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It is just amazing how many books there are available these days on vegan, vegetarian and plant based diets. It definitely wasn’t the case 20 years ago. One of the first books to come out about a plant based diet was Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. (It came out in 1985, the year I was born! lol) Then in 1987 Diet For a New America came out which focused more on the cruelty behind mass animal raising in North America and the health implications of a heavy meat based diet. These were the two major books that empowered many people to turn to vegetarianism in the 90’s.
But now we have even more books to learn from, with more being written each year. We are so lucky to have more doctors, researchers and nutritionists behind the plant based movement. So I wanted to make a list of recommended books for you, should you need some more information guiding you what to eat and what not to eat as well as helpful tips and encouragement for you and your loved ones.
This is in no particular order, just fyi. And at the bottom I’ve provided a list of other plant based recipe books that are oil free and useful if you’re looking for more recipes!
The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall
Description: From Atkins to Dukan, fear of the almighty carb has taken over the diet industry for the past few decades—even the mere mention of a starch-heavy food is enough to trigger an avalanche of shame and longing. But the truth is, carbs are not the enemy. Now, bestselling author John A. McDougall, MD, and his kitchen-savvy wife, Mary, prove that a starch-rich diet can actually help readers lose weight, prevent a variety of ills, and even cure common diseases. By fueling the body primarily with carbohydrates rather than proteins and fats, readers will feel satisfied, boost energy, and look and feel their best. Including a 7-Day Sure-Start Plan, helpful weekly menu planner, and nearly 100 delicious, affordable recipes, The Starch Solution is a groundbreaking program that will help readers shed pounds, improve their health, save money, and change their lives.
Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Description: In Super Immunity, world-renowned health expert and New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Live Dr. Joel Fuhrman offers a nutritional guide to help you live longer, stronger, and disease free. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe the secret to staying healthy lies in medical care—rather, the solution is to change the way we eat. With more than 85 plant-based recipes, a two-week menu plan, and lists of super foods that boost immunity, Dr. Fuhrman’s proven strategies combine the latest data from clinical tests, nutritional research, and results from thousands of patients . Fans of Alejandro Junger’s Clean, Mark Hyman’s Ultraprevention, and T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study will appreciate Dr. Fuhrman’s practical plan to prevent and reverse disease—no shots, drugs or sick days required.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Description: Based on the groundbreaking results of his twenty-year nutritional study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. Dr. Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has helped thousands across the country, and is the book behind Bill Clinton’s life-changing vegan diet.The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn’s program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, all Dr. Esselstyn’s patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.Complete with more than 150 delicious recipes perfect for a plant-based diet, the national bestseller Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of heart disease patients forever. It will empower readers and give them the tools to take control of their heart health.
My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn
Description: For the millions who are following a plant-based diet, as well as those meat-eaters who are considering it, MY BEEF WITH MEAT is the definitive guide to convincing all that it’s truly the best way to eat! New York Times Bestelling author of The Engine 2 Diet and nutrition lecturer Rip Esselstyn, is back and ready to arm readers with the knowledge they need to win any argument with those who doubt the health benefits of a plant-based diet–and convince curious carnivores to change their diets once and for all. Esselstyn reveals information on the foods that most people believe are healthy, yet that scientific research shows are not. Some foods, in fact, he deems so destructive they deserve a warning label. Want to prevent heart attacks, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s? Then learn the facts and gain the knowledge to convince those skeptics that they are misinformed about plant-base diets, for instance:
You don’t need meat and dairy to have strong bones or get enough protein
You get enough calcium and iron in plants
The myth of the Mediterranean diet
There is a serious problem with the Paleo diet
If you eat plants, you lose weight and feel great
Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Description: The Eat To Live 2011 revised edition includes updated scientific research supporting Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary six-week plan and a brand new chapter highlighting Dr. Fuhrman’s discovery of toxic hunger and the role of food addiction in weight issues. This new chapter provides novel and important insights into weight gain. It explains how and why eating the wrong foods causes toxic hunger and the desire to over consume calories; whereas a diet of high micronutrient quality causes true hunger which decreases the sensations leading to food cravings and overeating behaviors. It instructs readers on how to leave behind the discomfort of toxic hunger, cravings, and addictions to unhealthy foods. New recipes and menus are included as well as new and updated Frequently Asked Questions. This is a book that will let you live longer, reduce your need for medications, and improve your health dramatically. It is a book that will change the way you want to eat. Most importantly, if you follow the Eat To Live™ diet, you will lose weight faster than you ever thought possible.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program For Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish
Description: Dr. Dean Ornish is the first clinician to offer documented proof that heart disease can be halted, or even reversed, simply by changing your lifestyle. Based on his internationally acclaimed scientific study, which has now been ongoing for years, Dr. Ornish’s program has yielded amazing results. Participants reduced or discontinued medications; their chest pain diminished or disappeared; they felt more energetic, happy, and calm; they lost weight while eating more; and blockages in coronary arteries were actually reduced.
In his breakthrough book, Dr. Ornish presents this and other dramatic evidence and guides you, step-by-step, through the extraordinary Opening Your Heart program, which is winning landmark approval from America’s health insurers. The program takes you beyond the purely physical side of health care to include the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects so vital to healing. This book represents the best modern medicine has to offer. It can inspire you to open your heart to a longer, better, happier life.
The China Study by Dr. T Colin Campbell
Description: Even today, as trendy diets and a weight-loss frenzy sweep the nation, two-thirds of adults are still obese and children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, typically an “adult” disease, at an alarming rate. If we’re obsessed with being thin more so than ever before, why are Americans stricken with heart disease as much as we were 30 years ago?
In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The report also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The New York Times has recognized the study as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” and the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”
The China Study is not a diet book. Dr. Campbell cuts through the haze of misinformation and delivers an insightful message to anyone living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and those concerned with the effects of aging.
Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
Description: Lose weight, lower cholesterol, significantly reduce the risk of disease, and become physically fit–in just 4 weeks.
Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)-he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse. By following Rip’s program, everyone lost weight (some more than 20 lbs.), lowered their cholesterol (Mr. 344’s dropped to 196), and improved their overall health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in this book. With Rip as your expert coach and motivator, you’ll transform your body and lifestyle in a month. His plant-powered eating plan is based on a diet of whole foods, including whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This invaluable guide features: **Dozens of easy, mouthwatering recipes-from pancakes to pizza, Tex-Mex favorites to knockout chocolate desserts-that will keep you looking forward to every bite **Pantry-stocking tips will take the panic out of inevitable cravings and on-the-fly meals **Guidelines on menu choices that will allow you to eat out, wherever and whenever you want **Rip’s simple, firefighter-inspired exercise program that will boost your metabolism and melt your fat away.
The McDougall Program For Maximum Weight Loss by Dr. John McDougall
Description: Drawing on the latest evidence about nutrition, metabolism, and hunger, an easy-to-follow weight loss plan places emphasis on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet while explaining how weight is lost and gained.
Eat For Health: Lose Weight and Keep It Off by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Description: Dr. Fuhrman’s scientifically proven system enables you to finally conquer your cravings and food addictions, while steering your taste buds toward healthier food choices. But be aware of the side effects….you may experience reversal of diseases such as heart disease, headaches, allergies, high blood pressure and diabetes, and you will feel better than ever before! This book includes Dr. Fuhrman’s ANDI food scoring system, with three phases of meal plans and 150 fantastic recipes. Start where you are comfortable and progress at your own pace or jump right into phase three to maximize weight loss and optimize the therapeutic effects for disease reversal.
The McDougall Program: 12 Days To Dynamic Health by Dr. John McDougall
Description: In this ground-breaking book, Dr. John McDougall, bestselling author and creator of the nationally renowned diet and exercise program at the St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park, California, introduces his remarkable twelve-day plan. Building on the idea that the traditional meat-rich American diet is hazardous to our health, Dr. McDougall has developed a medically sound, low-fat, starch-based diet that not only facilitates weight loss but also reverses serious illness, without drugs, and provides a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits. Step-by-step, he takes you through his revolutionary new program, providing:
Plus a comprehensive listing of health problems from arthritis to ulcer disease, comparing the traditional, often drastic medical approach and The McDougall Program‘s nutritionally based alternative. As featured in the book and movie Forks and Knives, John A McDougall delivers a powerful and effective food regiment.
The following are cookbooks you can use as part of your oil-free/low fat vegan or plant based diet. All based on whole foods and easy to find ingredients with tons of recipes for you and your family to enjoy.
Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World by Veronica Grace
Description: Learn how to cook the oil-free and low fat vegan way with 60+ recipes with full color photos for EVERY recipe! Recipes are designed to be Dr. McDougall, Forks Over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn, Engine2 and Eat To Live “friendly” and are based on oil-free, whole minimally processed plant foods.
