Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Engine 2 Diet" Author Rip Esselstyn

Plant-based firefighters including Rip Esselstyn, author of "Engine 2 Diet"
You may recognize Rip Esselstyn from the documentaries, "Forks Over Knives" and "Engine 2 Diet".  Both of these can be viewed on Netflix.
Interesting how the dietitian shown in this video is "funded by the meat industry".
For what it is worth, the dietitian shown in the video talks about being deprived while on a plant-based diet, however, I have never consumed such flavorful food as I have since we went to a plant-based lifestyle.

Age 71 Bodybuider. By the way, he's vegan.

Jim Morris, vegan body-builder and former Mr. New York (1966), Mr. California (1970) and Mr. Universe (1977). 
He became a vegetarian at 50 and a vegan at age 65.

Martina Navratilova Eats a Plant Based Diet

Diabetes and Vegan Diet

Former President and Vegan, Bill Clinton

 Here is a video of former President Bill Clinton discussing his conversion to veganism:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Diabetes Videos

How To Prevent Diabetes Video:
How To Treat Diabetes Video:
How To Reverse Diabetes Video:


PCRM | Fish

Here is a great article about the issues with fish consumption:  PCRM | Fish

PCRM | Survey Finds Americans Lack Basic Nutrition Information

Very interesting article, survey and survey results:

PCRM | Survey Finds Americans Lack Basic Nutrition Information

Another Interesting Article

Fat Matters for Type 1 Diabetes

March 26, 2013
Fatty foods tend to increase blood sugars for people with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study published by the American Diabetes Association. Studying type 1 diabetes patients at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, researchers provided 48-hours’ worth of meals with identical carbohydrate and protein content but varying in fat content (10 grams vs. 60 grams). The high-fat meals required an average of 42 percent more insulin in order to bring blood sugar under control.
Although people with diabetes focus on the carbohydrate content of their meals, research has shown that reducing fat, rather than carbohydrate, can improve type 2 diabetes. The new study extends this finding to type 1 diabetes. The authors suggest that nutrition education and counseling for people with type 1 diabetes should look beyond the current carbohydrate-based methods.
Wolpert HA, Smith SA, Atakov-Castillo A, Steil GM. Dietary fat acutely increases glucose concentrations and insulin requirements in patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2013;36:810-816.

Interesting Research Findings

Low-Fat Milk Does Not Prevent or Reverse Childhood Obesity

March 20, 2013
The choice of low-fat over whole milk does not lower obesity rates in children, according to a new study published in Archives of Disease in Childhood. Researchers examined milk consumption and body weight in 10,700 children at ages 2 and 4 as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Those children who drank 1 percent or skim milk were more likely to be overweight or obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations to choose low-fat milk as a way to manage weight appear ineffective. Although skim milk is somewhat lower in calories, compared with whole milk, it remains highly caloric, similar to soda. The authors note that milk should not be the only consideration in obesity prevention and suggest other risk factors, such as parental guidance, high-fat diets, and lack of exercise, play important roles.
Scharf RJ, Demmer RT, DeBoer MD. Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers. Arch Dis Child. 2013;0:1-6.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Inspirational Short Film

I came across this video and thought it was worth sharing:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

23 Insane Things You Should Know About Snack Foods

CLICK HERE to view an interesting article by Rachel Sanders regarding information derived from Michael Moss' book, "Salt, Sugar, Fat".  It is frustrating that this is the food that fills many grocery carts and is paving the way to much of the sickness and disease in America.

Knowing this information, are you still inclined to feed yourself and your family these products?  At what point do you realize that this food is the problem?  At what point do you draw a line in sand and no longer purchase these products?


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vegan blogs & recipes

*Casie Here*
I found some great Vegan Blogs with some wonderful recipes that I can't wait to try! I thought I would share with you!
Vegan Mother Hubbard HERE.
I like that she has photos with almost everything AND all her Toddler meal ideas are very helpful for my kids and school lunches!!!

THIS site at Carrie on Vegan was cool because it has a lot of how to videos that I want to check out. How to make a tofu burger, how to make Almond Milk, etc...

Oh She Glows HERE I like how she has a category of her favorite recipes that her readers have loved. Its nice to know other people have tried it and loved it. Makes it easier to choose what to cook out of everything that looks good.

That should be enough for a good start. I am excited to try a bunch of these out and I will let you know what we thought and how mine turned out too! 
Thanks for reading!!!

