Your Prescription is Ready…It’s Cauliflower

The phrase “food is medicine” gets thrown around a lot. In many cases, it’s true. In fact, it’s the best kind of medicine; the kind that keeps you from getting ill in the first place. Our healthcare system tends to be reactive rather than proactive. We address problems once they occur, often not spending enough time looking at how to keep those first dominos that lead to chronic illness from falling. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, about half of all combined deaths from heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are due to poor diet. That’s around 1,000 deaths per day in the United States. 1,000 preventable deaths from 1,000 preventable diseases. We often tr

Food Deprivation and Behavior

We’ve discussed Ancel Keys on this blog before (see April 24th’s post on the Seven Countries Study). Keys studied a variety of topics throughout his career in science, but one of his earliest contributions related to how starvation affects not only our bodies, but our brains and our behavior. After World War II, captured prisoners of war began returning to the United States as well as countries throughout Europe. As a consequence of their imprisonment, many were severely malnourished. It was observed that many of these individuals became critically ill when returned to a normal diet immediately upon re-entering society. We now know this to be a result of “re-feeding syndrome”, a potentially

Chickens in Prison

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, one of the most interesting (and effective) ways to understand nutrition is looking at the history of the field. Several nutrients have origin stories worth sharing. Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is another example of this. In the 1800’s, a serious condition called “beriberi” devastated certain populations in Southeast Asia. Symptoms included weight loss, impaired motor function, heart problems, mood disturbances, edema, poor appetite, and, eventually, death. Germ theory, the understanding that bacteria could cause disease in humans, was discovered in the 1800’s. This led many scientists of the time to believe that the cause of beriberi was infecti

RCW Cooking Class Recipes

I've gotten a great deal of interest in our new cooking group series, "Cooking with Confidence". Many who aren't able to attend are interested in the recipes we will be preparing. Please see below for the recipes we will be preparing in our first RCW cooking class on May 22nd, and feel free to try these at home for yourself and your family! QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS – recipe provided by YIELD: 6 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES INGREDIENTS: 3 cups cooked quinoa 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles 1 cup corn kernels 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese 1/4 cup cr

Dietitians Eat Pizza

It’s happened to me so many times in so many situations. I’m sitting with a group of people, sometimes people I know well and sometimes people I’ve just met. However these people know me in these settings, they know I’m a dietitian. As with most social gatherings, food is part of it. It might be a meal at a banquet, a wedding, or out at a restaurant. Maybe it’s ordering pizza with friends. Just as we start to eat, someone says something to me along these lines: “I normally don’t eat like this, I know I shouldn’t be eating pizza.” They apologize to me for eating. I think the biggest misconception about dietitians is that we are somehow anti-food. Because our profession is inescapably tied to

Lessons from “The Blue Zones”

Why do some groups of people live longer than others? What common themes are there amongst people who continue to thrive as they reach old age, possibly even to age 100? In 2008, a book called The Blue Zones attempted to answer these questions. National Geographic writer Dan Buettner identified five regions across the world where there were a disproportionate number of “centenarians”, or people who lived to or past age 100. These regions included specific areas in Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, and California. In some instances the research focused on small villages that were “hot spots” of longevity, such as mountain villages in Sardinia, Italy. A group of Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma

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