FOOD for LIFE with PLANTS

NUTRITION BITES

Find here personal notes and tips as well as links for other important health items.

MICROGREENS

Have you ever heard of MICROGREENS? Microgreens are my latest adventure in gardening. Unlike other food crops, these little greens grow to harvest in just a few days—I’m talking about 5-7 days. The organic seeds are available online, and very little potting soil is needed since they grow so quickly. Totally organic, free of all pesticides and fertilizers, they are bursting with nutrition.

According to one source: “While their nutrient contents vary slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. Microgreens are also a great source of beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants. What’s more, their nutrient content is concentrated, which means that they often contain higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels than the same quantity of mature greens.”

I include pictures. Growing them is so easy—you can find many videos on youtube giving you all the information you need. I chose stainless steel dogfood bowls because I didn’t want plastic. They are fairly shallow and work well for me, but using plastic containers would be easier. By having eight of them, I can eat and plant one a day and always have a fresh supply! The plastic bowls are used to cover the moistened seeds, creating a dark environment so they can sprout! My grow light produces the equivalent of full spectrum sunlight and is needed only in the last few days to green up the sprouts (usually 2-3 inches long by then). You actually don't need a grow light. You can place the little greens in any bright window or fairly light space, and they will green up nicely!

How do you harvest them? With a pair of scissors!

See some of these videos:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1DVZUJ6DCE&t=7s

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t70303Gp_c&t=3s

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCMQfMw3yNI

SPROUTS & MICROGREEN GARDEN:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YglT6_wEaQ4

REUSING MICROGREEN POTTING SOIL:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGhbMxtKtnY

 

 

 

 

HOW I EAT - 

[To reach me, post a comment on the QUESTIONS page or message me on facebook: Kathy Andre-Eames]

 No doubt after watching some of the videos, you may be slightly confused.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman seems to permit some meat and dairy, for example, and you don’t see any potatoes on his plan!  On the other hand, Dr. John McDougall advocates 75-80% starch diet, especially all kinds of potatoes!

Which one do I follow?  BOTH OF THEM.  What I gathered from Dr. Fuhrman is to make the diet as nutritious as possible, and what I gathered from Dr. McDougall is that healthy starches in the diet, potatoes, brown rice, etc., provide satiety—fill us and satisfy hunger.

One useful item that I picked up from Dr. McDougall and his wife, Mary, is that this diet can be as simple as you want it to be.  No need to spend hours on recipes.  Also, you will quickly develop several simple, easy recipes which you love.  Feel free to make them over and over again.  Just take care in the beginning to make them as nutritious as possible, balanced. 

 

BREAKFAST:  After much research, I have found that oatmeal is my best breakfast, though in a pinch I use HERITAGE [Heritage/Nature’s Path Organic Cereal:  flakes contain more fiber]. You can buy these at Walmart in bulk--so economical.  For the oatmeal, I buy the oat groats cut in half, cook enough for a week.  Cook them long enough to tenderize, but not reduce them to glue!  I add the organic raisins before cooking, cinnamon and cloves, but nothing else.  In the morning I scrape out the amount I want into a small pot with almond milk and stevia.  While they are heating, I grab a handful of walnuts, a tbsp ground flaxseed and throw them into my bowl with additional fruit.  After the oats are hot, I dump my bowl into the pot and stir the whole mixture.  I love to add a small apple cut up, a banana, or blueberries, so rich in antioxidants!  [Note:  In my grain-free phase, I have begun to enjoy the SWEET POTATO PORRIDGE!  Find it on my blog page with RECIPES.]

LUNCH:  I eat leftovers from the night before or from the freezer.  Green smoothies are great.  [See RECIPES.] In winter I love a bowl of low-sodium miso soup enriched with a handful of rice noodles, kale and sliced mushrooms, along with some rice crackers.  Sometimes I make my large salad for lunch.  If I don’t eat my beans with lunch, I have them for supper!  Two slices of avocado toast is great, too.

SUPPER:  If I cook, I may throw a meal into the instant pot, create one on the stove, or prepare potatoes in my air fryer.  I usually cook my quinoa, buckwheat, or rice on the stove.  It takes only 35 minutes to do brown rice—I don’t like it mushy.  While the rice is cooking, I sautee veggies, etc. Having a list of your favorite meals (to which you can add as you gain more experience) is helpful in the beginning—even now!  Don’t forget about any goodies you have learned how to prepare!

