Link to animated video on this website - hosted on YouTube

Dairy-free and delicious

Dairy-free and delicious

May 7, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina & Dave Shishkoff • Last month, I had the pleasure of being a presenter at the Dairy-Free Living course – complete with tastings – at Vancouver’s Central Library. One thing is now clear: there is an abundance of delicious, healthful dairy alternatives. Vancouver is home to several independent non-dairy milk and nut-based...

Dairy-free dilemmas

Dairy-free dilemmas

Apr 1, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina • It is the oddest thing that, until fairly recently, the fluid that cows produce to grow their calves to 450 pounds or more in a year was recommended in our national food guides as the basis of an essential food group. It was an assumption on the part of Health Canada and nutritional scientists that humans of all ages require...

The food fairy: explaining healthy food choices for children

The food fairy: explaining healthy food choices for children

Mar 1, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD, and Claudia Lemay • I know a little girl who is obsessed with candy; it is ironic, given her mother is a dietitian. “What have I done to deserve such a fussy daughter?” she would lament, confiding that Amelie would ask for candy for snacks and for breakfast, lunch and supper. At 3-½, Amelie wrote a grocery list for...

Healthy snacks offer benefits

Healthy snacks offer benefits

Feb 1, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD   • Can snacking be a key ingredient in a healthy lifestyle? If your first response was “No!” here’s a chance to update your perceptions. Some of us were raised with the advice to “never eat between meals,” which makes sense in protecting our teeth from sweets. Yet there can be significant advantages to...

Shaping up in 2016 with renewed diet and fitness practices

Shaping up in 2016 with renewed diet and fitness practices

Jan 1, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD • At this time of year, it can be invigorating to renew our diet and fitness practices. This might involve shedding a few pounds, eating more veggies, gaining muscle strength and posting regular dates for exercise on the calendar. One goal might be to get in shape. Belly fat or visceral fat (meaning fat in and around body...

The sunlight vitamin

The sunlight vitamin

Dec 1, 2015

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis • Around the year 1900 in the northeastern US, 80 to 90 percent of the children had the symptoms of rickets – bowed legs and seizures. The situation was eventually linked with a lack of vitamin D and sunlight. Glance out the window now. Is it grey? Well, our grey winter skies last until April and we need...

Is soy safe?

Is soy safe?

Nov 1, 2015

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis   • Our September column on soy generated interest, letters and controversy. While considerable negative press about soy can be found on the internet and even in men’s magazines, typically these arguments can be traced to groups that promote animal-based diets, convincing some to steer clear of soy and...

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Oct 1, 2015

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD • Vitamins are essential to life. The “vita” in their name refers to that fact. The “amin” was added in 1912 when it was mistakenly believed all vitamins contained nitrogen compounds (amines). In the relatively young science of nutrition, all of the vitamins were discovered during the last century. As research...

Debunking the soy scare

Debunking the soy scare

Sep 7, 2015

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD • Soy has been the focus of considerable controversy. The roots lie in good and bad science and in the fact that soy poses a threat to the animal products industry. As many shift towards plant foods, interest in soy arises, in part for its top-quality protein. Research also establishes its protection against cardiovascular...

Getting your omega-3s

Getting your omega-3s

Aug 1, 2015

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD, with Angelina Lam, Gloria Ho & Kelly Bogh • Research suggests omega-3s can reduce the risk of cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. Fortunately, products with omega-3s – such as margarine, eggs and supplements – are commonly found in grocery stores. Omega-3s are a family of fatty acids that includes a-Linolenic...