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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‘Going Against the Grain for Health’ Presentation Sept. 20th at New
Natural Grocers in Tucson

NaturalGrocers-0920-memeby Melissa Diane Smith

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.

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Healthy Gluten-Free Kids’ Lunches

If your kids need to avoid gluten, don’t despair!  Here are 15 nutritionist-approved gluten-free lunch box ideas they’ll love (and adults will too!)

Gluten Free Recipes for Kids - Lunch Ideas

Ask The Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: I have a 10-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with celiac disease earlier this year, and a 6-year-old son who has experienced dramatic improvements in behavior problems (diagnosed as ADHD) since I put him on a gluten-free diet a year ago. I know how to put gluten-free meat on some gluten-free bread, but I’d like to transition my kids off of these processed products. Can you offer any suggestions? —Ann L., Las Vegas

A: Making healthy, gluten-free school lunches that your kids will like is completely possible. You just need to get creative by filling the lunch boxes with at least a few different, colorful, easy-to-eat foods. Include some protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and fruit. Prepare the boxes to look as tempting as possible, cut vegetables in interesting shapes, and pack them with gluten-free dips. (Studies have found that children are more likely to eat their vegetables with a dip.)

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Think Outside the Sandwich Bread

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against the Grain

Saying goodbye to bread doesn’t have to mean giving up sandwiches.

Q: I maintain my weight and feel best when I avoid gluten and all grains. I don’t miss the taste of bread, but I do miss the convenience of making sandwiches for quick lunches, especially on hot summer days. Are there any grain-free substitutes that could help me fix easy-to-make “sandwiches”?

—Tamara R., Sacramento, Calif.

A: The short answer is: Yes! If you bake, try making grain-free tortillas or sliceable bread out of almond flour, ground flaxseeds, and/or coconut flour. If you don’t bake—or if you want a quicker alternative—think outside the box and get creative by using vegetables or fruit as alternatives for wraps and buns. These seven produce-based ideas can help you get started.

collard-green-wrap1. Lettuce wraps. For convenience and versatility, nothing beats using large lettuce leaves, such as romaine or Bibb, as tortilla or bread substitutes. Wrap burgers with them, or make BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) “sandwiches,” taco lettuce wraps, fajita wraps, tuna salad wraps, or lettuce cups with Asian-based fillings.

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Let Go of ‘Milk for Strong Bones’

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Give dairy a pass and focus on lesser-known food strategies for bone health

Q: I eat and drink a lot of milk products mostly because I want to be sure I get enough calcium for healthy bones. Unfortunately, I have asthma and a lot of digestive distress, and I’ve been wondering whether dairy is part of the problem. If I find I’m reacting to dairy products and feel better not eating them, how can I get enough calcium to protect my bone health? —Janet K., Toledo, Ohio

Food Strategies for Strong BonesA: The idea that we have to consume a lot of cow’s milk for strong bones is deeply ingrained in our society, but it’s based mostly on a successful PR strategy by the dairy industry rather than scientific fact. Believe it or not, anthropologists know that people in hunter-gatherer societies who didn’t consume milk had much stronger, healthier bones than people from agrarian societies who did.

It’s true that milk is high in calcium, and 99 percent of the calcium found in the average adult body resides in our bones. But the long-held belief that we need plenty of calcium to prevent osteoporosis—a disease characterized by porous and fragile bones—isn’t as accurate as you’d think. Numerous studies have found no association between high calcium intake and lower fracture risk.

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Going Against the Grain Named to a Top 12 List for Holistic Nutrition Books

GATG on ChalkboardmagThe Chalkboard Mag just named my Going Against the Grain book to its list of its 12 favorite holistic nutrition books to include in your wellness library of reliable resources. “These are your classics, your forever reference bibles and tried-and-tested holistic essentials,” the magazine writes.

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