Monthly Archives: March 2011

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEMPEH & TOFU

Tempeh and tofu are a whole lot different from each other than you may think.  Did you know that 85% of Americans beleive that tofu and soymilk are healthy?  If you are one of those people, I’ve got a newsflash for you: tofu, soymilk, soy yogurt, soy pudding, soy cheese, soy formula, soy ice cream, soy burgers, or for that matter, any soy-based food acting as a sad excuse of a replacement for some other food, are really NOT good for you!

While you take a moment to let this shocking information sink in, or you quickly navigate away from this page because you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t want to hear any more blasphemous remarks about the only protein you consume, please note that I am talking about UNFERMENTED soy, such as the ones mentioned above and ISOLATED SOY PROTEIN, where the soy protein is isolated from the whole soybean, as in protein bars and powders.  Hence the reason Tempeh is a whole different story.

Let’s talk about the bad stuff first.  Unfermented soy contains substances that block the body’s absorption of minerals.  They also have enzyme inhibitors which hinder protein digestion and high amounts of omega-6 fats which promote inflammation weight, Rebecca Lazar - THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEMPEH & TOFU(as opposed to omega-3 fats, which decrease inflammation).  Soy also mimics and sometimes blocks the hormone estrogen.   Reproductive disorders are therefore a side effect of too much soy.  The most common problem with soy consumption, though, is a depressed thyroid gland, which can lead to weight gain, lethargy, fatigue, hair loss and loss of libido. 

The other real problem with soy is that more than 80% of soy is genetically modified (GMO).  This adds its own set of problems, especially the high allergy rates to soy that we are currently seeing. 

FERMENTED soy, on the other hand, like Tempeh or miso, and even soy sauce – just make sure it’s organic and not artificially made using a chemical process – does have health weight, Rebecca Lazar - THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEMPEH & TOFUbenefits.  This is because after the long process of fermentation all those negative substances mentioned above are greatly reduced and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system.  Incidentally, I really like the taste of the tempeh strips shown left.

What about Edemame? Edemame beans are young soybeans and do not contain the amount of toxins found in mature soybeans, so they are fine to eat in moderation.  And to answer the other question that you are thinking right now, in the Asian culture they eat small amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, not the vast amounts of tofu and soy products we do here in North America! 

If you insist on consuming soy products such as the ones mentioned in the beginning of this article, do so in moderation and make sure the label states that the item contains only non-GMO soy.  And, obviously, do not consume any soy if you have a sensitivity or allergy to it.

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EIZEH YOFI

I’m generally not a huge fan of the whole spa facial or body treatment experience. Maybe it’s because I was a man in my past life (now before you start thinking I’m wacko, I’m just sharing the oh-so-hilarious conclusion some freinds of mine have come to over the years due to certain aspects of my personality….) Or maybe it’s because I don’t have the patience to sit and listen to zen/instrumental/trance or some other awful “relaxing” music, while a stranger is trying to talk to me and scrub my face or body at the same time.  And don’t even get me started on the bad-smelling, chemical-laden products most spas use! The few that claim to be using all-natural products usually aren’t, and the ones that actually are (Aveda, anyone?) use products that smell nauseating. 

But every gal needs a facial once in a while, a manicure for a night out, and of course, a massage for those tired muscles after working out. That’s why I’m writing this – to tell you about a cozy, totally at ease, brand new place called Eizeh Yofi, located in Thornhill, Ontario, owned by my good freind – and the only person allowed to know the exact number of pimples that show up on my face once a month – Rina D.  Now, I’m not just promoting her because she’s my freind, let me assure you that I don’t promote anything I don’t beleive in, which you would already know if you are reading this, being one of the 10 devout followers of my blog! winking

At Eizeh Yofi (that’s “How beautiful” in Hebrew, by the way),  Rina does a terrific job with all her esthetics and makeup artist services, but what I’m most excited about is that she uses organic gourmet Yum skincare products, which smell so good you literally want to eat it off your face. Don’t do that though…..at least not while Rina is looking. tongue  The products are chemical free and have all natural, but not harsh or irritating ingredients, which is so important to a Holistic Nutritionist like myself, but should be important to all of you as well. The toxins you put on your bodies through skin care, are just as important as what goes in your bodies with a healthy diet and the right supplements.  So not only are you toxin-free, but you walk out of there with glowing, healthy skin and feeling totally rejuvanated.  As for irritating music? No problem here, thank-you-very-much.  If you like that zen-stuff, by all means enjoy.  Otherwise, feel free to bring your own mp3 player and Rina will pop it in her speakers for you. 

Next up for me? Another facial of course, followed by a mani, a pedi and maybe even a body treatment.  Hmmm, I may just like all that girly stuff after all…….

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THE MANY WONDERS OF DAVID’S TEA

weight, Rebecca Lazar - THE MANY WONDERS OF DAVID'S TEAI want to talk about my latest passion – tea! Being a coffee lover, I never thought I’d get taken in by this particular obsession, yet here I am at 9 pm, drinking a matcha green tea latte (with organic skim milk, of course). I realize that may or may not sound like gibberish to you, but in any case, trust me it’s gooood.

So let me tell you how my obsession began.  I thought I knew all I ever wanted to know about tea, and having tried many different boxed varieties, I wasn’t a huge fan.  I drank green tea for it’s antioxidant benefits, of course, but I didn’t really care for any of the other teas I tried.  If I needed a medicinal herb, I occasionally drank it in tea form, but that’s about it.

Then one day my husband brought home a cute silver tin with a label that read “Forever Nuts” and handed it to me saying “This tea is awesome.”  I looked at it and replied “Perfect.  You’ve found a tea that embodies who you are!”  rolling on the floor Yeah, I know, I’m a riot.   One eyeroll (his) and a cup of tea (mine) later and I was sold.  I simply had to know where this tin of yummyness (tin of yummyness? who am I?)  came from and how I could get some more.

The first time I walked into David’s Tea at the Promenade mall and saw the rows of giant silver tins with colored labels depicting the tea flavor inside, 2 thoughts popped into my head: (1) I was going to buy a LOT of cute little silver tins of tea and (2)  At some point, the owner of Starbucks is going to get a little bit annoyed with the popularity of this place!

I credit David’s Tea with not only giving me a great education on all the different varieties and health benefits of tea out there with their awesome, informative brochure and website but also for introducing me to flavors that rival the best desserts (who needs the extra calories?)  Rich and satisfying, there’s a calorie-free, chemical-free flavor to suit your every mood and many don’t even need sweeteners. And fyi, they don’t use sulphites in their drying process which makes a Nutritionist very happy.

So what’s the downside? Well, for me, since I am a kosher-certified-food-and-drink-only gal, I’m saddened to report that not all the teas are kosher certified, but there is a pretty good number of them that are and I am told that more will be in the coming months…..also, a couple of the teas have colored candy bits in them, what’s up with that? thumbs down  But overall, a small amount of negativity in what is otherwise my new favorite place to visit.

For those who want to know, these are my current favorites (in no particular order):

  • Secret weapon, an immune-boosting white tea with an almond flavor
  • Creme brulee, a roobios (S. African decaf tea) whose name says it all
  • Spicy chocolate, another roobios tea that has little bits of dark chocolate in it
  • Exotica, an amazing pineapple/coconut herbal tea that is unbeleivable with manuka honey,
  • Organic detox, an herbal detoxifiying tea
  • …..and the aforementioned Matcha tea, which is pure green tea in a powdered form.

If you haven’t tried David’s Tea yet, you simply have to! And if you have, which ones are your favorites?

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