Comfort Soups To Keep You Warm by Veronica Grace
Description: These recipes are Dr. McDougall, Forks Over Knives, Engine2 and Eat To Live “friendly”. Designed to be 100% oil free, low in fat and full of flavor without processed ingredients. 30 delicious oil-free soup recipes to choose from. Whether you’re craving something familiar and cozy or something exotic and new you’ll find something to tickle your tastebuds. Learn how to make any vegan soup from scratch, make your own homemade vegetable broth and how to cook the best soup you’ve ever had in your life!
The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook by Mary and Dr. John McDougall
Description: By greatly simplifying the work involved in preparing healthy, exciting meals, bestselling authors Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall continue to build upon the success of their acclaimed, low-fat McDougall Program books. In this latest edition, they share their secrets for lowering cholesterol, alleviating allergies, and dramatically reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes with food that is irresistible to the whole family. Featuring over 300 recipes (including healthy Mediterranean diet recipes) that can be prepared in fifteen minutes or less, The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook is the busy person’s answer to eating right. Discover shopping tips and cooking hints to save time, reduce fat, and make great-tasting meals. Learn the viable egg and dairy replacements to eliminate fat, cholesterol, and animal protein from your diet. And refer to the updated “McDougall-Okayed Packaged and Canned Products” list. The economical, fast, and innovative recipes in The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook help make good health and longer life easier than ever to achieve.
Eat To Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (will be release Oct 2013)
Description: Joel Fuhrman, M.D.’s #1 New York Times bestseller Eat to Live has helped millions of readers worldwide discover the most effective and proven path to long-term weight loss and life-long health.Now, for the first time, the Eat to Live Cookbook makes it effortless to bring this revolutionary approach into your kitchen and life. With over 185 delicious and easy to prepare plant-based recipes for any time, any day, any occasion; an information-packed introduction that has everything you need to know about Dr. Fuhrman’s approach; and an invaluable guide to choosing the best ingredients, the Eat to Live Cookbook is the ultimate kitchen resource. Eat the foods you love while losing weight and staying healthy.
Description: A whole-foods, plant-based diet has never been easier or tastier—300 brand-new recipes for cooking the Forks Over Knives way, every day! Forks Over Knives—the book, the film, the movement—is back again in a Cookbook. The secret is out: If you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and prevent (or even reverse!) chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the right food is your best medicine. Thousands of people have cut out meat, dairy, and oils and seen amazing results. If you’re among them—or you’d like to be—you need this cookbook.Del Sroufe, the man behind some of the mouthwatering meals in the film, proves that the Forks Over Knives philosophy is not about what you can’t eat, but what you can. Chef Del and his collaborators Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Darshana Thacker transform wholesome fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes into 300 recipes—classic and unexpected, globally and seasonally inspired, and for every meal of the day, all through the year.
The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Recipes by LeAnne Campbell
Description: The China Study, with 850,000 copies sold, has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published. It revealed that the traditional Western diet has led to our modern health crisis and the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Based on the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, the book reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health with the power to halt or reverse many diseases.
The China Study Cookbook takes these scientific findings and puts them to action. Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt that promote optimal health.
The Happy Herbivore by Lindsey Nixon
Description: This book will save you money by using “everyday” inexpensive ingredients, save you time with easy, no fuss recipes and improve your health with each nutritional bite.
Vegan chef of one of the top 50 food blogs on the Web, HappyHerbivore.com, Lindsay S. Nixon, creates recipes that show eating a low fat vegan diet is not only healthy but delicious, too.
Now, Nixon combines some of her tastiest recipes in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, each made with no added fats, using only whole, unprocessed plant-based foods. With Nixon’s help its easy to make healthy food at home in minutes using inexpensive, “everyday” ingredients and tools.
How many of these books do you own or have you read?
I previously sent out an article on my Top 12 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances and I promised to do a part 2 but focus on kitchen gadgets/tools you use without electricity. I’ve ordered these by most to least used for convenience for you and included my top picks from my kitchen for my most frequent recipes. I will probably make a list for my raw food appliances and gadgets later on too as that’s got some other essential tools for those that predominantly eat salads and non cooked foods. So are you ready to see my list?
My favorite kitchen tool is my Global Chef’s Knife, it’s super sharp, easy to clean and is perfectly balanced so it’s not handle heavy and does not cause strain on my wrist. Normal cheapo wood block knife sets are often super heavy and get very dull quickly. Dull knives lead to lots of slips and possible accidents, so it’s important to take care and use a good knife. I also got a MinoSharp to sharpen my knife, this one is great because it’s a water sharpener (you use it under the faucet) and you can use it to sharpen all of your knives. In fact I think I’m going to go sharpen my knives right now…
The next most used tool in my kitchen is a vegetable peeler. Sure you can use a regular vegetable peeler but I’ve found two that are a bit different than your standard one. The Chef’n Palm Peeler is nice because it doesn’t slip and it makes peeling vegetables much easier. It’s especially useful when your hands are a bit wet from freshly washed produce. A speed peeler is another useful peeler especially when you have a ton of potatoes or root vegetables to peel. It glides very smoothly over the vegetables in a single stroke without sticking. So you simply peel down and the peel falls away without you having to lift it up. This speed peeler also has a handy potato eye remover. Make sure you dry your peelers after washing to prevent rusting and replace occasionally so you’re using a sharp blade as dull ones are inefficient and dangerous.
Mmm garlic… I use a LOT of garlic and chopping and peeling garlic is one of my least favorite tasks but it’s worth it for my recipes. I like having a garlic press to quickly get garlic into my pan or into a dish and it comes out in nice even pieces. But sometimes I need a lot of garlic for my vegetable broth or tofu ricotta and i don’t want to have garlic fingers so I use a mini chopper to quickly mince garlic. It works great for fresh ginger as well.
4. Oxo Garlic Peeler ($7)
If you can find pre peeled garlic in the store (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods) it’s a huge time saver, but bulb garlic is fairly inexpensive and it’s got to get peeled. You can either smash the garlic with the flat side of your knife and crack it open or you can use a garlic peeler. A garlic peeler is nice when sometimes you can’t get the paper off of your garlic, or you don’t want to have garlicky smelling fingers! I swear sometimes my hands were covered in onion and garlic juice when I’m madly throwing recipes together in the kitchen… So it’s nice to have some relief.
5. Chef’n Vegetable Steamer ($12)
When I steam greens or vegetables I usually make a lot, partially because we eat a lot but also because it’s nice to have some leftovers for quick meals or lunch the next day. I like my Chef’n silicone steamer as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t get little pieces of broccoli stuck in it like my old metal steamer basket does.
I love fresh lemon and lime juice in my recipes. Citrus juice adds a delicious fresh zing without needing as much salt and it’s so low in calories you can use it liberally if desired. A citrus reamer is good for juicing just a half or whole lemon at the end of a recipe, but if you’re adding a lot more than that sometimes it’s nice to have a steel citrus juicer. Also great for a little glass of fresh orange juice too!
Vegetable choppers are great to use if you don’t have a good knife, have arthritis, have shaky knife skills or you need a lot of onions, tomatos or peppers in an even dice quickly. I love using one when I’m making dishes for guests or photographing the recipe so it has a nice even dice. I use it in my Mexican Black Bean Corn Soup, Quinoa Bean Chili, Mango Cilantro Salsa, tomato salsas, vegetable stews, and more. I have both, the Progressive has a bit larger of a container and 3 inserts vs 2 in the Vidalia. For just onions and tomatoes in square dices the Vidalia Chop Wizard is enough but if you like more than just a simple square and larger capacity go with the Progressive Vegetable Chopper.
8. Benriner Mandolin Slicer ($51)
I love my Benriner Slicer… it’s very durable and very sharp. I’ve had several mandolins and v-slicers in the past, but some of them were so cheap the blades bent or the became dull very quickly. I use my mandolin to shred cabbage, make cucumber, zucchini or carrot rounds for fresh salads or raw recipes. It’s essential for my raw lasagna and Costa Rican Cabbage Salad. This mandolin will stand up to all your slicing needs!
9. Zyliss Safe Edge Can Opener ($15)
I hated opening cans with cheap can openers, especially when they left sharp edges and wouldn’t cut easily. With my Zyliss can opener it cuts on the outside edge of the can (not the inside) which leaves a safe edge for you to pick up. No more frustration, no more sticking and no more sharp edges. 🙂
10. Oxo Salad Spinner ($30)
Washing lettuce and getting dirt and bugs out of every nook and cranny can be a pain as it is, but drying my lettuce in my OXO salad spinner is actually kind of fun. You just push down the middle plunger and the faster you push it the faster it spins. Just make sure to hold onto it so it doesn’t get away from you! A good little kitchen workout and your salad is ready to go. I really prefer this style as opposed to another where you have to crank the salad spinner to get it to spin which is more tiring.
11. Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale $16
If you’re in the UK or Australia you probably already have a kitchen scale, but I like to use them when I have bulk dried goods such as beans or pasta and I don’t know how much I have. That way I can measure out a pound or half pound and know how much is going into my recipe. I also use my kitchen scale to weigh my book packages to ship out to Canadian customers, so it’s definitely getting it’s use!
