Shannon Schafer, B.S., N.E. Certified Nutritionist
Shannon Schafer, BS, NE
Shannon is a certified Nutrition Educator and graduate of Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Berkeley, California. She works individually with clients to develop nutrition programs appropriate to their needs. Helping clients find a natural path to well-being and radiance is a strong passion of hers. After overcoming her own health issues by embracing a whole foods diet, she can relate to many client's concerns. Shannon specializes in digestive health, calming allergies, and building the immune system. She is dedicated to helping people look and feel their best!
Watch episodes of my online show Dishin Nutrition for whole food recipes and healthy tips.
Available by appointment only
Check out the latest episode of Dishin Nutrition to meet my special guest and mentor, Laura Knoff! Together we make a delicious fish dish that supports healthy metabolism! You'll even discover the secret to avoiding that fish aroma in your kitchen!
Read Food Labels!
You will be surprised just how much is in your food once you start reading food labels! There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals added to our food supply today. The more foreign ingredients (which names you can not pronounce) in your food, the more likely that it is bad for you. Stick to whole foods and minimize your amount of processed foods. When purchasing packaged, processed foods, read labels and avoid added sugar, MSG, artificial flavorings, preservatives, and food colorings. These harmful food additives are hard for your body to process and often are stored in fat cells, MAKING YOU TOXIC!!! Toxic terrain often leads to disease, possibly even cancer. A good rule of thumb: the less ingredients the better.
Think about it, if it can sit on the store shelf for years at a time, it can be stored in your body just as long!
Start with avoiding the most dangerous additives that are often found in many processed foods with low nutritional value. Here's a list of just a fewâ€¦.
MSG: Monosodium glutamate is a chemical additive used to enhance flavor. It's a neurotoxin, excitatory to the neurological system. Long-term consumption of MSG can lead to MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, brain lesions, and obesity.
Aspartame: This sugar substitute is also a neurotoxin that causes chemical disruptions in the brain. Aspartame not only can make you fat, but it can cause headaches, memory loss, depression, anxiety attacks, brain tumors, and MS. The same dangers can be said for Splenda (sucralose) and saccharin.
Sodium Nitrite: Often found in preserved, processed meats, nitrites are potent carcinogens! Consumption of nitrites has been linked to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, bladder, and lungs.
Artificial Colorings: Consumption of artificial colors has been proven to be carcinogenic. They are also known to cause excitability and behavior issues such as ADD and ADHD in children. Be sure to avoid the following:
Oranges: D&C Orange 17
Blues: FD&C Blue 1
Reds: FD&C Red 3
FD&C Red 9
D&C Red 19
D&C Red 33
FD&C Red 4
FD&C Red 40
Greens: D&C Green 5
FD&C Green 3
Yellow: FD&C Yellow 5
FD&C Yellow 6
A simple general rule: AVOID PROCESSED FOOD! Eat whole foods! Less is more!
For more info on additives to avoid in your food and body products, check out my favorite book, What's in Your Food?
There is also great info at http://www.truthinlabeling.org
Tired of eating out, but don't feel like slaving over the stove? Tune in and learn how to prepare a quick sushi wrap, no cooking required! I'll show you how to wrap a rainbow of healthy vegetables and omega-3 rich salmon in a highly nutritious sea vegetable.
Why eat sea vegetables?
Sea vegetables, also known as seaweed, have been part of the Japanese diet for centuries. Perhaps their secret to health, seaweed provides the broadest range of minerals of any food! Seaweed contains all of the minerals found in the ocean, which happen to be the same minerals found in our blood! Our bodies require minerals to function properly. For example, calcium is required for bone and teeth health, zinc for growth and repair of cells, and iodine supports the thyroid and your metabolism. Minerals also help to prevent disease, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers.
What vitamins and minerals are in seaweed?
Seaweed contains lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties. Seaweed is also an excellent source of these vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin K
- B-Vitamin Folate
- B-Vitamin Riboflavin
- B-Vitamin Pantothenic Acid
How to cook with seaweed
There are thousands of types of sea vegetables that are classified by color, known either as brown, red or green sea vegetables. I used Nori in this episodes Simple Sushi Wrap. Kelp is another common seaweed often found as kelp granules. You can find kelp granules in the Dishin Nutrition Store. Sprinkle kelp in soups, over salad, or on meat instead of salt! Hijiki is black and think with a consistency like pasta. It's wonderful prepared in soups in place of noodles! Kombu is dark green and long strips or sheets. You can add kombu to the water when cooking beans to make the beans cook faster and improve the digestibility by reducing the chemicals that cause gas! Dulse is a reddish-brown color and has a soft chewy texture. I often eat it plain instead of chips. It's naturally salty. It's also great added to stews or soups.
