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Health Canada, physicians and our mothers have always told us to eat lots of fruits and
vegetables. We are constantly reminded how nutritious these gastronomic gifts of nature are and
that we should consume a certain amount based on our “Nutritional Food Pyramid.” What we
didn’t know is that certain foods have more nutritional content than others and if we eat
more of these foods, they will help our bodies fight disease better, reduce the effects of aging
and prolong our lives. These foods are referred to as “SuperFoods.”
SuperFoods have been popularized in such books
as SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change
Your Life, by Dr. Steven Pratt and Kathy
Matthews, and by pop-TV gods like Oprah
Winfrey. Whether you’re 63 or 23, the book says,
now is the time to start eating the SuperFoods way.
As Dr. Pratt says: “When we reach our retirement
age, do we want to get out of bed and drive to the
pharmacy to pick up a prescription and a few
over-the-counter medications or would you rather
get out of bed and drive to the club and enjoy a
round of golf?”
SuperFoods are naturally rich in vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients and can easily be
incorporated into a golf operation’s menu lineup.
There is no need to invest in new equipment, utensils
or service ware. Your chefs will continue to prepare
foods the same way they always have. Just be sure
to eliminate all trans-fats. Use oils such as olive oil
not only for cooking, but also in recipes and even
for seasoning vegetables where butter is the standard. There is also an opportunity to reduce preparation time and food costs by cross-utilization of
ingredients. The menu I have created for Daly’s,
our all-day restaurant, is set up so ingredients are
used in several dishes rather than just one. This
thought process will reduce the amount of ingredients required on the kitchen line. I also have great
turnover of my ingredients and reduce the spoilage
as foods are not sitting around too long. I would
recommend that some training be given to cooks
or invest in the book, which is a great reference and
also includes numerous recipes with which to get
started. You will find that your guests will appreciate the healthier choices and enjoy the fresh and
flavourful offerings. Don’t be afraid of tradition
rebels; you can offer these healthier items alongside
the traditional wieners and fries. Have your chef
Spring 2008
“SuperFoods” combos unlock qualities
that are berry, berry good for you
Spring 2008
try adding some of the SuperFoods to the
burgers and dogs such as arugula instead
of iceberg lettuce or wholegrain breads
instead of boring white. Add a grilled
chicken breast to your burger lineup and
try turkey sausages to replace the porkbased version. Some SuperFoods can cost
you more and increase your food costs,
but I have found that most people are
willing to pay more for better quality.
Take a good look at your snack bars
and think about what items you can
change or add that are more nutritious.
Most golfers today don’t want a melting
chocolate bar, greasy chips or muffins that
have been sitting around all day long.
Think about a bowl of assorted fresh fruit,
power bars with nuts and packaged sun-dried
fruit and berries. Beverages can include a
green tea-based drink and fruit smoothies.
I have my pastry chef experimenting and
creating our very own granola bars, fruit
bars and dark chocolate squares. They are
not very difficult to make and guests
notice the difference from store-bought
ones. They will cost you less to prepare
than to purchase and therefore produce
more profitable margins.
“ F O O D SY N E R GY ” T H E K E Y
The key to the SuperFoods philosophy is
“food synergy.” Emerging science shows
that certain foods play off each other.
“Food synergy” refers to foods that, when
paired together, are even more nutritious
than when they are eaten separately. Did
you know that sprinkling spices, such as
black pepper, on your food can increase
the absorption of nutrients found in
SuperFoods like spinach, beans, berries,
green tea and broccoli? Avocados increase
the absorption of antioxidants in other
SuperFoods such as tomatoes and spinach.
Cinnamon and whole grains such as oats
work together to control blood
sugar. Eating a handful of
walnuts with any
burn fat after
you’ve left the table. Honey supplies fuel
for the healthy bacteria found in low-fat
yogurt. Blueberries, wild salmon, avocados and spinach are all “brain foods,”
each supplying a different combination of
nutrients which work in synergy to provide an optimum cellular environment
for our brains.
A SuperFood is believed to have more
significant health benefits than other types
of food due to its phytonutrient content.
For example, blueberries are considered a
SuperFood because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, vitamin C and potassium, which
provide important health benefits.
All fruits are great sources of nutrients,
but strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
and blackberries stand out. They’re packed
with fibre and vitamins. They contain an
antioxidant called anthocyanin, which
has triple the stress-fighting power of
vitamin C. Antioxidants in berries are
thought to improve brain function and
are naturally low in calories.
