Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Snickerdoode-lish Snack Cookies

For tasty other fruit, flax, grain, and nut DR GREGER DAILY DOZEN CHECK MARKS!

Snicherdoodle-ish Cinnamon Snack Cookies

1.5 c pitted dates
1.5 c walnuts
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/2 c Irish oats (steel cut oats)
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a food processor for about 2 min until a dough forms. At this point, you could be done, form into balls or bars, and eat it just like that!

To make cookies, form balls and flatten. Cookies will not change shape during baking. Bake at 350 for ~15 min. Enjoy!

Here is how I sometimes do it. Dump dough on a silicone baking sheet, flatten dough with a second baking sheet. Then use a round tablespoon to sort of cut out cookie shapes right on the baking sheet. It makes about 3.5 dozen cookies. Bake at 350 for ~15 min. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Healthiest Fast Food!

My kids called it "the burrito shop" when they were really little and then it was "Burrito Bell"...anyway, we have been going for years, and many people think "yuck!" or "boy, that's surprising that you eat something so unhealthy". Anyway, we do eat there often!

So it was great to hear others think the same!

Carissa Stanz of Wide Open Eats just wrote an article about it: Did You Know that Taco Bell Has Become One of the Healthiest Food Chains?

Tessa Newell of the food news website called FoodBeast also wrote an article a few years ago called: Taco Bell Has Low Key Become One of America's Healthiest Fast Food Chains (Business Insider also shared Tessa's article)

Plus, Dr Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, has even suggested going to Taco Bell for a bean burrito!

These are my kudos for Taco Bell.

1. It's a FAST, CHEAP way to get some nutritious food, most importantly, BEANS, when you are out and about.

2. It tastes great and fresh!

3. The refried beans do NOT contain lard (often refried beans are made with lard).

4. This one I learned from Tessa's article...Taco Bell has reduced it's sodium content by 15% in the last decade (since 2008).

5. Also from Tessa, they have great online nutrition info at TacoBell.com such as for allergens and ingredients. As of 2016, they planned to get rid of all artificial ingredients. I would say they have done well...there are lots of chemicals in pop, but as far as the food goes, the ingredients look pretty great!

Tips for ordering HEALTHY:

1. Order your items "fresco style". This means that cheese and sour cream will be substituted for pico de gallo (a tasty mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro).

2. Replace meat in any item for beans. We always go with the refried beans, but they also carry black beans!

3. Tostadas and corn taco shells are your best bet for whole grains, though there is added oil, which will almost always be included in restuarant food. I already mentioned the reduction in sodium across the board. In general, Mexican food has less sugar than other types of food, so that's another good thing.

4. Add guacamole for extra flavor, nutritious fat, and satisfation to your meal! 
carla wasa at toco bell one month ago. written by carla.

This is what we order most often:

1. Spicy Tostada, fresco style, make sure jalepeno sauce is omitted, and add guacamole ($1.00 plus cost of guacamole which varies from $0.25-0.50).

2. Bean Burrito, fresco style, sometimes with guacamole (prices vary...around $1.29).

3. Pintos N Cheese, fresco style, really just pintos and pico :) ($1.39). 

This reminds me that I need to write posts for other restuarants! We love Chipotle, Qdoba, Aladdin's, several Indian restuarants, Bibibop, hmmm what else? I wrote about Curritos when I went to Houston, and we found a delicious restuarant in Boston called minigrow, and in Washington D.C. was the fantastic Fruitive.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

12 Benefits of Being in Nature and the Outdoors

A friend recently shared with me (during a run in the woods!) that there are so many benefits to being outdoors. It's really great for our mental and physical health, and this naturally is of great benefit to the development of children as well.

Just as I set out to look into the research, I hit gold immediately, as Business Insider had a wonderful article on the topic, including the journal citations (and links to FULL studies!) for each of the various benefits!

I made this visual from Friedman and Loria's list :)

I definitely recommend you read through this awesome article written by Lauren Friedman and Kevin Loria: Eleven Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outside (article cites various references for each of the reasons)

Here's the list in no particular order:

1. Sharper thinking and creativity
2. Stress relief
3. Reduced inflammation
4. Restored mental energy
5. Immune system boost
6. Better vision
7. Improved mental health
8. Improved concentration
9. Improved short-term memory
10. Reduced risk of early death
11. possible anti-cancer effects

Here is a PDF of the article. 

I can't discuss benefits of being outside without giving a shout out to Vitamin D! Vitamin D is definitely a reason to spend time outside!

And for fun, a few pics out in nature!

Finally, in case you are curious what fueled me through this post...it was brownies, 100% Healthy Fudgy Brownies!

Healthy Fudgy Brownies

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Leafside Home Delivered Plant Based Whole Food Meals!

