Monday, February 1, 2016

How Not to Die! by Michael Greger

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to EVERYONE I know and care about! So of course I sharing it here is a must! I trust completely in Dr Michael Greger.

Dr Greger (Food As Medicine, and instant best seller How Not to Die) This man is an amazing advocate of human beings! According to Dr Greger, we each have a big responsibility to feed ourselves and our families the most nourishing foods that can keep us living well, well into our years, and avoid all of the troublesome, yet avoidable Western diseases, such as many cancers, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and the other many inflammatory diseases. His book was just released in December and is already being translated into many languages!

Dr Greger, author of How Not to Die's An Anatomy of How Not to Die

On, you can even "look inside"...there are a lot of pages that you can read through before you buy the book, but having the whole thing at home, may be the nutrition bible for health and happiness forever more!

Here is a random collection of posts in which I have cited or often discussed Dr Michael Greger! I am so very grateful that he has compiled this amazing book for all to learn the way to beautiful health!

COMMENTS: Please come back and share here what you enjoy most about this book! Comments on my posts help more people to see the post, and therefore, more people will see this awesome book! Though my impact on health, compared to Dr Greger, is quite small, I want to help too, as much as I can! Have a great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Eating Family Dinner Together = Smarter, Happier Kids, and More!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of learning some valuable lessons from Dr Lisa Damour! Author of Entangled, to be released in February, 2016!

The lasting impressions I got from her engaging presentation about resilience were:

*SLEEP is immensely important. She says that we should protect and prioritize our children's (and surely our own) hours of sleep each night because of the lengthy list of benefits of sleep wrapped into one pill would be a billion dollar drug with only beneficial side effects. I think so too!

*Family MEALS, at least 4 nights per week, powerfully results in significantly smarter kids with a better sense of well being, regardless of the pleasantness of the meals! Grandma was right!

*Meaningful friendships are important, and this is not too surprising. The surprise to me, is that it's best to just have ONE OR TWO CLOSE FRIENDS, rather than more. The reasoning made sense; we can get pulled in too many directions, unintentionally hurt feelings when spending time with one friend, rather than another, and maintaining too many relationships expends lots of energy.

*A growth mindset, rather than a fixed one, refers to the "If I WORK HARD enough, I can do anything!" way of thinking, resulting in much more SUCCESSFUL children and adults, than those who rely on how they were born / their "talents" / their genetics. She included various comparisons of how each mindset would act/feel in various situations, such as getting a disappointing grade, striking out, asking for help from a teacher, etc.

Joan Borysenko is another fabulous resource for RESILIENCE; here is a post I wrote after taking a class from her which provides methods of increasing our resilience.

Lisa also stressed the importance of children spending time with adults, and this matches advice I have been trying to follow from Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions. At my house, we call it "Mommy and Me Time". Check out my post about Positive Parenting Solutions.

Also, here's a post with some other great parenting books!

Look for more posts soon - I have so much fun and exciting stuff to share :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tricky Traditional Lasagna

OMGosh - this is the bomb! My 11 and 12 year-old niece and nephew LOVED this dish! These are the children of a Sicilian-born restaurant owner and chef at delicious Alessandro's. One said "I love this meat!" and the other said "This is really good! If you would have offered me tofu and lentil lasagna, I would have probably said NO".

Let's get to it!

Tricky Traditional Lasagna

The 'Meat'
1.5 c lentils
1.5 c water
tsp minced garlic
Tbsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbsp oregano
1/2 Tbsp thyme
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)

The 'Cheese'
1-2 packages tofu (smooth and firm both work well)
2 Tbsp onion
Tbsp tahini (absolutely optional)
Tbsp nutritional yeast
Tbsp lemon juice
tsp basil
tsp oregano
tsp salt
tsp garlic

Whole wheat lasagna noodles - the last box I used was "pre-boiled" which conveniently saves a step.

1-2 jars spaghetti sauce (buy with no sugar in ingredients list)

For meat, simmer lentils in water (1:1 ratio) for 20 min. Add spices and oil and blend in food processor until it looks like ground beef (few min)!

For cheese, drain tofu, and combine with other 'cheese' ingredients in food processor, and process until smooth. Taste test and add spices as you like!

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of a 9X13" pan with sauce, then lasagna noodles, then 'meat', then 'cheese', and repeat until pan is full, ending with a layer of pasta covered in sauce. Bake for an hour and enjoy!

Plant-Based Traditional Lasagna
(with vegan ground meat and vegan ricotta cheese)
This recipe makes me so happy! I love making this basic, traditional meal with no meat or cheese! It's also fun that you really don't need any veggies on the side because it is made entirely of veggies! I've made the Plant-Strong Lasagna (check it out here), and it's a great veggie meal. On the other hand, Tricky Traditional Lasagna provides the familiarity of a meal you've probably eaten many times before, as you try potentially unfamiliar tofu and lentils. I hope you love it as much as we do!

COMMENTS: What vegan Italian food do you like to eat?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

1-2-3 Smoothies and Breast Cancer Awareness

Greetings! Breast cancer awareness is always important, so please browse through the helpful infographic below. The group that is spreading the word are here :) Besides sharing their info here, the help I have to offer is FLAXSEED!

