Friday, October 24, 2014

Why love one but eat the other?

Why love one but eat the other?
Especially because we do not need to eat animals, and because we actually do better when we do not eat them.
All nutrients found in animal products are found in plants, but packaged better...alongside with disease-fighting, health-promoting fiber and phytochemicals, which are exclusive to plants.
The exception, of course, is vitamin B12, which is not native to animals, but made in the soil by microorganisms. Since we wash our produce and therefore do not access it directly, supplementing with vitamin B12 is cheap, effective, and simple and helps avoid a need to eat animals and their accompanying saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, heme iron, carnitine, Neu5Gc, environmental destruction, and horrific, inane breeding and torture of billions of animals per year.
Eat plants. For your health. For the animals. For the planet.
*In the news:
--->One Green Planet's What Would it Look if We Treated Our Pets Like Animals in a Factory Farm? (PHOTOS):
--->Mercy For Animals' 7 Factory Farming Practices Straight Out Of A Horror Film:
--->To B12 or Not To B12:
--->Notable Nutrient Sources:
--->Melanie Joy's Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat:
--->6 Reasons Plant-Based Nutrition Is The Solution to The Healthcare Crisis:
--->6 Steps Towards a Plant-Based Diet:
--->5 Non-Nutritional Reasons to Go Meatless:

Veganism: Be the change. Go vegan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grocery list: Top 50 staples for a meat-free diet

A well-stocked vegan kitchen can make the difference between ho-hum and hubba hubba when it comes to plant-based cooking and eating.
By: Melissa Breyer

Just because someone doesn’t want to eat things that once roamed about doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice the pleasures or cooking and eating. On the contrary, with the right ingredients, a vegan diet can be as sumptuous as any other.

The items listed here fall into three basic categories:
  • ingredients that can stand in for their animal-based counterparts; 
  • ingredients to enhance plant-based dishes; and 
  • ingredients to add nutrients that a vegan diet may be lacking. 
This list is in no way complete — but it’s a fantastic place to start.
A word to the wise: When first transitioning to a vegan diet, you may feel the need to add fake animal products to your meal plan. That’s fine if it helps you step away from the cows; but in general many of these items are highly processed — glorified vegan junk food –—and you may be better off without them. We’ve listed some of the better products here; just be aware and take a look at the ingredients list when shopping.

Alternative milks: Almond, soy, rice or hemp milk.
Buttery spread: Look for non-hydrogenated versions, like Earth Balance.
Dairy-free cheese: Daiya melts and doesn’t taste like plastic.
Cream cheese: Tofutti makes a reasonable mock cream cheese.
Sour cream: Again, Tofutti.
Soy yogurt: Good for probiotics.

Tofurkey: If you can’t live without a “roast.”
Field Roast products: Grain-based faux meat products, not too processed and unusually tasty.
Tofu: Silken for smoothies and puddings; medium or firm for cooking.
Tempeh: Soybean-based meat substitute.
Seitan: Meat substitute made from wheat gluten; great texture, great protein.
Frozen vegetable burgers: Making your own is better, but these are convenient in a pinch.
Edamame: Fresh (frozen) soy beans are a great high-protein snack or side.
Beans: Dried and home-cooked are cheap and the healthiest.
Chickpeas: In addition to beans, because they’re so versatile.
Seeds: Sesame, sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, chia … all high in protein and healthy fats.
Nuts: Because, protein.
Nut butters: Because, peanut butter!
Cashews: In addition to nuts, because they can be soaked and used in so many ways.

Brown rice: Ditch the white for more-nutritious brown.
Quinoa: One of the few plant-based perfect proteins.
Steel-cut oats: Good for breakfast.
Whole grain grits: Because they’re filling and delicious.
Whole-wheat couscous: More nutritious than regular.
Multigrain pasta: Whole-wheat or legume mixes offer more nutrients and don't all taste like cardboard.
Sprouted bread and tortillas: Food for Life products are nutrient-rich and altogether lovely.

Agar agar: Vegan substitute for gelatin.
Nutritional yeast: A must for B12 and very palatable; use like Parmesan cheese.
Miso paste: Excellent for adding umami to vegetables; great anchovy substitute.
Vegetable broth: Go for organic, and watch the sodium.
Vegetable bouillon: Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base works well.
Tomato paste: Great (surprising) source of iron.
Dried mushrooms: Like porcini, to add a meaty component to soups and stews.
Sun-dried tomatoes: Fantastic for adding texture and flavor.
Capers: Great for adding a punch of flavor.

