March 2004 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Super Size Me, Please!
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: It's Time for Spring Cleaning
FOOD CORNER: Spring Foods - Glorious Greens
UPCOMING EVENTS: Spring Events - brand new Nourishing Night event!

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To schedule a consultation with Christi to discuss your diet, health goals, and health history, click here.



This is the face of Morgan Spurlock. On Thanksgiving Day, 2002, he listened to fast food representatives claim - on TV - that their food is nutritious and shouldn't be linked to the obesity problem in America.

Morgan decided to test that theory. He vowed to eat three meals a day at McDonald's for 30 days straight... and see how the fast food diet affected his health. 

The Rules?

1. He could only eat what was offered over the counter (including water).

2. No supersizing unless offered.

3. He had to eat every item on the menu at least once.

The Results?

Morgan's doctor said, "None of us imagined he could deteriorate this badly - he looked terrible.  The liver test was the most shocking thing - it became very, very abnormal."  Some other results:

1. Morgan added 25 pounds to his 185-pound frame (in just 30 days).  He had a huge gut for the first time in his life, and his knees hurt from carrying around the sudden extra weight.

2. His cholesterol shot up from a low 165 to 230.

3.  His libido flagged and he suffered headaches and depression.

4. He started craving sugar and fat in between meals... and his face became splotchy.

After 30 days of torture, Morgan created a documentary that highlights the results of his experiment and explores the horrors of school lunch programs, food addictions, and the obesity epidemic in America.  "Super Size Me" was shown recently at the Sundance Film Festival, and received rave reviews!

To read more about the film "Super Size Me," learn some sobering facts about fast food, and find out when the movie is coming to a town near you, click here


On March 21, we will experience the spring equinox, when day equals night.  For the next six months, the sun will dominate our lives once again.  Spring is the perfect time of year to make a fresh start!

What do you want to clear away or clean up?

There's a reason it's called "spring cleaning!"  If you look around outside, you'll notice the snow is melting and the brown is giving way to greens and bright colors.  You'll see new buds on the trees and flowers peeping out of the ground.  Mother Nature is going through her yearly spring makeover.

Yet, if you look at your home and office environments, you may still see signs of stale heaviness from winter.  I encourage you to welcome spring with open arms by going through your home, office, and closet... and clearing out the clutter.  Put flowers and plants where mittens and coats once stood.  Put lighter curtains on the windows - or take them off completely for a few months. Do a thorough cleaning - you'll be amazed at how good it feels. 

** Why not treat yourself to a professional cleaning service for a day?  You deserve it!

Your body will soon be ready to shed extra winter pounds.  Why not help it along by designing a spring eating plan?  Check out the new fruits and vegetables that are surfacing at the grocery store.  Start making the transition from heavy soups and breads to lighter salads and grains like quinoa and barley.  *See below for more info on doing a spring nutritional cleanse.

Give your liver and gall bladder a break!

The organs associated with spring are the liver and gallbladder.  Your liver metabolizes your food, keeps your blood sugar levels stable, and filters toxins out of the blood. Your gallbladder stores and secretes bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats.

Years of overeating (especially alcohol, fried foods, and meats) can lead to an overworked, toxic liver.  If your liver is overloaded, it isn't able to detoxify your blood, and poisons will remain stuck in your body.  However, your liver has the amazing ability to regenerate itself after injury or illness.  So... spring is the perfect time to cleanse and rebuild your liver. 

Benefits of doing a spring cleanse

Many of you have asked me how to do a cleanse, and since springtime is the best time for this, I want to focus on cleansing this month. 

In many ways, doing a spring cleanse is like taking your car in for regular checkups. If you didn't bring your car in for regular maintenance work, it would break down.  The same rings true for your body.  Hmmm... when was the last time you gave your body a break from eating? 

A spring cleanse has many benefits:

1. Gets rid of excess waste and disease in the body

2. Clears mucus away, relieving allergy symptoms and reducing cold symptoms

3. Sheds extra pounds

4. Gives your digestive system a much-needed break

5. Clears your skin

6. Gives you more energy and clarity

What does a cleanse entail?

There are a lot of different cleansing programs out there.  However, if you're doing a cleanse on your own for the first time, the easiest way to approach it is to "Simplify Your Eating."  For a few days, try to avoid alcohol, fattening or fried foods, sugar, animal protein, dairy products, and processed foods.  Make fruits, vegetables, water, and herbal teas the majority of your diet. 

While doing a cleanse, it is a good idea to brush your skin with a loofah sponge or a skin brush.  This will remove dead skin cells and clear out toxins that are being eliminated through your skin.

You may notice a few side effects during the first day or two of cleansing, as your body starts to release toxins.  Don't be alarmed by headaches or irritability or skin break-outs.  This is just a sign that your body is getting rid of junk!  It's actually a good thing... and the yucky feeling will pass, if you stick it out. 

I suggest doing a cleanse on a weekend when you can get a massage, go to a spa, or just spend time moving around outside.  Doing a cleanse during the work week isn't always the best idea... at least not the first time around!

If you've never done a cleanse before, it's helpful to get guidance and support.  If you are interested in joining an online detox/cleanse support group, please contact me.  Or come to my "Spring Cleansing" seminar (see below) to learn more details.


Corporate Offerings

I offer lectures and group programs to corporations and associations.  I am focusing primarily on women's networking groups within these organizations.  If you would like to bring healthy eating and living to the women in your organization, please contact me.  We can schedule a lunchtime nutrition workshop for your group so that we can get to know each other better and create a program that will work best for you.

