Saturday, February 17, 2018

#WFPB shopping at Neerob Bazaar

Neerob Bazaar remains one of my go-to places on Starling Avenue. Today I found an excellent brown Basmati rice from SWAD, which is an excellent value at 10 lbs for $12.

Khokon holding up SWAD Brown Basmati Rice


It is so important for people to eat brown rice instead of the white stuff. Diabetes is exploding among the SE Asian population as they adopt more american foods and cooking habits. Refined (simple) carbohydrates, animal protein and too much cooking oil are the chief culprits. Here is a link to Dr. Neal Barnard's new approach to diabetes, based on a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet. Remember always, if you are under medical treatment, do this only in consultation with your doctor, but generally, it appears that 70% of diabetes is reversible, and the other 30% can usually reduce their insulin dramatically, as well as reduce other medications, if they can do a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet.



Importantly, here is some nutritional information on brown versus white rice:

Another great find was a bag with 1 lb of Organic Sweet Peppers, which adds great nutrition to any salad, for only $1.99.

Organic Sweet Peppers 1 lb
Little finds like that make me feel as if it is spring already!

Adding color to your salads is so important.

For substance, I add some cooked quinoa, and for my dressing I make a basic 3/2/1 dressing I learned from the Esselstyn family:
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
Then, optionally you can extend it with some the juice of a lemon and finely chopped garlic and parsley for an out of this world dressing.

Alternatively, you can roast a red bell pepper and mix it in with a blender. Vinegar is an excellent preservative, so that will make an out of this world dressing, which will keep in the fridge for a few days. The trick is to always make certain things ahead, so you can keep the ball rolling with minimal effort.

This is what it's like to live in food mecca in the Bronx.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sources for #WFPB recipes and support

There are any number of good sources for recipes, and, as time goes by you learn quickly enough how to adapt almost any recipe...

Here is one for split pea soup that was born from adopting a very standard recipe:

Split Pea Soup


Great basic recipe for vegan split pea soup, adapted for #WFPB, by leaving out the oil.
 

Ingredients

2 onions, cut fine
4 chilis, cut fine
1 jalapeno, cut fine
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1-1/2 tbsp liquid aminos
8-10 cups of vegetable or mushroom bouillon 

3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
optionally other vegetables, such as parsnips, or turnips etc.
 

Preparation

In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the onion, bay leaf and garlic with a little bit of bouillon for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Add the peas, barley, liquid aminos and water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut up the veggies.
Add more water as needed for the right thickness.

Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme and ground black pepper.
Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.

Some of the best sources for #WFPB recipes

 Another approach are various starter programs, some of which are completely free and come via email:
 And finally, you can get fancy with elaborate cooking courses, such as from Forks over Knives.
In short, options galore.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Nutrition and Health: Connecting the dots

The way allopathic medicine works is that, when you are stuck at a red light, they will sell you a hammer to knock out the red light and after the accident they will offer to patch you up and send you the bill for that too.
(Reinoud Fentener van Vlissingen, MD, psychiatrist at Rotterdam, Holland, ca. 1965)

Into Pharmageddon

I grew up with often lengthy debates at the dinner table in our home in Rotterdam, Holland between my father and various medical colleagues about the complete bankruptcy of the Western medical model, also known as allopathic medicine. At other times, my father regaled us with stories of the various bribery attempts of the pharmaceutical industry to get him to prescribe their wares, which he steadfastly refused. He was offended by the innate corruption of that industry, often clearly at the expense of the Hippocratic oath: "Do no harm." Nevertheless, big pharma won, for now, but today the blow back is worse than ever.
The overuse of anti-biotics was a frequent topic of conversation, and I can't believe that 50 years later nothing has been done about it, except the concern has now made it to TV. At least it has become part of the public dialogue.

