Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 2016 Newsletter

New Newsletter Format

      Over the past few years, my monthly newsletters have been sent to online subscribers and many who've participated in both my Food for Life and private cooking classes for health and wellness. Writing those newsletters has been a complete joy! However, change is on the horizon!

     All of us receive too many emails. That's a common complaint. Having to redo my website this summer, I decided to use the new site as a vehicle for disseminating info that would usually be posted in a newsletter. My mantra - simplify and reduce duplication!

    Health information, recipes, classes, events, all in one place - on my new site.

    The Blog site on my Navigation bar will be used to post additional info and, over time, videos and cooking demos. 

    Any suggestions and feedback are most welcome.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Movie Screening, "Plant-Pure Nation"

October 8, 2015
7 pm
Historic Cape Cinema, Dennis (off Rt. 6A)

This documentary is riveting! It shows the power lobbyists hold over our legislators. That stranglehold prevents the truth from reaching the public. This documentary shows exactly what happened to a bill that could have had life-saving potential for many folks throughout Kentucky. The truth has a way of manifesting. And it did in Plant-Pure Nation. 

Following the movie, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha of Emerald Physicians along with Dr. Mona Sigal, Emergency Room MD and Food for Life Instructor, will hold a special Q&A.

I hope to see many of my friends and fellow Cape Codders fill the theatre on October 8th. We have an opportunity to transform the Cape, and spread the evidenced based data that certain foods not only prevent disease, but enhance survival for many living with chronic illness. We have an opportunity to join our voices in letting schools, businesses, and restaurants know that we want healthy food choices included in those environments. Our plant based family is growing by leaps and bounds. We want plant based protein sources available where food is served. We want to see non-dairy sources included.

Medical experts agree that this generation of children will not achieve the longevity of their parents. Why? Just take a look at the fast food children are consuming. Loads of processed foods, saturated fat, oils, sugar, and salt. Their precious little bodies are being bombarded with nutrient devoid substances.  I say 'substances' because I just can't call what many are eating - 'food'.

A few days ago I walked through a local educational cafeteria. No names mentioned at this point. I was aghast. I saw nothing that could be considered healthy. But there were plenty of burgers and fries and, if you can believe it, bologna and cheese sandwiches. That was a shocker.

The good news is we can join together to make positive changes - for ourselves, our children, and the sustainability of our planet. See you on Oct. 8th!
On November 15th 2011, Doctors T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn presented their research on the benefits of plant based nutrition to the Kentucky State legislature. Its house members were enthusiastic. Kentucky has one of the highest levels of childhood obesity in the nation, and also suffers from high rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Soon after Campbell’s and Esselstyn’s presentation, Rep. Tom Riner introduced a bill to establish a pilot program that would document the health benefits of a plant-based diet. But once the bill went into committee, industry lobbyists launched one of the most intensive lobby efforts ever in Kentucky. Rep. Riner, the bill’s sponsor noted that the bill was watered down to “a shadow of its former self”, turned “from steel to Reynolds Wrap.”
A top-down approach that recognized the powerful healing effects of plant-based nutrition had failed ­ again. But Nelson Campbell suspected there was another way to prove the merits of this idea. After the setback in Kentucky, he resolved to put his hunch to the test in his own North Carolina hometown of Mebane (population 11,562). He also took a documentary film crew with him.  Beyond Mebane, PlantPure Nation explores the topical issues of the small family farmer, food deserts, modern medicine, and the challenges of getting plant-based nutrition included in the political process.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Getting Back to Blogging

