Often-cited as a shortcoming of a plant-based diet is deficiency of Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient made by bacteria in the intestines of animals (including humans). For many omnivores, this is reason enough to continue eating animal products.
You may be surprised that the most common cause of B12 deficiency is not lack of B12 containing-foods but intestinal disease, and the prevalence of B12 deficiency among vegans is not much different than in the overall population.Continue reading →
Many people aspiring for a healthier diet are surprised to learn there are just as many varieties of vegan diets as there are non plant-based diets–and not all of them are health promoting. The biggest differences among vegan diets are what foods are permissible, how they are prepared, and the balance of macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
After trying a raw food diet on and off for the past year, I decided to visit the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ, to experience the diet and lifestyle developed by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. Continue reading →
After spending several months on Oahu, even a health-conscious vegan begins to crave more variety than offered by the island’s handful of vegan restaurants. In the winter months, you may find even yourself craving hot soup. That’s the time to head to Nickie Cafe (3297 Campbell Ave).
Although Nickie has been vegan for most of her life, her sister (who runs the cafe together) is not. On the bright side, the menu has dishes to please everybody. Continue reading →
Here’s a book that explains why some people really can just eat one potato chip, while others like me can’t stop until the whole bag is gone. And a whole lot more, as you might expect in a book as thick as “Conscious Eating” by Dr. Gabriel Cousens.
In my 8 years since giving up meat, I’ve experienced the spectrum of vegetarian diets, from ovo-lacto vegetarian to “junk food vegan”–avoiding animal products but consuming processed foods and “empty calories”–to diets that emphasize whole grains, beans and legumes to those consisting exclusively of organic living (uncooked) fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
If you want things to change for you, you’ve got to change your thinking. Those are the words that started my mission 1.5 years ago to design a life filled with adventure and learning.
2012 was the year I left the familiarity of Tokyo, returning to the U.S. where I had spent little more than 2 weeks a year for the past 21 years. Reverse culture shock was no longer just an expression, but daily reality. Continue reading →
For all its reputation as a food mecca, and its hippy image, I was surprised to learn on a recent visit that downtown San Francisco is home to only 10 vegan restaurants.
Three of these 10 are part of the Loving Hut chain, which-despite their use of excessive oil and textured soy protein, and cafeteria atmosphere–are far superior to any non-vegan fast-food, and provide an animal compassionate and practical alternative for those transitioning to a plant-based diet. Continue reading →
It’s no secret, the 65 year-old Dr. John McDougall said, that food is the reason he’s now a better windsurfer than he was 35 years ago, when he attended medical school and did his residency in Hawaii.
The purpose of McDougall’s lecture for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii last week was to enlist vegans in a common goal: “to build a future we can all live with–and stop battling among ourselves”. This is the topic of his new book, The Starch Solution. Continue reading →
Satoshi has been doing an incredible job increasing awareness of veganism in Japan by translating this blog into Japanese. An omnivore himself, he was curious about plant-based diets because of his frequent travels to India on business, where vegetarianism is common for spiritual reasons. Satoshi’s growing interest in vegan food led him to visit a Tokyo raw vegan restaurant and file this review:
I invited a lot of friends to accompany me to a vegetarian restaurant for dinner, but none of them accepted, except Emily, my English conversation teacher. It was the first time I had tried a raw food, vegan, or even a vegetarian restaurant.
Emily has been in Japan for about half a year, and hasn’t eaten meat since high school. With a sister who is vegetarian–Emily was interested in experiencing Japanese-style raw vegan dishes.
Rainbow Raw Food Cafe and Bar in Hammatsu-cho is a very small and cozy restaurant with six tables and twelve chairs. You can choose from the Raw Food Dinner Course of six dishes (￥2,500), Combination Plate (￥1,800), or something from the a la carte menu. We each ordered the Dinner Course, and I had organic beer and Emily had a smoothie to drink. Continue reading →
Previously, I wrote about my experience trying to recreate a vegan version of a now-shuttered Tokyo bakery’s “lemon cake with wow”. As promised, I’ve continued my quest for a vegan lemon cake recipe that matches the best of non-vegan lemon cakes.
I tried both of the lemon cake recipes from Fairfoods (a bakery and caterer located in Devon, England), beginning with their gluten-free recipe. Since I had never used xantham gum, I followed the instructions closely (even weighing the ingredients–instead of using measuring cups–as professional bakers do) and also determined that the British “2 dssp” (dessert spoons) of ground flaxseeds translates to 4 teaspoons in American.
The gluten-free cake batter was so thick and viscous, I thought I had made a mistake, but Clare of Fairfoods assured me that thick and sticky batter is normal for xanthan gum, as long as it is not lumpy. “Always sieve the flours, xanthan and raising agents together,” she told me, ”and give the batter a really good whisk so it is even. Just whisk as much as it needs and no more. ”
Sure enough, after baking, the cake’s consistency was spongy and moist. Continue reading →