Naturopath, Acupuncturist and
Medical Herbalist

Elyane Brightlight PhD

talks about the importance
of yeast
in your diet

Elyane Brightlight, has been in practice for 30 years. She was originally 'driven into' Natural Medicine as one of her two daughters was frequently sick with respiratory problems. Worried about the cycle of sickness/taking antibiotics/sickness, and her daughter's worsening condition, Elyane looked for alternatives - and ended up studying, then practicing, her healing craft.

The combination of years of clinical practice, studies and personal experience led Elyane to write two books: Natural Childcare (1999) and Natural Recovery (2001). With degrees in Human Biology and Political Science, diplomas and postgraduate diplomas in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture,  the talented herbalist also has a PhD in Acupuncture. Sheís written a thesis on A Quantum View of Acupuncture, another on The Pharmacology of Nicotine Addiction and a third titled Stop Smoking Through Acupuncture.

Elyane divides her time between working in Sydney, and living with her husband Rupen Honnet on 120 wild acres on the Far North Coast of NSW. She's passionate about her stable of five horses - which include Peruvian Pasos and American Saddlebreds. One day she hopes to breed gaited horses.

Pragmatic and passionate in a full-throttle Gallic sort of way, French-born Elyane has strong opinions on almost everything. She's also keen on weaving and growing an exquisite selection of roses in the red volcanic soil of the Mt Warning caldera.

Why do we need the B vitamins?

"THE B GROUP VITAMINS (which includes B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12, folic acid, biotin, choline  and inositol) are very important because they are necessary for numerous functions such as: heart and skeletal muscle function as well as brain chemistry and nerve function; metabolism of protein, fats, sugars and carbohydrates; maintaining the proper fluid balance in the body; proper functioning of the digestive system and mucous membrane health

Many of them help the absorption of other nutrients (such as B12 helping absorption of Iron). They are very important to help combat stress. Most of them are destroyed by drugs, alcohol, caffeine and cooking.

The best sources of B vitamins are liver, organic meats, eggs, nutritional yeast, and whole grains. The best natural concentrated source of B vitamins is not in a pill: itís in yeast."



"Nutritional yeast had been incorrectly maligned over the past few years because of one of its relatives:
Candida albicans. This has sent people in a panic to the point where people wonít even eat fresh mushrooms!

Going back to nutritional yeast:
Candida utilis not only is one of the best sources of all the B vitamins, it is an excellent source of protein. It contains 16 amino acids, 14 minerals and 17 vitamins.

It is also the best source of
Selenium, a mineral important for proper functioning of the immune system. Its only drawback is its high level of phosphorus; it is therefore necessary to keep the right level of calcium.

So when you take supplementary yeast regularly you must make sure you keep up your calcium levels. Daily intakes of yogurt, cheese or milk will do the trick."

How much should I have?

couple of teaspoons a day in water/ juice/ milk will almost cover your necessary B intake."

If you are particularly busy or are training, you could have an extra yeast shake per day, possibly 1/2 hour before the gym/run/swim/argument with your horse."

What's the best source of yeast?

"Consider putting yeast on the menu and adding it to your food - rather than gulping it like medicine.

Yeast in flake form is actually rather flavorsome and you can put it on buttered crackers or toast, add it to soups or stews (after cooking, donít heat yeast), in shakes, porridge, fruit salads...

The newest yeast to hit the market Engevita (from the crowd that brought us that most excellent product: Marigold Bouillon) has all the qualities of yeast and is delicious!"

Note: Marigold Engevita Yeast Flakes are new to Australia. If you have any trouble finding them
at your health food shop, please phone your State distributor to find out your nearest stockist.

Recipe from Elyane Brightlight: 
Rupenís Roast Tofu

You will need:

A block of good quality tofu (all the supermarkets sell tofu made from organic soybeans).
Fresh water Ė preferably non chlorinated
Soy sauce (Tamari, Shoyu, Liquid Aminos ... whichever you prefer.)
Fresh ginger: about one inch, chopped/sliced finely (at a pinch Ė pardon the pun - you can use powder: 1/2 tsp)
Garlic crushed (one to three cloves, depending on taste and whether you have a cold or not)
Flaked yeast Ė such as you get in health food shops. NOT baking yeast, brewers yeast or torula yeast. (I prefer Savoury Yeast flakes such as Marigold Engevita)
Herbs Ė fresh or dried: rosemary, thyme, even supermarket mixed herbs are okay
Olive oil - or any oil for that matter. Olive is good.

In a bowl put enough water to soak your tofu plus about quarter of a cup of soy sauce, the ginger and the garlic.
Cut up the tofu in slices. Not too thin otherwise they get too crispy because they shrink: about 8-10 mm thick.
Soak the tofu in the marinade as long as possible. Overnight is good. 

Next day, take tofu out of marinade. (Discard the latter or keep it for a sauce.) Get ready a lightly greased/oiled baking dish.

Take one slice of tofu from the marinade. Sprinkle one side thickly with yeast and place yeast side down at the edge of the tray.
Repeat with all the tofu, lying them side by side till (hopefully) the tray is full.

Sprinkle with more of the yeast on top, covering the tofu in an even layer so you canít see any gaps.

Drizzle oil over the tofu thinly, making sure all pieces have a couple of passes with the oil.

Sprinkle a bit more soy sauce/tamari/whatever over all the pieces (not too much).

Sprinkle herbs of choice: rosemary, thyme, or any other, fresh or dried. (You could use sage but donít tell Elyane, she calls it disinfectant).

Roast on medium heat. Start checking them at around half an hour. They should be wet and bubbly, while looking slightly browner.
If they look done, as in 'dark and dry', they are overdone.

Once out of the oven, they dry out anyway and stop looking so slimy. They are even better the following day. 

Serve with rice (brown of course) on which you can sprinkle a little soy sauce and/or mirin and stir fried vegs, steamed buk choy or a salad.

Personally, I like to add a blob or two of yogurt. Yeast is rich in B vitamins and protein, so you need some calcium to balance that and yogurt is perfect.

Make a simple cucumber salad: chopped up cucumber in yogurt, with a dash of salt and olive oil --  perfect!