Tag Archives: vegan cooking

When It Comes To Food – Its Not About Good or Bad – It's About Compatible…

http://www.yumsugar.com/Why-I-Stopped-Being-Vegan-35306835

Okay – Here’s my 2 cents or more:) I do something called “Food Compatibility Testing”. It’s an intuitive gift. Something I now teach others how to develop and use on their own. Through this process it has become very clear how different each and every “body” is, which shouldn’t be a surprise since our DNA is completely unique. Our nutritional needs change constantly depending on our physical, mental and spiritual health; even on what we ate the day before. Not one good food is good for everybody all the time; Not one good diet, not one good supplement, etc. After testing a load of people over the last year, it’s apparent that becoming a fully evolved vegan is a process. Eating meat is embedded in the human DNA from generations of meat consumption. Changing DNA is not something that happens overnight. It needs to be done gradually.

I became very curious about how many vegans had totally evolved vegan bodies and testing all the vegan athletes from the Winter Olympic Games this year. Out of the 10 I tested, only 4 were fully evolved. That means, either they are eating animal products on the sly or their body has a deficiency that can only be met by an animal. Does this mean an animal has to die – NO! The good news, this evolution is happening fast and even unconsciously. Some of my clients were surprised they had made the vegetarian Shift. I often hear after a session, “Wow – That’s why I just stopped wanting meat”. These are people without any concept of what a CAFO is. We have moved into a higher vibration and our bodies want to become lighter to ascend into this lighter energy. Animal protein is heavier than plant protein. Everyone can get along very well on a vegetarian diet now, which allows for cruelty free animal choices if one is inclined to look for them. For instance, local farm fresh eggs, yogurt, butter and cheese from animals raised humanly and lovingly will lovingly give back to us. I have neighbors with beloved chickens and goats. With our inborn intuition, we can learn how to test for cruelty free, GMO free, pesticide free, freshness, etc. When it comes to food, it is not about what is good or bad only what is compatible to our bodies. Can you feel the non-judgment in that?

First and foremost we should be loving towards ourselves and take the best care of our bodies. We cannot love anyone or anything without first loving ourselves. That means giving our body the nutrition it needs for optimum health, whatever that is and do it in a loving non-judgmental way. Judgment will not help any cause. We will always be judged by how we judge others. What I am talking about here is not a conflict of interest. Every being has the right to life, health and happiness. We can take care of ourselves and still insure this right.

On another note, let’s talk about balance. The over consumption of animal products has caused a major pH imbalance in this country which has led to chronic health issues in this country and others. All things happen for a reason. Every challenge we face is knocking on our door of awareness. As we become awakened and aware so does the world. If we can approach this collective experience in a non-judgmental fashion we can heal a nation, we can heal the world. If you want to know more, or would like to know if you are a fully evolved vegan, send me a message. Peace…

Hospitals Can Be Dangerous Places……

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I recently had my own “Suzanne Somers like” hospital experience and I’m still reeling!  Don’t get me wrong – I totally believe in the necessity of good hospitals and medical doctors and that they save many lives everyday.  Unfortunately, I also believe that the situation below, probably happens way to often.

Scene 1:  Emergency Room Saturday 7:30 a.m. I had gotten in the middle of a dog fight the night before and suffered several deep wounds on Friday evening.  FYI – Never, ever put your hand between fighting dogs and NO – A dog’s mouth is not cleaner than a human’s. Anyway, long story short – I woke up Saturday morning with 102 temperature – NOT GOOD. I drove myself to the ER.  I’m told within just a few minutes,  I’m being admitted and IV antibiotics are started.  I can understand the concern and the preventative measures.  This is what hospitals are for.

Scene 2:  About 7:00 Saturday evening, the hospital attending on duty shows up.  She pulls up a chair very close to my bed and with a grim, serious face, proceeds to tell me, “The x-ray of my hand in the ER revealed a disturbing finding”. Exact words folks, “You have a bone lesion in your hand and unfortunately, it’s the kind consistent in people with lung cancer. It has nothing to do with the injury, trust me I questioned the radiologist. I want to get some chest x-rays right away”.  And, depending on what the hand surgeon says, we may also need a MRI to get a better look at the lesion”.  I am away to x-ray within 30 minutes.  Not kidding!  I said out loud –  “OMG! Did my dog just save my life?”  And, I’m thinking, “I guess I’m going to get the opportunity to live what I believe (not that I really want to)”.  I’m convinced that destroying the cancer with toxic chemo you also destroy the body’s ability to heal itself.  A body that can heal itself can survive cancer (the short story).  You see – I believe everything happens for a reason.  (I had the MRI the next morning).

Can you imagine! Here I am in the hospital with a dog bites and this doctor is sitting in front of me seriously telling me she thinks I have cancer.  She doesn’t know anything about me.  After delivering the bad news, she tells me, “The good news is – all my blood work looks great and I’m healthy, which is a big plus” (except for the cancer thing).  She doesn’t ask me if I have any family members are friends there.  She doesn’t say, “This could be nothing”.  She leaves telling me she’ll be back early in the morning.  Wow – I got a great night’s sleep!  After going plant-based, I’ve been able to totally come off the blood pressure medicine I had taken for 10 years. It’s been almost 2 years now.  I thought I was handling the news pretty well, but my blood pressure said otherwise.

Scene 3:  The doctor enters the next morning to tell me my chest x-rays came back clear, (I swear, she seemed disappointed).  It took her about 2 minutes to deliver this news along with, there is still a chance the lesion is malignant, and the surgeon will be in later to talk to me about it.  About 3:00 p.m., he shows up to confirm I have a bone lesion in my hand.  I ask if the MRI confirmed malignancy.  “Oh no! (he said), We won’t know that until we remove it.”  So the MRI was unnecessary and useless?  “Oh no – it gave me a better look at what I’m dealing with”.  I am instructed to make an appointment with his office for Wednesday (3 days later).  I did not.

Scene 4:  Nurse shows up a few minutes later and I ask if I can go home now.  She goes and asks the doctor and I’m released with prescriptions in hand for pain and antibiotics (or so I thought), I couldn’t seem to find them – that’s a whole other blog!

Okay – so I don’t have lung cancer and I guess there is a small chance that have some kind of malignant thing in my hand – but I doubt it.  I’m pretty sure if I wanted to pursue this, which I don’t, I would find out the location of the so-called lesion, is in the exact same spot where I received a really bad cut when I was a girl. It severed nerves and still sends pain up my arm if I hit it.  I’m sure there was some scar tissue left over from that healing.

MORAL OF THE STORY – Stuff happens and sometimes the hospital is unavoidable.  If you do wind up in the hospital:

1.  Question everything! Speak up!  Try to have someone with you taking notes and asking questions when the doctor visits.

2.  FACT – Hospitals are the best place to pick up a bug or infection.  Get out of there as soon as possible!

3.  Do your best to avoid doctors and hospitals. Take responsibility for your health through diet and exercise.   “The REAL solution to America’s “Healthcare Crisis” is to “GET HEALTHY” Good Food For Thought…..

4. When pharmaceutical antibiotics are unavoidable.  Began taking a heavy duty probiotic (good bacteria) immediately.  Along with killing the bad bacteria, the antibiotic destroys all your good bacteria (your natural immune system).  Without the good stuff available in your system to fight the bad stuff, you have a good chance of contracting a viral, bacterial, and fungal infection when the antibiotics are stopped.

FYI – Try “Antiseptine” natural antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes. (I’m allergic to the ingredients in common over the counter chemical ointments).  Antiseptine has all of my favorite anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solutions in one jar (coconut oil, aloe vera, tea tree oil, etc.). Find it online or you can make your own.  The web is full of  effective natural remedy recipes.

SAY NO to GMO – You have until February 27th to make your voice heard!

Government of the people, by the people, for

the people, shall not perish from the Earth”.

Abraham Lincoln

Make your voice heard at: www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/12/27/2011-33009/dow-agroscience-llc-availability-of-petition-plant-pest-risk-assessment-and-environmental-assessment

 and at http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/12/action-alert-say-no-to-dow-chemicals-ge-corn-petition/ to sign a petition

 going directly to President Obama and US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Learn more about GMO foods at http://www.saynotogmos.org/
 Dear Readers – I put in my 2 cents below  – Will you speak up?

With the ever-increasing cancer rates, obesity, and chronic disease in our country, I find it hard to fathom the connection between what we eat and our health is not being made.  Health care cost is at  epidemic proportions along with all the disease and with no end in sight.  According to CMS.gov the National Health Expenditure has reached 17.6% of the GDP and an average of $8,086 per person.   The answer is not in forcing people to buy insurance so healthcare providers can get paid for more open heart surgeries  and chemotherapy and big  Pharma can sell more drugs.  I very seldom watch TV anymore and when I do I’m amazed at the amount of drug advertisements.   Every other commercial is a drug for this and a drug for that.  Drugs companies spend billions of dollars convincing the sick, that they have the magic pill.  I was shocked the other day to hear an advertisement for the new drug “Provigil”, to treat “shift work disorder” – really?  Half of the 60 second spot was taken up with the side effect disclosure of which included death of course.  Who benefits from all this advertising?  I don’t think it’s the poor shift worker who now needs more drugs to deal with the side effects of his “shift work disorder” drug. 

The answer to all this madness is not in a pill –  It’s in preventing illness before it cost thousands of dollars.  The answer is in getting healthy.  Supply and demand still works.  Decrease the demand for a product or service and the cost goes down for everyone.

Studies have proven time and again, that pesticides and toxins cause cancer and disease, along with poor nutrition.  Maybe it’s  time our elected officials put our money where their mouth is – how about a few more dollars spent on subsidizing  clean produce?  You say America needs to get healthy and then you subsidize the very foods that are making us sick and fat, like GMO corn.

