Class Descriptions

Classes Taught by Vicky Newman, MS, RDN

Mediterranean Diet

Food for Thought — Healing Foods to Savor
Learn the right balance of foods to maximize your health and energy level through an anti-inflammatory, low glycemic load eating plan. Practical tips will be provided for maximizing intake of foods that support your body’s immune and detoxification systems, while minimizing exposure to environmental toxins. You will learn how to maximize your fiber intake, and balance your fats to support your health and well-being. Emphasis will be on adding to your enjoyment of food, while supporting your health and a more sustainable environment.

Anti-Inflammatory Eating Tips
The anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan designed to prevent or reduce low-grade chronic inflammation, a key risk factor in a host of health problems and several major diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. The typical anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. Anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines will be reviewed, and foods rich in fiber and plant protectors will be highlighted. Practical suggestions will be offered to help you minimize sugar and refined carbohydrates, while making sure you are ingesting enough protein, as well as a healthful balance of fats and protective minerals.

Digestive Wellness
You can strengthen your immune system and reduce risk of disease through healthy digestion. This presentation will briefly review how faulty digestion can affect the human body systemically, from headaches, mood, and skin issues to fatigue and pain. Food choices and eating habits affect the gut microbiome, and a healthy gut biome involves more than just taking probiotic supplements. Natural remedies for common GI challenges will also be reviewed, including acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, gas/bloating, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Microbiome & Human Health
The human intestinal tract is home to a diverse and complex microbial community that is increasingly being recognized for its importance in human health. The human microbiome impacts a vast array of functions including metabolism, physiology, nutrition, and immunity. As a result, alterations of the microbiome can significantly impact both physical and mental health and thus contribute to multiple chronic conditions and disease states. This presentation will review the role of the microbiome in health and disease, including practical ways to restore and maintain a healthy microbiome.

Food and Mood — The Nutrition Connection
What you eat and drink, as well as how much and how often, can have a significant effect on your mood, energy level, mental health, and ability to cope with stress. Common imbalances connected to nutrition are known to worsen mood and motivation. Emphasis will be on dietary choices that support normal blood sugar levels and supply the amino acids building blocks for neurotransmitters, as well as the B-vitamins and essential fats required for normal brain function. We will discuss how a common genetic defect that affects about one out of every 10 people coupled with a diet low in certain B-vitamins can contribute to mental illness, including depression.

“Belly Bulge” … “Mid-Age Spread” –What Does Insulin Have to Do with It??
Meal composition and timing can profoundly impact our body’s ability to function optimally, especially as we age. This presentation will summarize the evolving research on strategies to address metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by increased blood sugar, abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Topics addressed will include low-carb vs “slow-carb,” insulin-resistance, and ketogenic diets, as well as the potential benefits and cautions related to various food restriction protocols (“intermittent fasting”).

Paleo in Perspective — Protein/Carb Conundrum & Health
Conflicting advice about the optimum diet for health, fitness, and longevity abounds. Paleo advocates promote a diet plentiful in animal protein and non-starchy vegetables with little to no dairy products, grains and/or legumes, while vegans advocate the need to eliminate all animal foods including dairy products and to eat plentiful amounts of whole grains and legumes. This presentation will provide practical strategies for adopting and maintaining a diet that supports acid-alkaline balance to protect bone health and reduce the risk of disease and disability.

Food “Issues” – Allergies, Intolerances, Sensitivities
While food is essential for health and well-being, certain foods and/or food components may also cause unpleasant reactions in some people. Side effects may be caused by an allergic reaction, an insufficient amount of one or more digestive enzymes, or by another imbalance in the digestive system. This presentation will address common food allergies and intolerances, as well as an overview of the body’s immune response as related to food and health.

Boosting Bone Health—Prevent Injury & Speed Healing
Bones are dynamic and continue to rebuild themselves, even as we age. Bone remodeling is supported by a healthy diet and by regular physical activity. This presentation will focus on dietary choices that help calcium stay in our bones and out of our blood vessels to support both bone strength and arterial flexibility. Adequate calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and several trace minerals are all important, as is enough protein and alkaline minerals like magnesium. Our food, supplement, and activity choices help protect bone strength and structural flexibility to help prevent injury and speed healing.

Earth-Friendly Eating for Personal & Planetary Health
Our food choices really do matter. Eating lower on the food chain (more plant foods and smaller fish & animals) not only helps to reduce global warming and to conserve limited water supplies, but also reduces our exposure to environmental toxins that increase our risk of disease. Our best food choices are: fresh, whole, unprocessed; local in season; organically grown. If processed, the best choices are: those with fewer ingredients (less than 5) and less packaging. Preparing our own food and sharing it with family and friends is nourishing to our bodies and nurturing to our spirits.

Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, & Heart Healthy Eating
Chocolate and red wine contain plant protectors, minerals, and other natural compounds that help protect the cardiovascular system by reducing inflammation, protecting the blood vessels from damage that can result in plaque buildup, reducing the risk of clot formation, and helping with blood flow. We will talk about the protective compounds found in other BIG color, BIG flavor plant foods, including dark chocolate and red wine. Shopping tips will be provided to help you choose the most healthy and planet-friendly chocolate and wine choices, along with the safest amounts. Also included will be a brief discussion about the nutritional differences between chocolate and carob, and a few thoughts about resveratrol.

Heart Healthy Eating—A Changing Perspective
Moving beyond cholesterol control, this presentation will focus on updated dietary strategies to protect cardiovascular health and function. Emerging risk factors will be briefly reviewed, including the role of inflammation and blood sugar control. Anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines will be reviewed, and foods rich in plant protectors will be highlighted. Practical suggestions will be offered to help answer frequently asked questions, including: What kind and amount of fat is optimum? Are eggs heart healthy? What about butter and coconut oil? Why are dietary fiber and a healthy gut microbiome important for cardiovascular health?

Nutrigenomics — Personalizing Dietary Guidance
Food components interact with our genes to support or interfere with our health and longevity. Chronic disease onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity are influenced by diet-regulated genes & their common variants. Nutrigenomics may ultimately enable personalized dietary advice based on genotype to help support nutrient adequacy and detoxification systems essential for optimal body functioning. The presentation will provide an introduction to this fascinating topic, as research in this field is evolving rapidly.

Food as Medicine—Focus on Plant Protectors
Food provides an array of protective components that play a critical role in controlling inflammation, balancing blood sugar, regulating cardiovascular health, as well as helping the digestive organs to process and eliminate toxins and waste. In addition to the familiar nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate), these food components include protectors produced by plants (phytochemicals), by animals (zoochemicals including omega-3-fatty acids), by mushrooms (fungochemicals that support immune function), and by gut microbiome (bacteriochemicals). This presentation will provide practical suggestions to help insure an adequate intake of these protective food components.

Dietary Supplements — Choosing Those Most Useful for You
Included in this presentation will be guidelines for choosing a well-balanced vitamin-mineral formulation, along with a discussion of specific nutrients to support bone and heart health, as well as immune function. We will cover how to read and understand supplement labels, and how to sort out safe from potentially harmful supplements. Issues of bioavailability to insure maximum benefit will be included, along with a discussion of some common nutrient/herb/drug interactions.

Culinary Herbs and Spices for Health & Healing
Herbs and spices have been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. Not only do they provide color, taste, and fragrance adding to our enjoyment of food, they also provide a wide array of protective compounds that support health and healing. This presentation will briefly review the health benefits of common culinary herbs and spices, as well as the preparation and safe use of herbal infusions. Practical suggestions for incorporating these in your diet will be provided, along with some favorite recipe ideas.

Detoxification for a Healthier Body & Mind
Need a detox?? With all the chemicals and pollutants we encounter daily, it’s important to understand the body processes involved in detoxification and the practical actions you can take to reduce toxic burden. Learn how to reduce exposure to toxins, minimize production of toxins in your body, and help your body eliminate toxins to support your physical and mental health.

Fighting Cancer with Your Fork
Learn about the role of BIG COLOR and BIG FLAVOR plant foods in strengthening your body’s immune and detoxification systems. The latest research will be summarized, along with practical tips for optimizing your intake of protective compounds (phytochemicals) from plants. Highlighted are the protective properties of carotenoids and other coloring pigments, flavonoids, the sulfur compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, onions, and garlic, as well as the beneficial components found in flaxseed and common culinary herbs. Fruits and vegetables richest in antioxidants are discussed, along with practical guidelines to minimize exposure to environmental toxins that increase cancer risk.

Immune Boosting Nutrition Tips
You can help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity by including key nutrients in your eating plan. Practical dietary guidance will be provided to help you to make sure that you are getting adequate protein, as well as foods rich in vitamins (including A and C) and minerals (like zinc). Herbs, botanicals, and supplements that support healthy immune functioning will be discussed. And because of the critical role of the gut microbiome in immune functioning, guidance will also be provided to insure adequate dietary fiber to support a healthy balance of gut microbes.

Developing Your Own Optimal Eating Plan
This is an interactive workshop that will help participants evaluate their diet for key nutrients, and to design a personalized meal plan containing the right balance of foods to maximize their health and energy level. The focus will be on anti-inflammatory foods and low glycemic load eating plans. Tools will be provided to help participants determine if they are getting enough protein, fiber, and calcium. They will also learn to calculate their vegetable, fruit, and fat intake to see how they are doing as related to current guidelines.










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