I’m calling it: this is one of my best recipes ever
This salad (and perhaps the recipe coming in exactly two days) is one the most delicious recipes I’ve shared yet.
✨ Writing Plant Magic unlocked a whole new level of commitment to creating flavourful plant-based recipes that ANYONE will love. Even the plant skeptics in your life!
This salad looks fancy and tastes fancy…but it’s still pretty simple to make. Step One: stop peeling your root veggies! It creates waste and you’ll lose valuable fibre and nutrients. Yes, even beets. Just scrub with a veggie brush or one of those scrubby dish cloths.
Then, take 5 minutes to toast up some panko crumbs and another 5 minutes to whip up the maple tahini dressing while you roast everything else up. The kitchen will be clean before the salad is even done!
And, you know…if you wanna…you can preorder your copy of Plant Magic now! 📚
Preorders really help authors like me as they tell bookstores and media outlets that the community wants the book! The link for preorder – and for the recipe – is in my bio!
Okay, there’s this weird trend of people trying to convince you that smoothies aren’t good for you…which is totally ridiculous. This is NOT that.
But as a digestive health dietitian for over a decade, it’s not uncommon that clients tell me that drinking smoothies can upset their stomach a bit. So here are 3 reasons why that might happen.
❌ You drink them too fast. A smoothie is a MEAL in a cup. Which makes them easy to gulp down in 5 minutes but your gut needs a bit more time than that to do it’s thing. You’re putting a big nutrient load into the stomach all at once.
✅ The fix? SIT DOWN, SLOW DOWN and CHEW your smoothie. Yep, I said chew. It will feel soooo weird but chewing each mouthful slows you down and helps mix the smoothie with your saliva, which is your first point of carbohydrate digestion.
❌ You put way too much stuff into one smoothie. Yep, the protein powder, giant scoop of nut butter, 3 different kinds of seeds, greens powder…it’s so easy to overdo it. The more fat, protein and fibre in that glass, the slower your gut is going to run to digest it all. I’ve had clients craft smoothies with 30 grams of fibre in one serving!!! It’s a lot for one meal.
✅ The fix? Pare it back. Try just one omega 3 rich seed. Add a tablespoon of almond butter, not a ¼ cup. Stick to just one or two boosters: perhaps a half scoop of protein powder and 1 teaspoon of psyllium.
❌ You’ve accidently built a really high FODMAP smoothie. This one’s for my fussy tummy friends. A lot of classic smoothie ingredients – soy milk, oat milk, bananas, avocado, dates, mango – are really high FODMAP.
FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are actually beneficial to gut health, but for my FODMAP-sensitive folks, they can cause a lot of gas and bloating. And in high doses, even folks without IBS might feel the effects, like chasing a 3 bean chili with cauliflower wings during the game.
✅ The fix? Open up my book Good For Your Gut or head to my website for some low FODMAP smoothies and see if those don’t feel better....
Vitamin D is about so much more than bone health (although that is FAR more important than you realize even if you’re 25).
Vitamin D plays a ton of different biological roles from immune and inflammatory response to blood sugar regulation to cell differentiation and growth.
And unlike almost everything else in nutrition, it’s not readily available in our food supply because humans were designed to make it in our skin upon UV exposure.
The problem with that? Well, we spend like 465 hours a day INSIDE and many of us do not have adequate UV exposure year round. If you live in Vancouver, for example, you could be starkers on the beach in March but it’s not gonna happen.
And for my gut health folks: research suggests that vitamin D may help mitigate inflammatory processes and gut mucosal immunity. Some – but not all – research suggests that normalizing vitamin D levels in IBD with supplements may help alleviate inflammation (PMID: 31067701)
How much you need: National recommendations are for 600IU of vitamin D3 for adults (19-70) but this may not be enough to raise blood levels (which is the whole point). If your doc will test your levels, this is ideal.
If not, a safe and conservative dose for most people is 1000IU in the brightest 6 months of the year and 2000IU in the darkest 6 months of the year.
