Thursday, August 3, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

What's the Big Deal About Air Frying?

I admit, I felt a bit jealous when the air frying fad started a few months ago and really wished our apartment kitchen wasn't so small so I could fit even the smaller of the Phillips, but after seeing how big even that was in Bed, Bath, Beyond one day, and knowing all our other storage spaces are totally maxed out, I walked away with a sigh.

That didn't stop me from joining an air fryer (low-fat vegan, of course) Facebook community, or drooling over all those new concoctions Chef AJ was posting pictures of everywhere. I clicked to the next post with another sigh.

I told myself I could clear out the closet that holds my sewing supplies to store one, then realized I still use that stuff, frequently. Crafting supplies? No, still use a lot of that, too. Um, under the bed? This is how desperate I was, thinking I could fit an air fryer under the bed!

I started reading reviews of various air fryers on Amazon, just in case we hit the lottery and can afford to move into a larger apartment, preferably in Florida again.

Now, those of you who come here often know I can be a bit of a crank at times, always crabby and complaining about something, major or minor. Grumpy Cat and Maxine are my heroes. When I read reviews on Amazon, I don't go to the 5 star ones - too many of them are fake or bought. I mean, I want to get in on being a Vine reviewer, they seem to get every single item in the store for free, just for a review! No, being the realist I am, I go right for the one-star ones.

And I saw the chink in the armor.

Even the best air fryers had complaints about them, from arriving broken to the timer settings suddenly while unattended. On rare occasions, a fire would break out, or the cooking food would become so smoky, the room's smoke alarms would go off.

OK, I can see how cooking greasy foods could do some of those things, so those bad reviews didn't turn me 100% wanting one.

But there was this one reviewer who asked what the big deal was about this appliance. Potatoes cut into fry shapes come out hard, burnt around the edges, and hollow on the inside. Vegetables cooked in it just looked and tasted charred. Other items were just so dried out they were inedible. I sat there and yelled at the monitor (My husband will vouch for the fact that I do this at least twice a day) and said "Well, what did you expect would happen? You're tossing vegetables into a 400ºF or higher oven with a fan blowing on them to make it hotter! Of course they're charred and dried out!!"

And that's when it hit me.

When people on the Ultimate Weight Loss community made a big deal out of oven roasting vegetables I tried it, and disliked it for the same exact reasons this man disliked the air fryer!  People asked about the caloric density of doing this, because as Jeff Novick explains in his Caloric Density video (Still free on YouTube), when you remove the water from a food you're increasing its caloric density. The reply was, if it gets you eating your vegetables (2-4 pounds a day), don't worry about the caloric density. That was the same response to flavored vinegars, an item Jeff had called Balsamic Crack. So now we're taking veggies, coating them in balsamic crack, and removing their water, causing a previously low caloric density to rise to astronomic heights! Is it still healthy? Well, maybe if you have never eaten a vegetable before in your life and this is the only way to trick you into eating them. But I would put this into the same category as making peanut butter and chocolate flavored green smoothies, an actual recipe I saw on the Eat to Live message board. I doubt Dr. McDougall or Jeff Novick would approve of either one.

But I'm OCD, and in the back of my mind, I still wanted to at least try one to see if I liked it. I know, an impossible feat, since I don't know anyone in real life who owns one, so I tried let the thought leave my head and filled it with nice steamed veggies with my healthy bean or oat based nutritional yeast cheese sauce or a McDougall gravy.

Then we had a heat wave. For about 5 days we had temps in the 90's. My son came home from work one day and didn't want his usual early dinner of pasta with marinara sauce. He wanted grilled cheese, so on the way home he stopped for a loaf of bread and package of cheese slices. No, he's not a McDougaller, a vegan, or even a full time vegetarian, even after the scare of his father needing CABG 4 years ago and his own ER trip with chest pains which turned out to be  panic attack. I made him fat-free vegan cheese from a recipe found on-line a few years ago, but although his father and I loved it, he didn't.

Anyway, to make his grilled cheese he needed the toaster oven instead of the toaster. Again, small apartment, infrequently used appliances stored in every nook and cranny we would find. The toaster oven was in the front hallway under Christmas decorations, so while he took his shower I dug it out and brought it to the kitchen, moving the Instant pot to the bedroom until after dinner. While setting it up and making sure everything was there, I noticed that on the front door of the oven it said it was also a convection oven!! 


I could finally find out what the big deal is with air frying, since an air fryer is nothing more than a miniature convection oven. That night after he had his dinner, knowing he was probably going to use it until he ran out of bread and cheese, I found a more convenient corner to temporarily tuck it into. The next day around lunchtime I put it on the table and plugged it in. I popped a slice of parchment paper onto the roasting tray and dumped some cauliflower on it, put it in the oven, set it for convection roasting, 400ºF, and set the timer to 20 minutes, because that's the time and temp Chef AJ said she uses for everything.

After 20 minutes I had warm cauliflower.

I put it in again for another 20 minutes. When the timer dinged I had hot cauliflower, but nothing browned, blackened or slightly crispy. By then I was really hungry and my sweet potato was getting cold, so I just ate it as-is, vowing to try again in the near future.

Today was that day.

