Bugger the embarrassment, it could just save someone’s life. Erectile Dysfunction and Death.

When I attended the Farms2Forks weekend in Orange County in April this year, i learned that Erectile Dysfunction should be viewed as an early-warning for heart disease. As a man of a certain age and with a history of heart-disease in my family, my ears pricked up (so to speak).

So very often the first sign of heart disease is sudden death, so anything that gives us an early warning should surely be welcomed.  Ironically, what we currently seem to do is to treat the symptoms with a little blue pill or two rather than heeding the warning and trying to do something about it.

I spoke to a friend of mine who works in GU Medicine in London and he confirmed that at his clinic they do indeed take this as a serious indication of heart-disease.

Here is an article from Michael Greger, MD who summarises much of the recent research on the subject.  If you are a man of a certain age, or have a man of a certain age in your family – share this with him.  Bugger the embarrassment, it could just save his life.


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What if I said that you could reduce your cholesterol by 20% in 4 weeks for €99 or your money back? Too good to be true?

Lots of people that I know and love are on Cholesterol lowering medication or are concerned about their heart health in terms of their cholesterol level. I have always been on the borderline of high cholesterol and with a family history of heart disease, that is why I chose to change to a plat-strong diet.

Current UK medical guidance suggests that we should aim to have our total cholesterol under 5, LDL below 3 and HDL above 1.

So would you rather achieve that with a drug with all the potential side-effects or by modifying your diet?

I recently discovered a website that offers a plant-based nutrition course, specifically aimed at lowering cholesterol.

Please take a look at this course. It is €99 for 4 weeks and has a 100% no-risk money back guarantee. Let me know if you decide to go ahead and do it.

The course in on-line so it is easy to do.

The two brothers are both chefs and are passionate about how you can change your health destiny, and have a lot of satisfied customers, just watch the testimonials. I have no financial or business affiliation with these chaps, in fact I do not know them. This just looks like a great course and I thought that I would share it so you can share it with anyone you know who you think might benefit.

I have taken a good look at what they are offering. The course has sound science behind it and is endorsed by 2 of the main people in this field, Biochemist Dr T. Colin Campbell, who is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and author of the China Study and Whole; and Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn, the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and the man behind Bill Clinton’s move to a Plant-Based diet.

Take a look.

The details are here: http://www.happyheartcourse.com/

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Interview with T.Colin Campbell

This is an interview with T.Colin Campbell by a commercial Irish Radio station. Perhaps not the best interview but it covers some interesting ground especially regarding the difference between the vegan diet and a wholefood plant-based diet.

Play Audio Clip

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Plant-Based Cookery Demonstration – August 17th

Plant-Based Cookery Demonstration – August 17th.

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My FOOD HEROES. Brilliant article introducing those upon whose shoulders plant-based nutrition stands.

My FOOD HEROES. Brilliant article introducing those upon whose shoulders plant-based nutrition stands..

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My FOOD HEROES. Brilliant article introducing those upon whose shoulders plant-based nutrition stands.

This is a brilliant article.

I’d also add Caldwell B Esselstyn to the list….

The thought leaders you absolutely must meet (from Gardendish)

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“Frankenburger” or a real step towards reducing the environmental impact of meat production? What do you think?

"Frankenburger" or a real step towards reducing the environmental impact of meat production? What do you think?.

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“Frankenburger” or a real step towards reducing the environmental impact of meat production? What do you think?

There has been lots in the media about the development of a $325,000 genetically engineered burger created from billions of stem cells by a team at Maastritch University, which has been funded by one of the people behind Google.

See here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/googles-sergey-brin-funded-test-tube-burger-for-animal-welfare-reasons-video/

I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand, if we promoted a plant-based diet and it was more widely adopted we could have a positive impact on the environmental impact that meat production has. On the other, do we want to be producing “meat” that is more processed and further from nature than today?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. What do you think?

Please leave your comments below.

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Plant-Based on a budget.

I was talking to my lovely friend Brian yesterday about my blogged recipes. He made the point that many of the recipes require ingredients that people do not always have in their cupboards and which are expensive. He cited two examples – nutritional yeast and tahini.

Brian raised an excellent point, which I had not thought about. On reflection, here are my thoughts on making the most of every £ or $ that you spend on food.