12. Oxo Citrus Zester ($10)
A citrus zester or microplane is great to use for shaving citrus peels for baked goods or garnishes and making chocolate curls for desserts…. MMM! If you have an old cheese grater it should suffice, but I find cleaning those old box style ones are kind of a pain. A zester is super fast to use and easy to clean and gives your dishes a little professional edge with some beautiful peel or curl as a garnish.
Onion Goggles ($20)
When I’m not wearing my contacts and cutting a lot of onions, I put these babies on (it’s ok no one sees me! lol) and it is a life saver when cutting more than 1 onion, such as in my homemade vegetable broth or French onion soup. It also keeps you from touching your eyes after cutting onions or garlic so no more stinging pain either! They are definitely nice to have when you chop onions every day or frequently. Don’t worry they come in “manly” colors too like black, red and green too. Alternatively you can store your onions in the fridge which helps solidify the oils and onion juices so there is less when you cut into them. But sometimes I don’t have enough room in the fridge for my onions and all my veggies.
Non-slip Silicone Mat ($17)
While you can use parchment paper for all your oil free baking, I like to use a non slip silicone mat to prevent sticking and it also makes cleaning my pans much simpler, just a quick wipe with soap and all the reside is gone. These non stick mats also make your pans last longer and prevent black marks, hurray!
Chef’n VeggieChop ($20)
A VeggieChop is nice when you want to quickly chop a bunch of ingredients together such as onions, garlic and tomato for a fresh salsa, or onions, celery and carrots for a quick soup. Sometimes you don’t want to pull out your food processor (or you don’t have one) and this tool can make preparing veggies a snap.
Mortar and Pestle ($21)
A mortar and pestle is useful when making ethnic recipes such as curry pastes or grinding Indian spices for garam masala or crushing dried chilies for spicy dishes. It’s nice to have because nothing is as satisfying when you want to crush your ingredients and it gives a rustic feel to your dishes. You can also use a food processor or coffee grinder, but this is very easy to clean and great for doing small batches of spices. One recipe that I like that is made in a mortar and pestle is Thai Green Papaya Salad, essentially it’s strips of unripe green papaya shredded and seasoned with tomatoes, carrots, chillies, lime and traditionally fish sauce – but i skip that part.
Progressive Cherry-It Pitter ($12.60)
In the summer I like to get lots of fresh cherries and sometimes it’s nice not to be bothered with the stems and pits. I like to pit a big bowl of them for a no mess snack, or when I have too many that I can’t eat and toss them in the freezer for smoothies. One of my favorite smoothie recipes is cherry mango or cherry pineapple.
So that’s my list and some of what you’ll find in my kitchen. I have a bunch of other never used, or useless kitchen tools in my cupboards just like anyone else. Actually probably more than most people… a situation I think a garage sale can rectify!
Let me know what you think, what’s on your must have list? If I’ve forgotten your favorite please forgive me, it’s been a long night!
Here I show you how easy it is to use an EZ Bean Cooker or digital pressure cooker to cook dried beans from scratch.
Please like, share and subscribe to my channel for more demos and healthy recipes! I hope you enjoyed my EZ Bean Cooker Tutorial, right now I’m running a contest for a FREE EZ Bean Cooker. Go here for details: http://www.lowfatveganchef.com/ez-bean-cooker-giveaway
It’s contest time again!
I just love summer contests, don’t you? This time it’s for probably my favorite kitchen appliance of the year, the Ez Bean Cooker. My mom first saw it online and told me about it and I knew I just HAD to have it.
Because I like to cook a lot of beans and lentils (without oil and salt) and it’s so much cheaper and faster to do so in this device. No more worrying about BPA in canned goods, excess sodium, sugar, preservatives etc. and I can infuse my beans and lentils with fresh herbs like thyme, basil, oregano and bay leaves very easily. Scrumptious!
The best part is probably how fast you can cook them though. With the pre-programmed settings on the EZ Bean Cooker (which is essentially a digital pressure cooker) there is ABSOLUTELY NO SOAKING REQUIRED. Yes, you do not have to pre-soak your beans the night before, nor do you have to do the “Quick Soak Method” for beans you want to make the same day.
Just choose your bean or lentil, rinse them well, cover with a sufficient amount of water, add herbs and seasonings as desired, close the lid, set the pressure release valve to the closed position and choose the program for your type of bean and press start!
If you can use a rice cooker or a microwave, you can use this, I promise!
It’s very simple and the Ez Bean Cooker does all the timing for you so there’s no more looking up pressure cooking times online or in a book, and no more guess work and having undercooked/overcooked beans. Once it’s complete it will beep, alerting you to open the pressure release valve. When the pressure dissipates and unlocks the lid you can open it up, drain your beans and use in any dish you desire.
Cooking times are between 12 minutes for lentils and 80 minutes for chickpeas/garbanzo beans. This is the actual pressure cooking time, there is additional time needed for it to come up to pressure, but the majority of your dried unsoaked beans are going to be fully cooked and ready to use in about an hour (longer for kidney beans and garbanzo beans as they are larger)
Now some people choose to use oil in their pressure cookers to prevent frothing from occurring and clogging up the pressure release valve, but so far I haven’t had any issues cooking 1 lb bags of dried beans or lentils without any. Although EZ Bean Cooker does recommend adding oil for safety reasons, but so far it works for me without oil and many other McDougallers on Amazon have done this as well.
This contest is open to residents of the USA (non-residents and Canadians with a US based shipping address can enter) only as EZ Bean Cooker only ships to the USA at this time. Disclaimer: Low Fat Vegan Chef was NOT paid to do this promotion. I received a complimentary EZ Bean Cooker to try out before I decided to recommend this product based on my own positive results with the unit.
So how can you enter to with an EZ Bean Cooker? Just use my easy little giveawaytools widget below to get started, enter in your name and email address, you will be required to sign up for my newsletter (already valid if you’re an existing subscriber) and comment on this blog post and validate the comment. Plus you get additional entries for things such as liking my Facebook page, following me on twitter, tweeting the giveaway, following me on Pinterest and sharing with your friends. You’ve got a chance to get anywhere from 10-70 entries for this draw! Good luck!
****Just a note, if you do not verify with the widget correctly your entry for that type (and just end up leaving the text box blank) it will be invalid and not count. So please enter in the correct information (such as email address, facebook name, twitter account etc.) to verify if you did subscribe to the newsletter, like on facebook, follow on twitter etc. If you don’t, the entries will be invalid and disqualified. At minimum, to be eligible to win an EZ Bean Cooker you must be subscribed to my newsletter (and stay subscribed at least until the contest ends Aug 12 2013) AND comment on this blog post. All other entry methods are optional after that. I want you to get as many entries as possible thanks so please read the instructions carefully!
Check out my recipe for How To Cook Dried Chickpeas here.
For more Canadian contests go here: Contest Canada
Contest is closed, congratulations to Kristi Lee who won!
I know this is a topic some of you have been waiting for me to cover for a long time. And I have to say I’m sorry for not doing it sooner! I have pretty much all the kitchen gadgets I need (and then some!) by this point so it’s definitely time I share this with you.
I’ve made two parts, one for kitchen appliances and one for gadgets and list them in order of most used and loved. And yes I do love some of my kitchen appliances because they make my job SO much easier. And who doesn’t love that right?
I also wanted to share blog recipes using each of these gadgets so you can get some new recipe ideas as well so be sure to check out the links below. 🙂
So the Vitamix is probably my first love. I’ve wanted one for most of my life (it was my dream as a child every time I saw the Vitamix demos at the trade shows – strange I know!) as I’ve always loved fresh fruit (no dairy!) smoothies, sorbets, fruit ice creams and blended soups. When I first got serious about eating raw and vegan food it was the first purchase I made and I haven’t looked back since. I know it’s very pricey, but what I recommend is saving about $10/week or $40/month towards one, and after a year you’ll have enough to purchase one on Amazon or Ebay. Older models can be had for about $350. This hands down is my most used appliance and it cannot be beat for the fact that is produces the smoothest green smoothies and pureed soups and sauces and it doesn’t break! Oh you can try, but I bet you you can’t break this motor. To me it’s just not worth going through a new $50-$100 blender every few months burning it out trying to blend frozen fruits and thick dips, so the Vitamix has been a great investment for me personally, plus it saves time in the kitchen. Instead of blending and stirring, blending and stirring (which can take 5-10 min with a regular blender in all) in 30-90 seconds I am totally done blending and either eating or finishing my recipe!
