Category Archives: Health

It’s Never Too Late To Become A Vegan

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A BIG Thanks goes to Jess Walter for submitting this excellent post!

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about going vegan for years but still haven’t taken the plunge. Maybe you think you’ve waited too long, and worry that it’s too late for you to make the switch. After all, only about 4% of American adults over the age of 55 are vegan or vegetarian — does this small number mean that it’s not a good idea? In a word, no. Older adults have plenty to gain from a plant-based diet. Here’s what you should know about going vegan as a senior.

Eating Made Simple

Many older adults end up adjusting their diets because eating becomes more difficult as we get older. A plant-based diet might be easier to chew than a meat-based one. Though not all vegan foods are healthy, if you maintain a good vegan diet that’s loaded with fruits and veggies, you’ll be sure to get plenty of nutrients while aiding your digestion. Vegan meals are also generally easier to prepare and waste less food, which is why it’s ideal for seniors who’d rather not spend extended amounts of time preparing elaborate meals.

The Perks Of Going Meatless

Aging is inevitable, our bodies will change and decline as we get older. Over time, our immune system will stop functioning properly, our joints will start aching, and our senses will begin to dull. But our diet can hold off the aging process. Research has found that vegans have the most antioxidants in their bodies compared to lacto-ovo vegetarians, pescatarians, semi-vegetarians, and non-vegetarians. Antioxidants protect cells from damage, potentially holding off the signs of aging for longer.

No matter what your diet, it’s important that you consume a varied range of foods. If you ensure that you’re consuming the nutrients your body needs, you can lower the risk of developing many conditions common to seniors. For example, vegans and vegetarians are less likely to have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Your Changing Dietary Needs

As we age, our bodies need less calories to function, which means we can easily get our daily calorie requirements from a non-meat diet. However, just because your caloric requirements have decreased doesn’t mean you need less nutrients. Senior vegans should ensure that they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies healthy.

Thankfully, there are plenty of plant-based sources for the nutrients our bodies need. For example, we can get calcium from soy milk and dark green leafy vegetables. Nuts and legumes are excellent sources of protein. And as you get older, it’s probably a good idea to supplement your diet with doctor-recommended multivitamins suitable for your needs — whether you’re vegan or not.

Do Your Research

Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t go vegan. Switching to a plant-based diet shouldn’t sacrifice your health; in fact, if done right, it should make you even healthier. If you’re seriously considering going vegan, read up on how you can make sure that you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs.

Shifting to a new diet can be difficult, but you don’t have to rush into things. Start slowly by adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet and lessening your meat intake. And, of course, make sure to set an appointment with your doctor and a nutritionist so you can get advice on how you can safely transition to the vegan lifestyle.

 

Thanks again, Jess! You Rock!!!  Happy Summer, Everyone! ~Nina

What The Health On Netflix

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Quick Heads Up!  What The Health is making its debut on Netflix on Friday, June 16th in the U.S.! If you don’t have Netflix you can watch the full film on YouTube. I had a sneak preview today. The documentary is only an hour and a half long, but I highly recommend it if you care about your health or those you love. Plus it gives a good insight into the major, supposedly supporters of health…AHEM!…and their agendas. To say the least, it will be eye opening to those of you who haven’t seen Food, Inc. or read WHOLE by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. This film is Excellent! Enjoy & Share!

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Link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nEpMQyhLA

Healing My Thyroid With a Vegan Diet

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Yesterday, at Whole Foods, I ran into someone I know who works there. She wanted to know more about a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet. We chatted for a while about this and that. As we were talking another woman kept circling around us. I told ‘my friend’ what my NP had said to me several years ago, as my thyroid had started to go downhill, that she’d never seen anyone recover as fast as I had and that she believes it is due to my vegan diet. (My NP is not a vegan, btw.)

