Sunday, April 17, 2016

Vegan, Carnivore or Paleo Follower

1 - Human, 2 - Cow, 3 - Cat, 4 - Dog, 5 - Horse

I have a degree in Anthropology but you don't need one to see the differences in the photo posted above. The shape of our teeth and and the way our jaw moves are just a few reasons why I think we are not physically designed to eat meat. That doesn't mean we can't and Americans certainly do eat a lot of animals. Over 10 billion land animals are factory farmed and slaughtered a year in the United States alone but that is another post. Have you looked at the average waistline in our society? Children are eating the same foods their parents eat which is a lot of processed and fast food loaded with saturated fat. A prior town I lived in Jacksonville, FL was once ranked #8 in Men's Health as one of the fattest cities in the US and I'm not surprised!

More than a third of American adults and about 
17 percent of young people were obese in 2012

"Eighty percent of schools still serve too much greasy, fattening food to meet the government's own nutrition guidelines," says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. If you don't care about saturated fat in your diet you should be concerned about your health care premiums.

Back to my anatomy lesson. Just because I can eat a double whopper with cheese, large order of french fries and a milk shake doesn't mean my body is designed to digest it efficiently. My belly aches thinking about it. I'm going to summarize below an article from Milton R. Mills, M.D. and include some facts about the anatomical and physical differences between herbivores and true carnivores. I encourage you to read his full article, go take a good look at your cat and discard your Paleo book.

The human gastrointestinal tract features the anatomical modifications consistent with an herbivorous diet. Humans have muscular lips and a small opening into the oral cavity. Many of the so-called “muscles of expression” are actually the muscles used in chewing. The muscular and agile tongue essential for eating, has adapted to use in speech and other things. The mandibular joint is flattened by a cartilaginous plate and is located well above the plane of the teeth. The temporalis muscle is reduced. The characteristic “square jaw” of adult males reflects the expanded angular process of the mandible and the enlarged masseter/pterygoid muscle group. The human mandible can move forward to engage the incisors, and side-to-side to crush and grind.

Human teeth are also similar to those found in other herbivores with the exception of the canines (the canines of some of the apes are elongated and are thought to be used for display and/or defense). Our teeth are rather large and usually abut against one another. The incisors are flat and spade-like, useful for peeling, snipping and biting relatively soft materials. The canines are neither serrated nor conical, but are flattened, blunt and small and function Like incisors. The premolars and molars are squarish, flattened and nodular, and used for crushing, grinding and pulping noncoarse foods.
Human saliva contains the carbohydrate-digesting enzyme, salivary amylase. This enzyme is responsible for the majority of starch digestion. The esophagus is narrow and suited to small, soft balls of thoroughly chewed food. Eating quickly, attempting to swallow a large amount of food or swallowing fibrous and/or poorly chewed food (meat is the most frequent culprit) often results in choking in humans.

Man's stomach is single-chambered, but only moderately acidic. (Clinically, a person presenting with a gastric pH less than 4-5 when there is food in the stomach is cause for concern.) The stomach volume represents about 21-27% of the total volume of the human GI tract. The stomach serves as a mixing and storage chamber, mixing and liquefying ingested foodstuffs and regulating their entry into the small intestine. The human small intestine is long, averaging from 10 to 11 times the body length. (Our small intestine averages 22 to 30 feet in length. Human body size is measured from the top of the head to end of the spine and averages between two to three feet in length in normal-sized individuals.)

The human colon demonstrates the pouched structure peculiar to herbivores. The distensible large intestine is larger in cross-section than the small intestine, and is relatively long. Man's colon is responsible for water and electrolyte absorption and vitamin production and absorption. There is also extensive bacterial fermentation of fibrous plant materials, with the production and absorption of significant amounts of food energy (volatile short-chain fatty acids) depending upon the fiber content of the diet. The extent to which the fermentation and absorption of metabolites takes place in the human colon has only recently begun to be investigated.

In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a “committed” herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude that humankind's GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.

One of the best things you can do for your health is go vegan. Feel free to read my other posts and join me on my journey.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Try These Raw Cardamom Orange Flaxjacks

Last night J took me to PF Changs for dinner and we ordered their vegan Ma Po Tofu and vegan Stir-Fried Eggplant. Arriving just before a Florida downpour the place was packed but we happened to get lucky with 2 seats at the bar. The atmosphere was wonderful and the staff close to perfect. When the bartender asked how we liked the dishes, J pointed to the eggplant and said "awful" and then pointed to the Ma Po Tufu and said "awesome". The eggplant was way overcooked into mush and recommend you try one of their other vegan entrees such as the coconut curry vegetables. Be aware that their spring rolls are fried. They say that all their vegetarian dishes are in fact vegan. Here is a link to their menu.

For this last week most of what I've eaten has been cooked. You may not be aware of this fact but raw food is better for you and cooked food can really harm you starting with the fact that most of the nutrients are cooked out. So I hit the Internet searching for a raw food recipe and came up with this one from for Cardamom-Orange Coconut Flaxjacks! . OMG it was so easy that I'm posting her link and photograph. These are an adaptation of raw vegan chef Ani Phyo's recipe but it works very well. Don't expect these to taste like Aunt Jamima's or traditional flapjacks as you don't cook these. They taste great! These are not "hot" so just get over it and try them for something different.

Cardamon-Orange Coconut Flaxjacks (makes 2 small cakes):
1/4 c plus 1 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/4 c dried (unsweetened) shredded coconut
small pinch sea salt (optional)
pinch ground cardamom
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp agave nectar
Grind flaxseeds to a fine powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder and place in a small bowl.  Grind the coconut if it is not already very finely shredded, and add to flax.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients until a “dough” is formed.  Divide in two and roll each half into a ball, then flatten into a pancake shape.  Serve topped with fruit or fresh fruit syrup.

If you'd like to read up on the differences of raw fresh produce vs cooked food you can start with this article.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Industry Giants Are Undermining the Organic Movement

I get a ton of emails just like everyone but the ones I get from the Organic Consumers Association are packed full of information. Below I've pasted a paragraph from their article "The Organic Alternative: A Matter of Survival". When you know the difference between conventional and organic produce, hopefully you can make an intelligent decision about the food you put in your mouth. It is our body's fuel and you get what you pay for. Conventional produce lacks nutrition and it is really no-brainer once people educate yourself and stop being lazy about their health. This article brings into light how grocers such as Whole Foods Market, United Natural Foods and others promote and sell greenwashed and "natural" food more then organic. Conventional is cheaper but we get what we pay for.

Millions of health-minded Americans, especially parents of young children, now understand that cheap, non-organic, industrial food is hazardous. Not only does chemical and energy-intensive factory farming destroy the environment, impoverish rural communities, exploit farm workers, inflict unnecessary cruelty on farm animals, and contaminate the water supply; but the end product itself is inevitably contaminated. Routinely contained in nearly every bite or swallow of non-organic industrial food are pesticides, antibiotics and other animal drug residues, pathogens, feces, hormone disrupting chemicals, toxic sludge, slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms, chemical additives and preservatives, irradiation-derived radiolytic chemical by-products, and a host of other hazardous allergens and toxins. Eighty million cases of food poisoning every year in the US, an impending swine/bird flu pandemic (directly attributable to factory farms), and an epidemic of food-related cancers, heart attacks, and obesity make for a compelling case for the Organic Alternative.

Heading North to COOL Ashville, NC

It has been very hot in Florida lately and the rain just isn't stopping. Without the ocean breeze the forecast should just say "sweat, try to breath or go to the beach". So J and are on our way up to the mountains after a busy 3 day work stop in Atlanta. Our final destination will be Ashville, NC but will make some other stops along the trip. Our goal is to do some bike riding, hiking, and check out the local scenery. My vegan food list will be shorter this trip because of the many places to dine! After a quick check on I've noticed a few listings of places with veg options so we shall see how well they accommodate. Some of the reviews are older so we will also rely on some suggestions from our hosts. I'll be looking for the words "vegan options" or an * on the menu first. Then I'll ask the typical questions and post their answers, photos and reviews after we return. A few resturants we want to visit 8/10 - 8-13 are:

  • Rosetta's Kitchen
  • Laughing Seed Cafe
  • Firestorm Cafe
  • The Green Sage (maybe)

Check back mid August for an updated post. Please email me if you have any suggestions.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thai Cuisine Restaurant with a Vegan Menu

The next stop on our journey was to pick up our Dad and find an restaurant that had vegan options. Both of us pulled out our cell phones again and started making calls. There was a vegan restaurant listed in Emmaus, PA but she was closed and in the process of finding a new location. After probing her with questions on where someone from out of town could eat she suggested the White Orchids Thai Cuisine restaurant. She gave us directions and told us that they will give you a vegan menu if you ask. Wow! That would never happen in any restaurant where I live in Jacksonville, FL. The restaurant owners here are to archaic in their thoughts. St Augustine, Fl would be an excellent location for a Vegan Bakery or restaurant!

When we arrived at the the White Orchid my Dad told us " I eat that stuff but you will have to order for me. " So we did and ordered a variety of items off their "Vegan Menu" to share. When the vegan tofu appetizer came out my dad had a strange look on his face but proceeded to dip a slice in one of their fabulous sauces. "This is good! What is it?" he said. That brought a smile to my face and a chuckle. Our total order included their Pad Prik King - Red Curry Stir Fry, Pad Gra"Prow - Thai Spicy Basil Stir Fry, Vegan Tofu Appetizer and Summer Rolls (not fried). Most dishes came with Jasmine rice but you could substitute. We didn't have desert because we had Vegan Treats in our car! I'd give this restaurant 5 stars. You can download their vegan menu off their website

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Vegan Bakery In Bethlehem, PA ?

What a miracle! My sister "C" and I typed "vegan restaurants" into our GPS enabled cell phones and "Vegan Treats" popped up.

We were visiting family in northeast NJ and took a drive one day to visit my Dad who lives in a very small town in PA. Our goal was to take him to lunch but we gladly accepted the 20 minute detour to Vegan Treats. It is in the middle of a town called Bethlehem near remnants of old steel mills and a quaint town. Finding this bakery where everything is edible was like a miracle! Only strange thing was that the girl at the counter told us she was not vegan. (HUH?) I bit my tongue and started drooling instead. Maybe she was related but I'd like to think there must be vegan in Bethlehem looking for a part time job. Anyway - a picture is worth a thousand words. In the summer bring a cooler with you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buckwheat Groats Are An Amazing Food

This morning I surfed a link to the movie FOOD INC while eating my homemade rawnola and having tea. It will never show up in my town but a friend has it backordered online. Then after a few other distraction, petition signing and updates on the metro crash I looked back at my cereal bowl and said to my self " I want to blog about organic buckwheat groats".

BUCKWHEAT GROATS - (taken from a book by Gary Null) When roasted these gems are known as kasha. Buckwheat has more then 90 percent of the protein value of milk solids, and more then 80 percent of eggs. A pound of buckwheat provides protein equivalent to a half-pound of beef. It contains high amounts of all eight essential amino acids and is closer to be a complete protein than any other plant source, including soy beans. You can purchase them at a whole foods. I get mine from a the bins at Native Sun in Jacksonville, FL.

Cheers for buckwheat pancakes but that isn't the only thing you can do with buckwheat. Here is a link from the sunnyrawkitchen for granola. This recipe is similar to mine and is flexible to what you have on hand.

Here are links to a couple simple pancake recipes. Of course it is cruelty free of eggs and dairy products which are better for our health, the environment and the baby cows and chickens. ( side bar- did you know that all animals that are confined in factory farms are pumped up to a ripe age of a baby and then slaughtered?. Yes! All the animals that people consume are still babies. That is a fact.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes, Serves 3 or 4
1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or white spelt flour (substitute rice flour to make pancakes completely gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, thinly sliced

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a slightly bigger bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir just enough to combine. Don't overmix which is how you get tough pancakes. Place banana slices on as you cook or afterwards.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes by Cassie Young

Pancakes can be a nice "breakfast for dinner" especially in the heat of summer. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the pancake after you pour the batter into the pan. This will keep the batter from turning blue, which happens when you stir the berries into the batter. 

Dry ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup whole grain buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • blueberries, fresh or frozen
Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the soy milk and let it sit a few minutes to thicken up. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside. 

Once the soy milk has thickened up, give it a stir and pour a small amount of it into a dish and whisk in a slightly heaping teaspoon of egg replacer powder. Stir the remaining wet ingredients into the soy milk mixture and pour over dry ingredients. Mix batter until ingredients are just combined. Lumps are fine. At this point you can either gently fold in blueberries (if using frozen berries, don't bother to thaw them) or sprinkle the blueberries over the pancake batter after you pour it into the skillet (they'll sink into the batter). 

Cook pancakes in a lightly oiled and preheated non-stick skillet. I use a 1/3 cup measure to pour the batter into the skillet and end up with a total of six pancakes everytime. Serve pancakes with maple syrup. 

