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Your life can only be as super as the type of food you consume. For Kristel de Groot, you can supercharge your life with a plant-based diet infused with natural, rejuvenating superfoods. And no, you don’t even have to count your calories; you just have to count plants! Kristel sits down with host Corinna Bellizzi to share with us the wonderful wisdom from these foods through her great new cookbook, Your Super Life: 100+ Delicious, Plant-Based Recipes Made with Nature's Most Powerful Superfoods. Discover recipes that tap into the natural healing power of nature’s superfoods and learn about why a plant-based diet is the way to go. Tune in to this episode and incorporate this great information to attain that SuperLife!
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Hormone connection to women’s health
- Plant-based recipes for a SuperLife
- Why you should listen to your body
- Count plants, not calories
Guest Social Links:
Reach For Your SuperLife: Why You Should Count Plants Not Calories With Kristel de Groot
As we enter the fall season, a new world of dietary choices becomes available. While some of us may miss the stone fruits and melons of summer, sweet potatoes, squash, beans, soups, and stews emerge with the cooling weather, the simple fact is that many doctors and nutritionists advise that we adapt our diets and shift with the seasons. When we do, it will expand our palates, develop better habits, and have a more diverse nutrition profile and microbiome, too.
One such advocate is Dr. William Li, who was on this show a few times before, specifically around his work with Eat To Beat Disease and his newer book, Eat To Beat Your Diet. Dr. Li also happened to have written the foreword to a great new cookbook by Kristel de Groot and Michael Kuech. It's called Your Super Life: 100+ Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Made with Nature's Most Powerful Superfoods, and I have got my copy right here. I'm thrilled to have Kristel de Groot with me to talk about this book and her approach to attaining that super life.
Kristel de Groot, welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.
I have been interested in your work for some time and through our mutual connection to Dr. Li, in a way, he turned me into this book. I would love for you, as I have given this brief intro into getting back into the kitchen and the importance of real nutrition and real food, to talk a little bit about this history that you have in the natural foods industry. What landed you here with this new work with Your Super life?
Your Super Life doesn't even feel like something new. It's something that has been brewing for the ten years that we also have been building Your Super. It's something that we are extremely passionate about in how we live our lives, and that started several years ago. It’s a very personal story. My now husband, then boyfriend Michael, was 24 and he had testicular cancer. It was such a turning point in our lives where he was a health nut already. He went through chemo, but afterward, yes, he was cancer-free, but he was anything but healthy. That's where the door opened. I was like, “We’re going to do detox.”
It's time to rebuild.
To have his immunity back and truly healthy again. What I have learned also from my own story, I had eczema growing up and I learned from a very young age that if I eat A, I get rash. If I eat B, I don't get a rash. What you eat truly influences and impacts your body, and there's so much we can do with nutrition. I watched the movie Forks Over Knives when he was going through cancer, and they talked about how you can reduce your risk of cancer by eating a plant-based diet.
The next day I was like, “Plant-based.” That was several years ago and I'm still plant-based. That's the result of this book, Your Super Life. This is how we eat. This is how we live our lives. This is how we stay healthy and that's all in the book. It's not just a cookbook. There are delicious recipes in there, but it's also the pillar of Your Super way of eating.
It’s our journey and tips for people on where to get started because of what we have learned over the years with Your Super. We had the superfood mixes, but people were always like, “How do I make a smoothie or an oatmeal? What do you have for dinner?” We always got those questions and that's where we are like, “Let's write it down.”
`I don't think that cooking and healthy eating have to be complicated. I often think it's going back to very simple ingredients, fresh ingredients, and making sure we eat a ton of fruit and vegetables. Whether you are plant-based or not, everyone needs to eat more fruit and vegetables because 9 out of 10 people don't and that's a crazy shocking number.
You went plant-based several years ago. At the time, were you already living in the United States or were you in the Netherlands?
I'm Dutch. I was living at the time in London. I watched this movie. I was doing my Master's program and I was very young at the time, 22. I watched this movie and it clicked. My mom had cancer when I was young in my teenage years, and then Michael had cancer. I felt like, “If there's anything I can do to reduce my risk, I will do it.”
What was it called?
Forks Over Knives. It's a great one. The Game Changers is a great one, too. What the Health is a great one. There are some great documentaries out there to start learning, but don't be intimidated. I went to cold turkey. Michael didn't. Everyone's journey is different. I always say to focus and to start eating more plants.
