Wednesday, September 27, 2017

45 Months a Vegan. Pulled Jackfruit!!! #foodismedicine #eatmoreweighless #eatlikeagorilla #kosher #pareve

Smoked Jackfruit, Cashew Garlic Sauce and Tomato on a Whole Wheat Bun with a side of Chickpea Fusilli Pasta and Cheesy Sauce
     When I was 58 years old, 100 pounds over weight, sedentary and taking medicines for high blood pressure and high cholesterol I decided to make a drastic change. Complicit in the downward spiral of my own health with no clue of the underlying harmful things I was doing, a culinary crossroad presented. I was reluctant to accept the fact that change was needed. The "Standard American Diet" filled with high fat, low fiber, salty, sugary, processed foods was all that I had ever known. It was all that everyone I had ever known had ever known! It had become normal to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It was acceptable to be sedentary and to slowly succumb to heart disease. But when friends and relatives began getting stents placed in their hearts, needing medication for Diabetes and dying far too young I took a closer look at the other road. I took my first step onto the "Whole Foods Plant Based No Oil" road and never regretted it.
     Within 2 months I had lost 40 pounds. In less than 2 years I lost 100 pounds and the need for any of my medications. This was all without any organized program, weight loss surgery or medical supervision. I went in for my regular doctor visits but he gave me no advise other than to keep doing what I was doing. I started running for exercise at the age of 61. Very quickly I found that I could run 3 miles with no pain, wheezing, soreness or stiffness. I started running 5K races for fun. In my 1st race I won a bronze medal for my age group. Who does that? I lost another 10 pounds too and have kept all of it off.
     As far as the food goes, it is absolutely delicious, easy to prepare, cheaper than meat, dairy,  fish and poultry and so filling that I'm never hungry and never have cravings. I drive a lot between home, offices and nursing homes. Now when I want something to eat away from home I stop in a grocery store and fill up with some fruit instead of cheeseburgers, fries, chicken, sweets or chips. Every week some new fruit, grain or vegetable attracts my attention. Jackfruit is an excellent example. Learning to prepare something new is as easy as opening your web browser. With 18% more potassium than a banana the Jackfruit seed pod is an excellent post running recovery snack. The fibers between the pods within the fruit pull apart in shreds. Cooking it using a pressure cooker or crock pot with some smoky barbeque sauce gives it the flavor and texture of pulled pork. Even the seeds, the size of an avocado pit, are edible. The drastic change in my diet gave me profound results. It was daunting to get started. I was as reluctant as anyone to make a change and now my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
   Drastic change. Dramatic results. Lots and lots of healthy choices. Learn how. Pick a date. Don't wait until you get sick. Get started! No one is going to do it for you!
Check out:
www.pbnsg.org for success stories and recipes.
Joel Kahn MD on twitter.
Forks Over Knives on Netflix.
Engine 2 Diet on Amazon.

Monday, September 4, 2017

44 Months a Vegan. Still cooking! Meatless Meatloaf!!!! #eatlikegorillas #foodismedicine #eatmoreweighless #oilfree #glutenfree

Millet,Black Bean, and Portobello Loaf,
 Snap Peas, Baked Potato and Salad

My mom used to make a really delicious meatloaf and she would keep it simple. It was full of onions, garlic, soy sauce and held together with bread crumbs and eggs.
I decided to "veganize" it and after 2 tries, I'm really happy with the results!
No restrictions on creativity, right?
After 44 months on a whole foods plant based no oil diet, I've kept the weight off (down 110 lbs) and made the food the opposite of boring! 

Prep time:  30 minutes
Cooking time:  1 hour 20 minutes

Meatless Meatloaf
1 cup millet
1 15 ounce can of black beans
3 portobella mushroom caps
2 slices of pickled beats
1/2 cup of quick oats (Quaker Oats are gluten free)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 onion
1 tomato
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup lite soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 cup catsup

Cook the millet in 2.5 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt. Bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave it covered for 15 minutes. While it's cooking, drain, rinse and mash the beans. Chop up the onion, garlic, tomato, mushrooms and beat slices. In a large mixing bowl add the cooked millet. Hold the catsup to put over the top.
Mix everything else together. It should have the consistency of ground hamburger. Add more oats if it's too loose. Season to taste with soy sauce and salt. It's safe to taste it uncooked since there is no meat or eggs!
Put it in a nonstick loaf pan and cover it with catsup. Take a fork and poke the the catsup into the mixture.
Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

43 Months A Vegan!! Before and After Pictures. Whole Foods Plant Based, No Oil #foodismedicine #oilisforcars #livingtheveggielife

Salad for 14+
My Assignment for Every Family Dinner
  1. the repetition of a process or utterance.
    • repetition of a mathematical or computational procedure applied to the result of a previous application, typically as a means of obtaining successively closer approximations to the solution of a problem
    It is now 43 months since I went vegan. A few months after that I learned the difference between vegan and whole foods plant based and started doing that. Then I learned about cooking oils and quit doing that! Most recently I learned of the benefits of a diet rich in Omega 3's and low in Omega 6 fatty acids and jumped all over that. So in my current iteration I would say I'm a whole foods plant based no oil vegan who avoids Omega 6's and stresses Omega 3 fatty acids. The transition to this lifestyle is a process. I like to say I jumped into it cold turkey, and I did, but there is always more to learn and adjustments to be made. "A means of obtaining successively closer approximations to the solution of a problem." The problem being the best way to optimize my health through changes in diet and activity. So far, so good. 
     The medical issues that affected me 4 years ago i.e. hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, obesity, microhematuria (microscopic traces of blood in my urine), pre-diabetes, general aches and pains and lethargy have all vanished. POOF!! Any and all abnormal values in my blood work, urinalysis, physical exam and overnight sleep study are gone. No more medications needed for any of that. The only supplement that I take is a tiny, over the counter B 12 tablet daily. That and a Vitamin D capsule because I live in Michigan and summer sunshine is just too short a season to make enough on my own. My blood work shows that the level of both of those things in me now are on the high side of normal. I can run a mile in under 9 minutes and run a 3K race in 31 minutes. I'm bucket listing towards running 10K in just over an hour by the end of this month. I also bicycle 17K, swim 1 mile and play golf a little. Its making me feel younger at 62 than I did when I was 45!
The easy part is there are so few rules:
1) Eat only plants (fruits, veggies, seeds, beans and a few nuts)
2) Stay away from any oil including olive, corn, canola, coconut or anything else that ends in "oil". 
3) Eat whole foods. Processed foods tend to have less or no fiber and lots of additives. White rice, white flour, white bread and refined sugar all have the fiber removed. The fiber is the healthy part. 

The rest are details you can pick up along the way like I did.
Check out PBNSG.org for more information and easy recipes.

August, 2013
August, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vegan Chipotle, Quinoa, Spinach Casserole! #WFPB #glutenfree #nutfree #kosher #pareve

I was watching a cooking video that includes a recipe for a Chipotle sauce. Having no experience with that particular pepper, it got my attention. It was described
As having a very spicy, smokey flavor. Sounded good to me! I love, love, love spicy food. Heck. They named an entire chain of restaurants after one pepper so let's see what happens, right? I ran right out and bought a can. I'm so glad I did! This came out so good on my very 1st try that I needed despiritly to share it with someone. I choose you!

Chipotle Spinach Quinoa Casserole
2 lbs fresh spinach wilted and chopped
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1lb extra firm tofu (optional. I like it!)
10 dates
4 TBSP’s  lemon juice
2 TBSP’s cumin
2 TBSP’s salt
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 TBSP's dried parsley
2 TBSP's dried basil
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 chipotle peppers
1 can chickpeas drained
½ cup quinoa

    Put the tofu, chickpeas, lemon juice and peppers in a blender. Blend until creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides more than once.
    Put the spinach in a pot and pour boiling water over it until it is wilted. Strain out most of the water. Chop it up.
    Mix everything together thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour it into a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pain. Bake it for 90 minutes. Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

42 Months A Vegan!! Greener and Leaner! Before and after pictures... #foodismedicine #eatlikeagorilla

After 42 months and 110 lbs of weight loss, it feels like I have a handle on this whole foods plant based nutrition lifestyle.  It took time to get ready mentally. I knew very little about proper nutrition prior to making the switch. After 3 months of casually reading Dr. Joel Kahn's social media and then watching Forks Over Knives on Netflix, I understood why. At age 58, eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), I weighed 284 lbs had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Now, at 174 lbs, age 62, I don't.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."   Hippocrates

When I read the early entries in my blog it amazes me how easy it was to make things complicated. It doesn't have to be. This is real, unprocessed, naturally healthy food.
In the interest of keeping it simple here are a few meal suggestions. Remember, if you get hungry between meals, you can eat all the fresh fruit you want. The same goes for vegetables as long as they aren't dipped in anything like the infamous Ranch Dressing.

1 Cup quick oats
1 Cup almond milk
1 Cup hot water
1 banana
1 tsp cinnamon

Add all of the above to a cereal bowl. Microwave for 2 or 3 minutes.
OPTIONAL: after it's cooked add 1 heaping TBSP of milled flaxseed for the Omega 3 fatty acids. Add strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or fresh fruit of your choice.
Have a cup of black coffee if you like. Sometimes I put vanilla almond milk or some pure maple syrup in my coffee.

MIDMORNING SNACK:  Fresh fruit of your choice or a fruit smoothie.

1 Medium or Large Greek Salad without feta cheese and without house dressing.
(Use red wine vinegar or balsamic with salt, pepper, agave nectar and dried onion flakes.
Includes beets, chickpeas and peppers.)
1 Sweet potato including the skin.
(Wash it and wrap it in a paper towel. Microwave it for 6 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes. It's still cooking until it's cool enough to handle)
Drink plenty of water or have more coffee or both!

MIDAFTERNOON SNACK:  Fresh fruit of your choice and 7 raw almonds.

Medium mixed vegetable salad with oil free dressing similar to the lunch salad. Oil free whole grain spaghetti marinara and 2 ears of sweetcorn with no salt or butter (Wash them, wrap them in paper towel and microwave for 2.5 minutes per ear).
For dessert have a bowl of fruit salad or some watermelon.

