The Yoruba tribe described as having the highest percent chance of twins in the world eat the whole Cassava plant everyday. It is a staple of their diet
Posted by Trudy Prevost on March 9, 2014
The Yoruba tribe described as having the highest percent chance of twins in the world eat the whole Cassava plant everyday. It is a staple of their diet
Posted by Trudy Prevost on December 20, 2013
“A taste of Ital Living.”
We have a new sit down Vegan Restaurant in Roseau!
A place to cool out; have a juice; a salad; a sandwich or a lovely full course meal.
Friendly welcoming staff who go out of their way to meet your culinary needs!
Great juices; including beet that are very lightly sweetened!
62 Old Street second floor (Corner of River Street and Old Street)
Posted by Trudy Prevost on September 6, 2013
Vegetarian diets are associated with reduced death rates in a study of more than 70,000 Seventh-day Adventists released in June 2013.
Researchers assessed dietary patients using a questionnaire that categorized study participants into five groups: nonvegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and egg products) and vegan (excludes all animal products).
The death rates for subgroups of vegans, lacto-ovo–vegetarians, and pesco-vegetarians were all significantly lower than those of nonvegetarians.
The researchers also found that the beneficial associations between a vegetarian diet and mortality tended to be stronger in men than in women.
Posted in BENEFITS, NEWS, Recent Studies | Tagged: Caribbean, Dominica, health benefits, healthy eating, healthy living, NUTRITION, sustainable lifestyles, vegan, vegetarian, West Indies, why vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on September 6, 2013
Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie
People who improved their eating habits the most after a heart attack had a better chance of surviving, according to a study released in September 2013.
The results showed that after a nine years of follow-up, a diet lowest in red and processed meat products and sugar and highest in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables lowered the risk of death from heart disease by 40 percent, compared with no dietary changes.
Researchers assessed the diets of 4,098 women and men from both the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010—a tool developed to determine chronic disease risk based on diet—before and after a heart attack.
Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
CNPP Fact Sheet No. 2
The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is a measure of diet quality in terms of conformance to Federal dietary guidance. It is used to monitor the quality of American diets; to examine relationships between diet and health-related outcomes and between diet cost and diet quality; to determine the effectiveness of nutrition intervention programs; and to assess the quality of food assistance packages, menus, and the U.S. food supply. The HEI is a scoring metric that can be applied to any defined set of foods, such as previously collected dietary data, a defined menu, or a market basket, to estimate a score. The HEI-2010, which assesses diet quality as specified by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is made up of 12 components, as shown below. The total HEI-2010 score is the sum of the component scores and has a maximum of 100 points.
HEI-2010 component Maximum Standard for maximum score Standard for minimum score of zero
Adequacy (higher score indicates higher consumption)
Total Fruit (2) 5 ≥ 0.8 cup equiv. / 1,000 kcal10 No fruit
Whole Fruit (3) 5 ≥ 0.4 cup equiv. / 1,000 kcal No whole fruit
Total Vegetables (4) 5 ≥ 1.1 cup equiv. / 1,000 kcal No vegetables
Greens and Beans (4) 5 ≥ 0.2 cup equiv. / 1,000 kcal No dark-green vegetables, beans, or peas
Whole Grains 10 ≥ 1.5 ounce equiv. / 1,000 kcal No whole grains
Dairy (5) 10 ≥ 1.3 cup equiv. / 1,000 kcal No dairy
Total Protein Foods (6) 5 ≥ 2.5 ounce equiv. / 1,000 kcal No protein foods
Seafood/Plant Proteins(6) 5 ≥ 0.8 ounce equiv. / 1,000 kcal No seafood or plant proteins
Fatty Acids (8) 10 (PUFAs + MUFAs) / SFAs > 2.5 (PUFAs + MUFAs) / SFAs < 1.2
HEI-20101 component Maximum Standard for maximum score Standard for minimum score of zero
Moderation (higher score indicates lower consumption)
Refined Grains 10 ≤ 1.8 ounce equiv. / 1,000 kcal ≥ 4.3 ounce equiv. / 1,000 kcal
Sodium 10 ≤ 1.1 gram / 1,000 kcal ≥ 2.0 grams / 1,000 kcal
Empty Calories (9) 20 ≤ 19% of energy ≥ 50% of energy
Intakes between the minimum and maximum standards are scored proportionately.
(2) Includes 100% fruit juice.
(3) Includes all forms except juice.
(4) Includes any beans and peas not counted as Total Protein Foods.
(5) Includes all milk products, such as fluid milk, yogurt, and cheese, and fortified soy beverages.
(6) Beans and peas are included here (and not with vegetables) when the Total Protein Foods standard is otherwise not met.
(7) Includes seafood, nuts, seeds, soy products (other than beverages) as well as beans and peas counted as Total Protein Foods.
(8) Ratio of poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs and MUFAs) to saturated fatty acids (SFAs).
(9) Calories from solid fats, alcohol, and added sugars; threshold for counting alcohol is > 13 grams/1,000 kcal.
Equiv. = equivalent, kcal = kilocalories.
Authors: Patricia M. Guenther, PhD, RD1; Kellie O. Casavale, PhD, RD2; Jill Reedy, PhD, RD3; Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD3; Hazel A.B. Hiza, PhD, RD1; Kevin J. Kuczynski, MS, RD1; Lisa L. Kahle, BA4; Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, RD.3
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 4Information Management Services, Inc.; United States Department of Agriculture
Posted in BENEFITS, Heart, NEWS, Recent Studies | Tagged: Beans, Caribbean, Dairy, Dominica, Fatty Acids, fruits, Greens, health benefits, healthy eating, healthy living, Heart Attack, Mortality, NUTRITION, Plant Protein, Protein, vegan, Vegetables, vegetarian, vegetarian evolution, West Indies, Whole Grain, why vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on August 7, 2013
Like coffee? Well there’s a very nice man in Portsmouth that makes some delicious popsicles. He goes by Mr. Freezy and his popsicles are cheap! $1.25 EC or so. He’ll deliver them to you for $5 EC! It’s a steal! In the last two weeks I’ve bought $110 worth. His number is 295-7621 My favorite are the coffee (they taste like a frozen frappuccino) guava and coconut. Give him a call! You can tell him I sent you. ; ) …in case he’s wondering how you got his #. :
Posted by Trudy Prevost on April 13, 2013
I have studied Healthy Lifestyles for over 40 years now and it is so interesting to see the change in people’s attitudes towards this way of living. I was considered a quack; a fanatic; an abusive mother; a hippie; and now – my lifestyle is on the forefront of scientific study! Oh joy!
As a vegetarian and someone who refrains from processed foods and chemical foods I have not consumed much meat or sports drinks in my lifetime – and now science backs up my decision.
Cleveland Clinic researchers found that when processed in the gut, carnitine (abundant in red meat and added to popular energy drinks) is metabolized to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a compound linked to clogged arteries (atherosclerosis).
These foods are body altering – in a negative way. A diet high in carnitine shifts our gut “biology” so meat eaters actually generate more TMAO and compound their risk of cardiovascular disease.
This study was released in April 2013 – and it seems the more you indulge the greater your risk – my Nanny always said “moderation”.
Posted in BENEFITS, Heart, NEWS, Recent Studies | Tagged: Caribbean, Dominica, health benefits, healthy eating, healthy living, meat, meat consumption and cancer, NUTRITION, West Indies, why vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on March 13, 2013
Stone Love produces delicious healthy food in a cute little space in Roseau. It is about a half block from the old Shillingford Grocery Store with the blue roof.
They offer foods you cannot get anywhere else; gluten free roti; bush tea juices; vegetarian burgers (non soya); vegan desserts. I love their soups.
They serve their specials on a rotating basis so keep in mind not all menu offerings are served every day.
They put a lot of love into their food; you can taste it!
Because there is no meat or dairy in the cooking area all foods are kosher.
