CALCIUM: A Marketing-Hype Success Story

Consider this line of reasoning. If all tables have four legs, does that make everything with four legs a table? Or what about the incontrovertible fact that most people who develop breast, ovarian or cervical cancer wear dresses. Should we then assume that dresses cause cancer?

This is the problem when a real or apparent fact is applied broadly and taken out of context – which alters its meaning. Marketers and lobbyists with big budgets have successfully implanted public and institutional mindsets with concepts about calcium that are similarly askew. Calcium is critical for bones: fact. Dairy products contain calcium: fact. Therefore everyone needs milk for their bones: fiction. Yale University researchers reviewed 34 published studies in 16 countries and found that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis (weak bones) “…are those in which people consume the most milk…”. Read more

ADRENALS: Your Power Base for Managing Stress, Sleep, Weight, Mood, Temperature, Immunity, and Hormone Balance

Your adrenal glands are only the size of large grapes. Yet from this tiny power base comes your ability to manage challenges, vitality, sleep, weight, direct master hormones, and thwart illness.

A triangular cap-like adrenal gland sits on top of each of your two kidneys. These are situated just below and under your lower rib cage on either side of the spine. The adrenals are part of the endocrine system that produces and releases minute but transformative chemical messengers called hormones. These direct the transformation at puberty, enable reproduction, and respond instantly to every emotional trigger. Yet over your lifetime the entire volume of hormones released would not even fill a thimble.

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Italian-style Pasta with Chickpeas and Basil

Serves 3-4
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, or soy)

Elegantly simple, this can be used as a side dish or main. Like pesto, many traditional Italian pasta sauces look more like salad dressings. They are intensely flavoured and used sparingly. Another authentic practice is to use some of the starchy, pasta cooking water to augment and thicken the sauce.

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Coleslaw with Tahini Dressing

(Vegan: no gluten, dairy, cane sugar, egg or nightshades)

When I arrived in New Zealand in 1973, coleslaw was an exotic newcomer. As if mandated by legislation there was only one other existing salad. This consisted of iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, with optional tinned beetroot or hard boiled eggs, and a thick dressing made from sweetened condensed milk.

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One-Pot Rice and Pistachio Pilaf

Serves 3-4. (No dairy or gluten; with options for soy, eggs, nightshades, legumes, plant/animal protein)

This tasty and convenient one-pot meal is loved by cooks, diners and dishwashers. With the inclusion of your preferred Protein Option, it can be served as a simple meal-in-one. Different vegetables can be used but avoid those like pumpkin that are very soft when cooked – they will make the results mushy. Instead of adding a Protein Option the pilaf can be accompanied with a hearty salad. Think beyond using the traditional tomato – especially after its summer peak – and consider other fruits according to the season: grapes, persimmon, kiwifruit, nectarine, melon, peach, fig and apricot.

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Irish Soda Bread

One round 18 cm (7″) loaf
(No gluten, dairy, cane sugar; with options for soy)

It is a rare person whose interest does not escalate at the sight or smell of freshly baked bread. This classic is quick to prepare and can turn a simple soup or salad meal into an anticipated event. Try the currant or cumin variation with pumpkin or Latin Black Bean Soup; or the herb version with Pear and Fresh Date Salad (see RECIPES). Or serve for brunch with a fruit platter, boiled eggs or Tofu Scramble. The result is similar to a scone dough – with savoury and sweet variations – but moister and longer keeping. It later toasts well too.

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Asian Cashew Combo

Hot Veg Combo, Salad or Main – serves 4
(No gluten, dairy or cane sugar; with options for soy and potato)

This is a substantial side dish with mild but evocative Asian flavours. It can readily achieve status as a main. Four tasty versions follow. The colourful Sauce/Dressing can also bring instant pizzazz when tossed with or draped over Asian noodles or steamed fish.

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Better Butter (dairy-free), other Spreads and Butter-Options for Baking

Makes 1½ cups
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy or soy)

Even when the many options to butter substantially and tastily suffice, there will still be times when butter remains your preferred partner. Perhaps it and no other serves for the rich drip off corn on the cob, or a melting slather on just baked bread. If your lips cry, “Yes, yes”, but your hips, arteries or allergies say, “No, no”, then this is the recipe for you.

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THE FATS OF LIFE: Your Brain and Body Depend on Your Choices

Your body is amazing. On average 10,000 of your cells will fit on the head of a pin. Each second about 25 million cellular divisions occur to enable growth, repair and replacement. The executive management of this extraordinary activity has appeared to be under the direction of genes within your cells. But what stimulates disease-causing rather than health-promoting genes into expression when everyone carries both?

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