Maybe for some people, it looks like I first changed breakfast. For some people, it's like, “It's only 1 or 2 days a week that I do it.” You get used to it. It's an adjustment. When I turned plant-based, in the first month, I didn't know what to eat. I only ate hummus, zucchini, and roasted eggplant. After about a month, I was like, “I need to change things up because this is not going to be sustainable.”
Coming from the Netherlands, from Holland, dairy is such an important part of culture and life. People can appreciate that in different regions, it's almost like there are animal products that you are expected to eat that are part of the plate, and it can be harder to eat on a plant-based or purely vegan diet in those cases. How did you find that transition?
Several years ago, it was still a little weird. I would say nowadays it's a little bit more accepted and it's a little easier. Maybe it’s also a little bit of my personality. I didn't care as much what other people thought. From a younger age, because I had eczema, I sometimes was not allowed to eat, for example, processed sugar or certain things that I knew would give me more rash. I felt comfortable with being different than others and that’s what worked for me. As I went further in the journey, I would say that a year in, my eczema almost disappeared. After 2 or 4 years, it was gone.
Nobody can look at me now and say, “This girl has bad eczema.” I had eczema for 25 years. It was a bad period where I could not take a shower because my skin was so dry and would fall off and it was so painful. For me, that and then the second piece is my mental health of the clarity and how good I started to feel mentally, which I didn't expect it all necessarily to happen.
I was like, “This works for me.” It's something that, to me, was all more valuable than maybe the piece of cheese, fish, or whatever it is. What I do if I ever had a craving, like I want a couple of weird things like sushi with salmon and avocado, I would sometimes eat a couple of pieces and then see how I would feel afterward. What I learned is that the craving, often you make it way bigger in your head and you taste it and you are like, “Is that it?” Your taste buds change, too. It's so interesting to sometimes taste it again.
Over time, it didn't make me feel good. It didn't taste as good as I thought it did. I started to feel so much better and better. I was like, “This is it.” It's a continuous journey. Even with plant-based living, I'm always figuring out what is it that my body needs and what is it that works for me now. It has been interesting even going through pregnancy or postpartum, your body sometimes needs very different things. Also, seasons which you talked about too. What you sometimes crave in the summer versus in the winter is going to be different. It's important to recognize and to learn to listen to your body again and to eat intuitively.
I'm so glad that you brought up a couple of things. I want to step back for a moment. You have a TED Talk that specifically focuses on your dysmenorrhea, the painful periods that you experienced. The fact that you were doing something differently at Your Super, specifically asking people to take things like a Moon Day when they were having some of these symptoms. In our healthcare system in the United States and around the globe, too, we don't necessarily think about the pain that many women go through on a monthly basis.
I don't find it at all surprising that in your experience when you transitioned to a plant-based diet, you saw some of these symptoms disappear, like eczema or painful periods. These are tied up with inflammatory prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and cytokines, which sometimes can be very prevalent in your diet.
It’s because you have the stimulation coming from arachidonic acid or from other Omega-6s that essentially prime your system to create inflammation, but you don't necessarily have all the things to help squash it. I wondered if you could speak about that. Talk about your TED Talk and the fact that you are advocating for women in a way that they haven't been.
It was a journey and it was this one specific moment that I always loved going back to. I was sitting in a board meeting and there were mostly men. I don't think it would have mattered if there were men or women, but I was sitting there. I dragged myself on this chair and I felt so miserable. The only thing I wanted to do was lay on the couch and not do anything. It made me think. My period was not horrible, but for a day, it was painful and I was so tired. It was not myself. I always had it on those days when you didn't want to have that important meeting and all those things.
Why is it not socially acceptable that I would share it with them? “I have my period. I'm here, but I might be more quiet. I might be a little bit less energized because I don't feel 100%.” I found it so fascinating and I was like, “I'm probably not the only one.” We had a company with 80% women working there.
I was like, “Why do we never talk about this? Why is it like this?” We always pretend we are fine. We are good at this as women. We are always fine. We keep going. That was this a-ha moment where I was like, “You are not sick necessarily. It's just you have your period.” I wanted women to give them the opportunity every month or a day where we say, “You do what you can.”
That might mean some women have no problems. Great. For some women, they have major pain. They take a complete day off. Other women are like, “I don't want to have any meetings.” It's like a day, very flexible. We call them Moon Day, but also to start the conversation and to see. We live in this time where women and men try to be equal and we are pretending to be the same.
We women enter the workplace that way and we are trying to be like men in a way. I'm like, “We are different. Let's not just accept that, but celebrate as well.” There are differences there. It was interesting implementing it because men in the company were like, “It’s like extra holidays.” I'm like, “No. They are not holiday days.”
The second comment is, “How can we control it? How do we know it's not misused?” I'm a huge fan of like, “You have to trust. In my experience, women don't misuse it. They want to perform at work and they are often very grateful for this day of rest that they need so they can show up the next day very fresh and strong again and get back to work again.”
The hormone's connection to our health is something we can't deny. We as women go through these fluctuations on a monthly basis, and then through a new transition as we become older. I will have turned 47 by the time this airs. I'm proud of my age. I'm not intimidated by it. I say, “Guess my age and guess wrong. A little older or younger.” I don't care. This is my age. This is my existence. I have been on this planet for 47 years and I feel grateful for that. A lot of women my age are starting to go through menopause and I haven't experienced an iota of the symptoms that many women experience even leading up to menopause.
Sudden shifts in how they menstruate or wider mood swings are more like what you might have experienced when you were entering your teen years, these things haven't existed yet for me. I do feel like there's an element of diet and lifestyle that comes into this and that controlling inflammation is pivotal in managing health.
What we know across the board is that eating a mostly plant-based diet tends to be more anti-inflammatory. It tends to provide a lot more support for your hormone system. There are a couple of things that end up lacking that are harder to get. I understand, too, that with Your Super, you are working to bridge some of those gaps. Are there any particular supplements that you tend to lean on? How are you getting enough Vitamin B12, for example? Do you go to an Omega-3 supplement? I'm curious.
I do. I'm not huge on a lot of supplements, but there are a couple of things I take. B12 is one of them. I don't take it continuously because it's something you store, and I'm also a huge fan of testing where I'm low and what do I need. Funny enough, my B12 is always pretty high, so I'm good, but I take it occasionally and make sure it's topped up, but I'm good there. Especially during pregnancy and during breastfeeding, I found it very important to take the Omega-3 because it's not something I have always done, but especially during that time, it's so important to have a little bit of extra.
Those are the main ones. Otherwise, I truly believe sometimes with Vitamin D, but again, I only do that if I do a blood panel and I'm low on it. Let's take a little bit more. I'm a huge fan of understanding it because we are all different. We are all individuals. I'm always like, “Let's check out what's going on instead of taking everything.” We can get so much from our nutrition, too.
A huge thing with supplements, for me at least, is to understand where your supplement comes from. That has always been the same with superfoods, too. Not all superfoods are created equal. That's probably even more too with supplements. There are so many 95% of supplements are synthetic that are on the market. A lot of people are not even aware of what that means. Supplements are derived. I always see question marks. It's like, “What are you saying?”
It's a marriage of more components to create a new molecule, essentially. It's synthesized from more than one input. That's why Vitamin B12 is so problematic because even if it's labeled as a vegetarian product, it starts from a component that is animal-derived. It's questionable. It's very hard to get Vitamin B12 from a completely vegan source.
We are presented by Örlö. One of the cool things about Örlö is that we are growing spirulina. The spirulina we grow at our aquaculture house in Iceland produces Vitamin B12 in its most bioavailable methylcobalamin form. We have integrated that into our immunity boost product along with Vitamin D3 and a smattering of B vitamins because it's so powerful, helps to quash inflammation, and works to support your immune system along with those other components.
Vitamin B12 supports natural energy production and ATP energy, so you feel a little better. It tastes good. You spray a couple of sprays in your mouth. It's so interesting, too, where innovation is leading us because, as a plant-based person, most plant-based people are deficient in B12. I find it a little surprising that you are somehow able to get enough, but kudos, and great for you. That's fantastic.
For some people, it's easier for different forms to assimilate into their body.
Methylation issues. Some people have that.
My husband, who eats the same thing, is low. It's so interesting to see the difference where I'm like, “You have to continuously supplement.” I'm high. I am like, “I think I'm loaded.” It's so interesting to see and it shows we are all different. Our bodies are different. It's important to understand them and what's going on. You don't have to test every single month. You can do a check-up. It’s like, “What's going on?”
I'm so glad that you mentioned tests in general because one of the things that at Örlö we believe, too, is that people need to be aware of their Omega-3 levels. We launched a Tested by You campaign. We are covering the costs of a third-party test, the Omega-3 basic index test, to verify your levels of Omega-3s before you begin supplementing and again after four months of supplementation so you can see the progress you have made.
What we have found is that most vegans and, vegetarians, and most people who don't supplement or consume fish three or more times a week, generally speaking, have levels that are between 3% and 4%. The optimal levels for the Omega-3 index in your cells are 8% to 12%. At those levels, research shows that all-cause mortality drops. I don't know about you, but that sounds good to me.
I transitioned personally to being mostly plant-based, and what I did was supplement with a couple of soft gels a day. My levels were about 6%, so I knew I needed to take a little bit more and I was able to adjust it. My reasons for stopping eating fish are similar to your own, but mostly surrounded by this one fact that almost all of the fish that we consume is farmed, and the way we farm fish is not great and not better for our health.
There's even research that shows that farmed salmon increases your risk for cancer. People think that they are doing a healthy thing. They are eating healthy food. They are consuming salmon, which is rich in these Omega-3s and it's going to benefit them, but the way that it's cultivated and farmed, it goes from being a healthy food to something else that degrades our environment and that’s a negative thing.
I want to say it's not just health. It's also for the environment. It's so interesting because there is a little bit more knowledge that if you eat meat, the environment, it's not great. I forgot the name of the movie that came out a few years ago about fish.
I was already plant-based, but I watched this movie and for anyone who doesn't fully understand the impact of the fishing industry, it blew my mind away. Even plastic, like 60% of the plastic in the ocean comes from fishnets of the actual fishing industry.
People don't understand that. It's lost fishing gear. It's fishing gear that gets caught away or torn away. It's fishing gear that is disposed of because it gets too old and isn't working properly anymore and they are out at sea. As opposed to taking it back home in a tangled mess, they just cut it loose. There's no way to regulate against that. Most of the Pacific garbage patch is fishing nets and it's terrifying to me.
This is one tiny stat. If you are ready for it and you want to learn, Seaspiracy is a fantastic movie to watch. We can eat closer to the source. Spirulina and algae, it's something like the Omegas. You don't need to get them from fish. The fish do get them from the algae in the sea. Why not get it from there? It's so much more powerful, cleaner, and better for your health at the end of the day.
We are growing with Örlö, too, using nannochloropsis, which is an algae that grows in brackish water. We are giving you a spectrum of EPA and DHA that you would get from eating fish but without the dangers associated with that. You'd probably love this book, but this is on another show I host. I interviewed Simen Saetre, who wrote The New Fish, and this is all about the perils of salmon farming and the things that we have not done right.
It was put out by Patagonia Press and Yvon Chouinard reached out to the authors and said, “I realize this is a Norwegian and it's being sold there, but the rest of the world needs to see this book.” He had it translated into English and it's now out and available.
Even mentioning the cancer incidents with salmon, there's a page in this book that shows advertisements where it looks like a pack of Marlborough cigarettes and it has a cancer warning, but it's all about salmon fishing and the farmed salmon aquaculture. Interesting stories. This book is incredible. I highly recommend it.
If you are curious about that episode, it will be on the Care More Be Better Podcast, which is my personal show. Getting back to your book, Super Life, I loved a few things about your approach here. I want to bring this up because people are often intimidated about getting into the kitchen. They are worried that it's going to be hard or that they are going to buy all this produce and it's going to go bad.
Especially in the winter season, I always think it's a great time to go more plant-based because you have all of these foods that are available to you that make great compliments to soups and stews. You can bake and get creative with it in that way so you can bring out the sweetness in a carrot in a new way, as an example.
There's one that I love. I'm sharing this recipe. This is the tomato tofu platter. I made this before our interview because I have always loved caprese salads. This is essentially a vegan version of a caprese salad. The picture is dynamite. I worked to replicate it as closely as possible, but my tofu didn't look as nice. Maybe my knife wasn't as good.
Beautiful recipes. Something as simple as how to make a salad bowl or how to roast vegetables. Both of those things are in here as primers to help you discover how you can implement these easy fixes in your kitchen into your daily life and do prep meal planning in advance. I love this picture of how to make roasted veggies. There was one year when I made a vegan Thanksgiving and invited my father over. It was the highest compliment that he said to me. “I didn't miss the meat." I got there through roasted veggies. It was one of the ways.
They are so easy. You throw them in the oven and you do the other things you still have to do. You come back and your dinner is ready. Those sections for me that's right there. I call them the how-to sections. It’s to empower people also. We often have cookbooks that get hung up with a recipe and I need exactly those ingredients.
I want to empower people. If you want to make pasta, curry, or roasted vegetables with whatever you have in your fridge, how can you learn to throw ingredients together with what you still have and make amazing meals and get comfortable experimenting? I often go in the kitchen and I open the fridge and I'm like, “What are we cooking now?”
