History in the Making: Dietitians of South Texas Tour Their New 100% Organic Grocery Store

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!

natural grocers
Natural Grocers 100% Organic Grocery Opens March 15, 2016

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!

20160331_180626
The sign above us says, “100% organic produce,” yes, I am the obnoxious intern that made everybody get in front of the produce section and asked the cashier to take our picture 🙂

The Tour~

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 (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 it AND want 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.

Confessions of a Vegan Girly Girl

As a sorority sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a 3 year Jergans tanning lotion junkie, bashful bra stuffer, and $$$ spender of all things high heels, chiffon, and trendy, I have had a pretty crazy change of priorities.

beautiful

No matter how many products you use or what your skin feels like right now, I hope you know how beautiful and incredible you truly are.  We don’t give ourselves enough credit.  May your opinion of yourself be the highest of all your opinions.  Your truest, best version of yourself is always better than a sub-par replica of someone else.

beyoutiful

You bring something unique that this planet needs.  Embrace everyday to it’s fullest potential, and show the world what you’re made of.  Perceptions from others will always change, but your perception of yourself won’t- and you will be living with yourself for a very long time.

clothedinstrength

   You are not discount material, so treat yourself right, you expensive piece of heaven you!! Let your hair down ladies, let’s see you shine ❤

happy girls are the prettiest

1. Shower Minimally

In trying to meet my vitamin D needs in the dead of winter, it is essential that I keep as many oils on my skin as possible.  When I do shower- it’s always under 10 minutes and never too hot.  Hot water really dries out my skin and strips my oils.  It’s funny- I never shower, but I really don’t smell.  Working out at the gym, sweaty people walk by and you either smell this intense urea / ammonia BO (caused from excess amino acids leaching out through the skin, causing intense body odor- sounds bogus but so true- study ammonia pathways and how it is excreted!) or you smell the strong deodorants, which have been shown in many studies and articles to contain that ammonium stuff that may be a very preventable cause of breast cancer.  In staying hydrated and eating a mindful, delicious, high carbohydrate diet, my skin naturally seems softer and I find myself sweating out the grapefruits and oranges I ate for breakfast 😀 yumm.. citrus!

2. Toss The Deodorant

Haha, hippie freak much?  Yes, and proud of it.  Like I said, deodorant = disease.  I am happy to admit I do use a natural deodorant that the compassionateclimber made.  I just put it in an old BAN deodorant container and use it just the same.  I’m not sure of the recipe he used, but this recipe from wellnessmama looks good:

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. UPDATE: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…

2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (If you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda)

3. Mix well

4. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. 5. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.

6. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use, though it may melt in the summer!

This recipe from crunchybetty also looks good, and easier too.

 3. Cut Back On The Hair Care

I used to have an itchy dry scalp.  Washing my hair less (I wash my hair 2-3 times a week), keeping the natural oils, helps a lot.  Of course I still workout and get sweaty- can’t tell.  In fact, my bestie Caroline curled my hair on Friday, it’s Monday night, and I got compliments on my beautiful curly hair all day long!  WTF hahaha.  Gotta love minimal living.  Caroline’s like you’re hair’s still curled?!  My friend Elizabeth is like, “It looks so good!!”  Yup. Not washing it.  Not to mention the more I wash and straighten/ curl my hair the more dead and drab it becomes with more and more dead ends, which means more frequent trims, which means more $$$ flying out of my poor college student pocket!  Kale no!

4. Makeup is Unnecessary

Sigh I’ll admit.  I still like to wear make-up.  It’s a practice I’m working on though.  I only wear it a few days a week, like definitely on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s when I teach (because my classes are events and should be treated as such) Or when I need to look super professional.  I have noticed it is kind of unnecessary though.  Like I used to rely heavily on the foundation to cover up redness or bumpiness.  My skin is really pretty smooth and uniform these days, seriously can’t complain.  I recently bought some natural vegan mascara from Sunspot that I feel better about using occasionally, and am looking for more natural products to help ease my transition.  I know Karyn’s Raw has an amazing line in Chicago that I would like to look further into.

5. Coconut Oil Is The Wonder Product

Face, hair, lips, and legs, I put this stuff everywhere!  Chea on these frigid days I will definitely put a little on my face after I shower.  Coconut oil is perfect on my ends when I straighten my hair too- or if you’re looking for an all over deep conditioning treatment!  Lost your lip gloss- again?!  Slather on some coconut oil! Leaves a beautiful non-sticky shine and moisturizes like heaven!  Post-shaving, this stuff brings incredible smooth moisture and soft skin.  Not to mention- coconut oil is the perfect massage oil and naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial yummy smelling lubricant.  Have fun ladies!  Keep that coconut oil close by!

smilemakeup

Happy Birthday Sunspot!!!

What a fun event at Sunspot Natural Market yesterday!!sunspot4

Reiki!sunspotreiki

Navitas Naturals!sunspotnativas

Raffles and Goodies!!sunspot5

sunspot6

Bee Hive!!

sunspotbeehive

Organic cake!! Frosting dyed with spirulina and tumeric!!!
sunspotcake sunspotcake2

My raw vegan station!!! 😀

sunspotpieNOFILTER

Spreading love, health and happiness with FullyRaw  Kristina’s Pumpkin Pie and talking about my:

RAW VEGAN THANKSGIVING DEMONSTRATION! 

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

7-8 PM PURDUE’S NEW CORDOVA RECREATIONAL CENTER DEMO KITCHEN

TO REGISTER:

GO TO MEMBER SERVICES DESK OR CALL THE COREC AT 765-494-3109!!

FullyRaw Pumpkin Pie

  • 2-3 cups raw pie pumpkin, cubed
  • about 3lbs dates
  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • top of pinkey sized piece of fresh ginger, or ginger powder
  • 1.5 – 2 cups pecans
  • 168g ripe local organic hoosier! persimmon pulp (or 1 ripe thai persimmon) (168 g is the equivalent to the weight of 1 thai persimmon 🙂
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • LOVE! ❤

Crust

Using a food processor S blade, pulse and blend pecans, about 1lb of dates, vanilla, and about 2 tsp of cinnamon (eyeball it!). Press crust into pie pan and refrigerate while making filling.

Filling

If you have a Vitamix blender, use that! I used the food processor S blade again.  Thrown in your pumkin chunks, 2-3 lbs of dates, persimmon pulp, ginger, and 1-2ish tsp (up to you!) pumpkin pie spice! Pour over crust and let it chill for about 2 hours.  Savor and serve with plenty of love ❤ !

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions! Hope to see you on the 6th!! Live big, carb up!