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

The Not So Sweet Truth about Sugar

Posted by Janet Lee on 2/24/15 8:11 AM

By Janet Lee, Guest Blogger

February is a month associated with love, so it’s appropriate that February is National Heart Health month. Due to the Valentine’s holiday, February also brings lots of chocolate or sweet, sugary desserts to show others or ourselves how much we are loved. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy sweets, it’s also beneficial to realize how much sugar we are putting into our bodies. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugar a year.

Interestingly, less than 100 years ago, the average American consumed roughly four pounds of sugar a year. Needless to say, that our consumption of sugar has skyrocketed. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Heart Association states that women should consume only 20 grams of sugar a day or 5 teaspoons. For men, it is 36 grams or 9 teaspoons a day. Children are at 12 grams or 3 teaspoons a day. 1 soda = 40 grams of sugar or 10 teaspoons.

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

The Science of Skinny

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 2/18/15 2:24 AM

By Dee McCaffrey, Guest Blogger

One of my natural health heroes, Dr. Ann Wigmore, said “the food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful forms of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” This wisdom is reflected in my book The Science of Skinny, the premise of which is “whole, natural foods are perfect packages from nature uniquely designed to nourish our body” and that “food additives don’t honor how our body is designed; they are catalysts for poor health and should be avoided.”

As a chemist, formerly obese person, and now a nutrition educator, I teach people that whole foods provide powerful nutrients that work synergistically to provide our body’s 75 trillion cells with the necessary elements for building long term health. Nearly every common plant food, and many animal foods, have been scientifically proven to offer one or more therapeutic benefits—from alleviating everyday aches and pains to providing powerful protection against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases.

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

Detoxing: A Recipe for Health!

Posted by Brian McKinney on 1/26/15 11:19 AM

The concept of juicing has been around for a few decades! Most recently more people have started to pay close attention to this beneficial method for enhancing health and wellness. Juicing, which can be a form of detoxing the body, can be a healthy and safe way to rid the body of toxins, along with a variety of other physical and mental benefits.

What Causes Toxins?

There are many causes of toxins in the body. Some common causes are alcohol consumption, food additives, prescription drugs and intestinal build-up in our bodies. Other causes of toxins include chemicals and solvents such as certain cleaning products, cosmetics and air fresheners. Pollution in our environment is another cause of toxins, in addition to metals. It’s been said that toxins can even be caused by negative thinking patterns!

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Topics: Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, Holisitc Nutrition, SWIHA, Whole Foods, 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

Recovery Foods for the Holiday Season

Posted by Janet Lee on 12/30/14 3:55 AM

By Janet Lee, Guest Blogger

While the holiday season brings happy times and wonderful memories, it can sometimes be challenging when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. During this busy time of year, most of us have been on the run completing work commitments, eating at the mall while finishing holiday shopping, attending holiday parties with friends while eating plenty of food and drinking a little too much eggnog! It’s quite possible that the only exercise experienced is walking from the couch to the refrigerator, or running from store to store.

If, you are experiencing low energy, headaches, or lack of motivation . . .

or if your pants are fitting a little tighter than a couple months ago . . . it is probably time to begin again with some healthy reminders!

Let’s get back on track and begin some healthy habits in 2015 to help us feel our very best!

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

Holiday Spice and Everything Nice

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 12/17/14 4:46 AM

Warming Ingredients for Winter Meals

Dee McCaffrey, GUEST BLOGGER

As the colder weather of winter approaches, our bodies naturally crave warm and grounding foods. Using thermogenic spices in our foods is a great way to warm our bodies and our taste buds. Thermogenic spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, increase the body’s core temperature and speed up metabolism. Warming spices of the holiday season have many health benefits as well—they increase circulation, support efficient digestion, boost the immune system, regulate our blood sugar levels, help with weight loss, and even ward off cancer and Alzheimers.

Spices also bring the aroma of the holidays into our homes and make recipes taste delicious. Here’s a guide to some of the best warming spices, from cinnamon and nutmeg, to more exotic spices such as star anise and cloves. Discover the healing benefits of these warming spices, and how to use them in winter cooking.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, SWIHA, Recipe of the Week, Healthy Desserts

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

Pumpkins: A Holiday Superfood!

Posted by Janet Lee on 11/25/14 11:00 PM

By Janet Lee, Guest Blogger

It’s not Fall, Thanksgiving, or the holiday season without pumpkins! Pumpkins are healthy, tasty, and not to mention incredibly rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins!

The pumpkin, a plant that is actually a fast-growing vine, grows by creeping along the ground, similar to other vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash or cantaloupes. It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including the USA at the commercial scale for its fruit and seeds.

Pumpkins, in general, are orange or yellow color. However, some varieties can be dark to pale green, brown, white, red and gray. Their color is largely influenced by yellow-orange pigments in their skin and pulp. Its thick rind is smooth with light, vertical ribs.

In structure, pumpkins are usually golden-yellow to orange in color, depending upon the poly-phenolic pigments in it. They have a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net like structure. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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

Relieving Holiday Stress with Natural Foods

Posted by Dee McCaffrey on 11/19/14 1:00 AM

By Dee McCaffrey, Guest Blogger

The high stress nature of the holiday season can make staying balanced through the holiday season challenging.

Prevention Magazine online recently reported that 90 percent of Americans experience feelings of stress during the holidays. Whether it’s caused by crowded shopping malls, traveling, or family relations, how we manage stress can affect whether or not we have an enjoyable holiday season or an undesirable holiday.

However, there is a solution! Including some of the holiday's best stress-relieving foods as part of regular meals is a great way to maintain a feeling of calm and balance. Eating high energy and nutritious foods can help potentially stressful situations, because these foods provide us with the energy and stamina to cope.

Which foods are the best for relieving stress? Those that contain high amounts of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, and those that contain minerals like manganese, selenium and zinc. The food items rich in these substances should be included regularly in meals.

On the other hand, eating processed foods and those low in the stress-busting nutrients will deplete energy levels and potentially stressful situations will become stressful and harmful to health.

Here's a list of the some of the most beneficial foods for relieving stress. Many of these are part of the traditional American holiday fare.

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

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