Saturday, April 19, 2014

PCRM | Animal Protein May Lead to Diabetes

PCRM | Animal Protein May Lead to Diabetes

Friday, April 11, 2014

Good news Organic Food Fans!

Click on the above link to view the recent news about Walmart increasing their organic food options. I often get asked if we eat organic.  My answer is yes and no.  If the budget allows, we try to buy organic foods, especially those that are known to be related to higher concentrations of pesticide use.

No question about it, organic food is more expensive, but seeing more organic foods on Walmart's shelves should set the standard for all grocers to have affordable organic food options.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Relaxing Music

I am always in search for music that either relaxes my soul or anything that excites my ears.  Unfortunately, I feel like I have to search through dozens of songs before I find one worthy of a whole listen to and hundreds to find one that respects a repeated listen to.  Then, there are songs like this one that captures an emotion in my mind that I cannot describe.  I recently was searching on YouTube for "green tea music" and this was my search result.  I have played it a few times each evening here at home and I have yet to tire of it. 

I ask that you take a few moments out of your chaotic and stressful day to listen to this song.  I would love to download this song so that the artist would be rewarded for their creation and I would also love to cite the artist but the name is in Chinese so I am unable to identify and provide that person's name for you.  My apologies for this.

Find a comfortable place to sit or lay....close your eyes........and allow your mind to wander wherever this music directs it.      I truly hope that you enjoy this song as much as we do.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jackfruit BBQ 'Pork'

*Casie Here*
Prepare to have your mind BLOWN!
If you think going Vegan/Vegetarian means you have to give up Pulled Pork Sandwiches, think again. This my friends is THE closest thing to it....and it's a FRUIT!!!! That is right, fruit! So, weird I know, but trust me on this one.
 This is what you go buy in the Asian market: Young Green Jackfruit in WATER (not brine or syrup). It's about a $1 a can. We got 9 cans for a pretty big crockpot that would feed 20-25 people with extra left over.
 I wanted my pulled 'pork' sandwiches to have onions in them too. So I sautéed up some onions and minced garlic. I put that in the crock pot after it was browned lightly. You can skip this step if you are not an onion fan. You could also chop up some peppers or anything else you like in your pulled pork sandwiches. 
 I just drained and dumped all 9 cans into the crock.
 Actually I took out most of these seeds in the fruit, but I think you would be ok if you didn't.
 Straight out of the can. Looks like pork already.

 Dump your favorite BBQ sauce all over it. I used Stubs and I liked it. It has a little kick at the end, but I don't like spicy and it was definitely bearable. You turn it on high for at least 10 hours. 
 Once it has gone for 10 hours or so (you can do this anytime after it is tender really), you can take out and shred the jackfruit just like you would the pork with 2 forks. Put it all back in, mix really good together and add more sauce or other seasonings you would like. And that is it! It is a little 'fatty' tasting like pork and a little chewy like pork. It is delicious.
We found out that day 3 and 4 are the BEST days to actually eat it. So, make it on lets say a Sunday evening let it cook overnight. The next morning shred it and add more sauce, then put it in the fridge for 1-2 days. Add more sauce if it gets dried up. Then enjoy! All the flavors had time to come together and that spiciness that I was talking about was completely gone. 
Get yourself some really good buns and get ready to FAKE any one out. I would love to hear comments under this post of people who try this and what them and other though of it. Have fun tricking anyone, even a avid pork lover.

Ha Ha!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It is your choice.

I love this video.....and I think you will, too.

Do you or someone you know use a tanning bed? If so, please watch:

Thank you to K.L. for bringing this video to my attention.

Vegetable Rankings.

This is a ranking of vegetables that I really like because it includes lutein.  Studies on lutein's health benefits suggest that dietary intake of lutein may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. 

The grid is difficult to read as it is presented on the page.  If you click the ranking grid, it will enlarge for you to view.  Note the key at the bottom to assist you in interpreting the grid.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have you ever thought about it from their perspective?

I find this gentleman to be very brave for sharing his story and experience.  This video has given me a new perspective and has made me think deeply about what he shares in this video.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What would you say?

Just think how amazing it would be to let your current self go back in time and have a conversation with your teenage self for a couple of hours.  What would you tell, warn and advise the younger version of yourself?  Would the topic of eating healthier come up?  Obviously, you would want to inform yourself of the things that would have the most positive impacts on your life, so I hope that eating very healthy would be part of that conversation.  

So, let's reverse the tables.   What do you think your future self would come back in time to tell you? What if your future self is diabetic, diagnosed with lung cancer, has suffered a stroke or heart attack?   Would the future lung cancer diagnosis get you to stop smoking today?  Would the future heart attack get you thinking about how much fast and junk food you eat?   Would the future diabetes get you to stop drinking soda and fast/junk food?  What do you think your future self would advise?

