Tired Of Unhealthy Dietary Misinformation?

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…well, on the off-chance that you are – just like me! – I’d like to point you in the direction of the extremely talented Dr. Hilary Greenebaum, who’s wonderful website I had the honor of contributing to this week. I had a lot of fun writing this guest post, as it gave me the opportunity to really get stuck into some of the scientific minutiae substantiating a whole-food plant-based lifestyle, and, once again, fully appreciate the comfort that only facts and figures can sometimes provide! We are swamped in nutritive myths peddled by mainstream media on a daily basis, and it’s no wonder we struggle to see the wood for the trees when persistently drowned in dietary fallacies. But enough said here, if you fancy checking it out… just click this link.

A quick word about my good friend over at bettereatingforlife.com, Hilary’s work is just phenomenal. Dedicated to furnishing the – too often overlooked – facts only, she has created a wonderful 11-part video series which educates on the importance of adopting a WFPB diet, in addition to helping you successfully make the transition. Aptly titled “Knowledge is the Key to Good Health,” I couldn’t agree more, so…go get signed up, and open the door to a healthier, happier life, coz it’s way way too short!

To wrap up, I’m interested to know how you feel about mainstream media’s handling, or even mishandling, of nutritional information – would love to hear any thoughts/comments you may have, so stick them in the box below!

Copyright © 2017

Fancy Supporting The Beginning Of “The End of Meat”?

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Today feels good! I just donated to an Indiegogo Campaign that’s aimed to get the movie, “The End Of Meat,” to market. Funds are needed for the post-production effort/final push it seems, and I’m all for it. As of right about now, they are steadily inching towards the €23,500 mark, out of a goal set to €40,000. Yesterday, after I came across a May 11th post on the film’s Facebook page asking for help, they were just over €21,200. That was lunchtime. So, in less than 24 hours after the first check-in, it’s clear the might of social media is not to be underestimated.

Another thing that shouldn’t be underestimated is the growing strength of the plant-based movement. This fundraiser is testament to it, as the rise of veganism appears to be a precise reflection of the increasing levels of compassion felt for our non-human counterparts. It’s inspiring, and reminds me of a brilliant 2006 talk given by evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, on the shifting moral zeitgeist. Discussing, in general terms, the historical trend that is “the steadily shifting standard of what’s morally acceptable…[that moves] in parallel, on a broad front, throughout the world,” this phenomenon indicates that advances in animal rights will, thankfully, continue to progress (YouTube).

FullSizeRender (13)And, as regards such positive developments in this arena, Dawkins, in this fresh UK Times article, provides more specific comfort on the matter. Sharing his belief that “the 21st century’s “speciesism” [will] one day be viewed in the same way we [now] view the 20th century’s racism,” I’m confident we’re truly, finally, headed in the right direction (thetimes.co.uk). But this current momentum has to maintain a pulse, and by giving to endeavors like “The End Of Meat,” we can rest assured this effort to keep its March 2018 release date on track is something worthwhile, and actually life-changing. We all know by now the precious impact these kinds of documentaries have had in recent years – think, for example, Forks Over Knives, Plant Pure Nation, Cowspiracy etc. They have been runaway successes on Netflix, with the education provided therein motivating millions to adopt an environmentally sound, legitimately salubrious, lifestyle. The way I see it, it’s really a case of…the more the merrier! So, the more opportunity there is to expose more people to the resounding “evidence [concerning] meat consumption’s negative impact on the planet and on human health,” the happier, in the long run, we all will be (theendofmeat.com).

Therefore, in the spirit of promoting these efforts effectively, the filmmakers have not made this campaign just about the financials. If you can’t afford to give, that’s ok, they simply ask that you consider spreading the word on your social media platform of choice. It’s a brilliant request, through which the certain growth of community will, in turn, spark even bigger, more meaningful conversations, that will ultimately bring the end of meat nearer the horizon. It’s already within sight, now let’s ensure this ethical evolution stays right on cue!

Copyright © 2017

Note: Image is courtesy of “The End Of Meat” website (theendofmeat.com).

Say, What Ya’ll Up To September 24-27th?

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If “nowt” is the answer, you may want to think about attending this year’s International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference. Being held in Anaheim from September 24-27th, the agenda looks super impressive. I’ve signed up myself – with the opportunity to hear the who’s-who of the whole-food plant-based nutrition world speak, it’s just too good to miss. Their aim? To…

educate, equip and empower the gatekeepers of dietary-related advice…about the power of plant-based nutrition, providing compelling resources they, in turn, [can] use to inform and inspire their patients and clients to adopt the optimal whole food, plant-based dietary lifestyle” (pbnhc.com, my emphasis). 

