Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why vegetarians should not be eating Tofurky for Thanksgiving

I was a guest nutritionist on the KBOO Community Radio Food Show on November 18th. I talked about why vegetarians should not be eating Tofurky or other soy products that are not properly fermented for Thanksgiving. 

Follow this link to listen to the show which is called "Thanksgiving Special: Tofurky, Oregon Cranberries and The Adaptable Feast".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eat To Live Nutrition on KBOO Community Radio

I will have a 15 minute segment on the KBOO Community Radio Food Show  on November 18th from 11 AM to 12 PM. I will be discussing why vegetarians should not be making or eating tofurky for Thanksgiving and what they should make and eat instead. Tune into 90.7 FM to check it out!

Friday, October 16, 2009



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.


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

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. 


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

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. 


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

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. 

Monday, August 24, 2009


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



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 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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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//   

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

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

Eat Right Ontario. "Get the Scoop on Salt." (accessed July 23, 2009).

Eat Right Ontario, "Cut Out the Salt." (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.                                                                                      

Hirch, Jerry. "Denny's Sued Over High-sodium Food." Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2009.,0,734556.story.        

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). "Sodium: Are You Getting Too Much?"                                                       

Regenerative Nutrition. (interview with Jacques de Langre), "Celtic Sea Salt." (accessed July 20, 2009).


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Necessary Evils: Sugar, Salt and Fat

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



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.


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.


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.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why you should question reduced-fat foods

This is a thoughtful question from one of our readers. I encourage more questions of this nature because it stimulates an open dialogue as we discuss nutrition and how to make healthy consumer choices regarding food.

Question from reader:

I have a question about this post (regarding my suggestion to use full-fat dairy products), but I'm pretty sure I know how you'd answer. A lot of times Americans focus on healthful eating so they can lose weight. So eliminating reduced-fat foods seems counterproductive. But my understanding is that since reduced-fat foods are less nutrient-dense, they're less effective in weight loss than a plate full of more natural foods would be. Is this correct?

Response from Traci Goodrich, NTP: 

This is an important question. I would say that reduced-fat foods are less effective in weight loss because they are harder for your body to digest, often have more sugar, and are often less satisfying than the full-fat counterpart. My criticism of reduced-fat foods, specifically reduced-fat dairy products, is your body actually needs the fat that has been eliminated in order to digest, absorb, and assimilate the fat-soluble vitamins contained in these foods. In my opinion, it is counterintuitive to view reduced-fat dairy as “health food” because the fat that has been eliminated makes it much more difficult for your body to digest and benefit from the nutrients contained in these foods. I would suggest not eating dairy at all, if it is reduced-fat. I think that it is more healthful to eat full-fat dairy products, but to also recognize what a portion is (1 cup of milk, a few ounces of cheese, 1 cup of yogurt), which takes some knowledge and a little restraint. There is also a plethora of foods that are naturally low in fat to choose from! If you are someone who has fully transitioned to a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet you will end up eating less, because you will be satiated after you eat. There is an appropriate ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates (mostly from vegetables, grains in moderation) at each meal so that you walk away feeling satisfied and not hungry after a few hours. If you continue to gain weight after you’ve transitioned to a whole foods diet, I would look towards correcting your digestion by adding more culture foods and fermented foods that help to stimulate the digestive enzymes in your gut. 

A criticism I have of reduced-fat dry foods, such as granola bars and cereals, is that they are hard to digest and often loaded with sugar! With diabetes at epidemic proportions in this country, I would look towards reducing sugar as much as possible, and even being moderate with sugar in its whole form as with fruit and whole grains. 


I hope this response helps!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Real Food, Whole Food, Nutrient-Dense Food

Real food, whole food, and nutrient-dense food is best. This should be your mantra as you transition to eating to live. Pay special attention to how your body responds to food. Ask yourself: Are you still eating, but you are actually full? Are you actually eating 1 portion or 3? Do you have an appropriate balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates at each meal? Are you satisfied after you eat? Do you snack mindlessly throughout the day? The following is a list of a few simple meal suggestions. There are billions of recipes out there, so I encourage you to experiment with what you like and eliminate what you don’t. 


Two eggs in real butter, add a dollop of sour cream, salsa or sauerkraut, add two pieces of nitrate free bacon

Full-fat yogurt (unsweetened) with fresh fruit,  and some nuts and/or seeds

Oatmeal with butter or nut butter, a touch of maple syrup, raisins and nuts

Fruit Smoothie: blend yogurt, coconut milk, berries, a small amount of maple syrup and possibly a few raw, organic eggs (for the adventurous)


Rich vegetable and meat sauce with pasta or rice (olive oil, tomato paste, whole tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, onion, garlic and whatever vegetables and meat you prefer)

Salad greens with a variety of raw vegetables and a salad dressing, add tuna, chicken, turkey or egg salad

Soups and stews: Lentil, chicken with rice, black bean, cream of broccoli, beef stew (the sky is the limit with this)

Quiche: a standard whole grain crust made with eggs, half n’ half, spices and whatever filling you desire, add a salad

Simple crudités in addition to whole grain crackers, salmon cream cheese or sardine in olive oil or mustard


Coconut milk curries with fresh vegetables and/or meat served over brown rice

Stir-fry, grilled meat, seafood or vegetables serve over a green salad

Simple Mexican food: salad, beans, rice, salsa, sirloin, and raw cheese

Simple Mediterranean food: hummus, tabouleh, felafel or juicy lamb





Healthful Tips To Stay On Track With Nutrition

Eat until satiated, without over eating or under eating. Try to eat three square meals a day and limit snacking. The digestive track needs a chance to rest between meals!

