Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hoff Hit: Probiotics

Aside from helping to prevent yeast infections, taking a daily probiotic may also keep you from catching a cold!

Doc: Dr. Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging

Dr. Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging may not have been what I expected, but in the end, that was a good thing.

I'll be honest, I kinda thought this doc would be about growing old gracefully - avoiding winkles, gray hair, packing on the pounds, etc.

In reality, this doc has substance!

Weil's starts out by dispelling the popular myths of aging, then he goes into diet & lifestyle changes that facilitate aging well.

He reminds us that age and disease do not go hand in hand.  That cognitive decline, heart disease, etc. are not natural aspects of aging.

That our goal is to live long and well; not reverse the aging process, which is in opposition to nature.

And the biggest lesson I took from this doc is that our number one goal is to have the shortness period of disability into the decline of health just before death.

This last point makes me think of my two grandfathers.  One suffered a long, tedious illness that left him bed ridden, robbing him of his quality of life until his eventual death.  Suffering that took a toll on the entire family - a toll, which my father never got over.  The other died peacefully in his sleep at age 99.  I can only imagine how different the lives of these two men were.

A doc definitely worth watching, check it out!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Crispy Rice Treats

This is a slightly modified version of Healthy Appetite with Ellie Kreiger's Crispy Rice Treats from the Food Network.

Crispy Rice Treats
Yields: 15 squares
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/2 Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 - 5oz bag of Craisins (flavor of choice)
  • 6 cups Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispies

  1. Prep 9 X 13 Pan: Spray with cooking spray & wipe with paper towel to minimize oil
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt together, Honey & Almond Butter, then stir in Salt
  3. Add Craisins & Rice and stir to coat
  4. Press down into pan & chill in refrigerator until set (about 30 minutes)
  5. Cut & Enjoy!

My 2 Cents: I recall making rice krispy treats as a kid and they were a bitch!  Getting the rice krispies coated and combined before the marshmallow set-up was a real pain in the ass and forget clean-up!  These are much, much easier to make, healthier for you and clean-up is a breeze!  Consider these for your next party!

What I Modified:
  1. I used Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter, because I have a peanut allergy.
  2. I added Salt for flavoring.
  3. I used a full bag of Craisins instead of dried cherries, no need to chop.
  4. I only use oil if I absolutely have to and when I do, I try to use as little as possible, hence the wiping of the pan with the paper towel.  Oil is nothing but concentrated fat and calories - you don't need it!

Super Quick Oatmeal

Super Quick Oatmeal
Serves: 1

Mix together 1/2 Whole Cut/Steel Cut Oatmeal & 1/2 cup water into a bowl (use milk for thicker consistency).  Cover & store in frig overnight.

By morning you will have moist oatmeal that just needs flavoring and 1-2 minutes in the microwave!

P.S. Toast the oats in a pan before soaking to create a nutty taste!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hoff Hit: Olive Oil

Olive Oil is healthy, right?


Olive Oil is concentrated fat and calories, with a very low nutrient value.  It's predominately fat, 15% of which is saturated fat (artery clogging) and one tablespoon is 120 calories!

Do you really use one tablespoon, ever?!?!

Doc: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn

Hmmm, ok - this video is more of a supplement to the book, The Engine 2 Diet, by Rip Esselstyn.  It's ok, I wish I would have waited for it to be released on Netflix, because I don't feel the need to own it after seeing it.

Basically this video follows Rip, the author, as he interacts with two separate families looking to begin The Engine 2 Diet, Rip's Plant-Strong version of his father's (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) Plant-Perfect diet detailed in Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease.

Rips starts by raiding the pantries of these two families and pulling out all the unhealthy food and then walks them through cooking three meals.  That's it - pretty much a glorified cooking show.  Now the book is a definite must read!

Check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tommie Copper - Yes, It Works!

About two years ago, I started experiencing an issue with one of my knees.  Having it in a bent position, any position for longer than five minutes would result in it seizing up, causing me to limp around a few minutes before I was able to regain full range of motion, without pain and go about my business. 