Leafside Home Delivered Plant Based Whole Food Meals

How's this for a logo? www.goleafside.com

This is such a fabulous idea for people who want to eat healthy on-the-go! For $7.99 with free shipping and handling, you can have a quick, nutritious and tasty meal! These are the first meals we tried!

I loved how you could really taste the raspberries in the sweet bowl! My daughter appreciated that you could NOT taste the mushrooms in the sweet bowl! Nice to for her to get some ERGOTHIONEINE. This is an amino acid primarily present in mushrooms, practically no other food, actually there is a little bit in some foods like organ meats and beans; however, mushrooms have 40x the amount of the closest competitor!

Ergothioneine protects our DNA!

Ergothioneine: A New Vitamin? - this is an article about antioxidants and aging, and here is a link to a video about ergothioneine!

I just love the amazing ingredients provided in one quick, effortless meal! Here is two examples! 

organic cashews
organic buckwheat noodles
non-GMO soy curls
organic white onions
broccoli florets
organic subdried tomatoes
white button mushrooms
organic nutritional yeast
organic flaxseeds
organic carrots
organic porcini mushrooms
sea salt
organic celery
organic miso powder
organic mustard seed
organic turmeric
organic lemon
organic black pepper
organic herbs & spices

organic dates
organic oats
organic raspberries
organic quinoa
organic cacao powder
organic cacao nibs
organic Ceylon cinnamon
organic coconut flour, 
raw macadamia nuts
organic flaxseeds
organic spinach organic kale
organic peas, 
organic beets
organic porcini mushrooms
organic mustard seed
organic herbs and spices

Some Awesome Smoothies:
Some Savory Meals:

The savory meals contain salt, however you can ask for SOS-free versions. Note: the ingredients will still include salt and/or miso even though there will be none. On the front there will be a sticker saying "SOS-free".

Also, note that leafside currently only delivers within the US. The company would love to hear FROM YOU where you are from, as they expand internationally.

I can't wait to try them all! Visit www.goLeafSide.com so you can try them too!

You can figure out which meals you enjoy the most and then have some come every few months to have some meals ready when you run out of time and don't want to eat junk!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tribute to the Vegan Junction (AMAZING RESOURCE!)

Thank you to The Vegan Junction (TVJ) for being awesome! I would like to thank a person, but it seems that this website is formed by a community! Well, that's lovely too! People working together to do things even better! 

Check out TVJ's post:
Top 50 Oil-Free Vegan Plant Based Recipe Websites

Woah! I am going to go out on a limb and say this might become one of my favorite resources to share with others because besides these recipe websites, they have all these other awesome "Top 10-ish" lists:

~Reasons Going Vegan Helps Save the Planet
~Health Professionals to Follow
~Whole Food Plant Based Cookbooks
~Plant Based Health and Nutrition Books
~Oil-Free Plant Based Recipe Youtube Channels

Plus, they have a whole tab about Vegan Athletes!

Also, I noticed the words SIMPLICITY and MINIMAL, other topics dear to my heart :) Here is one: Simplicity: the Key to Healthy, Plant-Based Living for Livelong Health
You might also enjoy a post I wrote about a method of organizing your things for life: 10 Reasons to Konmarie Your Home 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Vegan Junction!

COMMENTS: what are your favorite resource pages and sites? Leave a comment below so others can visit!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk with No Dairy, No Added Sugars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk (Non-dairy, no added sugars)

Here is a great way to consume some turmeric without even tasting it! I made it with about 1.5 inches of fresh turmeric root I was making up for not having it yesterday, and frankly, it was easier to throw that much in than to cut a piece. This recipe is that easy! Plus, if you can't taste 1.5 inches of turmeric root, I don't believe your taste buds would ever detect a quarter-inch portion in this drink.

Non-Dairy Chocolate Milk
This is great for breakfast, afternoon snack, or pre- or post-workout fuel! Plus, get 5 Dr Greger Check Marks.

The best part is probable that you get your daily dose of turmeric! Who cares, you ask? Me, nutritional science, anyone with inflammation, and anyone who doesn't want inflammation! Hello people, muscle soreness is often due to inflammation!

Regarding science, in recent years, more than 5000 medical articles have been published about turmeric's curcumin, and it may play a role in preventing and treating lung disease, brain disease, and a variety of cancers (p. 351 of How Not to Die).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk

2 Tbsp unweet cocoa
1 Tbsp ground flax
3 medjool dates, pitted (just split with hands) or 6 deglet noor
1/4 c peanuts (or hemp seeds for pure chocolate milk)
1/4" up to an inch of turmeric root (or 1/4 tsp turmeric powder)
Dash pepper
1 c cold water
1 c ice

Blend all but the ice until smooth (45 sec on my Blendtec). Add ice and blend once more (20 sec). Enjoy!