As a general guide, each meal should be comprised of about 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrate (the carbohydrates should be mostly vegetables with no more than 10% of grain).

Try not to revolve meals around bread products. Instead, use grain as an accent to a meal and in moderation.

Keep a food journal. It’s a great way for you to understand your patterns around food and how food really makes you feel.

Start the day with a pint glass of water with lemon or a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar.

Do not skip meals!

Try your hand at making a rich beef or chicken stock, salad dressings or fermented foods.

Do the best you can! Creating new and healthful habits takes time, so, start slowly, make changes you can live with, and add things you enjoy eating. Eat your food slowly, in a relaxed environment, surrounded by friends or family, and chew your food thoroughly.


The Foundation of Nutritional Wellness

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water throughout the day (add some electrolytes in the afternoon—a pinch of Celtic sea salt in water is sufficient).

Have a substantial protein and a healthy fat at each meal. Two or three ounces of protein with each meal (5 to 7 ounces a day),  is a good place to start, some people need more protein and fat because of activity or energy level. Have at least a tablespoon of healthy fat with each meal (real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, or lard). Many people need more fat, especially vegetarians.

Have fruit in moderation. Two to three pieces a day is sufficient, look for low to moderate glycemic fruit such as berries, apples, or grapes. Avoid fruit juices and jellies.

Consume more vegetables daily, in a variety of colors. Sage advice is to shoot for 5 a day, but limit your intake of starchy vegetables (less potato, carrot, and corn, add more green leafy vegetables, beets, broccoli). These should be raw or lightly steamed.

Have low-toxicity, wild-caught seafood 3 times a week. Do your research on what is considered safe. At this point: sardines, oysters, tuna in moderation, salmon, cod, herring, mackerel, shrimp, and crab are all good choices, as well as others (If you do not eat seafood, you must find another source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts and seeds are good choices).

Choose meat that is hormone-free and organic whenever possible.

It is generally wise not to revolve meals around a grain. Consumption of grain should be no more than 10 % of your meal. If you happen to have a big starchy meal such as pasta for dinner, do not add a grain to your other meals.

Add more nuts and seeds: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or peanuts. Add them to salads, smoothies, and yogurt or eat alone.

Have a salad daily.

Add some cultured and fermented foods to each meal to aid in digestion.

Have calcium-rich foods with each meal (This is not limited to dairy products. Think about chicken broth, or broccoli, as well as many other calcium rich foods).

Limit consumption of caffeine to no more than 16 ounces daily.

Avoid energy bars, protein bars, cereal bars, and granola bars. They are often full of sugar and/or soy protein, and not what the body really needs for energy.

If you are not vegetarian, experiment with adding organ meats to your diet once a week.


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.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Commitment to Health and Healing with Nutritional Therapy

My Beliefs

The human body is complex, and every person’s needs are unique. No one way of eating or living is appropriate for all people, which is why no one “diet” or lifestyle is appropriate for every person. There are many shapes and sizes that are considered to be perfectly healthy. My goal as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) is to help people understand that what they eat affects how they feel, and often, how they think and act. Certain foods energize people, give them strength and vitality, while other foods steal this energy away, and make people feel tired, sluggish, and all too often, depressed. People who seek Nutritional Therapy want to experience improved and abundant health.

At the core of Nutritional Therapy, is the belief that traditional foods are best, and if the food that you are eating does not rot at some point, you probably should not be eating it. Traditional foods have nourished people for centuries and tradition foods will continue to nourish people into the future if we heed the wisdom that has been passed on throughout the years.

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, said that if your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it.

I believe that this is sage advice.

How to be successful with Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional Therapy begins with the desire to reclaim health and lost vitality.

Nutritional Therapy is most successful when individuals are willing to transition to eating whole, nutrient-dense foods, with the knowledge that organic and hormone-free foods are the most nutritious.

Nutritional Therapy takes time and commitment. If a healthful habit takes 30 days to initiate, then an unhealthful habit will take just as long to break.

What happens during  the consultation?

As a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, it is my job to assess each client’s overall health and to find a nutrition plan that works for the individual. The initial assessment has several steps. In the initial interview and food consultation, the client’s health concerns will be discussed and dietary suggestions will be made. The second part of the consultation consists of an evaluation of the systems of the body, where I will assess potential nutritional weaknesses in the client’s body. Nutritional weaknesses often act as roadblocks to overall health. Once these roadblocks are removed people will often experience improved health. Sometimes supplements help to remove these roadblocks, but often changes that are made to one's diet are just as effective. We will discuss the options. Once some initial recommendations have been made, and the client begins to work with this new information or protocol, I recommend a follow up interview to assess whether or not the person feels better, and to discuss successes, challenges, or concerns with the overall plan.

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Eat To Live Nutrition by Traci A. Goodrich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.