What if the future you came back to tell you to become as healthy as possible, that the future you told you what lifestyle plan you should undertake to impress that future self?

I know that neither of these scenarios are going to happen, yet it gives me a way of thinking about my future self and things that I can do now, today and tomorrow, to make my future a better one.  I realized a couple of years ago that I could make my future self proud by eating so healthy that I increased the likelihood of future health and reduced the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  

There is overwhelming evidence in nutrition, medical and research studies to show that healthy eating is a key component to determining our current and future health status.

So, where do you start?  Do your own research.  Find out what foods are known to reduce and increase the risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.   Use this as a basic guide for your start.  Evolve you plan as you find what foods and recipes you like and dislike. 

Search for nutrition and healthy eating.

View Dr. Greger's videos on

Look at to see what amazing nutrition exists in the world's healthiest foods.

 Let this be a start of your journey to make the future you proud....and healthier. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Most likely everyone has had to deal with some form of bullying in their life.  Unfortunately, some of the most vulnerable, yet unique, people in the world are the ones that take the brunt of that bullying.
Bullying has always been around but it has been taken to a whole new level with the use of social media.  Think back to your youth and reflect on some of your most embarrassing moments growing up.  Now, imagine someone videoing, photographing or writing about this moment and sharing it with everyone in the class/school.  Terrifying, isn't it.
The ramifications of a child getting bullied over and over again, especially when others, including parents, don't take action on the part of the victim can have negative life long impacts.  It's not just about the bully and the is also about all the passive observers of this activity. 
 So, do you know of someone being bullied?  Do you ask your children if they are being bullied?  How do you react if they tell you that they are being bullied?  How do you respond if they tell you one of their friends or classmates are being bullied?  What do you do if you find out your child is the one bullying someone else?
I often ask my daughter if she or anyone in her class is being bullied. I would recommend that you make an effort to have that conversation with your children, too, if you haven't already.  Please don't assume that it isn't happening unless they come to you to talk about it.  I assume that it is happening and I need to find out who is involved on both sides of the interaction and then to find out who needs to be informed to bring resolve to the bullying. 
There are many online resources for parents and children regarding bullying so make sure you utilize those resources if you find the need.  Here are a few:
Here are a couple of videos that I thought are worth watching regarding bullying:
(The above documentary, "Bully", is on Netflix)
 (The above poem is by Shane Koyczan)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My apologies

Please forgive me for my absence from the blog over the last month.  Nothing is wrong. I haven't lost my interest or passion for this blog.  Nor have I run out of things to say or share here.  My excuse?  In the past, I would walk on my treadmill and could work on my computer as I was exercising.  Last month, I began using my old elliptical machine every night.  If you have ever exercised on an elliptical machine, it is almost impossible to type on a computer while on that equipment.   On other nights, I have been too exhausted or selfish with my time to blog.   I usually have about 45-60 minutes per night that I can call my own and I must share some of that free time with writing on the blog.  I promise you I will try to post more often as I have much to share and hopefully there will be that one topic that I share here that can positively affect your life or someone you know.  As always, thank you for following this blog and giving your time to read and watch our information. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bean & Lentil Veggie Burgers

*Casie Here*
Tonight I was in the mood to make some Veggie Burgers. I do what I normally do when I am looking for a recipe. I search the internet to find in general what I am looking for, then I read a bunch of different recipes and then I kind of combine them to make my own concoction. Tonight was no different. 

I made 1 cup of red lentils according to package directions (1 cup lentils and 2 cups of water ~ boiled both together and lower temp, simmer for 40 mins.)

I started off sautéing in a little olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped

I added:
4-5 ribs of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
6-8 button mushrooms, diced

I added:
little ginger
salt & pepper

Drain & rinse
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans

In my food processor I ground up 1/2 cup quick oats to a fine powder
  I also had some extra. old bread that I had toasted up and ground up into bread crumbs.
Put those dried powders in a large bowl.

I put the beans in the food processor and pulsed them until all chopped and mushy, then transfer to the bowl.

I put the sautéed veggies in the food processor to ground up fine, then transfer to the bowl.

I added the lentils when they were done (they are already mushy no need for them to go in the food processor).

I added a drizzle of Tahini Paste and some Braggs Liquid aminos.

I added some vital wheat gluten (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup) to the bowl and mixed it all together. You can add more wheat gluten if mixture is too sticky and wet. 
Combine all and form into patties. 
I just used a hot pan and sprayed with non-stick, but you could use a griddle or the actual grill. 
Heat both sides and enjoy! 

