Photo of Christine McCord, courtesy of Weeliscious.com
One of my favorite shows that showcases the visionaries, doers and risk takers who are building a better food system that works for all eaters is HERE! Next week is Expo West-and I’m honored to be speaking this year about a topic near and dear to my heart—how do we communicate the power of organic to families and eaters?
While the Innovations for Good in Organic session is chock full of leaders who are creating impact (including firebrands like Patagonia, Clif Bar, Organic Valley and Lundberg Family Farms), my partner onstage is the ah-MAZE-ing Catherine McCord, co-founder and CEO of Weelicious, a popular blog that’s well known-and well loved-for providing trusted resources families need to put whole, healthy (and tasty) food on their tables…day after day. When we last spoke, she was on set shooting her next cookbook! Cathrine’s in-the-trenches experience is impressive, as is her uncanny knack for keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s next.
Here’s the Details:
What: Innovations for Good In Organic
When: Wednesday, March 6, 2:00-4:30 pm. Where:Marriott, Orange County Ballroom 1
Together, Catherine and I will be tackling topics like:
What matters most to organic eaters and millennial moms-and how can you leverage this in your brand storytelling?
What really works to spark right-now-relevance (and create long-term engagement) by blending science + story?
3 common mistakes well-intended brands make, and how to avoid them.
For a full list of speakers and industry events, be sure to check out Expowest.com. Would love to see you there!
Ready to be inspired to make a positive environmental impact this year?
In my most recent collaboration with Clean Eating Magazine, I shared 3 inspiring change makers of the good food movement who are leading the charge to build a more sustainable future with their businesses.
There’s no turning back. It’s up to us to create something better.
— Kerry Diamond, Smith Canteen in Brooklyn
PHOTO BY ROAM RANCH, BTBETTY
The truth is that changing habits and paving the road to revolution is not easy. But, these three amazing women aren’t taking no for an answer, and are creating real, positive change for all of us. Ready to meet them?
Kerry Diamond, Co-owner of Smith Canteen in Brooklyn New York. Kerry’s mission is to create one of the world’s greenest coffee shops. Her solution is to help coffee drinkers develop a new habit: bring your own reusable coffee cup. And, she believes that just like people now remember to bring their reusable shopping bag, they’ll do the same for coffee, especially for their daily caffeine fix.
Sarah Kaeck, Founder of Bee’s Wrap in Bristol, Vermont. Sarah’s goal was to eliminate the use of plastic in household kitchen, while not forgoing modern conveniences and the necessity to keep our food fresh! Her solution: Bee’s Wrap which is a reusable and compostable alternative to plastic wrap made from organic cotton, jojoba oil, tree resin, and you guessed it… beeswax!
Daniela Ibarra-Howell, Co-founder and CEO of the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Daniela saw a problem, a big problem: 70% of our country’s grasslands are becoming degraded from industrial agriculture and pollution. Knowing how important our land is to feed the world and keep us healthy, she knew that regenerative agriculture was a promising solution. So, she developed the seal, Land to Market which is way for consumers to feel confident that the food they buy was grown in the best way to care for our lands (and future).
This is just the beginning of what these amazing and inspiring women are doing. Read the full article on Cleaneatingmag.com
Coconut is having a major moment: hailed as a superfood, weight-loss secret weapon, and healthy kitchen superstar all rolled into one—coconut now sits at the center of many obsessions. And, it's showing up in a bevy of kitchen staples from vegan bacon strips to coconut flours, and cold-pressed oils to coconut creamers.
Is Coconut Oil Healthy?
You are seeing more and more coconuts and coconut products on the shelves for good reason. Functional medicine prizes cold-pressed coconut oil for its medium-chain triglycerides (which may have beneficial effects on metabolism and insulin), lauric acid (a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral), and coconut's ability to give “good” HDL cholesterol a boost.
But, it's fair to be skeptical. The truth is that many health professionals remain divided on coconut’s heath merits. Medical groups such as the American Heart Association and Harvard School of Public Health have urged caution due to coconut’s ability to raise LDL cholesterol and its high saturated fat content.
How to Shop for Coconuts
If you do choose to shop for this touted health food, there are a few important things to keep in mind. As you shop, how can you be sure you're choosing the best brands? It's vital to choose brands that are are building solutions to help lower coconut’s environmental impact, and not the opposite. Unlike a lot of other well known steps we often take to eat cleaner and more sustainably, coconuts can be harder to crack. (For starters, they're not going to show up in our CSA box anytime soon!)
In a nutshell, whether you’re whipping up smoothies or churning out coconut ice cream this summer, here are the 4 easy tips I recently shared with Clean Eating Magazine to help you choose the most eco-friendly and ethical options from this far-flung favorite.
1. Support eco-friendly public-private partnerships.
Look for coconut products that have partnerships with respected global conservation groups like Conservation International, where each purchase you make helps replenish and restore habitats.
2. Choose organic or Fair Trade Certified.
These 3rd party certifications ensure things like less intensive on-farm practices, commitment to biodiversity, pesticide-free agriculture, and fair wages.
3. Look for high-quality cold-pressed or raw oils.
Smaller batch, hand processing, and traditional methods are typically more eco-friendly than refined processing (which uses industrial chemicals) and large scale equipment.
4. Opt for coconut powder.
Instead of coconut water, look for dehydrated coconut powder which packs in potassium and other electrolytes, while using less packaging and requires fewer fossil fuels to ship to market.
As we shake off those winter doldrums, it just feels good to embrace the new, right? Such as getting a new plant-based dinner recipe down pat, so it feels like a snap but tastes like a splurge. Or loading up on all that freshly arrived, in-season produce that's proven to help you live and eat better (artichokes and asparagus....I'm looking at you!).
As you set your intentions to eat cleaner and greener this spring take inspiration: truly, we live in a Golden Age of Green Eating. From clean, super tasty fish dishes that are sustainably sourced, to consciously crafted coconut creamers that deliver creamy bliss into your morning routine, never have there been so many easy ways to enjoy good food while also doing good in the world. I recently shared some of my very favorite trends and how to try them in my column, 9 Ways to Eat More Sustainably with Clean Eating Magazine. I hope they spark fresh inspiration as you freshen up your food routine this spring.
Top 9 Sustainable Food Tips
Here I share 3 of my top 9 tips, so be sure to head over to Cleaneatingmag.com for the complete list.
1. Add Sea Greens to Your Shopping List.
I am loving this trend! Move over kale, sea greens are poised to be the next must-have green. They are popping up in everything from pestos to powders (delicious for sprinkling on popcorn). While sea greens may feel like a dietary stretch for some, this nutrient-rich, super versatile green is helping preserve marine-based food economies. Try kelp, dulse or nori to start.
Looking for a new source of plant-based protein? Look no further than one of my favorites, hemp seeds! You may be seeing them more often, and there is good reason. Add just two tablespoons to your morning yogurt to pack in 10 grams of healthy protein. Plus, this super seed is a bioavailable source of omega-3 fatty acids and gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a beneficial omega-6 fatty acid, which are powerful anti-inflammatories in the body.
If you do eat meat, enjoying smaller portions of sustainably sourced products less often is one of the most important steps you can take to move to a leaner and greener diet. 100% grass-fed, organic and biodynamic beef and bison have been shown to have more favorable fat profiles, emit fewer carbon emissions, and can actually help remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Ready for the very latest? In March 2018 the world's first Regenerative Grazing certification, "Land to Market" was launched. How is it different? It's the first certification that isn't just based on on-farm methods and practices (which is what usually happens), but on outcomes achieved. Look for it on the meat products you buy.
You can check out my full column (and lots more of my favorite tips) at CleanEatingMag.com.
This week over 80,000 health and wellness leaders will gather in Annaheim, CA for what some call the Fashion Week of food: Natural Products Expo West is where the world’s top food companies, healthy-food innovators, retailers, and even potential investors as come together under one roof to ask “what’s next?”