"Hungry For Change"

For a limited time only, between March 21st - March 31st, 2013, the documentary "Hungry For Change" is available online for viewing for free. 
CLICK HERE to view this documentary for free.
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Video 1: Problem Video 2: Solution

This is an interesting video about what happens during a heart attack.  Below is a video discussing the best way to reduce or eliminate your risk for a heart attack. 
Video 1: 
Video 2:


For More Inspiring and Love Quotes ♥ Check Out Our Website >> << ♥ ♥
I was unable to post this video in the usual manner, so I am going to have you CLICK HERE to view it. This is a video exhibiting the amazing talent of a piano player covering one of my all time favorite songs, "With Or Without You" by U2. 
I find videos like this to be so inspiring and motivational.  This musician has all the reason in the world to make an excuse of why he can't play the piano, rather he excels at it.  I don't know if someone with full function of their fingers could play this cover any better.   Even if they could, I would rather watch and listen to this gentleman's version. 



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cholesterol Fighters:

Can you predict which of these reduce or increase LDL (bad) cholesterol?

IQ of Vegetarian Children

I've discussed this video with a few individuals so I wanted to share this with all of you.
Here is an interesting video regarding the IQ of vegetarian children:

The Greatest Gift A Man Can Give a Woman

(Note: The writing of this post was very late last night and I published this prior to editing.  Please excuse misspellings and grammatical errors.  -Vernon)

Okay all you men out there....what is the greatest gift you can offer your wives or significant others?
A gift certificate for a spa treatment?
A box of chocolates?
Sorry, this isn't it either.
The absolute BEST gift you can give your health. 
Do you realize how much your family worries about your health?  Your wife and family members love and care for you so much that they don't want to experience a life without you present in it. 
Take a moment to reflect on what your family's life would be like without you here anymore.  I had to ask you to think about this scenario but your wife or significant other thinks about it often.  Possibly daily.  They think about this often not because they are pessimistic or because they don't have other worries, but because you are everything to them.  Your absence in the future can lead to helplessness, anger, confusion and pain.
How do you react when your wife or family member suggests that you lose weight, eat smaller portions, start going to the gym or schedule an annual physical?  Do you accept this in a constructive matter?  Do you get defensive or avoid the conversation?
You may interpret these suggestions as nagging, but your health can provide one of the greatest securities to a woman and equally the potential lack of health/future health can create the greatest insecurity.
Do you understand that your health is not just about you?  It's about being there for your family, now and for in the future.
So, what can you do now to show how much you care and love your family? Here are some "gifts" you can give your loved ones:
If you haven't had a physical in the last 12 months, schedule one now.
Suggest going for walks and other forms of exercise.  Consider a gym membership for the family and attend frequently.
Assist with meal planning and preparation.  Be open to new foods and recipes, you will be surprised by all the flavorful food you have been missing out on. 
Identify and address abnormal or suspicious health symptoms and signs.
Set a goal to lose enough weight to reduce your waist size by 4 inches.
Buy a blood pressure cuff and blood glucose meter.  Check often and journal bring your results to show your physician. 
Drink more water and less soda/alcohol.
Avoid using additional salt on your foods.
Learn about meditation and other ways to relieve stress.
Participate with grocery shopping.
Read this blog often for inspiration and ideas for healthy living.
Look up healthy recipes online that appeal to you and make at least one of those meals for the family.
Know how to manage anger.
Educate yourself about healthy living by reading books or searching the web on the topic.
Replace watching television with doing yard work or spending quality time with your family.
Go out to eat at a restaurant that specializes in salads.  Depending one the number of family members, order various salads and eat family style, eating a sample of each of the different salads.
Grill vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus and eggplant.
Watch the documentary, "Forks Over Knives".
Suggest going for a walk on a trail, the downtown pedestrian bridge or park.
Have a competition amongst your friends to see who can lower their cholesterol the most in 6 months using diet and exercise.
Be proactive about health and not reactive to disease.
Make one evening meal a week that is vegetarian or vegan.
Use any of the existing exercise equipment you have at home. 
Consider investing in exercise equipment at home.
Know your family health history and learn more about the diseases and conditions that are prevalent in your family tree.
Eat more green leafy vegetables.
Leave work at work.  Bring home a smile and happiness.
Ask what you can do to reduce your wife's concerns about your health.
Surround yourself with friends and family that live healthy lifestyles.
If you snore, talk to your physician about setting up a sleep study.  One of the best things that happened in my life was to finally get a C-PAP machine to treat my sleep apnea.  I wake up refreshed, I am more pleasant to be around, I end my day with energy, I no longer have headaches and I no longer deal from the insomnia associated with sleep apnea.  My wife also gets a much better nights sleep since she doesn't have to hear my snoring all night long.
Think about what you want your life to be like when you are 65, 75 and 85.
Talk to a widow who lost their husband years ago and appreciate how much they still are affected by their loss to this day.
Realize how many more quality years you can add to your life by becoming more healthy.
Realize that it is only because your wife loves you that she cares enough about your health and longevity.  On the flip side, be a bit concerned if she doesn't show any concern about your health.
Ask yourself what you can do to improve your health, your life and your attitude towards healthy living.
Are you willing to do 5, 10 or all of these things?
Give your family the greatest gift of all......a lifetime of YOU!

A New Ending


No Vision

Famous Failures

Most people that are successful in life aren't just lucky or have everything handed to them, rather, they are the ones that continue to persist at achieving their goals despite many failures along the way. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fat In Chicken Meat

You may recall that I recently posted a video about how much sodium is found in chicken meat.  The conclusion in this video amazed me.   If you missed that video, you can find it here:

Now, add to all that sodium found in chicken with the high fat content and you now have a menu item that you really need to monitor how much you are consuming.  Watch this video that talks about how much fat is now in a serving of chicken:

So, are you are having chicken with your supper tonight? How healthy is that choice now that you saw those videos?  Could all this sodium and fat be contributing to your elevated blood pressure and expanding waistline?  Could all that sodium be contributing to your dry eyes? 

When Casie and I were consuming meat, we chose chicken frequently over red meat and other protein sources because we thought the former was low in fat and we assumed the only sodium the meat received was from our seasoning in the kitchen.

I wish we would have known about the sodium and fat content of chicken meat because I probably would have consumed less of the meat at meal time than I previously did.

As we have repeated here on the blog, we are not out to convert you to veganism/vegetarianism.  Rather, we want you to be healthy and knowledgeable about things like this.  If you chose to consume chicken meat, just be aware of how much sodium and fat is found in it and you may want to alter the amount you consume and you may want to hold off on adding any additional sodium to the meat.  As you saw above, it already has plenty.

I believe that one of the major factors that contributed to my weight loss so far has been from reducing or eliminating high (animal) fat and high sodium foods.

Asian Avocado Raw Salad

*Casie Here*
So, I have been craving some healthy raw salad lately. (I almost had to take a road trip down to Kansas City to Cafe Gratitude). I had Vernon get me some ingredients at Whole Foods today. 
 I started with about 4 leaves of Dinosaur Kale. I ripped it in small pieces off the stem and looking back I think it would have been better to remove it from the stem and then shred it with my knife into thinner strips. I just like small pieces better (personal preference).
 LOVE my macro camera lens!!!! So beautiful.

I also tore a head of Romaine Lettuce.
 Does this pattern look familiar? Think blood vessels. Isn't that funny how things in nature mimic each other? There are so many fruits and vegetables that correspond to things within our bodies that they help improve. (ex. walnuts look like a little brain ~ they have have fats that are beneficial for the brain. etc..)

 The back of the Kale.

Removing the stem.

The lettuce part. Washed up with vinegar and water, rinsed and spun out. 
 2 Carrots. Washed but not peeled. We recently learned that you shouldn't peel carrots. The best nutrients live just below the surface, and if you peel it, you are stripping that away. We just rinse in vinegar water, scrub a little with your hand and rinse with plain water, then you are ready to go. 
 I made this Avocado dressing. So SIMPLE. And so very good.
1 Avocado, 1 TBS Olive Oil, 1 cup plus 1 TBS water,  2 TBS lemon juice (*TIP* I buy a bag of lemons with intention to use them, but inevitably don't, so just before they start to go bad I juice all of them with a reamer and freeze it in ice cube trays. Each cube of juice is exactly 1 TBS. NO WASTE!!!), 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black fresh ground pepper and a pinch of Cayenne pepper (I did 2 tiny shakes of the jar and should have only done one). It was just a tad too spicy (we are weak), but I did like the kick it had. Blend it all together in the blender. It made like 2 cups!!!! I had an empty, clean Coconut oil jar and it fit perfectly in there and can be sealed to keep from getting brown and going bad too fast.
I made my regular Asian Salad. 
1 head of red cabbage chopped up into small bite size pieces (this was just about the time when I tried to slice off the top part of my thumb ~ Note: careful with all the chopping and cutting)
3 different colors of peppers (about half of each one), chopped small
4 green onions, cut small on the bias
2 carrots sliced thin with a mandolin
Handful of Cilantro washed, dried and chopped
1 bag of bean sprouts (mung), washed and chopped smaller
I would have probably put some chopped cucumber in there too if I had it, but the one I had was moldy. : (

 I soaked about 1/4 cup dried Arame Seaweed in cold water for 5 minutes (directions on the back of the package). Then chopped it up into smaller pieces and threw it in the salad. It doesn't really have that strong of a taste, but lots of great minerals and nutrients.
 This is the re-hydrated seaweed.
So I put some of the lettuce mix with the some of the Asian Salad mix and added a little Avocado dressing. I added a few chopped mini tomatoes on top and it really made a delicious difference!
It was SO good. Just a few tweaks and it will be perfect. Hope you try it and enjoy! I am teaching myself how to 'cook' more raw foods. I will share my ingredient finds and let you know what works and what doesn't. We will learn together!!! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods

So many foods in the typical American diet cause inflammation.  It has been well documented that inflammation plays a major role in aging and health.  Anything you can do to reduce your body's inflammatory levels can benefit you in the short and long run. 
Eat foods that decrease inflammation, not increase it!
Here is a list of foods known for their anti-inflammatory effects:

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Life Is Like A Cup Of Coffee

I came across this video on YouTube and thought I would share with you all.

Who knew coffee could be so inspiring? 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

This video just motivates me more to create a garden and sharing the whole experience from planting to consuming with my children.  Looks like our family has a new summer project.  I love this video and I hope you do, too.  Please be aware there is mild profanity in the video but the content is worth watching.

I love the part where he states, "kids that grow kale, eat that grow tomatoes, eat tomatoes".  It is so true that kids that are involved with growing the food, baking/cooking/preparing the food will be more likely to assist you in consuming the resulting product.  



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dinner Tonight

*Casie Here*
 So, this is what I threw together for dinner tonight. I needed a very fast dinner that the kids would eat. I made the box of couscous (follow the directions on the box) in a separate pot. Chopped the onion and sauteed in olive oil. Added the chopped zucchini.
 Rinsed and drained a can of black beans & drained mushrooms. 
 I added some TVP. Textured Vegetable Protein. 

 And sprinkled in some frozen collard greens at the end for more veggies! It was hot enough that they warmed up quick.

Mixed it all together with the couscous.
 Randomness. I don't even have a name for this dish. But the kids ate it and Vernon thought it was really good. I have a cold and couldn't taste it. But it got good reviews.

Spread The Word To End The Word


This is Vollen. He is loving, funny, sweet, cuddly and…….
he has Down Syndrome. When you use the words retard or retarded as synonyms for stupid or idiot, you are saying that all people with intellectual disabilities are stupid, and that’s definitely not true. Regardless if you meant it that way or not, using those terms doesn’t just hurt people with intellectual disabilities, but it is also heartbreaking to us as their family and friends. Next time you have the urge to use those words, look at his beautiful face and hopefully it will make you think twice and break your habit.
Peace & Love

Pledge to stop using those words here:

YOU Are Not Alone

Thank you to all the followers of this blog.  Even if you are opposed to some of the ideas or topics, I hope that
just a few of the messages we share here make your quality of life better and keep you returning often
to see what we will be posting next.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sweet Potato Shepards Pie

*Casie Here*
 I don't know what made me want to make this dish tonight, but I guess it just popped in my head and we had all the ingredients, so I made it and it was really good. First I boiled 3 big sweet potatoes that had been chopped up in salted water. 
 Chopped up 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks, 1 parsnip, 1 onion, 5 fresh baby portabella mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves & 1 zucchini. I sauteed all of that in a little olive oil. At the end I added a little bit of frozen mixed vegetables (about 1 cup worth) that had corn, green beans, carrots and peas.

I added 1 cup of TVP. What's TVP???? Textured Vegetable Protein. It comes dehydrated. You re-hydrate it with hot water. It acts like your meat in any dish. We really like the taste of it in our house. It's fine and fluffy kind of like couscous.

 I also added a can of rinsed kidney beans.
 Spread the vegetable mixture on the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 pan.
I drained the water off the softened potatoes. Mixed it with a little earth balance 'butter' and cashew cheese that I had leftover from the other day, but you could use some original unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk or soy milk (do not use vanilla flavored). Even some vegan cream cheese or sour cream would work. 
Place in the oven at 350 for 30 mins.
I ended up having so much extra I was able to make two pans and froze one to cook at another time. 
 *If you are putting one in the oven that has been frozen, put it in the oven before you turn it on. This insures that the dish will not explode from going from too cold to extremely hot. I would put it in for 60 mins. and check it. If it's still cold in the middle, put it in for another 10-15 mins and check it again. Repeat if necessary.
Seriously, EVERYONE loved this dish.


Tonight, we had collard greens with our meal and we had kale in our smoothie for our breakfast.   Everyone in our household had their greens today, did everyone in your family get theirs?
We usually get fresh organic produce, but I was interested in tasting the frozen variety(see pictures far below).  The taste of the kale in the smoothie was not even detected and the collard greens went well mixed into our evening meal.