Posted in RESTAURANTS, Vegan Restaurants, Cafes and Catering | Tagged: Caribbean, Dominica, eco kitchen, gluten free, healthy eating, healthy living, restaurant, vegan, vegetarian, West Indies, wheat free | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on October 28, 2012
In the last 10 years barbequed meat stands have sprung up all over the island. Some are right on the sidewalk! I wonder how this affects our centenarian rate.
Barbecuing meat creates the cancer-causing compounds polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). When fat drips from the meat onto the hot grill, catches fire, and produces smoke, PAHs form. That’s what’s contained in that charred mark we all look for on our burger.
HCAs form when meat is cooked at a high temperature, which can occur during an indoor cooking process as well.
The National Institute of Health, Dept. of Health and Human Services included heterocyclic amines, chemicals created during the grilling of meat to their hit list of cancer causing agents in 2005 – I thought for sure I would see the consumption of this kind of meat lower but I have not hardly saw anyone talk or write about it – therefore this article.
Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are chemicals that are formed during the grilling and frying and barbecuing of certain so called “muscle meats” such as beef, pork, poultry and fish.
There are studies out linking these chemicals to Breast Cancer; Prostrate Cancer; Colorectal Adenomas; Renal Cell Carcinoma; …. the list goes on
According to the National Cancer Institute:
Posted in NEWS, Recent Studies | Tagged: barbeque meat, Dominica, fast food consumption, Food Warnings, healthy eating, healthy living, meat, meat consumption and cancer, vegan, vegetarian, West Indies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on September 6, 2012
Papaya (Carica papaya), known locally as pawpaw, is from a family of plants that have a milky white sap or latex. Originally from southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America, papaya is now cultivated in most countries with a tropical climate.
The ripe papaya is a rich orange colour with yellow or pink hues. The ripe fruit is delicious – usually eaten raw, without the skin or seeds. It is an ideal food for invalids because the flesh is easy to chew and swallow. The indigenous peoples of the Caribbean are recorded to have eaten ripe papaya after meals believing it to promote digestion. They knew from observation that it had properties that aided the digestion of food.
Ripe papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavanoids. It is a very good source of the anti-oxidant carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body. It is a good source of folate, potassium, and dietary fiber and contains vitamin E, various B vitamins, pantothenic acid and vitamin K. It contains calcium and iron in small amounts and traces of iron, phospherous, zinc, copper, selenium and manganese.
Ripe papaya is often eaten opened and de seeded. Add a little lime juice for a change of flavour. Ripe papaya can be blended into smoothies and juices. I like to create papaya balls with a melon baller and add them to fruit salads. Add them just before serving so the other fruits do not get soft. Another of my favourite ways to eat papaya is as raw pawpaw porridge; a flavourful healthy start to the day. Papayas have a relatively high amount of pectin, which can be used to make jams and jellies.
Recently dried ripe papaya has become popular as a snack food; there is 1 or 2 companies on island doing this and it is the most amazing healthy snack. This is an area we need to expand in Dominica. When buying dried papaya buy the darker unsugared and sulphured kind – much more nutritious.
The seeds of the papaya are edible and have a hot, spicy taste. They are ground and eaten as a condiment; rather like black pepper.
The unripe green fruit can be eaten raw or cooked; like a vegetable in curries, soups and stews.
Green papaya does not contain carotene but has a nutritional content similar to ripe papaya except it is a significantly better source of potassium and a slightly better source of iron.
In some countries the leaves are eaten steamed or boiled like spinach
In others the flower buds are sautéed or stir fried.
Historically the papaya has been used medicinally in many different ways.
The latex of the papaya is especially rich in the enzyme called papain that catalyzes the breakdown of proteins. This enzyme is in all the parts of the plant but concentrated most strongly in the green papaya. It can be used in an incredibly wide variety of ways.
Papain is used in: bio-chemical laboratory research, commercial meat tenderizers, clotting milk, shrink proofing wool, toothpastes, mints and enzyme-action cleansing agents for soft contact lenses.
