Tracey Eakin
Plant-Based Nutrition Counselor

April 2014

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Fish...Is It Good for Us?


This is one of the most frequent questions that I'm asked.  To help you make an educated decision that is in the best interest of you and your family, I've compiled what the current research has to say.

Click to

Are You Eating Enough
Vegetables and Fruit?

One of the many wonderful aspects of a plant-based lifestyle is that there is no need to count calories, track protein or fat grams, or anything else.  If you are eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruit, filling the other half of your plate with minimally processed whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, and if you eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full but not stuffed, then nature takes care of itself.  Add to that adequate but not excessive sunshine, hydration with water, and a vitamin B12 supplement, and you should get everything your body needs to thrive.

I think most people think they eat enough vegetables and fruit, but when I see what most people put on their plate when they are eating, I begin to think a little clarification might be helpful, perhaps even some actual guidelines to help you at the beginning.

Each thought leader in this area presents their recommendations in a slightly different way.  You may find one way preferable to another, so here are some suggestions from the experts.

John McDougall, MD recommends the following guideline:

70% starch, 20% vegetables, 10% fruit, 0% meat and dairy, and water to drink

We can try to back into food groups based on what T. Colin Campbell, PhD recommends:

80& carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fat

Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN describes what our plate should look like:

50% should be intact whole grains, legumes, and/or starchy vegetables and 50% should be non-starchy vegetables and/or fruit.

Chef AJ just created a video that really helped me.  There is a link to it below.  She provides weights to her recommendations.  Her secret to vibrant health and optimal weight maintenance includes beginning each day with at least one pound of something green.  She eats a total of two pounds of cooked vegetables each day.  This does not include the fruit, salads, and other raw vegetables that she eats throughout the day.

This really resonated with me.  I work well when I have concrete goals to achieve and this method clearly depicts how much I need to eat each day to achieve this goal.  Maybe it will work well for you too.
I go to the store and buy a variety of vegetables.  I come home and segregate them into two pound increments and place each day's worth into its own container.  That way, it's easy for me to gauge where I am in my consumption for the day and I don't have to worry about cooking more vegetables if I get busy later in the afternoon.

To view Chef AJ's short video, click on the link below and look for the video named Easy Meals to Make You Thin:

So which method you prefer to use is not as important as selecting the one that works best for you and sticking with it.  Take an objective look at how many vegetables and fruit you are truly eating on a daily basis and think of ways you may be able to incorporate even more.  Smoothies are a great way to consume large amounts of vegetables and fruit in an easy, tasty way.

If you're trying to lose weight and believe you've reached a plateau, try incorporating a larger percentage of non-starchy vegetables into your day.  Try some of Chef AJ's suggestions.  Just keep in mind that starches play a critical role in satiety, in other words, how satisfied you feel from the food that you eat.  Don't replace too many starches for non-starchy vegetables or you may begin to feel unsatisfied and lethargic.


Spring Fling Scones

From Kathy Patalsky


Makes 8 large scones.

Scone Ingredients:

2 cups white flour, organic
1 cup sugar, organic
12 ounces silken tofu
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and a pinch of zest
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Multi-Colored Layer Ingredients:

2 tablespoons matcha green tea, culinary
1 tablespoon beets, grated or 1 tablespoon raspberries
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Lemon-Vanilla Glaze:

1-2 drops vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, organic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

In a blender on low speed, combine the silken tofu, orange juice, orange zest, chia seeds, oil, and flax seeds.  Blend until smooth and thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Fold the liquid mixture into the dry bowl until a fluffy dough forms.

Split the dough into thirds, transferring 1/3 to a small bowl and another third into another small bowl.

In the large mixing bowl, fold the matcha into 1/3 of the dough.  Add a bit of flour if needed to handle.  Knead until the matcha distributes creating a green color.  It can be a bit swirled.

On a floured surface, press out the dough into a round about 7-8 inches across.  Form round with your hands.  Again, add a pinch more flour if things get sticky.  Also, it helps to have your kitchen at a cool temperature so the oil-infused dough doesn't get too melty in texture.

Repeat the coloring steps with the yelllow, using the turmeric, and the pink, using either the beets or the raspberries, on each of the other two thirds of dough.  Place each layer on top of the green in a stacking form so that you end up with one fluffy round of dough with three layers of color.  Using your hands, pat out and form the dough into a tall fluffy round.