And with the likes of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dean Ornish on the bill, I’m sure no one will leave questioning the benefits of what they term – and I like it – the “Ultimate Rx”. Also, in addition to the usual/standard lectures themselves, I’m thrilled to see they’ve set an hour aside for plant-based chef, Chad Sarno to demonstrate some “Foundational Cooking Techniques”. So, not only talking-the-talk, but for a change, actually walking-the-walk too. This, I think, will be super helpful, as we can know all there is to know on paper about the WFPB diet, but really, we need to be able to translate this knowledge in the place where it matters most – the KITCHEN!

To me, this inclusion is both critical and ingenious…especially, especially, when you are trying to get the message across that this lifestyle is far from complicated, and that its magic can easily be revealed through the most basic cooking skills. In fact, you could almost argue, that the less you do to your food, the better! But anyway, this is at the very core of truly equipping, and empowering, people to actually make a difference in their lives – and it can begin, so simply, with a peeler in one hand, and chopping board in the other!

That’s why I’m excited to go, to be further informed, further inspired. And, as to why I’m drawing attention to this now? Two reasons. First, as I just barely, just by-the-way, found out about it myself, I’d like to publicize its existence as much as is humanly possible. Second, I got my ticket at premium pricing rate, which up until May 15th is $945 – so time is running out! After this date, it will be $1245 for physicians, $1145 for non-physicians. Not the cheapest by any means, I know, but I’ve spent the same (unintentionally, and not all at once!) on the most throwaway of things over the years. This, I know, will be well worthwhile. I mean, it’s an investment in your health really – and in that, for sure – there will always be a great return.

(FYI – I’ll will be blogging throughout, and post, the conference – with a plan not only to review it, but to give you the lowdown on some of the best insights learned there.)

Copyright © 2017

Note: In this instance, logo is courtesy of the “International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference” website (pbnhc.com).

May The Force Be With YOU! So, Who Wants In On This Plant Strong Spud?

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Well…I hope you all want a piece of the action, because, my oh my, these little starch bombs just explode with heaps of flavor! Was caught in a bit of a pinch food-wise yesterday after returning home from an early morning, extremely agonizing, foot surgery. With the cupboards seemingly bare at first glance, I took another (much more creative) look around – managing to pull together a few handy, and easy to assemble, ingredients! Still going strong on the old anesthetic round dinner time, I was determined to rustle something up myself. You know those times when only home-cooked grub will do…especially, especially, when you’re not feeling quite so chipper?!

So anyway, I spurned the offer of take-out, and on went the spuds. All in, this took about an hour to do. With the fillings being rustled up in about 15 minutes or so, I had plenty of time to get my R.I.C.E. on 😉

Being the best call I could have made in terms of getting properly nourished in a most critical moment, everpost-meal, I felt like I could take on the world, and its wife! Indeed, you could absolutely say, that once again, the force was well and truly with me! Yup, it was a proper lightsaber (oh yes, intended), so here’s how to make…

Ingredients

  • 4, medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup, plain hummus
  • 2 cups, raw spinach
  • 2 cups, frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups, frozen cauliflower
  • 1 can (425g), black beans (no salt added)
  • 1/4 cup, walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon, garlic powder
  • To taste, salt and black pepper
  • Additional toppings, if desired – Nutritional yeast, or, Hot sauce, or, whatever is your usual go-to “tay-toe” garnish

Preparation:

  • Begin by pre-heating the oven to 400°F for about 10 minutes.
  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Then wrap each one in a piece of aluminum foil, up to about midway or so (you’ve done this before!).
  • Place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Pierce the top of each about 5 or 6 times with a fork, and then grind a little sea-salt on top.
  • Let them bake for around 55 minutes, then when done, switch off the oven and let them sit with the door slightly ajar for a further 10 minutes to cool down – they will be piping!

So, while the spuds are doing their thing, you can get on with the fillings…

  • Wash the spinach, and set aside in a bowl.
  • Drain the black beans, then throwing them in a sieve, rinse off any excess slime/ liquid from the can under the tap.
  • Set them aside in a paper-towel lined bowl, and then pat them dry with another paper-towel over the top, and throughout, as best you can.
  • Boil your frozen broccoli and cauliflower together (this should take less than 10 minutes), adding a tablespoon of garlic powder for a little extra flavor while they cook.
  • Drain, mash, and again set the mix aside in a separate bowl once done. Stir in a shake or two of black pepper here for good measure!

Now, with your bits and bobs all ready to go, grab the potatoes and get stuffing… 

  • Slice the spud straight down the middle.
  • Spread some hummus on each side, then line with a few leaves of raw spinach.
  • Stuff in some of your broccoli/cauliflower mash.
  • Next, add the beans.
  • And, lastly, stick a few walnuts (about 3 or 4 half or full-sized pieces), right on top.
  • Enjoy as is, or add any of the optional toppings noted above that you might fancy.

Best practice with this, really, is to eyeball the amount of each ingredient going in. This will depend on potato size, your own taste preferences etc. Anything leftover can be used as a “mini” side (like the mash as shown above), with any remaining hummus, for example, being just a nice bit of extra dip!

Copyright © 2017

(Note: recipe original to “the balance brigade”)