Sunday, February 25, 2018

Of Oatmeal, Balsamic Vinegar, and Birdsbeak Paring knives

Today it was a day for oatmeal. Now, in this household, every day is a day for oatmeal... but today was a special day, for strawberries were $1 per box in our neighborhood, and it was time to stock up, so here were the results for breakfast.

This was steelcut oats, made with almond milk, some raisins, an shredded apple, loads of cinnamon (mixture of ceylon  and cassia cinnamon), topped with strawberries and some balsamic glazé.

Somehow that makes it seem like spring has sprung, but actually today it was colder outside. Still, no reason not to celebrate an early spring inside...
Meanwhile, also a good opportunity to research more on the health benefits of balsamic vinegar, here from articles on Healthline and New Health Guide:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Supports weightloss
  • Improves circulation
  • Anti-glycemic, diabetes-friendly
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Improves skin 
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Helps fight cancer
  • Lowers Heart-attack risk
  • Pain reliever
  • Helps digestion
  • Good for bone-health
The bottom line is balsamic vinegar is healthy as all get-out and in the case of oatmeal it is a great way to add some rich flavor, and avoiding sugar. One of the core tenets of #WFPB is no ADDED Sugar, Oil, or Salt.

In short, besides the great taste of balsamic to top off your oatmeal, you can use it in salad dressings, I spice up my kale snacks, (sometimes I combine them with some sweet potato, which is fantastic with balsamic). Lastly, it is a great preservative, which is one reason I like to take a reverse doggie-bag of kale with sweet potato with balsamic when I have to eat at restaurants I don't trust.

Some good videos:

and more:
and even more:

And, for good measure, yet one more:
And again:

In short, oatmeal is the breakfast of champions.

Use Case for a Bird's Beak Paring Knife

Cutting the crowns out of strawberries and slicing them in this case in 1/8th wedges is perfect work for a bird's beak paring knife. Along the way, if there are any bruises, you can cut them out precisely with the fine tip of a bird's beak paring knife.
MAC Knife Chef Series 2-1/2" Bird's Beak Paring Knife (PK-25)
As usual, MAC knives are superbly sharp and retain their edges for a long time. Some stubbornly call the bird's beak paring knife a "turning knife," based on the tourné-cut in French cuisine. I never do any tourné cuts, but I have plenty of little jobs where a bird's beak paring knife is just what the doctor ordered, and prepping these strawberries was just one of the many.

On Oatmeal

Key Foods on Unionport recently has offered steel cut oats from Quaker Oats, on occasion they may also have Bob's Red Mill.

Our February #WFPB/Suppers Mealprep at St. Helena's

Kitchen in full swing
We had a nice group of 11, and the topic was Mexican food. We had picked two recipes from the website of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.



Follow Instructions

 The Menu

A Green Salad

[Note: we typically like to add some chia seeds, and some milled flax seed to our salad dressing, because they add Omega-3 fatty acids to the diet. The dressing is a standard dressing in the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet.]

We made a nice salad with:
  • a head of Romaine lettuce
  • a head of green leaf lettuce
  • five tomatoes
  • three peppers green/yellow/red
  • capers
  • salad olives
  • 3/2/1 dressing (3x balsamic, 2x dijon mustard, 1x maple syrup)
  • A few scoops of Chia seeds
  • A few scoops of Milled Flax seeds

Portobello Fajita Stir Fry

[Note: here is the original listing for Portobello Fajita Stir Fry on Nutrition Studies. We had to up all the quantities for 11 people, and we assumed one large portobello per person, so we had 11 of them. We follow here the original recipe for 4-5 people. In this case we used the whole grain tortillas.]

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion sliced (why be chincey with 1/2 onion?)
  • 1 cup bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 zucchini sliced into half-moons
  • 1 tsp paprika ( we could not find "liquid smoke" or "smoked paprika"
  • 1/2 cup corn (we used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth for sautéing
  • (we did not use the optional cabbage and sprouts)
  • Cilantro to taste. We used a lot!
  • Whole grain tortillas

Fajita Seasoning

[Note: To save time we pre-mixed the fajita seasoning]
  •  1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  1.  Sauté onions in vegetable broth for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the vegetables (except the zucchini), season with liquid smoke or smoked paprika and fajita seasoning and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini and cook for 3 minutes. Serve on a corn tortilla or whole grain tortilla and top with cabbage and sprouts.