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This other woman abruptly butted in. She was VERY angry with me for telling my ‘friend’ this about my thyroid. Frankly, I thought she was going to punch me, she was so angry, as she came back a second time and yelled, “It’s an autoimmune disease that can’t be cured. It is science and you should not be going around and sharing this misinformation.” So I decided to ask my friend Dr. Ted Crawford for his expert opinion on the matter. Could my NP be wrong? I didn’t think so, but here’s what my friend, Dr. Ted, who is in the new documentary, Eating You Alive, responded back to me:

Well, I have personally had two patients I have with hypothyroidism on supplemental Levothyroxine adopt WFPD [Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet] and within a year HAD to go off their medication because their TSH and T4 levels normalized. If you ask Furhman, McDougall, or any other primary care physician who has been treating patients with WFPD diet, they will tell you the same thing. Most thyoid conditions are autoimmune diseases caused by dietary habits. And it can possibly be reversed in many cases. Now some cases may not be, but I believe the majority of them will normalize. You have a super Sunday as well, Nina!

So, to the Angry lady at Whole Foods,

Isn’t this great news? Now you can actually be proactive instead of reactive!

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I shared this story with all my friends on FB, but decided to share it here as well, as it was…let’s say such an “unproductive” encounter! Just remember, when you get lemons thrown your way, why not make lemonade or use them with water in the morning! They are a great cleanser…possibly even of negative energy! Smile!

Wishing you all much health and happiness! Make it a GREAT week!

PS. Since posting this to FB, I’ve had three friends, including a NP (Nurse Practitioner friend) – they’ve all had Thyroid disease – respond to the post about my “encounter”! They ALL say the same thing. They CURED their thyroid with a Whole Foods Plant-Based Vegan Diet! Ginette, the nurse wrote, “I went off my Thyroid medicine last year with the OK of my Md…I was taking the lowest does! I’m fine! Another friend wrote, “I too, have reversed the effects of thyroid disease with a vegan lifestyle. When I wasn’t vegan, my dose of Levothyroxine was .175 I’m down to .100, and will be down again soon. It works, Nina. I’m living proof.” 

And another simply commented, “That buttinski had a lot of nerve barging into your conversation to begin with.” Well, my friend, I am SO glad she did…as unpleasant as it was! And yes, I do have nerve to put it out there! GO WFPB VEGAN!!!

Recommendation: The Plant-Based Journey

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My friend, author and speaker, Lani Muelrath has a new book out called, “The Plant-Based Journey”…and I’d highly recommend it. This is a really comprehensive book for anyone, no matter where you are on your plant-based journey, whether you are a “newbie” to a whole foods plant-based diet or someone who has been on the path for many years. The advice in this book is sound, practical and thorough, going from “Making the Plant-Based Connection” in the “Awakening” stage all the way to the “Rock Star” and “Champion” stages, where you are already well on the path. Lani guides you through each stage in a practical step by step way that makes making the transition from a “Scout” to a “Champion” easy and accessible. In the book, Lani has included “Reader Tips” from people who have been on this journey for a while…I am one of those people! (You can find me on page 88 in the book!) The book also includes the importance of being fit and exercising, as well as how changing ones mind and thoughts can help one succeed and thrive for a life-time of health and happiness. Lani also gives tips for how to deal with traveling and going to family gatherings – especially dealing with the “food pushers” that we all encounter from time to time.

Lani's Book I

Lani was also on CBS TV recently, giving advice on “Five Ways to Plantify Your Plate”. You can watch the segment right here:

http://lanimuelrath.com/lani-muelrath-on-cbs-tv-five-fast-ways-to-plantify-your-plate-video/

I love how Lani makes eating a whole foods plant-based diet so easy, accessible and fun! Seriously, going plant-based vegan will not only save you money and time, but also you’ll be healthier and happier, so order your copy today and I would suggest ordering an extra copy or two to give away as gifts for a birthday or for the upcoming holidays! I cannot think of a better gift to give someone you love and care about! This is a GREAT book…I LOVE it! Enjoy!!!

Watch PlantPure Nation!

