Vesanto Melina

Plant-based Food Prep.

Nutrispeak By Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian As a dietitian, I learned a lot about which foods rated highest in folate or vitamin C, and what made beans, peas and lentils the nutritional superstars they are. Yet my training did not include a course about how to make food taste good. My mother enjoyed teaching children practical skills such as food preparation. All of my birthdays featured participatory cookie-making activities.… Read More »Plant-based Food Prep.

Celebrate with Compassion

Celebrate with Compassion By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD About ten percent of Canadians, and similar numbers in many other countries  are choosing plant-based meals and the trend is accelerating, especially among young people. So you are likely to have at least one vegetarian or vegan at your holiday dinner table. They may be making this choice because they have learned from the World Health Organization that cured meats such as… Read More »Celebrate with Compassion

Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock?

Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock? Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Recent headlines show that that North Americans now live longer – yet our last decade is often spent suffering from serious illness. For example, on average, Canadian women live to age 84, but are disease-free just to age 72. Results for men are similar. Since these are averages, half the population experiences poor health for longer… Read More »Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock?

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? Every plant based choice you make helps the environment, animals, and, provided it is composed… Read More »Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps?

Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic!

Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic! By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, with Agathe Mathieu People can be burdened with a chronic illness that they think will be their lifelong companion. Yet science is giving us strong indicators that simple lifestyle changes can rid us of rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and can decrease risk or recurrence of certain cancers. (Of course, it is important to follow medical advice as well.)… Read More »Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic!

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 black slaves centered on corn, salt pork (fatty bacon), and molasses flavoured sweets. Corn is low in the vitamin niacin, and pork fatbacks and… Read More »Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition

Aging in Great Health!

Aging in Great Health! Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Why do we age? Getting older, and showing it, and feeling it, involves a buildup of toxic metabolites including reactive oxygen species, a form of free radicals, and AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts). AGEs are harmful substances that form when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream. AGEs are implicated in diabetic complications, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and normal aging. Having excess… Read More »Aging in Great Health!

Three Great Ways to Start Your Day

Nutrispeak By Vesanto Melina and Julia Murray Breakfast! This can be an exciting reason to get up in the morning. (Then again, others prefer to wait until noon.) Whatever your preference, these ideas can inspire you to love breaking that fast. Some people prefer to go at least 12 hours overnight before breaking their fast. This allows the body to digest, rest, reset, and rejuvenate before working on more nutrient… Read More »Three Great Ways to Start Your Day

Coconut Oil: Menace or Miracle?

Nutrispeak By Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis Few foods have been at once maligned and acclaimed as much as coconut oil. Some view it as a notorious health villain, with an even greater concentration of saturated fat than butter or lard. It tops list of foods to avoid in many heart-health programs. At the other end of the spectrum are those who view coconut oil as a fountain of youth,… Read More »Coconut Oil: Menace or Miracle?

Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?

NutriSpeak by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian A new paper published by the American Society for Nutrition makes the case for modernizing the definition of protein quality. This is a welcome development. The current definition is outdated and fails to protect public health because it assesses how well various proteins meet human requirements based solely on digestibility and the content of essential amino acids. People may think this narrow definition… Read More »Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?