Classes Taught by Vicky Newman, MS, RDN

Mediterranean DietFood for Thought — Healing Foods to Savor (good beginning overview to other lectures)
Learn the right balance of foods to maximize your health and energy level through an anti-inflammatory, low glycemic load eating plan. Practical tips will be provided for maximizing intake of foods that support your body’s immune and detoxification systems. Highlighted are the protective properties of carotenoids and other natural coloring pigments, flavonoids, the sulfur compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, onions, and garlic, as well as the beneficial components found in flax, legumes/beans, and culinary herbs. Practical guidelines are provided to minimize exposure to environmental toxins. You will learn how to maximize your fiber intake, and balance your fats to support your health and well-being. Emphasis will be on adding to your enjoyment of food, while supporting your health and a more sustainable environment.

Paleo in Perspective — Anti-Inflammatory & Alkaline Diets
Health is a question of balance and our food choices definitely play an important role. Our Western-style diet, rich in protein, fat, and processed foods is more acid-producing than the less-refined, more plant-based diet of our ancestors. The resulting low-grade, chronic acidification is associated with the development of chronic health conditions often associated with aging like osteoporosis, age-related muscle wasting, calcium kidney stones, and hypertension. There is much interest and lots of media promotion of alkaline diets. Evidence supporting and questioning the health benefits of these diets will be provided. Practical strategies will be provided for adopting and maintaining a diet that supports a balanced pH to protect bone health and reduce the risk of disease and disability as we age with grace and gusto.

Food and Mood — The Nutrition Connection
What you eat and drink, as well as how much and how often, can have a significant effect on your mood, energy level, mental health, and ability to cope with stress. Common imbalances connected to nutrition are known to worsen mood and motivation. Emphasis will be on dietary choices that support normal blood sugar levels and supply the amino acids building blocks for neurotransmitters, as well as the B-vitamins and essential fats required for normal brain function. We will discuss how a common genetic defect that affects about one out of every 10 people coupled with a diet low in certain B-vitamins can contribute to mental illness, including depression. Also included will be a brief discussion SAMe and TMG and how these are formed in the body from dietary nutrients.

Living for Longevity: The Nutrition Connection
is a question of balance, and our food choices help maintain strength and energy as we age, impacting both our physical and mental health. This presentation will focus on dietary choices that help calcium stay in our bones and out of our blood vessels to support both bone strength and arterial flexibility. Adequate calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K are all important, as is enough (and not too much) protein. Plenty of potassium-rich vegetables and fruits also protect kidney function and support a more alkaline internal environment, which reduces the loss of alkaline minerals (including calcium) from the bones.

Earth-Friendly Eating for Personal & Planetary Health
Our food choices really do matter
. One thing we can do to protect our own health and the health of the planet is to eat less meat and less processed foods — to reduce our carbon footprint and also to conserve water. Our best food choices are: fresh, whole, unprocessed; local in season; organically grown; and lower on the food chain (plant foods; smaller fish, animals). If processed, the best choices are: those with fewer ingredients (less than 5) and less packaging. It’s also a good idea to be wary of food products with very long shelf lives, and those with ingredients you cannot pronounce or that make health claims. Preparing our own food and sharing it with family and friends is nourishing to our bodies and nurturing to our spirits.

Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, & Heart Healthy Eating In Perspective
Learn the latest practical dietary suggestions to reduce risk and progression of heart disease, including strategies for reducing inflammation and lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). We will talk about the protective compounds found in other BIG color, BIG flavor plant foods, including dark chocolate and red wine. We’ll also discuss the benefits of fiber-rich foods, and the special role that soluble fiber plays in controlling cholesterol. And perspective will be offered on the continuing controversies regarding vegan diets (elimination of all animal foods), egg consumption, and saturated fats like coconut oil.

Detoxification for a Healthier Body & Mind
Need a detox?? With all the chemicals and pollutants we encounter daily, it’s important to understand the body processes involved in detoxification and the practical actions you can take to reduce toxic burden. Learn how to reduce exposure to toxins, minimize production of toxins in your body, and help your body eliminate toxins to support your physical and mental health.

Nutrigenomics — Interaction Between Genes, Diet, & Lifestyle
Food components interact with our genes to support or interfere with our health. Chronic disease onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity is influenced by diet-regulated genes & their common variants. Nutrigenomics may ultimately enable personalized dietary advice based on genotype. The presentation will provide an introduction to this fascinating topic, as research in this field is evolving rapidly.

Digestive Wellness — Gut Microbiome & More
You can strengthen your immune system and reduce risk of disease through healthy digestion. This presentation will briefly review how faulty digestion can affect the human body systemically, from headaches, mood, and skin issues to fatigue and pain. Food choices and eating habits affect the gut microbiome, and a healthy gut biome involves more than just taking probiotic supplements. Natural remedies for common GI challenges will also be reviewed, including acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and ulcers.

Dietary Supplements — Choosing Those Most Useful for You
Included in this presentation will be guidelines for choosing a well-balanced vitamin-mineral formulation, along with a discussion of specific nutrients to support bone and heart health, as well as immune function. We will cover how to read and understand supplement labels, and how to sort out safe from potentially harmful supplements. Issues of bioavailability to insure maximum benefit will be included, along with a discussion of some common nutrient/herb/drug interactions.

Herbs for Health
Herbs and spices have been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. They provide a wide array of phytochemical compounds that can contribute greatly to our total intake of plant protectors, including antioxidants. This presentation will briefly review the health benefits of common culinary herbs and spices, as well as the preparation and safe use of herbal infusions.

Fighting Cancer with Your Fork
Learn about the role of BIG COLOR and BIG FLAVOR plant foods in strengthening your body’s immune and detoxification systems. The latest research on the role of diet in cancer prevention & control will be summarized, with practical tips for optimizing your intake of protective compounds (phytochemicals) from plants. Highlighted are the protective properties of carotenoids and other coloring pigments, flavonoids, the sulfur compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, onions, and garlic, as well as the beneficial components found in flaxseed and common culinary herbs. Fruits and vegetables richest in antioxidants are discussed, along with practical guidelines to minimize exposure to pesticides and safe grilling techniques.

Developing Your Own Optimal Eating Plan (Group Counseling for 6-12 Participants)
This is an interactive workshop that will help participants evaluate their diet for key nutrients, and to design a personalized meal plan containing the right balance of foods to maximize their health and energy level. The focus will be on anti-inflammatory foods and low glycemic load eating plans. Tools will be provided to help participants determine if they are getting enough protein, fiber, and calcium. They will also learn to calculate their vegetable, fruit, and fat intake to see how they are doing as related to current guidelines.