NutrigenomiX Genetic Testing for Personalized Nutrition

Introducing a new service, which includes a comprehensive genetic test of 70 food related genetic markers, based on the most robust scientific evidence. 

Specific metabolic markers have been chosen that will give actionable dietary guidelines, so that you aren’t overwhelmed by meaningless SNP’s, rather you are looking a modifier genes that affect your absorption, metabolism and excretion, taste and smell preferences.  For example, research has linked a slow vs fast metabolizer caffeine gene to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and even diabetes.  Other genes indicate whether you are more prone to lose weight or percent body fat on a high protein diet, or whether you are more likely to elevate your “bad cholesterol” if you eat saturated fat. 

If you are an athlete, the genetic test will show if you have slow twitch or fast twitch muscles, if you are more susceptible to injury and help you eat smarter, train harder and recover faster…unleash your genetic potential!

Take advantage of a $50.00 discount during Covid19 and free shipping directly to your home for a saliva sample.  In addition, you’ll receive a personalized interpretation of your results with a qualified registered dietitian and the option of adding a fully customized DNA-based meal plan to your order. 

Cost:  $425.00 for sample, report (electronic) (+$20 for a printed report mailed to your home), interpretation of results, customized with any blood work or chronic conditions that you may elect to share with your dietitian.

Current clients will have a further discount of $50, bringing the cost to $375.00.

Optional: add the cost of computer-generated customized DNA based meal plan, priced according to the duration of the plan.

Jan Stephens, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Pod Trainer, M.S., owner of Cornerstone Nutrition has completed a training course for Nutrigenomix and will be interpreting the data with you,  she currently runs a private nutrition counselling service on the Sunshine Coast. 

Virtual sessions are encouraged but in-person, covid19 aware consults are available in her Sechelt office, Tue-Thursday, 1000-1600hr. 

Call 604 741-7307 or e-mail at to make an appointment.

This is the beginning of personalized nutrition based on your genes!!!  or more information and to order your sample, report and interpretation.

Introduce peanuts to infants earlier to prevent allergic response! in a new tab)

This may not be ground breaking news to some of you. Last week, I was fortunate to attend the Dietitians of Canada webinar by Elissa Abrams, MD, FRCPC re: understanding the updated guidance on early introduction of allergenic foods.

Looking at the “LEAP’ forward study of 640 infants at high risk of peanut allergy, results showed early introduction of peanuts results in 80% reduction of peanut allergies at 5 years of age. This early oral introduction appears to be true of most common allergens, milk protein, egg and peanuts and potentially wheat.

Its suggested that you introduce these solid foods one at time, in small amounts a few times per week around 6 months of age. Introduce only small amounts, ie.’ 2 tsp smooth peanut butter in cereal. Don’t place the food on the skin first as this increases the risk, it is the oral introduction that is preventative.

Reactions may include hives, swelling, abdominal signs, vomiting diarrhea or fainting. inconsolable crying in which case, consult your physician, Large observational studies and randomized controlled trials have found early introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut to be safe, with low rates of reactions (approximately 2%) that are mild, and exclusively skin reactions

Even during a pandemic, the CPS continues to recommend (Canadian Pediatric Society) that if infants are at high risk of food allergy (due to eczema, other food allergy, or an immediate family history of allergies), allergenic solids should be introduced early—around 6 months, but not before 4 months of age.

Along with this data, did you know that the demand for peanut butter has increased by up to 41% over the past 3 months, possibly a trend towards plant based diet and with the closure of schools, children at home aren’t restricting their peanut consumption.

This post was inspired by my dinner tonight, a budda bowl with peanut sauce, totally yummy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Cream Pie

My husband has yearned for rhubarb strawberry pie. Since our garden rhubarb isn’t producing (will have to transfer to a sunny spot), he bought some rhubarb along with strawberries anticipating the master baker would come up with a brilliant recipe! First I checked my mother’s recipe list knowing it was a family favourite, then the internet and eventually adaped both for our guests, one with diabetes so used Truvia (baking form of stevia) for 50% of the sugar.

Voila, this is the product!

The crust was made with olive oil becel soft margarine. I know some of you will object, this has become an area of debate. Since I have a family history of heart disease, I’m opposed to using butter or coconut, known in the literature for elevating LDL cholesterol. My preference for a tender pastry is lard, however environmentally and because my guests are vegetarian, this is forbidden. So I settled for the Mediterranean alternative, yes …I have tried oil based pastries without much success. It wasn’t the most tender pastry because I always underestimate my fat, but it looks great. As well the bottom pastry was not soggy which is often the case with slow cooking pies, it too 1.5 hrs to cook!!!

The lattice pastry top was as per request from my husband.

Lovely flavour, without much sugar…not too sweet or too tart!!

Green Pea Harvest Snaps

Parmesan Roasted Garlic Green Pea Snap Crisps

First ingredient is green peas with about 27 ingredients when the sub-ingredients are included, highly refined!
Nutition-wise: high in protein, iron, and fibre, low in carbohydrate.
Perhaps it would be nicer to eat fresh snap peas with a dip or hummus!

While shopping in Safeway’s yesterday, was interested in their featured display; as I was commiserating, another shopper eager to get her spicy Harvest Snaps reached around me toppling a neighbouring display. I was quite surprised and commented that she must really love the product. She was happy to share her views on the variety of flavours available.

I decided on the parmesan roasted garlic because I was going to share with my husband who has an aversion to spicy foods.

The package weighs 85g and the portion size is 1/2 bag=50g. That would be a very large portion for me, the product tastes like cheesies. It has 29g carb with 8g fibre= only 21g available carb! There is 9 g fat, mostly canola oil which has a good balance of monounsaturated fat however many of my clients may be concerned about GMO’s. Only 150g sodium which is not too bad for a snack, and 9g protein, 20% iron, quite astounding for a snack.

But it is highly processed, thank goodness the first ingredient is green peas, but it has a total of ~27 ingredients when you include the sub-ingredients!

Do I think it’s a healthy snack…. well better than some chips and cheesies but there are better whole foods that one could choose… like snap peas alone or with dip or hummus!

Updating Traditional Recipes

Banana Tea Bread

Taking recipes from the past and updating them- Banana Tea Bread!

My mother cooked everything from scratch, we often had casseroles with lots of vegetables. either on the side are in the casserole and always had dessert!

So looking back in time, I resurrected my mom’s banana tea bread recipe.

With more variety of seasonal fruit, we’re collecting overripe bananas quickly. Wanting to minimize waste, I decided to research my mom’s recipes and found banana tea bread. Although most of her cooking was healthy, she did use the hard margarine or shortening with trans fatty acids and rarely used whole wheat flour.

To make a healthier version, I went 50% whole wheat and used an olive based soft margarine (has no trans fatty acids and very little saturated fat). Perhaps I should have tried olive oil but adding more fluid to the recipe may have altered the dry ingredient ratio. As well, because I was sharing this with my diabetes brother-in-law, I substituted truvia (stevia) for the sugar, so it had no sugar in it, per se.

It was moist, sweet enough and tasted rich with banana!

Is The Beyond Meat Burger Actually Good For You?

Another excellent article by Andy the RD

I’ve copied his edited version of Chris Millers analysis


The Beyond Meat Burger

By Chris Miller

Vegetarian friendly substitutes of traditionally meat-based dishes are nothing new; while many are original recipes, isolated from the meat-eating world, others are imitations of common meat dishes such as the (in)famous tofurkey.

Attempts at vegetarian friendly imitation burgers are commonplace and the subject of today’s article: The Beyond Burger, has taken the spotlight.

With constantly growing sales and acceptance into grocery store meat aisles Beyond Meat has gripped the market for plant-based eating by the buns with its imitation meats.

The Beyond Burger is a plant-based meat substitute burger developed by Beyond Meat, but is it the savior of the vegan barbeque?

Let’s take a look.

So What’s In One Of These Things?

Aside from water the primary ingredient and main source of protein in the burger is “pea protein isolate” which is a plant-based protein derived from peas.

It’s gotten somewhat popular as a protein source in manufactured foods due to its high digestibility and satiating effect.

Yellow peas are dried and ground then the fiber and starches are washed away with water in order to leave only the protein behind.

Rice protein isolate is the second protein source intended to complete the amino acid profile of the burgers; as pea protein is high in the essential amino acid lysine but low in cysteine and methionine while rice protein is the opposite, high in cysteine and methionine but low in lysine.

By combining these protein sources the Beyond Burger offers a complete essential amino acid profile similar to meat.

The main sources of fat in the burger are expeller-pressed canola oil and refined coconut oil. Expeller-pressed canola oil is extracted non-chemically by good old-fashioned squeezing as opposed to the chemical processes involved in most canola extraction.

Normally a hexane solvent is used to break down everything but the oil, which is then extracted and heat treated to remove the solvent.

Miniscule amounts of the solvent may remain in the oil however (we’re talking parts per million miniscule) which does raise alarms for some. We’re not sure if this actually has any negative effects on human health but for some people it’s better safe than sorry.

Canola oil has the lowest amount of saturated fat when compared to other common cooking oils, higher amounts of omega-3s, and no cholesterol.

Coconut oil on the other hand is very high in saturated fat and low amounts of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

The refining process of coconut oil involves roasting, pressing, then bleaching of the coconut flesh. This has some benefits including a higher smoke point (important for burgers) and a milder coconut flavor, however if you prefer whole, unprocessed foods then refined coconut oil may not be for you.

The remaining ingredient list:

  • Natural flavors
  • Cocoa butter
  • Mung bean protein
  • Methylcellulose (plant fiber derived from bamboo)
  • Potato starch
  • Apple extract
  • Salt
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice concentrate
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Pomegranate fruit powder
  • Beat juice extract

All appear in much lower quantities, most making up less than 2% of the product, and are primarily intended to mimic the flavor, texture, and appearance of meat.

Of note in regard to “natural flavors” it may be important to you to know that this does not necessarily mean unprocessed flavors. Natural flavors are flavor compounds derived from sources like spices, meat, or plants and may have been chemically treated.

Nutrients comparison

We’ll be comparing both a generic NoName brand frozen patty and a McDonalds patty to an equal serving of the Beyond Burger.

113g serving Beyond Burger NoName McDonalds
Calories 250 320 300
Saturated Fat 6g 13g 10g
Trans Fat 0g 1g 1g
Cholesterol 0mg 80mg 94mg
Sodium 390mg 430mg 75mg
Fiber 2g 0g 0g
Protein 20g 14g 26g

As you can see the Beyond Burger holds its own pretty well.

Lower calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol than the competition while also boasting a small bit of fiber and comparable protein. It is however notably high in sodium. It should be mentioned that these numbers are only for the patty.

Once you add a bun, toppings, and condiments they’ll be quite a bit higher.

But How Does It Taste?

Out of obligation, curiosity, and because I really wanted a burger I decided to give A&W’s Beyond Burger a try.

Pressing my poor student budget to the limit I ordered two Mama burgers, requesting one have its patty replaced with a Beyond Burger patty.

Can you tell which is which?

Once I bit into them I certainly could.

While the Beyond Burger was surprisingly good and yes, very close to the flavor of real meat, it wasn’t quite there.

The texture was a bit softer and had a pleasant but telltale aftertaste. It’s not going to fool any meat eaters, but it’s close and still very tasty.

Is the Beyond Burger for You?

Well that depends; there’s endless reasons people reduce their meat intake. If your reasoning is environmental or related to animal suffering then absolutely you should give the Beyond Burger a try.

Beyond Meat claims each of their burgers requires 99% less water, 93% less land, 46% less energy and generates 90% less greenhouse gas than a traditional beef burger.

This is certainly promising.

From a nutritional perspective consumers may harbour concerns over the extensive ingredient list, but it remains hard to deny that the nutrient composition is favourable to other common beef burger varieties. The cost could also be a concern, with 2 frozen Beyond Burgers costing eight dollars in most grocery stores.

All in all the Beyond Burger is very promising and could create options for a lot of vegetarians. It’s not perfect but no food is.

I certainly didn’t regret feeding my curiosity and biting into one, I doubt you will either.

Final Verdict: While beef lovers can’t easily replace a steak, they can now replace a beef burger. Give the Beyond Burger a try.