No benefit will be gained by promoting the market for GM food.  I read the news and I am aware of the problems already surfacing with cross contamination of organic fields for instance, and the fact Monsanto’s pesticide and herbicide formulas have produced crops more and more resistant to the pests and weeds they were designed to resist. The same has happened with antibiotics as the misuse of these miracle drugs has increased, creating stronger and more resistant strains of deadly bacteria.   Where does this end?  When our food source is gobbled up by super bugs or so contaminated it’s not fit for human consumption, or when a new bacterial epidemic wipes us out?

If the government is really interested in the health of America, you will not allow this deregulation.   Corporate profit is the only benefactor of such a decision.

Americans can no longer but on blinders and allow profit to dictate how we eat.   We have the right of not only knowing what is in our food supply, but the right to choose.  I choose good health for myself and by doing so affect the gene pool positively for the next generation.

Demand good food and the supply of bad food will end automatically.   Supply and demand – simple…..

Thanks for reading and sharing……And thank you “saynotogmo.org” for all of your important, thoughtful research.  I’m playing it forward.

With Patience

A New Year and A Fresh Start……..Change is the only Constant – Still

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!  I’m not usually big on New Year’s Resolutions, but the challenges I faced last year have opened my eyes and taught me soooo much.  My goal for this new year is to move forward in the new positive direction I have found.  I just feel in my bones this is the year for a massive shift into conscious eating.  That more and more people will be asking the question – “Is this food fueling my body or just my taste buds?” and will learn that both are achievable. This is the year America really starts to wake up and take responsibility for their health and happiness.  This is the year Americans take back the reigns from the medical and health care establishment and realize their health is within their own control, and it doesn’t come in a pill.  It comes from one of the greatest enjoyments in life – FOOD.  There is a simple answer to the Health Care Crisis in this country – GET HEALTHY!

We make a decision with every meal to kill ourselves with food or heal ourselves….. even if it’s an unconscious one.  What choice will you make this year?

My Goals for 2012 Are:

1.  To share information – not judgement.   Keeping in mind always, we are all teachers and students

2.  To be a loving and positive example

3.  To show kindness everyday of this new year

If you are ready for a change that will put you back in the driver’s seat and in control of your health and happiness, then the following link will give you a great place to start your New Year’s Journey!  Happiness is a choice and an easier one with a healthy mind and body.

http://pcrm.org/kickstartHome/messages/day1.cfm

P.S.  I recommend everyone watch “Forks Over Knives” for a little added incentive. This documentary shares the results of the largest and longest clinical study on nutrition and health ever – 20 years.  One of the most profound statements in this documentary goes something like this:  People will say eating a plant-based diet is very extreme.  Isn’t having your chest cracked open, veins taken out of your leg, and put in your heart a little extreme?  

Startin’ off the New Year Right with Good Food and Good Luck!

Lucky New Year’s Pie

Gluten Free Crust:                                                Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F

  • 1 ¾ cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 8 tbsp Earth Balance Butter (cold)
  • ½  tsp sea salt
  • 4 – 6 tbsp cup cold milk (vegan)
  1. In large bowl, blend salt and flour
  2. Chop butter in to cubes and cut into flour with fork until mixture is crumbly
  3. Make well in center of flour mix and add 4 tbsp of milk.  Mix well until dough holds together when squeezed. (If needed add more milk (1) tbsp. at a time).  Cut dough in half.
  4. Roll out each half between parchment or wax paper for a 9” pie crust.  Invert ½ into pie plate and finish edges as desired.  Refrigerate other half for top of pie.

Filling:

  • 1 bunch of collard greens prepared or 1 1/2 cups frozen
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of baked and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 leeks (clean and chopped – with a little green)
  • 2 shallots (minced)
  • 1 cup of wild rice cooked according to package
  • 1 cup button or baby bello mushrooms chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock  (Better than Bouillon)*
  • 1 cup SoCo coconut milk (reserve 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of Earth Balance butter
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp or fresh tarragon (or ½  tsp dried)
  • 2 tbsp of oat or rice flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 dashes of fresh grated nutmeg (or ground)
  • ½ cup grated vegan cheese of your choice (or real cheese for vegetarians)
  • 1 tsp sea salt and cracked pepper or to taste
  1. Cut in half butternut squash length wise.  Remove pulp and seeds.  Rub flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper.  Place flesh side down on cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until tender.   When cool enough to handle, remove skin and cut into small cubes.  Set aside.
  2. Cook wild rice according to package – set aside.
  3. Rice and squash are cooking.  In large skillet, sauté mushrooms, shallots and leeks in 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter and a dash of sea salt for a few minutes then add herbs.  Stir frequently until leeks are translucent and mushrooms have released their moisture (5 minutes or so).
  4. Add flour to mixture stirring for a minute until well blended.  Deglaze pan with wine and add broth. Simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Gradually add milk stirring constantly until sauce is thick, but pourable (add more milk if necessary).  Stir in a couple of dashes of nutmeg.  Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. (Taste!  It will probably not need salt)*
  5. In large bowl blend together gently, collards, peas, squash and mushroom leek mixture.
  6. Sprinkle ½ of grated cheese on top of pie dough and spread veggie mixture evenly over cheese.  Sprinkle other half of cheese on top of mixture and gently lay other half of rolled out dough on top. Pinch edges together.  Brush top with milk and pierce a few times with a sharp knife to vent steam.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Note:  This recipe is designed to use leftovers, so feel free to use whatever is in the fridge or frozen vegetables.  The mushroom, leek, and shallot sauce will be delicious with just about anything! Add a little more milk for a crazy good cream of mushroom soup.  If you’re in a hurry, buy ready-made crust and make it easy on yourself.  Or if you are like me and just love being in the kitchen, nothing beats made from scratch!  Oh, BTW – Everyone loves this pie – Vegan or Not!

