Saturday, November 24, 2012

FREE Caribbean Feast - Our Last Kickoff for the Year!

Come Feast with Us!  We are going to revisit all the Health Revolution challenges for the year during our Caribbean-style kickoff on Sunday, December 9, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the community center: 

Health Ministries


“Healthy Cooking Caribbean Style

Learn how to prepare plant-based meals

 using flavorful herbs and spices!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


RSVP by December 2nd to

See all yuh there, eh!



Friday, November 2, 2012

November Challenge: Junk the Junk Food!

Join us this month as we work on eliminating the junk food in our diets!   There will not be a kickoff for this month's challenge. 

Junk foods contribute lots of calories, but little nutritional value. They can be very addictive and are low in satiation value - you still don't feel full after eating them! A new study even reveals that every single junk food meal damages your arteries. Read the following article from the Montreal Heart Institute:


New study reveals that every single junk food meal damages your arteries Mediterranean meals do not have the same effect

Montreal and Toronto, October 30, 2012 – A single junk food meal – composed mainly of saturated fat – is detrimental to the health of the arteries, while no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids, according to researchers at the University of Montreal-affiliated ÉPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute. The Mediterranean meal may even have a positive effect on the arteries. The findings are being presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, which runs in Toronto until Wednesday, by the head of the study, Dr. Anil Nigam, Director of Research at the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre (ÉPIC) and associate professor at the university’s Faculty of Medicine. Bad fat vs. good fat Dr. Nigam undertook the study to compare the effects of junk food and typical Mediterranean meal on the vascular endothelium: the inner lining of the blood vessels. By measuring endothelial function, it is possible to determine how easily the arteries will dilate after a temporary, five-minute occlusion, following the consumption of the two types of meals. This is a very interesting analysis for researchers to perform as endothelial function is closely linked to the long-term risk of developing coronary artery disease. The study also revealed that participants with higher blood triglyceride levels seemed to benefit more from the healthy meals. Their arteries responded better to the Mediterranean meal compared to people with low triglyceride levels. "We believe that a Mediterranean-type diet may be particularly beneficial for individuals with high triglyceride levels, such as patients with metabolic syndrome, precisely because it could help keep arteries healthy," Dr. Nigam said. Mediterranean meal vs. junk food meal

The results were established in 28 non-smoking men, who ate the Mediterranean-type meal first and then the junk food-type meal one week later. Before beginning, the men underwent an ultrasound of the antecubital artery at the elbow crease after fasting for 12-hours to assess their baseline endothelial function. The researchers then tested the effects of each meal. The first was composed of salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil, of which 51% of total calories came from fat (mostly monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats.) The second meal consisted of a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, and a slice of cheese, and three hash browns, for a total of 58% of total calories from fat: extremely rich in saturated fatty acids

and containing no omega-3s. At two hours and four hours after each meal, participants underwent further ultrasounds to assess how the food had impacted their endothelial function.

Dr. Nigam and his team found that after eating the junk food meal, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when in the fasting state. In contrast, the arteries were found to dilate normally and maintain good blood flow after the Mediterranean-type meal.

"These results will positively alter how we eat on a daily basis. Poor endothelial function is one of the most significant precursors of atherosclerosis. It is now something to think about at every meal," Dr. Nigam said.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recipes, Video, Pictures from Children's Natural Health Expo

Did you miss our Children's Natural Health Expo?    If so, you can watch Dr. Popper's keynote and view pictures of the Expo at (scroll down on the page).  
Below are the recipes that Whole Foods Market demonstrated and shared at the Expo.  If you would like to receive a notice of events for the Cary Whole Foods Market's monthly Health Starts Here program, please send a message to

Mango with Sticky Rice
  • 3 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari
  • 4 ripe mangoes

1.    Cook the brown rice until tender  

2.    Meanwhile, place the coconut milk in a heavy pot and heat over medium heat until hot. Do not boil. Add the honey and tamari.

3.    When the rice is tender, turn it out into a bowl and pour 1 cup of the hot coconut milk over; reserve the rest and only add later if need be. Stir to mix the liquid into the rice, then let stand for 20 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

4.    Meanwhile, peel the mangoes. The mango pit is flat and you want to slice the mango flesh off the pit as cleanly as possible. One at a time, lay the mangoes on a narrow side on a cutting board and slice lengthwise about 1/2 inch from the center — your knife should cut just along the flat side of the pit; if it strikes the pit, shift over a fraction of an inch more until you can slice downward. Repeat on the other side of the pit, giving you two hemispherical pieces of mango. Lay each mango half flat and slice thinly crosswise.