Here area some of the biggest trends to watch for at this year’s show that are already reshaping how we eat and drink in 2018.
Foods that are “Net Positive”
For many forward-thinking brands, it’s no longer enough to be sustainable: the best brands capturing consumers’ attention today feature ingredients and business practices that go a step further to focus on being regenerative for both people and planet (For example; pea protein and peanuts aren’t only tasty plant proteins associated with a healthy diet, they help replenish soil health, reducing the need for fossil-fuel heavy fertilizers). This trend includes beef and bison products that use regenerative grazing to restore soil health, companies funneling back profits into a strong strong social mission, or brands that have 3rd party certifications such as Biodynamic.
Upcycling of ingredients
Food entrepreneurs are creating delicious new foods and drinks from upcycled ingredients previously been cast aside as food waste. According to the USDA between 30-40% of all food in the US goes to waste and this movement keeps nourishment and resources out of our landfills. This trend includes fruit leathers and cold-pressed juices made from “ugly” veggies and fruits, bars baked with “spent” grain leftover from craft beer brewing, or antioxidant tea made using coffee leaves (which in conventional farming are considered waste or fed to livestock).
Expanding Organic Access As a More Just Food System
Leaders in the good food movement are striving to bring the benefits of organics (such as ingredients grown without potentially harmful synthetic pesticides) to more eaters. Earths’ Best Organic ® Baby food (one of my partners I am proud to collaborate with), for instance, is focused on making organics an everyday affordable option through things like simple packaging and traditional recipes. Plus is the only national organic brand that’s authorized for WIC, a federal nutritional assistance program for women, infants and children.
A Mighty Microbiome
Our keen interest in cultivating a healthy gut health continues to show up at the grocery store. No doubt this is boosted by a flurry of that science which suggests our microbiome. The term microbiome refers to the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body. It acts almost like a hidden organ, forming a complex ecosystem that constantly interacts with our own health. Researchers believe the microbiome plays a critical role in influencing the pH of our gut (which can encourage or prohibit the growth of unwanted pathogens), helps us synthesize essential vitamins, influences our brain chemistry and mental health, and even more, regulates our own genetic activity in ways that can spur health or fan inflammation. While science is still far from fully understood (and zealous marketing in some cases leaps ahead of the evidence), look for this trend to play out across the grocery aisles in everything from drinking vinegars and “gut shots”, snacks and condiments promising a probiotic boost, to foods rich in prebiotics (indigestible fibers that our “good bugs” need to thrive).
The Plant Protein Revolution
This category continues to soar, and is driven by two trends: our unwavering interest in plant-based eating and a passion for protein. In addition to next-generation plant burgers bent on mimicking the look and flavor of real beef, look for innovations in beverages (such as peanut milk, which delivers an impressive 8 grams of protein per 8 oz, on par with cow’s milk), snacks (crunchy chickpeas, anyone?), pastas (plant proteins are addition nutritional oomph with garbanzo bean, lentil, or almond flour), plus plant protein powders (such as hemp) as a protein and omega-3 rich DIY base for the smoothie bowl craze.
Functional Ingredients to Power Well-Being
Call it superfoods 2.0: from adaptogens to mushrooms, there is a whole new generation of functional ingredients that show promise in helping us soothe away stress, rev-up our immune system or give us a mental boost. These compounds are showing up in energy bars, chocolate, coconut creamers, teas and other wellness beverages, coffee drinks, smoothie packets, and more.
The Natural Products Expo West is right around the corner and I am thrilled to be part of this event! From March 7-11, 2018, the world's top food pioneers, healthy food innovators and up-and-coming natural product brands shaping the future of food will come together under one roof.
I always look forward to this event because I believe it's THE place to connect with the people on the front lines of the good food revolution. From new ingredients and products to better agriculture methods, these are the folks working together to create a healthier, more just food system that nourishes more eaters than ever before. (I got a sneak peek as a NEXTY judge for this year's winners, and I can't wait to share with you what I learn once I'm able to share!)
What Sharing the Organic Story is All AboutJoin Me & The Organic Center at Expo!
