Tag Archives: vegan nutrition

How Not to Die-It’s Never Too Late

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Does a book entitled “How Not to Die” make a good present? Of course! Will your loved ones read it? Who cares? If they don’t, you can borrow it and read it yourself! You deserve it, don’t you?

When I first heard the title, I thought it might be off-putting to those who were not familiar with Dr. Greger’s work. Some of my family and friends thought it was not in good taste when I presented it to my mother (who is approaching 90) last Christmas.

I was disappointed—but should not have been surprised—that Mom has read little of it, and I will try to find someone more excited about improving the quality of their remaining years.

As someone who has binge-watched Dr. Greger’s NutritionFacts.Org videos for fun, and has attended his lectures in person on 3 occasions, I understood right away why he titled his book “How Not to Die.”

For the past several years, Dr. Greger has been around the country (even circling the globe!) lecturing about the role of a plant-based diet in prevention, treatment and even reversal of the top 15 killers, or contributors to premature death.

When “How Not to Die” came out a year ago, it became an instant New York Times Best Seller. Incidentally, 100 percent of all proceeds Dr. Greger receives from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements are donated to charity.

Recently, I set out to read the book for myself. Although 562 pages appeared intimidating, thankfully the last 150 pages contain references to Greger’s research. No surprise for someone whose life’s work is poring over fact-based nutrition research.

I expected “How Not to Die” to rehash everything I learned from having followed Dr. Greger since he lit up the internet by publishing a new nutrition video everyday beginning in 2011.

Part 1 of the book covers the 15 “killers” Dr. Greger enumerated:

  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Disease
  • Brain Disease
  • Digestive Cancers
  • Infections
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Kidney Disease
  • Breast Cancer
  • Suicidal Depression
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Iatrogenic Causes

While a lot of Part 1 did have a familiar ring, it was interesting and informative nonetheless, thanks to Dr. Greger’s tongue-in-cheek delivery. However, Part 2 added a few bonuses that made “How Not to Die” as entertaining and practical as I’ve come to expect from Dr. Greger.

Part 2 addresses the most common question Greger hears: “What do you eat everyday?” For this, he created two simple tools to help you integrate everything he learned into your own daily life:

1. Traffic Light system to quickly identify the healthiest options:

  • Green-light foods: unprocessed plant foods that should be maximized
  • Yellow-light foods: processed plant-foods and unprocessed animal foods that should be minimized
  • Red-light foods: ultra-processed plant foods and processed animal foods that should be avoided

2. Daily Dozen checklist to help you incorporate the foods Dr. Greger considers essential to the optimum diet

Eating is a zero sum game,” Dr. Greger says. “When you choose to eat one thing, you are generally choosing not to eat another….So everything we choose to eat has opportunity cost.”

The “Daily Dozen” checklist (which Dr. Greger began as a game played with his family on their refrigerator white-board) consists of:

  • Beans (3)
  • Berries (1)
  • Other Fruits (3)
  • Cruciferous Vegetables (1)
  • Greens (2)
  • Other Vegetables (2)
  • Flaxseeds (1)
  • Nuts (1)
  • Spices (1)
  • Whole Grains (3)
  • Beverages (5)
  • Exercise (1)

Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate the “number of servings” of each.

Dr. Greger concludes “How Not to Die,” by saying he hopes to persuade readers that “nutrition is not the state, lifeless subject your middle school home-economics class may have led you to believe. It’s vibrant and overflowing with opportunity for the betterment of your life.”

As I mentioned in my 2012 post “Who Do You Trust for Nutrition Facts?”, with the never-ending explosion of conflicting information from so many so-called nutrition experts, we have to place our trust in someone. Dr. Greger’s unbiased perspective has persuaded me time and time again.

Consider giving “How Not to Die” to someone you love. For a last-minute Christmas present, birithday, or for no reason but to show someone you care. In the worst case, you’ll get it back, and share it again, until it resonates.

Note: This article contains links to Amazon products for which I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site!

Vegan Aloha at KCC Farmers Market: Acai Bowls, Natto, and More!

Vegan Acai Bowl at Daizu-Tei (hold the honey!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While most Honolulu locals shop for their fresh local produce, tourists flock to farmers markets for the prepared foods-of which few are vegan-friendly, and a lot are plain unhealthy: Fried this, or fried that!? Even the T-shirts sold by the Hawaii Farm Bureau are adorned with pigs–signifying the ubiquity of meat and other animal products. 

Until the day when there are Vegan Farmers Markets, fortunately there is Daizu-Tei, specializing in acai bowl, kim-chi, and natto using vegan, local, and organic ingredients. Owner Kaori Yoshioka must be doing something special, judging from the long lines at her stand at the Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Saturday morning market (7:30am-11:00am).

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Honolulu Organic Juice Bars-Few and Far Between

Mike and Stacy, Extract Juice Bar (Bishop St).If you’ve had really fresh juice made from local organic vegetables and fruits, you know there’s nothing that compares.

This is why people travel to rejuvenation centers and spend thousands of dollars to consume nothing but fresh green juice, wheatgrass shots, and low-glycemic raw food to detox and heal their body and mind. If you’ve not taken such a vacation, isn’t it time you did?

If Green Juice’s So Good for You, Why Not Drink It Every Day?

If you have a little time to shop for produce, it’s easy to juice at home. Begin by juicing equal amounts of organic cucumbers and celery for 80 percent (the base) of your juice, and make the remaining 20 percent out of organic leafy greens (i.e. kale, spinach, cabbage), lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple, carrots, beets, etc.-whatever vegetables and fruits you’d like. Or for those who can’t stand vegetables (I know you’re out there), use vegetables you hate the least! Continue reading

A Vegan World-Imagine That!

Healthy Vegan Breakfast of Chia Seeds and Colorful FruitsI recall when the “Imagine a Vegan World” Support Group began meeting last year in Honolulu. I loved the ‘Vegan World’ part but I’d been vegan 8 years and didn’t feel like I needed support as such.

“Why attend?” I thought! It’s held during supper time but nowhere near any vegan eateries! Whose brilliant idea was that?! Looking back, I realize I was being selfish.

Imagine a Vegan World was started by Terry Bear in early 2013. The group’s founder and visionary went vegan 3 years ago influenced by her vegan daughter.

Terry considers everyone a vegan or on the way to becoming one.  “First I was vegan for “the health of it,” says Terry, “but after reading Will Tuttle’s ‘The World Peace Diet,’ I was completely transformed to a passionately compassionate, ethical vegan.”

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“Appetite for Reduction” Delivers Taste and Nutrition

appetite-for-reductionIf you’re trying to introduce some variety into your meals while dialing up your health a notch, Isa Moskowitz’s “Appetite for Reduction” offers up the perfect combination. This vegan cookbook is full of everything we’ve come to appreciate from the prolific author such as her sense of humor and her taste for the exotic. Plus–in a first for Isa–a concern for health.

Why health? As Isa explains in the intro: “I wrote this book for me!”

I wrote a bunch of cookbooks–one dealing completely in cupcakes–and I was constantly surrounded by food. I also quit smoking and found it difficult to keep cookies from hopping into my mouth instead. On top of that were 2 medical issues, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism…I needed to change what I was eating–less fat, less sugar–and I needed to get more active.

All of the recipes in “Appetite for Reduction” were reviewed by registered dietician Matt Ruscigno, who furnishes nutritional info including calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, carbs, fiber, sugars, vitamins and minerals–for every recipe.

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Two Delicious Recipes for Whole Buckwheat

The popularity of my post “Are Soba Noodles Healthier Than Spaghetti?” showed that many of you are looking for ways to introduce healthy whole grains and cereals into your diets. Great news!

Buckwheat (or soba) in Japanese is one of THE most nutritious foods. I’m referring to buckwheat groats, not the namesake soba noodles, which are often made of mostly plain old refined white flour. Continue reading

Top 2 Nutrient-Packed Vegan Travel Snacks

At last month’s Vida Vegan Conference 2013, I received a swag bag filled with the motherload of plant-based products targeted at vegan attendees.

Everybody likes to receive free stuff–and I particularly don’t like wasting food–but some products barely meet my definition of “food.” Srutinizing each one closely, I weighed my curiosity to sample against my nutritional sense and the pain of carrying additional luggage. Continue reading

Crazy Sexy Kitchen Makes Plant-Based Excitement

Several years ago, there were only a handful of vegan cookbooks. Today, there are dozens, and I recently learned there are 200 new vegan cookbooks on the way!

Great news, unless you are deciding which cookbook to add to your library. Fortunately for me, I did not have to choose, as I received a hardcopy version of Crazy Sexy Kitchen as a gift.

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Vida Vegan What? Just Don’t Miss the Next One!

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Two years ago, by the time I learned about the first Vida Vegan Conference, it was already too late to sign up. I was living in Tokyo at the time–shortly after the “3-11” (Fukushima) disaster–and was feeling pretty uneasy.

I didn’t know how it would happen, but I was determined to make it to the next VVC bloggers conference, to be held 2 years later.

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