JONATHAN: Hey everybody. Jonathan Bailor back with another SANE show. Very excited because we have a wonderful SANE show veteran with us today. She’s been on the show twice. This is her third time for good reason because she’s always a bundle of joy with great insights, New York Times Best Selling Author and just awesome person, just extraordinaire. Lyn-Genet Recitas. Welcome to the show.
LYN-GENET: Always good to chat with you, friend, always good to chat with you.
JONATHAN: Well, Lyn-Genet, one of the reasons was I was really excited to have you on the show today is I know you have some exciting stuff in the works around helping people to eat a more nutrient dense lifestyle, but I want to laser focus on the number one challenge I hear people have when it comes to eating a more nutrient dense lifestyle and that is finding delicious simple ways to eat vegetables. Has that been your experience, people struggle with that?
JONATHAN: Well, you know certainly on the Plan because we found so many vegetable we commonlythought it was healthy and it’s actually highly reactive. In the beginning people struggle with a really limited source of the same vegetables. So we’re approaching it from a two-prong thing or how do we make least inflammatory vegetables taste good. How many times can you eat zucchini? Even if you love vegetables how to get a wide array of vegetables and make sure they’re working for you and make sure that they’re good? Certainly eating seasonally really, really helps, but I think what winds up happening is that people just think of steaming, sautéing, maybe roasting vegetables if they’re super, super great in the kitchen, but they’re so many ways that you can “jazz up” vegetables and make them friendly, not just for yourself, but for the whole family.
I know for a lot of people that actually take the time to cook at home, they feel like they’re making many different meals for every single person in the family. So, what we’ve devised and certainly in our cookbook, which we’re super excited about is ways to make vegetables exciting and delicious.
I know in our last book, one of our favorite dishes, which everybody loved was the “Bill’s Timbale.” Basically, it’s because everything is really good with cheese. So, we could throw in the Swiss Chard and the onions and the Fennel and all these things that people might not normally eat, but you layer it with a couple of layers of cheese and maybe a little low inflammatory tomato sauce and all of a sudden it’s a vegetable lasagna. Well, now you have six to seven vegetables in that meal and you’re scarfing it down.
It’s the same thing with kale. A lot of people may not be so crazy about kale, but they know it’s super nutrient dense and it’s something that they should eat and it’s really exciting because sort of bigger stores like Costco are now carrying these foods so they are alot less expensive for folks. Maybe you sprinkle little Panko crumbs on there and once again maybe a layer a little Parmesan cheese on there and all of a sudden it’s like a cream spinach. Well, now it’s easy to eat and the whole family loved it. I think thinking outside the box, thinking of sauces is always a great way to go.
One of our favorite sauces are spicy almond sauté and we do that because there are a lot of folks tha have issues with peanut butter. It’s a goitrogen and of course there are people with peanut butter allergies. All of a sudden you get some almond butter and a little coconut milk and maybe a little sriracha and you will have people that have never eaten a vegetable downing those dishes.
JONATHAN: I think that’s a brilliant suggestion, Lyn-Genet, because so often some of these filler foods like noodles or rice or starches. They’re really just the delivery vehicle for sauce. I can’t remember too many people that go to just a delicious Asian restaurant and say the reason that was my favorite Asian restaurant was because of the rice, it’s the best rice I’ve ever had. It’s usually rice is just a great way to get some additional sauce. I love this paradigm of stop thinking about just willing yourself to like the taste of raw plain vegetables, but rather how can you find some delicious sauces where the sauce is so delicious that the vegetable itself is almost irrelevant. It’s almost along for the ride.
LYN-GENET: It’s funny you say that. There’s a famous quote, I don’t know if I made it in the last book, but one woman said about her spicy coco sauce, which is based on a (Inaudible 00:04:31) sauce. She said, I would eat kitty litter with this sauce, so you’re definitely right the sauce can be the vehicle.
We found that for a lot of people, especially for kids or for those of us with a kid’s palate that if we came up with a healthy ranch dressing people would eat the vegetables. So, we did that and we used coconut milk as the base and once again, that’s an amazing way to spice up and doll up your vegetables. Doing something like grilling. If you’ve been indoors all winter and you’re sautéing, and you’re steaming, get out and grill those vegetables. It has a totally different texture and flavor profile which is amazing.
It’s really about if you don’t like spicy food, I don’t want you to eat spicy food. If you prefer food with more of Italian flavors or Greek flavors or Mexican flavors, go ahead and explore that. You like curry, throw curry on everything. Do what you can to make it exciting because literally, either using the spices that you love or trying a few new spices can make vegetables taste exciting, delicious and different.
JONATHAN: Lyn-Genet, this is a gold mine and I can see one potential pothole on this road to eating vegetables and that would be people listening to what we’re saying here, watching us and saying, oh, okay, vegetables with a sauce on top. I know about that, so I’m going to go get some hydrogenated soybean oil dressing from the store because that’s a sauce and in fact it says low calorie on the bottle and it says things like inspired by natural sources. So, what are some sauces we should watch out for?
LYN-GENET: Basically, everything you mentioned. We say this in the first book that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients please don’t eat it. You can make really delicious sauces out of the most simple things. A simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil and throwing in some fresh herbs is the most tasty and not only that it’s the most economical and health giving way to prepare a salad dressing. So, you don’t need to go out and buy these manufactured items that have so many preservatives and who knows what else is in it that’s not working for your chemistry. Doing something as simple as just putting little butter in dill or some fresh ground black pepper or getting a little bit jazzier and taking that coconut milk and grading some fresh ginger in there. All these things. All of these parts of the produce aisle that you’re walking by.
More than that, I want you to think when you go out to eat, what is it that you love? What types of foods do you go for? Do you go for Mexican, do you go for Indian, do you go for new American, do you go for Italian? You can easily replicate those recipes at home and the great thing is, the Internet is just a wonderful, wonderful resource. You can easily tap in sauces and I tell you, I love to eat and I love to cook, but I am the queen of the quick cook. If it takes more than ten minutes, it’s not part of my routine, because I don’t have much time. I think this is what holds so many people back. You can literally make these sauces in three, four to five minutes and they’re going to last for a week. They’re going to make you and your food to seem exciting.
One of the favorite sauces that people loved from my last book was our spicy apricot sauce. Literally, all it was, was apricot jam, water, and sriracha. People are serving this at dinner parties, over chicken and over vegetables and people are saying, this is amazing. Where did you get this sauce? Of course they’re laughing in their sleeve saying well, it’s my secret recipe and it literally takes not even a minute to make. Think about what you love. Think about how you can expand upon it. What I want you to know is beyond the obvious, oh, I’m eating more vegetables and this is really great, is that so many of these herbs have really wonderful health benefits. We’re talking anti-bacterial, or anti-microbial, anti-fungal, these things are amazing.
One of my favorite recipes and it’s in the new cookbook is for a vinaigrette and for a lot of folks having vinegar can actually kick up yeast. So, I was thinking about it and I was thinking why don’t I just take some yeast fighting herbs, and make a vinaigrette and that’s how our Greek Vinaigrette was born and it was just oregano, thyme and garlic and it tastes amazing. So you can actually take these health benefits, start doing the research, it’s really exciting how everything you can put in your mouth can heal you and make those vegetables a lot more fun.
JONATHAN: And it’s a really empowering paradigm shift, Lyn-Genet, because for almost all other foods, if the food had to stand on its own, if we just said, look, all you’re allowed to eat is white rice, with nothing on it, just white rice. Most people would not find it hard to just give up plain white rice or even chicken breast. If you’ve never eaten a plain chicken breast it’s quite disgusting.
I think people maybe they conflate fruits and vegetables because we’re always told to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat more fruits and vegetables as if it’s one food group. We think that since you generally don’t put anything on fruits, the only way you can eat vegetables is just like you would eat fruits, which is just plain and by themselves. This is a whole paradigm shift. It’s just like every other food that you either add spices or sauces to because by itself it’s not very tasty, why not give vegetables the same treatment?
