Community Palette

DC’s Own Food and Nutrition Guru Dr. Taylor Wallace

September 21, 2017

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Taylor Wallace and found out DC has its own food and nutrition guru. He has a consulting company and a blog and has written numerous textbooks in the nutrition and food science fields. He is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University and is now writing a cookbook. A really multi-talented guy. 

Listening to Taylor tell it “I have always had a passion for food.  When I was a kid, I basically lived in the kitchen with my grandmother (Mamawl), a self-made homemaker, who taught me how to cook, process and preserve a wide variety of foods.  Each year we would enter the open division at county fair; we won the overall championship 5 out of the 6 years we entered, capturing over 250 blue ribbons.  Mamawl’s homemade pie crust, divinity candy, and sweet pickles never received anything less than a blue ribbon.  My secret self-made sour cream coffee cake recipe followed similar suit, not only winning the blue ribbon prize each year, but also back-to-back purple grand champion ribbons at both the county and state fairs.  I used to tease Mamawl that my coffee cake was the only thing that could beat her homemade pie crust.” While Taylor preaches healthy eating, he agrees some things like his coffee cake are just too good to totally eliminate from one’s diet!  You’ll be able to access all of his secret family recipes in his upcoming cookbook to be released in 2018.

After graduating high school Taylor attended the University of Kentucky, where he studied food science; the science used to create a safer, healthy and more nutritious food supply in a world with a fast-growing population and diminishing natural resources.  As a scientist Taylor became particularly interested in the functional properties of foods, how different foods affect human health, and how specific diet patterns can be used to prevent the onset of chronic disease.  He did his doctoral research on the health-promoting properties of a group of compounds known as “anthocyanins,” the orange-red to blue violet colors in many fruits and vegetables.  He was one of the first to demonstrate their marked effects on cardiovascular disease prevention.  In 2012, Taylor was honored as the youngest individual to be inducted as a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, in part for this work.

Many have now heard of probiotics, especially if you watch late night TV, they are advertised all the time.  Probiotics are “good” bacteria. They are live microorganisms, similar to the ones already living in your gut, and may offer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. The word “probiotic” itself is often translated to “beneficial for life.”  It is a derived from the Latin word “pro” meaning “for” and the Greek word “biotic” meaning “life.” Probiotics are simply the good bacteria, which may lead to improved digestion and better immunity. Taylor is now developing his own Probiotic… but not just any traditional probiotic… this dietary supplement is a mixture of viruses known as “bacteriophages.”  Sounds scary, right?  Much like bacteria there are good and bad viruses.  Taylor explains “what’s incredible about these viruses (i.e., bacteriophages) is that they selectively target and kill off only the bad bacteria in your gut, allowing the good bacteria more room to grow and flourish.  We’re seeing incredible results among participants in our ongoing clinical trial.  This is the first human clinical trial of its kind and is going to be a game changer in the field of nutrition.”

Today, Taylor focuses much of his professional career on nutrition and lifestyle changes for preventing disease.  He’s worked in academic, company, and the not-for-profit sectors of the food industry, and currently owns his own scientific consulting firm, Think Healthy Group, Inc., which he uses to continue his research passion, conduct scientific reviews, author books, and communicate the importance of nutrition, food safety, and food technology. He has recently appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, NBC4 Washington and has been interviewed by The Washington Post, Food Network, and Shape Magazine. To learn more about good food and nutrition just click on Taylor’s website.


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Rehoboth Beach is More than a Summer Resort

September 5, 2017

It is generally agreed the summer season in Rehoboth Beach officially ends on Labor Day. The kids are back in school and most people are back at work. But if you think Rehoboth Beach is closed until next Memorial Day you have another thing coming. There is always something happening at the Beach. On September 15th a new Mayor will be sworn in for the first time in twenty-seven years and Paul Kuhns’ election bodes well for the beach. 

Courtesy of Paul Kuhns (Photo by: Paul Kuhns) Courtesy of Paul Kuhns

Rehoboth is a great destination all through the fall and winter. It’s a great place to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Yes January, February and March can be a little slow but even then many good restaurants are open and it can be a great time to shop at the 133 outlet stores on Rte. 1, tax free, and without the summer traffic. In addition after September 17th, you no longer have to feed the meters in downtown Rehoboth till next Memorial Day. 

The fall is replete with special events at the beach. The first is the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival which will be bigger than ever. It runs from October 12-15th and takes place at different venues throughout the Rehoboth Beach area. This year they are celebrating over a quarter century of smooth jazz! Friday night hopefully at the reopened Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, Saturday afternoon at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, a Jazz Fest Fashion Show and much more! Four days packed with amazing jazz performances. All your favorite restaurants, or the ones that will become your favorites, will have jazz performers entertaining.

Then on Sunday of Jazz Festival make plans to join in the fun at the CAMP Rehoboth Block Party. Block Party 3 will be held on the second block of Baltimore Avenue, from 12-4 pm on October 15th. Crowds estimated at well over a thousand filled the block last year, with dozens of local restaurants, caterers, businesses, non-profits, and other organizations participating. This is a great event for all and promises to be even bigger this year. Bring the kids, they will have a great time. 

Then mark your calendar and come back to enjoy the Rehoboth Sea Witch Festival for Halloween October 27-29th and follow that up with the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (RBIFF) which this year runs from November 2-12th. RBIFF is the oldest and largest event of its kind in the State of Delaware. 2017 is its 20th year, and the award winning festival has developed into a mid-Atlantic fall destination event for film enthusiasts from more than fifteen states. The nine+ day event is held every November and offers a wide variety of American and international features, documentaries, and short films. It is presented by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit arts organization which also provides a broad scope of independent film screenings, mini-Festivals, and theme-oriented film series throughout the year. In March, 2016 the Film Society opened the Cinema Art Theater, a brand-new theater with 104 tiered and staggered seats and professional projection and sound equipment. 

