The Nutritarian

Healthy Eating Insight

Natural Remedies to Combat Inflammation and Enhance Well-Being

Written By: The Nutritarian - May• 31•23

Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps protect our bodies from injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to various health issues, including arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer. While medical treatments are available, many individuals use natural remedies to combat inflammation. In this article, we will explore effective and science-backed natural remedies that can help alleviate inflammation and promote overall well-being. Experiment with these remedies daily and discover the long-term benefits, sometimes within weeks!

  • Turmeric: The Golden Spice with Powerful Anti-inflammatory Properties
    Turmeric is a vibrant yellow root, used as a spice contains a compound called curcumin. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce chronic inflammation. Add turmeric to tea, smoothies and meals or consider taking curcumin supplements to reap the benefits.
  • Ginger: A Natural Anti-inflammatory Powerhouse
    Ginger has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It contains gingerol, a bioactive compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Incorporate fresh ginger into your diet by adding it to teas, smoothies, and in cooking to help combat inflammation naturally.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Healthy Fats for Inflammation Relief
    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed, Brussels sprouts, hemp seeds, algae oil, & perilla oil. These healthy days balance the body’s inflammatory response. The aforementioned plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 can also be found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. 
  • Green Leafy Vegetables: Nutrient-Dense Allies against Inflammation
    Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. These vegetables help combat inflammation due to their high content of flavonoids and carotenoids. Incorporate these nutrient-rich greens can be added raw to everything. They’re also great for salads, smoothies, and steamed air fried or sautéd side dishes.
  • Garlic: A Flavorful Remedy with Anti-inflammatory Abilities
    Garlic not only adds a burst of flavor to your meals but also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Its active compounds, including allicin, diallyl sulfide, and s-allyl cysteine, inhibit inflammation pathways in the body. Include fresh garlic in your cooking or opt for garlic supplements for convenience.
  • Probiotics: Nurturing Gut Health and Reducing Inflammation
    A healthy gut is vital for overall well-being, including managing inflammation. Probiotics are often found in fermented items like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. They promote a balanced gut microbiome which helps regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation.
  • Green Tea: Antioxidant-Rich Beverage with Anti-inflammatory Effects
    Green tea is known for its high concentration of antioxidants called catechins. These potent compounds help reduce inflammation and protect the body against cellular damage. Replace sugary beverages with green tea for a refreshing and anti-inflammatory alternative.

Incorporating natural remedies into your lifestyle can help combat chronic inflammation and promote overall well-being. From incorporating anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger to consuming a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and green leafy vegetables, you have numerous options to choose from. Additionally, practices like regular exercise, stress management, and maintaining a healthy gut through probiotics can further support your body’s natural inflammatory response. By adopting these natural remedies, you can take proactive steps towards reducing inflammation and optimizing your health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Source Medically reviewed by Kim Rose-Francis RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD, Nutrition — By Rachael Ajmera, MS, RD

The Best Recipes of March

Written By: The Nutritarian - Mar• 24•23

March is here with the promise of warmer weather, longer days, and an abundance of fresh produce. 

As it draws to a close, we’re sharing some of our favorite, fast recipes to celebrate the arrival of spring! From a bright green smoothie to fresh and colorful wraps, these are perfect for ushering in a new season of cooking and eating.

Whether you’re looking to use up winter produce before it’s gone or eager to start experimenting with the first signs of spring, these recipes will help you make the most of your health and time.

Go-to Green Smoothie


¼ Avocado
¼ c (2oz) Coconut milk (or milk alt.)
½ c (4oz) flax milk (or other milk alt.)
½ scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Vega)
1 T. powdered peanut butter (can substitute or omit)
3-4 stalks baby bok choy
3-4 fresh cilantro leaves
½ c frozen broccoli
1 small banana

Simply blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Image credits


Gotham Greens Romaine
Crumbled Pumfu
Arugula, fresh raw organic
Braggs Amino Acids


  1. Put desired amount of Crumbled Pumfu in a bowl, douce with Braggs amino acids
  2. Fill the lettuce leaves with the stuffing and add arugula
  3. Devour and maybe share 😉

Suggestion: Serve with soup, I used Kettle and Fire and added frozen broccoli, topped with fresh sprouts (Chicago Indoor Garden gourmet sprouts).

Easy no-cook Vegan Gluten-Free Burrito

Image Credits


Amy’s Bean & Rice Burrito, Gluten-Free, Non-Dairy 
Alfalfa sprouts 


Prepare according to the package, cut a slit through the top tortilla only, and stuff with the sprouts, cilantro and avocado. 

The Best of Both Worlds: How Dates Can Sweeten Your Foods and Improve Your Health

Written By: The Nutritarian - Feb• 17•23



Dates are a versatile and delicious natural sweetener that can be used in a variety of recipes, from healthy snacks to baked goods to smoothies. But did you know that dates also offer a host of health benefits? With high fiber content, a low glycemic index, and 16 vitamins and minerals, dates are a great addition to a healthy eating lifestyle.

