Four New Recipes Just Posted

I've posted four new recipes to my other blogsite, The Art of Plant-Based Meal Creation, If you are currently subscribed to WFPB Guy (aka Finally Our Time) and you want to see my recipes going forward, then you should also subscribe to my new blog, The Art of Plant-Based Meal Creation. You can click here to be taken to that blog site. The four new recipes will be the top posting.

The four recipes are for a good all-American meal of BBQ soy curls (that your friends will think is chicken or pork), baked beans, mac 'n no cheese and cherry nice dream. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've served this recipe of soy curls to my non-vegan friends and had them ask me to leave them the leftovers. They all love it. And my grandchildren always ask me for the cherry nice dream. And they don't ask for something unless they really like it. So, this is a good and tasty but healthy whole food, plant-based meal that works for everybody.

I made it this past Saturday night to take to a friend's surprise birthday party, and I was astounded at how good everything came out. I hope you will find it to your liking as well.

Important Note to My Readers

Tonight, I separated out my global recipes that I'm developing for an eventual cookbook into another blog site, which can be accessed at The Art of Plant-Based Meal Creation. If you are currently subscribing to Finally Our Time or The WFPB Guy and you want to see the recipes I'm developing also, then you should go to The Art of Plant-Based Meal Creation and subscribe to that site as well.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I am posting the recipe for a WFPB version of Chocolate Mousse on that site. Everybody who has ever tried that chocolate mousse loves it. Other recipes on that site are from Ethiopia (injera and red lentil stew), Ireland (colcannon), Vietnam (pickled mustard greens and carrots with soy curls) and Tibet (Thukpa).

I hope that you enjoy the recipes that you will find on that new site while also continuing to enjoy the blog postings about eating whole plant-based foods that I post here on this site. I will continue to tweet postings from both blog sites and I will be posting from both blog sites on Facebook and on Google Plus.

Thank you,
J Lanning Smith
February 10, 2017

The Mono Diet: Not the Whole Foods, Plant-Based Way and Not a Good Idea!

Back in 1997, before I knew what I know now, I went on the Atkins Diet. And I lost weight on that diet. The diet, for those who don't know, is one that is basically built around eating meat and eggs and limiting carbohydrate intake, at the beginning stages, to 20 grams of non-starchy vegetables a day.

In essence, the Atkins diet is a mono-diet, with meat and eggs being the mono food eaten. The non-starchy vegetables, as I understand the diet to be, are there for one reason and one reason only. They provide nutrients that eating meat and eggs alone won't provide, while not interfering with the weight loss benefits of eating from a single food group. Dr. Atkins himself acknowledged in some editions of his book that his (mono) diet was insufficiently balanced from a health perspective, and he compensated for that by adding the non-starchy vegetables and by selling vitamins.

Today, the mono diet is back, but instead of meat and eggs, it is either being touted in the form of potatoes or bananas. Both are foods that can satisfy us and when eaten enough of can be filling. And because the potato diet and the banana diet are based on whole, plant-based foods, they can be tempting diets for someone who follows a whole foods, plant-based way of eating but still wants to lose weight. But while the foods eaten are whole foods and they are plant-based, I do not believe that they adhere to the whole foods, plant-based way of eating advocated by our WFPB doctors. And I believe that following such a diet, particularly without closely being monitored by your doctor, can be dangerous to your health.

Unfortunately, we can do things that are dangerous to our health without realizing that we are doing them. I've run into many people who don't concern themselves about B-12 or DHA or Vitamin D or about the benefits of eating nuts and seaweed. I believe they are damaging their long-term health, but they will argue that they feel fine, have never felt better and their numbers are in a wonderful range. And that can all be true, and yet at the same time, they can be shortening their lifespans by ignoring such essential information or they may be consigning themselves to a future of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

By the same token, I believe that we can do a mono diet and feel great on it and lose weight on it, all while at the same time, possibly damaging our health for the future. And we can kid ourselves about getting sufficient nutrients from such a way of eating. For example, the potato diet, which isn't fully a mono diet because it includes sweet potatoes (which are not potatoes), in order to get primarily Vitamin A, can lead us to think we're getting something we're not. In this case, Vitamin A, for example. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is necessary for good eye health in human beings. Sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach are the primary sources for Vitamin A on a plant-based diet, meaning that if you ate potatoes alone (or bananas alone), you would be missing this important nutrient.

But there's more to the story regarding Vitamin A than just the fact that you need to eat a food like a sweet potato, carrot or spinach to get it. People on the standard American diet get their Vitamin A from different sources. They get their Vitamin A from butter, cheese and eggs. Each of those foods is considerably higher in fat content than are sweet potatoes, carrots or spinach, each of which has virtually no fat content. And dietary fats are necessary for the absorption of Vitamin A within the human body. Vitamin A is one of a few fat soluble vitamins (Vitamins D, E and K being the other fat soluble vitamins). You need to have some dietary fat in order to absorb each of these fat soluble vitamins. Eating a sweet potato alone won't do it. Having a few nuts or an avocado or some olives, or even tofu, with your sweet potato will do it, but then it wouldn't be a mono diet anymore.

The variety of foods that we eat interact with each other in our mouths, stomachs and intestines to provide our bodies with the nutrients we need to stay healthy. By limiting the food we eat to one type or group of food, we limit those interactions. We don't take in all the nutrients that we need to take in, and even if we do, we may not be absorbing them as efficiently as we should be.

Our doctors, while not talking about mono dieting specifically, have all for the most part given advice that is opposite to that of mono dieting.

Take Dr. T Colin Campbell, for example. In his book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, he talks about the importance of eating a wide variety of whole, plant-based foods. He says that if we eat a sufficient enough quantity of whole, plant-based foods on a daily basis, then we needn't worry about getting all the nutrition from plant-based foods that we need to get. But the keys are 1) to eat enough food each day and 2) to include a wide source of different foods in our diets each day. That is just the opposite of focusing on just one food to eat each day.

Dr. Michael Greger in his book, How Not to Die, uses the whole second half of his book to outline a "Daily Dozen" grouping of foods for us to eat each and every single day. He cites these foods to be eaten daily as being necessary for optimal health levels. Again, this is just the opposite of following the idea of eating just one type of food every day.

And Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn says not only to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods, but to be sure to eat dark, leafy greens at least six times a day. Neither potatoes nor bananas are considered to be in the dark, leafy green vegetable category. So, following a mono diet would not be following a WFPB way of eating as laid down by Dr. Esselstyn either.

To my mind, eating a mono diet is closer to what Dr. Atkins advocated than it is to what our WFPB doctors advocate. And I don't believe that eating a mono diet of potatoes or bananas is even any healthier than an Atkins diet. That's because of the lack of sufficient fats in both potatoes or bananas.

I know that people have touted their success on the potato diet, just as people have touted their success on the Atkins diet. But weight loss isn't everything, especially when it comes at the expense of our health. And good bloodwork numbers can turn out to be a Trojan Horse if we're in fact damaging our health downstream. If we're whole foods, plant-based, then let's eat the whole foods, plant-based way. For me, that means as wide a variety of whole, plant-based foods as I can find, that lines up with Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen, and includes lots and lots of dark, leafy greens like Dr. Esselstyn says to do.

Now, that's a healthy, tasty way to go in my mind.

Kathy's Cashew-Basil Dressing

One of the things I hear people looking for a lot is a good salad dressing. I have one good dressing that I make, and may share the recipe at some point in the future, but it's expensive to make and so I only make it for special occasions. The rest of the time, I put either a flavored vinegar or a kraut or kimchi on my salads. I know that probably doesn't appeal to a lot of people, but I find that it works for me and it helps me to get something fermented each day.

But there are some good salad dressings out there and one of them was developed by Kathy Salm. I've made it and tried it and love it. She tells me that all of her clients rave about this salad dressing as well. And if you like basil, then you are sure to love this salad dressing.



This salad dressing is some kind of good. And it has a lot of my favorite foods in it, which it should since Kathy is certified in plant-based nutrition by the eCornell T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. This salad dressing is part of a 12-week plant-based program to optimal health that she developed for people all over the country and around the world.

Here's the recipe for her salad dressing, which she has given me permission to publish.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium shoyu (I use low-sodium soy sauce instead)
  • Juice from 1/2 large fresh lemon
  • 1/2 box (6 oz.) organic Silken Tofu (make sure there are no soy isolates)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 5 medium garlic cloves
  • 4 oz. fresh organic Basil, chopped
Blend cashews with liquids in a blender or food processor. Add nutritional yeast and pressed garlic. Blend again. Add silken tofu. Blend again. Add chopped basil in small amounts (by using a Vitamix, I was able to put the basil in whole and tamp it down while blending). It's ready when smooth. You can adjust the amount of garlic to suit your tastes and you can add more silken tofu or water to extend the recipe out longer. It will thicken when refrigerated.

If you have any questions about it, you might consider contacting Kathy directly at 520-403-4507. She'd love to hear from you and she can better than I tell you what ingredient substitutions or quantity changes might work for the above recipe. Tell her I said it was okay to call her.

As for me, I'll just enjoy the recipe!

J Lanning Smith
1/27/2017