The research I am doing for my graduate program is on plant foods and cancer- I am on cloud 8374378457 with all the EUREKA WHATT research that is out there!! Sulforaphane in broccoli, sweet potato protein, flavanols in cacao, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, the plant kingdom cures cancer!! Amazing! The best is to get organic and picked ripe because plants produce natural components called salvestrols to protect themselves from harm similarly to how the plant foods protect us. It. Is. Unbelievable. Potent cancer killers without harming the body, truly healing it. Mind, body, spirit, immunity, vitality, sustainability ❤ Eat the rainbow, reap the success, love, beauty, and happiness *starstruck*
Rainbow Citrus Zoodles
4 small zucchini, spiralized
2-3 medium carrots, spiralized
1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 purple cabbage leaves, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh scallion
a quarter sized chunk of ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini
Combine noodles in a large bowl
Blend sauce ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth
Drizzle over noodles, mix and devour with some people you love!
In a city of McDonalds, Whataburger, Wal-Mart, obesity and diabetes, a world saving beacon of health and sustainability opens; fully equipped with the highest quality produce/products, demonstration kitchen, vitamins/herbs/supplements, beauty products, books, and, it’s love!
Today, I had the opportunity to get a tour of the store with the Corpus Christi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics group lead by the wonderful dietitian there, Kelsey. I was extremely impressed by this tour. A grocery store tour to dietitians? Please, as if they could learn anything more, but we all did! Like how Kelsey pointed out that the hemp seeds, walnuts, and other unstable fats are kept in the refrigerated section (polyunsaturated fats become rancid very easily, creating free radicals, so they must be kept cool). I have learned this previously but I have never seen a grocery store actually put their nuts and seeds in the refrigerator!
Kristen gave us all a LONG list of things that Natural Grocers will NOT carry. Including ingredients that I am quite familiar with like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), bleached flours, parabens (mimic estrogen and cause reproductive disorders), dairy products from cows given rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), artificial sweeteners (all of them), and artificial colors and flavors, as well as so many that I have seen before but even I (a nutrition nerd grad student studying nutrition) have seen but no clue what they are!
Ingredients like DBP (dibutyl phthalate) which is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent that is a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin. Also, BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that have been shown to be carcinogenic and cause allergic reactions in humans. I could go on..This place doesn’t even carry chemical based sunscreens or antibacterial soaps! Amen!
A few more reasons why I’m in love with this place:
No bags, you have to bring your own! (or they use a cardboard box)
GF (gluten free) items are all marked clearly next to price on shelf
Local is emphasized and marked clearly with a Texas flag on shelf
Lots of cheap “Health Hotline” sale items
Bulk specialty items from mulberries and goji berries to raw buckwheat groats
WIDE variety of vegan items
Reverse osmosis water filter, only $0.25 to refill a gallon
Nutrition experts- these people know their stuff!
To reduce waste and cut cost of items: no deli/freshly prepared items (ever wonder where all the fresh baked goods from Whole Foods goes at the end of the day? Yup, in the trash #wasteful. !
No self serve bulk bins but still has large packages of items in bulk – reduces contamination and food waste
Huge wall of shelves with high quality nutritional reference and cookbooks
They even have cool events like this Saturday they have a gluten free tasting expo and health fair! Aw chocolate avocado pie food demo, and “How to live an alkaline lifestyle” is on Monday April 11th. Check out their website for more info on events.
A little bit about my internship…
I can’t believe it, I completed my food service and community rotations last semester and am now half way through my clinical rotation! Eeek! As a snob from the Boston area who works at a raw vegan cafe called “Organic Garden Cafe” back home, I was nervous that I wouldn’t get to learn new innovations of nutrition while working as an intern in a program that emphasizes the low income communities of South Texas.
I could not be more pleasantly surprised and excited about my feelings towards this internship right now. It brings me such joy and power to have worked with the people of this community. Diabetics who do not know what a carbohydrate is, teen mom’s going out for a cigarette, and people who are truly afraid to lose weight because they have (and their family and friends) have always been big, so if they lost weight, what would they think!? Many of these people do not want to change, and even if they did, where to even start? As my sister, the writer, put it, “You need to learn the script before you can re-write a new one.”
My clinical preceptor now, Shannon Aguilar, has helped me to not only be a much more confident clinical dietitian, but to take it a step further, too. It is one thing to study nutrition, it is quite another to actually care enough to reflect on our own lives and practice what we preach. My preceptor, Mrs. Aguilar, is more than a dietitian, she is also a health coach, and helped me to see how important it is to learn who our audience is before we try to help.
Seeing a grocery store like this open in Boston or Vermont would have been a, yawn. Another natural grocery? But, HERE! I get to see history in the making. These people having access to this kind of world saving expertise is dream come true for me.
There is something really cool about the idea of helping people who really need itANDwant it. I could talk coconut oil and kale to the organic junkies back home all day every day, but that doesn’t reverse our obesity epidemic now does it? I may have thought that my second round match was a mistake, but actually, it was the best eye-opening and invigorating experience. To be able to explain what a carbohydrate is to someone who has no clue? Check. Next: to reverse their disease through diet and lifestyle! No matter where I end up, I hope to make a positive impact and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all that I learn from the experience.
to working at the Organic Garden Cafe in Massachusetts:
to yoga on the edge of the North Shore:
To Paoli to Pcutie and Kyle gettin’ hitched!
to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky:
to Chi City climbin’ and eatin pizza and burgerz:
to lots of hope in Hope, Arkansas
Finally to my new home:
Doesn’t it look like paradise? Texas is another country! Palm trees and massive flat nothingness, random watermelon stands and banana trees.
Class began on Monday, July 6th. There was lots of review, but what I got out of it most was the negative vibe of what working in the hospital as a dietitian is like. The professor made it clear that a hospital is not where you can take the time to cure a person completely, it is where you get them well enough quick enough to leave as soon as possible. It was made clear that the hospital food is awful, and that no matter what condition a person has, whether cancer or colitis, they all have to get the same hospital food, just modified in different ways. He also made it clear that it is all corruption because the longer kidney patients need to go to a dialysis center like Devita, the more money Devita will make.
Bottom line: Hospitals are a business, and sick people make that business happen.
I could feel the frustration spewing from my grad professor with every detail he said about his experiences. You just don’t have enough time to talk to all of the patients. So sad.
I was personally most frustrated to hear that a lot of patients think the food sucks so they won’t eat. Not only do they think the food sucks, but the food isn’t being prepared by dietitians, it is being prepared by average Joe’s who don’t really know what the different patients need.
Maybe in the future, they will have Raw Vegan Chef, RD’s working in the hospital kitchens 🙂
For now, I am so excited to make a difference in the Kingsville/ Corpus Christi area, and it is fun making new friends and adventuring to new places.