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NTI blogs by Shawna Linquist - 14h ago

Soup in the summer? You may be thinking, that does not sound appetizing. It is obviously much too hot to eat a steaming bowl of soup!  Well, I couldn’t agree more. Soup is divine, but not something we think much of in these warm summer months. It’s a shame, really. Soup is simple, quick, perfect for batch cooking and notorious for its ability to assist detoxing and promote healing. I could honestly eat soup every day, and I did during a gut healing protocol that left me feeling better than I had in years. All hail the miraculous powers of soup!

In fact, those of us with an affinity for soup may grow to resent seasons that inspire its absence. This would be a tragic misunderstanding, and one in which summer itself may say, “Are you kidding me?! Do you not see what a gift I am to gardens everywhere with rows of happily climbing tomatoes, peas, and beans? What are you to do with the boxes spilling over with cucumbers and fresh herbs reaching up to the sky?” Summer would have every right to say this to us.  We don’t need sweaters and snow to enjoy our soup if we learn to embrace it in a new way. For instance, what if soup wasn’t always warm? What if we chose chilled soup over ice cream for a refreshing summer snack? Consider a bright bowl of chilled pea and basil soup.  I may be crazy for comparing pea soup to ice cream, but stay with me here. Like other traditional treats, it’s silky smooth, comforting, and colorful. Yet unlike a scoop of your favorite frozen custard, this savory soup will leave you refreshed and satiated. Not to mention it’s many nutritional benefits!

Chilled pea and basil soup allows you to step into your garden and prepare a seasonal dish that not only tastes incredible but supports your body as it works to detoxify and reduce heat.  Saying yes to chilled soup this summer will honor your body’s keen intuition and wisdom while keeping you cool and calm on those scorching summer days. Start swapping your sundaes today with this gorgeous, garden-fresh pea and basil summer soup!

Why we love it:

  • Peas are rich in both plant based protein (8.6 grams/cup) and fiber (8.8 grams/cup) and contain a high amount of antioxidants as well as micronutrients, such as vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. They help support healthy digestion, keep your blood sugar in check and even promote weight loss.
  • Peas contain free radical fighting antioxidants that relieve inflammation and oxidative damage to cells, reducing the risk of cancer. Saponins, a type of antioxidant found in green peas, may help inhibit tumor growth and kill off cancer cells.
  • Basil is from the same family as mint. It is a good source of vitamin A, high in vitamin K, and essential for blood clotting. The volatile oils in basil (estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene) provide antibacterial properties.
  • The compound E-beta-caryophyllene in basil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, making it a helpful treatment for diseases rooted in inflammation, such as arthritis, IBS, and autoimmune diseases.

 

Pea and Basil Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 T. butter
  • 2 medium yellow onion – diced
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 4 c. fresh or frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ c. cream or buttermilk
  • 2 c. fresh basil-chopped
  • 6 T. roasted pine nuts (optional for garnish)

 

Directions:

  1. Place a saucepan, with the butter, on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the chicken stock, peas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream (buttermilk) and basil.
  6. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
  7. Pour into bowls and garnish with pine nuts if desired.
  8. May be served warm or chilled.

 

Serves 8

 

(Recipe by Chef Lynda Lacher)

 

Chef Kylee Snyder is a recent graduate of NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program. She currently leads nutritional cooking classes and provides holistic health coaching that has been known to cause deep affection towards vegetables. Connect with Kylee at www.rendezfoodhhc.com.

The post Pea and Basil Soup appeared first on NTI School.

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NTI blogs by James Harper - 14h ago

Summer is in full swing, and the berries are ripe. Sitting back with a bowlful of fresh berries on a warm summer day is one of life’s sweet pleasures. Just the thought of it might be enough to make you smile. 

While the act of eating juicy summer berries is inherently delightful, there may be a scientific explanation for why berries—and especially blueberries—make us happy. 

Blueberries contain a high concentration of plant compounds called flavonoids. The specific flavonoids that give blueberries their deep bluish hue are called anthocyanins. These magical plant compounds are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other health benefits. 

Given that blueberry anthocyanins are known to support brain health, researchers in the United Kingdom set out to explore whether blueberries would also influence mood. They tested the effects of a wild blueberry drink on mood in children and young adults. The results of the study were published in the journal Nutrients

Blueberries and Mood: The Study

The study to evaluate the effects of blueberries on mood was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. It involved 50 children (between the ages of 7 and 10 years old) and 21 young adults (between the ages of 18 and 21 years old). 

The children and young adults came to a test center on three days. Each time, they took a baseline mood assessment and then drank either a wild blueberry drink or a placebo drink. They returned two hours later for a second mood assessment. 

The wild blueberry drink provided a standardized quantity of anthocyanins (235 mg per serving) from freeze-dried blueberries. 

The mood assessments evaluated changes in positive and negative mood. There were no significant changes in negative mood (like sadness, fear, or anger) in any of the groups. However, there were noteworthy changes in positive mood. 

Both the children and the young adults reported a more positive mood after drinking the blueberry juice. The mood assessments showed that blueberry juice contributed to more joy, interest, and alertness. This was the first study to ever show that blueberries may indeed make people happy.  

Food and Mood

Although the study described above was the first to assess the immediate effects of blueberry juice on mood, it was not the first to assess the effects of food on mood. 

