Eggs in the News

As many of you know, there has been a massive egg recall due to countless reports of salmonella poisoning. Over 228 million eggs were recalled, including brands such as Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Sunshine, Farm Fresh, and Kemps.

I occasionally talk about eggs, and have stressed the importance of buying your eggs from a local farmer if at all possible. There are many benefits to eating eggs from chickens that eat grass and roam freely (read more about it here), including an extremely low risk of salmonella. A recent article in the Denver Post stated that due to the egg recall, local egg demand has increased beyond supply. This is great news!

We get our eggs from Grant Family Farms, who also provide our CSA box each week full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have to admit, it was nice to know that despite the huge egg scare, we could still soft-boil our eggs or cook them over easy without worrying about getting sick.

Grant Family Farms has had 30 more people sign up for an egg “share” in the past week and a half, and other farms are actually increasing egg production for next year because demand is greater than current supplies. There is a local woman who holds classes on how to raise your own backyard chickens, and she has even seen a surge in class enrollments in the past week and a half! I’m not sure if local egg demand is increasing in other cities, but I encourage you to look into this option. The eggs will likely be a little bit more expensive, but they taste much better, and most importantly they are safer and healthier. Not to mention the satisfaction you’ll feel when you decide to support a local farmer!

To see more photos about how the chickens at Grant Family Farms are raised, go to the Denver Post’s album here.

I’ll be taking Thursday, Friday and Monday off to spend time with family. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and eat well!


Back to School!

Just like many of you (or, your kids), I started school yesterday. My two classes this term are Digestion & Detox, and Life Cycles & Anti-Aging. Both very interesting subjects that I am excited about. And as a bonus, the teachers are excellent!

We’re starting off by going into detail on the digestive system. It really is fascinating, and it’s so important for a nutritionist to have an in-depth understanding of how it all works. I’ll spare you the boring details, but there are some pretty interesting and relevant facts that I thought you guys might be interested in.

  • The gastrointestinal (GI) tract can be thought of as a long tube that is open at both ends – the mouth and the anus. For this reason, it is actually considered to be outside of our body. Cool!

  • Since our GI tract is considered to be outside of our body, the mucus layer lining it is technically our first line of defense against any bacteria, pathogens, or other invaders from the outside. Therefore, if our mucus lining is not in tact, we are more susceptible to sickness. In simpler terms, a weakened GI tract = a weakened immune system.

  • There are more cells in the GI tract than anywhere else in the body.

  • Stress and high cortisol levels can lead to an underactive digestive system – low absorption of nutrients, constipation, and other issues.

  • Most nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine, but alcohol is actually absorbed through the stomach lining (before it even reaches the small intestine). This is why you can take a drink on an empty stomach and immediately feel the effects. It’s also why people say you should “have a little something in your stomach” before you drink an alcoholic beverage. If there is food in your stomach, the alcohol will not be as quickly absorbed.

We also talked about the importance of our clients understanding that absolutely everything they decide to put into their bodies will affect them in some way. What you eat and drink is directly related to the health of your digestive system and therefore your overall health, and it is extremely important to make good decisions most of the time. A 5-mile run will not “cancel out” that enormous slice of chocolate cake or 6 beers you drank last night. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy yourself once in a while, but just remember that most of the time, we need to treat ourselves with care and eat foods that will promote health and balance inside our bodies.


New Trend in Nutrition: Eating Out of a Truck

Has anyone else noticed the food trucks that are popping up all over the place?

Up until now, we had limited options for a quick, cheap lunch: fast food, a hot dog stand on the street, or maybe grabbing a pre-wrapped sandwich at a convenience store in the lobby of your building. But some chefs are daring to compete with these options, and they are succeeding. They are taking high-quality food and fancy recipes, and selling them out of carts or trucks in heavily populated areas. And it’s working! If you can get a $2 short-rib taco made with all fresh farmer’s market ingredients, why would you ever go to Taco Bell again?

This concept is successful for a couple of reasons. People love high-quality, nutritious food, but they also love affordable food. Cooking and selling from a truck is one way to meet both of these demands. The overhead costs are very low, and they can keep the menu simple enough to suit all tastes.

I think this is a great concept, and I encourage you to support the people who are trying to make it work. Some trucks are independent, while others are affiliated with great local restaurants. In Denver, The Gastro Cart serves a $7 gyro made up of roasted lamb, tzatziki sauce, napa cabbage, guajillo-mint foam, and naan (classic bread from India). Sounds delicious! You can also get fresh waffles from a street cart (it’s worth it to walk past the cart each morning just for the smell), and there’s even a vegetarian/vegan food cart that sells favorites from a great local restaurant.

Some of these carts or trucks use social media such as Twitter or Facebook to notify fans of their whereabouts or what the specials are on the menu for a particular day. For example, the delicious Cake Crumbs shop in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood recently started operating a cupcake truck. The driver makes his way throughout the city each day, and tweets his location and how long he’ll be there. People show up to buy cupcakes, and he usually runs out before the day is over.

Anyway, I think this is a great concept and could help replace an unhealthy lunch with something that is a touch more nutritious, much more tasty, and still very affordable. I recommend googling your city and “food trucks/carts” to find out what your options are. If you live in a major city, you’ll have many!