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.
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
Gluten- and GMO-free food guide for baking
Ask the Nutritionist
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.
There was a full house for the non-GMO “Say No to Monsanto” dinner at The Tasteful Kitchen on December 14, 2016. Make sure not to miss the next non-GMO dinner at Harvest Restaurant, 5605 E. River Road, on Tuesday, December 27, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. See the Facebook page about the event.
The 3-course, non-GMO, Pre-New Year Pure Food Dinner that occurred at Harvest four years ago was the most popular non-GMO dinner ever. This Pre-New Year Pure Food Dinner at Harvest is bound to be equally popular. So, act quickly: Check out the two dinner options below. Both options are non-GMO and gluten-free/grain-free.
Call 520-529-7180, give your name and which option you’d like, and reserve your spot while seats are still available.
I am delighted to be a featured speaker during the Grand Opening of the new Natural Grocers natural food supermarket at 5600 E. River Road in Tucson this month.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 6 p.m., I will present “Going Against the Grain for Health: How to Make Food Your Best Medicine.” In this presentation, I’ll cover the health troubles caused by refined grains, whole grains, gluten grains, and genetically modified ingredients hidden in grain-based foods, and explain how to use this information to lose unwanted weight, reverse disease processes, and revitalize health. I’ll also give my answers to common questions I receive, such as “was wheat always not good for us, or has it become worse for our health in recent years?” and answer any other questions that you have.