Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Beany Ice Creamy

I found this recipe on Dr. Fuhrman's website, tried it, liked it, made a couple of corrections, and present it here.

The recipe on his website is for Strawberry Ice Cream made with aquafaba. Aquafaba is really just bean juice.

Yup, like we used to throw away after we cooked our beans.

The attraction is that this previous discard whips up like whipped cream, but without the fat, more stable than whipped cream and also replaces eggs. And with a beany taste and some of the nutritional benefits of beans. And no fat, cholesterol or high-grade animal protein that's really metabolic poison.

Weird, huh? But I like it and will make it again and again. No more wasted bean broth in my home.

Super delicious, cheap, healthy, flexible and useful ingredient, just my style.

Did I mention that I love eating this way?

2 cups frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup Medjool, regular or chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 cup whipped aquafaba (see note)

Blend dates with milk in high power blender until smooth. 
Add berries and blend.
Add banana and blend. 
Gently stir or fold in aquafaba.
Freeze in bread pan or similar, at least 2 hours. 
Scoop it up, add toppings (nuts, seeds) as desired.

Note: Whipped aquafaba is made with bean cooking liquid. Garbanzos (chick peas) are best with this recipe 'cause they're light colored, but with dark bean liquid we'll make chocolate mousse (another recipe on Dr. Fuhrman's website). He's also got quiche and frittata recipes, plus there's plenty more on the net.  
The juice from 1 can (3/4 cup) makes about 2 cups whipped aquafaba. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Cool it to at least room temperature. Whip with a hand or stand mixer like whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. The bean juice from cooking your own beans is likely too thin, at least mine was. I started with a cup of bean liquid and reduced it 25% by microwaving in a big glass measuring cup. If when it cools down it's too thin (like syrup) then thicken it, if it's too stiff (like jello) then re-heat with a little added water.
I made this with raspberries the first time, and the intensity of the raspberries made the beany taste go away. We didn't freeze it the first time so it was more like pudding, but still delicious (this instruction was missing from Dr. Fuhrman's site, maybe we won't need this with more practice).

With strawberries the second time (using the rest of the previous night's batch) the beany taste was slight, but not a problem. Annette says it's like a fruit sherbet. Next time I'll try frozen blueberries or blackberries. I can hardly wait to cook more beans!

Plus I'll get my feet wet with aquafaba's other uses, like as an egg and fat replacement in meringues, pies, chocolate mousse, nougat and fudge, buttercream frosting, brownies, cookies, pancakes, butter, creamy dip, mayonnaise, and general egg and fat replacement in baking. And more.

I also love exploring, inventing and modifying new recipes. That's not essential to being a nutritarian, but in my case it helps.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Understandings

AirMed Helicopter
From time to time I hear the machine-gun fast whomp-whomp-whomp of a helicopter like this one, taking off about  half a mile from my house.

It always reminds me of, well, me.

I was a difficult patient at the E.R. I didn't want air transport, didn't think it was necessary, and resented the huge bill that would come with the service. Unnecessary waste, in my opinion.

Feeble and stupid reasoning, I know.

So it turns out I was right based on the immediate outcome, because the interventional cardiologists at the University Hospital in Salt Lake couldn't do anything for me, but I understand and appreciate the reasoning behind the E.R. doctor's insistence. I even understand her not giving me appropriate medication, as in a dose of nitroglycerin.

Dr. Polokoff says I could have sued.

I just think the E.R. doctor was scared spitless about being sued the other way, for any possible negative consequences of not absolutely insisting I be transported by helicopter. It's the standard of care, after all.

Just not my standard.

But what would you expect after walking into a hospital emergency room? Choices? Nope. Mention that this was overkill and hope to be taken seriously? Never. You give up all rights to self resolution when you walk in to the E.R. and sign the papers, and scare your wife to death that you'll die in the car with her driving and she'll likely have a fatal accident..


