May 29 2011

you are what you eat

-by Sue Ann Gleason, Culinary Nutritionist

Did you know your skin is a window into your digestive health?

I picked up a magazine this morning. In it was a very clever ad: Reform School for Aging Skin: Reducing the Signs of Aging through the Science of Cellular Water. Now the marketing strategist in me wanted to nab that title for a teleclass or workshop, but the magazine was promoting a skincare product. I added the advertisement to my “bunk” pile, saddened by thoughts of all the women who will run right out and purchase that sixty-dollar promise in a BP-laden bottle, but scoff at the idea of paying more for organic produce. You see, glowing skin is an inside out affair. If you have a healthy gut, you’ll have healthy skin. If your diet is high in water-rich, chemical-free foods, you’ll reap the rewards in glowing skin.

Traditional societies across the globe have some culinary tradition of fermentation handed down, parent-to-child, for thousands of years prior to refrigeration. Japanese miso, Bulgarian yogurt, Polish sauerkraut, Indian lassi, and Korean kim-chee. Fermented beets feature widely in the culinary traditions of eastern Europe with dishes like rossel and tonics like beat kvass. Earthy, salty pickled eggplant graced the shelves of my grandmother’s pantry.

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Jan 7 2011

the skinny on fat

Get an Oil Change

The idea that fat in your food = fat on your body is an outdated nutritional belief system. When this belief system was firmly in place we all jumped on the Low Fat No Fat Battleship. We waged war on fat and removed it from the premises.

When fat became the enemy we got very good at reading food labels but the only thing we looked at was the number of fat grams in the product, totally ignoring the gazillion chemicals, food colorings, and “natural” flavors in the product. (If they’re “natural” why don’t they name them?)

Our refrigerators became stocked with:

Skim milk
Low fat or no fat yogurt
Fat free salad dressing, or worse yet—no salad dressing
And our favorite sweet snack became “Snackwell” cookies.
So what happens when we don’t get enough healthy fat in our diets?
The quality of our skin diminishes.
We got a little grouchy.
We can’t find our keys.
We have difficulty absorbing vitamins A, D, E, & K (all of our fat soluble vitamins)
Our bones suffer.
Our kids are acting out in school.
We fall asleep at our desks at 3:00pm.


When food scientists took the fat out of our food they replaced it with more sugar and all of the latest research is pointing to fructose, not fat, as the real culprit in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Dietary fat is very slow burning in the body. When you replace the fat with faster burning carbs you tend to feel less energetic, you risk burning muscle tissue, and you wreak havoc on your metabolism, your hormones, your blood sugar, and your energy.

Dietary fats supply some of the best, and most stable sources of energy. If you want to feel good all day long, you need to make sure you are getting enough healthy fat in your diet.

Remember, the human body needs fat to function properly and for proper hormone production. If hormone production is off, your metabolism will follow. Hormones regulate all kinds of things in your body including your ability to build and maintain muscle tissue, which is responsible for a large portion of your energy expenditure. In simple terms, muscle burns calories 24 hours a day and if you eat a low fat or no fat diet you will have a hard time building and maintaining muscle.

For more on hormones, sign up for my f.r.e.e teleclass.

Meanwhile, add some of these items to your grocery list:

• olives
• avocados
• walnuts
• hazelnuts
• almonds
• Brazil nuts (great source of selenium)
• seeds (hemp, flax, pumpkin, sunflower)
• wild cold water fish (preferably line caught)
• coconut oil (yes this is GOOD for you)

And while you’re upgrading the items in your pantry, check the label on your peanut butter jar. If it says hydrogenated vegetable oil, throw it away and upgrade that as well!

In good health,
Sue Ann

Find more radiant life tips on Sue Ann’s website Conscious Bites Nutrition.

Aug 22 2010

a culinary nutritionist takes on fresh corn salad

There’s no point in giving up something that you enjoy unless you get something back that’s even better. ~Dean Ornish

People often ask me: “What exactly is a ‘culinary’ nutritionist?”

My response?

Lots of people know they should be eating healthier foods but they’ve been bombarded with so many different nutritional “systems” they have no idea what to eat anymore. Instead of handing them a 1400-calorie meal plan or point system and a packet of recipes they may never use, I like to cultivate their culinary curiosity. I show them how they can prepare simple, healthy, exquisite meals and still have time to eat!

Sure, I can provide you with all kinds nutritional strategies and cutting-edge science to help you lose weight, reclaim your energy, and feel good in your clothes. But if you ask me about the heart and soul of my practice, I’ll take you right back to my grandmother’s kitchen. It’s not even about the recipes really—though she was an amazing cook. It’s more about discarding the collective obsession we seem to have adopted in this country—counting calories, tracking points, skipping meals, starving ourselves into skinny jeans or the quintessential little black dress.

I help you cultivate (or reclaim) a more nourishing relationship with food—one that brings you radiant health and boundless energy, without depriving you of the pleasure and delight in sharing a luscious meal with friends and family. Once you begin to reacquaint your taste buds with the vibrant flavors and texture of fresh, whole foods, there’s no turning back. . .

Fresh Corn Salad

Chiffonade is a technique in which herbs such as basil are cut into long, thin strips. This is generally accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then cutting across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife, producing fine ribbons. You’ll use this technique to prepare the basil for this recipe. Yum!

5 ears of corn (white is best), lightly blanched and removed from cobs
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
3 tablespoons organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is top-notch.)
3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Toss everything together in a bowl and chill at least an hour before serving.


Heralded as the “Radiant Life Expert,” Sue Ann conquered not one, but two life-threatening, energy-depleting diseases through the healing power of food. Dynamic Eating Coach, Culinary Nutritionist, speaker, and author, Sue Ann’s unique Fit, Radiant, and Rockin’™ formula has helped countless women reclaim their energy and design a life that makes their heart sing.

Sue Ann offers a range of products and services. Twice a month, she hosts a private, one-day VIP Intensive where she custom designs a day just for you to jumpstart your radiant life journey. From fitness strategies to culinary adventures, Sue Ann will show you how to triple your energy, transform your life, and look and feel sexy, smart, and powerful.

Sue Ann delivers high impact, entertaining teleclasses, talks, and workshops blending her own life lessons and compelling stories to show you how easy it can be to capture a life of bliss with the right tools, the right foods and the right mindset.

Discover more great recipes on Sue Ann’s website:

Conscious Bites Nutrition