Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Wonderful Safety Razor

It has been awhile since I posted here - very busy.  One thing I want to do is a review of rice cookers, since we recently bought our third cooker.  We have a Sanyo, a Zojirushi, and a Tiger.  Our favorite is the Tiger, but more to come.

I did want to talk off topic about shaving.  I have the ideal gift idea for the man in your life who is a wet shaver (or wants to be - it really is the best way IMO).  I have a stout beard but a sensitive face.  I long ago abandoned the electric - just too poor of a shave.  For a long while, I used a straight razor, and still do on occasion.  It gives a great shave, but takes a lot of time, and there is always the inevitable nick unless you do it every day.  It is definitely not for everybody, and really not for me when such great double edge safety razors are so inexpensive.

The widely available multi-blade cartridges are to me an abomination.  The cost is ridiculous, they don't last long, they cut the whiskers below the skin, which then irritate the face as they grow back, and the plastic cartridges will contaminate our world for many years to come.  Then there are the aerosol cans of awful shave lotion.  And the teflon strips that are there because the shave cream is so awful.

The old double edge safety razor with a badger brush and shaving soap or creme can't be beat.  You get a smooth shave that feels and looks good.  It is inexpensive over time and is better for the environment.  It is so cheap that you are not tempted to push things with a dull blade.

I have a fairly large collection of razors, and am always willing to try something new.  I was using a (expensive) Merkur Vision Adjustable, which did pretty well.  But I had read glowing reports about the reasonably priced Muhle 89R (non adjustable) in shaving circles.  Since I needed some new shaving cream and more blades, I ordered one.  Wow.  I now see why so many people who could and would buy anything are moving to this shaver.

Here is what it looks like (from Lees Safety Razors, where I got it)
Lee says that the Jagger for $41 has the same head and shaves just as well.  It is perhaps not as beautifully finished as the Muhle.  The Muhle is just amazing.

It comes with a single Derby blade, which turned out to be excellent.  I will order some more of those blades.  This combo shaved very close with no irritation.  That is what others have noted, and I agree.  With most razors, it is easy to get a close shave if you don't mind ripping your face a bit.  And easy to get a comfy shave if you don't go close.  But the Muhle razor is the best of all worlds and does not need to be adjustable.  I haven't heard of a single person who has not gotten great shaves with this, and I am very enthusiastic, as is Farley.  She noticed how my face was Baby Bottom Smooth for most of the day.

Amazon sells Gillette Mach III blades, 12 for $24.  That is about $2.00 each, and they don't last long.  Lees sells the Derby's 15 for $7.50.  That is $.50 each and a fourth the price of the Gillettes, and they shave better and are more durable.  You will be kinder to the environment, your face, your loved one, and your wallet by going Double Edge.  If you use 120 blades per year, you will spend $60 per year on blades versus $240 for Mach III.

You will also save money and feel (and smell) better with a quality shaving soap or creme over the cheap [in quality] stuff that is sold in aerosol cans.  Lee is a guy who will help you out.  You will also need some type of brush, but the less expensive ones are fine.  In fact, I prefer them because I like a stiff brush.

So I think that this makes a great gift.  It actually saves money and wins in every department.  Marketing is amazing.  It convinces people that they want bad food and bad shaves for more money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Our first Thanksgiving 3 years ago was an adventure in experimentation.  Bob and I were quite happy with the results of my mad scientist efforts in creating a healthy and festive meal for this special occasion.   Traditionally we always have another (carnivorous) couple over the next day for leftovers.  I was worried how it was going to go over with them but they loved it!  So here is my menu for the big day to help anyone over the hump of thinking that holidays might be a bit of a drag going without the usual turkey, marshmellowed yams, heavy oily stuffing and mountains of buttery desserts.   You will not feel cheated and if you are going to someone else's home for Thanksgiving, everything can be made in advance and go with you to rewarm elsewhere..self-defense cooking is a must and everyone else will want to taste what you have!