Will you be there? If so, I hope you'll join me for Sharing the Organic Story, a not-to-miss panel I'm moderating with The Organic Center. The success of organics hinges on being able to effectively communicate its value.
At a time when more and more shoppers are demanding trust and transparency, how can brands and health communicators harness the full power of the organic story?
What is the latest science around the benefits of organics—for people, planet, and our shared prosperity?
In today's highly saturated, information-overload world, how can we best distill and communicate that to advance people's understanding?
YES! I can't wait to be part of this conversation.
Natural Foods Expo West: Sharing the Organic Story
Thursday March 8, 2018
4:00 - 5:00pm
Asa Bradman PhD., Associate Director of Exposure Assessment, University of California, Berkeley
Tracy Misiewicz, PhD., Associate Director Science Programs, The Organic Center
Jessica Shade, PhD., Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
Kate Geagan, Author / Consultant, Kate Geagan Nutrition (Moderator)
Ready to make 2018 your year to take charge of your health? If past year’s New Year’s resolutions haven’t turned into real solutions that work for your busy life, this year is going to be different. That's because this year, I teamed up with health and happiness expert, Gillian Mandrich to create a revolutionary program with you in mind — The GoClean45 Challenge.
Are You Ready to Love the Skin You're In?
Most of my posts are about how to create better food system-one that's healthier, more resilient, and works for all eaters. And what excites me so much is that the GoClean 45 Transformation actually brings all of those ideas and to life and more.
What can you expect? Six 6 energizing weeks of delicious, easy-to-prepare clean recipes, plus daily movement and mindfulness that will help you step into your highest level of health and happiness in 2018. You'll also have access to our private Facebook group —an amazing online community of supportive encouragement with people who are all sharing the same journey as you. The best part? Gillian and I will be coaching you every step of the way, helping you transform your intentions into reality: that’s right — via daily emails, easy-how to videos, our virtual "office hours" and more, all designed to bring you the results you crave. (I hope you'll check out he testimonials below of others who have successfully completed the challenge.
Here's What You Can Expect During the GoClean45 Challenge:
A downloadable nutritionist-led action plan
A downloadable food & health journal to track your success
Weekly videos from our coaches to educate, inspire and share health & cooking tips
6 weeks of customizable meal plans + detailed shopping lists
An e-cookbook filled with clean, balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner & snack recipes
Weekly exercise guides for the home or gym including yoga & bodyweight exercises
Guided practices to boost optimism, gratitude & overall mood
Access to a private Facebook group for community support
Are You Ready to Start 2018 With Us?
We are all starting together! Will you join us? The GoClean45 Challenge begins Thursday, December 28, 2017. (But, you can join in any time in January 2018).
AND, I created a Special Discount Coupon just for YOU: Enter KGEAGAN20 before you add the GoClean45 Challenge to your Cart to save $20 on your investment.
What People Are Saying About The GoClean45 Challenge
Hear about what others who have already completed the GoClean45 Challenge are saying:
"Finding this program was a godsend. After five weeks, I could wear jeans I haven't been able to wear in two years!"
" This was life changing for me even at 62. I will use everything going forward that I learned."
"Final result was down 21 pounds in 45 days. I feel amazing. I really lost it around week 3 to 4 in terms of following the meal plan and keeping up, but I continued to eat clean and although I allowed myself some indulgences for Thanksgiving, I am right back on it this morning. Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement through this journey. I'm going to miss this!!!"
Wishing you all good things for a healthy + amazing 2018.
My latest article in Clean Magazine is on shelves (and online) now!
In it, I tackle a term that is just starting to go mainstream - regenerative agriculture. Good food pioneers are rapidly pivoting to this more holistic, regenerative farming method which focuses on the importance of building healthy, resilient soil as a touchstone for better food, better farms, and a better world. (The Rodale Institute offers a helpful primer on the research here. )
But, what does soil health mean exactly for you, the eater? The evidence is in early stages, but research continues to illuminate how our gut health (and our overall resilience against allergies and illness) is directly impacted by the quality of the foods we eat. And the quality of the food we eat links back to the on-farm conditions: from the soil all the way up to the milking barn.
