Vol. 14, No. 16, October 22, 2001

Nutrition in Our Changing World:
Eating for Better Health
Beve Kindblade, MS, RD, CD and Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, gave an engaging talk about the foods we eat. Beve is a North Carolina native doing her undergrad work at Oregon State. 

“I’m glad you’re not afraid of eggs!” Beve said, noting the menu for Friday’s meeting. “Eggs are the perfect food. We nutritionists have scared people to death over the years. Food labels cause people to go out and eat at restaurants more often! We’ve chased people away from the table with food labels. There were no nutritionists on the committee when they devised the labels. I am a Dietician. I specialize in wholeness and wellness and for using food to restore health.”

Kindblade’s Top Ten Strategies for eating healthy were contained in a handout which each member received. “We should be eating foods from their origin. Tomatoes instead of ketchup. We’re not taking enough time to enjoy eating. How many of you eat while driving? (Many hands went up). Why not substitute stuff from fast food places with bananas, apples, (and, from the audience) beer!” (Naughty, naughty. Both hands on the wheel)

You need a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. To increase your fiber intake, eat nuts and seeds. (And Beer Nuts said the crowd — now, we’re on a roll!) Eat organic foods – buy in season – organic meats, such as chicken and beef. Chemicals are added in the growth process … we don’t know how that affects us. That’s why organic foods are best.

We need to balance our intake. Fat is okay, providing its monounsaturated, such as olive and canola oil. Butter is okay, although it’s got cholesterol, which comes from the liver of animals. Beef is loaded with saturated fat. Keeping to portions the size of the palm of your hand is a good rule of thumb. Fish has good essential fats.

We often love and crave foods we might have allergies to. Shellfish, wheat, peanuts, and dairy products are some examples of foods that create allergies. Sensitivity to food affects the immune system. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed, but we’re learning that the good bacteria in GI tract is wiped out the by antibiotics. It takes three to four months for the natural, good bacteria to be restored after taking antibiotics.

We must maintain a healthy weight. “You should be active every single day. Walking is great for relaxation – 15 minutes a day gives you peace and quiet. Walk every single day.”

When asked about supplements, Beve said, “Be sure that you take no iron for men. It’s toxic and builds up in the body, giving a high risk for heart attack.” Other one-liners that help to achieve good health are: “Relax, relax. Chew, chew. Bring people back to the table and enjoy.”

Put joy back into grocery shopping. Go to your local farmer’s markets. Watch your portions – make fruits and veggies a mainstay in your diet. Answering a question about juicing fruits and vegetables: “Don’t displace a lot of good food by juicing.” Adopt the plan of  “every color of the rainbow on your plate for every meal.”

Sometimes frozen food is more nutritious. Eat foods grown closer to home. Take a multiple vitamin. Canned veggies are okay. Save the liquid and use as a base for soups.

Kindblade’s presentation caught the fancy of the BBRC, based on the rapt attention (except for occasional beer outbreaks) and the number of good questions. Thanks to Jenny Andrews for her introduction.

President Goldfarb presented Beve with a certificate showing that the BBRC has made a donation in her name of 600 pounds of food to Rotary First Harvest. Beve was genuinely appreciative of this recognition.