Monday, July 25, 2016

Will Turin Become Italy's First Vegan City?

Exciting news out of Italy! The city of Turin has plans to go vegan, and it's sure to be a delicious transition. #winwin #govegan #environmentalaction
The newly appointed mayor of Turin wants citizens to forgo the traditionally meat-centric meals of Piedmont in favor of a vegan diet....

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 9 #kickyourasana #igyogachallenge is horse pose. My feet are more under my knees than it looks, but the lady on my t-shirt has got the alignment down pat. ;-) @honoryogapennington @honoryogaprinceton

via Instagram

Beet burger over early Jersey organic tomatoes and sprouts with a kale salad. #veganburger #wfpb #yogafood

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This Just In...Fat Is Back, Eat All You Want...or Maybe Not

Yet another dry news cycle ushers in a slew of extremely shoddy health and nutrition news reporting, grasping for any sensational quip that get people to click.  With headlines like "Fat is Back" and "A High Fat Diet is Healthier," the media is sadly reporting on a recently published meta-analysis as though it was a rebuke of all the science we already know about fat and claiming new evidence shows that Dr. Atkin's was right: A high-fat is good for us.
Wait a minute?  Doesn't that go against the advice of the World Health Organization who have been reporting on health outcomes for the last 60+ years?  The WHO says the optimal amount of saturated fat in the human diet is effectively zero.  As far as total fat, they say the best outcomes are when we keep it under 30% of total calories...which by the way is not even close to the low-fat whole food vegan diet that doctors like Campbell, Esselstyn, McDougal and Brooks prescribe that have actually worked for their patients.

So how could this new study say the opposite?
First of all, this "new" study isn't new at all.  It is a meta-analysis, meaning that no new research was conducted, it simply pools together research that has already been published.  So the only thing "new" about this study is that depending on the design, it can pool particular studies to find associations favorable toward one outcome or another.  Meta-analysis studies are particularly sensitive to study design because of the potential for selection bias, e.g. if I only pick studies favorable to the outcome I want to find.  They have other limitations too but the point is that if this were truly news, why didn't it show up in the original studies that were already published?
Because that's not what they show.  The peer reviewed studies simply show that replacing unhealthy eating patterns with healthier ones like the Mediterranean which are rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and yes some plant oils, fish and meat -- that these healthier eating patterns...guess what? They have healthier outcomes: less heart attacks.  The problem isn't what this meta-analysis says, it's how the media has been reporting it:

Unfortunately, the average reader of these popular publications and web sites will see these headlines repeated again and again and so few will actually read the link to the original article which tells a very different story.  
One very important thing to remember is that even if we play devil's advocate and take the premise that eating a higher fat diet could be more protective against heart attacks, that 1) It still showed no effect in all-cause mortality, ie. they were still dying of other things, perhaps cancer or other disease.  And 2) No matter how good proponents of an atkins, paleo, or other high-fat diet may be, there's still ONLY one diet that has been proven to halt and reverse hart disease: a whole foods plant based diet.
If one is seeking optimal nutrition or diet advice, should we look to the one that shows less disease?  Or choose the one that has been proven to eliminate the disease altogether?

Here's what the WHO says which is consistent with a well reviewed, scientific consensus of all the best peer reviewed science around the world:

Practical advice on maintaining a healthy diet


Reducing the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake helps prevent unhealthy weight gain in the adult population (1, 2, 3).
Also, the risk of developing NCDs is lowered by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake, and trans fats to less than 1% of total energy intake, and replacing both with unsaturated fats (2, 3).
Fat intake can be reduced by:
  • changing how you cook – remove the fatty part of meat; use vegetable oil (not animal oil); and boil, steam or bake rather than fry;
  • avoiding processed foods containing trans fats; and
  • limiting the consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fats (e.g. cheese, ice cream, fatty meat).

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Why Food Is The Best Source Of Probiotics - The Easy Fermenter

Why spend serious $$$ for probiotic capsules when the easiest and cheapest homemade ferments like sauerkraut have anywhere from 90 to 500 billion CFUs per serving or nearly 100 to 1000% more than we would receive from a capsule? #fermentation #probiotics #gutbacteria #feedyourflora
Only in recent years has science really come to understand the function of the probiotic when it comes to our health. Improved digestion, reduced inflammation, increased …...

July 17, 2016 at 09:29PM

Why spend serious $$$ for probiotic capsules when the easiest and cheapest homemade ferments like sauerkraut have anywhere from 90 to 500 billion CFUs per serving or nearly 100 to 1000% more than we would receive from a capsule? #fermentation #probiotics #gutbacteria #feedyourflora #pbyogi Read more...