Ener-G Egg Replacer
Flax seeds: To make a viable egg substitute for baking.
Chia seeds: For nutritious puddings and egg substitute.
Vital wheat gluten: A great binder that also adds protein.
Coconut oil: Great for replacing butter in some recipes.
Vegetable shortening: Non-hydrogenated, like Spectrum.
Agave syrup: Instead of honey.
Maple syrup: Instead of honey.
Blackstrap molasses: Fantastic source of iron.

Mayonnaise: Vegenaise tastes most like traditional mayo, Spectrum is a bit sweeter.
Bragg Liquid Aminos: Liquid protein concentrate, delicious soy-sauce taste.
Sriracha: Or other favorite hot sauces.
Harissa: Tunisian hot pepper paste makes anything taste good.
Tahini: Sesame paste can be used as a condiment or in preparing Middle Eastern recipes.
Kimchi: Great source of probiotics if you don’t like soy yogurt.
Sauerkraut: A surprising source of health benefits.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Egg consumption increasing risk for colorectal cancer and bladder cancer

While egg consumption and cancer risk have not been studied as thoroughly as the consumption of meat and dairy products as they relate to cancer risk, there is still enough evidence to encourage dietary alternatives to both egg whites and egg yolks. The most convincing evidence points to egg consumption as increasing risk for colorectal cancer and bladder cancer.

A case-control study done in Argentina found that people consuming approximately 1 1/2 eggs per week had nearly 5 times the colorectal cancer risk compared with individuals consuming less than 11 eggs per year. And, the World Health Organization analyzed data from 34 countries and determined that egg consumption was significantly and positively correlated with mortality from colon and rectal cancers in both men and women. Moderate egg consumption also tripled the risk of developing bladder cancer as determined by a case-control study of 130 newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients published in the journal International Urology and Nephrology.

Eggs have zero dietary fibre, are devoid of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and about 60 percent of the calories in eggs are from fat—a big portion of which is saturated fat. They are also loaded with cholesterol—about 213 milligrams for an average-sized egg. Because egg shells are fragile and porous and conditions on egg farms are crowded, eggs are the perfect host for salmonella—the bacteria that is the leading cause of food poisoning

Iscovich JM, L'Abbe KA, Castelleto R, Calzona A, Bernedo A, Chopita NA, Jmelnitzsky AC, Kaldor J. Colon cancer in Argentina. I: Risk from intake of dietary items. Int J Cancer. 1992;51(6):851-857.
Zhang J, Zhao Z, Berkel HJ. Egg consumption and mortality from colon and rectal cancers: an ecological study. Nutr Cancer. 2003;46(2):158-165.
Radosavljevic V, Jankovic S, Marinkovic J, Dokic M. Diet and bladder cancer: a case-control study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2005;37(2):283-289.

lentils and beans?

A question asked on a blog was "What vegetarian route can a person take who reacts badly to lentils and beans?"

And the answer from Dr. Kerrie Saunders aka Dr. Food.

As part of the plan protein powerhouses (beans, peas, lentils, and sprouts), we usually need to find a way to incorporate them, or the person gets blood sugar imbalance symptoms in my experience. Nuts and seeds also have nice amounts of protein, but packaged in more fat, which just doesn’t ‘feel’ the same way to people.

I have found sufficient beans, peas, lentils or sprouts is the foundation for a well-planned baseline food intake. The goal is typically 2 cups per day for men, 1.5 cups for women, and 1 cup for kids. Legumes average 26% calories from protein.

If the concern is a true allergy or hypersensitivity, consider serum IgG food testing.

The least allergenic bean to typically try first, is adzuki/adzuki beans. With 18,000 varieties of beans, peas and lentils to choose from, it is hard to get bored, and I have never had a patient allergic to all 18,000. Sprouts, hummus, lentils, pea soup, etc. can round out their attempt, usually. Eating beans WITH cheese is the worst combination I have heard of, because (cow) cheese is so toxic in a human.

Gas during the first 3 days of including sufficient and daily legumes is normal. It is because there are chemical components IN the legumes that attach themselves to toxins existing in the gut, and convert them to air. It is actually a normal detox process, and the cleaner the gut, the less gas is produced. The more toxic the gut, the more gas is produced. It usually only takes about 3 days for the average person to simmer down, typically. We say don’t blame the beans, blame the waste that was present before.

