The Nourishing Health » Whole, nourishing, plant-based health and nutrition

Described by Publishers Weekly as the “male equivalent to a vegan Rachel Ray” Mark Reinfeld has 20 years of experience preparing creative vegan and raw cuisine and has authored or co-authored 6 cookbooks.

As you know from my posts, simply ascribing to a vegan diet is not inherently healthy (many popular junk foods are technically vegan), but consuming a whole food, plant-centric diet is the goal, which is exactly what Mark promotes and what you’ll find on the pages of Healing the Vegan Way.  With a Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition the emphasis of his nutritional philosophy is consuming foods that are the richest in nutrients and able to fuel and heal your body for long-term health.

Healing the Vegan Way provides a detailed yet approachable walk through of the latest medical research on various approaches to nutritional healing by leading medical experts Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. Joel Kahn, as well as Registered Dietitians Brenda Davis and Julieanna Hever.



In addition to the comprehensive medical information Healing the Vegan Way provides readers with the tools needed for success and satisfaction as they strive to implement more whole plant foods into every day.

Part 1

  • Shares the endless benefits of a plant-based diet while assessing other popular dietary approaches
  • Examines other lifestyle factors to implement for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle
  • Describes the most nutrient-rich plant foods and the associated health benefits
  • Looks at the extraordinary benefits of raw whole foods
  • Provides a 14 day menu plan following the guidelines of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) developed by Dr. Hans Diehl
  • Comprehensive Nutrient Reference Chart illustrating the macro and micronutrients needed for optimal health and the plant sources where they can be obtained.

Part 2

  • Helps you set up your kitchen and begin developing essential kitchen techniques for adopting a plant-based diet
  • 200+ plant-powered vegan recipes, including Template Recipes that allow you to create endless variations to suite your specific taste preferences

What better way to truly preview a book than to sink your teeth into one of the fabulous recipes?!

Now you can thanks to the publisher, Da Capo Press!


Curried Garbanzo Cakes with Poppy Seeds

Yield: 8 cakes

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 15 minutes,

Total time: 30 minutes, Serving size: 1/8 cup patty | Number of servings: 8

Did you know it takes 900,000 poppy seeds (give or take a few) to make a pound of them? Poppy seeds are nutty-flavored oil-seeds from the opium poppy plant that date back to ancient Egyptian times.

These seeds are especially rich in oleic and linoleic acids, which help lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. They work nicely with the garbanzo flour (sometimes sold as besan flour, chickpea flour, and gram flour) which perfectly complements these flavorful bean creations. Garbanzo bean flour is a stand-out in terms of supply of protein and folate – well above that of wheat flour. Serve with a tamarind sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or a mint chutney.


1 cup garbanzo bean flour

½ cup water

1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon garlic flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 ½ teaspoons dehydrated onion flakes

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Oil, for baking sheet (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°f. Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Scoop out eight equal balls onto a well-oiled or parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and form into small pancakes about ½ inch high.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm

Excerpted from Healing the Vegan Way: plant-based eating for optimal health and wellness by Mark Reinfeld. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press | Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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College.  A time of new adventures, goals to pursue, and endless change.  Navigating this new phase can be exciting and quite nerve-wracking.  One change I didn’t anticipate was the way my body would adjust to this new lifestyle.  I went from practicing high school sports for several hours a day to many hours sitting at my desk studying.  Mom’s fresh-from-the-garden home cooked meals were replaced by endless dining hall options.  Friends and late-night study sessions replaced a responsible bedtime and by the end of my first year I had a little more than the Freshman 15 to commemorate my first year.  :)

This is where my interest in health and nutrition really began.  Previously having taken good health for granted I knew it was time to learn how to truly care for myself well.  Though I wanted a “get slim quick” plan I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable so I  started slow, making a few simple changes each week and gaining excitement as I gained momentum with my changes.

Weight loss, clearer skin, less headaches, increased energy and better sleep were the first changes I saw as I kicked a serious caffeine habit and began to fuel my body well.


If you’re in college and looking to reverse some of the same habits I picked up or about to enter and want to avoid my Freshman misfortune consider the following ways to stay fuel your body well while on a budget!

  1. Make the Dining Hall Serve You – Those endless swipes on your dining hall card can certainly derail you if you’re not smart about your choices.
  • Most every dining hall has a salad bar so make salad your first and main portion by loading it with as many vegetables as you can and a generous serving of beans and healthy fats from avocados and nuts and seeds. Be wise about your salad dressing by selecting a vinegar based dressing and tossing your salad with dressing rather than drenching it. Confession: I believe freshman year was the first time I discovered Ranch dressing, using 2 large packets on a salad. While I don’t encourage calorie counting, these two packets added nearly 300 calories and 30 grams of fat to my “healthy” decision.
  • If baked or sweet potatoes are available create your own loaded spud with steamed and fresh veggies, beans, and salsa.
  • My sister’s college dining halls advertised their menu online a week in advance, which allowed her to pick her favorite spots for a healthy grab and go meal.
  1. Eat Out Smart – Most campuses have a Chipotle nearby, which is an excellent option for creating a nourishing salad or brown rice bowl. Add beans, your favorite salsa, and their amazing guacamole and you have a truly powerful meal! My Guide to Navigating Restaurants will provide you with further details on making wise decisions no matter where you eat.
  2. Make it a Community Event – If you live in a house, apartment or your dorm has a kitchen, make new friends by arranging a time to cook together. Make every Tuesday night a time to connect and create a nourishing meal with enough for leftovers. Meals are always better shared with others!
  3. Eat in Your Dorm with Ease
  • Dorm meals –
    • Overnight oats make a delicious and easy option for a grab and go breakfast, so do smoothies, trail mixes, and almond butter banana sandwiches.  Engine2’s College Greens post has 6 great ideas for cooking in your dorm whether you have a stove or not.
    • Amy’s has various soups and bean burritos that are excellent options for a quick meal.
  • Appliances – Ask for a rice cooker or Instant Pot as a graduation gift. They will be used well beyond college! Rice, quinoa, beans, and lentils can all be made in a rice cooker and an Instant Pot allows for the creation of endless meals without a stove and other appliances necessary. The Instant Pot serves as seven appliances in one and would allow any college student to make an array of meals with one pot and limited time. I certainly wish I had one in my college dorm!