Three Sisters Posole

[Note: this recipe is again from Nutritionstudies, here. We made it with minor variations. We could not source the blue corn posole, so we used white corn posole. Also we could not find the tepary beans in our area, so we used a mixture of pigeon peas and field peas.

Also, there is a difference between posole and hominy, although it looks similar, as explained in this article: You Say Hominy We Eat Posole:
The difference between regular corn hominy and posole comes by way of a process called nixtamalization, in which the corn is soaked in an alkaline bath of calcium hydroxide, aka lime. Lye, or more traditionally wood ash, can be used as well. Nixtamalization removes the outer shells of the kernels, allowing them to swell to outsized proportions. The process prevents the corn seeds from sprouting, which was important for storage purposes in ancient Mesoamerica, where the process was invented.
Note 2: for the class we cooked the posole and the beans ahead of time, so that we only needed to "assemble" the meal.]
 So we used:
  • 2 cups white corn posole
  • 1 cup of field beans/pigeon peas (two small beans as an alternative to tepary beans)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tbsp ground red chili
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • liquid aminos instead of sea salt


  1. Cook the blue corn posole: In a medium sized pot, cover posole with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until tender, about 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the beans: In a separate medium sized pot, cover beans with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until tender, about 1½‐2 hours depending how long the beans were soaked. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, add the minced garlic, chopped onion, zucchini, oregano, ground chile, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then add the cooked posole and beans. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Add sea salt to taste (optional).
  4. Serve with warm corn tortillas, wild onions or scallions, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
In all, the variations were minor, the substitutions close, and replacing salt with liquid aminos just made the posole that much better while using less salt.

Next time, I need to take some pictures.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Latest News on the Diabetes Front

The #WFPB diet is all about preventive maintenance, in fact we are bathing our system in nutritional abundance when we eat this way. That is the reason why nutritional supplements become superfluous. It is also the reason that many illnesses and diseases can be prevented or reversed. These chronic, degenerative illnesses of affluence are simply manifestations of deferred maintenance resulting from too much processed foods with little nutritional value.
However, dietary information is not medical advice. So if you are taking medication, work with your doctor. We learn that, particularly for diabetics, the changes can be so fast that you need to adjust your medications and insulin usually fairly quickly and you need the supervision. If your doctor is not familiar or comfortable with the dietary approach, find a doctor who is. A good source for finding one is the American College for Lifestyle Medicine.
In general, please note that the majority of doctors are simply uneducated on nutrition and the nutritional approach to preventing and reversing disease. They were not taught nutrition in school. That is why organizations like ACLM and PCRM are so important.

Dr Neal Barnard, and PCRM

Dr. Neal Barnard just published an updated version of his book, Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs

The official publication date will be February 27, 2018. At the same time, his companion book will also be published, Dr. Neal Barnard's Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes: 150 Recipes Scientifically Proven to Reverse Diabetes Without Drugs. You want to refer all your friends with active diabetes or pre-diabetes to this information, for $22 they can know all there is to know about the dietary approach to reversing the disease. For everybody else in general, following a #WFPB diet itself is all the prevention you need!

The iThrive Series on Diabetes

In parallel, there is another initiative on the diabetes front. A new documentary series on diabetes by iThrive that promises also to be very powerful in giving people hope.

In short, there is now ample, easily accessible information on the nutritional approach to diabetes available. For diabetes, and generally for seven out of the ten top causes of death, the same holds, that a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet can prevent or reverse these diseases of "affluence," for they all derive largely from eating too much processed foods that are deprived of nutritional value.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Budget Starter Set of Kitchen Knives

You don't need any special equipment for your plant-based kitchen, but there are definitely things that will make life worth living...