*If on sodium restricted diet – dilute bouillon by half.

Stay tuned for plenty of amazingly delicious plant-based recipes and healthy information.  Boring is not in my food vocabulary.

Reasons for Vegans

MARKET STREET COOKING CLASS – September 10, 2011

“REASONS FOR VEGANS”

I’m counting down the hours to my debut “Vegan” cooking class.  Here’s the kicker – The students are mostly non-vegans.  I’ve always loved a good challenge!  Over the last couple of years, I’ve been obsessed with making vegan fare that appeals to the masses.   My motto is, “The taste buds don’t care if it’s plant or animal as long as it’s delicious!”.  So what did I do, I peddled my food to Market Street and SOLD!  The only requirement is I couldn’t use “Healthy or “Vegan” in the title of my class (a little tricky, but doable).  The following is what I hope everyone in class will take away along with my “Coconut Sweet Potato Pie” recipe. I promise your holiday guest will be begging for this recipe – vegan or not!   (See Recipe Below)  Stayed tuned for the highlights and more recipes from this class and others.

While researching a solution to my own weight issues, I discovered the link between obesity and our acidic American diet.  Like many women my age, I had gained 20 lbs. it seemed overnight.  What I discovered is our country’s animal based diet is making us sick and fat.   Obesity is a result of a body out of balance and one of the first signs of chronic illness.  Without going into too much detail, our bodies have an optimum pH balance. We pay attention to the “pH Balanced” when purchasing hair and skin products, but don’t think twice about how the pH of the foods we eat affect our body.

Our insides are pH sensitive just like our outside.  If acidic products destroy your skin and hair can you imagine what’s going on inside?  All animal products are on the acidic side of the pH scale with very few exceptions.  Most sugars and saturated fats are acidic.  I applied what I had learned and in the end, I lost the 20 pounds in short order.  Now my problem is keeping weight on!  It’s great to know I’ll never worry about my weight again.  The answer is a simple as, eating more often, eating more plants, walking in the sun, and “down time”.

Plant based proteins are less acidic, easier on our bodies and the fact is we need way less protein than the average American diet consumes, (mostly from animal sources).  These proteins also contain the unhealthy saturated fat, linked to heart disease,  among other killers.  Even while the USDA recommends drastically reducing saturated fat, they do a good job of veiling the sources of this fat by giving it technical names like cholesterol, saturated fat and “solid fat”, instead of calling it “animal”.  (Ask me about where the majority of government food subsidy dollars go). This excess protein taxes every digestive organ – the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, stomach, kidneys. 

The average American eats 3 x what the body needs in protein. This excess animal protein is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis (mineral loss as the body leaches calcium from our bones to neutralize the excess acid in our system).   This would explain why osteoporosis is on the rise in our country even with a huge emphasis on dairy (which is also protein).

 Breast cancer, kidney disease, cataracts, arteriosclerosis; among other chronic diseases have been linked to excess animal protein.   A 120 lb. woman needs about 50 grams of protein a day (1 – 5oz. chicken breast and a cup of lentil soup).      Sadly, Americns have been conditioned to include animal protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Only until recently has vegetable sources been acknowledged as acceptable sources of protein by the USDA and the information is vague.  When in reality,  the 9 or 10 essential amino acids not produced by the body are readily available from plant sources.  

Soybeans, quinoa, greens (kale, collard, mustard, spinach, etc.) and potatoes are great examples of plant-based foods packed with these essential amino acids.  The foods on the menu for this class alone, provides approximately 44 grams of protein and all essential amino acids!  The fact is – we have a biological requirement for amino acids (the building blocks of protein), – NOT PROTEIN, according to Madelyn Fernstrom from the University of Pittsburg.  You can choose to get your amino acids from plant or animal.  Check out “Forks over Knifes” and the “China Study” for more clues to good health.  Another good study resource is www.vrg.org.  All information is referenced.  

