Eat That, Digest This

Here I am newly indoctrinated into the blog world and I’m already taking short cuts.  It’s not for lack of subject matter – believe me!  But a respected food professional has so succinctly encapsulated what I espouse to that I decided  to go with imitation as flattery vs. reinventing the wheel.

A recent article in the SF Chronicle food section was written by Marion Nestle, nutrition professor, author and recent pet food private eye (tho not so private.)  Marion’s article focuses on eating a variety of whole foods in small doses for nutrients and optimal balance.  Please note the ingredients of that sentence. First let’s take variety: for example, not eating the same thing for breakfast every day so as to assimilate as many nutrients as possible.  One of my teachers used to say: “our bodies need everything, all of the time.”  In other words, with an assortment of foods we can obtain a medley of vitamins and minerals without reaching for a capsule to fill the void. But that doesn’t mean overdo it…

Which brings us to portion control.  Yes, size does matter.  In America we have ‘grown’ accustomed to everything BIG, which has continued to plague our waistlines and our health.  It all hearkens back to my mantra (with a nod to Michael Pollan) of eating (whole) food, not too much, from a sustainable source.

When these practices are applied – along with a healthy dose of exercise – we can realize balance in both our diet and our overall well being.  Our energy is restored, our weight is maintained, and our supplement or prescription drug costs are diminished.

Healthy Hints

Welcome to Cook4Seasons!

Your resource for fun facts on nutrition, health, farmers’ markets, the environment…and delicious recipes which celebrate the seasons.  My premise is ‘SOUL’ food: Seasonal, Organic, Unrefined and Local ~ and I will continually prompt thee to get thyself to the nearest farmers’ market on a regular basis.

Some examples from my treasure trove of topics will include:

  • support your local farmer
  • the benefits of wild vs. farmed salmon
  • how to store fresh produce
  • why diets don’t work
  • foods for the brain

I will also highlight seasonal foods and provide nutritional components, identify sustainable fish, and compare organic vs. conventional produce.

It is my intention to feed you with enough information to whet your whistle, while being mindful of busy schedules and internet overload.  The framework will be simple, timely and user friendly.  And I’ll always provide you with links to additional resources.

Of course these formats are only as good as their audience, so I highly encourage input from you. I’d love to know what subjects are of interest and how I can keep you coming back for more tasty tidbits. Comment soon – and often! Within weeks you’ll see the evolution as we explore new horizons together and give fresh meaning to the term “whole foods wellness.”

Once you sign up to receive these healthy hints, just leave the research to me and you’ll be on your (easeful) way to optimal health for your body and your mind.

Thanks for jumping on the bountiful bandwagon.  Until we eat again…

Karen

Eat Your Sunscreen

Most of you know that the skin is the largest organ in our body, but may not consider this when creating a daily eating plan.  The skin covers approximately 25 square feet and weighs six pounds.  It is our protective outer boundary, which coats and defends us against infection and germs. It helps regulate our body temperature and plays a major role in transmitting messages of pain and pleasure.

The skin regenerates itself every 27 days but requires proper care to maintain its vitality.  That’s where we come in.  One of my teachers claimed to never use anything on her skin that she wouldn’t eat.  She is a big fan of unrefined coconut oil for maximum hydration and wrinkle prevention.  Here are some other foods that nourish our outer bodies, ourselves:

Mushrooms – in the diet mushrooms have anti-cancer and immune boosting properties; on the skin shiitake and matsutakes are considered to have natural hydrating components as well.  Dr. Andrew Weil now has a line of skincare under the Origins label which includes mushrooms.

Green tea – soothes the skin after overexposure to the sun, and calms rosacea and other irritations.

Vitamin A foods – anti-viral, anti-inflammatory which aid in fewer breakouts.  Found in carrots, peppers, papayas, and apples.

Zinc – for cell reproduction and repair. Found in oysters, raw nuts and seeds, wheat germ and organic poultry.

Ginseng – used to enhance memory, increase endurance, lower cholesterol and boost circulation.  On skin, it helps with elasticity.

Healthy fats – like those found in raw nuts, avocados, cold-water fish all of which help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins D, E and K.

Soy (non-GMO) – valued for its protein and anti-oxidant rich content, soy has also been found to have anti-cancer properties for the skin.  But some people have intolerances, so be sure to read labels first.

Vitamin C – helps keep the skin plump.  Eat broccoli, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, kiwis and strawberries to your heart’s (or skin’s) content.

Lemongrass – soothes and calms the nervous system and is good for digestion, which keeps the body and skin well balanced.

Anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables (don’t we always include these:) – they protect the skin from dulling effects of free radicals, caused by environmental stressors, smoking and drinking.  Load up on dark, leafy greens, blueberries, beets, grapes, yams and tomatoes.

It’s nice to know we can nourish ourselves from the inside out and have visible results!