But I'm glad for, and would never do without, my ornery self-reliant attitude, my sense that I will overcome this by learning and doing better. The good doctor's resistance to my suggestions only made that resolve stronger, after all.

And I very much appreciate the doctors at the U. of U. Medical center cath lab trying and failing to correct the problem, and confirming my sense that I would have to learn and take action on my own. A new stent would be absolutely nothing compared to that.

I even appreciate the terrible food the hospital tried to serve me. It very much seemed they were determined to keep me sick, make a return visit necessary, and make sure I understood my nutrition first philosophy was out of wack with their medical expertise, when really it was the other way around.

How could anyone be more blessed, or lucky, or fortunate, or whatever you call it?

Probably couldn't have turned out any better regardless. Probably would have been worse, in fact, without the [waste of a] helicopter ride. I got a complete diagnosis and set of scans to be used for my current involvement with Dr. Polukoff.

So my  number one lesson from the visit with Dr. Polukoff is the end result.


My good fortune continued when I found Dr. Fuhrman, and was preceded by my wife's cure from diabetes.

And the desire to learn more and do better. I know he has lots to teach me about my specific situation, and for that I'm extremely grateful.

And I have a sense that I am indeed fortunate to have had this experience, and that I owe a debt that I want to pay back, by virtue of these experiences.

What's the opposite of a perfect storm? A perfect outcome by virtue of perfect understanding, validated by knowledge and practice.

But wait, there's more.

By working with Dr. Polukoff, I'm looking forward to substantial validation of my current course. And by learning and preparing for the visit, by re-reading Dr. Esselstein's book (done), and Dr. Fuhrman's book The End of Heart Disease (in progress), eating better (substantial progress), and exercising better (doing it - joined a gym ((Kubex)), so I'm looking forward to building some muscle along with losing some fat and improvements in my aerobic and heart fitness).

Dr. Polukoff even suggested I take in Dr. Esselstein's on-line training. Another chance to learn and build my knowledge base? Yippee!!

And having an expert review of three sets of complete scans and tests appropriate to my situation, and getting a highly personalized reading and recommendations for course correction.

It just doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A New Beginning

The Reason For My Doctor Visit? I didn't want to be here.... again
Last time started my telling of a doctors visit.

A little more background seems appropriate.

The major attraction of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB) is that it  works. But equally important is that it's something I can do on my own, safely and without fearing any negative consequences.

And way better in those regards than standard medical treatment.

When I started, I didn't have medical insurance.  All doctor visits, prescriptions, procedures and advanced diagnostic procedures were, therefore, on my own dime. And the way I live spare dimes are not to be wasted.

Would I prefer to have been able to afford more medical care? Well, yes and no.

Yes, it would have been an advantage to have better medical monitoring of my recovery. No, I didn't want or need the standard medical party line.

Now that I have medical insurance, and have found a specialist in my area of need, I'm more than glad to get things checked out. Dr. Polukoff is recommending a battery of tests, to be done in about three months, just prior to my next visit with him.

This coincides with my need and desires. I consider it a real blessing, more than chance, one of those "miracles" that sustain me, that I ran into him, found out he's a cardiologist with a great interest in nutritional therapy, and the way opened up for me to see him quickly.

His staff booked me for an "emergency" appointment, otherwise it would have been three months before I could see him. Like I told Dr. Polukoff, either he (the doctor) intervened, or He intervened.

Turns out it wasn't Dr. Polukoff. He barely remembered me at first.

The day before my appointment I started a new cardiac exercise regimen. For six years I have walked or run for about a half hour daily, somewhat slowly because the little dogs I drag behind me haven't tolerated a faster pace.

About a month ago Dog #1 - Daisy - expired. Dog #2 - Nilla - is more than happy to run faster. So I've been thinking about doing shorter-but-more-intense interval training, to do a better daily check on my cardiac capacity, verify I'm on track, do a better job of cardiac conditioning, and save some time.