There’s a big misconception that vegan and vegetarians are protein deficient.  Not true.  A plant-based diet with variety can have all the protein a body needs.  The fact is, vegetable protein is a superior, cleaner protein.  Just ask famous marathoner Scott Jurek, or tri-athelete, Brendan Brazier  what gives them their edge.  And, if you need another reason for adding more plant-based meals to your diet consider this – how about cutting your grocery bill in half and doing your part to save the planet and the animals.  

To raise a cow for slaughter, you have to feed and water the crop and then feed and water the animal.  Much more cost-effective feed just feed and water the crop!   Another plus, plants are whole foods packed with fiber that fill you up and keep you satisfied.   No more dieting! – Eat as much as you want – Never be hungry.!  And, plant-based protein can be up to 50% less expensive than animal based protein.  How does it stack up?

4 oz. Salmon @ $3.00 per serving    = 22 grams protein, 2 grams saturated fat

4 oz. Porterhouse Steak @ $4.00 per serving = 22 grams protein, 9 grams saturated fat

1 cup lentils @ 20 cents per serving = 17.9 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat

We have the solution to America’s Health Care Crisis – GET HEALTHY!  “Supply and Demand” still works – Lower the demand for healthcare and the cost will plummet.  Demand “good food” and the “bad food” will disappear.  President Bill Clinton is a prime example of how you can eat your way to good health.  Good food for thought…….

 

 

Oat Pie Crust                                              (Preheat oven to 425 degrees)

 

Makes 2 crust

1 ¾ cup oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 tbsp dark coconut palm sugar

¼ tsp sea salt

6 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter (cold)

¼ cup ice-cold water more or less

  1.   In food processor add flour, salt and sugar – pulse a few time to mix.

2.  Add butter and pulse until butter is roughly cut in (8-10 seconds).

  1. Turn processor to on and add water slowly through feeder tube until dough begins to clump and cleans the edge of bowl. (DO NOT LET FORM A BALL).  If too wet and sticking to sides add a little more flour (1 tsp at a time).  If too dry add more water (1 tsp at a time.

  2. Remove from processor, knead dough a few times and cut in half.  Press each half into a round disk, wrap in plastic and let rest in freezer for a few minutes while toasting pecan, coconut mixture.  (Freeze one)

  3. Roll out onto floured parchment for a 9” pie crust. Transfer to pie plate and finish edges as desired.  (I like to place my pie plate upside down on to rolled out dough and then flip it, press it into place and peel off the parchment – BAM!)

  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Move to cool spot while you make filling.

Note – You can make this in a bowl.  Just mix the dry ingredients together.  Cut in butter with hand mixer or 2 knives.  Make well in middle of dough and add water.  Mix until it holds together.  And, of course you can buy a gluten-free crust from your local whole foods market.

 
 Sweet potato Coconut Pie                                             Preheat oven to 375 degrees

4 tbsp Earth Balance Butter

1/2 cup coconut flakes

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 tsp cardamom

1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp. dark rum

1 tsp vanilla extract or flavoring

3 tbsp Grade A pure maple syrup

3 tbsp coconut palm sugar or Stevia

2 cup sweet potatoes (prepared fresh or canned)

1 ripe banana smashed

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp sea salt

  1. Make pie crust first.
  2. In large sauté pan over med high melt butter.  Add coconut, flax, pecans, brown sugar and cardamom.  Toast mixture for 3-5 minutes until sugar is caramelized, stirring frequently (do not burn pecans).  Set aside.
  3.  In large mixing bowl, whisk together, milk, rum, lemon juice, vanilla, coconut palm sugar, maple syrup. Then mix in sweet potatoes and banana.
  4. Blend together in small bowl, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Add to wet ingredients and beat mixture until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  5. Spread pecan mixture into bottom of prepared pie crust and pour sweet potato mixture evenly on top.
  6.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust is brown and pie is set (doesn’t jiggle like jello).

Serve with a simple, elegant cream cheese drizzle (see below) and garnish with pecan halves.  I promise your holiday guest will be begging for this recipe – Vegan or not!

 

Cream Cheese Drizzle                   (enough for 1 pie or cake)

 

¼ cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter (soft)   4 oz Tofutti Vegan Cream Cheese

3  tbsp confectioner’s sugar                           ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh lemon juice                                   (a little water if you want it thinner)

In small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients until very smooth a creamy.  Drizzle over your favorite pie or cake.   How about some homemade cinnamon rolls…yum.

 

 

Is the FDA Really Working in Our Favor?

I was just watching a little T.V. today by default.  I decided to check out some new Yoga.  I’m not going to name the channel, but I was a little disappointed to see commercials for lawyers on this particular one.  They were soliciting to potential clients who have experienced the devastating effects of  various “FDA” approved drugs: such as,  malformaties and  birth defects,  heart defects, spinalbifida, just to name a few.  Then it hit me, these guys are advertising lawsuits against big pharmaceutical companies.  Yes, they are still ambulance chasers, but they do make a point.  The FDA approves these drugs that line the pockets of these lawyers.  It amazes me that I can’t buy real organic almonds, but I can get any doctor to prescribe these toxic drugs – so toxic that the side effects make billions of dollars for lawyers.   Just Food for thought.