Instead of using raw, cold vegetables straight out of the refrigerator, I nuked up some Brussels sprouts. While that was cooking, I took a Japanese sweet potato out of the refrigerator, sliced it in half, and once again put parchment paper on the tray and put the tray in the oven, this time setting the temp on 450ºF. The potato Chef AJ made the other day looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. At 10 minutes the edges of the skin were getting crispy, so something was happening this time. But at 20 minutes, I not only had crispy skin, but a really dried out potato.

Now for the Brussels sprouts. One thing I noticed with all of Chef AJ's veggies is that she coats her Brussels sprouts with the balsamic/mustard concoction, so I did that with mine. I keep a bottle of it in the refrigerator as a salad dressing so it was easy enough to grab, pour, and toss. Onto the roasting tray they go, and in the oven for 20 minutes at 450º again. At 10 minutes I shook the tray, turning them all over to the other side. A little browning on the side that was on the bottom, but not much. At 20 minutes, I shook them again, and again a little browning, but nothing like the dark, charred look that Chef AJ and others get with an air fryer. So I let it cook for another 10, 20 minutes for a total of 40 minutes at 450º.

It says "Convection" in that oval in the lower right hand corner of the door

So, once again, I say "What's the big deal about air frying?" 

I won't be wasting any more time or food on this idea. If you like air fried food, great! Even as a kid eating the crappiest version of the SAD diet there is, I would always prefer my hotdogs boiled instead of cooked on a grill. I preferred plain white bread and cheese sandwiches to grilled cheese. If my hamburger was crunchy on the outside I would give it to one of my brothers and ask for a hot dog or cheese sandwich. I guess air frying is an acquired taste.

My sewing and crafting supplies are happy.

Friday, June 2, 2017

What the Health - Updated 3June17

The movie, What the Health, is now available for free on YouTube. It was good - not as good as Forks Over Knives, but almost. My main complaint about it? Not nearly enough time with Dr. McDougall!

Sorry, folks. I just found out that YouTube's version is pirated, that it was not put there by anyone associated with the film. Sorry about that. I just deleted the link to it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Just Tired of It All

This morning I go to Blogger to moderate some replies that came in overnight, and find over 100 messages in the pending queue awaiting moderation going back a year or more that I was never notified of. The majority of them were spam, many not even in English, and were marked as such and deleted. A few were angry letters that were anti-McDougall, pro-other eating plans that were not WFPB no added S-O-S. There were even fewer from people who accused me of being too angry, too strict, too lenient, or other complaints. They, too, were deleted. The rest were approved and posted on the posts they were replies to, one from about 4 years ago. Funny thing is, I'm on the Blogger site at least once a week and I swear those old messages were not there. 

I had my opthalmologist appoint the other day, the one that had to be cancelled when I had the bronchitis back in April. I've had some weirdness in my vision going on for about a week and he said it sounded like migraine auras, but he said they shouldn't be happening every day, as mine are. But I told him  these look nothing like I've seen migraine auras depicted on Google Images or how my husband describes his own migraine auras. And I have no history of migraines, although my son does since early childhood. He admitted it would be strange to start getting them at this late stage of the game, and I reminded him my husband was in his late 50's when he got his first migraine aura. Each and every morning when I wake up, the top and bottom of my field of vision appear to vibrate or flicker, like an old time movie projector, for anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes. He asked about aspirin use, my blood pressure, and when I last saw my primary care doc for a check-up, and I told him I take a daily low-dose aspirin tablet, my BP is being controlled by low-dose fosinopril and stays around 110/60 to 130/80, depending on time of day and how stressed out I am, and I told him all about last month's doctor visit and lab results. He has no clue what else it could be besides the auras. If it turns out not to be migraine auras (scintillating scotoma is the official medical term), it may be something related to my auto-immune disease or something else, to keep an eye on it, and if it gets worse, go back to my primary care doc and see what he wants to do, maybe an MRI and a neuro consultation. Thanks, Doc. This is the guy who diagnosed my auto-immune problems and said to have my primary doc run the slew of tests. He's a very smart guy, in business 40 years now, and knows more than any other eye doc I had ever been to. If he doesn't know, I'm doomed!

Tomorrow is my dentist appointment, something else that was cancelled when I was still coughing. So it's 7 months check-up instead of 6 - he'll understand.

BTW, I still get laryngitis. That cough really did a number on my vocal cords. I may wind up at the ENT doc for this if it keeps up much longer.

A few days ago, Ginnie Messina's latest book, Even Vegans Die, was mentioned in the McDougall forums in a thread about Denise Minger. Back before I McDougalled I was already eating veg and had belonged to the Vegetarian Resource Group and got their magazine, and she was a steady contributor. I liked her recipes and read many of her books. Because she doesn't believe in being as low fat as Dr. McD does, I stopped reading her works years ago and also let my membership to the VRG drop. But her latest book does look interesting. I always felt like such a failure on the McD (and other WFPB) forums because I do everything according to plan and still get sick, still am not at a so-called "healthy" weight. She touches on all of these things in the book, according to the descriptions of it. I look forward to reading it. Hey, I'm in my mid-60's - time to think about the finish line, now that the race is almost over. My husband and I already revised our wills, powers of attorney, and DNR forms after his CABG surgery, and all 3 of us know where all the important papers are, who to call, and what to do in the even one of both of us do die suddenly. The only relative who needs to get notified (outside of our son, of course) is my brother. Everyone, even WFPB SOS-free vegans, die.

I may stop writing this blog. The only things besides medical updates have been links to videos. I haven't tried any new recipes in ages, because not only do I have a lot of food restrictions right now (gluten-free, nightshade-free, or at least greatly reduced, as well as WFPB no added S-O-S), but I'm just too tired to play around with complex recipes. I've been making a lot of rice or sweet potato and veg meals and add a sauce or gravy to go with it, like one of Chef AJ's, Mary McDougall's, or an Esselstyn one. On a bad day I just shake a little coconut aminos, watered down Bragg's, or nooch on top. My tastebuds still aren't 100%, and some foods I used to love before, like pea soup or carrots, just taste weird to me now. And even with eating cleaner, lighter, and less total calories, my weight is slowly creeping up again, regaining the pounds lost when sick.

We even stopped discussing a possible move back to Florida - it's just too much trouble to pack everything up again, move it all 1200 miles again, find an affordable place to live again, set up a new apartment or house again, and find all new doctors, barbers, stores, new job for our son, etc. again. We know that unless the owner sells this house (He has no plans to do so, as far as I know.), this is where we will be living when we die, and it's just so darn depressing to think that, but it's easier than moving, even if we do have to walk up three flights of stairs and go through winters being trapped in the house because of 3 feet of snow and 5-degree temps (with negative degree wind chills).

I'm just tired of it all. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Body Manifesto - Dr. Linda Bacon

Click HERE to go to Dr. Bacon's web site. I've been a fan of her books for years.

Linda Bacon, PhD

inspiring a global transformation to a more just world,
where all bodies are valued,
and supported in compassionate self-care

Friday, May 12, 2017

Webinar May 11, 2017 - Dr. Lisle

The sound is messed up and they know it. In fact, it was non-existent for the first 10-15 minutes, which is why this webinar is less than 40 minutes long and starts in mid-sentence. At least they kept trying and didn't just cancel it like they had to do so many times in the past recently. 

I really wish Gustavo would get himself a decent microphone to use in all these webinars, including the ones he does with Chef AJ, when he just follows her around and holds his laptop up to record things. Healthy Taste of Sacramento a few months ago was a total waste of money - even people with normal hearing complained you could barely hear the speakers, and people like me, with hearing loss, just sat there trying to lipread while Gustavo kept shaking his laptop around. Sad, because I really wanted to hear what the two Drs. McDougall had to say.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another Free Cooking Webinar by Chef AJ

Title: How to Make Plant-Based Food for Parties!

For parties? Well, she was going to serve some of these items at her birthday party later that week.

Artichokes made in the Instant Pot
Mexican Lasagna
A 4-layered frozen fruit dessert, a parfait made in a springform cake pan instead of parfait glasses
Hibiscus tea using dried hibiscus flowers purchased through Amazon
Anja's (Cooking with Plants on YouTube) Smoked Paprika Cheese
Crackers made of blended frozen corn, spread out and dried in a dehydrator

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Happy World Qigong Day!

World Qigong Day is here again!

Lee Holden explains what "qi" is, and in this video, gives a brief history of qigong. Unlike some forms of yoga, it has no religious elements to it.

And here is a 10 minute "press release" talking about the celebration and showing scenes from past World Tai Chi and Qigong Days:

Digestive Tune-Up Webinar # 6 - Chapter 9

I can't find any video replay from April 20th, the week my husband was on vacation and we were out of the house almost all day, every day. Was it even held? I didn't think so until Gustavo says on this one that there were questions about last week's talk. Neither Gustavo's or Dr. McD's YouTube pages have it, so I'm going to assume it was never held for some reason. With all the technical glitches they've been having, I can't say I'm surprised if it was cancelled.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's Been Happening

My husband was off work from Good Friday until this past Monday. He first started taking a Spring vacation when the kid was in elementary school and had the week off, and just continued to take them even after he (the kid) was homeschooled, then in college and beyond. I was not looking forward to it this year, since I'm still not 100% recovered from that darn bronchitis. I still have the occasional coughing fit, my voice is still "off" and some days the laryngitis returns, and my strength is still only about half of what it should be.

But we had our schedule to keep, and every day we had somewhere to go, something to do. We had hair cuts, I had lab work, we hit some stores a half hour a half hour away and others more than an hour away, we had both cars brought in for Spring checkups, then wound up needing work done on one of them, then had an even bigger problem with it the day after we got it back. Of course, the garage couldn't reproduce the problem so have no idea what caused it or how to fix it. We now live in dread it's going to happen again.

