Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I have been craving Waldorf salad, full of crisp apples, crunchy celery and walnuts, and sweet, juicy red grapes. The only problem with this yummy salad is that it typically has mayonnaise in it. I don’t use this product any more. However, was there a plant based option? I headed to Natural Grocers to find out.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I selected organic Braeburn apples, celery and seedless red grapes. I picked up organic walnut halves as well. And thanks to the produce manager at the Natural Grocers, I found a selection of healthier mayonnaises, in the refrigerated section. I am not only plant based, I also avoid soy and canola oil. I passed on a couple of brands that contained eggs or canola oil. And I found the right product with Vegenaise!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

This wonderful spread is gluten, egg, soy, refined sugar and dairy free. It is a non GMO product as well. This isn’t something I will use often, but it’s nice to have an alternative to classic mayo.

Here is the simple recipe for Waldorf Salad:

• 3 red apples, unpeeled & cut into chunks

• 1 cup of celery, thinly sliced

• 1 cup of seedless red grapes, halved

• 1/2 cup of walnut halves

• 1/2 cup of Vegenaise

• 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine apples, celery, red grapes and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together Vegenaise, lemon juice and sea salt. Fold dressing into apple mixture. Chill for at least half an hour. Makes 4-6 servings.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

Oh, this was a good salad! I’ve always loved this particular combo of fruits, celery and nuts. The Vegenaise is very light and does not overpower the salad at all. I enjoyed this Waldorf salad as a meal, rather than a side dish.

And this salad was perfect for me. I got in servings of fruits that are considered power foods and celery, which has so many amazing health benefits. Good food, that was good for me. It was a win/win meal!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

Cilantro

I had always considered today’s featured food as a garnish or a flavorful addition to salsa and Mexican food. When I switched to a plant based lifestyle, I discovered this herb has amazing health benefits.

Cilantro is a powerfully cleansing food, removing toxic heavy metals from the brain, organs and other body systems. With its mineral salts comprised of sodium, potassium and chloride, cilantro can pass through the blood-brain barrier, pulling toxins from the brain and freeing neurons from toxic metal oxidized residue.

Cilantro is a valuable liver detoxifier and supports the adrenal glands. This herb also balances blood glucose levels, warding off weight gain, brain fog and memory problems. It’s antiviral, making it an effective weapon against Epstein-Barr, shingles and herpetic viruses. Cilantro’s antibacterial properties kill off every form of bacteria and flushes their waste from the body. For any type of chronic or mystery illness, cilantro is an important addition to the diet.

Some people dislike cilantro, experiencing a bad taste when they eat it. Anthony William, author of Life Changing Foods, writes that people who perceive a bitter or harsh flavor when eating cilantro have a higher rate of heavy metal oxidation going on. The heavy metals in their bodies are corroding at a more rapid rate, creating toxic runoff. This runoff makes its way into the lymphatic system and saliva, which results in the bad taste when cilantro is eaten, as it binds onto the oxidative debris. If someone dislikes the taste of cilantro, that could be an indicator that he or she really needs its healing benefits.

To best remove toxic heavy metals from the body, consume fresh cilantro. It is so much more than a garnish for guacamole. Try adding it to smoothies, juices, chopped in salads and salsas, and sprinkling it on vegetables, curries, and soups.

I had suffered from restless leg syndrome for years. There are several causes for this condition, including a build up of heavy metals in the body. My restless legs made extended trips by car or airplane very uncomfortable. Last year, facing long flights across the Atlantic, I decided to try detox smoothies as a way of easing my legs. Every morning, for 30 days before flying, I drank a detox smoothie, made from 1 banana, 1 cup of wild blueberries, 1 cup of frozen mango chunks, 1 orange, 1 bunch of cilantro, and a teaspoon each of hemp seeds, Atlantic dulse and Hawaiian spirulina. I did not experience restless legs at all on the flight to and from Italy, nor did I later on my UK trip. I drink a detox smoothie at least twice a week, and I have not had restless legs since.

I include this wonder food in my diet as often as I can. For lunch today I sprinkled it on my orange/avocado salad. Tonight I’ll juice it with celery, apple, and ginger. I am grateful for the healing cilantro brings into my body.

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Avocados

Today’s featured food is one of my favorites! In his book Life Changing Foods, Anthony William calls the avocado the mother fruit. He writes, “It’s vital to appreciate avocado as the foundation of the pantry, the conductor of the symphony, the strongest link in the chain, the landmark, the soul of all other foods.”

