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desireenielsennutrition

Desiree Nielsen RD

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Plant-based RD Recipes, Gut Stuff 2x 🇨🇦 Bestselling 📚 🎧 Allsorts Pod 🧿

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What’s the difference between hemp, chia and flax? Hemp, chia and flax seeds all contain omega 3 fatty acids…but each one stands out for a different reason. 🌱 Flax: 1 tablespoon of flax contains 1.6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids…your entire daily requirement. It also contains 1.9 grams of fibre, including gel-forming soluble fibre which is why it makes a great egg replacement.  There are small amounts of iron and zinc but what sets flax apart from the other two are the lignans, special polyphenols that when converted by your gut microbiome have weak phytoestrogenic activity. ⚠️ Flax should always be ground so we can access its nutrition as it’s very hard exterior is difficult to breakdown.  🌱 Chia: the highest omega 3 content with 1.9 grams per tablespoon. Chia contains higher fibre – including gelling soluble fibre – at 3.7 grams with slightly higher amounts of zinc and iron and protein. For me, when you want soluble fibre, go for chia seeds.  Eat them hydrated – soaked in overnight oats, chia puddings, chia fresca, chia jam or yogurt. 🌱 Hemp: the lowest omega 3 content with 0.8 grams per tablespoon but it packs a big bunch in terms of minerals and protein. 1 tablespoon of hemp contains 1.3 mg of iron, 1 mg of zinc as well as a third of your daily manganese as well as 3.3 grams of protein.  When you want minerals and protein, go for hemp. They blend up perfectly to make hemp milk, in smoothies or you can replace ½ cup of flour in most cookie and quick bread recipes with hemp to boost omega 3, protein and minerals. All 3 of these omega rich seeds are nutritious. I have all three in my kitchen, but I have to admit that I use hemp hearts most often because they lack the soluble fibre and therefore blend seamlessly into plant milks, smoothies and baking. Which one do you use most often? #plantbasednutrition #vegannutrition #hemphearts #omega3 #chiaseeds created by Desiree Nielsen RD with Alexandre Desplat’s Obituary
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What’s the difference between hemp, chia and flax?

Hemp, chia and flax seeds all contain omega 3 fatty acids…but each one stands out for a different reason.

🌱 Flax: 1 tablespoon of flax contains 1.6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids…your entire daily requirement. It also contains 1.9 grams of fibre, including gel-forming soluble fibre which is why it makes a great egg replacement.

There are small amounts of iron and zinc but what sets flax apart from the other two are the lignans, special polyphenols that when converted by your gut microbiome have weak phytoestrogenic activity.

⚠️ Flax should always be ground so we can access its nutrition as it’s very hard exterior is difficult to breakdown.

🌱 Chia: the highest omega 3 content with 1.9 grams per tablespoon. Chia contains higher fibre – including gelling soluble fibre – at 3.7 grams with slightly higher amounts of zinc and iron and protein. For me, when you want soluble fibre, go for chia seeds.

Eat them hydrated – soaked in overnight oats, chia puddings, chia fresca, chia jam or yogurt.

🌱 Hemp: the lowest omega 3 content with 0.8 grams per tablespoon but it packs a big bunch in terms of minerals and protein. 1 tablespoon of hemp contains 1.3 mg of iron, 1 mg of zinc as well as a third of your daily manganese as well as 3.3 grams of protein.

When you want minerals and protein, go for hemp. They blend up perfectly to make hemp milk, in smoothies or you can replace ½ cup of flour in most cookie and quick bread recipes with hemp to boost omega 3, protein and minerals.

All 3 of these omega rich seeds are nutritious. I have all three in my kitchen, but I have to admit that I use hemp hearts most often because they lack the soluble fibre and therefore blend seamlessly into plant milks, smoothies and baking.

Which one do you use most often?

#plantbasednutrition #vegannutrition #hemphearts #omega3 #chiaseeds
5 Vitamins + Minerals for Immune Function, that aren’t vitamin C! (AD)

We hear a lot about “boosting” immunity but increasing your immune response with food immediately isn’t really possible…or something you actually want. Instead, it’s about giving your immune system the nutrients it needs to function well all year long.

And that means feeding ourselves a balanced, nutritious diet …and making sure we eat enough: undernutrition can impair immune function, as can deficiencies from cutting out food groups (like whole grains!) unnecessarily.

Since I’m pretty sure we all know about vitamin C at this point, I’m partnering with Silver Hills Bakery to share some of the lesser known vitamins and minerals that are so important for immune function, and where to get them from food.

