Foodies We Love: Dietitian Kate Geagan

Often we are faced with difficult decisions regarding food and nutrition. Perhaps a fish is healthy and nutritious for our bodies, but it is also endangered. Another option might be the best choice for the environment, but a poor choice for our bodies. How do we make choices that are great both for our body and for the environment? America's Green Nutritionist, known to her family and friends as Kate Geagan, is here to help. With her book Go Green Get Lean, consulting competence, speaking finesse, and media communications experience, Kate lays out a healthy food system from the ground to our taste buds giving us a clear path to find healthy and environment-friendly choices. We were honored to be able to pick her brain today: How did you become known as America's Green Nutritionist? When my book Go Green Get Lean was launching, a few people at Rodale, my publisher, started calling me that. The name just stuck-and I adopted it because I think it really captures what I'm trying to bring to the nutrition and health conversation. Now, as America's Green Dietitian, what food and nutrition beliefs are most important to you? 2 key things:

  1. Food is about much more than just the "Nutrition Facts" panel. Food brings with it the story of how it was produced: that includes hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, soil integrity, worker conditions, and the state of the land, air and water. When you make a choice to eat a certain food, you are reinforcing that vision of a food system.
  1. That good nutrition is actually very simple: Eat a diet rich in minimally processed whole foods, eat as many plant foods as possible and minimize animal products. And limit sugar sweetened beverages. That, plus plenty of movement, rest, love and purpose is pretty much the recipe for a vibrant human being.
Agreed! What foods are you loving lately? Nuts and beans! Honestly, when you look at longevity patterns around the world, two themes stick out: snacking on nuts is not only incredibly tasty; it's also incredibly powerful nutrition for your body (packed with heart healthy fats, satisfying protein, and shown to help manage weight and keep your heart healthy). If you look at "Blue Zones", those places in the world where 10x more people live to be 100 than in other parts of the world, there is one food that is common to all of them: beans. They're affordable, widely available, and pack one of nature's perfect protein packages (with folate, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more). We eat far too few in America. We'd love to hear some of your favorite snacks, since well, you could say that is our specialty! Nuts and dried fruit can sustain you with high quality clean energy for hours. I love combining them because you get the quick energy of the carbohydrate in the dried fruit, paired with the low, slow burn of the fat/protein from the nuts. I am also loving toasted chickpeas right now! They satisfy my urge to crunch, but with none of the downside of a bag of potato chips. In the summer, a girl can't go wrong with heaps of fresh farmers market salsa (any variety) over a blue corn tortilla chip. I often add chopped avocado as well for a rich creamy taste that's good for body and planet! Thank you so much for speaking with us today, Kate! Check out the latest from Kate at her website,  Follow her on Facebook here.

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