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For Your Health 

Bend Nutritional Therapy teaches us how to eat better

When you're smack dab in the middle of a Snowpocalypse, it can be hard to focus on eating healthfully. As everything gets covered in feet upon feet of snow, it's hard not to want the most comforting comfort food you can get your hands on. Personally, mac and cheese, spaghetti covered in provolone and other disturbingly unhealthy choices are my go-to when I'm snowed in.

Still, eating that kind of food for an entire season is not sustainable for keeping my hourglass figure. Fortunately for me, Larissa Spafford from Bend Nutritional Therapy is offering a course at The Workhouse in Bend called, "Eat Your Way to a Better Health." Now, instead of melting cheese onto a plate of more cheese, I can learn how to eat like a human person. The Source talked to Spafford about the class and about a few easy ideas to eat more healthfully.

Source Weekly: Can you start off by telling me your history with cooking healthfully?

Larissa Spafford: I've had a love of holistic health since I was a teenager. This led me to eating and cooking in what I believed was a "healthy" way. Over the years I saw and became frustrated by so many people around me suffering and even dying from health problems that I felt were at least partly preventable with diet. I wanted to do something to help. Then I found the Nutritional Therapy Association and enrolled. In 2015 I graduated as a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Once I studied the sciences of nutrition, anatomy and physiology, I realized that what I previously thought was "healthy" to eat was wrong in many ways (although it was still way healthier than the Standard American Diet or SAD for short). It has changed my health, energy levels and life forever for the better. The best part is that the food I eat now is way more delicious than before.

SW: What are some steps people can take for eating out?

LS: Seek out restaurants that use the best quality whole food ingredients. Some restaurants use local produce and meats. These are best. Many restaurants offer burgers made from grass-fed beef, elk or buffalo. These are less likely to be factory farmed. Avoid fried food, not because all fried food is bad, but because most restaurants fry in the wrong oils for frying or use the unhealthy kinds of oils like canola, soybean or partially hydrogenated oils.

SW: Can you think of some dishes that are perfect for warming someone up in weather like this?

LS: Soups are my very favorite for warming up in weather like this. It's easy to made them nutrient dense and delicious. Slow cooker meals like curried chicken served over zucchini noodles and beef stew over mashed sweet potatoes are other favorites.

SW: How can people eat healthfully if they don't have much time to prepare?

LS: Healthy foods that require almost no prep time include fruits, nuts, seeds, hard boiled eggs, veggie sticks and hummus, cheeses, nut butters, half an avocado and even meats like good quality organic salami. This time of year a slow cooker is a huge time saver. Putting a few whole food ingredients into it in the morning takes little time and coming home to a hot meal is the best. When you do have time making a big pot of soup or other meal to freeze is great for super busy times. Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. I think looking at priorities and seeing if you actually would have time if you made some changes is a good place to start. Ask yourself if you would be willing to watch a little less TV, spend a little less time on social media or even wake up a little earlier. If you really are that busy, you are probably stressed and that is not good for your health. I would consider doing less if possible.

SW: What do you hope people take away from your class?

LS: I hope people come away from my class with the knowledge of what really is and is not food, and what is healthy, as opposed to what food manufacture's and marketers have led us to believe is healthy. I hope people understand that they can take responsibility for their own health and have more information and inspiration to start or continue on their way to better health.

Eat Your Way to Better Health

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2pm

The Workhouse, 50 SE Scott St., Bend


About The Author

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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