Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Homemade Juice vs. Store Bought Juice

A few years ago I decided to invest in a juicer...that was before I knew about the Vita-Mix!  I still break it out a few times a month on the weekends and make carrot juice, adding in greens and fruits depending on what I have on hand.  I love homemade juice because you never have to add sweetener, you can sweeten with real fruits and you know exactly how fresh they are!  You also get the benefit of added nutrition, fiber and enzymes from the raw produce.

Most commercially made juice has been pasteurized, meaning it's been cooked at low temperatures to kill bacteria. And who knows what condition the fruit was in that was used, or how long the juice was sitting on the shelf at the store before you bought it?

I think it's okay to use store bought juice on occasion, not as an everyday habit, so long as it is organic.  But if you really want the health benefits of drinking juice, you really need to make it at home!  It's a great activity for the kids to be involved in too.  Younger kids can help feed the veggies and fruits into the top of the juicer and older kids can also help with chopping the fruits and veggies.

I recommend any of the Omega Juicers.  They are super easy to use and clean up is a breeze.  These juicers also press the juice and none of it gets near the engine where it could become warmed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Host a Vegan Pizza night! Introduce friends and family to Animal Free Eating

A good friend of mine recently invited me over for dinner and she decided we were going to make pizza!  Her husband made the dough for the crust, I brought the Daiya Cheese and tomatoes and she provided the rest of the veggies and mock pepperoni.  Of course my friend and I did all the assembly work while the kids and the guys played video games.  But maybe you have friends with husbands who like to cook! 

While pizza isn't the healthiest thing you can eat, it's fun to make with friends and it's a GREAT way to introduce people to an animal free diet because it tastes like the real thing...actually I will say it tastes better than the real thing and it's healthier to some extent.

Just one more thing- don't forget the SALAD!!!  That's me below making sure everyone has greens :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Renegade Health Show features Joel Fuhrman on Vegan Diets

Joel Fuhrman has recently been featured on Raw Foodist, Kevin Gianni's "Renegade Health Show" in a series of interview questions about Vegan Diets.  Fuhrman does not promote a 100% raw foods diet, but one that is high in raw food (75%) and green vegetables.  I'm a follower of his Eat for Health plan and I also coach individuals and families who want to transition to his way of eating a Plant Based Diet.

Check out his interviews on

Whole Foods raising money to put Salad Bars in Local Schools!

I was shopping at the local Whole Foods in Winter Park and noticed at the checkout line that my bag refund can now be donated to the Great American Salad Bar Project! This project is taking donations and using the money to install salad bars in local schools who apply for a grant to receive the salad bar. 

Whole Foods in Winter Park has already raised $7,600, which is enough to install three salad bars at local schools who have applied for the program. 

I am super excited about this program but at the same time I believe we need to also have a program in the schools where kids have more exposure to plant based nutrition curriculum that will help them understand the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diet.  Just because we put a salad bar in a school doesn't mean the kids will appreciate it or eat from it.  So once I find out which three schools get the salad bars I will be contacting them about teaching Super Plant Eaters Club classes to the students.

Salad bars are a positive and needed step toward better nutrition in the schools.  Studies show that when kids are properly nourished with whole plant foods they excel in academics and have improved behavior at school. Please shop at Whole Foods or donate money online to the Great American Salad Bar Project!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vegan in the Czech Republic! How to Eat Animal Free Food While Traveling

As many of you know, my husband and I recently took a week long trip to Prague, Czech Republic.  Before I go on any international trip I always do these things:

1. Call the airline in advance to arrange a Vegan meal on the plane.
2. Pack my own healthy vegan snacks for the plane in case the food is not good!  Sometimes it is really bland.
3. Check Happy Cow for vegan and vegan friendly restaurants in my destination city.
4. Locate the farmer's market and grocery stores upon arrival.

Now, I do want to warn that Happy Cow is not always up to date!  One example is when we were in Brno (Southeast of Prague) I found what looked like a Raw Vegan restaurant on the website.  Well when we went to find it they had changed the restaurant name and menu.  It was not so raw or vegan!  I was able to eat a nice big salad but had to settle for boiled potatoes because there wasn't anything else I could eat that wasn't fried!

Here's the salad and a small glimpse of the potatoes in the left corner from Aura Restaurant on Stefanikova, 35 in Brno, Czech Republic. The salad came without dressing, but it was really juicy with the bell pepper and tomatoes.

