Fall Diet

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

As published in Edible LA Magazine


In my many years of experience as a nutritionist, I’ve found that even the healthiest diet has a three-month warranty. Any time a client comes to me and says they are bored with their diet, I tell them I’m happy to hear it! Living with the seasons offers the chance to explore alternatives to your nutritional routine. Making healthy choices with a purpose while avoiding the aisles of processed and prepackaged foods can eventually bring a deep sense of meaning and proactive health to your families’ daily eating rituals.

Try this version of fall’s traditional Waldorf salad: in place of apples, slice up some locally grown guava (found here year-round) for extra potassium and cancer-fighting lycopene. Don’t be afraid to sweeten it up further with lots of dark, organic grapes; their low glycemic index and heavy antioxidant load outweighs the couple of grams of sugar they have. Be sure to keep the walnuts, but make sure they are fresh. These heart-healthy mood-boosters aren’t as effective when their Omega-3 fatty acid content has gone rancid, so look for white, fleshy nuts.

Ready for this season’s cure-all? Ginger’s antioxidant properties will fight off infections during cold season. While boosting your immune system, this root will speed up your metabolism as well. As a tea, its warming and stimulating properties make it a great diaphoretic for detoxification or sweating out a cold, reducing mucus, increasing circulation and even assisting in weight loss. Ginger stimulates both saliva and gastric secretion to break down starches and increases the flow of bile to aid in the digestion of fats. (It also relieves gas, indigestion, and motion sickness.) Simply boil a few slices of the root in 2 cups of water and drink 30 minutes before meals.

Any of you vegetarians looking for a good iron and protein source? Look no further than quinoa. An ancient staple of the Andes, this tiny grain is being successfully adapted to California climes and is an excellent substitute for brown rice. Try steamed broccoli (another antioxidant champion) over a bed of quinoa with walnut-miso sauce. In a food processor, combine ½ cup raw walnuts, 1 tbsp light miso, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp maple syrup, and ¼ – ½ cup water, depending on desired consistency.

Winter squash, a quintessential fall staple, is an excellent candidate for experimentation. Steamed spaghetti squash topped with garlic pasta sauce is great for people looking for a gluten-free alternative to pasta. How about butternut squash soup? Its high vitamin A content makes it an immune system powerhouse. Baked acorn squash, a personal favorite, has ten grams of fiber in one serving and is perfect when simply sweetened with unprocessed grade B maple syrup.

Still hungry? Organic apples with fresh almond butter are a well-balanced, quick snack. (Plenty of research points to contamination in conventionally grown apples, so double check at the farmers market for sellers who don’t use pesticides.)
Bid farewell to the doldrums of our seemingly endless summer and welcome in the fall tonight with a pomegranate cocktail.

Jason’s Fall Trail Mix
Equal portions of almond slivers, walnut halves, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, sprinkled and tossed with agave nectar and cinnamon to taste. That’s it.

You can contact Jason at nutritionbyjason@gmail.com


Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!