LYN-GENET: It’s so true. You can do everything from flavored oils. You can either flavor your goat cheese. We started a food portion of our business called LG Kitchen, and our favorite sauces that people just adore are our Plan Cesar Salad and we have a dairy free version of that. We have a lemon sunflower pesto, it’s made with sunflower seeds. We make tahini from sunflower seeds because sesame is so reactive. They’re just a million sauces that you can play and you can rip off of that are super inexpensive and once again, the health benefits are absolutely amazing.
I’m actually working with a gentleman right now and I mentioned zucchini pasta and he’s like zucchini scares me. Legume, I’ll put it yoursoups and it’s not so scary. So, I showed him a picture of zucchini pasta bonnets with a nice low reactive tomato sauce and some meatballs. Well, guess who’s having zucchini pasta tonight?
JONATHAN: Well, Lyn-Genet, I love this and I want to just double caution our listeners because I think we’ve got this wonderful tool here we’ve talked about. We’ve talked about sauces and seasonings and I just want you to urge people to not hear — go to your store and just buy some sauce and put it on your vegetables because as brilliant and simple as these homemade sauces are that we’re describing, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything that is more ubiquitously bad for you than the sauces you can buy commercially. A general rule of thumb, if it’s sold at a grocery store and it’s a sauce, it’s a landmine. Would you say that’s an over-exaggeration?
LYN-GENET: Unfortunately it’s true. Even if we’re just talking about the sodium content, I mean it’s frightening. One of the ways that we’re making our low reactive tomato sauce and this is a secret, so your folks are going to be in on it. When we originally did some testing and we found that tomato sauce was anywhere from 70 to 85 percent reactive, part of it was because of the citric acid and part of it was because it was just so high in sodium. So, you could easily have 600 milligrams of sodium in these plain tomato sauces. We found that simply by going for bottles of tomato sauce, which generally does not have citric acid and looking for lower sodium content well already, that small shift is a much cleaner product.
Here’s a secret. If you mix half of a carrot ginger soup with half of that tomato sauce with citric acid and low sodium, what you’re doing is you’re sneaking in more vegetables because it’s going to have zucchini and carrots and onions and all that. It’s not going to alter the flavor. It’s going to lower the acidity and it’s going to taste just like tomato sauce.
So, this is one of our favorite sauces and really in the cookbook we do the three sauces and herbs a lot because it’s actually how I really got started on the path of the health at the age of 18, I started studying herbology. When I started studying with these simple herbs that you can grow in your windowsill or grow in the garden with your kids, can do for your health, it’s absolutely amazing and it’s fascinating. It’s also a great way to get kids that aren’t eating their vegetables and aren’t as excitedinterested in eating more vegetables.
My son when he was one he started watering basil with me. Then he started digging the basil through daddy. By the time he was three, we told him everything was basil that was green. We were chopping up kale and Swiss Chard in his food and he said, this doesn’t smell like basil, and I said, it’s basil, kid. It worked like a charm and it’s a great way to expand your palate, certainly.
JONATHAN: Lyn-Genet, I think that it is very, very helpful and I think one other roadblock I want to help our listeners avoid as they go down this path to SANEity and increased vegetable intake is you mentioned that some of the simplest sauces involve things that have fat and calories in them, coconut milk, butter, things like that, cheese in some instances. How do you help people wrap their head around eating those things?
LYN-GENET: Well, you and I both know that calories mean nothing and that’s one of the reasons why I love you. Calories really do mean nothing and especially as we age.
So, what we need to know is as long as a food works for our chemistry it’s going to benefit our health. It’s only foods that don’t work for your body and we discuss this quite a bit on the Plan. Those are the foods that are going to cause weight gain. So, unless you’re reactive or inflammatory, or have an allergy or have a food sensitivity to butter, you are not going to raise your cholesterol. In fact, you’re going to get the many health benefits of butter, like selenium and Vitamin E, which is actually essential for heart health. So you’re nourishing your thyroid, you’re nourishing your heart, it’s got Vitamin A and it tastes really darn good.
So, if it’s getting you to eat more vegetables and you’re helping your thyroid and you’re aiding your heart health, well, why wouldn’t you have some butter? Coconut — another great example. It’s rich in wonderful fats. Fat is really essential for brain function. It’s essential for maintaining cell integrity, because our cells have a phospholipid barrier, we need fats. This is wonderful, but the great thing about fats is that fats keep you full and they keep you satiated. So, now you’re not reaching for that extra third and fourth snack because you feel full, you’re loving the food, and you’re benefiting your body and it tastes good. So, what’s not to love?
JONATHAN: Beautifully summarized. So you’ve mentioned that you’ve got this new cookbook coming out. You go into more detail of what we’ve talked about here. Tell us a little bit about what you got coming up next and where we can get more wonderful sauces and seasonings like we’ve talked about here today.
LYN-GENET: Well, I’m really excited about the cookbook, because when we came out with the Plan, everybody was really excited, but there are only a number of recipes in the cookbook. I kept hearing from people, Lyn, can you make more recipes, can you make more recipes and can you make Mexican food and Tai food and Indian food. So I really set to re-interpret a lot of dishes and make them low inflammatory. The exciting thing about the cookbook is it contains all the least inflammatory foods based on my research and it’s also all the foods that help to nourish thyroid health because we’re kind of nuts about the thyroid on the Plan. The foods are delicious and they’re quick and they’re easy and they’re inexpensive to make.
I would love to have the time to massage a chicken under a full moon, but like a lot of people, I’m really busy. So in a lot of these recipes, they’ll be like oh, put the dry ingredients here and the wet ingredients here and introduce them to each other. Throw everything in a food processor, preheat the oven, put it in the oven, you’re done. So, it’s great for people that are super, super busy. The great thing also about the Plan is because we use so many of the same ingredients and re-interpret them, it’s actually going to help to lower your food costs and we really go into the benefits of each of the foods and how they can affect your health in a positive way and that’s what we want. We want food to be delicious, fun, inexpensive and easy to make.
JONATHAN: I’m very, very excited to check this out, Lyn-Genet, because I know that so many people have success when they can stop thinking in terms of deprivation and start thinking in terms of substitution and I feel like that’s what you’ve outlined in your cookbook. It’s not about never eating X again, it’s just about eating the smarter anti-inflammatory, more nutrient dense version of X moving forward. So, that’s incredibly exciting. Where can we go to learn more about you and about the cookbook?
LYN-GENET: When you brought that up, of course it made me think of our recipe for red velvet cupcakes. It’s awesome by the way and super protein rich. It’s protein rich enough that you could have it for breakfast. The book is going to be sold everywhere. I don’t know if you folks know, but we’re having a hard time with Amazon, my publishing company, but certainly Barnes and Nobles, many small retailers, definitely support them because we’re all about the small businesses. Starting December 30th, the cookbook is going to be out everywhere and if you follow us on Facebook, we have some exciting things that we’re going to be doing for people that pre-order and it involves a certain someone that I know, so if you want to follow us on Facebook, please look for the Lyn-Genet Plan and starting Thanksgiving, we’re going to have a bunch of exciting offers for people that pre-order the cookbook.
JONATHAN: Boom – I love it. well, Lyn-Genet, this is perfect timing and it’s always a wonderful experience every time we chat and I’m inspired to go whip up some simple sauces here for the lunch that I’m going to have right after our conversation. Thank you so much for joining us today.
LYN-GENET: My pleasure. Have a great day.
JONATHAN: Listeners and viewers, I hoped you enjoyed this wonderful chat as much I did. Again our guests today is the wonderful as always, Lyn-Genet Recitas. And you have to say her last name like that because it’s fun. She’s got a new cookbook coming out, so be sure to check it out and remember, stay SANE.