Do realize that this is a "feast" menu, meant to be enjoyed just a few times a year.  The sesame glaze is a high density calorie food and the dessert is high in sugar.

Thanksgiving Menu

Mushroom Lentil Loaf
Green Beans with Sesame Seed Glaze
Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Spinach Greens with Garlic Mustard Dressing
Baked Apple-Berry Crumble


1½ cups red lentils cooked in advance in 2½ cups water until tender, then partially mash in cooking water (doing this the day before is very helpful)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large portobello mushrooms, diced
red wine, vegetable broth or water for sauteing
2 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped
1 15 oz can diced no-salt tomatoes and juice
2 cups brown rice, cooked (another do-ahead)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp Mrs. Dash's garlic and herb seasoning blend
½ tsp dried marjoram
¼ - ½ cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
[best sauces are “Bone Suckin' Sauce” BBQ sauce (my favorite) or Muir Glen ketchup]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir-fry onions and mushrooms in wine, broth or water in a nonstick pan. Add spinach and cook, covered, until spinach wilts.
  3. Add onions and mushrooms, tomatoes, rice, garlic, sage, Mrs. Dash, and marjoram to lentils in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan and spread ketchup or BBQ sauce on top.
  5. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes. Serve with more sauce drizzled over slices.

If you have any leftovers this makes great sandwich material.


The Beans:
2-3 lbs of fresh green and yellow wax beans rinsed and looked over.

Steam beans for approximately 25 minutes then turn into an oven proof baking dish.

The Glaze:

4 TBS sesame seeds
2 tsps honey
2 tsps low-sodium tamari sauce

  1. Toast sesame seeds in the oven or in a pan, watching carefully so they don't burn. Place in a small grinder or food processor and process just until ground.
  2. Put sesame seeds in a small bowl and add honey and tamari. Stir until mixed and just crumbly. Add to hot green beans. Gently toss and keep warm in low oven until time to serve.

Both beans and glaze may be made in advance, then mixed together and warmed about 15 – 20 minutes before serving.


4 – 6 small sized Japanese sweet potatoes (sometimes also called oriental yams) depending on number of people. At least one potato per person. But these are delicious and you will want some extras for possible seconds.

Any type of sweet potato or yam will do. We like the  jewel or garnet yams.

I simply scrub and place in a convection or regular oven and bake at 350 – 360 degrees for about 1 ½ hours. Leave in oven to keep warm. Serve as is...they just don't need anything else.


Fresh spinach, well washed and coarsely chopped...set aside in salad bowl.


In a jar with tight lid combine
2 cloves fresh garlic finely minced or pressed
2 TBS of Dijon Mustard or your favorite spicy mustard
½ cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lime

Shake well, adjust for your own taste
Serve greens and dressing separately for guests to add dressing as they choose.


5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup blackberries, chopped
1 cup raspberries, halved
1 cup blueberries
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup rolled oats

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine apples, berries, ¼ cup brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon; toss to blend. Place apple-berry mixture in a 1 ½ to 2 quart baking dish.  (I cheat and use a disposable aluminum baking pan - no gooey washing)
  2. In medium bowl combine flour, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in mashed bananas and then add in the oats. Spoon on the banana/oat topping over the apple-berry in baking dish covering apples as much as possible. Bake 40 – 45 minutes until apples are tender and topping is getting crispy.

Note: frozen berries are fine if fresh are not available.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dr. McDougall's Address to the ACLM

A few people appreciated Dr. McDougall's lecture on MS, RA, and autoimmune diseases.  I would like to promote another of his lectures that is also available for free download and is excellent.

Dr. McDougall was asked to be the keynote speaker to the first meeting of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, now an accepted specialty board within the medical profession.  In this address, Dr. McDougall summarizes some of the main problems facing those who specialize in this area, and some of the main problems faced by all of us as patients and candidates for the western diseases that seem to plague most of us as we age.  It is SAD because it is so unnecessary that we age so poorly in this country. 

