Healthy Eating Articles

These healthy eating articles are here to help you get on track with a balanced healthy eating plan, and showing you how to have fun while maintaining it.

Austin And BlogHer Food

Austin And BlogHer Food

I spent last weekend in Austin, Texas speaking at BlogHer Food with one of my favorite vegan chefs and friend Christy Morgan, and exploring tons of fun vegan spots.

Christy and I spoke about video equipment, which was a great way for me to feel comfortable for my very first time speaking at a conference. It went well, and more importantly we all had fun talking about cameras and mics, which I think is a pretty good success, right?

You can even check out the notes, audio and slides from our session! (Audio and slides to be posted in the next couple of weeks.)


Live Hangout With Allyson Kramer - Gluten Free Vegan Cooking

Live Hangout With Allyson Kramer - Gluten Free Vegan Cooking

I'm super excited to be doing a live google+ hangout with my friend and super-duper cookbook author Allyson Kramer!

It'll be at 2pm Eastern on Thursday June 13 (that's tomorrow). I hope you'll be able to join us! The recording will be available after the live hangout though, since I know lots of you will be at work at that time.

All you need to do is come back to this page (or my youtube channel) at 2pm Eastern and the video will be streaming live right here! Fun, right? I'm excited :)


Cleanse Supplement Recommendations

These are some supplements that can be useful in boosting the activity of a cleanse, and help in balancing certain systems. If you're not sure what's right for you, email me about an online consultation.

General Cleanse Supplements

These will help boost your digestion generally, which is what will assist your body in clearing anything that has built up over the years, and speed up the action of your cleanse:


Probiotics are important if you've taken antibiotics in the past 3 months to re-establish healthy gut flora. If you notice a lot of bloating and gas, particularly when you have sugar, this is a sign that you need to rebalance your gut flora with probiotics:

Specific Cleanse Supplements

Note: These are only if you've gotten specific recommendations that you should be cleansing a specific target area. If you haven't had a recommendation, stick with the ones above.

Vitamin B12 Supplement Recommendations

Here are my recommendations for brands of vitamin B12 supplements, with links to order online. If you have one that you like, email me to let me know and I'll check if it's a good one.

    Super Coenzyme B Complex

  • Super Coenzyme B Complex This B complex supplement is my favorite because it has all of the B vitamins in the right ratio, and in their most easily-absorbed form (called coenzyme form).
    Click here for more info.
  • Ultra B12 Liquid

  • Ultra B12 Liquid This liquid supplement (which is really easy to take) has B12 is in the methylcobalamin form, paired with some of the other B vitamins. The most important one in here is folic acid, which shares deficiency symptoms with B12 so it can be hard to tell which one you're low in.
    Click here for more info.

How Much B12 Should You Take?

The US RDA minimum for Vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day for adults, and 2.8 mcg for pregnant or nursing women. More recent studies put the ideal intake at 4-7 mcg per day. (Click for more info on optimum levels.)

The trouble is our bodies don't absorb all of the B12 we take, and there's kind of a cap on how much we absorb at one time. (Click for more info on how to calculate our body's absorption rate.

The ideal would be to take smaller doses throughout the day. Since B vitamins stimulate energy and the nervous system, it's better to take them in the morning and early afternoon so that you don't get wired before going to sleep.

A B Complex that includes 250 mcg of B12 as cyanocobalamin daily should be enough for you to absorb what you need to maintain healthy levels. (As per Dr. Michael Greger's latest recommendations.)

To correct a deficiency, take something in the range of 1000-2000mcg per day. Your body will flush any excess in your urine (you'll notice it being overly yellow) so there's no danger of overdosing.

When taking supplements to correct a deficiency, they should only be taken in higher doses for 4-6 weeks, then reevaluate to see if you've gotten back to balance and can move to a maintenance level.

Methylcobalamin is reported to be a more active form of B12 and more effective than cyanocobalamin for smokers and for certain conditions like chronic kidney failure. The methyl form of B12 is found in higher quality supplements, but you need a higher dose of it (1000-2000 mcg) to make sure enough is absorbed.

Immune Nutrient Supplement Recommendations

The main nutrients for supporting the immune system are vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc. Look for a supplement that includes some or all those nutrients.

Elderberry liquid: Elderberry is used as a medicinal herb to help boost immune function. This syrup has zinc and echinacea to give even more of a boost.

Now Immune Renew: This supplement blends astragulus (helps enhance natural immune response) and a high beta-glucan mix of fungi.

Garden of Life: This is a fantastic blend of immune-supportive nutrients + antioxidants + a powerful fungi blend.

Vegan Probiotic Supplement Recommendations

Here are my recommendations for brands of vegan probiotics supplements, with links to order online. If you have one that you like, email me to let me know and I'll check if it's a good one.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your digestive tract, and they serve a lot of useful purposes. If their population gets too low they have trouble keeping their claim on your system, and bad forms of bacteria and yeasts take over.

Taking a probiotic regularly helps keep the good bacteria population up. Prebiotics (the food that those good bacteria eat) are important too.

You need to make sure that your probiotic supplement is made up of high quality and active forms of the right bacteria, and that they will survive through your system to make it to the colon (where most of them live).

Essential Probiotics

This product contains probiotic bacteria and yeast - and 19 organic aromatic herbs - to replenish the body with healthy microbes. The generic name for this is 'Effective Microorganisms'. It's used in gardening, too.

It used to be quite difficult to find, but Amazon actually carries it now. Read More.

Renew Life Ultimate Flora

If you prefer a capsule, Renew Life has these, with probiotic strains for maintenance. The more powerful ones below are great if you've had to take antibiotics or have flushed out your colon for some reason.

Portland And Vida Vegan Con

Portland And Vida Vegan Con

Sorry for my absence this past week! I've been away at a conference of vegan bloggers in Portland, and then traveling with my mom up to Victoria, BC.

The conference is called Vida Vegan Con, and was such an amazing experience! The vibe was super friendly and collaborative, with tons of amazing energy from everyone.

I met so many of the people who I only knew from emails and blogs, and spent time catching up with some of my favorite friends from my online life.


Tryptophan Rich Foods For Getting To Sleep

Tryptophan Rich Foods For Getting To Sleep

Tryptophan rich foods can be helpful as a bedtime snack if you're having trouble getting to sleep because it triggers the neurotransmitters that help your brain's sleep cycle.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which in turn is a precursor to melatonin.

Serotonin helps regulate mood and sleep.

It seems to be helpful for people who have mild trouble sleeping (, although not for people with no trouble sleeping or more severe insomnia.


Benefit Of Flaxseed

Benefit Of Flaxseed And Online Meal Plan Discount

The benefit of flaxseed comes mostly from its high omega-3 and fiber content, which are both things that are underrepresented in a standard diet.

Flax also has lots of minerals, like phosphorus and magnesium, and vitamins, especially folic acid thiamin.

Not only does flaxseed have a lot of nutrition, it works fantastically as a binder so I use it a lot in baking and veggie burgers to replace eggs.

One of my favorite things is to blend flax with cocoa powder, banana and water or almond milk to make a chocolate pudding.


Heather's Peruvian Fruit-A-Thon

Heather's Peruvian Fruit-A-Thon

I love all the wonderful fruit they have in South America. So many varieties, and it's all so fresh and ripe. I think I may have been born on the wrong continent...

My favorite fruit is mango, and I ate lots while we were in Peru, but I also got to try lots of new ones and wanted to share the experience with you.

So this video is a compilation of clips from the three months we spent in various parts of southern Peru.

I had many happy days heading to the markets to visit my fruit ladies and pick out the best mangoes, and see what other goodness they had to show me.


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