The Nurse’s Health Study found that older women who consumed more flavonoids in their diet had a lower risk of depression. This study relied on food-frequency questionnaires from more than 80,000 US women and then tracked them for ten years, evaluating for the onset of depression. This type of study cannot prove a causal connection between food and mood, but it does offer a large set of data from a well-designed study.  

Another study that was similar to the Nurse’s Health Study came to the same conclusion. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health found that higher consumption of fruit was associated with a lower risk of depression over the course of 6 years. 

In children and adolescents, there is also evidence that food influences mood. A systematic review of 20 studies in this younger population concluded that healthy dietary patterns were associated with better mental health. Also, better behavior in adolescents has been associated with a higher intake of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. 

Eating Blueberries for a Better Mood

It’s not clear how many blueberries you need to eat in order to reap the benefits of a better mood. The study that was done in children and young adults provided 235 mg of anthocyanins per serving. Anthocyanin content of fresh blueberries varies greatly, but an average amount is around 200 mg of anthocyanins per cup of fresh berries. 

That means you might experience more joy and alertness merely by eating a single cup of fresh blueberries. You’ll also get 14% of your daily recommended intake of fiber, 25% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C ,and 36% of your daily intake of vitamin K—all for a mere 84 calories

Blueberry Recipes

If you’re looking for a variety of creative ways to enjoy blueberries this summer, try some of these healthy and delicious blueberry recipes:

The Bottom Line on Blueberries and Mood

The study that we reviewed in this blog post evaluated the effects of blueberry juice on mood in healthy children and young adults. Blueberries are not a treatment for depression, anxiety, or any other mental health disorder. If you struggle with mood problems, please seek out professional help.

That being said, there is little risk in eating blueberries to support a healthy mood. Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients. Enjoy them fresh through the summer and then frozen through the winter. 

You might find yourself smiling a little wider.  

 

About the Author

Sarah Cook, ND, is an instructor at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. She is also the owner of ND Pen, providing branding, copywriting, and website design services for integrative healthcare practitioners. Connect with Sarah at www.ndpen.com.

The post Can Blueberries Make You Happy? appeared first on NTI School.

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Nutrition Therapist Master Certification

NTI prides itself on excellence in nutrition education. Graduates from our school have a reputation for being knowledgeable, skilled, and ready to start making an impact on day one. Getting Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (BCHN) builds upon the strong foundation that NTI provides. Yet, not all of our students have been eligible to sit for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) BCHN exam. We set out to change that and the result is an exciting new program realignment. Beginning July 8, 2019, NTI will be offering only one certification program – the Nutrition Therapist Master Certification Program (NTMC).

NTMC – The History and Process

A year ago, we were made aware of discontent among the CNTP graduates that they were not eligible to sit for the NANP BCHN board exam. Only those graduating with an MNT are eligible to take the board exam. Immediately, the NTI leadership team started working on a plan to address this concern. It became clear that a program realignment is the necessary action to maintain the high standards of our curriculum and meet the needs of all our graduates to be eligible for BCHN certification.

As of July 8, 2019, NTI will discontinue accepting enrollment for the individual CNTP and MNT programs. Instead, the curriculum of both these programs will be combined into one certification program – the Nutrition Therapist Master Certification (NTMC). NTMC will be the only program available for enrollment for both new and continuing students.

The first step was to get approval for this change by our state regulatory agency, the Colo. Dept. of Higher Education, Division of Private and Occupational Schools (DPOS). The application and approval process was lengthy – 6 months in total. In May, DPOS approved our program realignment with the stipulation that it be called Nutrition Therapist Master Certification. In accordance with DPOS revised program naming rules, the name of the specialization needs to be the first part of the program name – Nutrition Therapist. Then, we felt it necessary to retain the word Master – to emphasize that our graduates have achieved mastery in the use of nutrition therapeutics. Lastly, this is a certification program – thus the word Certification. Nutrition Therapist Master Certification. Graduates from this program will have the designation NTM, and will call themselves Nutrition Therapist Masters.

Just a side note, regardless of our decision to combine programs, DPOS would have required our MNT program to be renamed in the fall of 2019 to comply with their new program naming rules. It would have been named Nutrition Therapist Master Certification. We decided to take this opportunity to use this prescribed name for our program realignment since it comprises the same curriculum as the MNT program (which includes CNTP courses as prerequisite).

What Does the NTMC Program look like?

A great deal of thought and planning went into combining the curriculum of CNTP and MNT together. A first consideration was to evaluate the courses required by NANP in order to be BCHN eligible. Recall, graduating MNTs would have taken all the courses in CNTP and MNT – a total of 17 courses. Three existing NTI courses are not required by NANP for board certification, and thus were eliminated in the realigned NTMC program. They are the Personal Relationship with Food workshop, Food Quality and Food Politics in America, and the Internship. NANP does require business training – we feel the content in Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) and Business Readiness and Coaching Skills (BRCS) not only meets the needs for business training but also for the self-exploration necessary to be a skilled practitioner, so these two courses have been combined into one BRCS in the NTMC program.

Just to be clear, the course content for all the remaining courses is the same – no curriculum is being changed. The slides, videos, recordings, quizzes and exams for the NTMC Program are the same as those in the CNTP and MNT programs.

Some numbers to remember: CNTP comprises 11 courses and is a prerequisite for the MNT program. MNT entails an additional 6 courses to graduate and be eligible for the NANP BCHN exam. The tuition cost for CNTP is $8,065, MNT is $4,210 for a total of $12,275. The duration of the full CNTP and MNT programs is 2 years for full-time students.

