kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

As a nutritionist, I never ask a client to go on a diet. I don’t think diets work. I don’t assume that an eating plan that your neighbor follows is going to provide the same results for you.

I believe teaching people how to choose nutritious foods and how to eat consciously allows for better digestion and assimilation of nutrients. An aim of this blog is to teach how chemicals, additives, processing, packaging, and preparation of much of the foods available on the market has contributed to obesity and diminished health. I hope to teach you how to choose food that works for you and your family by guiding you to the best options.

Genetics, biochemistry, psychology, physiology, age, and sensitivities all influence one’s optimal choices for food. Learning what your body needs is the best diet for you.

We all want to feel strong and healthy. When you eat poor quality food, you dip into the nutrient reserves in your bones, soft tissues, organs, glands, skin and hair. An unhealthy appearance is often followed by fatigue, pain and mood swings.

As a nutritionist, rather than treating disease solely with medical procedures and pharmaceuticals, I know because I read the research that whole foods, botanicals, nutrient supplementation, lifestyle, and attitude is a prescription for both containing medical costs and improving health outcomes.

Because every bite of what we eat, and each sip of what we drink, becomes the matrix of our cells, tissues, organs, mind and body, it stands to reason that improving what goes into our bodies can vastly improve health and reduce chronic illness. Food also influences how our genes express themselves. Faulty food can lead to faulty gene expression.

I think selecting a diet plan that is sustainable long-term and figuring out what food preparation methods work for you, is the best diet for you and only you.  Consistently eating well teaches people what foods best nourish and sustain them during stressful times. Eat and pay attention to how you feel.

So, how to start? First, ditch the current popular dietary trends. All of them can play an important role in health promotion and much of what I say embraces many of the concepts, but I like a more flexible, non-dogmatic approach. There isn’t quick or lasting weight-loss if a diet is denying you foods you crave. Sometimes when you start a diet and you are eating fewer refined and processed foods, you have some good immediate results. But, then you hit a wall, and the tendency is to stay with the rigid, reductionist approach until you grab something “because it was there”  or give into a blood sugar swing that overrides your best intentions. And, then you feel badly about yourself. You beat yourself up for the slip and staying on the diet seems pointless or even impossible.

I have been writing about sugars, refined grain products, conventional dairy and meat products, artificial sweeteners, and hydrogenated oils in our country’s overly processed, nutrient-depleted, industrially produced food supply. These are the foods that are formulated in laboratories to overstimulate our taste buds and literally addict us to processed food flavors and textures. This is why you are probably less interested in the crunch of a carrot or the juice of a fresh mango. As you begin your non-dieting journey, think organic, local, seasonal, and unprocessed when you enter the grocery store.

Go first to the greens and stock up. I want you to eat piles of greens. Continue to eat the foods that satisfy you but at the same time eat 6-8 cups of greens a day. (Check out Food of the Week on 5/1, 5/15, and 8/7) Put greens in smoothies, eat salads with every meal. Eat spinach, Swiss chard, romaine, arugula, bunches of basil, mixed spring greens… Review the posts on proteins (3/27, 4/24, 7/10), carbs (4/3, 5/8) and fats (4/17, 7/3)  to be reminded of how fresh foods can replenish the reserves that have been drained away by poor quality foods.

After you have added greens for a couple of weeks, notice how you feel. How does your skin look? How is your energy? Which “comfort foods” no longer hold their appeal? What does your body crave?

  • Slow down and allow yourself to find joy in learning what works for you.
  • Nutrition is a science but cooking is an art that everyone can master.
  • Open your mind and senses to receiving new information, trying new foods, new tastes, and new cultural influences.
  • The only diet that is correct for you, or anyone, is the one that you have tested out over time that is based on seasonal, organic, unprocessed, and local foods. Don’t jump on the fad diet bandwagon.
  • Being in conflict over what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, and with whom to eat may be a greater problem than what to eat. This distress sends a major stress message to your nervous system and inhibits your digestive response.
  • Eat in peace and eat enough to be comfortable, but not stuffed. Know that you can and will eat again later, so each meal is not the last supper.

Celery

Crispy, crunchy celery has a number of health benefits and only 10 calories per stalk.

