SWIHA Blog

Melanie Albert

Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker, has been active in wellness, integrative medicine, and nutrition for over 15 years and has worked with former NFL players, Super Bowl events, holistic practitioners, kids, and seniors. She is the founder of Experience Nutrition Group, LLC in Phoenix, and author of “A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods" and companion 55-card deck. Melanie is a 2007 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2001 Integrative Medicine Fellow and 2003 Intuition Fellow of the Kaiser Institute, former marketing consultant for Weil Lifestyle, LLC / Andrew Weil, MD, Holistic Nutrition Instructor of Whole Foods Cooking and Conscious Eating at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona, and 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She received culinary training with the Rouxbe Cooking School Plant-Based Professional Certification. Her company, Experience Nutrition was an Official Health & Wellness Partner of the NFL Alumni Association in 2011. Melanie lives in Phoenix, Arizona. You can always find her shopping at farmers’ markets, experimenting in the kitchen, and practicing yoga.

Recent Posts

Roasted Roots: Sweet, Rich, & Holistically Nutritious!

Posted by Melanie Albert on 10/25/16 10:09 AM

Guest Blogger:
Melanie Albert, SWIHA Holistic Nutrition Teacher

“As a kid I always had a carrot in my little white gloves. Years later, while studying in college, my go-to snacks were basic sliced orange and carrot sticks. Today, decades later, I am even more excited about carrots and other root vegetables because I’ve learned that they can be unexpectedly delicious with a few simple culinary techniques.” --Melanie Albert

Roasted roots are beautiful, flavorful, and sweet, as well as a rich, colorful complement to any meal. The roasting culinary technique is a dry-heat cooking method that intensifies and concentrates the flavor of vegetables. When roasted properly, the natural sugars in the vegetables brown or caramelize to create a deep, rich flavor. When visiting your farmers’ market, buy a few roots even if you don’t recognize them, and roast them with this simple, quick recipe! Enjoy roasted roots as a side dish, to create soup, with hummus, or in a raw, kale salad or veggie wrap.

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Topics: Nutrition

What is Whole Food Cooking? Easy Recipe Included

Posted by Melanie Albert on 7/13/15 4:49 AM

Plus an easy recipe: Bamboo Steamer Carrots with Cumin & Walnut Oil

We often hear the term whole foods or whole food cooking, yet do we really know what the terms mean?

The ‘Whole Food’ way of eating is enjoying as many “whole foods” as possible – that is, eating foods as close to their natural form as possible, with very minimal processing. This is the way people were eating a hundred years ago prior to the age of fast food restaurants, manufactured processed foods, convenience foods. It was when people actually spent time in their kitchen cooking, and less time eating out or eating on the run.

Simply, Whole Foods Cooking uses S.O.U.L. Foods: Seasonal. Organic. Unprocessed. Local.

Many health experts believe eating more whole foods improves health and helps prevent disease. Whole foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes – retain their fiber and beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients that are often removed in processed foods.

Eating organic, whole foods, and shopping at farmers’ markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and food co-ops is something many people have had to re-learn. Our intention with the Whole Food/ S.O.U.L Food Wednesday BLOG is to get you as excited about cooking and eating real whole foods as we are.

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Topics: Blog, Nutrition

Intuitive Eating Guided Visualization: Childhood Eating Memories?

Posted by Melanie Albert on 4/1/15 8:28 AM

By Melanie Albert, Guest Blogger

I invite you to sit quietly, close your eyes, take a deep inhale and deeply exhale out through your mouth a few times. Now, quietly read the following and visualize your own eating memories.

Go back to your very first memory of eating. What did you eat? Where were you? Who were you eating with? Who prepared the food? How did the food taste? How did it smell? What were the textures of the food? How did you feel when eating the food? Was the food hot? Warm? Cold? How did your body feel? How did you feel while eating your food?

Now, take a few minutes to journal or reflect on your memories.

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Topics: Blog

Experience Three Healthy Snacks in Honor of National Nutrition Month

Posted by Melanie Albert on 3/4/15 3:13 AM

By Melanie Albert, Guest Blogger

March is National Nutrition Month, a month dedicated to nutrition and education. National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and healthy eating habits. So the perfect way to kick off this month is with some fun, healthy snacks!

This is a great time to add three delicious healthy snacks, primarily inspired by a vegan and raw food way of eating, to your life. Have fun this week trying superfoods including raw cocoa and goji berries, and make your own almond butter.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, Holisitc Nutrition, SWIHA, Whole Foods, Healthy Desserts, Nutrition

Melanie Albert, Passionate Nutrition Coach and Intuitive Chef

Posted by Melanie Albert on 1/21/15 2:18 AM

Thirty years ago, Melanie Albert stopped eating meat. This wasn’t a decision based on politics or personal beliefs about animals. She simply didn’t like the way her body felt after consuming meat. “My body was feeling full when I ate meat and I felt as though I could not digest it,” Melanie says about her longstanding decision to eliminate meat from her diet. Shortly after eliminating meat, Melanie began to focus on intuitive eating; listening to the cues her body was giving her about food and making decisions about what food to consume.

