Karen Schuppert is well known to many Napans for her work as a nutritionist and chef, and a key figure in the Napa Farmers Market. The Choicetarian will run every other week.

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As we continue to celebrate the holiday season, our intake of less desirable foods is certainly part of the menu plan. Don’t get me wrong I am the first in line when it comes to sweet treats. Of course, when you eat a sweet snack you’ll get a spike of energy, soon followed by a crashing low.…

This week I am keeping it short and sweet (OK, savory) by simply offering two stuffing recipes. One is a vegan entrée; the other is for the turkey. Both are decadent.

Fats play an important role in baking and it’s not just because butter makes everything taste better. Fat makes our baked goods soft, aerated and fluffy. It also helps them to rise higher and reduces the chances of the item crumbling into pieces on our plates. I’ve eaten cakes that were hard…

While we certainly never wish again to experience the trauma we faced two weeks ago, one takeaway is that of preparation. Not just clean underwear and a toothbrush, but some form of transportable nutrition. I have recently been teaching classes around healthy meals to go from breakfast and l…

Fresh off the plane from a healthful food conference, I am armed and dangerous with new and decadent recipes — easy to prepare yet loaded with flavor. And in this case, it comes from roasting and using one exotic spice.

One of the best parts of summer is having an abundance of fresh food at the farmers market or from your own garden. But that very bounty becomes stressful toward the end of the season when the refrigerator begins to reveal perfectly ripe and delicious vegetables about to go to waste.

Clean eating is a fairly simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. In essence, clean eating i…

If you are a person that struggles with food sensitivities, allergies, or digestive issues, there is a chance that a class of vegetables called nightshades could be contributing to your health condition. From gluten-free to grain-free, no meat to all meat and back again — it’s difficult to w…

I have just completed another of my recent pet-sitting adventures where, each time, I learn so much about what people are feeding their four-legged companions.

Since this column actually runs on the 4th of July, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite festive recipes for the occasion. In keeping with what’s in season, many of the ingredients are available at the farmers’ market.

Mushrooms are an abundant crop all times of the year. Many varieties are cultivated, others are more seasonal such as the elegant chanterelle.

Summer is quickly approaching and with that comes the occasional over-baked skin. Sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body, and a large part of natural sun protection is eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Research shows that a combination…

Naturally produced in more than 60 plants, caffeine is the world’s most frequently used drug. Some 80 percent of Americans consume it and most often in the form of coffee.

What do spinach, kiwi, walnuts, red lentils and chia seeds have in common? They are all foods that contain omega-3s. Of course I didn’t include flax or salmon because those are the most widely known and then we wouldn’t have had the fun of a mental challenge!

When I’m not drinking my breakfast (as in smoothies), I eat eggs! (Farm fresh, that is.) And if you are like many families who hosted an Easter egg hunt, you might find yourself with an extra set with only so many mouths to feed.

Feeling irritable? Having digestion problems? Uncontrollable allergies? Can’t burn fat? These could be signs of a congested liver. Because spring is when the liver is most active (are we drinking more wine?), you may notice those symptoms ramped up. Spring is the best time for “cleaning” — n…

Look into the latest nutrition archives and you’ll no doubt read about the benefits of fermented foods (actually for centuries.) Think yogurt, cheese, wine and beer for example. Certainly staples in the Napa Valley

Today is Pi Day. It’s a day to celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π) and to eat lots of pie. Yippee!

As you know, there are hundreds of opinions and facts on what constitutes “healthy food.” There are also a few points I like to bring to the table when teaching my classes:

Any article that contains positive information on the health benefits of chocolate gets top billing in my book. And seeing how millions of us will be indulging on that very item today, I thought it only fitting to share some of those tidbits with you, too.

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I’ve received several comments and inquiries about my column on bone broth (see Napa Valley Register Dec. 5, 2016) and since this is bonafide soup season, I am indulging you with two seasonal recipes from my website. They both include bone broth (or vegetable stock if vegan.) Make a big batc…

Have you ever noticed that some people are always healthy and energetic while others seem to catch every little bug in their path? It’s not just a simple matter of luck. The difference between the two is most likely in how robust your immune system is.