Turns out with more intense exercise, I can consistently reproduce my angina. It goes away when I slow down, but it's a great reality check for me.

So I had all of two days of this new regimen under my belt when I visited Dr. Polukoff's office. I was ready for a rethinking of my strategy, input from a knowledgeable, caring professional, and basically loaded for bear to attack my less-than-stellar-but-still-amazing compliance, and adopt the best WFPB protocols I know.

And Dr. Esselstyn's more rigid prescriptions don't scare me. I know from past experience I will learn, I will adopt, I will adapt, and everything will work out. Because I will be, I am, my own best client and example.

I will do this.

Could I have done this on my own? Yes. Was it likely if I hadn't encountered Dr. Polukoff? Probably not. Why? Human nature, of which I am an avid partaker.

I could have joined Jim Fixx in competing for the "World's Greatest Losers" prize for self induced somnolence regarding taking you own health advice too seriously and resulting self induced death (now there's a great topic for a future blog post). He is, after all, current reigning champion, followed up by Euell Gibbons (OK, two topics).

I don't want to be in the running for that prize (pun intended, and my thanks to Jim for setting a high standard to learn from and not do likewise).

I seek valid outside professional opinions. I treasure them. I am an avid reader and fan of Dr. Fuhrman's medical advice forums. The cost of partaking in them with my own questions is too steep ($50+ per month). But I can relish the validity and perspective of what I read there.

And I'm not opposed to regular medical treatment and opinions. I just have to moderate them based on what I know from experience.

Doctors don't understand everything. Neither do I. Sometimes it's good to seek input, and take it serious.

I can do that.

Now that I have medical  insurance, and a legit doctor with knowledge and background I need and respect.

And I definitely don't expect the standard medical party line. He's the only intervention cardiologist in the State of Utah who understands the validity of the nutritional approach. A Google search for the term "nutritarian cardiologist" shows zero results. "Nutritional cardiologist" lists Dr. Caldwell Esseltyn first. I think I've got the right guy.

Next time: The many things I learned from the visit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Jackpot

Yesterday I hit the jackpot. And got a needed reality check.

Dr. Polukoff

I had an appointment with a doctor, an MD and an intervention cardiologist, WHO UNDERSTANDS NUTRITION AS TRUE MEDICINE! He practices it himself, he uses it in his medical practice, he's seen some outstanding results.

And he's dealt with some patients who don't want to hear a thing about it, and suffer the natural consequence of progressive disease and even death.

Wonderful when the results happen, and very frustrating for him when some folks won't listen.

Maybe a little like I've experienced.

The point is, this a true find, a gem and another miracle in my life and story.

To explain why and how, I've got to back up a little.

At my second heart attack, there was no cath lab capability locally, so I was helicoptered to another hospital. This was at the ER doc's insistence, I didn't think it was necessary and still don't. But it happened.

When the cardiologists in Salt Lake found they couldn't do anything to help me beyond giving me drugs, I knew there was better information out there. Somewhere.

The hospital nutritionist did refer me to a book by Dr. Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, that described his research study of nutritional intervention for very seriously ill cardiac patients. He took a small group of patients who had been diagnosed, fully treated, and basically given up on by the cardiac care doctors there. Nobody had anything to lose by trying something different - a change in eating habits - and doubtless few of his peers believed it would succeed.

But succeed it did, and how! Everyone who complied far exceeded anyone's expectations for recovery and extended life. It worked well for even the most serious cases. A few patients complied only somewhat, with less positive results.  This was a true breakthrough, a miracle that indicates what is possible, and that full compliance guarantees positive results.

Way better than any prescription, surgery, procedure, supplement or other protocol in this regard.

So did the medical community stand up and applaud, and immediately clamor for more and better research and then turn to nutrition as the best means of care, prevention and a cost effective, works-every-time solution to a major international problem?

 Certainly..... NOT.

So now to the present day implications for me and my progress, as well as for Infinity and (thank you Buzz Lightyear) Beyond. In my next post.