The Healing Power of Food with Allison Melody


Each one of us has our own unique vegan story, and today’s guest, Allison Melody, will leave you with chills, and inspire you to look differently at the food on your plate. 

Allison shares her powerful story of how she lost both her parents to cancer and set out on her journey to a vegan lifestyle as she learned the healing power of food.

I am grateful to have eco-entrepreneur and my good friend Allison Melody on The Vegan Life Podcast. Allison is the host of Food Heals, and she’s also a film producer, international speaker, and published author.

Allison’s mission is to spread the plant-based message as much as she can. So no husband, child, or loved one has to experience the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. She believes the body is designed to heal itself, and that the plant-based diet can reverse and prevent disease. 

One of the questions I ask Allison in this episode is, “At what point did you know that you were ready to be vulnerable and share your story with the world?” Her answer may surprise you.

“The more real and authentic we are, the more people can relate to us and feel inspired to change. The more vulnerable we can be, the more impact that we can have. I realize that if I want to have an impact, I have to put it all out there.” 

We also discuss the importance of healing your body from stress and trauma, and how the healing power of food can only go so far. If we hold on to anger, stress, or grief,  our bodies are unable to heal. Allison explains how she works on being conscious of the harmful emotions that don’t serve her, doing her best to release those emotions.

Do you want to know her favorite way to let things go? Try Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off! Allison cranks up the music and lets loose, by physically, and literally, shaking it off. 

This episode rounds out with Allison’s advice to those listeners on the vegan path, and are wanting to create a career out of their passion. She says with the right commitment, mindset, and desire to serve others, success is inevitable. Allison also gives some great advice about mindset surrounding charging for your services.

Allison felt a responsibility to offer up a positive voice in the midst of our current situation with COVID 19. She has many amazing resources such as; podcast interviews, on her show Food Heals. As well as, on her website, so be sure to check those all out in the links below. 



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Top 5 Plants for Hormone Balance


Many plants have hormone-balancing properties, and consuming them can be helpful if you’re experiencing symptoms related to imbalances.

Hormones are our bodies’ chemical agents for regulating the various biological functions. However, sometimes the endocrine glands that produce these hormones don’t perform at optimum levels, causing hormonal imbalance. This can happen due to disease, environmental factors, diet and lifestyle factors. Hormonal imbalances often go undetected, but over time, they produce undesirable symptoms.

There are various medical treatments to correct hormonal imbalance, but a natural approach is usually safer, less costly and more sustainable. Certain plants and herbs are renowned for their positive influence on the endocrine system by providing vital nutrients for the optimal function of endocrine glands. In this article, we share five plants that are good for hormonal balance.


avocado for hormone balance

Healthy fats are essential for hormone function. While most people get enough Omega-6 fatty acids from cooking oils and animal proteins, they are often deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are the building blocks of hormones, and a healthy ratio of the two types is required.

Avocados provide an inexpensive and versatile source of Omega-3 fatty acids and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow swear by their benefits. They also contain potassium, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin E and some B-vitamins. These micro-nutrients all aid in hormone regulation.

In particular, avocados promote the production of progesterone, which regulates the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. They also inhibit estrogen absorption which can increase the risk of certain cancers and osteoporosis when produced in excess.

Maca Root

Maca or Lepidium meyenii is a turnip-like plant that grows in high altitude areas such as the Andes Mountains in Peru. The root of this plant is consumed as a vegetable and is said to have many health benefits that even celebrities such as Miranda Kerr can’t resist. Besides its energy boosting ability that is said to have made it a diet staple for Incan warriors, maca root is famous for its hormone balancing qualities.

Maca contains several nutrients including vitamins A. B2. B6, and C plus minerals including zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, iodine and calcium. It also contains plant sterols that stabilize estrogen, progesterone and testosterone production.

Maca is categorized as an adaptogen which means it regulates the action of different hormone glands including adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus. Maca root is a celebrity favorite is available in powder form, which may be raw or gelatinized. Adding maca powder to your diet can help relieve PMS and menopause symptoms, stabilize blood glucose levels, regulate thyroid function, increase sperm production, among other benefits.



Beans are another common and affordable plant food that can help balance your hormones. They are a natural solution for low testosterone because they contain vitamin D and zinc. They also contain folate, proteins, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Studies have shown that adequate consumption of Vitamin D increases testosterone levels. Zinc is also known to boost the testosterone levels. Beans also hormone production in the body. Beans also help female hormone imbalance by regulating estrogen production and reducing symptoms of the polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS). There are many different types of beans including black, garbanzo, mung, black, kidney, pinto, red, Roman and navy beans.


The fruit of this herb is also known as vitex or agnus castus. This dried herb is useful in the treatment of various female hormone imbalance related diseases. These include amenorrhea, PMS, dysmenorrhea, fibrocystic disease, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and infertility.

