Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Tenets of Health

This simple list always get more complicated as I think more and more “Well,

what about…..?”  So I am gonna spit it out and then expound on them in later posts.

Sunshine picture compliments of Zitana.

1. Eat vegetables.

2. Sit in the sunshine.

3. Move your body.

4.  Drink water.

5. Breath from your belly.

6.  Eat food composed of ingredients you easily recognize.

7.  Not too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.

8. Everything in moderation.

The nitty gritty of this list are the details and the real life application.  Things like “If I don’t eat rice that is processed to cook quickly, how do I cook it?” and “How much water per day will keep me hydrated?” and “How much sugar is too much?”  These are highly individual due to every body being different and every lifestyle varying (as in if you do hot yoga everyday you may require more water).

This is a straight-forward list.  It is pretty hard to argue against these points.  That is the messy element of being a Nutritionist- people have really strong opinions, habits, and beliefs about food and health.   To muddle matters further, there are many varying opinions among Nutrition professionals.  This list is meant to be argue-proof, simple, and straight-forward.  If you do these things, you will have something right about health.


Congee: The New Oatmeal

And of course, when I say “new,” I mean new to me.  America’s oatmeal is Asia’s congee.  Oatmeal is a chore for me, by the end of the bowl I want to hurt someone.  So, finding a replacement for it is a joy.

Congee is a traditional food throughout Asia and is made many different ways, but the basis is grains cooked for a long period of time with various additions that can be sweet or salty.  This makes the grain easy to digest and nourishing.

I made congee the following way:

In a crockpot on low while I slept 8.5 hours.  I used a 1/2 cup of barley, a 1/4 cup of brown rice, and 1/4 cup of quinoa.  For spices I used 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ginger, and a sprinkle of salt.  I added 3.5 cups of water.

In the middle of the night, I woke up alarmed and sure that I smelled something burning, “My Congee! It’s burning-eek!” I thought to myself and raced downstairs.  I looked at it and I thought it needed more water, which was really just following the thought I had when I put the congee in earlier in the evening before bed (“Is this going to be enough water to make it through the night?” I had wondered, so the seeds of paranoi had been set.).  So I added 1.5 more cups of water and glared at the clock telling me it was 3:40AM.  After a long period  awake full of mulling thoughts in my brain, I finally fell back asleep and had a dream that the congee came out great and I loved it.

In the morning I checked on it and it looked great, just a little water sitting on the top, but it mixed in welll and made it a nice consistency. I added dried unsweetened cherries and some dried strawberries with a drizzle of maple syrup in order to convince my sweetie that it was worth a try.  It worked.  I have to admit, I was a little scared to eat what I imagined to be a big pile of mush, but I was pleasantly surprised by my first bites.  Then as I kept eating, I waited for the oatmeal effect,

Congee as it begins to cook throughout the night

Congee warm and delicious ready first thing in the morning

My First Bowl of Congee- An Enjoyable Experience

in which I would get really sick of the mush, but it never came.  I enjoyed the whole bowl and felt a warm glow in my cheeks after.    Now I will no longer suffer with oatmeal, I am an official congee convert.

Nutritionist Dodging Dietician Domination

Okay, before anyone gets mad, let me first state that I am not out to “get” Dieticians of the world.  I am not working in the “us” versus “them” mentality.

For those of you who this seems an inanely touchy point, no one has yet to made you aware that for many this is a battle.  The Nutritionist versus the Dietician.

That for me is not the deal.  The deal for me is the concept surrounding the Dietician as the more qualified of the two* (again caveat insert, I am talking about Nutritionists with degrees from accredited universities).  This idea of the all mighty Dietician that floats around really gets my goat, for lack of a better euphemism.

I am still baffled by the love the Dieticians receive and the hate the Nutrtitionists get thrown.  And by hate, I am referring to the complete lack of mention.  The total ignoring of.

This drives me to question, why?  Simply put, why?  Is it due to the antiquity of the idea that Dietitians are the only qualified healthcare professional aware of healthy food, is it some kind of conspiracy theory hold that the ADA has on the world, or is it just lack of awareness that there are Nutritionists with degrees out there?

Regardless of the why, I would like to just put in a good word for our old friends the Nutritionists.  There are many out there.  There are many who have survived rigorous schooling from programs deemed by the educational heads to be worthy of accreditation (let’s say, for example, a Master’s degree).  There are many that are qualified, grounded, and equal to Dietitians.   There are many that are forward-thinking, holistic, and aware that we need a lobbying group so we can have our very own ADA to back us up.

The bottom line is that this does not need to be an either/or dilemma, we can all exist together, and we can exist in the new concept that we are equal.

*Note: Dieticians and Nutritionists may have different skills sets from each other making them

Peace Lily Bringing Together Nutritionists and Dietitians

more qualified for different positions, as Dietiticans are more trained for large-scale institutional settings, while Nutritionists programs are more geared towards holistic, preventive care.  This is NOT to say that there is not cross-over, this is more just stating what the two are generally categorized as due to the schooling.