Rinsing the dry beans, cans or jars of beans, peas and lentils helps a great deal. The ‘gelatinous goo’ that surrounds them can be a cause of extra gas, and some companies ship their dry beans, peas and lentils in a fine layer of soap. Rinse all until the water is clear.

Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group Drives Health


Although we see daily signs that plant-based eating is on the rise, in the 25 years I have been counseling my cardiology patients to adopt such a diet, it has been challenging to convince them long term. Undoubtedly a neighbour, family member, coworker, or some other pundit would try to derail their efforts. It seems everyone is a nutritionist when you announce that you are embracing a vegan lifestyle. What can be done to improve the odds of long-term success?

In the past few years, I have come to appreciate the power of support groups in strengthening our will to succeed and persevere when we make a decision as momentous as eschewing all animal products. I saw this firsthand in my visit to Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Southern California where, beginning in 2011, the “Daniel Plan” spread a plant-based health message through this massive church. The result? Some 15,000 parishioners collectively shed more than 250,000 pounds in one year. This success was built on small groups of people sharing, celebrating, and comparing notes regularly, as they made major changes in their routines.

Hoping for the same impact for heart patients, I cofounded a program in Detroit earlier this year, teaching plant-based nutrition using group activities. When I was asked to do this, I figured I could round up a dozen or two dedicated heart warriors to meet with once a month. A small article appeared in a local paper, and I also invited all the patients I knew who were seeking to eliminate meat, eggs, and dairy.

On a cold night in February of this year (2014), in a room at my hospital designed to hold 60, people kept streaming in, until more than 130 souls packed the auditorium. To this day, I have no idea where they all came from. I spoke on the scientific basis for preventing heart disease with a whole food, plant-based no-added-oil diet, and several people shared their stories.

Over the following months, our dedicated all-volunteer “PBN” (Plant-Based Nutrition) Support Group scheduled monthly lectures, organised a walking club, and visited restaurants that were willing to prepare a special vegan menu for 20 to 50 people. We also created a website ( Our lecture meetings have drawn over 100 attendees every month, often with many new faces, and we quickly generated a list of well over 300 email addresses.

Recently, we stepped up the excitement by having our first out-of-town speaker, Rip Esselstyn, talk to our PBNers. With the help of a bit of advertising by a national grocer, we filled a high school auditorium with over 475 faces, all eager to learn the secrets of thriving with plants in a world dominated by meat eaters. The energy, excitement, and appreciation were amazing.

In less than seven months, many dedicated participants have lost 20 to 40 pounds, reduced or eliminated medications, and developed new eating habits … largely because they shared their journey with like-minded companions. Our group has inspired more people to commit to a vegan lifestyle during this time frame than I had in my entire previous 25 years of practice!

We plan to continue meeting in large groups, to host small-group study sessions, and to celebrate the holidays together.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Orange is the New Pink!

Orange is the New Pink!
"Breast Cancer Awareness Month" should be renamed "Breast Cancer Prevention Month" every October!
Here are 2 great articles:
1. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (where the graphic comes from) talking about how carotenoid-rich foods (veggies and fruits pigmented with deep oranges, reds, and yellows) have been found to reduce breast cancer risk:
2. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.'s fantastic argument as to why supporting the pink campaigns (including KFC's epic offering of pink buckets of fried chicken) will not provide protection against breast cancer the way a health-promoting, disease-fighting diet can:
Ways to Reduce Cancer Risk:
--->Maintain a healthy body weight by eating a nutrient-dense, calorie-poor diet and exercising regularly.
--->Make at least half of your plate/diet/day be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. Eat a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
--->Eat a whole food, plant-based diet to get a continuous flow of cancer-fighting phytochemicals and fiber running through your GI tract and promoting immune health.
--->Avoid meats, fish, dairy, and eggs to decrease toxin load.
--->Limit alcohol intake to no more than one serving a day for women and 2 servings a day for men.
--->Clean up your environment as best as possible by reducing use of chemicals in your home, in your laundry, on your body, and with the tools, equipment, and cookware you use to cook and prepare food in.
--->Practice stress reduction and mindfulness.
--->Quit smoking.
*More Resources:
--->Cancer and Lifestyle:
--->New Dietary Guidelines For Cancer Prevention: and
---> Videos on Breast Cancer:
--->Linus Pauling Institute's Carotenoids:
--->Yahoo Screen "Foods that Make You Look Younger" for more on carotenoids:

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Chronic diseases are largely preventable diseases

Lifestyle and diet transformation over the last century coincides with the evolution of diseases from mostly infectious to mostly noncommunicable (chronic) in origin.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic diseases will be responsible for almost 3/4 of deaths around the world by 2020.
They also say, "Chronic diseases are largely preventable diseases....Diet has been known for many years to play a key role as a risk factor for chronic diseases. What is apparent at the global level is that great changes have swept the entire world since the second half of the twentieth century, inducing major modifications in diet, first in industrial regions and more recently in developing countries. Traditional, largely plantbased diets have been swiftly replaced by high-fat, energy-dense diets with a substantial content of animal-based foods."
*More Resources:
--->Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's Trends in Food Availability:
--->U.S. Department of Agriculture's Tracking a Century of American Eating:
--->6 Reasons Plant-Based Nutrition Is The Solution to The Healthcare Crisis:
--->6 Steps Towards a Plant-Based Diet:
--->Rouxbe's Online Plant-Based Professional Certification Course:
--->Dr. Joel Kahn - America's Holistic Heart Doc's Heart Healthy? It is as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5):

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

What To Expect When Adopting A Vegan Diet

by Eve Nguyen of Renew Vitality

We know that a vegan diet is a healthy choice. The internationally recognised American Dietetic
Association has stated that appropriately planned vegan diets are healthy, nutritionally adequate,
and can provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Closer to home
and the Victorian government's Better Health Channel has also said: "A well-balanced vegetarian or
vegan diet can provide many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including:
~ Obesity
~ Coronary artery disease
~ Hypertension (high blood pressure)
~ Diabetes
~ Some types of cancer."
So what can you expect when making the transition to a vegan diet?
In short, the answer is that it depends what sort of diet you are switching from and what sort of vegan
diet you are adopting. It will be an individual experience for everyone. There are healthy vegan diets
and there are junk-food vegan diets. Let me explain further.
A healthy vegan diet contains ample portions of fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses (lentils,
chickpeas, kidney beans, red lentils, green split peas etc.) and wholegrains (oats, barley, and gluten-
free grains including brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat etc.) with a smaller amount of nuts and seeds.
When people adopt a healthy vegan diet they often report many changes in their body in the first
week or so of adopting the diet. Changes can include more regular bowel movements because
the intestinal tract is cleaner and more efficient on a vegan diet, high blood pressure can start to
normalise, high blood sugar levels can start to normalise, pain from various conditions (arthritis, gout
etc.) can lessen, people may start losing weight, skin conditions/rashes may start to clear up or lessen
in intensity and digestive symptoms such as heart burn may improve.
Simply speaking, adopting a vegan diet eliminates nasty meat-derived substances from the body that
can aggravate inflammation, pain and other conditions in the body such as arachidonic acid and uric
acid for example. Eliminating dairy products from the diet may assist in clearing up the sinuses and
may lessen joint pain (in addition to other health benefits!). Also, the vegan diet eliminates all forms of
cholesterol from the diet as cholesterol is only found in animal-derived ingredients.
If your diet regularly consists of meat products, processed meats, fried foods and dairy products such
as butter, milk and ice-cream and you move to a healthy vegan diet then you may experience some
detoxification symptoms. This may occur when the body is moving from an acidic and overburdened
state to a more alkaline and healthy state, and can be a sign that the body is rebalancing and trying to
regain health.
These signs may include headaches, sinus congestion or a running nose, discomfort in the digestive
system, perhaps some pimples on the skin and feeling tired and irritable or not quite optimal for a few
days to a week. If your body has been highly acidic and undernourished by your previous diet you
may experience cold-like symptoms as the body tries to cleanse itself by eliminating mucous from the
body. Bowel movements will probably increase. Urination may increase as you take in more fluid from
the fruits and vegetables.
Remember these symptoms can be due to a previous diet that burdened the body and digestive
system. As a new, healthy vegan diet is adopted with an abundance of plant nutrients, vitamins and
minerals, the body may put more energy into clearing old waste and trying to bring health and vitality
to parts of the body that have been stressed.