New Year Resolution: New Foods and Beverages

Happy New Year! Have you decided on your New Year resolution yet?

Mine is to continue experimenting with the plant foods and new ways of growing, preparing, and eating them.

A few days ago, I tried acorn squash for the first time, and it amazed me by its deliciousness.

I cut it across in half, removed the seeds, and steamed both halves at low temperature. It was soft, slightly sweet, and filling. You can find the recipe here.

I washed, dried, and saved the seeds to plant them in spring.

Nutritionally, acorn squash is high in fiber (9 grams per 1 cup!), and many vitamins such as vitamin C, B1, B5, B6, pro-vitamin A (carotenes), and folate.

As for the minerals, it is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and manganese, and has traces of zinc, selenium, and copper.

Acorn squash is low in fat, calories, and glycemic index, and a good source of omega-3 fats (76 mg per 1 cup). One cup of cooked acorn squash contains 2.3 g of protein, 0.3 g of fat, 30 g of carbohydrates, and 115 calories.

Stay tuned for more ideas on plant-based foods and beverages!

We wish you a happy, healthy, and fulfilling new year!



National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. (2016). United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved from

SELF Nutrition Data. (2014). Squash, winter, acorn, cooked, baked, without salt. Retrieved from


Homemade edible Christmas gift

I made chocolate covered walnuts this year as a homemade Christmas gift for the family and friends. It is very easy, takes about 20 minutes, and can be made a few weeks ahead of the occasion.

First, you need to get all the ingredients: walnuts, a dark chocolate bar, spices, coconut oil, coconut flakes. You can read the recipe here for a complete list of ingredients.

Second, you need to get all the supplies: the glass jars (1/4 -1 cup), ribbons, the gift bags and tissue paper.

Third, set a time to get it done. Viola!

This gift is beautiful, delicious, and unique. The recipe will make 2 cups of chocolate walnuts. If you plan to use 1/2-cup jars, then you will make 4 gifts. If you use 1/4-cup jars, you will get 8 gifts. Enjoy and let us know how it worked out for you!

We wish a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!






A recent study: Vegan diet and heart disease

Green Salad.

These are the highlights of the recent randomized clinical trial done in NYU Langone Health, presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) and reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The purpose of this eight-week study was to evaluate the effect of the vegan diet versus AHA diet on the inflammatory markers in patients with coronary artery disease.

One hundred participants received a two-month supply of food and assessments by dietitians and doctors. The inflammatory marker highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and serum lipid profiles were measured.

Researchers concluded that vegan diet reduced systemic inflammation and improved serum lipids better than AHA diet. The scientists recommended a follow-up with a larger trial.

An update with more details will be posted once this study becomes available in the PubMed or other scientific databases. Stay tuned!




Clinical Trials. (2017). Vegan versus AHA diet effect on inflammation and glucometabolic profile in patients with CAD (coronary artery disease). Retrieved from

Lagnado, L. (December 5, 2017). Is being vegan good for your heart? The Wall Street Journal. Health. Retrieved from

New York University. (2017).Langone Health. Education and research.

New York University. (2017). Steinhardt. Department of Nutrition and Health Studies.



Vegetable Broth

Today I’m excited to share with you how easy it is to make your own vegetable broth.

For this purpose, you can use kitchen scraps or whole vegetables.

Organic vegetables and herbs are the best as they have less of the pesticides and other non-edible chemicals.

A vegetable broth is a staple in our household. It is delicious and full of nutrients. It is a pleasure to share it from our table to yours. Enjoy!

You can find my basic recipe and method of preparation here: Vegetable Broth Recipe

You can also check out this 2-minute video on how to make this broth.

Do you have questions or experiences to share? Let us know!



Bauman, E., & Marx, L. (2012). Flavors of health. Bauman College: Penngrove, CA (the recipe was modified)

Tasty. (2016). How to make veggie stock from kitchen scraps (video). Retrieved from








Pets and Food

Video: Cats Eating Their Breakfast

In this video, my cats are enjoying an avocado and flax crackers.