Papain is sold in tablet form as a digestive enzyme. It is said to be helpful in: digestive disorders such as acidosis, heartburn, indigestion, inflammatory bowel disorders and some doctors recommend it for stimulation of the appetite. No need to take a papain tablet to aid digestion of proteins with green pawpaw around.
Other experts recommend it for complications of diabetes, stimulation of immune response, some cancer treatments, sinusitis, arthritis, trauma, edemas, inflammation and to inhibit bacterial growth. Papain exhibits pain relieving properties and the US food and drug administration (FDA) has approved its medicinal use to ease the discomfort of slipped discs. Those with celiac disease, who have difficulty digesting wheat protein, can often tolerate it if it is treated with crude papain. It may help dyspeptic patients as papain can help in the digestion of proteins.
It has been used in: cleansing and healing of wounds, prevention of scar formation, the Mayans wrapped wounds with the leaf. Papain can be made into an immediate home remedy treatment for jellyfish, stingray and insect stings, wounds and many other skin conditions. The highest concentration of this substance is on the skin of unripe papayas. Cut the skin and apply it directly to the affected area.
Papaya seeds are traditionally used as a vermifuge, or dewormer. I have eaten them over my lifetime in small amounts once in a while as a preventative of parasitic infestation.
In some areas of Dominica women have traditionally used the seeds as a contraceptive. Recent studies have proven this to be valid with one study on rabbits showing the seeds to be a reversable contraceptive. Sperm concentration showed a gradual decline, reached severe oligospermia (fewer than 20 million/mL) after 75 days treatment, and attained uniform azoospermia after 120 days treatment. Sperm motility and viability were severely affected after 45 days treatment and reached less than 1% after 75 days treatment. The effects were comparable in the two dose regimens and were restored to normal 45 days after withdrawal of the treatment. No toxicity was evident; the libido of the treated animals was unaffected yet the fertility rate was zero.
Once again we see medical science is often based on traditional medicine concepts.
So many interesting ways to more completely utilize the papaya we grow here.
The small orange papayas with seeds are the heritage papayas of the island. They are incredibly flavourful and filled with carotene. Purchasing them instead of the huge pinkish and light orange papayas without seeds will help to conserve the heritage foods of the island.
The scent of the ripe papaya is offensive to some people.
The latex fluid can cause irritation and provoke allergic reaction in some people.
The papaya fruit and leaves contain carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid which could be dangerous in high doses.
Excessive consumption of papaya, like of carrots, can cause the yellowing of soles and palms.
Medical research in animals has shown contraceptive and abortive properties but most experts say papaya will not cause miscarriage in small, ripe amounts.
In traditional animal medicine papaya latex and/or seeds have been used as a dewormer. Recent studies have shown the validity of this folk remedy also.
Carica papaya was the first transgenic fruit tree to have its genome deciphered.
In the 1990s, the papaya ringspot virus threatened to wipe out Hawaii’s papaya industry completely; badly affecting the farmers with huge fields mono cropped with papaya. The small farmer who planted their papaya interspersed with other crops were not affected nearly as badly. Genetically altered plants were created that had some of the virus’s DNA incorporated into the DNA of the plant and gave patented ownership to the seed companies. Farmers were no longer allowed to save their own seeds. And while the two commercially available genetically modified varieties, “SunUp” and “Rainbow,” have seemed to have helped control the virus, farmers have found the genetically altered varieties appear more susceptible to funguses than the most common “natural” papaya. UH researchers knew the new SunUp and Rainbow strains were more susceptible to phytophthera when they released the new seed to the public. An Agronomist Steve Ferreira told the Hawaii Island Journal about that susceptibility in April of 2001.
A new study has raised questions about whether the altered genes in the new papayas could be allergenic to humans.
In 2004, it was found that papayas throughout Hawaii had experienced hybridization with the genetically modified varieties and that many seed stocks were contaminated. Small farmers have had to destroy 1000′s of plants or be sued by the owners of the genetically modified plants. By 2010, 80% of Hawaiian papaya plants were genetically modified.