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Hello Vegalicious Ones,

This week, I went to see PlantPure Nation in Seattle with two vegan gal pals that I got to go along with me!  After the film I got to meet my #1 hero, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as his son, Nelson Campbell who produced the film, plus Dr. Campbell’s wife and Nelson’s wife, Kim. It was extremely exciting to get to meet this “true living legend”, as one of my friends wrote. I was truly honored to meet this man who has had such a huge influence and impact on my life! As some of you know, I’ve read his book “The China Study” twice, taken his eCornell plant-based course, as well as read his other book, “Whole”. I have no real celebrity crushes…you may call me weird, but Brad Pitt or George Clooney could have walked right by and my focus would have been right there on this incredible human! Why do I admire this man so much? Because not only is he absolutely brilliant, but he’s someone who truly cares about other people! He’s a “mover and shaker” in his field when it comes to diet and health! He speaks the truth about meat and dairy – and has worked tirelessly to improve the health care crisis in this country despite great opposition. And he continues to travel around the country, delivering his empowering message of why a plant-based diet!

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He was so incredibly kind and listened!

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I even got a hug from him…

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My friends and I greatly enjoyed watching PlantPure Nation! The film supported what we all believe in about diet and health, as well as the survival of our species. We really must start a grassroots movement! The government isn’t going to support this! So we were all saying, “Bring on the pods!” after seeing film…

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There was a Q&A after the film. Here’s Dr. T. Colin Campbell answering questions from the audience! The film is coming out this summer, I believe in July, so look for it or find out about when they might be screening the film in your State by clicking on the link below:

 http://plantpurenation.com

What an amazing evening it was! My friends and I were all smiles when we left the theater…

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…and that’s The China Study, that I’m holding out in front, which he signed for me!

Have you read it yet? Again, it’s my #1 favorite book out there!

A Must Read for any intelligent human who cares about their health! As I often ask people, “Why would you or anyone else go into old age feeling crappy?”

Let me know what you think about the film after you see it or after you have read the book!

I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s a Big Cheers to One Big Happy Plantpure Nation! 

PlantPure Nation

Pete’s Shepherd’s Pie

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Good morning…God morgen…Guten morgen…& Buenos días,

Last night I promised a few Danes that I’d post and share Pete’s amazing shepherd pie recipe. The first time I had it I literally swooned. The pie came right out of Pete’s oven – warm and delicious! He even gave me a container of it to-go. I had it again for lunch over the next couple of days and it was still just as delicious and filling. Thank you, Pete for sharing this delicious recipe!

Pie On Table

~Pete’s Shepherd Pie on Charlotte’s beautiful table~

Ingredients:

4 lbs Red Organic Potatoes – halved and cut into quarters

3-4 Organic Carrots – cut into thirds and chopped into smaller pieces

1 Sweet Onion – chopped

8 large Cremini Mushrooms – halved and sliced

1 Bag “Meat” crumbles (Vegan)

2 tbsp  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1 tsp Rosemary – finely chopped

1/2 cup Red Wine

1/2 Cup Vegetable broth + 3/4 Cup for Mashed Potatoes

1 tsp Black Pepper

Sea Salt to taste

2 tbsp Potato Flour – for thickening

1 – 12oz bag of frozen Organic Peas

2 large handfuls of Baby Spinach

1/2 stick of Earth Balance butter

5 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

Got all that? Great! Let’s get started on the process. It’s so easy to make, even a non-cook, or whatever you call yourself, can make this dish! Begin by washing the potatoes, followed by cutting off the spots/ends. Do Not include these in the dish!

Cutting Potatoes

Cut the potatoes in half, then into quarters. By now the water is boiling in a large pot. Cutting them this way will save time. Add a bit of salt and a little olive oil (or not) to the boiling water to prevent the potatoes from sticking.

Potatoes

After you got the potatoes going, work on the carrots. Cut them into thirds and then chop them into smaller pieces – like so.

Carrots

Then chop the sweet onion and cut the large Cremini mushrooms in half and then slice them. Add to the carrots.

