Healthy, strong, and 100…what’s the secret?

He still drives, helps with the yard work, doesn’t have a single ache or pain in his body, and he’s 100 years of age…so far! He’s retired heart surgeon Ellsworth Wareham and he credits his good health largely to his plant based, vegan diet which he adopted mid-life. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with the centenarian for an enlightening interview:

By simply staying away from animal products he has managed to keep his blood cholesterol level extremely low, thereby virtually eliminating any risk of a heart attack. Because of all the knowledge he gained in his decades as a heart surgeon, he says, “I’m dealing in an area that I understand”.

Hopefully his common sense approach will inspire others to follow his simple secrets to a long, healthy life.

California’s dirty secret

California is running out of water. As usual profit motivated corporations create all sorts of confusing misinformation about the situation to obscure the real culprit, but if you look closely it’s crystal clear what the problem is. Almost half of the average Californian’s water footprint is due to the consumption of meat and dairy.California has led the nation in dairy production since 1993, and it can take as much as 2000 gallons of water to produce ONE gallon of milk! And it takes about 600 gallons of water to make a pound of cheese. Of course the water foot print of beef and other meat is enormous as well. The drought is a nightmare, but simply cutting meat and dairy consumption can help keep us all California dreamin’.

First ever junk food tax in North America

We’re very excited that this month the Navajo Nation will be instituting North America’s first ever junk food tax! While it’s certainly not a game changer in the world of junk food, it’s “one small step for mankind” in the direction of public policy actually encouraging health for a change.

junk-food

The new tax is 2 percent on soda, chips, and other junk foods. In a related positive development, in 2014 the Navajo Nation removed a 5 percent tax on vegetables and fruits. Now that’s a real treat!

Processed food and soda health food? Dieticians paid to say yes!

I’m lucky we didn’t have soda or processed foods in the house much as a kid. It just wasn’t part of the Italian/Albanian cultural way of eating I grew up with. We ate a lot of simple, healthy foods like pasta e fagioli (beans), homemade pizza with tomatoes and olives (and no cheese), escarole and white beans, and lentil soup. The only “processing” I can think of was my grandmother asking me to go through the huge pile of uncooked lentils on her table to look for stray pebbles.

lovelowfat-lentils

On holidays we’d have my Italian grandmother’s homemade cookies, or my Albanian grandmother’s homemade baklava. On very rare occasions we had a soda, either root beer or cream soda, as a treat. But that’s what sugar should be, an occasional, festive treat. Yet for many it’s Continue reading

Sugar industry not so sweet

lovelowfat-sugar-bowl

In a story that’s eerily reminiscent of the tobacco industry, recent documents have shed light on the sugar industry’s history of manipulating public information to maximize profit at the expense of public health. 

Finally, the word has been getting out. If you haven’t already seen them, we highly recommend the documentaries King Corn and Fed Up. Each film in its own way elaborates on how refined sugar is everywhere, and is one of the leading causes of obesity and other related illnesses. And if that’s not bad enough, the politics behind it will really make you sick!

 

Eat your grains!

According to a large new long-term study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it has been found that consuming whole grain foods is associated with up to 9% lower overall mortality and up to 15% lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) related mortality: “For each serving of whole grains (28g/day), overall mortality dropped by 5%, and by 9% for CVD-related mortality.”

whole-grain-bread

Replacing refined grains and red meats with whole grains is also likely to lower mortality, according to the study. “Swapping just one serving of refined grains or red meat per day Continue reading

UtiliTEA kettle by Adagio

I have a handy little trick to save time when cooking something on the stove that requires hot water. When I prepare things such as soups, hot cereal, pasta or potatoes I usually speed the process along by pre-heating the water in an electric tea kettle. I like doing this because it’s faster than boiling it on the stove, it doesn’t take up a burner, and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

The one we have is the utiliTEA kettle by Adagio. It’s a 30 oz. variable temperature electric hot water kettle.

We’ve had our utiliTEA kettle for several years. We use it numerous times a day, and it’s still going strong. We love it! We did loads of research before buying our Continue reading