About

I’m not surprised my passion and purpose revolves around food – We’ve been in love for a very long time. I discovered, at about 11 years old, I was CRAZY about cooking while spending time in the kitchen with my father preparing meals for our large family of seven. I took little miss “susie homemaker” VERY seriously.  I remember my Dad would take my creations all over the neighborhood (I pretended embarrassment).  Over the years I have always found immense pleasure in the loving preparation and celebration of food.  I get a huge kick out of re-vamping old family favorites into new, delicious healthy traditions that shut everyone up! In the silence the appreciation and love of the food can be heard.  Of course, I never share the “healthy” part until the plates are empty…

The “food and body” connection clicked in for me early in my adult life, watching my mother struggle with and die young of heart disease (1 year younger than I am today on Labor Day).  It hit me then, this was not natural and her doctor confirmed her lifestyle was a major contributor to her chronic conditions.  It would be many years before I realized my love for cooking and my mother’s experience had led me directly down the path that would become my life’s work.  I believe that all experiences in life happen for a reason.  Looking back I can see the synergy of events (hind sight is 20/20 – right?). One thing I know for sure – when you find your passion and passionately eat, sleep and work it, it will lead you directly to your purpose and that will lead you to joy and abundance (and I’m not just talking about the green kind).  As an accomplished plant-based chef, I have been sharing the delicious, healing power of food through public and private cooking classes and seminars for years now.  My favorite title; The Plant-Based Chef for Meat Lovers and Vegetable Haters…

This passion for healthy cooking has also been extended into volunteer work.  One of my deepest desires is to witness in this lifetime the end to our healthcare crisis and world hunger.  Just because people are well fed, doesn’t mean they are nourished.  Health and malnourishment cannot co-exist.  I have been blessed to take part in the re-vamping of the local food pantry where I live.  It is now a remarkable “Nutrition Center” that focuses on “real food” (lots of organics); fresh produce, whole grains and staple cooking ingredients.  I look forward to seeing this concept take off nationwide.  And of course, learning how to cook is KEY to the success of these programs.  One of the reason’s we are in this health care crisis boat is we have given over control of what is in our food.  Cooking from scratch restores control.  I share my love and talent through volunteer culinary classes at various community outreach centers locally.

As we all know – one thing leads to another and the chef experience was just one layer of this amazing journey. A life-long love affair with food has led me to the most surprising “Revelation” of all! Our body knows exactly what foods it needs and doesn’t for optimum health at any given time. Food is not just our fuel, it’s our “tool kit” for repair and maintenance. If we can know what this amazing, miraculous machine knows, we can be in control of our health. With that revelation, the “Intuitive Chef” was born and since many have enjoyed the health advantages of very specific; “unique to their body only” Food Compatibility Testing.  The process is called “Food IS Talking” and it is gaining momentum worldwide as the world becomes more and more aware that our collective state of health is not improving but deteriorating under our current health care system.  We are looking for real answers.

I knew when this revelation appeared, “the gift” was meant to be shared.  And so it is!  “Food IS Talking” workshops are now available worldwide in public venues, personal one-one-one workshops and online via Skype and video conferencing. Don’t we live in a magically time!  We can learn just about anything the world has to offer without leaving our chair. This is an intuitive process anyone can learn – It’s only a matter of flexing and building the natural intuitive muscle we were born with.  It is my purpose and sheer joy to share this revelation with the world.  Health is Freedom Baby!

Peace, Joy, LOVE & Health! – Intuitive Chef Gail

"CHANGE" Is the only constant

I’m sure that quote belongs to someone and how very true it is.  Nothing ever stays the same.  But even so, we try to make time stand still and resist change even to our detriment.  Some never realize their dreams for this fear of jumping off life’s little cliffs.  Why is stepping out of our comfort zone so intimating even when we know what it is we should be doing?  Is it the fear of failure?  Is it laziness?  Why do some people appear to be fearless and some hang on for dear life?  These are questions I’m asking myself.  You see – My safety net has been yanked and I’m free-falling……

For the first time in my working life, from the tender age of 14 to 53, I’ve had the sickening experience of being fired.   Just like everything thing else, I’m sure this gets easier with practice…lol.   I’ve spent a little time feeling sorry for myself, but the truth is,  I know deep down, this is the best thing that could have happened.   I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe the universe is working in my favor and God has a plan.   This job was the safety net keeping me from making the 100% committment necessary to create a new dream, a new reality.  Without this push or more like a shove, I would probably still be hanging on with one hand and only dipping my toes in the water of change.  I would still be “standing still”.  Thank goodness God knows what’s good for us!

