Carnivorous Plants Can Tell You What to Eat

Carnivorous plants are so strange that they can trigger fear. But person-eating plants are the stuff of low-budget science fiction, not reality

Carnivorous plants are so strange that they can trigger fear. But person-eating plants are the stuff of low-budget science fiction, not reality

Why Do Some Plants Consume Insects?

Here’s a situation I’ve run into many times. Me giving a presentation: “Plants are the base of the food chain on planet earth. Do plants eat animals, or do animals eat plants?”

Someone in audience: “What about the plants that eat insects?”

Okay, let’s figure out this question. What about these carnivorous plants? Do they upset the foundation of the food chain idea? And what lesson do they hold on whether you should eat meat?

SURPRISING FACTS ON CARNIVOROUS PLANTS

Plants need both energy and nutrients to survive and grow. All plants, carnivorous or not, get their energy from the sun. Using the process of photosynthesis in leaves, they convert sunlight into energy that is stored in chemical bonds. This energy is used both by plants for their own processes and by animals (which cannot directly harvest sunlight for energy and must rely on plants, either directly or indirectly).

Nutrients needed to build plant cells are mainly Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Fruit Make You Fat?

Fruit sampling is a farmers market favorite for kids and their parents as well

Fruit sampling is a farmers market favorite for kids and their parents as well

Fears of Fruit Flood Ill-Informed Diets

Controversy swirls around the question of whether people who are overweight should eat fruit. On the one hand, this food is regarded as the embodiment of health, unprocessed and rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial substances. But then there is the myth that Read the rest of this entry »

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Never Too Late to Go Vegan

Never Too Late To Go Vegan is an inspiring book with an inspired title

Never Too Late To Go Vegan is an inspiring book with an inspired title

A Truer Book Title Has Not Been Written

The over-50 crowd now has their own book on ditching animal foods. Never Too Late to Go Vegan is a comprehensive guide to adopting and staying on a plant-based diet for this age group.

The book covers all the “whys” of making this change, as well as what to eat, how to cook it, and how to stay the course while dealing with some social and logistical challenges that vegans may run into. Lists of tips cover everything from how to make the transition to a plant-based diet to taming stress to places to learn more. Stories from the three coauthors, Patti Breitman, Carol Adams, and Ginny Messina, bring the lessons alive, as do many other entertaining and inspiring stories from others who went vegan in the second half of life.

I was happy to have a chance to talk with Patti Breitman, who is now a neighbor. Coincidentally, when I lived in Marin County in the 1990s, I regularly attended potlucks held by Patti’s organization Marin Vegetarian Education Group. These gatherings were an important force leading to my own Read the rest of this entry »

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Are Veggie Meats Healthy?

More and more people are choosing veggie burgers over animal foods, for better health, superior taste, and kindness to animals and the planet

More and more people are choosing veggie burgers over animal foods, for better health, superior taste, and kindness to animals and the planet

Three Simple Tips to Find the Best Ones

Veggies “meats” are plant-based versions of chicken, fish, burgers, and other animal foods. These foods are soaring in popularity, as more and more people are cutting way back on how much meat they eat, but are looking for convenient substitutes for their usual menu items.

The healthfulness of veggie meats depends on two things. The first is your point of view. Are you comparing these foods to Read the rest of this entry »

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Cold-Fighting Soup Helps Keep Winter Illness Away

This cold-fighting soup is nourishing, satisfying, and easy to prepare

This cold-fighting soup is nourishing, delicious, and easy to prepare

This Soup Recipe Is Thick With Lightly Cooked Vegetables

In winter you may find yourself near people who are coughing and sniffling. You don’t want to be next. Or maybe you’re already fighting a nasty cold yourself or, even worse, in bed with achy flu. Is there a soup that can enhance your odds against the viruses that cause such misery, that may boost to your own immune system and quell symptoms if you’re infected?

Lucky for you, research indicates a yes answer. You might have heard the urban legend that chicken soup is the best soup for a cold. Scientists actually did a study on this. Their data indicated it was actually Read the rest of this entry »

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The Surest Way to Transform Your Eating Choices

Your health is the prize when you successfully step through the stages of change

Your health is the prize when you successfully step through the stages of change

How To Keep Going Until You Reach Your Goals

You likely already know a whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest and most compassionate way to eat, but perhaps you haven’t managed to make the transition despite good intentions. How can you commit to a diet built on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, with only a drop of processed foods – and make it work for you? A transformation in eating may appear Read the rest of this entry »

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Irresistible Cooking Made Easy

Better Than Vegan brings together Chef Del's story of a lifelong struggle with weight, a philosophy of eating, and terrific recipes in one very nicely photographed book

Better Than Vegan brings together Chef Del’s story of a lifelong struggle with weight, a philosophy of eating, and terrific recipes in one very nicely photographed book

Chef Del Sroufe Leads the Way to Health, One Recipe At a Time

Better Than Vegan, Chef Del Sroufe’s second cookbook, is a treasure trove of recipes, a philosophy of eating, and a compelling life story wrapped in with a stunning compilation of vibrant food photos. This book follows the author’s New York Times bestselling Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook, yet stands on its own as a guide to making delicious whole foods, plant-based recipes.

Instructions for recipes are straightforward and simple to follow. Full-color photos of the finished dishes are also useful guides to preparation. The ingredients are familiar and easy to find in any well-stocked grocery story. Many of the recipes have short ingredient lists, and the book gives practical advice on cookware and pantry basics. Chef Del invites you to use his recipes as springboards for your own ideas.

Better Than Vegan is also sprinkled with quiet humor. For example the recipe for Big Fat Breakfast Pizza contains the advice: “Do not share with anyone who criticizes you for making pizza for breakfast.” Even newcomers will be inspired to jump into the kitchen and start having fun.

The food spans a varieties of cultures. In each recipe, you can sense Read the rest of this entry »

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From 160 Units of Insulin A Day to Zero

Charlie and Melody Fish have achieved amazing health improvements in the last ten months. Here they are in November 2013.

Charlie and Melody Fish have achieved amazing health improvements in just ten months on a whole foods, plant-based diet. Here they are in November 2013.

Charlie and Melody Fish Find A Plant-Based Diet Beats the Perfect Health Storm

Charlie Fish used to gasp for breath after walking a few feet. Now he can walk a couple of miles with no problem. Charlie shared his remarkable recovery story with me when I met him and his wife Melody at a Wellness Forum Conference in November 2013.

I asked Charlie how he used to eat before finding health on a whole foods, plant-based diet. “I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. My father had three restaurants, and let’s just say the family was well-fed. I was raised on meat, potatoes, gravy, and Hungarian food. I ate meat three times a day for my whole life, and saw nothing wrong with it. I was a ticking time bomb, and then it exploded.”

He continued “I was supposed to have foot surgery so was getting a pre-surgery EKG. The nurse mumbled something and left the room for 90 minutes. She came back and apologized. Something was very wrong with my EKG but even the cardiologist she had look at it did not know exactly what. I had a heart catheterization the same day. During the procedure I was drugged but still conscious. I heard one doctor say to another “What do you think about stents?” The other doctor just laughed. I knew then I was in big trouble.”

Just as he feared, Read the rest of this entry »

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Think Good Thoughts: Read The Pillars of Health

John Pierre, a well-known health coach, shares the secrets he's learned over the years to get you healthy

John Pierre, a well-known health coach and trainer, shares the secrets he’s learned over the years to get you healthy

Do Good Deeds When You Are Done

John Pierre, the nutrition and fitness consultant who works with celebrities, the military, corporations, seniors, and children, challenges one-dimensional views of health in his book The Pillars of Health. He describes four categories of daily choices to cultivate to achieve lifelong well-being, fun, and a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose. Even more, this book is suffused with compassion and caring for readers. You will feel like John Pierre is your personal coach, cheering you on to make better choices without demanding perfection.

The essential pillars of health are nutrition, mind, motion, and compassion. Take away any one of these foundations, and support for your health is wobbly. Take away two or more, and you may end up coping with pain, illness, and disability.

The author’s solutions are infused with playfulness, delight, and delicious taste. John Pierre gives you hundreds of specific, practical steps, complete with photos, stories, and recipe ideas, to strengthen each of the pillars of health, rebuilding them from the ground up if you need to. You will find out about nourishing foods, creative Read the rest of this entry »

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Running with Dr. Ruth Heidrich

Dr. Ruth Heidrich, in one of her many adventures, runs through the Buddhist ruins in Borobudur, Indonesia

Dr. Ruth Heidrich, in one of her many adventures, runs through the Buddhist ruins in Borobudur, Indonesia

Lifelong Running, Dr. Dr. Ruth’s Latest Book, Will Get You Moving

In Lifelong Running, Dr. Ruth Heidrich observes that children begin to run as soon as they learn to walk, and “stop running” is a frequent refrain parents and teachers aim at children. Adults fall into sedentary habits, their nature to run stifled by myths about this activity.

Dr. Ruth is a well-known runner who has won numerous gold medals in her Read the rest of this entry »

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