Other drink recipes to get your daily dose of turmeric
include hot cocoa, super juice, and ginger latte!
Snow day Hot Cocoa (see here MORE BENEFITS OF TURMERIC)
Super Juice (Majenta Magic Potion)

Ginger Latte


Super exciting! Dr. Michael Greger's NEW book is coming out:

Dec 10, 2019!

campaign image

On Sunday, I had the amazing pleasure and joy to run the Cleveland Marathon with these awesome womenSister Anna Rosa and Sister Agnes are shining examples of Christ's light! Consider donating to their special order. God bless!

Sr Anna and Sr Agnes were guests on a podcast to share their faith and fears of their marathon journey! ENJOY!

Image may contain: 3 people, including Beth Dyer Detzel, people smiling, shoes and outdoor
Marathon Morning!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Easy Blueberry Muffins

Easy Blueberry Muffins are an easy way to get some fruit (bananas and dates), flax, berry, and grain Daily Dozen Checkmarks with out any added sugar, oil, or salt!

Easy Blueberry Muffins

14 pitted dates
4 ripe bananas
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1/2 c warm water
2 c whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 c wild blueberries, tiny, frozen

In large mixing bowl, combine flour and powders. In high-speed blender, combine fruit, flax, and water. Add wet ingredients from blender to dry mixture. Combine only until dry is all wet, careful not to over-mix. Fold in berries. Fill muffin pan. I love silicone bakeware. I make a dozen muffins and then make what's left into "cookies" (you could probably get another 2-3 muffins). Bake at 350 for 60 min.

After you let them cool, muffins come out of silicone pan easily - no need to grease the pan. 

Try to have at least 1/2 cup of berries or 1/4 cup of raisins every day! It'll help your brain stay young and keep those aging free radicals way! Cherries and grapes also count! The darker the better! So for grapes, choose red over green, blackberries over raspberries, dark raisins over golden. More color means more benefit to your body! 

Easy Blueberry Muffins are very similar to Chocolate Cake Breakfast Muffins and Smooth and Sweet Banana Bread, and more flavors are coming! 

Feel free to share your concoctions here!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bars

These hazelnut energy bars are addicting!

If you have ever had Nutella, and been missing the taste, this recipe will be exciting for you!

For me, the secret is buying roasted hazelnuts. I have tried roasting them myself, but haven't gotten that quite right.

You can check off the healthy foods of nuts, flax, and a fruit with this tasty snack!
See Dr Greger's Daily Dozen.

Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bars / "Nutella" Squares
1/2c walnuts
3/4c hazelnuts, roasted*
1/2c flaxseed, ground
3/4c dates, pitted
1/4c cocoa, unsweetened
1 Tbsp water

Blend nuts, flax, and dates in a food processor ~ about 2 min. Then add cocoa and water to prevent cocoa from coming out the tiny openings of your food processor.

Form dough into whatever shape you like! It was fun pressing into a 9x9" pan and cutting into squares. Freezing briefly (20 min) before cutting helps, but is not necessary. Enjoy!

*remember, roasted hazelnuts are key!

Try other flavors! (I call these "Laraballs"...after Larabars :) )

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Chocolate Cake Breakfast Muffins

Chocolate Cake Breakfast Muffins are a great way to start your day!

These treats are great for any time! They provide several Dr Greger check marks: 2 "other fruits", flax, and whole grains! Plus, they are nut-free, so they are great for school lunches and snacks!

You really can use this recipe as a healthy chocolate cake! It's very tasty and sweet!

Chocolate Cake Breakfast Muffins
Chocolate Cake Breakfast Muffins
10 dates, pitted
4 bananas (extra ripe = extra sweet)
1/4 c flaxseed, ground (so you absorb the nutrition, also I sometimes add another 1/4 c for more nutrition)
1 c warm water
2 c whole wheat flour (pastry flour makes them extra fluffy!)
1 Tbsp baking powder (Trader Joe's sells aluminum-free)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c cocoa, unsweetened (you could add a bit more for even more chocolaty treats)

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender. Combine last 4 ingredients in large bowl. Then add wet to dry and mix until well combined, careful not to over mix.

Pour batter into 9x9" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 min, or until cooked through. I love my silicone bakeware. 

You might notice, this is basically my Smooth and Sweet Banana Bread recipe plus 1/2 cup cocoa! So versatile! How do you mix it up?!

Here is another variation on proportions (without bananas) to make more of a "cookie" and it's still very nutritious!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Don't Zone Out - Harmful to your Happiness

Don't Zone Out - It's Harmful to Your Happiness

Today we have a surprising TED talk about daydreaming and happiness. Science has found that when our minds wander, we are often thinking negatively. Even if pleasant thoughts fill our minds, we are virtually NEVER as happy as if we were focusing on the present moment.