BAKING:  I rarely bake, but always use organic spelt flour [or grain-free flours if you prefer] from Whole Foods.  I treat my cousins to my brownies or spice cake (same recipe as the brownies, but add a half-cup of canned pumpkin or a sweet potato, and substitute pumpkin spice for the cocoa), and occasionally make a cornbread. [If you are grain free, substitute your safe grains.]

DESSERTS:  What to do...I don't take the time to bake, and I don't want to tempt myself either.  It's got to be simple and easy or I won't do it.  I've found a solution:  dried fruits.  I know I said to be careful, and I am.  I love 2-3 deglet dates (the little ones) after a meal.  They are so sweet and tasty that they absolutely satisfy that desire for something sweet, and being a whole food, they provide great nutrition in a small package.  I also use organic prunes, but only three at a time.  I just bought a package of dried mango at Trader Joe's, and I'm in love--but only two pieces for dessert.  Try dried pears or apricots.  Look for unsulfured and unsweetened.

I occasionally use my frozen dessert maker or blender, turning frozen bananas and other fruits into "Nice cream," and although the machine is quick and easy to clean, I just don't take the time to do it often--but it's there when I want it!  Sometimes, I love to take about 1/3 cup frozen blueberries and add them to a mashed banana for an instant blueberry pudding.  A great way to squeeze in the berries!

 WHAT ABOUT GRAVIES? If you can’t eat butter or sour cream, what do you put on a baked potato?  Try Nutritional Yeast, delicious, buttery and cheesy.  [See Chef AJ's FAUX PARMESAN recipe.]  Or make a miso gravy thickened with a little arrowroot or tapiaco flour, or a bean gravy, pureed and thinned with veggie broth.  Chef AJ shows how you can make your own veggie broth in the instant pot.  I also like Vogue Instant Vegebase

 

COOKBOOKS THAT I USE:

Dr. Joel Fuhrman:  The End of Dieting, Eat to Live

Dr. John McDougall:  The McDougall Program for Maximun Weightloss, The McDougall Quick and East Cookbook

Others:  The PlantPure Nation Cookbook

You truly don't need to buy any cookbooks.  So many recipes can be found online, on the doctors' websites or on Youtube which shows how to to prepare them.  Find one that appeals to you, copy and try it, and add it to your own recipe book if you absolutely love it!

 

NUTRITION BITES

 NECESSARY SUPPLEMENTS FOR VEGANS:

Don't worry about getting enough protein!  However, a very few vitamins and minerals will fall short if you eat only plants.  Here is a great article telling you what you need to know:   https://foodrevolution.org/blog/supplements-vegetarians-vegans-plant-based/

Did you know that 2 pistachios will give you your daily requirement for zinc?

Did you know that 1 brazil nut once a week will supply your selenium needs?

Eat a handful of nuts every day.  Dr. Michael Greger says that research shows that eating nuts WILL NOT make you gain weight--on the contrary, you'll LOSE WEIGHT!

NUTRITION FACTS.ORG

I consult Dr. Michael Greger on many issues. His little videos, hundreds of them on youtube, based on solid research, clarify details of nutrition in so many areas.  From him I learned:

TURMERIC:  wonderful anti-inflammatory spice should be used with black pepper which unlocks its full potential.  Use both on salads, on sweet potatoes with some cinnamon.

SEEDS: use only ground flaxseeds; if eaten whole, they may pass undigested through the intestinal tract. Eat them everyday!  They are an amazing food, full of Omega 3’s which help to balance the omega 6’s which predominate the diet.

TEA:  of all kinds is best COLD BREWED—just put your teabag or loose into a jar of water and steep for 4 or more hours.  Antioxidents are best preserved this way.  Remember HIGHER NUTRITION IS THE GOAL! All of the teas are high in antioxidents, but green tea is best!  Try one bag of green tea with one bag of hibiscus tea—delicious!

ANTIOXIDANTS:  Did you know that ordinary digestion and even the least exercise produce FREE RADICALS which damage our DNA?  Constant consumption of fruits and vegetables build up our stores of antioxidants which prevent free radical damage.  Google the foods which are especially rich in antioxidants.   

SPICES:  are wonderfully high in antioxidants! Use them freely, especially cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, oregano—these are the best! Try a pinch of cloves along with your cinnamon on your morning oatmeal!

 MISO:  fermented soybeans, widely used in Asian cuisine and by Dr. Gregor! His research shows that the impact of the sodium, even in regular miso, is completely offset by the fermented beans--so enjoy your miso.  A great way to build soups and gravies.

