A Healthier You in 2022

Every new year, we resolve to put our bad habits behind us and start fresh. More often than not, these resolutions involve our health. But the volume of information (and misinformation) on how to improve your nutrition can be daunting to sift through. So we asked the experts to help out.

Andrea C Kirkland, MS, RD, Owner & Founder of Culinary Med Ed

Healthy Cooking with Andrea Kirkland

Instead of looking at food as an enemy, learn how to improve your nutritional intake and cooking skills for a sustainable lifestyle change.

Whether you’re seeking to expand your contextual skills in the kitchen because of a new diagnosis or simply to improve your current cooking knowledge and recipe repertoire, Andrea Kirkland can help. Registered dietician, content creator, and owner and founder of Culinary Med Ed, Andrea has a mission to help those living with chronic conditions discover delicious cooking solutions that will bring joy to their mealtimes. We asked Andrea to tell us about culinary medicine—a relatively new field in nutrition—and to share some of her tips, tricks, and philosophies when it comes to food and cooking. 

Whether you’re seeking to expand your contextual skills in the kitchen because of a new diagnosis or simply to improve your current cooking knowledge and recipe repertoire, Andrea Kirkland can help. Registered dietician, content creator, and owner and founder of Culinary Med Ed, Andrea has a mission to help those living with chronic conditions discover delicious cooking solutions that will bring joy to their mealtimes. We asked Andrea to tell us about culinary medicine—a relatively new field in nutrition—and to share some of her tips, tricks, and philosophies when it comes to food and cooking. 

What is culinary medicine, and how did you find your way into it? There’s no formal definition for culinary medicine because it’s a relatively new practice. But I like to tell people that it integrates education about food selection, meal planning, and meal preparation into patient treatment plans to empower them to follow their special diets so food can do its part in improving their health. It also takes into account patients’ personal needs while offering practical, everyday advice for sustainable behavior modification. 

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What is a common misperception people have about “healthy” eating? 
People often think that the words healthy and delicious can’t coexist. The truth is that when you know how to combine specific ingredients with specific techniques that mutually benefit each other, the results can taste pretty amazing! Take pineapple, for example. When it’s roasted, its natural sugars caramelize, producing so much sweetness and depth of flavor that it can then be used as the key ingredient in a fresh salsa to dress up lean chicken or fish. 

Is cooking at home really better for you? Yes! Eating home-cooked meals helps you incorporate more nutrient-dense, health-boosting fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Plus it gives you control over the amount of salt, fat, and sugar you consume, which are often more abundant in convenience items and foods served at restaurants. Sticking to your healthy diet when eating out isn’t impossible, though. The only catch is that you must be more selective about where you dine and the foods you order.

Quick dinner idea? Sheet pan dinners are in regular rotation. The prep and cleanup are easy. There’s an endless combo of ingredients I use to keep it interesting. My favorite combines a Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon recipe with fresh asparagus or green beans. 

Kitchen Essentials

Without a doubt, a handheld Microplane zester is a must. It makes quick work out of removing the zest from lemons, limes, and oranges. I often stir that zest into homemade salad dressings, marinades, rubs, and roasted or grilled vegetables. A little zest adds so much aroma and zing to foods that you may not even need to use a saltshaker at the table. – Text by Carol Ann Head

Image courtesy of Culinary Med Ed

Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon lemon zest 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon honey, strained or extracted
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 
1 (1 pound) farmed Atlantic salmon 
Pam butter cooking spray
Chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, honey, salt and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Combine Panko, walnuts, and oil in another small bowl. Place salmon on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mustard mixture over the fish, and sprinkle with the Panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 3 ounces
Per Serving: 222 calories; protein 24g; carbohydrates 4g; sugars 1g; fat 12g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 62mg; sodium 256mg.

Cook Well. Eat Well. Live Well.

Andrea Kirkland teaches cooking classes at the Samford Wellness Kitchen. Open to the Birmingham community and run by Samford’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Public Health, the kitchen offers participants opportunities to learn from registered dietitians and chefs, garnering skills and knowledge that will help them prepare healthy and delicious meals.

Classes take place in the College of Health Science’s Food Production Labs, which were formerly the Southern Living Test Kitchens. A participant notebook with all recipes and nutrition information is provided for reference.

For more information: 
Wellness Kitchen Director – Clara Darling – [email protected] – 205-726-2930

Lori R. Ennis, MS, RDN, Owner of Food4Thought

Intuitive Eating with Lori Ennis

Break the diet cycle by learning how to be mindful of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction cues. It’s possible to reject diet mentality and food rules and simply be kind to your body.

You’ve probably heard that diets, in fact, often do more harm than good. Not only do people tend to regain lost weight, but they can experience significant psychological and emotional fallout from the weight fluctuations that come with yo-yo dieting. 

Lori Ennis is a registered dietitian, yoga instructor, and owner of Food4Thought, a nutrition counseling practice specializing in intuitive eating. The mission of Food4Thought is to change the conversation to focus on the “can” instead of the “can’t” and offer guidance that will bring a greater understanding of the connection between your mind, your body, and your relationship with food. 

What is intuitive eating, and why should we do it? First and foremost, intuitive eating (IE) is not a diet. Unlike dieting, which tends to be about restricting foods and trying to override our bodies’ instincts, IE is about self-compassion and trusting our bodies much like we did when we were children.  We are born knowing to eat when we are hungry and to stop when we are full, but our culture and learned behaviors distort these cues. There is a profound amount of research showing the act of dieting not only does not work long term but can cause biological and psychological harm, increasing the risk of eating disorders and weight stigma. The process of learning how to intuitively eat helps unravel the diet mentality and negative thoughts about the body leading to healthy behavior changes that are sustainable.  

Does the time of day you eat really matter? Prescribed diets, even those that claim they are “non-diets”, tend to focus a lot on the timing of meals. The clock becomes the external parameter that you use to control your food intake instead of allowing your body to be your guide for hunger and fullness. All human bodies generally need to eat within the first few hours of waking up and then every 2-4 hours. However, there are a lot of things that can interrupt, disrupt, and disconnect you from your hunger cues.

What’s the best way to be successful about changing your eating behaviors?
Patience and self-compassion, hands down! Most of us live in a plugged-in, fast-paced world with an expectation that things happen quickly. To begin a journey to healing and cultivating your relationship with food, you have to accept that changing a lifetime of learned behavior will take time. It is important that you be kind to yourself as you move through the process of rediscovering how to trust that your body will guide your eating behaviors.

Are there really “good” and “bad” foods? Once you have a “don’t eat” sign on a food, you will only want it more. One principle of intuitive eating is making peace with food. This means giving yourself permission to eat with no judgment. There is no “good” food or “bad” food. I’m sure a lot of people may read that sentence and shudder, but the truth is that finding peace with what you perceive to be your “bad” food will end its power over you. While all foods are not nutritionally equivalent, you can learn to make them emotionally equivalent. You do not have to feel guilty or bad about eating certain foods. 

What is a nutrition myth you love to bust? Many people believe the myth that if they allow themselves to eat anything they want, they are certain to overeat. Our brains drive our behaviors, including eating. The development of the human brain has a lot to do with how we decide what to eat and how much to eat. Our brains have the instinct to survive, the ability to have feelings, and the mechanism to put thoughts and feelings into words. Intuitive eating focuses on a combination of instinct, emotion, and thought. If you truly have made all foods emotionally equivalent, you won’t experience feelings of deprivation that come with restricting certain foods. Your instincts will tell you when you are hungry or full, you will know intuitively what tastes good, and you’ll use the rational part of your brain to comfort any fears you may have about eating. By practicing intuitive eating, all foods will become part of your eating life. Text by Carol Ann Head 

Dr. Sarah Sawyer – owner and president of Dermatology & Laser of Alabama. Photo by Daley Snell

Your Best Face Forward with Dr. Sarah Sawyer

How young is too young for face products? Until kids hit puberty, don’t worry about any products except sunscreen. Use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens for babies and young children. Blue Lizard Baby and Aveeno Baby sunscreen stick are good options. 

Once puberty hits, it may be necessary to use acne products. Try Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash with a Clarisonic brush for early blackheads and whiteheads. If pink acne bumps arise, use a diluted benzoyl peroxide or a prescription product. 

What do you recommend for skin care regimens as you age?
Many choices actually reverse gene expression to that of younger skin cells. This includes intense pulsed light, retinoids, and TNS growth factor serums. 

In your 30s: Try a mild salicylic acid if acne prone. Use a Vitamin C product, a growth factor product, bleaching agents, and retinoids as you reach mid to late 30’s.

In your late 30s/early 40s: Use Vitamin C, growth factors, and retinoids. Hydroquinone (the world’s most popular bleaching agent) should only be used a few months per year, not year-round. Retinoids should be matched to the person/skin type. 

In your 50s: Reduce the use of retinoids and hydroquinone as skin becomes more sensitive. Maintain Vitamin C and other antioxidants, as well as growth factor serum. A less aggressive skin brightener should be used full time. I recommend Skin Medica products. 

What procedures do you recommend as the skin ages?
For your 30s: Try intense, pulsed light; light doses of Botox; fillers for particular skin conditions; and light resurfacing such as Clear and Brilliant. 

For your 40s: Try the resurfacing or intense pulsed light and/or Botox. By late 40s, try a deep volume restoration such as Sculptra or Voluma, or try tissue tightening with Ulthera or Exilis.

For your 50s: Try tissue tightening plus resurfacing or intense, pulsed light. Add light doses of Botox. – Text by Alison Lewis and Dr. Sarah Sawyer

Dermatology & Laser of Alabama • Mountain Brook, 205-870-3303

Emily Lassiter (left) and Lauren Pearson (right), financial planners and founders of The Wealth Edit. Photo by Mary Margaret Chambliss

Wealthy and Wise with Emily Lassiter and Lauren Pearson

You are both financial planners with HighTower Somerset. What do you do for them? And who do you serve? Our practice, Somerset, is a full-service wealth management firm. That means we do complex financial planning, investment management, portfolio construction, and asset allocation, in addition to financial coaching. Financial planning is the framework for financial health; asset allocation is how we structure the investments in your portfolio; portfolio construction is how we select the investments; and financial coaching gets to the behavior behind spending habits. For example, Lauren says she is a “sad spender,” which means when she is sad, she has a tendency to spend money. Knowing behaviors like this can be very helpful as you are develop financial health. 

Is the Wealth Edit separate from HighTower Somerset? How does it work? While the Wealth Edit is wholly separate from Somerset, the best practices we share through the Wealth Edit come from our private practice. We have seen trends among women and their financial trajectories, and we have studied these trends over time to create Glidepaths (see more about Glidepaths on the following page!) which is our name to describe the financial trajectories we see women typically walk through during their lifetimes. At Somerset, we do complex planning and have a very small number of clients. The Wealth Edit is a comprehensive toolkit to become, as we like to say, “Good with Money.” But it doesn’t offer individual financial advice like Somerset does. 

Most financial advisors need a pretty good nest egg for you to work with them. Is this true for The Wealth Edit? At HighTower Somerset, we do have a minimum for our current client base. But The Wealth Edit is a place for any woman to come and connect with other women around issues of financial health, entrepreneurship, and family. Often, women who join The Wealth Edit have a financial advisor already but want to connect with other like-minded women. There is no asset requirement to join. 

You have a passion for helping women. Why? Do you only serve women? We both have a heart for serving women because women are largely underserved by the financial services industry. It was built for men by men, and it’s like fitting a round peg in a square hole. Adequately serving women through Somerset or The Wealth Edit involves a complete overhaul in the way you think about serving families. We love creating a place where families feel comfortable. We do intentionally try to serve women, but we have an equal amount of male clients at Somerset. 

What are some of the main reasons people come to you for help through The Wealth Edit? And what are some first questions they have about money? Most women who come to The Wealth Edit are coming for either content or connection—or both. Women want to know if they are going to be okay financially, but often the first thing we hear is a statement rather than a question: “I don’t know anything about money!” This is why we built The Wealth Edit. Women make financial decisions all the time. For example, when you hire an interior designer, that’s a financial decision that may be five to seven figures.  

Your website and IG actually make money management look like a lot of fun. Tell us a little about how you came up with Glidepaths—and explain what they are. Are they based on a psychological/personality test? Do I have to join if I just want to take the test on your site? We really do think money can be fun! Through dozens of roundtable discussions in 2019—and by working with women for over 15 years—we were able to identify financial trajectories which are common paths women take throughout their lifetime. We wanted to make it fun, so the quiz is like your financial personality. Go take the quiz! We think it will tell you a lot about yourself.

So this is a club where you actually hang out with other members? How does that work? It is community over content for sure. Women learn best through the sharing of stories and ideas, so most of our content is live. This gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded women. Not only do we connect you through your Glidepath, but we offer Wealth Edit Wednesdays featuring some truly talented women who are making a difference in their chosen fields. Right now, we’re running a six-week series called “Mindfulness and Money,” where we teach participants how to be more mindful about personal finance. This is especially helpful around the holidays when we all get the urge to spend excessively. We also offer pop-ups and meet and greets. And in addition to our content—which is educational, informative, and fun—we are so proud of the relationships built as a part of this community.

What are WealthPods, a Slack channel, and wealth circles? These are all benefits if someone joins, but what are they really getting?
All of these are various ways you can connect once you are a member of The Wealth Edit. We know women are busy, especially in middle age, so there are opportunities to meaningfully connect through The Wealth Edit. We’ll never waste a member’s time; all of our offerings are meaningful.

In addition to money management, you do some fun events. Tell us about the social side of things. Through Somerset, we manage money and have live events for our clients. Through The Wealth Edit, we have pop-ups all over the Southeast. We have popped up in Birmingham, Atlanta, Charleston, and New Orleans. We are here to prove that talking about money to become good with money does not have to be boring. We’re having the time of our lives.

How many members do you have? We have right at 200 members and growing. We also have gift cards available so you can join or buy a membership for your friend or your daughter. It’s the perfect gift for the girl who has everything—because being financially savvy is a gift for life.

5 smart moves to make now

1. Figure out how much you spend each month.
2. Begin working towards maximizing your retirement savings.
3. Check your bank account/credit card/Paypal account for any unused subscriptions or memberships, and delete the ones you do not use. 
4. Double-check that you have named beneficiaries on your retirement accounts.
5. Join The Wealth Edit!


Andrea C Kirkland: [email protected] – Website: culinarymeded.com – IG: @culinarymeded – FB: @Culinary Med Ed

Lori R. Ennis: Email: [email protected] – Website: www.loriennis.com 

Dermatology & Laser of Alabama: Mountain Brook – Phone: 205.870.3303 – Website: birminghamskin.com

Emily Lassiter and Lauren Pearson: Phone: 205-937-2010 – Email: [email protected] – Website: wealthedit.com – IG: @wealthedit

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