Thursday, March 8, 2018

50 Months A Vegan. !!!!! #eatinglikeahorse #foodismedicine #MarchWithStarch

Its All Healthy, Its All Good AND Its All Starch
     Just in case you're keeping track, its been 50 months since I accepted that a Whole Foods Plant Based diet is The Healthiest Diet On The Planet!  It was easy for me to give up all animal products. Really! Even cheese!

I never got hungry or had any cravings. Meat from cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, fish and everything else that ever had a face and a mother contains no fiber. Zero. Without the fiber I would have to eat loads and loads of meat to make me feel full. Along with the meat comes loads and loads of cholesterol which is not found in plants and tons of sodium because without it, it tastes like dead meat! 
     The picture above was my dinner tonight. That one meal covers all the nutritional needs that I have including all of the essential amino acids for protein synthesis, all the vitamins and minerals, all the fatty acids, all the phytonutrients and all the fiber for the entire day, but its all starch and only around 550 calories. The plate contained so much food that I had to put some in the fridge for another day. Four hours later I still feel full with lots of energy, no feeling like I have to loosen my belt and take a nap and no brain fog. I used a pinch of salt for the mixed brown and wild rice, but most of the flavor came from the garlic, onion, ginger, cumin, sage, thyme, parsley, basil, cayenne pepper and the sliced sweet peppers. Notice all the colors in the veggies.  We are hardwired to be attracted to them.
In the wild the colors stand out and help us locate them as a possible food source.  Those colors are the phytonutrients that help optimize our health. They are easily and nearly totally absorbed. You won't see them coming out the other end. Your digestive system was developed millions of years ago and is geared to break down whatever you chose to eat, absorb what you need and flush out the waste. Animal and plant based foods are all capable of providing your nutritional needs. The plants won't clog your arteries. So eat the rainbow to help lower your cholesterol, improve your memory, decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack, lose weight, lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, prevent or even reverse diabetes and heart disease, reduce the risk of colon cancer and even fight depression! There is no other diet plan or pill you can take that will do all that. If you find one I would like to hear about it! 
     If this is the first of my blogs that you've read, the reason I started eating like this is because I knew I had to lose a lot of weight. My friend, Joel Kahn MD is an interventional cardiologist who would rather teach you how to prevent a heart attack than treat you after you've had one. Simply following him on Facebook, I got all the information I needed right there to change my ways. He recently published his latest book: The Plant Based Solution . It is an excellent starting point with tons of easy to follow information and lots of wonderful and simple recipes. It even has success stories to help motivate you. My personal story leads off the chapter Slim and Trim.  
     One hundred pounds disappeared without any pills, surgery or exercise. Another 10 disappeared when I started regular exercise. It's a lot easier to exercise after losing 100 lbs. That means I lost 90% of the weight I needed to lose by eating real food and only 10% with exercise. You can't out exercise a bad diet but you can easily transition to a healthy one! Why not pick the healthiest!
     Don't think for a second that your Doctor is in charge of your health. He or she will expertly treat you once you get sick or develop a chronic disease but most probably won't go over what you are eating before a problem develops. You and only you are in charge of your health and what you eat every day is the key. Get started. Give it 2 weeks and see what happens. Anyone can do anything for 2 weeks. Even me!! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 3 of Food Diary Update Diet Toolbox Tools. Dinner! #eatYOURveggies #EATtoLOSE

Mixed greens, BBQ tofu, oil free dressing.  Broccoli steamed with ginger, garlic, onion flakes, tomato, dates, vinegar
     Two days later, to continue my story, I'm doing the food diary again. With no additional exercise, I weigh 4 lbs less than I did 2 days ago. That's what happens when I find a way to let my brain account for everything I've eaten. The weight just falls right off with no additional work other than putting pen to paper. No special supplements, no medication, no specific food preparation, just mindful eating. It's like a ZEN lifestyle. I've found my TAO to ZEN.  I'll blame the ginger. ✌

Interested in learning more?
Joint me at the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group at Groves High School next Wednesday.
This is easy and really truly works!!

Joel Kahn MD and Allan Kalmus DPM


Monday, February 19, 2018

Diet Toolbox #thatappleiswatchingme #eatyourGBOMBS #FOODisMEDICINE

For various reasons I've had a hard time maintaining my weight over the past few weeks. Its hard to adjust and easier to put it on than it is to take it off. It may be the decreased level of activity due to the winter weather.  More likely it's the increased time indoors, stress associated with the slow season and just plain paying no attention to how much and how often I'm eating, hungry or not. Stress has me eating for comfort when I'm already full. There is no accountability. In spite of perfect compliance with a whole food plant based no oil diet my portion control has failed.
Back to basics. I thought I'd gotten over the need for a food diary. For most of the year it's not necessary but right now it is a simple tool to help me regain control. My brain does not want to acknowledge how full my stomach is through the usual neurological and hormonal pathways. The food diary gives my brain the feedback I need to know how much I have already eaten and when to stop!

