Author Archives: Robyn Kievit Kirkman

Nutrition Trends from FNCE

IMG_1978I left FNCE this year with three main questions. Read me out and let me know your thoughts – I’d love to hear from you!

Imagine rows and rows of food brands. Then take this image to tasting, learning, and understanding how these foods can help the clients and patients you see in private practice. This is the Expo part of FNCE.

What I noticed at the Expo this year (and as also pointed out by colleague, Robyn Flipse, an RDN and anthropologist – who also spells her name with a Y and is from New Jersey like me! What are the chances?) was that there were way less big brands and more smaller food companies. Why the changes? I have a few ideas, but this is where I ask questions.

As much as I love small – small houses, small companies, local farms – these companies don’t always reach nor are they affordable to a large part of our world’s population. A lot of the smaller food companies present were gluten, soy, dairy, GMO, grain, or sugar-free – either a combination of these or one of these was eliminated from a product. This is wonderful for individuals with food allergies. In fact it could not be better timing to have food allergies, specifically in the US, because of the food industry’s focus on creating products suited for those with allergies and food sensitivities. But if the food industry is moving away from big companies that make processed foods, aren’t foods free of so many key ingredients and food groups still processed? Check my social media posts in the coming weeks for more exploration on what exactly is processed and minimally processed food.

Another part of FNCE are the educational sessions. The two most powerful sessions I attended were Food Porn Dilemmas: Balancing Artful Imagery and Real-World Attainability in Social Media with Marci Evans, Regan Jones, and Rebecca Scritchfield and Debate: A Conversation on Weight Management and Health At Every Size.

In the first session we learned about ‘Social Comparison Theory’ and ‘food porn’. For example, when you see pictures of glorious foods on Instagram, then compare these to what you’re eating, which is ‘comparing up’, this can actually correlate to low self esteem. We can also relate this theory to our clothing choices, social situations, and how we feel about food and our bodies in other ways. So if you are on social media and you are ‘comparing up’ with the pictures you see, this could make you feel worse about yourself! How can we use social media positively without allowing ‘food porn’ to make us ‘compare up’ triggering low self esteem? I’ll be exploring more on this topic next month as we approach what I refer to as the ‘food holiday’ (Thanksgiving is coming…quickly!).

This brings me to the second session I loved with Christy Harrison, Hollie Raynor, and Dr. Robert Kushner. Wow. So incredible that the evidence between the movements of ‘Health At Every Size’ and ‘Weight Management’ were being discussed openly and in a room with thousands of dietitians! Christy and Dr. Kushner discussed diets and ‘weight stigma’. Weight stigma is actually a greater risk factor than dieting in regard to an individuals’ mental health.
We hear, read about, and see countless messages from healthcare professionals and all forms of media about weight stigma – it’s everywhere.

The big question is: Can we overcome using so much weight stigma and instead accept our bodies for what they are whilst taking care of them as we individually need? As we move into the New Year prepare to see even more on weight stigma, as we do annually, with the month of January. Stay posted for more on this as I will continue to write on ‘intentions’ again in early 2019.

Food for thought – thank you for reading!

Robyn’s Monthly Morsel

MorselThis year at the Food Expo portion of FNCE I came across some cool food brands and kitchen ‘essentials’.

Former intern, Jenna Gorham, now consults for Simple Mills, a gluten free baking mix company. They also have gluten free crackers, icing, and already made cookies. For your gluten free and celiac patients this is a fabulous line and even does well with nut-free folks.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kodiak Cakes, has a tremendous amount of protein packed, wheat full, baking and breakfast mixes as well as on-the-go cups. For your vegetarian teens who are not celiac affected check out this brand.

Safe Catch is a fish company testing fish for mercury – the only brand which offers this level of testing for omega-3 loaded tuna and salmon found in both pouches and cans. For quick and easy ways to get omega-3-rich fish, this is a wonderful option.

Dr. Praeger’s has been a tried and true veggie forward company for years with a whole line of new products for your vegetarian needs all able to be stored in the freezer. Think bowls, veggie cakes, and a black bean quinoa burger that looks and tastes amazing.

We use SunButter in our home as we have peanut allergies and I learned of the newer smaller cups of this product for on the go use as well as the crazy amount of vitamins and minerals it packs compared to other nut butters across the board.

Last, for those who need lactose alternatives, look for A2 milk which keeps the A2 protein in as the A1 protein (eliminated from this product) has been shown to implicate digestive discomfort in some folks. I also came across Green Valley Lactose Free Creamery and was over the moon with their kefir from taste to texture.

If you are looking to make your own nut milk or butter (another one of my favorite foods) try out NutraMilk. I tried freshly ground almond milk and it was the best I have ever tasted.

My daughter has appreciated the lollipops I brought her home from Dr. Johns. Sugar-free, with fruit and fiber included, they are also a dentist’s favorite. Eve’s favorite are the cherry.

FNCE meant lots of food tasting for me! I hope some of these brands catch your eye and palate. All are sold in most major food stores across the US.