Here's a bread recipe I have to share (it would be evil of me not to), since it's AMAZING and of course, incredibly healthy:
Using a bread machine:
Fill a two-cup pyrex measuring cup with 1/3 cup honey, then add water until it reaches 1 and 2/3rd's cup. Microwave for 1 minute and mix honey with water thoroughly. Pour mixture into bread pan. Add 1 TBSP oil.
Add 2 cups whole wheat flour on top of liquid in the bread pan, then a rounded 1/4 cup gluten. Add tsp salt. Add 1 and 1/2 cups more whole wheat. Then add 1/4 cup flax seeds and another 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.
Make a "well" in the middle of flour (not so deep as to touch the liquid at bottom), and pour in the contents of a yeast packet.
Put pan into bread machine and set for whole wheat bread. Enjoy!
Do you ever wonder at that statistic claiming Americans are now living longer than ever before? Thanks to my latest read: Healthy at 100, by John Robbins (son of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire), I finally understand. Americans are living to a longer average age, due to drugs and medical technology, but they also begin dying sooner in life than ever before. In other words, Americans don't just live longer, they take longer to die. That doesn't sound nearly as good as the original statistic.
In contrast, John Robbins portrays four remote people groups (two in the Near East, one in South America, and one in Japan - the Okinawans) who were studied in great detail within the last 40 years, and noted for their longevity. These folks shocked researchers since not only did a high percentage live to be centenarians (100 years old), but they lived incredibly healthy, mobile lives in their 80's and 90's. Investigators found almost no cancer, dementia, arthritis, diabetes, or signs of heart disease at all. And perhaps best of all, people took very little time to die, as opposed to living with chronic disease for decades.
So besides physical activity, what do these populations have in common? Of course, their diets were free from processed foods since they lived in remote areas. What did they eat? Mostly plant foods. Each group consumed 90% or more of their calories from fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes. In addition, you can bet their produce was fresh, since they didn't have imported foods. These groups ate plant foods that were organic, locally-grown and in season. They are a nutritionist's dream... and a real life reminder to the rest of us that what we eat determines the way we age.
So in case you don't read Healthy at 100 for yourself, please remember this: we don't have to suffer chronic disease and end up in a care facility in our senior years. We have the power to prevent disease and aging, but the time to use this power isn't when we've been diagnosed with an illness - it's right now. So what's stopping you?
I found this on the Treehugger blog.
I know, I know, cooking at home is a hassle. It requires meal planning, grocery shopping, then cooking and some type of cleaning up. But it's WORTH IT. Not only do people who cook weigh less (like way, way less) and tend to be oodles healthier, they live longer and take less time to die - in contrast to so many Americans who have chronic disease in their midlife.
Who in the world convinced us that we could have it all? And why did we believe it? You can't take shortcuts and expect them not to catch up on you. Especially when you're talking about your health. YOUR HEALTH.
One more thing. I am a total princess and would love to have maids and butlers wait on me all day long. Sometimes I feel like so much of my time is devoted to purchasing, cooking and consuming food that I despair starting another grocery list. I'm no better than anyone else. But once I push past the princess-ness, it feels good, really good. I actually like figuring out what recipes I'm going to try, making my list and shopping (I love running into people at the store). And most shockingly, I find cooking to be asthetically pleasing, calming and dare I say, artistic? I also love to share what I've made with friends and aquaintances, allowing me to get to know them better.
So don't let this crazy fast-paced culture we live in rob you of one of the most basic pleasures in life: food. And your decision will pay you back. I promise.
With that said, it would be unfair for me not to post a new recipe I tried tonight and found surprisingly tasty. It's from the cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.
North African Couscous Paella
Cooking time: 20 minutes (FYI: I highly suggest doubling this recipe so you'll have lots on hand throughout the week)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
pinch of cayenne
2 cups hot vegetable stock or hot water
3/4 pound baked flavored tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 TBSP margarine or butter (I use Earth Balance)
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the peppers, scallions, garlic, coriander, tumeric and cayenne, and saute on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the water or stock. Add the tofu and cook for anotehr 3-4 minutes until the tofu is hot. Stir in the peas and cook for another minute. Mix in the couscous and the margarine or butter. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Finally: the "Turn Back the Clock Challenge". I challenge all you readers to eat out less - precisely half the amount you eat out now - for one month. Find a good vegan/vegetarian cookbook or two, and get on it. Then post your experience on this blog! You can do it. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
There's nothing better than to believe you have played a role in greatly improving someone's life. It reminds me why I chose a career in health prevention (nutrition) rather than the more secure, better paying path of medicine. Helping people live healthy, long lives is money in the bank for me - or better yet, treasure in heaven.
Last week, as I began to teach my first of twelve nutrition classes at CalPERS, I asked a former student to share her experience with my class. I'll call her Sara. Sara shared how she took the class because she had recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which is an auto-immune disease so debilitating that without medicine, people are confined to a wheelchair within years of diagnosis. And because this disease is so serious, chemotherapy is used in treatment. Unfortunately, chemo doesn't just stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, but destroys the immune system.
So needless to say, Sara wanted to see if diet could make a difference. She shared that after radically changing her diet by eliminating almost all dairy, meats, eggs and processed foods, she experienced a difference within only three weeks. Her doctor cut the amount of chemo in half! And now, months later, her doctor is taking her off her medicine entirely.
Seriously. I'm stunned. I'm still taking time to believe it myself.
The effects of a plant-based diet can't be overstated, even with extremely serious disease thought "untreatable". Please share this with everyone you know. Even if they don't listen now, they'll remember it if they are diagnosed with a tragic illness in the future. You could help save someone's life.
Labels: autoimmune disorders
What does a high-fiber diet have to do with breast cancer? More than we thought.
In a recent study (Dec 15 2008, Journal of Clinical Oncology) researchers found high-fiber diets reduced recurrence of breast cancer by 31 percent in women with high estrogen levels. In the study, almost 3,000 breast cancer survivors were assigned to either a high-fiber diet (8 fruit and vegetable servings/day, plus 16 oz of vegetable juice), or a comparison diet of just five servings of fruit and vegetables/day.
Yes, fruits and vegetables help prevent cancer and recurrence of cancer as this study shows - even in women with higher-than-normal estrogen levels. If what we eat makes this significant of a difference, why are doctors prescribing drugs as if there were no other choice?
Gold EB, Pierce JP, Natarajan L, et al. Dietary Pattern Influences Breast Cancer Prognosis in Women Without Hot Flashes: The Women's Healthy Eating and Living Trial. J Clin Oncol. Dec 15 2008.