We are now living the apogee of the allopathic model and pharmageddon, where the final concept of medicine is symptom suppression and "a pill for every ill." Not only can it not explain the proven healing of many alternative modalities, it is a failure in dealing with such basic things as heart disease (see Esselstyn), diabetes (see Barnard), and cancer, or, as T. Colin Campbell recently said: The war on cancer simply has failed.
Seen in that light, the opioid crisis is merely the logical end result of the pharmaceutical approach to medicine. In actual fact, the numbers are small: 42,000 deaths in 2016, or about 115 a day. Heart disease, which is completely reversible and preventable with a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, killed 630,000 in 2016, or 1,726 people per day, but somehow that is business as usual and not any kind of a national crisis.
The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical industry, ever since drugs have been allowed to be advertised on national TV, has done an end-run around doctors, and makes them into pill pushers and not materially different from the illegal variety of drug pushers. It all revolves around the paradigm of a pill for every ill and symptom suppression. Meanwhile, medical science is hopelessly obsolete as long as it remains stuck in a Newtonian concept which puts the body first, and considers the mind an epiphenomenon of the body, the absurd concept that was ridiculed effectively a long time ago by sci-fi writer Terry Bisson in his piece on "Meat that thinks."
Allopathy is much like the drunk who is searching for the keys he lost under the streetlight and tells the passing policeman he is looking where there is light, and is completely dumbfounded when the policeman asks him logically, but where did you lose them?
 

Whole Foods Plant-Based Nutrition to the Rescue


Dr. Esselstyn talks of "pharmageddon." In 2017, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) hosted a conference where 700 physicians committed themselves publicly to the new model of "prevention over pills". In Holland, which has a single payer model that definitely does reduce the paperwork for doctors and is generally more efficient, doctors are leaving mainstream medicine in droves to practice "real medicine," in one form or another. Dutch author Jan Willem van Aalst published a fascinating book (In Dutch for now) about a whole new approach to medicine, in which he resolutely puts the patient in charge, which of course they always were, but which tends to get lost in the shuffle in our industrial medical model that is focused on symptom suppression. The book takes the form of an encyclopedia of healing modalities. His work is deeply grounded in the work of quantum physicist Amit Goswami and his book The Quantum Doctor.

Here in the US, a revolutionary change within medicine is taking form in many ways, but perhaps most importantly through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). Lifestyle Medicine is becoming the new specialty for any medical professional who understands the implication of the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet, and how it produces a natural nutritional abundance, in which the idea of nutritional supplements is completely moot, and probably 75% of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are furthermore unnecessary (think of a world without ant-acids or statin drugs, baby aspirin and a 75% reduction in insulin needs). The soon-to-be-released documentary Code Blue puts it all in perspective, following on the heels of Forks over Knives and What the Health and PlantPure Nation.

Patient-centric Medicine

There is only one form of patient-centric medicine, and that is the realization that the mind of the patient is the healer, which follows directly from Goswami's work The Quantum Doctor. The health insurance industry has it's own pretend "patient-centered healthcare," which is just a more effective way of delivering care and billing you. In fact, their model sets patients up to keep chasing their tail in a maze of "specialists," all operating within a Newtonian model of our reality that cannot possibly provide he answer. When all else fails, diseases are then called "psychosomatic."

Note: Early Encounters with the Medical Paradigm

At approximately age 13 or 14, I had an interesting conversation with my father, who was musing out loud about psychosomatic illness as if only some illnesses were psychosomatic. (With the benefit of hindsight, I now understand that "psychosomatic," is a typical term that betrays the failure of the mechanistic, Newtonian model of allopathic medicine to grasp the nature of illness and disease.)
Upon his remark about psychosomatic illness, I asked my father a simple question:
"But are there any other?" [than psychosomatic illnesses or diseases]
After a few moments of reflection, he answered:
"You may have a point."

While, needless to say, I had not fully grasped the insights of Amit Goswami of why the quantum model simply implies that the body is in consciousness (the mind) and not the other way around, I was reasonably familiar with the fundamentals of quantum mechanics at that age. In fact, I wrote an essay on nuclear genetics at age twelve that won me a prize, a book by the nuclear physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. It seems that indeed, I intuited the paradigm that is now explained so clearly by Goswami, which implies that it is the mind of the patient that is the healer, and doctors are only incidental to that, at best a help, at worst a hindrance. Reading Goswami today was an Aha! Erlebnis for me, finally connecting the dots on why this is so.