Cassie Young's blog Veggie Meal Plans

Gluten Free Pancakes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Visiting Family in Blairstown and Princeton Junction, NJ

My sister from Texas and I are meeting up next weekend in NJ to celebrate one of my nieces getting married and also to spend some quality time with our Dad and rest of scattered family members. I have 6 siblings which included one set of twins and one set of triplets. I promised my sister in law who is putting us up that I would cook a vegan dinner next Friday night for a group maybe as large as 16 - 20. I often feel like a vegan chef or caterer when I cook for a group but it is rewarding. The menu will consist of Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna, a big salad, bread, dipping sauce and Zucchini Brownies for desert. The vegan recipes are easy to come by but I might have a challenge with the ingredients. I'm an organic snob and may have to settle for the conventional produce, regular sauces and bring tofu, nutri yeast, cocoa and seasonings with me. The lasagna recipe comes from Susan at her website and she calls it her "Favorite Lasagna" and now it is my favorite for these kinds of occasions or a potluck. The zucchini brownies come from They aren't the healthiest but have a lot less fat and oil than some recipes. The trick to these brownies is to read the recipe and follow it exactly.

Update on the garden: We had so much rain in May that my Cucumber leaves got white powdery spots on them. I harvested 2 large ones so far but have to stop the fungus before it kills the plant. I just tried a solution that included baking soda and dish soap. I'm now down to two tomato plants that also look like they had to much to drink.

I'll post some pictures of the NJ dinner and my vegetable garden in about a week..

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Environmentally Friendly Biodynamic Food System

What does an environmentally friendly biodynamic food system capable of feeding everyone actually look like? This film is a blueprint for a post-industrial future. It takes you into the heart of It takes you into the heart of the world's most important renaissance.The outcome of the battle for agricultural control in India may just dictate the future of the earth.

One Man, One Cow, One Planet DVD - Cloud South Films - How to Save the World - Biodynamic Documentar.

PCRM News and Media Center Nation's Weight Gain Attributed to Excess Food, Not Lack of Exercise

PCRM News and Media Center Nation's Weight Gain Attributed to Excess Food, Not Lack of Exercise

Shared via AddThis

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vegan Food List and tips for Maho Bay Adventure

The list of foods that I brought to Maho Bay is to extensive to post here. If you'd like to check it out, please email me. At the bottom of this posting, I listed some information and travel tips if you are going to Maho Bay.

Tips for staying at Maho Bay: Bring lots of insect repellant. There may be a lot of mosquitoes on certain parts of the island depending on when it rains and where you are when they hatch. You can plan on detoxing when you get home if you don’t like bug spray. We live in Florida where we have killer mosquitoes but the swarms in Maho were unbelievable. Wear Light colors clothes and leave anything black at home as those suckers are attracted to dark colors. When the mosquitoes are swarming take off to the other side of the island where the wind blows. Go to Ram Head for a great hike, East End for the drive and scenery, have a veggie burger at Skinny Legs or stop at the roadside spicy vegan place in Coral Bay for me. I’m bummed that is was closed when I was there. Rent a jeep and go to Caneel Bay to see the ruins on their property. If there are no mosquitoes – get out and hike as there are trails everywhere. You do not need hiking boots but it is a really good idea to wear a good pair of hiking sandals such as Keens for some of the off-road trails. Always try to bring your snorkel gear with you as you. Have fun and email me if you have any questions.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Maho Bay, St John Island, USVI

Some of the meals I prepared at Maho Bay in our Cabin on a Coleman Stove. See sidebar.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vegan Traveler on an Island. What does one eat?

I just got back from 8 full days at Maho Bay, an eco resort on the island of St John in the USVI. We arrived down there on 5-8-09 and returned home on 5-18-09. As a vegan traveler I had the task to package food for the entire trip for 2 people. The restaurant is not eco-friendly in my opinion as they truck in everything. When I asked 2 of the chefs if they could prepare a vegan dish they were very polite and said they could IF what they were preparing an item that could be converted to a vegan dish. I would have to give then a notice the day before or check with them in the morning. One chef asked me if I wanted to bring my own tofu or have them cook it up. We are spontaneous when we travel and often took off early in the day and never knew when we would return. For you other vegan travelers out there you can see I was glad I brought my own food and seasonings. The salad bar was a plus and if you brought your own container you could take it back to your cabin. Some of the salads went into our Asian stir fry meals. All of our meals except for some P&J sandwiches were prepared on a 2 burner Coleman store.

Update: 6-3-09

As you can tell I have some problems with Maho Bay calling itself an eco-resort. I think it is more like glorified camping with a restaurant and gorgeous beach. If you are looking for a cheap cabin to rent in the USVI, then this worth trying. The lease is almost up on the land for Maho and it may be replaced by a resort, condos or homes in a few years.

Your footprint is smaller on Maho but my biggest beef about the place is the restaurant food and the term "eco" in their description. They make up their menu daily and list only one vegetarian (not vegan) dish on the menu which were all cooked with heart friendly eggs or cheese. Vegetarian diets are just as bad for our environment as eating beef! You may care about the environment but you aren't don't anything good for it if you eat a vegetarian diet. That is fact and you can learn all about it on a google search. If the boats stopped bringing food to any of the Virgin Islands human life on those islands as they know it would cease to exist except for those who live off the grid or sail up in a boat.

When I think of the word "Eco" used in the description for any property, farm, restaurant or hotel I think of the word sustainable going with it. Trucking beef, chicken, fish and eggs from all over the world is not sustainable.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What do farm animals eat?

I came across a website and had to share. The Reality of Feed at Animal Factories

When many Americans think of farm animals, they picture cattle munching grass on rolling pastures, chickens pecking on the ground outside of picturesque red barns, and pigs gobbling down food at the trough... Many people are surprised to find that most of the food animals in the United States are no longer raised on farms at all...

Over the last 50 years, the way food animals are raised and fed has changed dramatically—to the detriment of both animals and humans. Many people are surprised to find that most of the food animals in the United States are no longer raised on farms at all. Instead they come from crowded animal factories, also known as large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Just like other factories, animal factories are constantly searching for ways to shave their costs. To save money, they've redefined what constitutes animal feed, with little consideration of what is best for the animals or for human health. As a result, many of the ingredients used in feed these days are not the kind of food the animals are designed by nature to eat.

Just take a look at what's being fed to the animals you eat. YUK!
  • Same Species Meat
  • Diseased Animals
  • Feathers, Hair, Skin, Hooves, and Blood
  • Manure and Other Animal Waste
  • Plastics
  • Drugs and Chemicals
  • Unhealthy Amounts of Grains

It takes 16 #'s of grain and 5,000 Gallons of water for each pound of beef.

More than half of all water used in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food. A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.

Factory farms demand more water than all other users combined and produce 130 times as much waste as the entire human population of the United States.

You shouldn’t have to lie to your kids about the food you eat. Children would be horrified to learn about the cruelty and violence involved in turning chickens, pigs, and other animals into nuggets and other “foods.”

In every package of chicken, there’s a little poop. A USDA study found that 98 percent of broiler chicken carcasses had detectable levels of E. coli, indicating fecal contamination.

Eating meat and dairy products makes you fat. As a nation, we’re getting fatter, and the Atkins diet has only made matters worse because it only works in the short term. Only 2 percent of pure vegetarians are obese, which is about one-ninth the figure for meat-eating Americans.

Hungry? Check out these awesome links for some great vegan recipes.,, What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Enlightenment - A word with many meanings

"A Vegan Journey - True Enlightenment"

With the help of Wikpedida I'm able to paste a pretty good definition of "Enlightenment". You might ask why I should focus on this word instead of vegan. I'll get more into the vegan word as I publish posts but the enlightenment part is very crucial to a vegan journey. Over and over again I get the typical questions vegan's get such as "What do you eat?" and "How do you get your protein?" but I rarely get the question "Why?". That leads me to my journey because only as a Human Being with enlightenment can one truly understand the "Why?". I'm also going to need to address the "who, what, why, where and how on this journey but I will do it with as much compassion and understanding as I can.

So let me bring some light to the word "Enlightenment". Wikipedia list many definitions but my favorite short definition is "Total Understanding (of the nature of existence, self, etc)" relating to the the Buddhist religious concept.

This is my journey. Join me if you'd like.

I don't consider myself a Buddist and I don't label myself with any religion. I'm also not sorry if that bothers you because after all this is my blog. On that note, here the small print for my web-blog. I will delete any ridiculous comments. Now I need to go list some of my favorite links and go do something physical. Have a great day and enjoy living.

Link to Wikipedia's definition of Buddhism.

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