The Tasty Life

Holistic Nutrition Coaching

I moved…please come and visit me! May 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrite @ 1:31 am

Hi Tasty Lifers,

I wanted to let you know that I moved my blog and website to

http://www.tastylife.org so please come and find me there.

You will also be able to receive my new illustrated e-book,

“4 Tasty Habits to Get You Un-stuck Fast” and when you sign up for my newsletter, you will also get

tasty tips on how to live a pleasure filled life– guilt and deprivation free!

Hope to see you there.

xoxo

Myrite

 

Asian Grocery Tour & Coconut Black Rice Pudding Recipe! May 25, 2011

Brown rice is classic- but have you heard of black rice?

It not only contains an outer layer of cholesterol lowering bran- it also contains anthocyanins,the purple pigment found in blueberries, grapes and acai fruit. According to research at Louisiana State University, these compounds decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, and chronic inflammatory diseases. Cook it as you would with brown rice for dinner or enjoy it as a delicious and satisfying dessert (and dare I suggest you enjoy the leftovers for breakfast..that’s what I did!)

Wondering where the inspiration came from to make this exotic Bali inspired dessert? A couple of weeks ago I went to an Asian grocery store in the Cote de Neiges area of Montreal and stumbled on a million interesting things- it had a Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai and Chinese section…I was literally walking through the aisles for hours, because I just couldn’t get enough. The few places I can get lost in for hours are: health food stores, book stores,vintage stores..and apparently Asian grocery stores!

There were so many Asian green vegetables I had never tried, and an abundance of grains and sauces to chose from! (Many of them were made with MSG- so I stuck to the simple ingredient lists)- I was looking for Ponzu sauce (a citrus sauce) and Kimchi (Korean fermented spicy bok choy)- but unfortunately they only had MSG laden Kimchi..

I realized that having a tour guide in an Asian grocery store would be so key to getting people to eat these healthy and delicious foods! So send me an email myrite@gmail.com if you would be interested in gathering for a tour, followed by a cooking class. I have a friend from Bali who can help me out with this pet project of mine :)

So here’s what I went home with: soba noodles: made from buckwheat flour- 3 packages for only $2!; shredded tofu (As I said, I don’t eat much tofu, but was inspired by a veggie “pulled pork” (VPP) sandwich at a cafe called Depanneur Le Pickup (one of my fave places to take out of towners); Square rice paper rolls for Vietnamese spring rolls- since the round ones tend to be harder to fold; mini bok choys so tiny and cute, and a bunch of purple eggplant which I used in a Thai curry; goji berries; I also got kaffir lime leaves which I love to throw into soups, dahl or curries. Lastly- I bought black rice! I was so excited about this purchase, because I remember enjoying a rice pudding at a restaurant in NYC I love called Cafe Asean.

Here are some more pics of some interesting foods I found in the Asian grocery store.. have you tried any of them before? Wondering about that juice…there were so many interesting ones to chose from.

The coconut black rice pudding recipe is posted at the bottom!

Coconut Black Rice Pudding

It is real easy, very few ingredients and you can flavor it to your liking. I used maple syrup instead of the sugar in the recipe, and I topped it with some coconut milk and a sliced lime for serving.

It would also be great with sliced mango on top!

Here is what black rice looks like:

Ingredients:

1 cup black rice
4 cups water
pinch salt
vanilla extract or ideally one vanilla pod
1/4 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup palm sugar
coconut milk
optional: shredded coconut, sliced mango or peaches

Soak rice in 4 cups water overnight or for 5-6 hours. Drain water and rinse. In medium size pot add rice and 4 cups of new water. Add pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once water starts bubbling, leave on high for 15 minutes with the pot uncovered and then cover the pot and turn heat to low simmer for 35 minutes (you can set timer).

Add sweetener of your choice and stir.

Serve with drizzle of coconut milk, shredded coconut and sliced mango!

Enjoy!

 

Summer Plum Crisp May 18, 2011

Filed under: recipe,Uncategorized — myrite @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This recipe was inspired by Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com, one of my faves!!