One of the good (?) things that happened during vacation was my husband buying me an iPad Mini as kind of a get well gift, something to try make me happy again after going through these 2 months of coughing and extreme fatigue. It's my first Apple product, and my brain is as fatigued as the rest of my body, so of course I'm having problems understanding how different apps work and getting frustrated because the Apple mobile versions of various programs are so stripped down from the PC versions that I use. I've threatened to hit the "Return to factory defaults" button and return it to Best Buy a few times already, and have until next Monday to do so. I'm still not sure I want to keep it today, 10 days after purchase. My son is mad, because he's the one that suggested to my husband he should buy it for me, even though he (the kid) knew my objections to mobile devices for over a year now. The only reason I didn't already return it as this guilt trip I knew he would lay on me if I did and how disappointed my husband would be in "rejecting" his gift. I'd rather he spent the money on a VitaMix.

Another day we hit Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, usually an hour drive away, but thanks to roadway construction on almost every road between here and there, it took over 90 minutes each way. It wasn't worth the time or aggravation. The selection in both stores was awful, and almost everything I touched in Whole Foods was outdated, one jar of engine 2 sauce dated October 2015 - yes, 2015! It was the trip home, after being detoured for the third time in 5 miles, when the car started acting up, the engine revving at a high rate while we were stopped at a red light. Although in drive, the car wasn't trying to race forward - it was just making the revving noise. We got home, tossed frozen food in the freezer, refrigerated food in the fridge, and called the mechanic who worked on it the day before, who said to bring it right in. He kept it for 3 days, using it as the shop car all that time, and not once did it happen again. He blamed the car's age. It's only 25 years old! 

I got my yearly labwork drawn on Wednesday. Great news for a change when we went on Friday afternoon for the results. Here's just a snippet of it, but the most important part:

When I have the doctor's phlebotomist draw the blood at the office, my LDL and trig results had been high; but when I go direct to the LabCorp lab in town, I get results like these. Needless to say, I'm not having his phlebotomists draw blood ever again.

Both the student and the doc did their exams, and the doc was happy to hear how clear my lungs are, even though I'm still not 100% recovered from the bronchitis. He said it's going to take time. It's been 2 months, doc! My vocal chords are still inflamed and my voice is weak from it, and I still have a cough, but thankfully not as bad as before. I told him I'm still weak and fatigued, not even able to get through the grocery store without having to stop and rest every few aisles. "Keep at it" was his response. I was told to go and live my life, not come back unless I get sick again, that I don't even need to repeat labs next year. Office policy has changed and I can now request renew for my meds on-line, without having to make another office visit. Now if only the state of NJ would change their laws and let us get our own labwork without a prescription, I'd be a happy gal.

Toss in a trip to the laundromat, another to DMV, 2 visits to the local grocery store, one to Walgreens, and that's how we spent our April vacation. Hubby's next planned week off work is in August. He already made me promise not to drag him to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's again. I made him promise not to buy me any more electronics. Already that vacation looks better than this past one.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Local on the 8's from The Weather channel

I used to be such a Weather Channel geek! Jim Cantore with a full head of hair, being referred to as the Italian Stallion by his castmates; female forecasters with growing bellies suddenly appearing with flat tummies and no mention ever of the pregnancy or birth; the cheering in our home when one of them appeared in a place we knew, or taking bets on who would get stuck there for that particular storm (usually Sea Bright, NJ during any hurricane. More than once they stood across from my uncle's former home).

Heck, I was trying to find someone who went to Starbucks so they would buy me the CD of the songs they used on air, but at the time we had no Starbucks near us. Even now we don't have one in our city, but I do know of 2 the next city over, but I doubt very much they carry a 20 year old specialty CD.

TWC changed so much over the years, and now I can barely get a weather report on it because every time I tune in they're airing something like "So You Think You'd Survive" or "Highway Through Hell". Just tell me the temperature!!!

And that's all this 1 hour video is - snippets of local weather reports and Local on the 8's. None of the on-air personalities, just samples of the actual weather reports across the years. Sometimes I play this while at the computer just for background music as I do other things.

Yeah, I'm weird, but you guys already knew that. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It Looks Like A Jungle In There!

That's what my husband said Friday afternoon after all the groceries were put away and some batch cooking was done.

Top shelf: Almond milk, on top of that is a box with "live" Bibb lettuce, asparagus in a cup, bottom container - roasted Brussels sprouts, middle container - hummus, bag on top - broccoli crowns, the next pile is washed and dried romaine, 3 pounds of mushrooms on top of that, an open bag of uncooked kale on the bottom. Ignore my son's bottle of orange soda in the back on the left side.

Second shelf - container of diced red onion, container sliced tomatoes; squirt bottle of Sweet Fire Sauce from the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue book, behind that assorted jars of pickles and other condiments hubby uses on his sandwiches, a jar of leftover rice and veggies, a few bottles of water in front of a container of nooch, 5 containers of roasted Normandy veggies for VFB, and a package of Ezekial English muffins. The open applesauce is leftover from my son's breakfast he inhaled before he left for work.

Bottom shelf - a few 1-cup containers of cooked brown rice, 2 packages of pre-cut butternut squash (BOGO sale!), behind that is a container of cooked kale, more leftover rice and veg in a jar, this one with nooch sauce added, bottom container is cooked beans, top container is more kale. Behind them are bags on Lundburg rice.

In the left drawer I have vital wheat gluten, garbanzo flour, some ww pastry flour, and a bag of flax seeds, In the right drawer is celery, 2 bags of carrots, some white potatoes, scallions, and the remnants of a bag of celery. Behind the squash is a few bags of soy curls.

And this doesn't count what's in the freezer - over 20 bags f frozen veggies.

I don't know what he's complaining about. The only thing different I bought was the asparagus.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Another Dr. Lisle Q&A Webinar

I haven't had a chance to watch this one yet, either. Had the landlord up doing work in the apartment. I was able to tune in for a minute about half-way through, saw comments were turned off, shook my head in disbelief (How does one have a Q and A without questions?) and planned on watching it sometime today while my husband watches his Netflix rentals.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

McDougall Digestive Tune-Up Webinar

This was supposed to be about chapters 8 and 9 of the Digestive Tune-Up book, bowel sickness. I left the webinar about 25 minutes into it when he was still talking about the topic of his latest newsletter, McDougallcare. Maybe I'll try watch this some time this weekend and just fast forward until he gets to the topic of the webinar.

Grilled Potatoes the SpudFit Way

While killing time on the computer today, I found almost a dozen "draft" posts on Blogger, posts I started writing ages ago and never posted for some reason. A number of them I just deleted, but a few of them, like this one, will be popping up the next week or so. Some are silly, some aren't, like this one that I wrote last November.
I could never make waffle potatoes without severe sticking. I even bought a brand new waffle maker, thinking my old one just lost its non-stickiness, but the same thing happened each time I tried. It's not for lack of heat or time - I would turn the waffle maker up to its highest temp and leave them in for 20 minutes or more. Not for lack of the "right" potato, because I would always use Yukon Gold, either microwaved or cooked in the pressure cooker. I was always glad I bought a waffle maker with removable plates so I could soak the burnt on messes.

Now that I'm once again testing potatoes and (so far) can eat them with no reaction, I want crispy ones again now and then. Oven fries, to me, are just dried out, hard-as-leather potatoes. I've been told that potatoes made in air fryers are identical to oven/broiler made, just a bit quicker and in a self-timed electrical device.

Today I found this video by Andrew (Spud Fit) Taylor:

I remember making sliced potatoes like that in my George Foreman grill years ago, before it lost it's non-stickiness. I wonder how sliced potatoes would do in the waffle iron closed lightly, not hard-pressed, squish-the-spuds-into-the-holes way.


I wish I had a thick slicing blade for my food processor like Andrew has. Those look perfect! I guess I'll have to slice my spuds by hand.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Forgot to Add this to the Videos Post

My head is still messed up from this bronchitis thing.

I forgot to add one of the most important link of all to the post about Jeanne Schumacher's videos!!

Dr. McDougall is now featuring her videos on his web site! The link is in the drop down menu under Education/Recipes/Featured Recipe Videos.

I can't wait until I feel healthy again, physically AND mentally! I may be sleeping better but I'm still coughing the rest of the time. Still waiting for the steroids to finally kick in.

McDougall-Based Videos to Watch

McDougaller Jeanne Schumacher has been making short little videos of the foods from the McDougall books and newsletters that she's been making. She also has a bunch of interviews with some big names in the WFPB world, like Pam Popper, Jane Esselstyn, and even our beloved Dr. John McDougall.

She posts them to her YouTube page, as well as her own web site called Plant Powered, which has loads of information on WFPB eating, including links to the biggies' web sites, resources, even recipes. Her sites are well worth the visit.

Here's the video with Dr. McDougall, where he talks about starting the Maximum Weight Loss program:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dr. Fuhrman Demos Recipes from his New Quick and Easy Book

Edited - see below
~*~*~ The Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook will be released the first week of May. If you pre-order it and fill out the form on that page, you'll be sent a few bonus recipes that didn't make it into the book and a 7 day meal plan.

In the meantime, Dr. Fuhrman has been doing videos showing him in his kitchen making up some of the recipes. The first is his basic salad:

and in the latest one he makes his chickpea burger and chocolate banana ice cream.

Remember, McDougallers, Dr. McDougall does allow the peanut butter and nuts that Dr. Fuhrman uses in his recipes in all but the MWLP version of his food plan. Just remember to watch the portion size.


BTW, I *did* pre-order the book, then cancelled the order after getting my bonuses (above). Why? Well, it seems that all the recipes I glanced at already are in the recipe section on Dr. Fuhrman's web site. If you're a member, you already have access to them, and if you're not but you get his daily recipe emails, I'm sure these have either already been sent over the years or may in the future. And some are not so quick - many of the bonus recipes take 30 minutes, and one even needs to cook for 45 minutes after assembly. And as expected, lots of nuts and lots of dried fruit in the desserts. Thank goodness for Amazon's liberal return policy, even on pre-orders. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dr. McDougall Says: "Eat"

Jill McKeever does a quickie interview with Dr. McDougall before the Health Fest in Marshall, Texas this weekend. She said Mary McDougall will be interviewed today, so I'll keep my eyes out for that one, too.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

On the Road to Wellness

Official diagnosis: Asthmatic Bronchitis

Unofficial diagnosis: lung full of gunk, throat as red as raw meat.

Back on the bronchodilator/steroid, on a round of antibiotics.

Rest and liquids. "Should have seen me sooner." Boy, did he get an ear full from me & my husband about this! He just shrugged.

More to come later.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Still Hacking and Wheezing

Going out for a half hour Saturday in the gloomy grey dampness did nothing to improve my spirits or the cough.

And yesterday I woke up with laryngitis and a weird squeak after each cough. This morning, I can't speak at all, not even in hushed tones. Lovely.

This time tomorrow I *should* be home from the doc, hopefully with a new prescription for Advair, and within 2 weeks, the time it usually takes for a med like that to start working. If the doc is unhappy with what the inside of my throat looks like or the sound of my lungs, I may even be gifted with a script for oral prednisone. Oh, joy. Instant 50 pound weight gain if that happens. :(

And yes, my poor son now has this full blown, nearly identical to mine, as opposed to the version he started out with 5-6 weeks ago. He still refuses to see the doc. Oh, well.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

And It Only Gets Worse

No doc yesterday. The office manager tried, and even had me penciled in at one point, but then the doc had her cancel all afternoon appointments because he had a meeting to go to. Oh, come on! You only have like 12 office hours all week, and now you cancelled 4 of them??

So, I either hold out until Tuesday afternoon or hit an urgent care center. Since what I'm probably going to have ordered for me is the combo steroid and bronchodilator inhaler, and since it'll take at least 2 weeks before it actually does anything, I guess I'll wait.

Because I kept dozing off while sitting up watching tv yesterday (Can't lie down - that's when it's worse), I tried sleeping in a rocking chair in the living room last night. Not too bad. I slept about 6 hours in 2 hour intervals - the most sleep I've had in 2 weeks. It's just so sore on the butt. I need to find the gel cushion we used when that chair was my husband's headquarters after his CABG surgery. He said it was pretty comfy at the time.

And hey - I may actually get out of the house today! Our cars haven't been moved since we did our last grocery shopping trip before the recent ice storm, 2 weeks ago today, the day I got sick. Hubby would walk to a mom and pop store and grab a few items we needed, like his bread and bananas, but no big order, so we're starting to get low on a few things again. I wish I could go, but people would hear me coughing and gagging and run the other way. I'm a public health hazard, to say the least. So hubby is taking one of the cars and is getting a small order. Small, because 1) He has to shop for and carry it all alone and 2) I really haven't been eating much of anything so don't need to restock the freezer or pantry with much. We've had a lot of leftovers lately.

Anyway (I always wander so far off the subject), after he gets home and we get all the stuff put away, we'll see how I feel and how the weather is. It's supposed to hit 60 this afternoon, but rainy. If it's not too bad, and if I feel up to it, we'll head out again with the other car and take a ride around town, then get gas. I may actually be out for an hour! I haven't even been dressed for the past 2 weeks! I have 2 appointments on Tuesday (podiatrist and primary care), so I better get used to getting up and about again.

My son brought this thing home from work 5 weeks ago today, and he never got rid of it. It lessened to a great degree, but never stopped completely. Just when he thought it was ready to finally fade, he tells me that Thursday night he developed a sore throat again. By the time he got home from work yesterday, if you closed your eyes you wouldn't be able to tell us apart. Stereophonic coughing! You only knew who any particular hacking wheeze was coming from by which room it was emanating from. I'm sorry, kiddo! Referring to us as the 2 Muto from Godzilla the other day was a joke! I didn't want you to get it as bad as I have it again!

Oh, he was on the same asthma med as I was for the longest time, but he stopped taking it on his own once he hit college. He was on it a few years before I was. He refuses to even consider going back on it. Maybe if he sees it working on me to get rid of this cough in a few weeks he'll consider asking the doc for it back again.

Better get my day going. It's going to be a busy one for a change. Hopefully I will get out and hopefully the fresh air will do me some good. Cross your fingers the rain holds off until we get back home.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Digestive Tune Up Webinar #3

Off to See the Wizard - I Hope

I'm now running a fever of 101 for the past 24 hours; I'm still not sleeping; still coughing, coughing, coughing, gagging; and now add nausea and lack of appetite to the list. Yesterday I had maybe 2 teaspoons of oatmeal, no lunch, and less than a half cup of rice and veggies for dinner. I was just too nauseous to eat any more.

In the early afternoon, my husband called the doctor's office to get me an appointment ASAP. Well, Tuesday at 3pm IS ASAP. The office manager said to call back this morning because if there was any cancellations she can slide me into it. I'm going to tell my husband if she can't schedule me today, to ask which urgent care center the doctor recommends, because I'm not playing around with a 101º fever and nausea for the next 5 days. That's what happens when the office has no weekend OR Monday hours. I've been a patient of the practice since 1983 - they better be able to squeeze me in today.

Last night I was awake all night, with the exception of 15-20 minutes here and there while watching the March Malice marathon on TCM. Gojira, King Kong, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing from Another World, and I gave up and got out of bed as soon as The X From Outer Space came on. My poor husband was trying to sleep but aside from the few minutes of respite, I was constantly coughing, coughing, coughing. At least me getting up at 3am he can have 3 hours of peace and quiet.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Argh (hack, hack, cough, cough, wheeze, gag, cough)!!

Things got so bad yesterday that I had to start taking my asthma rescue inhaler ever 4 hours and had to restart my inhaled steroid/bronchodilator med. By bedtime (a bit after 7pm) I was able to sleep in 45 minute to 2 hour segments, but since I woke up this morning at 5:30 am (kept waking my husband so I gave up), the cough is just as bad as it's been the past 2 weeks. If I go 5 minutes without an attack I feel it's a "win".

And when I woke at 2am to hit the bathroom, I was once again drenched with sweat from head to toe, including my sheets and pillows, so it was hard getting back to sleep after that. I did, but woke again around 4:15am, and wound up chuckling myself back to sleep.

Anyone familiar with the Godzilla movie from 2014? Godzilla himself had a very minor role in the storyline, but the kanji stars were the 2 Mutos, a male and female. One of the plot lines pointed out that the "signal" that was being detected were the 2 Mutos calling out to each other. For some weird, sick reason, that part of the movie kept popping into my head early this morning. Here was my son in his bedroom, getting ready for work (He has to leave a bit before 5am), coughing his head off, like he has been for the past 4 weeks, and there was I in my bedroom, hacking and gagging.

I started chuckling. He would cough almost to the point of gagging, then I would do the same. I laughed enough to bother my husband and wake him up, and he asked what was wrong. I told him to ignore the Muto, go back to sleep, and he did, and I dozed off again soon after him. During the middle of his work this morning he comes into the bedroom where I'm trying to rest (while coughing, coughing, coughing), and he says: "By the way, did you talk about Mutos calling you at 4am? I had to think for a minute, then cracked up laughing (between gasping, wheezy inhalations), and said Yeah, I guess I did, but forgot all about it. He shook his head and left the room. I can't wait to tell my son when he gets in from work at 3:30pm. He already knows his mom is weird.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


After being advertised on both the McDougall Talks Facebook and the official forums, it looks like the webinar on children I mentioned here a week or so ago is not available to watch and is now marked as private. I just noticed, too, that even though I registered to see it and got the link, I never got an email with replay information.

And I didn't get a chance to watch it "live" because I've been sick again. This time, like the last 2, it started as a sore throat, but for a change it went right into a constant nagging cough, a cough so bad I can't sleep, can't taste my food so have no appetite, and have problems eating and drinking because the cough can come up suddenly and without warning, in the middle of a sentence or middle of a bite of food. Forget about sleeping! If I get 4 interrupted hours total a night that's a lot, and I only managed to get that twice in the past 10 days.

I really can't wait until this winter is finally out of here!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Starch Solution in the Comics Section!

Six Chicks March 16, 2017

If the comic doesn't show up, go to this link.

New Cookbook from Dr. Fuhrman

Dr. Fuhrman
Dr. Fuhrman’s fantastic new book, Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook, is set to hit stores on May 2, 2017. This collection of 131 delicious, fast and simple recipes, which covers everything from delightful breakfasts to on-the-go lunches, hearty dinners, satisfying salads, tasty dips and salad dressings, desserts and much more, is sure to become your go-to kitchen manual. Your family and friends will enjoy these tasty and healthful dishes, which require minimal preparation without sacrificing flavor. And you’ll love the way you feel when eating these healthful foods!
But you won’t need to wait until May 2nd to start enjoying Dr. Fuhrman’s quick and easy recipes!
FREE when you preorder Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook TODAY: an exclusive downloadable booklet that contains a 7-day meal plan with 30 bonus recipes that are not found in the main cookbook. You’ll be able to start creating and enjoying delicious Nutritarian meals right away – even before you receive the Quick and Easy Cookbook!
This special bonus booklet is only available for a limited time, as a gift with preorders of the Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook – so don’t delay; order yours today!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

TWO McDougall Webinars this Week

I just got an email telling about another webinar tomorrow - Tuesday March 14, 2017 - besides the Digestive Tune-Up ones on Thursdays.

Implementing a Health Promoting Diet for Children.

John McDougall, MD
In this live webinar, you will be able to interact directly with Dr. McDougall as he discusses how to implement the McDougall plant-based diet for children (and parents!).

He will explain what the negative effects of consuming meat, oil and dairy are.

Dr. McDougall will also talk about how much protein a child really needs and how to get it in the cleanest and safest way possible.

Dr. McDougall will also talk about what the best milk is for babies and toddlers.

And he will answer YOUR questions as well!

Register now for this free webinar and let your friends know too!
The Registration Button is at the bottom of this page.

TO SEND QUESTIONS, please email

CANNOT ATTEND THE LIVE WEBINAR? No problem, go ahead and register and you will automatically receive the REPLAY when it becomes available!
Tuesday, 14 March 2017, at 01:00 pm
Eastern Time (US and Canada), GMT -4

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar on Sale

Share Your Love of Napa Valley - 15% Off Everything!
Share your love of Napa Valley Naturals with your friends and family! For 3 days only, you, your friends and family can receive 15% off the entire order.* Forward to those you love.

Use offer code FFSALE15 at checkout to receive your discount.

Shop Now

If that link doesn't work, here's the link that goes directly to the Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar page. Just remember to use the code above when checking out. It's good until March 9, 2017.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dr. Esselstyn Replies

Remember those posts last week about Dr. Esselstyn's name being on one of many who authored a study on CVD that "concluded" nuts and oils are heart healthy? Well, we were right to be skeptical.

Apparently, Dr. McDougall wrote him about it, and Dr. McDougall shared his reply on the forums:

As I crawl from underneath the bus, it is essential for me to clarify your criticism of me in regards to this week’s committee authored American College of Cardiology (ACC) publication. 
On page 1182 of the ACC paper there is reference to three of my publications immediately followed by the statement “On this basis, it appears that a whole food plant based diet may halt progression of coronary atherosclerosis and achieve evidence of angiographic disease regression.” The reference to my publications numbers 133, 134, and 135 appear on page 1187 of the ACC paper. To update you further, in 2016 I published an article in the Journal of The American College of Lifestyle Medicine entitled “Defining an Overdue Requiem for Palliative Cardiovascular Medicine” and I just completed a paper entitled “Coronary Artery Disease: A Mandate for Effective Therapy.” to be published later this year in a geriatric journal issue edited by Robert Ostfeld. In two weeks, on March 19th, I have been given 12 minutes to preset my research and clinical strategies how to prevent and reverse heart disease before the membership of the American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C. 
My point is that in none of these writings or presentations in the past, present, or future have I deviated from my “NO OIL” plant based nutrition message. 
While I would like nothing more than to have the ACC paper echo my hard and fast no oil plant based approach, you can appreciate the conflicts of some of the authors resulting in compromise and in brutal editing, not surprising in a committee authored article. 
Thank you for sharing my response with your audience. 

As a reminder, the whole thread with links to the study can be found here

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Digestive Tune Up - Webinar 1

This is the book being discussed: Dr. McDougall's Digestive Tune-Up

This week's discussion based on: My Stomach Is On Fire and I Can't Put It Out newsletter article

The video is in 2 parts because after the first few minutes Dr. McDougall lost his connection and when he was finally able to get reconnected the talk started with the week's subject.

Next week is Dr Doug Lisle talking about his video The Perfect Personality, first seen at the 2010 ASW.

Friday, March 3, 2017

AJ's Tupperware Webinars (Edited)

Overpriced? Yeah, but Aunt Cassie was such fun to watch!

Edited to add:

And I just noticed she did another Tupperware demo but with Kurt. I haven't watched this one yet, but if he says "Shut the front door!" we'll know it's Cassie's other persona.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Is Auto-Immune Disease Awareness Month

In honor of Auto-Immune Disease Awareness Month I'll once again post the link to the Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Foundation site.

This is the crap disease I have to live with daily. 

I refuse to take the chemotherapy or steroid drugs that are usually handed out like jellybeans by rheumatologists, so I stick to the WFPB no added SOS food plan and eliminate foods that cause me pain, like gluten and (sob) potatoes in all forms. At least I'm not reacting too badly to nightshades right now so I can still have tomatoes a few times a week.

I know eventually, as my disease progresses, I'll have to go on some of those strong medications, chemical concoctions whose side effects are worse than the disease(s) it tries to control, but if doing without my beloved spuds not only lets me sleep at night with a little less pain but keeps me one more day away from that poison, so be it. Once again let me say, maybe Dr. Fuhrman was right.

More by Jeff on That CVD Study

Jeff Novick does a follow-up on the study I mentioned in that previous post, and promises even more about it in the future. As it turns out, once you read the entire study you see what was really concluded.

I suggest you read  the entire thread, but here's a snippet from one of his posts:

I agree 100% with most all of it including... 
no to - - juicing- - (most) supplements- - coconut oil- - eggs- - hi fat diets
yes to..- -veggies, - - protein from plant foods- - (fruits)/berries.  

The question is on nuts, which we do allow in moderation but they are not recommended for weight loss, which is exactly what the paper recommends, limiting intake to one ounce a day (30 gm) and that "Moderate quantities are required to prevent caloric excess." No argument there. 
The real question is liquid vegetable oils like corn, olive & canola oils which I have addressed in this forum in detail and in my talk. I would recommend reading the paper on this issue. It says they found that when substituting these vegetable oils for saturated fat, there was a decrease in the numbers but no evidence on better CVD outcomes.That is exactly what I say in the fats talk and in this forum.  

It says olive has some more evidence from some MED studies and PREDIMED Trial, which I discuss in this forum and in my talk. They also say there are no studies comparing the MED to the Okinawan which uses virtually no nuts or oils and has great outcomes too. 
Most of what they are discussing is the impact of these oils on those on the SAD moving in our direction or on a current unhealthy MED diet. They are not discussing what happens when someone is on our diet and lifestyle and then adds the oil to them. These are all the same points I make in my writing/talks. Olive oil may be shown to decrease LDL or LDL oxidation when someone is not on a very healthy diet, but it is not going to decrease LDL or LDL oxidation even more when someone is strictly adhering to our recommendations.  

It's like the example I use on the nuts studies that show that adding nuts to a typical diet may lower TC 4.5% and LDL 6.5%. Yet, changing ones whole diet to the one we recommend without the use of nuts, lowered TC and LDL 25-30%, Will adding nuts now to that diet lower TC and LDL even more?