Friday, August 28, 2015

Have Your Chocolate Cake and Eat it Too!

It's no secret that I love Dr. Joel Furhman's book, Eat To Live.  He advocates what he calls a nutritarian way of eating, in other words, eating the foods that have the most nutrients per calorie. What this means is basing your diet on plant foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.  A little meat once in a while is ok, but if your goal is being as healthy as you can possibly be, Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding animal products altogether.

Avoiding animal products presents a problem to those who love to bake, and to those who love to eat what is baked!  The following recipe solves that problem.

I haven't made this cake yet, but I assure you it is in my future, and I've heard some amazing reviews of it!


  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups pitted dates, divided
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup shredded beets
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 4 tbsp natural nonalkalized cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts or raw cashews
  • 1 cup vanilla soy, hemp or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts or hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla flavor


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside. In blender or food processor, puree 3 cups dates with the pineapple, banana and apple.

Slice remaining 1/2 cup dates into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. In a large bowl, mix sliced dates, beets, carrots, zucchini, cocoa powder, currants, walnuts, water, vanilla and flour mixture.

Add the fruit puree and mix well. Spread mixture in a 9.5-x-13.5-inch nonstick baking pan. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Or to make individual servings, bake in muffin tins lined with paper liners. Reduce cooking time to 20-25 minutes.

For the chocolate-nut icing, combine the remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Place a dollop over warm cake and serve or spread on cooled cake.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Simple, 3-Part Formula for Eating Healthy

I've been reading Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live, and it is the plan he presents in his book that I have been basing my diet on lately.  And I'm really loving it!  He advocates what is called a "nutritarian" diet, or basically eating high-nutrient foods and avoiding low-nutrient ones.  High-nutrient foods are whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.  Low-nutrient foods are meat, cheese and other dairy products, animal products, oils and highly-processed foods like white bread, for example.

On the surface, this may seem like a difficult way to eat, and for those of us (myself included) who were raised on hamburgers and sugary breakfast cereals with milk, it can be a challenge at first.  But the reality of it is, it is actually quite simple.  If it's highly processed, avoid it, and if it's natural, eat it.  It can take a little time to get used to, but the more you do it, the easier it gets, and you eventually PREFER to eat this way because you'll be losing weight so easily and feeling amazing!

You may be wondering, isn't this the same thing as a vegetarian or vegan diet?  It can be, but not necessarily.  You can still eat small amounts of meat and other non-plant foods, as long as you're making 90% of what you eat be plant-based.

When I say "diet," I don't mean a temporary way of restrictive eating to lose weight.  What I'm referring to is a different definition of the word, as in the food a person eats every day and for life. And I'm not saying eating meat is "wrong" or anything like that.  What I am saying is that the most nutritiously-dense foods on the planet are plants, and that's what I recommend we should eat most of for optimum health.  As a disclaimer, I'm not a doctor or dietitian, but I have spent a large part of my life researching and practicing different ways of eating, and so far this has been the best one I've found.  Now, my personal daily eating habits are a little different than Dr. Fuhrman's, but the basis of it is the same.

The formula is very simple; fruit for breakfast, salad with beans for lunch, and salad and two cooked veggies for dinner, fruit for dessert.  You can also add other things like mushrooms, quinoa and whole grain rice and nuts and seeds, but you'll want to limit these.  But that's basically it!

I'm still in the process of learning about this way of eating, but am enjoying every  minute of it!  If you're interested in learning more, please let me know!  You can ask questions in the comments below, or you can contact me here.

What do you think about the idea of a nutritarian diet?