Sometimes, I don't even know yet until I have already thrown things together. I'm like, “This is what it's going to be.” It's something that can be so fun as well, and that's what I hope to do with those sections. It's like I'm going to give you the five big steps, so you can, by yourself, understand like, “These are the basic steps I need to follow, but I can switch out with whatever vegetables I have at home.”
I will say that overall, once you have learned some of these basics, it becomes easier to cook and you can get comfortable experimenting. I never worry if my vegetables get a little rubbery. That's my call to make soup. One of the ways that women in Europe, I learned this a long time ago when I was living in France, help to manage their waistlines is they will often say, “I have soup for dinner.”
Soup can be soothing, and filling, and give you the things you need, but without being that thing that sticks in your gut the same way. If you think about it, a lot of Europeans eat dinner a little later. If you are going to have dinner at 8:00, you might want to have something that isn't so cumbersome and requires so much chewing. Not to say I don't love a salad for dinner.
Not in the winter, though. That's the interesting thing. There might be a hot summer day when you are like, “I crave this.” In the winter, it's like, “You want to have more of the comforting.” Even breakfast is such a beautiful food, too, in the winter. When it's a little colder, I'm like, “I crave oats,” and then in the summer, I'm like, “I want to have the fruits and the smoothies.” It's so different. It's so important to honor what you are feeling and what you crave because your body is talking to you.
It's just so important to really honor what you're actually feeling and what you crave because your body is talking to you.
We often tend to look only to the outside and the experts. They tell me exactly, “Tell me the plan. I will eat it.” To me, it's like, “There are going to be days you are going to be eating more. There are going to be days you are going to be eating less.” It's going back to listening to you. It's your body. You know your body best. Learn to trust it again and learn to trust your cravings.
It's like a softness almost. It’s so important instead of only stressing about what you are eating, which often happens in the diet and the restriction culture that we live with food. Enjoy what you are eating. Some simple principles can make a big difference, the energy and the way you consume your meal is so important. Instead of feeling guilty about something if you have a piece of chocolate, enjoy the food and feel great about it. The next morning, have a green smoothie for breakfast and it's great. It's all about balance, but it comes back to learning to listen to your own body again.
That is key and it's something I trust too. I love bread. I love a good sourdough, but I don't have it every day, even though I would love to have sourdough every day. I find that when I eat it too frequently, I start to feel disconnected from my gut. I don’t know how else to explain it. I feel like there’s something missing, and so I don’t eat sourdough as much as I would like to because I know that.
It's not like I get the sniffles. Some people, if they eat wheat, will get the sniffles or they might even be gluten-sensitive. I have done all the allergy tests. I don't have an allergy issue with gluten at all, though I do have an issue with proteins that are present in quinoa and also buckwheat, which is interesting.
Especially buckwheat. I feel buckwheat is so easy often to digest. For my body, I feel like buckwheat is almost easier than oats.
All these grains have too many proteins. I was eating all of them, but I found that I had this specific cracker I loved and it made me feel horrible after, and it was like, “What's going on? It didn't use to do this.” I took some food sensitivity tests and interestingly enough, the gluten wasn't there at all. Gluten is no problem at all, but the proteins that are in certain other grains were problematic for me.
I used to consume things like quinoa salads. I love to make quinoa bowls. Some cranberries, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and some shallots, and mix it all together. I loved it. Kale and the whole thing. I would bring it as my special salad I'd bring to potlucks and things like that over to friends' houses.
I stopped being able to eat it. I'm like, “What happened here?” Sometimes, your sensitivities can shift with time. If you overconsume something for a while or if you consume a lot of it for a while, you can become sensitive to it and need to take a break. My break seems to be semi-permanent from quinoa, unfortunately. Now I know and knowledge is power.
Sometimes, food elimination and stopping eating certain things can tell you. I suspected there was an issue with quinoa, but I wasn't quite sure, so I was still eating it in something sometimes. Even quinoa proteins are often in vegan protein blends. Now, I find if I have some of them, my gut doesn't feel super great.
I get a little bloating and then I feel like I will get almost a cold wave of chills over my body. These are the triggers I have learned to listen to so I can avoid those things and eat the right diet for me. That's just the key message that we have been talking about. You listen to your body and get to know what works for you. Nutrition can be personalized to work for you and then you can attain your best health.
