Low-Carb Winter Veggies

Learn how to substitute starchy foods with satisfying low-carb veggies that pair well with hearty winter dishes

Ask The Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Spaghetti squashQ: I ate too many baked goods, breads, and potatoes during the holidays and ended up gaining 15 pounds! I am more successful at losing weight when I cut back on carbs, but it’s easier for me to do this in the summer (when I just naturally crave salads and raw veggies). It’s freezing here in the winter, and all I want to eat are warm, hearty meals. Can you suggest a few satisfying low-carb vegetables that I can put on my winter menu?  —Sue M., Minneapolis

A: No matter what time of year it is, the general idea of cutting carbs to lose weight should be to replace grain products and starchy vegetables with lower-carb, non-starchy vegetables. Here are a few of my favorite low-carb foods to use as ingredients in wintertime meals.


Light Bites

by Melissa Diane Smith

Have a healthy New Year’s nosh with these nutritious grain-free appetizers

Endive Boats StuffedAn appetizer is a perfect starter to a meal, but a combination of the right appetizers can make a meal in itself. Especially if your holidays were filled with more food than you wanted—and your pants feel a little tighter than they used to—light, easy-to-make hors d’oeuvres are a great way to start the New Year. Try these ideas for back-to-basics, naturally gluten-free, real-food light bites.


What You Should Know About Genetically Modified Salmon,
The “Fish” That No One Wants

By Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs

(Opinion) – In the week before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetically engineered animal—AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon—for sale in the United States. The decision, which enraged most consumers (myself included of course!), signals yet another example of how our government agencies continue to side with biotech companies over the wishes of the American people and make decisions that end up literally shoving risky, untested, unlabeled genetically modified foods down our throats whether we like it or not.

gmosalmonfight750The initial reaction to the FDA’s approval of the “fish” (which is actually regulated as a drug in order to expedite the approval process!) is disheartening and infuriating to anyone who cares about having pure, uncontaminated, health-enhancing food. Yet we as citizens and consumers need to know that the story about genetically modified (GM) salmon isn’t totally written yet.

For one thing, GM salmon won’t instantly be in stores; a tiny amount could reach supermarkets in two years or more. Another thing: the FDA’s decision has started to awaken more of what I call “a sleeping giant”—the vast majority of American consumers who weren’t paying much attention to the serious health and environmental issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our foods until they heard about GM salmon. Plus, fierce opposition—both legal and market-oriented—is mounting against GM salmon that could stop so-called frankenfish from reaching our plates.


Healthy Holidays the Paleo Way

Paleo vegetable stuffingAsk The Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

What you need to know to keep following the Paleo diet from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

Q: My husband and I have experienced amazing health transformations since we began eating a Paleolithic diet about six months ago. We have lost weight, have more energy and improved digestion, and have normalized our previously high blood sugar levels. We want to keep that good health going during the holidays, but we know there will be many temptations. Are there any tips you can give for going through the holidays the Paleo way?

– Amy T., Chicago, IL


The Paleo diet, often referred to as the “caveman diet,” advocates eating unprocessed foods that our ancestors would have eaten during the Paleolithic era – i.e., meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil – and on some versions of the diet, organic grass-fed butter – may also be included.

As you and your husband found out, eating Paleo food provides the body the foods it needs to thrive, stay healthy, and normalize weight. The key to continuing both the diet and the health benefits you’re experiencing is to plan ahead. Doing so is extra important during the holiday season when there are many more activities, food temptations, and social pressures than normal. It takes a little effort, but if you keep the following tips in mind, you can have healthy holidays the Paleo way:

A Nutritionist’s Take on GMOs:
Read My Recent 2-Part Interview

Nutritionist's Take on GMOsI was delighted recently when Ann Louise Gittleman, a fellow nutritionist who helped inspire me to go into the line of work I do about two decades ago, asked to interview me about my new book Going Against GMOs for her blog. She and I share the same passion and speak the same language of nutrition for optimal health, so I was able to go into much more depth about why people need to go beyond just avoiding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) than I normally do in most interviews!

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview she conducted with me at the following links:

The Scoop on GMOs, Part 1

How to Steer Clear of GMOs for Health, Part 2


Going Against GMOs a Special Price
at the Food Co-Op during October!

Book Special at Food Co-OpLive in southern Arizona? As a Non-GMO Month special – only during October – the Food Conspiracy Co-Op at 412 N. Fourth Avenue in Tucson is offering Going Against GMOs for the ultra-low price of $15.00!

Get your copy of the book at this price while supplies last!

Copyright 2015 Melissa Diane Smith

Special ‘Why and How to Boycott GMOs’ Talk Oct. 17th at Armory Park

Boycott GMOs eventby Melissa Diane Smith

Be sure to come to my special presentation, “Why and How to Boycott GMOs,” at Armory Park Senior Center, 220 South 5th Avenue, in Tucson this Saturday, October 17th. I, Melissa Diane Smith, will explain the top reasons why people want to say no to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), exactly how to boycott them when shopping for food, and other strategies for economic action and activism against GMOs.



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