Here is a sneak peek of what I shared! (Hint: it all goes back to the farm.)
4 Ways to Boost Your Gut’s Resilience
Invest in Farm-Fresh Ingredients - to optimize the healthy soil- healthy farms- healthy YOU circle.
Leave the Leaves and Skin On - when possible: it’s “gut food”.
Included Fermented Foods Daily - to help healthy gut bacteria flourish.
Give Back - step onto a farm, volunteer at your CSA, or compost your scraps: step back into Nature as often as you can.
Regenerative Agriculture in the Marketplace
Food pioneers like EPIC and Back to the Roots are creating a whole new category of regenerative food products that deliver a cleaner product (in terms of ingredient lists and farming practices), as well as a greener footprint. The biodynamic certification is another breakthrough trend of 2017, which lets eaters connect with producers who are committed to following a set of regenerative on farm practices.
We are just beginning to see the rise of regenerative agriculture. To learn more about it, grab a copy on your local newsstand or read the article over at Cleaneatingmag.com for a deep dive into the why and how.
Food waste has been one of the hottest topics of 2017. And it's hight time-as Americans toss roughly 40% of its food before it's eaten. (Psst that's like dropping 1 out of 3 grocery bags in the parking lot on your way out of the supermarket ...and just keep walking!). To make things tricker, the biggest culprits are very the foods that we nutritionists encourage you to shop for in abundance, and eat more of: fruits and veggies.
How can you make it a zero-waste holiday in your own kitchen and savor every bite?
With just a bit of planning, holiday leftovers can help you save money, reduce your impact on our planet's resources, preserve our landfills for something other than perfectly good food (according to the EPA, 95% of tossed food heads to landfills), and let you enjoy every delicious morsel of the season. Here is a sneak peek of some of the tips I shared:
10 Ideas to Reduce Food Waste
Shop and plan for proper portions— pulling recipes from different sites (like I always do?) Do a quick check to make sure you estimate how much you will actually need based on the recipe and the number of guests.
Create a “zero-waste” fridge— Place your most perishable holiday ingredients up front and center so you can see 'em'...and use 'em all up. (Think buttermilk or baby lettuces)
Invite guests to bring a container for leftovers— Easier clean up! And, guests leave with a bit of your holiday goodness to go, all while you help cut down on food waste. What's not to love?
These are just a few of the tips I shared. You can find some other really good holiday leftover ideas here. What other tips and tricks do you find a lifesaver in your kitchen during the holidays? I'd love to hear.
Protein sits at the white hot center of so many trends today-from health to weight control, from food tribes to sustainability. And it’s driving an incredible shift that’s reshaping shopping carts across the US. But what is better protein? How much do we need? How often? And how can we use the science to help eaters get better protein deliciously?
Join award-winning nutrition experts Ashley Koff RD and Kate Geagan RD for The Better Protein Summit: a 90 minute webinar that will inform, inspire and invite YOU to be part of the better protein conversation- and to make it easier for you to help patients, the public, practitioners, the media, companies and policy makers make better protein choices more often. During this webinar, we’ll cover protein quality, sustainability, access, processing, dietary recommendations and innovative global trends.
Who Should Join the Better Protein Summit?
Participants will receive access to patient-ready recipes, The Better Protein Summit presentation, resources and contacts for companies committed to better protein choices today and tomorrow. Who should register? Dietitians, nutritionists, health coaches, fitness professionals, educators, and better health enthusiasts looking for the latest evidence coupled with leading edge thinking. Registration is required to receive the slides, resources, to participate in the robust Q+A and for those that attend live you are elligible for 1.5 CEUs (we will provide a certificate upon completion and request).
However, you do not need to attend live, we understand that things come up and we will make this webinar available ongoing as a resource for you at your better time. REGISTER HERE
This wouldn't be possible without our amazing sponsors Manitoba Harvest, Pacific Foods, REBBL,The National Peanut Board and Love the Wild