Soy Food Blog Pic

Soy it ain’t so: the ongoing soy foods debate!

It seems that nowadays the topic of soy foods is a hot button issue. You’re either on one side of the fence or the other. After a great deal of research, I’ve found that the dividing line in the soy debate actually comes down to the genetically modification of soy and not necessarily the nutritive properties of the food itself. You see, soy has been a medicinal plant ally for thousands of years in Asian cultures, and in many studies today, it’s still proven to be a very powerful superfood when used in moderation and the proper intention. However, when it becomes genetically modified, as 93% of U.S. grown soy is today, it loses much of its nutritional value as well as becomes a toxic intruder to our bodies.

Soy GMOs

Let me put it this way, an allergy is described as “the body’s response to a foreign protein” and a genetically modified organism (GMO) is technically a genetically modified protein. So, according to those definitions, it should come as no surprise that food allergies and sensitivities became an epidemic at exactly the same time that foreign proteins were introduced into our food supply in the mid 1990’s. The health issues associated with soy are all linked to unfermented GMO soy, which is coated with copious amounts of pesticides and contains “antinutrients” such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, goitrogens and phytoestrogens. Quite a mouthful, indeed.

Soy Products Overview

Usually, when you read about the effects of soy, you’ll come across a lot of data about phytoestrogens and hormonal imbalances. While phytoestrogens are inherent in soy, they are increased exponentially when they are genetically modified to levels that are detrimental to our unique human physiology. Because phytoestrogens can be found in over 300 natural food sources, we are likely consuming them on a daily basis, and studies show that its only harmful when consumed in large quantities, hence the problem with GMO soy.

Fermented Soy Products

However, when soy is fermented in its organic form, it become a powerhouse of lush, assimilable nutrients for our body. Most of the bodies immune system is found in a complex array of trillions of bacteria in our intestines. When we ferment foods it chemically transforms soy into simpler compounds by the action of enzymes, which are produced by microorganisms and bacteria. Enzymes act by hydrolysis – a process of breaking down or predigesting complex molecules to form smaller and more easily digestible nutrients. In other words, a lot of the natural “antinutreints” found in soy dissolve away, leaving behind highly-activated, potent healing nutrients as well as healthy bacteria to replenish your digestive tract!

Another wonderful fact about soy: it’s one of the few plant sources that has ALL of the essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein source. Plus, it can help lower your cholesterol and improve overall heart health. Studies are even showing that it may help fight certain forms of cancer, like colon cancer and breast cancer.

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So the next time you’re shopping for soy, be sure to check the label for organic, non-gmo certifications and try to go for a fermented soy product like tempeh rather than a cookie cutter pre-made soy patty with loads of preservatives and artificial flavors.

Personally, I cut out soy for a few years due to personal concerns over the estrogen issue. But I found that fermented, organic, non-gmo soy foods like tempeh, natto and miso actually feel great in my body and, in moderation, supply essential nutrients that I can feel enhance my healthy lifestyle. For me, it came down to listening to my body and paying attention to how I was using soy products. Today, I use them medicinally and sparingly, much like traditional Shoji Ryori Japanese cuisine (probably my favorite style of food ever!)

Kris Carr Soy Guide Pic

Kris Carr (one of my all-time favorite wellness warriors) has an incredible article and vlog about the soy foods debate on her website. Click this link to check out this awesome resource for more detailed information and her personal viewpoint on the soy debate:

http://kriscarr.com/blog-video/are-soy-foods-healthy/

For great ideas on how to use organic, non-GMO soy foods in your recipes at home, click on the image below to watch one of my all-time favorite tempeh recipe videos for a mouthwatering  and easy-to-prep Supreme Kale BLT Salad!

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Where do vegan TV shows go after they die?

Well, today’s blog post is going to be a heart-wrencher with a dollop of hope on the side. I felt the need to write this post for some time now… and it’s finally the right moment to do so.

I get a lot of questions every week on social media about what’s happening with my TV series, “How to Live to 100″ on Cooking Channel. And, I’m finally going to answer those questions for you now.

TV Show Reaper

“How to Live to 100″ – the world’s first primetime vegan cooking series on cable television – was not picked up for a second season by the Cooking Channel and their parent company, Scripps Networks Interactive. But, before you lament the passing of the first mainstream vegan TV series, allow me to explain the genesis of how this all started AND leave you with some good news today…

After the initial seedlings for the TV show concept sprouted back in 2011, we shot a pilot episode that aired in January 2013 and was the highest rated show of the day on Cooking Channel (yea for big wins with the ratings!) Due to the early success of the pilot episode, we got green lit for Season One, which just wrapped airing reruns in late July 2014.

Earlier this Spring, when I heard the news that the series wasn’t being picked up for Season Two, I was emotionally devastated and flat-out heartbroken. Almost three years of hard work, determination, creativity, sleep-deprived recipe testing, 14-hour-long shoot days and big dreams of stardom felt like they just evaporated overnight because the numbers weren’t big enough. I learned a LOT of big lessons with the dangers of having too many expectations… and how the mechanics of the television business really work.

