Sunday, June 17, 2018

Power Cookies


As we go through the work day some of us need a little pick me up.  These "cookies" are just the solution.  The date paste is perfect for a long steady energy release.  These cookies are also high in fiber keeping you full and ready to tackle any situation that comes your way.  They are actually a great "breakfast"cookie and a way to start your day.  

Date Paste Topping:
8-10 pitted dates.
1-tb ground flax seeds.
1-2 tbs almond or peanut butter.
1/8 cup pumpkin, sunflower, hemp or peanuts.
In a food processor, pulse dates into a paste. 
Add flax, nut butter and seeds.
Mix until you have a "ball" of paste.

Breakfast Cookie:
In a bowl:
1 cup of whole wheat flour.
1/2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp sea salt.
1 tb. chia seed.
Blend together.
Preheat oven to 350'
In a second bowl:
1/3 cup vegan butter or melted coconut oil.
2 tbs almond butter.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
1/4 cup your choice:coconut palm sugar, honey, agave syrup or maple syrup.
2 tbs water.
Slowly beat with mixer.
Add dry mixture until you have a cookie batter. Add 1 tb.water if needed.
Form into small thin 2" cookies and bake for 12 minutes.
Let cool.
 Top with date paste.
This makes 12-14 cookies.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sweet Basil

Benefits of Basil
"King of Herbs"

Basil leaves health benefits

There is nothing like the sweet aroma of fresh basil.  With over 60 different varieties it has become one of the most recognizable herbs in the world.  Thought to have originated in the Hunan region of China around 800 BC, it quickly became popular and grown around the world.  The top exporters around the world are France, Italy, Morocco, India, Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam, each region having their own varieties with different flavors according to the richness of soil.  In the USA, California produces the majority of basil.  While most basil is sweet in taste, others offer unique tastes, such as; Lemon Basil, Anise Basil, Cinnamon Basil and Purple Basil, which has a unique clove taste. Each variety has their own aroma also. These can easily be found at local nurseries or online to purchase.   

Organic basil crop in South Florida:

When possible use fresh cut basil and since basil oils are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of cooking to retain its maximum essence and flavor.  You can store fresh basil in the refrigerator loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel.  You can even freeze fresh leaves covered in water in ice cube trays.  Then they are ready to use for soups or stews.  But why not have a few different basil plants growing nearby, either outdoors or even in your kitchen window sill. (It needs 6-8 hours of good sunlight and likes moisture.)

Basil Benefits:
*Reduces inflammation.
*Powerful antioxidant and anti-aging compounds.
*Fight bacterial infections.
*Relieves pain.
*Fights cancer.
*Reduces fever.
*Promotes cardiovascular health.
*Relieves stress and depression.
*Supports liver health.
*Improves digestion.
*Helps diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

Basil is very high in Vitamin K, supporting strong health bones.
Here is some information on the uses of basil essential oil.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Recommended Reading 06/01/18

It's time for the June recommended reading suggestions.

  I come across a lot of articles, recipes, videos and tips for a healthy life.  I probably could spend my whole day just reading and watching all the interesting topics.  But, that in itself wouldn't be very productive.  You have to put your thoughts and ideas into action.
First up is a short quiz to give you an idea of your True Vitality,  if you haven't heard of the worlds Blue Zones, check it out here. Make sure you do the quiz first.
It is very important our bodies have a strong immune system.  That is why detoxing is important.  Our bodies are constantly in that process, especially at night while we are sleeping.  Here are two informative articles: 10 Signs Your Body is Screaming Detox,  This is How Your Body Detoxes.  For a simple easy answer to "how we should eat?' Eat For Sucess by Joe DeSena.  I did a post a few years back: Milk: Doesn't Do a Body Good, here's another great article: The Down and Dirty On Dairy-Free Living, by Kris Carr.  Now that summer has arrived, we might as well start preparing some tropical recipes: 10 Fresh Hawaiian-Inspired Recipes, by One Green Planet. 

******BREAKING NEWS******
This just in... 

My daughter Bree just brought me some Hawaiian inspired banana-pineapple "Nice" cream.

2-3 frozen bananas.
3/4-1 cup frozen pineapple bits.
1/2 cup non-dairy(pref-canned coconut milk)milk.
Blend in Vitamix or high speed blender.
Top with shredded organic coconut shreds.

On the environmental side: The High Cost of Oil, a long but interesting read on what was once pristine landscape is now unrecognizable.  
After all the suggestions this month; Why Choose Vegan?

Have a great week.
Be kind.

P.S. Just remember,
  You can't make everyone happy, you're not an avocado!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Got Hemp?

Got Hemp?  It does a body good.
Cultivation of hemp dates back over 10,000 years!  It was first used as food in ancient China and India.  For nearly 3000 years it was the planet's largest agricultural crop and most important industry producing fiber, paper, clothing, lighting fuel and medicine used by much of humanity.  

In the 17th century, American farmers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia were ordered by law to grow Indian Hemp.  By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren't growing hemp.   Hemp can be farmed without herbicides/pesticides, without field rotation, and in a variety of soils and climates.  Modern technologies have made possible over 20,000 products from hemp.  We should be growing more.   
It is and always has been Earths' most sustainable resource. 

Hemp seeds are a "Super Food", a gift of nature.  They are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Containing a complete protein, They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes then any other food.

Here are a few benefits;
*Promotes heart health: with a perfect 3:1 balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
*High in fiber: has both indigestible and digestible fibers.
*Contains 20 amino acids: but also the 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce, which makes it the perfect protein.
*Rich in GLA: which helps in inflammation reduction, balancing hormones, fighting cancer and MS.
*High in Vitamin E: also potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

For more information on hemp see here: Pure Healing FoodsHistory of Hemp

An easy way to get a daily dose of hemp seeds is to top your morning oatmeal.

You can get an 8 oz bag from Trader Joe's for under $5.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Honey, Sweet Nectar of the Gods

In Ancient Greece it was known as the food of Gods.

Image result for honey

The first story of honey goes back over 8000 years ago, traced back to a cave painting of honey harvesting.  Archaeologists discovered honey combs in Egypt, buried with Pharaohs in tombs, still preserved and edible!  Honey is mentioned in the Bible, Koran, Talmud and scrolls from the Orient.  In Hinduism,  honey is viewed as one of the five elixirs of immortality.  The Romans used honey to heal their wounds after battle.
Honey is a blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and high in anti-oxidants. Because these of these properties, unprocessed raw honey helps in treating cuts, wounds and skin infections.
We should all know by now that a healthy and diverse gut biome is the key to a healthy happy life. Helping your gut breed healthy bacteria through the use of probiotics is the answer.  But those probiotics bacteria need prebiotics, (food for the good bacteria to kick the ass of the bad bacteria). The most common prebiotics are non-digestible oligosaccharides. Raw unpasteurized  honey is one of those.

Many other benefits include:
*Counters pollen allergies: raw honey contains Bee pollen, which is a natural antihistamine.
*Natural energy source: being 80% natural sugars,it provides an easily absorbed glycogen.
*Antioxidant powerhouse: boosting the immune system.
*Sleep promoter: by restocking the glycogen levels it prevents the brain searching for fuel, which can wake you up. Also it helps in releasing tryptophan which converts to serotonin and melatonin., helping in better sleep.
*Wound and Ulcer healer: Not only a natural antibacterial it reacts to the body's fluids to make hydrogen peroxide to create an inhospitable environment for bacterial growth.
*Diabetes aid: The combination of honey and cinnamon is beneficial for healthy blood sugar management, gingivitis and acne.
*Natural Cough Syrup: a half of 2 tsp helps to control coughing and the healing properties of honey eliminate the causes.

Manuka  honey is made by bees that feed off the Manuka bush(a medicinal plant) which grows in New Zealand.  Clinical studies have found that this type of honey can eradicate more than 250 types of bacteria including MRSA. Thank you Mother Nature.

