Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keri's Vegan Cornbread

I have to be honest and say that I adapted this recipe from Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily cookbook. I gave it a few tweaks of my own and the result is really good. I took this to a vegan potluck and it all disappeared and my non vegan friends liked it too. If you are in LA do yourself a favor and eat at Real Food Daily. It is YUMMY!

2 cups yellow medium coarse cornmeal (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup Spelt flour
1 cup Whole Wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 cups Rice Milk
2 tbs. baking powder
1/3 cup Coconut Oil plus 2 tbs.

Preheat oven to 400. Oil a baking dish with coconut Oil. Since it is a solid you can just scoop out a chunk and rub it on the dish. It is so easy. Mix the dry ingredients together then add the wet ingredients.Mix well and pour in the baking dish. Cook for about 25 minutes. Use a toothpick or butter knife to poke in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done. Let it cool for about 15 minutes or so and serve.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Last week I met with a nutritionist to review my 6 day food diary and we got along so well. I asked her my top question which is about oils. I get confused about oils because I have heard or read one thing in a class or book but then a healthy cookbook is using the oils that I learned where unhealthy. So she broke it down like this; for cooking use coconut or red palm oil and for dressing something it is ok to use olive oil. Red Palm was a new one to me and she told me it has high amounts of beta -carotene which we need to be healthy and fight disease. Canola oil is oxidized before even reaching the shelves due to the deodorization process that the rapeseeds go through. She also threw in that a light suttee is better than steaming because with steam we are exposing our foods to high heat killing the nutrients. This makes sense. I just wanted to share this. I am going to be doing a little more homework on oils as she gave me some suggested reading.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I just want to give a brief overview of what happens in our body when we are stressed.
So we have an original event that causes stress, our bodies recognize this event and sends a signal to certain organs to get ready, i.e. the brain signals the release of epinephrine (a hormone) so we get a short term burst of adrenaline which readies us for a short term boost of energy...If the stress continues then cortisol is released and it sticks around for days (cortisol is our get out of danger hormone). It promotes inflammation and a host of other health issues.
In stressful times our brain, lungs, muscles and heart are on alert. They must strategize for what is to come. This means our digestive system, reproductive system and immune system are being ignored and not nourished. This can lead to health problems. We need to recognize stress when it creeps or bursts in and come up with ways to deal with and avoid it. Proper, restful sleep, and proper nutrition are key in this as is avoiding something stressful if at all possible. Meditation and practices like yoga, Tai'Chi, Qi Gong and deep breathing are also helpful. To do deep breathing you want to breath in through the nose for a count of 3 hold it for a count of 1 or 2 and exhale for a count of 6. The breath needs to go into the abdomen and be a deep belly breath. If you put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly you will be able to tell if you are achieving this.
We all get stressed and we do not always realize it but the more aware we become of our bodies the more noticeable it will be when it happens. Being proactive and responsible for our health is a great stress reliever. It is in my life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More on Anti-inflammatory foods

I have blogged about inflammation and an anti-inflammatory diet a few times I know. It has become one of the most common issues and topics discussed in most of the nutrition & natural medicine classes I take. It is a real problem for so many people.

Here are some foods to eat on anti-inflammatory diet.
Vegetables...that are lower in carbohydrates like within a 3% to 6% carb category...some of those are...asparagus, broccoli,red and green cabbage, celery, swiss chard, cucumber, endive, cauliflower, lettuces, dandelion and mustard greens, spinach, radishes, beets and beet greens, brussel sprouts, kale eggplant,parsnips, bok choy,leeks, red peppers, parsley, etc.
Legumes... lentils, kidney, adzuki, garbanzo,mung black and pinto beans, fermented soy (miso,tempeh)...steam the veggies
Grains... millet,oatmeal,quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, basmati and brown rice,rye
Fruit...1 or 2 pieces of any almost any fruit per day especially in the 3 to 6 % carbohydrate category like melons, strawberries, rhubarb, blackberries, cranberries, kiwi, peaches,plums, raspberries and apricots..baking the fruit is good
Sweetners...pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, raw honey and stevia
Nuts and Seeds...Most are ok
Drinks... Minimum of half your body weight in ounces per day, herbal teas and a small amount of soy, rice, oat or almond milk per day
Dairy... small amount of organic butter and eggs is ok
Meat...Meat only no skin from wild, organic or free range chicken, turkey, wild game, lamb and venison
Spices... all are ok
Seafood...Wild salmon, trout, tuna, halibut, cod (wild cold water fish) poach, bake or broil

Foods that are not ok....
Drinks...Sodas, coffee, caffeinated teas, alcohol
Nuts and Seeds...Peanuts and peanut butter
Sweetners... no sugar or sugar substitutes like Nutra Sweet
Dairy... dairy products including animal milks, cheeses, commercial eggs
Fruit...Citrus fruits but lemon is ok
Meat...beef, pork, some organic beef is ok in small amounts
Legumes...Tofu can cause a reaction in some so you have to test it by allowing it in the diet and eliminating from the diet
Grain...white flour, wheat cereals, breads, pasta
Vegetables...Potatoes, tomatoes
Seafood... Shellfish..shrimp, crab, clams, lobster,
Corn products, fried foods, hydrogenated oils, processed foods

Apples, blueberries, grapes,pears, cherries, pomegranate, pineapple, carrot, peas, squash, artichokes are in the 15% carbohydrate category and in the 20 % are bananas, figs, prunes, yams and sweet potatoes.
A nutritionist I took a class from on this topic said it is not a fun diet and you will get out of it what you put into it. I know it is super hard for me to give up my caffeinated teas like black and green teas. I also realize that I notice the difference in eating an inflammatory food as opposed to an anti-inflammatory food. For instance I have been eating more breads lately that are wheat and I was only eating sprouting seven grain breads. I recently switched to a spelt bread and totally can tell a difference. If I eat potatoes which I love like most people my body lets me know that I should not do it. I used to drink 34 to 36 ounces of water everyday which is not half my body weight but it worked for me and I have stopped and my body is telling me about it. So listen to your body when you eat. If you think a food is a problem but are not sure eliminate for a week or two or three and then add it back and see what happens.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My thoughts this morning

Some days I am totally inspired by my own life. Some days I am totally devastated by it too. I have been made keenly aware these past 6 months and especially the past 4 days how much my life has changed in some ways good and in some ways painfully. I still believe in miracles happening everyday because I am one of them, I am still happy that Paul is finally cancer being the main focus even if that means he is no longer here with me physically, I am amazed all of the time at the courageous, strong, peaceful people that I know that are living with serious illness and the people taking care of them, I am grateful for my spiritual path and my wonderful friends, I am grateful for the ability to learn something new everyday and the ability to rest. I am devastated by the death of my husband everyday no matter what I believe and by the freak illness that 4 years ago almost made made him a widow. It still scares me. Life happens and it is not always pretty. It sure does not follow our plans most of the time. Knowing these things and accepting them allows us to breath a little easier and relax those tense shoulders. Do we have some say? Sure we do. We are given choices everyday in every way and our decisions influence our path in life.
Give time to what is important and don't let pettiness, fear and anger steal it from you. Be inspired by yourself. Recognize that you may not save the world but you have done something to influence it like overcome illness or addiction, raised/raising children, lent a helping hand to someone that needed it, etc. We learn from each other but we learn most by doing it, living it. We don't have to look to others for inspiration although it is great to find that but let it be a guiding light to find that in yourself.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Keri's Vegan Ruben Sandwich

My vegan Ruben sandwich

1 package of tempeh
1 jar of sauerkraut
organic ketchup
daiya "cheese" shreds
2 slices of bread
2 tbs. grapeseed oil

Heat the grapeseed oil in a saucepan and brown your tempeh slices. In a small bowl mix 1 spoonful of veganaise and 1 spoonful of ketchup together. Spread this mixture on one of the bread slices. Add the sauerkraut and "cheese" shreds to taste. Top it all with the tempeh slices and remaining slice of bread and enjoy.

I love rye bread but used a spelt bread and it worked well.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sometimes compassion for and listening to ourselves is just what we need and is so easy to ignore.