18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Eggplant Stir Fry

Eggplant and Lightlife Chik'n Strips stir fried in Soy Vay, on whole wheat couscous.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Don't Fear Tofurky, Fear the Slaughterhouse

My friend GarbanzoBean drew my attention to this with a post on her blog. Men's Health Magazine presents a list of the top 15 things that scare men. It's a funny list, but I'm a little peeved by #3: Tofurky.

What we should fear and abhor is the slaughterhouse, the process by which animals go from the farm to our table, neatly packaged and ready to be cooked, sliced and eaten. In our society of prepared foods, we're so insulated from the cruelty and gore that is inherent in factory farming.

Learn more:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Love/Hate Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is one of my favorite shows, not for the fact that it has anything to do with medicine, but that it's got funny and interesting plot lines. However, I hope that those of you who aren't in the medical field don't get the impression that Grey's Anatomy resembles any sort of medical reality.

Surgical interns don't scrub into surgeries. They spend their time on the "floors", taking care of pre- and post-surgical patients, doing the "scut" work. They don't date their supervising physicians, let alone socialize with them. Saying things like, "I'd like to get a chem panel, CBC, and CT of the head" doesn't make you look smart in the real world. And since when do orthopedic surgeons and obstetricians supervise surgical interns? They don't.

The most recent plot line pushes reality even further. The surgical interns are sent out to a mass casualty in Seattle. One intern finds a man crushed by a car, and without any tools, she's asked to save his life. Conveniently, she has the head of the department of surgery on speed dial on her cell phone, who talks her through the process of drilling holes into the man's skull in order to reduce the pressure in his brain. I would have preferred seeing her stand by as he dies. That's reality -- interns don't drill Burr holes in brains.

Another subplot is that intern Meredith Grey, the main character, falls into the river. She's eventually pulled out of the water by her boyfriend McDreamy. Having been under water for at least several minutes, if not longer, she is in cardiac arrest. CPR is performed for what seems like an inappropriately long period of time. She is pronounced dead. Then in previews for next week's episode, you see one of her co-interns insist that CPR is continued, that not everything has truly been done.

Let's just put it this way -- after prolonged CPR, the odds of coming back are exceedingly slim. This sends an awful message to the lay public, that you're not really dead, that you can't give up on CPR ever. A message that will take away from the dignity of dying patients everywhere.

Medical shows are fiction. But writers need to realize the impact of their scripts on how people perceive medicine.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I'm going to start running again this week!

After a couple minutes on a treadmill this morning, I was completely pain-free in my right hip.

My trainer at the gym and I had a joke, that when I was ready to start running again, I'd send him an e-mail with the subject line "!!!!!!!!", just from the excitement of being able to run again.

In the meantime, I think I've maintained my level of fitness well, with spinning classes, kickboxing, and the elliptical trainer.

The timing is good -- I can look forward to an early season triathlon, maybe???

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Veggie-Bean Burritos with Creamy Avocado Cashew Sauce

I made the Chipotle Veggie-Bean Burritos with Creamy Avocado Cashew Sauce from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan! Other than chopping some green peppers, celery, and red onion, this was pretty easy to prepare. The burrito is topped with some Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese and the Creamy Avocado Cashew Sauce.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Debunking the Dairy Myth

There's a new magazine, from the publishers of Runner's World and Men's Health, called Women's Health. What a great idea for a magazine!

The lead headline on the cover reads:

Your Most Stubborn BELLY FAT GONE! The Secret? Eat This Food To Lose 81 Percent More Belly Fat.

Really? I have some stubborn belly fat. Don't many of us? Do tell me more!

Women who added this food to their daily diet lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat than people who ignored it!! ... A University of Tennessee study found that people who ate three servings of yogurt a day lost astounding amounts of body fat when compared to those who didn't eat any.

I think the trial they're talking about is this:
Zemel MB. et al. Effects of calcium and dairy on body composition and weight loss in African-American adults. Obesity Research. 13(7):1218-25, 2005 Jul.

First off, this isn't new information -- it's from almost two years ago!! It was also, as you can see from the title, a study of African-Americans. Most importantly, no other researcher has published a study corroborating that consuming dairy leads to weight loss.

I wrote a letter to the editor:

To the Editor:

I am a physician and a subscriber to Runner's World. My interest was piqued by the glossy sample of your new magazine, Women's Health. However, I was very disappointed by the suggestion to your readers to consume three servings of yogurt daily to lose weight.

Three studies, all by one researcher, Dr. Michael Zemel, and including fewer than a combined total of seventy patients, show any link between dairy and weight loss. No other study has found a link between dairy and weight loss; in fact, no researcher has corroborated Dr. Zemel's findings. In fact, Dr. Zemel's research is funded by the dairy industry and he has patented the claim of consuming dairy to lose weight.

I provide you the following references that would contradict your statement that women should have three servings of yogurt per day:

Thompson WG. Rostad Holdman N. Janzow DJ. Slezak JM. Morris KL. Zemel MB. Effect of energy-reduced diets high in dairy products and fiber on weight loss in obese adults. Obesity Research. 13(8):1344-53, 2005 Aug.

Bowen J. Noakes M. Clifton PM. Effect of calcium and dairy foods in high protein, energy-restricted diets on weight loss and metabolic parameters in overweight adults. International Journal of Obesity. 29(8):957-65, 2005 Aug.

Harvey-Berino J. Gold BC. Lauber R. Starinski A. The impact of calcium and dairy product consumption on weight loss. Obesity Research. 13(10):1720-6, 2005 Oct.

Lanou AJ. Data do not support recommending dairy products for weight loss. Obesity Research. 13(1):191, 2005 Jan

I would also suggest you go to, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This story reflects one of two possibilities: First, your writer may not have done his or her research on the topic beyond the claims of the dairy industry. Or, worse yet, the editorial influence of certain researchers or organizations such as the dairy industry are greatly biasing the content of your magazine. Either way, this is not the type of magazine that I would wish to read, nor would I recommend it to my patients.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Very Easy Chili

This is incredibly easy to make and preserves well in the fridge.

Drain and rinse one can of chick peas and one can of kidney beans. Sautee in a small amount of canola oil. Add about one haf of a cup of frozen or canned corn. Then add Lightlife Smart Ground and a bottle of barbeque sauce -- I like Donna's Certified Organic BBQ Sauce.

It keeps well in the fridge, freezes well, and is quite filling for a quick healthy lunch.

Oh and get yourself a coupon for $1 off Lightlife products!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Getting Better. Slowly.

I'm making some progress, or so I'm told by the folks at physical therapy. I tried running yesterday on my treadmill, and my hip is better, but still uncomfortable enough that I know I shouldn't be doing it.

Emotionally it's hard to get over an injury. Right now I really don't feel like talking about my injury, or even about running.

I'm focusing on the things I CAN do -- like biking, swimming, elliptical, and weights.

More food posts coming soon.