May 2007 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: What's Considered Junk Food?
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Dip Makes Everything Better
FOOD CORNER: Lemon Tahini Sauce Recipe
UPCOMING EVENTS: Summer Programs


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Do you know what's considered "junk food" in schools today?

Test your knowledge by taking this eye-opening food quiz.

I confess, I got a pretty low score on this one. I'm not sure if this is good or bad!


This link takes you to the quiz.





I was going over this week's responses to the Sabotage Survey on my website, and once again, I'm shocked. 

One of my survey questions asks, "On average, how many servings of fruits and veggies do you eat every day?"

According to the quiz results, the average daily intake of fruits and veggies for my readers is:

 ** 0-2 servings a day **

Wait a minute...

** 0-2 servings a day? **

For the first few weeks of the survey, I thought that people were misreading the question.  Maybe they thought I had asked about their produce intake per MEAL.

But as the months go by, and the survey results remain consistent each week, I realize that many of my beloved readers are simply not eating enough fresh fruits and veggies.

Yikes! Ladies and gentlemen, we need to change this dismal fact.  I simply can't sleep knowing that you're eating so little produce each day.

In one sense, the low consumption of produce also explains why many of you who respond to the survey say that your main health goals are:

To lose weight

To get rid of sugar cravings

To have more energy


It's really difficult to lose weight, banish sugar cravings, and boost your energy if you're eating less than 2 servings of fruits or veggies each day. The good news is... once you start eating more produce, you'll notice an immediate boost in your health.




In fact, here are a few things I've noticed about my clients' produce habits over the years:

- Those who eat more dark leafy greens experience less chocolate cravings. 

- Those who eat more sweet veggies (like sweet potatoes and butternut squash) experience less cravings for candy and sweets.

- Those who eat more scallions, onions, kale, swiss chard, mushrooms, radishes, and cabbage experience more weight loss.

- Those who eat more fruits and veggies overall experience more energy.

- Those who eat more fruits and veggies experience less emotional eating episodes.




But back to the problem at hand.  What to do about my readers' produce aversion?

If you've been avoiding fruits and veggies, it's probably because:

1. You're not sure how to prepare them.

2. You've conned yourself into thinking you don't have time to prepare them.

3. You don't like the taste of plain fruit or veggies...

If any of these excuses ring true, then try this solution on for size.



Wanna Dip?

Imagine you have a plate of plain veggies laid out in front of you. At first, they might not look very appealing to you.  You'd rather eat the chips or the cookies in the cupboard, right?

But put a bowl of dip in the middle, and suddenly, the veggies have a purpose.  They become your dipping machines.

Dip makes everything better!

Let's use the dipping power of fruits and veggies to make them a more regular part of your snacking routine, shall we?

Here's how to make it happen...

Get Your Equipment Ready

Start out by putting two bowls in front of you - one for the fruit/veggies and one for the dip.

If you feel like getting fancy, you can buy a cute set of small, fun bowls for dipping.  Or you can dust off that party bowl with the dipping container in the middle and the veggie containers on the outside.

You can also use a regular old cube ice tray as a dipping tool by putting small pieces of produce in some of the compartments and dipping options in the others. 

If you're feeling artistic, you can even create a "painters' palette" by putting several mounds of dip and veggies on a big dish or tray.



Dipping Combinations

Feeling uninspired? Sick of hummus? Here are some dipping ideas for you:



Broccoli florets dipped in olive oil, red pepper flakes, and oregano

Celery dipped in peanut butter and raisins

Zucchini or summer squash sticks dipped in honey mustard

Asparagus spears dipped in Annie's Goddess dressing

Steamed kale or swiss chard leaves dipped in balsamic vinegar

Grape tomatoes dipped in guacamole

Cauliflower dipped in a peanut butter sauce

Carrot sticks dipped in ketchup

Pepper slices dipped in ranch dressing

Radishes dipped in a butter/dill spread

Sweet potatoes or butternut squash dipped in a maple syrup/cinnamon/ground pecan mixture

Beet quarters dipped in a balsamic/honey sauce

Artichokes dipped in Vegenaise (a mayo alternative) and lemon juice

Brussel sprouts dipped in an olive oil/lemon/honey

mustard/honey/salt/pepper sauce

Cucumber rounds dipped in hummus

Fennel and pear slices dipped in a raspberry dressing

Green beans dipped in an almond/ginger/garlic dressing

Snow peas dipped in unrefined sesame oil and sesame seeds

Mushrooms dipped in a balsamic glaze

Parsnips, burdock root, or rutabagas dipped in a peanut sauce

Kale chips dipped in tamari soy sauce or melted organic, raw parmesan cheese



Avocado chunks dipped in yogurt or bean sauce

Artichokes dipped in natural mayo/lemon sauce

Blueberries dipped in honey

Strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce

Apple chunks dipped in almond butter

Pears dipped in coconut oil/maple syrup/crushed walnuts

Banana wheels dipped in a mixture of crushed almonds, ground flaxseeds, coconut, and agave nectar or honey




If you know that you simply won't take the time to prepare your own dipping sauce, then here are the buying criteria I use when I select pre-made dips or sauces:

- I will not buy any sauces or dips that have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in them.  These are the trans fats you've heard so much about. I look for dips and sauces that use olive oil.  If I can't find those, then dips with safflower oil and sunflower oil are my next pick.  I prefer olive oil, because it has Omega 3 fatty acids in it, which reduce inflammation.