We had ours with dill pickle relish, organic ketchup and mustard. YUMMMM!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wind chills of -25 to-40 degrees today...

May all beings stay warm tonight and tomorrow. May all pets be inside, may all wild animals find a protected area, may all the young and old farm animals survive this cold, may all homeless find shelter, may those independent elderly members be warm and safe. May all those that require help in this time of need receive assistance. I can't imagine what our ancestors had to contend with in these times of extreme temperatures.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Alphabet Kitchen Sink Soup

*Casie Here*
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
4 carrots, diced
7-8 ribs of celery, diced
2 small zucchinis', diced
1 yellow squash, diced
4 seitan patties (mine were homemade), diced
1 can Amy's Tomato Bisque soup
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 jar pasta sauce
1 1/2 boxes vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 cup dried alphabet pasta

Monday, December 16, 2013

Isa's Coconut French Toast

*Casie Here*
I made this Coconut French Toast using the recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz new vegan cookbook Isa Does It. I make a recipe out of her cookbook ALMOST every single day. Sometimes two times a day!  I LOVE it! 

 This was yummy, yummy! She might not like it if I give all her recipes out that are in her book. But I would definitely recommend purchasing it. I have definitely gotten my use out of it and I have only had it less than a month. I love that there are pictures for almost every recipe and I have most things in the book on hand. 

 And the best part is, she lives in Omaha with her boyfriend. She is originally from NY and met her boyfriend on a vegan cruise. She moved here and I hope one day I bump into her at Whole Foods or Trader Joes!!! Not that I'm a stalker….I just think that would be really cool! She is on her book tour now though, so I may have to wait! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Not the oatmeal your mother made you

Oatmeal has so many benefits over cold cereal so you should find ways to make oatmeal often and exciting.  Try adding berries, apple chunks, cinnamon or vanilla extract to give each morning's oatmeal a different taste.  Don't just settle for oatmeal and water/milk.  And stay away from the instant oatmeal as old fashioned oatmeal is nutritionally superior. 
This morning I tried a new oatmeal flavor.  I made my oatmeal with almond milk, flax seeds(of course), crushed walnuts, sweetener and a bit of.................PEANUT BUTTER! 
Who said you could do that?  Who said you couldn't?
We are out of PB2 otherwise I would have added that instead of the peanut butter.  I only put in about a teaspoon of peanut butter and along with the walnuts, that gave enough of a nutty taste for the kids to request that I make this oatmeal version again.
And, of course, make sure to top the oatmeal with "bananers", as my son would say.
I couldn't get you to make peanut butter/PB2 oatmeal...with flax seed....and walnuts...topped with bananers, could I?
Regular oatmeal is boring.  Peanut butter oatmeal is pretty awesome and sure to be a hit at your breakfast table.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Calling all chocolate lovers!

(Vernon Here)
I wanted to make a healthy dessert so I was trying to think of some things to mix together.  My initial idea was to just dip bananas into the cocoa powder but I knew the powder wouldn't stick.  So, I went into the kitchen last night and this is what I came up with:
Chocolate Chia Nut Banana Bites
I made this recipe for three people.  I would recommend one banana per person.
3 bananas
2 teaspoons baking cocoa powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground cashews (or other favorite nut)
1tablespoon almond milk
1 packet of Stevia sweetener
I cut up the bananas and put them into a bowl and mixed them with the cocoa powder, Stevia and almond milk.
The chia seeds and the cashews were an afterthought, so next time I will just add them to the above mixture but I added them after I put the above mixture into the bowls. 
Here is a photo of the chia seeds sprinkled on...
and then the cashews.
I placed the bowls in the freezer for 15 minutes and then served. 
Sophia told me that I could make this dessert for her "whenever I wanted".
This was really good and only took minutes to prepare....easy enough for even a guy to make. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal

(Vernon Here)
Are you a chocolate lover but are choosing the unhealthiest of chocolate options?  Try this recipe to not only satisfy your chocolate cravings but also to reap the many health benefits of all these ingredients.
For breakfast today, I made a quick, healthy and tasty breakfast for the family.  Oatmeal, baking cocoa powder, almond milk, dates, flax seed, bananas and walnuts each have great nutritional benefits and I decided to combine them all together for this recipe:
I made enough for two adults and three children.  I used:
2 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
4 cups Original Flavored Almond Milk
2 heaping teaspoons of baking cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed (found in grocer's baking aisle)
2 tablespoons of walnuts
3 pitted dates (for sweetness)
2 bananas
1 teaspoon chocolate flavored PB2 (optional, gives more intense chocolate/nut taste)
Make sure you adjust this recipe to meet YOUR tastes and preferences. 
I put the almond milk, walnuts and dates into a blender and blended this mixture for 30 seconds on high.  I put this mixture in a saucepan and heated the liquid for a couple of minutes on high heat.  I added the oatmeal, PB2 and flax seed and stirred this occasionally.  I added a bit more milk at times to maintain the consistency of choice.  After the oats softened, I distributed the mixture into the bowls and cut up the bananas into pieces and placed them on top of the oatmeal. 
Find out more about the benefits of cocoa HERE, HERE and HERE .
Find out more about the benefits of dates HERE .
Check out these videos for the benefits of flax seeds HERE .
PB2 can be found at Walmart, HyVee and Whole Foods near the peanut butter. 
There is chocolate and peanut butter flavored.


If you think you or someone you know has depression, please watch this video:

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Thank you to all of you that follow Vernon's Vision!!!
We appreciate it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Where do we get (some of) our protein?
Most beans have about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans.  I will usually consume about 2 cups of beans per day so that is about 28-40 grams of protein just from beans.  That is equal or more protein than what is in a 4 oz. hamburger patty and almost equal to 4 oz. of chicken meat. 
We consume a variety of beans but our favorites are black, kidney, pinto and garbanzo beans.  Our hummus is made with garbanzo beans and I often pack either black or kidney beans in my lunch bag.  I find black beans to be the most versatile for adding to recipes. 
Find out more about the health benefits of black, kidney and pinto beans: here, here and here
I particularly like the Eden brand of beans because they are organic and BPA (bisphenol A)
 free. You can find out more about BPA here.  Also, since we do not use iodized salt in our house, we are always looking to acquire iodine from other sources like seaweed.  Eden brand uses seaweed to improve the flavor and nutrition of their products. 
Here are a couple of videos by Dr. Greger regarding beans:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great news, Omaha!!!!!

article photo

Local chef opening Omaha's only vegan restaurant
By Sarah Baker Hansen / World-Herald staff writer
Omaha vegan chef and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz will open the city's only vegan restaurant this spring. The restaurant, called Modern Love, will be attached to O'Leavers bar, in the former location of Star Deli, 1319 S. 50th St., which closed earlier this fall. Moskowitz describes the menu as "swanky vegan comfort food," and she said the restaurant will serve a revolving menu of made-from-scratch dishes. She'll make her own cheese, condiments and soda. She said she's working with local farms, and the food will focus on vegetables. She'll also serve homemade pie.
Moskowitz's eighth cookbook, "Isa Does It," came out last month. Moskowitz is one of the most popular self-trained vegan cookbook writers in the country. Between Facebook and Twitter, she has almost 100,000 followers. You can read her popular vegan blog is at

PCRM | High-Fat, High-Protein Diets Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

High-Fat, High-Protein Diets Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

November 13, 2013
A diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrate may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers followed 66,485 women enrolled in the E3N-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study over a 14-year period. Women with diets high in meat and low in carbohydrates and plant foods, which the researchers called an acidic diet, had a 56 percent greater chance of developing diabetes, compared with those eating diets high in fruits and vegetables, which the researchers called an alkaline diet.
For information on diet and diabetes, visit
Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Bonnet F, et al. Dietary acid load and risk of type 2 diabetes: the E3N-EPIC cohort study. Diabetologia. Published online November 11, 2013.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How unfortunate is that?

Thank you to L.S.C. for bringing this photo to my attention.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Morning Smoothie

This morning, the kiddos were requesting a smoothie so this is what I made them:
This is the amount I used for 3 small cups and one large glass.
3 peeled bananas,
3 pitted dates
3 cups fresh organic spinach
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 ice cubes
4 cups original flavored almond milk.

Blend and serve.
I could hear 3 straws sucking up air before I even had a chance to drink mine. 
If you look up the benefits of bananas, dates, spinach, flax seeds and cinnamon you will find that this is one healthy drink....and the kids thought they were drinking a dessert. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to eat an apple

Ok, so I tried this.  I have to admit that I really like the experience of eating an apple this way.  Normally, I cut the apple up but there is no waste when eating it this fashion...there was just seeds and a stem leftover.  I doubt I will ever eat my apples the traditional way again.  I can't wait to have another one!
...but don't forget to spit out the seeds!

Monday, November 4, 2013

How a lock works.

Show this video to a child and watch how many times they repeat the video.  Pretty cool way to get children to think about the internal mechanics of everyday objects.
You can find videos like this on to get children interested in how things work and I think it is a great tool to get young adults thinking about the world around them.

