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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of February 13 - 19, 2002


Walk the nutrition walk

Find hidden health benefits
in grocery stores

Express Staff Writer

Did you ever consider that a trip to the grocery store could be akin to an educational experience? Well, it can be if you accompany cook book author and nutritionist Daniella Chace on one of her monthly walks through area grocery stores.

On one of her nutrition walks in Williams Market, Daniella Chace, right, lets guests sample food in the chips aisle and happily find something guiltless. Express photo by Willy Cook

Starting in the front of the store and working her way aisle by aisle, Chace and her assistant, Amy Boyer, choose items to be discussed and sampled.

Itís a great learning experience for adults and children, alike, and an opportunity to sample new and healthy foods. Itís a food demo stroll with nutritional values.

Everything is discussed, from the trends of genetically altered foods, to red dye No. 3 and No. 40, synthetic sweeteners, hydrogenated oil, cross breeding, preservatives and sugar.

Chace knows of what she preaches. Sheís written 11 cookbooks, including "The What to Eat if You have Cancer Cookbook" and "Grains for Better Health." Based in Hailey, she works as a nutritionist with private clients in the valley.

These free, open to all, walks are conducted at Williams Market in Ketchum and the Atkinsonís Markets in Ketchum and Hailey, a few times a month.

The host markets are happy to open their aisles up to curious samplers, as both a thank you to their customers and a way of revealing new items that are available.

Foods sampled items may include dried fruit; fruit "leathers," which have no food colorings; cereal bars, like Luna Bars, that are made especially for women and contain soy protein, which has natural phyto-estrogens. However, some of the other bars, touted as healthful, are full of sugars, and one, called Metabolift, even contained herbs like ephedra, ma huang and maltitol, a baby diuretic.

Chace lets the group sample many of the cereal bars, calling attention to the protein grams and to the contents. A rule of thumb is that the longer an ingredient list is, the worse the product is. All those extras are not just unnecessary but often very unhealthy.

"The American Heart Association says that in one handful of nuts a day thereís enough vitamin E to reduce your chance of heart attack by fifty percent, itís a no brainier," Chace said, while she introduced the group to organic nut butters, including almond and cashew.

As one walks through the familiar aisles new products and new lines are constantly introduced. For instance instead of sugar, Chace shows where the Stevia is keptóin the baking aisle. It comes from a leaf in South America and is a whole food. She says the powder is six times sweeter than sugar so that when a tiny bit is added to a recipe one can eliminate a good portion of suggested amount of sugar. The same is true for Nutritional Yeast powder, not the same as baking yeast. This powder is loaded with B vitamins and tastes like cheese.

Organics that Chace recommends are made by such companies as Garden of Eatiní, Healthy Choice, Muir Glen, Bearitos, Newmanís Own, Hain, Bobís Red Mill flour products and grains, Vickiís Granola (made here in the Valley), Sun Valley Ice Cream (also organically made in the valley), Spectrum, Classic Bread, and even Western Family, which now has an organic pasta line.

Chace also makes suggestions for various problems. If some one has trouble digesting milk or dairy products, alternatives are either soy milks or products produced with lactaid, the enzyme that breaks down the lactose.

Soy milks are also great for women, especially those whoíre menopausal. And Chace pointed out that miso soup has way more phyto-estrogens in one serving, so it is an even better source.

Many adults may have developed an intolerance to wheat, from having so much during their lives. Alternative choices might be rice or potato flours. For gluten allergies, she recommends trying buckwheat, rice, corn, millet, and quoina non, since these don't contain gluten

"When making pancakes add a little tofu, soy milk or protein powder, which give you a little extra energy so you donít have that slump after eating carbohydrates"

Chace said that there are often "killer deals like whole oats and almonds in the bulk section."

Kashi is very high in protein and fibers, and is found in the cereal aisles as well as in the cracker section. For a pizza crust alternative she recommends using large round whole grain rye crackers. And she steers everyone away from the products, like Wheat Thins, that have too much sugar, salt, or hydrogenated oils.

She calls Annieís Naturals salad dressings, "incredibly delicious, low in calories, and all organic. I highly recommend this line." Other good finds are a mayonnaise alternative by Nasoya, and free range eggsóthe color doesnít matter, she said, but some cage-raised chickens may have been fed pesticide contaminated food, which is passed on to us through their eggs.

Her ideas are numerous and inspirational. By the end of the walk every participant usually has a new outlook on their cuisine and an armful of new stuff to take home.

"You spend a little extra money, but get the good stuff."

All ages are welcome on these walks. And for kids with any eating disorder, itís hugely beneficial.

One 13-year-old, girl, who normally lives on popcorn, began eating Kashi Heart to Heart cereal and seasoned tofu after going on the walk.

Now thatís a trip to the grocery store.

Chace can be reached at 481-0168.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.