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!

http://robinrobertson.com/celebration-cookbook-giveaway/#comment-6436

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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Cape Cod Garden





Our Square Foot Gardens in Full Bloom!

SPRING - A time to plant, a time to sow, a time to nourish, a time                to quiet the soul, and reflect upon and delight in the new growth that surrounds us! What do we need to plant within?


The Start of one of our Square Foot Gardens, Spring 2011


Hydrangeas are my favorite flower. They're magical!    

     Spring is a time, not only to tend our gardens and plant some aromatic herbs, but an opportunity to grow and nourish something within. About now, as the warm, humid air blows across the waters and land of southwest Florida, my mind and  heart focus on home, Cape Cod. There the air is till crisp and cool, and the nights still call forth warm woollies and blankets. Anticipating my walks along the shore, I can almost feel the strong Spring winds nipping at my heels and the twirling sands smacking my cheeks with a hearty hello and wake-up call. I'm eager to say, "Hello, again, my beloved Cape Cod! " And as I think about planting my garden and deciding on which veggies which, again, will grace the square foot boxes,  I ponder, as well, on what I need to plant within. What new seeds need to take root in my heart? What do I need to do differently for my own health and well-being?  How do I create balance in my life?  What is my soul longing for?
    In the Food for Life classes I present for cancer prevention and survival, we discuss at length how foods and nutrition assist the healing process. Not only preventing disease, but enhancing survival. Cancer, however, is multi-faceted. The foods we feed our bodies are vital to health, but there is so much more when dealing with this disease. It's about stress, how we deal with it. It's about relationships, how do we love, and how do we accept and receive love. It's about being able to say to someone, 'I need you'.  It's about reflection, what do we do to silence the inner noise to make space for peace, solace, and gratitude. It's about putting on the brakes and breathing, about taking time for self. It's about seeing our connectedness with the greater Universe.

     I teach this, but,need to practice it, as well. As I soon return to Cape Cod after a busy and rewarding winter in Naples, FL, it's time to temporarily put the brakes on. Take a few weeks to plant, reflect, pray, and play before beginning the work which is so important to me - and that is sharing this life-giving and healing health information. Time to soak in the kids and grandchildren, time to play with the new family puppy, and time to feel the earth between my fingers. Those are healing moments; times that fill my own well so I can, once again, give and be present. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. I pray that you all find the times you need to fill your own wells so you'll be able to heal, love and tender your bodies and souls.  
    



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Food for Life Classes

Food for Life Participants 

      March 2012 Series

Held at Cancer Alliance of Naples.

Food for Life series focused on Nutrition and Cooking for cancer prevention & survival.






Sunshine Burgers

WHERE TO BUY SUNSHINE BURGERS......

Naples, FL: For Goodness Sake, 2464 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, FL
9118 Bonita Beach Rd., SE, Bonita Springs, FL
Sunsplash Market, 850 Neapolitan Way, Naples, FL

Cape Cod, MA: Dennisport Natural Marketplace, Rt. 28 & Telegraph Rd., Dennis, MA
Cape Cod Natural Foods, Bell Tower Plaza, Rt. 28, Centerville, MA
Sunshine Burgers - Check this out......gluten and soy free, and totally vegan.

One of our instructors in CA told us that, at a recent health fair, vegan products were displayed that contained no isolated soy protein. Many 'faux' meat products contain what's called 'soy protein isolate' or 'isolated soy protein'. Those products are processed. Research has shown that isolated soy protein raises what is called 'IGF-1, insulin like growth factor' levels. According to Dr. Neal Barnard, IGF-1 causes cancer cells to grow like crazy. At a Health Fair on Cape Cod back in '08, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn stated, "IGF- 1 is to cancer what cholesterol is to heart disease".
Thankfully, manufacturers like 'Sunshine Burger' are responding to plant based consumer's needs for products that are organic, pure and free of processed ingredients. Sunshine Burger is making a healthy burger, breakfast sandwich, and other products for folks on the go.
Check out their website and ask your local grocer to start carrying these products. Our voices can make a difference.
http://www.sunshineburger.com

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Skinny on Soy

The Skinny on Soy:

Dr. Michael Greger (M.D., Ph.D.): is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.
Dr. Greger's website is www.NutritionFacts.org. The information presented, all researched and peer reviewed, is priceless. Dr. Greger donates all proceeds from his DVD and books sales to charity.
His report on Soy. He cited 3 studies that evidence the health benefits of soy. Soy has been maligned by folks who, I believe, are threatened by the populace awakening to the health dangers imposed by animal and dairy consumption.
The LACE Study (Life After Cancer Epidemiology) noted that soy isoflavones cut breast cancer recurrence in post-menopausal women by 60%. These women were taking tamoxifen. The soy levels consumed were comparable to that of Asian societies: 1 -2 servings soy/daily.
The Shanhai Study, done with 6000 women, posted the same protective benefits of soy.
A recent 2011 study indicated that an increase in isoflavones resulted in decrease in breast cancer recurrence.
The soy consumed was whole, fermented soy - tofu, edamame, tempeh, miso; not processed 'fake' soy products.