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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...

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...