Here is a photo of what I ate at a non vegetarian friendly restaurant in Brno.  I basically ordered two side dishes.  A side salad called "Salaty Citron" (salad with pickled lemons) and Garlic Rosemary Potatoes.

Here is a photo of Tabouli from our absolute favorite veg friendly restaurant in Prague, Kardamon Klub. Notice it had tons of parsley!  Parsely is a super nutrient dense green.  I just love it! 

Here is Kardamon Klub's Vegetable Cous Cous. 

Kardamon Klub Restaurant offers an interesting menu from the Middle East and India with lots of vegan friendly choices.  You get a different menu each time from one of four countries: Persia, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey, and India.

Our 2nd favorite restaurant is Mayur Indicky Restaurant.  We LOVED the Indian food there!  It was far better than ANY Indian restaurant food we've had in the states.  Our favorite dish was Dahl Tarka.  I loved the flavor of this dish so much that I'm definitely going to look online for some good Dahl Tarka recipes.

Got a favorite Veg friendly, Vegan or Raw Food restaurant in Czech Republic?  Post in the comments section and tell us about it!

Is Organic Meat Healthier than Conventional Meat?

Pam Popper, ND and Founder of the Wellness Forum recently answered this question beautifully in her recent newsletter.  I just had to share it here because this is the issue I get challenged on often from Weston A Price foundation followers.  If you are currently consuming Grass Fed Beef, Organic Chicken and Raw Milk because you think it is health promoting, please read this!

Question: "A friend told me that the reason why people are experiencing health problems as a result of eating animal foods is because of the way we are raising the animals now. On conventional farms, the feed is terrible and the animals are injected with steroids, antibiotics and hormones. Is it true that if you eat organic meat you will not have increased risk of cancer and other conditions?"

Answer: Conventional factory farming is terrible. The way the animals are treated is abominable; they are fed the wrong foods; and animals are injected with steroids, hormones and antibiotics. Even the government acknowledges that the leading cause of antibiotic-resistant infections is the antibiotics people consume in animal foods. Animals raised to be sold as organic food are fed properly, and they are not injected with these substances (antibiotics are only used when an animal is sick).

However, this does not mean that if you choose organic animal foods you can eat them without consequence. The amino acid chains that comprise the proteins in animal foods do not change in response to the way that the animals are fed or the substances that are administered to them. Organic animal protein is just as cancer promoting as conventionally raised animal protein when you consume too much of it (The Wellness Forum's diet allows for 2-3 servings of organic animal food per week for those who are not sick or obese; dairy, of course is eliminated).

The fat in organic animal foods is just as artery-clogging as the fat in conventionally raised animals. While the composition of fat may be somewhat different, studies show that all types of fat contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, including fat from organic animal food, and that a high-fat diet is cancer-promoting.

Dr. Campbell's research in China reinforces the importance of keeping animal food consumption very low. Remember that at the time his team was gathering data, there were no factory farms in China. His subjects lived mostly in rural areas where farms were small, and steroids, antibiotics and hormones were not used. The quality of the animal foods was not a factor in his findings.

Also, at that time, Chinese people were not eating an American-style diet dominated by animal foods, and even at small intake levels there were differences in health outcomes attributed to the differing amounts of animal food consumed.

In conclusion, I do not support our current methods of farming, and acknowledge that conventional factory farms produce food that is not healthful for Americans. But if Americans consume only organic animal foods and continue to eat them in the quantities that are common in the American diet, they will still develop common degenerative diseases like coronary artery disease and cancer.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September's Book Giveaway- Vegan Lunchbox!

Congratulations to Jessica Long!  She is the winner of last month's book giveaway, "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn.  Jessica increased her chances of winning by posting multiple times on my blog.  Each time you post you get your name on a piece of paper to be drawn from a hat by my daughter Anika.  She's my helper :)

This month I am giving away a copy of Jennifer McCann's "Vegan Lunchbox".  Jennifer was a coaching client of mine from over a year ago.  She has since come out with a second book called "Vegan Lunchbox Around the World".  I love her Martha Stewart like creativity.  The recipes are easy to make and will make any child or adult feel special when they open up their lunch!

Good luck and remember to subscribe so you can receive notice in your email when I post a new blog entry!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dr. Fuhrman's New Nutritarian Food Pyramid

I am excited about Dr. Fuhrman's new colorful Nutritarian Food Pyramid!  It has all the brightly colored pictures of fruits and veggies that we should be centering our diet around.  He has also added the percentage of calories from each category, which was not featured on his previous pyramid.  You can purchase a magnet for your refrigerator at Dr. Fuhrman's website.