Another option is the Omni Power Blender – it is essentially a Vitamix knockoff (they are not happy about this) and I have used one once and it was pretty decent for blending. It is high power and seems durable, but it does not puree green smoothies as quickly or as smooth as the Vitamix. I would say it’s a not bad option if you like to do lots of blending but the Vitamix is too out of reach. It also has a plunger which I find is essential for anyone wanting to make dips or banana ice-cream. Sure some people love the Blendtec but I am not a fan of a blender without a tamper that has too many preprogrammed functions to figure out how to use. (Saving your pennies + having a garage sale this summer can help raise some funds for some much needed kitchen gadgets too)
Chocolate Cherry Blender Ice-cream, Banana Berry Acai Bowl, Vitamineral Green Smoothie, Holiday Eggnog Smoothie, How to Make Perfect Green Smoothies, Avocado Green Smoothie, Cherry Mango Love Smoothie, Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad, The Best Caesar Salad Dressing, Mexican Black Bean Corn Soup, Creamy Raw Vegan Mexican Cilantro Corn Soup, Dr. Fuhrman’s Anti Cancer Soup, Spaghetti Marinara With Chickpeas, Summer Harvest Soup,
I will confess I was a user of $10 rice cookers for much of my rice cooking period. When I first discovered them at the discount store I was intrigued, cooking regular rice instead of microwaving pre cooked rice or using Uncle Ben’s minute rice? I used it, but often it would keep resetting leaving me with undercooked or still watery rice and sometimes even burned crispy rice on the bottom. Not good. So when I heard about the Zojirushi (and then saw the price) I scoffed, how good does a rice cooker need to be? And then I tried it… and holy mackerel I was hooked. I use my Zojirushi probably 3-4 times a week for all my rice and quinoa dishes (and steel cut oats too). What I like about it is I can pre program it to start at any particular time or just hit it an hour before I start dinner (for white rice, or 2 hours for brown rice) This is great when I don’t know what I’m making yet, I have time to decide whether i’m going with stir fried vegetables, lentils, beans, curry, and more. The Zojirushi also has some special features in that you can make porridge (steel cut oats), 1 pot meals with it (comes with some recipes), bake cake (it’s true!) and use different types of mixed rice, brown rice or sweet (dessert) rice recipes.
An inexpensive alternative is the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker which my mom has and I use it when I visit her place. It has a white rice, a whole grain (for brown rice) setting, boil and simmer function. So you can cook both rice and/or vegetables in it. It does have a delay starter which is handy and I have used it to cook steel cut oats by programming it to start before I wake up in the morning. It’s a very good option, just doesn’t have as many bells and whistles and is much bigger than the Zojirushi so it takes up more counter space.
How To Cook Brown Rice, How To Cook Basmati Rice, Greek Rice Stuffed Peppers, Greek Stuffed Eggplant, How To Cook Sushi Rice, California Rolls, Asian Vegetable Stir Fry With Tahini Sauce, Chickpea Quinoa Burgers with Lemon and Thyme, How To Cook Steel Cut Oats, How To Cook Quinoa, Protein Packed Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
I’m fairly new to using pressure cookers, I’ve only been using them for about 2 years now but they are one of my favorite devices because #1 they are fast, and #2 you can cook almost anything in them. Potatoes, beans, lentils, grains, vegetable broth and more. Many people feel leery about pressure cookers imagining they are some sort of potentially exploding kitchen contraption, but please please have no fear. Dangerous pressure cookers are more old wives tales that could have only occurred with the old “jiggle top” style of pressure cooker. The ones these days come in two varieties, stove top and electrical plug in style (just like a rice cooker). I prefer the new digital pressure cooker style and just recently got an EZ Bean Cooker which is like the ultimate pressure cooker as it’s totally preprogrammed for every type of bean or lentil you would like to cook – which means NO soaking time. Yep! No overnight soaking, no taking all day to cook beans. Your beans will be done between 30-70 minutes due to cooking under high pressure. This in itself is invaluable as there’s no more need for canned beans and dried beans are so much cheaper. The Ez Bean Cooker also has a manual mode so you can use it to cook any other items you like, just program in the time to cook.
Another alternative is the Nesco Digital Pressure Cooker which you can cook everything you desire in, but you’ll need to use a pressure cooking chart to determine how long to cook the food you desire. And finally the Presto Stovetop Pressure Cooker is a great low cost option, but it’s best for gas stoves. I don’t recommend it for electric stoves as it’s hard to control the temperature (as you have to bring it to a boil and then lower it to cook with steady steam and the stove rings can retain heat for too long to do this) It also comes with a handy pressure cooking book with times and a few recipes which is very handy to have at your finger tips.
How To Cook Chickpeas, How To Make Homemade Vegetable Broth, Kik Alicha (Ethiopian Split Pea Stew), Holiday Yam Pecan Casserole, Vegan Avocado Dill Potato Salad and of course mashed potatoes and any recipes requiring cooked beans or lentils.
The Ninja Cooking System is a fancy slow cooker with many more bells and whistles. You can cook in it just like a pot on the stove, it comes with a non stick pan which means easy clean up and you can sauté and brown any items you like before turning on the slow cooker setting. It also comes with a small cake pan and a wire rack so you can bake or roast in it dry just like an oven! I like using it for my chilli recipes and slow cooked vegetable stews and bean dishes.
A cheaper alternative is the Hamilton Beach Crock Pot, which can still be programmed with desired cook time on high or low and comes with a glazed ceramic insert to cook in. I like this size as it’s generally large enough to make dishes that serve 6 people. It’s definitely useful in the summer when you don’t want to heat up your house cooking, or set it and forget it Sunday recipes.
5. Cuisineart Food Processor ($100)
For some recipes, a simple food processor is required. I like to use mine to quickly shred root vegetables, slice cabbage or zucchini rounds, pulse nuts, make veggie burgers, hummus and black bean brownies. If you’re into raw food recipes or making your own dips a food processor is a must have kitchen item. It also works well when you don’t have a high powered blender and you need to puree thick mixtures.
Low Fat Chickpea Hummus, Sweet Potato Yammus Hummus, Smoky Yam Black Bean Burgers, Chickpea Quinoa Burgers with Lemon and Thyme, Black Bean Brownie Recipe, Tahini Dip For Falafel, Vegan Cheesecake with Blueberry Rooibus Compote,
A juicer is something you may be interested in if you like to make fresh juices or Dr. Fuhrman style recipes. He starts many recipes off with fresh carrot and celery juice and a decent juicer is a quick way to get loads of nutrition from veggies you might otherwise not eat or not be able to chew. I have a Breville juicer and I like it because it’s easy to clean and the cup it comes with scrapes off the juice foam which is quite handy. For those who are concerned about centrifugal juicer and want a gentler way to extract nutrients from veggies a Green Star juicer is a great choice. It’s also the best way to juice wheatgrass and greens. (They don’t fair so well in a centrifugal juicer)
7. Proctor-Silex Coffee Grinder ($14)
This one is absolutely essential, but not for what you think! I don’t even drink coffee, nor have I ever ground coffee. What I use it for is grinding chia seeds, flax seeds, small quantities of nuts and whole spices to make my own spice mix. It’s invaluable to have as it’s often cheaper to buy these items whole and then grind them yourself so then you have both the whole seed/spice and a ground version for quickly using in recipe. I like to add ground chia to my Banana Pancakes, smoothies, and sometimes salad dressings (it makes it thicken nicely). I don’t like buying ground chia or flax in the store because it perishes quickly and then you have to store it in freezer which can take up a lot of space, so I prefer to grind 1/2-1 cup batches at a time and keep them in smaller containers in the freezer for ease of use. A coffee grinder is easy to pick up at any kitchen store so make sure you have one.
8. Hamilton Beach Sandwich Maker ($23)
You may scoff at the idea of needing a sandwich maker, and truth is you don’t really need one, but if you have one you’ll enjoy making oil-free toasted sandwiches, panini, and more. I like to slather some homemade hummus on bread and add sautéed veggies such as onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and more and grill it (no oil) so it comes out all toasty and melty and delicious. Get creative and use your favorite veggies, raw or cooked and favorite dip to create an easy meal.
9. Cuisinart Hand Blender ($35)
A hand blender is super handy (ok I know) to use for a variety of reasons. When I travel and can’t take my Vitamix with me, I can bring my hand blender as it’s stowable and easy to pack. You can make smoothies on the go wherever you are. At home it’s nice to make blended sauces and soups straight in the pot (instead of moving everything into a blender to puree) in a matter of seconds.
10. Procter-Silex Electric Kettle ($14.50)
An electric kettle is great to use to save on time for cooking pasta. Just boil your water and then pour it into the pot and return to a boil to easily chop your cooking time in half. I also use my kettle to make rooibus or herbal tea on a cold fall/winter day.
11. Black & Decker Toaster ($35)
You probably already have a toaster, but it’s nice to have to quickly toast some bread for toast and jam, toasted sandwiches, breakfast bagels, or even toasted buns for homemade veggie burgers.
12. Presto Air Popper Popcorn Maker ($20)
Who doesn’t love popcorn? I skip the the microwaved popcorn and prefer to make my own in an air popper so it’s oil free. Then I use a mister to spray on a little soy sauce and season with spices. Nutritional yeast, paprika, chipotle powder, salt and pepper are all great choices for your oil free pop corn.
