Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Dr. Greger: Volume 11

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Dr. Michael Greger’s Latest in Clinical Nutrition Volume 11 is now available.

I found Volume 11 to be especially interesting. Some of the highlights:

  • The spice saffron can improve PMS symptoms and even reduced depression on par with Prozac.
  • Some cases of fibromyalgia appear to be caused by the artificial sweetener aspartame.
  • Mushrooms are the best source of the amino acid ergothioneine which may be an important antioxidant for the mitochondria. Mushrooms can also reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Dr. Greger has previously talked about bacteria endotoxins from meat causing a state of inflammation in the body. This time, he spends a few videos on a unique molecule found in meat, Neu5Gc, as a cause of inflammation.
  • Potassium can reduce the risk of stroke and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and 98% of Americans are not meeting the DRI of 4,700 mg per day. The best sources are tomato sauce, orange juice, greens, beans, and dates.
  • Fructose can increase uric acid which can in turn increase gout, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Supporting and Vegan Outreach

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Dear Readers,

It has been a very long time since I reminded everyone how you can support this blog.

If you click on any of the links in the sidebar to buy something at Amazon or Pangea, gets a percentage! This is a meaningful amount of money, too! And I really appreciate that so many people follow through and buy through these links. Thank you!

Vegan Outreach has started our end of year matching fundraiser where anything you donate will be doubled by another supporter. Our leafleters have been on a tear! They have been to 700 schools and handed out booklets to just short of 700,000 students this Fall, and have persuaded multitudes of students to change to a more compassionate diet. They do this in all sorts of weather and remote parts of the U.S. and Canada that are never reached otherwise. Please help support this terribly important work in our efforts to make veganism mainstream!

Click here to donate.

Thank you again!

Dr. Greger’s Latest

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I haven’t posted much in awhile for a few reasons: no studies on vegetarians have been released in some time, I have been spending most of my nights and weekends upgrading Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College website, and my wife and I have been planning a move from Oakland to Davis, CA. A very busy summer.

During this time, Dr. Michael Greger, the hardest working man in vegan nutrition, has released 3 DVDs. I finally watched them this past week. The first is a 1-hour talk he recently gave, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, in which he presents evidence that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of most of the top 15 causes of death in the USA. The other two DVDs, Volume 9 and 10 of his Latest in Clinical Nutrition series covered some interesting topics. Here were the highlights for me:

– Meat causes a general state of inflammation in the body, which is linked to heart disease, and this is primarily due to the endotoxin load from the bacteria in these foods.
– Green tea and kiwi = awesome.
– Magnesium is important for preventing sudden cardiac death and the best sources are whole grains and leafy greens.
– Plant foods boost serotonin levels better than does meat.
– Plant proteins are incomplete, but this is good because their incompleteness prevents the production of the protein IGF-1 which is lower in vegans. But plant protein is not so incomplete that it prevents the production of IGF-1 Binding Protein, which is higher in vegans. The combination of low IGF-1 and high IGF-1 Binding Protein should significantly decreases the risk of cancer.

And, as always, the DVDs were loaded with all the ways in which meat gets contaminated and causes foodborne illnesses.

Whenever I get done watching one of Dr. Greger’s DVD’s I find it amazing that people who eat meat can live more than a few weeks. Dr. Greger points out that while the lifespan has increased in the USA, the sickspan (length of time at the end of people’s lives that is spent sick) has increased even more.

As always, for anyone interested in nutrition, I highly recommend these DVDs or subscribing to the daily videos at Dr. Greger’s website

Now I need to get this posted, as I imagine the next one is on its way!

Review of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Adam Merberg of the site, Say what, Michael Pollan?, has a very interesting review of Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food. Click here.


…Pollan’s prose is so lively that most readers won’t want to stop and give things a closer look. However, the reader who does bother to check the details sees that In Defense of Food is not a credible work of nonfiction. Pollan twists facts and misrepresents the way science works in the course of assembling exaggerated, false, and contradictory narratives.

Researcher looking for veg children

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Parents with vegan and vegetarian children (from birth to 18 years of age) along with their children are requested to complete a two-page long survey for a research project. The goal of the project is to use growth charts developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the pattern of growth (e.g. height, weight and BMI for age) among children adhering to different diets (e.g. meat eating, lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans). The survey includes questions such as height, weight and age of the child.

To participate or for additional information, please contact Dr. Roman Pawlak at

Roman Pawlak, PhD, RD
Associate Professor
East Carolina University
Department of Nutrition Science
Greenville, NC 27858

Heather Nauta’s Online Cooking Classes

Friday, May 18th, 2012

It looks like I haven’t done a special post on how to support this entire year. So now is the perfect time because you can support and at the same time get some cooking lessons from vegan nutritionist and cooking instructor Heather Nauta of by signing up for her cooking classes through this link: Heather’s Online Cooking Classes.

How To Cook Simple, Healthy Meals That Even Picky Eaters Will Love

Heather Nauta is giving you a fun way to learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals with her new online cooking classes.

