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New Dr. Esselstyn Studies

July 13th, 2014

A couple new articles by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, are making their rounds in the vegan community.

And who can blame us for wanting to share them? :) These are exciting results indeed, once again showing reversal of cardiovascular disease with a low-fat plant-based diet, this time in a larger sample size than in previous studies.

For those more inclined to spend time with a video lecture, the following talk by Dr. Esselstyn at the 2012 annual Health Conference sponsored by NW VEG and the Portland Adventist Hospital Association is well worth the hour plus. His presentations always snap me back into low-fat adherence!

Good news: The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann and Jane Esselstyn, the good doctor’s wife and daughter, is now available for pre-order!

Note: If you use one of the book links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I’d recommend these potentially life-saving resources.

GMO Myths and Truths

May 24th, 2014

Today saw the second annual March Against Monsanto, a global anti-GMO protest with demonstrations held in at least 52 countries and 47 US states.

Indeed, on my errands in town today, I spotted a gathering of sign holders attempting to inform the people in passing cars that we’re all “lab rats.” Unfortunately, they chose a fairly busy circle, so I didn’t have much of a chance to read the signs nor interact.

However, it’s an important issue that deserves attention and some deliberate at-home reading of the literature. One such resource has just this month been updated — to a whopping 330 pages — from its first appearance two years ago. Written by a couple genetic scientists and a researcher, it compiles the studies, some quite recent, and draws what conclusions can so far be drawn.

You can download that report, GMO Myths and Truths, here at EarthOpenSource.org.

Their video from 2012 prior to the failed initiative on mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food, California Proposition 37, which spawned the March Against Monsanto movement:

Vegan Carob Protein Balls

April 13th, 2014

The recipe that follows is one variation of a peanut butter carob protein ball that I make frequently to snack on during lunch meetings at work or while playing at chess tournaments. They are a superb and tasty source of energy, rather filling for their size, relatively healthy compared to store-bought protein bars, and easy to make.


Recipe makes about 21 Tablespoon-sized balls.

As usual, most ingredient measurements are exact, i.e., by weight. I’ve tried to approximate the volume measurements in parentheses.

  • 120 g oats, ground to a flour (1.5 cups)

  • 10 g spirulina (1 Tb)
  • 10 g rice protein powder (1 heaping Tb)
  • 20 g hemp protein powder (2 heaping Tb)
  • 40 g carob powder (4 Tb)
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
  • 24 g raisins (2 packed Tb)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 64 g chunky peanut butter (1/4 cup)
  • 64 g chunky almond butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70 g liquid sweetener of choice (3 1/2 Tb)

Step by step pictorial…


oat flour, cinnamon, spirulina, and nutmeg


rice and hemp protein powders


carob powder


raisins


non-dairy milk, nut butters, and sweetener

One thing I often do with the sweetener is to cut it in half calorically with an all-fruit jam, in this case, strawberry.


Pour wet into dry and mix well


A thick, chocolate-like dough is the result

Scoop up the dough by the Tablespoon and roll into balls. If it’s too sticky, like this batch, which had a bit more than a 1/2 cup of soymilk, moisten the palms of your hands with water. Place on a cookie sheet or, as above, in the wells of a cupcake pan, and freeze for a couple hours. Enjoy! :)

Note: If you use one of the links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I recommend them for these treats.

Eastern Philosophy

March 16th, 2014

Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had any suggestions for books on Buddhism. As a bibliophile and one who has been interested in Eastern philosophies since college, I was only too happy to oblige and thought I’d briefly share them here.

The first recommendation was “anything by Alan Watts.” Watts was instrumental in bringing Eastern religion and thinking to the West during the late 50s and early 60s and making it accessible to the Western mind. His many books and audios are timeless to this day. In fact, you may have come across some of his lectures and/or excerpts thereof on YouTube. Especially viral is this short clip animated by the creators of South Park in their instantly-recognizable style.

One of my favorite Alan Watts books, which I’ve read multiple times now, is The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

The second recommendation was “anything by Ram Dass.” Born Richard Alpert, this amazing man’s spiritual path began at Harvard as a friend and professorial colleague of Timothy Leary. After they were dismissed from the college, Alpert traveled to India where he met a Hindu guru and was given the name Ram Dass, “servant of God.” His most well-known book is the 1971 Be Here Now.

In 1997, he had a stroke, which he speaks fondly about in interviews and his memoir Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart published last year (2013). He continues to teach to this day via webcasts and his retreats in Hawaii.

Lastly, it came as a pleasant surprise to find that Ram Dass has also co-authored with Stephen Levine whose book A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last really made an impression on me when I read it over a decade ago.

I hope you get a chance to explore these authors and that their words bring you peace.

Note: If you use one of the links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I wholeheartedly recommend these authors. Enjoy!


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