Candle 79: Food Review by a Vegan Personal Trainer

Establishment: Candle 79

Meal: Pomegranate chipotle grilled tempeh


-Sweet potato puree, sauteed brussel sprouts and haricots verts, almonds, shallots, mole sauce, fennel salad

Candle 79, located in the Upper East Side is in my opinion one of the best vegan restaurants in the city. Everything from the elegant ambiance, to the friendly staff, and of course the delicious food makes these dinners a great date night for my wife and I. On this particular evening, I ordered what I considered to be an extremely nutritious meal at Candle 79.


Sweet potatoes are awesome because a) they are naturally sweet, and I have a sweet tooth. b) Their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, which promotes a balanced and steady source of energy. This is very common with foods that are rich in complex carbs like brown rice, raisins, and oatmeal. Which leads me to a nutritional tip: Foods with complex carbs make for awesome pre exercise meals!




The same cannot be said for foods that have simple sugars like table sugar, fruit juice, and candy. This crap spikes your blood sugar levels for a temporary sugar rush, and then leaves you in the dumps, fatigued and craving more sweets. This leads me to another nutritional tip: Simple carbs are NOT awesome (Nawsome).

I always tend to eat around the focus of the meal to save it for last, but finally… I’m up to the tempeh!

Tempeh, are fermented soybeans, and therefore the beans are binded together in a cake-like form. With the mole sauce that was on these bits of tempeh it tasted insanely good.

Since tempeh comes from soybeans, they are have the nutritional value that soybeans have, plus bonuses. From the fermentation process, it has been shown that the carbs found in tempeh are very easy to digest, good for people with digestion problems.

Tempeh is a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), and unlike most soy products, it’s low in sodium, and most of all it is extremely high in protein and fiber and therefore good for diabetic patients!

Slow digesting carbohydrates help keep blood sugar levels even because they are digested slowly, which hinders your body from producing too much insulin. Which leads me to a weight loss tip…

Stick with the complex carbs/high fiber foods throughout the day. You will stay fuller for longer which will cut down on your overall daily caloric consumption.

Greg Sher, Founder of I Kill Fat, Manhattan Personal Training has been a personal trainer in NYC for over 5 years (and vegan for 4!). Offering custom resistance training programs, nutritional guidance, and convenience to his clients, Greg’s mission is to make training as efficient and fun as possible. Download his new eBook: How Not To Be A Junk Food Vegan.