Plant Based Halo Top?

 dairy-free caramel macchiato pint Be still my heart.

I make a ton of banana ice cream. It’s healthy, low calorie, very adaptable to a million flavors. But every now and then I want to grab a container straight out of the freezer and go after a sweet treat with a spoon.

Enter Halo Top!

It’s low calorie, tasty, and 100 percent plant based. I can’t wait to head to my local grocery store to see if it’s in stock.

More information… 14 flavors!

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Is the term “milk” confusing?

Apparently not. Here’s the deal:

For quite a while, the animal dairy business has been on a campaign to ban the word “milk” from being used for anything beyond the fluid that comes out of the mammary glands of an animal.

Hence terms like “soy milk” or “hemp milk” or “oat milk” would be illegal.

“People get confused!” they claim.

Confused over what, I’m not sure.

Turns out I’m not alone. Veg News reports that a whopping 75 percent of consumers understand that plant milks don’t contain animal fluids. They say:

Between August 4 and August 6, 1,000 adults were given a list of products with items such as “whole milk,” “chocolate milk,” “nonfat milk,” “coconut milk,” “rice milk,” and “almond milk,” and given the question, “Of the products below, which do you think contains cow’s milk?” On average, 75 percent of consumers stated that the plant-based milk items on the list did not contain animal milk and a majority correctly identified product names that referred to animal-derived dairy.

How ’bout that? People can read!

A number of dairy lobby groups have urged the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to limit the use of terms such as “milk” to refer only to animal-derived products, citing consumer confusion as the overarching argument for changing labeling standards.

I guess that argument’s toast, eh? Now we wait to see what the FDA thinks of this study…

Source

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Avocados aren’t vegan?

Not according to folks appearing on Qi (BBC):

Huh. How ’bout that? QZ has a few thoughts on that.

Commercial farming of those vegetables, at least in some parts of the world, often involves migratory beekeeping. In places such as California, there are not enough local bees or other pollinating insects to pollinate the massive almond orchards. Bee hives are transported on the back of large trucks between farms—they might go from almond orchards in one part of the US then on to avocado orchards in another, and later to sunflower fields in time for summer.

That’s a rather intriguing thought; quite the tangled ethical web! QZ says:

Another answer might depend on someone’s view about the moral status of insects. Commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees. Transporting bees to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. But some may question whether bees are capable of suffering in the same way as animals, while others may wonder whether bees are self-aware—whether they have a desire to continue to live. If they do not, some philosophers argue that they would not be harmed by being killed (others, such as Gary Francione, would beg to differ).

Near as I can tell, this issue isn’t quite as thorny for Plant Based folks, those who adopt this lifestyle for health reasons, ethical considerations coming in shortly thereafter.

But this issue is certainly an interesting topic. What do you think?

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Is 2050 the beginning of the end?

A very sobering report from the Nature stating 2050 could be quite the watershed year. Via Naked Food:

The human population has reached 7.6 billion and could number 9 billion or 10 billion by midcentury. All those people will need to eat. A report published Wednesday in the journal Nature argues that a sustainable food system that doesn’t ravage the environment is going to require dramatic reforms, including a radical change in dietary habits.

To be specific: Meat is out, and fruits and veggies are in.

Well. That’s not great. Actually, the solution’s pretty awesome because plant based food is fantastic. Trick is, it’s weirdly difficult to persuade some people to try these incredible dishes. But, there’s this:

The 23 authors of the report, hailing from Europe, the United States, Australia and Lebanon, reviewed the many moving parts of the global food system and how they interact with the environment. The authors concluded that the current methods of producing, distributing and consuming food aren’t environmentally sustainable and that damage to the planet could make it less hospitable for human existence.

We’re somewhat surprised this news hasn’t hit all the major news outlets. But then again…

One obvious measure is a change in diets. Researchers say meat production, which includes growing food specifically to feed to livestock, is an environmentally inefficient way to generate calories for human consumption. Moreover, ruminants such as cows are prodigious producers of methane as they digest food, and methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The report says greenhouse-gas emissions from the global food system could be reduced significantly if people reduce red-meat consumption and follow a diet built around fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

(Plus, basing your diet around fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes is exceedingly healthy!)

Going plant based is one of the best decisions you can make to maintain your health, help protect the environment, and be kind to animals. It’s a win for everyone! If you don’t know where to start, be sure to sign up for updates. We’re all about keeping our plant based life simple, tasty, healthy, and sustainable. After all, the best diet is one you can enjoy and maintain forever…

Via WFPB.org

Source: Naked Magazine

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Hasn’t Dr. Esselstyn said this for years?

Science Daily reports a new study from Case Western Reserve University, published in Molecular Cell says:

… heart failure severity could vary based on nitric oxide levels in the body. Low levels could cause GPCRs to primarily activate the arrestin side of their signaling pathways — leaving out the other half that helps the heart respond to stressors. “Without nitric oxide, heart rate and contractility can’t increase, and thus hearts fail,” Stamler said.

Cool, eh?

I remember watching a Caldwell Esselstyn DVD where he spoke at length about the importance of keeping your nitric oxide levels healthy.

Watch any cooking demo by his family and guess what? They talk extensively about those nitric oxide levels.

And how, pray tell, do  we pamper our hearts with this magical nitric oxide levels?

It’s super easy.

Just eat leafy greens like arugula, celery, lettuce, romaine, beets, spinach, watercress and chervil.

Or, how ’bout fruit? Strawberries, melons, raspberries, cherries, bananas, raisins, prunes and figs.

Another fun fact? Dark chocolate. Yup. That’ll do some good, too.

Oy. Plant based living is soooo dull, eh?

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Oat Milk!

This is an oldie but goodie. Apologies for the sound quality… we’re getting better at this. 😛

Super simple recipe. Easy instructions. Even easier clean up. Oh, did I mention this milk costs pennies a quart?

Good luck!

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A Fast Update…

I’m getting all my ducks in a row. To be honest, this whole cancer experience has basically brought me to my knees.

After losing around 2/3 of my colon, resuming my plant based life was more than a challenge. I’ve spent a ton of time modifying our recipes to help keep this new body from screaming every time I eat fiber.

To make matters worse, every time I turned around, I found another new guru proclaiming vegans to be (basically) disease free. Guess I did something wrong because, well… I got cancer.

But after all this time, I’m done. If people want to skip life saving screenings, I’m not saying a word. If they want to believe all doctors are out for profit (and part of a grand conspiracy to… well… I’m foggy on details)… feel free to believe. You won’t hear a peep from me.

Truth is, plant based living is profoundly fabulous. It’s a powerful way to keep weight in check which helps avoid disease. But, it doesn’t totally eliminate them.

And let’s not get started on how plant based living eliminates a host of suffering for at least a bazillion creatures worldwide.

So, I’m making a new start. No more fretting about crazy sh*t over which I don’t have any control. It’s time to have fun again.

This space is back up and running. Watch for regular updates. I’ve even got a few videos.

I’m ready to live life again. 😛

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Who’s in the mood for cookies?

Yup. Whole grain. Oil free. Vegan. Plus, they’re from the Mix cookbook which means they’re super-easy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know what I’m snacking on… 😛

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Such an old dude…

Jake turned 17 this fall. We adopted him when he turned six and he’s astounded us from day one.

He has every reason to be the angriest animal alive. But he isn’t.

He lived in the basement of his old home, chewed at his cage until he wore down his teeth. They’re totally flat. They never house trained him. As a Miniature Pinscher, he came to us little to no hair. He’s unbearably hot in the summer, freezing cold in the winter.

Then they surrendered him. Then we found him.

He’s outlived his best friends, including our beautiful Rudie the Doxie Cross.

He endured the day when Luna the Calico cat claimed the house. Most recently, he met Lina, our newest rescue, a Flame Point Siamese. She adores him.

He hates photographs, I must sneak them when he’s asleep. He still catches me and runs off.

His attitude has taught me tons.

He’s kind. He snuggles Lina. (He’d definitely snuggle Luna if she’d let him.) He claimed my nieces as his own.

He comforted me when Rudie passed away.

He does all this even though the lenses in his eyes are clouded over. He can barely hear. His once thin hair is entirely gone, leaving dark paper skin.

The vet tells his his liver is failing. His thyroid went kaput years ago. His tummy complains when he steals cat food. (So do the cats.)

Sometimes he’d rather sleep in. And we let him.

But he’s alive. He loves life. His bright eyes may not see like they used to, but he loves us with all his heart. For that I’m sure.

And that’s why I live a plant based life. With each decision, I honor his life. I honor little Rudie. I recognize the voice of the voiceless.

And that brings me peace.

Guess I’m selfish that way…

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I’m going to be honest here…

Yeah. I haven’t been posting in this space much lately. Thing is, my feelings have become mixed when it comes to plant based living.

Nah. I love the lifestyle. I enjoy knowing my environmental footprint is small. The ethics of it are outstanding when it comes to animal welfare. But, what trips me up are the health claims.

About the time I get going on this lifestyle, which is a challenge with around 2/3 of my colon gone, a new video pops up by a respected person in this field claiming to have reversed a deadly disease. Then many of my plant based cohorts appear agog claiming to be disease proof.

Some claim to have reversed cancer. Others say they never get so much as a cold. Another person thought she cured her MS. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

That’s all fine and good except when it isn’t all fine and good.

Truth for me? I lived this lifestyle for ten solid years before I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. This way of living didn’t slow down my tumor in the least. In fact, my markers were sky high at the time of my surgery.

Again… none of that is really important. But when I mention this to some of my plant based friends they often reply that I “must not have done it right.”

Sigh.

So… yeah. I’m a tad frustrated. Even my pleas to “trust that the diet will reverse your condition, but verify it’s working by listening to your family doctor” is apparently controversial.

Good lord. When did our family docs become some kind of health enemy? That’s just weird.

My family doc saved my life. Had he not suggested preventative screening, they never would have found my tumor. Had they not found the tumor and removed it (along with over half my colon), I would have been inoperable in two years, dead in five. That’s the sobering truth.

Even more sobering? Instead of writing this post, I very easily could be planning my funeral. Literally.

And all the healthy eating in the world didn’t affect that reality.

So, why am I still here?

Because I love plant based living. I enjoy vegan cooking. I worked hard to become a vegan chef. The recipes I’ve developed represent some of my favorite projects.

Everything about this lifestyle is tremendous.

And so, I continue. But I don’t want to feel ashamed for acquiring a cancer diagnosis. So, I’m coming clean. Right here, right now.

  • I’ve gained some weight while unraveling this new digestive system of mine. But I *think* I’ve got it figured out. For now.
  • I was a strong plant based person for the ten years prior to the diagnosis. I just want to go on record asking that if you’re reading this, please take all plant based/vegan health claims with a grain of salt. Trust but verify the diet’s working.
  • Yes. This way of eating is super healthy. I’ll forever acknowledge that. But it doesn’t make you bullet proof.
  • Thanks for your continued support! It’s been a long, hard pull. But four years after my diagnosis, I’m able to tolerate this way of eating without too many issues. For that I’m REALLY grateful.

So let’s move on, eh? I don’t want my life to revolve around cancer anymore. While I’ve been healing, things haven’t gotten much better for animals, the environment, or our health. Eating junk isn’t wise.

But plant based living? It’s a delicious, joyous experience.

Onward and upward!

Beth 🙂

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