Category Archives: Weight Loss

The 45 Second Single-Serve Vegan Chocolate Brownie -with a Gluten-Free Option + Loads of Variations

Chocolate Brownie

I had one of those days last week, where at the end of the day, ALL I WANTED WAS A DANG BROWNIE! It was the kind of day, that if  I’d had access to a full pan of brownies, I might have eaten them all (and very possibly not felt guilty about it). Fortunately, knowing I needed to master a bit more self-control whilst still really yearning for that brownie, I came up with this little beauty.

The 45 second, single serve chocolate brownie. It was everything I needed it to be, gooey, moist, decadent and intensely chocolatey, all while being ridiculously simple and delicious.

top view

The 45 Second, Single-Serve Vegan Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or for gluten-free, use a Gluten-Free Flour Blend (I use this one)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sucanat, Coconut Sugar, Maple Sugar, Raw Sugar or other dry unrefined sweetener
  • 1/8th teaspoon Powdered Stevia or 5 drops liquid stevia OR 1 packet Truvia Sweetener
  • 1/8th teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tiny pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground golden flax-seed
  • 1 teaspoon Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or other vegan mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional, if you’re oil free, leave it out, but it will make a denser moister brownie if you leave it in. Oil free peeps could also use 1 teaspoon almond or peanut butter cut in with the dry ingredients with the tines of a fork instead of the olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl (the first 8 ingredients). Next, add all the wet ingredients and stir together with a fork until just combined. Scoop the brownie batter into a lightly oiled mini 1/2 cup sized ramekin, small mug or tea-cup. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, or until the brownie springs back when touched.

Variations:  

Nutty Brownie: add 1 tablespoon of your favorite chopped nuts to the brownie with the dry ingredients.

Mint, Almond or Orange Chocolate Brownie: add 1/8 teaspoon mint, almond or orange extract to the wet ingredients.

Peanut Butter Brownie: swirl 1 t. melted peanut butter into the top of the brownie before cooking

Double Chocolate: increase chocolate chips to 1 tablespoon, sprinkle even more on top when the brownie is cooked.

Mocha Brownie: stir in 1 t. instant coffee substitute or instant coffee granules into the dry ingredients.

Chocolate Iced Brownie: after cooking, let cool slightly and frost with 2 T. powdered sugar, 1 t. cocoa powder and 1 t. vegan butter mixed.

Salted Caramel Brownie: drench it in this stuff, just cooked for a shorter period of time so it doesn’t thicken too much.

You could also add: vegan white chocolate chips, dried fruit (I think goji berries or cranberries would be awesome!), cacao nibs, cinnamon + cayenne (mayan chocolate), top with a vegan marshmallow and nuke for a few seconds more, etc! Get creative!

Notes: for the non-microwave peeps: place your ramekin on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes. For the non-stevia peeps: use 1 slightly heaped tablespoon unrefined dry sweetener or 1 T. unrefined liquid sweetener as a total replacement for the amount of sweetener in the recipe.

The brownie that is photographed here is made using GF flour, I’ve also made it with the whole wheat pastry flour and it is amazing either way.

Bite

This brownie may just be the solution to all our government issues, world peace, personal stresses and sorrows  for just over 150 calories, since we will not have to eat the whole pan of brownies…

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan, Weight Loss

Fit Quickies 5-Minute Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts by Lani Muelrath. Review and Giveaway!

cover photo

In a bit of an exercise rut? Can’t find the time to fit it all in? Well, you and me both!

When Lani Muelrath sent me her book, Fit Quickies 5-Minute Targeted Body-Shaping Workouts to review on my site, her timing was perfect! The only exercises I have been doing as of late is some light (but awesome) yoga. Still, I haven’t been strength training because, well, I find it hard to fit it all in at the moment with my crazy schedule. So this gem of a book came just at the right moment. It offers quick and effective workouts that anyone can fit in to build muscle, define and tone and shrink the problem areas. She shows you the correct posture, the right lifting methods and more to optimize your results without spending hours in the gym! In fact all of the exercises can be done in the privacy of your own home.