How to take it: vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. Ideally, you want to take your vitamins and minerals with food unless directed by your doc or dietitian. It’s available in drops, dissolve tabs and gummies…but if you’re vegan, check the label. Most vitamin D is vegetarian from lanolin but vegan D3 is absolutely available.
The brand really doesn’t matter here, cheap and cheerful is just fine.
Common sense disclaimer: please please please talk to your doc or dietitian about your unique needs before you add anything to your health routine.
Make it cute and expensive and we’ll buy it AKA wellness that makes no sense.
💩 First up, in “let’s call it anything but a diet” news, don’t buy into detoxes. Your liver, lungs, sweat glands, kidneys and gut are CONSTANTLY removing waste products form your body. If they didn’t, you would die. Every time you exhale, excess acids are being removed in the form of CO2. 💨
Every vegetable and bean you eat is providing fibre to help sweep the gut clear, encourage cell turnover and bind unwanted substances, dragging them out of the body. Save your money on packaged detoxes…and spend it on plenty of whole plant foods and water.
😅 Break a sweat. It’s detoxifying. If you’re wondering about the science of detox including why we feel better when we do it, I’ve got a 3 post series on desireerd.com just search “detox”.
🦴 Next up, bone broth. Look, broth is super satisfying and soothing. Make it! It helps use up veggie scraps and makes soups taste amazing. But is it worth it to shell out 20 bucks for what your granny made for 2?
🛑 Actually no. The claims on bone broth are so overhyped. You’re getting really small amounts of protein and minerals. Like so small a single cup of soy milk puts them to shame.
I get it: eating protein-rich foods is so analog. Amino acids are only sexy with good branding.
🔥 Speaking of good branding…colostrum is coming. I am seeing it all over the wellness accounts, including the ones that also say dairy is inflammatory.
Colostrum is the nutrient-rich substance that comes out of mammary glands after birth, and it is meant to help support the baby in its first days of life.
And here, there is a kernel of science. But again, if we’re willing to spend 150 bucks on a kernel of science…perhaps we should all consider first taking our 5 dollar vitamin D and maybe some lentils.
What other wellness trends/myths are you curious about??
As a dietitian who also loves to cook, so many of us who come from Euro/North American households VASTLY underestimate the role of herbs and spices in our wellbeing.
Not only do they make food taste 1000x better, but they also tend to be concentrated in valuable phytochemicals that contribute to a healthier body.
But look, food doesn’t work the same way pharmaceuticals do. You can’t drink some mint tea and cure your IBS. 😐
Instead, it’s about – here she goes again – introducing specific foods into your overall dietary pattern and day by day, little by little, it all adds up.
That being said, some foods can help take the edge off rather quickly.
Like ginger Making a potent brew of boiled ginger can help settle the stomach because ginger has prokinetic (stomach emptying) properties.
So much so that supplemental ginger (500mg) is an evidence-based option for nausea in pregnancy.
🌿 Or what about fennel seeds? Fennel has a long history of traditional use as a pro-digestive aid, from freshening the breath to relieving crampy bloating and expelling gas.
While clinical research is scant, we do know that compounds in fennel, such as anethole, have what we call antispasmodic properties. Try chewing some fennel seeds or buying fennel tea and see if it helps!
Finally, peppermint. Enteric coated peppermint is one of the unsung heroes of IBS management, but you can brew strong peppermint tea (2 bags per cup, or a tightly packed fresh mint in a glass) for a milder options. Worth noting: relaxing the smooth muscle of the gut can make reflux-prone folks more reflux-y so take care.
Whether you’re plant curious or in love with plant-based cooking, you will LOVE my new book, Plant Magic, with over 100 flavorful recipes, from pancakes to tacos to fun everyday tonics.
And pssst…always check with your practitioner before using anything stronger than food-based herbal preperations.
The information on this site is intended as educational only and cannot replace one-on-one consultation with a registered dietitian.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.