Using a chilled or lightly oiled knife, cut out the scones by slicing the dough in half, then in quarters, then again in eighths, just like pizza slices.

Place the scones on a lightly greased baking sheet (I placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper instead of using more oil) and place in the 400 degree oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown just a tad and the tops are firm and toasty to touch.  The scones will be quite tender and fluffy on the inside and will need a few minutes to cool before pouring the glaze.

Cool scones on a baking rack.  Whisk together the vanilla-lemon glaze.  Pour the glaze over top of the scones after they have cooled a bit.  Serve scones warm for best texture and flavor.  Store in the freezer or refrigerator and warm up to serve.

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Please help me to expand the reach of my message.  People have the right to know about the powerfully protective effect of plants and the incredibly dangerous impact of animal products on their health so that they can make informed decisions in the best interest of themselves and their families.

It's Allergy Season:
Is There Anything I Can Do?

It's that time of year again.  Those of you who suffer from allergies to everything blooming outside are taking cover.

Luckily, there is a study that was recently published that was covered by Michael Greger, MD that addresses this very issue.  This study of more than one million children suggests that the striking worldwide variation in childhood allergies is related to diet.  The more calories and protein that come from plant sources, the lower the incidence of allergies.  In fact, the longest running study of vegetarians confirms this by suggesting that those following a plant-based lifestyle have lower rates of chemical, drug, and environmental allergies.

Another published study reported a 71% increased incidence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis resulting from the consumption of meat.

The dramatic rise in seasonal allergies may also be related to dietary exposure to xenoestrogens.  They accumulate in the body and may exacerbate allergen-induced inflammation which indicates that they might influence the onset, progression, and severity of allergic diseases.  In our diet, they are found predominantly in chicken and especially in fish.

The respiratory tract lining fluid forms an interface between the respiratory tract epithelial cells and the external environment, and thus forms the first line of defense against oxidative damage.  The antioxidants in plants protect against oxidative damage.  The accumulating evidence suggests that diet does have an influence in modulating the response of the lungs to inhaled allergens and irritants.

Here are some specific foods that may be helpful in the war against allergies:

The polyphenols in grapes, ground flax seed, beans, berries, broccoli, apples, citrus, herbs, tea, and soy can directly bind allergens and render them hypoallergenic.  They can also inhibit the activation of the allergic response and the ensuing inflammation.  Therefore, it may not only work for prevention but for treatment as well.

The rosmarinic acid in mint is thought to prevent seasonal allergic reactions by preventing the activation of excess immune responder cells.  Try mint cucumber water: to 2 quarts of filtered water, add 1 cup of thinly sliced cucumbers and 1/2 cup mint leaves that have been slightly crushed or lightly torn.  Refrigerate overnight, then enjoy.

Increase your intake of dark green, leafy vegetables.

1 teaspoon of miso per day was associated with a 41% decrease in allergy prevalence.  Try Michael Greger, MD's favorite dressing for those dark green, leafy vegetables you're going to eat more of: 3 tablespoons of white miso, 1/4 cup brown rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 2 carrots, a small beet, 1 inch of fresh ginger root, and 1 tablespoon of freshly toasted sesame seeds, blended.

Try incorporating sea vegetables, with the exception of kelp and hijiki, into some of your meals.

Hopefully, decreasing the animal products and increasing the plants on your plate, and incorporating some of these specific suggestions will help you to weather what is one of the most beautiful times of the year.

The Vitamix S30

Just when you thought you couldn't love any blender more than your Vitamix, Vitamix introduces another blender to love.

The new Vitamix S30 enables you to make your morning smoothie in your "to go" container and off you go!  See how this wonderful new addition to your household can simplify your life and improve the food that you serve to your family.

Just click on the following link and scroll down for a quick video of this new personal blender brought to us by the leader in the industry:

Vitamix S30

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I can save you $25 (US customers) or $35 (Canadian customers) off of your shipping expense if you use the following promotional code when ordering either online at or by calling 1.800.848.2649.  I do receive a small commission from Vitamix for every purchase made using my promotional code, but it wouldn't change my recommendation of this product even if I didn't.

Promotional Code: 06-008273
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