“Fit Quickies is one exercise book that understands that you don’t have to exercise like a maniac once you get the food right. Highly recommended.” ~ John Robbins

before&afterLani knows just what she’s talking about. She’s been through her own personal 50 pound weight loss journey and has maintained the loss for more than a decade. She figured out that a McDougall like plant based eating plan solved her yo-yo diet scenario and enabled her to achieve the body she desired when she added the right amount of exercise.

LaniDoesn’t she look amazing?!?

More about award winning Lani Muelrath: M.A., CGFI, CPBN, FNS – The Plant-Based Fitness Expert – specializes in helping people who struggle with health, weight and energy levels transform their bodies – and their lives – without going hungry or grueling, excessive exercise. She is also a presenter and celebrity coach for the 21-Day PCRM Vegan Kickstart and VegRun Programs and is the Fitness Adviser for the Dr. John McDougall Health and Medical Center Discussion Boards. She presents regularly for the Complete Health Improvement Project (CHIP). In addition, she is the Health and fitness expert for Vegan Mainstream and Plant-Based Fitness and Healthy Living Examiner at for Examiner.com.

Lani has been a Guest Lecturer in Kinesiology at San Francisco State University and is an Associate Professor in Kinesiology at Butte College. She has a Master’s degree and several teaching credentials in Physical Education, and holds multiple fitness certifications including Fitness Instructor from the American Council on Exercise, Yoga, and Pilates-based instruction from the PhysicalMind Institute.

For a preview of her book, watch the video below:

http://vimeo.com/55774021

Buy Fit Quickies on Amazon here, or get a signed copy from Lani here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing book, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Monday the 23rd of September to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 25th of September. GO!!

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Filed under Books, Giveaway, Vegan, Weight Loss

Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Could Save Your Life. A Candid Interview with Dr. Pamela Popper, a Delicious Salad Recipe, Review and Giveaway

Big Green Salad

Food Over Medicine is a book made up entirely of a conversation between Dr. Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND (Executive Director of The Wellness Forum) and Glen Merzer (Co-Author of Mad Cowboy, No More Bull, Unprocessed and Better Than Vegan) about how the food we eat may be the biggest way we can impact our health in a positive way. It reads easily and is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The subtitle of the book “The Conversation That Could Save Your Life” is as serious as a heart attack. If you have health issues, I’m pleading with you to read this book. I was moved and touched deeply, it never fails to amaze me that people can completely change their health simply by changing what they put into their mouths. So many of Pam’s patients have had health recoveries similar or more profound than my own.

One of her biggest success stories, is that of Chef Del Sroufe, who was 475 pounds and a very unhealthy vegan when they first met. He’s now lost more than 225 pounds, is the author of  “Forks Over Knives- The Cookbook” and “Better Than Vegan.” He is a partner in The Wellness Forum and is also the Executive Chef on staff at the facility. This book includes 25 of his delicious recipes. I’ve photographed some of them for you to view here.

pamela popper

Now for the best bit: Pamela Popper agreed to an interview for this post. Listen up, it’s good stuff.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Somer McCowan: So, I’ve had my Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis) in remission since I adopted a plant based diet over 18 months ago. However, I feel like it’s dormant, like a bear in hibernation and that if I were to re-introduce animal foods into my diet, that the disease would reappear in full force. Why do animal foods trigger auto-immune diseases like mine?

Dr. Pamela Popper: You are correct – your condition is in remission and it will remain so as long as you are compliant on the right diet.  However, it is not necessary to adhere to a vegan diet in order to keep it in remission. In fact, our protocol for stopping the progression of IBD and reversing it allows people to consume organic animal foods or wild-caught fish 2-3 times per week*, and it works for those who are compliant.  The important issues are absolutely no dairy, no high gluten foods (barley, rye, oats, wheat), very low fat, low sugar, and to be mindful of foods that seem to trigger gassiness and diarrhea, which vary from person to person and sometimes are more related to portion size rather than food type. For example, an IBD patient may find that more than ½ cup of beans in one serving causes issues; those of us without IBD don’t have to worry about this.