Bottom Line: BE HERE NOW!

Even if our daydreams are positive ones, we are at best, 90-some-% as happy as we would be if we were focused on the present moment.

For example, DREAMING of a beach vacation only has the potential to make us ALMOST as happy as if we just focus on what we are currently doing....like washing one dish at a time, as we empty the kitchen sink after dinner!

At any given moment, our shot at the greatest level of happiness is to be MINDFUL of the present moment, even if we are doing something boring, such as commuting to work. In the following research, this was true for every activity!

Here's the video of Matt Killingsworth's presentation/research:
SURPRISING Science of Mind Wandering (DAYDREAMING)

As a Positive Psychology researcher, he wonders what causes happiness. Matt studies the contents of our moment to moment experiences on Trackyourhappiness.org (you can get the app and join in!)

As of video's publishing, at least 15,000 people have been studied, who were of a wide range of ages, income, education, and marital status. Results were based on the most common activities that people usually do through the day.

He wondered:
Does mind wondering increase our happiness?
What if thoughts are pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral?
What happens first? mind wandering or unhappiness?

He found:
Mind wandering decreases our happiness.
Mind wandering PRECEDES unhappiness (rather than unhappiness coming before mind wandering).
This is the case, whether thoughts are unpleasant, neutral, or PLEASANT.

So keep your mind clear and enjoy your moments!

Related Posts:
Mindfulness Made Easy
All You Need is Love
Fantastic Feelings of Forgiveness
Positive Psychology
Boston Marathon Heartbreak Like No Other
Canada's Eating Tips 

I realize I haven't ever written a post about one of my favorite books, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, so I hope to share some of my favorite parts here soon! In the meantime, check it out: A New Earth. This book was the first place I ever learned about focusing on the present moment.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Take Control of Your Type II Diabetes

Do you know someone with diabetes? Even if you answer no, 7 million Americans have diabetes AND DON'T EVEN KNOW IT! Besides those people, 30 million other Americans are diagnosed with Diabetes each year.
84 million Americans are pre-diabetic (before even this stage damage can begin to occur).

Above data is according to the American Diabetes Association.
USA Today recently published 5 important facts about diabetes.

On the bright side, a healthy diet CURES this disease! What I mean is, in most cases, eating a healthy enough diet will allow someone previously diagnosed with type II diabetes, to maintain normal blood sugar, and therefore not experience any short or long term diabetic complications. Now, the healthy eating of PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS must continue in order to maintain this healthy state. 

Start with some chili!

Returning to previous eating habits and choices will result in the return of increased blood sugars, so the term CURE is relative. However, if getting off of insulin and other diabetic medications and avoiding their side effects and expense is a satisfying goal, you have an option!

Additionally, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine nicely summarized a recently published a study showing more good news for diabetics: "A plant-based diet improves psychological well-being in type 2 diabetes patients, according to a review published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research Care. Researchers reviewed 11 controlled trials on dietary interventions for type 2 diabetes and found that plant-based diets improved well-being overall when compared to dietary interventions from various diabetes associations. Participants reported less pain and saw improvements in depression, weight, quality of life, cholesterol and HbA1c levels, and other health outcomes. Adherence was higher among the plant-based intervention groups, which also suggested higher acceptability, compared with control groups, demonstrating the potential effectiveness of plant-based diets as a clinical intervention for type 2 diabetes."

Here is some more amazing findings about diabetes that I learned about from How Not to Die by Dr Greger:

SATURATED FAT is a key culprit here of the dysfunction of diabetes. Saturated fat harms muscle cells! WARNING TO ATHLETES
Saturated fat:

1. CAUSES inflammation
2. CAUSES mitochondrial dysfunction
(mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells!)
3. CAUSES insulin resistance

"Vegans have significantly LESS FAT trapped in the deep calf muscles than those of comparably slim omnivores" p.108

As for weight loss, most weight gain is due to portion control, so it is EVENTUALLY REGAINED :( So, INSTEAD we have to change WHAT we eat to maintain :) Adding 5 CUPS / week of beans to ones diet is just as effective at weight loss and blood sugar control as a portion control plan! Too much insulin causes other problems such as CANCER and premature AGING. 

I especially loved the study that cured 17 of 21 subjects of DIABETIC NEUROPATHY WITHIN DAYS! Since neural changed occurred before blood sugars stabilized, they speculate that rapid results were likely due to improved blood flow. 

This goes back the original basis for this healthy way of eating - it cures heart disease. Since our hearts fuel all of our organ systems, our nervous system benefits too!

Sorry for the delay, the Boston Marathon threw me off schedule :)


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