Mixture in bowl

After all the chopping and slicing is done, get out a large pan and add either a little olive oil or some vegetable broth (if you’re on a “no-oil” regime) and heat it up. Add the meat crumbles and stir them around.

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Afterwards add the carrots, mushrooms and onions to the mixture and blend together. Add Bragg’s Aminos, Rosemary, half a cup of red wine and stir it in. The alcohol will cook out, but add flavor. Also add half a cup of vegetable broth, black pepper and sea salt to taste.

Mixture in pan

Keep stirring all the ingredients together. Letting it cook for a little while (10 minutes or so).  Then add the potato flour, stirring rigorously. Next add the peas, stirring them into the mixture and finally two large handfuls of baby spinach. The peas and spinach go in last because they don’t need to be cooked as long. Put the vegetables and “meat” mixture over into a large casserole dish. The one I use is made of glass from Pyrex (9 x 13″ = 22.5 x 33 cm).

Pie with Mixture

~ Pre-Heat Oven to 350 ~

Time to work on the potatoes. You have drained the water, keeping the potatoes in the large pot that you cooked them in. You could, after they have cooked leave them sitting in the hot water. Add 3/4 cup of veggie broth + half stick of Earth Balance [vegan] butter, plus nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Using a potato masher, mash together until it the potatoes are nice and smooth.  When they are ready, spread the mashed potatoes on top. You may have extra mashed potatoes left over. Wonderful right!? It’s one of my weaknesses!

Pie with Potatoes

Plop this baby in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (at 350)…and Voila! Dinner or lunch is ready!

Enjoy!

Bon Appétit and Happy Holidays!

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Farmacy – Let Food Be Thy Medicine

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Last night I went out to a wine tasting event and talked to a man and his wife who has some serious heart problems…I mean serious to the point that he’s already died once on the operating table. He’s only in his early seventies. His wife doesn’t cook and they eat out all the time because neither of them knows how to cook. This man was relatively healthy looking. Not overweight. Nor was his wife, but still. As I was talking to them it became very clear that their ideas about what was healthy was what the general population thinks is healthy, such as, “Chicken is healthy!” and “Olive oil is healthy, isn’t it?” NO, to both! These are not health foods! They are both disease producing! One is full of hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol and other problematic things. The other is artery clogging…just think about when you spill olive oil on the table and/or you get it on your hands. It’s hard to get rid of and it sticks. Now imagine what it does to the inside of your arteries. It sticks and clogs! NOT heart healthy by any means! (Watch one of Dr. Esselstyn’s talks on YouTube about it!) Today I watched Dr. Garth Davis on YouTube. He’s a Bariatric medical doctor and he delivers this brilliant and humorous speech. Check it out:

Listen, anyone can learn how to cook! I’m with Dr. Davis. I wasn’t a brilliant chef before I embarked on this adventure, but I knew how to cook a few things well. However, plant-based vegan cooking has changed my life and the way I look at food for life! It is not only exciting to cook with so many different ingredients and choices, but it is tasty and nourishing. I feel full longer. I don’t feel sluggish. My skin glows. I feel younger than my age! I will never go back to a Standard American Diet nor a Danish diet for that matter! Both are not healthy. Although a Danish diet may have a bit more fiber in it via the darker more grainier breads, but still it is laden with meat, salt, and dairy. Greens are expensive and there’s not as much of a selection over there as we have here. We really have no excuse, in this country, for why we’re not eating more greens! 

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Hippocrates

Vegalicious October

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What’s new in your world? Well, here in mine I’ve been up over my ears in grading papers and doing report cards. If I was a full time write or blogger…and paid to do so, you’d be hearing a lot more from me! I work A LOT just like most of you who take the time to read my lil’ blog. Thank you for that! I really appreciate it!

Grading comics

That could have been me in the comic…except I have 508 students at the moment which came out to about 2,540 entries!

