Sunday, March 22, 2020

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

For a dense and hearty bread to enjoy by the slice or with a soup try this Vegan Irish Soda Bread.
This recipe is from the Thug Kitchen:

1-1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk ( I used Homemade Oat Milk)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
2 cups oat flour ( just grind up whole oats in a food processor)
2 cups whole wheat flour.
2 tsps baking soda.
1/2 tsp salt
2 tb olive oil

Preheat oven to 400'
Mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. 
Pour in the milk mixture and oil.
Stir until you've got a dough ball going, adding milk or flour if needed.
Form the dough into a loafish shape and put it in a greased or parchment lined loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, until crust looks golden.
Take it out and let it cool.
Ready to slice.

For a great topping, why not homemade jam.
For a quick delicious jam, try this Raspberry Chia Jam from Blue Zones:
1-1/2 cups Organic Raspberries or Blackberries
2 tbs honey
2 tbs Chia seeds

In a small sauce pan, cook down the berries on medium heat until they break down. About 5 minutes, remove from heat and mash the berries. Add the honey, stir in the chia seeds. Let set for about 5 minutes to thicken.  Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Recommended Reading 03/08/20

Let's get started with the:
These articles are all from
Why the heck is Los Angeles dumping 96 million black balls into a reservoir?  Sounds pretty interesting.
This article is a couple of years old, but still relevant today as it is very important.  We seriously need to do something about our plastic problem:  10 Plastic Pollution Facts 
Ditch the plastic bottles and Save the Environment and drink tap water.  Tap water may not be the healthiest choice, but tap water is 3500 times less expensive than bottled water.  My choice is 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt , 1 "Zinger" tea bag added to 1 gallon of distilled water.
On the environmental technology side introducing "Tidal" , from the "X" Company.  Humanity is pushing the ocean past its breaking point and soon there will more plastic than fish.

Health and Wellness
Our liver is critical for healthy functioning of our body.  Do you need a liver cleanse?
For your health and the world's: 9 Reasons to Eat More Plant-based Foods in 2020.
This is the only type of seafood I consume, Kelp:The Oceanic Plant with Skin, Health & Thyroid Benefits
Beans, beans are good for your heart, the more you eat...the longer you live! From Blue Zones: A Cup of Beans Every Day.
The foods you choose for breakfast are crucial for giving your muscles and brain what they need to perform at optimal level:  2 Perfect Breakfasts for Blood Sugar Balance.
From the Center for Nutrition Studies: Living a Whole Food Plant-Based Life

The Amazing Way Bicycles Can Change You

Vegan Bacon Double Cheeseburger!!


Fresh air & sunshine
Strong Support Systems
Minimize Weeds & Toxins
Keep Moving & Reaching
You Don't Have To Get There Fast

Have a great week.
Be Kind.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Power of Cumin

ground and whole cumin on wooden spoons

 Cumin is an age-old seed and spice which originated in India but is used in culinaries around the world.  It is mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and in Sanskrit.  In ancient Egypt, it was used medicinally in the process of preserving mummies.  Cumin is a low-growing leafy plant in the same family as carrots and parsley. Commonly grown in China and India, it is found in Egypt, Eastern Mediterranean and Mexico.  You can find it in many colors in ground and whole seed form at most all grocery stores.  Besides being a very strong flavoring in foods, it has many healthy benefits including:

*May improve digestion: by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes, speeding the digestion process, it increases the releasing of bile in the gut.  By just adding a half teaspoon of ground cumin to organic yogurt helps the gut biome.
*Blood sugar management: supports healthy blood sugar levels and helps in decreasing glucose for diabetics.
*Lowers risk of Iron-deficiency Anemia: 1 tsp has 1.4 mg of iron, a great way to help acquiring your RDA of 17-20 mg.
*Lowers cholesterol: Cumin has lipid lowering agents which maintains healthy levels of cholesterol.  To achieve better results add cumin with lime to supercharge it(homemade Guacamole
*Anti-bacterial, Anti-viral: food borne illnesses are becoming more prevalent and the properties of cumin help in fighting infections, acting as a disinfectant.
*Boosts immunity: high in Vitamin C and A, (antioxidants)it stimulates the function of and activity of white blood cells.  All of which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Cumin is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals:
Iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, potassium and phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, A,C,E,K and B6.

For a healthy drink and a great way to flush out toxins, start your day with a glass of Jeera water.
Bring a quart of filtered water and 2 tsps of whole organic cumin seeds to a boil, let boil for 15-20 minutes.  Strain seeds and let set to room temperature. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Don't Medicate! HYDRATE

Image result for infused water

You probably already know that 70% of the human body is made up of water, and it's absolutely essential to human life.  Water is a liquid shuttle bus that transports elements like nutrients, proteins, hormones and other chemicals to where they are needed the most.  The problem is most everyone is dehydrated.  How much water do we need?  A good rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces (140lbs= 70 ounces of water - this should the bare minimum).  Not many of us revel over the neutral flavor of plain water.  There are many ways to not only enhance the flavor but also increase the nutrient value of plain H2O.  In our household we mostly drink naturally infused water or Zinger tea (both pictured above).  Celestial Seasonings offers many different flavors of hibiscus tea, which are very high in antioxidants according to studies.  A glass of cold filtered water with a Zinger tea bag and a half pack of stevia, (if you prefer sweetened) will definitely do your body good. It is a much better alternative to sweetened flavored water drinks like Dasani, Nestle or Sparkling Ice brands which are sweetened with sucralose .  Sucralose, aspartame and saccharin is very disruptive to our gut microbiome. To learn more about how important a strong microbiome is please check out my series on Gut Health.   