Group Nutrition/Wellness Program For Women Only!
Come on... join us... and bask in the fabulousness of a group of dynamic women! The gentle, enthusiastic support of this group program will help you design a way of eating that gives your body energy, moves you towards your ideal weight, and helps calm your food cravings.  This program is designed for women who want to look at food - and their lives - from a new, fun, sexy angle.  We will help you make daily fitness, wellness, and healthy food choices a regular part of your life! 

Location: Porter Square, Cambridge

Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m. every Wednesday from 4/7 - 5/12

Your investment in your health: $300

To sign up: email me or call 617.492.1489 for more info

Seminar: "Spring Cleansing from the Inside Out!"

It's been a long winter, and we have accumulated a lot of "extras" - extra weight, extra moodiness, extra exhaustion, and extra clutter. Spring is the perfect time to get rid of the extras and the clutter! This 1-hour seminar will teach you tools to get your body and soul ready for spring.

Location: Whole Foods, River Street, Cambridge

Date: Tuesday, April 6

Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Your investment in your health: $15 (free for clients, $10 for former clients)

To sign up: email me or call 617.492.1489 for more info

Health Food Store Tour
This week, a cable channel taped my health food store tour for a spring TV series.  But you can experience it live and up close! Let me help you get out of your food rut.  I will explain how to make healthier food choices that taste good and won't break the bank.  I will also help you learn how to read labels and select the best produce and animal products. Participants receive a $5 coupon to use after the tour.  This tour is a ton of fun!

Location: Whole Foods, River Street, Cambridge

Date: Tuesday, April 6

Time: 6:00-7:15 p.m.

Your investment in your health: $15 (free for clients, $10 for TNTers)

To sign up: email me or call 617.492.1489 for more info

Individual Health and Nutrition Counseling
If you are depressed, low in energy, sluggish, or a bit heavier than you'd like... chances are, you're experiencing the "Winter Blues."  To increase your energy, balance your moods, and eat better foods, I invite you to schedule a health consultation with me.  We will go over your health history, evaluate your current diet, and design a personalized program that will put you on the road to optimum health.

I offer in-person and phone consultations.   To schedule a consultation: email me or call 617.492.1489 for more info.

Spring Food - Glorious Greens

It's time to transition from the warm, heavy comfort foods of winter to the light, cleansing foods of spring.

Eating green leafy vegetables is a great way to freshen, cleanse, and detox your body.

Next time you go to the store, try bypassing the iceberg and romaine lettuce... and check out kale, collard greens, spinach or swiss chard instead.

These dark leafy greens pack quite a nutritional punch!  Greens are a rich source of calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants.  The active part of greens is chlorophyll, which is one of the strongest healing agents known to man. 

*A word of caution: swiss chard, beet greens, and spinach contain oxalic acid (a chemical that binds to the iron and calcium in greens, limiting the amount of these minerals your body can absorb).  It's best to mix these greens with another type of greens to maximize your calcium intake.

Greens are extremely low in calories, so you can munch on them all day without worrying about gaining weight.

Greens are also full of fiber, so they act like scrub brushes and clean out your intestines.

Storing Greens

Wrap them in paper towels (unwashed) and place them in a plastic bag. They'll keep for 3-5 days in the crisper.  Try to eat them quickly, because they will get bitter after a few days.

Preparing Greens

The best way to wash greens is to dunk them in a bowl of clean water and let the dirt sink to the bottom.

You can roll greens into a cigar shape, then cut them crosswise into strips.  Or, you can use my favorite method: rip them into bite-size pieces with your hands!

Cooking Greens

Many people complain that darker greens are too bitter for their tastebuds.  To reduce the bitter taste, you can use condiments like mango chutney, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, nuts, or olive oil.

To cook greens, you can fry them in olive oil.  You can steam the lighter greens (like swiss chard or kale).  You can blanch the heavier greens, like collards. 

My favorite cooking method is to cover the bottom of a skillet with a thin layer of water. Then I add the greens and cover them with a lid.  After a few minutes (the time it takes to brush your teeth), they're cooked to a brilliant green color.  I then rinse them under cold running water to "stop" the cooking process.


White Bean and Collard Green Soup

*Adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen

Since we're in the winter-spring transition, this soup is a perfect blend of winter warmth and spring greens.  It's quite filling and satisfying.  It doesn't need much babysitting (much of the prep time is simmer time).


1-2 T. olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 stalks celery, minced

2 carrots, diced

2 broccoli stalks, chopped

2 t. sea salt (to taste)

6 cups stock or water

2 cans white beans

3 T. fresh minced garlic

1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and chopped

Freshly ground pepper (to taste)


Freshly-grated nutmeg

Finely minced parsley

Parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat oil in pot.  Add onion, bay leaf, celery, carrots, broccoli, and salt. 

2. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then add stock or water.

3. Cover, bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

4. Add beans, garlic, and as much of the greens as you can fit into the pot. Cover, and wait a few minutes for greens to wilt down.  Keep adding greens in batches.

5. Add black pepper to taste, and adjust the salt.  Serve hot, with nutmeg, parsley, and/or Parmesan cheese on top.



Christi Lehner, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. A Holistic Health Counselor is a nutritionist and life coach all rolled up into one. Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty. A three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan, Christi delights in helping her clients make nutrition and lifestyle changes that boost their energy, heal chronic illnesses, reduce stress, and make their bodies and souls extraordinarily healthy.

Christi can be reached at or 617.492.1489.


About "Nourishing News"

Note: the information in this newsletter is presented for educational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a licensed professional.  To suggest topics for future Nourishing News issues, please contact me.

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