Me at start of class today

I’ve also managed to squeeze in and teach a free introduction to How Foods Fight Cancer. Here’s a shot of me from the beginning of class. Don’t I just have the coolest classroom/work space? I think so! Very grateful for it!

Well, it hasn’t all been work and no play in this month of October. I’ve also been out and had some amazing food. Listened to some great music around town. Plus a new vegan restaurant opened up in my city, so of course I had to go. My friend Matthew invited me and this is what we had for dinner. First the appetizer.

Appetizer

These are Mushroom “Scallops” served atop a delicious pine nut dill spread. Very Yummy! After that we share two main dishes. First the Portobella & Tofu Tacos. It’s Three handmade purple corn tortillas filled with a savory sautéed portobella & tofu mix, cabbage, avocado, salsa fresca, & cashew sour cream.

Tacos

We also had the veggie pizza, which was oh so delicious! We both hadn’t had pizza in a very long time. He went vegan over a month ago and was really missing pizza. Well, Pizza we got and YUM, it was so good!

Pizza

After all this food you would think that we couldn’t fit another bite in, but we had to sample their dessert.

Dessert

Someone…AHEM, me….got a little too excited and ate the front of this amazing piece of mocha and peanut butter vegan cheesecake delight before Matthew could snap a photo! This cheesecake was absolutely divine!

Tonight a friend of a friend is making dinner! I love it when a man wants to cook for me! That’s very attractive! He’s even sent me full details of what he’s making. Do you think he might be trying to impress me? Listen to this! Here’s what he wrote:

Here is the menu:

1st Course

-Crispy kale and mixed green salad with cranberries, roasted acorn squash seeds and petite yam cubes all dressed with aged balsamic vinegar.

2nd Course

-wok seared spicy green beans with pickled ginger – roasted acorn squash, caramelized sweet onions and red peppers green curry served over jasmine rice with raw leek shaving garnish.

Wine pairings will be a New Zealand sauv blanc for 1st course. 2nd course will be a pinot noir that runs a little spicy to keep up with the curry.

Well, I’m excited to see what this turns into. He did have some thoughts about changing the second course to something else. Either way, this is delightful! My friend Matthew and this man definitely knows that…

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Happy Saturday, everyone!

Veggie Lovers Growing In US

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Exciting news! According to The Raw Food World there are now 16 million people in the US who are vegan or vegetarian! That’s awesome! I really enjoyed reading the article about it, which includes the numbers and why the United States is going more veg. Well, the time is NOW! It’s capital F U N and DELICIOUS…and exciting to be a veg head, if I may say so! If someone had taught me what I know now twenty years ago, I would have gone vegan in a heartbeat! I just didn’t know!

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Well now there’s SO much information and help out there if you’re considering going vegan! If I had known about PCRM’s cooking classes I would have signed up in a heart beat! There are instructors ALL over this country (the United States) and even in some outside the US. These classes are reasonably priced and not only do you get to learn about staying healthy, but you get to learn while watching the instructor cook, then sample the food (or eat a full meal) and at the end you take the recipes home! What’s not to love about that? Anyone who can read can do this! We need to get away from eating out all the time and take the power back to our own kitchens! Not only will it save you a lot of money, but it will save your health. You will know exactly what goes into your food! When you eat out at a restaurant you really don’t know unless you of course work there or run the restaurant!

 

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In Sweden they’re even further ahead than the United States with one in ten Swedes being either vegetarian or vegan! Way to go! This positive trend is not going away, that’s a fact! There’s a massive shift going on towards Veganism with greater awareness of it being better for ones health, for the planet and for the animals! It is so exciting to watch! Here’s to hoping that it will occur sooner than later, especially for the sake of future generation and for the planets survival!

 

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Here’s a link to the articles:

http://news.therawfoodworld.com/16-million-people-us-now-vegan-vegetarian/

 

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/one-in-ten-swedes-is-vegetarian-or-vegan-according-to-study-9212176.html

Me:PCRM

Find a PCRM instructor in your area – go to:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/ffl-the-power-of-food-for-health