Author Archives: Nutritious_America

About Nutritious_America

Owners Karen Sherwood and Abra Pappa, life-long friends and holistic nutritionists, are on a mission to radically improve the health of Americans. Using the principles of whole natural food, mindful lifestyle changes, innovative and easy healthy recipes, fitness tricks, and a healthy sprinkle of fun they have inspired thousands to reach their health and weight loss goals via NutritiousAmerica.com.

Beware Carrageenan, a Food Additive Common in Organic Products

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

If you are into reading labels then you have most likely seen an ingredient called carrageenan. It specifically appears on the label of many organic processed food products.

What is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a polysaccharide derived from red seaweed and it has molecular qualities similar to plastic. Seaweed sounds innocent enough; it’s natural right? Absolutely, as a matter of fact, many types of seaweed are commonly used as a medicinal food to support many conditions like thyroid disorder and even cancer. However, not all seaweed is created equal and the process in which carrageenan is extracted from the red seaweed has become the cornerstone of a debate about allowed ingredients in organic products. (more…)

4 Simple Tips for Raising Healthy Kids

By Karen Sherwood

In a land of go-gurts, happy meals, lunchables, and clever junk food marketing geared toward kids, raising a healthy child is becoming increasingly difficult. We are never more than five feet away from a food message and 90% of those messages are not about health food. So what’s a parent to do? KISS (Keep it Super Simple) those problems away! Here are four super simple tips to keep your child healthy while maintaining your sanity.

1. Lead by example – How can we ever expect our children to grow up healthy if we are setting examples that are far from it? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is the result of more than just genetics, but a culmination of behavioral and environmental factors. Like it or not, until their 18 years old (sometimes even longer), parents are responsible for setting a healthy environment for their children. Needless to say, it does a child no good when they’re receiving orders to eat more broccoli while their parent is lying on the couch with a bag of potato chips and a diet soda. (more…)

Disney’s Ban on Junk Food Ads is a Game Changer. Can Other Networks Keep Up?

By Abra Pappa

The landscape of morning cartoons is about to look a lot different, as they will no longer be aligned with ad campaigns for sugary cereals, fast food, or candy. At least on stations owned by Disney. In an announcement made last week the Walt Disney Co will ban junk food advertising on its television channels, radio stations and websites by 2015.

A step in the right direction? Absolutely. Disney is the first company to choose to self-regulate where government standards have failed to exist.

One-third of our nation’s children are obese and the numbers keep rising. Many experts believe that media and marketing influence is contributing to the problem.

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has been a long time advocate for restricting junk food marketing for children, commended Disney for taking these steps and called on other networks to follow suit.

“Disney’s announcement is welcome news to parents and health experts concerned about childhood obesity and nutrition,” Wootan said. “This puts Disney ahead of the pack of media outlets and should be a wake-up call to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to do the same. As a nation, all companies should be working toward promoting only healthy food through all forms of child-directed media.” (more…)

The Big Business of the Heart Disease Industry: How to Unmedicate Ourselves

By Karen Sherwood for Nutritious America

The scenario is all too familiar.

1. Walk into the doctor’s office with an ailment.

2. Medication is prescribed within 10 minutes.

3. Six months later return to the doctor to receive yet another medication to help relieve the symptoms/side effects of the first medication.

The sequence repeats itself until the medicine cabinet is filled with a confusing myriad of prescription cocktails that oftentimes only provide short-term relief, yet somehow manages to deplete the body of vital nutrition.

Yep, it’s “business as usual” in the world of Western medicine because the truth is, poly-pharmacy makes money. Unfortunately, the dangerous effects of these aggressively-prescribed drugs are creeping up on us. (more…)

12 Songs for the Best Yoga Music Playlist

By Karen Sherwood for NutritiousAmerica.com

Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ BKS Iyengar

What would the world be like without music? It’s true the perfect instrument and lyric can accomplish a number of things. It can serve as a reflection, a memory, or it can simply keep you in the present moment where the mind quiets and we learn to let go. Yoga follows a similar school of thought, though traditional yoga studios usually keep their classes silent so students can learn to meditate and focus on their breath. This certainly makes sense, yet using music can often be a more effective way of getting a person to achieve serenity. When I practice yoga at home, or share my practice with students, I always use music to enhance the experience. Here is my ultimate yoga playlist that takes me through a perfect hour of practice.

View The Best Yoga Playlist Slideshow

Cheers to you and your yoga practice. Perhaps music can be your vehicle to get to that place of non-judgement, tranquility, and never-ending presence.

