Clearing your plate of empty nutrition | VailDaily.com

Clearing your plate of empty nutrition

Cassie Pence

Special to the DailyPulse is Brain Gardens signature product. It features 24 whole foods from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains and can be eaten as a breakfast cereal, salad sprinkle or incorporated into smoothies. Locals Lulu and Bart Garton will discuss the Brain Garden company and its products Monday at 6 p.m. at their home in Edwards. For more details, call the couple at 376-1135.

EDWARDS – When Lulu Garton owned Curves in Edwards, a women’s fitness center, she found herself talking more about food than she was excercise. The women she was advising were trying to lose weight, and thus trying every diet fad out there.”They were on Atkins among others, which isn’t healthy for you,” Lulu said. “I was constantly trying to convince them to get off the diets and just eat whole foods to feel healthier and lose weight.”It was this time that Lulu and her husband, Bart, discovered Brain Garden at a Minturn Market tent. Based in Provo, Utah, Brain Garden creates “convenient” dry foods – like soups, snacks, salad dressing, baking mixes and protein bars – using high-fiber, unrefined whole foods. Its products are similiar in concept to mainstream foods like Hamburger Helper, in that they are intended to help make quick meals, but Brain Garden’s food uses no preservatives or refined sugars. Therefore, products’ shelf-life is much shorter than average grocery store fare, but the company can use whole foods instead of chemical additives or “fake foods.” “The foods are made with an air-dry system,” Bart said. “It’s different than dehydration in that it keeps 97 percent of the food’s nutrients.”After trying the products themselves and making meals from Brain Garden food for their family, Bart and Lulu were sold. The couple became Brain Garden distributors. Brain Garden operates solely as a direct marketing company. It sells its products to cosumers only through its independent distributors, like Lulu and Bart, using the internet. Clients learn about the products and their benefits through the distributors, and then they can order products from the internet. Similiar to what Lulu did at curves, part of the distributor’s job is to advise clients on how to use the food for weight loss or suggest how to cook the products with recipes.

“We’re not trying to turn everyone into vegetarians,” Bart said. “But you should probably tinkg about making whole foods a bigger percentage of your diet. We’re trying to make our lives longer and better.”Lulu and Bart will host an informative meeting about Brain Garden and whole foods in their home Monday at 6 p.m. They will cook sample Brain Garden meals for people to try.Brain Garden’s mission is to “change people’s lives and cure neglect of whole food, water, exercise, and wellness by teaching people simple habits and a common-sense approach to nutrition.” Brain Garden’s promotional material attacks “Big Food” companies, like Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Kraft, comparing their advertising tactics to those of cigarrette companies. The company argues that eating food from places like Burger King is just as dangerous as smoking. Brain Garden encourages reading labels and learning what all the additives are in the food at the grocery store. Lulu and Bart’s job is to help relay the Brain Garden message.”A lot of people pop vitamins and then eat like crap,” Bart said. “It’s like smoking a cigarette fortified with vitamins.”Local Debbie Floquet said while living in Chicago she had a disgusting lifestyle, smoking cigarettes and eating fast food. When she moved to the Vail Valley, Floquet said she wanted to get healthy and lose weight. She decided to try Brain Garden products after learning about it from Lulu at the Minturn Market.”I’ve never been into diet shakes or Slim Fast,” Floquet said. “Brain Garden is whole food, it’s not the fake stuff. I did the 10-day cleanse and lost 10 pounds. I also gained awesome mental clairity in the process.”

The 10-day cleanse is what the company recommends as a starting point for weight management. Unlike a lot of cleanses that have customers fasting, Bart said, the Brain Garden’s cleanse has people eating a lot of high-fiber whole foods and drinking a lot of water. For more information about Brain Garden, log on to http://www.thebraingarden.com. For more information on Bart and Lulu’s discussion Monday night, call the couple at 376-1135.You are what you eatBrain Garden discussion6 p.m. Monday

Garton residence: On Highway 6 in Edwards, turn south on Bull run next to the Salvation Army (this is the dirt road to the church). Take a left on Lariat Loop and continue to 246 Lariat Loop on the left.For more information, call Lulu or Bart Garton at 376-1135Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado