01ReluctantVegan@Blogspot.com

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:

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

RECIPE:
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.

Enjoy!

Michael Greger MD, Joel Kahn MD and Allan Kalmus DPM


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce!!! Gluten Free, Nut Free, Cholesterol Free, Delicious. #eattolose #Kosher #Pareve #NOcholesterolProtein

 Here is the recipe for the Alfredo sauce I posted the other day.  This time I paired it with fusilli pasta made from chickpeas.  They are gluten free and really tasty.
Enjoy all the flavor and the great texture with none of the guilt!!!!

CREAMY VEGAN ALFREDO SAUCE
Prep time 5 min.
Cook time 15 min.
Serves 2

1 lb firm tofu
1.5 cups unsweetened coconut milk
6 T nutritional yeast
4 T tapioca flour
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1 T salt
1 t garlic powder
1 T basil
2 T dried parsley
1/8th t ground pepper


Add everthing to your blender and puree thoroughly. Pour it into a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until it gets thick and creamy (about 10 min.) Pour it into a container and set aside.
Cook 2 cups of the pasta in salted water for 12 min. Drain the pasta and put it into your sauce pan. Start adding and stirring in the sauce over low heat until it looks creamy and good to you! Store any extra sauce for another day. Serve hot.
My grandson's pumpkin 2017






3

Monday, November 6, 2017

47 Months A Vegan!! Fettuccine Alfredo dairy free and no added oil #cleaneating #foodismedicine #eatlikeahorse

Fettuccine Alfredo With Whole Wheat Noodles 


     It has been a quite a wonderful 47 month journey into the world of a Plant Based Whole Foods lifestyle. Four years ago there was no freaking way I was going to give up meat, dairy, oil, fish and fowl. I couldn't cook without oil nor could I bake without eggs. Don't even get me started on cheese and yogurt. I loved that stuff! There couldn't really be anything wrong with summer barbeques, creamy coleslaw, potato salad and cheeseburgers!  Where else would I get my protein? I live in the good old USA and that stuff is all on the menu for the building blocks of the Standard American Diet! (S.A.D.) You are not going to tell ME to stay away from DQ, KFC and those other places where I would be asked if I wanted fries with that. So what if I am over 100 lbs overweight, can't get up off the couch without help, wearing a C-PAP mask to keep me breathing when I sleep and taking pills for my high cholesterol, high blood pressure and joint pain. I have no problem swallowing pills. Just give me another one if I'm developing Diabetes. That half of a large pepperoni pizza that I ate last night was no problem. I could just work it off with exercise. If the worst happened and I started getting chest pain, I can count on a heart stent or bypass surgery to keep me going. I believe in medical science and it's ability to save my life!
     But wait a second. What about those guys in my immediate circle of friends and relatives who ate the S.A.D. way, took pills for their medical problems, exercised regularly, got the stents in their heart vessels to keep them open, got the bypass surgery when the stents failed and then died anyway? Three friends died from heart attacks in 6 months. Two of them had no history of heart disease. Three more had stents put in their heart vessels. Maybe I was looking at this wrong. Maybe you can't out exercise a bad diet. Maybe you can't depend on medical science to fix your heart with surgery. It was looking like 50% of the time people my age would die from their 1st heart attack. The writing was on the wall and I needed to change that story. 
     There was another branch of modern medicine that I was completely ignoring. I didn't want to pay any attention to it because it was telling me that I had to change my ways. I hate change!  Change is hard. Change implies that I was wrong about the way I was living. Who wants to admit that they were wrong about anything? But still, there was a ton of information about preventing and reversing heart disease, about sustainable weight loss without surgery or fad dieting, about preventing and reversing Diabetes and in general just taking control of my health by controlling what I was eating. 
     At first I didn't want to change anything. I loved my food and couldn't see giving up what I loved.
But after reading more, watching Forks Over Knives and Eating You Alive I started thinking maybe I could try this. Suddenly someone close to me died from a heart attack and something in my brain clicked. What would happen to my family if I wasn't around? My friend, Joel Kahn, MD, convinced me that I didn't have to be the next statistic. At the time, he didn't even know what he did for me. I made a mental contract with myself that I would go 100% Vegan for 1 year and if I didn't like it, I'd find another way. Now, 47 months later, my only regret is that I didn't know about this sooner. I've taken up cooking, lost 110 lbs, don't need blood pressure pills, cholesterol pills or my C-PAP machine anymore. I've even taken up running and I'm enjoying that too! 
     If you're healthy and happy with your weight, that's great!  If you are looking to improve your health, protect your heart, prevent or reverse Diabetes, strokes, kidney disease and improve your feeling of well being a whole foods plant based lifestyle is the way to go!
     The picture on the top is of my dinner tonight. Fettuccine Alfredo with whole wheat noodles, corn on the cob and a tossed salad with creamy garlic dressing.  I'd be happy to share my recipe for the asking. Most of it involves throwing ingredients in a blender and then stirring them over low head for a few minutes. Its pretty easy and quite garlicky!  
Pre-Vegan
2 Years Later

What have you got to lose?


 
     

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Grateful. PBNSG published me!!!!❤ #readwriteeat #veganwriter #veggiesrock

Check out this website with  plant based success stories, delicious recipes, and a decerning editorial staff who published me anyway....


https://www.pbnsg.org/weight-management/2017/10/30/harvest-time

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.