Little did she know that a few years later, nutrition and intuitive eating would be a daily part of her life and her work. After leaving meat behind, she began to eat organic, “way before it was popular in the media,” she says. Although her decision to go organic baffled some of her friends and family, Melanie enjoyed the results too much to listen to the naysayers. In 1995, Melanie started to educate herself about the true power of nutrition.

It was her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 1995 that spurred Melanie to focus her attention on food and nutrition. Her mother was given six months to live by allopathic doctors, so Melanie moved to Florida to care for her.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, Holistic Nutrition, SWIHA, Whole Foods, Nutrition

Tasty Tips to Spice Up Vegetables

Posted by Melanie Albert on 12/1/14 9:52 AM

By Melanie Albert, Guest Blogger

“Eat your vegetables,” is a common phrase that most of us probably heard from our parents growing up. Many people, especially children, believe that vegetables are boring, or that they have no taste. That only “health nuts” eat raw or plain steamed vegetables. This is where “finishing vegetables” comes into Whole Food S.O.U.L. Food cooking techniques. Read on for tips and recipes about how to make veggies fun and delicious for the whole family to enjoy!

Add Culinary Interest to Your Veggies

Finishing steamed vegetables with organic oils, toasted spices, fresh herbs, toasted nuts and seeds, and finishing salts adds delicious taste and culinary interest, with beautiful colors, textures and aromas.

Steam carrots, cauliflower or broccoli in a bamboo steamer and then finish them with different combinations of oils, seeds, salt or spices to create exciting, tasty dishes!

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, SWIHA, Recipe of the Week, Whole Foods, Nutrition

The Perks of Plant Protein With Two Quick & Easy Organic Lentil Soup Recipes

Posted by Melanie Albert on 11/5/14 2:42 AM

By Melanie Albert

Protein, alongwith fats and carbohydrates, is an essential macro nutrient which we must eat everyday with every meal. Protein is a building block of our body and helps to buildthe foundation of our bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

No Meat for 25 Years

I stopped eating red meat 30 years ago because my body could not digest it. I was a runner and felt like the meat made me sluggish. Then 18 years ago when my Mom was diagnosedwith breast cancer, I learned about antibiotics in poultry and stopped eating chicken and turkey, which I loved at the time.

My family was worried for years that I was not eating enough protein, but while I was studying nutrition, I learned so much about good plant protein, and now I’m honestly not worriedabout eating enough protein. Today, I love educating people about good sources of plant protein, including beans, whole grains and even vegetables.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, SWIHA, Recipe of the Week, Whole Foods, Nutrition

Experiment With Green Tea & Matcha

Posted by Melanie Albert on 10/29/14 2:35 AM

Discovering Green Tea

I began drinking green tea ten years ago when I started working with best-selling author and integrative medicine pioneer, Dr. Andrew Weil, who has been a long-time advocate for drinking green tea. At first, green tea was a little odd to me. I was not accustomed to the green, grassy taste of high quality green tea. Over time, I’ve grown to enjoy drinking it. Now the ritual of preparing and drinking high quality green tea and matcha tea are part of my daily life. I’m sure many of you at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) campus see me drinking my matcha tea throughout the day.

Why Green Tea is Good for You

  1. ECGC, the antioxidant in green tea, is an anti-inflammatory.
  2. Research has found that green tea benefits heart health, brain health and cancer prevention.
  3. Full of catechins and polyphenols, which help the brain to relax and stimulates dopamine levels.
  4. Theanine in green tea helps improve mood and a sense of relaxation.
  5. Known to increase memory and concentration.
  6. Has less caffeine than coffee.
  7. Tastes delicious, so enjoy a few cups every day!

Most Popular Green Teas

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Topics: Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Whole Foods, Nutrition

Eat Omega-3s Today with 2 Simple Wild Alaskan Salmon Recipes

Posted by Melanie Albert on 10/22/14 8:26 AM

Fats Are Essential

While the media has made us afraid of fats, they are actually required in order for our bodies to function properly. For years during the low fat, no fat craze I thought fats were bad and I stopped eating some of my favorite foods, nuts and olives. Now I’ve learned that fats are good for us and that our bodies require about 30% fats in our diet each and every day, for each and every meal.
Plant based fats like nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are a healthy fat source. Today, we are focusing on cold water fish, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

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Topics: Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Foods, Nutrition

Why We Need Carbohydrates

Posted by Melanie Albert on 10/15/14 7:53 AM

Like many in my generation, for most of my life I only knew white rice. Although I heard about whole grains I did not incorporate them into my daily eating until I was learning about whole grains about eight years ago. At that time I decided to get tested for food sensitivities and found that I’m sensitive to gluten, the protein in whole grains including wheat, barley and rye. I stopped eating most food with gluten and now find that when I do eat gluten, I almost immediately get hives. Last year, I was also tested for celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition in which our body does not absorb nutrients. Fortunately, I do not have celiac disease. I’m glad that I’ve had these experiences as I can now share gluten-free eating with my clients and in my writing.

Why We Need Carbs

People are confused about carbs and about whole grains. Many diets are no carb or low carb, but in reality our bodies need about 40-50% carbs every day at every meal. The problem is that people eat low quality carbs, like cookies, cakes, crackers and bread. Other carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables are good for us.

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Topics: Holi, Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Whole Foods, Urban Farming, Nutrition

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