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Showing posts from October, 2013

Flourless Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my last post on making soy milk at home I mentioned that you are going to end up with soy bean pulp, which is known as "okara" in Japanese. It's full of soy protein and fiber as well as calcium, iron, and riboflavin, so it just seems such a waste to throw it away. Correction: it is a waste to throw it away!

Huge volumes of okara are left over from the commercial production of soy milk and tofu, most of which is fed to cows and pigs because for some reason people seem to prefer to eat okara only after it's been turned into the flesh of an animal. But we are not about to feed the okara left over from our soy-milk-making efforts to the pigs when it can curl our hair.

We have experimented with a few ways to use our okara - add it to oatmeal for breakfast, add it to soup, or substitute it for 1/3 of the flour in any recipe. But our favorite thing is to use it to make chocolate chip cookies. Is it any wonder when we are such chocoholics! The result is a healthy cookie,…

Making Soy Milk at Home

For whatever reason, I have always preferred most things plain rather than flavored, and the same goes for the non-dairy milks: make it plain for me! Hold the vanilla! Actually I like it unadulterated, GMO-free, and organic. And it can be hard to find and expensive. Yes, I'm hard to please! You should see what I want for Christmas!

Read the label on the box of your plain soy or almond milk and you will discover that it's not as plain as you thought and has other stuff with long fancy chemically-sounding names added to it.

So what's a country boy lost in the big city to do but take things in hand and start making his own organic, non-GMO, unadulterated soy milk at home. Duh! I had heard of a friend who had a soy milk maker thing-a-ma-jig and that sounded like a gadget to me, and as much as I like "plain", I LOVE gadgets. So a quick search of Amazon turned up this thing called a Soyajoy G4 Soy Milk Maker. I H-A-D to get one! So I did! Of course!.

It's so super…

Let Food be Thy Medicine

Hippocrates is often referred to as the "father of Western medicine", and despite the fact that he lived in an era known as "ancient Greece", his teachings on the impact of nutrition on health are as modern as ever. In fact they actually seem to be "beyond-modern" as his advice that food is medicine and prevention is better than cure are essentially ignored in the practice of modern medicine which relies almost entirely on the application of drugs and surgery only after disease has presented itself.

Although not compulsory, most graduating medical students still recite a modern version of the ancient Hippocratic oath.

One section of the oath states:
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. If we tie the principle of prevention expressed in the Hippocratic oath illustrated on today's shopping bag, you have the essence of the mission statement for "Give it up for Health".

Prevention is better than cureGood nu…

Bean Power

One of the staple foods in the whole-food plant-based diet are beans. In his book "The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes", Dr. Joel Fuhrman nicknames his diabetes-reversing diet as "the beans and greens diet" indicating that at the heart of the diet are lots of green veggies and beans. 
Do not shy away from beans because you've been told to avoid carbs! For a start, the message about carbs is to avoid "processed carbs" such as white flour and sugar, etc, but you will often not hear the word "processed". 
Whole carbs are both essential for good health and providing energy for our bodies. In terms of whole unprocessed carbs, I eat a ton of them every day. Whole grain oats and quinoa at breakfast. Brown rice and beans at lunch. Probably more brown rice with my dinner. Of course, a bunch of veggies and fresh fruit and nuts and seeds are in there too. Every day! People would think that's a lot of carbs. Be…

Ideas for Healthy Trick-or-Treats

Halloween is just a week away and many people are planning ahead so that they have some treats available for any trick-or-treaters who might show up at their doors. Of course that means candy. With our commitment to personal health responsibility, it would be rather inconsistent of us to say candy is not good for me, but it's fine for the little ones who show up at my door because that's how it's always been.

Char Nolan who blogs at the Engine 2 website had a post the other day with a few ideas on what to give as substitutes for candy, and a few what not to give as well.

What to give:

wrapped dried fruit (how about little boxes of Sunmade RaisinsSmall boxes of 100% fruit juiceNon-food items like PBA-free water bottles What not to give: fresh fruit (people in the past have actually spiked fresh fruit and most parents are wary of their little ones accepting fresh fruit)anything with nuts or possible nut contamination (Char recommends actually telling the parents that all your …

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Recipe

It's fall in the northern hemisphere, and here in the United States it's all about "pumpkin". It's funny how different cultures view this wonderful (in my opinion) vegetable. Growing up in New Zealand, pumpkin was a regular feature in the "Sunday roast of lamb". Now when I was growing up it was still the steam age in the mind of many of the younger generation, and the traditional family roast of lamb can in no way, shape, or form can any longer be considered "traditional". An interesting cultural difference was that British immigrants back then turned their noses up at pumpkin because where they came from it was considered nothing more than cow fodder. Interesting, eh! No doubt that attitude has changed now too.

Pumpkin doesn't seem to get much airing here in the U.S. until the fall and Halloween come around. Then it's BIG! Jack-o-Lantern carving parties, pumpkin flavored coffee beverages at Starbucks, and of course, pumpkin pie at the…

Gateway Symptoms to Exit Door Diseases

Wow, just read this piece by a Dr. Michael P. Jones and had to share. I love his comment that heartburn is "a gateway symptom" to mortal events to come. Essentially in his piece he contends that heartburn is not a disease, but a symptom that you are eating poorly and just step back from the plate. 
Look how many "gateway symptoms" there are to mortal events: obesity, high-cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes. All of them lead to poor quality of life at the best, and ultimately to heart disease and cancer and early death. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman says in his book "Eat to Live": we get to choose to either die of old age or die of disease based on how we eat. It's all in our hands; we can stack the deck in our favor by adopting a whole-food plant-based diet. 
Once again I urge you to take your health into your own hands. You can reverse all your "lifestyle" health issues by deciding today to take your life and good health into your own…

Vegan Body Builders

I have always lived my life by the principle that muscles are overrated, and in this area of my life I have been successful to a Herculean degree!

Since I was never going to be a construction worker I figured I would never need any more muscle than it would take to move and click a mouse, and I managed somehow to pull it off. A funny thing I have observed though is that most guys who do have muscles aren't construction workers either, and their muscles seem to be used for not much else but for being looked at in a mirror. It's one of the mysteries of life. If you solve it, let me know.

Another mystery of life for me is how obsessed we are taught to be about protein. A fellow "whole-plant-based lifestyler" and I both chuckle that in the last few months we have not only been asked by friends how we are getting our protein, but also by several doctors as well. Unfortunately the majority of doctors have never had any training in nutrition.

When I once made a failed attem…

Breast Cancer Prevention

October is breast cancer awareness month, but as Dr. Joel Fuhrman wrote yesterday, all women (and most men) are already fully-aware of breast cancer, so why isn't it breast cancer PREVENTION month? Good point, Doctor!

There are several things that women can do to reduce their risk of cancer. Key among them are:

Exercise regularlyLose weight and maintain a healthy weightDon't drink alcohol, or at least limit alcohol to no more than one drink a dayIf you're a mom, breastfeed your baby The American Institute for Cancer Research has lots of information about breast cancer at http://www.aicr.org/learn-more-about-cancer/breast-cancer/
Another thing that may help prevent breast cancer are plant lignans. These are substances that have the effect of blocking the effect of estrogen in the body, a hormone that is implicated in the development of breast cancer. 
One of the best sources of plant lignans is flax seed. Because they are such a hard seed, flax seeds need to be ground up to …