Within the past six months, my knee took a dramatic turn and it was steadily and rapidly getting worse - to the point where I was barely able to put any weight on it after sitting for example, but I was still able to walk it out within a few minutes.  I knew I had to do something or this ailment certainly wouldn't go away (as I had hoped) and was determined to get worse.

So, it was time for me to take action.  First I implemented my chiropractor and then my acupuncturist and while their treatments did yield some relief, I was back to where I started three days later.

Then one sleepless night around 3am, I found myself fixated on an infomercial with Montel Williams touting his latest product endorsement - Tommie Copper compression sleeves.  I had never thought of a compression sleeve to alleviate my pain and this one had "copper" woven into it.

For those of you who don't know, Montel Williams was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998 and while the disease affects people differently, Montel experiences extreme pain on a daily basis.  Montel claims to have experienced relief through the use of these compression sleeves.

So, I thought if Montel was having a positive experience, maybe this could work for me as well.  I had nothing to lose other than the $24 bucks they charge for the knee sleeve.  To fix a worsening ailment that I've struggled with daily for 2 years, $24 dollars didn't seem like a whole lot - I ordered!

I tend to push things to extremes, so as soon as my sleeve arrived; I began wearing it 24-7, even in my sleep!  After seven days, I started to forget I had a knee issue...  Then I got complacent and took the sleeve off, within three days, without warning, I launched myself out of my office chair after an hour of sitting and my knee nearly collapsed under my own body weight!  Ok, back to the compression sleeve!  Within seven days, I was back to a solid, reliable knee!

Lesson learned - I can't expect a few days of anything to repair two years of constant damage.  I don't expect to be reliant on this sleeve for the rest of my life, but I definitely need to give my body proper time to heal itself and when it's ready, it will be ready.

The sleeve itself is made of black nylon; thin enough to breathe and not be hot, but thick enough not to run like a stocking.  Aside from the elastic bands at the top and bottom of the sleeve, I barely notice that I have the sleeve on.

I can't tell if there is actual copper threading woven into the nylon.  I don't even know if that's even what's fixing me knee, the bottom line is, I don't care - after two years of pain and uncertainty, my knee is better!  I am no longer constantly obsessing over the state of my knee!

Tommie Copper has a whole slew of sleeves for whatever ails ya - elbow sleeves, ankle sleeves, calf sleeves, gloves, even a full shirt!

Aside from joint injuries, these sleeves were designed to help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, arthritis, inflammation, muscle pain and swelling.  They aid in increasing mobility and range of motion.

Check It Out!
The Hoff

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Minimal Effort, One Pot Meal for One

This is more of a concept than a recipe.  Use what you have on hand and what you personally like.  Be adventurous!

I found myself cooking for one a few evenings ago.  I wanted a home cooked meal minus the processed foods (a typical go-to), but I didn't feel like pulling out the cutting boards and pots and I certainly didn't want to do any dishes.  So I thought about it and I turned to my trusty rice cooker and freezer and wondered if I could cook rice, while cooking a variety of frozen vegetables.  I'm pleased to say that my experiment was a success!

To get started pour in one cup of rice and two cups of water or vegetable broth into the rice cooker as the foundation of your meal.  Next, add any combination of frozen vegetables.  I had succotash, cauliflower and collard greens on hand.  Next, stir in seasonings.  I was going for an Asian Stir-Fry, so I added Bragg Liquid Aminos (soy sauce), ground ginger, kelp or sea salt and a bit of lime juice.  I set the rice cooker to "cook" and while it seemed to take longer than cooking just rice, everything turned out perfect!

This could easily be doubled for a meal for two or for leftover lunch the next day.  Depending on how big your rice cooker is, you could have a healthy, easy meal for the whole fam!

Keep it Healthy!
The Hoff

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Magic of Molasses!

