Friday, November 5, 2010


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

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!


Eat to Live Nutrition presents:

A class taught on essential nutrition as the foundation of good health. Instruction provided by traditional foods cook and nutrition consultant, Traci Goodrich.

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       

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

Monday, July 5, 2010


Picture of  Jonah Fertig, cooperative owner and co-founder of Local Sprouts Cooperative

Mission Statement of the Local Sprouts Cooperative:

"Local Sprouts focuses on using local and organic ingredients to build connections to our community, to grow sustainably, to support Maine farmers, to protect our environment and to build our local economy. We are a worker-owned cooperative that believes in creating a democratic and equitable business to serve our workers and our community."


I must admit, the idealist in me was really excited to hear about the existence of the Local Sprouts Cooperative in Portland, Maine. In a nutshell, the mission of Local Sprouts is to provide the community with access to quality local food, while at the same time, serve as a positive example of an alternative business model where workers have ownership in the business. Currently, there are just three worker-owners and numerous volunteers. Worker-owners are able to participate in this business model after a 3-month review and are given the option of joining the cooperative after 6 months with a modest investment, work-trade or a combination of the two.

Local Sprouts is the first Community Supported Kitchen in Maine, and their business model is based on San Francisco's successful Community Supported Kitchen Three Stone Hearth. As a worker-owned business, Local Sprouts also reminds me of many of the worker-owned cafe collectives in Portland, Oregon, such as the Red and Black Cafe, and the now defunct Back to Back Cafe and Redwing Coffee and Baking. Upon a recent visit, I had the opportunity to speak with cooperative owner and co-founder Jonah Fertig about the evolution of the Local Sprouts Cooperative.


In its early stages, the cooperative didn't have a cafe space, but they did have a certified kitchen and did catering for area nonprofits and served as a community supported kitchen where members of the community were invited to invest $100 and were give $110 credit to order from rotating weekly menus. Member were able to order online and do pickups at the Public Market House.

The cooperative used the pre-order system for about a year and a half, before they decided to open a cafe. Jonah Fertig said, "It's about how to develop and support your community. What does your community want?" Apparently the community wanted a cafe. 


Fertig talked at length about the outpouring of volunteer efforts from the community to create the space, boasting that over 200+ volunteers participated in the build-out of the cafe--and it shows. The cafe itself is beautifully designed. Clearly, a lot of attention went into creating this cheerful and inviting space, and there are many  artful touches--from the mosaic of a tree at the entrance to the handsome hand-crafted wooden furniture that still maintains the integrity of being a tree. The space has a very organic feeling. Fertig explains that the majority of capital for the creation of the cafe was raised from private donations, CSK memberships and local low-interest loans.

Now, the cafe has a menu with something for everyone, pleasing herbivores, omnivores and carnivores alike. Fertig claims that as much as 80-90% of the food is locally-sourced and the cafe uses food from many area-farms and the business strives to support local agricultural and conservation efforts in the region. Some businesses Local Sprouts supports include Turkey Hill Farm, Freedom Farm, Fishbowl Farm, Kate's Butter and Mainely Poultry to name a few that were listed on the cooperative's website.


The cooperative has a strong history of providing food for events and working with area nonprofits by either donating or offering discounted food when possible. Fertig explains that Local Sprouts is interested in being a resource for area school and nonprofits. The cooperative also offers classes and teaches people to cook using local food to increase awareness about local food. 

Fertig also talked about the inspiration for a community space and the desire to serve as positive cooperative business model for the community. Fertig explained, "the cooperative wants to demonstrate a different system, where food is localized and people can make a real difference on a global scale."


As a native of Maine, I can't help but be intrigued by how the food culture in Maine has evolved in the past 10 years. My memories of food from childhood consist of lots of haddock chowder, fried seafood and french fries, and sweets galore including blueberry pie, whoopie pies, strawberry shortcake, no-bake cookies, ice cream and fudge. Now, cities like Portland, Maine are rolling with the times, connecting people to healthy local, regional and organic food. The importance of buying food from your own region has become crucial. So do yourself a favor by eating better and supporting your community. The Local Sprouts Cooperative is just one business in Portand, Maine that is doing just that. The food system is circular and by supporting businesses that support local food the money stays in the community and supports the local economy.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


"Peasant food has been the smartest, thriftiest, and most nourishing food available to us. Simple, seasonal, and regional foods are what we are meant to live on."

Tressa Yellig

chef and proprietor of Community Supported Kitchen (CSK), Salt, Fire and Time

The local food culture in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon has a thriving local food culture. It's no wonder, with a 12-month grow season and some of the most fertile soil in the country. Local farmers benefit from the supply and demand created by the general public. Renegade chefs are flocking in droves to the Willamette Valley, to be part of a food revolution that offers quality ingredients to the local consumer. With a variety of purveyors to choose from, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Portland Farmers Market offerings abound, providing chefs with the raw materials to support a population of people who are demanding local, seasonal and organic food.

