Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New to the Instant Pot?

I know many people bought their first Instant Pot last weekend at the Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, and many of those people never had a pressure cooker before in their lives and are deathly afraid to USE these new pots.

Well, Jill Nussinow, author of a number of cookbooks, including 2 pressure cooker books, to the rescue! With the help of some other ladies, Jill started a FaceBook community called Instant Pot Beginners Veg Support.

Even if you've been using a pressure cooker for a while, it won't hurt to join this community for all the support and information. It's just a few days old, so not a lot in the Photos, Links or Files sections yet, but there's already over 1200 members, so things are sure to pick up. Jill knows everything there is to know about pressure cookers, especially the Instant Pot, and will answer all your questions, help you solve any problem you have with your new toy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes from The Nelson Twins

Like then or loathe them, one thing you can always say about Nina and Randa Nelson is that the recipes they post are always 100% McDougall-safe and usually (not always) MWLP/Jeff Novick safe.

These, being holiday recipes, do contain flour - rice, oat and/or whole wheat - and in a few recipes they add salt, something Jeff would never do.

Review of Potato Gadgets

A few months ago I discovered this guy on YouTube called Crazy Russian Hacker, who does so-called scientific experiments (like a poor man's Mythbusters) and reviews of gadgets. I showed him to my husband, then our son, and now we're all hooked on him.

Some stuff he does is just silly, like What Happens if You Freeze Balloons:

but every now and then he does something useful, like various kitchen gadgets. One of his newest videos is right up a McDougaller's alley - Potato Gadgets!

I nearly cried when I saw one of the gadgets he reviewed - an automatic potato peeler, the type I've seen (on a MUCH larger scale) in commercial plants on shows like Food Factory on TV. I said to my family it may be worth taking all the side effects I currently get from eating potatoes just to own and use this gadget! The only thing is, it only fits new/baby/creamer sized potatoes, up to 2 pounds, according to the Amazon description. Since I usually never peel that size potato, this is another gadget I now see is not worth the money, even though the premise is fantastic and exactly when I was looking for to peel potatoes like russets. If only it were larger. :(

As for that potato sensitivity - I ate Yukon Gold potatoes and plain whites 4 times last week after no spuds for at least 2 months and thought I was home-free, with not one tingle to my tongue or sinus effect. Then on day 5 I woke up in agony, with one of the most painful sore throats I ever had in my life and a snoot full of phlegm. But was it a delayed reaction to the potatoes, or did I finally catch the cold/flu that my husband and son have been passing back and forth since mid-September? I mentioned previously (here or some message board - forget where) that it feels like I'm living in a TB ward, with the 2 of them coughing day and night, as well as hearing my downstairs neighbor coughing through the floor. I'm going to assume that the fever I had for 2 day was definitive proof it is indeed the flu, even though I had gotten the flu vaccination last month.

So there's still hope I can eat potatoes again.

If my flu follows the same path as my fellows', it will be at least after January before it's gone for good. Like I said, my son has it 2 months already and called out sick from work again yesterday. But since I have an auto-immune disease, and one other year when I had the flu it lasted from December until May (NO exaggeration!), I don't expect to feel fully human again until Spring 2017. So far my son saw his primary care doc for this once and may go again this week or next (May have to wait that long for an appointment, especially with the holiday this week), and my husband wound up at the ENT once and may have to go back. I wonder which, if any, doc I'll wind up having to see? A pulmonologist? Cardiologist? MCTD can cause all sorts of problems, even without having the flu weaken an already under attack immune system!

Dr. McDougall was right again - the flu shot does nothing if it's not the exact strain of influenza that's going around that year.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Register for Next 2 McDougall Webinars

Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 11 a.m. PST
Title: The Starch Solution Master Class
Description: In this live webinar, Dr. John McDougall, MD presents The Starch Solution in a clear and concise manner so that you can invite your family and friends. This is a sustainable, simple and easy-to-follow program for everyone. Dr. McDougall will share his most practical advice that he has gathered throughout his 44 years of practicing medicine. Don’t miss this webinar that will propel you into success in 2017!
Presenter: Dr. John McDougall, MD
Host: Gustavo Tolosa, DMA

Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 11 a.m. PST
Title: Open Question & Answer Session
Description: Dr. Doug Lisle is the psychologist for the McDougall Wellness Program and the Director of Research for True North Health Center.  Dr. Lisle has lectured at Stanford, Cornell, and other universities and is the co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness. He is the founder of Esteem Dynamics (esteemdynamics.org).
Presenter: Douglas J. Lisle, Ph.D.
Host: Gustavo Tolosa, DMA

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Webinar Fatigue

(Edited after seeing the written recipes and put in parentheses)

Boy, sometimes I really hate it when I'm right.

