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FOOD GLORIA'S FOOD - January 2016 - Kansas City

From SAD to GLAD

By Gloria Gale


"Eat food.  Not too much. Mostly plants." Michael Pollan, journalist


The above statement, succinctly stated by author, Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food, is one Whole Foods Healthy Eating Specialist, Lisa Markley, MS, RDN supports.

From the consumer’s standpoint the whole affair with food is far more complicated than simply eating your peas and carrots.  For the past 5-years, her job has been to help educate the customers towards healthier eating.


Markley, neither a vegan nor vegetarian, sees a shift, “Now more than ever people are refocusing and exploring more healthful alternatives to the Standard America Diet (SAD).”  


GG: “Where scarcity once was the norm in the market, now abundance seems to have lulled us into a stupor of confusion. What is driving the movement to better educate our palette?”


LM: “Not just the uptick in more health problems but the flood of information we’re exposed to from food bloggers, dedicated food networks, and specialized magazines to the infinite channels of on-line information.  Food is the star and many people are becoming more motivated to explore healthier ways to eat.  My approach is to help people sort it all out – specifically creating dishes people can replicate at home.  Previously, in my cooking classes, I demonstrated how to make plant based foods taste good, how to utilize whole grains, leafy vegetables, seasonal produce and, prioritize organic selections.  ”


GG: “That’s a great start but it seems everyone wants fast and easy food.  They don’t want to think about preparing it.  Approximately 50 percent of meals are eaten outside of the home, how do we shift our focus away from the convenience of fast food?”


LM: “I think we have to prioritize.  A Doctor on TV may advertise the latest and greatest diet but is it sustainable in the long run?  It’s the same with day-to-day preparation. Learning to integrate certain foods slowly and make it manageable instead of jumping into a totally organic diet, for example, can help start the process.”


GG: “Let’s face it, many people are sugar junkies. How do you help those poor souls  (I’m one) with this craving?”


LM: “We are hard-wired to seek out  something sweet; it’s pleasurable.  But cultivating awareness those 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon is very revealing.  That green juice may look healthy but read the label only to find out there’s 50 grams of sugar – no more healthy than a can of soda. Try maple syrup, raw honey or natural sucanat for sweeteners. Teasing out options educates and brings you one step closer to healthier alternatives.”  


GG: “So simple, unprocessed foods, preferably whole and from the ground, is the way to go?”


LM: “I believe it is.  Focus on the simple; eat like our ancestors ate before processed food became popular.  The closer to natural food, the better.”

Lisa Markley,


Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves 4-6



1½ tablespoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

1 quart low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons miso (chickpea, yellow, or mellow white)

3 tablespoons cashew butter


Heat coconut oil over in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic and shallot and sauté for about 5 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add the ginger and the broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, approximately 15 minutes.


Carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender and add the miso and cashew butter. Secure the lid and puree until very smooth. Taste the soup and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with Sesame Seaweed Gomasio. 

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

January cover artist Jeanine Handell has donated her art, Experiencing Winter's Inner Glow, to benefit Evolving Magazine.

To support the publication and purchase this beautiful piece place your bid by 8 pm January 31 HERE.

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Kansas City writer, producer, and photostylist Gloria Gale is a sleuth when it comes to discovering interesting features for the media.


As a native she's compiled a burgeoning collection of editorial features on food, travel and lifestyle for national and local magazines, books, individuals, and corporate clients. 


Most recently, Gloria profiled area restaurants as a columnist for 435 Magazine and was one of KCUR's Food Critics radio program. 


Want to know where to find the best tastes in town? Contact Gloria:

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