Soleil Kitchen

13 Jugtown Hill Rd

Upper Black Eddy, PA, 18972

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FROM PALEO TO HIGH CARB VEGAN | Many people who switch from a high-fat (HF) diet to a high-carb (HC) vegan diet may experience an initial period of weight gain. This is because fat inhibits the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which is why high-fat dieters MUST severely restrict carb intake. Which means, instead of 'fixing' their body's carbohydrate metabolism (by lowering fat intake), they just remove the carbs from their diet.

When following a HF diet, the body fuels itself from fat stored in muscle cells (known as intramyocellular triacylglycerol or simply intramuscular fat). When fat is stored in muscle cells, the sugars (from breakdown of carbohydrates) cannot get in. So when someone on a HF diet starts to include carbs back in their diet, their body will have a hard time using those sugars (meaning sugars cannot get into muscle cells and will remain in bloodstream). This forces the body to store those sugars into fat cells (hence the weight gain).

This switch from HF to HC can cause their body to glucose-load until those excess fats in the muscle cells are burned up, which then allows their body to function normally again (fueling itself from its natural fuel source - carbohydrates). This glucose loading phase can last a few weeks depending on 'how long' they were eating a high fat diet and what the percentage of 'daily fat intake' was during that time. Exercise can help lower blood sugar (and fat storage) during this transition or even a 3-day waterfast.

Once the glucose loading phase ends, the blood sugar levels will become balanced (because the sugars can now get out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where they belong). They will stay balanced as long as a LOWFAT 'whole food' (meaning fiber-rich) plant-based diet is maintained.

So you have to make a choice: High-fat or High-carb, because the two do not mix together. If you enjoy whole food carbs (and the health benefits they bring), lower your fat intake to below 20% of total daily calories and turn your body back into the amazing carb-burning machine it was meant to be.

EAT WHOLE FOOD CARBOHYDRATES (fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, tubers) with a small amount of 'whole food' fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olives) and avoid those refined fats (oils).
CRANBERRY ELIXER | Restore your "weight loss" bacteria (akkermansia muciniphila) with this delicious high-fiber drink. If you want to get and stay lean, you want this bacteria to reside in your gut. Other foods that were shown to improve levels of akkermansia were grapes, apple (with skin), banana, yams, artichoke, onion, leeks, and beans.

Go lowfat plant-based with an emphasis on FRESH fruit and veggies (because polyphenols are damaged by heat exposure). Exercise has also been shown to raise akkermansia levels, so don't forget to stay active, too. Have a wonderful day.


1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 oranges, peeled
1 banana
1 small beetroot
1 tbs hemp seeds
1/2 coconut water (or plain water)
1/2 cup ice, optional

Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth (about 30 seconds). Enjoy.
FEEDING YOUR "WEIGHT LOSS" BACTERIA | Do you remember when I wrote (in a earlier post) about the "weight loss bacteria" (akkermansia) that can reside in the gut of certain people? In 2012, scientists found high amounts of this bacteria in the guts of lean people and very low amounts in obese people.

A 2015 study published in Nature found a 100-fold DECREASE of akkermansia in those fed a high fat diet. When they implanted this bacteria into obese people, they lost weight without making any other changes but soon gained the weight back. The treatment only had lasting effects if a diet high in polyphenols and fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, tubers) but low in saturated fats (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) was undertaken. They concluded that a diet high in POLYPHENOLS is associated with a remarkable increase in akkermansia which raises the metabolism.

When Akkermansia populations are restored, we suffer from less inflammation and insulin resistance, aiding in weight loss. Our gut's mucus barrier is thickened by this bacteria which in turn prevents leaky gut and autoimmune disorders. But since there are no probiotic supplements that contain akkermansia, it's important to eat a high fiber, polyphenol-rich (plant-based) diet that is low in fat, if you want to get lean and healthy.

Do you remember what type of polyphenol-rich food was shown to make the 'most' difference in repopulating the gut with this amazing weight loss bacteria?


Many people don't enjoy the sour taste of cranberries. So I want to share with you a delicious way to get those important polyphenols found in cranberries down into your gut. The photo shows the ingredients you will use. I will list the recipe along with a photo in my next post.
UNDERSTANDING DETOX | If you are interested in getting a better perspective on detoxification, read over my most recent article where I give a few details on this popular but most often misunderstood topic.

To read the article, just click:
MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED SHELLS | Here is a simple plant-based dinner recipe that I know you will love. These brown rice pasta shells are packed with bold Mediterranean flavor and lots of plant-powered nutrition. You will often find the Italian version stuffed with ricotta cheese but to give them a middle eastern twist (low fat & vegan), I used hummus with a mixture of sautéed veggies. They were so dang tasty, I just had to share the recipe with you.