Here's how it's going so far today:

7:00 am.  One cup of dry quick oats mixed with 2 cups of boiling water, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed and 4 tablespoons of mixed berries.
I cooled it down with 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk.

10;00 am. One cup of black coffee.

Leftover 1 pan pasta with gluten free chickpea rotini pasta, red Swiss chard, curly parsley, fresh grated ginger, fresh tomato, sliced carrots, sliced celery, garlic, onion, purple cabbage, onion flakes, cayenne pepper, 2 pinches of black sea salt and 2 cups of water. Also fresh pear slices on the side and another cup of black coffee.

2:00 pm.  One 16 ounce bottle of water.
3:00 pm.  One large apple.

Already by the end of lunch I got in my Greens, Beans, Onions, Berries and Seeds.
All I have to do to complete the Dr. Fuhrman acronym is eat some Mushrooms and I can cross off my G-BOMBS for the day.

The more I write down, the more aware I become of all the things I put in my stomach today and the fuller I feel. That's why I'm putting in all the detail. It becomes a change in thought pattern between "what can I eat next?" and the healthier  "what have I already eaten?".

That's the idea. It's not complicated and doesn't cost anything. Spring is around the corner and I want to get back into the 5K races. I started training yesterday. It's my way of taking control of my own health. It's not my Doctor's responsibility to make me healthy, its mine.
I can do this and I know you can too!  All it takes is 1 step at a time. Take that 1st one!!!

Friday, February 9, 2018

49 months a vegan! Filling meal of Spaghetti Squash #foodismedicine #vEGANisNOTboring

Spaghetti Squash with homemade marinara and portobello mushrooms
      I'm into this whole foods plant based no oil cooking for over 4 years and the food is never boring! This is a spaghetti squash with meatless spaghetti sauce, portobello mushrooms that I cooked in it's own juice using a non stick pan and cooking it on medium low heat.
     It's really easy and it took almost no time to prepare. All I did was cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, sprinkle on a tiny pinch of salt and that was the prep. I baked it at 350 degrees open side up in the oven for an hour. During that hour I did paper work.
     Once done I used a fork to scrape out the squash, mixed it with the sauce that I made and jarred 2 weeks ago, added the mushrooms and sprinkled on a little nutritional yeast. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

That squash was in the fridge in the garage waiting patiently for me  to do something with it for about 4 weeks uncovered. Had it been chicken, beef or fish I would have thrown it out by then. That's the great thing about veggies. Even when they are a few weeks old you can still use them. Almost nothing goes to waist! Wilted veggies usually perk back up if you soak them in water for a little while and if they don't, I cut them up, throw them in a pot and make soup!  This is not a complicated equation.
Eat your fruits and veggies, get healthy, lose weight without going hungry and save money!  What's not to like?
Think you could never give up meat and cheese?  So did I and I was wrong. Try it for a week. Anyone can do this.....even me.

Monday, February 5, 2018

49 Months a Vegan! Here is my salad dressing recipe. #Simple #hatepublicspeaking #lovethemessage

I had the honor of speaking to an audience about my personal lifestyle changes over the past 4 years following a lecture on whole foods plant based no oil eating given by Dr. Joel Kahn last week. 
In case you missed it, I gave out a recipe for a healthy, simple salad dressing. Here it is again. 
Hope you like it as much as I do!

Romaine and Kale with sweet bell peppers and tomato
     There is absolutely no reason in the world to eat oil period. It doesn't matter if it's vegetable, olive, coconut, safflower, canola, etc, They are all oil and oil damages the endothelial lining of your arteries.  It is the most calorie dense food out there. One tablespoon is 120 calories taking up almost no room in your stomach, adding no nutrition that you couldn't be getting from whole foods. If you have a history of heart disease, a family history of heart disease or you just want a future without heart disease, stay away from oil!!!  ← (that's a link...)
     When you are trying to lose weight, you should go for foods that fill your stomach yet are very low in calories. These are the foods that Weight Watchers assigns Zero points and tells you to eat them as much as you want. Any fruit or vegetable that grows above the ground will do. Stretching out your stomach with low calorie whole foods tells your brain you are full and don't need to eat anymore. Here's my simple salad dressing:

Red Wine Vinegar
Agave nectar
Lemon Juice
Onion flakes
Black pepper

Mix up a nice large salad in a bowl. Drizzle on the vinegar, lemon juice and a little agave nectar. Sprinkle on the seasonings. Toss. That's it! Simple. This is how my mother used to do it. There was no measuring. Add or subtract any seasoning you like and enjoy!!!