  • One of my favorites is a high-end rice cooker. That will forever be my first recommendation. In my book, a top-notch rice cooker will save you more time than anything else, and possibly it is the difference between success or failure, for cooking whole grains definitely takes time. I use mine every day.
  • My next favorite implement is a Börner V-Slicer, which is a mandolin. I wrote about it some time ago, and it is my next time saver.
  • There are the Nutribullet and the MagicBullet, which I consider also to be major time savers.
  • Then there is the immersion blender, which I have referred to, but I have not devoted a full blog post to it.
All of the above is good advice that will stand the test of time. However, before and after everything there are your kitchen knives, and there most people fall down, because they are the most neglected kitchen equipment in most kitchens, and we pay the price, for without good knives, cooking is no fun.

The difference can be summed up as follows: if your knife is sharp, cutting up an onion won't make you cry. If your knife is sharp, you will easily slice a ripe tomato - ripe, but firm, but not overripe and soupy. Those are the simple, unavoidable daily tests. Here is an excellent source for some serious advice for vegetable carving.

Your basic needs are really just a few things (two really, the rest is luxury):
  • a paring knife, though I'd prefer a set of paring knives and 
  • an 8" chef knife. In my experience the 10" chef knife is not much use, for us vegans don't carve a lot of turkeys. 
  • A bread knife is a basic need in some people's eyes, but I find I hardly ever use mine. 
  • After the basics, I would personally best like a Japanese nakiri knife for vegetable cutting, the more I use it, the better I like it. I'll write about nakiri knives and other vegetable knives some other time. 
  • A santoku is nice to have, but I would not miss it if I did not have it.
  • a slicer, such as a yanagiba, has not much use in the plant-based kitchen.
The upshot is, knife blocks are a waste of money. I prefer a magnetic strip on the wall, so that my knives stay sharp and are always at my finger tips. By the way, one of the side benefits of running a #WFPB kitchen is it stays much cleaner if you're not cooking with oil! Plus, I am sure that the Dept. of environmental protection will appreciate it as cooking oil in the sewers is one of their biggest headaches.

The Paring Knife

The paring knife is for everything off the board, i.e. in your hand. The site I cited above,, has some great advice. I would agree with their choice of paring knives, as at least reasonable, though my personal favorite is probably the MAC knife Professional paring knife at the high end, and the Rada Cutlery paring knives at the low end. Take your pick, but for a budget choice Rada Cutlery is superb. And, while you are at it, get their sharpener too. The knives will set you back about $15-$20 and the sharpener about $7.50. So assume you spend $25 on the paring knives.

Rada Cutlery Set of Paring Knives

The Chef Knife

The Chef Knife is for is for everything on the board. It's the only other knife you REALLY need and for all practical purposes, you really only need an 8" chef knife. With a little bit of looking around you will find plenty of choices even in the budget category of $20-$40. Ryky Tran (Burrfection on YouTube), considers the Mercer Culinary Renaissance ($40) the winner in this category for 2017 and he also likes the Mercer Millennia 8" (x30cr13 steel, HRC 56, at $30). Others say the Victorinox Fibrox ($40) HRC 55-56.

Meanwhile, I have found some other interesting entries in the budget category.

  • Culinary Obsession offers a nice knife that is made of German 4116 Stainless Steel, for about $30. Notice it has a half bolster, which makes sharpening easier.
  • Imarku offers a very nice 8" Chef Knife made of high carbon stainless steel, 7CR17MOV stainless steel contains 0.7% carbon, at $29.99 with a hardness of 58-60 on HRC (Rockwell Hardness Scale), let's call it 59. This is another knife with a half-bolster.
  • Imarku offers an interesting single bevel chef knife made of German 4116 Steel, and because it is single bevel, it is extremely sharp. About 57 HRC, listed as 56-58. This is another knife with a half-bolster.
  • Lastly, there is the Kuma knife, which is quite solid, at about $25, it is made of 3Cr13 Steel. The same company also offers a decent honing rod for about $15. Don't get too course of a honing rod, you want a medium to fine. The Kuma knife showed surprising edge retention in a video by Burrfection. However, this is a full-bolster knife, and you'll have to file down the bolster over time.

Knife Sharpening

Culinary Obsession offers a pretty decent 1000/6000 grit whetstone for about $33 or so. That grit level is about all you need for regular sharpening. Only if your knife is damaged will you need to start below 1000 grit. I have just started using it, so I don't have long experience, but this stone works very well. You might want to add a nagura stone for less than $10, to get your stone started up and clean during sharpening.

Here is a fun video by Ryky Tran on the trade off decisions between a budget knife (Kuma) with some high end whetstones (Chosera 800/3000) versus a high end knife (Wusthof) with a budget combo whetstone (800/3000). It's just fun to watch. Meanwhile, if you can afford one stone, I think the 1000/6000 is a better choice. Then, if you ever need to restore damaged knives, you can get a lower grit stone. Meanwhile, the overall conclusion from the video is obviously that if you can afford it, better quality stones are worth it.

One of the best tutorials on sharpening is by Korin, the premier Japanese knife shop in NY. Here is the complete Korin Learn How to Sharpen tutorial, it is a very systematic approach.

Beyond the Basics

With the small collection that is suggested here, 3 paring knives, 2 8" chef knives, and some basic sharpening gear, you have a better kitchen than most, as long as you keep up with some basic maintenance. Again, the paring knife is for off the board and the chef knife is for on the board. There is nothing else.

For a plant-based kitchen, I think there are two more knives you may want to add at some time... a Japanese nakiri and eventually maybe also an usuba knife. I will do a longer post about those some other time.


For about $100-$125 you could have your starter set, 3 paring knives for about $15-20, one or two 8" chef knives at about $30 each and sharpening supplies ($40 for the Rada sharpener plus the 1000/3000 Whetstone). At some point, you will need some kind of a lapping plate to keep your whetstone flat and a nagura stone is a good idea, both to get the sharpening slurry started and to keep the stone clean during sharpening. But that's it. 

The bottom line is the cheaper blades will not keep their edges as long as the real high end steels, but a little loving care and maintenance will do wonders. See the notes below if you have need to know more about steel.

Some Notes:

From a site called Swords of Might, some insight on steel qualities - the conclusion is that you can find some very decent quality knives even in this budget category:

4116 German Krupp Stainless Steel

4116 German Krupp Stainless steel is fine-grained, stainless steel made by Thyssen-Krupp in Germany is used for hygienic applications and food processing.The balance of carbon and chromium content give it a high degree of corrosion resistance and impressive physical characteristics of strength and edge holding. Retention in actual cutting tests exceed blades made of the 420 and 440 series of stainless steels.

7Cr17MoV Steel

7Cr17MoV Steel is A Chinese Stainless steel that is similar in quality to AUS6 stainless steel. The following formula is a break down in the steel: 7CR part means it is 7% chromium and the 17MoV means .17% molybdenum and .17% Vanadium.

AUS 6 Steel

AUS-6 steel is a entry level Japanese cutlery steel in the same class as 440A. AUS-6 was used a lot in entry level knives, but has been seen less and less in current knives. AUS-6 steel is one grade higher than AUS-4 and one grade lower then AUS-8. AUS-6 is typically hardened to RC 55-58 or so, and take a very fine edge, though edge retention is not as good as steel such as 440C. AUS-6 is part of the family of steels that consists of AUS-4, AUS-6, AUS-8 and AUS-10.

3CR13 Steel

3CR13 steel is a Chinese Stainless steel that is similar in quality to 420J2 (AUS 4) stainless steel.
Or, if you want to get really technical (see

Saturday, February 17, 2018

#WFPB shopping at Neerob Bazaar

Neerob Bazaar remains one of my go-to places on Starling Avenue. Today I found an excellent brown Basmati rice from SWAD, which is an excellent value at 10 lbs for $12.

Khokon holding up SWAD Brown Basmati Rice

It is so important for people to eat brown rice instead of the white stuff. Diabetes is exploding among the SE Asian population as they adopt more american foods and cooking habits. Refined (simple) carbohydrates, animal protein and too much cooking oil are the chief culprits. Here is a link to Dr. Neal Barnard's new approach to diabetes, based on a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet. Remember always, if you are under medical treatment, do this only in consultation with your doctor, but generally, it appears that 70% of diabetes is reversible, and the other 30% can usually reduce their insulin dramatically, as well as reduce other medications, if they can do a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet.

Importantly, here is some nutritional information on brown versus white rice:

Another great find was a bag with 1 lb of Organic Sweet Peppers, which adds great nutrition to any salad, for only $1.99.

Organic Sweet Peppers 1 lb
Little finds like that make me feel as if it is spring already!

Adding color to your salads is so important.

For substance, I add some cooked quinoa, and for my dressing I make a basic 3/2/1 dressing I learned from the Esselstyn family:
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
Then, optionally you can extend it with some the juice of a lemon and finely chopped garlic and parsley for an out of this world dressing.

Alternatively, you can roast a red bell pepper and mix it in with a blender. Vinegar is an excellent preservative, so that will make an out of this world dressing, which will keep in the fridge for a few days. The trick is to always make certain things ahead, so you can keep the ball rolling with minimal effort.

This is what it's like to live in food mecca in the Bronx.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sources for #WFPB recipes and support

There are any number of good sources for recipes, and, as time goes by you learn quickly enough how to adapt almost any recipe...

Here is one for split pea soup that was born from adopting a very standard recipe:

Split Pea Soup

Great basic recipe for vegan split pea soup, adapted for #WFPB, by leaving out the oil.


2 onions, cut fine
4 chilis, cut fine
1 jalapeno, cut fine
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1-1/2 tbsp liquid aminos
8-10 cups of vegetable or mushroom bouillon 

3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
optionally other vegetables, such as parsnips, or turnips etc.


In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the onion, bay leaf and garlic with a little bit of bouillon for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Add the peas, barley, liquid aminos and water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut up the veggies.
Add more water as needed for the right thickness.

Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme and ground black pepper.
Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.

Some of the best sources for #WFPB recipes

 Another approach are various starter programs, some of which are completely free and come via email:
 And finally, you can get fancy with elaborate cooking courses, such as from Forks over Knives.
In short, options galore.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Nutrition and Health: Connecting the dots

The way allopathic medicine works is that, when you are stuck at a red light, they will sell you a hammer to knock out the red light and after the accident they will offer to patch you up and send you the bill for that too.
(Reinoud Fentener van Vlissingen, MD, psychiatrist at Rotterdam, Holland, ca. 1965)
[Author's note: A more up-to-date version of this article now appears here.]

Into Pharmageddon

I grew up with often lengthy debates at the dinner table in our home in Rotterdam, Holland between my father and various medical colleagues about the complete bankruptcy of the Western medical model, also known as allopathic medicine. At other times, my father regaled us with stories of the various bribery attempts of the pharmaceutical industry to get him to prescribe their wares, which he steadfastly refused. He was offended by the innate corruption of that industry, often clearly at the expense of the Hippocratic oath: "Do no harm." Nevertheless, big pharma won, for now, but today the blow back is worse than ever.
The overuse of anti-biotics was a frequent topic of conversation, and I can't believe that 50 years later nothing has been done about it, except the concern has now made it to TV. At least it has become part of the public dialogue.

We are now living the apogee of the allopathic model and pharmageddon, where the final concept of medicine is symptom suppression and "a pill for every ill." Not only can it not explain the proven healing of many alternative modalities, it is a failure in dealing with such basic things as heart disease (see Esselstyn), diabetes (see Barnard), and cancer, or, as T. Colin Campbell recently said: The war on cancer simply has failed.
Seen in that light, the opioid crisis is merely the logical end result of the pharmaceutical approach to medicine. In actual fact, the numbers are small: 42,000 deaths in 2016, or about 115 a day. Heart disease, which is completely reversible and preventable with a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, killed 630,000 in 2016, or 1,726 people per day, but somehow that is business as usual and not any kind of a national crisis.
The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical industry, ever since drugs have been allowed to be advertised on national TV, has done an end-run around doctors, and makes them into pill pushers and not materially different from the illegal variety of drug pushers. It all revolves around the paradigm of a pill for every ill and symptom suppression. Meanwhile, medical science is hopelessly obsolete as long as it remains stuck in a Newtonian concept which puts the body first, and considers the mind an epiphenomenon of the body, the absurd concept that was ridiculed effectively a long time ago by sci-fi writer Terry Bisson in his piece on "Meat that thinks."
Allopathy is much like the drunk who is searching for the keys he lost under the streetlight and tells the passing policeman he is looking where there is light, and is completely dumbfounded when the policeman asks him logically, but where did you lose them? There is a brilliant documentary on the dysfuncition of the medical system: Escape Fire. Recommended! 

Whole Foods Plant-Based Nutrition to the Rescue

Vegetable to the rescue, from fill your

Dr. Esselstyn talks of "pharmageddon." In 2017, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) hosted a conference where 700 physicians committed themselves publicly to the new model of "prevention over pills". In Holland, which has a single payer model that definitely does reduce the paperwork for doctors and is generally more efficient, doctors are leaving mainstream medicine in droves to practice "real medicine," in one form or another. Dutch author Jan Willem van Aalst published a fascinating book (In Dutch for now) about a whole new approach to medicine, in which he resolutely puts the patient in charge, which of course they always were, but which tends to get lost in the shuffle in our industrial medical model that is focused on symptom suppression. The book takes the form of an encyclopedia of healing modalities. His work is deeply grounded in the work of quantum physicist Amit Goswami and his book The Quantum Doctor.

Here in the US, a revolutionary change within medicine is taking form in many ways, but perhaps most importantly through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). Lifestyle Medicine is becoming the new specialty for any medical professional who understands the implication of the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet, and how it produces a natural nutritional abundance, in which the idea of nutritional supplements is completely moot, and probably 75% of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are furthermore unnecessary (think of a world without ant-acids or statin drugs, baby aspirin and a 75% reduction in insulin needs). The soon-to-be-released documentary Code Blue puts it all in perspective, following on the heels of Forks over Knives and What the Health and PlantPure Nation.

Patient-centric Medicine

There is only one form of patient-centric medicine, and that is the realization that the mind of the patient is the healer, which follows directly from Goswami's work The Quantum Doctor. The health insurance industry has it's own pretend "patient-centered healthcare," which is just a more effective way of delivering care and billing you. In fact, their model sets patients up to keep chasing their tail in a maze of "specialists," all operating within a Newtonian model of our reality that cannot possibly provide he answer. When all else fails, diseases are then called "psychosomatic."

Note: Early Encounters with the Medical Paradigm

At approximately age 13 or 14, I had an interesting conversation with my father, who was musing out loud about psychosomatic illness as if only some illnesses were psychosomatic. (With the benefit of hindsight, I now understand that "psychosomatic," is a typical term that betrays the failure of the mechanistic, Newtonian model of allopathic medicine to grasp the nature of illness and disease.)
Upon his remark about psychosomatic illness, I asked my father a simple question:
"But are there any other?" [than psychosomatic illnesses or diseases]
After a few moments of reflection, he answered:
"You may have a point."

While, needless to say, I had not fully grasped the insights of Amit Goswami of why the quantum model simply implies that the body is in consciousness (the mind) and not the other way around, I was reasonably familiar with the fundamentals of quantum mechanics at that age. In fact, I wrote an essay on nuclear genetics at age twelve that won me a prize, a book by the nuclear physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. It seems that indeed, I intuited the paradigm that is now explained so clearly by Goswami, which implies that it is the mind of the patient that is the healer, and doctors are only incidental to that, at best a help, at worst a hindrance. Reading Goswami today was an Aha! Erlebnis for me, finally connecting the dots on why this is so.

The concepts of The Quantum Doctor hark back on millennia of spiritual tradition saying the same thing. It is simply about who we are, and the realization that it is the mind of the patient that is the healer, quite in line with the work of Mary Baker Eddy. The doctor or other medical professional then plays the role of a subject matter expert who temporarily knows more and helps facilitate the healing. The doctor/patient relationship becomes a growth opportunity for both and doctor and patient are co-equal in that relationship and not codependent, as is the case in the dysfunctional allopathic medicine model. The reason the doctor/patient relationship is so totally dysfunctional today is because it is based on the patient deferring to the expertise of a doctor who operates within a mechanistic, Newtonian paradigm that is of necessity totally hit or miss in explaining or diagnosing his disease.
The experience with Whole Foods Plant-Based (#WFPB) nutrition shows that time and again, people are getting off of sometimes hands full of medications completely, while in other cases they can substantially reduce their dosage of medications. In other words, nutrition is the first step and it firmly puts the patient in the drivers seat: first get your vital stats as healthy as you can get them on your own, and the reversal for many diseases can be quite rapid. Except in acute conditions, any other form of intervention is pointless unless overall health is addressed first and the body is enabled to heal itself.

Amit Goswami on Quantum Physics, Consciousness and Health

The upshot of the #WFPB nutritional regime is simply that the single biggest thing patients can do for themselves is improve their diet, and not just by tinkering in the margin with any number of "diets" that are marginally better than the so-called Standard American Diet (SAD), which is a total nutritional disaster. Most so-called diets amount to little else than somebody's pet theory of what diet should be, with little or no peer-reviewed science to back it up.
The Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutritional paradigm is in fact a radically new paradigm for nutritional science as a whole, and it is solidly rooted in the work of T. Colin Campbell that was first published in his book The China Study, which recently saw an updated, 2017 version. It was followed by his book Whole, which reframes nutritionial science altogether. In the meantime, a whole avalanche of related information has resulted, including the clinical work of a growing list of physicians, including Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr, Neal Barnard, John McDougall, Dean Ornish, Michael Greger, Robert Ostfeld, Saray Stancic, and many others. One after the other will tell you that no drug in the world ever made such order-of-magnitude differences as the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet. Or, as Dr. Robert Ostfeld frequently says, patients frequently come to his office in tears to thank him for how rapidly they are making progress, which never happens for a prescription of statin drugs.

These new insights place the patient central in the healing process, which of course they always were. Step one is the realization that the mind of the patient is the healer and the healing modalities offered are merely a way of empowering the patient. The patient's will now moves center stage, including all our innate self-destructive tendencies that form the blocks to healing. Consequently, the new healing paradigm of true integrative medicine will have to include all viable healing modalities, including psychotherapy. In the process and in-line with what Amit Goswami has developed in the Quantum Doctor, the field of medicine has to move from Newtonian physics, which is the mechanistic paradigm of allopathic medicine to the paradigm of quantum physics, which makes it clear that of necessity the body is in the mind, and the mind is in charge at which point any healing modality that works for you is valid.
In the context of a conversation about these issues, someone asked me why it should take this long for our society to fully accept and embrace the implications of quantum mechanics in medicine. I responded with a question: "How long did it take the Vatican to embrace the heliocentric model?" and I added the observation that what else is the AMA today, but the keeper of socially embedded paradigm, like the Catholic Church was in the Middle Ages? The book on Rockefeller's Medicine Men (see bibliography) should make that much clear.

The New Healthcare Model

Recently, I wrote about the merger of Aetna and CVS under the title of  The Worst of Sick-care Under One Roof and used the opportunity to point out that, when seen by the clear light of economic logic, the healthcare system is sinking under its own weight since it creates an economic incentive to provide more treatment and as long as we focus on the treatment of disease and not on health, we are creating the runaway nightmare that is now called the healthcare crisis. In the public dialogue, so far, nobody is addressing the real heart of the crisis.