The realigned NTMC program consists of 13 courses and the tuition cost is $9,955. The program length is 18 months for full-time students.

A side-by-side comparison of program courses and tuition costs looks like this:

^Combined with BRCS into one 20-week BRCS course (10 classes)
*Not required by NANP to be eligible for BCHN exam

Next Steps for Our Students

Ideally, we’d like all current students to sign a new enrollment agreement for the NTMC program (catalog 22). This will allow you to take advantage of the lower cost and shorter duration to achieve the highest level program credentials NTI offers. And yes, all your previously completed courses will transfer with you as you move to the new catalog. Should you choose to continue with your current CNTP or MNT enrollment agreement and catalog, you may do so until it expires at which time you will be required to sign a NTMC enrollment agreement to complete any remaining courses. (You can find your current enrollment agreement on your profile page under My Account>Student>EA)

If you are currently in the CNTP program and had planned to progress into the MNT program – signing a new NTMC enrollment agreement is in your best interest. If you only intended to get your CNTP and do not wish to continue with the advanced courses, you must complete your CNTP by the time your current enrollment agreement expires.

Answers to Anticipated Questions

What if I have already taken one of the eliminated courses – PRWF, Internship, or FQFP? Congrats! You got more than what NANP requires and you will be able to draw on that acquired knowledge in your future practice.

As a NTMC program student, can I still take one of the eliminated courses? Yes, but it is not required so you would be taking it as an elective. PRWF and FQFP will only be offered as online courses. NTI will continue to facilitate internships for any student who chooses to do one, but it is NOT required for graduation in the NTMC program.

I received my CNTP diploma, but did not complete my MNT. I’d like to come back and complete the requirements for NTMC. Can I do that? Yes. For those returning CNTP grads needing to complete the 5 courses necessary to get their NTMC, we are offering a tuition discount. For these students only, if registered by July 31, 2020, the regular tuition cost will be discounted $50 for each of the following courses: NERH, IHSL, R&C and IS. These students will need to take an abbreviated version of BRCS to fill in where their PPS left off; this course will cost $500. These discounts equate to $1065 in savings over the previous MNT tuition costs.

I’m close to completing my MNT – what should I do? If you have only one or two courses remaining, and can finish them before your current enrollment agreement ends, you should stay the course and complete your MNT. If you have more than two courses to complete or won’t be able to finish before your current enrollment agreement ends, then it’s best if you sign a new NTMC enrollment agreement so that when you graduate, you have the new credentials. Call our advising dept. for guidance on your individual circumstances.

I graduated with my MNT. Can I keep these credentials? Yes. The program name change and graduate designation is not retroactive. It only applies to upcoming students and graduates.

NTMC – Good for the NTI Community

We feel the NTMC program realignment is an ideal choice for our current and future students. It takes the best of what NTI has to offer with our robust, comprehensive curriculum and confers BCHN board exam eligibility to all of our NTMC graduates. It shortens the full program duration by 6 months (for a full-time student) while also reducing the tuition cost. The NTMC program will help NTI maintain its strong presence as one of the best nutrition schools in the country and helps all NTI grads retain their well earned reputations as the best in their field. It’s a win-win for us all.

Please reach out to us with any questions you may have. Our dedicated office, advising and admissions staff are excited about this change and happy to help make the transition smooth for all involved.

Thank you,
Dianne Koehler, Director
Nutrition Therapy Institute
303-377-3974
dianne@ntischool.com

The post NTI’s Exciting New Program Realignment Effective July 8, 2019 appeared first on NTI School.

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NTI blogs by Ntiadmin - 2w ago

As you have already heard, I will be the new owner of NTI as of July 1. I am very excited about this new adventure and am looking forward to continuing the legacy that Char has created for NTI. When Char offered me this opportunity, I was humbled and honored that she trusted me enough to take on the challenge.

For those who don’t know me, my passion for understanding nutrients and how they interact with human biochemistry has propelled my desire to study and teach nutrition – it has been the foundation of my life for many years, and what led me to NTI. In addition to being a graduate of NTI, I have been a classroom instructor since 2009, and two years ago I became the Academic Dean. My commitment to this school is strong and I have been dedicated to its success for more than 10 years. As the Director, I will be actively engaged in not only leading the NTI team in implementing my vision for the school and its students, but I will be directly involved in its day-to-day operations.

I am not doing this alone, my husband, Chris is my partner in this adventure. Chris will remain in his primary job as Director of NASA’s Colorado Space Grant Consortium at the University of Colorado, Boulder, which he has been doing since 2000. His responsibilities at NTI will involve directing technology decisions, financial planning and management, IT support, and being my emotional support person. Additionally, Chris’s 20 years of experience in higher education, while in a different field, makes him an ideal partner for running a school.

I want to assure all of you that, while some things at NTI will evolve and change, the primary direction of the school will not. We remain committed to excellence in nutrition education and put a priority on ensuring that NTI continues to be among the top nutrition schools in the country. As Academic Dean, I have played an integral role in the shaping of our curriculum design and course content, and I’m proud of what we have created. My intention is to use that foundation and continue to improve it as we move forward.

We have some exciting things coming in the very near future. Look for announcements about them on July 1. (I’ll let the cat out of the bag on one – a new website that we hope will go live on July 1). As we take NTI into the next 20 years, I am looking forward to forging a future that keeps the reputation of our school and students strong.