One of the most notable benefits of dates is its high fiber content. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Dates are also a low glycemic index food, which means they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This makes them a great choice for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

In addition to fiber and a low glycemic index, dates are also packed with 16 essential vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of phenolics and natural antioxidants, which can help protect against disease and keep your body functioning at its best. Dates also have 50% more potassium by weight than bananas, making them a great source of this important mineral when deciding between the 2 for naturally sweetening a recipe. Potassium plays a vital role in reducing blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease.

A cup of dates provides 63 milligrams of magnesium, which aids in protein synthesis and blood glucose control. Dates also contain selenium, which supports immune system function. Dates are considered a good source of iron, which is essential for healthy blood oxygen levels and overall energy.

Not only are dates a nutritious choice as a sweetener alternative, but they are also naturally sweet and delicious. At Fast Lane to Health, we choose to naturally sweeten our Superfood Snacks with dates due to the plethora of nutritional benefits they have over sugar, without sacrificing any of the sweet taste that we love!

Kohlrabi – Love at First Bite

Written By: The Nutritarian - Oct• 29•22

Although the outdoor farmers markets have ended, I’m inspired to share some kitchen creativity that came to me this season when I discovered my love of Kohlrabi at first bite, no joke.  I too imagined it would be a man, but not too surprising it’s a veggie.  Here’s the fast, raw recipe I created and a few food facts too.

Fresh Fall Kohlrabi & Apple Dish (breakfast, snack, or lunch)

Yield: Serves 2 to 4

Raw Preparation:

2 fresh, small to medium kohlrabi 

2 fresh, small to medium apples (select a crisp variety)

¼ cup raw, whole or old fashioned oats (local & organic recommended, we use either Severson Farms or Bob’s Redmill).

Flavor Sauce 

2 Tbsp water

¾ tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp nut or seed butter

2 pinches salt


1. Wash and chop the apples into cubes.

2. Wash the kohlrabi, cut off the “alien” arms, then slice the top and root off.  The peel is edible and nutritious, so only brown spots need to be sliced or peeled off.

3. Chop into cubes, like the apples.

4. Mix/whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

5. Combine the kohlrabi and apple cubes with the dressing.

6. Add the raw oats and toss everything together adjusting seasoning to taste if needed.

7. Serve and devour.

According to, Kohlrabi is said to have been first grown in Ireland around 1734 and later in England in 1837. Originally cultivated from wild cabbage, Kohlrabi is of the broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and collard green family.  The name is a combination of the German words for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rabi).

Now that we’re kohlrabi experts, I’d like to note, they are best eaten when firm, and taste delightfully fresh with a crunch somewhere between and apple and jicama with a light, fresh flavor that may be interpreted as slightly sweet.

While it may appear to be exotic, once the “alien” arms are removed, ends are chopped off, and any bruised or overly thick parts of the skin are sliced away, kohlrabi is easy to work with and delicious eaten raw (I can attest to this), or cooked (from what I hear).

Kohlrabi is rich in vitamin C and B6, which are best absorbed from food rather than supplements.  Both B6 and C help support immune health and vitalize cells for proper functioning.  Vitamin C can also help absorb iron.  Kohlrabi also offers the benefit of potassium for electrolyte balance.  According to, these vitamins and minerals can protect the body from free radical damage and play a role in wound healing, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, and immune and heart health.  If there aren’t enough reasons to try kohlrabi, that’s okay, it’s a bit late in the season to find them anyway, but you may notice the “alien” arms if you look at the next farmers market.

Note: According to The University of Illinois at Champaign’s Campaign College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Kohlrabi is a hardier crop unaffected by frost or moderate freezes.  Farmers and gardeners can even have a second fall crop with it, depending on the region and time of year.

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful fall season and perhaps I’ll see you at Third Space Artisan Market Sat. & Sun. Nov. 12th-13th, noon-4pm each day.  Connect with me and tell me how you like that raw, super fast recipe too!  The next email will come out at some point next month, ideally with news on more indoor, #SupportSuperLocal markets. 🙂

The has an extensive list of what is available seasonally for late October including apples, bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, greens, herbs, horseradish, lambs quarters, lettuce, okra, onions, paw paw, peas, plums, purslane, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, quince and more.

Laine DeLeo is a self-proclaimed health goddess, foodie, and founder of a vegan food company creating hit-the-spot healthy® & tasty snacks that are better for people and the planet.  She is a 13 + year Chicago resident and loves yoga, music, art, outdoor activities, and supporting exceptional local, independent businesses.  Please follow her on Instagram: Fastlanetohealth and Twitter: is her nonprofit blog advocating for wellness. <3

Wake Up. September Has Come

Written By: The Nutritarian - Sep• 05•22

Wake Up. September Has Come

Best Yummy Hummus Spots in Chicago, Vegan friendly

Written By: The Nutritarian - May• 17•22

Blue Door Cafe Lincoln Park – The hummus is served with plenty of veggies, and they have excellent salads, and cappuccino too.









