Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner and boy was it good. Hit the spot on this drizzly, crisp day.
 I made seasoned potatoes (both sweet and regular). I made 2 medium sweet potatoes and I think it was 5 or 6 regular, smaller potatoes. I cubbed them up and put them in a gallon Ziplock bag. Poured a little olive oil in there along with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, an Italian dressing pouch, and a couple tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast. Shook it all up (actually I had some helpers do this part). Laid it out on a lightly sprayed baking sheet in a single layer and baked at 350 for about an hour. I like them pretty crispy and not soggy, so I go for a really long time. You could do a higher heat like 400 and it would take a little less time like 40-45 mins. It makes the house smell delicious! 
 I made some scrambled "eggs" to go with them. I started with a small onion diced and some canned mushrooms. Sauteed them in a little olive oil until the onions were translucent. I threw in some extra firm tofu that had the water drained off them. You don't really need to cook this, just warm it through. I pretty much followed the recipe for Tufu Scramble from The Happy Herbivore (talked about in this post HERE). I added a squirt of dijion mustard, nutritional yeast and sprinkles of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mixed it all in and DONE! It was REALLY, really good. 
Added some steamed veggies and dinner was served. The kids ate every speck on their plate.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New Chapter In Your Life

Don't let your past rule your future.  It is time to move on and move forward.

Plant Strong Cookbooks

Here are two cookbooks that we use at home.  We have found their recipes to be easy to make and we have enjoyed all the meals we have created so far. 
 These cookbooks show you how healthy eating doesn't have to be tasteless and boring.  Frequently, I have patients that tell me that they don't know how to get themselves or their kids to eat healthier. These cookbooks will give you some direction on how to make your meals more healthy. 
The first one is "Happy Herbivore" by Lindsay Nixon. CLICK HERE to learn more about this cookbook.

The second one is "Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook". CLICK HERE to learn more about this cookbook.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


*Casie Here*
I have to be honest. I have not made Enchilidas since we have gone meat free. We recently got two new vegan cookbooks and these were in there, so I thought I would try them. 
 They actually tasted really, really good. I changed it a little bit, just cause that's what I do. The kids loved them too.
 It did take a good chunk of time, but it was worth it.
2 Beans - black & kidney
Black olives on top
homemade enchilida sauce on top

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I created this video over a month ago and just realized I never posted it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why Go Vegetarian or (Better Yet) Vegan

CLICK HERE to watch a video by Michael Gregor, M.D. (about an hour long) that discusses ways to reduce the risk of the top 15 causes of death.  When people ask me why my family and I eat a plant-based diet, I am going to just refer them to this video.  It will be worth your time, I promise.  Very informative!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best Beverage to Drink

On a daily basis, our family consumes green and black tea as well as matcha, but after watching THIS VIDEO I went out to buy some hibiscus tea.  

I found only a couple of brands at Whole Foods and I purchased The Republic of Tea's Hibiscus Superflower Tea as I really like their brand of teas.  This container has 36 tea bags for $9.99, or .28 cents per cup.  I brewed the tea hot but preferred it with ice and a packet of Stevia for sweetness.  The taste was very good, had a tropical taste and reminded me of one of the flavors by Crystal Light iced tea.   This Hibiscus Tea is caffeine-free so that means the kids will be drinking this, too.

When I ask my patients if they drink plenty of water, many respond that they don't like the taste of water or they report that they just don't drink much water.  This tea is a great way to increase their water intake, replace other sugary or nutrient poor drinks and reap the amazing antioxidant power of this great drink.   It is also cheaper than bottled water, soda, and energy drinks.  I like that it can be cold or hot brewed and has a great flavor.

** Make sure you read THESE SIDE EFFECTS of drinking hibiscus tea.  Thanks to B.H. for bringing this to my attention!

Click HERE to view The Republic of Tea's website.  They make some of my favorite bagged teas, even though we prefer loose leaf tea.


Monday, October 8, 2012

A Great Video for the Little Ones:

Home Screenings

Did you know that hypertension (high blood pressure) affects about 1 in 4 adults and diabetes affects about 1 in 12 of the American population?  Many of you reading this post could have diabetes, hypertension or both and not even know it.  When was the last time you made an appointment with your medical doctor for a physical?  If it has been over 12 months since your last physical, then I would highly recommend making an appointment with your medical doctor as soon as possible to review your health status.
As an optometrists, I work closely with both diabetics and individuals with high blood pressure due to the association of these diseases with the eye.  It is very important that everyone have their eyes dilated at least once a year, even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes.  Optometrists can identify early changes in your eye health that can be the effect of undiagnosed high blood pressure or diabetes.  If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, optometrists can make sure these diseases are not affecting your ocular health.
I believe we should be doing everything possible to avoid acquiring high blood pressure and/or diabetes.  So, what are some things you can do to detect if you may have high blood pressure or diabetes?  In my opinion, every household should have a blood pressure monitor and a glucose meter (to measure blood sugar levels) even if you are not hypertensive or diabetic.  Although using these devices allow you to monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure, they DO NOT replace an annual physical with a medical doctor.  These devices are relatively inexpensive and can be acquired at your local pharmacy or online.
I would recommend that non-diabetics check their blood sugar multiple times during the week both before and after eating and exercise.  I would recommend checking your blood pressure at random times of the day but especially when under stress. 
It is amazing to see how foods, stress and sickness can affect your blood sugar and your blood pressure.  Knowing how your body responds to various foods, stress and sickness will motivate you to change your habits.
Too many people rely solely on a scale to monitor their health progress.  If someone is improving their diet and exercise routine and they don't see improvements on their weight, they can get discouraged easily and fall back to their old unhealthy patterns.  Seeing improvements in your blood sugar and blood pressure following improved diet and exercise will keep you motivated to remain with your program even if you are not seeing immediate results on the scale. 
Click HERE to view a great article about how to check your blood pressure and HERE  to view an article about having your blood sugar checked.

Remember, checking your blood sugar and blood pressure at home does not replace the need to see your medical doctor at least annually.   Also, have your eyes dilated annually by your optometrist even if you don't have any symptoms or complaints. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Homemade Popcicles

I know we are sliding into fall and this really should be a summer post. I don't know about your kids, but mine like Pocicles all year round. I wanted to find a healthier, more nutritious (and cheaper) alternative to the store bought ones. Now the ones we got were the low sugar Edy's brand fruit bars. I didn't think they were really that unhealthy, but they were quite expensive. And making them myself, I can control the sugar and ingredients.

There are TONS of homemade recipes online. I am trying a few to see how the kids like them. I will give the recipes and reviews as I try different ones. 
 Now, you can use fresh fruit, but I didn't want to waste all our fresh fruit to make Popcicles, so I used frozen fruit. I had a bag of organic frozen whole strawberries. I put those in a small sauce pan with a tiny bit of water and 'unthawed them' over medium heat. I added a little bit of honey (maybe a tablespoon or so). After the strawberries were unthawed and simmered with the honey. I transferred that to the blender and added 1 small container of Coconut Milk Yogurt in Pina Colada flavor (my favorite by the way). I blended that all up and poured it into the Popsicle containers. Popped them in the freezer and they were done. 
 Our daughter is a Popsicle expert and fanatic. This was going to be the true test. If she liked them, I would be able to make our own and slowly move away from the store bought ones. She loved them and didn't have any complaints. She actually thinks that is pretty cool that mom made them. 
 I am going to try some different fruits and change up the ingredients a little with my next ones. So stay tuned!!!

Happy Popsicle making!!!