Enjoying my "golden years" is one of the wonderful benefits of this lifestyle.  I was not enjoying my entry to these years before I was lucky enough to contract heart disease, and learn about this important knowledge that reversed my heart disease, diabetes, kidney stones, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.  I was suffering every day while trying to remember how many of each of my basket full of pills to take.  Now I feel great and take no medications at all.

Here is the link:
You have to scroll to the bottom of the page and download the lecture of almost an hour and a half (a fairly large file)


I was asked my opinion on how to handle restaurant meals.  I think that much of the answer depends on who is dining.

For somebody new to healthy eating, restaurants are almost always a bad idea IMO.  They are minefields that take a lot of experience to negotiate, and there are many traps for the inexperienced.

In general, I treat restaurants as feast days unless I am absolutely certain how they prepare the food.  It is very common for waiters or managers to tell you that there are no animal products or dairy in the food when there are, or all whole grains when they aren't.  These people usually don't know, and they are probably correct in assuming that most people want only to hear that the food is healthy rather than wanting to insure that it is.  It is also very common to incorrectly assume that something is healthy because it is represented as vegan- take a look at what goes into the typical veggie burger.

I have had rice that was steamed in animal broth, and lots of food that clearly had tons of oil and salt despite what I was told.  You just have to assume that anything you order at a restaurant is dangerous to your health unless proven otherwise.

My theory is to try to avoid restaurants if you can.  The one thing that can be said for sure is that you have no direct control over the preparation of your food.  Here are some ways to avoid restaurant food -
- If you can, eat beforehand so that you are not hungry.
- Buy a Bento Box like this
That way, you can always pack something to eat.
- Bring snacks like apples, bananas, etc.
- If you have to travel, use the web to find stores where you can purchase healthy food.  If you are driving, take your rice cooker etc. with you and find a motel with a microwave.  You could also take a steamer with you as discussed earlier in this blog.

Avoiding restaurants, you will save money and increase the control you have over your food.  But sometimes the realities of life demand that you eat at a restaurant.  Suck it up and order something healthy even if you have to pay what seems way too much to get something not on the menu.  Call ahead to make sure that the restaurant can give you what you need.  If they can't, find someplace that can.

A baked potato is safe if not coated with grease.  Steamed vegetables and rice are usually safe if not cooked in meat broth or with unknown sauces.  Make sure to order it plain.  Remember that any bread almost certainly contains added fat and/or salt and is not whole grain.  If you have a weight problem, you don't want bread anyhow.  Remember that marinara and other sauces almost always have added oil.  A skipped meal is better than eating unhealthy - especially if you have a health problem that you are trying to reverse.

For a person who is in good health, I see nothing wrong with the occasional restaurant meal at all if you know that the place cooks what you need.  When I find a place that does understand what I need, I make sure to patronize that place and be generous with the staff.

What you will find, I am afraid, is that the only foods that a restaurant can prepare for you that are good are going to be very bland, and not nearly as tasty as what you can do for yourself at home.  It isn't their fault.  They are used to making food tasty the American way, by adding fat, sugar, and salt to the food.  That is what the overwhelming majority of their customers want, unless it is a specialty restaurant.

And finally, don't think that just because a place is vegan that it is healthy.  The vegan restaurants I have seen are often worse than a McDonald's or Burger King with respect to finding something healthy that you can eat.

This lifestyle will give you tremendous, even unbelievable benefits.  But it does require change, and part of that change is giving up some things that have done you harm.  For the most part, that includes tasty restaurant food.  So use the money you save eating this way to indulge yourself in other ways.

Baby Bok Choy "Stir Fry"

A little change of pace for tonight's meal.  We've been eating so many steamed veggies I decided to give the steamer the night off and "stir-fry" a more Asian style dinner.  Bob and I really lapped this up.  I took the picture before I added the tomatoes...which was actually an afterthought.  So picture this looking even more colorful with diced up red tomatoes in it too.

