Ann and Caldwell Esselstyn's principles...being vegan and oil free and yes we do. It's over 8 years now since we stopped using oil and apart from when other people cook or we buy something while out we continue to eat the same healthy way - always vegan and oil-free.
Simple vegan meals really don't take long to make and are easy enough to cook from scratch each day. There isn't any need to spend huge amounts of money on junk food, when simply cooked vegetables taste so good!
We wrote a blog post about this some years ago: When Everyone Runs, Stand Still but thought it would be good to remind people...
It was Caldwell's 87th birthday on December 12th and he continues to enjoy good health...35 years of eating a whole food, plant based, oil-free diet has obviously worked wonders!
As a reminder, here is the list again...
1. Eat oats (Old Fashioned) for breakfast, any way you can as oatmeal, as a cold cereal as we do with alternative milk and fruit or in waffles or pancakes or just put your cereal bowl with oats, banana and alternative milk and a table spoon of flax seed into your waffle iron and you have your oat breakfast in waffle form There are delicious ways to use steel cut oats too. Oats help lower cholesterol and also reduce artery inflammation. Find the breakfast with oats you love then eat it EVERY DAY!!!
2. Eat GREENS especially leafy greens as well as all the symphony of rainbow colored vegetables. Cooked or raw vegetables are king! Make leafy greens like Kale, collards and Swiss chard the nest on which you put your food, mix greens into your food or pile greens on the side of your plate. Make kale sandwiches (see below), mix greens into soup, cook kale, etc. cut in small pieces into pasta 4 minutes before it is done, then drain and you have a meal in one (see below) or mix a bunch of greens into pasta sauce and spread on your whole wheat, no oil pizza crust and top with vegetables of your choice. Never cheese.
3. Eat Beans and Lentils instead of meat and dairy. All lentils are delicious. Try red lentils in soup. They cook quickly and make the soup a nice color. Put beans in salads. Hummus made without tahini or oil has become our mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or dip for vegetables and crackers and even part of our favorite salad dressing. Our main party dish is brown rice and black beans piled high with chopped tomatoes, thawed frozen corn, chopped green onions, water chestnuts, chopped cilantro (coriander), chopped arugula (rocket), chopped peppers, etc. and topped with salsa, low sodium tamari or if you don’t have heart disease with guacamole. AVOID all the highly processed fake soy meats and any of the vegan cheeses, which have lots of oil in them.
4. Eat WHOLE Grains. Be sure that the word WHOLE is in front of wheat or rye in the ingredient list. If not then it is just white flour fancied up to sound impressive. Check also to be sure that there is no added oil in the bread. Ezekiel makes many wonderful sprouted grain products available in the frozen food departments of health food stores. The Ezekiel Tortilla wraps are excellent and useful for everyday or parties. Fill them with your choice and then roll them up and bake them for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Delicious! Use whole wheat pastry flour or barley flour in baking instead of white flour.
5. Eliminate oil! Empty all oil, even virgin olive oil out of your cupboards then you CAN’T use it. Instead any liquid works. Vegetable broth (no sodium), water, wine, beer, orange juice, carrot juice, vinegar all work in stir -frying. Instead of oil in baking, use applesauce, baby food prunes, bananas. Finding a salad dressing you love is a challenge at first but there are so many possibilities out there you will soon never miss the oil filled ones.
6. Drink WATER! You can’t go wrong with water. You can flavor it with a splash of orange or apple, etc. juice occasionally. Never drink juices! And absolutely never drink pop, with or without added sugar.
7. Avoid sugar and salt as much as possible. Save sugar for birthdays or special holiday treats. Instead put grapes in your freezer for an amazing sweet treat or freeze bananas or mangoes and blend them in a strong blender for delicious “ice creams". Look at the government label for the amount of salt in a product. No added salt is ideal or aim for the salt content being equal to the calorie content. Instead of salt add vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or hot sauces. You will lose your taste for salt before you know it.
8. Read Labels, especially the ingredients. You will be surprised that often proclaimed zero fat products have oil listed in the ingredients. The government allows anything under 0.5 grams of fat to be called FAT FREE.
Eat well and look after yourselves - if you need advice regarding how to cook simple vegan meals, do get in touch...we are always happy to help.
Lots of love,
Kay and Sime xx