Heart-Healthy Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Having a nutritious plant-based diet is critical for your health. It helps lower your cholesterol, preventing the risk of heart disease and stroke. So, here are seven heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.

1. Add in Some Whole Grains

Grains are the perfect source of fiber. They help improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of stroke and diabetes. Grains also include plenty of B vitamins, iron and magnesium. These vitamins are essential in ensuring your body's cells function correctly.

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Plant-Based Hiking Food Ideas: What to Eat Before, During, & After a Hike

You can’t stop an idea whose time has come. In the 17th century, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz invented calculus roughly simultaneously, even though neither was aware of the other’s work. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley (not to be confused with Jason Priestley), Antoine Lavoisier, and others independently discovered oxygen in the 18th century. And in the 1800s, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both came up with the theory of evolution and didn’t know of each other until both had published.

But in the last third of the 20th century, the big question was, who invented trail mix?

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5 Ways to Reuse Extra Food to Avoid Waste

You clean out your refrigerator once a week, sighing as you toss half-eaten fruit containers and moldy leftovers. All that food waste makes a significant difference to the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that such practices add the equivalent of 42 coal plants’ worth of carbon to the planet’s problems each year.

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5 Tips for Establishing a Healthy Plant-Based Diet

The health benefits include improved weight loss, helping the environment and reduced risk for chronic diseases. Yet interestingly enough, just over 50% of Americans rank taste as their primary reason for switching to plant-based proteins, signifying that eating a plant-based diet can be just as tasty as being a meat-eater, and doesn’t only have to be made in the interest of health and eco-consciousness.

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What are Food Allergies — And What Can You Do About Them?

When I was a teenager, I spent some time backpacking in Malaysia. One night, I woke to the sound of chewing close to my ear. Instantly full of adrenaline, I leapt to my feet and, clad only in my underwear, did my best warrior impression. Brandishing a pocketknife and a flashlight, I attempted to intimidate what I thought was some sort of monster that had invaded my hut.

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11 Whole Foods Plant-Based Recipes from Around the World

Pasta, basil, and tomato sauce might make you think of Italy. Collards and cornbread, the American South. Potato and onion pierogis could conjure up images of Poland.

And for good reason. The fact is there’s a strong human connection between food, place, ethnicity, and culture.

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5 Health Benefits of Buying Your Food Locally

You probably know that your grocery shopping habits influence your and your family’s health. Did you know that your food-buying choices can also impact the planet as a whole?

Reducing the impact of climate change is a collective responsibility, and minor changes can make a significant difference. They can also make your life more nutritious and delicious. Consider the following five health benefits of buying your food locally.

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Ayurvedic Walnut Veggie BrainBurgers

The English walnut has a rich, expansive history and the respect of modern science. Here's a veggie burger featuring the walnut from Chef Domnick Mason at the Raj Ayurvedic resort and spa in Fairfield Iowa. The Raj, for the last 25 years has provided a full range of authentic panchakarma treatments to clientele worldwide as well as meals for guests and the community that feature organic foods - much of it local.

This is the recipe for the famous Raj veggie-burger featuring the brain-nourishing, health-supporting walnut. Nuts are considered an important part of the vegetarian diet as they supply fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They contain beneficial phytochemicals. Some contain many different forms of plant sterols, which are believed to help moderate blood cholesterol. Some of the volatile oils in nuts contain antioxidants that help counter free radical damage. Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans contain no cholesterol. Most of the calories in nuts come from fat, but mainly unsaturated fat, and fat performs some essential functions in the body. 

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Optimal Protein Shake for Vegan Athletes

A lot of people think that animal-based sources are the only way to get the full spectrum of protein you need to perform at your athletic peak.

Yet while meat, eggs, and dairy are generally good sources of complete protein, there are also plenty of ways that vegans can get enough protein.

And with the right sources, vegans can even get the complete range of protein, the same as someone with no dietary restrictions.

Read on and we’ll share what vegan athletes need to know about proper protein intake, how to get complete protein on a plant-based diet, and a tasty protein shake that ticks all the vegan boxes.

The Concept of a Complete Protein

Getting enough protein is one thing athletes need to focus on. But you should also consider the type of protein you’re getting.

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Food and Water: What You Eat Matters for People & the Planet

Water is an essential part of every form of life on Earth. But by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population may be facing freshwater shortages, and ecosystems around the world may suffer even more. So what can we do to save water so future generations can drink and grow food? A lot! And it can all start with the food on our plates.