Fruit:
1 pound ripe apples
1 pound ripe peaches or plums
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
a scant 1/2 teaspoon
orange blossom water (optional)
Crisp:
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
big pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup yogurt
Special equipment: 8×8 square baking dish or equivalent
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Cut the fruit into bite-sized, 1-inch pieces. I cut relatively chubby slices and then cut them again in quarters or thirds. Place the chopped fruit in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate small bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup sugar and the arrowroot. Sprinkle over the fruit, toss gently (but well), add the orange blossom water (optional), toss again, and transfer the fruit to an 8-inch square baking dish (or your favorite equivalent-sized, deep-sided, solid-bottomed tart pan).
To make the topping combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, and then the yogurt and mix until everything comes together in a dough-like texture. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the plum and peach mixture.
Place the baking dish in the oven, middle rack, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden. Sprinkle a bit more sugar on top as it comes out of the ovens, and if you have a lemon on hand, grate a bit of zest on top (optional). Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

 

Chew On This: 5 Easy Steps to Digestive Balance May 16, 2011

In our culture there are so many idioms that have to do with our bellies: ‘trust your gut’ or ‘gut instincts’. Perhaps we have these expressions because we intuitively know that our wisdom lies not only in our brains, but in our bellies! Our guts process our emotions, thoughts and stresses along with the rest of our body. Again, think of how when we our nervous, we have butterflies in our stomach and we even say “I can’t stomach it!”- these sensations arise from our gut brain which often acts as a barometer of our emotional well being. There is tremendous amount of untapped brain power in our bellies. While our brain and spinal chord represent our Central Nervous System, our ‘gut-brain’ is referred to as our Enteric Nervous System. It is a complex network of neurons and neuro-chemicals that sense and control events in our digestive system and our entire body. Our ENS is located under our mucosal lining, between muscular layers of esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. Did you know there are over 100 million neurons in our Enteric Nervous System? It has more cells than in our entire spinal chord! Another interesting fact: More than 90% of the body’s serotonin lies in the gut, and about 50% of the body’s dopamine lies in the gut as well that means that all those feel good ‘brain’ chemical that helps to regulate mood and feelings, is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. 60-90% of your immune system is also concentrated in your gut mucosa. Now you can understand how when your gut health is imbalanced- it can throw off your entire system.

My friend Angela was recently hospitalized after a flare up with Crohns’ disease, a painful inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is an autoimmune response where the immune system attacks the digestive tract. On June 12 Angela is going to run and raise funds for the CCFC (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada) here in Montreal.  If you want to run on her team or if you would like to sponsor her click on the link below.  Her team is called “I Love Your Guts!” As an added bonus if you run with her- she will make you a kickass t-shirt. You can support her by going to this link

Here are 5 Easy Steps to Digestive Balance:

1. Relaxation: Before sitting down to enjoy a meal or snack , take five slow deep breaths into your belly. Oxygen and breath give your gut more metabolic energy and help digest and assimilate your food better. Also remember that your stomach doesn’t have teeth, so the more work you do in your mouth, before swallowing, the more nutrients you will receive. Try chewing each bite 15 times and see how you feel. At The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we had a guest speaker named Lino Stanchich, a leading macrobiotic teacher who wrote a book about the power of chewing. In it he described how his father survived a concentration camp in Serbia during World War II by very thorough chewing. * Take time to enjoy food and be mindful of breathing deeply, and eating in a calm environment without distractions like the TV or newspaper. You can offer thanks or gratitude to the meal in whatever way feels comfortable. You can say a prayer or simply thank those who helped bring food to the table -the sunlight, the rain, the farmers, and of course, the cook!

2. Eat LIVE, Cultured Foods DAILY to Maintain Healthy Gut Flora: this includes kimchi, miso, tempeh, kombucha, yogurt and lacto-fermented vegetables which all contain a healthy dose of beneficial gut boosting bacteria! This winter I made enough sauerkraut to last me the entire season! A great source for home made culturing is Sandor Katz, Wild Fermentation.

3.  Eat at Least 2 High Fiber Foods Daily: Try and incorporate these fiber rich foods into your meals: whole grains, raw fruits with skins and dried fruits, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, nuts and seeds with skins, beans, peas, lentils, and ground flax seeds.

4. Use Digestive Herbs in Your Cooking: to increase digestive secretions and get rid of stomach cramps or gas. Add these into your favorite dishes; caraway seeds, cardamom, ginger, star anise, dill, basil, rosemary, fennel, turmeric and cinnamon. Spearmints, peppermints and other mints are all respected for their digestive benefits. In the early Christian church, peppermint was so valued it was accepted as payment of tithes. You can use these herbs in teas, soups or stews! You can also roast vegetables with these herbs or toss them into your salads.