1 box brown rice pasta shells
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup capers
3 cups oilfree hummus
6 cups homemade tomato sauce
6-8 fresh basil leaves, finely diced

Boil water for pasta shells, add shells and cook until al dente (do not over soften or they will fall apart when filling them). In a fry pan, water-sauté your veggies until slightly soft (do not sauté the olives, sundried tomatoes or capers). Drain your shells when ready, set aside.

Place your sautéed veggies in a bowl and use a paper towel to extract a bit of water from the veggies (so the filling doesn't become soggy). Add your hummus, olives, sundried tomato and capers. Mix well to combine.

Place a thin layer of tomato sauce onto the bottom of a casserole dish (about 2 cups). Stuff all the shells and place them onto the layer of tomato sauce. (Note: if you have any leftover hummus-veggie mixture, you can save it for another meal. Just add it to some cooked pasta, mix well and enjoy).

Once all the shells are in the dish, pour the remaining sauce around the shells. Heat for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. (Remember everything is cooked already so you don't need to cook them for very long).

Garnish with fresh basil and serve. Store any leftovers in a sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 3 days for best freshness.

FRUIT HELPS BURN FAT | Fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, which is needed by the body to manufacture carnitine, an amino acid that helps our cells burn fat for energy. Fat burning can be up to 30% higher during exercise if you have efficient levels of Vitamin C in your body. But we cannot store this vitamin so it needs to come into the body on a daily basis.

Although vitamin C is not the only nutrient necessary for the production of carnitine, the absence of it can GREATLY impair the body's ability to manufacture it. Because of this, the consumption of vitamin C is ultimately MORE important to its production than the actual intake of carnitine from the diet. So, start adding more fruit to rev up your may be just what you need to get rid of those last few extra pounds that won't seem to budge.

You will get the highest amounts of this vitamin from RAW fruits and vegetables because heat destroys most of the vitamin C in food. Note: Taking in 'dietary' carnitine (from animal based proteins & supplements) will inhibit the body's ability to create its own carnitine properly. Whenever we take in outside sources of any nutrient that the body can create, we inhibit the natural production inside the body.

Focus on eating a natural, whole food, plant-based diet with an emphasis on RAW fruits and vegetables.
HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES | Always try to start your day with water-rich, nutrient-dense foods. Green juices, smoothies, or fresh fruit should be at the top of the list. Even if you like to enjoy a warm bowl of oats or avocado toast in the morning – make sure your first meal of the day is high in both water content and raw food nutrition, then have a small cooked breakfast an hour or so later.

When first starting to change your diet, try to start with breakfast. Don't worry about how the rest of the day turns out, and don't beat yourself up if you make a bad choice for lunch or dinner. Just wake up the next day and start over again with a healthy breakfast. Sooner or later you will make better choices for lunch and then eventually for dinner.

Have patience and be consistent with a healthy plant-based breakfast every morning and enjoy the journey!
THE VEGAN EDITION | I recently had the opportunity to interview with Carolina Godinho-Moxon, the creator of The Vegan Edition, an online community for people interested in the vegan diet and lifestyle.

We discuss when and why I chose to go vegan and the experience that made me decide to become a plant-based nutrition educator. We dig into the subject of detoxification, how social media is impacting veganism, my personal fitness and nutrition regimen and the importance of fresh raw foods and plant-based, whole food nutrition.

I hope you check it out. (Update 2018 - Carolina has closed Vegan Edition and has created a fashion blog at

Carolina and the crew at The Vegan Edition truly believe that being vegan in all aspects of life is incredibly healthy. They are passionate about engaging with their readers and share recipes, advice and conversations with experts in the industry. The aim of VE is to explore and uncover some of the coolest, most stylish vegan brands out there. VE is helping to make 'going vegan' easy.
MEDITERRANEAN BEAN SPREAD | As promised, here is the recipe which includes my favorite ingredients that I listed in the previous post. This wildly delicious mediterranean-inspired spread delivers a unique flavor combination along with an array of interesting colors and textures. It's perfect as a spread for fresh veggie wraps, served with flatbread or as a dip for fresh raw vegetables.

Makes 3-4 servings

1.5 cups white beans
5 kalamata olives
2 tbs olive juice (from the jar)
2 tbs unsalted cashews
1 thin slice of onion
1 garlic clove (or 1/2 tsp garlic granules)
2 tbs water
pinch of sea salt

2 tbs diced sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
2 tbs capers
2 tbs finely diced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp diced kalamata olives (about 3-4 olives)

Place the first 8 ingredients into a high speed blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth. Note: if using a high-speed blender, you may need the tamper tool to press the ingredients down into the blades to get it started. Scrape the bean spread into a medium sized mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine. Serve with flatbread. Enjoy.
BIG BOLD FLAVORS | Today I woke up with a satisfied feeling, a smile on my face and the creative desire to experiment in the kitchen.

Over the last few years, I've come to fall in love with the entrancing flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. It's rich in variety and is based around healthy plant-powered dishes. A few of my favorite ingredients are kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and capers. They can add a dose of big, bold flavor to almost any dish.

Today I plan on using these ingredients in a Mediterranean Bean Spread, in hopes of adding a fresh explosion of flavor to every bite. I'll post the recipe (with photo) for you when it's finished.

Enjoy the day.
DETOXIFICATION | Our bodies are naturally designed to detoxify themselves but the body that is able to detox best is the one that is exposed to the least amount of chemicals and the highest amount of nutrients. The body which will have the most difficult time with detoxification is the one that is nutrient deficient and dehydrated. So when you think of detoxification, think 'water and nutrients'. These are two very important elements of the natural detox process. That is why you find many detox centers serving water-rich & nutrient-dense foods like fresh pressed juices, leafy green salads, fresh fruit and steamed vegetables.

Eating nutrient-dense food is much more important today than it was in the past, when the earth was cleaner. This is because 'for every toxic molecule that the body has to detoxify - it also loses a nutrient molecule in the process'. The more toxins the body has to eliminate, the more nutrient-depleted it becomes. These important nutrients need to be constantly replenished so the body can create detox molecules, like glutathione, which attach to the toxin molecules and escort them out via the stool or urine.

If we are deficient in the nutrients needed for the detox process, our bodies will not be able to create enough detox molecules to detoxify efficiently. Knowing this makes it much easier to understand why we must eat a healthy whole food diet, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, in order to detox naturally.

Note: Those who are eating a high volume of processed foods (including processed vegan and/or organic foods) are limiting their body’s ability to create enough detoxifiers, like glutathione, which leaves their body unprotected against the daily exposure to chemicals.

Insufficient Detoxification = Advanced Aging

Extend your youthfulness:

WHOLE FOODS | There is no question that fresh whole foods are the best ingredients if you want to create a healthy and disease-free body. Neurological diseases are sadly on the rise and will continue to do so until we look at the underlying factors that cause a healthy body to suddenly go awry.

In ALS, the central nervous system shows 'excess glutamate activity' and patients with ALS are given glutamate-blocking drugs to delay symptoms. But why use drugs that block glutamate when you can simply stop putting foods into your body that create excess glutamate? You will find glutamate in most processed foods and restaurant foods, including many organic, vegan processed foods. When you hydrolyze, modify, or texturize foods like corn, whey, soy and wheat; you create very high levels of 'free glutamate' which behave in the body as an excitotoxin.

Neuroscientists have found that when our brain neurons are exposed to these toxins, they become 'excited' and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of exhaustion and die. This is how neurological diseases can slowly begin to develop within the body.

So keep your brain healthy by using fresh whole food ingredients to prepare your meals (without adding commercial sauces, broths, dressings, or powder-based supplements, including many protein powders). It's quick and easy to make your own sauces and dressings from healthy whole food ingredients.

If you do enjoy the occasional (vegan or organic) packaged food...try to avoid the foods containing these ingredients: Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Yeast Extract, Textured Vegetable Protein, Autolyzed Yeast, Malt extract, Malt flavoring, Carrageenan, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate.

PHOTO: A healthy whole food snack of fresh blueberries and blackberries with purple grapes.
EXERCISE-RECOVERY MEALS | After exercise the body naturally experiences some level of inflammation. It's part of the recovery and repair process. However, the body's ability to recover from exercise-induced inflammation can be impaired by 'excess inflammation' within the body due to a diet high in acid-forming foods like animal-based proteins, refined sugars, packaged and processed foods (including organic and vegan). This is why many protein powder shakes are not your best post-workout option.

Chronic inflammation is what leads to sport injuries, so anti-inflammatory foods are of critical importance when it comes to our post-workout meals. The foods with high anti-inflammatory properties are fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds. This is why whole food, plant-based diets are best for speeding up the recovery process.

The most important anti-inflammatory nutrients are phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. All of which can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables (with the addition of a very small amounts of nuts or seeds). Please note that you will get higher amounts of these nutrients from foods in their raw state (fruit, veggie and nuts) because after being exposed to heat, many of the nutrients are destroyed, especially in the case of omega 3's (ex: flax, chia, walnuts).

You also want to include a plant-based food containing extra protein (ex: beans or lentils) into your post-workout meal. A good range to shoot for is 10-15 % protein. As a plant-based athlete, it's very beneficial for your performance to include raw fruits & veggies.

PHOTO: This late evening post-workout salad includes 4 cups romaine, 1 medium shredded carrot, 1 small spiralized yellow beet, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 cup pinto beans, 1/2 cup navy bean, 1/2 walnut, 1/2 cup tomato-tahini dressing (serving includes 2 deglet dates, 1 tsp tahini). This meal also included 16 oz fresh carrot-apple juice.

The macro ratio: 15% protein / 10% fat / 75% carb. It has 530 calories, 24 grams of protein, 7 grams of whole food fats, 65% of rda for omega 3's, and a good amount of antioxidants like vitamins A & C, from raw fruits (in juice) and veggies and also 30% of rda for vitamin E.

Soleil Kitchen

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