March is Nutrition Month and I have lots of healthy recipes and tips for you all month long! Even as a health professional I seek guidance for ways to make healthier food choices and supplements. I do my best to stay away from medications by using herbs and teas whenever possible. Christi Matson is not only a friend but also my go to Holistic Nutritionist. I am so excited to present my interview with Christi. For more information on her services and programs go to http://www.christimatson.com
1. What led you to be a holistic nutritionist?
Mainly, I wanted to help people be more healthy. I was teaching fitness classes at the time, and I knew I wanted to go deeper in helping people achieve their health goals. Exercise is obviously so important to our health, but I think most people are missing the nutrition/food link. Many people think if they exercise, they can eat whatever they want. I used to believe this lie back in college. I ran a full marathon and actually gained weight because I was eating whatever I wanted and as much of it as I wanted. I thought because I was burning tons of calories it didn’t matter what I ate… boy, was I wrong!
I chose the holistic nutritionist route because I think a little differently than dietitians do. For example, I believe saturated fat is actually good for you and doesn’t contribute to high cholesterol levels. I knew I needed to go to a school that was in line with my food belief system so I chose a holistic nutrition school located in Berkeley. What I love about holistic nutrition is that it looks at the whole person. It’s not a one sized fits all model like the “food pyramid” or “food plate” system. It takes into account that everyone is biochemically different so what works for one person may not work for another.
2. What are three foods you believe women should have daily/weekly?
Dark green leafy veggies like kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, etc… eaten every day at 2-3 times a day!
Fermented foods with live bacteria like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, etc… eaten daily!
Raw nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc… eaten daily!
3. What three foods should be dropped from the Standard American diet and why?
Sugar and fake sugar (for example, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame!) It’s in everything! From sauces to yogurt to “health” drinks… they took out fat, and added sugar to make things taste good, and now Americans eat WAY too much of it. It’s directly linked to obesity, disease, and pre-mature aging.
Vegetable oils like corn, soybean, and canola. These oils are highly refined and processed. They go rancid while sitting on the shelf in the super market. And then because they are unstable fats, when heated they create free radicals. Like sugar, they are also in everything… from chips to dried fruit to roasted nuts. They are NOT heart healthy despite what the label says.
Breakfast cereals like Wheaties, Lucky Charms, Special K… There are obviously many more cereals out there, but bottom line is that these sugary cereals are not good for you despite what the label says. They are highly processed, and essentially all the nutrients that might have been in them are taken out by the heating process of making those little shapes you call cereal. Therefore, they have to add synthetic nutrients back to the cereals, and again, they are full of sugar. They are not what your body needs to start the day. I used to LOVE cereals back in the day. Now, if I want to eat something like cereal, I eat homemade granola. Watch out, most store bought granola is full of vegetable oils..
It’s SO important to read ingredient labels before you buy anything! Just because the front of the package says it’s good for you, does not mean that it is good for you!
4. What is your favorite recipe?
That’s a hard one! I love to cook, and I’ve made some delicious recipes that I keep making over and over.
This one might not be my absolute favorite, but lately, every time I make salmon, it’s my go to because it’s amazing!
It’s wild salmon covered in a mixture of butter (I use ghee, which is clarified butter), paprika, sea salt, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Cook at 350 F for 15 minutes. The coconut gets crispy, and the flavors are to die for ! Since I’ve been pregnant, it’s the ONLY way I make salmon. 😉
5. What ways do you “sweat happy” and stay SunshineFIT!
I love to run especially on trails, cycle, dance, practice Pilates and yoga along with weight training!