Baby Bok Choy “Stir-Fry”


2 large portobello mushrooms chopped
1 small yellow onion, quartered and sliced thin
4 bunches of baby bok choy, well rinsed and chopped
½ c shredded carrots
1 c broccoli in small flowerettes
½ c sliced snow peas
1 tomato diced
red wine for sauteeing

In a large pan heat enough red wine (or salt-free, no-oil vegetable broth) to cover the bottom. When bubbly add mushrooms and onions, sautee for about 10 minutes. Next add the rest except the tomato. Tossing occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes. Finally add the tomato and let it heat thoroughly.

Serve over fresh chopped spinach and brown rice.

Additions to add to your personal serving: my favorite is a squirt of fresh lime juice and several dashes of Tobasco

If you can't find fresh bok choy you can substitute it with fresh chopped spinach and celery to get the same effect.

This makes 3-4 servings

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dr. McDougall's Free Lecture on MS and autoimmune diseases

At the top of this blog is a link to Dr. McDougall's lecture on MS and autoimmune diseases (like RA, Lupus etc.).  I would highly recommend that anybody who has not already seen this lecture do so.  It will open your eyes not only to the power of lifestyle medicine, but to facts that the drug companies would just as soon keep out of public view.  To paraphrase Dr. McDougall in this lecture, what the drug companies are doing with respect to MS is virtually criminal.

I personally know a person who has had MS for many years while showing no interest in lifestyle medicine.  I have watched him deteriorate from a strong and healthy person into a wheelchair bound cripple.  It is sad to think that he had a greater then 95% chance of complete remission with the knowledge available to, but dismissed by, the medical profession and the media.  In my recent TV appearance with Dr. McDougall, I sat next to a lady who was diagnosed with obvious MS seventeen years ago, and has had no further problems.  Her MRIs showed that the brain lesions have actually shrunk (but not a lot) and not grown any further.  Dr. McDougall explains how bad foods affect the blood-brain barrier and how this process can be stopped almost immediately.

There is also a touching story of one woman in the current Oregon medical school study who was not treated with diet because she was in the (untreated) control group.  She broke down in tears when she learned how well the treated (with diet) group was doing and how much unnecessary damage had been done to her nervous system during the clinical trial.

This is one of Dr. McDougall's best lectures ever.  If you don't like this one, you probably won't like any.  The lecture is relevant to general health, and not of interest only to sufferers of any of the tragic diseases discussed.

If you want reason to resist meat and dairy, or convince a loved one, just click the tab at the top for his lecture.  Once you understand the common etiology of these diseases, you are going to understand just how destructive these "foods" can be.

No-Oil Hummus

I have always liked hummus and have made my own plus used prepared store bought versions.  But since we made our change 3 years ago I needed to make my own without the Tahini, which is ground sesame seeds, which is oil.  I donned my mad scientist apron and spent a number of hours in the kitchen over a period of time playing around with past recipes.  They weren't so hot.

That's when it occurred to me that trying to duplicate good healthy recipes to taste like old unhealthy dishes was not the way to go at all.  (Same goes for fake cheese and veggie burgers in my opinion)  So I started from scratch and thought the recipe through and this is my latest evolved version.  You will note the unusual addition of Dijon Mustard.  I can't take credit for that.  On a picnic this past summer with another  McDougaller couple, we both brought hummus.  Mine was good.  Her's was was the mustard!

No Tahini Hummus


2 cans of no-salt added garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup of hot water
1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1 4 oz can of mild diced green chiles, drained
1 lemon, juiced
¼ tsp of ground cumin
¼ tsp of ground chili powder
1 – 2 TBS of Dijon mustard or Horseradish mustard
3 - 4 dashes of Tobasco Sauce (optional)

In a food processor or blender, blend beans until completely mixed. Add about ¼ cup of the hot water and mix. Reserve remaining hot water.  (If needed at the end after all ingredients are added and the mixture is too dry, add more water until you like the blend. The hot water makes the hummus fluffier.) Now add the garlic and chilies and mix. Next is the lemon juice...add a little at a time until you get the consistency and flavor you prefer. Finally add the mustard, cumin and chili powder.  If you like spicy, add the Tobasco. 

Refrigerate for about an hour or more. The longer the better. Serve with your favorite vegetables for a dip. Can also be used for a nice spread for a veggie sandwich.

Depending on the consistency you prefer, you may need to add or cut back on the liquid ingredients or just add more garbanzos.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

CHIP program

Thanks to Janice for referring me to her CHIP (Coronary Health Improvement Project).  She gave me a link that is well worth viewing.

It appears that these folks are doing great things for people.  And I do think that is much more important to work with other like minded people who have common visions and goals than to argue too much about what is optimal.

The video above emphasizes that the main issue is one of lifestyle modification, and they seem to be doing a great job with that.  Who cares if the program would be better without oil if nobody would do it, so I applaud what they are doing.  I would be proud to be associated with these folks and wonder what if anything they are doing in Sacramento.

The Vegetarian Society of Hawaii

At the top of my blog is now a link to the free online lectures maintained by the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii.  These were very important to me when I was learning and adapting to this healthy lifestyle.  They are a real treasure trove of important information.

My favorites are the lectures by Drs. McDougall, Esselstyn, Lisle, Campbell, and Shintani.  There are many other excellent lectures there too, but I regard these as essential for anybody who wants to understand or follow the lifestyle advocated here. 

There are also some commercially available DVDs that I regard as essential too, and they will be addressed later.  I remember being amazed when I first saw Jeff Novick's DVD on government labels.  I was amazed at the trickery that allowed companies to legally advertise pure fat as fat free with zero calories from fat.  I am still amazed by that, and how anybody who does not understand the loopholes in the labeling laws can choose healthy foods to eat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What to do with leftovers?

Make soup of course! Yesterday for lunch we had our typical steamed veggie type meal. (see "A Healthy Lunch") Bob asked me in the afternoon "what's for dinner" if I knew! But I did have something semi-prepped since the sunny morning rapidly turned gray and drizzly I knew I had to do something soupy. In the morning I put about 1 1/2 cups of washed red lentils into the small slow cooker with about 4 cups of water and let it cook for about 2 hours and keep warm for the rest of the day. Then near dinner time I sauteed 1/2 yellow onion and 2 large chopped portobello mushrooms in red wine, added the leftover steamed veggies (red potatoes, carrots, zucchini and orange bell peppers) and the soupy lentils. Let it heat thoroughly and then added about 2 cups of shredded spinach at the end. Served it in a bowl over brown rice. It was very good. And I even have a little of it leftover for today's lunch.

I love it when I have all day like that. I rarely know what I'm going to make for dinner until I make it. But when I have something basic like chili or cooked lentils, it's a great base to build on.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Comments welcome, and now easy

As I take my baby steps as a blogger, I am trying to learn how to make this a great blog for those interested in the healthy lifestyle as taught by such great people as Dr. McDougall, Jeff Novick, Caldwell Esselstyn, Douglas Lisle, Neal Barnard, and all my heroes.

I have modified the default settings of the blog so that anybody can comment without any registration or login (I hope).  So feel free to leave comments or questions or suggestions.  I will try to to keep this going so long as I don't encounter excessive spam or abuse in the comments.  But constructive comments are very welcome and I will try my best to answer questions or suggest places to look for those questions that I can't answer.

A healthy lunch

In the last entry, I reviewed the West Bend Programmable Steamer.  Here is a picture of todays lunch which was created with the steamer and our rice cooker.  Both were set to finish at the same time.

Lunch consisted of a bed of rice with greens, which we often use as a base for meals.  The edge of the plate was surrounded with steamed small potatoes.  The vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini) were heaped on top.  We like lunches that are colorful, as is this.

The West Bend Steamer; What a healthy meal looks like

We have previously discussed the West Bend Vegetable Steamer.  It is wonderful and a real asset to anybody trying to adopt or maintain a whole plant food based diet.  It is particularly beneficial for anybody trying to lose weight.  Here is a picture of the unit.

The unit uses up to three large trays to hold what you would like to steam.  The three trays can be stacked as shown.   The water is placed in the bottom unit, where steaming starts in a matter of seconds.  The unit does not need to boil the entire reservoir before creating steam.  Although the trays will stack, they will not fit inside of one another.  The product therefore takes up quite a bit of real estate in operation or in storage - the only downside I can see.  Some people are concerned about the plastic, but I follow Jeff Novick's advice, who said in his McDougall forum that "I would be willing to make the case that the known benefit of the veggies far outweighs any potential harm caused by the plastic being heated."

There is a small vent on the top lid, which should always be in place.  The upper trays can be added whenever.  This enables Farley to give the lower tray (in the pictured case, potatoes) a head start, so that everything finishes at the same time.  The unit includes a plastic container used to cook things like rice or leftovers in the uppermost section.  The steamer works perfectly.

The electronics is what make this steamer special.  The unit is protected from overheating or running out of water.  In fact, the first unit we received incorrectly sensed that the water level was too low.  The manufacturer quickly replaced the unit with one that worked perfectly.

What makes the steamer convenient is the timer and auto-warm feature.  You set how long you wish to steam your food (a supplied manual has suggestions).  After steaming for the selected time, the unit automatically goes into a warm mode for up to an hour.  You can also delay the start of steaming for many hours.  This is useful, e.g., for lunch.  You can chop your food at breakfast time and set the timer so that the steaming is done for lunch . . . or dinner.  It is great to return home to healthy food that is warm and freshly cooked.

Let's face it, eating healthy is more work than going out for fast food.  This tool helps level the playing field.  We use it all the time with our rice cooker.  We set both to finish at the same time.

Another great thing about this product is that the three trays are quite large, as you can see.  When we used our second rice cooker to steam vegetables, we could not fit enough vegetables in there.  I could easily eat an entire rice cooker/steamer basket of vegetables.  I would guess that each of the three trays could hold at least three time the maximum amount of veggies in the rice cooker steamer basket - probably more.  The product is easy clean and the trays are safe in the dishwasher.

What makes this steamer so great for weight loss is that vegetables are typically very very low in calorie density.  You can stuff yourself with them and lose weight by doing so.  This allows a person to conveniently increase their vegetable consumption.  Further, steaming increases the water content of the food, and as nutritionist Jeff Novick [check out this guy on Facebook, he is a genius] teaches, water increases the satiety of a food.

It can also cook or warm rice, but we used it only for warming, which works great.   You can also use the warming tray for beans, or anything else you might want to eat with your vegetables.

I have never seen this product in the stores.  I found it by research, and then on amazon here:
The Amazon customer reviews are all quite positive for this product, and I agree with all those reviews posted to date.  The only disagreement is that one reviewer found that stacking the trays was inconvenient.  I am not sure what the problem was, since it is very quick and easy to stack them.

The cost was under $80, which seems a lot for your money considering that we have used it every day since we bought it for at least one meal.  [See below, it is available from for $55.]  In my next post, I will show a picture of a meal made in timer mode with the steamer and the rice cooker.  Farley can answer any particular questions in the comments, since she is the operator.  But it has made a large impact on how often and easily we eat lots of vegetables.
Marcela at the McDougall Board was kind enough to post a link to an aluminum steamer that holds even more than the West Bend.  It is also cheaper, and she has had great luck with it.  Here is the link:
This lacks the timer and warmer and safety features, but would be a great option for those more interested in cost and/or capacity and simplicity.  Marcela's comments are below.
Nov. 20
Naomi confirms below that the same steamer is available from for $55.

Hans Diehl

I notice that some of the hits on my blog are from sites with which I am unfamiliar.  One of them is the CHIPS site, and I checked it out.  Great site, and they reference an upcoming visit by Dr. Hans Diehl.  Dr. Diehl was one of the speakers on the recent TV taping, and I had the privilege of watching his interview.  He was very impressive, and I hope that everybody will get a chance to see his interview.  He is yet another doctor who has courage and ethics to be treating people with what works.  His specialty is near and dear to my heart - coronary artery disease.

The only thing that I notice is that his claims seem to be very modest in comparison with what I have achieved.  My own cholesterol has gone from 292 to 139 unmedicated, and my bad LDL cholesterol has gone from 212 to 39 unmedicated.  Both of these changes blew my own physician away.  He has never seen such drops, even with medication.  I am not sure of the details of Dr. Diehl's program, but it has to be doing people good, and he has to be on the right track for Dr. McDougall to be interviewing him on his TV show.

It just seems to me that a critical mass has been achieved with respect to lifestyle medicine.  What Dr. McDougall has been saying for so many years and is starting to echo through concerned and caring people.  We are seeing very public people, like Bill Clinton, becoming aware of the power of lifestyle medicine.  We are seeing my generation approach the age where a lifetime of dietary error is becoming apparent.  My generation was always one to question authority, and this can work in our favor.
Nov. 11
Janice below provided a link to some of the CHIPs recipes if anybody wants to view them.  They are here:
The recipes do contain oil, which is not allowed in the recommendations of Drs. McDougall and Esselstyn.  I would like to learn more about CHIPs and the results that they are achieving and how those compare to what is seen with Drs. E and M.

Cabernet Roasted Red Potatoes with Vegetables

This is a recipe developed by my wife, Farley. It tastes great

Cabernet Roasted Red Potatoes with Vegetables

In a large bowl mix the following:

2 lbs Red potatoes chopped
2 Large portobello mushrooms chopped
1 Red onion chopped
1 Yellow or orange bell pepper chopped
1 Can of low sodium Red Kidney Beans rinsed and drained

All the veggies to be chopped in large bite-sized pieces

3 cloves of minced garlic
1 TBS each of dried ground basil and thyme or a little more if desired
ground pepper to taste

Add about 1/2 c of Cabernet and toss (no oil/no salt vegetable broth works also)
Place in a large roasting dish with high sides
Roast in oven at 375 and cook for at least 60 minutes
About half-way through roasting check to see if it's drying out...if so add more wine.

Serve on bed of brown rice and chopped greens

On Stage with Dr. McDougall

Yesterday was an exciting day.  I was asked to participate with Dr. McDougall in taping a show for Lifestyle Magazine, which is broadcast on TBN.  I didn't know what to expect.

I didn't realize how hard these folks work.  Dr. M and the hosts were in the midst of taping 13 shows yesterday.  I only had a chance to say "Hi" and chat during the intermissions between shows, and had a chance to chat with the other guests, like Drs. Alona and Matt, while we were awaiting our turns on stage.

The show itself was fun, and over before I knew it.  We focused on my story of reversing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, chronic kidney stones, etc.  The details are summarized here.  I was on stage with another star McDougaller who had arrested her MS over sixteen years, which is virtually unheard of.  Dr. McDougall has an amazing and free video lecture on MS, RA, and autoimmune diseases in general here.

As it turned out, the limo drivers were on a tight schedule, and I was having the microphones removed while they escorted my to the limo.  Talk about "in and out."  They didn't even have time to remove my makeup or to have the picture taken that Dr.  McDougall wanted.  But I was happy to catch an earlier flight and be home sooner.

