We Celebrate Eating Plants!

Hacks, Tips, n Tricks

Fats for absorption?

Doctor Furhman and Doctor Greger have been talking about studies showing adding nuts and seeds to our veggies equals a higher amount of nutrients absorbed. Many people have been taking this as a license to pour olive oil all over everything but as one who got rid of oil years ago even the idea of it is disgusting and very repellent. Buuut one study said the nutritional absorption was Four Times Higher! These two are talking nuts and seeds, not oils, but I was experimenting leaving nuts and seeds out except flax and chia for maximum omega 3. So I asked Rip Esselstyn because he's been doing this a long time and he said greens have fats in them already and that's all we need. While reassuring that I wouldn't be going into deficiencies any time soon, I still wanted to know about that extra four times higher absorption thing.

On the next available livestream I asked Dr. Brooke Goldner about this and she said it's actually not the fat but the prolonged digestion process the nuts caused which wound up showing more nutrients were absorbed from the salad, so yes we could use chia or flax for that if we wanted. Hurray!

I did also ask Dr. Csilla Veress if we would be getting everything we needed regarding fats with just chia and flax in addition to our veggies. She is a microbiome specialist who is exuberant about diversity and was boggled why anybody would want to limit variety. She suggested including all of them and changing it up every day. If concerned about weight gain most of them are suggesting no more than an ounce a day. Back to Dr. Furhman, he is insisting at least that much and preferably some with every meal.

Natural Health Includes Good Sleep

In addition to making sure our sleep space is comfortable and quiet we may want to consider going to sleep earlier as a key solution for not being able to sleep later. If we pay attention, we may have some droopiness around eight in the evening and it may actually be better for our health and our sleep to go ahead and go to bed then. Try it out for a while and see how it goes because it turns out many of us push through our natural tired window because we think we're supposed to still be awake and it's messing with our whole sleep.

(That suggestion originally came from Dr. Csilla Veress and got put to the test with interesting and beneficial results here)

It's Like Free Shopping!

Don't throw away that squeeze bottle of processed ketchup with the salt and sugar in it – squeeze the contents into the trash can (does commercial ketchup even compost? I think all the salt would kill the compost) and wash out the squeeze bottle to reuse for your own homemade SOS-free ketchup – just remember homemade is not going to stick around as long as the neutered, chemical kind, so use it up quickly and keep the bottle for the next time.

Better Ketchup recipe from Cathy at Straight Up Food – I like to add a little extra vinegar and apple to mine and freeze half the ketchup to use later

Using Our Natural Network

If you already cleaned out your house GOOD FOR YOU I love it – just ask your neighbors, family, and friends to save you the next ketchup squeeze bottle they're going to throw in the trash to wind up in our oceans. By the way mustard and relish squeeze bottles work also and these can also be used for homemade salad dressings and other condiments.

Sauerkraut and Kimchi

Using a fresh spoon every time to dip into fridge goodies isn't really that big of a deal but wouldn't it be nice if there was a quicker, easier way? If you chop your sauerkraut and kimchi very small you can use a relish squeeze bottle to add that blessed spoonful of microbiome nourishing goodness to the side of every dish. How easy is that?!

If you keep the pieces large to ferment to make sure they stay under the surface of the brine I can totally relate. In this case after the batch has matured and when getting ready to use it can be blitzed in the food processor a bit or a lot depending on your preference then loaded into the squeeze bottle. Blitzed really smooth it could be used as a coating on onion rings in the dehydrator for sassy raw rings, or on cauliflower...


You probably already know caffeine can reduce iron absorption and vitamin C can increase it -- take the iced tea away from the meals but keep the lemon. Garlic and onion can also help increase iron absorption. We love them in our beans anyway so play to the strengths. This is not just a vegan area to be mindful of by the way

Acid Reflux

Raise the head of the bed 4-6 inches. No using extra pillows to just sit up higher when sleeping. Raise the actual head of the bed. Dr. Esselstyn has suggested this as has Dr. McDougall and others. Thank me later. :)

Vitamin D

It is better for your "vitamin" D production if you don't shower right after being out in the sun. Whatever magic the skin does takes a little while to let the vit D “grow” first. If you run across the source for this one let me know please, can't remember from whence it came and I would really like to know about the timing.

Getting Your Own Attention

Put a write on / wipe off board on the refrigerator for produce in there you don't usually have so you don't forget about those drops of living goodness! Keep a space at the top for reminders of what's the next priority to eat ASAP before it spoils. This is great for leftovers.

Smoothie greens are always in this fridge but usually not plain lettuce so this note board right now says LETTUCE so I'll remember to EAT IT. It also says pintos because I just defrosted some homemade pintos last night so those are in the running for a great meal addition today nom

WTF did I buy this for?

