gwozdz. Gwozdz, a Harvard-trained ethnographer has researched this topic from several different angles for over 20 years. Currently, Gwozdz teaches corporate social responsibility and sustainable business at the University of Colorado, LEEDS School of Business and runs Kickstand Communications, a consumer research firm located in Boulder. At Kickstand, Gwozdz focuses on consumer insights in green and health living. Together with partner Robb Shurr, Gwozdz completed the 2010 Smart Living Research, one of the largest consumer ethnographic studies of its kind done on green and healthy living (includes 350 conversations, 17 communities around the country) to research the disconnect between what people say they want to do and what they really do.

Last month, I had Gwozdz conduct an interview with Marissa to assess her home energy, health issues and identify areas where she could improve her home energy and health. (more…)

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