Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Bodies Are Hundreds of Years Behind...

My thought for today on wellness is -- How has exercise and nutrition changed from 500 years ago? Didn't we have to wash our own clothes and dishes at least every few days? Saddle up the horse to go anywhere far or catch a train? Help out on the farm? How much processed food did we have access to? You mean, there were no Cheetos?? God forbid! No Krispy Kreme?? Eee gad!! You mean on a Friday night there was no Red Robin or Chili's to go to?

What time would people go to bed on an average night 500 years ago? How would they use a typical beautiful sunny day -- would they spend it all on the computer on Facebook, Google or Ebay?

Now, instead of 500 years ago, think 5,000. Then 50,000.

I will leave you with those thoughts and questions when you're wondering "what's wrong with my diet plan?"  Don't get me wrong: I love the amenities, comforts and conveniences of today. They are awesome and I appreciate them.  But how can we get our bodies to live like yesterday in a world full of excess today, in order to stay fit and eat healthfully?

Each person is different,  and that's just one of many areas Lighthouse Nutrition and Wellness can help YOU personally.

So Much to Set Up Just to Be Able to Help People Out!

So what have I been up to lately? It takes a lot to run a business. I'm here to help people be as healthy as they can possibly be -- so that they can live their lives to the spiritual and physical best. But there's a lot I have to do just to let people realize I'm here -- Little things called marketing, cold-calling, advertising, buying office supplies (with money I don't have yet!), framing diplomas and articles written about me, making forms, preparing free library lectures, planning out programs that a couple of clients have asked for.  I can't wait to spend ALL, or at least most, of my business time just helping clients. But for now, I have to go to work to just let people know I'm here! 

I wish a Gateway newspaper ad only cost $10 and not $85 a week for a small ad. If it did, I'd put out a full-page ad every month to let people know that I'm here to help anyone in Gig Harbor to lose weight the right way and to be and feel their best! Until then, I will just keep peeping my head out in only ways I can afford to let people know -- Hey, I'm here, and hey! I can help YOU!

Lighthouse Nutrition and Wellness, serving the entire Gig Harbor and Tacoma, WA South Sound Area. 253-269-8888. All major credit cards accepted. Financing also available. Call to set up your appointment now, and never see your health the same way again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What the Heck? At the YMCA??

I really do love our Gig Harbor YMCA. Our whole family of five members were able to join for around $100 a month, and they even have childcare (a must for us) for only around $2-3 an hour per child. Nice, new, clean facility. And, they have a cute "mini"  little deli/coffee shop area....Whoah...wait a minute. Back up. what was THAT I saw in the case for sale? And this is what they sell every single day?

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? This is not a mall food court bistro. This is not a ballgame food stand. This is a fitness club deli. Most of the people here, if not all of them, are here to lose weight and be fit. I have been just totally perplexed to see these items sold here every day!  A few of the items you see in the glass case, such as the cheese sticks and fruit salad and sandwiches, can somewhat be representive of a healthy food plan. But how about those doughy bagels on the right side that remind me of the belly fat I aim to keep off every day? And the pastries on the bottom shelf??

On top of that, they sell - get this - "Spimoni Frappuccinos."

With whipped cream.

Now, don't get me wrong; I love the YMCA. I just don't know who's handling decisions to allow vendors to serve things like that, and I think it should change.

Kids And.....Veggies? Part 2

One day recently, I was chopping up some raw veggies to go along with lunch. My youngest son Jazzton dragged up a chair to see what mom was doing, and just started grabbing and munching!  I just HAD to go find the camera and start taking pictures. It dawned on me again that young children really do seem to prefer raw veggies and dip over fancier versions of veggie dishes where the cook "sneaks in" the vegetables. Of course, the latter is good and useful too, but it's really amazing how many times young children really just appreciate the taste of raw vegetables when you let them, and more so than cooked veggies. While some nutrients are increased during cooking, others such as Vitamin C and folate are lost in the process, so this is a good thing!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kids And.....Veggies?

Can the two mix harmoniously? Yes, they can! 

You may think kids will always hate their veggies. But, has there ever been a time when you gave your baby veggie baby food (pureed carrots, for example) and they actually smacked it all down happily?  Or have you ever been delighted to find that your toddler was your nutrition pride and joy because they actually devoured those "little trees" (called steamed or even raw broccoli)?  And, my gosh, without even any cheese sauce! 

But then you might wonder, what went wrong? Somewhere along the way, the child started having a hankering for junk food (chips, candy, cake, etc.) and now the healthy veggies have taken a backseat for your youngster, or worse, the veggies are now the enemy at mealtimes.