Antioxidants protect cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage. Celery contains vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids, but there are at least 12 additional kinds of antioxidant nutrients found in a single stalk. Celery is also a source of phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, cells, blood vessels, and organs.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to many illnesses, including arthritis and osteoporosis. Celery and celery seeds have approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds that can offer protection against inflammation.

While its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients offer protection to the entire digestive tract, celery offers special benefits to the stomach. Pectin-based polysaccharides in celery, including a compound known as apiuman, have been shown to decrease instances of stomach ulcers, improve the lining of the stomach, and modulate stomach secretions in animal studies.

Celery is mostly water (95%) and has generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. One cup of celery sticks has 5 grams of dietary fiber.

Vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like potassium and folate are in celery and it is low in sodium. Celery is low on the glycemic index, meaning it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar.

With minerals like magnesium, iron, and sodium, celery can have a neutralizing effect on acidic foods.

How to Buy

Look for celery that has sturdy, upright stalks. They should snap easily when you pull them, not bend.

Leaves should be crisp and fresh, ranging in color from pale to bright green. Avoid celery with yellow or brown patches.

How to Store

Eat fresh celery within five to seven days to enjoy its maximum nutritional benefits.

  1. Wrap the celery tightly in aluminum foil. Celery often goes bad fast because it releases ethylene, a ripening hormone.
  2. Re-wrap your celery after each use. After using celery for a meal, be sure to re-wrap it in aluminum foil.
  3. Store the celery in your refrigerator.

How to Cook

Chop celery just before cooking or serving to maintain nutrients.

Celery is a versatile veggie. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it makes a great addition to smoothies, stir-fries, soups, and juices. Celery can also be steamed or baked.

From Bon Appétite

  • 1 medium celery root
  • 10 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, packed
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Peel and halve celery root, then use a mandolin to thinly slice one half. Cut the other half into matchsticks. Combine celery root with celery stalks, shallot, lemon zest, and horseradish.

Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over vegetables, then top with celery leaves and parley, tossing to combine.

Ants on a Log

  • Celery sticks
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Raisins or dried currants

Fill the hollow side of the celery with nut or seed butter and sprinkle with raisins.

 

The Serious Smoothie

Linda Soper-Kolton, Compassionate Cuisine

48-50 ounces

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale or chard, about 9 leaves
1 cup water
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1 package frozen strawberries
1/3 cup walnuts
2 carrots, chopped in one inch chunks
2 celery stalks, chopped in chunks
1-2 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
6 ice cubes or more

Instructions

A high-powered blender is recommended. If you do not have one, make sure you chopped all the ingredients in small pieces before you blend. Pour one cup of water in the blender. Add a few green leaves at a time, processing until incorporated and smooth. Continue to add all the kale or chard leaves. Add each ingredients, one at a time (except the vinegar and ice) until all are incorporate. Turn speed to high and blend until smooth. Add the vinegar, 1 Tablespoon at a time to taste. Next add in ice, if desired to chill and dilute.

Not all smoothies are the same. While smoothies give the impression of something that is healthy, just like reading label packages we need to know what goes into blended concoctions. Some are loaded down with sugar and sugary fruit juice. I prefer you use whole foods, no sugar, no juice.  Sip the smoothie slowly, holding the sip in your mouth before swallowing to allow the digestive juices to flow. It can take a long time to drink or eat this smoothie and the energy from it will last even longer. The Balsamic Vinegar (the salad dressing) brings a combination of sweet and tart flavors.

Resources

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Soare, A., Khazrai, Y.M., Del Toro, R., Roncella, E., Fontana, L., Fallucca, S.,...Pozzilli, P. (2014, Aug 25). Nutr Metab (Lond), 11:39. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-11-39
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https://books.google.com/books?id=AdwG0jCJYcUC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=The+Green+Pharmacy+celery&source=bl&ots=fGDfDQ87iD&sig=3KukBDBCVshkRR5QOwnGE7bsLBY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGxb78yezKAhUO92MKHY0xD3cQ6AEILjAD#v=onepage&q=The%20Green%20Pharmacy%20celery&f=fal
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