It is the existence of this local food culture and the support of the regional agricultural system that drew local chef and proprietor of Community Supported Kitchen (CSK), Salt, Fire and Time to the area. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Tressa Yellig about community supported kitchens, how she got her start and why people should be supporting the four CSK's that are in existence.

CSK defined

Yellig explains, the technical definition of community supported kitchen is, "a community scale model for food preparation" and that this is the only common link between the four community supported kitchens that exist in the United States today. As sole proprietor of Salt, Fire and Time, with a handful of volunteers, Yellig has her hands full cooking nutrient-rich food for 30+ families, teaching classes, and hosting events, not to mention the recent addition of a low-key cafe that is volunteer-run. The cafe offers a small selection of simple, traditionally-prepared foods that nourish. Think of a plate with dense bread and homemade butter, flavorful sauerkraut with texture and an egg made your way and you have the idea.

Yellig's influences, and how she got her start as a chef

Yellig credits her grandmother, who was a traditional German chef, as among her first culinary influences. Yellig claims that it was not a participatory process in the kitchen, as her grandmother maintained secrecy, and did not divulge trade-secrets, as family recipes were a prized possession. Yellig also credits her uncle, who was a farmer, as a significant influence.

Although Yellig acknowledges her family experience as playing a significant role in the development of her food philosophy, she also comments on the process of educating herself, acknowledging the Slow Foods movement and the Weston A. Price Foundation, as fundamental sources of information, and Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions cookbook.

In New York, Yellig complemented her self-education by working for herbalists and attending the Natural Gourmet Institute. Yellig explains that she had the desire to do work that was healing, and at one point, thought about becoming a naturopathic doctor before attending the Natural Gourmet Institute.

Although the Natural Gourmet Institute, in some ways, formalized her education as a chef, Yellig recognized that she really had already learned the fundamentals of cooking well before she attended this school, and credits her personal experiences, mentors and the learning that she did on her own, as being a substantial part of her education. The Natural Gourmet Institute provided her with some valuable contacts and the opportunity to intern at Three Stone Hearth and work with Natural Gourmet Institute alumni and mentor, Jessica Prentice.

In the trenches

From New York, Yellig headed west to do an internship with Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen in Berkley, California, and the first of its kind. Positively influenced by the Full Moon feast series, established by Jessica Prentice, Yellig was able to learn by watching and participating in a large scale operation that provided feasts for 50 to 100 people at a time. The labor was volunteer-based, and the business model supported 5 worker-owners full time. Yellig explained that the start-up money for this business was established with private donation-based funding and the great success of this business was in the excellent reputation of the worker-owners, and the community-based resources the chefs were able to access. According to Yellig, this cooperative was not only able to pay back $100,000 of borrowed money but able to pay themselves a salary within 1 year's time, which is incredible for any business in their first year.

From here, Yellig went on to do formal paid work as an Executive Chef in Mendocino, leaving her volunteer kitchen manager position with Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley. As Executive Chef for this restaurant, community-minded Yellig worked with local purveyors and farmers to create meals for the public. These connections in the community led her to become the manager of the local farmers market and to become better connected with the agricultural community.

All points head north

From California, Yellig witnessed the migration of great chefs as they ran to the promised land. As a smaller city, with an already thriving food scene, Portland became popular. Access to local food, was a public demand. In similar fashion, Yellig chose Portland to be the location of Salt, Fire and Time because of the already established community support, and existing scene that was largely supported by the public. Yellig also noted the lower cost of living and the lack of taxation as being incentives to move.

Existing Community Supported Kitchens

To sustain CSK's as a movement, the public will have to be involved. Yellig invites the consumer to participate in the "life cycle of the business" by supporting 1 of the 4 CSK's in existence, and to engage in a community movement. If you want to get to know know Salt, Fire and Time stop by the kitchen and make yourself known.

Check out a CSK near you:

Salt, Fire and Time (Portland, OR)

Sweet Deliverance (New York, NY)

Three Stone Hearth (Berkeley, CA)

Some reasons why you should support your local CSK

The food purchased through a CSK is often the best use for your "eating out" food dollars.

The food purchased through a CSK is nutrient-rich, meaning, you are getting your vitamins and minerals, without using a supplement.

The food purchased through a CSK is traditional, and good for what ails you. Just ask your Grandmother, who had the right idea by placing sauerkraut beside the sausage on your plate.

The food purchased through a CSK is local, seasonal, and organic, thus it supports regional agriculture, the systems of the body as well as your local community.

The food purchased through a CSK supports your own good health and that of your family.

The food purchased through a CSK saves you time, which benefits the working public.

The food purchased through a CSK saves you money. As businesses, CSK's benefit from wholesale discounts; a soup that would cost $34 dollars to make at home, only costs you $16 from a CSK. Your food dollars go into long term food costs, with better quality ingredients that would cost you 2x's as much in the store.

