Renew Your Health: Take Advantage of Nutrition Counseling Summer Special!

by Melissa Diane Smith

Would you like to revise your diet to use food as medicine to alleviate a chronic condition, to reverse many risk factors for heart disease, or to help you trim up so you can fit into your favorite swimsuit?

Maybe you need a pep talk to get back on track with your diet after you ate foods on your vacation that set your health back?

Or would you like to learn the tricks of the trade of how to take genetically modified foods out of what you eat? Or how to avoid gluten, grains, or sugar? Or how you can balance a few different types of therapeutic diets in the best way for you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, now is the best time to consider hiring me for personal nutrition advice to help you meet your health goals. I love counseling with clients and providing them with personalized nutrition advice to improve their health and life, and the beginning of summer is considered a sacred time and often the perfect time to set new goals and get off to a fresh start. That’s why I thought now was the ideal time to launch a 20% discount ($140 instead of the normal price of $175) on my Get Started Combo (an Initial Phone Consultation and a Follow-Up for new clients) this summer. This is a limited-time only deal. Make sure to take advantage of it. The Summer Special will run through August 31, 2018.

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Going Primal for Valentine’s Day

Use simple whole-food ingredients to prepare a low-fuss romantic meal for two

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: My wife and I both follow a Paleo/Primal and we’re both very busy. We don’t eat out that often because we have trouble finding restaurants that serve hunter-gatherer-type meals. I’d like to surprise my wife this Valentine’s Day by serving a tasty Primal dinner at home. Have any suggestions on easy foods to make that we’d both enjoy? —Mike S., San Diego

A: How thoughtful of you! Your wife is going to love your surprise! Among the many great things about the Paleo/Primal Diet is that it’s easy to use a handful of quality, whole-food ingredients to prepare a decadent, gourmet-tasting dinner with little fuss. Grains and legumes take a lot of time to cook. By cutting out these ingredients, you can really cut down on the prep time.Just think about your wife’s preferences, and decide on red meat, poultry, or seafood. Then add some tastily prepared vegetables and a yummy, easy-to-fix dessert.

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Did You Know?

The Paleo and Primal eating plans both avoid grains and legumes, which drastically cuts down prep time.

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Pumpkin Dream Bars

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against the Grain and and Going Against GMOs


Looking for a healthier alternative to traditional pumpkin pie? Try these Pumpkin Dream Bars. They’re a dream because they are easy to make; they contain no flour or grains; and they have a decadent, light, and moist texture. Both the bars and the whipped coconut cream come out well using a variety of sweeteners.


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Mashed Low-Carb Root Vegetables

Raw fennel has a light smell and flavor of licorice, but roasting the bulbs takes away the licorice taste and brings out a mild, savory one. By puréeing roasted fennel bulbs with roasted garlic, butter, unsweetened almond milk, and boiled celeriac (celery root), you get the creamy texture of mashed potatoes, but with a third of the carbs!

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Against-the-Grain, Low-Carb Holidays

How to be carb-smart and enjoy the season without the weight gain using these low carb holiday recipes and tips

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: Somehow, every holiday season, I end up getting sick with some kind of bug, feeling uncomfortably full, and gaining extra pounds. Can you offer any nutritional advice for getting through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s feeling healthy and without gaining unwanted pounds? —Ellen S., Portland, Ore.

A:   As enjoyable as the holiday season can be, it’s also the time of year when we encounter sugar- and carb-laden sweets, beverages, baked goods, and side dishes at every turn. Sugar is an immune suppressor. The more of it we eat, the more apt we are to get sick. And overloading on any type of carbs—not just sweets, but also bread, stuffing, and mashed potatoes—can stimulate our appetite and make us feel bloated and gain weight.

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Grain-Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies

by Melissa Diane Smith

This simple, delicious, non-GMO recipe for pecan shortbread cookies combines organic butter with naturally GMO-free almond flour, maple syrup, and pecans.

Grain-Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Originally printed in the October 2016 issue of Better Nutrition magazine.

Non-GMO Foods for Baking

Gluten- and GMO-free food guide for baking

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: I avoid sweets most of the year, but like to bake occasional treats for my family during the holidays. I eat gluten-free but I also want to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to protect both my health and the environment. I recently noticed that some gluten-free flours contain common sources of GMOs. Can you provide a rundown on ingredients that are both gluten-free and non GMO foods that I can use in baking? —Beth W., Kansas City, Kan.

A: As you mentioned, many gluten-free baking mixes contain ingredients that are derived from common genetically modified foods such as corn, soy, and sugar beets—cornstarch, cornmeal, soy flour, sugar, fructose, xanthan gum, and others.

While you can find Non-GMO Project Verified versions of gluten-free flour blends, I recommend avoiding them altogether—even if they’re non-GMO—because gluten-free flours such as cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato flour raise blood sugar levels very high, which sets people up for blood sugar- and insulin-related health conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more.

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