5. Try an Old Fashioned Elixir: Although bitter vegetables and herbs are an integral part of the diet of many cultures where they are known for aiding in digestion by stimulating bile production, in North America we tend to shy away from the bitter taste-(aside from coffee and beer). We need bitter flavours to help balance out the sweet, salty and sour tastes, and bitter herbs help stimulate our salivary glands, gall bladder, stomach and liver while enhancing every aspect of digestion! You can buy a tincture of Swedish Bitters at your local health food store and dilute a teaspoon or two in juice, tea or water. Take it 30 minutes before your meal, up to 3 times a day. Do not take if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

*Sources:

Lino Stanchich, Power Eating Program (Coconut Grove, FL: Healthy Products, 1989).

Marc David, The Slow Down Diet (VT: Healing Arts Press, 2005).

 

Tasty Bite #1: Break Free of Eating on the Go May 4, 2011

Is this what you look like at lunch time?

Hi TastyLife readers!

So, I realized that writing really long blog posts that only appear every once in a while- is kind of counter intuitive. Instead, I will aim to write a few long posts a month, but mostly these digestible little Tasty Bites, which will act as mini tips you can sink your teeth into. I am also launching new TastyLife weekly challenges that you can all participate in! Want to try clearing your sugar cravings or overhauling your pantry? Make sure to get on board the upcoming challenges.

Since most of my clients struggle with sluggish energy and work life balance, I thought I would include some tips to avoid feeling like you need a nap after eating your lunch.

Break Free of Eating on the Go- Start Savouring Slow…

  •  Assess how hungry you are before you begin, and eat without any distractions: no books, TV or computer nearby. Try and focus fully on the eating experience. You can feel free to eat in the company of others and enjoy socializing. Now that it’s nice out, eat outside or if you can’t get away from your desk, at least move to a desk far away from your work area to eat in a relaxed environment.
  • Beautify your table setting; use real silverware or plates when you can, and bring a cloth napkin or place mat to work with you. This will allow you to relax even more instead of eating out of to-go containers. You can buy glass containers, they are the nouveau “Tupperware” which you can heat up and eat out of, while feeling more refined.
  • Chose the right combination: For prolonged energy chose a lunch that combines these main ingredients and make sure to create a colourful plate: Try dividing your plate into ½ a plate full of vegetables, ¼ plate full of light proteins like grilled seafood, chicken or tofu and ¼ plate full of whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, soba noodles). Try avoiding fried, greasy or refined foods for lunch, these are much more likely to drain your body of vital energy causing you to feel sluggish.
  • Eat like a European!Europeans take 2 or 3 hour lunches where they slow down and focus on the pleasure of eating. Start by switching your focus to enjoying the meal you are eating as a time to relax from work, rather than as simple fuel to ingest as quickly as possible.  A study has shown that people who bolt down their food are more likely to overeat than those who dine at a more leisurely rate. Scientists believe eating quickly stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full.
  • Put down your fork every so often and take 5 deep breaths through your nose. Check in with your belly to see if you are satisfied, the goal is not to feel stuffed. You may still feel a little hungry, but wait 20 minutes and see how satisfied you are.Don’t feel pressured to finish your plate, in fact feel free to save ½ your sandwich for later on if or when you get hungry again. Leave the table with more energy than when you sat down!
  • Don’t eat in the car- Though it can be tempting to eat in the car when you’re in a rush please try and avoid it whenever possible. Many modern cars are built with refrigerated glove compartments nowadays encouraging the “on the go” culture. Rushed and distracted eating is stressful on the body, putting your body in a “fight or flight response” which negatively impacts your digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Last but not least…don’t buy this gizmo for your car.

 

Pass Over the Guilt… April 16, 2011

Every Jewish holiday is focused on eating, guilt and deprivation of some kind, and the upcoming holiday ofPassover is no different. It is meant as a time to forego all ‘leavened’ foods for 8 days which includes;  cereals,breads, grains, legumes, pasta, and anything that is made with yeast. Basically all the delicous carbs you knowand love will soon be replaced by the standard holiday staple- Matzah essentially a cardboard like cracker. It iseaten to symobolize the rushed Jewish exodus from Egypt that was done in such haste that there was no timefor the bread to rise.  Of course, even in a rush to leave the country and with the imminent risk of being killed-my Jewish ancestors had food on their minds.For me, somehow knowing that for 8 days these foods will not be allowed tempts me to go on a bakery storetour of the neighborhood- devouring all the “forbidden” foods from Cheskies to Fairmount bagels before theholiday begins. Though the bakery tour may have sounded like a fantastic idea ten years ago, I now knowbetter. I became a Holistic Food Coach for a reason; to help my clients make peace with food and their bodieswithout guilt, deprivation or calorie counting.  Essentially, I help “liberate” them from the dieting mentality thatsaturates our society with body hatred, shame and a desire to try every diet solution out there-it woudn’t evenshock me if someone invented a Matza diet. In a way, I am like the Moses of the Passover story, leading hispeople from oppression to freedom, from rigid food rules to liberation. Or something like that. 

