To Soy, or Not to Soy, That Is the Question

Many of my clients ask me “what about eating soy? Is it safe?”  And the answer is YES, as long as it’s Non-GMO and organic such as in edamame, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh.  Over the past decade, there’s been controversy regarding soy consumption such as it being a hormone disruptor.  There are arguments on both sides, however, most recent research finds that eating soy, a whole food, is beneficial nutritionally.  

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine puts out Fact Sheets through which the committee experts review and author information to help people understand and thrive on plant-based diets. I found an article entitled Soy and Health that I think includes some of the best answers to the question of whether or not to consume soy.  Here’s the link to the Physicians Committee website; there’s a lot of great information there, but scroll through until you find the pdf entitled Soy and Health.>

To eat healthfully, eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes such as soybeans!  

Here is a quick, no-cook and nutrient-rich way to prepare soybeans:

1 -15 oz organic can (non BPA)* or frozen bag shelled soybeans, thawed

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients and enjoy!

Detox Orientation Meetings – Free

Have you decided or has your doctor recommended that you begin transforming your health with a short-term, detox, diet program?  Does the program require a different way of eating that’s confusing or consists of foods you don’t normally consume? Our Health Coach, Maryanne Riege, can help with that.

Trying to get information about detoxing can be overwhelming and frustrating.  There is so much conflicting information, it’s almost impossible to know what is right and what is not.  

Maryanne is offering free, one-hour informational sessions that will provide guidance and reduce your anxiety.  During the orientation meeting, the confusion about detoxing will be addressed.

The session will address the following:

  • What is a whole food plant based detox?
  • How to detox successfully.
  • How to participate in a guided program, with tips and recipes.

Participation is free, but requires RSVP at least two days before the event

(Minimum participant enrollment required)


September 20, 2018    5:30-6:30PM

October 4, 2018     10:30-11:30AM

October 18, 2018      5:30-6:30PM

November 1, 2018 .    10:30-11:30AM

November 15, 2018     5:30-6:30PM

December 6, 2018 .    10:30-11:30AM


Get ready for a program that will lead to the health and wellness you desire!


To enroll – call our office at 262.695.5311

Plant Based Dinner – September 27

What is a whole food plant-based diet?  It’s a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.  Plant-based diets help prevent chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and improve skin and gut health. Do you want to experience and learn more about how to thrive on a plant-strong diet?  Then this is the opportunity for you. You will be served a delicious and nutritious plant-based meal that will leave you with a feeling of happiness and satiety.


When:  Thursday, September 27

Where:  The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine

Time:  5:30-7:30pm

Cost:  $20/person fee collected at the door


RSVP Deadline:   262-695-5311 or via email: by Tuesday, Sept 25

Cooking Class at Public Market – October 17th

with Dr. Kumar and Maryanne Riege
October 17th
Let Dr. Kumar and Maryanne Riege show you how to make food your medicine. Join them at the Milwaukee Public Market kitchen for a demonstration.

The Medicinal Qualities of Dill

Who would have thought this tangy herb would have so many health benefits! Dill also has quite the history. Dill was used by Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, for cleaning the mouth. Charlemagne made it available on his banquet tables, so his guests who indulged too much could benefit from its carminative properties (in the event you don’t know, a carminative is a drug that relieves flatulence).

Benefits of Dill Include:

  • Promotes Digestion – its oils also stimulate peristaltic motion of the intestine, easing the passage of bowel movements and relieving constipation.
  • The flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in its essential oils, activate the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones which have calming and hypnotic effects, thereby helping people get a good night’s sleep.
  • The calcium content of dill means that it is an important element in protecting you from bone loss and the loss of bone mineral density.
  • The essential oils of dill are anti-congestive and antihistaminic in nature. They help clear congestion in the respiratory system due to histamines, allergies, or coughs.

With picnic season right around the corner, see a healthy potato salad recipe using dill from Fork’s Over Knives in our recipe section!


Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group…well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.

And you ask. . . Is Chocolate Good for You?

The answer is both yes and no.

Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind, as in milk chocolate, and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.

How to Eat it Responsibly

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols – cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain.  Adults and kids alike are crazy about chocolate, and for good reason! It’s a delicious treat and seems to make the day a little better. In fact, if eating chocolate seems to put you in a better mood, you aren’t imagining it—chocolate really can improve feelings of well-being and your overall mood!

So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.

So, don’t live in deprivation. You can eat your chocolate and still be healthy. Check out this website for a list of healthy dark chocolate.

In Good Health,


Apr2018 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.


Powerful Plant Protein (Plus Cooking Tips!)

How well do you know beans?  Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.

Consider this:

Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories. Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

What To Do With Beans:

Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them. Are you one of those people?

Keep reading:

  • Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad.
  • Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
  • Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
  • Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
  • Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips for delicious and well-cooked beans.

  • Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
  • Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking).
  • After soaking, rinse, fill the pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
  • To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, apple cider vinegar or fennel to the water, cover and simmer for the suggested time.
  • Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
  • Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead (some people find them even easier to digest!). Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.


Would you like help learning how to choose and cook healthy foods like beans? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial consultation with me today——or pass this offer on to someone you care about!


Mar2018 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.

Three Ways to Wellness

Everyone wants to have good health. However, it can be overwhelming as to where to start your journey. Being part of a community of like-minded people and knowing you are not alone in your journey will help you develop the confidence and motivation to address your challenges and succeed.

Starting this September at The Ommani Center you can find a balanced approach to health through three new groups. Join Maryanne Riege, Nutritional Health Coach, as she hosts these three groups.

Here’s a Description of the Meet-up Groups:


Movie and a Snack

Be a part of a monthly series of health and wellness documentaries that get you excited about life! Each month there will be a new and different feature documentary movie on a health and wellness subject. The movies are family friendly for children ages 14 through adult.

Two showings will occur each month with healthy snacks included.

There is a $10 fee per person collected at the door to cover the cost of the snacks.

Mark these dates on your calendar and join in on an abundance of wellness inspiration!

  • Wednesday 9/6 10am – 12 noon
  • Friday 9/15 7 – 9pm
  • Wednesday 10/4 10am – 12 noon
  • Friday 10/13 7 – 9pm
  • Wednesday 11/1 10am – 12 noon
  • Friday 11/10 7 – 9pm
  • Wednesday 12/6 10am – 12 noon
  • Friday 12/15 7 – 9pm

Note: September’s feature movie is “e – motion”. It’s a factual documentary that explores how human emotions affect the physiology of the human body and how once negative emotions are replaced with positive emotions bona fide physical changes occur. A team of emotion experts from around the world share their wisdom and negative emotion clearing methods to show humanity the path to health and enlightenment.

To see the full monthly movie schedule, go to Maryanne’s website>


Whole Food Plant Based Eating Experience

What is a whole food plant based diet? It’s a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits, but with few or no animal products. Plant based diets help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and improved skin and gut health. Do you want to experience and learn more about how to thrive on a plant-strong diet? – Then this is the Meet-up group for you. You will be served a delicious and nutritious plant based meal that will leave you with a feeling of happiness and satiety.

There will be a $15 fee per person collected at the door to cover the cost of the lunch.

To view the weekly, plant-based menu offerings, logon to Maryanne’s website>

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Join us on Wednesdays from 11:30-12:30 for this wonderful culinary experience.

  • September 13, 20 & 27
  • October 11, 18 & 25
  • November 8, 15 & 29
  • December 13, 20 & 27


Group Detox Workshops

What better time than now to reboot your body with a whole food detox! Eliminate symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, headaches, brain fog, weight gain, joint pain, and more. You will discover how to safely rid your body of toxins, boost your immune system, and increase your energy just to name of few of the benefits. The detox workshop’s engaging format encourages interactive participation and a question-and-answer segment following the presentation. As an added bonus, each participant will receive a step-by-step action plan for Detoxing your life!

There will be a $30 fee for this program that includes the action plan and food samples.  Each participant must register and pay the fee at the Ommani front desk in advance.  Call to schedule at 262.695.5311.

(If you suffer from a chronic or special health situation, please check with your physician before enrolling in this class.)


All Group Detox Workshops will take place on Thursdays from 5:30 – 7pm on the following dates:

  • September 28
  • October 26
  • November 30
  • January 4, 2018

If you are interested in any of the Three Ways to Wellness groups, call the Ommani Center front desk at 262-695-5311. Bring your family and friends; you do not need to be an Ommani patient to participate. Each program limits seating to 10 people and it is recommended to call and secure your seat ahead of time (see special note regarding specific registration requirements for the Group Detox Workshop). All three of the programs are child-friendly for children age 14 – 17, accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no discounted price for minors.

