Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Adapting Bonnie's recipe, but not much, we had some mini muffins for mom and dad's visit. I tend to like variety, so I used one batch of standard muffin dough, split it into two smaller bowls, and made Cinnamon mini muffins and Peanut butter chocolate chip mini muffins. One batch makes 24 mini muffins, just the amount my one pan holds. Enjoy as a snack, dessert or with brunch (we had eggs florentine with them).
cinni mini muffins 
1-2 t. ground cinnamon (I tend to add a lot, for flavor)
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice (optional)

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. margarine/butter, softened

chocolate chip peanut butter muffins
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter, softened
basic muffin dough (makes 24 mini muffins)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup sugar or 2/3 cup Sucanat
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 TB ground flax seed + 2 TB water (or 1 egg)
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk (or cow's milk)
1/4 c. margarine/butter, melted (you could sub applesauce, but it's not the same)

1) Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix wet ingredients--egg, soymilk and margarine. Once mixed thoroughly, combine the wet into the dry mix bowl and stir well. Separate (sticky) dough into half, putting the second half back into the wet ingredient bowl. This is how you'll create 2 flavors of muffins.

2) In the first bowl, combine the chocolate chips and softened peanut butter. You want semi-melted, but not runny, peanut butter. Spray or line 12 of the mini baking cups and spoon a little less than a tablespoon into each of them.

3) In the second bowl (cinni mini muffins), add the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. (Add extra spice to taste.) Stir well and spoon into the other 12 mini baking cups.

4) Bake for 8-10 minutes. While baking, mix together topping for cinnamon muffins. (Choco-pb muffins don't need a topping, trust me.) Let muffin pan cool on counter for a few minutes, then sprinkly brown sugar mixture onto top of each cinni mini muffin. Eat and enjoy!

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled, as ambitious as your little bake sale heart desires.

lion at naptime...on his back 
It was great to have mom and dad in town this weekend. We went to a dinner at my school, ate lots of tasty food, and spent a lot of time together. Great stuff! We visited the local zoo for the first time... *warning: matt loves instagram (google it if you like). So, as my favorite Baba Wawa says, Take a little time to enjoy the view. Enjoy some time outside (before it gets too hot) and have an incredible week!

koi pond with lovely lilypads          

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Puffy Scones

Have you ever walked in a kitchen with no plan? I just did. The result?

puffy scones (vegan)
these scones bring a little surprise by adding the toppings in the middle of this sweet, healthy dough. they're low fat, low calorie and the small size allows you to snack on them any time of the day.
*makes 12-15 scones*
 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 cup wheat pastry flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk
3 TB agave syrup 

toppings: (choose what you like)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips/shavings
1-2 t. cinnamon sugar
step 1: preheat oven to 350. mix dry ingredients in medium bowl.
step 2: mix wet ingredients in a different medium bowl.
step 3: stir wet into dry ingredients. form into dough, which will be a little sticky.

step 4: flouring surface of a sheet of wax paper or counter surface, roll out dough into an egg shape (about 12" lengthwise and 7-8" width).

step 5: add toppings to one half of the "egg." roll the plain half of dough over to the topping half of dough, making it a 2-layer dough with the topping in the middle. using 2" cookie cutters, cut out your mini scones. place them on a non-stick baking mat.

step 6: bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly firm but soft as well.

 e a t...lots.

 easy, simple ingredients, healthy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shrimp Pocket

Vitalogy by Pearl Jam
While I was at work one day, Matt decided to cook. He's retraining the grill as summer quickly approaches, getting in a few practice runs before the real Texas heat finally settles in. Matt grilled a steak for himself and created something fun for me, a Shrimp Pocket. I requested lots of veggies and a few jumbo shrimp.

Mirrorball by Neil Young
Matt loves vinyl and put on a few records while he prepped the food...

He wrote out a list of the ingredients for the shrimp pocket...for me.

shrimp pocket
*2 servings*
6 jumbo shrimp
2 stalks celery, cut into 2/3" bites
2 stalks green onion/chives, chopped
1 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 red bell pepper " "
Large handful fresh green beans
10-12 baby carrots
juice of 3 squeezed lemons   
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 t. sesame seeds
1 TB olive oil
3 TB soy sauce
1-2 t. red pepper flakes, crushed in hand

1) Toss all veggies in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze lemon over veggies and add all seasonings. Adjust seasonings to taste.
2) Add peeled and rinsed (cooked or raw) shrimp to veggies. Toss.
3) Cover bowl with saran wrap or foil and set in fridge for 1-2 hours. 

4) After time in fridge, lay out 2 sheets of aluminum foil. Pour veggie/shrimp mix with sauce onto foil and wrap up to keep all ingredients from leaking out. Place on grill for 20-25 minutes, flipping to evenly cook food. 


 Sam slept, we ate.

If you prefer not to drag out the grill, you can cook the foil-less pocket ingredients in a wok. It'll take 15+ minutes to fully cook the carrots and bell pepper. Either way, the veggies will taste delicious and the shrimp will be heavenly. Happy eating!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Matt's Incredible Tenderloin

Before I met my husband, pork was not a food I'd had much of, with the exception to the wonderful food that is crispy bacon. His home had some gourmet dinners and always homemade deliciousness. One of his family's favorites is pork tenderloin. He makes a marinade his dad used to make, but Matt loves to mix it up and start new creations. (The great thing for me...I'm his taste tester, and--unlike in my cooking--he is 100% successful in making tasty creations.)

 Here is a dinner he made this week...yum! I haven't been eating much meat, but this was too tasty to pass up. We bought this Mucho Mango Dipping Sauce from Dilorio Farm in Houston. I thought it would be fun to drizzle it over the pork for added flavor. Turns out...the pork was too tasty to add a sauce to it! Matt's rub, marinade, and sauce brushed on during the grilling process was one of the best I've ever tasted! Seriously, it would have been a travesty to add extra sauce to such a good thing. But I did drizzle the sauce over the green beans with Italian sweet peppers. It was fruity with an instant taste of apricots and mango. And I didn't expect the crushed red pepper had some heat!

Matt was sweet enough to remember the ingredients that he put in his rub and then in the sauce for the pork tenderloin.

Spiced Rub for Pork Tenderloin
By: Matt

ground black pepper
garlic powder
dried rosemary
dried basil
sea salt
*Rub each ingredient thoroughly on tenderloin, adding layer by layer. Roll in saran wrap and put in fridge for a few hours.  

Matt's Amazing Sauce (for Pork Tenderloin)

1/2 cup Stubb's mesquite pecan bbq sauce (or a sweet/nutty bbq sauce)
1/2 cup regular bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup red wine
2 TB olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 t. fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 t. spicy brown mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
Shaving (1 t.) fresh parmesan
Dash of each: rosemary, basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and brush onto tenderloin before, during and after grilling. *Very flexible, make it to your taste!* Truly, this was so tasty and well worth the time and care that went into the meal. 

So there you have it...a meat and potatoes kind of meal. But it's a lean meat with fresh flavors and ridiculously mouth-watering tastes. I even tasted one bite of the pork with an unexpected taste at the end...ginger! Thanks, Matt!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Big 9-9 and Eggs

Today would have been my maternal grandfather's 99th birthday. Ninety-nine, can you believe it? I think it's time for a story.

Leon was quite a colorful character. He was one of three children and outnumbered by two sisters, one who died in childhood from an illness. He only made it to sixth grade in his formal education to go to work and help support his family, beginning his worldly schooling. From lying about his age at 16 to get onto the Dallas Police force, he was later one of the key officers in the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde. His claim to fame? Befriending Clyde's mom and having a few "colorfully" argumentative phone conversations with Clyde Barrow in the early 30s. He loved law enforcement and had a real passion for justice and helping others.

He was first married at 16 to a lovely childhood friend. They had two girls who looked like their mother, and both daughters grew up to be intelligent, loving women. Leon and his wife ended up growing apart, but they remained close friends all their lives. In the meantime, Leon moved to Houston and Mr. Mash started selling Nash automobiles. He was a good salesman, but an even better charmer with the ladies. A particularly beautiful woman named Lura, independent as the day is long, came by herself to shop for a new car. She had 7 brothers, all of whom would have loved to accompany her so she got a fair deal, but she opted to do this alone. This proved to be a good decision, for Lura ran into Leon that day at the dealership. Leon did not sell her a Nash Rambler but, instead, gave her his heart.

