Holiday Eating Survival Guide

Family, friends and co-workers are well meaning when they offer you special treats over the holidays. Unfortunately, the best of intentions can sabotage your efforts to eat well and to choose healthful foods for yourself and your family.

Between Dad’s world famous peanut butter fudge and Aunt Leona’s mouth-watering lemon cream pie, you’ve got your work cut out for you!

Your job is one of choice. I recommend some of the following strategies to help you find an appropriate balance. Here are some steps to limit over-consumption of holiday food and to avoid the unnecessary weight gain that is so common during the holidays.

START IN YOUR OWN HOME

If you make your own home a safe haven of healthy foods, you will be doing yourself a favor. Holidays often offer a buffet of any kind of sweet or savory treat you can think of.

I suggest going through your cupboards and your refrigerator and throwing out the refined and processed foods (white sugar, white salt, white flour) you see and replacing them with whole healthful alternatives (see the article “Great Beginnings Always Start with Leaving Something Behind” for more details on how to get started with your home cupboard and refrigerator cleanout).

By eliminating the amount of processed and refined foods in your own home, you can feel a little better about saying yes to the occasional treat when you are at a holiday function.

If it’s tradition in your home to make a few treats, try and use unrefined ingredients in the recipes. Reach for fruit, 100% maple syrup, molasses or raw honey to sweeten dishes, and remember a little goes a long ways! You can make treats that taste delicious without overloading your body with sugar.

DON’T FORGET THE BASICS

Eat balanced meals and choose foods that support your health. This may sound simple, but it often falls by the wayside during the holidays. You still need to eat fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, protein, and calcium-rich foods to be a healthy person.

Get regular exercise to maintain your level of fitness. I don’t recommend trying to lose weight during the holidays, instead I recommend maintaining a stable weight.

INDULGE A LITTLE, NOT A LOT

I encourage you to set some limits on how much sugar and refined food you choose to eat during the holidays to 3X a week or less. It’s a good starting place considering the amount of food that is often offered.

Remember, you don’t need to say “yes” to everything that is placed before you at a dinner party. Instead, decide what you would like to indulge in. Choose one or the other.

When at the buffet table, choose smaller portions. You can always return if you are still hungry, but decide if you are hungry or if you are just trying to clean your plate.

Share what you do decide to indulge in. There is nothing wrong with having a bite or splitting a piece of pie instead of having your own.

ACCESS, ABUNDANCE AND PARTIES

Parties are for socializing, I recommend placing this before the buffet table, by arriving to the party with something in your stomach. You will feel much better when you do reach for a small nibble of something you would like to enjoy.

Avoid being peer-pressured. You know when you are hungry and you know when you are full. It’s ok to say, “No thank you, that was delicious, but I am full”.

If someone gives you some treats as a gift, have a piece of whatever it is, and either freeze the rest or throw it away (I promise you, they will never find out).

TEMPERANCE

Above all, please remember to be kind to yourself over the holidays. Special times spent with family and friends are meant to be enjoyed. If you follow a few simple steps and take some precautions along the way you can indulge a little and enjoy the festivities a lot while feeling happy and guilt-free.

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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.

Winter Nutrition Classes 2010

Sugar Addiction: Trouble-shooting a Problem of Epidemic Proportion

 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 prepared 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. In this class, students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources that 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.
  • Students will sample foods that support blood sugar regulation, and leave the class with a packet of information that includes: a sample 5-day meal plan, recipes and recommendations that balance blood sugar.

LOCATION:

Common Ground Wellness Center

FLANDERS HOUSE, 2926 NE Flanders St., Portland, OR

DATE: Tuesday, January 19th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60

 

CONTACT:

Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

Low-thyroid Solutions for the Next Generation of Women

Difficulties with thyroid function often run in the family, and by far, more female than male members of the family are affected. Yet, when it comes to nutritionally supporting women with low-thyroid function, knowledge is power. If there is a history of thyroid dysfunction in the family there are things you can do to lessen the severity of the problem and provide the nutritional support that is needed for the thyroid to function properly. Students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources they can immediately apply in their own lives, including the following:

  • Students will learn which foods support healthy thyroid function and which ones do not.
  • Students will learn how to sleuth out barriers to thyroid function.
  • Students will learn about some alternative methods to improve thyroid function.
  • Student will learn how to improve their energy level and metabolism, as well as how to control food cravings.
  • Students will sample foods that support thyroid function. Students will leave from the class with a packet of information that includes: a sample 5-day meal plan, recipes and recommendations that support healthy thyroid function.

LOCATION:

Common Ground Wellness Center

FLANDERS HOUSE, 2926 NE Flanders St., Portland, OR

DATE: Date: Monday, February 15th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60

 

CONTACT:  

Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

Supporting the Nutrition Needs of the Post-partum Mother

Providing nutrition for two is not as easy as one may think. The nutrition needs of a newborn baby are significant, but so are the nutrition needs of the mother, who may be lacking many essential vitamins and minerals as a result of providing nutrients to a growing fetus for 9 months. This class will discuss the post-partum nutrition needs of breast-feeding mothers, as well as mothers who are trying to get their bodies back on track after pregnancy and breast-feeding. Students will leave with a packet of information that includes: a 5-day meal plan that supports nutrition needs, recipes and nutritional recommendations for the new mother.