So there you have it, my list for the top 12 “Must Have” Kitchen Appliances for your vegan kitchen.
What is your most beloved small kitchen appliance? Which one do you want to get next?
Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to be enjoying outdoor barbecues and picnics. Everyone wants to enjoy a freshly grilled hamburger or veggie burger. But making your own is quite easy and insanely tasty without using oils or refined soy products. My chickpea quinoa burgers are soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free so they will work for everyone no matter how they eat. If you’ve ever made homemade hamburgers or wanted to, you can make these.
A simple food processor is such a versatile tool for making your own chickpea quinoa burgers. Mine isn’t anything fancy, just a basic mid sized one and it’s perfect for pulsing various ingredients to use in veggie burgers.
I like to top my veggie burgers with some fresh hummus (see my chickpea hummus here or my yam/sweet potato hummus here), sautéed mushrooms and onions (I use a little soy sauce and maple syrup to flavor them), lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Cucumbers also work well in place of tomatoes for this chickpea quinoa burger as well as spicy mustard.
Find a nice whole grain bun or roll, toast the insides and top your veggie burger with all your favorite toppings. I also highly recommend some of my Summer salad recipes to go along with it such as Avocado Dill Potato Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad, Shaved Asparagus Salad, Costa Rican Cabbage Salad, Sweet and Savory Asian Salad, or Rock my Broccoli Salad. So now that your head is spinning with delicious Summer recipes let’s get grillin’! Mmm hmm.
Makes 10-12 patties (depending on size)
1 cup mashed yam/sweet potato, cooled (1 medium yam, cooked)
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cans chickpeas, drained and patted dry
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (stems removed)
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (I used 1/2 cup dry mix of white and red)
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp Herbamare or salt *or to taste
1. Poke holes in your yam and bake at 400 F for an hour or until tender inside. Set aside until cool.
2. Cook quinoa with a 1:1 ratio of vegetable broth or water in a pressure cooker or on the stove. (See my directions here)
3. In a food processor, add the garlic and onion and pulse until chopped finely. Add the chickpeas, thyme, lemon zest and juice and pulse until chopped and well combined. Scoop out flesh from yam (discard peel) and to food processor along with quinoa, pepper and salt. Pulse until well combined.
4. Form into equal sized balls and place on a non stick sheet or plate lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until needed.
5. Pre heat a pan or barbecue and press patties gently until slightly flatted and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, flipping once. Be careful to move gently so they don’t fall apart.
6. Serve on buns or lettuce wraps. (I find using a bun slightly bigger than the patty works best as they will squish a bit when eaten.
7. Store any patties in an air tight container and refrigerate or freeze until needed. (Leaving them uncooked is best).
You can also use fresh dill instead of thyme if you wish for variety.
Also check out my Smoky Yam Black Bean Burger Recipe.
Have you ever made your own veggie burgers? What do you like to top your burgers with?
(Originally written in July 2010)
I had the chance to spend 5 amazing days in Iceland. I had never really known anything about Iceland or thought to go there before, but I am really really glad we did. Iceland not being known for it’s vegan-friendly cuisine or fresh fruit worried me a little at first, but the benefits of visiting Iceland far outweighed any negatives we encountered.
I thought I’d share with you some of our amazing photos, some info you may not know about Iceland and how you can eat raw and vegan should you choose to discover Iceland yourself as well!
Iceland is the 18th largest island and second only in size to Great Britain in Europe. Situated along the mid-ocean ridge of the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland is a geologic “hot zone” with volcanic eruptions, fissure eruptions, shield volcanoes, pillow basalts, glaciers, geothermal features, and more.
There are roughly 320,000 people living all over Iceland with less than half of that concentrated in the capital of Reykjavik.
The Icelandic language has remained relatively unchanged in 1000 years due to their isolation from the rest of the world.
People are friendly to outsiders, but rather shy, since everyone knows each other it is not customary to introduce new friends to people, any newcomers typically introduce themselves.
Icelanders speak English very well and most people are bilingual, but they often believe their English is not very good and are very modest about it. Even your average bus driver speaks English very well which makes travel very easy for a newcomer.
Icelanders read and write more than most countries, they have one of the highest literacy rates and they often prefer reading to television. Iceland has the highest per capita number of artists and writers in the world.
Iceland’s hot water contains sulfur and is piped in from geothermal plants, cold water is fresh glacial water and clean for drinking. Your bathroom will smell like sulfur, but this is ok!
All movies in Iceland are left in the original language and Icelandic subtitles are added for those who do not speak the language or are too young to understand. Children’s movies can be dubbed in Icelandic.
Ice-cream is available EVERYWHERE, gas stations, gift shops and convenience stores sell both soft serve and ice cream bars, there’s also a wide variety of dairy desserts like skyr (skeer, a cheese like pudding flavoured with fruit) available. Many Icelanders seem to eat a lot of dairy and admit to eating ice cream quite often.
No matter where you go in Iceland you always feel like you’re in a small town and the scenery around you is magnificent.
Although Icelanders don’t believe Iceland to be very touristy, you will find free maps, bus schedules and tour information everywhere you go, even in a small isolated town the gas stations will have maps and tour information.
The temperature in Iceland is not as cold as you think it would be since the Gulf Stream brings warm water to the surrounding ocean and geothermal vents and hot water from volcanic activity are present year round. Most of Iceland is heated using geothermal water to heat up fresh water and is piped using thick insulated pipes to all of the towns and main city Reykjavik. The daily temperature in Iceland is usually between 0 and 5 degrees C in the winter, 10 to 15 C degrees in spring and fall and up to 20 degrees C in the summer. Overall it’s a fairly mild climate considering it’s northern latitude.
The colourful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) appear from the end of August through the winter, which is a great time to visit and see this spectacular wonder.
Wool is a staple in Iceland for providing warm sweaters, outerwear and socks for year round comfort when venturing outside.
Before the 1900’s most Icelandic houses were built from stone and turf (slabs of grass and soil cut from the ground) and it was not until the invention of concrete that they were able to build more modern and larger buildings.
Most of Iceland is quite sparse when it comes to trees and shrubs since a lot of it has been cut down and used for firewood or building over the years. Many tree planting projects are now in place to help restore the lack of foliage.
Icelanders are more adapted to their climate and 20 degrees C in the summer time is a very hot day in their opinion!
Over 50% of Icelanders will admit that they believe in supernatural beings (ghosts) or “hidden people” aka elves. If something goes missing in Iceland people will often joke that it an elf is to blame. You will often see little colored doors painted on rocks at the base of mountains when you drive by. This is so the hidden people can get back into their homes!
There are heated outdoor pools everywhere, heated by the free geothermal heat provided by the island.
A lot of Icelanders believe they have 100% Viking ancestry, but recent genetics testing has shown than 80% of Icelanders today are descendants of Irish settlers who were brought as slaves (mostly women) when the Vikings first settled Iceland.
While most of the Icelandic diet is based on meat, dairy and bread, there are several vegetarian restaurants, a raw restaurant and a few other restaurants offering vegetarian options in the city of Reykjavik. Outside of the city however, you’re options are basically lacto-ovo vegetarian only as vegetable, cheese and egg sandwiches seem to be the only meal offered for non meat eaters in general. You will find both hard boiled eggs and cheese in almost every sandwich or salad! You can always stop by the grocery store to pick up some fruit such as bananas, oranges or apples though.
The “Blue Lagoon” (www.bluelagoon.com) The Blue Lagoon is a pool of geothermal seawater (2/3 saltwater and 1/3 freshwater). The source of the water is as deep as 2000 meters/6000 feet. The seawater is led directly from its natural source to the Blue Lagoon where guests enjoy bathing enveloped in the warm blue water.
A glacier walk or snowmobile tour. There are many glaciers in Iceland, even in the summer time. Skaftafell Glacier is one of the most popular and you can see the glacier breaking and dropping off into the ocean!
Find a place in Reykjavik to stay when you first arrive so you can check out the city for a day or two. A lot of places will be advertised to be near Reykjavik so just make sure you know where the hotel is before you go.
If you’re staying more than a few days you’ll more than likely want to check out areas beyond Reykjavik in which case you will want to find a hotel in a central area on the south, west, or northern shore to plan some day trips around. It is too far to drive to most places from Reykjavik to check out all of Iceland.
2 to 3 weeks would be the ideal amount of time to visit if you want to check out everything the island has to offer. It can take over a week just driving around the Ring Road (with stops) just to catch glimpses of how magnificent Iceland is.
A lot of “hotels” are not actually hotels, but guesthouses where people share common rooms like bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms. Most actual hotels are very pricey and luxurious so make sure you research the place you are staying.
Grocery stores are available in Reykjavik and can be seen from the main road in every little town you pass through so you will be able to fill up on necessities before venturing out.
Car rentals are very expensive starting at $188 a day for a small Toyota Yaris. Be sure to decide if you want a vehicle in advance, they can go quickly. You can also just book tours through companies like Iceland Excursions (www.grayline.is) which will pick you up directly from your hotel or a meeting spot in towns outside of Reykjavik.
