Food in the NuD is a startup company in the Edmonton area that focuses on healthy treat alternatives using real wholesome ingredients with no refined sugars, flours or oils. Even the chocolate is made with coconut palm sugar. When I first heard about it, I printed off copies of the menu and forcefully put them on all of my coworkers’ desks. For some reason, the word “paleo” has some kind of stigma to it and it’s not overly popular in the foodservice industry in Edmonton yet so this is kind of a big deal.
HOW IT WORKS
You can order online at foodinthenud.ca and then pick up when it is ready. They usually have 3-4 different items to chose from and they change weekly. You can subscribe to have the menu e-mailed to you so that you don’t miss something delicious.
You can also find them at the Sherwood Park farmers market every Wednesday from 4-8pm. She’s at the Old Strathcona markets one more weekend (More information on their website)
BUT WHO IS FOOD IN THE NUD?
I knew the whole concept was amazing so I was excited to meet the creator but I got way more than I bargained for with Chrysta Morkeberg when she walked into the coffee shop. What’s this? Someone who talks as loud as I do?
Have you ever met someone so cool that you wanted to become them except without being weird? (She wants me to make it clear that she’s just being silly in these photos.)
She started her journey making alternative treats 4 years ago when she took her son to a naturopath and did an IgG test to discover he was intolerant to eggs, dairy and gluten. She grew up in Saskatchewan and her dad was a wheat farmer so you can imagine the dismay of having to stop supporting what your whole life revolves around. She started replacing regular bread with gluten-free bread and admittedly was ignorant of her own nutrition as well. That’s when she drops this bomb on me that she weighed 220lbs. I very audibly stuttered, thinking I heard her wrong. She was trying to work out but wasn’t losing weight because of what she was eating. She was showing early signs of arthritis in her lower back with severe pain, on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, suffered from postpartum depression and acne (the cherry on top).
In support of her son, she decided to stop eating gluten as well. Within 4 weeks, she noticed her back stopped hurting and started reading into the side effects of gluten, one being inflammation. Next, her love handles started to go away. That’s when things really started changing for Chrysta and she started educating herself on food and slowly eliminating a few more harmful additives and foods that spike your blood sugar. The struggle was not just her own. July 31st 2014, her husband fell off a ladder and crushed his heel bone. It was so mangled, the doctors called it hamburger foot. After having 5 surgeries in a span of 9 months, he was on antibiotics and they believe it was the first surgeon who stuck an 8-inch rod through the back of his foot which caused a bone infection. Over the course of 30 consecutive days admitted to the hospital, she was cooking for him every day and driving his meals across Edmonton because hospital food is anything but healing. Doctors were throwing painkillers at him from every direction, one of which led to suicidal thoughts and he couldn’t move and she had to call an ambulance for him. After that horrifying experience, he obtained his medical marijuana card and began his healthy eating journey. “So he’s almost as crazy as me. If you say the word Sugar, oh my God, he’s off on a tangent.” He then began Bikram yoga instead of physiotherapy and now he is walking fine after being told his foot should have been removed.
She brought up something I think is very important, and it’s that your journey doesn’t have to start all at once. When people ask her how she did it, she doesn’t like to say, “Well, I don’t eat _____, _____, ____ and definitely never eat ______.” She’d rather tell the story because people start these lifestyle changes and give up because it’s too hard and they feel overwhelmed. It’s vital to understand we didn’t all just wake up one day and start making gourmet paleo crepes and not struggle. She mentions the sacrifice of time, which is also a huge one for me. You have to make time to cook, it’s more expensive if you’re eating all organic but otherwise your only real investment is time. Neither of us actually knows how much Kraft Dinner costs anymore so don’t take our word for it.
Side note, I’m listening to the recording of us talking and having a hard time telling whose voice is whose.
…if it doesn’t serve me, I don’t want to put it in my body…
Between moments of banter, she asks me, “How many times do you think I work out a week?” I’m looking at her chiseled arms and then at mine, and then back at hers, and then mine again. I say nothing. “I try and make it to the gym 1 to 1.5 hours a week if I can. To a yoga class.” The emphasis on the importance of nutrition again, 20% of health is at the gym, 80% is in the kitchen. “My motto is: If it doesn’t serve me, I don’t want to put it into my body… If it’s not making me healthy or doing something for my organs, why take it in?”
This is only the beginning for Chrysta, she has goals bigger than her biceps. One of which is to get paleo snacks into coffee shops so we have healthier choices and don’t have to keep sneaking in our own contraband snacks.
Her weaknesses: lattes, cheese, nachos.
Strengths: Doesn’t miss bread or refined sugars.
Books she recommends:
Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, for recipes
Paleo Approach Sarah Ballantyne, for information on Holistic Health
The Science of Skinny by Dee McCaffery, for understanding your body’s chemistry