Sometimes, people think it's normal to feel tired, sluggish, or bloated after a meal, but it's not. It's figuring out a way that you feel energized and you feel good after a meal. It's everything. Sometimes people ask me, it's like, “I don't have any issues. Why would I change?” You might be only at 50% of feeling good. You don't even know the other 50% of how much better you can feel because you have never been there, but it doesn't mean it's not there. I always advise people to don't let it come that far that they have health issues.
Listen to those smaller signs earlier on. I often see that slightly older people are more motivated because they feel it so much more clearly in their health, whereas young people are like, “I'm invincible and everything. I can do whatever I want.” It's like, “You can't.” Start listening to the small signs before they get bigger and louder.
Small changes make a big difference and it's step by step. You don't have to change everything at once, but start with the fruit and veggies. Start adding more of the right things. It's funny. If you focus on that, that sometimes you are like, “This is good and I start to feel better,” then some of the bad stuff then starts to fall away. It's a way more positive way of approaching it versus only focusing on what you cannot eat. I'm always a huge fan of let's talk about what we need to eat more of.
We hear the same message from Dr. William Li as well. “Eat the good things. Look at these five categories of foods that you can bolster your five health defenses with and use them, eat them, consume them, and you will find that your health improves.” I also think it's key to note that many of the recipes in your book, while they are very filling and nutritious, are also low density in their calories, which means like high-density nutrition, not so full of calories. It's easier to maintain or even lose weight when you shift to a diet that's more mindful of that.
With weight, it's such an interesting topic. When it comes to weight, I'm always a huge fan of not also there and not focusing on eating less. Start focusing on eating more of the right things because, as you say, if you eat more of the right things, the volume I eat is relatively big, and sometimes people are very surprised. It's like, “She’s eating all of this?” I'm like, “Yes. I'm hungry.” Diet is very high in micronutrients and not necessarily super high in fats and all the things. Some of the macros, you shouldn't eat too many.
It's interesting. We also need all the macros. We need the fats, carbs, proteins, and all of them. It's interesting what your body does if you start to give it real whole foods. It starts to balance itself out. Suddenly, if you eat all the fruit and vegetables, your micronutrients are higher and you feel full for the first time and don't have to control yourself. It's interesting and it's a journey. You can hear me talk about it, but it's something you have to feel and experience. As you feel and experience it, it becomes easier.
The one thing I'd like to remind people is that the foods with the highest satiety level, meaning they make you feel full are proteins and fiber. We need to not forget that vegetables have quite a bit of protein in them too. You mentioned you were eating a lot of hummus. Hummus has a lot of protein in it. There are certain vegetables have a lot of fiber. It's hard to overeat it and also could provide a lot of nutrition. Foods with the lowest satiety index, guess what they are? I wonder if you know. Butter is one and also nuts.
Sometimes, people will be like, “I'm going vegetarian and I'm going to eat all these nuts,” and you can overeat nuts quite easily. Macadamia nuts are one of the lowest on their satiety index. Walnuts are a little bit higher, but generally speaking, if you cut out these two things and you eat more fiber and get more protein from plant-based sources or others, you essentially will feel more full.
Believe me. I eat nuts. I put walnuts in every single smoothie I make because I love the way they make it taste. I'm a big proponent of things that contain Omega-3s. I add chia to things. I make a pudding with chia and oat milk and a little bit of vanilla that I love.
I get my oat milk at the store. I still do it from time to time, but I make it at home because it's easy to make. I can get non-GMO oats and I can soak them a little bit and put them in the blender strain them and add a little maple syrup if I want some sweetness. Even if I want to make it more savory, I could add a little bit more salt and some other spices and things like that, too. It's something that I find easy and fun and enables me to manage my health and then make foods that my kids like and treats that they enjoy that are more healthy for them than something that might come in a simple pudding cup.
You said something very interesting. You want to eat nuts, but don't forget about the seeds. Seeds are so powerful. I noticed that my body reacts very differently to seeds than it does to nuts. For example, I’m a huge fan of tahini. I love tahini, but even pumpkin seeds. It's so interesting. Yes, the chia seeds. There are so many powerful seeds out there to incorporate into your meals, so don't forget about those.
We interviewed Dr. Joel Fuhrman on this show. I don't know if you are familiar with his work, but he is mostly plant-based, too. He wrote a book called Super Immunity. He calls himself a nutritarian. That's his perspective, but he doesn't even use things like olive oil. I'm Italian. I don't think I can ever give up olive oil, but I do use it now. He has this recipe in his book for using things like pistachios and oranges and blending them together for a salad dressing that can be quite divine.
I find that they are delicious. My kids like it too, and it's getting them to eat more vegetables and things like pumpkin seeds or the other seeds I would put into some dressing. There are so many ways to do it. Get creative, get in the kitchen, enjoy it, and you will find you feel better. It's simple, even though it may sound like it's complicated. You might have to go to the grocery store twice a week instead of once to get more fresh produce, but your body will thank you. Your senses will thank you because you will be sitting there preparing food that's divine.
In my book, I have a grocery list. There are your staples or something you can stock up on and then it's the fresh stuff. That can be pretty simple as well. It’s like you say, maybe twice a week, but go one time to the farmer's market already, which is fun. It's not even real grocery shopping. It's super fun. For a short time, I had an ugly fruit and veggie box that I would get once a week, and it would always get local surprise what I would get that week. There are funny and interesting ways to get your produce if your pantry is already stocked up with the things you need to cook all the meals with fresh stuff.
I find that I always end up with my kids going through periods where they eat all the apples in the house. Apples disappear faster than I can even say boo. They will go through a period where they let them sit. Sometimes, I end up with a surplus on some of these things. One of the things that I like to do is break out my juicer when I start to notice that it can still produce great juice.
It's fresh, clean, and tastes great. Mix in cucumber or something like carrot or beet and make this vivacious vegetable and fruit-based beverage. Take the leavings from that and make a soup stock. This is the season for that because it's cooler days and you start to crave things like soups. Very rich in fiber, using the whole plant. It's not just ending up in compost. It can be delicious.
I like to inspire that creativity as well, and then I want to say one of the things that I love as a trait is a good golden milk, and I appreciate that you included this recipe here. This is from the book, the relaxing turmeric latte, anti-Inflammatory, and stress reduction. It serves two, and it uses the plant-based milk of your choice. Turmeric powder, cinnamon, tulsi powder, which is optional. Maple syrup, which is optional. I don't know if I would consider that optional. I think you have to use it and a sprinkle of pepper. This is good. Thank you for that.
Turmeric latte is always good.
They call it different things in different places, like Gaia sells a product that is ready for market. That's a powder that you mix in, but they are so easy to make. Having these spices on hand will enable you to get more creative in the kitchen too. I recommend that. Get creative. Visit your farmer's market. I do that on Saturday mornings and then midweek, I'm going to the grocery store to get a couple of things to pinch hit, but it is a lovely way to live and I so appreciate the work, so thank you.
At this point in our conversation, I'd love to offer you the floor if you have a closing thought or word you'd like to share with our audience.
I feel like we went through a lot of different topics already. For anyone reading, it’s very simple. This came up. Michael and I always say, “If we can do it, you can do it too.” Take it one day at a time, one step at a time. The small changes make a big difference. I want to encourage everyone to maybe even a little challenge whenever you go your next grocery shopping. Buy a fruit or vegetable you normally wouldn't buy, and try something new and experiment with it. That will be my little challenge to end with and I hope everyone gets their hands on the book, and let me know when you think of it.
The small changes make a big difference.
Thank you so much for that. I implement something similar when I take my kids with me to the grocery store, which I don't do every time. It would make my life a little more complicated, but when I do take them, I will say, “We are going to go to the produce aisle. I want you to pick something that you have never tried before and we will cook it.”
One week, my son chose oyster mushrooms. He'd never had oyster mushrooms before. We made a few different preparations of foods using oyster mushrooms. Another week, he stumped me. I had never bought this, but it was a Buddha's hand, which is a citrus and it looks like an octopus swimming through water, but like a lemon. It's got that pith and everything.
It looks fantastic.
I had to then go, “What do I even make with this?” It turns out you can use it in a lot of recipes where you would use citrus, like lemon, but it was so fun. The thing that was great about it is when you have a lemon and you grate it to get some of the rinds for whatever recipe you are making. Sometimes you get to the juice too quickly, like there's not enough of it. With a Buddha’s hand, there was so much. If you wanted to make things like a lemon meringue or something like that, you could do that. Getting creative and involving your kids can make it fun, too. Thank you.
It's so true. Mine don't go yet. One is still in the belly. Leo started eating. What I have noticed also is that there's a lot of talk of, “How do you make your kids eat healthily?” What I already noticed is that he wants to eat what I eat. It starts with looking, “What are you eating? What is on your plate?” You can also talk to your kid. I'm sure as a teenager, it might be different again, but now, at these young ages, it's so much. It's like, “Mommy is eating this. I want this, too.” It's a powerful tool to start with yourself and then set an example.
To find your book, I know that it is sold on YourSuper.com. Where do you like people to go to pick up a copy of this book?
It's also on Amazon. It's anywhere where you normally would get your book like Books-A-Million. That's in a ton of bookstores as well. Wherever you normally would get your book, that's where you can get Your Super Life. You can read, learn more, and start getting creative in the kitchen, and all the recipes have optional superfoods. If you want to incorporate some of those very powerful ingredients, you can, but it's optional, so it's for anyone who wants to eat more plants and feel better.
You can go to your YourSuper.com and find out more about the products that you helped bring into the world there. I also know you and Michael have your site. It's KristelAndMichael.com, is that correct?
We have that as well. It's more our personal updates of what's going on in our lives and not so many emails. Once you get them, I write them and you are like, “What's going on?” More recipes and that's also on Instagram, so it's very personal things if people want to follow them.
They can find you on Instagram @KristelAndMichael. Any other closing words?
No, that's it.
Thank you so much for joining me. This has been awesome.
As always, we do host this show with Örlö Nutrition, and because we are running this Tested by You program, you can go to the website and sign up for that subscription to receive a free test of the Omega-3 index at your baseline, so you can start right away and get a sense for where you are starting as far as your Omega-3 index, and then you will get another test after four months. To get a bonus discount on this program or any of the products offered at OrloNutrition.com, use the code NWC for Nutrition Without Compromise. NWC at checkout and you will get that bonus discount.
If you enjoyed this episode, I hope that you will subscribe to this show. We do this as a resource to our community and to help educate you about all the ways that you can attain your best health. We want to ensure that every day of your life, you are having more impact on your health and more impact on the planet.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. If you have questions, you can always send them to me by sending an email note to Hello@OrloNutrition.com or via social channels @OrloNutrition. As we close this show, I hope that you will raise a cup of your favorite beverage with me as I say my closing words. Here's to your health.
- Dr. William Li - Past episode - DR. WILLIAM LI'S EAT TO BEAT DISEASE COURSE - 5 HEALTH DEFENSES AND 5 HEALTH SURPRISES - PART 1 OF 4
- Eat To Beat Disease
- Eat To Beat Your Diet
- Your Super Life: 100+ Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Made with Nature's Most Powerful Superfoods
- Kristel de Groot
- The New Fish
- Care More Be Better Podcast
- Dr. Joel Fuhrman – Past episode - BECOME A NUTRITARIAN TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND HEALTH WITH JOEL FUHRMAN, M.D., THE 7X NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SUPER IMMUNITY AND EAT FOR LIFE
- Super Immunity
- Amazon - Your Super Life
- Books-A-Million - Your Super Life
- @KristelAndMichael - Instagram
- @OrloNutrition - Instagram
About Kristel de Groot
Kristel is half of powerhouse team behind Your Super, one of the biggest superfood brands in the U.S. and Europe. In just over 8 years, Your Super transformed from zero to hero, with a whopping $200 million in revenue and a successful exit in October 2022. Your Super was launched when Kristel’s partner, Michael, was diagnosed with cancer at age 24. While Michael was going through chemo, Kristel started experimenting with the possibilities of using food as medicine. Together with her Orthomolecular Nutritionist Mom and her Aunt she developed organic superfood and plant protein mixes to help boost Michael's immunity and overall health.
From humble beginnings in Amsterdam, the company quickly spread across six continents and 60+ countries. With headquarters in the U.S., Your Super has helped millions of people to change their lifestyle and feel better with the power of plants. This female founder is a force to be reckoned with. She is the mastermind behind Your Super formulas, packaging and branding. She’s the brilliant Chief Marketing Officer who is also is basically a walking encyclopaedia of wellness. She is a nutrition coach with certifications in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University and IIN. She has been named among the 30 Under 30 by both Forbes and Inc Magazine, and has been featured in a dazzling array of media, from Forbes to Cheddar TV, InStyle, Well + Good, The Doctors, and Good Day L.A.
As a woman, mom and female founder she is advocating that true diversity is about celebrating the differences between women and men in the workplace. She introduced the moon day policy where women get 1 day per month when they have a period to do what they can - from cancelling their meetings to taking the day off. Kristel and Michael recently published their newest book Your Super Life and you can keep up with them on the top-ranking Your Super Life Podcast, their site kristelandmichael.com, and on social @kristelandmichael. But as you’ll soon see, Kristel is down-to-earth, approachable, and passionate about making the world a healthier place with the power of plants.