Monthly Archives: September 2013

Nutrition facts

Donna and I hotfooted it back to San Diego from Simi Valley visiting Dad to make it in time for Dr. Greger’s Presentation on nutrition.

We first became aware of Dr. Greger in VeganPalooza. GregerPicThis was a four day extraveganza in August of online interviews of movers and shakers in the world of nutrition and animal well being. Greger particularly impressed us as being extremely knowledgeable, and totally research based. He scours all the latest research, and distills it in digestible form for the rest of us. His website:


contains tons of free videos on all aspects of nutrition. Here is the invite for the presentation:

GregerPresentationThe presentation was amazing. Greger went through the 10 top causes of death in the US – heart disease, cancer, respiratory, etc. In each case, he cited research to show the amazing effects of a plant-based diet on limiting and in many cases reversing the disease. The Q & A session afterward was extremely informative. Some of the tidbits we gleaned include –

  1. Heart disease is a choice. Populations that eat totally plant based have zero heart disease. In the US, we all have athersclerosis since the age of 10. We can cure it by eating plant strong.
  2. We need to have zero trans fat (animal fat). Zero.
  3. avoid eggs to limit cholesterol.
  4. Erectile disfunction is often an early indicator of cardiovascular issues. the next indicator may be early death.
  5. Cancer cells need methionine to grow. The highest source of methionine is fish, followed by chicken.
  6. Legume consumption is the most important predictor of longevity.
  7. Eggs and poultry consumption drastically increases likelihood of prostate cancer.
  8. Berries cured esophegal cancer
  9. Pathogens from a whole chicken infect your kitchen without even eating it. Don’t bring it into your house.
  10. The benefits of eating produce far outweigh the risks of sickness from pesticides in non-organic produce. E.g. if everyone in the US at one more serving of vegetables every day, it is estimated that it would save 20,000 lives per year, but only 10 would die from pesticides. So, eat veggies no matter what. If you can get organic, all the better.
  11. Egg whites have lots of calories, but are devoid of other nutrition (fiber, phytonutrients, etc.) So, get your calories in foods that have better nutrition.
  12. Current guides for LDL cholesterol levels are too high. Many people die with cholesterol levels in the “optimal” range. Best to target an LDL level of 70, or better yet, 50.
  13. Only consume coconut oil if you have super low LDL levels. Donna and I are going to reexamine our oil intake to see how to limit or elimate it.
  14. Microwave my decrease the nutrition of some foods, but only slightly. It also increases the nutrition of others. So, eat veggies any way you like them – microwave, steam, boil, bake, etc.
  15. eating meat increases the risk of alzheimers 2 to 3 times. Not eating meat is the best treatement of multiple sclerosis.
  16. Only two supplements necessary for vegan lifestyle are vitamin D and vitamin B12. for B12, one tablet per week or B12 fortified foods will do it.
  17. Gluten. only 1 in 144 are severely allergic to gluten. If you suspect, do a one week trial w/o any gluten.
  18. Soy has different effects on different parts of the body. Eat legumes including soy. legumes are the healthiest source of protein.
  19. Calcium – try collard greens and kale.

Plant strong Recipes on Youtube

I’ve been eating plant strong for about a year now. Where do I get the recipes? Well, I bought a few vegan cookbooks, and attended numerous cooking classes in which the presenter provided recipes. However, the main source of recipes has simply been to do a Google search. Sometimes I’ll find a non-vegan recipe and have to “veganize” it. I select the text of the recipe from the website, copy it, then open up a new note in my Evernote database app. Evernote is great. I can copy and paste a new recipe in on my iPhone, iPad, or iMac, and the recipe is instantly available on all my devices. So, when it’s time to cook, I open evernote on the iPad, and the recipe follows me as I move about the kitchen.


But today, I had a epiphany in how I look for recipes. It’s called Youtube. Yes, I knew youtube existed, but I spend very little time poking around for Youtube videos.

So, I had an urge to watch a vegan cooking show on the televison. In the past, I’ve searched through Netflix and HuluPlus on my Roku box. Yes, there are cooking shows, but I haven’t found any that are really dedicated to plant strong eating. So, I decide to switch from Roku to Apple TV, on which I can access Youtube on TV. As you can see from the picture below, I did a search for vegan desserts. It brought up an incredible number of videos – something like 88,000 recipes. Shocking!


Then the magic happened. I scrolled down a bit further, to discover that there are playlists. In fact, there were about 16,600 playlists relating to vegan dessert – vegan dessert, sweet vegan desserts, raw vegan desserts, etc. So, I tried out a couple of playlists. The playlists are great. You load in one show, and it just keeps playing video after video. If you don’t like the host or the recipe, backup up and try another one. Many of the shows listed the ingredients and measurements as text overlays on the videos, but some didn’t. That’s okay. Most of the videos have an associated website where you can find the complete recipes.


This will change the way I search for recipes. I’ll browse for recipes on TV, then use a computer or iPad to save the recipe to Evernote if it is a keeper.

Dad visit

Dad had surgery yesterday to remove a melanoma growth on his chest. The doctor wasn’t sure he got it all. Won’t know for another 10 days or so. However, the patient was in great spirits – not in pain, and joking around with the best of them. Donna was a big help to Rachel in changing the bandaging and just coping with the situation in general. My role was primarily the comic relief, which I performed admirably.

Granola bars

Donna and I attended a  cooking class with Joan Jackson on eating raw. One of her main points of emphasis is that recipes are really formulas. That is, if the recipe calls for a particular nut, you can substitute  the kind you want to achieve your goal. and as far as measurements, relative proportions are important, but there wasn’t much exact measurement going on in the class.

Thus inspired, I endeavored to make my own granola bars without a recipe or plan. I put each ingredient in the food processor individually, then added to the mix.

sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, and pecans. mixed in a medium bowl. Added some vegan white chocolate (purchased online) chopped fine. I soaked some flax seed meal for about 20 minutes, then added it as a binder. Also added enough agave to make the mix hold together.

Then spread out on a flat plastic sheet on a dehydrator, and set to 105 degrees. The goal was to dehydrate for 12 hours, turn it over, then do another 12 hours. I only had time for 6 hours or so on a side. They came out amazingly well.IMG_3134 IMG_3135