Molasses is a stellar sweetener that unlike refined sugars retains significant amounts of a variety of beneficial nutrients such as copper, calcium, magnesium and manganese with very few calories.  One tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients.  It's also a good source of selenium and B6.

How is Blackstrap molasses made?

Blackstrap molasses is the result of boiling sugar syrup three times.  It's the concentrated byproduct left over after the crystallization of sugar's sucrose.

Why do you want to add Molasses to your diet?

When I first started researching Molasses, I learned that it had the ability to change gray hair (at the root) back to it's original color.  That was enough for me.

I can't speak from personal experience if this works - not at the stage of life yet - but I'm hoping that I never see a gray hair as a result of my Molasses consumption (fingers crossed).

Aside from vanity, molasses really is good for you - full of vitamins and minerals.

So what else?

Molasses is SUPER high in potassium, one tablespoon has 730 mg!  Next to bananas, Molasses is an excellent source for potassium.  Suffer from leg cramps?  That's a potential sign of a potassium deficiency.

Blackstrap molasses can also be used as an iron supplement for those sensitive to iron supplements or wishing to holistically overcome anemia.  One tablespoon provides up to 15% of the recommended daily amount.

How do I use Molasses?

I take one teaspoon in a cup of coffee.  It gives the coffee a nice earthy foundation, it's a little hard to articulate, but it makes the coffee feel decadent and now coffee just isn't the same without it.

Molasses is also a key ingredient in gingerbread cookies (a personal favorite) and baked beans.

Add it to hot cereals, pancakes, waffles, even smoothies.

Try it as a mineral tonic by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of molasses with one glass of warm water.

You can even add molasses to the soil of almost any plant to promote microbial activity.

What kind of Molasses do you want?

Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses - best to get organic due to the defoliant chemicals used to make harvesting the sugar cane easier with non-organic molasses.  Avoid sulfur molasses as this is an unhealthy chemical additive used as a preservative that you don't need.

Wholesome Sweeteners makes a nice Organic Unsulphured Molasses at a reasonable price.

Try it!
The Hoff

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hoff Hit: Browning Fruit

We all know the trick of using the juice of a lemon or lime to prevent cut fruit from browning.  But, did you know that the juice of an orange has the same effect without the bitterness?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Good Beauty Goes Bad...

We all do it - hang onto cosmetics way past their prime.  Follow these tips and timelines to keep your beauty routine from turning on you.

Write the date you open a product on the actual container (sealed products can last a few years), using a piece of tape if necessary and then follow these product life expectancies:

Face Cream: 6 months
Mascara: 6 months
Liquid Foundation: 6 - 8 months
Concealer: 1 year
Powder Foundations: 1 year
Nail Polish: 1 year
Lip Color: 1-2 years
Pencil Eye Liner: 3 years
Eye Shadow: 3 years

Print this page and keep it in your bathroom (like the inside of your medicine cabinet).

Happy Purging!
The Hoff

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Famous Vegetarians & Vegans!

Plato - Vegan
I am fascinated by all the significant, historical figures (celebs are cool, too) who chose to go either vegetarian or vegan way back in the day.

What did they know - what drove their decision - health or animal welfare?  

Probably safe to say that Thomas Edison would have been an animal rights activist...

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." - Thomas Edison

Einstein - may have been in both camps...

"Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind." - Albert Einstein

Check Out More Famous Veggies!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Olive Tap

If you're a fan (or patient) of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, then you've heard of The Olive Tap - if not, allow me to enlighten you!

The Olive Tap is a neat little shop in downtown Medina, Ohio (Kmart Shopping Plaza); actually there are five locations, but only one in Ohio. 

As the name suggestions, The Olive Tap specializes in a variety of fresh, artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oils from around the world, but that's not why I think this shop is so great.

I go there for their fresh, artisan Balsamic Vinegars from around the world!

Dr. Esselstyn says that greens (kale, spinach, bok choy, etc.) are essential for good health and need to be eaten daily.  Only problem is, I don't like them!  Ok, I have alleviated this problem to a degree by incorporating wraps into my daily routine, but Esselstyn wants you to eat greens at every meal - ugh!  Esselstyn knows what time it is and that greens don't have a strong fan base.  So, he tells his patients to use flavored balsamic vinegars to make the greens more appealing; which this shop just happens to specialize in and Esselstyn is a frequent patron of.

By the way, I found out that Esselstyn's favorite vinegar is Aceto Balsamico di Modena (not bad!).

Now I am even a less of a fan of vinegar than I am of greens, so I knew I had to taste test before buying, which this shop encourages!  In fact, the staff is so super friendly and knowledgeable - all I had to do was mention Esselstyn's name and they knew exactly why I was there.  I explained that I didn't like traditional balsamic, but that I did like fruit and I was directed towards a Strawberry Balsamic and Mango Passion Fruit among others!  They even have a Dark Chocolate vinegar (pair that with some fruit)! 

I even learned that there are thicker, almost sauce-like vinegars, kinda cool!

And the best part!  

While they do sell typical large, about 12.68 oz bottles, they offer a set of 4, 3.4 oz bottles for $25 of the flavor(s) of your choice - the bottles are made up on the spot!  My plan is to keep trying all the sample bottles to discover my ultimate fav!

These cute little bottles would make a perfect gift and as a little bit of vinegar goes a long way, I predict my set is going to last me a few months and I use them daily!

The Olive Tap, Medina
1077 North Court St.
Medina, OH 44256
(330) 721-6500

Check them out or shop online!
The Hoff

P.S. They have a newsletter!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just the Stats, Man!

So you've seen the doctor, had the blood tests and have been inundated with a bunch of numbers - now what?  Are they good, bad or what?

Well, if you gauge yourself by the mainstream medical averages, you could be in trouble.  In a culture where everyone knows someone with Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, etc. do you really want to be average?

To avoid the diseases that plague our rich western culture, these are the numbers you want to aim for:

Blood Pressure: 110/70
Total Cholesterol: Under 150
LDL Cholesterol: Under 80
HDL Cholesterol: Men >40, Women >50
Triglycerides: Under 150
Fasting Glucose: 60 - 100
*BMI: Under 20% for men, Under 25% for women
B12 Levels: Over 200 pg/ml
Vitamin D: 20-30 ng/ml

These are the real numbers you want in order to avoid Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes and other diseases of affluence (aka: eating ourselves to death).

*Keep in mind that BMI (body mass index) is a ratio derived from your height and weight and therefore does not take into consideration muscle which weights more than fat.  Therefore a very fit person with a high percentage of muscle would "appear" overweight or obese when in fact their weight is in the healthy range.

Beat the Average!
The Hoff

The McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health by John A. McDougall, M.D.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. 
The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chickpea Magazine Has Arrived!

Chickpea Magazine has just launched it's first online and print addition!

What can I say about it....

It's goooooooorrrrrgeous!

Full-out photographs, artistic in design and layout and NO advertising!  It's also chock full of interesting vegan articles and recipes that the average Joe can actually make!

While Bob and Cara are the brainchilds behind Chickpea, they collect submissions from the vegan community from around the world - from photos to articles to recipes and more in order to create it.  Making this a truly unique and community-supported venture.

You'll have to view their Fall 2011 edition here, because the paper version of the Fall edition is sold out!  Pity, it really is exquisite.

This vegan, lifestyle quarterly magazine will drop it's winter addition in mid-to-late December.  If you want to get your hands on a print edition, visit the Cara's Etsy Shop!

Check out the "Backers" page and you'll find The Healthy Hoff as one of the financial contributors (I do what I can)!

Happy Reading!
The Hoff

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buy, Sell or Trade Ohio Produce!

Is your garden overgrown with tomatoes?  Are you looking for fresh, green peppers in October?  Do you want to trade your honey for someone's black walnuts?

"Like" Whole Life - Ohio on Facebook and you will be a few keyboard strokes away from networking with Northwest Ohio farmers and gardeners!