Here's how. Eat complex carbohydrates. It's really that simple. Complex carbs are whole foods that have NOT been processed or striped of important fiber or nutrients. Hence, the absorption of sugars from a complex carb is steady and slow, keeping your blood sugar level. My winter root vegetable salad is a perfect example of a healthy complex carbohydrate. Whole grains, beans, and starchy vegetables are other healthy carbs that you should eat daily.
So what's wrong with refined carbs?
Refined carbs are grain based and have been striped of the germ or bran, losing fiber, B vitamins, and iron. When consumed, the sugars are released rapidly into your blood stream, often causing excess fat storage. Over consuption of refined carbs can lead to serious health issues due to the excess glucose in the bloostream, which triggers insulin production. Repeated elevated insulin levels can cause Diabets and obesity.
Refined carbs like pizza, white bread, white pasta, boxed cereal, cookies, soda, and candy cost a lot of money! One box of Cherios is about $4.50! A 18 pack case of soda is about $6! Compare that to whole grains bought in bulk. For that $10.50 you could buy enough brown rice to feed you for a whole week straight! Refined carbs not only drain your health, but they drain your pocket book too.
Did you know you can eat your way to weight loss? Find out how to incorporate nutrient dense foods into your diet. In this episode, I make "Garlicky Greens" and shows correct portion sizes for weight loss and optimal health!
Four ways to EAT your way to Weight Loss!
- Eat Deep Leafy Greens
Examples: kale, chard, collard greens, etc. These nutrient dense foods contains many vitamins and minerals with little caloric content. They are a great source of calcium and are so good for you!!
- Eat Whole Foods
You will be surprised just how much is in your food once you start reading food labels! The more foreign ingredients (which names you can not pronounce), the more likely that it is bad for you. Stick to whole foods and minimize your amount of processed foods. When purchasing packaged, processed foods, read labels and avoid added sugar, preservatives, and food colorings. These toxic food additives are hard for your body to process and often are stored in fat cells, MAKING YOU FAT!!! A good rule of thumb: the less ingredients the better. Whole foods are also much cheaper than packaged foods and we all need to save a little money right now!
- Eat Fat, Lose Fat
That's right, eat good essential fatty acids, and you will lose weight! Fish oil, flax oil, coconut oil, borage oil, primrose oil, and olive oil are healthy fats that can help you lose weight. After eating these good fats, your body temperature rises and your metabolism is boosted! Fats also satiate you, especially since your brain is mostly fat and in need of good fats. Incorporate these GOOD fats into your diet everyday to promote weight loss. Stay tuned for my episode that explains these GOOD fats in more detail. Also, check out Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats
- Eat Fiber
Fiber such as whole grains, beans, flax seeds, root vegetables, and fruits and vegetables with the skins can help you lose weight! Fiber helps eliminate metabolic waste and regulate blood sugar levels. Maintaining blood sugar levels will reduce the storage of excess fat in your body. Fiber also promotes a sense of satiety, or fullness, after a meal, which helps to prevent overeating and weight gain.
Here is one food that is essential to the body that most of us are lacking in our diets.
Try to incorporate them into your diet to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, for weight loss, build the immune system, boost mood, and improve brain function. (They are great for kids too and will help them learn faster.)
EFA- Essential Fatty Acids
Found in cold water fish, flax seeds, flax oil, sesame seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds or their oils.
Most of us eat some fish but not enough for the bodies needs of EFAs. EFAs make our cell walls more flexible and smooth. Nutrients and waste products can move in and out easier. EFAs make the cell walls soft, not stiff. The softer the cell membrane, the easier it is to communicate and transport between cells.
Bad fats such as fried foods (oils are heated and become rancid), margarine, hydrogenated oils, trans fats all harden the cell walls and lessen fluidity, making your body work harder, aging you!
Read food labels and Avoid trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Don't support those food companies anymore. Instead buy:
Flax seeds (grind them and sprinkle them in food.)
Flax oil (don't heat this oil, it goes rancid easily. Put it in salad dressings or on bread, oatmeal etc)
Sesame seeds or oil. (great sprinkles in food or use oil to saute)
Walnuts (great fast food to keep with you at work)
Nordic Naturals Fish Oil Pills (only buy this brand!!!! it is triple tested for mercury)
Read my article "Fishing for a Healthy Catch" for more info about safe fish choices.
Best of health,