Link to animated video on this website - hosted on YouTube

Speaking of the environment and climate change

Speaking of the environment and climate change

Nov 3, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina   • A decade ago, climate change and global warming seemed somewhat theoretical to some of us, but evidence is now showing up in our everyday lives. In many parts of the world, these changes are being linked with the rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events: floods, storms and droughts. Warmer temperatures...

The carnitine controversy

The carnitine controversy

Oct 6, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina   • Carnitine is an amino acid, important for our body’s transportation of fatty acids to the area in the cells where the fatty acids can be burned for energy production. For this reason, carnitine has been marketed as a fat-burning support. A very small number of people – about one in 40,000 – have a genetic condition...

Core beliefs about a plant-based diet

Core beliefs about a plant-based diet

Sep 1, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina   •  I recently took out – from our wonderful public library system – a set of CDs entitled This I Believe. They are based on a popular NPR (National Public Radio) series that invited people to write a 500-word essay on a core belief that guided their daily life and to then read their essay on the air. (See website at the...

It’s the Year of Pulses

It’s the Year of Pulses

Jul 15, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina MS, RD • The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has named 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are edible seeds that grow in pods – peas, beans, lentils. They are also known as legumes. Pulses are packed with nutrients, especially B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate) and minerals (iron,...

Plentiful plant protein

Plentiful plant protein

Jun 2, 2016

NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina, Grace Yeh and Sharon Voong   •  Why does protein matter? As a component of muscle, bone and all body tissues, proteins are essential for structure and movement. They protect, coordinate body functions, help replace and maintain cells, and as enzymes facilitate biological reactions. People following plant-based diets need to...

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...