Zinc: a mineral found in whole wheat, pumpkin seeds and tofu, zinc is important for gut barrier function + immune cell production

Selenium: found in Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and baked beans, selenium is part of cellular antioxidant defense and natural killer cell function

Vitamin B6: found in chickpeas, potatoes and bananas, B6 supports antibody production and helps regulate immune cells in the gut

Fermentable fibres AKA prebiotics: the fermentable fibres in whole plant foods feed beneficial bacteria and promotes the production of short chain fatty acids which may support immune function

Copper: important for production of T cells and white blood cell function, find copper in potatoes, mushrooms and cashews

And you know what? ALL of these nutrients can be found in meaningful amounts in every single slice of Silver Hills Bakery Sprouted Grain Breads…just one more reason why it’s my favourite everyday bread.

Nutrition is all about what you add…not what you subtract…like how I added a dose of veggies to my grilled cheese.

Thinly slice 4-5 leaves of thinly sliced kale and ¼ of a red onion, then saute over medium heat with a drizzle of oil until they’re soft.

Season well with salt and pepper and pile between two slices of bread and two slices of vegan cheese. Grill as usual, with either vegan butter or mayo (YES, MAYO!!).

PMID: 31426423 36570149 32204518 35296080 31963293

#silverhillsbakery #plantbasednutrition #vegannutrition #immunehealth #eatplants #plantbased #plantbaseddietitian #wholegrains #easyveganmeals #plantbasedrecipes #veganrecipes #grilledcheese
Hot tip: read the caption BEFORE you comment…

Before I go any further, I have to say this: this info is intended for the general population. Yes, I know that if you have thyroid meds, you have to watch soy.

Similarly, I also know that our excessive use of hyper-processed foods is partly to blame for our chronic disease epidemic. There is nuance here!

Buuuut….you know where there is zero nuance? Carnivore diets. They are dangerous, full stop. Remember the so-called Liver King? You might think as a vegan that this is some kind of bias but it’s not.

All eaters – meat eaters included – will be healthiest eating mostly plants. If you choose to eat meat, that’s your deal. Just don’t eat only, or mostly, meat.

Next up, soy. The idea that soy is bad for you has been remarkably sticky, despite very strong evidence to the contrary. No, it won’t harm your thyroid (PMID: 30859697) nor will it affect male reproductive hormones (PMID: 33383165)  but you know what it will do?

Provide valuable protein, iron, and calcium while lowering your risk of breast cancer, heart disease and even death (PMID: 35241506 31278047)

And finally, let’s stop demonizing processed foods, okay? Processed foods provide nutrition, pleasure, and…affordability. Canned beans are processed. So is yogurt. And dried fruit. Yes, Oreos and fast food are hyper-processed but they can fit in a healthy life too.

Wellness has a weird purity complex where they demonize an Oreo but exalt an organic protein powder. It doesn’t actually make sense. When you eat mostly plants, the rest is up to you. You’ll be FINE.

#wellnessmyths #eatplants #evidencebasednutrition #plantbaseddietitian #guthealthdietitian #soy #guthealth #digestivehealth #hormonehealth #bloodsugars #wellness
Anti-nutrients: myth or science? (AD)

Wellness content is loaded with talk of anti-nutrients right now, whether it’s the lectins in wheat, the oxalates in greens or the phytates in beans.

And it sounds bad: anti…nutrients? So let’s talk about what they actually are.

Anti-nutrients are compounds that can bind nutrients, making them less available for your digestion and absorption.

And for some - like phytates, which help a plant store phosphorus - that is their purpose. But for others, like lectins, the purpose of these proteins is to enable cell signalling. In fact, your body makes its own lectins.

And let’s not forget that fibre - yes, one of the most important things we can eat - is also an anti-nutrient…because if you eat too much of it, it will lower your absorption of minerals.

But that binding capacity also works in our favour…by binding cholesterol in the gut and helping keep it out of circulation.

Humans have been eating foods with anti-nutrients for a very long time. And as such, we’ve also learned how to get the most from these foods. For example, we don’t eat uncooked beans - and cooking beans DRAMATICALLY reduces lectin content.

We’ve also learned that soaking and sprouting foods can unlock the hold these compounds have on minerals, like in Silver Hills Bakery sprouted grain breads.

In fact, their bread tends to have higher amounts of minerals than other 100% whole wheat breads like zinc, iron, magnesium and selenium.

Just 2 slices of Omegamazing have over 50% of your DV or selenium and manganese as well as 10% of your daily iron and zinc.

And let’s not forget that as a dietary pattern, plant-focused diets are THE most beneficial dietary patterns when it comes to long term health, period. So…it might be time to call BS on the anti-nutrient hype.

Instead, eat those plants…and if you want to unlock even more nutrition from these already nutrient-dense foods, enjoy more sprouted options like Silver Hills

This is a nice, easy to read review of the science PMID: 32987890

#silverhillsbakery #plantbasednutrition #vegannutrition #antinutrients #eatplants #plantbased #plantbaseddietitian #wholegrains
Wow. Wellness on the internet is actually giving us the opposite of what we need.

Our blood pressure is out of control??? Sure, let’s sell people MORE sodium.

Decades of research confirm that excess sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure, which a whopping half of Americans have.

And no, under normal circumstances you don’t need electrolytes to absorb water. You already get electrolytes – sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium - from your food. Unless you’re doing a super sweaty workout over an hour, or you’re an athlete, skip the electrolytes.

Oh, and the hate on oats is one of the best examples of influencers distorting science I’ve ever seen.

Oats are one of the best researched plant foods on the planet. They contain beta-glucan, a very special soluble fibre that helps lower cholesterol, support the gut microbiome and may even improve immune function in addition to a host of other valuable nutrients like iron and folate.

What’s more, they don’t actually cause the dreaded “glucose spike”: traditional rolled oats have a GI just barely above the cut off for low GI and as soon as you add some extra fat or fibre, like peanut butter or berries, the glycemic effect will decrease. Rolled oats are actually associated with lower risk of chronic disease!

And finally, the scourge of GI doctors and dietitians everywhere: the colonic. Yes, getting all that poop out of your body will make you feel lighter. But you can also perforate your bowel and end up in the ER if it’s not done properly.

And even if it does go off without a hitch, you’re disrupting the gut microbiome and the gut barrier…all that “mucus” they say is coming out of you? That’s mucus that PROTECTS your gut lining. You’re not supposed to mess with it.

Eat more plants. Move your body. Sleep well…if you want to get healthier, that’s how to do it. Ignore people who try and tell you otherwise.

#wellnessmyths #eatplants #evidencebasednutrition #plantbaseddietitian #guthealthdietitian #electrolytes #guthealth #digestivehealth #ibs #bloodsugars #oatmeal
Creamy, filling and affordable PB + B Overnight Oats

WAY too many of us are skipping breakfast: And I get it: mornings are chaotic. This morning, I had 90 minutes to feed two kids, pack their lunches, help with homework and do my kid’s hair. All BEFORE coffee.

You (I!) don’t want to have to think about one more thing before the work day starts.

But, um, how are you supposed to crush it if you’re running on empty? And by crush it, I mean hold on for dear life…As much as we’d like to pretend we have evolved to a state of pure digital consciousness, we actually have physical bodies and bodies need nutrients to survive.

What’s the big deal? Well, if you’re down to just 2 meals a day, here’s what can happen:

You’re going to make it nearly impossible to get the nutrition you need in a day: folks who routinely skip breakfast tend to consume less folate, iron, calcium and B vitamins.

You’re going to feel sluggish and hangry and crave more…so you’re probably going to eat way more snacks that are likely hyper-processed and not as nutrient-dense as whole foods and feel even more fatigued.

Overnight oats are a big win…and I needed a new flavour in my rotation. These have the perfect porridge consistency, taste like a PB + B sandwich and have enough protein and fibre to keep you feeling full.

Google Peanut Butter Overnight Oats + Desiree or find the link in comments 👇

#easyveganrecipes #veganfood #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #overnightoats #eatplants #wholegrains #healthybreakfast
This hearty bagel panzanella will keep you energized (AD)

September’s best kept secret is that the produce is still incredible…but as the days get cooler (and shorter, WAH!) I find myself looking forward to heartier meals.

So I thought to myself, why not add my favourite
#silverhillsbakery Everything Bagels to a salad, panzanella style?? Made with 50% sprouted grains, my fave bagels bring long-lasting energy with 4 grams of fibre and 9 grams of protein per bagel.

But, um, what does it mean for food to be energizing? How does food give you energy? Let’s talk about it.

By providing a source of energy in the form of calories from carbohydrates, your cells get the fuel they need to function. But/and/also…other factors contribute to how energized you FEEL.

Like, how you need iron to build red blood cells, and low iron makes you feel fatigued. Or, how B vitamins are necessary to help you metabolize carbohydrates AKA unlock that energy they contain.