Animal foods are only part of the cause of autoimmune diseases, including IBD.  People who develop autoimmune diseases are genetically predisposed, diet contributes, and there is usually a “precipitating event”, which can include vaccinations, infections, viruses, allergies, asthma, hormonal changes, including pregnancy, or long periods of sustained stress.  Women are much more likely to develop most autoimmune diseases than men.

(Important Note: Both Dr. Pamela Popper and Glen Merzer follow a strictly plant based diet themselves, meaning, neither of them consume animal products of any kind.)

BBQ Tofu

Somer McCowan: What other health conditions/diseases can be reversed or “put into remission” through plant based eating?

Dr. Pamela Popper: Any condition that is chronic or degenerative can be stopped or reversed for most people with a well-structured plant-based diet.  The exception is sometimes cancer, in which the results vary a lot based on the type of cancer, stage, age of the person, co-morbidity, and other factors.

Even conditions that are not chronic and degenerative can be made better with better diet. For example, an injured person (car or skiing accident, for example) will heal faster while eating a plant-based diet than someone who consumes a diet rich in fat, animal protein and junk foods.

Somer McCowan: Do your clients ever say to you: “It’s too hard to be on a low-fat, whole foods/plant-based diet” i.e.: that they would prefer to live their previous lifestyle while staying sick and continuing to take prescription medications?

Dr. Pamela Popper: Our clients who think that this is hard are not following our directions; we make conversion to this diet very easy, helping people to avoid trial and error and preventing them from making mistakes like the ones I made when I made the conversion on my own many years ago.

However, there are two types of people we cannot help.  We can’t do much for people who just won’t listen – they trust Western medicine and do not believe that diet is part of their problem.  And we cannot help people who do not want to get well and there are some.  There are many reasons, including the fact that some people are so used to being sick that they don’t know how not to be sick, or illness is the way they get attention.  The right type of therapy can help these people to want to get better, and to get over the fear of getting better.

Fruit Crisp

Somer McCowan: Why do you think traditional Doctors tell their patients that diet has nothing to do with disease?

Dr. Pamela Popper: It is so unfortunate, but doctors are not given much education about nutrition in medical school – most of the time only a few classroom hours.  They are not told that diet is a major contributing factor to developing degenerative diseases, or that diet can cure them.  Furthermore, they are not taught to cure anyone using other means either.  Medical training consists of teaching docs how to mitigate symptoms with drugs and procedures, and how to use diagnostic tests, most of which are useless and harmful, to detect disease at earlier stages.

Somer McCowan: How quickly can people expect to see improved health once they commit and fully make the switch to a low-fat, whole foods plant-based diet?

Dr. Pamela Popper: Improvement begins almost immediately.  Overweight people who are compliant will lose 2-3 pounds per week until they reach their ideal weight; and the changes in health status take place so quickly for type 2 diabetics and hypertensive patients that they have to be monitored carefully since their medication needs drop really quickly.  It can take some time to completely resolve some issues, and some people have developed health issues as a result of taking medications for their diseases that have to be addressed, but the progress is quick enough that they are encouraged to stick with the diet.

Somer McCowan: What would you say to those who are hesitant to change their diet plan, but are living with some form of disease or illness?

Dr. Pamela Popper: Try it! If you decide after a few weeks or months that you miss being a diabetic you can always eat your way back into your prior condition!

Lentil Cakes

Somer McCowan: Can you explain the difference between a vegan diet and a low fat, whole foods plant based diet?