Try to purchase LOCAL raw honey as it will help with allergens that are common in your area.
Here is a great easy recipe for cough syrup:

     Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.
  • Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
  • Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
  • Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
  • Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
  • Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
  • Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon doses.
Have great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 13, 2018



Just the saying the word makes you want to have a handful of juicy, sweet berries.  I probably eat blueberries at least 5 times a week!  It's a great way to start the day, oatmeal with blueberries, raspberries, ground flax seed, chia gel, cinnamon, organic honey and a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

Did you know that blueberries are they only fruit native to North America?  Native Indians enjoyed fresh blueberries for hundreds of years before anyone else even knew they existed.  It is crazy that the United States cultivates and supplies over half of the world's blueberries on a global basis.  It is important when buying, always try to purchase organic.  When not in season it is best to buy organic frozen blueberries.

Here are five reasons to eat more:
*Blueberries protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They are full of antioxidants
*Blueberries turn back aging. Being full of antioxidants they reduce oxidative stress which is huge contributor of decreased organ function.
*Blueberries lower your blood pressure. 
*Blueberries protect against cognitive decline. Increased consumption of berries help to increase the clearing of toxic proteins from the brain. Which helps with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
*Blueberries are good for your bowels and bladder. Containing plenty of soluble and insoluble fibers they are very useful in treating constipation and diarrhea.  They also contain Tannins which are astringents which helps to reduce the ability of e.coli to adhere to the bladder wall.
Nutritional Value: 
36% RDA of Vitamin K 
25% RDA of Manganese
24% RDA of Vitamin C
14% RDA of Fiber

Here is a easy way to enjoy some delicious  blueberries:
Blueberry Chia Pudding:
1/2 cup chia seeds.
1 1/2 cups of almond milk.
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey.
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
1 tsp. cinnamon.
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.
Add all together in glass or ceramic container.
Stir until well mixed.
Refrigerate overnight.

You can even grow your own blueberries at home, see: How to Grow Blueberries at Home
If you want to learn more of the benefits: Beautiful Boosting Blueberries

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Recommended Reading 05/06/18

It's recommended reading time again.  I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I do.

Last week I did not post anything as I was busy volunteering at the North Florida Spartan race.  The week before I volunteered to help build/setup the course, always a great time.  Last Sunday, only my grandson raced so I helped with the kid's race.  It was very rewarding seeing the determination and enjoyment those kids were having.  they were covered in sweat, plenty of mud and most had smiling faces.  This my grandson with a high five as he crossed the finish line.

So my first article is on how kids need to get:outdoors as often as possible.
So with getting outdoors and exercising: Are Sports Drinks Safe and effective? 
I have done a few posts on the importance of staying hydrated: Thirsty?Drink Some Water

Most people don't have any idea how much food is wasted every year in the U.S., here is a way we can reduce that amount:10 multi-functional foods to reduce food waste.

Also on the environmental side, back in 2013 a young college dropout, came up with an idea on how to rid the oceans of plastic.  His idea The Ocean Cleanup,  is almost ready.  Five years in the making, its ready to set sail.  Here's another idea on cutting down on plastic bottles in our landfills.  This is the coolest idea ever, meet "Ooho"

The Vegan Junction just published a list of the Top 20 Plant-based Health Professionals to Follow
If you haven't heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, I encourage you to do so.  A hard-driving motivational, media giant he tells it like it is.  Check out a recent post from him: Cheering For Optimism and The Internet

Here's a great video recipe from Happy Pear: Creamy Vegan Casserole

I hope you enjoy the recommendations this month.
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.
Everyday should be recognized as Earth Day.  We only have one.
We are rapidly destroying it and it is very disheartening.
There are many ways to help protect our beautiful planet. The single most effective way is to eat a plant-based diet.  Animal products and the needs for their production are monumentally resource intensive and contribute to massive amounts of pollution.  Eating a plant-based diet makes the most significant impact, far more than taking shorter showers(2400 gals of water to produce 1 lb of beef vs. 25 gals to produce 1 lb of wheat), driving electric vehicles and swapping out more efficient light bulbs. Granted these things do help, but we need to do more.

If you haven't watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret please do so.  It is available on Netflix, RedBox, etc.  There are many skeptics on Climate Change, but the facts are in: It's real and its getting worse everyday.  Here is a great article from Vox9 Questions About Climate Change.  For ways you can help the mission to save our planet see:1% For The Planet

Together, the people of the world can make the change.
We don't really have a choice, do we?