Happy New Year! Don’t worry, even though I’m always on a healthy bent doesn’t mean I’m going to be a buzzkill. January can already be dreary enough. While there are endless lists out there filled with deprivation over the next 12 months, I like to encourage people to make positive choices th…

I know you’ve all seen “healthy holiday tips” from drinking water and extra hours on the treadmill (yes!). But many of us turn our eyes toward the serving spoon and away from the scale this time of year.

As we head into the winter months, the best way to protect our bodies on the inside is, once again, through food. And you’ve no doubt heard of this most popular immune booster: bone broth.

Squash is the quintessential fall and winter food. While acorn and butternut are the other common winter squash, lesser-known spaghetti, hubbards and turbans are tasty and healthy too.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients (besides weight loss) is about their digestion, feeling bloated, even nauseous. It can be linked to a number of items, but more times than not the culprit is dairy.

Believe it or not, proteins contain the same complex substances as carbohydrates and fats: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen — but that’s where they stop and start. Protein is also made up of 16 percent nitrogen.

My garden is looking a little weary these days. The trees are losing their summer coat and covering the ground with crispy foliage. One area of vibrancy, however, is the section dedicated to herbs, still bright and green. But even herbs have their season, so it’s time to harvest the last of …

Coconut is a healthy fat. There, I said it. And I feel so much better. Not just because of my proclamation, but because I eat it — and often. And, I haven’t gained a pound or lost an ounce of energy in the process. I consume coconut in all forms: raw, oil, milk, water, shredded.

If I told you the United Nations declared 2016 the ‘international year of pulses’ you’d probably think it was time to get your heart rate in order. It actually wasn’t until fairly recently that I discovered the term “pulse” as in beans, lentils and chickpeas.

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If you want to load up on omega 3s, most of us know that wild salmon is a great source. But why is farmed salmon (Atlantic salmon) such a poor alternative? Let me (help) count the ways:

When your summer guests arrive and announce they are gluten-free, don’t panic. There are loads of options that are both easy and delicious.

When it comes to losing weight, one simple piece of advice may be: eat more fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Unlike other carbs, it isn’t easily digested by your body, so it passes quickly through your system without causing your …

You shop at the farmers market and return armed with a bounty of fresh produce. Put it all in the fridge and move onto the rest of the day’s business. But you might be surprised to come home and find some of your new purchases shriveled or wilted even before dinner that night.

Think herbs are just for flavor? Think again. They are what I like to call “booster foods,” as they pack a nutritional punch with each tablespoon. If you can add one or more herb varieties to your culinary repertoire, you will not only have a more interesting menu, but one that will do your …

Even though the calendar doesn’t record official summer until June 21, I always consider Memorial Day the real “kickoff.” And with that comes a smidgen of anxiety around my body in a bathing suit. I used to do a quick juice cleanse to jump-start the water loss, but over the past several year…

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Whole fresh foods are desired today more than ever for their nutrient density, lack of processing, and authentic, farm-to-table sourcing. Fermented foods, on the other hand, are nutrient-dense in a different way; they’re not just cooked; they’re broken down, soaked, soured and brined for wee…

There’s a predominant color in our current landscape, and while it may come in different hues, it’s still a very vibrant green. Grapevines are bursting with new buds, leaves are filling out trees, and veggie starts are burgeoning from the ground up.

To some, spring cleaning means shifting items in the garage to make room for the car or removing clothes collecting moths in the closet. I see the change in weather as time to lighten the load in my kitchen.

It occurred to me (at 3 a.m.) that we might have skipped over a very important piece in our pursuit of healthy eating.

I am humbled and excited by the response to the debut of this new feature, “The Choicetarian”! Many of you have reached out and shared your enthusiastic ideas for upcoming articles. As I anticipate, the healthy food list is endless!

Editor’s note: This is the first column from a new contributor to the Register food section, although Karen Schuppert is well known to many Napans for her work as a nutritionist and chef, and a key figure in the Napa Farmers Market. The Choicetarian will run every other week.