What’s for Dinner?

How about some delicious niacinimide ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, palmitate calcium pantothenate, LFTB (“lean finely textured beef,” otherwise known as “pink slime,” made by whirling beef scraps in a centrifuge and dousing the resulting mush with ammonia), whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium citrate, sodium alginate, apocarotenal, calcium propionate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, diacetyl tartaric acid, esters of mono and diglycerides, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, disodium phosphate, yellow dye 5 & 6, red dye 40, sodium caseinate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, corn syrup solids, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, and phenylalanine? YUMMY!

If your meal was a lowly cheeseburger with a handful of nacho chips and a diet soda, this is pretty much what went down. Oh, there were some ingredients recognizable as food, of course—some beef, some wheat, perhaps some “cultured cheese product,” whatever that is.

We’re warned on the labels that we may be consuming soy or sesame or milk or eggs, which—with all due compassion for those with food allergies—actually comes as a relief. Care for a little thiamine mononitrate pyridoxine hydrochloride or modified cellulose (a.k.a. sawdust) with that?

One needn’t look far beyond Dr. Oz or the nightly news to become aware that, despite an explosion of information and a greater variety of food options than ever before, our collective health is sliding down the tubes—obesity, diabetes, chronic insomnia, increasing neurobehavioral disorders in children, and the list goes on.

We don’t seem to be able to throw enough money at cancer to get it to even slow down and take a breath. Something is clearly amiss. That something probably has a lot to do with lifestyle, which yo-yos between frantically frenetic and stuporly sedentary, but we increasingly suspect that that something also has much to do with the good old appropriately named SAD, “standard American diet.”

A what’s-old-is-new-again concept and our invitation to you!

Enter “clean eating”—a what’s-old-is-new-again concept that stresses whole, unprocessed foods with names you can actually pronounce. And, if you’re interested in learning more about this lifestyle (not a diet) while enjoying a delicious, “clean” brunch and festive fellowship with your Bethlehem sisters in Christ and their guests, we have a great opportunity for you!—the “Taste and See” Women’s Brunch coming right up on October 3 from 9:30-11:30.

We are blessed in so many ways to have in our congregation an expert on the subject of clean eating– nutritionist and wellness coach Alicia Russell, who is preparing a highly informative presentation about how to avoid the chemical feast without grinding your own grain, spending all day every day in the kitchen, or breaking the bank.

Meet Alicia Russell

Alicia has enjoyed an 11-year career in this field, first as Program Coordinator for the WIC Nutrition Program in Sedalia and Clinton, during which time she obtained her Registered Dietitian license, and then for six years with a healthy lifestyle program for the employees of Schreiber Foods in Clinton, where she taught classes on a variety of nutrition topics, performed food demos and taste tests, coordinated health fairs, and completed nutrition assessments.

Alicia is currently engaged in possibly the most important work of her life, passing on the principles of wholesome eating and a healthy lifestyle to her family. “I try to involve my husband and kids in food planning, shopping, and preparation,” she says. “We talk about food every day at our house. My three- and five-year-olds enjoy pouring, mixing, spreading… and eating, of course!”

Alicia defines “eating clean” as “simply focusing on whole, natural foods that are not processed. Avoiding man-made ingredients and unnecessary food additives is key.”

It’s too expensive… I don’t have the time…

Some may avoid getting into clean eating because they think it’s too expensive and time-consuming for busy families on a tight budget. After all, there’s nothing like the dollar menu at the drive-through to hush a growling tummy for little money and almost no time.

“Learning how to be a savvy shopper can help you be on a budget and buy clean foods at the same time,” Alicia assures. “A little education and some tips [which she will cheerfully share at the brunch], and you’ll be a savvy shopper in no time!”

Say “Good riddance!” to mysterious ingredients with ten-syllable names

She will be the first to acknowledge that the approach requires some time and planning. “I’ll be honest,” she says. “It takes a dedicated and committed person to adopt a clean eating lifestyle. It takes some planning ahead and preparation to reward yourself with the numerous benefits. In this ‘convenient, everything-at-your-fingertips’ kind of world we live in, it takes getting back to the basics. You will spend more time in the kitchen… ENJOY IT! Don’t worry, it won’t be hours upon hours every night; this is where the planning ahead/preparation thing comes in. I’ve got tips for this too!”

So say “Good riddance!” to those mysterious ingredients with ten-syllable names.

Taste and See!

On behalf of the Bethlehem LWML, I hope that every woman in the congregation will come to the “Taste and See” Brunch on October 3 and feel free to invite others. We are confident that you’ll enjoy the program of food for your spirit provided by Mary Wills, definitely clean food for your body provided by the LWML, and food for thought and action presented by Alicia Russell, who wishes us all “Happy and healthy eating!” and will give us the information and skills to make that happen.

—Carol Jacobson

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him!” – Psalm 34:8


Please RSVP to Pat Schaaf or complete the information below by Wednesday, September 23.