EVENING SNACK:  Air popped popcorn, fresh fruit or fresh veggies of your choice.

That is a lot of food for one day!  You won't be hungry.

I thought you might like a little music video just to show you the huge variety of food choices available at any grocery store.
Courtesy of Green Beings.
CLICK HERE for the music video.

After 2 years


Friday, June 16, 2017

Vegan Dinner vs 1/4 lbs Cheeseburger On A Bun #fulltummy #eatyourveggies #eatmoretoweighless

550 calories no cholesterol
I became a vegan to lose weight and keep it off. I didn't know what I was doing but learned quickly about whole, plant based foods. 
After 3.5 years and 110 lbs I'm here to tell you this works! I get to eat MORE food than I used to, never get hungry and no longer have to deal with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or sleep apnea. 
     Take a look at all the food on that plate. It's all from plants, whole foods, high fiber, oil free with no processed sugar. That's spaghetti marinara with Barilla high fiber noodles, sweet corn cooked in the microwave 2 minutes per ear and a salad with romaine lettuce, kale, 1/2 an avocado, tomato, parsley, cucumber with dressing of drizzled red wine vinegar, agave nectar, dried onion flakes, lemon juice, a little salt and pepper. I love to eat and could barely finish all that food. Since no animal products are involved with this meal, it contains ZERO cholesterol.
Your body makes cholesterol all by itself. There is no reason to ever eat it.

550 calories 100 milligrams of cholesterol
Here is the same number of calories in the form of a cheeseburger on a white bread bun. Since it is on white bread, most of the fiber has been taken out. I could finish that in 4 bites. There is not enough food there to stimulate the stretch receptors in my stomach that make me feel full. Without that feeling, no matter how many calories, I would be craving more food.  More than half of it's calories come from fat! The only fiber is from the onions. I can feel my arteries and internal organs panicking at the thought of eating that!

So here's the bottom line:
1)  To lose weight, keep it off eat foods that are going to make you feel full with lots of fiber and no animal fat. Staying full means no more cravings.
2)  Maximize the health benefits of whole foods. Avoid processed food like white flour, white rice and oils. You may not think of cooking oil as processed food but it is. For example it takes 40 olives to make 1 tablespoon of olive oil. All the fiber has been processed out. There are 120 calories in 1 tablespoon with no nutrients in oils that you can't get from whole foods.
     Honestly, I never thought I would be able to do this and stick with it. Once I got started and quickly started losing weight I was all in. You will feel better within 2 weeks and the next time you go to your Doctor for a refill on your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol pills don't be surprised if the dose has to be lowered or you get to throw them away completely!

2016 with Joel Kahn, MD


Get started!


To learn more, go to the website: www.PBNSG.org. They have tons of information and searchable recipes for anything you like.
I happen to be one one of the success stories.

You can also pick up a book for guidance and recipes like:

 The No BS Diet Book by Joel Kahn, MD.  Dr. Kahn is an interventional cardiologist who would rather teach you how to avoid heart disease than have to put a stent in you or worse after you already have it.

 Eat More Weigh Less by Dean Ornish, MD.  Dr. Ornish was one of the first people to develop a whole foods diet to help prevent and even reverse heart disease.

 21 Day Weight Loss Kick Start by Neal Barnard, MD.  Dr. Barnard founded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

 Forks Over Knives  There are 125 easy recipes in this book to help you make good decisions with your fork before the doctors have to use their knives.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spinach Casserole #vegan #oilfree #Kosher #Pareve

Spinach Casserole with Tofu and Nutritional Yeast
Sometimes all you have to do is use a different pan with the same basic recipe to improve it.
Well...that, and I added a few things.

2 boxes of frozen chopped spinach
or 1 pound of fresh spinach - cooked and drained
2 stalks of finely chopped kale leaves
1 can of chickpeas - drained
1 box of extra firm tofu - drained
2 cups of nutritional yeast
1 large onion chopped
1/2 inch finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 T lemon juice
0.5 tsp allspice
0.5 tsp cumin 
1 tsp salt
2 pinches of ground pepper

Clarify the onion using 1/2 cup of water and a little salt. Add the garlic and spinach. Cook until most of the water is gone. In a large mixing bowl crush the chickpeas and crumble the tofu. Save 1/3 of a cup of the nutritional yeast to sprinkle on the top. Add all the other ingredients along with the onion, garlic and spinach. Mix it up thoroughly. 
Spread it evenly into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan lined with parchment paper or prepped with a little oil. This time I used just a tsp of oil and wiped it out with a paper towel. Sprinkle on the rest of the nutritional yeast.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let it cool to firm up. I let it cool, covered it and left it in the refrigerator  overnight. 
Re-heat in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes, cut and serve.

Here it is all plated with cauliflower rice mixed with a chopped red sweet pepper, carrot sticks, beansprouts with garlic sauce and garnished with parsley:

Dinner for my birthday!!  All the essential amino acids were there to celebrate.