Because you’re Worth It
What’s the cosmetic company’s tag line? Oh yes, “Because I’m worth it” Well you are worth it. You owe yourself and your family the very best. When you think how much you are spending on your diet, keep the question of what would a chronic illness like cancer or heart-disease cost me? You might say, “nothing” the NHS picks up the bill in the UK or a health insurer in the US. But the cost on your family? Your lifestyle? I’d pay untold sums of money to have a few more hours of time with my Dad who died of heart disease at 61. You can’t put a price on your health. Invest in it, for your own sake. Think about how an active and vibrant life would be rather than being a slave to pain, illness and medications. I want to be enjoying my life to the last minute, being a nuisance to those i love for as long as possible. Make yourself as disease-proof as possible.

This is fuel for your body.
Regardless of your budget, think about it. What you put in your body is the fuel of your life. Think about your car – if you put cheaper fuel in it, would it run smoothly? For so many years I put poor fuel in my body and it struggled on, trying to perform well, trying to dodge germs and give me good service.

I used to take 30+ supplements a day to give me better performance. I’ve stopped doing that now. It means that I can use that money for good food instead.

Starches are cheap
The base of my plant-based eating are starches. Rice, Corn, Potatoes, Grains, and Legumes (Beans, Peas, pulses). None of these items are expensive. Fill up on these. A plate of brown rice and beans or mashed potatoes with vegetables and gravy are not expensive.

Organic produce is expensive
You do not have to eat organic fruits and veggies. There are certain items often called “The Dirty Dozen” see link – http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#slide-1 where organic may be a better choice due to the levels of pesticides. I’m pragmatic. A non organic salad and an apple (if washed before eating) are significantly better for you than a commercially produced chicken breast and low cost ice cream.

Beans, peas, lentils etc are more available than ever. The general rule is that the more convenient the more expensive. You can soak and cook them yourself or open a pack or a tin. You are paying for convenience. I tend to use the tinned ones and pre-cooked as I do not have a lot of time but you can save a lot by pre cooking then yourself.

Fresh fruit and Veg
Where you choose to shop will often determine what you spend. Markets often provide the best value for money. We have a good greengrocer on our high street but I do not always have time to get there. Supermarkets often have deals on seasonal produce. If you are buying asparagus in November, you’ll pay top dollar.

Buying seasonal produce will save you money.

Replacing or reducing the meat, fish and dairy saves you how much?
Some of the most expensive things in your shopping basket are likely to be the meat, fish and dairy items. If you aren’t buying them you can use the cash you save for your plant-based ingredients. If you are reducing your meat, fish and dairy ingredients again you can use the savings to “subsidise” your new fruit and veg “habit”.

Save your money and health by avoiding processed food. Remember that processed foods are invariably going to be poor for your health. Never trust the claims on the front of the pack, look at what’s actually in it or missing. Put it back on the shelf and buy “the real thing” it’s likely to be cheaper anyway. Remember that the food companies want to hook you into buying their “convenience foods” and pack them full of fats, salt and sugar to make them appeal. They may look cheap but in the long run, are they really?

Build your new larder gradually
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Changing your store-cupboard over to a plant-strong larder will take time. That Tahini will last for months, if you are only using it from time to time.

Thanks to Brian for raising this subject. I will be more conscious about this subject and try to blog more budget recipes going forward or mark them as such.

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Plant-Based Cookery Demonstration – August 17th

Demo Title: “A day living a plant-based lifestyle”

Summary: This event is a demonstration, where a number of dishes will be showcased illustrating a day of dishes, from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and the basics. It will also showcase some techniques, such as how to sauté vegetables without oil.

Date: Saturday 17th August 2013

Times: 10-30-2.30pm plus lunch. Please arrive from 10am (for coffee/tea)

Location: 65, Bishopsthorpe Road, Sydenham. SE26 4PA

Cost: £25 per person (£15 for the event/food and a £10 donation to charity)

Attendees: There is a limit of 6 attendees at this event

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I book? Please send me an email to Bhoneycombe@Gmail.com with the subject of “Plantalicious – Booking for August 17th” with your name, address, phone number and how many places you are booking. I will then send you a confirmation.

What should I bring? A hunger for food and knowledge! You can bring a note-pad and pen, although you will get copies of all of the recipes either on the day or emailed to you.

Will there be food to eat and drinks? Yes – we will have a light breakfast at the start of the session and then we will have lunch together at the end of the demonstration. There will be plenty of teas, coffee and water available throughout.

What will I be expected to do? Just enjoy the time – my goal is for you to go home armed with the confidence to cook more plant-based meals that will help you to lose weight and improve your health. Please ask lots of questions and be prepared to stir and taste things!

How do I find you? Here’s a map – https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=65+Bishopsthorpe+Road,+London&hl=en&sll=51.528642,-0.101599&sspn=0.604029,1.783905&oq=65,+bishopsthorpe+&hnear=65+Bishopsthorpe+Rd,+London+SE26+4PA,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=16

What’s the nearest station? Sydenham is the nearest, an 8 min walk. There is also Lower Sydenham and the house is on the 75 bus route from Lewisham to East Croydon. Penge East is also close and you can take the 75 towards Lewisham and get off at Burghill Road, (the stop is next to my house).

Is there parking? There are no parking restrictions on Bishopsthorpe Road but please be aware of my neighbours. You can also park on Mayow Road.

Who is the host? My name is Barry Honeycombe, I have been a life-long yo-yo dieter and have recently been studying plant-based nutrition and gained a certificate from E-Cornell University. I love food and now blog about my plant-based food and recipes and my “personal journey” (gosh that sounds American – sorry). I am not an “expert”, merely an enthusiastic amateur who is happy to share what I know and have learned.

Can you give me advice on my medical conditions? I do not have any medical training and therefore cannot give any advice. I can of course share my experience. I am new to this and I am learning all the time, I hope to learn from you too! If you have questions and queries, the best that I can do is to point you toward sources of materials and experts where you can acquire additional information that might be helpful.

What if I have food allergies? Please let me know at the time of booking if you have any food allergies or intolerances. We will not be using any meat, fish, diary etc., Please be aware that we will be using nuts.

Will you use everyday ingredients? I obviously do not know what you have in your cupboards at home! Most of what I use will be standard ingredients, although some might be unfamiliar such as tofu and nutritional yeast, some might be downright strange sounding such as vital wheat gluten and agar-agar. I will explain any I use and where you can obtain them.

Will you use any specialist equipment? I will be using common kitchen equipment, which most people have. I do have one piece of specialised equipment that I use a lot and will certainly use in the demonstrations. It’s a very high-powered blender – A VitaMix. I use it a great deal and I will always explain how you can use a standard blender or a food processor instead. My VitaMix is the one thing that I would save if my house was flooded, probably ahead of my partner – I love it that much! (Only kidding).

What is a plant-based lifestyle? For me a plant-based lifestyle is first and foremost not a diet. This is a way of life that I have chosen for health reasons. I am not restricting myself to a certain number of points, green days, red spots or calories. I am aiming to simply eat more plant-based foods. My personal aim is 98% but this is an individual choice. So what constitutes a plant-based lifestyle? Firstly starches, (potatoes, rice, corn, grains and legumes), then vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I choose not to eat anything with a face or a mother – ie., Meat, Fish, Dairy or derived products from these sources. I also do not use any added fats and eat wholegrains/wholefoods where possible. I am not a vegan and there are some significant differences between the two – see this article for details: http://happyherbivore.com/2013/07/what-is-plant-based-diet-difference-from-vegan/

Why are you charging? To cover the cost of the food for the day and my time. I’m not looking to make my fortune from this. My goal is to share my passion and to learn from the experience.

What’s with the donation to charity? I thought that it would be a nice gesture to donate part of the money to a charity and as I am not a “pro” at these demonstrations, in fact, this is my first and you are my guinea pigs! I’m also trying to make the point that this lifestyle can be done on a budget and so the money will be donated to the Lewisham Borough Food Bank.

What happens if I cannot make it on the day? Things can happen, I understand that, but unless you cancel 48 hours in advance, I have to insist that you pay as I will have purchased the food for the day and it will be too late to fill your place with someone else.

If you’ve done this, how come you are still fat? I have only been plant-based for about 14 weeks and anyway this is a journey not a “silver bullet”. I have lost about 28lbs over my time doing this and my primary reason is for my health and the weight loss is kind of a bonus that goes hand-in-hand with the improved health.

What’s with the video camera? I may have some or all of the session videoed. This is partly for my own interest to see how it went and to see it from your perspective. I may also use some of the footage on my blog.

How and when do I pay you? You can either pay me (£25) before the date using my pay pal account. My email for my paypal account is bhoneycombe@gmail.com (You will need a paypal account yourself to do this) or you can pay me cash on the day. I would rather not accept cheques and cannot accept credit card payments.

I have other questions…. Then please ping me an email at bhoneycombe@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

See you on the 17th of August from 10am onwards!

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