To assemble, take a tablespoon of the sticky rice and form it into an oval shape.  Take a slice of the mango and wrap it around the center of the rice.

This rice recipe can be made in large batches and frozen or kept in the fridge for a week to go with great plant strong combinations. Have fun with it!


Energy Balls (aka: Donut Holes)


1 ¾ Cups Almonds

2 tsp Frontier Vanilla Syrup

2 cups dried Pineapple

2 cups pitted dates

¼ cup or more hot water

1/3 cup plus ¼ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut

cacao nibs (optional)


 First finely grind the almonds in a food processor or the like. There may be larger bits and that is fine. Place ground almonds in a bowl.  Combine vanilla, dates and pineapple in food processor.  Add the water as needed to blend dates and pineapple into a paste. Once blended add mixture to almonds, also combining the 1/3 cup of coconut and mixing ingredients all together thoroughly. Roll mixture into small balls.   Place extra coconut and optional cacao nibs on a plate and roll the balls in for a final coating. Bars could be made instead of balls by placing parchment paper in a pan and pressing the mixture down to a ½ inch to 1 inch thickness and then place in fridge until it firms up a bit to cut into desired rectangles and then wrapping in plastic wrap for on the go snacks.

You can have fun with this and change out the dried fruit for other dried fruit and even the almonds for almond butter.

Fruit Explosion Smoothie 

These measurements are approximate so adjust as needed.

1 ½ cups ice

1 cup green organic grapes

1 cup of kale

1cup of baby spinach

½ or a navel orange (peeled)

½ of an apple (sweet, any kind)

1 slice of pineapple (fresh)

3 dates optional


Place ingredients in a Vitamix or a blender in order listed to help with the blending process. It takes about a minute or two to blend everything smooth. Drink right while freshly blended. Makes about four smoothies per recipe.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On October 9th: Best Weigh - Nutrition and Weight Management Program

Have you tried dieting only to gain back the pounds you lost in spite of your hard work?

With Best Weigh there is no dieting — you lose weight on a maintenance program.

Best Weigh was developed by Elvin Adams, MD, a specialist in internal medicine.   Thousands have lost weight successfully through Best Weigh. 

Best Weigh is based on the concept that behavior change is possible —  especially with God’s help. 

With Best Weigh, you learn how to battle food addictions by depending on God daily for strength.

Learn how to eat better and wiser and how to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule to achieve weight loss and improved health. 
The Best Weigh program includes eight sessions, with lectures by medical professionals, and two cooking classes by a Food for Life chef.  The first session begins next Tuesday, October 9th, at 6:30 pm.  
For more information or to reserve your seat, click here.

Don't Shake the Salt - Our Challenge for October

There will not be a kickoff for our challenge this month and November due to our Best Weigh program, which begins on Tuesday, October 9th.   However, please keep checking our blog throughout the month for useful tips on using less salt!

Please read the following information adapted from an online article by RedOrbit:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences say the average adult needs no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily to regulate the balance of fluids in the body.

Robert Stark, a cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiovascular Prevention Program at Greenwich Hospital, says the average American ingests triple that.

The Mayo Clinic says Americans take in about 77 percent of their daily sodium from packaged and processed foods, compared to 5 percent added while cooking, 6 percent added while eating and 12 percent from natural sources.

Part of the problem lies in how the salt flavor is hidden, says Lisa Corrado, a nutritionist and personal chef who specializes in nutritional counseling through her business, The Eating Well Center in New Canaan.

Because sodium is added as a preservative, it is found in high doses in canned foods, frozen meals and restaurant food. "But people don’t think of the salt because it doesn’t taste too salty," she says.

Thinking about healthy sodium levels, and re-evaluating meal preparation and food shopping takes work, concedes Corrado, but good health depends on it.

Ask Kathy Kenyon, a Darien pediatric nurse whose husband had two heart attacks in 1989 and underwent heart transplant surgery more than five years ago.

"After his heart attack, I became conscious of the hidden sodium," says Kenyon. "Even a glass of milk, even skim, has 130 mg of sodium.

"I would make chili and use canned beef broth. Even the low-sodium is up there. That doesn’t include the natural salt from the chicken and the salt that you’re adding to it."

With the help of the "American Heart Association Cookbook," Kenyon learned to cut out much of the processed and canned food the family was used to eating. They learned to eat more fruit and vegetables as snacks. Today, much of what she makes is from scratch, and the family has discovered the flavors that were hidden by all the extra sodium.

Many find the disovery pleasing once their palates adjust, says Corrado.

Italian cuisine, says Marchetti, with its focus on natural ingredients used in homemade pastas, sauces, breads and soups, lends itself to celebrating natural flavors.

Corrado and Kenyon say there are ways to season without salt.

"The idea is to find a way to make flavors bigger and brighter, not to replace them," says Corrado, who lists lemon or orange juice, garlic powder, thyme, cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, curry powder, dill or paprika as alternatives.

"If you like food spicy, add some hot peppers," she suggests. "If you like it sweet, how about a little honey?"

Avoid bouillon cubes, cooking sherry or cooking wine, chili sauce, meat tenderizer, seasoned salts, soy sauce, steak sauce, tamari and Worcestershire sauce, says the American Heart Association.

When shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store, where produce is found, says Corrado. Select low-sodium or sodium-free alternatives — including spice mixes — wherever possible.

Be aware of such high-sodium culprits, say Stokes and Corrado, as canned broth and soup, lunch meats, frozen pizza, tomato juice, potato chips, pickles, pretzels, olives and ketchup.

"You must read the labels on everything," says Corrado. "Read the nutritional facts, not the marketing on the front."

For an item to be considered low-salt, says Milton Stokes, a Stamford dietitian and nutritionist, it should contain no more than 140 mg of sodium per serving. A low-salt claim on the front, explains Corrado, can mislead a consumer to believe the item is low-sodium when instead, it may only contain less sodium than its full-sodium match.

Offset the sodium in canned or prepared foods by draining and rinsing canned beans and opting for frozen fruit and vegetables over canned varieties. "Just toss out the sauce or spice packet if there is one," she says.

When baking, salt cannot be avoided, since it acts as a leavening agent. "It’s all chemistry," says Corrado. "That’s tough to take out. So I opt for, say, a fruit dessert with a crumble topping. It doesn’t need to rise."

Too much salt may still slip by, regardless of effort, says Corrado.

"Just drink more water," she says. "That naturally flushes the sodium."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 30th Children's Natural Health Expo - Don't Miss This One!

This will truly be an event you don't want to miss.   It's for the young AND young at heart!!!

The Health Ministries Department of the Raleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church in partnership with the Triangle's Whole Foods Markets brings to you this FREE, fun-filled, and informative event!

The purpose of this Expo is to promote healthy lifestyle practices, including good nutrition and physical activity,which contribute to optimal health. It is not the intention of the Expo to endorse alternative medicine, healing, or complementary medicine.

There will be exciting fitness activities for the whole family; plant-based food demos and samples; free health assessments and screenings for children and adults; drawings for great prizes from child-centered exhibitors; a wide variety of preventive healthcare information, programs, products, and services for children; and much, much more!
For more details, please visit our Expo website at

Handouts for "Kick the Caffeine Habit" Kickoff

If you missed the very informative and tasty kickoff for this month's challenge by Heaven Scent Wholistic Health, you can view the handout and the recipes here.   Also, if you are interested in learning more about their detox program, e-mail

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September Challenge: Kick the Caffeine Habit!

What would life be like without Starbucks, Dr. Pepper, and chocolate?   Come taste and see at our next Health Revolution kickoff on Tuesday, September 11th at 6:30 pm in our community center! 

Following is a useful article for those desiring to kick the caffeine habit:

How to Quit Caffeine

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

When well-known food expert Dr. Jean Mayer of Harvard University looks at coffee, he says, “I wish there was something I could say in defense of coffee, but aside from the taste I’m afraid there is really no good news.”

This lack of “good news” is persuading many users of caffeine drinks to look around for a way out.
Caffeine is a member of the same alkaloid group of chemicals as morphine, nicotine, cocaine, purines, and strychnine. These alkaloids are characterized by addictive properties.

There are some simple measures to use to help make the break from caffeine more pleasant.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be easy to quit using caffeine. These suggestions for quitting are simple and can be followed by anybody, but there is some effort required.
Follow these steps. Do not omit a single one. Your success or failure may hinge on the one you decide to leave out.

1. Make good use of any leisure time in your daily program. Idleness may produce the opportunity for self-indulgence. It tends to make bad habits harder to break. It may give one a distorted image of his worth.

2. Keep a diary in a notebook, recording your rating on each of these items. Often the very act of writing will have a helpful influence. Do not become discouraged by failure nor overconfident by immediate success. This is a serious matter.

3. Caffeine has the pharmacologic effect of stimulating the central nervous system. Further, it has the ability to cause addiction. Both of these features give caffeine withdrawal the characteristics of inducing cravings. Diet can be a major factor in handling cravings. For five days after beginning your program to quit caffeine, follow carefully these suggestions in diet:

First, overeating, even of the best diet, can cause a continuation of cravings, not only for caffeine, but also for many other harmful substances.

Second, nicotine in tobacco, and purines in meat are in the same family of chemicals with caffeine. Using any of these chemicals tends to prolong a craving for any other member of this group.

Third, vinegar, spices, a lot of liquid at mealtime, and hot pepper are irritating to the stomach. An irritable stomach leads to poor digestion, which can cause lack of self-control indirectly from the resulting altered metabolism.

Fourth, alcohol is not only a stomach irritant, but it also directly reduces self-control.

Fifth, high-quality nutrients produce a calming effect on the nervous system.

4. Caffeine use is often tied in with a sugar addiction. For five days all sugar must be strictly avoided. Since shifts in water balance may cause dehydration with the discontinuance of both caffeine and sugar, be sure to get 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. This practice will prevent the all-gone feeling and part of the sensation of hunger and fatigue that results from dehydration.

5. Almost everybody who stops using caffeine will experience drowsiness for a few days. Use a large, fairly stiff brush for a “brush massage” for natural stimulation. Start at the fingertips, then at the toes and take long slow strokes, brushing always toward the heart. Cover as much of your skin as you can reach, avoiding any skin lesions that might be irritated by the brush. Follow the massage with a cool shower.

6. It’s rare, but occasionally a person feels stimulation when stopping caffeine. For these persons the advice is to lie for 20 to 60 minutes in a bathtub full of water at neutral temperature, neither hot nor cold. Test it with a drop on the wrist. It should feel neither warm nor cool when the temperature is right. Be very careful to get the temperature correct. Both cool and warm baths are stimulating.

7. Drinking beverages or lots of liquid food with meals dilutes the digestive juice. It is well to learn to take meals without any kind of drink. If one eats fruit or the succulent vegetables in abundance, the stomach inflammation that calls for so much liquid with meals will gradually subside.

8. The person who uses caffeine often has a well-ingrained neuromuscular habit. He will feel uncomfortable without a glass or cup nearby. Such a person can best replace his dependency with a glass of cool water. An occasional herb tea is all right, if one does not overdo it.

9. Some of the most annoying symptoms are because of the alteration of the chemistry of the forebrain. Perhaps for years the nervous system has responded to the familiar presence of caffeine. In its absence several unpleasant sensations may develop, such as dizziness, backache, visual disturbances, etc. Time is the best remedy for these. As soon as the biochemistry returns to normal, these symptoms will disappear.

10. The most common withdrawal symptom of caffeine is that of headache. It may have different patterns in different individuals, but will almost always be relieved with a hot foot bath or a deep breathing exercise or both. For people who do not have diabetes or known reduction of arterial blood flow to the legs and feet, the 30 minute hot foot bath is a good treatment for headache. Keep a cold cloth on the forehead, face, or throat. The deep breathing exercise is simple. Just take a long, deep breath and hold it to the count of 20, release it, hold it out to the count of 10. Repeat up to 50 times.
It would be helpful for a person going through these steps to have a “buddy” to back him up. If you know somebody in the health professions who has had experience in assisting others to change their lifestyle, perhaps you would want to make that person your “buddy,” at least during the first five days of your program.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Egg-Free Cornbread Recipe

Try this egg-less version of wholesome corn bread and tell us what you think on the blog!

1 cup whole grain cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup nondairy, unsweetened milk
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses OR Grade B maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Mix ingredients together in a bowl.   Pour batter into lightly oiled 8-inch round pan.   Bake for 20 minutes.

Adapted from Simply Vegan by Debra Wasserman.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Video of "Intro to Adventism and Our Views on Vegetarianism"

If you missed the special August 4th event "An Intro to Adventism and Our Views on Vegetarianism," presented by Dr. Trevor Lewis and Dr. Amelyn Olson, you can view the video here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is Smoking "Healthier" Than Eating Egg Yolks?

Egg Yolk Consumption Almost as Bad as Smoking When It Comes to Atherosclerosis, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2012) — Newly published research led by Western's Dr. David Spence shows that eating egg yolks accelerates atherosclerosis in a manner similar to smoking cigarettes.

Surveying more than 1200 patients, Spence found regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking when it comes to increased build-up of carotid plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. The research is published online in the journal Atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis, also called coronary artery disease, is a disorder of the arteries where plaques, aggravated by cholesterol, form on the inner arterial wall. Plaque rupture is the usual cause of most heart attacks and many strokes.
The study looked at data from 1,231 men and women, with a mean age of 61.5, who were patients attending vascular prevention clinics at London Health Sciences Centre's University Hospital. Ultrasound was used to establish a measurement of total plaque area and questionnaires were filled out regarding their lifestyle and medications including pack-years of smoking (number of packs per day of cigarettes times the number of years), and the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg yolk-years).
The researchers found carotid plaque area increased linearly with age after age 40, but increased exponentially with pack-years of smoking and egg yolk-years. In other words, compared to age, both tobacco smoking and egg yolk consumption accelerate atherosclerosis. The study also found those eating three or more yolks a week had significantly more plaque area than those who ate two or fewer yolks per week.
"The mantra 'eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people' has confused the issue. It has been known for a long time that a high cholesterol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular events, and egg yolks have a very high cholesterol content. In diabetics, an egg a day increases coronary risk by two to five-fold," said Spence, a professor of Neurology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the director of its Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre at the Robarts Research Institute.
"What we have shown is that with aging, plaque builds up gradually in the arteries of Canadians, and egg yolks make it build up faster -- about two-thirds as much as smoking. In the long haul, egg yolks are not okay for most Canadians."
Spence added the effect of egg yolk consumption over time on increasing the amount of plaque in the arteries was independent of sex, cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, body mass index and diabetes. And while he says more research should be done to take in possible confounders such as exercise and waist circumference, he stresses that regular consumption of egg yolk should be avoided by persons at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Western Ontario.
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
  1. J. David Spence, David J.A. Jenkins, Jean Davignon. Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque. Atherosclerosis, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.07.032University of Western Ontario (2012, August 13). Egg yolk consumption almost as bad as smoking when it comes to atherosclerosis, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 15, 2012, from­ /releases/2012/08/120813155640.htm
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August Challenge: Let Go the "Egg-O"

Whether for ethical, allergen, or other health reasons, let us try going egg-free this month!     We will not have a kickoff for our challenge this month.  However, check this blog for egg-free recipes and tips like the following that were adapted from WikiHow:

How to Replace Eggs in Your Cooking


  1. Work out what you want your egg replacement to do. Do you want to replace a whole egg, or just the yolk or just the white? This will help determine what to use in place of the egg product. Eggs have different uses - sometimes they are used for binding, sometimes for leavening (making lighter/fluffier) or sometimes just for the taste. You should also try to be aware of which of these elements you are trying to replace.


  2. Fruit makes an excellent replacement for eggs - try bananas, apple puree or any high pectin content fruit. Usually 1/4 cup of banana will replace 1 egg.

  3. Tofu is fabulous as a replacement, as it will take on the flavour of whatever you are cooking it with. As a general rule, 1/4 cup of tofu will replace 1 egg. Whip or beat it before adding it to the recipe. Make sure to use silken tofu - firmer types will not blend well. You can also use 1/4 cup of soy yogurt per egg.

  4. Grind 1 tbsp white or brown chia seeds or whole flax seeds, ground, and combine with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Make sure that the mixture has gelled before using it. Some people recommend simmering the two items together to thicken this mix.

  5. For a replacement for just the egg white, mix 1 tbsp plain agar powder (available from health food stores/Chinese stores etc) with 1 tbsp water. Whip together, chill it and then whip it again.

  6. Another egg replacement is 2 tbsp water mixed with 1 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of baking powder. Mix together well before adding.

  7. In savory recipes, such as a vegetarian loaf, try binding agents like mashed potato, tomato paste or rolled oats. These agents help to thicken and gel with the other ingredients. Also bread crumbs, cornmeal/flour, arrowroot and whole-wheat flour are good substitutions.

  8. Apple sauce, canned pumpkin, mashed canned fruit of choice - all of these can be used as an egg replacement in baked goods. These will leave their own flavour of course, so be sure of the taste you want. Fruit can make the baked item heavier, so add a little baking powder if this concerns you. Try the blends of peach/apple; strawberry/apple etc for delicious muffins.

  9. It is possible to make pancakes without eggs. In fact, any flat baked product that requires only 1 - 2 eggs can usually survive without an egg with no problems. The main thing is to substitute a little extra liquid ( 1 - 2 tbsp) to make up for the egg's removal. There are differing recipes (some just with flour, some with fruit such as mashed banana), so it is best to use a search engine to find a recipe you like. They do work, so try them out, just be sure the pan they are fried in is seasoned as you would with normal pancakes.

  10. An egg sandwich? Yes! You can use tofu - use a search engine or a tofu/vegetarian cookbook for suggested recipes. It still tastes good, and curried tofu-egg sandwiches are a must.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Special Event - Saturday, August 4th

Is it true that Seventh-day Adventists live longer as cited in National Geographic?

An Intro to Adventism and Our Views on Vegetarianism is a joint event organized by the Triangle Vegetarian Society and the Raleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church and will be presented by Dr. Trevor Lewis and Dr. Amelyn Olson, BSN-RN, MPH.   A vegan potluck will precede the presentations.

Bring a plant-based dish and a friend and learn more about how you can benefit from a lifestyle that can possibly give you a 10-year increase in lifespan.

When:  Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm
Where:  Raleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Center
               4805 Dillard Drive, Raleigh, NC  27606

For more info, e-mail

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Repost of "Staying Meatless While on the Road"

We are thankful that one of our blog readers pointed out a broken link for an article we posted in June!  Therefore, we are posting the article in its entirety below.  This article appeared on the University of Northern Iowa's website,

Dining Out for Vegetarians

As meatless meals continue to gain popularity, restaurants are responding by offering more vegetarian options. However, new vegetarians, and especially vegans, may still find it a challenge to find appealing healthful meals when they eat out. Dietetics professionals can help by becoming familiar with vegetarian options offered by local restaurants and by guiding clients towards creative solutions in a restaurants that do not include vegetarian entrees on their menu.
Ethnic Restaurants
Ethnic restaurants are usually a good choice for finding vegetarian fare. Vegans will need to be aware that some of these dishes are likely to contain dairy or egg products although this may not always be obvious from menu descriptions. See below.
The following list is a description of commonly found vegetarian dishes available in various ethnic restaurants.
Chinese, Thai, Japanese Restaurants:
Vegetable, rice, tofu, and noodle stir fried dishes. Note: Some vegetable Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai, may include fish sauces. Some sauces may include oyster sauce as an ingredient. Many rice dishes or vegetable dishes such as Moo Shi Vegetables may contain eggs, which can usually be omitted by request.
Indian Restaurants:
Dal (curried bean dish usually made with lentils), curried vegetable and bean dishes, samosas (fried pastry pockets stuffed with potatoes and vegetables), rice dishes and flatbreads. Note: Indian dishes are often prepared with ghee, a type of clarified butter; patrons can request that dishes be prepared with vegetable oil instead.
Italian Restaurants:
Minestrone soup or pasta fagioli soup, vegetable lasagna, pasta with marinara sauce, pasta primavera, eggplant Parmesan. Note: Both soups and tomato-based sauces may contain beef broth. Fresh pasta often contains eggs.
Middle Eastern and Greek Restaurants:
Pita sandwiches stuffed with hummus spread (chickpeas and tahini), falafel (chickpea croquettes), tabouli, eggplant dishes, Greek salad.
Mexican Restaurants:
Quesadillas, bean burritos, vegetable fajitas, bean tacos, cheese enchiladas. Note: Some Mexican restaurants still add lard to their beans. Many bean dishes are topped with cheese or sour cream, which can be omitted on request.
Diners and American-style Restaurants:
Even traditional restaurants known for family-style and American cuisine can satisfy vegetarians. Veggie burgers have become standard fare in many restaurants. Meatless pasta dishes are also often available. Vegetarians may, however, find it necessary to put together a meal from a variety of side dishes and appetizers. Some ideas include potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, steamed vegetables, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, salad bar items, vegetable soup, garlic bread, and rice dishes. Vegetarians should be sure to ask about the fat used for frying as some restaurants use animal fats. Also, vegetable or bean soups may be made with beef or chicken broth.

Restaurants that are slightly more upscale may boast a variety of vegetarian offerings on their appetizer menu such as grilled vegetables and stuffed mushrooms. Some vegetable dishes may not be listed as individual menu items, but may be served with entrees. These are usually available, however, as separate items upon request.

Creative vegetarians can ask the chef to prepare a dish just for them using ingredients on the menu. For example, if a menu lists grilled vegetables as an appetizer and seafood pasta under the entrees, the chef may be happy to prepare a pasta dish tossed with grilled vegetables and herbs. In busy restaurants, it may be helpful to call ahead to make sure that the chef can accommodate a special request.
Fast Foods
Fast food restaurants offer challenges to the vegetarian consumer, but for the savvy vegetarian, they also offer a growing number of options. Pizzerias are always a good choice and most will accommodate requests for pizza without cheese. Submarine sandwich shops are among the best choices for vegetarians as most have a vegetarian option for a cold sub and sometimes for a hot sub with a veggie patty. These can all be prepared with or without cheese. Mexican fast food restaurants also are good choices for finding hearty vegetarian fare including burritos, tostadas, and tacos. Some fast food hamburger restaurants are beginning to offer salads and other vegetarian options. Often, best bets for finding vegetarian fast food include those restaurants that are not part of national chains. Independent taco, falafel or gyro stands sometimes offer a wider variety of choices and many now highlight or clearly identify vegetarian and vegan menu options.
It is relatively easy to find lacto-ovo vegetarian breakfast items in all types of restaurants. These include egg dishes, waffles, pancakes, and French toast. Vegans can choose toast or bagels, breakfast potatoes, fruit, or hot or cold cereal. Most restaurants are unlikely to offer nondairy milks for cereal, so vegan patrons who want milk with their cereal should bring their own. It's easy enough to do this since so many nondairy milks are available in 8-ounce aseptic packages-perfect for travel.
With the exception of piecrusts and other pastries that may contain lard, dessert is usually vegetarian. Vegan options include some fruit pies, fruit crisps, sorbet and poached or baked fruit.
Eating on the Road
It's increasingly easy for vegetarians to find places to eat when away from home. Most large cities have several vegetarian restaurants that can be found by consulting the yellow pages. Even smaller cities will have Chinese or Italian restaurants, two of the best options for finding meatless fare. Airlines offer vegetarian options for passengers. Special meals must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. Some airlines offer more than one tpe of vegetarian meal and passengers can select (in advance) from among vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, fruit plate, and even Asian vegetarian meals. Many savvy vegetarians do bring along snacks when flying since special meals do not always make it onto the flight and many airlines are cutting back on meal service. Restaurants in airports often have vegetarian options including sandwiches, pizza, other Italian foods and Mexican food. Also, trains that have dining cars usually offer a vegetarian option although it pays to call ahead to be certain Cruise ships offer an abundant variety of food and finding vegetarian options is seldom a problem.
Guide to Vegan and Vegetarian Options in Fast Food and Quick Service Chains. Baltimore, Md: The Vegetarian Resource Group, 2001.

Web Sites with Listings of Vegetarian Restaurants
Happy Cow's Global Guide to Vegetarian Restaurants:
Vegetarian Resource Group:
For Information on How to Order Additional Fact Sheets
or contact:
Vegetarian Nutrition DPG
c/o American Dietetic Association
Practice Team
216 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60606
(800) 877-1600 ext. 4815

Friday, July 20, 2012

More Dairy-Free Cheese Recipes

Looking for a sliceable, nondairy cheese recipe that you can make at home?   Looking for a creamy raw dip for tortilla chips or raw veggies?  Try these tasty recipes:

Almond Cheese*

1 cup hot water
2 tbsp. granulated agar flakes
1 cup almonds, blanched
1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
1/2 tsp. garlic granules
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. onion granules
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped or one small jar pimentoes, drained

Blend together the hot water and agar for a few seconds.   Add remaining ingredients.   Blend until smooth.   Pour into a container or mold.   Cover and refrigerate until firm.  Cheese freezes well.

*Adapted from The Optimal Diet:  The Official CHIP Cookbook

American Cheese Sauce**

Blend until creamy:

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
2 tbsp. raw sesame seeds, unhulled

Add as needed for smooth blending:

1 cup water

Add and blend until smooth:

1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper or pimientos
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. celery seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic granules
1 tsp. onion granules
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

**Adapted from Tasty Vegan Delights

More Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes

There's nothing like eating a delicious ice cream made by feeding any combination of frozen fruit like bananas, strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, and pineapple through a Champion Juicer using the blank screen.   However, here are a few simple recipes for nondairy frozen treats that you can make with just an ice cream maker or a blender:

Carob Ice Cream

3 cups unsweetened, nondairy milk, e.g. rice milk
2 tbsp. alcohol-free pure vanilla
1 cup almond or cashew butter
3/4 cup vegan, unsweetened vegan carob chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Blend until smooth and leave in freezer overnight, or freeze in ice cream maker.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 package of silken tofu (e.g. Nasoya), drained
3/4 cup unsweetened, nondairy milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. alcohol-free, pure vanilla
12-16 frozen and partially thawed strawberries*

Blend until smooth and leave in freezer overnight, or freeze in ice cream maker.

*To make banana ice cream, substitute two ripe bananas for the strawberries.

Chunky Monkey Banana Ice Cream**

6 bananas, ripe
3 tbsp. nut butter
3 tbsp. vegan, unsweetened carob chips
3 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut, shredded (optional)
10 dates, soft and pitted

Peel and slice bananas.  Freeze until very hard.   Process nut butter and dates in food processor or heavy duty blender.   Add frozen bananas and process until smooth.   Stir in walnuts, carob chips, and coconut.  Serves 4.

**Adapted from recipe in Lisa Major's Summer 2012 Healthy Times Newsletter.

Fudge Pops

4 bananas
3 Tbsp. unsweetened, preferably raw carob powder
3/4 cup purified water
6 pitted medjool dates
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. alcohol-free pure vanilla

Soak dates in water to soften.  Blend bananas, dates, and water together.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.   Pour mixture into popsicle molds or paper dixie cups, and freeze overnight. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NonDairy Recipes from "Moo-ve the Dairy Over" Kickoff

These were tried and tested at the kickoff for this month's challenge!

Simple Dairy-Free Veggie Lasagna
Whole grain lasagna noodles (uncooked)
Eggplant, fresh spinach, onion, garlic or other vegetables of choice
Marinara or Tomato Sauce
Creamy Mozzarella (see recipe below) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sauté veggies in water or in a little extra virgin olive oil until tender.   Cover bottom of lightly greased 9 X 13 inch glass baking dish with 1/3 cup of sauce.   Lay 3 to 4 noodles in the dish and cover with sauce.  Add half of the sautéed veggies and drizzle with Creamy Mozzarella.   Add another layer of noodles, sauce, rest of veggies, and Mozzarella.   Top with one last layer of noodles, sauce, and Mozzarella.

Cover tightly and bake in oven for about 45 minutes until noodles are tender.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to firm up before cutting. 
Note:   Noodles do not need to be precooked in this recipe if sufficient sauce is used and if lasagna is covered while baking.

Non-Dairy Creamy Mozzarella
2 cups water
1 cup raw cashews (rinsed and soaked)
½ c. ground sesame seeds (unhulled)
¼ c. nutritional yeast flakes
¼ tsp. garlic granules
1 tbsp.  arrowroot powder
1 tbsp. onion granules
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 to 1 ½ tsp. unrefined sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Non-Dairy Spreadable Butter 

1 part cold-pressed coconut oil/butter
1 part flax oil

Put coconut oil in a glass container and sit in bowl of warm water to melt if necessary.   Stir in flax oil.   Refrigerate to solidify.

Non-Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream 

1 cup cashews (rinsed and soaked)
3 cups purified water
1 tbsp. pure, alcohol-free vanilla
¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt (optional)
½ cup light raw honey
1/3 cup cold-pressed coconut oil 

Blend all ingredients except oil until very smooth.  Slowly add the oil while blend.   Freeze in ice cream maker.

Cheesy Sauce 

1 2/3 cup water
1/3 cup rolled oats, sorghum flour, or brown rice flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp. sesame seeds (unhulled, ground)
1 ½ tsp. unrefined sea salt
3 tbsp. cold-press coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. onion granules
½ tsp. ground mustard
¼ tsp. garlic granules
¼ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. paprika 

Blend in blender until smooth.  Simmer in saucepan until thickened, whisking frequently.
Here's a basic recipe for nondairy milk:
4 cups purified water
1 cup nuts (almonds or cashews, soaked overnight)
4 pitted medjol dates or raw honey/pure maple syrup, Grade B, to taste
Blend until smooth.  Strain almond milk using fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag.