Classes Taught by Vicky Newman, MS, RDN
Food 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. Practical guidelines are provided to minimize exposure to environmental toxins and 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 — the Protein/Carb Conundrum, Alkaline Diets, & Health
While there is general consensus about the need to decrease processed, fast, and fried foods, and minimize and/or eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar, the popular press and media are still filled with conflicting advice about the optimum diet for health, fitness, and longevity. Paleo advocates promote a diet plentiful in animal protein and non-starchy vegetables with little to no dairy products, grains and/or legumes, while vegans advocate the need to eliminate all animal foods including dairy products and to eat plentiful amounts of whole grains and legumes. This presentation will examine the affect of food choice on nutrient and fiber intake, as well as on acid/alkaline balance potentially impacting kidney health/function. Practical strategies will be provided for adopting and maintaining a diet that supports acid-alkaline balance 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
Health 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
Chocolate and red wine contain plant protectors, minerals, and other natural compounds that help protect the cardiovascular system by reducing inflammation, protecting the blood vessels from damage that can result in plaque buildup, reducing the risk of clot formation, and helping with blood flow. We will talk about the protective compounds found in other BIG color, BIG flavor plant foods, including dark chocolate and red wine. Shopping tips will be provided to help you choose the most healthy and planet-friendly chocolate and wine choices, along with the safest amounts. Also included will be a brief discussion about the nutritional differences between chocolate and carob, and a few thoughts about resveratrol supplements, as the current research is less than promising.
HEART HEALTHY EATING—A Changing Perspective
Moving beyond a focus on saturated fats and cholesterol, this presentation will focus more on strategies to reduce inflammation in order to protect heart health and function. Practical dietary suggestions will be offered to help you to answer frequently asked questions, including: What’s the skinny on fats? Is butter better? What about coconut oil? What about dietary cholesterol? Is there a connection between cholesterol in my diet and cholesterol in my blood? Are eggs heart healthy? Is there a connection between diabetes, blood sugar control and heart health? Will increasing my fiber intake reduce my risk of heart disease? Tips will be provided for calculating your fat, fiber, and sugar intake, as well as guidelines for identifying heart healthy fats.
Nutrigenomics — Personalizing Dietary Guidance
Food components interact with our genes to support or interfere with our health and longevity. Chronic disease onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity are influenced by diet-regulated genes & their common variants. Nutrigenomics may ultimately enable personalized dietary advice based on genotype to help support nutrient adequacy and detoxification systems essential for optimal body functioning. The presentation will provide an introduction to this fascinating topic, as research in this field is evolving rapidly.
Food as Medicine—Focus on Phytochemicals (Plant Protectors)
Food provides an array of protective components that play a critical role in controlling inflammation, balancing blood sugar, regulating cardiovascular health, as well as helping the digestive organs to process and eliminate toxins and waste. In addition to the familiar nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate), these food components include protectors produced by plants (phytochemicals), by animals (zoochemicals including omega-3-fatty acids), by mushrooms (fungochemicals that support immune function), and by gut microbiome (bacteriochemicals). This presentation will provide practical suggestions to help insure an adequate intake of these protective food components.
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 irritable bowel syndrome.
Microbiome & Human Health
The human intestinal tract is home to a diverse and complex microbial community that is increasingly being recognized for its importance in human health. The human microbiome impacts a vast array of functions including metabolism, physiology, nutrition, and immunity. As a result, alterations of the microbiome can significantly impact both physical and mental health and thus contribute to multiple chronic conditions and disease states. This presentation will review the role of the microbiome in health and disease, including practical ways to restore and maintain a healthy microbiome.
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.
Culinary Herbs and Spices for Health & Healing
Herbs and spices have been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. Not only do they provide color, taste, and fragrance adding to our enjoyment of food, they also provide a wide array of protective compounds that support health and healing. 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. Practical suggestions for incorporating these in your diet will be provided, along with some favorite recipe ideas.
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.
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.
Immune Boosting Nutrition Tips
You can help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity by including key nutrients in your eating plan. Practical dietary guidance will be provided to help you to make sure that you are getting adequate protein, as well as foods rich in vitamins (including A and C) and minerals (like zinc). Herbs, botanicals, and supplements that support healthy immune functioning will be discussed. And because of the critical role of the gut microbiome in immune functioning, guidance will also be provided to insure adequate dietary fiber to support a healthy balance of gut microbes.
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.