The concepts of The Quantum Doctor hark back on millennia of spiritual tradition saying the same thing. It is simply about who we are, and the realization that it is the mind of the patient that is the healer, quite in line with the work of Mary Baker Eddy. The doctor or other medical professional then plays the role of a subject matter expert who temporarily knows more and helps facilitate the healing. The doctor/patient relationship becomes a growth opportunity for both and doctor and patient are co-equal in that relationship and not codependent, as is the case in the dysfunctional allopathic medicine model. The reason the doctor/patient relationship is so totally dysfunctional today is because it is based on the patient deferring to the expertise of a doctor who operates within a mechanistic, Newtonian paradigm that is of necessity totally hit or miss in explaining or diagnosing his disease.
The experience with Whole Foods Plant-Based (#WFPB) nutrition shows that time and again, people are getting off of sometimes hands full of medications completely, while in other cases they can substantially reduce their dosage of medications. In other words, nutrition is the first step and it firmly puts the patient in the drivers seat: first get your vital stats as healthy as you can get them on your own, and the reversal for many diseases can be quite rapid. Except in acute conditions, any other form of intervention is pointless unless overall health is addressed first and the body is enabled to heal itself.

Amit Goswami on Quantum Physics, Consciousness and Health

The upshot of the #WFPB nutritional regime is simply that the single biggest thing patients can do for themselves is improve their diet, and not just by tinkering in the margin with any number of "diets" that are marginally better than the so-called Standard American Diet (SAD), which is a total nutritional disaster. Most so-called diets amount to little else than somebody's pet theory of what diet should be, with little or no peer-reviewed science to back it up.
The Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutritional paradigm is in fact a radically new paradigm for nutritional science as a whole, and it is solidly rooted in the work of T. Colin Campbell that was first published in his book The China Study, which recently saw an updated, 2017 version. It was followed by his book Whole, which reframes nutritionial science altogether. In the meantime, a whole avalanche of related information has resulted, including the clinical work of a growing list of physicians, including Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr, Neal Barnard, John McDougall, Dean Ornish, Michael Greger, Robert Ostfeld, Saray Stancic, and many others. One after the other will tell you that no drug in the world ever made such order-of-magnitude differences as the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet. Or, as Dr. Robert Ostfeld frequently says, patients frequently come to his office in tears to thank him for how rapidly they are making progress, which never happens for a prescription of statin drugs.

These new insights place the patient central in the healing process, which of course they always were. Step one is the realization that the mind of the patient is the healer and the healing modalities offered are merely a way of empowering the patient. The patient's will now moves center stage, including all our innate self-destructive tendencies that form the blocks to healing. Consequently, the new healing paradigm of true integrative medicine will have to include all viable healing modalities, including psychotherapy. In the process and in-line with what Amit Goswami has developed in the Quantum Doctor, the field of medicine has to move from Newtonian physics, which is the mechanistic paradigm of allopathic medicine to the paradigm of quantum physics, which makes it clear that of necessity the body is in the mind, and the mind is in charge at which point any healing modality that works for you is valid.
In the context of a conversation about these issues, someone asked me why it should take this long for our society to fully accept and embrace the implications of quantum mechanics in medicine. I responded with a question: "How long did it take the Vatican to embrace the heliocentric model?" and I added the observation that what else is the AMA today, but the keeper of socially embedded paradigm, like the Catholic Church was in the Middle Ages? The book on Rockefeller's Medicine Men (see bibliography) should make that much clear.

The New Healthcare Model

Recently, I wrote about the merger of Aetna and CVS under the title of  The Worst of Sick-care Under One Roof and used the opportunity to point out that, when seen by the clear light of economic logic, the healthcare system is sinking under its own weight since it creates an economic incentive to provide more treatment and as long as we focus on the treatment of disease and not on health, we are creating the runaway nightmare that is now called the healthcare crisis. In the public dialogue, so far, nobody is addressing the real heart of the crisis.

My main suggestion in that article was that the Personal Care Physician should evolve in to a personal healthcare coach and a subject matter expert who is on retainer to the patient, and organized with their own mutual society. The effect of the solution would be that your personal physician is beholden to you and only to you, and is your go-to expert in terms of any treatment you may ever need, to select appropriate healing modalities. Based on the numbers, a 65% reduction of healthcare costs can eventually be realized based on diet alone, and the remaining 35% should become the domain of catastrophic health insurance that kicks in to complement your #WFPB diet and your supervision by your own PCP. It would be an approximation to the traditional Chinese model where you paid your doctor while you were healthy and stopped paying him when you were sick.
The fundamental assumptions for this back-of-the-envelope calculation of the economics of this paradigm change in health and nutrition are taken from the documentary Code Blue. The fundamental insight is that 86% of healthcare spending is on treatments for diseases of affluence that are all capable, in varying degrees, of being prevented or reversed with a Whole Foods, Plant-based lifestyle. Therefore, over time, as our society begins to implement this transition more and more, it is proposed that we can reduce that 86% of total healthcare spending by 75% as a result of a shift towards a better diet and lifestyle, in line with the precepts of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. If so, we will reduce total healthcare spending by 65% which will solve our healthcare "crisis," and make the American economy competitive once more, all else being equal.

Two Birds with One Stone: the Environment

The transition towards a vegan lifestyle is the biggest single thing we as a society can do for solving our environmental problems. A growing list of official reports speak to this, and generally the conclusion is that vegans are 14 times less resource intensive than meat eaters.

From the cover of the book Meatonomics:
Meatonomics is the first book to add up the huge “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, and it finds these costs total about $414 billion yearly. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us.  But if producers were forced to internalize these costs, a $4 Big Mac would cost about $11.

Conclusions: Connecting the dots

Here are the steps to the new paradigm:
  1. #WFPB nutrtion is the largest single thing the patient can do for their own health and wellness, and with it, the annual physical moves towards an assessment of health first, not a mere screening for illness. Most importantly, it empowers the patient to be in charge of their health. The key driver is the first ever evidence based nutritional paradigm being #WFPB, paired up with the clinical experience with a growing number of disease models, some of which were alluded to above.
  2. Taking responsibility for your health also points in the direction that the human will is central, and that realization leads directly to the new paradigm of Quantum Healing and the Quantum Doctor. Ergo, Lifestyle Medicine, which is now focused on diet and exercise alone, must of necessity evolve towards quantum medicine. The role of the primary physician must be first as a health/nutrition coach, and second as a subject matter expert on the full complement of healing modalities where intervention or treatment in any form is called for.
In both areas we now have a fortuitous meeting of theory and practice.
  • In the case of #WFPB the experience with plant-based nutrition by a number of physicians in different fields, found their theoretical foundation in the research work of T. Colin Campbell. 
  • In the field of alternative medicine and various attempts at a model for integrative medicine, real progress was not possible until these efforts met up with the concepts of the Quantum Doctor to provide the theoretical foundation and the model for a comprehensive understanding of the meaning of integrative medicine.
The Quantum Doctor provides a logical and sound explanation as to why the allopathic model repeatedly falls short - because it is based on an obsolete and simplistic model of the human experience. More importantly, the Quantum Doctor also provides a satisfactory explanation why many alternative healing modalities can work, when the traditional allopathic model has no explanation for them. Obviously, this new paradigm for medicine perfectly complements the implications of the #WFPB model: the patient must take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
The final payoff is that besides simply solving the healthcare crisis, the path to the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet also solves our environmental crisis at the same time, since vegans provably are 14x less resource intensive than meat-eaters.

Bibliography

Note: These could be the seminal books that can help the reader understand the parallel paradigm changes that are now going on in the areas of medicine and nutrition. I include the book Meatonomics because it provides good documentation of how our mistaken nutritional paradigm of prioritizing (animal) protein is absolutely woven into our society and extracts because of its seriously distorted economics. Thomas S. Kuhn's classic, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, even if you once read it, is worth rereading by way of a refresher to understand just how deeply these paradigms are embedded in everything in our society, and how painful the change can be.
  • Ivan Illych, Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health 
  • E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America
  • T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, revised and expanded edition (2017)
  • T. Colin Campbell, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
  • Amit Goswami,   The Quantum Doctor: A Quantum Physicist Explains The Healing Power of Integral Medicine
  • David Robinson Simon: Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much and How to Eat Better, Live Longer and Spend Smarter
  • Thomas S. Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Update on Whole Foods Plant-Based shopping in the Starling Avenue Triangle

This is just a very practical list with some recent items from local stores that are worthwhile:


Chang-Li Supermarket:

Braggs Liquid Aminos on the shelf in aisle 3 at Chang-Li

 