When infusing your water, there is only two requirement: a glass container of filtered water and creativity!  The combination of fruits, veggies, herbs and spices are endless.  It can be tailored to your own tastes and health benefits you hope to achieve.   
*Berries and fruit- loaded with antioxidants, key vitamins and minerals they help in:
*Balancing free radicals
*Decrease inflammation
*Prevents cancer
*Prevents DNA damage
*Helps to regulate insulin levels
*Citrus- lemons ,limes, oranges and grapefruits all help with:
 *Iron absorption
*Shortens durations of colds
*Helps with detoxing the body
*Inhibits bacteria strain growth
*Ginger and Herbs-
*Helps in digestion
*Reduces inflammation
*Decreases fatigue
*Veggies- Aids in replenishing electrolytes and transferring minerals and nutrients into the water. 
  Use those that have a high water content like:

Benefits of Drinking Water
*Increases energy & relieves fatigue
*Promotes weight loss
*Flushes out toxins
*Improves skin complexion
*Maintains regularity 
*Boosts immunity
*Natural headache remedy
*Prevents cramps and sprains
*Mood booster

Here are a few blend ideas:
*Lemon, Lime and Orange
*Raspberry and Lime
*Strawberry and Basil
*Lemon, Cucumber and Mint
*Blackberry and Ginger
*Peach, Lemon and Thyme

You will feel the difference once you're properly hydrated.

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Recommended Reading 01/25/20

It's the first 2020 Recommended Reading time!

Introducing the newest addition to our family:

Miso and Mochi
The sweetest sister and brother rescues who joined our family at the end of the year.   They were just 8 weeks old and have 7 other siblings who all have been adopted.  It is quite an enjoyment to watch them play and grow.  They will never take the place of the Queen Lizzie, but they definitely are creating their own Kingdom,

The Queen

Let's get started with:

U.S. households throws out $240 billion dollars a year worth of food, that's crazy!  Don't go to the grocery store hungry.
This is both crazy and scary: One Nation, Tracked,  12 million phones, one dataset, zero privacy.

GM is bringing back the Hummer, thank God it's electric.

For a blast from the past, check out a new hotel at JFK airport that recently opened: TWA Hotel,  our daughter Bree spent some time there this past week while on a short business trip in Manhattan,  She was very impressed, saying it would be great to spend the night there while on a layover/early flight to Europe.

8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since introduced in the 1950's.  Most all of it is still here and 91% of it is not recycled.
New technology from RESYNERGI know just what to do with it.  They have compact mobile equipment that turns chipped plastic waste into clean fuel sources.

4 Environmental laws that athletes(and everyone) should know and fight for.

Possible BLUE/GREEN  -Green New deal proposed by Elizabeth Warren.

A short important video from Ocean Unite: #Love30x30

The ocean gives us life: it provides half the oxygen we breathe, has absorbed a quarter of our CO2 emissions and over 90% of the excess heat trapped by those emissions, it puts food on our plates and is home to 80% of all life on Earth.

I know there are endless issues we all face everyday.  But the most important issue the world faces right now is the climate crisis.  If we all don't work together and solve this, all else really doesn't matter.  WHAT IF WE SURVIVE?


Build strength, stamina, stability and power with these 4 Essential Bodyweight Exercises.

Another reason why we should just give up sweeteners all together, Not Sweet Nothings.

Joking aside, for health reasons we need to "cut the cheese"  Nut cheeses  have come a long way and are way more healthy and earth friendly.

Here's another take on "Crazy Shit", Wasting Food: Steps You Can Take to Stop Food Waste.

How to order a healthy plant-based meal from any restaurant menu.

For a rainy afternoon video, watch Rich Roll and Dr. Zach Bush at the Nantucket Project.

For a quick and delicious meal whip up Chef Chloe's vegan Avocado Pesto Pasta and steam some fresh broccoli topped with nutritional yeast.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Homemade Oat Milk

Oat milk is a plant-based alternative that's vegan and naturally dairy, lactose, soy and nut free.  It is also gluten free!  It contains beta-glucans, which is a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol and is very heart healthy.  This milk DOES do a body good.  For more information on the dangers of dairy milk please read "Got Milk".  Plant-based milks generally have good nutritional value making them a healthy alternative to dairy.  Nut milks are definitely more eco-friendly and sustainable than dairy products, which is very important in this climate emergency we are facing.  

