Garlic Consumption a Key to Longevity?

          To me garlic is not stinky and pungent. To me garlic is aromatic and a strong healer. I eat tons of garlic! I try to eat it everyday and I try to consume it mostly raw. Everytime I unwrap a clove of garlic I remember a story my mom told me about my Great Great Aunt and her long life with garlic. This woman consumed several cloves of garlic a day, apparently the smell of garlic would seep through her pores and be on her breath. She was stinky but she lived into her 90's healthy and doctor free. I am sure that her garlic consumption gave her the longevity that we would all love. This is not new news of course...several books have been written about garlic and it is sometimes referred to as "the stinking rose".
          The source of the stench and bite of garlic is exactly what makes it so good for us - sulfer compounds. Garlic is in the Allicin family along with leeks and onions. Scientists are very interested in Allicin in regards to cardiovascular health, cancer, and bacterial issues. Garlic is excellent for the cardiovascular system and our blood as well as being very powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The reason books have been written on garlic alone is no mystery. I was very happy to find a lot of info about garlic as a cancer fighter. It is truly stunning how much garlic can shave down the chance of getting cancer. I am taking the following stats from a study of Southern European populations (Galeone C, Pelucchi C et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition):

Study participants consuming the most garlic had a 39% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 57% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 26% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 44% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 10% reduced risk for breast cancer, 22% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 19% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 31% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least garlic. Similarly, those eating the most onions showed an 84% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 88% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 56% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 83% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 25% reduced risk for breast cancer, 73% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 71% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 38% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least onions.

          Eating garlic raw is the best way to get the benefits. Some people may be sensitive to this so make sure to check with your doctor before starting daily consumption. I put raw garlic in anything you can think of or sometimes just pop a clove in my mouth and eat it!

WHFoods: Garlic


Grapeseed Oil - a Super Oil with many uses.

          When trying to lose weight many people fear oils for the high calorie content and saturated fat content, but are missing out on a vital source of lubricants and nutrients for the body. Good oils will not make you gain weight - some of them actually promote a healthy atmosphere in your body to lose weight. I left the world of the standard oils for cooking over 2 years ago and found out about other oils that have a high cooking temperature and are not as harmful as the standard oils.
          Canola and vegetable oil are common in the western kitchen but they are the worst! Canola is not even an oil! It is a Genetically Modified Organism from the Rapeseed plant which is in the mustard family. Worse yet, the Rapeseed plant is toxic to all living things but makes a great pesticide. One would wonder why Canola oil is used so heavily at home and at restaurants if it is actually toxic to humans. Hmmmmmm....
          I now cook almost entirely with Grapeseed Oil. It has no cholesterol and low saturated fat. It is one of the highest oils in Linoleic Acid - Linoleic Acid is an omega-6 essential fatty acid which is good for your heart. Some people even take Linoleic acid as a supplement but you can get it right here in Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is also mild tasting as compared to Olive Oil. Because of the high level of Vitamin E it is stable under a high cooking temperature, it can be heated to 485 degrees. Beyond cooking you can also use Grapeseed oil as a body massage oil or all over moisturizer.
          Grapeseed oil is more expensive than the usual oils but anything that is good for you is expensive these days. I order it online at Vitacost because they usually run it at 40% off at $6.72 for 16oz which is much cheaper than your local stores. It is worth it in the end to get a better oil and use it sparingly.


Malt -O Meal all Jazzed up a Vegan comfort food!

If you want an easy, delicious, nutritious comfort food for vegans then Malt-O Meal is a great way to start or end the day! This is often thought of boring but it can be played around with in many delicious ways. Malt-O Meal or Cream of Wheat contains wheat farina. Wheat Farina is so good for you as it is a good source of Folic Acid, Calcium, and Iron. Folic Acid is a great heart protector and calcium and iron are a plus too. In just three dry tablespoons of wheat farina you get 60% Iron, 20% B6, 100% Folate (Folic Acid). It is satisfying and easy to make. In the picture is my jazzed up version. I replace water with chocolate soy milk or regular soy milk. In this case I used chocolate which colored the farina brown. Here are the ingrediants for the picture:
1 handful of raw pumpkin seeds
1 handful of coconut shreds
2 tbsp walnuts
2 drizzles of honey (there is a hot debate amongst vegans whether this is vegan or not- I have to eat it while in the healing phase of losing weight and getting back to normal. I do not think bees are harmed in the process)
2 cups cooked Malt-O Meal
1 good splash of soy milk
Notice no dairy milk or butter - still yummy farina but without the dairy!


The Mathematical Vegetable - the Romanesco

Look carefully at this beautiful vegetable...you will see patterns, spirals, and perhaps fractals. The Romanesco is not only beautiful and nutritious, it is also mathematically perfect. What you are looking at is Fibonacci's code. Fibonacci was a mathematician from the 1200's also know as Leonard Pisa. Fibonacci's code is rather simple but complex in that many things on earth and the universe contain it. Fibonacci's code goes like this - The first number of the sequence is 0, the second number is 1, and each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the previous two numbers of the sequence itself, yielding the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. (Wikipedia). It is perfect in itself and so is everything that contains it. Anything that is spiraled - look at a picture of the galaxy, a daisy, a pine cone, leaves, seeds, and many more. Something this perfect and beautiful was put here for us to consume. Compare this vegetable to the label on a bag of Doritos, Doritos were not put here for us to consume...nothing about them is perfect or good for you. The Romanesco is in the cauliflower family and extremely good for you. Cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, such as brussel sprouts and cabbage, contain indole-3-carbinol, a substance that can affect the metabolism of estrogen in the body, and prevent breast and other female cancers. My suggestion is to just eat it raw and put Fibonacci's code and the rest of the galaxy in your stomach!


Olive Oil for Wrinkles - Sofia Loren does it!

         In 2006 Sophia Loren at the age of 72 was voted World's Most Naturally Beautiful Woman beating out younger competitors such as Catherine Zeta Jones. Yes, the picture above is actually Sophia in her late 60's! In an interview she was asked what her secret is and she said the "Love of Life" and "Olive Oil". Loren takes virgin olive oil baths and uses it as a moisturizer. This would make sense that she was driven to do this because her ancient Roman ancestors did as well. Bathing in Olive Oil was a sign of power and wealth. The good news is that the modern woman can find it at the local market and use it as well.
         Because the oil's fat composition is very similar to that of human skin, it rarely causes allergic reactions. In addition, it's absorbed quickly and helps lock in moisture in the skin. The high percentage of unsaturated fat and vitamins A and E, helpful in preventing sun damage, also work on the outside to soothe and replenish, particularly sensitive skin. It is also pure, and unmixed with anything but water, unlike other oils.
         I started using olive oil in place of moisturizers 2 years ago and would never think of buying moisturizer again! I buy Extra Virgin Olive oil cold pressed because regular olive oil and light olive oil have been chemically processed.. Now, you may think it would be a mess and not possible but it is actually quite easy. Olive oil absorbs quickly into the skin and after 15 minutes there is no trace of it. Simply put some in your hands and start rubbing it over your entire body and face. I was at first afraid of clogging pores and causing acne but that has not been an issue. I honestly feel that it has slowed the aging process and pumps up my skin. I get several compliments that my "skin is glowing" and I am always excited to share my secret. There is only one ingrediant in olive oil...olive oil. Go into your bathroom and check out the ingredient list on your moisturizer, why use something with that many ingredients when you can just use a naturally occurring oil. Men, this is also for you - my man uses it everyday.


Not an Urban Legend - Celery is a negative calorie veggie!

          Nope, it is not an urban legend that celery is negative calorie veggie. A stalk of celery is about 6 calories and it takes more than 6 calories to burn that very stalk. I couldn't ask for more than a delicious vegetable that actually works well beyond nutrients and goes into burning calories. Celery also has nutritional values being high in vitamin K and containing active compounds called phthalides and coumarins. These are thought to lower cholesterol and be cancer fighting compounds.
          If you slab almond butter or sunflower butter on the stalk of celery you instantly lose that negative calorie action. I love to put sunflower butter on it and top it off with Zante Currants! The best thing to do is just wash a stalk and eat it!


Health Benefits of Cabbage - Powerful Vegetable

          Cabbage! This vegetable is often ignored and thought of as boring and smelly! I am here to suggest that this vegetable was meant to be consumed by all humans on every corner of the planet often! It grows in nearly all countries! It is time to give the cabbage family the respect it deserves! If you think I am going to talk about the faddish "cabbage soup diet" you may want to move along. For the last four months I have been including raw cabbage into my daily life. I get a red and green cabbage at the store and throughout the day I will cut some off of the head and simply eat it. Cabbage will keep in your fridge for a good amount of time and always remains crisp. Cabbage is also friendly on your wallet and found in abundance at the market during all seasons.

          I came across a couple of articles that blew my mind about cabbage! Cabbage contains super cancer fighters with the phytochemicals called Indoles. Indoles are what gives cabbage its' funky smell when you cook it. Indoles are great for women and the fight on breast cancer. Indoles can inhibit estrogen and estrogen is being found as a major culprit in breast cancer. I can actually inhibit new cancer growth. Researchers have found that men that eat more cabbage have lower rates of prostate cancer as well.

          Beyond being a cancer fighter cabbage is high in vitamins K, A, and C, and magnesium. Surprisingly cabbage is also a good fiber source and there are even little amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids!

          Need I say more? This vegetable must must must be eaten. It is low calorie and may keep you cancer free. Put this veggie in your mouth and eat it!

Cabbage Gets high praise....
Health Benefits of Cabbage


Horses are Vegan Too!

This is a photo of a beautiful, strong, white horse near my house that I visit everyday in the summer and spring and feed various green herbs and plants. I have always loved the majestic nature and sheer power of horses. If you look at a horses teeth they look a lot like human teeth and behave very similarly. How is it possible that this beautiful, strong, lean, powerful animal is so strong when its' diet is plant based? This is often asked about veganism. Are vegans weak? Are horses weak? No and No! People often ask me in bewilderment how I get all of my "protein" or how I stay strong as if there is no possible way that a diet void of meat could possibly keep me alive. Bringing up a horse and their teeth often helps. Elephants are another great example - elephants manage to survive as strong, giant, residents of Africa on a plant based diet. There is just no argument that vegans cannot be strong because of the lack of meat and dairy. I have managed to actually build more muscle tone than I had when I was a meat eating athlete years ago. So, the next time someone argues that vegans are weak quickly refer them to the muscle mass of a Thoroughbred horse. If you are attending the Seattle VegFest at the end of March you will find a booth there of vegan body builders. If you are not in Seattle check out your local vegetarian sources for your vegetarian festival.
Seattle VegFest 2009
Vegan Body Building

Serrano peppers Health Benefits

Oh Serranos! This is my favorite hot pepper because of its heat power and ease of use. Serranos look like jalepenos but are half the size. Two years ago I started venturing into the surprisingly healthy world of chile peppers. After I pop a raw serrano I get an instant energy burst and a super dose of vitamin C. Chile peppers are an all season veggie, very easy to find, and very cheap!! Hilary Clinton is now known for her use of hot peppers and her belief that it is what keeps her from the doctor. During the campaign we found out that Hilary Clinton has always been sickness free and does not have a health record 2 pages long. Here is a quote from her with CBS's Katie Couric:

“I eat a lot of hot peppers,’’ she told CBS News anchor Katie Couric, who had asked her how she maintains her stamina on the campaign trail. “I for some reason started doing that in 1992, and I swear by it. I think it keeps my metabolism revved up and keeps me healthy.”

The magic chemical in peppers that is catching scientists' attention is Capsaicin. Capsaicin triggers the brain to kick out a flood of endorphins, those natural pain killers that promote a sense of well being and stimulation. Capsaicin also survives freezing and cooking! This chemical is as powerful as it is hot!
Beyond capsaicin hot peppers contain an impressive amount of vitamin C surpassing citrus fruits. There is some research going on with the premise that capscaicin can kill prostate can cancer cells. This is from Wikepedia and can be found with a google search:

The American Association for Cancer Research reports studies suggesting capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer cells by causing them to undergo apoptosis.[13][14] The studies were performed on tumors formed by human prostate cancer cell cultures grown in mouse models, and showed tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of the untreated tumors. There have been several clinical studies conducted in Japan and China that showed natural capsaicin directly inhibits the growth of leukemic cells

-Go all out and throw a whole one in your mouth. This sounds crazy but I eventually got used to it. This is especially great to do when you are sick.
-Mince them and throw them in everthing! I put them in pasta sauce, with potatoes, in my own pico de gallo, in black beans, vegetable soup, and many more.
-Hot peppers are thought to cause ulcers. Untrue! Hot peppers do not cause, irritate, cure, or aggravate ulcers. Hot peppers can cause heartburn if you are susceptible to it. I do not get heartburn from peppers. I actually have not had heartburn since eating hot peppers 2 years ago.
-Wash your hands after handling them...especially the seeds! If you touch your face or your eyes after handling them your eyes will close for 20 minutes and pour tears out your eyes!
-When mincing them don't worry about separating the seeds...they are edible too.
-Have water handy if eating them raw.
-The burn will go away after about 5 minutes if you are popping them raw and whole.
-The smaller the pepper the more capsaicin because of the amount of veins.
-Hot peppers keep a long time in the fridge. For me over 2 weeks.
Hilary Clinton article about hot peppers!