The two married in 1955 and had a daughter and a son, Jeanine and David, several years later. Leon had a variety of jobs over the years, including owning a hardware store near NASA in Houston. Leon used to joke that his astronaut customers could travel to the moon but they couldn't repair a clogged toilet. That's where Leon stepped in, serving as their home adviser and handyman when these brilliant PhD scientists needed help from a man with a 6th grade education. Leon loved his family dearly until the day he died. For that, we'll remember the blessing of his love.

And I'll remember his Unusual food preferences. Here were some of his favorites:
*Runny, barely warm, scrambled eggs
*Tarter sauce by the spoonful
*Crunchy peanut butter, every day
*Canned vegetables, room temperature, fork in can.

So, in memory of his life and the day that celebrates his 99th birthday, I made my own eggy meal. It's a little less runny than he preferred, but it's the thought that counts, right?
5-minute Egg Pancake
*Note: This is not an omelette. Omelettes are fluffy and neat...this is quick and flat.

2 farm-raised eggs
Cucumbers with ranch and potato bread toast add nicely
2 TB chives, chopped
2 TB bell pepper
2 TB mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1 t. fresh basil, chopped
Shredded cheese, optional

Heat non-stick pan/skillet. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. 
Mix in the other 6 ingredients. Pour into pan.
 Let cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping to prevent burning.
 Eat and be merry. 

Jeweled Fruit

Who doesn't love a good, refreshing fruit salad? It's a healthy dessert that you feel energized about. Although I do love the giant cupcakes in the bakery shop displays, their lovely decor and colorful frosting does not last once I realize how much butter, white sugar, and oil I have just consumed.

Here is an old standard that is fresh and not so boring.

Melon Mint Salad
Serves 10 (or 1 for 4 lunches)
*Wash and pat dry the non-peeled fruits*

1 cantaloupe, from the fridge, sliced into bite-sized pieces

Bunch of red grapes
Pint of strawberries, sliced into quarters/halves (depending on size of berry)
3 TB fresh chopped mint

Combine all ingredients together and serve now or later. The mint flavor infuses in the fruit the more you wait, BUT it's delicious immediately after making, too. Enjoy! Quick and easy.

 Serve with apple bran muffin, tea sandwiches, pitas, and with a little citrus water.
Citrus Water
2 quarts filtered water
1 orange, sliced circular
1 lemon, sliced circular 

Simply combine fruit with water and chill in fridge for 3+ hours. Serve over ice. This is a great way to drink water for those of us who struggle to get 8 (or even 4) glasses in a day! 

Now for a little bling-bling...

My mom and I started going through my grandmother's costume jewelry. You would not believe what a woman who lived 89 years would own! It was fabulous!
 Yes, she organized her jewelry by color...
Some funky finds
 My grandmother was one of the most caring people I've ever had the honor of knowing. She was not shallow in any way, but there were a few belongings that she cherished (and organized so well)...her china, cookbooks, and her costume jewelry collection. As her youngest granddaughter who came over to her house often, sometimes she would let me marvel at the colors and the shine, even take a few pieces home as my high school play and musical costumes called for. Wearing a 60 year old pair of earrings or a bangle reminds me of her and makes me miss her a tiny bit less. What a wonderful lady...

Happy Wednesday to you and yours.


Monday, April 18, 2011

When you shop for groceries, you're voting...

We were talking in one of my classes a few weeks ago, and this one phrase has stuck with me: "When you shop for groceries, each thing you put in your basket is a vote."
It's true. When we pick up that sack of apples or that box of apple pop-tarts, we are voting what we want to keep on the shelves and what the store management--with a decline in some product sales--will order more of or discontinue. Food is a struggle for me (see below); no matter how much I enjoy it (didn't God create food for growing and enjoying around the table?), the choices are mind-boggling. I went grocery shopping the other day and tried to follow that USDA new guideline chart---half produce, half produce. I kept saying it to myself (like a crazy woman) as I passed the frozen pizzas and bags of candy. Oh, how I wanted to indulge in anything in a shiny, colorful box with a familiar brand logo or character on the front. It's so easy to grab a frozen dinner and a box of Fruit Loops and go! But if we just take about 2 seconds, *STOP*, and redirect our decision to the salad mix and the canister of instant oatmeal, we're making better choices! We are!

Sometimes I don't even think when I pop stuff in my mouth. Interestingly enough, that indifference, that monotony of Frankensteining my way to the kitchen and digging around for some boxy food in a shiny package, shoving it in my mouth and repeating the process one hour come on, there's no pride in eating like that! There's no breaking bread around the table in fellowship when you eat like that! And I do it all of the time...habits are so hard to break.

So my baby steps are to get all of the nutrients I need each day, not all of the calories I need (those will come by focusing on nutrients). I must drink lots of water, no matter how I do it. (I have to count 20 swallows at a time because it's such torture. Lord, please give me the strength of a camel to drink more water.) I must exercise and think about what my body is doing at any given time and how it is feeling. (I have literally had a stomachache for days at a time and didn't realize that something was off kilter. Talk about not being in tune with your gut, haha.)

I admit it, I struggle with food. Do you?

I love food, think about it a lot, and dream up new recipes. I learn from others who have been cooking/working with food more than me, and I love to see their creative takes on _______ (fill in the blank with whatever their focus is, from baking to food photography, etc.).

My whole life, as probably yours, has been surrounded with so many messages about food. From the early '90s, when my family (and millions of other Americans) bought into the "fat free craze," where Snackwells and other low fat food brands dominated the market.
Then I became a preteen and teenage girl in America, the land of the anorexic and the free. I loved food but had guilt about eating it. My body wasn't perfect, in media's eyes, and therefore I thought I didn't deserve to be satisfied with eating normally and living a balanced life. A part of that insecure person is somewhere in me and must be reminded that I deserve to be healthy.

And I started looking at healthy alternatives in junior high and high school. I ate less meat and no meat at times (which was never really a struggle).The "low fat foods = healthy" mentality was there, but I saw more options and felt more confident in myself and my choices.

This part written back in February: Here we are today and, in about 30 more hours, I'll be a whopping 27 years old. Some of that little girl is there, wanting to grab every cookie and sugary sweet in sight. The teenager is there, wondering if she'll ever measure up to the world's standards. And then there is the Laurel of today, slightly bewildered and definitely wondering where my food life will take me next.

Healthy living is definitely important to me, but I feel like there is something more. I feel like a have just enough knowledge to be dangerous and lack the wisdom to find a balance. I am journeying to figure out which foods (and overall lifestyle) are best for my body, and I am not seeing meat in that picture right now. I do love the occasional marinated steak or grilled salmon, but my body is not liking it so much right now. It's not liking dairy of any kind, either, right now.

All of these little stomachaches I keep getting, combined with my reading and discovery of the vegan lifestyle is leading to one thing...I need to try it. It probably won't be for forever and probably will be difficult at times, but I must figure out what is best for myself. There are lots of prayers going into this. So, for now, I'll be baking without beautiful eggs, milk, cheese or butter. We'll see where it takes me.

Now that was far too much information. I just thought I'd share where I am right now. As for the info I've been reading about now (and, embarrassingly enough, first heard from the musician/environmental activist Moby when I was about 13), there are some alarming facts about how many resources it takes to feed animals that we eat (milk and cheese included). It takes SO MANY FEWER resources to merely grow fruits, vegetables, beans, and other plant-based foods on that land. If we all ate plant-based diets, there would be enough food to feed every person on this Earth. Every single person. Even those kids without fresh water and those who have dirt floors, worn out shoes and smiles on their faces. My kind of kids. That sounds a bit like a wake-up call from God, if we're commanded to do this whole "Love your neighbor" thing.

Here are some of many of those facts that have woken me up a bit:
  • Human population of United States: 270,000,000 (and counting)
  • Number of human beings who could be fed by the grain and soybeans eaten by U.S. livestock: 1,300,000,000
  • Sacred food of Native Americans: Corn
  • Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by human beings: 20
  • Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by livestock: 80
  • Percentage of soy grown in United States eaten by livestock: 90
  • Percentage of oats grown in United States eaten by livestock: 95
  • Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
  • Percentage of carbohydrate wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 99
  • Percentage of dietary fiber wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 100
  • Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on 1 acre of land: 20,000
  • Pounds of beef that can be produced on 1 acre of land: 165
  • Percentage of U.S. agricultural land used to produce beef: 56
  • Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16
  • Pounds of protein fed to chickens to produce 1 pound of protein as chicken flesh: 5 pounds
  • Pounds of protein fed to hogs to produce 1 pound of protein as hog flesh: 7.5 pounds
  • Number of children who starve to death every day: 38,000 (1 every 2.3 seconds)

  • Amount of total U.S. grain production consumed by livestock: 70%
  • Amount of U.S. grain exports consumed by livestock: 66%
  • Amount of world grain harvest consumed by livestock throughout the 1980s: half
  • Number of pure vegetarians who can be fed on the amount of land needed to feed 1 person consuming meat-based diet: 20
  • Number of people who will starve to death this year: 20,000,000
  • Number of people who could be adequately fed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100,000,000
  • Amount of increase in global cattle population during the last 40 years: 100%
  • Amount of increase in global fowl population during the last 40 years: 200%
  • Ratio of livestock to people on Earth: three to one
  • Amount of Earth's land mass grazed by livestock: half
  • Amount of U.S. cropland producing livestock feed: 64%
  • Amount of U.S. cropland producing fruits and vegetables: 2% 
  • Percentage of original U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
  • Amount of U.S. cropland lost each year to soil erosion: 4,000,000 acres, the size of Connecticut
  • Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly associated with livestock raising: 85
  • Amount of original U.S. cropland permanently removed from production due to excessive soil erosion: one-third
  • Pounds of topsoil lost in the production of one pound of feedlot steak: 35
  • Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural land in the U.S.: over 5 billion tons
  • Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural worldwide: 26 billion tons
  • Time required for nature to form one inch of topsoil: 200 to 1000 years
  • Historic cause of demise of many great civilizations: Topsoil depletion 
Those working in the oil industry might find this one interesting:
  • Length of time world's petroleum reserves would last if all human beings ate meat centered diet: 13 years
  • Length of time world's petroleum reserves would last if all human beings ate vegetarian diet: 260 years
  • Principal reason for U.S. military intervention in Persian Gulf: Dependence on foreign oil
  • Barrels of oil imported daily by U.S.: 6,800,000
  • Percentage of energy return (as food energy per fossil energy expended) of most energy efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5%
  • Percentage of energy return (as food energy per fossil energy expended) of least energy efficient plant food: 328%
  • Pounds of soybeans produced by the amount of fossil fuel needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 40

  • Percentage of raw materials consumed in U.S. for all purposes presently consumed to produce current meat-centered diet: 33
  • Percentage of raw materials consumed in U.S. for all purposes needed to produce fully vegetarian diet: 2
  • User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the United States: Livestock production
  • Quantity of water used in the production of the average cow sufficient to: float a destroyer
  • Water needed to produce 1 pound of wheat: 25 gallons
  • Water needed to produce 1 pound of meat: 2,500 gallons
  • Cost of common hamburger meat if water used by meat industry was not subsidized by U.S. taxpayers: $35/pound
  • Current cost for pound of protein from wheat: $1.50
  • Current cost for pound of protein from beefsteak: $15.40
  • Cost for pound of protein from beefsteak if U.S. taxpayers ceased subsidizing meat industry's use of water: $89
  • Production of excrement by total U.S. human population: 12,000 pounds/second
  • Production of excrement by U.S. livestock: 250,000 pounds/second
  • Sewage systems in U.S. cities: Common
  • Sewage systems in U.S. feedlots: Nil
  • Amount of waste produced annually by U.S. livestock in confinement operations which is not recycled: 1 billion tons 
  • Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
  • Number of U.S. medical schools with a required course in nutrition: 30
  • Training in nutrition received during 4 years of medical school by average U.S physician: 2.5 hours 
Serious as a heart attack:
  • How frequently a heart-attack strikes in U.S.: Every 25 seconds
  • How frequently a heart attack kills in U.S.: Every 45 seconds
  • Most common cause of death in U.S.: Heart attack
  • Risk of death from heart attack for the average American man: 50%
  • Risk of death from heart attack for the average American man who consumes no meat: 15%
  • Risk of death from heart attack for the average American man who consumes no meat, dairy products or eggs: 4%
  • Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs 10%: 9%
  • Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs 50%: 45%
  • Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs 100%: 90%
  • Rise in blood cholesterol from consuming 1 egg per day: 12%
  • Rise in heart attack risk from 12% rise in blood cholesterol: 24% 
  • Leading sources of saturated fat and cholesterol in American diets: Meat, dairy products and eggs
  • Amount of cholesterol in an average egg: 275 mg
  • Amount of cholesterol in chicken: The same as beef, 25 mg per ounce
  • Main location of cholesterol in animal flesh: The lean portion 

Worried about not getting enough protein if you cut out meat and dairy?
  • Recommended percentage of daily calories to be derived from protein according to World Health Organization: 4.5%
  • Recommended percentage of daily calories to be derived from protein according to Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S.D.A.: 6%
  • Recommended percentage of daily calories to be derived from protein according to National Research Council: 8%
  • Percentage of calories as protein in wheat: 17%
  • Percentage of calories as protein in broccoli: 45%
  • Percentage of calories as protein in rice: 8%

 What about milk? Don't we need milk to keep our bones strong?
  • Natural food for any baby mammal: The mother's breast milk
  • The only mammal that consumes the milk of another species after being weaned: Humans
  • The Dairy Council tells us: Milk is nature's most perfect food.
  • The Dairy Council doesn't tell us: Milk is nature's most perfect food for a baby calf, who has four stomachs, will double its weight in 47 days, and is destined to weigh 300 pounds within a year.
  • The Dairy Council tells children: To grow up big and strong, drink lots of milk.
  • The Dairy Council occasionally tells children: The enzyme necessary for digestion of milk is lactase.
  • The Dairy Council never tells children: 20% of Caucasians and up to 90% of people of African and Asian descent have no lactase in their intestines.
  • The meat, dairy and egg industries tell us: Animal products constitute 2 of the "Basic 4" food groups popular until very recently.
  • The meat, dairy and egg industries don't tell us: There were originally 12 official basic food groups, before these industries applied enormous political pressure on behalf of their products.
  • The meat, dairy and egg industries tell us: We are well-fed only with animal products.
  • The meat, dairy and egg industries don't tell us: The diseases which are commonly prevented, consistently improved, and sometimes cured by a low-fat vegetarian diet include: Strokes, Kidney stones, Prostate cancer, Cervical cancer, Diabetes, Peptic ulcers, Hiatal hernias, Gallstones, Irritable colon syndrome, Heart disease, Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Stomach cancer, Hypoglycemia, Constipation, Diverticulosis, Hypertension, Salmonellosis, Osteoporosis, Colon cancer, Ovarian cancer, Endometrial cancer, Kidney disease, Hemorrhoids, Obesity, Asthma, Trichinosis.
(All facts based on John Robbins' book, Diet for a New America)

Oh dear, I've said too much. Well, I didn't say it, but it is worth repeating so we all know what we're getting ourselves into when we put a fork or spoon into our mouths. God told us our body is a temple, to be used for His work. I need to take that more seriously. Yes, healthy eating is trendy but a life long commitment to health is not necessarily popular. But we need to think if this is the right thing for us to do, as individuals with minds and hearts.

Think about it, a commercial for cereal or soda is just easier to sell. I mean, have you ever seen an ad for doing push-ups or climbing up and down your stairs 30 times? So, as you stare at the plate in front of you at lunch or dinner today, think about what went into preparing that meal. Think about the land that was consumed to grow your food. And talk about it with your friends and family. Happy Monday!