Born in Chef’s Upper West Side Kitchen
After years of professional cooking, catering, writing cookbooks and co-owning her namesake restaurant, Chef Levant Kirschenbaum found herself confronting a far more formidable task: feeding her husband during his battle against cancer.
“There were long stretches where food felt like the enemy to him,” she recalls. “Standard meal replacement products were full of chemicals and sugar, plus they tasted chalky and unpleasant and worsened his constipation from all the chemo and morphine.”
Soon Levana was staring at the real possibility of Maurice dying of hunger, even though his treatments were working well. So she tied on her apron and got to work making her own meal replacements.
“My goal was to include the mandated nutrition numbers in artificial meal replacements, but with a big difference: I would use only natural, pure, simple, familiar plant foods,” she says.
After much tinkering with grains, seeds, berries, vegetables, herbs and spices, she settled on five blends of dehydrated and ground, pure whole foods, each with a balanced nutritional profile to form a complete meal. Maurice was her tester. “For three or four months, these blends were practically all he ate,” she says. “Lo and behold, he began to gain weight and strength.”
As his energy and regularity returned, he was able to withstand his debilitating treatment regimen. Maurice’s medical team called him “the Gold Standard.” That’s when Levana decided to make her special formulas available to the public.
In consultation with cancer doctors and dietitians, including food scientist Dr. Joe Regenstein of Cornell University, she launched a meal replacement system that delivers complete nutritional requirements according to a food lab analysis and FDA standards.
Levana™ Meal Replacement has no added sugar and is kosher, vegan, certified all-natural, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. It offers both “sweet” and savory options that can be mixed with liquid or solid food.
Judging from the feedback she’s received so far, Levana™ Meal Replacement products are long overdue. “I’m confident they will find their rightful place in the medical community as a much-needed and most welcome natural and complete meal replacement alternative,” she says.
For more info, visit LevanaMealReplacement.com, email Levana@LevanaCooks.com or visit the Levana Meal Replacement booth at the JCC Manhattan Open House Free Fitness Fair on January 1. Visit JCCManhattan.org for details. Coupon code for Natural Awakenings readers: 30Levana.