Raw and Vegetarian Food
Rope yoga center, Engjateig 19
Mon-Fri 11:30-20:00 and Saturday 11-15
Is the only restaurant that serves raw food, but they also serve some cooked food. Note their website is only in Icelandic. We tried to contact the owner to do an interview with us on what it’s like to be a raw foodist in Iceland, but she wasn’t interested in returning our request. Perhaps it has something to do with her focus on dehydrated and nut based recipes. So we cannot comment more since we did not try the food.
A Naestu Grosu
Laugavegur 20b, Simi
Mon-Sat 11.30am-10pm, Sun 5-10pm.
Vegan-friendly, macrobiotic, international, Indian. Buffet style lunch and dinner plates. Seems to very popular, we stopped by and saw it it almost packed and a good variety of salads and vegetable based dishes.
Mon-Sat 11.30-9.00, Sun 1.00-9.00
Lacto vegetarian options, limited vegan items.
Mon-Fri 11:00-17:00, Sat 12:00-17:00, closed Sunday.
Ovo-lacto vegetarian, limited vegan options, some organic, international cuisine.
Health food and Juice Bar
Haedasmari 6, Kopavogur (201)
Fresh juices available as well as health and beauty products.
(originally written for another blog in August of 2010)
After my short stay in the Czech Republic for Freshness Week I headed off to Budapest, Hungary.
I had not planned anything in advance and had no idea what to expect. But I had heard that everyone said it was a beautiful city.
Boy were they right!
Every day was over 35 C / 95 F and it was hot hot hot! But not as humid as a lot of other cities so it was actually quite enjoyable.
I had the pleasure of staying in a hotel with an ideal city centre location, just steps away from the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Hungary.
While I did not venture inside, I thoroughly enjoyed marvelling at the impeccable architecture with our heads titled all the way back gazing up in awe at this behemoth of a structure. It is one of two of the tallest buildings in all of Budapest at 315 ft! (The other being the Parliament building) Both of which can be seen from most every part of the city, so it was a great way to orient myself each day!
In my 2 days we spent in Budapest I spent most of our time walking around and touring the city. I have to say that Budapest is a very walkable and easy to get around city. You can see most of the sites in Buda from across the Danube on the Pest side, which made it easy for us to decide where to go first.
I visited the Castle District, the Citadel, the Danube, the Central Market and passed by the famous Heroes’ Square and Szechenyi Thermal Baths to name a few of the highlights of my trip.
I didn’t get a chance to actually enjoy Szechenyi, but if you visit Budapest you definitely have to check it out. The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. The water is supplied by two thermal springs underground with temperatures above 74°C/165°F! Wow that’s hot!
There is simply too much to do and see in Budapest that I plan on returning again in the future to fully enjoy everything that the city has to offer.
One of the best things though, was how CHEAP everything seemed to be. Well inexpensive compared to a lot of other countries in the European Union. It was much more affordable buying fruits and vegetables than previous places such as Copenhagen, Malmo and even Berlin. I definitely would have saved a lot more money on food if I had stayed here longer than more expensive cities like Paris and London I visited.
The Central Market is going to be one of your must see’s when visiting this city because it’s open all week long, is fully indoors and you will find the largest number of fruit and vegetable vendors you will find anywhere in Budapest. It’s simply the place to go for fresh food.
What impressed me the most was the amount of pride each vendor had for their produce. Displaying all of the items pristinely so that everything catches your eye and you can tell that everything is very fresh. They even pick out any squished, mouldy or wilted fruits and vegetables throughout the day and would never even consider selling it! (Unlike our mishap in Berlin, where a fruit vendor proceeded to sell Frederic an entire bag of golden kiwis that had all fermented and wouldn’t budge on the price…)
In Europe the produce stands are run differently, it is not like your grocery store where you can pick and rifle through all of the produce looking for the best or ripest specimen.
No, in Europe you have to actually get in line and point to what you would like, no touching, no tasting, no smelling before you buy. So this can be a little tricky if shopping at a small produce stand on the street. But this is not so at the Central Market where everything is top quality and a lot of it is locally grown as well.
I did not see anything really exotic there, but we didn’t mind in the least. The watermelons I bought were absolutely amazing, much more reliable than the ones we get in Canada. And the navel oranges were huge and juicy sweet. I also bought blueberries, raspberries and blackberries which were pretty reasonably priced considering the fact that they are usually the most expensive of fruits by weight.
Some of the prices I got:
1 pint of blueberries 2.50 euros
watermelon 0.46 euros/kilo
peaches 1.06 euros/kilo
plums 0.53 euros/kilo
blackberries 1.96 euros/kilo
Converting that to USD per lb:
1 pint of blueberries $3.21
These are specialty fruits and aren’t even as cheap as apples, oranges and bananas, so you can only imagine how inexpensive buying these things regularly in Hungary would be.
The Central Market is also famous for having typical Hungarian (meat based) food stands, paprika, crafts, clothing, collectible dolls, knickknacks and anything else Hungarian you’re in the mood for.
Overall, as a big city with a warm climate it is pretty darn liveable and affordable! It’s also not as small and compact in regards to living space compared to other European metropolises.
I will definitely be back one day!
So if you’re looking to visit Budapest and want to find the best places to find raw and vegan food check these out:
Vámház körút, Hungary
Obviously the best place to get your produce from every week, no raw restaurants here though.
Múzeum Körut 19 (at Brody Sandor, Muzeum krt)
Vegan, Raw options, Organic, Juice bar, Take-out
This place is rumored to have some raw options on their daily menu along with fresh juices and cooked vegan plate lunches.
Iskola Utca 31 (1011)(at corner of Gyorskocsi utca, 1 block from Batthány tér bus and metro station, 1 blk from the Danube)
Open Mon-Thur 8-21, Fri 8-18, Sun 11-19, closed Saturday.
Vegan buffet, Hungarian and Mediterranean food, Juice bar, Take-out
This place has GREAT juices at a steal of a price… 2.50 euros for a large glass and some inexpensive buffet style plate lunches too. They speak a little English here and can tell you about their menu and fresh juices.
Rózsa u 39, District VII (1077) (at Király u.)
weekday 10:00-6:00pm Saturday 10:00 to 2:00pm
Vegan, Organic, Salad bar, Juice bar, Hungarian, Italian
Hummus Bar – Kertesz
Kertesz u. 39 (1073 Budapest VII) (at Jewish quarter, across Franz Liszt Music Academy, metro Oktagon on M1)
Daily: 12:00pm-11:30pm, close midnight
Vegan, Middle Eastern, Fast food
Falafels, pita, hummus, soups. English spoken and on the menu.
You will also find several little corner grocery stores, but they are particularly small and only sell the bare essentials of the SAD lifestyle, a little bit of fruit, which can be helpful if you’re in a pinch, but otherwise head to the Central Market.
Here are some more of my photos of beautiful Budapest
Parliament – by Veronica Grace
Back in December 2010, I decided to do a 10 day water fast while I was visiting in Bali. I had 1 hotel room for 2 weeks (well it was more of a suite with 2 bedrooms) and I was going to spend most of the time inside anyways.
So I thought having 14 days in one place in Bali would work as I could have a few days to recover before going on to my next Destination: The Philippines.
I had done several 1 day water fasts and 3 day water fasts, both on my own, so I was not too worried. I had a friend watching me during this 10 day fast. I have read some works by Shelton on fasting myself.
I had been feeling kind of crappy and blah a little in Thailand and Singapore because I were inside a lot, doing the same thing everyday (being on the computer), I felt tired and not really hungry and I wanted to have more energy and feel better. Also my skin was getting a little crazy with hormones, the constant A/C but then humidity outside and it was dry and oily and at the same time.
I had never gone into ketosis before doing shorter fasts, so I was not sure what to expect. Friends told me I’d probably have low energy and not feel so great and probably be really bored, but I could try for a week and see how it went.
My goal was to try and get to 10 days. At 7 days I would see how I felt and then decide if I could keep going. Since I was kind of on vacation and did not really have to go anywhere or be capable of anything it seemed like a good time.
***BTW I do not recommend doing a water fast of more than 3 days on your own, unsupervised. Especially if you have to drive, work, walk very far, take care of others or have existing health conditions that could put you at risk, it’s just unwise. You can always do a series of 1 day or even 3 day fasts if you are unable to take time off to go to a fasting center for proper care.
If you do a water fast on your own your friends and family are likely to be afraid for you, worry you or talk you out of it, or even worse call an ambulance on you or take you to the hospital because they think something is wrong. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have unsupportive people around you and you are in a weakened state! That is very dangerous and they won’t know that fasting is less harmful than taking you to the hospital or putting you on medication.
During my fast I stayed inside my hotel room almost the entire time, I drank water when I was thirsty and I booked an in hotel massage once a day for the first 8 days of fasting. Partly because I wanted something to look forward to each day, and partly because I wanted to see if it would help my lymph while fasting.
