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Vitamins & Minerals

Six different colorful plant-based dishes.

Making Plant-based Food Prep Fun

By Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian As a dietitian, I learned which foods rated highest in folate or vitamin C, and what made beans, peas and lentils the protein, iron, and B vitamin superstars they are. Earlier, my mother had enjoyed sharing time in the kitchen and food preparation skills. My birthdays featured participatory cookie-making […]

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A healthy and colorful pasta dish.

Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps?

Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps? By Vesanto Melina MS, Registered Dietitian Have you been considering a shift towards a plant-based diet? Does a sudden leap towards an entirely vegan diet seem too overwhelming? Could you commit to eating one plant based dinner each week? How about a whole day of vegan meals?

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Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition

Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD I was surprised to learn that the word “redneck” has a nutrition-related origin. More than a century ago, in the Deep South, several factors—poor diet and racial tensions–coincided. A typical diet for poor whites and for black slaves centered on corn, salt pork (fatty

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Q&A: Iron on a Plant-Based Diet!

Vesanto Melina MS, RD with Alessia Vaz and Sophia Jhajj (U.B.C students) A common misconception is that those eating plant-based diets are more prone to develop iron deficiency. In fact, it has been found that vegetarians and vegans are no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anemia than are their meat-eating counterparts. Continue reading

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Dairy-free and well nourished!

by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian There are many good reasons to embrace a diary-free diet: Human health: Most of the world’s population has some degree of lactase insufficiency or lactose intolerance after the age of weaning and milk protein is one of the top allergens. The environment: Pleasant, pastoral scenes don’t show the environmental damage

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Getting kids to eat their veggies

by Vesanto Melina and Kristen Yarker While many toddlers and preschoolers aren’t fans of vegetables, thankfully, there are effective, helpful strategies less forceful than the age-old techniques of forcing kids to eat two bites of broccoli or allowing dessert only after they’ve finished their peas. The following techniques will help kids enjoy veggies now and appreciate

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Healthy snacking

10/11/2017 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Do you ever eat mindlessly? It would be very surprising if even one reader replied, “No, never.” So if we are occasionally going to eat mindlessly, we may as well eat food that offers a big boost to our health. Chopping veggies on a regular basis, storing them in ziplock

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Our munching munchkins

08/12/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina and Claudia Lemay Like a super-powered magnet, children are often drawn to sugary and non-nutritious foods. However, regular consumption of junk food can lead to health problems, such as chronic illness and poor performance at school and in sports. It can also lead to kids becoming overweight, fostering low self-esteem. Even

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Going plant happy

08/07/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Catherine Jones and Stéphane Lahaye Are you interested in pursuing a plant-based lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Read on for easy ways to swap out animal products for plant-based alternatives that still provide all the nutrients you need. “How can I get enough protein?” is one of the

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