Cook Yourself Healthy with 4 Nutritious Spices

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

Don’t ignore the nutrient powerhouses hidden away in your spice cabinet. Spices contain phenols which stimulate your immune system to protect against disease and are rich in anti-oxidants to protect your body from free radical damage. Spices can elevate a simple dinner into a nutrient dense, delicious masterpiece.

Here are my four favorite spices and their amazing health and healing properties. Plus, how to use them in your kitchen.

Smoked Paprika – This has been my “spice crush” for quite some time. A little dash turns a simple vegetable dish into something richer, heartier, and so delicious. Paprika, because of its high vitamin C content, helps your body absorb iron rich foods and fight infection. Try smoked paprika in these yummy recipes:

Smokey Joe’s

Smokey Tomato and Greens Soup

Smokey Salmon Kebabs (more…)

Is Moderation in Diet a Myth?

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

The end goal, for me, with all of my clients is to reach a point where living is flexible, fun and free of denial and discipline. To discover an eating dogma that is ideal for the individual. An eating plan that supports every cell in the body and contributes to a feeling of abundance and vibrance. Which, for me, should also include eating a burger or a slice of pizza from time to time. Question is, is it really possible to moderate these indulgent meals? Or is indulgence a slippery slope?

There are as many dietary theories as there are people in the world. If you don’t subscribe wholly and completely to one specific (and seemingly strict) dogma (i.e. vegan, raw, paleo) yet you live a supportive healthy life filled with glorious whole foods, would you say you practice moderation?

Are there actually people that successfully practice moderation? Or is it truly necessary to adhere to a strict eating plan in order to transform your life with food and reach your health goals?

Here are my top 3 tips to make moderation possible and bust the myth that it is not! (more…)

Central Park’s Edible Urban Garden is Ripe for the Picking

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Living in an urban environment one can frequently go for long periods of time without getting intimate with nature. Maybe even a lifetime. It is rare to see urbanites digging in the ground or planting a garden. And when envisioning a Mecca of wild edible plants, most likely a concrete jungle does not come to mind.

Think again.

As it turns out, Manhattan’s Central Park is home to more than 100 species of wild edible plants. Edible and free!

It takes an expert in what is called foraging, searching for food sources, to point out which species are edible and which are not. I met a foraging expert this Earth Day, his name is Wildman Steve Brill. He has been offering foraging tours of Central Park for nearly 30 years.

I joined Wildman for one of his four hour Central Park tours where around 30 participants plucked plants right from the ground and popped them in their mouths, and sampled flower buds off of a low hanging branch to savor their flavor profile. Spring is the season of greens, and small budding flowers. In four hours we all consumed plenty of wild greens and small budding flowers. (more…)

3 Crap Excuses For Not Getting Healthy Destroyed!

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

On one’s journey to wellness there is knowing what to do and then there is actually doing it. Between the knowing and the doing is a great divide that is filled up with a variety of elements that prevent the “doing.” Mostly, it is filled with excuses.

I have heard them all, but through the years there are a few that religiously resurface over and over and over again.

#1 I don’t have time

Yes, I know we are all extraordinarily busy. Life is moving at a rapid pace these days and it oftentimes seems nearly impossible to have a minute to breathe, never mind a minute to steam some kale. Seriously, a MINUTE to steam some kale. Listen, we all have issues with time management, but that’s all it is, management. Give yourself the greatest gift ever, drop all that you are doing and invest just 10 minutes in a healthy activity. Drink a glass of water, plan a weekly menu, stand up and do some squats. When faced with a time challenge it is within you to manage it. Healthy does not mean slaving away in the kitchen for hours each day. Fit does not mean spending an hour in the gym every day. Begin with a 10 minute commitment each day and fill it with 10 minutes of nourishment. Gradually you will see that healthy activities actually grant you more time. It’s magical. As you feel better you have more focus and energy to do better. (more…)

Spring Cleaning? Don’t Neglect Your Freezer

By Abra Pappa For Nutritious America

Although my brain thinks it is time for spring produce we are still some time away from asparagus, leeks, artichokes, and other glorious spring goodies. This “in between” growing season is the perfect time to tackle that freezer.

If your freezer is like most I’ve seen it is a virtual wasteland of “good intentions.” We fill our freezers with the best of intentions to get to that which was purchased or prepared. Containers of soups, stews, chili, organic chicken, grass fed beef, mom’s meatloaf and aunt Susie’s Christmas fruit cake are all lovingly packed in and frozen to be quickly forgotten.

It is estimated that 40% of all food produced in America is thrown away. That is nearly 1400 calories per person every day that is wasted! How much of your hard earned money is thrown away with freezer burn?

This spring spend just a bit of time to re-evaluate your use of the freezer and try these tips to keep your freezer food fresh all year long. (more…)