The avocado is a tree that is thought to have originated in central Mexico. The fruit, which contains a single large seed, has a textured inedible skin and yellow-green flesh that is smooth and creamy.

Avocados are easy to digest, making them helpful for soothing and healing the digestive tract. They have anti-inflammatory properties that behave like aspirin, without thinning out the blood. This reduces narrowing and swelling in the linings of the stomach and intestines.

Because they are a healthy source of omega-6 fatty acids, avocados help to heal the brain and central nervous system, alleviating dementia and Alzheimer’s. They also reduce the effects of aging on the skin.

Avocados are high in fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, containing more potassium than bananas. Combined with other plants, this amazing fruit increases the nutrient value and absorption of those foods.

Eat more avocados to help combat heart disease, infertility, kidney disease, stroke, digestive disorders, sciatica, memory loss, muscle cramps, shingles, thyroid disease, food allergies and sensitivities, and cancers.

I love how versatile avocados are. I use them to create more than guacamole. They can be chopped and added to salads, soups and chilies, combined with other fruits in smoothies, and blended to create nutritious salad dressings. One of my favorite ways to enjoy avocados is to slice them and combine with other foods in a Buddha bowl, also known as a hippie bowl, creating a simple, healthy meal. Tonight I added them to black bean and corn salsa (using non GMO corn).

Avocados have so many powerful health benefits, it is vital to incorporate them into a plant based diet daily. I don’t find that difficult to do at all!

Eating Plant Based On Vacation

One of the reasons I switched to a plant based lifestyle last summer was because of a planned trip to Italy this year. Before I embraced eating healthier, I had trouble walking without pain and I was using a cane. My hope was to walk without a cane and without pain, during the trip. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation
If you’ve followed my healing journey, you know my health has been transformed by adopting a plant based lifestyle. No more cane and no more pain have been just two of the positive outcomes as a result. However, as the trip drew closer, I wondered if it would be possible to eat plant based in Italy.
Eating Plant Based on Vacation
Breakfasts were easy while in Italy. Every hotel we stayed in offered a large breakfast buffet. I could choose from a selection of fresh and baked fruits, juices and even veggies such as green beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation
But what about lunches and dinners, in a country famous for pasta? A Divine opportunity brought the answer. Because of severe weather in the US and being diverted to London rather than Rome, we missed the welcome dinner the first night of the tour. The next day, catching up with our tour director, Fabi, I asked if it was considered rude to request gluten free pasta at restaurants. 

My daughter Elissa, grandson Dayan and I were about to head out into Rome for our first dinner. Fabi happened to be giving Dayan directions to nearby cafes. Otherwise, I would not have asked my question. I felt reluctant to ask at a restaurant. I didn’t want to be perceived as a picky eater. That was my issue though, I realized. It is always appropriate to ask! 

Fabi assured me that most restaurants did indeed offer gluten free pasta and vegetarian or vegan meal options. My first dinner was in a delightful cafe with outdoor seating, located on a narrow street lined with restaurants. I enjoyed roasted potatoes and freshly grilled veggies. No one looked at me oddly or questioned my selection. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation
The ease of ordering that first meal encouraged me to stay within my plant based diet during the entire trip. However, I have to praise Fabi for taking charge of my meals. Our tour included some lunches and dinners, at various restaurants and two different vineyards. Without me asking her to, she called ahead to each venue and explained that I was following a restricted diet. 

Eating Plant Based on VacationA five course totally plant based, gluten free meal!

Without exception, at each place I was served delicious, freshly prepared plant based meals. No gluten. No meat. No sugar, dairy or eggs. Instead of a sweet dessert, I was presented with a bowl of sumptuous fruit. The chefs or head waiters introduced themselves to me before the meals, delivered each course with a flourish and a smile, and checked with me after to make sure I was happy with the food. 

Happy? I was thrilled! And those who brought me my special meals did so with a noticeable sense of accomplishment and pride that was endearing. I felt so well cared for, and not at all a burden. 

Eating Plant Based on VacationGluten free pasta with pesto

When we were free to eat on our own, I did fine ordering from the menu. Dayan noticed the small print that read gluten free available. From Rome to the coastal villages in Cinque Terre to Venice, gluten free pasta and/or vegan options were readily available, making it easy for me to stay plant based. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation
Was it difficult, eating differently from everyone else? Not at all. Was it boring? Absolutely not. I enjoyed a variety of delicious foods. And it was crucial for me. If I had abandoned my plant based lifestyle, even for a few days, I would have risked feeling unwell or opened myself up to discomfort. It was important to me to feel my very best. 

