Reader's Digest

Milford Journal Article

Milford Journal


 By Barbara Winfield  

  Artist Talia Segal Fidler Gets Creative with Food.  

I have always been interested in health and nutrition,” increases physical stamina and prevents illness, it also de- admits performance and visual artist Talia Segal Fidler. creases the amount of stress we all face in our everyday  lives. Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Talia studied art, theaterand stage design. “Both of my parents are architects, so I was exposed to visual art at a very young age. As a child my father would let me play in his studio and use his art supplies.  “My background in art has made me well suited to work in the field of nutrition. While studying classical ballet, I became very aware of how the body works and the im- portance of a healthy diet to maintain energy and peak performance,” she says.  Talia now resides in Glen Spey and New York City, where she pursued a Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education. Currently, her days are filled with the work she does in painting, printmaking and collage as well as teach- ing classes in art and nutrition at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. She also gives nutritional lectures at spas and health food stores while counseling private clients.  “In Israel everything is fresh and healthy; we eat mostly plant-based foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and, of course, fresh fish, since we are on the Mediterranean. I grew up eating the Mediter- ranean Diet. The diet, which is gaining popularity, incor- porates healthy fats such as olive oil and uses herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods. Dairy and meat are only consumed in moderation,” adds Talia.  Today, Talia incorporates her love for healthy eating with her love of communicating. She teaches a holistic way of living, a way of life that incorporates the balance of mind, body and spirit. “The body is an amazing mechanism, capable of fight- ing off disease as well as healing itself. This is not to say that traditional medicine is bad; we need modern medicine to help us fight disease. A holistic lifestyle is more about averting disease,” says Talia.  “Many physical problems like obesity and diabetes can be prevented by eating healthily. Processed foods, high in trans-fats, sugar, salt and preservatives, can be toxic and cause inflammation, which in turn can cause dis- ease,” she continues.  Because eating highly processed food that comes in packages can be bad for your health, Talia teaches her students and clients how to read labels and identify chemicals that can cause illness over time.  She also recommends avoiding animals treated with an- tibiotics and hormones or those living under unsanitary or stressful conditions.  “You don’t have to give up sweets, butter or other treats but try to make them with natural, healthier alterna- tives. I suggest you follow the 85/15 rule,” Talia says. “Eat 85% whole foods and 15% of the other stuff. Just cut back on processed foods and steer clear of fast foods. Take time to pack your own snacks and prepare lunch.  “Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables and eggs and grass-fed beef may cost more, but in the long run, you will find that you save money on doctors, medicine and sick days away from work and family.”
Talia says, “I love living in this area. It has a special beauty all year round, but spring and summer are my favorite seasons because of the abundance of fresh food, the farmers markets and the proximity to the farm-to- table experience.  “I believe in individual biodiversity. It’s important to find out which diet works for each person. Although we each have different needs and preferences, concentrat- ing on eating fresh, unprocessed foods, the way nature created them, can benefit everyone.”  If you are thinking about eating in a healthier way, Talia suggests starting with the whole food diet as a founda- tion. This way of eating not only emphasizes healthy, tasty meals, but also promotes physical activity and en- joying meals with others.  “A large part of healthy eating has to do with where you eat and how you eat. I suggest that my students create a relaxing atmosphere, chew their food slowly and, when- ever possible, enjoy their meals with others. In Israel, we drink good red wines from local vineyards with our meals,” Talia continues.  “It is crucial, in this fast-paced world, to block out time to spend with friends and family. Why not do it around  
 the dinner table? And most importantly, make it a stress-free time—no cell phones, no TV and no rushing through. Just take your time and enjoy.  “Also, create food that is pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. As a visual artist, I am very aware of how im- portant it is to present food in an attractive way. We see and smell the food before we actually eat it. Remember, food not only sustains us, it also creates a pleasurable sense through smell, sight and taste.  “I love showing people how to balance colors, textures and flavors on the plate. Be creative and take the experi- ence of healthy eating to another level.” 

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