Fall Class with Sunnyside Holistic Group

Recently, I joined a wellness center called the Sunnyside Holistic Group. I will be meeting with clients and teaching classes at this new location. On Monday, October 25th, from 6 PM to 8 PM, I will be teaching a nutrition class in the community room of this new location. Please read further if you are interested in participating in the class!

 

The Necessary Evils: Sugar, Salt and Fat

 Are sugar, salt and fat indulgences or are they necessary to life? Do you want to learn about eating real food that actually supports the health of your body, and also tastes good? Are you tired of being on a diet that simply does not work? Part nutrition education and part cooking demonstration, students will learn how to eat to maintain good health and vitality.  A food demonstration with samples will be provided based on recipes and meal plans created by the instructor. Students will leave with a packet of information to assist in their transition to eating healthier traditional food.

When:  Monday, October 25th, 6 PM to 8 PM

Where:  Sunnyside Holistic Group, 2450 SE Belmont

Contact:  Traci Goodrich, NTP

503.233.7064 or etlnutrition@gmail.com      

Cost:  $35  Class size is limited. Registration is required.

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Nutrition and Cooking Classes

EAT TO LIVE NUTRITION

Healing the body with nutritional therapy and a culinary re-education

Traci Goodrich, NTP                                                                                                                                                                             

As a nutritional therapist and cook who emphasizes the use of nutrient-dense foods and traditional food preparation methods, my goal is to help people find time to prepare meals and to educate people about foods that support and maintain their vitality. Knowledge is power and with the right information, people can heal their own bodies with the vitamin and mineral-rich foods they consume. With a little planning, preparing meals that nourish the body can be easy. Part of this education emphasizes using quality ingredients, and helping people locate foods that contribute to maintaining health. I believe that an investment in the quality of foods you consume is an investment in your future, and is a form of preventative health care.

Check out upcoming nutrition and traditional foods cooking classes in November with Traci at community supported kitchen Salt, Fire and Time in Portland, Oregon.

THE NECESSARY EVILS

Sugar, salt and fat have a bad reputation, and for good reason! Refined and processed version of each are responsible for many of the degenerative diseases that exist today. Consumers are often scared and confused by too many choices. Part nutrition class, part cooking class, students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources they can immediately apply in their own lives, including the following:

Students will learn about versions of sugar, salt and fat that actually support health and why.

Students will learn ways to improve digestion and how proper digestion supports healthy immune function.

Students will learn how to source food on a local level.

Students will learn about the vitamins and minerals in the foods that eat and how to get the most bang for their buck by choosing foods that are the most nutrient-dense

LOCATION: Salt, Fire & Time, 609 SE Ankeny Street, Unit A

DATE: Monday, November 2, 2009

TIME:5:30 to 8:30

AMOUNT:$60.00

Please contact Traci Goodrich for more information and to register for classes.

503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

The amount of the class includes nutrition education and food that is organic and sourced locally, for the preparation of the community meal. Class size will be limited to ensure individual attention. Some work-study positions are available that reduces the amount of the class. 

SUGAR ADDICTION: TROUBLE-SHOOTING AN EPIDEMIC

If you were to list addictive substances in order, sugar would be at the top of the list, and part of this reason is access–we are surrounded by it! I know that in Portland, Oregon, you cannot throw a stone without landing on an artisan cupcake. Sugar is also in many prepare foods that you might not consider to be sweet. This class will focus on strategies to greatly reduce the amount of sugar people consume in order to avoid larger health concerns such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. Part nutrition class, part cooking class, students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources they can immediately apply in their own lives, including the following:

Students will learn strategies to greatly reduce the amount of sugar they consume.

Students will learn about the glycemic index and the glycemic load of food and how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels.

Students will learn how to “recalibrate” their blood sugar levels.

Students will learn how to avoid being part of the epidemic that is diabetes.

Location:Salt, Fire and Time, 609 SE Ankeny Street, Unit A

Date:Monday, November 16, 2009

Time:5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Please contact Traci Goodrich for more information and to register for classes.

503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

The amount of the class includes nutrition education and food that is organic and sourced locally, for the preparation of the community meal. Class size will be limited to ensure individual attention. Some work-study positions are available that reduces the amount of the class. 

SUPPORTING THE NUTRITION NEEDS OF THE VEGETARIAN

Many vegetarians often have difficulty digesting food. This seems counter-intuitive considering vegetarians have a mostly plant-based diet, which is considered easier to digest. Yet, all too often, many vegetarians rely too heavily upon foods that are difficult to digest and that many people are actually sensitive to, such as soy, wheat and cheese. This class will focus on the special nutrition needs of the vegetarian diet. Part nutrition class, part cooking class, students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources they can immediately apply in their own lives, including the following:

Students will learn how to jump-start their body’s ability to produce stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

Students will learn about specific nutrients that many vegetarians are deficient in and how to better absorb the vitamins and minerals they consume.

Students will learn how to reduce their dependence on soy, wheat, and cheese and which versions are considered better alternatives for wellness.

Students will learn about some of the low-fat myths that might be undermining their body’s nutritional needs.

Location:Salt, Fire and Time, 609 SE Ankeny Street, Unit A

Date:Monday, November 23, 2009

Time:5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Please contact Traci Goodrich for more information and to register for classes.

503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

The amount of the class includes nutrition education and food that is organic and sourced locally, for the preparation of the community meal. Class size will be limited to ensure individual attention. Some work-study positions are available that reduces the amount of the class. 

 

 

 

Part II: Salt

From the three part series, “The Necessary Evils: Sugar, Salt and Fat”

 

THE ALL AMERICAN SPICE

Salt is the quintessential American spice. It is cheap, abundant, and it enhances the flavor of whatever you put it on. I know that mashed potatoes and gravy would not be the same without it. When I was young and I looked in the kitchen cupboard, the spice rack was sparse, but I could always count on seeing a container of common table salt, with the now infamous iconic image of a young girl leaving a trail of salt behind her as she casually strolls in the rain. Morton’s salt was the only salt that I knew of. Today, there are more options than ever before, as well as more information about the ills of a high sodium diet and eating foods that use refined table salt. Anyone with hypertension (high blood pressure) can speak to you at length about the evils of eating a diet that is high in sodium or salting foods too liberally. Yet, salt is essential to life.

A large part of the problem is the quantity and the quality of salt that is used. People often get more sodium from poor quality sources of salt than their bodies know what to do with. Many professionals in health and nutrition fields, including Simone Gabbay, RNCP, note that the research that exists today, connecting a high sodium diet to poor health and a range of chronic health problems, is based on research that observed the effect of refined table salt on people (Gabbay 2002, 22).

However, alternatives do exist, and not every salt is created equal.

REFINED VS. UNREFINED SALT

Refined table salt is a highly processed food full of additives. Refined table salt is rock salt that has been stripped of valuable minerals leaving sodium and chloride, and in some cases iodine, which is reintroduced after the minerals have been stripped. Refined table salt is heated at high temperatures, bleached, and caking agents, as well as other chemicals are often added. In the end, you are left with something that is pure white, but I would not say that it is food, and it certainly is not the source of salt that the body truly needs. Experts in conventional and alternative medicine agree, that if you are using refined table salt, you are using something that is lethal to the body and has proven connections to high blood pressure, heart disease and water retention, among many other health concerns.

Unrefined sea salt is harvested naturally from ocean water, and it does not go through the same harsh heating and chemical stripping that refined salt does. Unrefined sea salt also has the added health benefit of 84 essential minerals that the body does need. It is also interesting to note that the mineral composition in sea salt closely resembles the mineral composition of the major fluids of the body including blood and lymph.

Dr. Jacques de Langre, wrote two books about the healing benefits of sea salt, Sea Salts Hidden Powers and Sea Salt, the Vital Spark of Life. Dr. Jacques de Langre’s research is based on over 30 years of experience as a biochemist, and his theories about the effect of sea salt on the body are well respected by professionals in natural health and holistic nutrition fields. Dr. Jacques de Langre talks about the significance of salt as a component in bodily fluids and the health benefits of using unrefined sea salt in an interview that was posted by Regenerative Nutrition. De Langre comments, “People forget, but everyone was born in a salty solution—or mother’s amniotic fluid. This is probably the best biological proof we have that cellular structure is enhanced by salt. The amniotic fluid is a salty, “mini-ocean” for the fetus. This is the prime example of why we need all of the ocean’s minerals as part of our make-up” (Regenerative Nutrition, 2009).

WHY OUR BODIES NEED SOME SALT

Every cell in your body relies on salt to function properly. A moderate amount of salt in the diet benefits the body in many ways. In some instances, a small amount of salt normalizes blood pressure. Salt is also an important digestive aid, as HCI production in the stomach does not occur without it, making it nearly impossible to digest food without it. Alternative healthcare practitioner sometimes suggested adding a pinch of unrefined sea salt to water to assist with low adrenal function because of its benefit as a valuable source of electrolytes, and its value as an aid in the absorption of minerals. Salt is also needed to absorbed fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Some salt in the diet also promotes circulation.