Dr. Pamela Popper: A vegan diet means absolutely no animal foods, and the interpretation of this diet for some even excludes honey.  It’s important to note that simply adopting a vegan diet does not mean that one is eating a health-promoting diet.  There are lots of people who don’t eat animal foods but eat a lot of vegan junk food, highly processed foods, and fat.  Most of these people are not much better off from a health perspective than the meat eaters.

A whole foods plant-based diet may or may not be vegan, but focuses on eating whole foods and some minimally processed foods.  It is low in fat, high in fiber, and the primary food groups are fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Somer McCowan: What do you eat in the course of a normal day?

Dr. Pamela Popper: One of the things I love about this diet is that I can eat whatever I want and not worry about portion control or calorie counting.  I’m really active, so I eat a lot of food.  So I’ll tell you what I had today:

Breakfast – 2 pieces of Ezekial bread toast with fat free hummus and my breakfast smoothie** (plant milk, Wellness Forum smoothie mix, brewer’s yeast, ground flax, food-grade green tea, a banana and frozen berries)

Lunch – mixed greens with Southwest pasta salad (whole wheat pasta with black beans, red peppers, cilantro, corn, tomatoes, and creamy tofu dressing)

Mid-afternoon – blackberries and apples

Dinner – BIG salad with lots of veggies and rice and steamed veggies (all given to me by friends with gardens – YUM!!)

I have a sweet tooth that flares at night and it’s about that time now so after I sign off I’m going to have some fresh peaches which I bought from a farmer last weekend.  LOVE this way of eating!

Sweet Mustard Dressing

Chef Del’s Big Green Salad with Sweet and Spicy Mustard Dressing

Recipe used with permission. -Serves 4

For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces mixed greens
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup red cabbage, grated
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Sweet and Spicy Mustard Dressing, recipe follows

Divide the mixed greens between four dinner plates. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the greens and serve with Sweet and Spicy Mustard Dressing on the side.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 package silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.

My husband and I can’t get enough of this tasty salad or the incredible dressing, I want to put it on everything!

FoodOverMedicineCover-21

Buy Food Over Medicine here. Get the Kindle Edition for just $3.99 here.

Buy it on the Publisher’s Site, BenBella Books here

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 9th of August to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 12th of August. GO!!

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* excerpt from Food Over Medicine “we will help more people convert to a healthy diet if we espouse a more moderate message, if we don’t scare away people by insisting they abstain from animal foods entirely.

**Dr. Pamela Popper agreed to share her breakfast smoothie recipe with me, you can find it here. For those wishing to order ingredients from The Wellness Forum to make this smoothie, please call 614 841-7700.

 

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Filed under Books, Giveaway, Reviews, Vegan, Weight Loss

Savory Spicy 8 Juice

DSC_0020This doesn’t taste anything like a V-8, but I couldn’t help but realize I had 8 ingredients in this juice.

I’m on my last day of my juice feast. I’m amazed at how light I feel and how much mental clarity I have. I really thought it would be so much harder than it was, I think adding the cashew horchata each day saved my vegan bacon.

DSC_0023Savory Spicy 8 Juice, and the Ultra Green Juice with Carrots added in

This Savory Spicy 8 Juice is definitely a metabolism booster with the heat from the jalapeno, It’s also a nice change refreshing change from the green juices for variety in your juice feast. It’s loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. The recipe below made about 46 oz. of juice.

DSC_0025

Savory Spicy 8 Juice

  • 6 carrots
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 6 stalks of celery
  • 1-2 parsnips
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno (use half or omit for a less spicy juice)
  • few sprigs of parsley
  • additional options: a clove of garlic, a big fat handful of greens, 1/2 of a beet

DSC_0024Juice on!