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin
C. A single orange, for example, packs a
whole day’s requirement. Citrus juice
contains flavonoids, a phytonutrient that
lowers the body’s production of cholesterol and inhibits blood-clot formation.
They contain soluble fibre, which lowers
cholesterol and helps to maintain healthy
blood sugar levels.
Vegetables are like having a natural
pharmacy in your kitchen. Orange and yellowcoloured vegetables like winter squash,
carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy greens
contain carotenoids, a pigment that the
body converts to vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin and hair, protect against
prostate cancer and promote healthy
vision. Others, like tomatoes and
watermelon, contain lycopene,
believed to fight cancer and
promote heart health.
Spring 2008
Greens like broccoli and spinach carry
potent anti-cancer compounds like
sulforaphane and quercitin.
Whole grains are cheap and packed with
protein, B vitamins, minerals and fibre,
as well as many of the antioxidants found
in fruits and vegetables. The legume family,
which includes beans, peas, peanuts and
lentils, are rich in folic acid, calcium, iron,
potassium, zinc and antioxidants. They
are especially high in soluble fibre, and a
daily serving of cooked beans may lower
blood cholesterol by as much as 18 percent.
Soy is especially important in vegetarian
diets for its high protein content.
Nuts may be high in calories, but a
small handful tossed in with salads,
vegetables, or eaten between meals can
satisfy your cravings without overeating.
Almonds, pecans and pistachios are rich
in protein, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty
acids, and sesame seeds contribute calcium and vitamin E. Sesame, sunflower and
pumpkin seeds are good sources of phytosterols, which promote heart health.
Lean protein in fish, skinless chicken
and turkey, lean pork and some cuts of
beef, as well as in low-fat dairy products
like yogurt and ricotta, is crucial for tissue
repair, as well as making important
enzymes and hormones. Lean meats and
low-fat dairy products also contain calcium,
iron, selenium and zinc to build bones,
maintain nerve function and fight disease.
Tea, the second-most popular drink
in the world behind water, contains
polyphenols, powerful antioxidants
believed to protect against heart disease,
some cancers and stroke. Extra-virgin
olive oil is an excellent source of hearthealthy monounsaturated fats that may
lower bad cholesterol and raise good
cholesterol. It contains vitamin E and
antioxidants and is a good replacement
for unhealthy saturated fats like butter.
Enough with the scientific stuff. Here are
the basics: This is not a diet such as the
popularized “Atkins” or “South Beach” fad
diets. This is a choice of lifestyle that
allows us to enjoy many of our favourite
foods by simply incorporating ingredients
that are high in nutritional content.
Organic foods and locally-grown foods are
becoming more popular because people
are obviously more careful about the
foods they eat. Superfoods can be organic,
locally grown and even part of many
popular diets. That’s what makes this
lifestyle great. You can eat many delicious
foods as long as you eat them with these
powerhouse ingredients incorporated
into the recipes.
I must admit when our corporate
office launched this idea of a
“SuperFood” diet, I was hesitant. “Here
we go again, another crazy diet,” I said to
myself. Then I bought the book to learn
more about this concept. That was the
point when I saw the light. Not only
have I become a passionate promoter
within our hotel, but I have begun to
shop with careful attention for my family.
My salad of choice is spinach, my beverage
of choice is blueberry pomegranate juice
and my snack of choice is sun-dried fruit.
I have adopted this lifestyle at home and
my family haven’t noticed too much of a
difference, yet we consume much more
vitamins and nutrients that ever before. I
can honestly say that after three months
of eating healthier, I feel much better and
have more energy.
Our new SuperFoods initiative has
been well received and feedback from our
guests has been overwhelmingly positive.
We are confident we will see more repeat
business and continued food and beverage growth. Share the benefits of
SuperFoods with your golfers by posting
information in the clubhouse and watch
your food and beverage operation grow.
July 7-13, 2008
Between July 7-13, 2008 participating
courses will offer special promotions
including one free round of golf to
every child under the age of 16, who is
accompanied with a paying adult.
Want To Really Improve Your Game? Take A Kid!
Nelson is the Executive Chef for
the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. He
has worked as a chef in Atlanta,
Toronto, Lisbon, Windsor and in
Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier
Hotel and Ottawa Marriott. He
has competed in three culinary
competitions and received a
[email protected]
Spring 2008
National Sponsor
Official Supplier
Coca-Cola is a registered trademark of Coca-Cola Ltd., used under license.
Take A Kid To The Course Week is a very proud
supporter of the Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive for Kids