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hummus with Roasted Red Peppers

Here's a recipe for a quick, delicious hummus:

2-15 oz. cans of organic garbanzo beans.
1-6 oz. jar of roasted red peppers.
1/4 cup tahini.
1 garlic clove.
1 teaspoon salt.

Put all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender. 
Blend until smooth and creamy.

Hummus topping:
1-6 oz. jar of roasted red peppers.
A handful of fresh basil.
A pinch of garlic powder or a fresh fat clove.
A dash of salt and pepper.
A dash of sugar.
A drizzle of white wine vinegar.
Combine all into a food processor until smooth.

 Enjoy with fresh veggies or pita chips!

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Eating In Season

Have you ever ate a huge red beefsteak tomato right off the vine?  There is no comparison between that and a half-ripe pale red tomato from the supermarket in the middle of winter. There is something about seasonal eating that seems natural and logical.  Most people would agree that a comforting stew full of root vegetables, like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and onions goes better on a cold Winter or Fall evening than a big garden salad with tomatoes and cucumbers.  There is evidence that your body gets more out of certain fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year.  Your body needs more beta-carotene during the winter when there is a shorter amount of sunlight.  Carrots, sweet potatoes, etc help with this, all which are growing in this season.  Same goes for fruits like watermelon, berries, cucumbers,etc which are high in fluids, in which we need more during the hot summer months.  Nature has it together when it comes to knowing what we need with each season.  When foods are foods are picked at the peak of ripeness, when they are meant to be eaten, they taste different.  Seasonal eating brings the full flavor of fresh whole foods back to your diet.  We are blessed to have access to a couple of local farms in our area.  They have been producing excellent vegetables for over one hundred years!  Their produce is picked fresh and stays fresh until completely consumed. No waste!  What happens to your bagged greens mixed from the supermarket after only a few days?

Here's a few reasons for eating seasonal:
*Seasonal foods are often less expensive.  It takes a lot of energy and resources to manage, package and transport foods out of season.  Local framers markets are full of fresh fruits and vegetables and the cost is better.
*Seasonal eating is better for the environment.  Foods grown out of season take a tremendous amount of  resources, by recreating natural growing conditions or tremendous amount of fossil fuel in transporting foods from other in season areas around the world.
*Seasonal foods can be more nutritious. For foods to be grown out of season elsewhere in the world to be shipped to you, they must be picked green, before their peak ripeness and fully matured. Unless they are picked at ripeness and then frozen they lose most of their nutritional value. Frozen or Fresh? 
*Seasonal eating adds variety to your diet.  Variety is the foundation of a healthy diet.  By eating seasonally you can break the habit of eating the same food choices. Therefore, getting a more balanced nutritional meal.  The Seasonal Food Guide can help you find whats in season in your area.

Eat local. Eat what's in season. Eat organic.

For your viewing pleasure: How Not to Die 

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Recommended Reading 04/01/18

It's time for Spring's 1st recommended reading list!
Here's a follow up on last week's post about "Gut Bomb", A video from Dr. Michael Gregor: Microbiome: We are what they eat
On the environmental side of news;  
Hopefully you are aware of the Dept. of Interior's pressing issue of reducing our National Monuments.  Read Protect Public Lands first, then check out the truths behind the reduction: The Cleanest Line.
Then for a real sh**ty article check out: There's Human Poop in Glacier Waters.
Just when you thought you were getting old and had no motivation to get off the couch, check out this video:100 & 102 year old's break world running records. For more on these two champions: Running Wisdom.
Have you ever wondered the origin of  certain vegetables?  I find it fascinating. The History of Each Vegetable will give some answers.
here's some great tips on How to Save Money On a Plant-Based Diet by Julieanna Hever
You can hear more wisdom on nutrition from  Julieanna and Ray Cronise on Everything Plant-Based Nutrition.

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Gut Bomb!

