The What's On Your Plate? Photo Contest Winners!

To celebrate National Nutrition Month in March, we held a contest asking people to take a picture of what's on their plate. We receieved tons of great photos, full of colorful, healthy, and delicious food! We then opened voting to the public, and three winners were chosen based on their photos. Below are the photos, and the recipes, that had our Facebook fans hungry for some healthy, well-balanced meals! Thank you to everyone who participated in the What's On Your Plate? Photo Contest!

1st Place: Grilled Tofu with Steamed Vegetables, Barley and Sweet Corn
By Vanesa Dejanovic

Steamed Vegetables With Spices


  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup carrots chopped

IINsider’s Digest: Neal Barnard on vegan health, Chinese Medicine and cancer treatments, and stress makes you sick

The IINsider’s Digest gathers all of the week’s hottest nutrition headlines around the web. In this edition, Integrative Nutrition Grad Nick Valencia speaks on where vegans get their protein in the Miami New Times. Visiting Teacher Neal Barnard is featured in USA Today about a controversial commercial about vegans and extra seating space on airlines. A Chinese herbal combination is found to support cancer treatments. Psychological stress is shown to reduce your body’s ability to fight disease and inflammation.

“Where Do Vegans Get Protein?” A Plant-Eater Answers This Common Question
Featuring IIN Grad Nick Valencia
Miami New Times

Every vegan who's been at plant-eating for any length of time has been faced with this question. Ironically, it often comes from the mouths of the unhealthiest and least conscious eaters in the world, and is directed at lean, immensely healthy and energetic beings.  

A novel option for extra space: Pay $10, sit next to a vegan
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Neal Barnard
USA Today
Want to avoid being squeezed on your next American Airlines trip? If dietitians at the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have their way, the bankrupt carrier could raise much-needed cash - and create better traveling conditions for its passengers - by offering a $10 "Sit Next to a Vegan" option on flights.

Chinese Medicine Goes Under the Microscope
Wall Street Journal

Scientists studying a four-herb combination discovered some 1,800 years ago by Chinese herbalists have found that the substance enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer. The mixture, known in China as huang qin tang, has been shown in early trials to be effective at reducing some side effects of chemotherapy, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The herbs also seem to bolster colon-cancer treatment: Tests on animals with tumors have shown that administering the herbs along with chemotherapy drugs restored intestinal cells faster than when chemo was used alone.

A New Journey, A New Job, and Lots of Organic Chocolate

Ada Azarya, a 2010 graduate living in Miami Beach, Florida, has always been passionate about chocolate. A few years ago, she discovered her passion for cooking, and in her kitchen, she found much more than the great product that launched her business; she also realized that what we eat affects the way we live. Now, as a graduate of the Health Coach Training Program, a raw/vegan chef, and the owner of an organic chocolate company, Ada’s health, self-confidence, and business have all taken off!

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

Before IIN I was in Real Estate, but always had passion for cooking, especially because I was born in a country that is known for its hospitality and delicious cuisine, Baku, Azerbijan. When I got laid off in New York City in 2008 from a large real estate development firm, I decided to take some time off and follow my heart to find my true passions. I found myself being very interested in food channels, healthy eating books and books on spirituality. I also started making my own chocolate in all the free time that I had.

How to Find Your Spirituality

Photo Credit: Marina de la Torre, Class of 2011

It's a big weekend for two major world religions - a time for celebration, family, and most of all, spirituality.

At Integrative Nutrition, our curriculum teaches that spirituality is a vital part of a person's primary food that sustains his or her soul. Even if you don't practice in the Christian or Judaic faith, this weekend might be a good time to reconnect, or maybe get in touch for the first time, with your own spirituality.

Spirituality doesn't have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a hike in the woods or a park, appreciating the beauty of nature. Perhaps quiet meditation or yoga can bring light into your soul. Most of the time, our minds are running at a mile a minute, and for some, a serene setting and a little focus is all they need to connect to their spirituality.