What happens when you have food rules?

Think of telling a teenager what NOT to do, and expect that they will try everything to break the rules.Once you have set up a food rule, whether it is to stop eating carbs or to never eat past 7pm, you areunknowingly creating a struggle with your mind and body because the moment you banish a food it ironicallybuilds up the craving for it even more as the deprivation deepens. The thought of even going on a restrictedeating plan can create a sense of panic, causing you to eat every food you won’t be allowed on the diet. Thisoften causes frantic gorging followed by feelings of guilt and shame.Of course, guilt is nothing new in Judaism. Think of a food rule (that is almost universal to Jewish mothers) andyou will find guilt; “Finish everything off your plate!”, “thou shalt not waste food,” “Do you hate my cooking thatmuch?”, “Your grandparents were Holocaust survivors, do you think they would be picky?”

Release your inner Pharaoh

Are any of you stuck in the “food rule dual” where you have food rules that set you up for failure each time yousuccumb to the forbidden food? Do you feel like you are being “bad” if you give in to food you shouldn’t have,and good if you follow the rules? Do you think you are you ready for relating to food in a new way, that doesnot keep putting your body and mind in conflict, so you can have a balanced relationship with food and yourbody for good?The intentional eating approach is a process based on exploring your behaviors instead of criticising yourselffor them. Unlike a diet, it’s not linear based, but a journey of ups and downs built on getting rid of years of bodyshame, oppression and guilt. It is about learning how to “let (my people) LET go”  of the voice of “Jewish guilt”that tells you your late night craving for ice cream is “bad”, and if you “cave” you will need to punish yourself later.Instead, start to nurture the compassionate voice of the “observer” who is neither a judge nor a critic,but one who notices and makes neutral observations of your food behaviour.By beginning to become aware of your thoughts and actions, you can start gradually changing them. Instead offeeling guilty for the ice cream craving, the observer gets curious and makes observations like, “Isn’t thatinteresting- I want ice cream even though I am full, I wonder what I am feeding if I am not hungry? Maybe Iam feeling lonely, I can always call up my friends and see what they are up to.”When you give up the food rules, you free yourself from a harsh ruler, the hope that some outside expert isgoing to command you how, when and what to eat. It is an empowering process when you can connect to whatyour body feels like eating and learn to respect its signals for hunger and fullness, Who else can be the bestexpert of your body?  After practicing and teaching an intentional and mindful eating approach, I feel asliberated as my ancestors coming out of Egypt. No more food rules! No more guilt or deprivation.I have been delivered.
Here are a few Intentional Eating Suggestions to start you off this Passover.

Suggestions for Passover Eating:

1.       Start small: assess how hungry you are before eating, and fill your plate accordingly.

2.       Next, decide how you want to feel when you are finished. When you eat with the intention of feeling better and more energized, than when you started, you are less likely to overeat.

3.       Know that there is always more food if you want it. You can always have leftovers tomorrow. You don’t have to finish your plate if you are full.

4.       Chose food that you like, and that will nourish you. Our society is so obsessed with “eating right” we sometimes eat things we don’t even like. Besides, deprivation and guilt cause more overeating. Fill your plate with only your TOP favourite dishes, if you don’t love the way something looks or tastes, skip it! You should be excited to eat everything, don’t just eat it because it’s there.

5. *Bonus tip about Matza: You don’t need to overdo it on the Matza- there are plenty of other foods you can eat, not every meal needs to contain a matza like substance. Try quinoa, a versatile grain that is just as good in breakfast ‘porridge’, as in a stuffing or salad.

Passover Dessert:


Chipotle Chocolate “Donut Holes”

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews or sunflower seeds
5 dehydrated pineapples or apricots chopped
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbs chipotle pepper
In a food processor, chop nuts and seeds until fine. Slowly add rest of ingredients, process until it becomes a dough is mixed well. Try and adjust flavors accordingly.
If you want spicier add more chipotle or cayenne pepper. If you want it sweeter add more dates, crunchier, add more seeds and nuts. Roll into balls with your hands and then roll into shredded coconut. Refrigerate and enjoy!

 

Soy Good or Soy Bad? February 7, 2011

There are many junk food vegetarians out there and I know because I was once of them.

My personal definition is a vegetarian who doesn’t have a balanced diet of vegetables, whole grains and legumes- but relies instead on meat-free products they enjoy. Often this happens by default because it might be the only foods they know how to prepare. This can mean surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese pizzas, pastas or more typically, overdosing on soy based products. I had a roommate once who only ate cereal, soy burgers and cheese sandwiches for every meal.

Because vegetarian soy based products can make easy replacements for protein, many vegans/vegetarians and even those with lactose intolerance often depend on soy products as the staple of their diet.

When I grew up as a young and eager vegetarian I told my mother I needed to start eating tofu and she learned how to be inventive with it; including it in my smoothies, making tofu ricotta for lasagne and even learning how to make delicious “cheese cakes” out of the silken soy variety. For years I used soy as my vegetarian clutch and found myself enjoying it in everything from my soy milk beverage to my veggie hot dogs. Soy burgers, chili with soy based meat, soy cheese, soy balogne, soy “meatballs” and soy ice cream. I probably would have continued to eat the stuff had it not been for the bloating and gas I was experiencing (which I considered to be normal). I couldn’t figure out what was causing it until I worked with my own Holistic Food Coach when I was at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She linked my heavy consumption of soy to the years of bloating I had suffered. When soy and I parted ways I felt tremendously better. Clearly eating replacement meat products instead of real whole foods was not part of a complete and varied diet for me.

So why do I bring this up now? Because soy is often touted as a miracle food thought to heal everything from easing menopausal symptoms to lowering cholesterol, while even preventing cancer and heart disease. On the other hand, there are findings which claim soy is a health hazard blamed for possibly causing fertility problems and increasing our cancer risk. The other issue to consider is the fact that a very large percentage of soy, over 90%, is genetically modified. You can read more about clinical studies on soy conducted at Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Half a century ago, Western food technologists saw the value of the common soybean as a cheap viable protein. Bypassing the traditional and arduous preparation steps, they created new soy foods. Very shortly thereafter, soy became the cheapest protein source in virtually every country. Soy contains an enormous amount of protein. However, it also contains enzyme inhibitors, which interfere with the digestion of protein (two exceptions are black soy and immature soy: edamame). If you try eating a bowl of soybeans cooked for dinner you may understand what I mean. Our bodies are not able to easily extract the protein from them, so we  end up with indigestion and gas. Over 3,000 years ago, Asian cultures who pioneered soy bean agriculture arrived at different techniques of fermenting soy to make it more digestible. They discovered how to increase soy’s digestibility and flavor by soaking, fermenting and sprouting the beans. This eliminated the enzyme inhibitors, making soy easier to digest and the nutrients easier to assimilate, thereby boosting soy’s nutrition.

Fermentation simply means “breaking down into simpler components”, in effect much of the work of digestion will be done for you through the act of fermentation. Examples of fermented soy products include tamari soy sauce, shoyu, miso paste in Japan, natto or Indonesian tempeh. They are dramatically different from one another, but what they all share is the protein of soybean is pre-digested into amino acids which makes it easier for our bodies to assimilate.

I have noticed that most Vegetarian or Vegan diet books tell vegetarian “newbies” to replace animal products with soy ones without distinguishing the whole food (fermented) soy products from the processed ones (such as soy chicken, TVP and soy butter).

Lesson #1: A product is not necessarily healthy if it contains soy, especially if it contains a hundred other unidentifiable ingredients  on the label.

As Michael Pollan points out on his website, he doesn’t have beef with fermented soy (cheeky I know) rather, he has an issue with the “new” soy in town, modified soy products. As he points out,

Today we’re eating soy in ways Asian cultures with a much longer experience of the plant would not recognize: “Soy protein isolate,” “soy isoflavones,” “textured vegetable protein” from soy and soy oils (which now account for a fifth of the calories in the American diet) are finding their way into thousands of processed foods, with the result that Americans now eat more soy than the Japanese or the Chinese do.

When Alicia Silverstone was on Oprah to promote her book, “The Kind Life”, she took the audience on a virtual grocery tour. As she dumped Soy Delicious ice cream and breaded soy nuggets into her basket, she exclaimed, “These are like chicken breasts, but they aren’t chicken breasts- so you don’t have to sacrifice taste…or think about giving anything up.” For the record, at least you know what is in the chicken (if you are a conscientious consumer and buy from your local organic farmer) but when you replace real meat with processed corn and soy laden fake meat, the ingredient list become increasingly longer with unidentifiable or unpronounceable ingredients that you cannot be sure are safe for you (or how they will affect later on in life.)

