• Category Archives diet and health
  • Vegan Sweet Potato ‘Yogurt’ Recipe

    Berry Vegan Yogurt

    Today I would like to share one of my favorite “serendipity” recipes with you.  The inspiration came from a mention in the FatFree Vegan Recipes forum regarding the use of sweet potatoes in smoothies. When I tried my hand at a similar recipe, it came out very thick and “creamy,” much more like a yogurt than a smoothie.

    There is something about the cooked starch of the sweet potato that gives body and texture to the product.  And the natural caramelization process during baking yields a sweet, slightly molasses-like flavor.

    My recipe is made with three simple ingredients, is naturally low-fat,  is super-easy to make, and tastes delicious.

    Feel free to improvise with ingredients you have on hand.  A friend of mine tried it with Coconut Milk beverage and said it was “yum!” The one thing to be sure to include is the sweet potato.

    Vegan Sweet Potato “Yogurt”

    Serves 2-3


    • 1 cup baked, cooled, peeled sweet potato
    • 3/4 to 1 cup non-dairy milk, depending on desired thickness (I prefer unsweetened Almond milk)
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (such as raspberries, blueberries, banana, mango, etc.)


    Bake sweet potato at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes until fork-tender. Allow to cool.  Peel skin of sweet potato with your fingers.

    Place sweet potato, non-dairy milk and fruit in a high-speed blender and whirl until smooth.

    Serve immediately. Can be stored in tightly-covered container in refrigerator for 1-2 days.  This is delicious eaten as-is, or served over granola cereal. This would also make a fabulous food for babies and young children.

    Your turn: if you try this recipe, or a variation, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Be sure to leave me a comment or share your recipe below!

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  • Save the Date

    Raw Beet Ravioli

    I am very happy to announce that I am launching a new blog on June 30, 2010. It will focus on eating a plant-based diet for optimal health and well-being.

    I am excited about this new blog because it combines my love of plant-based nutrition with my desire to share information to help people feel better. It will have recipes, hints and tips for healthy eating, nutritional news you can use, and restaurant reviews, among many other things.

    Of course, it will have a look and feel that you recognize. I will take what I’ve learned from elegant simple life and incorporate it into the new blog. I have really enjoyed writing elegant simple life and realize that it is because of my efforts at simplification that I was able to uncover my heart-felt interest in writing about vegan and raw nutrition.

    The other great delight in writing elegant simple life has been getting to know and learn from you, my readers. And for this, I thank you.

    I hope you’ll consider taking a look at the new blog. Please save the date and check back here on the 30th for a link to the new site.

    Thank you!


    image: Raw Beet Ravioli (that I made!) © 2010. Christianna Pierce.

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  • List of Anti-Angiogenic Foods

    As you may recall from my last post, a certain group of foods can help in the fight against cancer. These foods contain angiogenesis inhibitors that stop the spread of cancer by preventing tumors from creating new blood vessels. Without new blood vessels, the tumors cannot survive.

    I looked at several sources and created this chart to help you choose the foods known for their anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer properties. Happily, dark chocolate is one of the cancer-fighting foods. Something to keep in mind is that mixing dairy products with chocolate cancels the beneficial effects of the cocoa. So, remember to avoid milk chocolate.

    Anti-angiogenic Foods


    Dulak, J. “Nutraceuticals as Anti-Angiogenetic Agents:  Hopes and Reality,” J. of Physiology and Pharmacology 2005, 56, Suppl 1, 51-69.

    Li, William. “Dietary Sources of Naturally-Occurring Antiangiogenic Substances,” Angiogenesis Foundation (http://www.angio.org)

    Servan-Schreiber, David. Anti-Cancer:  A New Way of Life, Viking, 2008.

    Your turn: How many of these anti-angiogenic foods do you typically eat?  Are you trying to eat more of them on a daily basis?

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  • Eat Anti-angiogenic Foods to Prevent Cancer

    As a dietitian, I love to share the latest scientific research with you so that you can make the best food choices possible.

    In this TED talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” Dr. William Li discusses a new way to treat cancer and other diseases. It is called anti-angiogenesis. Anti-angiogenesis refers to preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. If the tumor is not fed by blood vessels, it cannot grow and spread.

    One way of preventing angiogenesis and tumor growth is the use of anti-angiogenesis drugs. New anti-angiogenesis drugs, such as Avastin, have significantly prolonged the lives of patients with metastatic colon cancer.

    But what I find most exciting is the role of nutrition and diet in anti-angiogenesis.

    Dr. Dean Ornish states in The Huffington Post,

    While biotech companies are beginning to rally around this idea, a growing body of research is showing that fruit and vegetables contain an arsenal of naturally occurring angiogenesis inhibitors. These include substances like ellagic acid (berries), resveratrol (grapes), curcumin (turmeric), ECGC (green tea), procyanidin (cocoa) and genistein (soybeans). Increasing the intake of these substances may prove to have antiangiogenic benefits, such as cancer prevention and weight reduction. Antiangiogenesis may be yet another reason why fruits and vegetables are so beneficial.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Not only may anti-angiogenic foods prevent cancer. They may assist with weight reduction as well.

    These are two excellent reasons to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

    Next: A list of the top anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer foods.

    Your turn: What do you think of these findings? Please leave a comment and let us know.

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