Thank you

Dianne Koehler

The post Letter From Dianne Koehler appeared first on NTI School.

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Dear Students, Graduates and All Members of our NTI Community,

It is precisely at this time of year, 20 years ago, that NTI opened its doors to our first class. Many of you have heard the story that we had a miraculous 9 students in that original class, most of them hearing about the school from a banner hung on the building. Unfortunately, 7 students dropped out that first year, leaving us with 2 graduates. Now let’s fast forward to 2019 and getting ready for a great fall start.

In fact, this will be the first September since the very beginning that I will not be shepherding in the new class. I am retiring. Of course, I have many feelings about this passage, ranging from sadness to excitement. Nothing lasts forever, but the reason that I am making this move now, is that NTI is poised to enter a whole new level of engagement and excellence.

I will be passing the school to our Academic Dean, Dianne Koehler. Dianne has been with NTI for many years. She was a student in my classroom. Most of us are familiar with her deep commitment to holistic nutrition and her passion to help shape this field. You will hear from her in the near future with some very exciting news.

And anyway, I’m old now. I started the school when I was 50, so do the math. There are still many things I want to do while I am vibrant and smart and excited. My deepest gifts, those that are still not fully given, are those of a visionary, creator, writer, and teacher. I don’t know exactly where these things will take me, but since they have taken me in some pretty exciting directions so far, I trust that they will still function to set the track as I go forward. Or if they don’t, I’ll probably spend a lot of time watching TV and eating bread and chocolate. If that happens, I’ll let you know and maybe some of you will have some ideas for me.

Fortunately, there are just a couple of things that I know. In past phases, I worked as a professional fiber artist (weaver); a canoe guide; a massage therapist; a holistic nutritionist; a salesperson; a home builder, remodeler and designer; a single mother and a teacher. It all adds up to 55 years of work. So as I think out loud about this, my best advice to myself is either, “go back to school for retraining and a new job”, or “play with the grandkids and call it a life”. Hmmmmmm….. Or maybe now there is a way to lay it all on the table of inspiration and pick and choose as it comes. Retirement looks pretty good!

In leaving NTI, I have many people to thank…too many in fact, to even list. There have been so many advisors, experts, skilled workers, brilliant minds, visionaries, technical wizards, organizers, and problem solvers, all of them having come together to bring about a meaningful and inspirational experience for our NTI students. And always my greatest hope has been that NTI has been an experience that has inspired, refocused and redirected the lives of our students and graduates in ways which would open new worlds for them.

The NTI faculty is and has been extraordinary. Our teachers embody the values and principles of service, as well as impart an extraordinary grasp of the scientific principles that have underpinned our personal journeys towards good health. They have given without hesitation their knowledge and practical expertise. They have genuinely cared about the NTI students and cared about the end game of the health and strength of our collective clients. We owe them more than we can say.
Our staff has served us well through the years. There is always so much more than meets the eye when it comes to delivering the end product to our graduates. These people have worked behind the scenes with dedication and commitment, gaining skills and experience in so many areas that have served to further their careers.

And mostly I would thank the NTI students and graduates. Through the years NTI has attracted students who are very smart, integral, conscientious, courageous, innovative, creative, and dedicated to the belief that life can be better when you are healthy. I have literally been able to walk down the street and spot an NTI person because they have a special quality of glowing health, solidity of purpose, and openness of heart. To a person, students have flocked to NTI so that they could become empowered to help other people. The practice of nutrition is first a service. Its reward is seeing the empowerment of others, seeing that spark growing inside a client who might not have found hope in other avenues in the pursuit of health. It matters. It’s important. So we in this community, all of us, have had to ask ourselves, what is it that makes us decide to come to NTI anyway? And the answer has always been not for personal gain, or for acclamation, or for a laid back life. But rather the answer has been to create the best life possible for ourselves and for those with whom we share the journey. And we build the foundation for this with good health through nutrition. And it is my hope, this vision continues.

I will be at The Goods Restaurant, 2550 E Colfax, on July 16 between 5-7. You are invited to stop by for an informal celebration of our 20 years together.

I send my deepest wishes for success and happiness to all of you. May you live your lives with the strength and conviction that comes only from extreme vitality.

Char

The post A passage, A cycle, And a message of heartfelt farewell from Char… appeared first on NTI School.

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NTI blogs by Ntiadmin - 2w ago

“A cup of chopped raw kale delivers more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, 200% of your daily vitamin A, and more than 600% of your daily vitamin K.” Holy guacamole, how could we not be motivated to eat more kale now? In her enlightening article on summer greens, NTI instructor Sarah Cook, ND, also reminds us that green leafy vegetables are a rich source of B vitamins and the essential minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron. Leafy vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet, promoting vitality and detoxification. In addition to providing crucial vitamins and minerals required for cellular function and repair, green leafy vegetables greatly impact our daily health. They help burn fat, prevent aging, support cardiovascular health, fight diabetes, increase gut microbial communities, build enzymes, neutralize toxins, and even protect against sun damage. Have you ever heard of eating your sunscreen? A diet high in leafy greens has been found to provide UV protection at a cellular level through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Though we know the many benefits greens, such as kale, have to offer, we struggle to incorporate them into our diets. Salads may be the Amazon Prime of leafy green consumption, but they are not the only option for delivering these nutrient powerhouses. Soups, smoothies, juices, fermented favorites like sauerkraut and kimchi, garnishes, wraps, chips and dips are excellent ways to eat your greens! You can easily slip them into your favorite recipes, adding ample nutrition without altering much texture or taste. Spinach is virtually undetectable in smoothies! Go on and give greens a try with our fiercely flavorful, no-fuss kale guacamole!

Why we love it:
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family and rich in antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.

Its health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Avocados, although they are fruits, have a high fat content of between 71 to 88%, 2/3 of which are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.

Avocado have important nutrient benefits, including intake of potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber and magnesium.

Cilantro, scientifically known as “Coriandrum sativum,” cleanses the body of toxic heavy metals, binding them together by loosening them from tissue and facilitating their elimination from the body.

Cilantro leaves and stems help support healthy liver function and balance blood sugar, making them a valuable tool for diabetes prevention and management.

Kale Guacamole
If you use a food processor to make this, there’s no need to chop the kale fine. If you aren’t using a food processor, be sure to chop the kale and onions very well.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shallot or red onion, chopped (or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 Serrano or jalapeno, deseeded
  • 3 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the lime juice, kale, onion, cilantro, Serrano and salt. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add the avocado and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice if necessary.
  4. Stir in chopped tomato.
  5. Serve with sliced vegetables and organic corn chips.

Serves 8

(Recipe by Chef Lynda Lacher)

Chef Kylee Snyder is a recent graduate of NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program. She currently leads nutritional cooking classes and provides holistic health coaching that has been known to cause deep affection towards vegetables. Connect with Kylee at www.rendezfoodhhc.com.

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Green leafy vegetables are some of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. In a mere 33 calories, for example, a cup of chopped raw kale delivers more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, 200% of your daily vitamin A, and more than 600% of your daily vitamin K. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in B vitamins and essential minerals—like magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Some varieties of green leafy vegetables are available year-round, but spring and summer are peak seasons for these nutrient powerhouses. If you are stuck in a rut with green-leaf lettuce salads, summer is a great time to explore other types of greens.

Check out the many varieties of summer greens below. With each having a unique flavor, there are endless ways to prepare and enjoy them. Some will be in the grocery, whereas others you may need to discover at farmer’s markets or grow in your backyard. Try these greens in smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups, stir-fries, and the unique recipes linked below.

Arugula

Arugula stands out in a salad because of its long, slender, pointed leaves. Its peppery flavor makes it an excellent complement to milder salad greens. It also adds a spicy kick to sandwiches.

Most people don’t realize that arugula is a member of the Brassica family—along with broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Like other Brassica vegetables, arugula contains glucosinolates and other phytonutrients that benefit immune health.

Arugula is common in Mediterranean cuisine, where it complements chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and cheese. Try it in an arugula salad with olives, feta, and dill or on a grilled Mediterranean sandwich.

Beet Greens

Beets are delicious in the summer, but don’t throw away the greens! Beet greens have a slightly bitter taste when eaten raw, but you can blanch them for a minute in boiling water to get a milder flavor.

Beet greens don’t last long in the refrigerator and should be eaten within 2-3 days.  You can sauté them with olive oil and garlic, throw them into a smoothie, or juice them with other fruits and vegetables.  

Carrot Greens

Most people don’t think about eating carrot greens, but why waste them? Just like beet greens, you can use these leaves for juicing or smoothies. You can also finely chop carrot greens and mix them with cilantro, parsley, or basil as a garnish for your meal. Check out these carrot tacos for a recipe that uses all the parts of the carrot.

Chard

Swiss chard has a white stalk, whereas Rainbow chard comes in red, yellow, orange, and purple. Chard is sturdier than other leafy greens, but cooking softens the leaves. Chard can be sautéed plain or mixed into stir-fries, soups, and stews. Try combining it with eggs in this easy rainbow chard frittata.

Dandelion Greens

Dandelions may be weeds, but their leaves offer numerous health benefits. Dandelion greens support the healthy function of the liver and kidneys, making them an excellent addition to any cleanse or detox.

Dandelion greens have a peppery taste that is similar to arugula. Try this dandelion pesto or dandelion green detox smoothie.

Endive

Endive has crunchy, cylinder-shaped leaves that are perfect for wrapping around chopped salads for a hand-held snack. Endive contains a compound called kaempferol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-fighting properties.

A popular way to eat endive is braised with butter and lemon. When the peaches ripen in late summer, try this endive salad with peaches, blue cheese, and pistachios.

Kale

Kale is one of the most popular of the green leafy vegetables. Its sturdy leaves make it easy to transport, and it is readily found in most grocery stores. Kale encompasses all that is good about green leafy vegetables, including high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K.

If you want to make a kale salad, massage the leaves with your hands to break down some of the cellulose and make the greens more tender. Kale can also be cooked into frittatas, soups, and stir-fries. Kids can enjoy crispy kale chips for a nutrient-dense treat.

Lettuce

Although you might not find anything more than iceberg, romaine, and green leaf lettuce in the produce department, the number of lettuce varieties is infinite. Lettuce is the foundation of most salads and can be added to sandwiches or used as a substitute for bread to make lettuce wraps. Check out this link to learn about the many varieties of summer lettuce.

Purslane

Purslane is a weed throughout the world but also an edible plant. Its leaves are fleshy and succulent, containing a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you have purslane in your garden, check out these 45 things to do with fresh purslane.

Sorrel

Sorrel looks much like spinach and can be used in similar ways. It has a slightly sour or acidic flavor that is delicious when paired with creamy dressings or cheese. If you are looking for creative ways to use sorrel, check out these sorrel pesto and sorrel yogurt recipes.