For more information on healthy lifestyles contact 245-2474 or 317-4981, email@example.com.
Posted in Fruits, LOCAL FOODS | Tagged: Breakfast, Caribbean, Dominica, Food Warnings, fruits, health benefits, healthy eating, healthy living, LOCAL FOODS, NUTRITION, papaya, porridge, pregnancy, sustainable lifestyles, vegan, vegetarian, West Indies | 1 Comment »
Posted by Trudy Prevost on August 9, 2012
I love vanilla tea; vanilla in my cacao; vanilla in my desserts. I use it to make delicious scrubs and soak it in oil to make delicately scented skin oils. Vanilla is grown in Dominica and fairly easy to purchase. I much prefer to use the pod or the tiny seeds inside then the extract.
Hillborn and I grow vanilla – it has been so much fun – what an amazing plant!
Vanilla is an orchid. Orchids are one of the oldest and largest families of plants. 8% of all flowering plants are orchids. Vanilla is the only orchid that is a vine and it is the only orchid that produces an agriculturally valuable crop.
There are a few different cultivars but the West Indian Vanilla is usually from the V. pompona strain; that is what we mostly grow in Dominica.
Dominica grew a lot of vanilla in the past; many farms have vanilla vines in their citrus fields to this day. In the 1940′s we had a Vanilla Growers Association. Towards the end of the second World War it was a major crop. It is said a fire which destroyed a whole season’s crop and the devious practice of a few farmers in substituting White Cedar (Powier) pods for vanilla beans contributed to the downfall of this crop. I would imagine the invention of artifical vanilla essence – this industrial waste product could be produced at a fraction of the cost – had a lot to do with the fall of the market too.
Hillborn planted a cutting at the bottom of a mango tree, on a slope over 5 years ago. The leaves on the vines are thick and succulent and as they grew almost straight up the trunk of the tree they looked so primal. It grew profusely but it did not flower for many years – at least that we could see. It wasn’t until the vines started to cascade back down towards the ground that we saw our first flowers.
At first there were about six flowers growing clustered on one long stem closed up and yellowish green. They got bigger and bigger and then started to bloom and open up one by one. Each morning we were greeted with a bright new beautiful greenish yellow flower with the potential to make a vanilla pod to tantalize the flavour buds in months to come!
You must live in the moment with this plant for if you decide to go on with daily life and savour the flower later – it will be gone!
The first year we asked a neighbour to “peg” - hand fertilize the flowers and then watched the long green fruits/seed pods grow. then we learned to fertilize them ourselves.
When you consider farmers have only one morning to delicately hand touch the male and female parts of the flower together, perhaps while balancing in a tree – you know why this vine orchid spice is one of the most expensive spices after saffron (Crocus sativus).
In the end we got about 6 vanilla pods the first year. One was as long as my forearm!
Hillborn and I had planned to grow organic vanilla as a crop for our retirement. This is a crop I would love to see revive in Dominica. We have to start to purchase the beans instead of the artificial vanilla essence.
I can remember one organic vanilla bean in a glass tube costing $10 CDN in in the past but the price fluctuates with climatic conditions and I have recently priced a similar product at $5.
Once dried the beans are easy to ship and the demand for organic vanilla is growing locally, regionally and internationally. It is also a gift for visitors to take back home; especially if it is well packaged.
Why does vanilla have to be fertilized by hand? It seems they took the plant from MesoAmerica (Mexico) but they found the plant would not reproduce without a bee called the Melipona Bee. This was first recorded in 18’30′s by a botanist named named Charles François Antoine Morren; he also theorized how the flower was pollinated.
The relationship between this bee and the orchid is crucial to the production of vanilla. Mother nature is so amazing and human kind can be remarkably short sighted! We must keep these insect/food relationships in mind because if we keep on using agricultural chemicals we could possibly end up pollinating everything by hand if our bees and pollinating insects are effected!
They planted vanilla all over the world but for 300 years they could not figure out a viable way of getting these vines to produce outside of Mexico. Then a young 12 year old boy named Edmond Albius, from Réunion found a way to manually self-pollinate the plant. His technique remains the main way Vanilla is hand-pollinated today but he died a poor man.
