Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthy Eating Principles

Hello All . . . I have just returned from another leg of my book tour for my latest book, "Raw Energy". Last week, I was in Providence & Cranston, Rhode Island at the Whole Foods Markets doing raw food demonstrations and giving talks about the benefits of raw foods. Both events were "sold out" and I was thrilled that so many wanted to discuss nutrient-dense foods and raw foods, in particular.

Whole Foods Market has a wonderful brochure they are now passing around to consumers encouraging a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, education, and support. The brochure is titled "Health Starts Here . . . Get Started Today" and it includes this real nifty pull-out card that lists the "Aggregate Nutrient Density Index" or ANDI for top 10 foods by departments such as "Produce", "Fruit", "Beans", "Nuts & Seeds", "Whole Grains", "Meat", "Fish", "Cheese", and "Refrigerated Dairy Case". An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1,000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including, but not limited to: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidant capacities. Being the "foodie" that I am (even with a degree in nutrition), I found some of the food rankings to be real eye-openers. The "Green Vegetables" category listed under "Produce" ranks the absolute highest in nutrient density. I've always been a big proponent of eating lots of greens and consuming daily green drinks such as wheatgrass, barleygrass, spirulina, and chlorella. I knew, deep down inside, that greens were fabulous for you!

I encourage those of you who live near a Whole Foods Market to pick up one of these brochures and read it thoroughly - absorbing the information.

Below, I will quote the brochure's "Healthy Eating Principles" section. Some of it you've read before or heard in the media, but it stands to be re-iterated. What you eat becomes your beauty, energy, long-term youthfulness, and total body health! Never forget that!

"Whole Foods Market - Healthy Eating Principles"

At Whole Foods Market, we believe that focusing on these 4 criteria offers the greatest health benefits, no matter what dietary path you follow.

- Emphasize fresh vegetables, both raw and cooked; fruits; legumes/beans; nuts; seeds; and whole grains.
- Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you're getting the best nutrients for your body, which leads to feeling satiated.

- Choose foods that are real, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal, and unprocessed.
- Eliminate the consumption of refined, highly processed foods and foods void of nutrients, such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.

Low Fat
- Get your healthy fats from plant sources, such as nuts and avocados.
- Minimize extracted oils and processed fats.
- Reduce or eliminate consumption of animal products; choose leaner meats and seafood, and low-fat dairy.

Nutrient Dense
- Choose foods that are rich in nutrients when compared to their total caloric content; also known as foods with a high nutrient density.
- Build your menus around plant-based foods to ensure highly nutrient-dense meals.
- Choose foods with a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Look for the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) scoring system to guide you on healthier choices.

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles and was adapted from the Whole Foods Market brochure, "Health Starts Here - Get Started Today", copyright 2010 Whole Foods Market, IP, L.P. It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Raw Food Snacks Under 200 Calories

Hello Everyone . . . I've just returned from a long book tour on the California coast - for my new book "Raw Energy" - in which I gave many talks and raw food demonstrations at several independent book stores such as Warwick's in La Jolla and Copperfield's in Sebastopol. I also did a live television bit for San Diego Living and an internet video for My visit to the Real Goods store in Hopland allowed me to travel through wine country - which was extraordinarily green. Apparently, California has had quite a bit of rain thus the countryside looked more like the emerald hills of Ireland rather than the normally golden hills of California.

I have to recommend one restaurant, in particular, to those of you visiting San Diego . . . "Miguel's" in Point Loma. If it's a nice day, make sure to ask for a table on the second floor open-air porch! Miguel's offers true Mexican fare at its finest! If you enjoy shrimp ceviche, theirs is spectacular . . . delicate raw shrimp marinated in fresh lime juice and green chili sauce . . . superb - as is their taco salad.

The topic today is raw food snacks. To prevent weight gain and keep energy up and your mood and blood sugar stable, aim for two or three 150- to 250- calorie snacks per day, depending on your activity level. Here are some delicious energy bites and drinks all under 200 calories - they're all nutrient-dense and filling, plus there's no need to worry about consuming unhealthy fats or refined ingredients!

1. 2 small celery ribs, each stuffed with 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
2. 1 small apple and 1/4 cup raisins or currants
3. 10 to 15 raw almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans
4. small plate of carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, celery sticks, radishes, and cucumber slices with
1/3 cup guacamole dip
5. 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries or berries drizzled with raw honey
6. 1 cup freshly made raw almond milk and 1 large dried fig
7. quick banana smoothie: 1/2 frozen banana blended with 1 cup fresh, raw almond milk and
dash of cinnamon or nutmeg powder
8. small handful of unsulfured, dried fruit: cherries, apples, apricots, pineapple, or mangoes
9. 8-ounce glass of fresh carrot or apple-ginger juice - put your juicer to work for your health!
10. 1/4 cup of your favorite raw trail mix
11. 2 or 3 small fresh fruit kabobs
12. half an avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of sea salt & dried basil
13. 2 cups freshly made gazpacho
14. 1 tablespoon raw tahini (sesame seed butter) or raw almond butter and 1 tablespoon raw
honey swirled together

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, herbalist, nutritionist, author, and raw foods enthusiast. It was adapted from her latest book, Raw Energy, (Storey Publishing, 2009). The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.