Tag Archives: Nutrition

Plant-Based Diets and Iron

As a young woman my pulse was alarmingly high. I was a swimmer, got plenty of exercise and should have had a nice low resting pulse rate. My Doctor at the time was alarmed enough by my pulse rate to order a blood test that measured my hemoglobin.

The results showed that my hemoglobin was very, very low. The doctor concluded that I wasn’t getting enough iron in my diet.  He explained that the lack of iron meant that my body could not make enough of the protein, hemoglobin. And since hemoglobin carries oxygen to the cells my body was chronically short on cellular oxygen. He mentioned the word “anemic” and suggested that since I was a vegetarian it was unlikely I could get enough iron in my food. He got out his pad and prescribed iron pills.

He described the problems that came from chronic anemia – fatigue, brain fog, leg cramps, shortness of breath and on and on.  He scared me into taking the iron.

The iron pills made me miserable – I will spare you details. Just leave it that it took about a week for me to toss the iron pills in the trash and to start looking for iron-rich foods. This is my first memory of using nutrition as a “medicine” and the start of a life long practice of looking at food instead of medicine. (more…)

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Vegetarian Diet Reduces Risk of Fatal Heart Disease by One-Third

healthinsA new study reported in Medical News Today, and  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that a Vegetarian Diet reduces the risk of dying of heart disease by one-third!

Starting in the early 1990s the study followed 45,000 Europeans who volunteered for the study.  34 percent of volunteers did not eat meat or fish. Hospital admissions and deaths were tracked and during the study. The final tally showed a total of 1,235 identified cases of cardiovascular disease: 1,066 by hospital admission and 169 by death.

Posted in Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, diabetes, heart disease, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss by Stan Spencer

Reading recipe books and diet and advice books are part of my job these days. Thankfully, I get a lot of advance reader copies for review. Most of them I read or at least skim through, sigh and toss aside. Every now and then I actually find one I am wildly enthusiastic about. This is one.

At the end of last year when I received this very thin volume entitled The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss.  I rolled my eyes and tossed it aside. I mean really!  Who isn’t a diet dropout?!  And why the cutsie title? (more…)

Posted in book review, Stan Spencer, weigh loss, Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Experts, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Year of Being Vegan: 2012 Lessons Learned Part 2

I have always been a plant-based eater; a vegetarian. Over the last year David and I decided to become vegans. It has been an incredible learning experience! Between now and the end of the years I will share some of the things I learned.

About Eggs


I spent a lot of time experimenting with egg replacers this year. It was a truly informative experience. What I discovered is that

there are certain recipes where there is NO substitute for the actual egg. These include pumpkin pie, meringues and waffles. Even Ener-G, the most popular egg replacer on the market, does not work well. (more…)

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Mashed Cauliflower Not Mashed Potatoes

A low-calorie, tasty alternative to mashed potatoes is mashed cauliflower. I actually think they taste better although you may not be able to tell the difference by just looking at them.

Since going to a primarily whole food plant-based diet there are only a few things I really miss. One of them is the butter on and sour cream in mashed potatoes. After watching everyone at Thanksgiving scarf them down I decided I had to pacify myself with a big batch of mashed cauliflower. They tasted great and had the added benefit of making me feel a tiny bit superior for having resisted the potatoes. (more…)

Posted in diary-free food, gluten-free food, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, weigh loss | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Spinach For Breakfast

spinach for breakfastEvery now and then I come across a book that makes me smile. This one has a full title that is almost as long as the slim 46 page book: Spinach for Breakfast:  How to live longer for all ages, particularly for 65 and older . It is written by Sam Almond. whose earlier books have been about trading financial instruments like Contracts for Difference (CFD) and Options.

Sam is 86 years young. He diets and exercises his way to fitness and health and says he “enjoys life to the full.” (more…)

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Dean Ornish: Eating for Health Not Weight

Last Saturday, I was incredibly please to read Dr. Dean Ornish’s opinion piece in the New Your Times entitled Eating for Health, Not Weight

In this piece, Ornish talks about one of the biggest dieting myths today:  it doesn’t matter what you eat as along as you lose pounds. Many of us equate thin and healthy; but it ain’t necessarily so! The food you eat matters. (more…)

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Getting Enough Protein?

When people find out that I am a vegetarian, the most usual question is — One of the things I am most often asked is, “How do you get enough protein??” I have been answering this question for over 40 years. My basic answer hasn’t changed a lot, but my thought process and information base has.

When I was in my 20, 30s and 40s I would tell people it was easy, but that the “tricky” part was making sure you got complete protein. The way to do that was to combine grains and nuts with legumes. I would assure them that if you just paid attention, you would be “fine”. That you don’t really need that much protein anyway. (more…)

Posted in Beans, plant based diet, Protein, T. Colin Campbell, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

forks over knives the cookbookThe new Forks Over Knives Cookbook arrived last week. The author Del Sroufe, is the man behind meals shown in the Forks Over Knives film.  The book is actually a collaboration between Sroufe and well-known Plant-Based chefs: Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Darshana Thacker.

With 300 recipes to choose from, it is a good solid introductory collection of  vegan, low-fat cooking techniques and recipes. An added bonus is that many of the recipes are also gluten-free.


Posted in book review, diary-free food, GMO foods, kitchen basics, menu, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based Food Kitchen, Whole Food Plant-Based recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

I read this book a few years ago (when it first came out). At the time I was impressed by it’s common sense and simplicity. Last week I was in a used bookstore and found a copy for a dollar. I brought it home and reread it.  I was impressed all over again!

In Defense of Food is an engaging look at food and the food industry.  Pollan writes well and had me captivated within minutes.  For the record, I never intended to do anything more than skim, but I ended up engrossed and read every single word – again!  It was a journey that alternatively amused and enraged me. (more…)

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