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!


Sunday, December 31, 2017

My 5th Year a Vegan Starts Tomorrow! Recipe: White Beans and Wild Rice #WFPBnoOil #ReverseDiabetesNow!

White Beans With Wild Rice
      Here's my recipe for white beans and wild rice. It's full of fiber and contains ZERO cholesterol. I used my pressure cooker and it was ready in an hour. It contains all the essential amino acids so your amazing body can make it's own protein with no added oil to gum up your system. The things I used to eat as side dishes are now the center of my Whole Foods Plant Based No Oil diet. 
     Tomorrow is New Year's Day 2018. Start it out with a bowl of oatmeal with vanilla almond milk, raisins, cinnamon and sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed. Have a banana. Eat an orange. Have an apple or two. If you get sick of football, sit down with a big bowl of air popped popcorn and watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix. If you don't get Netflix, watch Dr. Esselstyn from the Cleveland Clinic lecture about how to make your heart healthy through what you eat so you can eliminate your blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Have the healthiest, happiest New Year ever! Anyone can.

White Beans with Wild Rice
1/2 cup of dry white beans
1/2 cup of wild rice
2 cups of vegetable soup stock
1/2 cup of water

Servings:  2
Saturated Fat:  0

Rinse the dry beans. Put everything in your pressure cooker. Set it for 1 hour. Let the steam vent on it's own.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Four Years a Vegan! Happy New Year!!! #eattolose #foodISmedicine #nutritarian #WFPBnoOIL

White beans with wild rice, Zoodles stir cooked in veggie broth, Sweet orange pepper, Portobello mushrooms and Sweetcorn  

     Monday, January 1, 2018 will mark the beginning of my 5th year living a whole foods plant based no oil lifestyle. I started out at age 58 as an obese, prediabetic, sedentary, depressed couch potato with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, exercise induced asthma, kidney issues and obstructive sleep apnea. In less than a year those problems vanished and my doctor took me off my medications. By 18 months I had lost 100 lbs without increasing my activity. When I was challenged at age 60 by one of my nieces to join her for a 5K race I found that I liked running for the 1st time in my life and that I was good at it! Another 10 lbs vanished with the running and my weight became stable at 174 lbs. Total weight loss was 110 lbs. Now at the end of my 4th year my weight remains stable, I eat enormous amounts of food, feel great, don't need medications and have tons more energy than ever before. As a bonus, my chances of developing Diabetes or of having a heart attack have been reversed!
     Heart disease is the number 1 killer of people in the United States and the numbers are growing. All of the blood pressure pills and statin drugs out there haven't changed that fact. So even if this whole foods plant based no oil diet didn't make me lose weight and keep it off, reverse prediabetes, eliminate the sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and kidney issues wasn't it worth doing just to save me from suffering a heart attack? There aren't any pills out there that can replace a healthy diet and there aren't any other diets out there that can do all the things for you that this one can.
     Get over to the produce section and you won't have to spend time in the pharmacy department. It doesn't matter how old you are. Anyone can choose to do this for themself. It makes a GREAT New Year's resolution. Make changes in your food choices now to look and feel better next week, next month and for the rest of your life!
For a FREE 21 day kickstart plan that starts on the 1st of the month go to Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. Make that 1st choice. Nobody can do it for you!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas! Give yourself a gift of health ❤ #veganNOoil #eattolose #eatmoreweighless

    In 2013, age 58,  I was pre-diabetic, weighed 284 lbs, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and my kidneys were leaking blood; 5 red cells per high powered field. Rather than wait for a health crisis to hit, I was proactive and chose to get on board with a whole foods plant based lifestyle.
    In the first year I lost 80 lbs. By month 16 my weight was down 100 lbs without any exercise. I was no longer pre-diabetic, no longer had sleep apnea and my doctor took me off my blood pressure and cholesterol pills. My kidneys stopped leaking blood completely.
    Memorial Day of 2015 I started running. By Labor Day I was down a total of 110 lbs, comfortable running 5K and ran in my very 1st race. I won the Bronze Medal in my age group!
    January 1, 2018 will mark the beginning of my 5th year doing this. My weight is stable between 174 and 180 lbs no matter how much I eat. I am more active and weigh 5 lbs less than I did when I was 18. Going whole foods, plant based, no oil was the best health decision I ever made!
Your age doesn't matter. Anyone, and I mean EVERYONE, CAN DO THIS!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Quick Meal! Steam is my friend! #6minute