“I’m excited to help you move past the same old, not-so-healthy meals to making simple, flavorful, nutrient-dense recipes that give you the nutrients you need to sail through your day full of energy, confidence and happiness,” says Heather.

“Healthy eating often means learning how to cook all over again. If you’re transitioning to a healthier diet and aren’t too comfortable in the kitchen, I want to pass on what I’ve learned to you.”

In each class, Heather takes a new topic (like soups, veggie burgers and how to cook beans), discusses cooking techniques and nutrition, and shows you how to make a delicious, healthy recipe (like sweet potato quinoa chili and baked falafel burgers).

The recipes are vegan and use healthy, whole plant foods so they’re generally:

– Low fat
– Low sugar
– Low salt
– Gluten-free

“And it’s more than just a cooking course – I get into nutrition and health information while we’re cooking, and people have been really excited to discover how to get proper minerals, vitamins and protein into their meals.”

The classes were recorded live in early 2012. There are 24 classes of 45-60 minutes each, for a total of about 21 hours of classes.

For most of these meals, once you’ve made them once, you’ll easily be able to do all the prep work in less than 30 minutes.

When you sign up, you get access to a private membership website where you can:

– Watch the cooking classes online any time you want (day or night)
– Download the videos and recipes
– Ask Heather questions about any of the recipes or techniques

Sign up for the classes starts Friday, May 18th, with an early-bird discount price of only $67 (55% off!) going until Monday, May 21st. The first 50 people will also get $60 worth of bonuses, including a 30-minute consultation with Heather to ask any healthy cooking questions.

“I worked really hard putting this together, and after getting feedback from recent participants, I’m positive it can help you create simple, tasty meals that help you move toward optimal health.”

Heather’s posting free videos this week with some of her best tips for healthy, quick and flavorful cooking leading up to the launch on Friday, May 18th. Check out the first one here, to see her 3 steps to make your meals exceptionally healthy and a recipe for a super healthy avocado dip.


Other ways to support

– Buy anything using the link to Pangea vegan products in the sidebar of the website.

– Buy anything through the links to Amazon on the website.

– Make a direct donation to

Thank you very much! It does make a big difference.

Reader Comments Requested

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

I have some questions to ask the readers of I’m particularly interested from hearing from you if you support this site in some way (like buying through the links, donating, or sharing on social media sites).

I see a lot of media stories about nutrition, and sometimes stories not related to nutrition, that are fairly interesting but not necessarily related to vegetarianism, and for which I do not have time to track down the journal articles and read and analyze. I rarely post about them but I’m wondering if that’s a mistake. I have no intention of just posting every nutrition story that comes out – I get a daily list of nutrition stories from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and it’s unbelievably long – just reading the article titles can take a good chunk of time. So, I would not want to overwhelm people but wonder if I should err on the side of passing these stories on rather than not passing them on as I do now. I’m guessing it would be up to two posts per day.

I also get a lot of nutrition questions (in fact, I’m fairly backlogged right now – sorry if you’re waiting on an answer from me!). I sometimes think I should be answering most of these questions publicly with a blog post, rather than just responding to one individual as many people might have the same question. I rarely post publicly though – for one thing I have a tendency not to want to post something unless I’ve done a lot of research on it and there’s no time to do a lit review for every question I get. But maybe readers would like to hear these answers anyway? And sometimes this can be very beneficial as a reader will know about some pertinent research I haven’t seen. (Of course, I always keep the questioner’s identity anonymous.) The number would vary quite a bit – probably up to 2 per day.

So, what do you think? Do you want to see more posts from me, or do you prefer I stick with blogging about research directly relevant to vegetarian diets?

You can answer in the comments sections below. If you would like to remain anonymous, just put in a bogus name and email address (the email will have to be formatted as a typical email address: Thank you!

Another Study Looking for Vegan Subjects

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Research study: Age and Gender Differences in Essential Fatty Acids in Long-term Vegans

Thanks, Michael.

PeaCounter 2.0

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

I have made a major upgrade to It is now significantly more user-friendly.

Profiles, meal plans, and food searches are now all on the same page, so you can see your meal plan as you add foods to it, as well as make multiple changes to your meal plan all at once. And all the nutrients for a meal plan are now in one table.

If you search for a food (without logging in), it brings up a list of all the serving sizes and the nutrients for those sizes; you no longer have to choose just one.

I hope people find it a lot more useful than before. If you have any problems, please let me know.

Denny’s Vegan Burger – Pretty Darn Good

Monday, February 6th, 2012

While on vacation, my wife, Alex, and I popped into a Denny’s we were staying near and tried the veggie burger which is now vegan (if you hold the cheese). We were so impressed we went back two more times! Topping the burger were fresh mushrooms, spinach, and tomato, and you can get it with a side of broccoli or corn. You might think that broccoli from a chain restaurant would be pretty bad, but it tasted fresh and cooked just right.