This whole experience reminds me of my first skydive.  What was I thinking – I’m terrified of heights and flying.  I’ll never forget sitting in the doorway of the plane with my legs dangling over the edge, knowing I was going out of this plane (didn’t have a choice at that point) and scared to death!  The look on my face says it all.   As soon as I was out, my face went from terror to ecstasy in a second (have it all on film..:).   I was free-falling and having the time of my life.  I’ve never felt such freedom.

The good news is,  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is I want to do – what I was born to do.  What I’ve always loved to do – COOK.  Even as a young adult, I made the connection between nutrition and health.  I read somewhere a long time ago, when considering a career or career change, think back to when you where 10 and what it was you were passionate about.  It was cooking for me.  This was an activity I shared with my Dad and I’m sure I inherited the “chef” gene from him.  He’s a fabulous cook.

So,  I have an assignment remember?  Bring awareness to as many people as possibly, to the crucial role nutrition plays in our very “being”.  Show others how to make delicious, healthy food and pass on all crucial information that promotes good health.   And, maybe, just maybe,  earn a living doing something I’m really passionate about that actually gives back.

“TODAYS “FOOD FOR THOUGHT”   You may have heard – Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has been canceled.  I’m really bummed about that.  He had a format for bringing massive attention to a huge problem – Childhood Obesity.   He brought to light one of the most disgusting processes I’ve ever seen (the “chicken nugget” show runs a close 2nd).  Have you ever wondered were the beef in your favorite fast food burger comes from and why it taste different?  After seeing this – you have to wonder why his show was canceled.  Maybe blowing the whistle pissed off a few big sponsors?  Read below and may you never eat another.     

Follow link for the story and hang on to your cookies!   http://www.grist.org/article/2010-01-05-cheap-food-ammonia-burgers

I will be writing a cookbook along the way geared toward disease control. Stay tuned for excerpts and recipes.

 

Cheers!

 

 

Forks Over Knives…

In all the research I’ve done on disease prevention, treatments and cures such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, mental illness just to name a few, it all comes down to, nutrition and activity.  I’m not saying you can’t eat meat in “moderation” (the definition differs person to person) and still be healthy, but I’ve convinced you can’t be healthy without  plant based foods playing the leading role in your diet.   I’m leaning more and more to plant based proteins.   I haven’t had a chance to see this yet, but I know several people who have.   If enough people take notice and make the “food and disease connection” the impact could be huge on all levels of society.  Can you imagine a happy, healthy world?   I hope it gets the press it deserves.  Thanks Mr. Ebert for speaking out!          Gail

Forks Over Knives (PG)

Ebert:     Users: Be the first to rate this movie

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Lee Fulkerson.
Forks Over Knives
BY ROGER EBERT / May 11, 2011

Cast & Credits

A documentary featuring Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Neil Barnard, John McDougall and others.

Monica Beach Media presents a film written and directed by Lee Fulkerson. Running time: 90 minutes. Rated PG (for some thematic elements and incidental smoking).

Here is a film that could save your life. So you’d better stop reading now, because you don’t want to go to the trouble. You are addicted to fat, salt, sugar and corn syrup. Your body has established a narcotic-like dependence on them, and you’re comfortable with that, just like smokers know why they keep on smoking. If you have to die 10 or 25 years sooner than necessary to smoke, if you need Viagra because your vascular system is compromised, or if you’re overweight, you can live with that.

Hey, I’m not going all holier-than-thou on you. Think how fat I was for years. I knew the solution, I was weak and lazy. Over 12 years I was eventually able to lose about 70 pounds with a proper diet, but my current weight and superb physical condition can be attributed to my illness. I am unable to eat or drink anything, and my (therefore) perfect diet of canned nutrition has given me an ideal weight and incredibly good blood numbers. I don’t recommend that you get sick to get well, however.

What every human being should do is eat a vegetarian diet based on whole foods. Period. That’s it. Animal protein is bad for you. Dairy is bad for you. Forget the ads: Milk and eggs are bad for you. Skim milk is no better, because it contains proportionately more animal protein. What you’re trying to avoid is dietary cholesterol. You also need to cut way down on salt and sugar, and run like hell from high fructose corn syrup.

“Forks Over Knives” is a documentary in which Lee Fulkerson enacts a mirror image of the journey taken by Morgan Spurlock in “Supersize Me.” Instead of eating only at McDonald’s for a month and nearly killing himself, he eats a plant-based whole food diet for six months, gets off all of his cholesterol and blood pressure medications, drops a lot of weight, sleeps better and has more energy.

His film follows three other sick people: one with breast cancer, one given less than a year to live because of heart problems, one with murderously high cholesterol. All are well again after the vegetarian diet. The movie opens with a warning that no one should take such steps without consulting a physician, and I quite agree; I would not have depended on nutrition to cure my cancer, but I’m convinced that I would always have been healthier if I’d eaten correctly.

The film hammers us with information. It centers on the work of famed nutritionists Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic. Campbell conducted the awesome China-Oxford-Cor­­nell study, which fol­lowed millions of Chinese over decades and found that increases in their incidence of cancer and heart disease directly paralleled their adoption of a Western diet.