Vitex works on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to regulate the production of Luteinizing Hormone, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, prolactin, and progesterone. For men, vitex can help treat enlarged prostates and inhibit prostate cancer cells proliferation.


These small, black seeds contain an omega-3 fatty known as ALA, fiber, protein and important phytoestrogens called lignans. Lignans act on hormone receptor cells to either increase or reduce production of the hormone. A study showed that lignans also reduce androgens in men with prostate cancer.

Flax seeds also balance hormones by stimulating the production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), a protein found in the blood. SHBG binds to excess estrogen and testosterone molecules to render them inactive. This reduces the hormonal imbalances that cause PCOS and PMS. The fiber in flax seeds also helps in bowel regulation which helps in excreting excess hormones.

Final words

From the above, it is clear that adding more plants and herbs to your diet can help provide the nutrients required for a healthy endocrine system. However, care must be taken when consuming herbs as there are recommended dosages for different people. Herbs can also interact with medication you are taking, so it is a good idea to inform your physician of any herbal supplements you intend to use.

Image source: Pixabay

The Veg Effect


My friend and fellow fitness enthusiast Stic, of the hip hop duo Dead Prez, was recently featured in a documentary called “The Veg Effect”.

To watch this series visit

This documentary follows 5 different individuals who have adopted, on various levels, a vegetarian diet and lifestyle.

On set with Stic during filming for The Veg Effect!

Stic is 100% veg and recently challenged himself to gain 20 lbs. of lean muscle on a whole food, plant-based diet, void of supplements, pills and powders – just straight up food! He did his strength training with me and his wife, and holistic nutritionist, Afya put together his nutrition plan and was a complete wizard in the kitchen. Because of this, and his dedication to the plan, he accomplished the 20 lb. gain in 2.5 months, one and a half months faster than his goal!

This eventually became our book, Eat Plants, Lift Iron which you can learn more about by clicking here!

Our story was a small part of he and his family’s feature in the Veg Effect documentary, and it was a huge honor to be invited to be part of it!

Doing some heavy bag work with Stic during filming for The Veg Effect!

Click here to check out Stic and the rest of the Veg Effect features!

About the Veg Effect from

“This isn’t some scare-you-into-a-rage film about the food industry. Or about regretting yesterday.

This is a documentary series about how we can change the world by answering one simple question: What are we going to eat today?

Directed by Alison Klayman (Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry) for MorningStar Farms®, the series follows 5 real stories, from real people with very different lives, each choosing to make a difference with their own personal way to veg.”

The documentary series is currently available on: vimeo, YouTube, dailymotion, amazon, iTunes, and EatingWell.

With my friend Stic after filming for The Veg Effect!

Stay Strong AND Healthy and find YOUR #waytoveg!

The Blessings Yoga Brought Me


Yoga classes often begin with setting a personal intention. This practice, especially during my cancer treatments, was so important, helping me to focus on the present moment and my desire for health and healing.

Hi! I’m Ella’s mom. Knowing the blessings yoga has brought me over the last several years, Ella asked me to write about my experience with my practice, so here I go! I am 68 years old, and my fitness routine consists of daily cardio on an elliptical machine and either a yoga or Pilates class. In my 30’s and 40’s I did lots of high impact aerobics, kickboxing, and weight training. I loved it! In my early 60’s I experienced some health issues – colon cancer and severe arthritis in my hip. High impact aerobics was no longer a viable option for me. I slowly began to incorporate yoga and Pilates into my fitness routine and found that there were so many benefits.

Yoga classes often begin with setting a personal intention. This practice, especially during my cancer treatments, was so important, helping me to focus on the present moment and my desire for health and healing. At the end of each class, there is at least a moment of having a quiet mind and peaceful heart, and the knowledge that I can take that with me off my mat and into the day.

Yoga works your body, your mind, and your spirit. The benefits for my body, my mind, and my spirit have been awesome, and I am so grateful. I like using my own body weight to improve my strength and flexibility. I like the ongoing challenge of accepting where I am at any given moment, not judging, and just being in the present moment. 

It is all hard work but work I am always glad I have done. There are times when I may be tempted to skip a class, but I I have a schedule for the week, and go to class without thinking about whether or not I want to go – I go because it is what I do (just like brushing my teeth). I know it is good for me. I have never been sorry that I went to a class.

I am currently 5 years cancer free. As I began to recover from my cancer, the arthritis in my hip began to be debilitating. After lots of physical therapy and cortisone injections, I finally had a hip replacement a year ago. For three months after the surgery, I followed my doctors instructions and basically, did nothing, giving all of the soft tissues involved, time to heal. After that, I resumed my regular yoga and Pilates classes. I really feel that these classes are better than any of the physical therapy I have done.

I know that this work is good for all of me. It just feels right and I plan to continue making this practice a part of my life.