Because there are many more full-time residents, and more and more visitors continue to come and enjoy the beach throughout the year many of the great restaurants and bars which once closed after the summer season now stay open all year. While a few fun places, mainly outdoor venues like the great Aqua Bar and Grille, and the Iguana Grille close for the winter season after Halloween, others like the Purple Parrot on Rehoboth Avenue, with its good food and reasonable prices, and the Coffee Mill in the mews between Rehoboth and Baltimore Avenues, are open. Funland closes in the off-season but the one mile boardwalk is open for strolling and biking and you can take your dog for a run on the beach. 

(Photo by: Courtesy of Rehoboth Beach)

Many good restaurants serve Thanksgiving dinner and Rehoboth starts its holiday season celebrations with a fun Christmas tree lighting at the bandstand the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend. It is a great small-town celebration, children singing Christmas carols, with a huge diverse crowd of visitors and full-time residents celebrating together.   

For the past twenty-five years I have spent the week between Christmas and New Years at the beach. Rehoboth Avenue is festooned with lights and many good restaurants including the Blue Moon and Eden are open and have New Year’s Eve celebrations. This year there is the new La Fable restaurant on Baltimore Avenue, now one of my favorite places to eat, which will also be open through the holidays.  Remember for many of the better restaurants, even in what some call off-season, you still need reservations. There are also the more casual dining spots including a great new addition on Rehoboth Avenue, Dogfish Head Brews and Eats, expanding Rehoboth’s own brew pub. Another favorite is Café Azafran on the first block of Baltimore Avenue.

Part of the fun of planning to be at the beach during the holidays is never knowing much in advance what the weather will be. One year on New Year’s Day we walked in the snow on the beach; then the next year we headed to the boardwalk in shorts and t-shirts.

So as you make plans for fall and the holidays don’t forget to include Rehoboth Beach. You will be missing out on a lot of fun if you don’t.  



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Words Fail When Talking About Trump

August 20, 2017

Day by day it’s more difficult find new words to describe Donald Trump the person, and what he is doing to America. Each tweet brings something new and appalling. Yes, if we had only listened to Hillary; but then again 'Oh those emails.' 


In columns my references to Trump include his being a misogynist, a sexist, a racist, a friend of racists, a friend of fascists, a man with no understanding of history, uneducated, and a disgusting pig. The last brought outrage from friends who said I was offending every pig.


For the moment, like it or not, this man is our President. He represents us on the world stage. He is invited to world forums and will be invited to speak at the United Nations. How could this have happened? We know part of the reason; nearly 50% of Americans didn’t vote. Some who didn’t like Hillary and voted for a third party candidate ended up helping to elect Trump. A realistic person would understand what was going to happen if that was done in big enough numbers. My Facebook page is replete with people who opine Bernie or Biden or some other candidate could have defeated Trump. But they weren’t on the ballot for a host of reasons; Bernie because he lost the primary to Hillary by nearly four million votes. It was very clear any general election vote not for Hillary was a vote for Trump and anyone who didn’t vote for her must look themselves in the mirror these days and take some responsibility for Trump.


But that’s the past and getting beyond that is what is important. Trump is in the White House. We need to work together for a future where he and the Republican Party go down to defeat. Robert Mueller may bring down Trump but we will still be left with Pence and policy-wise that could be even worse. Whichever is in the oval office in November 2018 it will be our next chance to begin to turn the tide. Taking over the House of Representatives, the Senate or both will stop any outrageous legislation Republicans can dream up. We shouldn’t have had to wait until 1:30am in the morning to know whether Trumpcare would be defeated.


If Trump is still in office in 2018 Democrats only need a majority in the House of Representatives to vote to impeach. The Senate would need two-thirds to convict and that might be hard to achieve even if Democrats take back the Senate. But just a majority in the House will in essence end the Trump Presidency and block Republican legislation.


So calling this abomination of a man names won’t accomplish what we want. We need Americans to recognize how frightening what he says and does is. Then we organize and get people to the ballot box. Democratic candidates will win if we vote. First we need to stop the nonsense about demanding ‘purity’ from our candidates as the likes of Nina Turner, president of ‘Our Revolution‘ is talking about. Turner forgets she would never have won any office if purity was a determinant to voting for her. No one is pure and there is no candidate who will pass a purity test from enough voters of all different backgrounds to win an election.


The only promise we should demand of a Democratic candidate for Congress is they will commit to vote for a Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate and a Democratic Speaker in the House of Representatives. We should ask our Democratic candidates to speak out and reject a President who is unable to fully and totally distance himself from neo-Nazis, white supremacists, racists and homophobes; and reject a president or any official who is comfortable denigrating women. Our candidates need to speak out for economic equality and opportunity.


We will not win if some who reject all Republicans are doing and all this President does and says don’t vote for the Democratic candidates up and down the ticket; from City Council, to State Legislature, to Governor, to Congress. No one can sit out the election or say they are protesting and voting for a third party candidate they know has zero chance of winning. That will only end in more Trumps being elected. What more proof do we need than George W. Bush and Donald Trump.


Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” It is messy and the founders of our nation in their wisdom set up a form of government requiring compromise. Compromise among decent people. Racists, homophobes, misogynists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists aren’t decent people. Neither is a President who gives them comfort of any kind. Too many Americans believed his lies and voted their own biases, including bias against a woman. Let us not waste our next chance in 2018 to defeat all he stands for and take back our country.


This column was first published in the Huffington Post.

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