We had a great event on Monday night in the Casino Ballroom. Five extremely knowledgeable women spoke about nutrition with very different approaches. Nutrition is one of my passions and one of the reasons is because nutrition is not one size fits all. This panel proved that; we had registered dietitians, nutritionists, health coaches, vegans, and meat eaters for example. Here is the best wrap up I could give for those not there, the information was too good not to share with all of you.
The first speaker was Debra Dobies, RD. She has an extensive background in the field of nutrition and very valuable information to share.
She spoke about how to grocery shop to eat healthy. She recommends 3 things when grocery shopping.
1. Bring a list and stick to it
2. Don’t go food shopping hungry
3. Shop the perimeter of the store
The healthiest foods are found not in the center aisles, but around the outside of the store. If you think about the set up of a grocery store, think about what you find in those middle aisles, not really anything your body needs. (and no your body does not NEED oreos or cheetos)
She also spoke about the importance of knowing what is on your food when you buy it concerning produce. The grocery store has no seasons, you can buy kiwi and strawberries year round which was unheard of years ago. When we import a lot of produce from other countries, it is important to realize that those countries have their own regulations when it comes to pesticides. For example, Chili still allows pesticides to be used that we banned in the USA. Debra recommends buying local when possible, buying organic for the produce on the dirty dozen list(posted below), and buy frozen because you know you are getting more nutrients then something that has been picked and traveled thousands of miles.
Kim Belanger spoke next about her work in teaching people how to eat, particularly when it comes to portion sizes. She had great hand outs that sum up her talk that I will post below. She had examples of portion sizes for the different kinds of foods we eat. You would truly be shocked to realize how small the appropriate portion size is. She also mentioned eating the least processed foods- you can tell this by checking the ingredients list. When a food is highly processed it will have a ton of ingredients, as well as many foods you can not pronounce. Stick with ingredient lists of no more than 5 foods and only words that you can pronounce. She stressed the importance of bringing awareness to what we are eating.
Sarah Lockenmeyer spoke next about being a vegan, but she likes to calls herself one who eats a plant based diet. Sarah has been eating this way since the age of 16 and appropriately wore a shirt that said, “Eat Kale, Not Cow.” Eating a plant based diet is something Sarah is clearly passionate about. She spoke about how cancer can not grow in an alkaline environment which is the PH your body’s blood will have eating mostly plants vs. more animal products. Sarah also has a great philosophy for those new to being a vegan– crowd new foods in, while crowding old foods out. It is important to realize that your body is an amazing machine that forms to what you feed it. If you feed it dirt, your body will figure out a way to make it work. When you eat animal products, your insides are actually different than when you eat a plant based diet. You body can not make this transition over night, so one must gradually change to this eating lifestyle.
Kathryne Ellis spoke next and I must be honest and say that Kathryne’s view on food closely matched my own. Kathrynne’s talk was really about asking YOURSELF what is best for YOUR body? Don’t worry about eating for a trend or what someone else eats. If you aren’t feeling well try reflecting on your diet. If you feel great, pay attention to what you are eating and keep going. If you are tired, suffer from digestive issues, or headaches frequently, don’t underestimate the importance of your diet and making food work the best it can for your body. Kathryne will be joining GCU again in the spring time, Jan. 31st at 5:30 to give a talk on weight loss and healthy eating.
Last, Sachiko Komagata spoke about nutrition in her life. Being born in Japan, Sachiko grew up eating a traditional Japanese diet. When she came to America, she noticed how sweet the food was here compared to her home land of Japan. She also noticed how other people who come from other countries healthy, then become sick after they live here for a while. She realized there had to be something about what she was doing in Japan so she is lucky to have care packages sent of different foods native to Japan like seaweed and shiitake mushrooms. She recommends looking in Asian Markets for the foods she brought in as samples. Sachiko’s talk brought up an interesting idea that I am currently learning more about for my research project, which is the idea that we should eat foods that are similar to those of our ancestors. The theory is we all have digestive enzymes to digest foods from where we are from easier than others.
Below are the hand outs given out by Kim and Debra. They are not the best quality since some of the information was cut off in the scanner. If you are interested in getting one of the hand outs, I would recommend reaching out to Sachiko Komagata who can then put you in touch with the appropriate person.
If you have any questions or are interested in speaking with any of the presenters, please leave your comments below and we can do our best to make that happen.