Short term studies show the same thing: When Nazis commandeered all the food animals in Norway and rationing forced Brits away from meat, disease rates plummeted. After the war, they moved up again. In the traditional Japanese diet, breast and prostate cancers are all but unknown.

These facts have long been established, not only by Campbell and Esselstyn but also by Dean Ornish, John McDougall and the researchers at Pritikin. There is a Catch-22. The federal government subsidizes such crops as corn, which is used for lethal corn syrup and to feed animals which we then eat. It puts bad foods in school lunches. The lobbyists of agribusiness control national farm policy. The government spends millions to subsidize an unhealthy diet. We are raising the first generation of children who will not live as long as their parents.

Over the years I tried vegan and low-protein vegetarian diets, benefitted from and enjoyed them. I found by experience that all one needed was a rice cooker, a knife, a chopping block, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. I got all the protein and calcium I needed. I enjoyed it. But I was tempted. I strayed into the elysian fields of pizza, steaks, hamburgers and soft drinks. I once was blind and now I see.

“Forks Over Knives” is not subtle. It plays as if it had been made for doctors to see in medical school. Few doctors seem prepared to suggest proper nutrition as an alternative to pills, stents and bypasses. Although regular exercise, especially walking, is invaluable, the film shows only a little exercise and focuses singlemindedly on nutrition.

The bottom line: I am convinced this message is true. A plant-based whole foods diet is healthy. Animal protein is not necessary, or should be used sparingly as Asians did, as a flavoring and not a main course. This adds the advantage of allowing us to avoid the chemicals and carcinogens pumped into livestock and poultry. Fast food is lethal. Parents who feed it to their children are helping them get hooked on fat, salt and sugar addiction. The facts are in. Didn’t I warn you to stop reading?

P. S.: I have recently decided to ditch my canned nutrition and switch to a liquid diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, I consulted my physician.

Alley's House Cooking Classes

CATERING FRESH is now in business and our first course of action involves a community outreach project with Alley’s House.  As a single mom, I raised 3 kids, so this charity is close to my heart.  And as a single mother of twin toddlers, it’s especially fitting for my partner Taylor.  Alley’s House provides the necessary skills and resources to these girls, to become great mothers and successful women.  This is a great opportunity to break all kinds of cycles;  malnutrition,  obesity, diabetes,  just to name a few.  If just one family gets it, we’ve done our job and made a difference.  Below is the introduction for our first class:

Class Intro April 25th, 2011 – ALLEY’S HOUSE

 

OBJECTIVE:    To change the way these mothers perceive food and nutrition and becoming mindful of what they eat and feed their children.   Giving them the tools and skills to succeed in this endeavor.

 

Have you ever heard the OLD phrase “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”?  (ask for a show of hands)  It’s not just a silly saying – It happens to be profoundly true.

Nutrition is not some made up science just to get you to eat more yucky green beans so the farmer can make more money.  It’s critical to you and your children’s health.  And, believe it or not – your nutrition even affects your future generations.    When you hear someone say “I inherited bad genes”, the reality is they inherited the illness caused by the nutritional deficiencies of their ancestors.

Science tells us our bodies are designed to live to a ripe old age of 100 or more.  What’s keeping us from living to 100?  “Lack of nutrition and exercise”.    As a result, disease is rampant – diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, to name a few.  (Ask question here – who has or knows someone who has or had any of the 3 diseases).

You can be part of the solution.  You can affect the health and life of your children,  future generations and last but not least – YOURS.   (who wants to be part of the solution? Show of hands)

This is not just my opinion.  It’s a fact!   Science is proving the importance of nutrition everyday.   Even the great scientists of all time had a lot to say on this subject.  For instance, in A.D> 390 Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.  Edison in the early twentieth century said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet, and the cause and prevention of disease”.   Dr. Linus Pauling (Nobel prize winner twice) said in 1960 – “Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow”.

Boy, what happened  – That’s a whole other class.  I will tell you this however –  All the doctors and hospitals in the world will not keep you from getting sick, “but YOU can”.  Your body also has a great capacity to heal itself from illness with the right ammunition.

I will say this too – When it comes to healthcare, preventing  disease is not near as profitable as treating it.  My solution to the exploding healthcare cost in this country is not another taxpayer funded healthcare program, but simple “supply and demand”.   If you create less demand for a product, the price goes down.   If you increase the demand – the price goes up.   Get healthy – create less demand.  Lower your health care expenses and save your life!

The Good news is – Good food taste great!  Trust me – I’ve heard all the arguments about how I can’t afford healthy food and I don’t have time to cook and I don’t like vegetables and my kids won’t eat it, etc…….  It’s my personal goal (and let me tell you – I hate to lose…lol), to give all of you the tools and skills to create delicious, healthy food for your family, save money, save time and feel great!   Catering Fresh is dedicated to this end.

Stay posted for pictures and recipes from our debut class!