     Between family fun, Food for Life Classes both at home on Cape Cod and for a couple months in Naples, Florida, The Green Nosh Group and Event Planning, this Nana has become a multi-tasking crazy lady. 
     I began blogging back in 2012 and that's just about it. I started and stopped. Too busy with other activities. I'm hoping to revive it a bit. I'm not like so many young folks who spend hours blogging, taking pictures, and adding recipes. I'll leave it up to the young. But I will post information and recipes that I feel are helpful to readers.
    There is so much info out in cyberspace on whole foods, plant based lifestyle. And I use the word, "lifestyle" rather than diet, because eating WFPB is a way of life. When you eat the foods known to prevent disease and heal from chronic illness, you don't have to worry about losing weight. The pounds you want to shed will melt away naturally. Then when you achieve your ideal weight, eating this way will help you maintain. How's that for a neat prescription?
     Be sure to check out my main website: www.plantbasednana.com. There you will find recipes, a listing of ongoing Food for Life and private classes, and loads of resources to help you on your journey.
    Also, check out our new site for the first ever Plant Based Chef Challenge for Cape Cod, to be held the entire month of October, 2015.There you'll find info about the Event, the restaurants who have accepted the Challenge, and bios on chefs/owners (the latter a work in progress). 
    Folks who dine at these restaurants in October will have an opportunity to rate their experience on voting slips provided at the restaurant, as well as being able to comment on the Challenge website:

Taken during my Food for Life Series at Cape Cod Hospital in August, 2015.

Green Nosh Group of Cape Cod

September 2015 Gathering

An Italian Themed Whole Foods Plant Based Pot Luck
Wednesday, Sept. 23rd, 5 pm
at Joanne's in South Yarmouth
Must RSVP to attend. joanneirwin72@gmail.com

  Let's enjoy some fun time together, sharing tasty, healthy, whole plant based dishes a la Italiano!! After dinner we'll be treated to some words of wisdom from the one and only Dr. Michael Greger as we enjoy his newest DVD, "Food as Medicine". 

Homemade Veggie Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, Onions & Mushrooms

Pasta with Veggies in NO OIL sauce!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Monthly Green Noshes - Lifestyle Support

    For those of us who embrace the plant based lifestyle, support is a necessity. Class participants continually question, "My friends think I've lost it. What do you do when you go out to eat? When you're invited to friends' houses for dinner, how do you tell them that you don't eat meat and dairy? Should I bring my own food? And worst of all, my husband/partner/wife refuses to eat this way! What do I do???"
     These are a few of the questions that continually arise from folks who commit to eating their way to health and wholeness. We meet monthly, not only to share dishes, exchange recipes, and learn more from the experts on nutrition and health, but to offer support, listen, and applaud one another's achievements. Even though the paradigm shift to plant based foods is occurring across the country and world, it is a very slow shift. We're still among the 1% of the population.
     When you go to a party where pulled pork, bacon, and greens are killed and drenched in ham hocks, and you walk in with your black bean, mango and quinoa salad, you stand out. The question is, 'Can you handle standing out and being different?' Truth is, me, you, we..... are the only ones who will be safeguarding our health, our bodies, our souls. No one can do it for us. 
     So, if you can't locate a meet-up group in your area, then think of starting one. You might start out small in number, but group size isn't important. It's the support and commitment that matter.
      After our monthly Noshes on Cape Cod, someone will come up to me to comment on how much the group support means to them. They need the enthusiasm, and, at times, a much needed boost to remind them why we eat this way, and that they're not alone.
     I'm continually energized by the people who participate in our monthly gatherings. Hearing their health successes and creative recipe ideas fuels my passion and commitment to spreading the information, and inviting people to embrace this lifestyle - the way to health and wellness.
     Our next Nosh will be on Monday, December 17th at my home on the Cape. We're going to have a "SOUP NOSH", and folks will be bringing different soups for us to enjoy. Looking forward to those warm, cozy tastes on a cold, December Cape Cod Monday.
    If you'd like to participate, email me: joanneirwin72@gmail.com

     Here are some photos from our 2012 Green Nosh Season on Cape Cod:

Healthy Fruits, Veggies, Grains and Legumes. That's the recipe to health.
Enjoying one another's tasty, healthy creations.
Sharing the journey....listening, supporting and encouraging!
Time to feast!
Having fun explaining their creations!
Indulging in good food!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Check out Cookbook Author, Robin Robertson

    Robin Robertson is an acclaimed vegan cookbook author. I love her books and recipes - healthy, hearty and creative. My collection, to date, includes: "Party Vegan", "Vegan Planet", and "The Vegetarian Meat & Potato Cookbook". Each is fabulous! 
    I just received an email where Robin announced a cookbook giveaway for her cyberspace followers. Check out the link below to get the details. 
    To my friends and followers - Have a Safe, Fun and Fabulous Memorial Day weekend. And may we create Peace on Earth!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sugar - Beware!

   Sugar has hit the airwaves. Its ravaging effects on health have been featured in local newspaper articles, on television talk shows, and throughout cyberspace. At last its relationship with a host of chronic diseases is entering the public consciousness. 
   Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Francisco, has an insightful lecture on You Tube titled, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth". Throughout his 80 minute video, his passion for exposing the damaging effects of sugar on health rings loud and clear. Dr. Lustig also directs a clinic for treating childhood obesity.
   Sadly, our children are now experiencing diseases that were once the domain of adults. Experts predict that this generation of young people will be the first not to have the longevity of their parents.
   What to do? Take the sugar, beware of it, ease up on its use, change, learn, and create different concoctions. We don't need all that sugar. Check your recipes. Many cakes call for 1- 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Eeeek. Way too much. Reduce the amount to less than half and learn to use other sweeteners - dates, prunes, frozen apple juice, apple butter. 
   In searching for a resource on cooking with dates - dates are one of only two sweeteners that have nutritional value, the other being molasses - I found a cookbook on Amazon by Susan Lowenberg titled, "Bake With Dates: Natural, Healthy, Vegan Recipes Made Without Sugar". Walla - I found gold.
   Even though dates have a high sugar content - 70-80% in the form of glucose, fructose and sucrose - they have a low glycemic index, and will not result in rapid blood sugar level fluctuations. Again, baked goods are a once in a while treat!!
   I prepared some of the recipes for folks coming to a showing of 'Forks Over Knives'. The breads, cookies, and cakes taste delicious, healthy and wholesome. Once you 'taste' the difference, you'll have a hard time eating all those heavily sugar sweetened confections again.
   I'm taking the liberty of sharing one of Susan's recipes. I attempted to contact her for permission to post a recipe, but was unable to connect. Try the recipe, and let me know how you enjoyed it. Check out Susan's book; it's filled with sugar free recipes for cakes, frostings, cookies, crisps, cobblers, pies, puddings, breads, muffins and salad dressings, etc. Everything I've tried has been wonderful.   

Product DetailsOrange Date Coffee Cake
12 medjool dates, pitted and chopped, divided
1/2 cp sour almond milk (make sour milk by adding 1/2 T apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cp almond milk)
1/2 cp applesauce (use organic and unsweetened)
1/2 cp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cp whole wheat flour
1/2 cp almond meal
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T finely shredded orange peel (zest it!)

Nut Topping
1/2 cp chopped walnuts
1/2 cp almond meal
1/2 cp date syrup (recipe follows for syrup)
1 tsp cinnamon

Using a blender, puree 6 chopped dates, sour almond milk, applesauce, orange juice and vanilla.
Combine flour, 1/2 cp almond meal, baking powder, salt and orange peel.
Drop 6 chopped dates into flour mixture one at a time, stirring to coat each piece with flour so the date pieces won't clump together.
Add blended date mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.

To make the topping, combine walnuts, 1/2 cp almond meal, date syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well.
Spray 8" square pan with cooking spray. Spread batter into pan. Drop nut topping evenly over the batter. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Date Syrup:
24 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 cps water
2 tsps vanilla
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool.
Place mixture in blender or Vita mixer and puree until smooth and completely blended.
Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container. Stir syrup before using.
This recipe makes 3 cups. You can halve it to make less.

MY NOTE: Medjool dates are expensive. I've also used the less expensive deglet dates in recipes. I found a huge bucket of deglet dates sold in Costco. Though dates are high in sugar, as stated above, they are an excellent source of Vitamin C, fiber and potassium.