I’d love to hear from you!  Do you have ways you ate healthy in college or are currently implementing nutritious choices while on campus?  Please share!:)

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Sad to say, my garden isn’t doing so well this summer.  Between the heat and the challenges of bending with my growing baby bump, I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with it.  However, a few friends have shared their fabulous produce which has included massive zucchini!  So I made extra large batches of Zucchini Bread Oatmeal to enjoy throughout the week.  In place of brown sugar I used sucanat and omitted the butter, which was perfect for my taste.

Cooling Down

When the temperatures hit 100 I am definitely craving every fresh and fruity smoothie available.  Tess Master’s Rosemary Melonade is one of my all-time summer favorites.  I skip the stevia since its already perfectly sweet from the fruit.


Main Dishes

We often enjoy Lentil Walnut Tacos so this Quinoa Taco Meat was a fun change from our typical go-to and made the perfect next-day leftovers when tossed in a large Mexican-style salad.

Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps are easy, delicious, and also made great leftovers throughout the week.

Cauliflower Rice Burritos Bowls are the perfect way to add super-nutritious cruciferous veggies to your diet in a fun and nearly unrecognizable way.

I’ve been on a kick with spring rolls and sushi lately, so these Quinoa Spring Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce immediately caught my eye and definitely hit the spot.

This Speedy Summer Power Salad was enjoyed by all at a 4th of July gathering.  A friend commented how its “amazing that it can be healthy and taste good!”  :)

My husband enjoyed these Tortillas with Creamy Kale & Toasted Chickpeas as described in the recipe and I enjoyed it as a big kale salad and added diced cherry tomatoes.


Have you cooked or created a great recipe recently that you’d like me to share?  I love trying new recipes, so please send your favorite plant-powered to for a chance to be featured in the months to come!

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As I met with a client recently and and we discussed the benefits of moving toward a whole food, plant-based diet including the weight loss he desired, reduced cholesterol, decreased blood pressure, and optimal gut health, he asked,

“Does gut health affect anything other than your stomach not feeling bad?”

What a great question!  It’s easy for me to excitedly ramble on about gut health without really laying the foundation for what occurs in our gut and how it affects nearly every other aspect of our health.

As Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut.”  But what did he mean by that?  Let’s break it down to find out!


What is gut health?

Simply stated, the health of your gastrointestinal (GI) system is determined by the levels and types of bacteria in your digestive tract.  Ideally there is a balance of bacteria, however, an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria results in gut dysbiosis (a medical term for an imbalance in the microbes living there).

Most often, dysbiosis is the result of too many bad “bugs,” including bacteria, yeast, and sometimes parasites, and not enough good ones.  This imbalance causes damage to the mucosal layer of your digestive tract.  The normally smooth intact mucosal layer becomes permeable, which allows food proteins to enter into the bloods stream (think of your intestines changing from a water hose to a strainer).  The food proteins entering your blood stream initiates your immune system to attack since the food particles are seen as foreign invaders.  This results in inflammation, food sensitivities, and a variety of symptoms both in the digestive system and throughout the entire body.

Why is it important?

The health of your gastrointestinal system is extremely important to your overall well-being.  You may not even experience GI discomfort and it will still have an impact on your overall health.  I’ve heard people proudly proclaim they have a “gut of steel” and that nothing they eat bothers them.  It can be a blessing to not be negatively affected by various foods, but it can also be a curse by allowing you to eat whatever you want without experiencing the negative health implications until they have made quite an impact on various other systems in your body without your realizing it is starting in your gut.

What areas of health are impacted by your gut?

  • Digestion – Including gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux.   An obvious area to note first, but your digestion is more than whether you get abdominal cramping after meals.  Digestive health impacts our overall health since this is where nutrient absorption takes place.  If our bacterial balance is off, then our GI system is not able to absorb nutrients from our food properly in order to nourish the rest of our organs.
  • Immune strength
  • Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.  Scientific studies show that more than half of all acne sufferers have significant alterations in the microorganisms living in the their gut.
  • Mental health – This includes depression, anxiety, and various other mood disorders.  The gut is also known as your “second brain”.  Our Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is what scientists call the 100 million or so nerve cells that line our digestive tracts.  The main role of our ENS is to allow digestion to function properly but it is also responsible in communicating back and forth with the brain in regards to our overall health.
  • Obesity
  • Hormones

These are only a few key areas of health impacted by gut health, however research continues in various areas.

What should I do now?

  • Avoid & Embrace – Avoid that which leads to an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria and embrace that which will allow your gut to flourish.  I share details on how to do that in this blog post.
  • Consider a high quality probiotic.  – I have taken Dr. Chutkan’s probiotic for over a year and have seen wonderful improvements in my own gut health.
  • Educate Yourself – I believe its best to learn and read quality material to fully educate yourself and lay a good foundation for making lasting changes.  Gutbliss and The Microbiome Solution are two of the best resources for you to get started on your journey toward better gut health!

**As always, the recommendations made in this post, whether dietary or regarding supplements are provided for informational purposes only.  They should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Consult your professional healthcare providers before beginning any new treatment.  

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