Change your gut, change your life.
Did you know we have about ten trillion cells in our bodies.  But our microbiome, which consists of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in and on our bodies, outnumber those cells by ten times!  Almost 100 trillion cells.  The bacteria that live in our "gut" breaks down our food so that the body can access the nutrients it needs.  But the microbes don't do it because they love us and want us to be healthy.  They are pretty selfish, it's how they survive also.  There are over five hundred different species of microbes living in our guts.  Each has its own agenda, specific function and nutritional needs.  Our gut flora makeup is directly influenced by our dietary choices.  These microbes actually influence our brains and suggest what we crave in our food choices!  We decide which microbes to feed or starve and by doing so we create the ecosystem for them. The decisions we make alter everything about us, from health, emotion and disease.  If we eat healthy, fiber rich nutrient dense foods, the microbes that thrive on them will be strong.  If we feed ourselves sugary, processed foods then those microbes will flourish and dominate our digestive system.  Which in turns creates weak immune systems and opens the door for disease. Remember the 2004 documentary called "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock?  It showed how strengthening the "bad" microbes by diet change his overall health very quickly.  I did a 5-part series on  Gut Heath a few years ago which might be helpful in learning more about our digestive health. It talks about both probiotics and prebiotics that are needed for a strong healthy digestive system. 
One of the most common foods known by all for probiotics is yogurt.  But if you are consuming a plant-based diet you know that yogurt is dairy.  "Milk Doesn't Do A Body Good"  There are many foods that are rich in probiotics such as sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, etc.  Kris and I came across a product called "Coconut Cult", it is an awesome coconut yogurt that one serving contains 25 BILLION of 15 different strains of probiotics and 1 gram of sugar.  I take one spoonful in the morning and Kris puts a spoonful on her fresh fruit and nut bowl.  You can buy it online or if your lucky at a nearby health food store.  Check their website for availability.  The closest store to us was in Palm Beach Gardens (180 miles south) at Nutrition Smart.  I have been working in that area for the past several weeks and they held a jar for me until I was able to pick it up(it flies off the selves)  Shout out to Joseph, Thank you! 
A healthy gut is the most important part of living a healthy life.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Importance of Hydration

Did you know our bodies are approximately 60-70% water.
And our brains are 80-90% water.  That is why it is so important to 
stay hydrated.  During this time of the year we lose 10-15 cups of water daily,
through sweating, urinating,and even breathing. How much do we need to drink
to replace and replenish that what we lost?
It is a good rule of thumb to at least drink half of your bodies weight in water.
(ex. 130 lbs= 65 oz. water)
This alone would not match what you lose during any exertion or exercise.
By eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that are have a high water content.
Watermelon, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce are all 90-95% water! Eat Your Water
I work outside 10-12 hours a day. And in the summer heat, I consume a lot of water.

I don't consume any sports drinks because of all the added sugar and food coloring, etc.
Gatorade is just not like it was in the 70's.
Here is a recipe for my own alkaline-hydrating/electrolyte replenishing drink:

4 cups warm filtered water.
Juice of 1-2 lemons or limes.(oranges work great also)
2 tsp honey or agave.
1/4-1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt.
Mix well
That's it!
I put them in a mason jar or BPA free plastic bottle and keep them in my cooler.
It's amazing how refreshed and energized you feel instead of plain water.
If you are into non-flavored water, I always have a gallon of distilled water with 1/2 teaspoon of Pink Himalayan salt mixed in, and chilled in the cooler.  Your body will thank you for replenishing those lost nutrients and electrolytes. 
Here's a few links to more information:

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Recommended Reading 03/04/18

This month's reading and viewing suggestions have more to do with the environment.
There is difference of opinions on whether "climate change" or "global warming" is a real thing.  I believe it is very real and a very major threat to our environment and how we will deal with human existence.  Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.
Climate Change, "11 things you need to know" is a great article by Conservation International.
Splitting of the Polar Vortex" by Forbes Magazine is frightening.   Did you know that the North Pole even though still shrouded in darkness for another month has had record warm temperatures.  45' Fahrenheit  above normal! It has had above freezing temperatures. 
We all remember Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.  This could very well happen again.  The Dept of Interior headed by Ryan Zinke wants to allow offshore drilling to be resumed off the coasts of the U.S.  It is a recipe for disaster. Make time to read an excellent book by Abraham Lustgarden titled Run to Failure.  It details British Petroleum's negligent actions leading up to the Deepwater Horizons blowout. Then sign the petition from Surfrider Foundation to stop offshore oil drilling.