So here is my fasting journal for my 10 day fast and the few days recovering after the fast.
I have no hunger. I’m feeling a good amount of energy. No light headedness. Did a few exercises and felt fine.
Did not really think of food at all. No cravings. I’m glad I mentally prepared myself that I won’t be eating for a while.
Later on in the evening I have a little headache from artificial light. I was watching some tv and on my computer. It’s pretty dark in this hotel room, so not a lot of natural light. So that’s probably why.
I’ve been sitting up in bed resting. My lower back a little sore. I’ve been going to bed late and sleeping in because it’s a little boring here. I have a slight sensitivity to light. Not hungry or dizzy. Slight mouth fuzziness, even though I’m still brushing my teeth twice a day. I have dry lips, probably the a/c is not helping. Itchy skin on my face.
My weight today is 130 lbs/59 kg.
I feel headachey, and a little weak. Not hungry though. I do feel a little out of it. I keep sleeping 9 hours a night like I usually do. I wanted to keep sleeping as long as possible because then there is less time to sit here and be awake. Resting in bed mostly. Waiting for the hours to crawl by. A little bored. My breathing is much slower I think.
I still weigh 130 lbs/ 59 kg this morning.
I feel much better this morning. Less of a headache. I feel a little hungry now. I have a sensation in my throat and stomach feels really empty. I remember when I fasted for 3 days before I felt like I had a vacuum in my stomach, but it doesn’t feel like that this time. I just feel like my heart is beating in my stomach, it feels stronger than in my chest and is weird.
I got a blood glucose meter. So I checked myself for the first time. My Blood glucose is 3.4 mmol/L. Looking it up from the chart it’s within normal ranges. I do feel a little light headed though. I make sure that I sit up and then wait a few seconds before standing up so I don’t get that black out feeling from lower blood pressure.
I slept another 9 hours last night. Today I feel hungover, even though I have not had any alcohol for about 3 years now. It totally reminds me of being destroyed and hungover. I’m very nauseous and dizzy. I don’t want to move it makes me feel really bad. Even typing this is making me feel sick.
I feel a little better after resting an hour and then having some water. My massage felt good, I feel much better after it and feel more myself. My ankles keep hurting though, they are throbbing like I cracked them too much. I don’t know if it’s from lying down… maybe.
I have a little energy and have lots of thoughts and conversing is really easy. I really don’t feel much different or like when some people say their minds are racing and so clear when they fast. Unless I’m tired I always feel like that, it’s easy to think and focus. Other than my ankles and lower back hurting a little I feel ok.
I feel like all the energy has been sucked out of me. I feel dizzy and weak. My ankles and my back are throbbing and it’s pretty annoying and sore. I feel an acidic feeling in my throat and drinking water makes me burp. My intestines are rumbling and I feel kind of like when I start to get cramps. I kinda feel like my ovaries and lower back ache. I feel tired like I need to nap even though I just woke up. I’m not hungry. My mouth feels a little fuzzy and sticky even though I am brushing twice a day. I feel thirsty but the water does not taste good it tastes like glass and metal. I have to make myself drink a few glasses today.
Weight: 127.8 lbs/ 58 kg
My throat feels all acidic still. I cannot sleep. My ankles still throbbing. Why won’t they stop? Something below my stomach is hurting really badly. It feels like it’s being ripped apart inside and it really hurts. I have never had this feeling before ever. It’s like tissue being torn away from my abdominal wall or something. It makes me want to eat just to try stop the pain. I feel like my insides are being eaten. My feet are so cold they feel like ice. Its hard to warm them up. Even under the covers of my bed they are freezing.
I don’t feel like I slept much. I wasn’t really tired and i just laid in bed with my eyes closed all night. I must have slept a little this morning because i had a dream. I was fighting with my mom and sister. My mom wouldn’t listen to me and she just left. I was so angry with her. I don’t really feel tired or nauseous or sick this morning. I feel ok. Not like yesterday when i felt so terrible it was hard to move from the pain. My ankles hurt a little still. No throbbing and lots of pain like yesterday. My lower back is a little sore. I wonder if it is my kidneys or something.
Weight 126.7 lbs/ 57.5 kg
I’m going to stop counting the hours now that I’m fasting. It’s too confusing to keep track. I couldn’t sleep last night. I went to bed at 9 pm the night before and only slept until 2:30 am. Then my lower back hurt and I was restless so I read till 4 am. I tried to do a 24 hour dry fast because I was reading that it’s even more cleansing than a water fast and I hoped it would help my lower back, but only lasted 12 hours. I felt nauseous and thirsty at 8 am. I had to drink water, it took me a while to get out of bed because I felt so terrible. I went to the bathroom and then drank 3 glasses of water and went back to bed for 4 hours. Surprisingly I did not need to pee again, which is odd because I usually have to soon after drinking any water, let alone that much. Must have been the dry fast.
I got up at noon and my back was really killing me. I think I also strained it from slouching in bed and the mattress padding being way to soft, so it put my back out and I felt like my organs were hurting. I cried it hurt so bad. My tongue is white and mouth is sticky and and my throat has acid reflux. Its been there since day 4 and drives me crazy. I felt terrible so I lay in bed for another 2 hours. Then I had a massage even though i felt so nauseous I didn’t know if i could make it. Just getting up and going to the other room was hard, I felt very ill. Lying down and relaxing helped. My back felt a little better after the massage. When I sat up after it was done I felt like I had to pull it together to not be sick and I felt dizzy. I had to talk to the massage therapist for a bit and act normal. Immediately after I needed to go to bed again and lie in the dark, the artificial light made me feel terrible. My back is still killing me, I don’t know what to do. I pulled off the mattress padding and laid a little flatter on the bed so it didn’t put my back out so much. Then I decided to try my electric massager and i used that on the sore parts of my back for a while and i felt so much better. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner. Maybe my muscles are spasming. I had this stabbing feeling in my left ovary that was really hurting. A few minutes of using it and it went away. I feel much better now, but sitting in my bed with my legs out is causing me pain. So I sit in an upright chair and feel much better keeping my back supported. I use my massager though out the day, the pain comes and goes depending on my posture. Poor posture brings the pain back. My throat is driving me crazy i keep feeling like I’m going to throw up bile because its so acidic in my throat and burns. Even drinking water doesn’t help it, I just burp a little and it keep burning.
My pain is back. I’m trying to sit upright in a chair and hold myself together but it’s hard. I just want it to end. This has been the worst day, I just want to lie down in the dark, but it hurts my back. I feel really cold still too. Even covering myself head to toe and wearing wool socks I’m still cold. I get the chills a few times a day now and its hard to warm up. My feet are always freezing and I feel cold inside my body.
I feel better today, but I was only able to sleep in 3 to 4 hour blocks so I had to keep getting up for a while and then going back to bed. Finally at 8 am (I have been getting up at noon, because I couldn’t sleep) I got up and drank some water and went outside to get about 20 minutes of sun and that made me feel better too. This a/c is nasty, but it’s so noisy outside I can’t just leave my window open to sleep. My back hurts less. I need to keep making sure it’s straight and not slouching or it hurts. I’m still not hungry, not thinking about food. I don’t get dizzy or have to worry about getting up too fast anymore, I think my body has adapted to the low blood pressure. So that was really great.
I threw up after brushing my teeth today though accidentally. My toothbrush made me gag when I brushed my tongue and I threw up all this foam and then lots of yellow bile and then there was trickles of blood in it. I’m not sure what from, maybe my throat which has had acid on it for the past few days? Right after I drank some water and felt a million times better. I feel much better than all the days before just like on day one of my fast. It’s getting easier. I will aim for 10 days now, I’m almost there.
Weight 124.3 lbs/56.4 kg
I took the mattress padding off my bed and slept on it like that. I was sleeping on the tile floor, but it was hurting my neck and making my legs hurt. I was able to sleep for about 9 and a half hours last night. I felt good this morning, but my neck and head are killing me. I put too much strain on it probably from lying with my head to the side while getting massaged. The hotel does not have massage tables so getting massages on a bed really sucks. It makes me feel better, but my neck is just hurting me and giving me a throbbing headache at the base of my head. Ive never hurt my neck so badly before. Maybe its just me but I always seem to hurt myself from sleeping or laying down and don’t generally hurt myself any other way. I think the next 2 days will be easier. I just keep thinking of the days in 12 hour blocks and sleeping when I feel low energy. Surprisingly the only ketosis symptoms I have are a white tongue and strong smelling urine, my body does not smell at all. I had a little athletes foot on my right foot and it went away (as a kid I always got that and some warts, it’s gotten better) and my skin is getting clearer. I’m hoping in the next 2 days it clears up even more. I’ve been careful to try and not touch my face while sleeping and keep it moisturized with coconut oil so it doesn’t dry out from the a/c. My throat does not feel as acidy anymore, I hope its getting better. I have had headaches on and off today from my sore neck. Massages help it for a few hours but my head starts throbbing and feels heavy later. I had a BM today, it was small and spontaneous. I felt better after. Nothing strange. I really don’t think colonics or enemas are necessary when fasting since the body can obviously take care of itself without them.