  • 4lb Himalayas Blessing Brown Basmati Rice for $8.99. That is a good value.
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos. Right now, Chang-Li carries Braggs Liquid Aminos again, albeit only in the 16 Oz bottle for now. I have asked them to stock the 32 Oz bottle again also. I have also asked them for the nutritional yeast.
  • Their selection of whole wheat pasta is growing and recently, they also have whole wheat lasagna.
  • The fruit and vegetable selection remains great.
  • They have some Hodgson Mill Milled Flaxseed, which is a great option if you're in a hurry. Ideally you should mill your flax seed in a Magic Bullet or some such, as flaxseed does lose some nutritional value when it's milled, but sometimes convenience wins out...
  • They have quite a selection of Dunya Harvest Organic grains and pulses - including rice, quinoa, lentils, peas, and various beans. And there's another brand, Heartland, which provides some good staples as well.
  • Lately they also have raspberries occasionally, which is a great addition to your morning steel cut oats. Sometimes they have steelcut oats from Dunya Harvest.
On of these days, I will do a more extensive survey.

KeyFood on Unionport:

There is a lot to like in this KeyFood, including:
  • Steel cut oats: they sometimes carry Bob's Red Mill, and sometimes Quaker Oats. Stock up for it is not always in stock and steelcut oats are sooo much better!
  • A great selection of balsamic vinegars, and some good deals!
  • A regular supply of great products from Bob's Red Mill, grains and legumes. This section is always worth a stop.
  • A great selection of whole grain pasta.
  • Often a good selection of berries in the produce section.

Pioneer on Castle Hill:

Supplies at this store can be erratic. One day they have a great selection of whole wheat pasta, and then they are sold out for quite a while before they get restocked. It is a bit of hit or miss.
  • Produce dept. is usually worth checking out.
  • A small section of organics is worthwhile.
  • Whole wheat pasta. In spite of the irregularities noted above, they still have a decent selection most of the time.
  That's it for now. I will periodically do an update on the changing selection. For many of the staples, the Good 'n Natural healthfood store on 2173 White Plains Road by Pelham Parkway is a good option, and there is a great green market across Pelham Parkway also, as well as a well supplied C-Town at 640 Pelham Parkway, and the green market is across Pelham Parkway on Boston Road. Be sure to hit all three when you have to go that far.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Vegetable Lasagna - our January 2018 Suppers/#WFPB meal at St. Helena's

This time around it was all chaos, as one of the organizers was not feeling well, but we made it work regardless.

The plan was vegetable lasagna, based on a recipe from the book The Vegan Cheat Sheet by Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey, with a side dish of spinach, and a mixed green salad with Dr. Barnard's Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette. (Note: the book underestimates the amount of filling you need, in my view, so below I upped the amount of cauliflower relative to the book. We found out the hard way that we ran out of the white filling too soon.)

This is a very lovely #WFPB (Whole Foods, Plant-Based) dinner. And the #not62 health campaign in the Bronx would not be the same without it! The people of the Bronx are learning.

The Menu - Recipes

Note: these quantities were for 9 people. You can adjust them accordingly. Out of our $15 grocery money we only spend about $9, so in all there was an $6.00 refund.

To begin with, here is the salad dressing:


Dr. Barnard's Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette



Makes enough dressing for 1 large salad

1 large roasted red pepper
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pep per
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Serve and enjoy.

For the salad we used:
1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 head of green leaf lettuce
1 head of romaine lettuce 
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
6 cloves of garlic
6 sundried tomatoes
4 fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons of Chia seeds
2 tablespoons of milled flax seeds
(Confession, we ran out of time, and we ended up making a 3/2/1 dressing with red pepper - 3 measures balsamic, 2 measures dijon mustard, and 1 measure maple syrup), so we'll do this recipe again some other time. In fact I will make it today.)

Tomato Sauce (Red)

Note: finding oil-free pasta sauce is not always easy, though there are some on the market. You can find one at Trader Joes, see this listing of OIl-free vegan products at Trader Joes, provided by Forks over Knives. Anyway, we could not find an oil-free sauce in the neighborhood, so I made it from scratch. As it was I started a bit late, but the idea was to have the pasta sauce ready when the class started at 3 PM, so that the class could make the salad, the spinach, and build the lasagna, so we just had to shove it in the oven. So we ran a bit late this time, but the meal was enjoyable.