SOURCES OF SALT AND EXCESS SODIUM

Concern with over-consumption of salt is largely because of one key player: sodium. While some sodium is necessary to regulate blood pressure, and to balance the fluids in the body, many people can stand to reduce the amount of sodium they use, especially if the source is commercial table salt. In the article, Sodium: Are You Getting Too Much?, it is noted that people should be consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, which equals about a teaspoon of salt (Eat Right Ontario, 2009). Yet, sodium is in most of the foods we eat: meat, dairy and vegetables, as well as most refined and processed foods, and in significant quantities. Unfortunately, a busy lifestyle can lead to dependence on convenience foods, and eating foods from boxes, cans or from fast food restaurants.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), a whopping 77% of daily sodium intake is from refined and processed foods, while only about 5% of daily sodium intake is from adding salt to foods as you cook, and 6% of daily sodium intake is from foods that are salted to taste (MFMER, 2008).

As a child of two busy working class parents, many of the meals I ate came from places such as McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken out of economic hardship and convenience. A recent glance at the nutritional facts on the websites for Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s proved to be illuminating. A typical evening supper of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and a biscuit from Kentucky Fried Chicken far surpasses anyone’s sodium needs for an entire day: 1050 mg of sodium in a chicken breast, 560 mg of sodium in mashed potatoes and gravy, 270 mg of sodium in coleslaw and 530 mg of sodium in a biscuit.

Consumers know that knowledge is power, and they want to be informed about what they are eating. As interest in public health issues rises, more fast food restaurants are publishing their nutrition facts on their websites and menus. A recent article published in the LA Times, called Denny’s Sued Over High-sodium Foodillustrates how one consumer took his health concerns into his own hands by filing a lawsuit against the fast food giant Denny’s for not publishing the dangerously high sodium content of their food on their menu (Hirch, 2009).

Some other processed foods with high sodium content include: potato chips, soda, TV dinners, canned vegetables, boxed stuffing, packaged gravy, peanut butter, and many, many others. Even packaged health foods are a concern.  The nutrition label of a can of “organic” spicy fajita chicken soup has 770 mg of sodium in just 1 cup. So, it is wise to check the label first, even if it is considered to be a healthy brand.

SODIUM AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Read the nutrition label.

Look for the obvious sources: salt, sea salt and sodium.

Look for the not-so-obvious sources of sodium contained in condiments, soy sauce, baking soda, and baking powder, bouillon cubes, canned soups and canned vegetables, and “spice packets”.

If an item has monosodium glutamate (MSG), leave it on the shelf.

USE A MODERATE APPROACH

By eating foods in their whole form, and eliminating highly processed and refined foods, you automatically reduced the amount of refined salt in your diet. A natural next step is to switch to an unrefined sea salt.

Educate yourself. Sodium is in most foods, refined foods, whole foods and packaged health foods. As individuals, people process salt differently, so always communicate with your health-care provider about how much sodium is appropriate for you. Sleuth out the not-so-obvious sources of sodium. Switch to an unrefined natural sea salt. Read the nutrition label. Salt to taste. Use alternatives to salt such as herbs, garlic, ginger, lemon or limes to flavor your food.

As far as commercial table salt is concerned, I still have some uses for a container of Morton’s salt. During snowy winter months, it makes an excellent anti-icing agent, so for this purpose, I will keep it on hand.

REFERENCES

Bradshaw-Black, Vivienne. “Is Salt Good for Your Health? Unrefined Salt vs. Industrial Grade Sodium Chloride…Does it Matter Which We Use?” Townsend Letter, Issue 300 (July 2008) : 74-78. http//ebscohost.com.   

Bschorr, Hild. “Salt is Vital to Health.” Townsend Letter. Issue 291 (October 2007) : 99-100. http//ebscohost.com.                

Butler, Graham. “Health-sustaining Sea Salt”.  Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition. Issue 255 (January 2004) : 110-111. http//ebscohost.com.                                                                          

Eat Right Ontario. “Get the Scoop on Salt.” http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/ViewDocument.aspx?id=265. (accessed July 23, 2009).

Eat Right Ontario, “Cut Out the Salt.” http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/ViewDocument.aspx?id=7. (accessed July 25, 2009).

Gabbay, Simone. “Ask Our Experts: Professionals from a Variety of Health-care Fields Answer Your Questions About Natural Medicine.” Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition. Issue 235 (May 2002) : 22. http://ebscohost.com.                                                                                      

Hirch, Jerry. “Denny’s Sued Over High-sodium Food.” Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2009. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-denny24-2009jul24,0,734556.story.        