Whole Life - Ohio is all about cutting out the middleman and bringing producers and consumers together!

Interested in learning more?  

Hit Loni up at for more info!

Support Local!
The Hoff

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Very Vegan Christmas Gift!

Have a special vegan in your life with a sweet tooth?

Check out Allison's Gourmet - an all vegan, organic bakery, confectionary, & gift shop!

Really, really like this special person?

Sign them up for Allison's Monthly Cookie, Brownie or Fudge club!

Yes, this stuff is a little pricey.  But I have been pricing vegan goodies for my holiday festivities and it is inline with what everyone else in this market is charging.  Law of supply and demand...we need to generate more demand to lower the costs!

The Hoff

Monday, December 12, 2011

Healthy Hoff Hits The Funny Papers!

The Healthy Hoff is guest starring in the latest installment of Ink LaRue, an online comic created by Unka John, an all-around cool cat!

These hips don't lie.

Check Me Out!
The Hoff

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vegan Cooking Class: Great Success!

Chef Robin & The Healthy Hoff!
Start with a unique concept, add one dynamic and knowledgeable Chef, mix in a great group of enthusiastic and eager folks, and you get an awesome learning experience for all!

Last night we had a great turn out for The Healthy Hoff's Vegan Cooking Class!  Under the guidance of Chef Robin of Cooking with C.A.R.E. a group of us learned to cook an entire vegan meal, not using an ounce of oil.


We learned a lot, but here are some highlights: 

  • oil really isn't always necessary for cooking after all
  • don't crowd your pan!
  • roll your lime to get the most juice
  • don't stir your rice/quinoa while cooking
  • keep fingers curled while chopping so you don't lose one
  • how to peel a pepper
  • hunt down Kevin of SpiceHound at local farmer's markets for great, quality spices

We spent the evening making black bean burgers, butternut squash soup, quinoa, salsa and caramelized pears as a team.  We each took turns peeling, chopping, mixing, laughing (a lot) and overall, creating from scratch!  At the end we all sat down to enjoy the fantastic feast of our hard work and got to know one another.

The evening was topped off with Organic Raspberry Vegan Truffles from Cinnamon is Good For You, a testament that healthier treats are possible!

I thank you all, who came out, partook and helped me realize my vision for my very first Healthy Hoff event!

Special thanks to Chef Robin for all her efforts and for being such an excellent teacher.

I enjoyed meeting new faces and catching up with friends.  I hope all of you learned something new, enjoyed being a vegan (if only for one night) and overall, had fun!

The Hoff

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You Know You’re A Vegan When…

Repost Courtesy of Glenn Osrin, Miami Vegan Examiner, December 5, 2011

You Know You’re A Vegan When…

You can eat a vegan cupcake without gagging from the slight aftertaste a baked good can have that doesn’t have milk, eggs, or butter in it.

You get excited when you find meatless protein sources like Gardein chicken tenders that don’t taste like flavored soy but actually taste GOOD.

You plan ahead and pack your own meals and snacks when heading into hostile territory: a family gathering with carnivores who won’t think twice about whether or not ‘your food’ is present in abundance.

You don’t miss the pizza, chicken wings, oso bucco, spare ribs, corned beef, fried chicken, and all manner of culturally conditioned and factory-farmed garbage that you used to swill down with impunity.

You start explaining the ecological, environmental, spiritual, and physiological benefits of veganism to people who ask you about it.

You start bonding with tofu instead of dreading it as the cube of moon paste that doesn’t ever taste like anything unless and until you season the hell out of it.

You get giddy like a child meeting a movie star whenever you pass by a farmer’s market or a favorite specialty store or Whole Foods Market.

You enjoy the challenge of going to mainstream restaurants like Macaroni Grill or Bahama Breeze where you proceed to torture the server with the dietary zinger, “So I’m a vegan. Do you have anything for VEGANS?”

You go to the doctor two weeks after you started the vegan lifestyle and he wants to know what it is you are doing differently because all of your blood work-up numbers are vastly improved.