Spinach

Spinach is a widely used leafy green and rich in nutrients. The sharp flavor of spinach comes from its oxalate content, which also interferes with the absorption of minerals. That means the calcium and other minerals in spinach are not absorbed as well as those in other green leafy vegetables.

Spinach is exceptionally versatile and can be used in smoothies, pesto, salads, soups, and more. For a fresh summer salad, try baby spinach with berries, pecans, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette.

Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles have tiny hairs on the leaves that cause stinging and itching when touched. Once the leaves are dried or cooked, however, they can be safely eaten and offer an array of health benefits.

Like other leafy greens, stinging nettles are rich in vitamins and minerals. They have also been found to reduce inflammation, support immune function, and help with symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Don’t eat stinging nettles raw. Use the leaves to make tea, soups, sautéed greens, or in place of kale in most recipes.

Watercress

Watercress has small, delicate, oval-shaped leaves. Its bitter flavor is best paired with mild or creamy foods.

Like arugula, watercress is one of the lesser-known members of the Brassica family of vegetables. As such, it is packed with antioxidant phytonutrients, including isothiocyanates.  Add watercress to your favorite deli sandwich, or try out this watercress salad with beets and feta.

What did we miss? Let us know your favorite summer greens in the comments below.

About the Author
Sarah Cook, ND, is an instructor at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. She is also the owner of ND Pen, providing branding, copywriting, and website design services for integrative healthcare practitioners. Connect with Sarah at www.ndpen.com.

The post Your Ultimate Guide to Summer Greens appeared first on NTI School.

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Eggs recently hit the news with headlines like “Are Eggs Bad for Your Heart Health? Maybe” and “Eggs are Bad Again.”

The source for these headlines was a study published on March 19, 2019, in the JAMA Network online. The study followed nearly 30,000 people for more than 17 years, who had completed food questionnaires at baseline. It reported that each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol consumed per day was associated with a 17% increased risk of heart disease and that each additional half an egg consumed per day was associated with a 6% increased risk for heart disease.

Does this mean that people should stop eating eggs?

The problems with jumping to that conclusion are too many to count. Most importantly, this study shows a correlation between eating eggs and getting heart disease—but correlation is not the same as causation. It could be that people who eat fewer eggs engage in other healthy behaviors that are the real reason they get less heart disease.

Other authors have written thorough explanations of the problems with nutrition studies like this one as well as the specific problems with this study. I encourage you to read their articles if you want to understand why it’s an illogical leap to tell people to stop eating eggs because of this latest study.

Revisiting the Cholesterol Debate

The question of whether dietary cholesterol contributes to elevated blood cholesterol and whether or not that translates to heart disease has been hotly debated for decades. There is some evidence that the more cholesterol a person eats, the less cholesterol their body creates—naturally adjusting to a healthy balance.

Whereas the American Heart Association and the US Dietary Guidelines had long recommended a limit of 300 mg of cholesterol consumption per day, the 2015 guidelines removed this restriction. The change in the dietary guidelines was based on studies that found no evidence that eating eggs contributed to heart disease and that eating up to 7 eggs a week poses no risk.

What’s more is that we cannot dismiss the risks associated with LOW levels of cholesterol in the blood. Studies have found that low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, depression, and suicide.

We need to remember that cholesterol is an essential building block that is used by the body to make cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, coenzyme Q10, and other essential compounds. If we try to lower our cholesterol too much, we might unwittingly be doing more harm than good.  

Why We Should Love Eggs

One of the fundamental concepts we teach at the Nutrition Therapy Institute is the importance of eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Eggs most certainly fall into this category of foods. A single egg provides 13 essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and high-quality protein in a mere 70 calories. Consider these five essential nutrients supplied by eggs:

1. Choline.  Choline is a nutrient that is critical for healthy brain, muscle, and liver function. One study found that eggs are the most important source of choline in the American diet and that people who eat eggs consume about twice as much choline as people who do not eat eggs.

2. Selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy immune and thyroid function. Eggs are considered to be an “excellent source” of selenium, with a single egg providing 22% of your daily recommended intake.  

3. Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the brain, nervous system, and blood cells. Because it is almost exclusively found in animal products, vegetarians (and especially vegans) can be at risk of deficiency. Eggs are one source of vitamin B12 that is suitable for vegetarians.

4. Vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble vitamins that are only present in animal foods. Although vitamin A can be synthesized in the body from beta-carotene (found in plant foods), some people are not efficient at making this conversion. An egg provides vitamin A in its preformed version, along with 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.

5. High-Quality Protein. Eggs are a source of complete protein, meaning that they provide the nine essential amino acids we need from our diet. Eggs can be a quick and easy way to get high-quality protein on the run.

The Bottom Line on Eggs

The controversy over dietary cholesterol—including eggs—is not over. The latest study suggests a weak correlation between eating eggs and getting heart disease, but earlier studies found no such association. There are so many factors that influence a person’s risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions that we need to consider a more holistic view.

Eggs are a nutrient-dense food that provide a unique combination of nutrients. Their choline content, alone, is reason to include them regularly in your diet. Of course, the quality of eggs depends on the health of the chickens who make them, so we should seek out pastured, organic, or cage-free eggs whenever possible.

What’s your opinion about eggs? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Sarah Cook, ND, is an instructor at the Nutrition Therapy Institute

The post Is the Fear of Eggs Still a Thing?!? appeared first on NTI School.

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Can you believe it’s already June? June! How does a month like June so slyly sneak up on us? Every year offers the same number of days between seasons, yet without fail, we find ourselves asking, “Can you believe it’s already…December? May? June?”  Some years feel as if we’ve spent the entire twelve months in the fast lane of life, catching blurred glimpses as moments pass by.  Others are packed with experiences that could span a lifetime. Whichever the year, we are consistently surprised by the arrival of each new season.

As I prepare this deliciously raw, plant-hearty pasta, I’m caught reminiscing of last summer. The aroma of freshly chopped tomatoes and oregano takes me back to what I can hardly fathom was a full year ago, living in a dream: working, exploring, and eating my way through Italy. Last June was unlike any other, and the start of a quintessential “fast-lane year.” I’d recently graduated from NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program, (one of my most treasured life experiences even after months adventuring in Europe), and was embarking on a somewhat spontaneous, open-ended trip abroad. It was a trip full of not only pasta, but invaluable lessons learned while trekking through cities and countrysides in the worst pair of walking sandals one could ever be foolish enough to wear on a trip such as this. …And yet here I am, at the forefront of another June in a strikingly different adventure of which is, arguably, just as unpredictable as travel:  purchasing a house. This time, however, I am in a far less exotic setting…central Indiana.

Yes, I’m confident these are the most contrasting, consecutive Junes I’ve lived through…spending weeks in a 500-year-old estate on a 350-acre-farm at the foothills of Mt. Etna…to now living in my childhood home. You can imagine just how different these seasons have felt and how I may long for days spent building a bamboo roof under the Tuscan sun. It’s true, I miss many aspects of my temporary Italian life. I have found, however, the heat of this June feels much more manageable without copious amounts of pasta.  

Although Italians love their pasta, they eat far less than Americans do when visiting Italy…especially in the hot summer months. Instead, it’s quite common for Italians to beat the heat with salads and dishes prepared fresh from the garden. This delightful marinara sauce over raw zucchini noodles is a gardener’s dream a perfect way to keep cool this summer.

It will leave you feeling light and refreshed on a hot summer day. Comprised of what I see as two chief principles in sustainable healthy eating, (plenty of seasonal vegetables and incredibly easy to prepare), this is a top-notch recipe in my book. There are, essentially, 4 steps to creating this healthy summer meal. Anyone can make this. YOU can make this.  And if I may be so bold, I believe you WANT to make this. Not to mention, if you haven’t had the good fortune of spiralizing a zucchini, you’ve missed out on a real treat. It’s also an ideal task for a pint-sized helper, if you happen to have one of those hanging around in your kitchen. Now, time to put those backyard tomatoes and zucchinis to good use and embrace a new way of summer pasta eating! But first, I must urge you to take caution. Your fork will have a mind of its own, unabashedly twirling and diving into each bite!

Why we love it:

  • Lycopene, a phytonutrient found in tomatoes, has well-researched beneficial effects when it comes to stalling cancerous tumor growth. Also known to fight free radical damage and thus protect the heart against oxidative stress. Better yet, the lycopene in tomatoes is more bioavailable when cooked.

  • Himalayan sea salt is one of the purest salts you can find, containing over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.

  • Oregano is an herb that is a member of the mint family and has been used for healing for thousands of years. Oregano has the power to reduce inflammation, fight bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections, fight allergies and even shrink tumors. Oil of oregano is extracted from the herb to make a powerful antibiotic agent that can kill many species of harmful bacteria.

  • Marjoram is a perennial herb which is also a member of the mint family. It is sometimes called oregano’s cousin and can be exchanged in many recipes. Marjoram has a more floral, sweet taste compared with oregano.

  • Studies have shown that marjoram can provide health benefits for people suffering from hormonal imbalances, diabetes, ulcers and digestive complaints.

Summer Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drain)

  • 3 c. fresh tomatoes- chopped

  • 1 c. carrots- grated

  • 2 T. fresh oregano, marjoram or basil

  • 2 T. soy sauce

  • 1 T. fresh rosemary- minced

  • 2 t. fresh thyme

  • 3 cloves of garlic

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

  2. Serve the sauce at room temperature or warmed; it’s delicious on zucchini spaghetti!

Raw Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 6 small zucchinis (one per person)

Directions:

  1. Using a spiralizer, cut zucchini into “spaghetti” noodles. Salt lightly and set aside for 30 minutes in a colander on a plate.

  2. Serve with marinara sauce.

(Recipe by Chef Lynda Lacher)

Chef Kylee Snyder is a recent graduate of NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program. She currently leads nutritional cooking classes and provides holistic health coaching that has been known to cause deep affection towards vegetables. Find her on Instagram @rendezfoodhhc.

The post Summer Marinara Sauce with Raw Zucchini Noodles appeared first on NTI School.

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NTI blogs by Ntischool - 2w ago
What’s stress got to do…..got to do with it? What’s stress…..but a second-hand emotion? (Is Tina Turner in your head now?)

I think many of us feel like we understand what stress does to our body. We think things like:

  • It increases blood pressure

  • It hampers our sleep

  • It causes headaches

  • It derails our healthy eating plans

  • It talks us into vegging on the couch instead of working out

Heck, we can probably think of 10 more things stress does to us…..but I’m sure there are aspects of stress that you haven’t thought of……things you didn’t even know that would  think of.

