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Wellness Means Eating Right

March 30, 2011 - Carla Tracy

As a dining writer, I’m well acquainted with the “battle of the bulge” Unfortunately, I’m not alone. The most alarming trend in America is that childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years. "About one out of every three children or teens is overweight or at risk of being overweight. Because children's bodies are still developing, the damage to organs triggers medical problems extending throughout their lifetimes," according to a report issued by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity. "Almost 75 percent of Americans will either be overweight or obese by 2019, and that condition will drag down the economy and impoverish the nation," according to a study by New York’s Food Research and Action Center.

Another dilemma is a new definition of hunger that actually describes how we can become obese at the same time we are going hungry.

“The term the scientists use is ‘food-insecure,’” says Erin Baker, founder of Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods (, a Mainland bakery that combines the appeal of desserts with nutritional benefits.

“It describes the condition that hits a huge sector of the population. Low-income people tend to seek out cheaper food which in most cases is fast food, the result is a high calorie diet with poor nutritional value — just a lot of empty calories void of fruits, vegetables and grains.”

On Maui, we can learn more about diet and nutrition in several ways. This Saturday at Maui County Agricultural Festival at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, you may attend free Wellness presentations sponsored by Down to Earth health food store in Kahului.

Here’s the Wellness lineup for Saturday, April 2.

At 10:30 a.m., learn how to make culture vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chee with author, chef and nutritionist Susan Campbell.

At 11:30 a.m. Down to Earth Kahului will show you how to make kale and quinoa salad.

At 12:30 p.m. Down to Earth will wow with a mixed green slaw that includes seaweed.

At 1:30 p.m. Learn how to make a vegetarian wrap with collard greens, nuts and organic veggies.

At 2 p.m. Kumu Kapono‘ai Molitau will talk about the traditional Hawaiian relationship with food.

In addition, Joy’s Place in Kihei will present Everyday Raw April 10 as part of its Smart Eating Class series with Chef Tyua Sereda.

“No matter what your dietary path, incorporating more whole, organic, nutrient-dense plant foods is beneficial for every body,” says owner Joy White. “This class will focus on easy-to-prepare raw or live food recipes that can be added to your regular fare or replace less health-supportive foods.” “We'll discover how to use soaked nuts and seeds, seaweed, dark leafy greens and alternative sweeteners. The menu is Live Thai Tacos or Pad Thai Salad, Easy Greens Blender Soup, Nori Cilantro Pesto Rolls and more.”

Cost is $45 per person. Call 385-7779.


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Olowalu Nui Tomato Farm will be at Maui ag fest