     Check out PBNSG.org more recipes and tips.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Vegan Gluten Free Oil Free One Pan Pasta!

Happy 2018! 
I was at Costco over the weekend and came across this gluten free chickpea pasta. I have no problems with gluten but I saw this on the shelf and thought I would try it. I wasn't disappointed! It's easy to cook and 5 times higher in protein than regular wheat pasta. Coincidently,  I was watching a video of a guy who made some changes to a Martha Stewart one pan pasta recipe and all he did was add some spinach. If that's all you have to do to make it your own, then I have it covered! The only equipment I needed was a skillet, a very sharp knife and a wooden spoon. If you want you can use this same recipe with regular spaghetti or any dry pasta. It's really easy!

Easy One Pan Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 2

Everything in the skillet
2 Cups uncooked pasta
2 Roma tomatoes
4 Baby Portobello mushrooms
1 medium onion
1/2  of a sweet yellow pepper
1 medium Jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 T dry basil
1 T dry oregano
1 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
2 Cups water (or vegetable stock)
Using a very sharp knife slice the veggies as thinly as you can so they will cook quickly. Put everything in the skillet and add the water. On high heat, bring it to a boil. Cook it down and stir so it cooks evenly. 

As it begins to thicken, lower the heat to simmer and continue stirring until you cook off most of the water. 

Put it on a plate and serve hot. As an option, I also sprinkled some nutritional yeast over the top. 
It makes a great main dish or a wonderful side dish. Eat! It's good for you!!!

Monday, January 1, 2018

3 things you can do to get started on New Year's Day #Vegan #Eatlikeahorse #LeanVeggieMachine

This is an article I wrote in 2016 for Detroit's   Plant Based Nutrition Support Group.  It still applies:

In 2013 I was feeling pretty good, taking my blood pressure medicine, my cholesterol medicine, using my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea and coping with random aches and pains in my back, knees and shoulders. I knew I was fat, wearing size XXL shirts and size 44 pants. My weight maxed out at 284 lbs the year before. By the end of that year I had managed to lose 10 whole pounds. Not much of a difference and I knew it.
     When I decided to change my life I was lucky enough to have access to the information I needed to point me in the right direction. Here's my list of 3 things you can start doing right now:

1) Get some motivation from your television. Your TV is a remarkable teaching instrument. It captures your attention and allows you to stop, rewind and go over information as  many times as it takes to understand. If you have Netflix, watch Forks Over Knives and then watch Plant Pure Nation. You have all this great information available right in your own home. Its time to sit down and let it sink in. 
2) Collect a few Plant Based Whole Foods recipes. Learn about things you can do to veganize food that you already enjoy. For example I love oatmeal for breakfast. I buy steel cut oats because I like the texture. It's available at any grocery store and also in most bulk food stores. Instead of cow's milk I like vanilla almond milk. Make a pot with 2 cups of steel cut oats, 4 cups of water, 4 cups of vanilla almond milk then spice it up. I put in varying combinations of cinnamon, a chopped banana, allspice, dried cherries, raisins, chopped dates, chopped walnuts and or chopped apples. All of that is from plants and nothing has been highly processed. I like to sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of milled flaxseed for the Omega 3 fatty acids once its in my bowl. My blog has a bunch of other simple recipes that you're going to love. There are lots of vegan cookbooks out there. Pick one, like the Engine 2 Cookbook  or The Plant Power Way and flip through it. It will give you great results and give you an idea of the many substitutes you can use instead of oil, milk, sugar and meat! Once you collect 10 or 15 recipes to rotate, you'll never get bored.
3) Make a commitment to yourself. Set a time to get started. Changing your eating habits is the same as breaking any addiction. It takes your body a month to get over the withdrawal symtoms of an addiction. Its not a coincidence that the most effective substance abuse rehab programs are a minimum of 1 month. High fat, processed, sugary, salty processed foods stimulate the same pleasure center in your brain as opiates.  I chose New Year's Day and committed myself to do this for 1 year. By the end of the 1st month I had lost 20 lbs and already felt better physically and mentally. We're all watching football and recovering from the holidays on New Year's Day. Its a great time to begin. 
Its a chance to follow through with the same resolution you've been making every year and breaking every year. Make this the year that you commit to yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you!