And I did do well. I walked with ease, 4-6 miles a day. I flew for hours and hours, without my legs locking up. I climbed stairs, which a year ago would have been impossible. While stairs can still be a challenge for me, due to years of pain and inflammation that has caused muscle tightness around my knees, I am continuing to improve. I kept up with the tour group and I was extremely pleased with my level of fitness. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation
My experience was encouraging. I found that it is possible to eat a plant based diet while on vacation. My tips for a healthy vacation are: 

Make healthy eating a priority, because health IS a priority

Drink plenty of water. It is easy to become dehydrated while traveling. 

Get enough rest. Jet lag is a real thing! Stay awake during the days and get to bed early the first couple of nights to adjust to a different time zone. 

And don’t be afraid to ask for specially prepared meals. Express sincere appreciation and gratitude to the waiter and chef. 

I am so grateful for Fabi, who went above and beyond to ensure that I ate healthy meals. And I am grateful for each chef who took the time to create magnificent meals for me. I’m also so thankful for my grandson and daughter who frequently asked if I was finding healthy options on the menus and often checked ahead before choosing a cafe, just to make sure I could find something to eat. 

Eating Plant Based on VacationBlack lentils and vegetables, beautifully prepared. 

Surrounded by such caring and conscientious people, how could I not do well on this trip? And that would be my last suggestion for maintaining a diet while on vacation…surround yourself with supportive people. They may not eat what you eat, but they can certainly offer encouragement and love and compassion as you care for yourself.  

Healthy eating is a choice…a daily choice. Whether dining in my own home or in a fine restaurant in Venice, I am the one who decides what I will eat. I chose well. And my body thanked me for it. 

Eating Plant Based on Vacation

Healing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

One of the easiest changes to make in embracing a healthier lifestyle is the inclusion of a cup of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Before drinking or eating anything else, starting the day sipping on this zesty health booster brings amazing healing benefits.

Healing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
According to Anthony William, author of the book Life Changing Foods, lemons, and their citrus cousins limes, are ultrahydrating and electolyte producing because they are a top source of mineral salts and trace mineral salts.

And they are a source of highly absorbable vitamin C. In addition, lemons provide bioactive calcium. The phytochemicals called limonoids actually bond the vitamin C and calcium together, so where one goes in the body, the other tags along.

Healing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
Lemons alkalinize the body, which helps to prevent the growth of most types of cancer. And the antioxidant flavonoids fight other illnesses such as cold, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Lemons are an effective mucus expeller and an amazing cleanser of the liver, kidneys, spleen, thyroid and gallbladder.

They purge the body of toxins that collect in the body due to exposure to plastics, chemicals, radiation and poor food choices. Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up flushes these toxins from the liver, which has worked through the night detoxifying the body. Otherwise, those toxins settle back in.

Other benefits include:

  • Ease nausea
  • Reduce bloating
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Prevent kidney stones
  • Boost mood & sense of well being

Healing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
Preparing this extraordinary drink is simple. Using a fresh lemon, or lime if you prefer, cut in two and squeeze the juice of one of the halves into a cup of warm water. I like using my Aunt Annie’s old juicer, however squeezing the juice directly into the cup of water is fine. During the summer, I like to cut up a couple of lemons and make a large pitcher of lemon water that I sip on all day.

When I first began drinking lemon water, I made the mistake of using a bottled concentrate. While there may be some benefits from drinking that juice, it just doesn’t compare to the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon. Plus, I now use fresh lemons to make my own hummus and salad dressings. I like keeping them on hand.

While it is important to start the day with lemon water, it also makes a great end of the day drink. A cup of warm lemon water with a spoonful of raw, local honey calms the nervous system and aids in a restful night’s sleep.

From flushing toxins to fighting colds and allergies to aiding in weight loss and getting a good night’s sleep, this little powerhouse of a fruit offers incredible healing benefits. Try adding a cup or two of lemon water to your daily routine, and see what happens!

Healing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
For more information about lemons, and 49 other healing foods, check out Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. 


I am an Amazon Affiliate! I may make a commission, at no extra charge to you, when you make a purchase through my link. Thank you for considering the purchase of this book, or any other product, through my Amazon link.