There is substantial evidence that ground flaxseed because of it's bountiful lignans is very helpful in cancer prevention, slowing, and improving survival rates! It's also beneficial to men, related to prostate cancer. So here you go!

You know how I love my videos, so here's one for you! In it, you can see potentially a 20-40% reduced risk of breast cancer with regular flaxseed intake :)

Three delicious combos that you can prepare in seconds! Blend either combination of ingredients and drink immediately!

Peanut Butter Banana Yum!
1 ripe banana
small handful peanuts (plain, roasted, and/or salted)
3/4 c almond milk or water (unsweetened, vanilla Silk is great!)
handful of ice
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (I get a huge bag of organic from Costco!)

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Yum!
handful frozen cherries (~3/4c but I just shake some in from the bag)
1 cup almond milk or water
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

Pumpkin Spice Yum!
1 or 2 pitted dates
1 tsp pumpkin spice (try my homemade version)
1 cup almond milk or water
handful of ice
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
These are more like a creamy juice or milk than a smoothie; these drinks are not thick. They're tasty, quick, and most importantly, provide us with a powerful dose of those commanding lignans!

For more: A Dr Maize article (, A Dr Greger article (links to great videos within article), and more ways to eat flaxseed from me (eggplant parm, banana bread, oatmeal, muffin tops, and more!).

BONUS TIP: Flaxseed oil is void of the majority of the lignans and all of the fiber that flaxseed offers, so stick with the dry, ground version :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top 10 Reasons to Chew Cinnamon Sticks, the New Red Hots!

Some reasons why I always want to have a cinnamon stick handy to nibble on (TEENY, TINY bits)!

1. Fresh breath
2. A healthy alternative to gum chewing AND Red Hot candies
3. Appetite suppressant (perhaps, read here for more; link also includes help with blood sugar control)
4. Keeps your mouth busy so you aren't eating out of boredom (also may help with smoking cessation by keeping mouth and hands busy)
5. Cleans teeth, gum and mouth health, cavity prevention

Some other benefits that have been associated with cinnamon, many for thousands of years!

6. Anti-microbial, (check out effectiveness against H. Pylori -- cause of ulcers), anti-fungal, antiviral, antioxidant
7. Flatulence, indigestion, bloating
8. Pain reducer
9. May help with cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, arthritis, and inflammation

From Dr Michael Greger's Update on Cinnamon for Blood Sugar Control video on
I delayed this post by a month because I became concerned about which type of cinnamon to recommend. There is more research showing benefits of cassia cinnamon on blood sugar control, but getting too much could be harmful to the liver. Ceylon cinnamon is considered the safer cinnamon. Sometimes the cinnamon you shake is a combination, and doesn't even say which kind(s). But looking back to the big picture, it's cinnamon! It tastes delicious (reason #10) and may be good for our health too! We shouldn't go too crazy with it, like everything, just like grandma used to say, everything in moderation :) Grab a stick today!

Here is a link to my other posts about cinnamon, including recipes!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chocolate Brownie Muffin Top Cookies!

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

These butter-free, sugar-free, and guilt-free snacks are so delicious! They are a great sweet for school lunches, or a couple of these cookies are so healthy that they can serve as a quick on-the-go breakfast!

2 c pitted dates (40 pieces)
2 c hot water
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c canola oil (or water)
2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Heat oven to 375 convection (4000 conventional). In a food processor, chop dates into a sticky ball. In mixing bowl, stir water, flax, dates, and oil (or more water) until well mixed. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt). Mix wet and dry just until dry is wet. Put scoopfuls onto cookie sheet (I love silicon my bakeware). I get two sheets of 12-13 cookies per recipe. If you enjoy pecans, add a few on top before baking. So pretty! Bake about 20 minutes and enjoy!

If you choose to make cupcakes, recipe should make about one dozen.

For the last batch I made, I added 3 pecans per cookie, coming together in the middle in a "Y" shape, for a very pretty presentation. Plus, the pecans get toasted, really adding to the flavor :)

Other similar recipes include:

Banana Breakfast Cookies
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Plant Powered Kitchen! Trans Fat Ban

Good evening!

I hope you enjoyed How to Peel a Mango in 15 Seconds! Now, you can watch another "how to" video as my way of showing you Plant Powered Kitchen, just introduced to me, that I am sure to be reading a lot!

EXCITING NEWS! In June 2015, the government banned artificial TRANS fats! It is a huge step toward a healthier food supply! One fear is that food manufacturers will create some other artificial fat to replace partially hydrogenated oils. Other unhealthy fats to look out for are PALM OIL and MONO- and DIGLYCERIDES. Remember also that there are trans fats in animal products.

"[This change] is expected to prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease every year", New York Times. On the other hand, Dr David Katz reminds us in the Huffington Post that choosing plant-based, whole foods is STILL the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do for our health.

Check out the Washington Post's article/videos regarding the Trans Fat Ban in the US.

ALSO check out these awesome: Flourless Chai Sandwich Cookies! by MWFL Melissa (I adore her!).

I am working on my Pinterest Boards. It's a nice way to organize some things :)


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