Or how keeping your blood sugars stable with fibre, protein and slow burn whole grain carbs means you feel stable energy as opposed to a hangry crash.

September is Whole Grains Month and I won’t rest until we realize just how nutrient-dense sprouted whole grains are for our bodies! With their fibre to keep your gut moving and fermentable carbohydrates to support a healthy microbiome. Plus plenty of minerals like iron for building red blood cells (2.5 mg per bagel!) as well as manganese and B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism.

So enjoy your salad…and the energy that goes along with it!

Fall Bagel Panzanella Salad

3 small tomatoes (or 4 Romas), sliced
3 Persian cucumbers, cut into half-moons
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
ÂĽ cup pitted Kalamata olives
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Plenty of salt and pepper

2 Everything Bagel Silver Hills Bakery bagels, halved and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bagel pieces, cut side down and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes a side. Set aside.

Arrange all salad ingredients in a bowl, drizzle oil and vinegar over the salad and toss very well to coat. Sprinkle with a generous amount of flaky salt and pepper, toss again and enjoy.

#sproutedgrains #plantbasednutrition #easyveganrecipes #wholegrains #veganfood #plantbasedrecipes #vegannutrition #wholegrainmonth
Savoury. Zucchini. Waffles.

If I have a cooking style, it’s this: making classic-ish recipes with ingredients you don’t normally think of to boost flavour and nutrition.

Like these savoury zucchini waffles…that are kind of like falafel made with zucchini but in waffle form.

These aren’t just a cute 30 minute dinner for when you don’t feel like cooking…or a genius meal prep because you can just toss them in the toaster for a quick lunch.

They’re also a gut health super hero because they are made with powerful microbiome boosters like chickpeas, chickpea flour and shallots.

Each little waffle contains about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre, and a ton of fermentable carbohydrates that boost gut bacteria. So if you’re new to that fibre life, start with just 1 waffle!

Yep, they’re vegan. And gluten free. And nut free…so everyone can enjoy them. And they are SO easy to make. Blend and toss them in the waffle iron.

In fact, the only hitch is that because I’m making nutrient dense waffles with no flour BUT ALSO want them to be tender and delicious, they take a wee bit longer to cook in order to firm them up. Like 8-9 minutes.

Luckily, you don’t have to be around for that, just set your timer and sit back with a good book (highly recommend Biography of X as I can’t put it down right now!)

Lemme know if you make these!! Just Google “zucchini waffles Desiree” or find them via the link in the comments 👇

#easyveganrecipes #plantbasedrecipes #veganfood #zucchini #waffles #breakfastfordinner #zucchinirecipes #veganglutenfree #guthealthy
The truth about anti-inflammatory nutrition

My anti-inflammatory cookbook just turned 4(!!!) so I thought I’d talk a little bit about chronic inflammation…which is increasingly rare around here because honestly, the space has become so dominated by pseudoscience and fearmongering that I kind of want to wash my hands of it.

But chronic inflammation is STILL important. It’s a factor in many chronic diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to Crohn’s disease to heart disease so let’s talk about what an anti-inflammatory diet is…and isn’t.

What it is:

A dietary PATTERN that is high in whole plant foods, with fewer hyper-processed foods, red meat, high fat dairy, added sugars and alcohol.

What it isn’t:

Grain free. Sugar free. Seed oil free. Lectin free….and whatever other thing the internet comes up with.

There is actually no one gold-standard “anti-inflammatory” diet in the research. But there are different dietary patterns that have been researched for their beneficial effects, like the Mediterranean Diet.

Yes, there are some foods – like turmeric, berries and greens – that have been studied for their anti-inflammatory nature but they don't work like a magic eraser. Consider them a boost to your dietary pattern.

And diet is not the only driver of inflammation. Think stress. Inactivity. Gut microbiome. Certain disease states (including infections). And definitely lack of sleep.

The simplest – and most profound – thing you can do make your diet more anti-inflammatory is to start eating more whole plant foods. That’s it. Simple to say…but it takes commitment!

Make half your plate veggies at dinner. Snack on a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. Pile berries and hemp hearts on your bowl of oats.

If you’re curious about anti-inflammatory nutrition, pick up a copy of Eat More Plants at your local bookshop or library, and in the fall, look out for a free webinar that I am working on with Diabetes Canada, specifically for those with diabetes.

References for this post in the comments!

#eatmoreplantscookbook #eatmoreplants #plantbasednutrition #vegannutrition #antiinflammatory #antiinflammatoryfoods
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