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I first learned about “blended salad” from Dr. Joel Fuhrman. If you don’t know who Dr. Fuhrman is, be sure to click the link! In my opinion, his book “Eat to Live” is one of the best books on nutrition. I love his “nutritarian” approach to health. It’s all about nutrient density.
A blended salad is basically another type of green smoothie. My morning green smoothie contains a lot of fruit. My evening blended salad contains mostly vegetables.
Here’s what I put in my blended salad last night (serves 2):
Parsley, spinach, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, apple, red pepper and lemon juice (frozen).
These are tips for preparing lots of vegetables ahead of time. This cuts down on the amount of work involved. If it’s too much work, then you probably won’t make blended salads regularly. Not good!
1. Buy several bunches of parsley. Discard the thickest stems. (I don’t need that much fiber!) Rinse, spin dry, and freeze on parchment paper. Store in a freezer container.
2. Have dark leafy greens in your fridge at ALL times. Rotate through kale, spinach, chard, collards, etc. Rinse the leaves and remove the tough stem. Most of the time I throw the stem away, but sometimes I mince it up for soup.
3. Buy a large variety of vegetables and apples. Wash, chop (2″ pieces) and freeze most of it. Always save some of everything for the fridge. Don’t forget about tomatoes, celery, and avocado. Keep the tomatoes and avocado fresh.
4. Use a citrus reamer to juice a whole bunch of lemons at once. Freeze the juice in ice cube trays.
5. If you have a juicer, you can also juice some of the vegetables and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Using some vegetable juice instead of all whole veggies will cut down on some of the fiber (if getting too much fiber is an issue.) Save your carrot pulp for other uses (like these muffins).
5. Blend everything in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Add at least a cup of water per serving.
It’s interesting to read nutrition charts showing the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat found in fruits and vegetables. People are surprised to learn that fruits contain protein and vegetables contain fat.
Please repeat after me:
ALL PLANTS CONTAIN PROTEIN.
PARSLEY: 27% protein, 57% carb, 16% fat
SPINACH: 39% protein, 49% carb, 12% fat
ZUCCHINI: 25% protein, 67% carb, 8% fat
CARROT: 8% protein, 87% carb, 5% fat
CUCUMBER: 19% protein, 69% carb, 12% fat
APPLE: 2% protein, 95% carb, 3% fat
RED PEPPER: 13% protein, 78% carb, 9% fat
LEMON: 7% protein, 90% carb, 3% fat
(Protein, carb, and fat percentages are from the book, “Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets,” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. This is another excellent book on nutrition. You don’t need to be “raw” to read it.)
Every day that I go to work, I nearly go crazy…and here’s why…
The food. Nursing home food. It’s the same everywhere, so I‘m not picking on my employer. In my 15-year career as an Occupational Therapist, I’ve worked in at least a couple dozen Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). Hospital food is no different- I’ve worked in plenty of them, too.
The food at all of these places for sick and functionally impaired folks is abysmal. Can we really call it food? Make no mistake- this is a system-wide “healthcare” (i.e.- “keep you sick”) problem. Shall we thank our government and the USDA?
Here is an average diagnosis list for the typical patient I see in rehabilitation every day: HTN (high blood pressure), Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), CAD (coronary artery disease), DM (diabetes), OA (osteoarthritis), and dementia.
Many have a history of CVA (stroke) and/or cancer. Also, recurrent “antibiotic resistant” urinary tract infections are all too common ( MRSA – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
This week I met a relatively rare specimen. She’s a “younger” woman (i.e. 70 years old) who fractured her leg while pruning a garden tree. She said to me, “I eat organic. I juice my vegetables. I eat kale.” She was “horrified” (her words) to have been served a hot dog and french fries for dinner on her first evening (with cake for dessert!) I truly felt her pain.
Now, let’s say you were admitted to the SNF with a CABG x 4 (a four-vessel Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) at mid-morning that same day. What did your nurse’s aide bring you for lunch?
“Beef Pot Roast, Baked Potato with Sour Cream, Green Beans and Strawberry Bavarian Cream with Whipped Topping.”
Lunch: beef, white potato, dairy, vegetable, white flour, sugar/HFCS, and oil/trans fats.
Dinner: high-sodium/high-fat/high-Nitrite animal trimmings, fried white potato, refined flour, and refined sugar.
The menu comes from “Dietician Consulting Service.” I guess these would be the Dieticians who promote chronic illness and death? Gee whiz, I must be naive to assume that a Dietician’s JOB is to develop menu plans with good nutrition.
I still have a menu from last summer, when the residents/patients were served grilled cheeseburger, french fries, and a root beer float for lunch, and then 3-cheese macaroni and cheese, peas, dinner roll with margarine, and an ice cream bar for dinner. I kid you not!
Can you believe that the daily meal plans consist primarily of meat, dairy, refined flour, white potatoes, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, and a very little vegetative matter? This is a healthy, balanced diet?
Not according to my lady patient with the lower leg cast. She must go out of her way to secure her own nourishing food. Your new coronary artery graft doesn’t have a prayer. There’s a very good chance you’ll become “vegetative” if you eat these non-nutritive substances.
Got fiber? Nope. Add your pain medications into the mix, and you’ve got some serious constipation. (No problem- you can rely on Milk of Magnesia, enemas, and/or manual fecal extraction.)
Veggies- WHERE ARE YOU?!?
The “Dietician Consulting Service” menu is devoid of nutrient density. It’s critically low in whole fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. It’s critically low in fiber, phytochemicals (“phyto” means plant), anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s disease-promoting and death-promoting.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the animals eaten every morning, noon and evening of every day, of every week, for every meal on this menu come from the worst of the very worst of the Hell holes called factory farms.
Now…are you surprised that going to work makes me nearly go crazy?
Go! Get yourself a copy of Dreena Burton’s latest cookbook, “Let Them Eat Vegan.” You won’t be disappointed. I love the way Dreena cooks and bakes. Her creations have the perfect balance of healthy and delicious. She uses primarily whole plant ingredients, plenty of beans/legumes, minimal added fats and “just enough” sweetener. Eat all you want because there’s zero guilt!
The first recipe I tried was the Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers on page 136. At first I wasn’t sure that the burgers would hold together, but after I let the patties sit for about an hour they held up just fine in the pan. I cooked 2 and refrigerated the other 4 patties (between layers of parchment paper in a storage container.) Now I know that oats are a secret ingredient for vegan burger success! I’ve used gluten flour before, but I’ve never used oats. Oats work great– I think they’re my new favorite cooking ingredient! The “resting” time must allow the oats to soak up moisture and this helps bind the burger.
For Burger Night #1 we had a side salad with a creamy horseradish dressing and some roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.
For Burger Night #2 I made the Raw-nch Dressing on page 47. I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used kale instead. It worked. The dressing made for a great romaine lettuce dip and burger sauce. We made some homemade potato chips!
I’m looking forward to making more out of Let Them Eat Vegan!
Beware! There’s a new children’s book coming out this week. It’s called “Vegan is Love: Having Heart & Taking Action,” by Ruby Roth. A book about living compassionately surely needs a warning label, don’t you think? Fortunately, the U.S. media’s version of that label aired on Friday, April 20th on NBC’s The Today Show.
The show’s pre-recorded segment with Ruby Roth about her new book was a positive portrayal of vegan parenting. Ruby’s young stepdaughter indicated that her favorite food is KALE. Impressive! Fortunately, the nutritional integrity of a healthy vegan diet for children was not called into question…because it shouldn’t be.
Instead…great “concerns” were voiced by the 2 in-studio guests regarding the supposed use of “scare tactics” in the book (surrounding food as well as other issues of animal exploitation, such as animal testing.) To hear the guests speak, you’d think that Ruby’s book will scar children for life:
“There is so much fear in this book.” “Why do we have to scare them?” The book is “teaching kids to fear food.” Fear, guilt, “graphic pictures:” Very scary stuff.
But who is really afraid of this stuff? Is it really the children? Will they seriously be harmed by a book that honestly exposes them to the real world? Are children so fragile that they cannot handle the truth about animal exploitation, when it is presented with gentle candor and realistic illustrations? Will children truly react negatively, or will they logically respond with compassion and concern? Won’t children want to help animals and take action? I don’t think we give children nearly enough credit.
I think the adults are the fearful ones. Fearful and feeling guilty. It’s actually the adults who can’t bear to look at graphic pictures of animal slaughter. Adults won’t listen to the truth about unnecessary animal exploitation. Adults are resistant to change. Adults don’t want their routines disrupted, their palate pleasure disturbed, or their minds opened.
Are adults– parents– most of all afraid of having their own apathy exposed? If, for example, their children reads the book elsewhere and comes home to share the cruel truths with them…what then? How will they justify their own complicity in the violence? How will they try to convince their children that they do care when maybe they really don’t? Or, if they genuinely care, then how will they explain the hypocrisy in their actions? Children are quite capable of recognizing inconsistencies.
Let’s stop pretending to worry about the children. They’re just fine. Children are inherently open-minded, curious, and adaptable. Children very easily grasp the basic concept of Veganism, which is about non-harming. Young children, in particular, naturally consider animals their friends. Why would they want to hurt their friends?
“Vegan is Love” gently asks young readers to take personal responsibility in the form of taking actions that help make the world a better place for animals. Children are not afraid to do that. They are not fearful. Adults could learn a lot from children.
Here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, written by my vegan friend from Indonesia:
“I did a talk on Veganism to a bunch of 7 year olds. They totally get it. We also went to a local market in Indonesia and one of the kids happened to see a chicken killed. During the subsequent talk about what happened, children mentioned how horrible that was. I said, I know, but how to you think the meat comes to you? One little girl said, ‘I think it’s mean. That chicken wants to have a family and look after its babies too!’ I said ‘I agree with you,’ and she said, completely off her own back, ‘I don’t think I want to eat animals either!’ Kids get it.”
Check out Ruby Roth’s website here: http://wedonteatanimals.com/
(Picture is my copy of Ruby Roth’s first book, “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals”)