@honoryogapennington and @honoryogaprinceton 's #kickyourasana challenge day 5: crescent lunge. In the past I would try to make the back leg straight but I've found that a slight knee bend helps me with hip alignment, engaging the muscles around the front thigh and back buttocks. I also like to bring the arms back like wings and hover the torso diagonally using core stability to move into and out of the lunge with the arm movement. #corestrengthvinyasa #crescentlunge

via Instagram

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Last nights plant based power bowl becomes today's tacos. Leftover kale, cucumber avocado salad, raw zucchini and tahini hummus, adzuki beans, red cabbage, orange pepper, sunflower sprouts, and quick pickled spring onions over a whole grain corn tortilla. #vegantacos #veganbowls #wfpb #yogafood

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@honoryogaprinceton and @honoryogapennington #kickyourasana Day 2: side plank. Make it more dynamic by pulling the top arm elbow to knee! #vashistasana #igyogachallenge #sideplank

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Days worth of Dr. G's Daily Dozen Recipes

Here is another day's worth of quick, easy and delicious recipes based on incorporating Michael Greger's Daily Dozen. I eat meals like this all the time, they are truly fast and delicious. For those in the USA, aubergine is just another name for eggplant. You could easily omit the oil or replace with veggie stock to make it WFPB.  #dailydozen #recipes #veganbowls Read more...

July 14, 2016 at 08:09AM

"Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives." #wfpb #itsnotadiet #yogafood Read more...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016 at 10:51AM

Day 1 of @honoryogaprinceton and @honoryogapennington 's challenge is plank pose. I like to move through high and low plank going into and out of vinyasa flows. #kickyourasana #igyogachallenge #plankpose Read more...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016 at 03:14PM

This is by far one of the most useful kitchen appliances I own. I use it more than my VitaMix. It's so much more than just a pressure cooker, the DUO60 can even make plant-based yogurt. This is the lowest price I've seen on it #hotdeals #pressurecooker #instantpot Read more...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Recipes from the Princeton Farmer's Market Demo Day

Recently I presented a food demo at the Princeton Public Library in conjunction with the Thursday Farmer's Market held in Hines Plaza.  At the demo I made three dishes:
1) Cucumber, Tomato and Vegan Feta Salad
2) Green Tacos with Lentil-Walnut
3) Superfood, Superfast Healthy Bowl

Here are the recipes:

1) Cucumber, Tomato and Vegan Feta Salad
○ 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers cut into cubes (peel if not using organic)
○ 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
○ 1-lb block of firm or extra firm tofu
○ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
○ 1.5 tbsp fresh or 1.5 tsp dried oregano
○ 1 tsp dried cumin powder
○ Juice and zest of two lemons
○ Salt to taste

Press the tofu by wrapping it in a towel, place in a shallow bowl to catch the water and put a heavy object on top of the tofu.  Allow tofu to sit like this for 15-min up to one hour and then pour off water.  Break up and crumble the tofu with your hands into a large bowl so that it resembles the texture of feta cheese.  Add the spices, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest to the bowl and combine well.  You can let the mixture marinade for 30-min to an hour at room temperature or place in fridge to marinade overnight.  Finally add the cucumber and tomato, season with salt to taste.

2) Green Tacos with Lentil-Walnut
 Green taco wraps with lentil-walnut tacos meat
○ Iceberg or butter letuce, or collard wrap
○ Chopped tomatoes or salsa
○ Cashew sour cream (1-cup soaked cashews, drained, blended with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and juice of one lemon, dash of salt)
○ Green onion and lime
○ Cashew sour cream
○ Sweet peppers and onions (sliced thin and sautΓ©ed in water or vegetable stock)
○ Lentil-walnut taco meat (makes 2 1/2 cups):
     ○ 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils
     ○ 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
     ○ 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
     ○ 2 tablespoons water or veg stock


Add all ingredients for the Lentil-walnut "meat" to a food processor and pulse until the texture is blended but still chunky.  Place lettuce leaf on plate, layer on lentil-walnut meat, vegetables and toppings and finish with a squeeze of lime. 

3) Whole Food Superfood, Superfast Healthy Bowl
This recipe is purposefully not specific.  The idea of the vegan "bowl" is to make a meal in a bowl using whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Here is the basic framework for the bowl:

A) Pick a base by selecting a whole grain, starch or salad blend.
You could use sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, farro or any other whole grain that you have prepared.  If you're short on time, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both sell precooked bags of whole grains.  One my favorites is TJ's organic brown rice blend.
Optionally, you could use a salad as your base

B) Pick a bean, legume, tofu or tempeh.
I like to batch cook on the weekends so that I have a ready to eat bean that I can use for my bowls.  If you're short on time you can go for canned beans but look for no/low sodium.  You could also use tofu or tempeh or even crumble a premade veggie burger.  Be creative!