I’ll be taking a blog break for a bit as I’m doing prep and catering for my brother’s Art Show this weekend, I’m sorry for being behind on comments and visiting your blogs! I’ll catch up with you next week! xx- Somer

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Filed under Beverages, Juice Feast, Nuts and Seeds, Organic, Raw, Vegan, Weight Loss

Juice Feast Basics + Ultra Juice Recipe

Juice FeastJuice Feast

I’m nearing the end of my high-raw month and I thought I’d go out with a bang and indulge in a juice feast.  I have to say this is much easier than any juice “fast” I’ve ever done, probably because I’m more prepared this round and my diet this last month has been especially clean. There are lots of reasons people choose to do a juice feast, including weight loss, cancer or other serious health issues. Sometimes some people simply do the juice feast because they want a reset. I know there’s a lot of debate about smoothies vs. juicing vs. neither, but I’ve found both green smoothies and juicing both have their place in my lifestyle.

Daily LineupDaily Line Up: Cashew Horchata, Ultra Green Juice and Carrot-Apple-Celery Juice

Here’s some things I’ve gleaned from reading about and then doing juice feasts over the years:

1- I’m more likely to stay on track if I get my juice supply ready for the day first thing in the morning. I have a masticating juicer instead of a centrifugal juicer, so my juice stays fresh longer and has more nutrients, so even though it’s best (in any case) to drink juice fresh right when you press it, there are ways you can minimize nutrient loss: (2&3 below). I use as much organic produce as possible when juicing so I don’t overload on pesticide residue.

2- Store your freshly pressed juice in lidded glass jars (think MASON), filled as closely to the top as possible to prevent oxidation.

3- Add lemons or limes to your juice to help preserve them and keep them fresher longer. Sometimes I leave the peel on, sometimes I don’t.

Champion Logo (2)My 15 year old Champion Juicer, still running like a brand new machine.

4- Drink as much juice as you’d like, I’ve found a schedule works for me, I typically consume 5-6 juices (16-18 oz each) a day and consume them 2 hours apart (9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm) so I don’t get overly hungry or have energy loss. I strain my juices through a wire mesh strainer, but that’s personal preference.

5- I include a nut milk in the above total, I’ve found it really takes the edge off and makes doing a juice feast just that much more doable, obviously nut milk isn’t juice, but it works well in conjunction with this type of reset for me. I usually drink the nut milk in the evening, when I’m craving things the most.

6- Stick with as many veggies as you can, too many fruits while juicing isn’t as beneficial and can mess with your body’s alkalinity.

Little HandsLittle hands love to get involved

7- Make sure to have as much purified water and unsweetened herbal tea as much as you like throughout the day.

8- Get plenty of rest during your reset, you might find you need a bit more sleep than you normally get.

9- You can do a 1 day, 3 day or 7 day reset. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you can go as long as you need. Joe Cross from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead proved more than 60 days of juicing didn’t harm him in the least, in fact it put his autoimmune disease into remission and helped him lose all the excess weight he was carrying.

10- It’s okay if you fall off the juice wagon, you can always climb back on til you reach your desired goal. Also, if for any reason you start to feel ill (more than just mild cleanse associated headaches), stop the juice fast so you don’t make yourself sick.

VeggiesLots of veggies, minimal fruit

Now lets get to the juice. This juice recipe I’m sharing with you today is courtesy of my brother Curtis, he’s an Ultra Runner and has taught me more than a thing or two about nutrition.

Ultra Green Juice

Ultra Green Juice

  • 4 C. spinach (I used a whole head of kale in the photographed batch, beware, it was powerful! I’ve been doing a mix of half kale, half spinach since)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 head celery
  • fist sized piece of broccoli
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 apples
  • 1 lime (peeled)
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled)
  • chunk of fresh ginger

Curtis said he got about 50 oz out of his juice, I got closer to 60 oz, but this could have been because of a difference in produce sizing. I’ve been using this juice as the base for my juice feast, I like it even more with a bunch of carrots thrown in, and it turns the juice an awesome army green. I typically do this juice plus a carrot, apple and celery juice or a more savory juice (coming Wednesday) plus the nut milk to round out my day.

Juice Feast 3

Want more juicy goodness? Check out Shira’s Fennel Apple Juice with Greens and Fresh Lemon  and Cadry’s Afternoon Pick Me Up Juice. Loads more Juice recipes can be found here.

This recipe was shared at Raw Foods Thursdays Healthy Vegan Fridays

What are your favorite juice recipes? I’d love to try them!

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Filed under Beverages, Gluten Free, Juice Feast, Nuts and Seeds, Organic, Raw, Vegan, Weight Loss

Raw Vegan Lite Cashew Horchata

Cashew HorchataRaw Cashew Horchata


I’m in the middle of a lovely juice feast to end my high raw month (I’ll be sharing some juicing recipes with you next week). Sometimes when you’re doing a juice feast (ok, so it’s really a fast, I’m just trying to make it sound easier) you can  have a bit of tiredness or an afternoon slump. Some of the lovely online juice cleanses include a nut milk to give you a boost and round out your day. Since I’m making everything myself at home, I thought I’d do the same. Yesterday I had the most amazing cashew milk for my afternoon snack, then halfway through drinking it, I thought it could use a bit of cinnamon. Yup, that’s how the 4 ingredient lite raw cashew horchata was born. Who needs rice and sugar?

Dates, Cashews Cinnamon

Raw Vegan Lite Cashew Horchata

  • 2 T. Raw Cashew Pieces (or use whole cashews, roughly chopped)
  • 2-4 Dates, snipped into bits (depending on your sweet-o-meter, I used 2)
  • 2 C. water
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • optional add in’s: tiny pinch of salt, drop of therapeutic grade cinnamon essential oil (for more intense cinnamon flavor), teaspoon of vanilla. I made mine without but think those would be tasty.

Method: Blend all ingredients til completely smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a power blender soak your cashews and dates in the 2 cups water in a pint mason jar for 2-4 hours before blending. No need to drain and rinse, just pour the contents of the jar into the blender, add the cinnamon and you’re good to go.

Close Up I first had Horchata while vacationing in Mexico, it’s at Mexican restaurants all over the place, but very few restaurants serve vegan horchata. Now you can make your own in minutes, without ever boiling a pot of rice!

This recipe was shared at Raw Foods Thursdays

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Filed under Beverages, Raw, Vegan, Weight Loss

Chow Down

key_art_chow_down

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Film Director Julia Grayer asking me to review her movie, “Chow Down” on my blog. It’s not often I get an email from a film director (okay, so this was the first time). I was flattered and more than happy to take the time to share this review with you.

The Usual Suspects:

Usual SuspectsProminent Authorities from the plant-based community star in this film

Dr. Caldwell EsselstynAuthor of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Also known as the Physician that turned former President, Bill Clinton, into a vegan. 

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, The Nutritarian Doctor. His book,Eat to Livemay be the greatest weight loss book ever written.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Author ofThe China Study“, the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted in relation to diet, cancer and disease.

Dr. Neal Barnard, President and founder of the PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine) and author of many health books.

The Story Line:

chow down families

Three very sick patients adopt a plant-based diet in order to overcome their serious health issues. I want you to watch the film, so I won’t give you the outcomes (you can guess it’s gonna be good, eh?) Let’s just say the evidence that diet can reverse disease is overwhelming to the affirmative.

The Discussion:

Here’s some obstacles to eating plant-based that are brought up by characters in the film. I don’t feel like these obstacles were adequately addressed or solved when the film finished, to the point that those who watch the film may not be willing to give a plant-based diet a try. I thought you might like to chime in with me regarding these ideas:

Chow DownDoesn’t taste good? Wrong!

1- Eating a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is hard/doesn’t taste good/and is limiting.

I eat a greater variety of foods and prepare more flavorful meals then I have ever done in my life since adopting a plant-based diet. If it doesn’t taste good, you’re doing it wrong.

2- It costs too much.

Maybe. I admit I spend more on groceries now than I used to. However, the additional amount I’m spending costs me far less than the monthly medications I used to have to take. It also costs less than health care for cancer, heart disease or diabetes. 

3- I can’t do it because I don’t have a support system.

Bull. Even if you don’t personally know anyone else following a plant-based diet, you can get online and find support groups. Hey, I even belong to two on facebook. Dr. McDougall and Dr. Barnard also have fantastic plans for starting out.

4- My family won’t eat a plant-based diet with me.

Um, my family does. Yours can too. Start with plant-based reproductions of the meals you’re used to eating. Help to educate your family about the benefits of eating a whole foods plant-based diet.  My family begs me for green smoothies and even my youngest will eat most anything I prepare. We’re in it together and we love it. It may take some time, but your family can love it too.

Watch the Movie and Join the Conversation:

Chowdown Poster D

It’s available to watch free here on Hulu. Or you can watch it on Amazon Prime here without commercials for $2.99. It’s also available for purchase on Amazon here.

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Filed under Books, Films, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Movies, The China Study, Ulcerative Colitis, Vegan, Vegan Household, Weight Loss

Vedged Out 2013 Green Smoothie Challenge Synopsis

somer655x344-running-1 Unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way, but I know a thing or two about weight loss.

Favorite SmoothiesFavorite Smoothies: Apple Pie, Tropical Colada, Green Julius, Razzleberry Lemonade, Chocolate Covered Blues.

After Holiday overindulgence, I lost 5.1 pounds in one week on the Green Smoothie Challenge. Pretty fantastic considering I wasn’t ever hungry. Others did awesome as well.

Eli 5 lbs, Anna 8 lbs, Erika 5 lbs, Birgit 4 lbs (with cheats!), Aleese 5 lbs, Jacob 6 lbs, Donna 3 lbs (without exercising) Fran 5 lbs, Larry 12 lbs the first week. He’s still going and has lost over 16 lbs in less than 3 weeks.

These are only some of the results I’m aware of.

Favorite SaladsFavorite Salads: Lentil Tacos, Greek with Tofu Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette, Goddess Salad, Cauliflower Tabbouleh Wraps, Black Bean Salad with Vegan Ranch.

Something amazing happens when you exercise every day and eat completely clean and plant based. Most people simply aren’t used to consuming this many vegetables and this much fiber. Some would say weight loss happens on this plan because of all the negative calorie foods. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I call it awesome. I entered all my information to a nutrition and fitness tracker for the week. The nutrition stats behind the tracking program says I shouldn’t have been able to lose more than a couple of pounds. But my body knew better.

The best part is that this is a safe weight loss method. You get every single bit of nutrition you need from the approved foods and none that you don’t.

Favorite SoupsFavorite Soups: Moroccan Lentil Soup, Vegan Hot and Sour Soup, Cozy Roasted Butternut Soup, Abe’s Hearty Lentil Soup, Cheezy Smoky Spicy Black Bean Soup.

Thanks for following along, even if you didn’t join the challenge. For those of you who have a significant amount of weight to lose, this plan can be followed until you reach your goal.

Love,
Somer

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Filed under Green Smoothie Challenge, Vegan, Weight Loss

Vedged Out 2013 Green Smoothie Challenge Day 7

Lentil TacosDinner Tonight: Lentil Tacos

Sorry for the lateness of this post, my parents ended up paying us a (very welcome) surprise visit today, so I’m a bit behind schedule. So today is day 7 of the challenge. I’m down 4.8 lbs, 3% body fat and I’ve lost at least two inches off my waist. Pretty awesome. Final weigh in will be tomorrow morning.

Today was all about the lentils.