 PHYTONUTRIENTS:  You thought you only had to worry about vitamins, right?  Wrong!  Learn about phytonutrients.  You’ve already heard of some of them, lycopene in tomatoes, for example.  Read more with Dr. Greger.

 MICROBIOME:  Micro…what?  You may never have heard of it, but it’s the latest and greatest biological discovery!  It has to do with the millions of gut flora, the gut flora which totally outnumber the cells of our body.  Our second brain.  No kidding.  And what we eat enable them to flourish or corrupt them—enabling all the wrong kinds of flora to thrive to our utter detriment.  Read more with Dr. Greger.

DIGESTING BEANS:  This tip is from Dr. Fuhrman.  Eating beans daily will help grow the bean-digesting flora in our gut and eliminate bloating and gas.  Dr. Greger explains the second meal effect of eating beans which you will love if you want to watch your weight!  

 OTHER RESEARCH & FINDINGS: 

GINGER MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CHEMO!

 https://foodrevolution.org/blog/ginger-cancer-treatment/?utm_campaign=frs18&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=4468&utm_term=existing-email-list&email=andrelivingchrist%40gmail.com&firstname=Theresa&lastname=

 

WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED AND GLUTEN FREE

Gluten-free diets are all the rage right now, mostly referring to wheat/barley/rye-free diets.  Every food manufacturer is catering to this trend, substituting the “safe” grains:  oats, corn, sorghum, rice, and others.  However, recent research reveals that ALL grains contain some form of gluten, and those who are sensitive may not be able to eat safely any grain.  Here is one possible source of the problem:  “If you find yourself reacting to all grains, it's actually far more likely that you're reacting to gluten cross contamination in the grains, not to the various grains themselves. Grains can be surprisingly cross-contaminated, generally due to shared harvesting and storage equipment at the farm level.” [https://www.verywellfit.com/do-all-grains-have-gluten-yes-but-not-that-kind-3973245]

[NOTE:  In any event, avoid PROCESSED foods; eat the whole grain/plant, fruit or vegetable, whatever you eat.  In this way you better control what enters your body.]

Furthermore, anyone could be gluten sensitive without having celiac disease.  Gluten sensitivity is responsible for far more disease symptoms than we ever thought possible.  Here is another recent finding:  “Gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, skin, endocrine system, stomach, liver, blood vessels, smooth muscles and even the nucleus of cells. CD and NCGS are associated with an astonishing variety of diseases, from schizophrenia and epilepsy, to Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis, to dermatitis and psoriasis, to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy. (13) Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so broad and nonspecific (e.g., can be attributed to any number of conditions), many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten may be the cause.” [https://chriskresser.com/50-shades-of-gluten-intolerance/] 

Among such diseases:  neuropathies, especially idiopathic neuropathies—those which causes are unknown. A diabetic knows the cause of his neuropathy; I don’t know the cause of mine.

I was diagnosed with CIDP nearly 20 years ago and was fortunate to see it go into remission for years—till about two months ago.  Plagued mainly by numbness in my feet, with some occasional pain, now my hands are numb, with pain mostly at night after a day during which I have used my hands strenuously, as in gardening.  Tests have ruled out anything except a flare up of my peripheral neuropathy; and while my doctor has commended my new whole plant food lifestyle, he also advised me to try giving up wheat along with other possible suspect grains.

The only way to tell if grains are contributing to my inflammatory condition is to give them up entirely for several weeks.  If I don’t see improvement in several weeks, apparently I am not gluten sensitive.  I also have sinus problems, and post-nasal drip; and it’s possible that gluten insensitivity is causing them as well.  If the sinus problems clear up, that will be a clue to what is going on.

In the meanwhile, I am completely gluten-free as of May 1, 2018.  Now, what can I eat?  For flour:  tapioca or cassava flour [ground from the root of the yucca plant], coconut, arrowroot, and other flour I have never heard of:  tigernut flour, for example.  I am using a mixture, not just one of these. Of course, almond and other nut "flours" would also be safe, but are so expensive.  I have made some brownies substituting a mixture of these flours, and they came out well.  I also made some pancakes which I found satisfying. 

I recently came across some intriguing recipes using chickpea [garbanza bean] flour.  I made the quiche and a scramble (like scrambled eggs)--and was pleased. Other dessert, cracker, and flat bread recipes look promising.  Here are some links--you can also google "chickpea flour recipes":  

 http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/chickpea-flour-recipes/

 https://runningonrealfood.com/vegan-chickpea-flour-pancakes/

[Uses oil]:  https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-socca-a-naturally-gluten-free-chickpea-flatbread-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-169513

I also discovered a wonderful sweet potato flat bread which I want to try.  Here's the video showing you to make it:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRj0tPEjcBY

OTHER RECIPE SITES FOR WHOLE PLANT FOOD & GLUTEN-FREE:

 https://www.veganricha.com/category/grain-free

 https://happyherbivore.com/2014/01/grain-free-vegan-plant-based-substitutions/

 https://againstallgrain.com/category/recipes/vegan-2/

 https://www.bakerita.com/quick-grain-free-hot-cereal-gluten-free-paleo-whole30-vegan/

 https://www.rickiheller.com/2011/07/no-cook-allergy-friendly-grain-free-breakfast-porridge/

 http://powerhungry.com/2017/02/97-grain-free-breakfast-cookies-vegan-paleo/

PANCAKES FOR ONE PERSON [This is the recipe which I tried and really liked--would also make a great bread substitute]:   https://avirtualvegan.com/oil-free-vegan-pancakes-one/

 

To replace my morning oats, I substituted buckwheat groats for a few days.  They cook quickly in about 15 minutes, and have a similar consistency.  I planned also to try amaranth or a mixture of amaranth and buckwheat as a breakfast porridge instead of oatmeal, and to cook buckwheat groats in place of my brown rice with beans.  However, Dr. Osborne says that buckwheat and amaranth, as well as quinoa,  contain proteins similar to those in the grains, and that they may be problematic.  So I'm not sure what I will eat for breakfast.  I do want to eliminate ALL potential problem grains and foods close in structure so as to determine once and for all if any of them are causing the inflammation.  Once I make that determination, I may be able to go back to eating them.  I hope so.

Since I just started the gluten-free diet, I haven’t much yet to report; but I will continue to adjust my diet accordingly.

 LIST OF FOODS TO AVOID-- Dr. Peter Osborne recommends eliminating all of the following from your diet in order to avoid any possible gluten—the primary food and all derivatives:  https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/guidelines-for-avoiding-gluten-unsafe-ingredients-for-gluten-sensitivity/

Unfortunately, he also recommends avoiding all members of the nightshade family which includes the Irish potato . I'm not ready to go there yet!  I just planted tomatoes and eggplants in my garden!

I purchased Dr. Peter Osborne’s book, NO GRAIN, NO PAIN, which I am currently reading.  Here are helpful links on the subject: 

GLUTEN FREE SOCIETY [founded by Dr. Osborne] - https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/

DR. PETER OSBORNE WEBSITE - https://drpeterosborne.com/

ARTICLE IN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/overcoming-pain/201203/gluten-sensitivity-nonsense-or-new-disease

NEUROPATHY ASSOCIATED WITH GLUTEN SENSITIVITY - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077388/

http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/typesofpn/inflammatory/celiac.shtml

SINUS PAIN AND GLUTEN –

https://www.foodintol.com/sinus-pain-headache-research-on-food-sensitivity

https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/food-allergy/wheat-gluten/sinus-problems-with-gluten-allergy.htm

FOODS TO AVOID WITH WHEAT GLUTEN –

https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/

SENSITIVITIES TO GRAINS BEYOND WHEAT--

https://www.pccmarkets.com/sound-consumer/2011-08/grains_beyond_wheat/

https://bodyecology.com/articles/beyond-gluten-free-how-corn-and-oats-are-becoming-just-as-troublesome-as-wheat-gluten

 GLUTEN-FREE UPDATE--July 15, 2018

 My doc ordered a celiac panel, and supposedly I do not have celiac.  Nevertheless, my sinuses are much improved on a grain-free diet.  Also, the numbness, especially in the little finger on my left hand, is much improved.  I plan to remain wheat/barley/rye free and to gradually return to other non-grains and a couple of the grains.  So far, I have reintroduced [all organic] oats, corn, and buckwheat.  I plan to stay with mostly items which I have not eaten all my life--so much less likely to be gluten-sensitive to those.  Things like amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa I just had started eating, so I am probably not sensitive to those.  

 Although I have resumed eating oatmeal for breakfast on some days, I really love my SWEET POTATO PORRIDGE--a recipe I created.  Find it on my RECIPE page.