Pride Nutrition

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In honor of Pride month, the rainbow flags fly high over San Francisco’s Market Street. As I sit and stare out my window at them, a sense of freedom arises, a sense of independence and liberation; freedom from restraint and oppression.

This same sense of freedom comes to mind as I sit and counsel my clients on the benefits of healthy living. I point out the rich rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables available to us and denounce the restrictions of processed, refined, and sugar-laden foods and non-foods. True food has and provides color, vibrance, and life. The rainbow of colors passes on to us in various ways. Purple, found in some berries or in eggplant, strengthen memory and support aging. Green fruits and vegetables, broccoli, pears, and leafy greens, help strengthen vision and bones. White, yellow, and red foods, such as onions, squash, tomatoes, and lemons, are good for heart-health, are cancer preventatives, and help boost immunity.

Foods have always provided healing and strength. Today, many of us feel restrained and oppressed by the heavy weight, figuratively and literally, brought on by the destruction of our food. But in light of Pride month and in line with past efforts to revolutionize and liberate, wave your rainbow flags high and take pride in the richness of the rainbow

Photo Credit: Jun Belen

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created www.eatingfree.com (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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