My main suggestion in that article was that the Personal Care Physician should evolve in to a personal healthcare coach and a subject matter expert who is on retainer to the patient, and organized with their own mutual society. The effect of the solution would be that your personal physician is beholden to you and only to you, and is your go-to expert in terms of any treatment you may ever need, to select appropriate healing modalities. Based on the numbers, a 65% reduction of healthcare costs can eventually be realized based on diet alone, and the remaining 35% should become the domain of catastrophic health insurance that kicks in to complement your #WFPB diet and your supervision by your own PCP. It would be an approximation to the traditional Chinese model where you paid your doctor while you were healthy and stopped paying him when you were sick.
The fundamental assumptions for this back-of-the-envelope calculation of the economics of this paradigm change in health and nutrition are taken from the documentary Code Blue. The fundamental insight is that 86% of healthcare spending is on treatments for diseases of affluence that are all capable, in varying degrees, of being prevented or reversed with a Whole Foods, Plant-based lifestyle. Therefore, over time, as our society begins to implement this transition more and more, it is proposed that we can reduce that 86% of total healthcare spending by 75% as a result of a shift towards a better diet and lifestyle, in line with the precepts of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. If so, we will reduce total healthcare spending by 65% which will solve our healthcare "crisis," and make the American economy competitive once more, all else being equal.

Two Birds with One Stone: the Environment

The transition towards a vegan lifestyle is the biggest single thing we as a society can do for solving our environmental problems. A growing list of official reports speak to this, and generally the conclusion is that vegans are 14 times less resource intensive than meat eaters.

From the cover of the book Meatonomics:
Meatonomics is the first book to add up the huge “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, and it finds these costs total about $414 billion yearly. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us.  But if producers were forced to internalize these costs, a $4 Big Mac would cost about $11.

Conclusions: Connecting the dots

Here are the steps to the new paradigm:
  1. #WFPB nutrtion is the largest single thing the patient can do for their own health and wellness, and with it, the annual physical moves towards an assessment of health first, not a mere screening for illness. Most importantly, it empowers the patient to be in charge of their health. The key driver is the first ever evidence based nutritional paradigm being #WFPB, paired up with the clinical experience with a growing number of disease models, some of which were alluded to above.
  2. Taking responsibility for your health also points in the direction that the human will is central, and that realization leads directly to the new paradigm of Quantum Healing and the Quantum Doctor. Ergo, Lifestyle Medicine, which is now focused on diet and exercise alone, must of necessity evolve towards quantum medicine. The role of the primary physician must be first as a health/nutrition coach, and second as a subject matter expert on the full complement of healing modalities where intervention or treatment in any form is called for.
In both areas we now have a fortuitous meeting of theory and practice.
  • In the case of #WFPB the experience with plant-based nutrition by a number of physicians in different fields, found their theoretical foundation in the research work of T. Colin Campbell. 
  • In the field of alternative medicine and various attempts at a model for integrative medicine, real progress was not possible until these efforts met up with the concepts of the Quantum Doctor to provide the theoretical foundation and the model for a comprehensive understanding of the meaning of integrative medicine.
The Quantum Doctor provides a logical and sound explanation as to why the allopathic model repeatedly falls short - because it is based on an obsolete and simplistic model of the human experience. More importantly, the Quantum Doctor also provides a satisfactory explanation why many alternative healing modalities can work, when the traditional allopathic model has no explanation for them. Obviously, this new paradigm for medicine perfectly complements the implications of the #WFPB model: the patient must take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
The final payoff is that besides simply solving the healthcare crisis, the path to the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet also solves our environmental crisis at the same time, since vegans provably are 14x less resource intensive than meat-eaters.


Note: The following might be considered the seminal books that can help the reader understand the parallel paradigm changes that are now going on in the areas of medicine and nutrition. I include the book Meatonomics because it provides good documentation of how our mistaken nutritional paradigm of prioritizing (animal) protein is absolutely woven into our society and extracts value because of its seriously distorted economics. Thomas S. Kuhn's classic, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, even if you once read it, is worth rereading by way of a refresher to understand just how deeply these paradigms are embedded in everything in our society, and how painful the change can be.
  • Ivan Illych, Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health 
  • E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America
  • T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, revised and expanded edition (2017)
  • T. Colin Campbell, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
  • Amit Goswami,   The Quantum Doctor: A Quantum Physicist Explains The Healing Power of Integral Medicine
  • David Robinson Simon: Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much and How to Eat Better, Live Longer and Spend Smarter
  • Thomas S. Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions