Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can Eating Greens do more for your Heart than Stents, Surgeries, and Statins?


Advanced medical treatments for heart disease, such as bypass surgeries and stents, can be life-saving in an emergency.  However, in truth, both stents & bypasses are temporary patch jobs.  If you have blockages in one place assume you have them everywhere--and unless you radically change your diet, stents, bypasses, and statins are no guarantee that you won't have a future cardiovascular event.

Little recognized information about stents and bypass surgeries:

- 27,000 deaths occur annually from bypass surgeries & stents.
-  48,000 annually suffer complications from interventions.
-  Over time the risk for failure increases for both stents & bypasses.
-  45% of our Medicare budget is spent on cardiovascular disease--according to Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe of Emory University.  Imagine.
-  Although stents & bypasses are absolutely necessary if someone is in the middle of a heart attack--in the case of stable disease they do not protect from future heart attacks, they don't prolong life, they do not treat the illness, and they do not significantly alter the disease.

As Dr. Eric Topol, a specialist in the field, has stated,    "We can't cure this disease until we address the fundamentals of lifestyle."  What he is referring to is the fact that the typical Western diet causes an internal cascade of inflammation, heart disease, plaque formation- and all too often, heart attacks. 

What prevents heart disease?  Exercise helps, but evidence points to diet being the most crucial piece of the puzzle.  This is known because advanced athletes with a poor diet still develop heart disease. 

According to research conducted by the author of the groundbreaking book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselsyn:
Eating GREENS actually repairs your heart and prevents further problems. 

According to Dr. Caldwell's bench mark long-term nutritional research, a person can put the brakes on heart disease in just 3-4 weeks if they rejuvenate the endothelial cells that line their blood vessels by many healthy greens in their diet daily.  Greens heal the endothelial cells so they can produce life-giving nitric oxide--which prevents stickiness, keeps plaque from forming, and dilates blood vessels.  Nitric oxide is the strongest vasodilator there is: 
In conclusion, make kale, collards, spinach, arugula, and romaine your best friends! 

For long-term heart health, Dr. Esselstyn recommends an all plant-based diet that's high in anti-oxidants in order to change internal biochemistry and even strengthen the protective cap over any pre-existing plaque.  This strategy  prevents future cardiovascular events, even if you've had one already. 

What damages endothelial cells? 
Any food with processed or heated fats (especially "fast foods" and those with trans fatty acids- such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), refined sugars, and caffeinated coffee. 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Berry Vegan Smoothie Popsicles for Kids

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My daughter LOVES making and eating popsicles.  A variety of make-your-own popsicle molds are readily available on-line (try or check your local department store.  Some are now made with silicon, which is wonderfully flexible, dishwasher-friendly, and easy to use.

The following recipe is very kid friendly because of its flexibility.  To include my daughter in the popsicle-making process, I simply gather all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter and then ask her to add each one to the blender.  As long as all the basic elements of the smoothie base are included, the popsicles turn out great!  Because of this, you can allow your child to add a little more of one thing or less of another (allowing them to use their own creativity and intuition), without worry that the recipe will "flop"!

  • Your favorite vegan milk:  sprouted rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc. (around 1/2 c.)
  • Orange juice (around 1/2 c.) 
  • Fresh or frozen banana (1-2) 
  • Berries (1/4-1/2 c.) 
  • Spinach (optional):  My daughter calls these "leaves" and always likes to add a couple, because she sees me add a ton to my smoothies daily!  Children are more sensitive to the bitter taste than adults, however, so she has learned to add just a few- to suit her taste. 
 Directions:  Blend until smooth.  Then, pour the smoothie into the popsicle molds, freeze, and serve when solid. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cafe Manna's Raw Tacos (Brookfield, Wisconsin)

Raw Tacos from Cafe Manna
I am a fairly frequent visitor of one of the only vegetarian restaurants in Wisconsin... the lovely Cafe Manna.  This cafe, located in Brookfield, offers multiple raw vegan dishes, as well as a variety of delicious vegetarian fare.  

Other than the raw tacos, I highly recommend their Limonade beverage- a limey twist on lemonade, made with fresh kale, lime and agave.  For dessert, try the chef's chocolate bites.  This chocolate treat comes with a seasonal berry sauce, and the creamy chocolate treats are actually made with avocado!  

Visit to check them out! 

Question of the Day:  
What is your favorite place to get healthy meals out on the town?