BONUS remember that weird ingredient you bought for that one recipe but a week later couldn't remember which recipe and now it's three months later and you had six different things like that either spoiled already and thrown away or stacking up in the pantry for who knows what reason?

Make a Note for these on your phone or write it right on the grocery list. Poblano pepper and tofu for roasted poblano tofu cheese sauce. When finished shopping it can be transferred to the fridge board. You can thank me later. ;) Put it in the Note lol

Secret water spray ironing

Saving time, money, environment, clothing -- saving a penny or a buck on the electric bill or the dry cleaning: Many fabrics are amenable to wrinkle removal with a fine spray of water. Next time you don't have time to hang your clothes up right away out of the dryer try this out, on water safe fabrics of course. Hang it up over the sink, tub, or in the shower and give it a spray and just shake it a little bit. Sometimes helping gravity a little by pulling gently at the bottom will give it the last little help it needed to smooth those wrinkles right out.

This is a great hack for pulling that outfit you wanted out of the closet and realizing you may be ready to go but it is definitely not. Do try to remember to do this early enough that the fabric will dry before you have to use it so you don't put wrinkles right back in putting the shirt etc on. This is not going to make things the crisp sort of smooth an iron would of course but if like me you're going for soft comfort and just don't want to look like you're living out of your suitcase this morning, this may be your new most favorite life hack.

WTH can't cook

You will be surprised how easy it is to throw things together at home rather than run out for fast food or having to buy prepared packaged foods. Potatoes cook in the microwave in under eight minutes: scrub, poke, nuke. I like to turn and flip them halfway through but it's not necessary. A cob of corn can be eaten raw but if you want it cooked it takes only a minute or two, and if you husk it first you can rescue any caterpillars before nuking. Rolled oats three minutes and add your own cinnamon & date powder; there is no need for an expensive package with a bunch of garbage in it.

And if you didn't prep a darn thing a substitute emergency dinner of corn mash porridge can be made with cornmeal and you don't have to use the stove for that either. Mix meal and water, stir, nuke a minute, stir, nuke another minute and there is edible food -- it's going to taste like paste so throw some onion and garlic powders in there and maybe some chipotle powder if you like a little spice and no nasty greasy oversalted delivery had to be called in. Pretty soon you'll get the hang of fixing hungry quickly and easily at home on the cheap in a natural form on which your body will know how to thrive.

Squash in salad?!

Experiment with butternut and other squashes whether you like them added raw or baked or grilled first then cooled and added to your salad in chunks or a petite dice. Cooked and cooled these squashes and root vegetables as well can add a surprisingly sweet note to your bowl.

Ginger for pain

Quarter teaspoon ground ginger in water, drink at first sign of migraine, anecdotal evidence showed complete pain relief. Study shows one eighth teaspoon ground ginger as effective as Imitrex sumatriptan leading pharmaceutical treatment without the side effects or death ! It is also good for menstrual cramps etc

Vitamix pitcher sparkling

How to really clean the Vitamix pitcher to get that horrid film off of it -- put it in the dishwasher. I did the dish soap and run it trick then wash it in the sink for years which got the food out but eventually still left that greenish brownish film nothing would scrub off then one night I threw it in the dishwasher and it looked better than it had in years. Next time I ran the dishwasher the Vitamix pitcher went in there and almost all the rest of that nasty looking film was gone.

Third time got the rest of that protein film off of there and I am still floored that the easy thing was the best thing! Here I had done the extra loving steps of hand washing all these years when I could have just thrown it in the machine. !!! I use Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent and no heat dry and the pitcher does not seem to be any worse for the machine washing.

Save a step every time?

When gathering chopped items to place in bowl some use the knife to scrape across the cutting board to scoop ingredients and this dulls the blade, while some use a bench scraper which means having to put the knife down and pick up the other tool then set it down again when finished to pick up the knife. You could just flip the knife over and use the blunt end to scrape across the cutting board all day long and it never dulls your blade.

Also it may make it easier to not cut yourself but still be careful especially when first training your hands to stay away from the sharp side along the top instead of the bottom – body autopilot is not used to sharp on the wrong end. Pay attention. Knife in hand is not the time to be watching YouTube demos! If you multitask like I often do, you might listen to an interview instead, something which doesn't have cool stuff to look at. Blade stays sharper longer, you don't have to find the bench scraper, and maybe you get to keep your fingers


Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables kill cancer cells in petri dishes big time and cut in half the replication rate of covid if you eat it raw, or if you chop and stop, hack and hold, let sit for 45 minutes or so after cutting it up before cooking to let the enzymes do their work or just add some mustard or fresh cruciferous to your spoon for the enzymes along with your cooked veggies

Bumps on the back of the arms may signify nutrient deficiency says Dr. Csilla Veress, four years after I went vegan and lost the bumps and still hadn't had any explanation of what had caused them.. until now.

Ann Bean's tips for transitioning the family can be found at Feed Them Plants

..more to come

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