Ingredients:
4 28Oz cans of Organic Diced Tomatoes
4 onions, cut fine
8 cloves of garlic 
10-20 leaves of fresh basil chopped fine
7 leaves of laurel
2 peppers
2 8 Oz packs of mushrooms (one white and one crimini)
1 lb of carrots shredded
Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste 

Preparation:
  • Cut up the onions fine, and start dry-roasting them in the pan
  • add the peppers, cut up, and stir it up
  • add the garlic (first flatten it and cut it fine) and stir it up
  • add the carrots (match stick cut) and stir it up
  • add the mushrooms, sliced (note the mushrooms yield a lot of moisture) and stir it up
  • when these ingredients start to get soft and feel cooked, add the tomatoes and stir it up
  • let simmer, and finish with Liquid Aminos to taste
  • make it smooth with an immersion blender

Spinach side dish

4 bundles of spinach cut in 1.5" lengths
2 onions cut up fine
7 cloves of garlic flattened and cut fine
8 chilis sliced fine
3 jalapenos, remove the seeds
(Note: the chilis were fine for most, but a bit much for a few people, but evidently, you can vary that to taste. The jalapenos are much milder.)

Again, start with dry-roasting the onlons, chilis, jalapenos and garlic, and when it is soft, add the spinach, and let it cook slowly for another 7-10 minutes.

Lasagna filling (White)

2 14 Oz packs of Silken Tofu
5-6 cups of steamed cauliflower
(Note: the original recipe suggests 2 cups of cauliflower per pack of tofu, but in practice, I find 3 cups of cauliflower per pack of tofu is a better ratio. Be sure to cook the cauliflower really soft.)

When the cauliflower is soft, add the tofu, and make a smooth sauce with a stick blender.

3 yellow squash sliced
3 zucchini sliced

Building the Lasagna

2 12 Oz packs of Whole Wheat Lasagna, or 3 packs if they are 9 Oz
some nutritional yeast

(Note: this was the fun part, doing it assembly style... We used 2 12 Oz boxes of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Lasagna - note: it is available next door, at Chang-Li Supermarket. More and more supermarkets are starting to carry it.)
Preheat the oven to 425 F
  • start with a layer of pasta sauce
  • layer whole wheat lasagna strips in the sauce (typically 3 strips make one layer)
  • layer on the white filling
  • make a layer of sliced squash/zucchini
  • repeat until the pan is full, finish with a layer of red sauce on top.
 In the oven for ca 45 mins.

Serving suggestions:
The salad is obviously colorful.
The main dish is red/white, with a side of green.
For topping, you can sprinkle on some nutritional yeast

Conclusions

The above is a very complete and satisfying meal. And, it was fun to build with the group, even though this time we went far over schedule, mainly because I started too late to make the pasta sauce and the Cauliflower/tofu filling in advance.
As a reminder, why do we avoid ADDED oils? In other words, why did I make fresh tomato sauce because I could not find an oil-free sauce nearby? Because added oils paralyze our bloodvessels for 3-6 hours after every meal. The blood vessels can no longer expand with extra energy expenditure. It is tremendously important for heart and vascular health to understand that you do not want any added oil in your diet. Here you can hear it from the horse's mouth: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn says no oil. I repeat, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. says: "No oil!" If you're still not clear, here is Dr. John McDougall saying the same thing.


Another feature: this meal really embodied 2 of our 4-6 daily portions of green leafy vegetables - a salad and a side dish of spinach. Green leafies provide massive doses of anti-oxidants, and by chewing them we are converting nitrates to nitrites and enabling our digestive system to manufacture nitric oxide, which is what keeps your endothelium healthy.



The point of the exercise however, remains, that in the spirit of the Suppers program, this is all about home cooking, and about creating a mutual support mechanism on a local level. Audelle has been doing Suppers meetings at her home in Throgs Neck for a long time, but doing this at the St. Helena's school cafeteria enables a slightly larger group.
Meanwhile, the idea of sharing the grocery bill, also teaches us that a very healthy and abundant Whole Foods Plant-Based meal can be made on a budget. In this case, we came out to $9 per person. The highest we ever did was $11.50 per person, but it seems that we can typically do these productions for under $10 pp in groceries. You can do it for less, or you can spend more. In the long term you are reducing your medical expenses and nearly completely eliminates the need for any supplements. In this case we added chia seeds and milled flax seed to the salad for Omega-3s and as long as you keep that in mind, the only supplement you should ever need is a vitamin B12 every other day.
If you think about it, the degenerative diseases which consume 86% of our healthcare expenditure, are diseases of affluence and can largely (ca 75%) be prevented or largely reversed with the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet. It produces such nutritional abundance that the mere thought of supplements is silly. On top of that, there is more and more evidence that isolated supplements are not absorbed as well by the body, or even absorbed at all, as nutrients which are consumed as part of a whole foods diet. In some cases, supplements can even be toxic.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 is the year of veganism in general and #WFPB in particular

I can no longer keep up with the list of links alongside this blog. It is growing too fast.