Weight 123.2 lbs/55.9 kg
I tried to go to bed early around 10pm and only slept for a few hours before I was woken up by noise outside of the hotel. People are always talking, banging or laughing in the middle of the night and it wakes me up. I got up at 1 am because I couldn’t sleep. I listened to some music and then watched some shows, but am still not really tired. I’m trying to have proper posture in my sleep to keep my back and neck from hurting, it just gets boring when I can’t sleep. I don’t get chills anymore in bed, I just get hot really fast, so its hard to not feel like I’m roasting inside this thick comforter. But turning the a/c on too high just dries out my lips and makes them cracked.
4 am and I’m still not tired. The hardest part about fasting is being bored and waiting for time to pass. Just a day and a half more. Not having food cravings or feeling hungry, just more thinking what I’d like to eat in the future and what I will be happy to enjoy. I want to eat slower and enjoy it more. I think having juicy fruits will be very pleasant. I went back to bed after 4 and slept for almost 8 hours. I feel much better. My neck is still sore, but not giving me a headache like yesterday. Other than that I feel pretty fine, just the rest of the day and tomorrow to go.
Weight: 122.2 lbs/55.4 kg
I feel fine today other than my neck still being sore. I’ll have something later on today. I want to go outside today and get some sun. So we went to the beach, but it’s cloudy and super windy so we walk around instead. I feel really really thirsty. We walk around town a little. I feel ok, I just can’t walk really fast and keep needing to drink water. I think about what I want to eat. Maybe some juice. The juice bar we go to is closed because of a holiday. It seems almost every day is a holiday in Bali. Literally. We walk around to an internet cafe and get the address of a vegetarian restaurant and take a taxi there. They have a few juices, mostly strong vegetable juices with herbs or ginger, I don’t want that. I get an orange, mango, papaya, pineapple smoothie and sip on it really slowly. I don’t feel hungry or even want to gulp it down. I just chew the fiber. It takes me about half an hour to slowly sip and chew about a cup of it. My stomach is full and the pineapple made my tongue burn. Its really acidic in Bali, that was a bad idea. I give up the rest of my smoothie and I go home. A few hours later I snack on a handful of black grapes and remove the seeds. Later on I cut up a pear and chew it slowly through a movie. I still feel ok. My insides are gurgling though and it feels really weird.
At night when I try to go to sleep, I can’t. I feel like my insides are an empty water slide and the fruit juices are whooshing through back and forth and up and down every few seconds. I’ve never felt anything like it before. It continues all the way until morning. I pass out for a few hours in the morning finally.
Weight: 121 lbs/54.9 kg
I’m really tired. I felt like I was kept awake all night and just want to lay in bed. I have a few little pieces of watermelon and I eat it. I’m still not really hungry. We’re going to go and meet someone today and get a juice, so I get ready and we go to a different location of the same vegetarian restaurant. I order the same juice but without the pineapple this time as it is so acidic. We sit there for a while and I feel ok and I drink my smoothie. A while after drinking it though I feel really nauseas and weak. I just want to lay down and its hard to concentrate and listen while they talk. I’m thinking maybe the mango was too sweet? I didn’t feel sick from pears apples or watermelon, so we have to leave immediately and when I get home I feel much better. I lay down for a while.
Later on that night I get hungry but I don’t know what to do. I read online that some natural hygienists suggest steamed vegetables and broth as to not excite the body from fruit sugar and trigger intense hunger. I get some green beans and cauliflower and steam it. I drink the cooking water and have some vegetables and feel much better afterwards. What a relief. I actually feel better eating that then the fruit after fasting… hmm.
My mouth is still pretty dry and my tongue is white, I can’t wait for that to go away. I try to sleep but I can’t. I’m wide awake and all these noises, honking, backfiring and buzzing sounds are driving me crazy. I lay awake half the night with my eyes closed waiting to be tired. Finally I pass out just before morning.
I feel tired, I can’t seem to feel ok if I get up before noon. I can’t make myself fall asleep earlier and I get migraines if I wake up without enough sleep. The artificial lights hurt my eyes. I get some fresh apple juice from the hotel. Its good, but its mostly foam so it’s pretty small. I wish we had a blender or juicer! My mouth feels a little better this morning. I’m still thirsty. I still don’t like light. I had to sleep with no pillow last night and it helped my neck a bit, it was feeling strained.
This was a good learning experience for me. I learned what not to do in a few areas like:
-Don’t sit in bed all day with your feet up, it puts out your lower back!
-Don’t stay inside all the time under artificial lights, it is unnatural and gives you headaches!
-Don’t stay inside with a/c because it dries out your skin and lips and you need fresh air.
-Don’t go to bed late because it messes up your sleep schedule and is really hard to break after fasting.
-Don’t break your fast with mangoes, they are too sweet.
-Don’t sleep on really soft beds, it really strains your back.
-Don’t use really soft pillows it strains your neck.
-Don’t eat pineapple after fasting, your mouth is very sensitive and it will burn it very easily. (Shelton also noted this as well)
-Colonics, enemas and laxatives are not necessary. The body is totally capable of having bm on its own when ready and during a fast nothing is going to be sitting inside you forever poisoning you, so don’t worry about it.
Some things I learned that are ok:
– Eating steamed vegetables or vegetable cook water does not make you feel sick or bad after a fast. – This is interesting.
– Walking around a bit while fasting is fine as long as you don’t make yourself walk to fast.
-Getting sunshine and fresh air really helps!
-It’s ok to not sit in the dark day and night resting. If you do this your circadian rhythms are all messed up and you can have major problems sleeping and be very sensitive to light migraines.
Next time I fast I will take care to be in a better environment where I can go outside, get fresh air and sun and not spend all the time inside laying in bed. If I didn’t do that I would not have put my back out so badly. I even started googling it and it seemed VERY common after the first 4 or 5 days in fasters. Most people attributed it to kidney pain or toxins being released, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that. There has to be a link between lower back pain and bad posture sitting in bed all day, it puts a huge strain on it. Then if you are also sleeping on your side at night and laying that way during the day you put even MORE strain on your back from resting. So posture is very very important when you are resting for extended periods to prevent yourself from getting injured!
After the fast I decided to eat smaller meals, and chew slower and enjoy the food more. I lost over 9 lbs. It did not creep back up within a few days like a lot of people say happens in fasting. But overall I am happy with my experience. I have noticed my digestion is MUCH much better, my skin is better and my mouth seems healthier too. I don’t have any more pain in my ovaries/intestines area so it’s possible my body did some healing on that area.
I think next time I do a water fast it will be even easier because I will be better at it and know what to expect!
The not eating was probably the easiest part. I thought it would be hard because I really look forward to meals and like deciding what to buy and eat. But I mentally prepared myself. I enjoyed my last meal and said no more eating again for 10 days. You can look forward to eating delicious fruit when you’re done, and it was really easy since I wasn’t actually hungry the first 3 days. I have water fasted before and felt hungry/sick on the 3rd day but this time I didn’t.
But the boredom and waiting for time to pass was the most persistent and then hurting myself from laying and sitting on a bed all day was the worst I experienced.
I really feel like I healed some problems with my digestion and possibly my ovaries. I always had this pain in my left side that would come and go and some healers told me there was something wrong there but doctors could never find anything. Anyways it doesn’t hurt anymore so that’s good.
Also the constant a/c and darkness are killer. We need fresh air, sun and light. Artificial light makes me so headachey in prolonged periods.
I could have gone longer because I was definitely not hungry and by day 10 everything was so much better and easier. I had to stop because I needed time to refeed before we traveled. I was not hungry and had to make myself eat some fruit a few times. I think my body would have been fine eating a few pieces of fruit once a day for the first few days.
I definitely don’t think it’s wise to break a fast with sweet tropical fruit though I felt so sick and drunk off of it, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I had no problems with apples and pears and a little watermelon. So I would stay away from mangoes, pineapple and banana next time I break a fast.
I know it will be easy for me to go longer next time, given that my surroundings weren’t that great. Our hotel was on the side of a highway so it wasn’t safe to be walking around down there by myself. (No shoulders or sidewalks)
I talked to my friend who is a Doc and found a lot of interesting info why I had problems with fruit after breaking the fast.
Pancreatic function takes about 4 days to return to normal if you are eating low sugar, small amounts of food and taking it easy, if you eat too much fruit, and too much it can take 2 weeks and wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Your pancreas has basically turned off while fasting and being in a ketatonic state, you can’t just expect it will turn on because you put fruit in your mouth!
The cooked veggies made me feel fine because they were partially broken down and easy to digest and low sugar. It was easy on my pancreas. Also since you are fasting you have a low amount of enzymes available for digesting, so eating blended or cooked vegetables is much easier on the body as it takes a few days to bring them back up to your pre fast levels.