Dr. Kantor answered questions about healthy eating for Spring and his new book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, for The Daily Universe.
I am the CEO of Green Box Foods and the parent company Service Foods Inc. I have a Master’s and Ph.D. in Nutritional Science and a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. My goal is to help improve America’s health through all-natural foods and nutritional education. This is the only way to solve the health care crisis.
What originally interested you in nutrition?
As the CEO of Service Foods Inc., we always sold high quality healthy foods but the main reason people became customers was because the food tasted great and it was convenient that we delivered it to the homes. I felt like everyone wanted our product and services but only a smaller percentage needed it. I wanted to change my product and services from a want to a need. The way to do this was to make the product line all- natural and organic, provide the nutritional knowledge needed to use the foods properly and hire a great staff of registered and licensed Dietitians, Registered Nurses, Fitness Experts and all- natural chefs to help the clients with their transition to healthy living. This then culminated in the formation of Green Box Foods, which is a nutritional wellness benefit solution, serving large companies, organizations, medical providers and wellness companies, nationwide with their nutritional solutions to wellness.
What are some healthy spring foods?
Arugula– Arugula is in season from spring to early summer months, originally grown in the Mediterranean but can also be grown in a backyard garden and is available at your local market during the warmer spring and summer months. Arugula contains about 8 times the amount of calcium, 5 times the amount of vitamin A, C, and K and 4 times the amount of iron compared to traditional iceberg lettuce. Build a salad with arugula as the leafy green and you will increase your nutrient consumption drastically. Arugula also has several detoxifying properties, while it is still low in calories.
Rhubarb– Rhubarb is available throughout most of the year, and grows best in northern United States (Washington, Oregon, Michigan) and Canada and is available in your local market. Its actual season is early spring. Chinese medicine has used the roots of the plant as a natural laxative. For food consumption, the red stalks (look similar to celery) are used as a natural sweetener and combined with other fruits, typically put into pies. Rhubarb is classified as a fruit. It is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins including, calcium and lutein, which has numerous healthy benefits relating to the skin and eyes.
Sprouts– Are available throughout the year, they grow best in cool climates (northern United States) and can be found year round at your local market. They go great in colorful spring salads for extra crunch and nutrition. They are classified in the cruciferous vegetable family, which naturally detoxify the hormones and harmful estrogen mimickers that we are exposed to daily in our water supply, cosmetics, and even the air we breathe. They help keep the body in an alkaline state, reducing risk for certain cancers. Sprouts are a great source of fiber, and rich in vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. They will increase energy along with helping weight loss efforts.
How can college students incorporate healthier diets without breaking the budget?
They can take advantage of fruits and vegetables that are in season, produce that is in season tends to go on sale due to its high availability. They can also buy foods in bulk, such as: poultry, fish, meat, nuts, beans, etc. and split the cost among several friends to offset the cost while still getting the “bulk” price, without having to have an extra freezer due to the limited space of a college dorm or apartment life.
What suggestions would you give people for getting back into shape for spring/summer time?
Try to eat whole foods, avoid diet foods. Foods that are marketed specifically as “diet” foods tend to contain preservatives even if it’s low calorie and fat. The chemicals in the foods can actually harm your metabolism in the long run, making it more difficult to lose weight. A diet rich in vegetables, some fruits, healthy fat from nuts, seeds, avocados, nut butters, and high quality protein sources such as wild caught fish, all natural poultry and meat, is best for getting back in shape.
What are your favorite spring recipes?
Tarragon, Tomato & Bean Salad with grilled Salmon
1 pound heirloom tomatoes (about 2), cored and cut into pieces
15-oz. can beans (white, black or red), drained and rinsed
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grates
Celtic Sea salt Ground pepper
4 salmon steaks (about 6-8 ounces each)
Combine tomatoes, beans, tarragon, lemon juice, scallions and oil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat grill to medium; lightly brush grates with oil. Season salmon, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until done all way through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve salmon topped with tomato and bean salad.
Green Goddess Smoothie (1 serving)
1 lime slice of a medium lime
1 ounce pure blueberry pomegranate juice
½ kiwi fruit (may use pineapple or berries)
1 ounce coconut or almond milk
1 scoop protein powder
5 drops or 1-2 packets of Stevia
Dash of vanilla
1.5 c spinach, arugula or kale leaves
½ c ice
- Blend all ingredients till smooth
What, in your opinion, are people doing wrong when preparing to get in shape for spring?
When people rush to lose weight or get in “quick” shape for a trip or event, they end up cutting their calories too low and increasing their activity excessively, resulting in a poor metabolism, meaning the amount of calories your body burns at rest decreases, resulting in weight gain. Eventually if one diets constantly, they can damage their thyroid and adrenal glands due to the chronic stress being put on the body, making it almost impossible to lose weight and get in shape. A balanced diet that is not drastically low in calories along with daily activity incorporating a variety of intensity levels is best. All three components of fitness should be incorporated, including strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility work.
What new perspectives does your book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice take?
The book makes healthy living fun and strives to have it done as a family. We made fun characters out of all the fruits, vegetables, proteins, water and sleep. They are the good guys and form the Green Box League of Nutritious Justice along with Knute Trition, Ed Yucation and X.R.Cise. They do battle with the bad guys, the Legion of Unhealthy Injustice, headed by OBCD, the sugar shark and salt snake. This way we were able to make some fun comic book type stories the kids would enjoy. We also have food descriptions, recipes, exercises, PALA+ and health articles that can be done and read together as a family. The idea is that is they can see it, hear it, color it and spell it; the kids can learn it and enjoy it.
Dr. Kantor’s greatly anticipated new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, is now available. Be sure to order this highly reviewed book, filled with healthy living tips for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.