Foods of Color: OMBE’s Farmer’s Market Tours

As summer approaches, we checked in with our favorite food expert and cook-Laura Foresta. Beginning the month of June, Laura will be offering a new service at OMBE-a Farmer’s Market Tour to help her clients take a more holistic and local approach to filling their plates this summer. As many of us at OMBE have discovered, meeting with Laura is a treat (and that’s not just because she lets chocolate). If you haven’t had the opportunity to integrate nutrition into your fitness plan, this summer is your chance. Laura will be offering 20-minute complimentary sessions to help you think about food in a whole new way.

What is the Farmer’s Market Tour?
This is a practical session designed to help clients learn how to integrate everything they know about food and translate that into smart shopping and meal planning. I have clients complete a health history just as they would for a regular session and touch base with them before we meet about their most important goals. I travel to meet them at their favorite Farmer’s Market or a market that I will suggest if they’ve been searching for something local. Then we spend about an hour walking through a question and answer session while we shop. We’ll discuss how to select produce, the nutritional benefits of seasonal foods, issues such as organic versus local foods, reading food labels, and developing meal plans for their family.

Why a Farmer’s Market Tour?

Finding real food that’s free of chemicals, preservatives, and other unrecognizable ingredients is becoming harder and harder. It’s impossible for even the savviest consumer to determine which products are truly green and nutritious. We want to help shoppers develop the confidence to find local products that also satisfy the dietary needs and palettes of individual family members whether they need low-sugar, gluten-free, or vegetarian options. Summer is also the perfect time to find your favorite farmer’s market, organic CSA, or local food co-op.

Is there anything clients need to bring with them to your session?

I usually carry a clipboard to make notes along the way but they may want to bring a notebook to help them remember what we discuss. Other than that, just some sunscreen, a healthy appetite and an interest in trying new foods!

Q: How do you approach the relationship between food and people who want to be healthy or need to lose weight?

A: People need to reconnect with the foods they eat. I encourage my patients to eat whole foods or minimally process foods; however, they do not need to eliminate their favorite foods from their diets because over-restriction leads to binging – the most common cause of obesity.

Q: What are the biggest mistakes you see in people’s diets that are aimed at fat loss or healthy eating?

A: The biggest mistakes are going on a diet and eliminating whole food group.

Q: Could you describe your coaching philosophy and what your clients expect to get from your sessions?

A: My coaching method is very collaborative. Patients who come to me won’t get meal plans or calorie counts. They won’t be told what to eat, but how to eat. I help my patients reconnect with food and rediscover their best eating patterns. I talk to people and try to figure out their problems. My patients end up with a satisfying way to eat without guilt that makes them feel more energetic and well, both physically and psychologically. What’s better, the great feeling translates into other areas of their lives; for example they make better decisions in their relationships and at work.

Q: What are the most common problems or concerns for your clients?
A: The most common problem is the chronic, yo-yo dieting. In other words, the vicious cycle of weight-loss and weight-gain. During my counseling, I guide my patients with the “Intuitive Eating” Principle. The basic concept is “eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re no longer hungry”. I help my patients to reconnect to their own bodies’ wisdom and throw out the whole dieting mentality.