Another major problem with our oceans is plastic pollution.  Plastic "lives" forever.  Gradually over time in just degrades into smaller and smaller pieces.  Only 9% of plastic is recycled, the rest ending up in our waterways, oceans and landfills.  Sea life and wildlife ingest the degraded plastics and die a slow agonizing death.  Small fish consume the microscopic plastic particles  believing they are a food source.  They are consumed by larger predators, which are then consumed by those who use fish as a source of food.  Check out this article from Global Citizen about How a College Dropout Plans to Rid The Oceans of Plastic.

Switching gears.. on to a few nutrition recommendations.
Inflammation in our bodies is the root of many chronic health issues.
We all know the importance of Eating Our Greens, here's 8 Greens You're Probably Not Eating Enough.

For my podcast recommendation: Rich Roll talks with Jared Blumenfeld, on planetary preservation.  Jared has worked with National Resource Defense Council, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the City of San Francisco, and was the EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest Region.

For your viewing pleasure check out Plant Pure Nation, available free on YouTube and Amazon Prime now for a limited time.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Teriyaki Tofu Fried Rice

If you happen to have a Trader Joe's near you, you should definitely take advantage of the great prices and large selection of great products.  Kristen and I usually make the 45 minute one way trip a couple times per month to stock up the pantry and refrigerator/freezer.  One meal we love to make is Teriyaki Tofu Fried Rice.  You can get everything from Trader Joe's.  It is a simple, delicious meal with minimum ingredients.

Here it is:
*Press 1 package of extra firm organic tofu for 20 minutes.
*Cut into 1/2" cubes and marinate in TJ's Island Soyaki for 30 minutes.
*Bake at 325'F for 45 minutes (flip at 15 & 30 minutes) we used our new Breville Smart Oven Air.
*Stir fry TJ's Vegetable Fried Rice for 5 minutes.
*Add cooked tofu to the rice mixture and serve with Coconut Aminos or Sweet Chili Sauce (both available at Trader Joe's)
I hope you enjoy it!

By shopping at Trader Joe's you are able to save on your grocery bill, while still finding a wide selection of organic foods, produce, breads, frozen fruits and veggies, treats and even wine.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Don't Get Cheesy!

"Some foods are fattening, others are addictive.  Cheese is both...loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak and sprinkled with hormones.  If cheese were any worse it would be Vaseline." 
Neal Barnard, MD. PCRM

The average American consumes 33 lbs. of cheese per year.  The U.S. produces more cheese and dairy products than any other country in the world.
Most everyone LOVES cheese.  
It is the hardest food to give up when going to a plant-based diet. Cheese and dairy contain casein protein which turns into casomorphin in our stomachs when digested.  These are morphine like compounds that attach to the brain receptors the same way heroin and other narcotics do.  We become addicted to the pleasure our body receives when eating that big slice of cheese pizza.
You can check out an earlier post on "Got Milk"
For an even more interesting and informative listen, check out "Neal Barnard MD." on the Rich Roll podcast. His ground-breaking research on "Breaking The Cheese addiction" is very enlightening.

There are many dairy-free cheese on the market now to help you break the addiction.  Just remember, they can be highly processed with a lot oils, keep them to a minimum.  But they are helpful in removing dairy from your diet. 
 Here are a few brands:
*Daiya: makes great shredded products for homemade pizza, etc.
*Kite Hill: makes a cream cheese that is awesome on a sweet potato, sprout sandwich.
*Follow Your Heart: Everything from cheeses to Mayonnaise.
*Miyoko's Kitchen: Some of the finest plant-based butters and cheeses.

You can also make your own cheese at home. The time investment is well worth the health benefits from lack of dairy in these delicious cheeses.  Recently, Kris and I purchased "This Cheese is Nuts" by Julie Piatt. We invested in a Breville Smart Oven Air which also has a dehydrator, which is needed in producing most "cheeses" in her book. The Breville is a great investment, almost eliminating the kitchen oven.  We've made "air baked" fries, pizza (there is one baking right now!) and its a beautiful kitchen appliance.
We created are first batch of  Ahimsa Goat Cheese out of soaked sprouted almonds.  You have to get the cookbook for the recipe.