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). “Sodium: Are You Getting Too Much?” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284                                                       

Regenerative Nutrition. (interview with Jacques de Langre), “Celtic Sea Salt.” http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/salt-celtic-blood-pressure-unrefined-sea.asp. (accessed July 20, 2009).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Out With The Old, In With The New

Clean out the cupboard

Replace corn syrup, white sugar, or any refined sweetener with something real such as maple syrup, raw honey, or molasses.

Replace MSG with something natural.  Look for foods that contain real herbs and spices or Celtic sea salt.

Replace refined white salt with grey, Celtic sea salt.

Replace store bought granola bar, cereal bars, crackers and most boxed cereal with nutritious snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and nut butters (to name a few). A few good store bought cracker brands are Ryvita and Mary’s Gone Crackers. A note on store purchased granola bars and cereals: these foods, even if they are presented as healthy snacks, are often loaded with sugar (even if it is fruit juice sweetened).

Replace refined white bread products with whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, spelt, buckwheat, and whole wheat (in moderation).

Replace unhealthy oils with coconut oil, safflower oil, extra virgin olive oil (remember to heat at low temperatures only), and flaxseed oil (not meant to be heated).

Clean out the refridgerator

Replace low-fat dairy products with whole milk dairy products and be sure to include cultured dairy. Include yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, real cream (or half n’ half), real butter, and raw cheese. Use whole milk in moderation.

Replace sugary yogurt with plain whole yogurt and add fruit or a small amount of maple syrup or honey if you want to sweeten it (it will cut the amount of sugar in half).

Replace fake butter, margarine and soy spreads with real butter (or even lard, yes, lard).

Replace soymilk, bricks of tofu, fake meats and fake cheeses  (which are heavily processed) with properly prepared, fermented soy condiments such as tamari, miso or raw, naturally fermented soy sauce. Properly prepared soy may be eaten in moderation (1 or 2 times a week). A note to vegetarians: if soy has been used heavily in the diet, I recommend replacing soy products with a substantial protein and a healthy fat at each meal: add more nuts, seeds, legumes, cream cheese, coconut milk, nut butters, real butter, olives, avocado, as well as other vegetables to whole grain crackers, whole grain pita wedges or brown rice.

Replace processed cheese, cheese slices, and “cheese spreads” with raw cheese and cream cheese.

Replace sugary sodas and fruit juices with sparkling mineral water, or a fermented beverage such as kombucha, or “sweeten” drinking water with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange. Remember that a full glass of orange juice has as much sugar as a can of Coke (when it comes to the chemical processes of the body sugar is sugar, no matter how nutritious the food is or what the sugar is called).

Replace sugary pickles and vinegar based sauerkraut with real, healthful fermented products (Bubbie’s is a good brand). It is generally a good habit to include a fermented food at each meal (this might be a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar in water before the beginning of a meal).

 

Great Beginnings Always Start With Leaving Something Behind

A great place to begin is to clean out your cupboard and your refrigerator. I recommend clients greatly reduce (and eventually eliminate) the amount of processed foods they eat. I understand that we live in a busy world, but if you have 20 minutes to make dinner, you can just as easily sear a tuna steak (which takes less than 10 minutes) and assemble a basic salad with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for dressing, instead of making a box of “the San Francisco treat”.

If you are that person that cooks from a box, rest assured that you are not alone. This is a transition that will take time. I recommend that you start by reading labels. Make sure you know what every ingredient is on the box, and if the ingredient is not a whole food, or a word you do not recognize, do not purchase the box (this is trickier than you may think).

A good rule of thumb is to not buy foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or MSG (also known as “natural flavor”, “hydrolyzed protein” and “spices”). This actually eliminates a considerable amount of unhealthful foods right off the bat.

To go a step further, stop purchasing items that are highly processed, such as white sugar, white flour and white salt. These foods are actually void of nutritional value.

It is also wise to get rid of unhealthy oils such as soybean oil, Crisco, Pam cooking spray and Canola.

There are many items that exist in the refrigerated that are considered healthful but need to be replaced with a counter part that is whole and nutrient-dense. First, I recommend phasing out “low-fat” dairy products. This makes sense if you want the food you consume to be nutrient dense.

Store bought salad dressings are often unhealthful because of the type of oil that is used, as well as the amount of sugar that is often added! Also, store bought salad dressings have often been sitting on the shelf for too long and have rancid oils. A simple dressing takes less than 10 minutes to prepare if you have olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a few spices on hand; it’s also a lot tastier and less expensive.

Tofu has been in vogue for some time, but I recommend eliminating bricks of tofu, fake meats and fake cheeses from your refrigerator. These foods are highly processed and hard to digest.