Leading an Exceptional Life with Antonella Palazio

Antonella Palazio, a 2010 graduate who lives in Miami, Florida, focuses on educating people and getting them motivated to experiment and eat wholesome clean foods through her practice. But more than that, she believes food is simply one layer to pull back in discovering who we are. By sharing the basics of nutrition, she helps people link the “whys” and “hows” of changing food patterns. She chooses to use the word “how” over “what” one eats, because it favors the holistic mindset – that it is not just about food. “It entails the whole dimension of who we are, why we are here, and how to enrich our journey in our spiritual evolution,” said Antonella. “Food plays one of the many layers of our lives, and this became very clear in my own life through the Health Coach Training Program.”

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

I had a desire to learn more about food than why we just eat to live. I had only heard of the dietician profession offered by universities that required a long, extended program. For me, discovering IIN represented a learning sabbatical. The scope of information became extensive and went beyond the traditional perspective to the holistic approach.

IINsider’s Digest: Walter Willett on red meat, Vegans bash Starbucks, and Chocolate eaters have lower BMI

The IINsider’s Digest gathers all of the hottest nutrition headlines from around the web in one place. This week, two Integrative Nutrition graduates are making the headlines: Heng Ou’s food delivery service for new moms, MotherBees, is featured in the Los Angeles Times, while Elizabeth Stein’s Purely Elizabeth ancient grain products are in the Miami Herald. IIN visiting teacher Michael Jacobson speaks out about beetle coloring in Starbucks’ Frappuccinos, and IIN visiting teacher Dr. Walter Willett answers questions about the study that found red meat unhealthy

Five Questions: Dr. Walter Willett on red meat
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Dr. Walter Willett
The Los Angeles Times

Earlier this month, Willett and colleagues, who have studied the link between diet and health for decades, published a study that followed more than 100,000 people over more than 20 years — and found that the amount of red meat they ate was linked to a rise in risk of premature death. Read more.

Vegans bash Starbucks for beetle coloring in frappuccinos
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Michael Jacobson, PhD
USA Today

 Starbucks has the vegan community seeing red over what it recently began using to color its Strawberry Frappuccinos: beetles. That’s beetles as in ground up cochineal beetles – mostly found in Mexico and South America. Read more. 

Elite Eight: Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge

It's getting down to the Best of the Best in our Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge, which means we're only one vote away from our ultimate four-ingredient smoothie!

Last week, we had an Epic Vote in which we pitted sixteen popular smoothie ingredients against each other to determine YOUR favorites. Here are our winners...

  • Bases: Coconut Water v. Almond Milk. Winner: Coconut Water!
  • Bases: Fruit Juice v. Yogurt. Winner: Yogurt!
  • Vegetables: Spinach v. Cucumber. Winner: Spinach!
  • Vegetables: Seaweed v Carrot. Winner: Carrot!
  • Add-ins: Flax Seeds v. Chia Seeds. Winner: Chia Seeds!
  • Add-ins: Maca v. Cacao. Winner: Cacao!
  • Fruits: Mango v. Banana. Winner: Banana!
  • Fruits: Avocado v. Berries. Winner: Berries!

Christian Yoga, Muslim Zumba? Finding Balance When Religion & Exercise Clash

What happens when one’s religious beliefs clash with making healthy lifestyle choices?

If there’s one thing that most religions around the world agree upon, it’s the importance of respecting one’s body. Ranging from the Christian tenet that the body is a temple created in the image of God to the Buddhist belief that a healthy body enables us to live longer in order to benefit others, most religious practices emphasize that caring for your health can in fact be a spiritual act.

As an essential source of primary food, spirituality not only offers a sense of community and comfort, but it also often explicitly rejects unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, and overeating. Many studies show that religious people enjoy greater emotional and physical health than those who are nonreligious.

Yet clashes between religion and healthy behaviors can and do arise. A recent MSNBC article highlighted the conflict that some devout Christians feel towards yoga. Despite the exercise’s well-known physical, mental, and emotional benefits, there are concerns that yoga poses, interpreted as offerings to Hindu gods, are incompatible with Christianity.

Epic Vote: Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge

We're getting so close to the Perfect Smoothie! This round of voting is epic, because we're facing off sixteen ingredients all at once! But first, the winners of last week's challenges...

  • Bases: Cow's Milk v Yogurt. Winner: Yogurt!
  • Vegetables: Carrot v. Beet. Winner: Carrot!
  • Add-ins: Cacao v Wheat Germ. Winner: Cacao!
  • Fruits: Grapes v Berries. Winner: Berries!

Here's our updated bracket:

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