Remember this post, when I predicted what the recipes in the webinar would be like? Well, the webinar was last night. While we don't have the written recipes yet, and I was getting really tired near the end (That happens when you wake at 3am and the webinar goes until 9:30pm), here's what I got out of it so far:

It starts with AJ and Gustavo in his Dallas kitchen, AJ saying Gustavo will be doing the cooking, then she takes over and runs around messing up the place. He runs behind her throwing things in the garbage, picking up fallen food and crumbs from the counters, etc. If you've seen ANY of AJ's cooking demos you know how sloppy she can get. I'm just as bad. Fun to watch.

The recipes:
  • Creamy Curried Kabocha Squash Soup
  • Bodacious Beet Salad on a bed of Arugala
  • House Dressing 2.0
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Wild Rice Stuffing
  • CranPEARy Relish
  • Gustavo's Green's Supreme
  • Roasted mini bell peppers and Heirloom carrots
  • Truly Crispy Baked Fries
  • Air Fries
  • Butterscotch Pie or Parfaits
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Most were done in Dallas, but 2 AJ did later in her own kitchen when she got home.

Creamy Curried Kabocha Squash Soup - Take your favorite squash soup recipe. Use Kabocha squash. Shake some curry in at the end as an afterthought.

Bodacious Beet Salad - as you can see in the photo I linked to the other day, it's beets, that orange stuff is mango, red onion. The green is fresh mint. The arugula wasn't even mentioned, but it's probably the green stuff on the platter it's later served on. (Recipe is by Shayda Solemon originally)

House Dressing 2.0 - Take the Esselstyn 3-2-1 dressing and use lime juice instead of maple syrup.

Stuffed Acorn Squash - Roast up some squash. Stuff with the wild rice recipe. While the squash is in the oven, toss in a tray of:

Mini Peppers and Sliced Heirloom Carrots - and shake on some spices, like rosemary, if desired.

Wild Rice Stuffing - It's not much different than most other wild rice stuffing recipes out there.

Gustavo's Greens Supreme - Gustavo was finally able to do his own cooking. He said he also made this dish after a McDougall webinar. Nice looking dish and probably the first, and maybe only, one I'll make from the entire webinar. 

Gustavo's cooking demo starts at 1:08

Truly Crispy Baked Fries - Gustavo's next entry. See Chuck's (Brand New Vegan) Crispy, Oven-Baked French Fries. Granted, he never claimed it was his own recipe, just how he makes them. He admits to using different spices each time it's made.

Air Fries - Again demonstrated by Gustavo. Cut up some potatoes. Toss in air fryer. Cook.

Butterscotch Pie or Parfait - sweeten some cooked sweet potatoes (by adding bananas and add pumpkin pie spice). Make a date and oatmeal raw crust and make a pie or toss it in a glass and call it a parfait. (Original recipe by Mairead Reddy)

That's the end of Dallas. Now on to AJ's kitchen:

cranPEARy Relish - I was right. It's her relish from Unprocessed made with roasted pears.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream - I was partially right. It's the "butterscotch" stuff that she froze in silicone trays, but tossed in a Vitamix with a bit of milk, and processed until it's soft-serve consistency. She also froze some of it in those round popsicle trays she has (In another video she showed the trays with frozen beet juice).

Then, after all the cooking was done and AJ and Gustavo said their Happy Holiday greetings and good-byes, the video ended, even though AJ had said a minute before they were going live again. A few of us are in the chat asking what happened, is it over? Turns out AJ went live with Charles and Bailey, but to see it you had to refresh your browser page, so most people missed the beginning. It was just a short holiday greeting by them. We'll see if it's in the replay or not.

AJ announced that this webinar will be rebroadcast with live chat again in December because a lot of people paid and never got the link to connect, even though they followed all the instructions. Remember how I wrote you have to hit a few more links before you were finally registered? Yeah, even jumping through all the hoops some people were left out, so they're going to re-do it. If you already paid, you can watch it for free, but if you didn't, you can pay now, get the replay and printed recipes now (When they're ready - Gustavo said by tonight - Wednesday -  they'll be sent), then catch the replay with live chat in December.

So, was it worth it? Well, unfortunately, it was worse than I expected. Recipes that aren't recipes, recipes that were direct ripoffs of someone else's recipes, recipes that changed one ingredient and were called a new recipe. But also as I expected, it was entertaining. Will I ever pay money for another cooking webinar? Even with all my bitching, yeah, I probably will. 

Again, I was tired. I was cranky. I may have mis-heard things. I'm STILL tired and cranky while writing this so early the next morning. Please don't get mad at me if I got something wrong in the comments above. It's only a blog and these are only my personal ramblings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ignore Everything I Say

I wound up purchasing tonight's holiday cooking webinar.

I was looking at someone's Facebook page and there was a post about it, and my husband happened to look over at the screen and saw the photos. He asked what the various dishes were and after I explained them, he said some of them look great, and asked when the webinar is. I told him I didn't bother registering because we would only use one or 2 of the recipes, and he said "So what?! Go ahead and register. You like watching AJ anyway, right?"

So I registered.

At least I now know what I'll probably be making with the squash I have sitting in a bowl in the kitchen later this week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Holiday Extravaganza Cooking Party with AJ and Gustavo


Watch Chef AJ and Gustavo prepare TWELVE delicious recipes for the holidays!

All recipes are whole food, plant based, gluten free, free of all sugar, oil and salt and delicious!  Suitable for those following the Ultimate Weight Loss Diet or the McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss.

The 12 Recipes:
  • Creamy Curried Kabocha Squash Soup
  • Bodacious Beet Salad on a bed of Arugala
  • House Dressing 2.0
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Wild Rice Stuffing
  • CranPEARy Relish
  • Gustavo's Green's Supreme
  • Roasted mini bell peppers and Heirloom carrots
  • Truly Crispy Baked Fries
  • Air Fries
  • Butterscotch Pie or Parfaits
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream


Be careful when registering - you have to click and hop from page to page to finalize the process. You go to PayPal then have to go BACK to WebinarJam before you're completely registered.

The registration page doesn't say it, but when you do click to register, if you're doing it before November 15th, the price is $19 for the live and replay, probably the written recipes (sorta) in PDF form, too. I say "sorta" because so far, in all the paid cooking webinars I've attended, the written recipes don't always jive with what AJ does on-screen. If you don't belong to her UWL private Facebook community (which comes with the purchase of the $150 UWL program) you have no idea which is the correct recipe. In the past, the directions for one recipe used 3 cans of beans but the written one said 12 cups. Big difference, and to this day the PDF file sent out with the purchase of that webinar hasn't been corrected. Sometimes she adds or omits ingredients when doing it live but they're in the written recipe.

You can see photos of some of the foods cooked on THIS PAGE, AJ's personal public Facebook page. You don't need to belong to FB to see them.

I think I'm going to sit this one out. I've learned her tricks. She says "12 recipes" but when she does the actual webinar, you find out one of the "recipes" is the ingredient for another, and I suspect in this case the Wild Rice Stuffing is what goes into the Stuffed Acorn Squash. That's ONE recipe, not 2. She was playing with this recipe for about a year now. I remember she had to leave one video talk to go grab the squash out of the oven before it burned, and I think that was around this time last year. 

Edited to add:
OK, I just saw a different picture of the squash and now realize it's probably not filled with the Wild Rice Stuffing. Sorry for the rant. 

Beet Salad on Arugula, followed by House Dressing 2.0. Gee, I wonder if this dressing goes on the beets and greens to make it a salad? If so, again, ONE recipe, not 2.

Roasted peppers and carrots - This is a recipe that requires a recipe??

And I'm sure the cranPEARy Relish is a rehash of her old cranberry relish but with pears added and maybe a few other minor changes. 

Air Fried Potatoes is a recipe worth paying for? And I though "Baked Fries" was in the first cooking party webinar and we had to buy $45 Crisp Ease trays to make them? 

The 2 desserts probably both require the Cuisinart sorbet maker she showcased in another cooking webinar, so if you don't own one, and don't own a $500 blender, you can't make them (Or wind up with lumpy puddings/parfaits).

It's not worth $19 for a soup and a sauteed greens recipe to me, but I'm sure there are many others who would like all these recipes. If you do, go for it. AJ is always entertaining.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weight Loss Wednesdays with Chef AJ

For a few weeks now, Chef AJ has been doing a Facebook Live video (2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern) called Weight Loss Wednesday. You could email her questions you want answered, too, and she does reply to them. The talks do assume you know all the info on her Ultimate Weight Loss program, like "eating to the left of the line" and VFB - veggies for breakfast.

Or Above the Red Line, as this Caloric Density chart shows

And now you can see them all on her YouTube channel, now called called Weight Loss Wednesday.

Here's the first WLW from a month ago. All 7 she has done so far, as well as other older videos, also appear on the site.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Qigong with Lee Holden

I've mentioned this man's qigong videos before, and just found another YouTube channel he has. There you'll find a number of these short workouts, many for pain and stress relief as well as general well-being. A great introduction to the art!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sounds of Silence

This scene may make it worth watching this movie! I ADORED this song in my youth and still own my original vinyl of the album Simon and Garfunkel album (as well as every S&G and many Paul solo ones on CD). 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New "Perfect Plate Graphic

Dr. Rosane Oliveira and Jeff Novick have been working together to develop a new version of Jeff's Perfect Plate placemat. You can download it in PDF form at this link from the UCDavis Integrative Medicine site.