Top Tips for Healthy Eating

Last Thursday I had the great pleasure of speaking to six classes of students at Brattleboro Union High School. I spoke to students in health class as part of nutrition week. It was a phenomenal honor to be able to educate young people on the benefits of holistic wellness. We went over the differences in the USDA My Plate Graphic and the Integrative Nutrition Plate. I believe that it is extremely important to educate young people on the benefits of whole grains vs. processed grains and water vs. dairy. I had a blast teaching these theories and seeing heads bobbing in acknowledgment! I think the information that I presented breaks down what to eat in a way that is more instinctual and less cerebral.

As my gift to you, I would like to share the tips that I concluded my lecture with. I hope that these tips will help to inform the choices that you make and lead gradually to a future of greater total body wellness through nutrition. Please share, print out, bookmark, etc.

With love,



-choose foods without labels (fresh vegetables, fruits)

-if there is a label, make sure you can read and understand all of the ingredients

-choose a variety of colors (of produce) for maximum nutrient consumption

-eat mindfully – pay attention to the way your food looks and tastes, chew, and relax

-listen to your body – observe how you feel physically and emotionally after eating

-eat foods that make you feel vibrant, energetic, and clear-headed and happy!

-90/10 diet – eat healthy (organic if possible) whole foods 90% of the time – 10% of the time you get to indulge


My Happy Place

I have a place that heals and rejuvenates me every summer. It was introduced to me by my college room mate who is fortunate enough to own property there. It is an island that those who have spent any length of time on hold fondly in their hearts. The place? Cuttyhunk.

I visit for at least a few days at a time every summer. I eat home-cooked food, often made with garden-fresh produce because there are very few restaurants. I walk everywhere, climbing up and down the hilly roads, because the island is so small there is little need for a vehicle. I play volleyball, and partake in dance fitness class (but have yet to make it to sunset yoga on the beach). I walk barefoot and connect with the earth. I commune with the wind, sitting on bunkers, on the highest points of the island looking out at close to 360 degrees of ocean. I am buoyed and healed by the tranquil sea. I collect treasures along the shore. I worship the sun by day, the moon and stars by night.
Each visit, I have a profound experience learning about my true self.
This year, I returned from my four day vacation a solid 5 pounds lighter, (and still dropping) more relaxed, with better digestion, and increased muscle tone.
A few years ago, I decided to embark on my journey to become a health coach, and I had a vision of future health retreats on Cuttyhunk Island.

Iced tea on the porch, Churches Beach, Cuttyhunk MA

I had hoped to share with you more of the enchanting sites on Cuttyhunk, but a digital error erased the majority of the photos I took this July. Perhaps it’s better to remain a gorgeous mystery prime for discovery.

Rutgers University Study: Organic vs. Conventionally Grown Produce and Follow Up

Organically grown produce provides our families with more nutrition than conventionally grown!

If you’re buying your food from commercial sources, such as a grocery store, take a look at the difference in the quality of conventional versus organic food.

Food Percentage ofDry Weight Mill-equivalents per 100grams Dry Weight Trace Elements Parts per Million Dry Weight
Total Ash Mineral Phosphorus Calcium Magnesium Potassium Iron Manganese
Organic 10.45 0.36 40.5 60 99.7
Commercial 4.04 0.22 15.5 14.8 29.1
10 2
Organic 10.38 0.38 60 43.6 148.3
Commercial 6.12 0.18 17.5 13.6 33.7
0.4 0
Organic 24.48 0.43 71 49.3 176.5 516 169
60 0.19
Commercial 7.01 0.22 16 13.1 53.7 9 1 0
Organic 14.2 0.35 23 59.2 148.3 1938 68
53 0.63
Commercial 6.07 0.16 4.5 4.5 58.8 1 1
0 0
Organic 28.56 0.52 96 203.9 23.7 1584 117
32 0.25
Commercial 12.38 0.27 47.5 46.9 24.6
0.3 0.02

Rutgers University Study Comparing Organic versus Commercially Grown Foods


It has been noted by many in the scientific community that this study has been wildly misquoted by many as illustrating the superiority of organic produce. I have received comments from viewers who reported that they could not locate this study through Rutgers, or that it had been disproven. The study was real, and the results were calculable, however, the subject matter was mineral composition, not a comparison of organic vs. conventional produce. I apologize to my readers and offer this explanation from Rutgers:

Misquotes in “Variation in Mineral Composition of Vegetables”

A study conducted at Rutgers University (Bear et al., 1948) is frequently misquoted as evidence supporting the position that organically grown vegetables are significantly superior in minerals and trace elements to conventionally grown vegetables. In reviewing the original publication, one can clearly see that this was not the intention of the study nor does it give support to this premise. The purpose of the study was to compare the mineral composition of vegetables “as one proceeds from south to north and from east to west in the United States.” Samples of cabbage, lettuce, snapbean, spinach, and tomato were obtained from commercial fields of these crops and analyzed for mineral composition. A total of 204 samples were examined. The vegetables sampled were usually, but not always, of the same variety. The authors reported, in a table, the range in mineral concentration as highest and lowest values observed among the vegetables sampled. These highest and lowest values have been misrepresented as vegetables grown organically and inorganically, respectively, in various organic farming and healthfood newsletters, which cite the report (copies of the misquotes are available on request).

The authors discussed the influence of soil type, fertilizer practice, and climate on the observed differences in mineral composition. The study only provides a general survey of their possible influence and did not compare synthetic fertilizer and organic practices.

Received 11 Mar. 1991.

Crop Science Dept.
Rutgers Univ.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Bear, F.E., S.J. Toth, and A.L. Prince. 1948. Variation in mineral composition of vegetables. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 13:380-384.

Reprinted from the Soil Science Society of America Journal
Volume 55, No. 5, September-October 1991
677 South Segoe Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA