I was recently asked by So Delicious Dairy Free to pen a Guest Blog for their site and create a recipe using their ingredients. Please click here to be taken directly to the blog…or you can go to their main website by clicking here and then click on the “Our Blog” button on the lower right-hand side.
Category Archives: Published Work
This is my most recent Ask Grettie Column for Chic Vegan…
I have been hearing so much about probiotics lately. I understand their value, but am wanting some more information. How do I choose a good probiotic? So many of them have soy in them and I generally try to avoid soy. Your thoughts?
Probiotics are very beneficial. I personally take them multiple times a day and give them to my family as well. Our gut is a large part of our immune system and according to Brenda Watson, “[T]he gut is the root and core of our total general well being. It’s the place where food is broken down into the building blocks of our cells. It’s the first line of defense against invading pathogens and infectious diseases.” Our bodies are filled with bacteria…some good, some bad. With probiotics we can tip the scales in our favor by introducing large amount of GOOD bacteria that will overrun the bad.
There are many different ways to ingest probiotics:
1. Fermented foods
The existence of fermented foods predates recorded history. So many cultures utilize fermented foods in their diets such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and yogurt (I favor the coconut milk variety). Eating fermented foods is a great way to obtain beneficial bacteria.
2. Probiotic drinks
Good Belly and KeVitaare two companies that have burst onto the probiotic scene. My one criticism of Good Belly is that they add sugar to their drinks. KeVita on the other hand does not since it’s drinks are sweetened with organic stevia.
3. Probiotic capsules or powders
I recently attended the Natural Products Expo West and was able to talk to many probiotic manufacturers. I learned so much from them. Many of the brands that have soy in their products actually were able to win me over by explaining that their probiotics are “grown” on fermented soy and do not use. I am a person who tries to limit the soy in my diet, but I do see the benefits of including fermented soy in one’s diet and I do so about once a week.
Here is what New Chapter has to say about the soy issue:
Although true soy allergies are very rare, many people have difficulty digesting unfermented soy. Whole, unprocessed soy contains nutrient blocking factors, such as phytate, which interfere with its potential benefits. Fermented soy, on the other hand, agrees with almost everyone, even people with soy sensitivities. Probiosis of soy also changes isoflavones from inert forms into their activated aglycone genestein, dadzein, and glycitein forms.
Yes. New Chapter’s Probiotics deliver non-GMO organic soy in its fermented whole-food form, similar to miso, tempeh and natto. Unlike unfermented soy or isolated soy components, these traditional soy foods have been consumed for thousands of years and are associated with the health and longevity of traditional Asian cultures. Many research studies suggest that regular consumption of fermented soy is associated with numerous health benefits, including the maintenance of normal cell growth in breast tissue.*
Yes. A recent peer-reviewed scientific review of fourteen clinical trials examining the effects of soy on the thyroid concluded that in the absence of an iodine deficiency, there is little evidence that soy foods or soy isoflavones adversely affect thyroid function and that “hypothyroid individuals need not avoid soy foods.” In fact, some studies suggest that soy may actually promote normal thyroid cell growth. To help ensure healthy thyroid function, our Probiotic Nutrients™ contain a whole-food form of iodine.
I have had a lot of exposure to probiotic capsules and powders and recommend the following (each of which I have tried):
Your body may go through an adjustment period when beginning probiotics which can range anywhere from a little gas to more frequent bowel movements. If you have a lot of symptoms, scale back and take less until your body adjusts. I recommend starting slowly and building-up from there. For example, if a bottle states that the dose is 2 capsules, use 1 capsule for a few weeks and then add in the second capsule.
**Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .**
I am thrilled to tell you all that today an article I wrote titled “Nutrition Intuition for Kids” was published on CrazySexyLife.com. Crazy Sexy Life was founded by Kris Carr of “Crazy Sexy Cancer” and “Crazy Sexy Diet” fame. She is an amazing person and a huge inspiration to me. I am sure it doesn’t hurt that Kris also reminds me of a dear family friend, Marcia McWilliams, whom I adore.
The publishing of this article has been in the works for quite some time now and I received word on Friday that it would be published today. Hopefully this is the first of many more articles to be published through Crazy Sexy Life.
To read my article on Crazy Sexy Life click here.
Have a great day! I know I will 🙂
Crazy Sexy Life photo courtesy of vimeo.net
Here is my latest column over at Chic Vegan…
I am training for my first marathon in July. I depend on Gu packets and Shot Block packages to get me through my runs. From what I’ve read on your blog it seems that they are processed, syrupy no-nos, and now by eating these I feel like I am undoing the steps I’ve taken before my run!
What do you recommend as fuel during hard workouts and long runs? What can I put in my pockets for my main event? 26.2 miles is a long way and I want to support all my hard work the best way I can.
Thank you so much for all you share!
Congratulations on tackling a marathon!
When it comes to exercise nutrition questions I always pull out my very well used copy of “Thrive” by Brendan Brazier. Brendan is a Professional Ironman Triathlete and the Formulator of Vega. I highly recommend this book.
You are right to question the commercial sports gel products on the market. As you stated, many of them contain artificial colors and flavors, and are not always made with the highest quality ingredients. It is super easy and way less expensive to make your own gel. Brendan suggests blending dates and agave nectar as a healthy nutrient rich substitute to the sports gels currently available in stores.
The basic recipe calls for 4 dates and 1/4 cup of agave syrup and makes about 3/4 cup which will fill two 4-ounce gel flasks. You can flavor the gel with anything you’d like.
Let me know how the marathon goes.
Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her at email@example.com .
Image of Brendan Brazier courtesy of GLiving
By Gretchen Tseng for Chic Vegan
March is National Nutrition Month. Since we have an excuse to celebrate nutrition all month, let’s use this opportunity to kick it up a notch. Here are some suggestions to help you on the road to better nutrition:
Eat a Rainbow of Color
When we eat a rainbow of color from fresh fruits and veggies we know that we are getting the nutrients our body needs to function at its most optimum level. Plants get their vibrant colors from phytonutrients and it is those phytonutrients that provide us with the antioxidants our bodies use to slow the aging process and reduce our disease risk.
Fresh squeezed juice is a fantastic way to provide our bodies with concentrated doses of phytonutrients and antioxidants. When you juice, use vegetables as the base of your juice and use fruit sparingly to sweeten the juice.
Smoothies are another fantastic way to consume a rainbow of color. Unlike fresh squeezed juice, smoothies provide your body with fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive tract. Experiment with your smoothies this month. Many people are surprised to discover that a handful of spinach or half of a cucumber will not change the taste of a fruit smoothie.
Cut out Processed Foods
Challenge yourself to forgo processed food this month. Vegan or not, processed food is processed food. Reacquaint yourself with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. I know that convenience is a huge factor, but you will be surprised by how easy it is to whip-up a tasty soup from scratch or a batch of beans and rice with steamed veggies on the side.
Try Some New Recipes
The internet is a smorgasbord of amazing recipes. There are so many wonderful websites dedicated to vegan recipes that are sure to inspire you to try something new. On the weekend take some time to search the web for recipes to make for the following week’s meals. When you do a little prep work, making meals from scratch can be quick and cost effective (and the left-overs make awesome lunches the following day!).
Add Some Super Foods
Try a new super food this month. It is easy to enhance your health by adding a teaspoon of maca (for hormone health), or spirulina and chlorella (both are natural chelators) to your smoothies. Another great add to a smoothie is açaí pulp (super concentrated antioxidants).
Give Wheat Grass a Try
There are a lot of people intimidated by wheat grass. The next time you are at a juice bar or health food store, give it a try (ask for a chaser of orange juice). Wheat grass contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes; many of which help to combat oxidative stress. If you don’t have access to wheat grass juice, try the powdered form and mix it with water as I often do.
Live Active Cultures
Add yogurt and kefir to your diet. Thankfully, So Delicious now offers coconut yogurt and kefir. I personally add coconut kefir to my smoothies on a daily basis since the live active cultures are so beneficial for our gut. According to Dr. Perricone, “[P]robiotic microbes help the body’s ongoing fight against infectious diseases by competing with the pathogens for food, nutrients and survival.”
While exercise is not something we consume, I consider it a valuable nutrition partner since it aids digestion. Studies have also shown that exercise can help prevent gastro intestinal symptoms. That being said, it is important not to eat a large meal before exercising since the digestion of that meal will compete for your energy. A great pre-exercise snack is a banana and a few nuts.
Drink More Water
I know we all are aware of the importance of consuming enough water. Really focus this month on upping your water intake and replacing other beverages (namely soft drinks) with water or herbal tea. Since our bodies are on average 70% water, your body will thank you for properly hydrating it.
image via ericawondergirl
I am very excited to let you know that I am now a Columnist and the Nutrition Specialist for Chic Vegan! I will be writing regular posts and answering readers questions in my “Ask Grettie” column. My first article was published today…to check it out click here.
ABOUT CHIC VEGAN
“Chic Vegan is a place where compassionate fashionistas, vegan vixens and ethical men all meet up to discuss how they can make the world a better place for people and animals alike. Chic Vegan was created in 2008 as a place for women to keep up to date on new cruelty free fashions. It has since become an extravaganza of fashion, cosmetics, self-improvement, diet, eco-love and many, many other things. New here? Check out our Sunday Spectacular newsletter, Free e-book: The Ethical Girl’s Guide To Being Vegan and Fabulous, and our Most Popular Posts!”
If you have any questions about the plant based lifestyle and nutrition, please, please, please, contact me through my Contact Page or through my Chic Vegan e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer your questions via my Chic Vegan column.
To learn more about the founder of Chic Vegan, Mandi Hoffman, click here