And last but not least, the food purchased through a CSK allows you the opportunity to support revolutionary changes that are occurring in regard to food culture. As a consumer, you are demanding a higher quality product, thus making other food providers stand up and take notice, and supply the same quality ingredients. The principles of supply and demand are simple: as a consumer, if you demand high quality health-supporting food, you will get it, and at a cheaper price, because of the competitive market we live in.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I don't like my food to come in plastic shrink-wrap or to be served on TV dinner-style trays. So, what's a girl in flight to do? Last November, I arrived at the airport prepared. I was scheduled for a flight to the east coast, and with a parcel of groceries in hand--I was committed. I was not going to be purchasing any small, over-priced meals that were potentially warmed in a microwave. In hand, I had: a jar of crunch peanut butter, several pieces of whole fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, raw hard cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and dried meat. I was so pleased with my selection of nutrient-rich foods that, in theory, was going to last me the entire flight.

My bubble was burst as my parcel of food was being scanned for potential explosives or liquid content. My unopened jar of peanut butter and cottage cheese were pulled from the bag immediately. The attendant said, "These are considered liquids, you will have to throw these away". I tried to argue that ground-peanuts are not considered a liquid, and that if the attendant would actually look at the cottage cheese in his hand, he would discover that it was actually a "dry-curd" cottage cheese (if such a thing actually exists). To my chagrin, my efforts to hold on to my food failed due to standard procedure.

A women looked at me skeptically as I tried to give her the unopened food, but it seemed shameful not to try. In the end, the best I could do was leave the unopened containers on the edge of a trashcan and board the plane hoping that the food would be eaten by someone.

This is one of the many reasons I do not enjoy flying. At the airport, personal freedom is restricted, and one's choices are limited. This interaction started me thinking about how I might be better-prepared with my own food for flight the next time I travel. If I view the restrictions in service and the limitations as a challenge it will be interesting to note what I can get away with bringing or making myself.

This is a partial list of reasons that I am not interested in eating airplane food to begin with:

  1.  it is expensive
  2.  the size is small
  3.  there is excessive packaging
  4.  the food is not fresh
  5.  the food is often microwaved (no thanks)
  6.  the food is of poor-quality (not organic, not sustainably-sourced, not sustainably-raised, etc.)
  7.  the food leaves me hungry (what's the point of eating, if you are still hungry in the end?)
  8.  the food tastes bad (who wants to buy food that tastes bad to begin with?)

Instead of eating airplane food, I've decided to commit to creating my own meals while on the plane with the nutrient-rich ingredients I bring myself. If you think picnic you have the idea. On this particular flight, and with the ingredients I had left, I was actually able to make a simple and yet tasty guacamole, that would have been considered a "liquid" had I mashed the avocado before boarding the plane. Not bad, for some of my food being spurned by airport attendants!

Guacamole recipe:

2 whole avocados
1/4 red onion
1/4 red pepper
a thin-skinned lemon
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

  1. Use the plastic fork or plastic knife that is provided by the airline to cut the avocado in half. Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado center. Mash the avocado content in the plastic water cup that is provided.
  2. Take out some cut onion and pepper pieces that you sliced the evening before, and mix them in with the avocado. 
  3. With a plastic knife, take a whole thin-skinned lemon and slice off a section (not as difficult as you may think), squeeze the desired amount of lemon juice into your guacamole. You can use the rest of the lemon to flavor your water. If you do not have a lemon on hand, you might ask one of the flight attendants if they have any lemon or lime, as these are often served with drinks (it is, at the very least, a whole food).
  4. Mix in the salt, pepper and cayenne you brought along. Your guacamole is ready to eat! 
  5. Enjoy alone or use as a dip for vegetables, tortillas, or anything else you brought to spread it on. I spread mine on some tortilla chips and added a little raw cheese!

As it stands, I will be leaving for the east coast in a few weeks, this time, I will be better-prepared and more creative with what I make. What else is there to do while on a plane for many hours?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make the Commitment, Transition to Eating Whole Foods in 2010

I will be teaching a class about the fundamentals of nutrition and transitioning to a whole foods way of eating this Saturday, January 23rd, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM at the Northwest Women's Fitness Club. The class is free for members and I believe it is only $15 for non-members to get a day pass. Call the front desk at 503.287.6755 to register for the class! Space is somewhat limited.

This is a small blurb about the class:

"A busy lifestyle doesn't have to lead to poor eating habits, weight gain and frustration. Instead of committing to a fad diet for the new year, commit to a new way of eating by learning about real food that supports the health of your body. This class will teach you the fundamentals of whole foods nutrition. Everyone is an individual. Learn more about what your body needs to feel better, look younger and have more energy for yourself and to share with others in 2010!"

Date: January 23rd

Time: 1:00 to 2:30

Location: Northwest Women's Fitness Club, 2714 NE Broadway St., Portland, OR

Amount: free for members, $15 for a day pass for non-members

Sunday, January 3, 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.


Common Ground Wellness Center

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

DATE: Tuesday, January 19th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60


Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or

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.


Common Ground Wellness Center

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

DATE: Date: Monday, February 15th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60


Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or

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.


Common Ground Wellness Center

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

DATE: Date: Monday, March 1st

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60


Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or

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.


Common Ground Wellness Center

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

DATE: Date: Tuesday, March 16th

TIME: 6:00-7:30

COST: $60


Traci Goodrich, NTP, 503.233.7064 or


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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.