Rae has asked me to serve as the nutritional consultant for the Mid-Hudson
Vegetarian Society. I met many of you at the April dinner and look forward to getting to
know more of you.
A bit of a bio: Originally from California and the Midwest, I moved to New York
City in 1992 and bought a home in Rhinebeck in 1994. I now go back and forth between these
two locations. I have a masters degree in Health Education and have taught science and
health in public schools. I also worked for the American Lung Association and was very
involved in smokefree programs. For the past three years I have been Health Editor of City
Family Magazine. I completed a 2 year professional training in whole foods at Gulliver's
Institute in NYC. I teach classes in Eating With Whole Foods and have a dietary
Now, let's talk food. A few years ago Vegetarian Times Magazine polled staff
members about their own diets. "What do you need to include more of in you
diet?" they were asked. Many answered "vegetables". Yes, we are all
vegetarians here, but not eating animal products may mean the bagel, hummus, chips, salsa,
orange juice and bit o' salad diet. Just as former President Reagan had to learn that
ketchup is not a vegetable, let's remember that salsa is not one either. Lettuce is good,
but offers only a limited amount of nutrients. There is a wide range of leafy green
vegetables such as bok choy, collards, all cabbages, kale, turnip greens that have a
multitude of health benefits. Sweet vegetables that include carrots, onions, squash and
sweet potatoes provide essential nutrients also. When you have fresh vegetables each day
you will be getting vitamins and minerals that your body can really use. Vitamin
supplements are often not absorbed or utilized well by our bodies. Fresh vegetables also
offer flavor, fiber and, yes, protein too. Sweet vegetables help to tame sugar cravings
and the leafy greens are mood elevators - think of them as kitchen prozac. Try a quick
saute in either water or good quality cold pressed olive oil. When they turn bright green,
the vitamins are most available. Eat as is or add sauteed onion, garlic and a splash of
rice vinegar. For a more pungent taste, use umeboshi plum vinegar. If you do not grow your
own vegetables, some local farmer's markets are open year round.
When we did the tour of Nature's Bounty Health Food Store in Kingston, we noted
that all the soy cheeses or cheese alternatives contained casein, an animal product. I
have since discovered the Soymage brand. It is a 100% dairy-free grated parmesan cheese
alternative with no casein. Available at most health food stores. Try some on your greens!
It's not just for pasta.
Do you have questions about food? You may reach me at 914/876-5598.