We have to keep in mind that children (and adults) have been "spoiled" by the tastes of modern cuisine and food manufacturing, most of which is not good for us. The Dietary Guidelines for America for 2005 recommends that adults eat five servings of vegetables and five servings of fruit per day to prevent many kinds of disease and illness, and to maintain a proper body weight. Kids have their own guidelines:

Children 2-3 years old require roughly 2 servings of vegetables, 4-8 years old require about 3.
Girls ages 9-13 require about 4 servings, and young ladies 14-18 require 5. Boys ages 9-13 years need about 5 servings and older guys at 14-18 need about 6 servings of veggies per day.
(These servings are about 1/2 cup each. Information is from

How can we get all these veggies in? By teaching our kids how important (and tasty!) fruits and veggies can be, by eating them often in front of our kids, and by making them very available to them every day and digging up neat recipes involving all or mostly vegetables. Going meatless some of the time or even all the time is another heathy way to get all the servings in, as now there will be much more room for veggie and fruit in the diet.

Also, knowledge of the vast variety of veggies available is on the parent's side.  If asked, a child will usually finally say "yes," when asked which veggies they like. One child I know does not like cauliflower and snap peas but loves cucumbers. Another child does not like brussel sprouts but loves carrots and cherry tomatoes. If you dig, you shall find! Give your child lots of kudos for caring for their body and keep adding other veggies they like.

Below you see two children consuming a lunch dominated by veggies:  There's a cucumber and carrot crudite plate that was very easy to prepare with Drew's Orange Dressing in the center, Kashi Mediterranean Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza, and Imagine Portabello Mushroom Soup.

The kids really enjoyed this meal!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We Put Our Walnuts Where ?

Cathy's Winning Walnut Basil Spaghetti

I say "winning" because, besides the abundance of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids (both as much as any meat dish out there!), EVERY MEMBER of my picky five-member family loves this dish, from age three on up through age 40+. And, this delicious, zesty, zero-cholesterol dish is easy to make, and the walnuts give it a delightful "meaty" texture without all the saturated fat!  I usually prefer to post dishes that encourage as much consumption as possible of fresh or lightly cooked veggies (as opposed to processed starches like pastas), but an occasional spaghetti dish can actually be good for you, and especially for active people and growing kids! Walnuts have tons of the healthy Omega-3 fat, which has been shown to be great for your heart, your skin, your brain, your joints and more. Although this is a very healthy dish, it is rich.  You shouldn't really eat calorie-laden pastas very often unless you are very thin and/or are very physically active!

1 box thin whole wheat spaghetti
1/3 medium eggplant, cut into thin strips
1 large handful fresh basil, maybe more, washed, bunched up and cut into strips
5-6 cloves fresh garlic, more if you love garlic, chopped or cut into strips
light virgin olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
1 to 1 1/3 cups fresh walnuts, ground in a food processor
1 24 oz. jar of your favorite organic pasta sauce with little to no sugar added, less than 5gm per svg
red pepper flakes (add to your own plate if children are eating)
sea salt, to taste

1. Prepare spaghetti as directed, al dente,  draining and rinsing when done, then setting aside with a tiny bit of oil mixed in.  While the pasta is cooking, keep an eye on it and do steps 2 and 3:

2. Saute garlic first in a large pan. The idea is to create a "garlic flavored oil," one of the secrets here.

3.  Just before they are lightly browned, add the eggplant and saute 2-3 more minutes.

4.  Mix in the pasta sauce and bring to a simmer.

5.  Add the prepared spaghetti, mix thoroughly.

6.  Add the basil, mixing thoroughly. The basil must be abundant and fresh. Sorry, no exceptions here.

7.  Add the red pepper flakes or just the sea salt.  Enjoy!

Serves about 6-7 people.
Cooking time:  Approx. 30 minutes

Here's a wonderful link that delves deep into the
"wondrous walnut."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It Goes Way Back...

For as far back as I can remember, I've contemplated what makes "healthy" and what does not. Even in the photos above, you can see I'm pondering a morsel of cookie quite seriously for a two-year-old. I don't actually recall what was going on there... But knowing myself, I mostly likely was thinking that if I ate that last piece, it would be all gone - thus, maybe I'd better not eat it! I was also probably wondering what something that sweet would do to my body, and if it was good for me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


     My favorite subjects have always included nutrition, spirituality and overall health. Seeing a nice person who was also beautiful, happy, vibrant and in good health always fascinated me. Hearing about someone with a disease, obesity or cancer just broke my heart and made me resolve to find answers.  I studied nutrition formally for the first time in 1985, and then I finally became a Registered Dietitian in 2009.

     I've just always been dumbfounded by the amount of denial going on in people in so many areas of life, especially in how we care for ourselves and how we treat others. I believe that the state of the mind and our level of spirituality affect our physical health in more ways than we realize.  So many people are disconnected from God and from what God is all about - love, acceptance, and letting go of fear and bad habits and traditions. Our health and spiritual state is the prerequisite to everything else. Life is just too short and precious to waste it away with cheating yourself. And I'm definitely not immune to denial either! But the most important thing we can do is to accept that there's a lot of it going on and start from there.

     Now, thanks to this wonderful thing called the Internet, I can share a few of these thoughts. In my blog, No Denial For Dinner, I will offer up some tips on how to eat nutritiously, feel great and maintain a proper weight (a life-changing feat for many!), and how easy that can be with a few deep-down changes. I'm hoping that maybe if I post these thoughts, recipes, videos and other things here they will maybe help a few other people.

      Thanks for stopping by! And Here's to love, health and happiness!