Just to emphasize how easy it is to make healthy food when you have no time, this meal took 8 minutes to prepare. It's snowing out and my commute last night turned into a little adventure. Yadda yadda yadda I made it home safe, but very late and quite hungry! From the variety of choices in our fridge, I grabbed an ear of corn, a yellow bell pepper, a stalk of broccoli, some cherry tomatoes and homemade garlic sauce. I peeled and cut the broccoli stalk into coins, cut up the florets then sliced the yellow pepper. The corn and other veggies went into a glass casserole dish and cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes. While cooking I sliced the tomatoes. Let it cool a little, sprinkle a hint of allspice on the broccoli, put a tablepoon of garlic sauce on the peppers, add the tomatoes, take a picture, eat! ....or make pizza:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Almost 4 Full Years A Vegan!! Healthy Beyond Words! Here's a Snack Bar Recipe!!! #vegan #plantperfect #kosher #pareve #treattime

Snack or Breakfast Bars
It's coming up on the 4th anniversary of my transition to an all plant diet. I lost 110 lbs and am maintaining my weight right there too.  I'm getting upset about hearing from people who, for weight loss or other health reasons, want to be Whole Foods Plant Based and are taking Protein Supplements. To begin with protein supplements are not whole foods. Whole foods are unprocessed with no preservatives or chemical additives. The supplements tend to contain Erythritol, Stevia or Xylitol as sweeteners. All three, though found in nature, are concentrated, processed sweeteners. When you take a protein powder, one scoop contains about 25 grams of protein and between 120 and 140 calories. It will not fill up your stomach and will not make you feel full. In other words, you are going to eat what you normally would eat to keep yourself from getting hungry and on top of that you are adding 120 to 140 calories per day! For the average person you only need between 45 and 55 grams of protein per day. Any excess protein that you consume your body will convert to fat.  Every single whole plant food source contains some protein. If you are eating enough plants to make yourself feel full you will easily reach that amount and probably surpass it.

For example:
One cup of oatmeal cooked in water contains 6 grams of protein. Adding 1 cup of almond milk, a banana and 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed (an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids) brings the total up to 11 grams. 

Two slices of whole wheat bread contain 10 grams of protein. Sprinkling 1/4 cup of chickpeas on a 3 cup serving of spring mix salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing is another 11 grams of protein making a light lunch containing a total of 21 grams of protein. 

As an afternoon snack, try a fruit smoothie with 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds adding more Omega 3 fatty acids and 5 more grams of protein to your day. 

For dinner an ear of corn adds 3 grams, one cup of cooked quinoa adds 8 grams, one veggie black bean burger is 10 grams on a whole grain bun for another 5 grams. That's a dinner with 26 more grams of protein. 

We're already at 63 grams of whole foods plant based protein with no processed sugar and no oil added. We have included all the essential amino acids; the building blocks of protein. You can even round out the night with air popped popcorn adding another gram of protein per popped cup. 

Like I said, getting enough protein is not an issue. We've been convinced by the advertisers for the food industry that we need 2 to 3 times the amount of protein than is really necessary. As a result we have a very serious health problem in our country with diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease all associated with obesity.
Don't worry about protein. We live in a country of excess. Feeling full is not a problem either. You can eat all the fresh fruit and veggies that you want during the day and night with no guilt and one more gram of clean protein per serving! Nobody is at Weight Watchers because they ate too many apples.

I think we all deserve a treat. Here's my recipe for some wonderful snack bars:

Plant Perfect
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cooking Time: 1 hour, yield 18 bars per pan.

3 Cups Rolled Oats, 2 Ripe Bananas, 12 Dates (pitted and chopped), 1.5 Cups Apple Cider, 1 Cup Chopped Apples, 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries (Craisins) or raisins, 1 TBS Maple Syrup, 1 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice, 1 tsp Vanilla, I Cup Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds (may substitute 1 cup of your favorite chopped nuts)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the bananas, 1 cup of rolled oats, maple syrup, apple cider, dates and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. In a separate bowl put 2 cups rolled oats, pumpkin pie spice, shelled hemp seeds (or nuts) and mix them together. Stir in the contents from the blender until it's the consistency of cookie dough. Mix in the chopped apples and dried cranberries.

Line two 9 x 9 inch baking pans with parchment paper. Spread the dough evenly and bake for 35 minutes. Take it out and let it cool for 10 minutes. Cut it into bars, turn them over and bake for another 15 minutes. Let them cool and serve. For a less chewy granola bar texture let them dry out overnight.

Great as a snack, breakfast bar or energy bar.


Michael Greger MD, Joel Kahn MD and Allan Kalmus DPM