For questions or to seek additional information about these group programs, email Maryanne at:

Join us, be inspired, and gather valuable information to help start your journey towards optimal health!

August 2017 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  She offers a number of different approaches to meet your needs. Schedule a private appointment by calling 262.695.5311.  


Primary Food

Nutrition (whether plant or animal sourced) is a secondary source of energy; i.e., the food you eat every day is really “secondary food.” Primary food (nonfood sources of nourishment) is what really fuels us.

As children, we all lived on primary food. Lovers thrive on the pure bliss and peace they are experiencing, while passionate entrepreneurs are fueled by their work. The excitement and rapture of daily life are our primary food and can feed us more completely than any food we consume.

Imagine children playing outside with friends. At dinnertime, their mother calls to them, “Time to come in and eat!” “No mommy, I’m not hungry yet,” they respond.

At the table, the mother dutifully ensures that the children leave no morsel behind. The children reluctantly force down the minimum requirement, eager to get back outside and play.

At the end of the day they return, exhausted and satisfied. They quickly fall asleep without thinking about food at all.

Can you remember being deeply in love? Everything is light and warm, colors are vivid, and life is full of joy. You’re high off your lover’s presence, sustained and exhilarated by the blissful connection. You float on air, and food becomes secondary.

Think back to a time when you were involved in an exciting work project. You believed in what you were doing whole-heartedly and felt confident and stimulated. Time stopped, and the outside world was muted – food was an afterthought.

Now recall a time you were depressed or experiencing low self-esteem – you were starving for primary food. No matter how much secondary food you ate, you never felt satisfied. The need for love, power, or mere acknowledgment drove the desire for excess food.

Primary food goes beyond the plate, nurturing us on a deeper level. The four main primary foods are:

  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Physical Activity
  • Spirituality

The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food. On the contrary, the more we fill ourselves with secondary food, the less space we leave for primary food – our true source of nourishment. Many religions and cultures practice fasting to reduce secondary food, opening channels to receive a greater amount of primary food.

Take some quality time to explore your personal balance between primary food and secondary food – which area could use some attention?

Included is a self-assessment activity to help you find the areas of your life the need a little extra nourishment.

June 2017 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.  


Make Healthy Eating Work!

“I’ll start tomorrow” or “I love the taste of French fries” or “I’m a picky eater”.  Those excuses sound familiar?  You’re not alone.  As someone who used to be in denial about eating healthfully, I can tell you first hand that eating healthy is not always easy. 

What makes good eating so difficult?  Scientific studies have shown that the result of eating too many processed foods has altered our taste buds to crave unhealthy foods.  Processed food, fast food, and sugar are truly addicting.  A 2010 study published in Nature Neuroscience found that when rats were regularly fed fast food, their brain chemistry changed—and not for the better.  The rats became obese and lost the ability to determine when they were hungry (they would eat fatty foods even when administered electric shocks). They actually refused to eat when put on a healthy diet.

Just as your brain chemistry is changed by ingesting unhealthy foods, you are equally able to make changes and learn to like the “healthy food”.  The more you are disciplined and eat healthfully, the more you really learn to like eating those foods.  Even if vegetables taste terrible to you now, the more you eat them regularly, the more you’ll start to enjoy them.

Making changes to your diet can take time. Choosing to make these changes gradually and taking small steps will make you most likely to be successful.  Start with swapping out your afternoon candy bar with healthier options like a piece of fruit or granola bar.  Once you have conquered that obstacle, then move on and tackle another piece you would like to change, such as swapping out sodas for sugar-free, flavored water.

Don’t try to change everything at once! By reframing your thought process in favor of small, realistic, step-by-step changes, you’re more likely to eat more healthfully overall.  It’s perfectly fine to enjoy a little pizza or chocolate now and then, but you may find that eating healthy most of the time is not only possible, it’s enjoyable!

Ask me to be your health coach and together we’ll see how easy and fun making this change can be. Remember, you’re not alone; the research supports your effort to change.


Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.