The show could not say when the episode will air, but probably some time within the next year.  They will notify me and I will post here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

While Bob's away... / Easy Chili recipe

I'll be Bob for a few hours until he gets home from his big TV debut.

So you all want a recipe?  Cyndy suggested the chili  so that's what I'll post today.  This was one of the very first dishes I made for Bob.  We found it so delicious that it encouraged us to think this drastic change in our diets might not be as difficult as we first thought.  Through these last 3 years I've done my best to create short cuts.  When we began this I was sure I was suffering from "repetitive chopping syndrome" and "I'm never getting out of the kitchen-itis".  There's a little chopping and cooking involved in this chili but I've streamlined it just a little by using a fresh-style salsa and Pico De Gallo.  Pico De Gallo is just a combination of fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno chiles and cilantro.  I like spicy foods so the Pico De Gallo is optional.   I cook this and just about everything else in a 14" high sided sautee pan.

Mind you, I'm no chef.  This is typical of my "by the seat of my pants" cooking.  So when Bob says, " Wow, write this down", I do but results may vary as they say, LOL.



red wine for sauteeing (cover the bottom of the pan with it)
1 large yellow onion diced
2 bell peppers, any combo of red/yellow/orange diced
1 container of Pico De Gallo (optional)
2 cans of no-salt rinsed & drained black beans
2 cans of no-salt rinsed & drained red kidney beans
2 cans of no-salt diced tomatoes with juice
1 4 oz can of diced mild chiles drained
1 large container of fresh style salsa
½ package of frozen roasted corn (Trader Joe's)
½ cup of red wine
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs chile powder

Heat ¼ - ½ cups of red wine in pan. When bubbling add the diced bell peppers and onion. Sautee until well cooked and starting to caramelize. Add cumin and chile powder and stir for 30 seconds, then add all remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes or more. You can also place all ingredients (after saute) into a slow cooker and just let it slow cook all day...the longer the better.

Serve over a pile of salad greens or spinach and brown rice. Crumble toasted whole corn tortillas over top with chopped green onions.   I also have to dash on Tobasco Sauce for my own serving.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A TV personality? Hardly.

I am flying to Los Angeles tomorrow, and will be appearing Monday on Lifestyle Magazine with Dr. McDougall.  This is a TV show aired on TBN.  Dr. McDougall is a co-host of the program.  I was very honored that he asked me to appear.  I don't know when the show will air, or even what I will be talking about, but I am excited to help and to see Dr. McDougall again. 

Dr. McDougall is one of my heroes because he is one of a group of fantastic health professionals who really saved my life.  I plan to post my list of heroes soon with some links so folks can see what these amazing people have to say.  Another future post will cover some of the tools that we have found very helpful to this healthy lifestyle.  Our most recent tool is the West Bend steamer, which steams in impressive amount of veggies and has a very useful timer.  It is turning into an every day tool

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Living the McDougall Lifestyle with SactoBob & Farley

Thanks to my friend, Mrs. Doodlepunk, I have finally taken the plunge and started blogging.  I will focus here primarily on lifestyle, and in particular, the teaching of John McDougall, M.D.  My lifestyle since Jan. 2008, has reversed serious heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, chronic kidney stones and sinus infections and chronic pain syndrome.

I have enjoyed discussing the McDougall lifestyle on Dr. McDougall's website discussion group.  However, the bulletin board concept comes with some limitations and frustrations that I wish to avoid.  I would like to continue discussing Dr. McDougall's teachings in this blog.  It should be fun, and it would be great if I could help others to realize the benefits that I have received, and for which I am so grateful.

For anyone interested in how I acquired my formerly serious health problems, and how I reversed them, please start would be with a medical summary submitted at Dr. McDougall's website.  The address is here:

The above link contains a fairly complete description of how my heart disease was diagnosed, and how I avoided the recommended surgery.  Dr. McDougall's commentary is vitally important for anybody who is contemplating a bypass or stent procedure.