Doug Schmidt, Josh LaJaunie

Recently, there was an ABC News story on Doug Schmidt, a Rochester school teacher who went all-out plant-based, and turned his life around and is inspiring a whole Facebook support group. Megyn Kelly also did a piece on Josh LaJaunie.  These reports were great, but clearly the interview by Megyn Kelly did not dig any deeper, into the most important aspect, namely that this is a nutritional paradigm and a true paradigm shift, not just another diet.

The bottom line is that the profound shift in nutritional science that underlies the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet (without added Sugar, Oil, or Salt), is the sine qua non of this lifestyle, which is not a diet, but a whole new nutritional paradigm, in which nutritional abundance is the norm, making all supplement (except for some B12), and most medications superfluous. No more counting calories, you can not help but end up with your homeostatic weight. No more effort, no more "dieting," just enjoy the rich variety of new foods.

All of this is why it is so important that we teach children in school, as is now happening in LA County, in Midland TX, and in Brooklyn, NY, and now apparently in Rochester too. Check out the Coalition for Healthy School Food and PlantPure, and the Healthy School Food Summit.

#WFPB is a Nutritional paradigm, not a diet

T. Colin Campbell recently published a list of six important publications of his, which also lend credence to the notion that the time has come. These articles show clearly that what is going on is a total re-framing of nutritional science along purely evidence-based lines, for the first time ever. What came before was essentially myth and fiction, including all the versions of the food pyramid, which is now called "My Plate."
The endless parade of contradictory diet advice is evidently the simple result of the fact that there was never a cohesive framework previously, as "diets" generally simply tinker with the relative amounts and styles of food within the overall paradigm that prioritized protein, and in particular was stuck in the notion that animal protein was "more efficient" and therefore better. Instead, it turns out that the vaunted efficiency of animal protein, in terms of the ease of absorption by the body, is a liability and not an asset: animal protein causes cancer, plant protein does not.
Taken together, these six articles by Campbell are a material contribution to the dialog about nutrition and healthcare, and provide a solid foundation for the only feasible change of our healthcare system, where we need to go back to the Hippocratic notion of "Let food be thy medicine."

Practical, practical, practical

For myself, my new year's resolution started by taking the Course for the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies. The course covers all the research, but it ends up with the practical application. In the links along side this blog, you will find a ton of practical resources, and most of them are free, but the avalanche of sound plant-based recipes is almost overwhelming. I have had more fun with food preparation since I started eating this way, and I have been an enthusiastic cook for all of my life.

Some of the best practical resource are:
And always keep the fundamental definition in mind:
  1. Whole Foods
  2. Plant-Based
  3. without added SOS (Sugar, Oil, or Salt)
These simple three points are elaborated further on the Diet Guide at NutritionStudies.

In our own community we are currently doing a monthly cooking/dining event at St. Helena's parish in the school cafeteria. We are starting to have two success stories of our own, with one person losing over 80 lbs in 6/7 months (sofar) and another losing 55 lbs in four months, and she recently reported that her bloodwork was perect after just four months on the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet. My personal experience was similar, as I have reported here before: I celebrated my 65th at my homeostatic weight (back to when I was 20) and free of all medications.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

More Plant-Based news from New York: Doug Schmidt

This is an amazing news study, a teacher from Rochester is promoting Plant-Based living.

Doug Schmidt also keeps a page on Facebook, as a sort of a support group.

He is following the pure Whole Foods, Plant-Based without added Sugar, Oil or Salt paradigm.

Unfortunately, the nutritionist ABC interviews at the end still does not know anything about plant-based nutrition. Still thinks that getting enough protein is a problem. The real problem is we're getting too much protein, and mostly animal protein. Again and again, all the serious research shows that animal proteins are the most powerful carcinogens we get in our diet. Together Animal protein, Oil, and Sugar (simple carbohydrates in general) are the worst elements in the Standard American Diet.