Take the 101 South out of San Francisco through Silicon Valley, past the campuses of Apple, Google, and Facebook. You’ll drive past Whole Foods Markets, Trader Joe’s, Costcos, Walmarts, medical centers, golf courses, fruit stands, and farmers markets. Continue south, hang a left at Gilroy, and hit CA-152 West. As you pass the San Luis Reservoir and Recreation Area, you’ll see signs warning prospective swimmers and boaters to avoid the water due to toxic algal blooms.

The 152 rolls into Highway 99 as you continue through Fresno and finally reach your destination, the small town of Dinuba, California. You’ll find yourself at the base of Smith Mountain, smack dab in the center of the San Joaquin Valley.

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“You Are What You Eat” Should Be “You Are What You Ate”

There have been exciting discoveries about the microbiome that lead to a radical change in how we view the human body. “Microbiome” is a new name for something long known about, the teeming colonies of bacteria and fungi that exist all around the body. We need these micro-organisms in order to digest food, but the existence of so-called “intestinal flora” isn’t news either. So why did the microbiome become exciting?

The biggest reason can be summarized as “The microbiome is us.” Instead of being invaders or microscopic hitchhikers, the microbiome represents the continuity of life itself. Microbial DNA is woven into human DNA, which immediately tells us that far from being enemy germs, thousands of species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi brought our ancestors the news of the world as it applies to the evolution of life. A world cloud of DNA moves in, around, and through every living thing.

In natural history museums our hominid ancestors look small and primitive, but there is an invisible link that binds us to them, the microbiome. There are other microbiome locations in the mouth, on the skin, and in the armpits and groin, but let’s limit ourselves to the gut microbiome, since it is incredibly complex, with an estimated 2,000 species of microbial life, and it is life-giving.

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Are Starches Good or Bad?

You know those giant pleated collars that European nobles wore in the 15th and 16th centuries? They’re called “ruffs,” which is kind of fitting since they look a bit like the cones worn by dogs who can’t stop chewing on itchy spots. Some ruffs were so wide that their wearers had to use special extra-long utensils to get food into their mouths.

The reason ruffs were popular (in addition to the fact that they made wearers assume a neck and head posture that proclaimed their nobility) was that they were really time-consuming and expensive to maintain — and the key ingredient in keeping them from folding or drooping was starch.

These days, starch is still used to stiffen collars, though at much less extreme levels. It’s also an important ingredient in industrial production, included in products like adhesives and paper. The single biggest role for starch in the modern world, though? It’s what we eat.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “starches,” or “starchy foods”? For most people, it’s probably processed food — especially bread products like dinner rolls, crackers, and cookies. But there are also many whole, unprocessed foods that are high in starch: rice, corn, quinoa, and potatoes, for example. In fact, most traditional human diets have been centered around starches.

While it’s true that cookies and quinoa both contain starch, they don’t affect the body in the same way. If your idea of starches is only based on processed grains or fried potatoes, you may be surprised to learn that some starches are among the healthiest foods you can eat. In fact, some types of starch offer gut health benefits that can’t be achieved with any other food, making them important foods for a healthy life.

So, what are starches, exactly? Which types of starches are healthy and unhealthy, and how can you add more of the good ones to your diet?

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Brushstrokes: A season of gratitude and culinary hugs (soup!)

The light is changing, the days have become shorter and I’m busy stocking my refrigerator and freezer with soup. In the Studio, I’m selecting and hanging paintings for our Winter Open Studios (see below)—all in all, feeling more and more like a little squirrel with gleaming eyes burying her acorns and hickory nuts for the winter ahead. 

There’s also a growing feeling of gratitude for the lives we are privileged to live, for the beauty of the earth and the sky, the bounty of the harvest, and the love of family and friends as Thanksgiving approaches. 

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6 Delicious Breakfast Ideas for Vegans

Whether you’re a brand-new vegan on the hunt for some ideas or you’re a total veteran who wants to spice things up, there are so many great options for vegan breakfasts that you need to check out. From the on-the-go mornings when you hardly have the time to heat up some toast, to more involved recipes, vegan breakfast options can go any which way.

Whether you’re in the mood for something savory, something a little sweet, or something in between, you can find the perfect breakfast to start off your day.

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5 Alternative Healthy Meal Ideas for Thanksgiving

Many families prepare a traditional Thanksgiving feast, but there’s much to be said for adding something new into the mix. If you want to change up your dinner table this holiday, why not make it a healthy addition or substitution?

The following five ideas can suit many different tastes, and each provides a unique nutritional profile. Try one or several of these alternative ideas this Thanksgiving!

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Coconut Products Are Highly Beneficial for Human Health- Explore How

Apart from being widely used in manufacturing cosmetics goods including soaps, hair oils, and several skin care applications, coconut products are also increasingly being taken recourse to by the food manufacturers in making fried foods, smoothies, and sweets.

Coconut products are highly nutritious indeed. When the majority of fruits are high in carbohydrate, coconuts mainly tend to provide good fat .They also take in protein and a lot of other important vitamins and minerals. Simultaneously, the fact that coconuts are rich in manganese plays an important role in improving your bone health and controlling the metabolic function of cholesterol and carbs. The fruit is also high in iron and copper, which aid in creating red blood cells and selenium, an essential antioxidant that fortifies your cells.

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Holiday Meal Planning Tips and Recipes for Healthy & Happy Gatherings

Ahh, the holidays — a time for fun, festivities, and… stress? The holidays can, and should, be a time to focus on what we have in common and what we want to celebrate together. But what happens when our friends and family members have different diets and food preferences, and we’re in charge of holiday meal planning?

What if you’re vegan? Or you eat a whole food, plant-based diet free of processed food, oil, and sugar, and your friend is gluten-free; your sister is Paleo; your nephew is allergic to nuts, and your in-laws love sausages and donuts?

The sources of stress can go far beyond food, of course. One of the things about family is, well, we can’t choose them. Holiday gatherings can bring together people with widely different political and social views. It can be enough to make you want to skip the holidays entirely.

But, don’t despair.

You can bring people together over a shared meal and shared values — whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or just want to share time with friends and family.

In this article, we’ll focus on planning and preparing delicious and healthy holiday food, while also looking at how to extend those strategies to present a loving and welcoming table for all your guests.

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6 Ways to Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier

More than 60% of Americans drink coffee every day, and if you’re one of them, you know exactly how you like yours. Maybe you enjoy adding flavored syrups and creamers. Perhaps you add a spoonful of sugar and a bit of half-and-half.

Regardless of how you take your coffee, you could probably stand to make it healthier. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to brew — or order — a more nutritious and nutritious cup of joe.

1. Drink It Black

Lattes, frappes and other fancy coffee drinks are choc-full of calories, not to mention absurd amounts of sugar and fat. If you’re used to ordering these kinds of beverages, the mere thought of drinking your coffee black might make you cringe. However, doing so is the easiest and most effective way to make your coffee habit healthier. Slowly wean yourself off the creamy, sugary drinks and, eventually, your taste buds might come to love dark roasts and bold espressos.

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The four legs of the stool: your PhD in healing with food

Knowledge is power! From our blog archives, this is a great one for you to read if you haven't already. I spell out the BASICS of current nutritional science, to help you both prevent and heal a myriad of health conditions. Very handy.


Does nutrition information sometimes seem overwhelming?


Especially if you are seeking to improve a complex health condition, you may feel like you need to acquire a PhD in order to find your way! Your doctor doesn’t have all the answers, NOBODY seems to have all the answers, so you may feel like it’s on all on you.


Allow me to assist.

Yes, there are lots of studies out there, and yes, we’re all different and there are lots of customizations possible. But starting with the food science basics can take you a LONG way towards elevating your health.


I call it the 4 legs of the stool.

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Plant-Based Families: How to Navigate Healthy Eating in a Household

Do you ever worry about the health of the people you love — and wish they ate healthier food? If you’ve tried to help others move in a positive direction, has it ever felt as if you were banging your head against a brick wall?

If you know my story, you might think I can’t relate. After all, I grew up eating a whole foods, plant-powered diet in the home of one of the world’s best-known proponents of healthy, plant-based eating (my dad is Food Revolution Network co-founder and president John Robbins, author of many books on health, nutrition, and social and environmental justice, including the 1987 bestseller Diet for a New America.) How could I possibly have any idea what family conflict around food is like?

Hear me out.

When I was a kid, we had our fair share of food conflicts in our extended family. My grandpa Irv, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, wanted nothing to do with our “hippie” eating style. He ate the standard American diet with gusto — including, of course, lots and lots of his favorite ice cream.

When my mom, dad, and I would visit my dad’s parents, we sometimes stayed in a rented condo because sharing meals could become such a point of friction. At one point, my grandma Irma famously declared, “You will NOT cook tofu in my kitchen!” She was clear who was in charge in her domain, adding: “When you’re in my house, you will eat what I serve.”

Since my grandma wasn’t exactly a black belt in flexibility, we did not try to convince her to let us cook our simple, plant-based meals in her kitchen. Instead, we prepared most of our meals separately in our condo kitchen.

We didn’t want differences over food to keep us from being a family. But because those differences were based in very different realities and values systems, we struggled with the conflicts and separations they caused.

Blood Can Be Thicker Than Ice Cream

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