Studying and practicing holistic living for the past three decades, I have learned quite a bit about human health and balanced lifestyle.

How about our furry babies? I had cats as pets since my childhood. As a pet owner, I always wanted to find out how to create a good nutrition and lifestyle routine for them.

I owe many thanks to the amazing team of the holistic veterinarians at the  Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital in San Francisco. I learned that some of the human foods could be necessary and safe for cats. The food choices depend on the results of the evaluation of the pet’s health status, so first of all, take your pet to the vet and discuss the available dietary options.

Thanks for watching a video and reading this post!

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

Happy Holidays to you and your pets 🙂



Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital. (2017). Retrieved from

Dessert For the Holidays

Today I’d like to talk about desserts. What is your favorite one for the upcoming holiday season?

My all-time favorite is a cheesecake. Feeling inspired by many raw vegan foodies, I have experimented with many versions of it.

This is my most recent version: Carrot Cheesecake. I got my inspiration from amazingly delicious desserts made at this cafe.

I used dates, almonds, and coconut for the crust.

The filling had carrots, dates, lemon, coconut, and cashews. For the frosting, cashews and coconut worked wonders.

It turned out very delicious!

I’ll post the recipe with the method of preparation soon. Stay tuned 🙂

Happy Holidays!




A Pre-Holiday Tuneup

The Thanksgiving and New Year holidays are upon us! Have you started feeling the rush and the excitement of the season? It is a time to start wrapping up the current year,  setting new goals, and reconnecting with family members and friends.

Additionally, some of us celebrate the spiritual meaning of the season – learning from the past experiences and welcoming the new opportunities.

It can be a stressful time. Many people can gain weight during this holiday season.1 If it ever happened to you, you are not alone! The reasons for the holiday weight gain are extra stresses from having to do too much, not getting enough sleep and rest, engaging in social eating and celebrating, etc. In my family, there are four Holy Season birthdays!

Let’s review some key points that can help us stay on the toes, remain energetic and productive, and prevent unwanted weight gain. The less you gain, the less you’ll have to try to lose in the new year!

  1. Reevaluate your food and nutrition choices. 
    • ~ Eat more of the foods that are light and nutritious.
      • Think vegetables of all types and colors! They contain many nutrients that help the body offset the stress and keep the metabolism active. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommendation is 2.5 cups of vegetables per day.2 If that sounds too much, do what you can as it still counts.
    • ~ Hydrate yourself.
      • Adequate intake of liquids is a must for your body to stay energized and cleansed from the inside out. Plain or mineral water, green tea, and herbal tea are excellent choices! How much of the liquids to drink per day? The average recommendation is 2 quarts (about 2 liters) per day; according to the study, up to 2.5 liters for women and 3.3 liters for men per day, depending on the activity level, age, and health status.3
    • ~ Talk to a holistic nutrition professional.
      • Get individualized tips on the holiday weight gain prevention. Gain less, and you’ll have to lose less!
      • RSVP for a free initial discussion and mention 10% off regular price during the holiday season!
  2. Adjust your exercise routine.
    • ~ If you feel that there is no time or no energy to exercise, you are not alone.
      • Applying a creative attitude toward physical activities and movement options can save us from feeling guilty and offer more choices.
      • The bottom line is to keep moving throughout the day: walk, take stairs, and schedule regular stretching breaks.4
    • ~ Yoga practice counts as a physical activity.
      • Some styles are vigorous, while others are more gentle.
      • During a busy and stressful season, your body may prefer an activity that is less intense and taxing. In this case, Yoga might be an appropriate option to try.
    • ~ Restorative yoga and Pranayama (yogic breathing).
      • These practices help to minimize the mental and emotional effects of stress and relax the overused parts of the body.
      • We offer one-on-one Yoga classes, customized for your body type and body issues. RSVP for a free initial discussion and mention 10% off regular price.

