What the Hell is a Phytochemical? + The Perfect Gluten Free Tortilla Solution


Why do scientific things have to sound so un-sexy?

Take the word phytochemical.

Even if I use my most seductive sounding voice whilst gently placing a champagne-drenched strawberry in your mouth, you likely won’t be turned on.

You would probably run away from the crazy lady.

But you know what?

Phytochemicals are damn sexy once you understand what they do and why they’re so important.

First things first. There are two categories of nutrients in food.

1. Macronutrients

Macronutrients include fat, carbohydrate and protein. These are the nutrients that contain calories and they’re found in plant, animal, and processed food.

2. Micronutrients

Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Micronutrients have no calories.

Knowledge of phytochemicals is fairly new to the scene. It was only 25 years ago they were even discovered. Today there are thousands of known phytochemicals and more and more still being discovered. Scientists used to think that vitamins and minerals made up the biggest percentage of micronutrients, but thanks to the advances in nutrition science, we now know that it’s actually phytochemicals that make up the majority of the load. Phytochemicals are only found in plants.

Phytochemicals are cancer and disease fighting nutrients. They decrease inflammation and boost the immune system. The more phytochemical rich foods you eat, the healthier and the leaner you will be, and the better you will feel.

And isn’t that the point of it all? To not just get by, but to make sweet passionate love to your life?

Even if you don’t feel good right now, that can change. And it will change as soon as you change what you eat.

Generally, people are eating way too many macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate, and protein) and not enough micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals).

  • On average, people in the United States get 65% of their calories from processed foods and only 10% from plant food.
  • 10% is actually high because french fries are in the vegetable category.
  • The other 25% of calories come from animal foods.

When we get all of our calories from macronutrients without consuming micronutrients, the body builds up free radicals. Free radicals are toxic and cause inflammation and cell damage in the body. It also leads to premature aging.

Phytochemicals (the disease fighting, immune boosting good guys) are only found in plant food, never in processed or animal based food.

That means the very nutrients we should be eating the most of, most people are eating the least of. And the nutrients we should be eating the least of, most people are eating the most of.

Every time you eat, you have the power to make your food work for your body and get all the benefits of micronutrients or have it work against your body and create more problems with an overload of macronutrients.

Macronutrients are an important part of a healthy balanced diet, but we can easily get all of our macronutrients requirements from plant food, while at the same time getting all the benefits of micronutrients.

When you’re ready, bounce over and check out Plant Fueled Life. We make it easy to incorporate a ton of micronutrient rich foods into your diet.

When we eat more micronutrients and appropriate amounts of macronutrients, we can protect ourselves from illness and disease and we tend to drop weight naturally. Our skin glows, the whites of our eyes get brighter, brain fog lifts, blood pressure may fall, the heart has a better chance of being healthy and protected, cholesterol can drop, and we start to sleep better.

You have the power to upgrade your health by simply choosing healthier foods.

Today’s recipe is one way to swap out your regular macronutrient filled tortillas with a micronutrient rich alternative.

How To Perfectly Blanch Collard Leaves

Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 or more bunches of collard greens The bigger the leaves the better
  • 2 dozen ice cubes


  • Place two dozen ice cubes in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Set aside for now.
  • Use a pan big enough to bring 5 cups of water to a simmer.
  • Cut the stem off from each of the leaves at the base of the collard. (see picture)
  • Use a small knife to trim the spine of the collard down the middle of the leaf. Cut it so that the spine is flat with the rest of the collard.
  • Place the leaves one at a time in the simmering water for 30 seconds (you can simmer them for slightly more or less time. The longer it simmers, the softer it will become. Just make sure you don’t over-simmer them, because we want them strong enough to hold up.)
  • With a pair of tongs, place each of the leaves into the ice bath and submerge for at least 10 seconds.
  • Take the leaf out and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  • Repeat until the whole bunch has been blanched and dried.
  • Keep in the fridge for up to three days.
collard leaf stem
Chop the stem off at the base of the leaf.
Trim the spine so it’s flush with the rest of the leaf.
Simmer for 30 seconds or so.
Shock it in an ice bath to stop it from cooking.
Use a dry kitchen towel to dry it completely.
Voila! Ready to go.

When you go to wrap whatever it is you want the collard leaves to be a vessel for, just lay out one or two leaves, place the ingredients on top and roll it up like a tortilla or fold it for a sandwich.

How do you like them collards?

Source: Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Gianna Galli on August 21, 2014 at 7:14 am

    hi my name is Gianna ,i am 65 year old ,i was on high blood pressure pill also pills for heart burn, anti infflamatory pill ,sleeping pills and more …last year i start eating more and more micronutrients,and all plant food ,and in only a fiu`months i went off all my pills; i am sleeping very good,i realy fill younger,my skin is softer and shiny, my hair are shine and curly again,,,,,even at my age things can change ,and only because i am eating good.
    thank you for help people like me gething better……

    • Molly Patrick on August 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      You are awesome!! Congratulations on taking your health and happiness into your own hands.
      Bravo, my dear. xo

  2. katy on October 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Why do we want to blanch the greens? Is eating the collards raw not nutritional?

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