Essentials of Healthy Living

Vol XVI February 2010 | The Village Green Apothecary E-Newsletter

Is Your Food Losing Its Nutritional Value?


You try to eat healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality protein and fat sources all chockfull of beneficial nutrients to nourish and protect your body.

The fact is, the way you choose, store, and prepare your food plays a major role in how many nutrients you absorb and utilize when you eat it. Valuable vitamins and minerals can be destroyed by improper food storage, overcooking, or even food additives.

You can get the most out of your diet by learning how to select, cook, and keep your favorite foods.

7 Simple Steps to Protecting Your Food's Nutritional Value

1. Eat foods closest to their natural state.

The less processing, the better. When choosing produce, select fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables, as they contain peak amounts of vitamins and minerals.

2. Choose organic whenever possible.

The classifications “organic,” “free-range,” “wild,” and “non-GMO" (genetically modified organism) indicate that these foods and beverages are minimally exposed to insecticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth hormones.

3. Time is of the essence.

The longer food is kept in storage, the fewer nutrients it will retain. Go shopping, then eat it as soon as possible after bringing it home. Freezing food is a good way to preserve it, but be sure to eat it within 3-6 months.

4. Clean it.

Washing produce is an important part of food preparation, especially if it’s non-organic. Use a scrub brush, special veggie sponge, or vegetable washing product to remove residual chemicals.

5. Don’t overcook!

Raw or lightly steamed vegetables are better than soggy ones, because overcooking destroys important nutrients and enzymes. As for meat and poultry, the most nutritious cooking methods are roasting, broiling, or boiling. Barbecued or blackened meats may contain carcinogenic substances.

6. Use appropriate cookware and storage containers.

Foods and liquids can absorb harmful chemicals found in many plastic containers, which may result in unhealthy hormonal effects on the body. Glass and ceramic containers, or stainless steel cookware are the safest for cooking and storing food. Even water is best stored in glass bottles. It’s best to avoid using plastic containers as much as possible.

7. Read packaged food labels and avoid any ingredient you would not eat by itself.

Additives (like sugar and salt), artificial preservatives, colors, and artificial flavorings are often added to prolong shelf life or enhance color or texture. They provide no nutritional value and can be potentially harmful, especially to sensitive individuals or those watching their blood sugar or blood pressure levels.

Nourish Yourself Through Mindful Eating

To maximize your food’s potential, your body and mind need to be in a state of relaxation. Hectic lifestyles cause many people to eat on the run, hindering digestion and the ability to absorb nutrients.

Eating with awareness allows the body to fully prepare for the meal ahead. Mindful eating also allows you to tune in to when you are indeed full. Taking time to smell, taste, and chew your food causes the appropriate secretion of saliva, stomach acid, and enzymes necessary for digestion. It also promotes blood flow to the digestive system to support the breakdown of food.

  • "Be present" when you eat – smell your food and observe the different colors and textures
  • Savor each bite by slowly chewing and enjoying it
  • Remember to breathe (do not "inhale" your food)
  • Stop eating when you are full

Meet Ellen Kittredge

image You won't find anyone who lives and breathes nutrition the way Ellen does. She grew up on an organic family farm before the concept of eating local organic food had become mainstream, and she advocated this lifestyle as early as elementary school. She still recalls "trying to explain to my peers at the lunch table why my homemade sandwiches looked so different than theirs."

Ellen's career spans an impressive array of education and experience, including:

  • Studies at Oberlin College and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition/Columbia University
  • Clinical Assistant for a DC-based holistic medical doctor, Dr. Bruce Rind
  • Outreach Director for a national non-profit organization, the Center for Food Safety
  • Certification to practice through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners

Her list of educators reads like the Who's Who of alternative medicine, including doctors Deepak Chopra, Mehmet Oz, and Andrew Weil.

As impressive as her background may be, Ellen still prefers working one-on-one with individuals who need help with their specific health and nutrition issues. In her private practice, as well as when she is working at Village Green, she shares her vast knowledge of high-quality supplements and therapeutic or "functional" foods with customers, making dietary recommendations that help them to live fully at 100% once again.

The next time you drop by Village Green, say hello to Ellen and let her help you with your nutrition questions. You'll soon realize that she is superbly qualified to give you the attention and information you deserve.

Read Ellen's complete story, and learn more about her nutrition and weightloss programs.

Ellen Advises: Think Globally, Shop Locally...Eat With the Seasons

When you can buy locally grown foods, go for it! Local food hasn’t traveled far and has spent less time in storage. It’s fresh, ripe, seasonally appropriate, and supportive to your local economy. You’ll be helping a nearby farmer, while reducing the environmental impact of our complex food-shipping system. Try to eat foods that are in rhythm with the seasons…

imageIn Spring, Think “New Growth and Vitality

Wild greens, spinach, lettuce, mint, green onions, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower

imageSummertime Means Ripe Fruits and Cooling Foods

Strawberries, fennel, summer squash, basil, raspberries, peaches, tomatoes, melons, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, blueberries, peppers

imageAutumn Harvest: Warming Foods

Corn, pumpkins, apples, salad greens, sweet potatoes, kale, turnips, pears

imageWinter Solstice: Stillness, Regeneration, Root Veggies

Beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, cabbage, red meat and other animal proteins

For all of your health and nutrition questions visit to

On sale this month from our "Essentials of Healthy Living" radio show sponsors

Each month we feature products on sale from Metagenics, MegaFood, Xymogen, Twinlab, Jarrow Formulas, Himalaya, Enzymatic Therapy, and Nordic Naturals

Save 25% in-store or buy online.


Tune in to "Essentials of Health Living," our radio show for news and advice on staying healthy and vibrant.

Thursdays, 9-10AM on AM 1260 in the Washington, DC area

An Easy Ways to Supplement Your Seasonal Food Choices

Add these terrific nutritional boosters to yogurt, smoothies, juice or any beverage, and you’ll get year-round "seasonal” benefits.

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Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy, and Healthy Living

Village Green Apothecary

5415 W. Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814
Order online or by phone: | 301-530-0800

The information in this newsletter is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician if you have any question regarding a medical condition.

Village Green Apothecary has been providing individualized nutrition, pharmacy, and healthy living products for over 40 years. We are committed to providing you with expert guidance, knowledge, and a custom-tailored mix of nutritional and pharmaceutical products needed to achieve and maintain optimal health. Our staff of 45 professionals (including a team of pharmacists, nutritionists, naturopathic doctor, and clinical herbalist) offers private wellness consultations, personalized health plans using the Essentials of Healthy Living (EHL), and individualized custom compounding. Our pharmacists are available to review and address drug/nutrient interactions and depletions to ensure your health and wellbeing. Please contact us with any questions. We are here as a resource for you.

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