  • Students will learn about foods that support the baby’s health as well as the mother’s health during the first year.
  • Students will learn about vitamins and minerals that are important for the health of a newborn baby.
  • Students will learn about vitamins that have been depleted from the mother during pregnancy and what steps to take to restore them.
  • Students will learn how to get their bodies back on track, once breast-feeding ends.
  • Students will sample foods that support the needs of the post-partum mother and leave from the class with a packet of information that includes: a sample 5-day meal plan, recipes and recommendations that support the mother and newborn baby.

LOCATION:

Common Ground Wellness Center

FLANDERS HOUSE, 2926 NE Flanders St., Portland, OR

DATE: Date: Monday, March 1st

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60

 

CONTACT:

Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

Support Fertility and Reproductive Health Naturally

Infertility is a costly problem. Americans spend billions of dollars each year to enhance their fertility with fertility drugs and invasive medical services that enhance reproduction. Is there another way? Nutrition plays a significant role in an individual’s ability to conceive. This class will provide students with useful information to enhance fertility naturally with the very foods they consume. Students will walk away with useful information, skills and resources they can immediately apply in their own lives, including the following:

  • Students will learn which foods provide the nutritional foundation that helps to support fertility.
  • Students will learn how to stabilize blood sugar and control food cravings.
  • Students will learn how to sleuth out barriers to fertility.
  • Students will learn how to improve their digestion and immune system function (two potential barriers to fertility).
  • Students will sample foods that support fertility and leave from the class with a packet of information that includes: a sample 5-day meal plan, recipes and recommendations that support fertility.

LOCATION:

Common Ground Wellness Center

FLANDERS HOUSE, 2926 NE Flanders St., Portland, OR

DATE: Date: Tuesday, March 16th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60

 

CONTACT: 

Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or tracigoodrich@gmail.com

 

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. 

 

 

 

The Necessary Evils: Sugar, Salt and Fat

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

PART I: SUGAR

BREAK THE CYCLE OF ADDICTION

When I was a child, it was common in my family to eat doughnuts for breakfast, to drink soda like it was water and to add sugar to foods that didn’t necessarily need it. By the age of 12, I was at an unhealthy weight, depressed, anxious, and emotional. My father, quite innocently, indulged my sweet tooth, and did not recognize the unfortunate consequences of a diet high in sugar, nor the very real connection between poor mental, physical and emotional health and blood sugar that was out of control. The type of sugar that I ate most frequently was high in quantity and poor in quality: refined white sugar and corn syrup.

More and more connections have been established between obesity and excess consumption of sugar, specifically corn syrup, which is often an ingredient found in the least expensive and the most processed foods. A good rule of thumb is, if you can buy the item on the shelf at your neighborhood convenience store, it’s better left there than in your stomach.

As obesity and diabetes inch closer to near epidemic status in the United States, there is more public concern and demand for information about these critical issues and what can be done to avoid them. Unfortunately, most people consume more sugar than their body’s need or can ever use.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, READ THE LABEL

If you want to start reducing the amount of sugar that you consume and you do not know where to start, start at the beginning and eliminate the unhealthiest forms of sugar first: refined white sugar and corn syrup.

Corn syrup is in many items that you may not be aware of: canned soups, ketchup, peanut butter, jam, jelly, soda, boxed sweets, and many sauces. When a nutritional label indicates that there are 40 grams of sugar in a product, as is the case with a 12-ounce can of Coke, it actually means that you are drinking something with 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. If you were going to add sugar to 6 ounces of plain yogurt, you probably wouldn’t add over 6 teaspoons of sugar, which is the amount of sugar that is in a 6-ounce container of strawberry flavored Yoplait yogurt. Even a 12-ounce glass of 100% orange juice has 8 teaspoons of sugar.

It is crucial to educate yourself about sugar by reading nutritional labels, and remember that 4 grams equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. If sugar is one of the first five ingredients on a label the food is high in sugar. Recognize how much sugar you consume and sleuth out the obvious and the not-so-obvious sources of sugar. I am often surprised by some “health foods” that have a lot of sugar. Some items that come to mind are granola, cereal bars, yogurt, and even peanut butter. These items might be using a better form of sugar: such as cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, or fruit juice but it is still sugar and it has virtually the same impact on your blood sugar level.

REDUCE AND REPLACE

Replace refined sugar with something that is natural such as raw honey, 100% maple syrup or molasses. Use unrefined cane sugar in moderation, such as with special occasion baking.

Select juices, jams, or jellies that use 100% fruit and use them sparingly.

Consume whole fruit. It has less impact on your blood sugar than juice or processed sweets.

Add water to the fruit juice you do consume.

Share dessert instead of having your own.

Although I believe that it’s ok to have the occasional treat, it’s a good idea to define what moderation is. If you take small steps to replace refined sugar and reduce the amount of sugar you consume overall, you will eventually crave sugar less and break the cycle of sugar addiction. Soon, foods that are naturally sweet will satisfy the occasion craving for sugar. As you consume less sugar, you will have more energy and vitality then ever before.

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.