Creating and cooking foods together as a family is very rewarding and therapeutic.  If you have young children, get them involved, not only will it produce great foods, but lasting memories and bonds.  It will help them live a self-productive and healthy lifestyle.
I have to go, pizza is done.

Have a great week.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Power of Purple

For optimum health we should "eat the rainbow".  Purple veggies and fruits are not very commonly consumed.  Generally, the more colorful the fruit of veggie, the more nutrients it contains.  And also more cancer-fighting properties and antioxidants.  Purple foods contain antioxidant nutrients called anthocyanins, resveratrol and polyphenols which give them their deep color but also protects against cell damage. Antioxidants are substances that help the body fight against damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals.  These molecules are formed during digestion, exercise, stress and exposure to environmental pollution and chemicals.  These must be neutralized quickly, because the cellular level damage lead to disease and premature aging.
Here are 6 benefits from purple fruits and veggies:
*Reduces the risks of Alzheimer's disease. 
*Boosts memory.
*Protects cells from damage.
*Helps fight inflammation.
*Promotes longevity.
*Reduces the risk of cancer and slows the progression of cancer.

Here are several purple foods to add to your diet: 
Purple cabbage
Purple potatoes
Purple cauliflower
Acai berries
Purple carrots 
Red lettuce
Purple grapes

The best way to maximize the benefits of these is to eat a wide variety each day.  Try to get one purple fruit or veggie each day.  Eat a combination of cooked and raw because some nutrients are better absorbed when cooked, while others raw.  Try to consume those that are in season, ex: berries in the summer, while cauliflower and cabbage in fall/winter.. Remember sometimes frozen can be better then fresh.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Recommended Reading 02/04/18

Since today is Super Bowl Sunday (I prefer to watch Premier League Soccer) I want to begin with an article from GQ:
 The 300lb Vegan; NFL defensive lineman David Carter , you can also hear an interview with him on the Rich Roll podcast.
Then from one extreme to the other:
The Real Life Diet of a bad ass rock climber, Alex Honnold, who lives in a van.  Then check out this video from The North Face, be prepared to get a little anxious watching him climb.  For more awesome climbing, check out Valley Uprising available on Netflix.  Alex accomplishes even more amazing feats.
Here are some great tips(in case you are stuck at home)on doing an exercise workout without going to the gym: NO EXCUSES!
For an easy healthy bread recipe try this vegan, gluten-free Power Bread.
We all know that stepping outside is a simple, refreshing way to be our best.  Especially when we are stressed and under pressure.  Check out: This 5-minute visualization technique can change the world.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Be Kind

This week's post is a little different than most.  I hope it speaks to you and lifts you up.  If you're having a rough day, I hope you know that you are loved and you matter. 

 Our world is changing.  Oftentimes it seems as though friends, family and strangers are treating each other with less and less compassion and understanding.  If others don't share the same beliefs, they are wrong.  I heard a podcast recently with Guru Singh talking with Rich Roll.  He made a very enlightening statement:  The way of educating children needs some changes.  Instead of (or in addition to) the 3 R's, what should be taught is the 3 C's: Compassion, Collaboration and Communication.  This way children will learn how to deal with the real problems of our time.  By learning how to be compassionate towards others and  collaborate and work in unity with one another, there will be less conflict.  When these children become adults, they in turn will teach their children and the world will be a better place in which to live.  Eventually the cycle will stop and adults will live a more harmonious life with others, and our differences will be cause for celebration and not contention.

This week, let's all try to be more compassionate towards our loved ones.  Be kind to strangers!  Your kind words might be the healing words they need to hear.

This week, let's communicate with each other.  Be honest.  Be uplifting; encouraging words have life. Let your loved ones know what's in your heart.  Life is too short; it could end tomorrow.  Let your love flow out of you.

This week, work as a team; collaborate with one another.
A three strand rope is stronger than a thread!

I strive to live my life according to the Spartan code:

 Have a great week.