One has probably heard about bone broth (made from beef, pork, chicken, fish) and veggie broth, but Heather Dane really explained well why we need bone broth, especially after age 40! The star in bone broth – collagen – supports, strengthens, cushions, provides structure, and holds the body together like glue, according to Heather. If your body starts to lose collagen, no wonder you can feel more aches and pains, have wrinkles, thinner hair, and eye problems, experience loss of muscle tone, have digestive issues, etc. Bone broth is also the key ingredient to many tasty Chinese soups such as this wonton soup (Hong Kong-style) and this 5-minute veggie soup (add animal protein if you like). I have personally experienced really really tasty Shanghainese wonton soup in the streets of Shanghai – the secret is no doubt their long and well-simmered bone broth!
There is an online food revolution summit going on currently which contains life-changing health information. The experts all seem to agree that a plant-based diet is better for human’s health. Given everyone’s body is built differently, there is no one formula that fits all. However, there is enough science about the higher benefits of plant protein vs. animal protein and why a vegetarian diet helps. Risks of Diabetes are 62% lower with a healthy plant-based vegan diet from a recent study. Heme iron from red meat, as opposed to non-heme iron from plant food, leads to increased risks of heart disease. Experts warn that one needs to supplement with Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Iodine if one eats a vegan diet. In general, many of us do not eat enough fibre.
What might be a great vegetarian dish – like a perfect salad?
Here is a great recommendation from Brenda Davis, a registered dietitian. I have never enjoyed salad quite as much as I am now. A salad is not boring and is completely fulfilling and tasty. To kickstart a vegan diet, try this 21day program free: 21DayKickstart.org
My Favorite Supper Salad (Brenda Davis)
My favorite meal is salad. Seriously. To me, a beautiful salad is a masterpiece of colour, texture and flavor. Of course, we are not talking iceberg lettuce with a few tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkle on top; we are talking about a full, satisfying meal. I make a giant salad that lasts up to 4 days. Greens are torn and dressing is always on the side so the salad does not brown or wilt. Nutritionally, it doesn’t get much better than this!
This salad is a full meal deal. It provides a rainbow of color and a feast of phytochemicals. Choose organic produce, if possible. By eating it with some fat-containing food such as a seed-based salad dressing, nutrient absorption is maximized.
Choose any dark greens you have on hand. Throw in some red or purple leafy vegetable for variety and color. Use about 8 cups in total – mix and match as you like. Here is a suggested combination:
4 cups wild, mixed greens
2 cups kale, stem removed and sliced matchstick thin
2 cups chopped radicchio or thinly sliced red or purple cabbage
The Veggies and Fruits
The key is to cover the rainbow in your selection. Aim for 5 color families – green, yellow-orange, pink- red, purple- blue and white-beige. Use a total of about 5 cups veggies (1 cup from each color family). Mix and match as you like or simply select 1-2 options from each color category. Here are a few suggestions:
1 cup broccolini or broccoli florets and stems, sliced diagonally
1 cup asparagus (raw or steamed), sliced diagonally
1 cup zucchini, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 cup sprouts, tightly packed (e.g. sunflower, pea or other)
1 cup fresh herbs, tightly packed (e.g. mint, basil or dill)
2 kiwi fruit, chopped
1-2 yellow or orange carrots, sliced or grated
1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips
1 pint heirloom colored grape or other tomatoes
1 cup golden cauliflower florets
1 cup yellow beets (steamed or boiled), cubed
1-2 oranges or 1 grapefruit, bite sized pieces
1 mango, chopped
1 cup watermelon radish, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 cup beets (steamed or boiled), cubed
1 cup pomegranate seeds (or seeds from one pomegranate)
1-2 cups strawberries, sliced or raspberries
1/2 cup gogi berries
1 purple pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips
1-2 purple carrots, sliced or grated
1 cup purple cauliflower florets
1 cup roasted eggplant
1 cup blueberries or blackberries
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 salad turnips, sliced
1 small kohlrabi, cut in thin strips
1 small jicama, cut in thin strips
Choose at least 1-2 protein sources for your salad. Some great options are:
6-8 oz. smoked tofu, cubed
6-8 oz. tofu, cubed and sautéed with tamari, turmeric, herbs and spices
6-8 oz tempeh, cooked
1-2 cups chickpeas or other beans
1-2 cups lentils
1 cup hummus
4-8 falafel balls or other veggie balls
Choose one or two healthy fat sources to help enhance nutrient absorption from your meal.
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
1/4 cup seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower or hemp)
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup olives, whole pitted or sliced
Choose one starchy vegetable or grain to add calories and make the meal more satisfying.
1 sweet potato, steamed and cubed
1 purple or white potato, steamed and cubed
1 cup butternut squash (or other winter squash), steamed and cubed
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked kamut or spelt
1 cup cooked wild rice
Add herbs for a boost of flavor and phytochemicals.
1/4 to 1/2 cup dill, parsley, basil or other fresh herbs
- Wash and prepare the vegetables as outlined above.
- Place the leafy vegetables in a large bowl.
- Top with other colorful vegetables.
- Add the plant protein source and starchy choices if eating the whole salad. If saving some of the salad for another day, keep the protein source, starchy choice and avocado separate and add just before serving.
- Serve with a nut or seed-based dressing.
European flaire and the Denmark’s popular lifestyle – hygge (“cozy” or “enjoyment”) can be found in an unexpected part of Hong Kong called Wan Chai, which is famous for its night clubs, restaurants, and markets.
This is Lee Tung Avenue, which used to be the famous street of book/news publishing and wedding cards printing in Hong Kong. It has been redeveloped into a shopping arcade with plenty of European pleasure, shopping, eating, and sweet indulgence in the midst of busy Wan Chai.
A couple of weeks ago during Sunday lunch, I attended a University alumni function at the St. Francis Yacht Club in the Marina district, described as the most prestigious yacht club in the Western U.S.
While the club is no doubt very nice, what captured me the most that day was the surroundings and the leisurely San Franciscans on a sunny, beautiful afternoon by the Bay in San Francisco. I ended up walking back home from the marina – about an hour of leisurely walk! What a feast for the eyes and goodness for the body!
The first day of the Chinese New Year of the Rooster will be on January 28 when you will hear “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or “Gong Hey Fat Choi” well wishes (they both mean wishing you abundance of wealth.)
This year is one for the fire Rooster; the last time this occurred was in 1957. For each zodiac sign, there are five types – gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. Each type has a different personality.
Everything is celebrated in red – you will see children wearing red jackets, adults giving red packets to the younger ones, good tidings written on red paper, etc.
San Francisco and London have apparently the largest celebrations outside Asia.
Let us celebrate the Chinese New Year with some scenes from the flower markets last weekend in The San Francisco Chinatown – lots of red!
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and energetic year of the Rooster!!
First, a beautiful red Rooster from Guangdong, China!
Wishing you abundance every year!
Amazing human flexibility and strength!
Wishing you all a blessed, happy, and healthy New Year.
How about some healthy and simple recipes to kick off the New Year?
Here are some gluten-free and gut-healing recipes from one of my favourite functional doctors, Dr. Axe – his best ones from 2016!
Total Time: 20 minutesServes: 18 cookies
2–1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
2-3 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 tablespoon flax seed (whole or ground), optional*
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons cacao powder or dark cocoa powder
coconut sugar to sprinkle on top
Himalayan pink salt to sprinkle on top
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the oats and coconut flakes well and set aside.
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the honey, coconut oil and almond butter, cocoa or cacao power and stir continuously until the mixture is melted and mixed evenly.
Remove from heat and add in the oats, cacao nibs and coconut flakes stirring continuously. Add the vanilla extract and continue stirring until mixture becomes thick.
Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the cookie sheets. Lightly sprinkle coconut sugar and sea salt on top of each cookie. Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve.
Take the cookies out of the freezer and allow them to thaw for 5 minutes before serving. Store any leftover cookies in a sealed container in the freezer.