Lentil Taco Filling

  • 1 C. dried brown/green lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 C. water
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 C. tomato paste
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C. chopped cilantro
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T. Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 diced bell pepper (red or green)

Method: Put all the above ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Serve a couple spoonfuls of lentil mixture onto a lettuce leaf, top with shredded cabbage, tomato, fire roasted salsa and a drizzle of tahini cream. I had 3 tacos, you could eat as many as 6 if you like. This makes enough lentil taco filling to serve 4-6 people.

For smoothies today I had the Tropical Colada Smoothie and the Chocolate Covered Blues.

For lunch I made an adaptation of my brother Abe’s “Hearty Lentil Soup” out of our family cookbook. IT WAS AWESOME.

Abe's Hearty Lentil Soup

Abe’s Hearty Lentil Soup

If you’ve been searching for the perfect soup recipe for your brown lentils, look no further. If I wasn’t on the challenge, I would have added a couple of diced potatoes….

  • 2 C. dry brown/green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 diced onions
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 stalks diced celery
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 4 diced roma tomatoes
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 C. Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 8 C. vegetable broth
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. dried dill
  • 1/2 C. tomato paste (1 small can)
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. spike or other herb seasoning (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I added pepper, but didn’t need salt)

Method: Add everything to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45-60 minutes until lentils are very tender. Pulse a few times with a stick blender if desired.

Stats for the day:

Target:
Eaten:

Calories

under 1,400
1186x

Carbohydrate

under 245 g
232 g 72%x

Protein

under 53 g
44 g 14%x

Fat

under 23 g
20 g 14%x

Water

over 8 glasses
8-7/8 glassesx
Target:
Eaten:

Dietary Fiber

over 25 g
55 gx

Saturated Fat

under 16 g
3 gx

Trans Fat

under 2 g
0 gx

Cholesterol

under 300 mg
0 mgx

Sodium

over 1,500 mg
x
Target:
Eaten:

Sugars

under 100 g
94 gx

Vitamin A

over 2,333 IU
2648 IUx

Vitamin C

over 75 mg
236 mgx

Calcium

over 1,000 mg
1300 mgx

Iron

over 18 mg
19 mg

Click here to view The Green Smoothie Challenge Synopsis

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Vedged Out Green Smoothie Day 6

DSC_0015Dinner Tonight: Vegan Hot and Sour Soup Saves the day

It’s the weekend and I’ve got things to do, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

  • 8 C. vegetable stock
  • 1/4 C. bragg’s liquid amino’s
  • generous dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 C. fresh shitake mushrooms or 1 oz dried
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 T. arrowroot or non GMO cornstarch
  • 1 package light extra-firm tofu, drained pressed and cubed
  • 4 T. grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 C. unsweetened rice vinegar
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots julienned
  • 1 t. toasted sesame oil (optional, since it’s not totally challenge approved)
  • 1 t. raw agave

Method: Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Yup, it’s that easy.

Apple PieApple Pie Green Smoothie for Breakfast. Love this smoothie!

Goddess SaladGoddess Salad for Lunch

Razzleberry LemonadeRazzleberry Lemonade Smoothie for my afternoon meal

Hummus and raw veggies for snackage

Hummus

My stats for the day:
Target:
Eaten:

Calories

under 1,400
1142x

Carbohydrate

under 245 g
223 g 68%x

Protein

under 53 g
54 g 16%x

Fat

under 23 g
22 g 15%x

Water

over 8 glasses
8-2/3 glassesx
Target:
Eaten:

Dietary Fiber

over 25 g
63 gx

Saturated Fat

under 16 g
2 gx

Trans Fat

under 2 g
0 gx

Cholesterol

under 300 mg
0 mgx

Sodium

over 1,500 mg
x
Target:
Eaten:

Sugars

under 100 g
79 gx

Vitamin A

over 2,333 IU
30404 IUx

Vitamin C

over 75 mg
384 mgx

Calcium

over 1,000 mg
1171 mgx

Iron

over 18 mg
21 mgx

Click here to view Day 7 of the Challenge

33 Comments

Filed under Green Smoothie Challenge, Vegan, Weight Loss