Today, I’m choosing to let go of those negative emotions and feel the immense gratitude for the wonderful opportunity I was given to bring plant-based recipes to a major TV network platform that had NEVER even tried a vegan series before. I know in my heart that I put 100% of myself into that series and did my absolute best with the concept and framework I was given. Alas, no matter how many Facebook posts, retweets, Instagram pics or kind letters from housewives in Nebraska, the ratings are still the ratings – and they simply weren’t high enough to justify continuing the series. In the words of one of the network executives, “As much as we don’t like it, people still want burgers, bacon and beer…”

Being that as it may with some of the American public, I will continue to press on. I will continue to offer my healthy, plant-based recipes and nutrition perspectives to this world because MILLIONS more people every year don’t want to eat the toxic “triple B’s” listed above. They’re shifting their diets and lifestyles because they want to live longer, healthier lives and are ready to make the necessary changes to do so. They’re ready to actually LIVE for the first time in their lives and are looking for support with their transformation.

Now, here’s the GOOD news I promised you… whew! We’ve got a mighty terrific trifecta:

1) I am working on my first major recipe and lifestyle book with Hay House International, which is due out in April 2016 (it’ll be worth the wait, I promise!)

2) I’m also working on a new vegan meal plan website and a new business course about brand-building in the plant-based business world (coming this Fall)

3) If you didn’t actually catch the TV series, you can watch virtually ALL of the recipe clips from “How to Live to 100″ for FREE on Ulive.com. Just click on the link below to check them out now:

http://www.ulive.com/how-to-live-to-100

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THANK YOU ALL for your beautiful and thoughtful e-mails, social media posts, letters and warm wishes of support for “How to Live to 100″. Your love, enthusiasm and unyielding belief in the relevance of vegan cuisine made the experience all worthwhile for me. I am deeply honored and grateful to have represented veganism in the mainstream TV world. And I know in my heart that for all of us in this conscious community… the best is yet to come. Onward, upward and with mucho gusto!

 

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Pulling the Plug: How to Reduce your Exposure to EMFs

Given all the amazing technological revolutions at your fingertips, you are living in a day and age where you are constantly bombarded with Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). From cell phones to WiFi to electric cars – EMFs are virtually impossible to escape and can wreak havoc on your body.

EMFs can significantly effect us on a cellular level. The electric pollution interrupts normal brain patterns causing behavioral and neurological issues such as dementia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Exposure to EMFs can have the same outcome as being exposed to heavy metals and toxins allowing positive electrons (free-radicals) to take over. There are, however, some effective solutions to reduce the risks associated with high EMF exposure.

Start in your bedroom or your sleeping area. Your body regenerates on a cellular level during deep REM sleep so keeping your environment with low levels of EMFs is crucial. Cell phones are hands-down the biggest culprits for EMF pollution, so turn it off or keep in in a different room at night. Use a grounding or earthing blanket which can help fill your body with negative charged free electrons and equalizes to the same electric energy level as the earth. This allows for better sleep, more energy and protection from EMF. Unplug any electric devices and if you can, position your bed so your head is 3-6 feet away from any electrical outlets.  Turn your WiFi off. Taking all of these simple measures can help you have a more restful, EMF-free sleep.

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Let’s talk about cell phones which like I said, are one of the worst offenders for emitting EMFs. The best way to avoid the dangers is to limit your use of the cell phone, use land lines when possible, turn it off when you aren’t using it and only make calls when you have full bars (the less bars the more radiation your phone puts out searching for service). I know your heads are probably spinning over the suggestion of using your cell phone less, so there are some products that claim to protect you from EMFs while using it. You can use phone shields which according to the website “emits an ultra-high frequency subtle scalar energy field that structures the lower frequency EM fields emitted by wireless or wired devices, significantly reducing their damaging effects”. There are many varieties of these that all have the same basic concept, stick a little diode to your phone and lower your EMF exposure.

Jason Wrobel Living Cell Phone

Though current scientific studies are inconclusive, there is a HUGE debate on whether or not hybrid and fully electric cars pose a larger EMF threat than standard gasoline-propelled cars. It is a fact that all electrical devices give off some level of EMFs though, so it can’t hurt to protect yourself in your car as well. There are grounding mats and things called Crystal Catalyst® Resonators that you can use in your car to lessen the effects of EMFs. Specific auto manufacturers, like Tesla Motors, offer a higher level of in-cabin EMF protection than others, due to copper shielding and other technologies. If you’re in the market to buy a new hybrid or electric vehicle, bring along a Gauss meter on your test drive to measure the levels of EMFs in the cabin. From the tests I’ve personally done on my hybrid vehicle and a friend’s Tesla Model S – they can vary wildly from car to car. Do your homework, test the EMFs yourself and you can rest easier knowing you made an informed purchase!

Jason Wrobel Living Prius

Overall, just be aware of your surroundings at all times, turn off and unplug unnecessary electrical devices, limit your cell phone use and try grounding or earthing gadgets to do your part in limiting your personal EMF exposure.