Oh yeah, show this to an adult, too, and watch how many times they repeat the video.

"Make It Vegan" Vegan Beet Burger: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa Chandra Moskowitz grew up in Brooklyn, NY, but now lives in Omaha.  She has a new vegan  cookbook out called, "Isa Does It", runs a blog called Post Punk Kitchen and rumor has it that she is going to be opening a restaurant in Omaha in the near future.   Our copy of the cookbook just arrived last week and we can't wait to make some of her recipes.
 Check out Isa's video on how to make a homemade vegan beet burger:

Vegan Body Mass and Diabetes Prevalence


What does the American Diabetes Association know about diabetes anyway?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You Decide

Victor's Gyros Falafel & Mediterranean Food

Vernon and I FINALLY went on a date night. We haven't gone out since my birthday and before that it had been a long, long time! 
Vernon researched a new place called Victor's. We almost didn't go there as we were considering  going with one of our standard backups. 
Victor owns the place and is the chef, waiter and cashier. It's just him. It's a hole in the wall on 40th & Farnam. He is Egyptian and his food is really, really great.
 This right here folks, this is what I have been dreaming about and CRAVING since we left, no take that back, ever since I finished it! These falafels are THE BEST falafels I have E V E R had. They blow Amsterdam Falafel and Cafe Falafel's out of the water. No comparison, NONE. They were so good. 
Now, the salad left something to be desired. First of all the Greek yogurt dressing is NOT on our VEGAN list, but we didn't want to hurt Victor's feelings and send it back, so we just ate it. But it wasn't great. That bread that is on the bottom was EXCELLENT. Moist, warm, fluffy, flavorful, and a little bit dusty with flour. YUMMMMM 
This was the Falafel sandwich. I know, it's not even a sandwich, but that's what Victor wants it to be called, so that what it is called. I asked him when we were leaving if we could purchase just the Falafels separate. He said NO (like the soup Nazi on Seinfeld). Okay then. Bummer, because I would totally just order those separate and have them plain. 
 This was the Baba Ganoush. We didn't even know what that was before tonight. I guess it's like Hummus but instead of the Chic Peas it's made with Eggplant. It was good, but VERY garlicky. 
 Traditional Hummus. Mine is better. This was extremely garlicky.
 The bread for dipping in the dips. This was OMG yummy
 Lentil soup with Red Lentils. It was good. Thick and a tad spicy. 
 There are those falafels again just in case you missed them the first time.

 After Victor's, we headed downtown to Ted & Wally's to get some of their VEGAN ice cream. While we were standing in line, the kind I was going to get (cinnamon), got erased off the board. : ( But I had a back up flavor (vegan cookies n' cream). It was good. A little odd after taste, but I still liked it. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

More about cholesterol

The number of individuals with high cholesterol and/or heart disease is staggering.  Elevated cholesterol affects so many parts of the body because of how it's role on changing the dynamics of blood vessels and blood flow.  The eyes and the visual centers of the brain are not immune to the effects of high cholesterol.
Lowering your cholesterol could be one of the best things you can do for yourself, your future you and for your family.
I posted a few heart disease/cholesterol videos back in August and here are some more from Dr. Greger's website, :
New Cholesterol Target:
How Fiber Lowers Cholesterol

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Parents, please watch this video!!

~5000 television ads that our children potentially are exposed to each year?  Those advertisements are one of the many reasons our family got rid of television.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fried Tofu & Veggies with Couscous

*Casie Here*
There is a similar dish I made a while back, but this one I fried the Tofu. Boy was it good. 

Here is what I did:

1 cup couscous cooked according to the package directions
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 can mushroom, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 container of Tofu (I had extra firm, but any would work), sliced into small cubes

A few shakes of Shoyu sauce (could use soy sauce)

Sal & Pepper to taste

Make your couscous according to the directions and set aside.
Saute onions in cocout oil. Once transparent, add the rest one at a time as you get them chopped up.
 I added them in order above.
Mix everything in and heat through.
Add some salt and pepper
Once all the veggies are softened, fluff the couscous and then mix all the veggies in with it. In the pan you sauteed the veggies, put a little more coconut oil and let it heat up, medium high heat. 
Place the cut up tofu in the pan. LET IT SIT for quite a while. Maybe like 8-10 minutes. It has to get golden brown on the bottom before turning them over. Some may break, that is totally ok! Just try to scrape all the little bits off the bottom of the pan. When all sides of the tofu are golden brown, you are done! Add that to the veggie/couscous and mix all together.
I sprinkled on some Nama Shoyu (soy sauce) on at the end
Everyone loved it and it was especially a hit with the kids! 
Enjoy at your house!!!