Hi friends! I’m back, and have some developments to share with you.
Some of you may recall my talk of “a big project” through my posts this past year. Since September, I have been developing recipes and putting those recipes through rounds testing. Pause: I cannot continue to talk about this project without expressing appreciation for my testing group. I couldn’t have pulled this off so quickly without your help – thank you!
Back to my story…
From the start of my vegan journey, during recipe writing and blogging, I followed PCRM and Dr. Neal Barnard. In those early days, especially as a pregnant woman and mother, the credible nutritional information on PCRM was invaluable.
Dr. Barnard has long been one of my plant-based heroes. In 2012, I finally met the good doctor when he was speaking in Vancouver (rather, he had little choice but to meet me.) 😉
Dr. Barnard graciously wrote two forewords for my books – one for eat, drink & be vegan and another for Plant-Powered Families. His body of work is remarkable, delivering talks, writing articles, and publishing books all promoting the many benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
During my own years of writing books, I had this inner desire to partner with a group like PCRM, or even better, the good doctor himself. My wish came true last fall when Dr. Barnard contacted me.
Author of many well-loved plant-based books, Dr. Barnard releases his 18th title, The Cheese Trap, this February. I have contributed all the recipes for this book, and that truly is an honour and career highlight for me.
As many of us eating a plant-based diet know, cheese is most often the “final frontier” for people making the transition to plant foods. Other dairy products can be difficult to eliminate, but cheese is especially difficult for people. In The Cheese Trap, Dr. Barnard explains why, and offers a comprehensive program to help us break free from cheese addiction to gain energy, lose weight, and improve our health. Recipes cover all meals, with a focus on cheese replacements to satisfy cravings such as pizza, lasagna, ice cream and cheesecake.
…Sour Cream ‘n Onion Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Smoky Tomato Cheese Ball, Ricotta, Potato Breakfast Scramble, Chocolate Lovers Banana Bread, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna, Chickpea Tacos, Cream of Broccoli Soup, Meltable Mozza, Greek Chickpeas, Nacho Dip, Sesame Quinoa Salad, Breakfast Muffins, Oil-Free Croutons, Italian Meatballs, Pistachio Pesto, Omega Burgers, Peanut Butter Gelato, Chocolate Macaroons, Divine Cheesecake…
There are many more, that’s just a sampling of some of my favorites!
And, here some excerpts I found particularly interesting from the book:
The 30 pounds of cheese that the average American has added to his or her annual diet hold 55,000 calories. You could drink a can of Coke every day and not get to 55,000 calories.
Cheese has plenty of fat, as you know only too well, and people who eat cheese and other fatty foods are at much higher risk of developing diabetes, compared with people who avoid them.
To point out the obvious, most cows do not produce milk, any more than most women do. They only make milk if they have been pregnant. So farmers impregnate their cows every year. Surprising as it sounds, much of the milk that goes into the dairy products you buy—perhaps most of it—comes from pregnant cows. So when you drink a glass of milk, have a bowl of ice cream, or chew a bit of cheese, you’re getting traces of hormones that surge during pregnancy.
The milk drinkers had more acne, and how much of a problem it was depended on the fat content. Those who drank the most whole milk were about 12 percent more likely to have had severe acne. But those who drank the most skim milk were 44 percent more likely to have had severe acne. In other words, fatty milk was a problem, but low-fat milk seemed to be a much worse problem.
Could a cheese sandwich make your joints hurt? Arthritis is something we attribute to older age or maybe to genetic traits passed along from our parents. But rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition—your joints do not just ache; they are also swollen and tender, and that means that something is triggering the attack.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or any kind of inflammatory condition, run—don’t walk—to a dairy-free, plant-based diet.
A great many people have turned away from meat-eating because of the grotesque cruelty involved. But dairying can claim no ethical advantage. The industry relies on impregnating animals, separating them from their infants, pushing them to produce as much milk as drugs and biology can manage, and killing them as soon as it no longer pays to keep them alive.
A cup of milk contains about 7.7 grams of protein, 80 percent of which is casein, more or less. Turning it into Cheddar cheese multiplies the protein content seven-fold, to 56 grams. It is the most concentrated form of casein in any food in the grocery store.
All of which makes an important point: cheese is a heavily processed food. If you look askance at spaghetti or bread because they are processed—that is, they are made from grains that are—gasp—ground up, think for a minute about cheese. Cheese is the ultimate processed glop.
Filled with fat, crammed with cholesterol, and steeped in sodium, cheese is a seriously unhealthy product. Its addictive properties keep you hooked, even while it works its mischief on your waistline and damages your health.
We’ve all heard it from others… “but I could never give up cheese!” And those of us that have given up cheese now know that life is much better without it. So, if you are one of those people finding yourself in the cheese trap, this book is for you.