To get vanilla you not only have to know how to hand pollinate it but you also have to be alert in flowering season as the flowers last less than a day and must be pollinated or they fall off and don’t make a bean. In the short hours the flower blooms the optimum pegging time is around mid day after it fully opens. One flower produces one bean. They flower in a cluster but only one flower comes out at a time.
A scientist on line said he had a 30% success rate with hand pollination; mine was only a 20%.
The pods are usually about 6 or 8 ” long when picked green and shorten when they are dried. If picked too early the flavour and scent is compromised. If left on the plant too long they split open.
The aroma of real vanilla is truly heavenly; I can just sit and inhale it in a thankful meditation for the scents mother nature gives us. If you have only smelled artificial vanilla essence or oil you are in for a treat.
If you split the pod open small black seeds fill the centre – the ’caviar’ of the vanilla. I scrape these seeds out and use them in foods that I want to impart a strong vanilla flavour but I do not want pieces of vanilla pod in. Then I use the pods in tea or other dishes where I can throw in a piece of the pod.
Processing of vanilla has the following steps:
Pods are wilted for 24 hours, the “preliminary” fermentation. Then sun dried, in a continuous fermentation. The pods become dark brown. At this point many processors keep pods in blankets, called sweating, for 8–12 days.
The pods may be sold separately or in alcohol as tincture/extract of vanilla.
Vanilla Extract vs Vanilla Essence
Not all vanilla extracts are the same so make sure you are getting 100% pure vanilla extract or better yet make your own.
Natural vanilla is much better flavoured and scented than the artificial vanilla or vanillin as vanillin is only one of 171 identified aromatic components in real vanilla.
Artificial Vanilla/ Imitation Vanilla/ Vanilla Essence is obtained from different sources. In the 1870′s it was manufactured from conifer trees. In the 1890s a French chemist created a synthetic from euganol, found in cloves. Now the two most common sources for synthetic vanillin are Lignin Vanillin, a by-product of the paper industry, which has been chemically treated to resemble the taste of pure vanilla extract, and Ethyl Vanillin, which is a coal-tar derivative and frequently far stronger than either Lignin Vanillin or pure vanilla. In the late 20th Century a new variety of imitation vanilla came into the commercial market, made from rice bran extract. Coumarin has frequently been found in synthetic vanillas as it’s cheap and it makes synthetic vanilla smell more like pure vanilla. Coumarin is a derivative of the tonka bean or beaver gland secretions. Some of the organic constituents that make up its flavor are similar to, or the same as, those in pure vanilla. Due to concerns about coumarin as a potential liver and kidney toxin, its use as a food additive is heavily restricted, although it is perfectly safe to eat foods which naturally contain the compound. The chemical name for coumarin is benzopyrone. (Dicumarol, which is a derivative of coumarin, is the active ingredient in certain blood-thinning medications.)
Some countries allow natural vanilla extract to be adulterated with glycerine; propylene glycol; sugar dextrose or corn syrup so check the label even when it says Vanilla Extract.
Some countries allow vanilla from natural sources including beaver glands to be called natural flavouring. This has been of concern to vegetarians and vegans.
It seems Vanilla Oil is created using a solvent; even the organic ones. Vanilla oil is used as a base note or fixative in perfumery. The oil is viscous and may need to be warmed to aid pourability.
Recent laboratory research has strengthened the possibility that a form of vanilla may become a drug to treat sickle cell disease.
There is some clinical evidence that the vanilla scent may reduce agitated behaviour in babies undergoing a routine heel stick.
There is limited evidence that vanilla has calming, antibacterial, antifungal, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antineoplastic, insect repellant, food preservative, and radioprotective properties.
Posted in LOCAL FOODS, Spices | Tagged: Caribbean, cooking spice, Dominica, health benefits, healthy eating, healthy living, herbal tea, LOCAL FOODS, NUTRITION, vanilla, West Indies | Leave a Comment »