Let Food Be Thy Medicine ~ Hippocrates

headshot 512x512        Stephanie (Steph) McKercher ~ Dietician and Owner of The Grateful Grazer

Stephanie (Steph) McKercher is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD/RDN) with a background in integrative oncology and plant-based wellness. She acquired a master’s degree in nutrition and obtained 2+ years nutrition counseling experience with an integrative cancer treatment center in Chicago. She moved to Boulder Colorado in 2015 where she has a private nutrition practice. Stephanie created the most wonderful and informative website, hosts a variety of social media pages, and provides a multitude of recipes and tips that have been featured on Livestrong, Mind Body Green, Food Gawker, Well + Good, Healthy Aperture, One Green Planet, Finding Vegan, and many more. We at Full Fathom value all members of the health minded community, understand the importance of their immense contributions, and greatly respect the information and education shared by so many fantastic wellness ambassadors from all over the country and the world. And fortunately for us, we had a chance to catch up with Stephanie and get her perceptions about nutrition and wellness.

Steph found her passion in nutrition early on at The University of Wisconsin. After an early focus on pre-law at the University, Steph became intrigued and immersed in the power of nutrition as it relates to healthy living. Ultimately, she made the courageous decision to follow that passion and shifted her focus to food. After years of dedication to this focus including a pursuit of a graduate degree in the field, she achieved licensure as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD/RDN) with a background in integrative oncology and plant-based wellness. Steph’s commitment to her education and devotion to nutrition, preventive health practices, and overall physical and emotional balance and well being make her a valuable ambassador and educator within the wellness world.

Steph firmly and excitedly believes that nutrition is so very important for the management of good health. She knows that practicing healthy nutrition habits is one of the primary ways to prevent and/or manage a number of illnesses and epidemic problems including but not limited to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Nutrition is also important for the prevention and management of ADHD, anxiety, depression, mood lability, and a number of other mental health disorders. Stephanie has first hand experience observing cancer patients at a number of stages of this pandemic illness. When combined with conventional cancer treatments; nutrition, meditation, an exercise program, and other less invasive interventions were utilized for the management of cancer and related mental health difficulties including but not limited to anxiety and depression. The focus of the nutrition component was often related to inflammation and pain management. The results she observed included fewer side effects from more invasive treatments, less complications, and increased energy levels among others. The amazing observations have been echoed in Steph’s private work as well when it comes to the preventive approaches and/or management of our health. Another phenomenal and important belief communicated by Steph is the importance of life balance. While she lives and practices and teaches the tremendous benefits of plant based nutrition, she also understands the importance of harmony when it comes to our food and other life choices. She does not believe that a strict commitment to plant based nutrition is always the best route for everyone. Steph is extremely aware and comprehends the gravity of sharing a meal with friends and stepping outside of our sometimes too strict eating regimens. Enjoy life. Strive for balance. And be well. We at Full Fathom want to express significant gratitude to Steph for her time and efforts as one of the paramount ambassadors in the nutrition, health, and wellness venue. Be sure to learn more about Steph at www.gratefulgrazer.com/ where you will find a variety of valuable information and some tasty recipes as well. We have featured one of our favorite savory combinations from the Grateful Grazer below:

 

Sweet Potato Spring Rolls with Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

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Prep time

20 mins

Total time

20 mins

These bright and fun spiralized sweet potato and tofu spring rolls are the perfect way to transition into warmer months. Served with a flavorful sesame ginger soy dipping sauce, these are sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering.

Author: Stephanie McKercher, RDN

Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Asian

Serves: 6 rolls

Ingredients

  • Spring Rolls:
  • 6 sheets rice paper (have extra on hand in case any tear)
  • ½ block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into rectangular strips
  • ½ cup cilantro sprigs
  • 18 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 medium sweet potato, spiralized into thin noodles
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce or liquid aminos)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Sriracha to taste (optional)
  • Chopped scallions for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange spring roll ingredients on a large cutting board or piece of parchment paper to prepare for assembly. Fill a large bowl with warm water and place next to ingredients.
  2. Dip rice paper in bowl of water to soften and then lay flat on non-stick surface. (I used parchment paper.) Top with ⅙ of the remaining spring roll ingredients. Carefully wrap spring roll like you would a burrito and set aside. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets until all ingredients are used.
  3. Prepare the dipping sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together.
  4. Cut spring rolls in half if desired and transfer to serving dish. Serve with dipping sauce.