For example, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is not a complete protein and is usually made of soy flour and “other concentrates”, Wikipedia describes the process of making TVP this way,

TVP is created through the process of extrusion causing a change in the structure of the soy protein which results in a fibrous spongy matrix that is  similar in texture to meat. The defatted thermoplastic proteins are heated to 150-200°C, which denatures them into a fibrous, insoluble, porous network that can soak up as much as three times its weight in liquids. As the pressurized molten protein mixture exits the extruder, the sudden drop in pressure causes rapid expansion into a puffy solid that is then dried.

Even more recently on Oprah, guest Kathy Freston, an author of a book called “Veganist” talked about the benefits of veganism for everyone. Oprah even challenged the audience and her own staff to a seven day vegan diet. What do you think her dietary recommendations were? Freston suggested that instead of chicken and mashed potatoes we try, “Gardein chicken and mashed potatoes made with Earth Balance, non-dairy butter and soy milk.”

After researching what the heck Gardein Chicken was, I discovered it was a company that produced foods such as Buffalo Wings and Orange chicken- vegetarian style of course. In other words, the ingredients consist of soy protein  and vital wheat gluten to get it to have the texture and consistency of meat.

Lesson #2: Vegan margarine is still margarine. Stop using margarine and “butter spreads “and try using products our ancestors have used for over hundreds of years such as organic grass fed butter for the vegetarians. Vegans and the lactose intolerant can try healthy Omega 3 fat oils such as olive oil and flax oil. In baking, they can replace margarines with coconut oil or coconut butter. (You can read more on “vegan” margarine on a local blog, Midnight poutine)

I’m not saying you can’t enjoy the occasional soy-sage or vegetarian meatball- of course you can, it’s a  free world! As a holistic food coach I do not preach any diet one way or another. Whether you chose to be a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodie, wild forager or omnivore- you need to eat what works best for your individual body and lifestyle. If you feel amazing on the foods that you are currently ingesting, good for you! Stick with it as long as it is working for you. If on the other hand, you are suffering from symptoms such as stomach aches, gas, bloating, painful periods, fatigue, irritable bowel… then take a look at your diet. Those symptoms are a sign that something is not working for you, and you can benefit from a change in your diet. You might also find relief if you reduce or eliminate soy from your diet.

Lesson #3: Instead of trying to replace your former carnivorous diet with soy based products, why not enjoy a wide range of nutritious whole foods?

Avoid: Soybean derivatives such as soy flour, textured vegetable/soy protein (TVP), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and soy protein isolate. These highly processed soy products are a result of multi-stage chemical processes which have now become a top ingredient in many pre-packaged or fast foods.

Enjoy: Fermented soy products that have been eaten safely for centuries, and chose organic when you can. Try tempeh, edamame, soybean sprouts, soy sauce, miso paste and fresh organic tofu. Cultures that traditionally used soy products in their diets also included sea vegetables (seaweeds) so if there’s any worry about mineral absorption from eating soy, the iodine and minerals in sea vegetables will make up for it.  Try eating a variety of leafy greens, soaked or sprouted whole grains, beans and legumes. For a different kind of protein, try vegetarian (but not vegan) protein such as bee pollen. If you are looking for a “cheesy” alternative, try nutritional yeast which is high in B vitamins.

By preparing whole foods yourself rather than relying on the manufactured versions, you will have the added benefit of knowing exactly what goes into your meals as well as into your body.You can start by trying your own lentil burgers that you can freeze for later, or enjoy tempeh bacon rather than relying on the manufactured products.

If you need support transitioning out of, or into a vegetable based diet, you can schedule a 30-minute Veggication Breakthrough Session with me over the phone. That is after all what I’m here for. Please feel free to contact me by emailing tastylife@gmail.com.

Also, stay tuned for my vegetarian cooking class series starting in Montreal in March!!! I will announce it in my upcoming newsletter.

My Top Vegetarian Cookbooks recommendations:

  • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
  • Moosewood Collection, any cookbook by Mollie Katzen
  • Supernatural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
  • For more on the good and bad of soy, read part 3 of Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food”
  • For the darker side of soy read, “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food,” by Kaayla T. Daniels Ph.D., C.C.N.
  • For the pros of soy, see http://www.thechinastudy.com/
 

 
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