- I adamantly refuse to buy sauces that contain MSG  (monosodium glutamate) because this flavor enhancer is an excitotoxin which causes damage to the nervous system.  "Yeast extract" is another ingredient that functions like MSG.  Steer clear of MSG, folks, please!

- I also steer clear of any dips with high fructose corn syrup or aspartame in them. Honestly, I'd rather have regular old sugar in my sauce than these two offenders.  Ultimately, I prefer fruit, stevia, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup, honey as my sweeteners.

- I want sauces that include a short list of ingredients that I can pronounce and understand.

- I want a dip with as many organic ingredients as possible.



Would you like to prepare your own homemade sauces and dips?  Click here for Christi's sauce and dip recipes.


P.S. Dips are a great way to get kids (and reluctant adults) to eat fruits and veggies. 



If you got this far, thanks for reading...

Which dip combination would you like to try this month?  Will you email me and let me know?

Do you have a fun, tasty way of making veggies and fruit fun for yourself or your family?  Will you email me and let me know about it?  I'd love to add your ideas to my website... so others can be inspired by them, too!

If you loved the commentary, please let me know... your positive comments keep me going month after month.

If you hated the commentary, please let me know... your constructive criticism keeps me on my toes and helps me get more in touch with my readers.

I would love to hear from you. If you've ever thought of emailing me, please do!



P.S. If you liked this issue of "Nourishing Nuggets" please forward it along to friends, family, and colleagues.  It's a great way to show people you care about their health.





Free Teleclass for New Moms:

Eating To Survive


First Years of Motherhood

On June 27, I will facilitate another free teleclass.  This teleclass is designed for new moms, although women in any stage of their motherhood journey are welcome (those who are trying to conceive, those who are pregnant, those who are new moms... you're all welcome!). 

*By the way, if you still consider yourself a new mom, then you're still a new mom in our book.

My two co-facilitators are Amara Wagner of (a new mom, too!) and Pamela Rich of (a very experienced mom of an 18-year old!). 

The call doesn't start until 8:00 p.m. (plenty of time for you to hand the kids off to your husband... grab a cup of tea... curl up on the couch... and spend a delicious 60 minutes focusing on glorious YOU.

We're also putting together a phone group program for new moms, so stay tuned for more details!

If you'd like to participate in the teleclass, or get updates on any new moms or moms-to-be programs, simply enter your contact information here:



Here's the webpage

where you can read more about

Amara, Christi, and Pam.



I'm taking a break from all other teleclasses to enjoy the sunny days of summer with my son, Evan, and my husband, Ben.





If you are looking for inspiration around healthy living, please check out the archived copy of all past teleclasses that I keep on my website.







On Sunday, I went back to the very first health food store that I ever shopped at... only this time, I was there to lead a study group chapter for Holistic Health Counselors who attend my nutrition alma mater, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Stepping into that store made me remember how intimidated I felt the first time I entered Whole Foods.

It was fun to talk with other health counselors and hear that other people are now addicted to the health food store, just like I am!

One counselor was saying how much she enjoyed my "Healthy Shopper" DVD.

She said, "It's very inspiring, and you make healthy shopping seem realistic, not overwhelming, for the average person. In your DVD, you don't talk about extreme foods that turn off the average person... instead you help people start from where they already are, and make step-by-step changes that seem totally doable."


If you're intimidated by the health food store - or you've gotten into a shopping rut - you may gain some inspiration from my Healthy Shopper DVD.

To learn more about the DVD, click here.






This recipe is from Cynthia Lair's book "Feeding the Whole Family."  My 15-month old son gobbled this sauce up on his quinoa, and I put it on my steamed broccoli.

Tahini is a creamy paste made from sesame seeds.  You can usually find it in any grocery store in the healthy section (it will be by the peanut butter).


- 1/2 cup tahini

- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

- juice of 1 1/2 lemons

- 1 clove garlic

- 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or shoyu

- 1/16 teaspoon (a pinch) cayenne

- 3/4 cup water



1. Put everything in a blender or food processor.

2. Blend until smooth.

3. Allow mixture to set for 1/2 hour if possible, so flavors can meld. 

* Sauce will keep in fridge for 10-14 days.

Check out other

Delicious Dip Recipes!





Christi Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

**Are you wondering what a Holistic Health Counselor is?  This description may help!

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.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with "The Big Three": Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care.

She works with very busy women who are struggling to eat healthy and take insanely good care of themselves... without feeling stressed or guilty about it.

Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book "You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health."

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached by email or phone (978.494.0144).

To visit her website, click here.

Here are the latest pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!



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