Soho House, upstairs – Delicious, vegan and beautiful.  IMG-9163


Chikatana West Loop – Pretty veggies and house made crisps come with this hummus.

The Best Hot Chocolate

Written By: The Nutritarian - Feb• 05•22

As a 13 year Chicago local, these are my favorites for the best hot chocolate in Chicago.

Best Vegan Hot Chocolate:

Infiniteus – Healthy, organic and made to order.  They also have awesome juices, smoothies, local vegan snacks from Fast Lane to Health and kombucha from Community Kombucha.

Best House Made Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows:

Katherine Anne Confections – Yum.  Seriously go here.  The marshmallows are the best.

Best Classic Belgian Hot Chocolate:

Hendrickx Belgian Bakery – Thick, creamy, hot and absolutely delicious.

Trust me, I’m a foodie. O:)

Fast Lane to Health-why us?

Written By: The Nutritarian - Sep• 05•19

Get in the Fast Lane to Health®

We create healthy, vegan snacks that taste like a treat.  Our Elevated Snacks™, Superfood Fudge™ & Superfood Muffins™ are satiating & nutrient dense without any added sugars.  This brand will tantalize your taste buds in a natural, hit the spot healthy way™, because we care about human beings and the environment.



In 2011, being a triathlete & self-proclaimed foodie/health adventurer  who needed fuel from real food, not glorified candy bars.  The kitchen became my lab & once product went to market, turns out, I am not alone in my desire for healthier, tastier snack options.  We now sell Superfood Fudge™️ &  “Butter” Cookie Dough™️ (two flavors) & Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins.  This visionary company cares about flavor & nutrients.  We deliver delicious, satiating vegan, & eco-friendly health snacks while giving back i.e. Healthy Schools Campaign, EarthDayED & supporting local and organic business and ingredients.

All Snacks are NOT Created Equally

Have you looked at the ingredients on any of your snacks recently?

When you do, you will probably notice that most have some form of sugar, oil or animal product at the top of the list.

Fast Lane to Health® Products use veggies and other nutrient dense ingredients as #1 all the way to the last one.

Everyone knows what big brands tell us we should be eating, but what does the research say about what is really best for our bodies and environment and why isn’t that reflected in what is available and affordable?

If you’re curious to learn more, check out research from The China Study, The American Dietetic Association, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the Plant Paradox or other wellness research.

Superfood Fudge - Nutrition Label-3

Mission and Vision 

We promote wellness and creativity through delicious, nutrient dense food to embrace what is best for our bodies and the planet.

We encourage you to discover whole food snacks and better for you food options that promote wellbeing, satiation and best environmental practices instead of feeding habits.  Natural, organic, real food and flavor instead of overly sweet and processed product.

Exposure + $$$$ = More yummy healthy products for more people FASTER!

Investing in packaging, kitchen equipment & our own kitchen space will allow us to serve more customers, generate revenue to pay full-time and part-time employees, while offering higher wages & benefits to all involved.  Investing in informative & educational marketing will allow more people to understand our mission to support health, local food systems, environmental activism, & education. The future of food & wellness is essential to survival.  Our vision of easier wellbeing is here now.

Let’s embrace what is best for our bodies and planet.  We can all vote with our dollars to support real, local, organic food and benefit from snacks that promote wellness for all.

Giving back and partnering with organizations that care and make a difference 

Healthy Schools Campaign advocates for health and wellness in schools through policy and education.  They will receive proceeds once we figure out how to do that and we will be working with other local companies such as Healthy Schools Campaign, Yoga on the Beach and Ethical Grub to share wellbeing.

Copyright Laine DeLeo 2019

Get it While it’s Hot Dog Month

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jul• 28•14

Here are some recommendations for healthier vegan hot dogs and a homemade hot dog from scratch recipe. With the proper Chicago Style Hot Dog Toppings it all taste great, some are just better for your heart.

Smart Dogs 

Yves Meatless Hot Dog

All American Hot Dog Recipe from

2 cups (288 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons (14 g) smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 (355 ml) cups water
4 ounces (112 g) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup (84 g) brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons (33 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Mix together flours, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, maca powder, and turmeric.
In a blender, purée together water, tofu, oil, soy sauce, syrup, tomato paste, and liquid smoke.
Add wet to dry and mix until uniform. The mixture will be wet.
Divide dough into 8 to 12 pieces, depending on how large you like your wieners.
Tear off 8 to 12 pieces of aluminum foil, about 6 x 12-inches (15 x 30-cm).
Form each piece of dough into a sausage shape and place near the long edge of the foil.
Roll up the foil and twist the ends tight.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm.
Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle before unwrapping.
Enjoy as you would any hot dog.

Yield: 8 to 12 wieners

Nobu Sushi New York

Written By: The Nutritarian - Nov• 03•13

This place is a culinary dream.  Incredibly fresh and creative dishes, excellent ambiance and service. No wait here either, since it’s not exactly Nobu, it’s Nobu Next Door. Raw scallops don’t sound ideal, but they taste way better than you can ever imagine.