I’d like to give you more ‘food for thought’  so that you might see stress for the problem it really is, and take real action steps to ‘nip it in the bud’, every chance you get. Here’s a brief anatomy and physiology lesson to help you understand a bit more…..

The central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, is responsible for virtually every bodily function.
  • Our lungs couldn’t breathe without a signal from the brain and down the spinal cord directing our breath.

  • Our heart couldn’t beat without that same signal coming from the brain and down the spinal cord.

This central nervous system has two sub-units that make up the whole:

  • Parasympathetic Nervous System

    • Rest and Digest

  • Sympathetic Nervous System

    • Fight or Flight

These systems have a Yin/Yang synergy. When one system is in high gear, the other is at rest. It’s virtually impossible for both systems to be fully functioning at the same time. It can’t be night and day at the same time. It can’t be hot and cold at the same time. And….we can’t rest and fight at the same time, either.

If we are constantly stressed, we are stuck in the ‘fight or flight’ mode. And, if we are stuck in the ‘fight or flight’ mode, it is virtually impossible for us to effectively absorb nutrients from our food, even if we’re doing our best to eat healthy, wholesome food. That’s because our digestion process is controlled by our parasympathetic nervous system and stress is controlled by our sympathetic nervous system.

What happens if we can’t effectively digest the food we are eating? We can’t nourish every cell, tissue and organ in our body. And, if we can’t nourish our cells, tissues and organs, every single part of our body will start to fail. Every. Single. One.

Stress isn’t just a little annoyance….it’s a real big deal….and you have to treat it as such. And, I wish it was as simple as balancing the parasympathetic nervous system with the sympathetic nervous system….but it’s not. Stress causes even more problems…

How many of you have heard of the adrenal glands? Even if you haven’t heard of those tiny, but mighty organs, the odds are good that you’ve heard of adrenaline. (You know…..like adrenaline junky). Well, adrenaline is a hormone that is made by the adrenal glands and is secreted when we are under stress.

In addition, there is another hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands when we are under stress, too. This hormone is called cortisol. Under stressful conditions, cortisol provides the body with glucose by releasing protein reserves in the liver. This energy can help you fight or flee a stressor.  However, elevated cortisol, over the long term, consistently produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Why should you care about increased blood sugar levels? Well, this, over time, is one of the causes of Type 2 diabetes. (Who’da thunk it?? Stress can cause diabetes!!)

Elevated blood sugar levels are also one of the key components in obesity. I think it’s safe to say that most American’s are aware of the fact that there is an obesity and diabetes epidemic happening right now. However, I would venture to guess that many didn’t realize that stress plays a big role in this.

Listen up, men….another unpleasant side effect from prolonged elevated levels of cortisol is that it blocks testosterone’s effect on the body. Yep, you read that right……Low T, erectile dysfunction, impotence…..whatever you want to call it….your sexual function is directly impacted if you don’t effectively handle life’s stressors.

So……what can we do to effectively handle stress?

The good news is that there are many strategies available to all of us. Surely there are one or two that will resonate with you.

  1. Go to bed!!! I mean it…..have a ritual in place that will allow for peaceful sleeping.

  2. Turn off your electronics (phone, tablet, etc) 1 hour before bed.

    • The blue light in the electronic devices causes hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to get good sleep.

      • If you want MORE brownie points, do not keep your electronic devices in your bedroom while you sleep.

    • What I DON’T want you to do is rush out and buy melatonin….no matter how tempted you might be. That is a hormone and shouldn’t be taken unless you’ve been adequately evaluated by a professional.

  3. Move……not to a new home…..but move your body! Pick an activity. It doesn’t matter which one, as long as you can commit to being consistent.

  4. Walking

  5. Yoga

  6. Biking

  7. Gardening

  8. The list can go on and on

  9. Color… just like you did when you were in kindergarten.

  10. This activity releases stress-reducing hormones.

  11. Play music…..real loud.

  12. Another activity that releases stress-reducing hormones.

  13. Find a ‘mindfulness’ activity that you enjoy.

  14. This might include:

    • Meditation

    • Tai Chi

    • Spiritual Center/Church

  15. Get ‘social’ in real life….not via electronics

  16. Science has shown, time and time again, that real human connection releases hormones that reduce stress.

    • Throw a party…..invite all your friends….and watch your stress melt away.

    • Commit to doing at least one activity per month with friends.

There are many foods that help to calm the central nervous system, too, but you must employ some, or all, of the techniques above FIRST, in order for the foods to have their therapeutic effect.

Easy grab-and-go foods would include:

  • Blueberries

  • Greek yogurt

  • Walnuts and/or almonds

  • Tuna and/or salmon, in those easy to grab packets

  • Carrot or celery sticks

Stress happens. There’s nothing we can do about that. But, we can take control over how we handle stress and that’s where the real magic begins. If you feel like you need guidance to help create a strategy to eat better and reduce stress, please feel free to reach out to Nutrition Therapy Institute. They will be happy to place you with a nutrition therapist to meet your needs.

Once you handle stress effectively, you will begin to notice many aspects of your health improving, right before your very eyes.

Dr Becky Spacke is a course instructor at Nutrition Therapy Institute. Additionally, she owns and operates Healing From Alzheimer’s, a center focused on preventing and reversing cognitive decline. You can visit her website at www.HealingFromAlz.com

The post ALL STRESSED OUT appeared first on NTI School.

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