Tracey Eakin
Plant-Based Nutrition Counselor

January 2013

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Genetics and Longevity - Can Your Lifestyle Choices Impact Your Genes???


Fascinating research is demonstrating that the answer to this question is a resounding yes!  Not only can your food choices "turn on" good genes and "turn off" bad genes, they can help DNA-damaged cells to repair themselves instead of being irreparably lost.  What we put on our plate can also protect our telomeres.  Telomeres are located at the ends of each of our chromosomes.  They are like the plastic or metal caps at the end of shoe strings and keep our chromosomes from unraveling and fraying.  They also protect our DNA.  Each time our cells divide, a small bit of these protective caps is lost.  If we can slow down the loss of our telomeres, it should slow down the rate at which we age.

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Is It a Good Idea to Eat Pork?


Consumer Reports Tests Pork and Finds Yersinia Enterocolitica and Ractopamine

Recently, Consumer Reports published the results of their retail sampling of pork.  The results may surprise you.

The majority of the samples tested positive for antibiotic-resistant strains of the foodborne bacteria yersinia enterocolitica.

Infection usually presents as acute gastroenteritis but in children and young adults, it can be mistaken for an appendicitis.  This bacteria is also implicated in the autoimmune thyroid condition, Grave's disease.

It is thought to be a result of increased stocking densities in factory farms.  Researchers were actually able to culture the bacteria from the air within some of the factory farms!

20% of the pork samples contained ractopamine residue.  Ractopamine is an adrenaline-type drug fed to pigs and turkeys to increase muscle yields.

The delicious meal pictured above, BBQ Seitan Sandwiches and Broccoli Stalk Salad, would be a perfect pork replacement.  The picture and recipe come from Katherine at Plant Based Health.  The recipe can be found in this link:



Three Bean Salad                               From Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Kitchen

Serves 6 as a side dish.


4 cups combination of garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and black beans (rinse and drain first if using canned).

0.5-0.75 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped (I use a colorful combination of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.)

0.25 cup celery, finely chopped

0.5 cup green onions (mostly the green portion, not as much white), sliced

3.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (keeps salad moist but is totally optional-omit for oil-free version)(I omit the oil and it still tastes great.)

0.5-1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

0.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard

0.5 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

0.5 cup apple, chopped and tossed in 0.5 teaspoon lemon juice

couple pinches of ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (no need to mix the vinaigrette separately), tossing well to fully mix.  Season to taste with extra salt and pepper if desired.

This salad tastes better after it's had about a day to sit and the beans have absorbed some of the marinade.  Be sure to toss again prior to serving to redistribute any dressing lingering at the bottom of your container.

Is Your Resolve Wilting???


It's almost the end of January.  Are still on track with your New Year's Resolutions?

If not, it's not too late to turn things around.  Let's make 2013 the year we realize continuous improvement toward our most important goals.

Just follow these simple steps to help get back on track:

  1. Review your original resolutions. Are the goals specific?  Are you able to measure your progress and the ultimate achievement of your goals?  Are the goals reasonable?  Have you established time frames within which you want to achieve milestones toward the goals and within which you want to ultimately achieve the goals?
  2. If you answered no to any of these questions, get out a piece of paper and work through any details that need to be decided.
  3. Place your newly revised plan in a prominent place where you will see if often and be reminded to stay on track.
  4. If you fall off the wagon, get up, brush yourself off, and get right back on.  Steady effort will lead to steady progress.


Do I Need to Take a B-12 Supplement?

Vitamin B-12 is not found naturally in food.  It is created by microorganisms.  Back before the need to scrupulously wash our produce, we likely ingested vitamin B-12 that was found on the surface of our fruits and vegetables which was made by microorganisms that lived in the soil.  Meat eaters get B-12 from the animals that they eat as animals don't generally eat under the most sanitary of conditions.

There are several forms of the vitamin.  The most stable and so the most commonly found form is cyanocobalamin, named so because it contains a small amount of cyanide.  For those with compromised kidney function that may not detoxify the cyanide as well as those with fully functioning kidneys, as well as those interested in avoiding cyanide altogether, a methylcobalamin and/or hydroxocobalamin source is recommended.  Pure Vegan's B-12 spray is very easy to take and is highly palatable, even for children.  Its source is methylcobalamin.  You can purchase it online at:

B-12 supplementation is a good idea for those who have adopted a plant-based lifestyle and anyone over the age of 50.
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