Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Avoid Cardiovascular Disease with Diet

I have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease. Both sets of grandparents had it, my Dad had a quadruple bypass when he was 60, and many aunts and uncles have suffered the consequences of this life threatening disease. Is this my genetic destiny? I think not!

I'm so grateful for the knowledge I've gained over the last 25 years, which I am implementing into my diet every day, that will greatly reduce, and most likely eliminate my risk of ever having a heart attack.

In this article, Julianna Hever, the Plant Based Dietitian, tells 5 ways to avoid cardiovascular disease without medication.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Organic vs. conventional

In almost every class that I teach, someone asks about organic vs. conventional produce. This is a great question and Julianna Hever addresses it very well!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eliminate Chronic Pain

I love teaching cooking classes for the Bridge Recovery Center!  My heart goes out to all who are suffering with chronic illness and I hope and pray that they can find recovery at the Bridge. In my classes I emphasize the importance of good quality, high nutrient plant foods and how they can cleanse, detoxify, repair and heal your body. This is a great testimonial from Roberta Joiner who is no longer suffering with chronic pain because she changed her diet.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Extremeitis - from Disease Proof

This is such a fantastic post by Disease Proof writer Emily Boller. I know that this is one reason that there are so many who come to my classes, come to the Vegetarian Society programs, so excited and ready to take control of their health ...and after a few months, I never see them again. it's so hard to be different! It's so hard to be labeled "extreme" or "radical." It's so hard to with stand the funny looks, constant sarcastic remarks, criticism, and honest concerns of family and friends. I hope you will take the time to read this post and redefine for yourself what "normal" means in your life.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Combating Common Diseases - Michael Greger, MD

Another one of my favorite web sites for nutrition education is
Dr. Michael Greger posts a new 3 - 5 minute video every other day about his latest discoveries in nutrition research. Below is his annual nutrition review in an hour long lecture. I hope you will take some time to watch.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vegan Education at Your Fingertips

One of my favorite sources for "vegan education" is the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. They have monthly educational programs where they feature some of the best health experts on plant based nutrition. This is a recent lecture by Mary Clifton MD, who has recently discovered the power of a vegan diet in reversing disease, something that she did not learn in medical school. She is cute and fun to listen to. I hope you will take time to watch.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Foods That Fight Inflammation.

I'm really excited to see this post from Dr. Michael Greger today on Facebook. 
In my smoothie class this morning, one of the guests asked which smoothie, out of the 3 smoothies I made, was best for inflammation. I told her the one with the highest anti-oxidants which was the ...Purple Power Smoothie. And here is Dr. Greger to back me up. So this is for my friends at the Bridge Recovery Center ( and anyone else who is fighting inflammation. Be sure to read his blog posts suggested below the video.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Choose To Be Well!

I'm reading another book called Uninformed Consent by Hal A. Huggins, D.D.S., M.S. There is s paragraph that I love and want to share. It might seem a little bold and offend some, but I'm trying to be more outspoken in my old age:)

"If you are on prescription medicines, you are not well, even if you are holding most of the symptoms at bay. Dying in your seventies after spending the last twenty to thirty years of your life with one or more chronic diseases may be the pattern shared by the majority of the population, but it is not good health, and you do not have to settle for it."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When "Vegan" is not Enough by Jeff Novick, RD

Last night I had a great class with a group from the Bridge Recovery Center. One lady asked what the difference was between vegan, vegetarian, and plant based diets. Great question Lisa! I have always avoided using the words "vegan" or "vegetarian" because they don't mean healthy. Jeff Novick RD addresses this "trap" that many fall in so well. Please take the time to read this post and especially the comment at the bottom posted by a man who was eating a "vegan" diet and almost had his 2nd coronary event.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Things are looking up!

I taught a class last night for my daughters Relief Society (my church women's organization) and am so excited and impressed by their knowledge of plant based nutrition! All in one night I heard "I'm vegan," "my mother is vegan," "my husband is vegan and finished the Iron Man," and two ladies who asked me if I knew of Dr. Fuhrman. And there were so many others who seemed very familiar with the things I was talking about.
20 years ago I felt alone in this journey. Today I am so excited that there are so many others wanting to take control of their health.
A big thank you to my daughter Crystal for arranging this event and for those 30 or so women who took time out of their busy lives to come learn. I wish I had some pictures to share. Next time!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Travel Smart with Healthy Snacks

Going on a trip doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your health. I'm going to Salt lake City this weekend and have gathered all my snacks for the trip so I'm prepared when hunger strikes or when I'm sleepy driving up and need something to keep me awake. There is also enough for back-up in case I get hungry while I'm there. So here it is: Jicama &carrot slices, refried beans (I was going to make humus but this was left over from dinner so it will work),sweet potato fries, nut/seed based ranch style dip, roasted brussle sprout halves(great for dipping), caulflower, sweet peas, and when that sweet tooth strikes I have lemon balls. The greens and oranges are for my breakfast smoothie which will also include some frozen strawberries. Yes, I haul my blender every where I go! Then I've got a container of water and 1/2 an avocado that I don't want to leave behind. I wont have any trouble finding a use for it!
I hope this gives you some ideas for the next time that you travel!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kale for Calcium

Did you know that a 4 oz serving of steamed kale has just as much calcium as one cup of milk? Broccoli, bok choy, sesmae seeds, and garbanzo beans are also excellent calcium sources. These plant foods have very little artery clogging saturated fat, NO cholesterol, are loaded with fiber and thousands of micro nutrients that are critical for good health. Furthermore, the body absorbs about 50% of the calcium in greens compared to only about 32% of the calcium in milk.
I think I'll have some leafy greens with my Chic Pea Burgers tonight! See my recipe page for Chic Pea Burger recipe.

Kids Can Have Fun Eating Healthy

This is Sean. He is a lucky kid because he has a mom and grandma that are teaching him to eat healthy which includes making healthy treats. His grandma is one of my most committed cooking class attendees and has had great success transitioning her family to a plant based diet. Sean gives my Peppermint Patty nut candies 5 stars! Wow! Thanks Sean! It makes my day when I find a healthy treat that kids love.
You can find this recipe and more on my recipe page.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn has done great work helping his patients reverse their heart disease. He has had 100 % success with those patients who were complaint to his program.
Listen to John and Ocean Robbins interview Dr. Esselstyn about his program.

My husband and I heard Dr. Esselstyn speak live at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo in southern California in 2007 and it motivated my husband to put Dr. Esselstyns advise to the test.

Despite eating a 95% healthy vegan diet since we married in 1996 (only because that is the way I was cooking) my husbands cholesterol was still up around 275. After hearing Dr. Esselstyn in an on-line video, I started cutting out extracted oils from the dishes that I was preparing because I had learned from him, and others in the plant based nutrition world, that "free oils" or "extracted oils" such as olive oil, canola oil, etc. were harmful to the body and increase risk of heart disease. My husband continued to use Earth Balance Buttery Spread, Veganaise, and a few other foods that contained oils that I continued to buy. I had already rocked his world by taking away his butter, meat, and dairy products, I just couldn't bare to take away these other things that I worked so hard to get him to transition to.

After a weekend at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo listening to the best of the best plant based nutrition experts, he said to me on the way home "I want to give it a try. I don't think it will work, but I'm willing to put it to the test." He was talking about the oils. Getting rid of the oils. Yes, the Earth Balance, the Veganaise, chips, crackers, breads with oils and anything else that has even a drop of any kind of oil in it. We even decided we were not going to eat out during this 6 week trial period.

Six weeks later his cholesterol had dropped 50 points! He was totally suprised and motivated to continue! Since then it has been slow going getting his numbers to drop but Dr. Fuhrman says that if you are eating a nutritarian diet like he recommends, high in leafy green vegetables and other colorful vegetables, beans, seeds, and berries, and limiting your animal products (which are the ONLY dietary source of cholesterol) you have cut your risk of heart attack way down despite your numbers.

If you are eating a plant based diet and still have high cholesterol, I challenge you to get rid of the oils and increase your intake of dark green leafy veggies.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Health for Life Cooking Class information has been moved to the "Dinner Class" page.  Please see that page for pictures and menu items for uncoming dinner classes. Thank you!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Allium Family

Are you familiar with the allium family of vegetables? They include onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions. These vegetables, like green cruciferous vegetables, have powerful anti-cancer benefits. These compounds are not activated until you chop, crush, or chew them and break down their cell wall. You can smell a whole onion all day without it making you cry. Cut it open and start chopping and you have activated those powerful compounds.

These compounds are called organosulfur compounds and they are anti-angiogenic, which means that they can prevent tumors from obtaining a blood supply to fuel their growth. In studies of breast cancer cells, garlic and onion phytochemicals have caused cell death or halted cell division, preventing the cancer cells from multiflying.

Shallots are one of the best in the allium family of vegetables. Red and yellow onions are also pretty high in anti-oxidants but white onions are lower in anti-oxidant compounds. Red onions are particularly rich in anthocyanins which is also abundant in berries. Quercetin is an anti-oxidant the keeps damaged cells from advancing to cancer, and also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention. Onions are also anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Eat them every day!

Reported by Joel Fuhrman, MD -
The other night for dinner I fixed my Deep Dish Tortilla Pie, which I will be demonstrating at my Bridge Recovery Center ( class tonight, and was reminded of how good it is and that I need to fix it more often! The recipe is out of my cook book Whole Food Goodness and you can also find it on my recipe page here.
Try it this week end and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fight Oxidation with Anti-Oxidants

A big thank you to the 18 or so participants in my Kitchen Corner class last night! They discovered how great sprouted wheat berries are in my Ultimate Minestrone and how to make creamy non-dairy soups by blending nuts or seeds. I stressed the importance of consuming a large amount of foods that contain anti-oxidants. These are colorful fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Scientists indicate that we get 10,000 oxidative hits a day. I like to compare this to an apple after you cut it open. Set it on the counter for a while and it starts to turn brown. That's oxidation. Eating colorful fruits and veggies that have a lot of anti-oxidants will fight those free radicals that attack our cells and cause us to age and possibly cause our cells to become cancerous.
I also taught this to an amazing group of ladies in my breakfast smoothie class this morning at the Bridge Recovery Center. They learned how to make 3 yummy green smoothies loaded with anti-oxidants.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cruciferous Power

 Last week we learned why greens are so great. This week we are going to learn about cruciferous vegetable. These vegetables are the best of all the greens and even  a few vegetables that aren't so green. Here is a list:
Kale, collards, bok choy, arugula, water cress, brussle sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, radish, mustard greens, turnips, rutabaga, and there are a few others but these are the most common and easy to find.  Type this list up. Post it on your refrigerator and get 2 servings a day. A serving is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.

Why are cruciferous vegetables so great?

Cruciferous vegetables have powerful anti cancer compounds. When you chop, blend, or chew these vegetables, you activate those anti-cancer compounds which have been shown to detoxify and remove carcinogens, KILL cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing.
Pharmacol Res 2007;55:224-236     Reported by Joel Fuhrman, MD.
Our cells get damaged every day. If we don't want those damaged cells to become cancer, we must eat cruciferous veggies! Eat them every day.

Twenty-eight servings of vegetables per week decrease prostate cancer risk by 33%, but just 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 41%.
J. Natl Cancer Inst 2000;92:61-68    Reported by Joel Fuhrman, MD

What if we were to eat 28 servings of vegetables a week AND 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables?

One serving per day of cruciferous vegetables reduced the risk of breast cancer by over 50%!
Int J Cancer 2009;125:181-188
What would 2 servings do? There is no excuse for this epidemic!

Join me at the Kitchen Corner ( Wednesday January 23rd at 6:30 pm to learn about how to incorporate these amazing foods into your diet deliciously!

The reason cruciferous vegetables are so powerful against cancer is that they have phytochemicals in them that prevent new blood vessel growth, which is needed for tumor growth. No blood vessel growth, no tumor growth.
Need some tasty ideas to get them into your diet?
Add a leaf or two of kale or collards to your morning smoothie.
Shred cabbage (red is best) on your salad
Any cruciferous veggie is good on a salad
Use cabbage leaves instead of lettuce on your sandwich or wrap
Use cabbage leaves instead of bread for your wrap
Have an open faced sandwich and us a cabbage leaf for the top to hold things together
Chop up broccoli very fine and use in place of or for 1/2 of the hamburger in any recipe. Trust me!! I love it in my chili.
Cut Brussle sprouts in half, steam and use in place of chicken in casseroles. Trust me on this one too!
Blend steamed cauliflower to a cream and use in place of cream in soups and casseroles.

I've added a recipe for Kale and Black Bean Tacos from my book Whole Good Goodness to my recipe page. They might not sound very good but these are the best! My very favorite quick and easy recipe. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Power of Greens!

If you have absolutely no time to cook healthy, there is one simple thing you can do to add powerful health promoting nutrients to your diet. Green smoothies!
Greens are the healthiest foods on the planet and blending them up in a smoothie makes over 90% of the nutrients bioavailable. That means your body will absorb them instead of flushing them down the toilet because we didn't chew our salad good enough. You can find an easy smoothie recipe here:
  Use the basic principle in this recipe then go crazy and be creative. It's fun and you'll feel great!

What is it about greens that are so great? 

 #1 - Greens contain a carotenoid anti-oxidant called Lutein. Studies show that people with the highest levels of lutein in their blood have no cholesterol in the arteries.
I put them in everything!

#2 - Not only do they contain the antioxidant lutein, they also contain another antioxidant call zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants are the only known carotenoids located in the human retina. Light must pass through lutin and zeaxanthin before being transmitted to the cells that send visual information to the brain. They also protects the eye from damage from blue light and improves several aspects of visual performance. Reported by Joel Fuhrman, MD
Eat your greens every day!

#3 - Each daily serving of leafy green vegetables produces a 9% decrease risk of type 2 diabetes.
Reported by Joel Fuhrman, MD
Published in Diabetes Care 2008;31:1311-1317

Include a nice big leafy green salad with your favorite veggies every day. Make sure you add a healthy salad dressing. Try my Sweet Mustard Dressing on my recipe page.

#4 - One study showed that 1/4 cup of greens a day will cut your risk of heart attack by 67%! (Am J. Clin. Nut 2010)
They protect blood vessels, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce inflammation. They are only about 100 calories per pound and are between 25 - 39% protein.
They are one of the highest nutrient, lowest calorie foods you can eat.
Join me at the Kitchen Corner in St. George on January 23 to learn how to make 3 delicious soups using these ingredible foods.

#5 - If you find yourself at a salad bar this weekend and you are wondering which greens are the best to put on your salad, spinach gives you the strongest protection against all the cancers tested including breast, pr...ostate, pancreatic, stomach, kidney, lung and brain tumors. Lettuces tested were boston, endive, radicchio, romaine, and spinach.
This study was reported by Michael Greger, MD on his web site

#6 - Greens are low calorie density. They are also high nutrient density. That is an excellent combination. Low calorie, high nutrition. Watch this great video clip from one of my favorite nutrition experts:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Warm and Cozy Comfort Foods

Here is your Health for Life Cooking menu for January 2013.

Tomato Soup
My favorite soup as a kid was Campbell's Tomato Soup. The best part about it was adding a package of Saltine Crackers to it. I have always liked chunky soups but that was ridiculous. At 190 mg of sodium for every 5 crackers, I'm sure I was getting above the daily limit just in the crackers. The soup alone has 480 mg in just 1 cup. This home made version is much better nutritionally and tastes great. I make it a little thicker than the Campbell's and add some my own oven baked croutons that make this soup very satisfying. 
White Bean Potato and Broccoli
This is an updated version of my White Bean Potato in my cookbook Whole Food Goodness. I've add blended cauliflower to give the soup extra creaminess, and I've also added mushrooms and chopped broccoli to give it a powerful nutritional boost. A bowl of this soup will give you your GOMBS for the day. Greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, and seeds. According to Dr. Joel Furhman, these foods fight cancer with every bite! And most importantly, it's rich, creamy and so delicious!

 Brown Rice Risotto
This recipe is adapted from Katherine Lawrence, a Cancer Project instructor. Along with the onion, garlic, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, I've added mushrooms, carrots, and peas to meat my nutritional goals. Mix in some short grain brown rice and a rich creamy sauce made with nutritional yeast and sesame seeds and you have a very flavorful and satisfying meal.

And there you have it! Health for Life Cooking to start off your New Years resolutions. One class will be offered this month in April's Kitchen on Tuesday January 8. We will begin at 6:00 pm. Hope to see you in class.

My Kitchen Corner cooking class will be on Wednesday January 23. I will be demonstrating the White Bean Potato and Broccoli Soup, Tomato Soup, and Ultimate Minestrone. Check here for details.

100% Plant Based 100% Nutritious 100% Delicious

Health for Life cooking will demonstrate how to incorporate the wonderful plant foods that nature provides into delicious meals that are rich in phyto-nutrients, protein, calcium, and taste! Processed flours and sugars are rarely used and processed oils are never used! To purchase my cookbooks and find out when my next cooking classes are, visit