We wish you a safe, healthy, and blessed holiday season!




Clark, J. E. (2015). Diet, exercise, or diet with exercise: comparing the effectiveness of treatment options for weight loss and changes in fitness for adults 18-65 years old who are overfat or obese: systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders. 2015; 14: 31. doi:  10.1186/s40200-015-0154-1

Helander, E., Wansink, B., & Chieh, A. (2016). Weight gain over the holidays in three countries. New England Journal of Medicine2016; 375:1200-1202, September 22, 2016, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1602012

Popkin, B., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Review. 2010, Aug; 68(8): 439-458. doi:  10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x

Stewart, H. (2016). Fruit and vegetable recommendations can be met for $2.10 to $2.60 per day. USDA. Economic Research Center. Retrieved from




Client Molly B, South San Francisco, CA

Nataliya has helped me start and build a therapeutic yoga practice.   After having twins in my early forties, it was time for me to get back into shape.   My hips and knees had been really sore; I limped when I walked.  Nataliya sent me back to my doctor to get a proper diagnosis, and after some private sessions with her, I learned how to modify the yoga poses so that they work better for me.   As a result, my posture has improved; my knees and hips no longer ache like they did before I started my training; and I have my very own exercise regime!  Nataliya is very knowledgeable and patient.  I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to strengthen his or her body through the ancient practice of yoga; she is amazing!

Client Wanda B, South San Francisco, CA

“It is my great pleasure to recommend Nataliya. I attended Nataliya’s Holistic Nutrition classes and I received 6 weekly individual counseling sessions with her on Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle because my health goals were to learn how to lose weight and get fit. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my health.
During the course instruction I received nutritional education and gained self-awareness about the foods I was eating and how they affect my health. Simple strategies such as how to read nutrition labels on packaged foods, how to select “lean” proteins and “clean” fats, how to use more herbs and spices to add nutritional value to the foods I am eating,  as well as many delicious recipes for me to try helped me to demystify today’s complex food choices.
I also appreciated Nataliya’s individual consultations and her doable suggestions on improving some of my current eating patterns and habits. This process helped me make good nutritional choices to stock my cupboards and have healthy nutritious foods available for every meal of the day.
Another aspect of our work together that I found fun and engaging was the challenge of shopping fresh and local. A friend of mine who was also taking Nataliya’s class joined me for weekly shopping trips to our local farmers’ market. We also went on many fun excursions to San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery where most of the food has already been qualified as nutritional and/or certified organic. What fun! This has forever changed the boring routine of grocery shopping and sparked my curiosity to find and consume nutritionally sound food.
Nataliya’s lifestyle embraces her passion for whole body transformation and health. She is a great communicator and teacher. I highly regard her input and consider her an encouraging role model for living a healthy well-nourished life. I would recommend her classes and her individual counseling sessions to anyone seeking to make changes towards better health. Sincerely, Wanda B.”

Client Vilma B, South San Francisco, CA

“I always been very conscious about my diet and I thought that I was on the right path until I received a Nutrition Support from Nataliya. I attended Nataliya’s Holistic Nutrition classes and in addition I received 6 weekly individual counseling sessions with her on Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle. Nataliya demonstrated to me her abundant knowledge on how to get me on the right path to good nutrition and conveyed it in a way that made me excited about making changes for the better.
I highly recommend her for anyone who wants to learn how to eat healthier, feel better or has symptoms or health issues which are not being solved by conventional practitioners or to anyone who would like to improve the quality of their life.
Nataliya has introduced me to a new way of eating for health, the information she shares is very valuable and empowering. As a result of my new eating for health habits, I noticed my concentration improved as well as my physical stamina. Before I met Nataliya, I always felt hungry even if I ate something just a few minutes earlier. As a result of coming to Nataliya’s classes and having individual consultations with her,  I learned how I can feel satiated and nourished and my cravings have disappeared. I gained more energy and the elasticity of my skin improved.”