I have been making my own oat milk for the last month and wanted to share this with you.  It is ridiculously inexpensive and easy to make yourself.  For comparison: a 1/2 gallon of Blue Diamond almond milk is approximately $3.  Although much better than dairy, there is a lot of additives, some of which you could use without.  I make a 1/2 gallon of oat milk for 35 cents!

1 qt. Homemade Oat Milk
Soak 1/2 cup organic oats in filtered water for an hour to overnight(I do overnight, it makes the milk creamier)
Drain the oats into a high speed blender.
For sweet milk add 1-2 packs stevia.
Pour 32 oz of cold filtered water and blend on high for several minutes.
Slowly strain milk thru a piece of cheesecloth into a 32 oz glass jar.
It will last in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, ours lasts 2 days because it's time to make a new batch by then.


For some quick 5 minute, easy and plant-based recipes check out The Happy Pear
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Dutch Art of Doing Nothing

It might be too late, you might just be getting in from BLACK FRIDAY.  
  Humankind has got to stop that insanity.  You don't need to mindlessly acquire "stuff" to be fulfilled.  Stop and give thoughtful consideration to purchasing useful gifts for those you love.  A wise person once said "Stop buying crap, and companies will stop making crap"  Instead of torturing yourself with the madness, try doing what the Dutch do,( they do happen to be one of the happiest country in the world)  Niksen: The Art of Doing Nothing

This an article from Blue Zones.
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Niksen: The Dutch Art of Purposefully Doing Nothing

By Elisabeth Almekinder, Health Journalist, Registered Nurse, and Diabetes Educator for the Manos Unidas North Carolina Farmworker Health Program
Doing nothing, but with a purpose to do nothing or no purpose at all, may help to decrease anxiety, bring creativity to the surface, and boost productivity. The Dutch have perfected the practice of doing nothing, or “niksen” so well that they are some of the happiest people on earth.
I encourage you to loosen your concept of time and productivity and practice this simple exercise from the Netherlands. Allowing your brain to rewire from stress by doing nothing is a wellness practice worth implementing. If you are sitting in a cafe, you can indulge in some stress-busting niksen but sipping your coffee and looking out the window. Leave your phone in your pocket, and let your mind wander. It’s not mindfulness; a better definition would be a short period of mindless relaxation. 
It’s not mindfulness; a better definition would be a short period of mindless relaxation. 

What makes the  Dutch happier than most people?

Dan Buettner has studied the practices of the happiest people on earth wherever they reside. In the blue zones, people find ways to downshift daily. They are not immune to stress, but they have routines that help them to minimize and shed that stress. In Ikaria they take daily naps, in Okinawa they find time to think of their ancestors, and in Sardinia they meet with friends and neighbors for daily happy hours. The Dutch have similar lifestyle habits, which helps keep them at the top of life satisfaction charts. We know Dutch children are some of the happiest in the world, and Holland also enjoys some of what our research shows builds the happiest societies:  a shorter than average workday, national healthcare, and a reduced tuition university system.
Another buzzword “Hygge” comes from Denmark, and refers to being cozy and full of contentment. This tradition is carried down by generations when family members cuddle up in blankets and warm clothing from head to toe and gather by the fireside and candlelight together to enjoy simple pleasures. In Sweden, they value a healthy work-life balance. “Lagom” is their philosophy that everyone should have enough. It means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.” This term represents their slower-paced, simple life.
Although we often refer to these imported concepts as trends, they have never gone out of style in their native cultures. Just as we use the concept of “ikigai” to explain the longevity culture in the blue zones region of Okinawa, Japan and “pura vida” to understand the blue zones hotspot in Costa Rica, applying traditional wisdom to help cure the ailments of modern life.

Try doing nothing

If mindfulness exercises and meditation are leaving you wondering if you’re doing them right, try niksen. Don’t overthink. Set a time to sit and stare out a window. Allow your mind to wander aimlessly, and let yourself simply, “Be.”
I find that nature helps me achieve niksen. My favorite spot to practice this non-mindfulness exercise is on my screened porch. It’s quiet there, and I can concentrate on the nothingness of the crickets chirping or the frogs croaking.
My mind will wander until I lose track of time. Make sure to leave cell phones and other distractions behind. Focus on a cloud, a tree or a bird perched silently on a limb. Listen to the rain or concentrate on the cicadas buzzing.

What’s the science behind the benefits of doing nothing?

Why will making sure you regularly do nothing increase your feelings of happiness? Unproductive time can make us healthier and happier, according to science. When we remain idle with no agenda, we turn on the creativity centers in the brain. People experiencing work stress and burnout at a coaching center in the Netherlands reported decreased feelings of stress and increased happiness when they practiced niksen versus when they didn’t practice it regularly.

Why do we resist doing nothing?

Perhaps it attests to how busy our society has become in the United States that we think it “lazy” to practice niksen. When students were asked to practice niksen during their meditation and mindfulness practice for five short minutes, many felt they had “too much to do,” felt like it was the lazy thing to do and didn’t associate it with productivity increases, as the Dutch do.