C) Pick your vegetables.
You can use any combination of vegetables that you enjoy.  To maximize nutrition I always incorporate a dark leafy green like kale, collard, baby spinach or beet greens ( a personal favorite ).  Salad greens like arugula and lettuce work great too.  For the other vegetables I try to use whatever is local and seasonal.  At the demo I used some fresh organic corn, zucchini, onions and kale.  When I don't have a lot of other fresh ingredients around I will thaw a bag of organic mixed vegetables.  Trader Joe's and Whole Foods again both have wonderful blends of frozen vegetables with no added salt or ingredients.

D) Pick your sauce and or condiments.
Most bowls are going to be relatively plain before the step, so pick your "flavor bomb."  You can use any sauce, salsa, or dressing that you enjoy.  Of course I try to use homemade oil-free sauces whenever possible.  It can be hard to find healthy sauces that are SOS (sugar, oil, salt)-free but there are many you can buy.  Two favorites are oil-free garlic or black bean hummus from Whole Foods or the Lemon or Herbed Tahini sauce from Trader Joe's.  A spoonful or two of these sauces will go a long way to add flavor to your bowls.  Finally pick any other additional whole food toppings like toasted seeds, nuts, or fruit.  Be mindful if you use dried fruits because while technically a whole food, they've had their water removed and can be a concentrated source of calories.

Here are some great vegan bowl ideas to get you started.

July 10, 2016 at 09:19AM

Hoping these will come to the USA soon! A whole food no-sos dessert in the frozen section! Read more...

Choosing curiosity over fear

She defines a creative life as choosing the path of curiosity rather than fear. This is accessible to all of us. We are all creative people by nature. #philosophy #creativity #onbeing
“I want to live in a society filled with people who are curious and concerned about each other rather than afraid of each other.” Her name is synonymous with her fantastically best-selling memoir "Eat Pray Love." But through the disorienting process of becoming a global celebrity, Elizabeth Gilbert has also reflected deeply on the gift and challenge of inhabiting a creative life. Creativity, as she defines it, is about choosing curiosity over fear — not to be confused with the more familiar trope to "follow your passion,” but rather as something accessible to us all and good for our life together....

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Vegan tofu feta salad

This is very similar to the vegan tofu feta salad I made at my food demo at the Princeton Public Library and the Princeton Farmers' Market. Follow Dreena Burton for more delicious plant powered recipes!

#veganfeta #terrifictofu #fooddemo #nooil

Vegan demo at the West Windsor Community Farmers' Market

Today's demo at the West Windsor Community Farmers' Market is doodles with raw basil tomato sauce and a kale salad -- all plant based and delicious!

#rawfood #zoodles #farmmarket

Friday, July 8, 2016

Forks Over Knives | Meet the Physician-Farmer Who Grows the Plants He Prescribes to His Patients

What inspired an urban primary care doctor who had a thriving practice to take up farming? Meet Dr. Ron Weiss of Ethos Health who teaches patients how to grow their own medicine. #forksoverknives #FoodRx #farmshare
In 2012, Dr. Ron Weiss cashed in most of his assets to buy a 342-acre farm—a National Historic Landmark—in bucolic Long Valley, N.J.,, which is an hour west of Manhattan, N.Y. What inspired an urban primary care doctor who had... Read more...

"My true strength is my compassion."

"I have proven myself physically many times in my life and I have collected many titles in different strength sports competing against the strongest athletes in the world, but my true strength is, was, and will always be my compassion."
-The Strongest Man in the World, Patrik Baboumian

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Coconut Water and Fresh Berry Popsicles for 4th of July | Back To The Book Nutrition

A bit late for the 4th of July but these coconut water and berry pops are going to be delightful on the hot summer days coming this week. #veganpopsicles #4thofjuly
These fun and healthy, 2-ingredient coconut water and fresh berry popsicles are so easy to make and would be perfect for your July Fourth party!...

Friday, July 1, 2016

America's Test Kitchen Radio

Here in America, we cook to eat. In Japan cooking is both a culinary philosophy and a set of practical guidelines for preparing food, many traditions merge Buddhist philosophy with the culinary arts: Washoku is an integrated approach to achieving nutritional balance and aesthetic harmony at table Kansha means appreciation, and one way of demonstrating it in the kitchen and at table is to avoid waste. These two Japanese traditions are explored in this week's America's Test Kitchen in a conversation with Elizabeth Andoh, the leading English language authority on Japanese cooking. They discuss her deeply rooted Buddhist philosophy in the kitchen, and explore the rhythm, the energy, the resourcefulness, and the culinary techniques of Japan. Skip to 14:30 to go right to the interview. #cookingphilosophy #Japan #Buddhism
This week from the Test Kitchen, we speak with Elizabeth Andoh, author of Kansha and Washoku and the leading English-language expert on Japanese cuisine. We discuss her deeply rooted Buddhist philosophy in the kitchen, and explore the rhythm, the energy, the resourcefulness, and the culinary techniq......