You start watching movies at home like “SuperSize Me”, “Food, Inc.” and “Forks Over Knives” and actually pay attention to, and enjoy them.

You catch yourself figuring out the light-bulb moment when you realize that being vegan doesn’t just mean with food, but with apparel and accessories produced from animal fur or as a result of animal suffering.

You begin identifying with famous vegans like Bill Clinton, Alicia Silverstone, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia DeRossi, Johnny Depp, Natalie Portman and Russell Simmons and look to them for inspiration and motivation.

You get through a Thanksgiving without missing the turkey and sausage stuffing and a latin Christmas with no longing for the sweet ham or garlic-basted pork and are content to munch on a celebration roast and yucca with black beans and rice and a salad.

You realize people are coming to social gatherings at your house and bringing you vegan fare especially for you!

You look forward to the questions “You’re what?” and “You eat THAT?!”

You sit by the curb like a forlorn dog waiting for its’ master waiting for your new copy of VegNews to be delivered.

You wake up one morning and it is as easy and natural and right as the sustaining breath of life that flows through your lungs, seemingly effortlessly and without thought or preoccupation.

You go the cupboard or refrigerator and instinctively look for the foods you can eat and not the ones you used to eat.

You share the vegan lifestyle message with anyone who is interested to learn about it passionately but without prejudice.

You proudly greet each new day knowing you are going to make a difference and set your head down on your pillow at night easily, peaceful at having left the world better than you found it when you woke up.

To view the entire article, click here.

Repost Courtesy of Glenn Osrin, Miami Vegan Examiner, December 5, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hoff Hit: Holiday Weight Gain

The average person gains 1-5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.  While that may not sound like a lot, the problem is that most people never lose that weight - do that every year and it adds up!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Did Steve Jobs Die?

How is it that one of the richest men in the world, with any resource at his disposal was unable to beat cancer?

This question has been hunting me since Steve Jobs' death of pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011.

John McDougall MD explores this question and offers an insight as to what happened in his article, Why Did Steve Jobs Die?

It is a very thought provoking and eye opening article on many fronts.

"One of Jobs’ greatest regrets when he found out he had incurable cancer was that he had refused to have surgery for 9 months after being diagnosed. He believed he might have been cured if he had acted earlier. Since he was in his mid-twenties when the cancer spread throughout his body, removing his CAT-scan-detected cancer in October of 2003 would never have cured him."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

The Hoff

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Healthy Hoff, an Our Ohio Cultivator!!!

The Healthy Hoff, along with some other very cool Ohioans has been selected to be an "Our Ohio Cultivator!"

As an Ohio Cultivator, I will get to help "develop new programs, provide insight to engage meaningful conversations and ultimately cultivate a strong passion to support local foods within our communities."

I'm not exactly sure what all my Cultivator duties will include, but I have a feeling that the next year is going to be pretty interesting!

I am very honored to have been chosen and look forward sharing all the cool things going on across Ohio!

The Hoff

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Day to Register for Cooking Class!

Last Day To Register!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
When: Saturday 12.10.2011
Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Cost: $45 per person (compared to area classes, this is a bargain!)

Deadline: Register and pay by Wednesday, 12.7.2011 (otherwise, no food for you!)

Click here to Register & Pay
(scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")

In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.

Questions?  Contact me at

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Website Alert! Spencer's Market

Launching just in time for the holidays is a cool new site that offers personalized vegan food specials!

When you register with Spencer's Market (for free), you will be asked a series of questions, so your daily email offers are specific to your wants & needs: vegan, vegetarian, kosher, soy-free, nut-free, etc.

Products will be supplied from a combination of local, artisanal producers and commercial brands that fit the Spencer "natural-food-only policy."

Plus your offers will be at a nice discount - up to 70% off the retail price!

It's like having your own personal shopper!

Check it Out!
The Hoff

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time Is Running Out To Register for Vegan Cooking Class!

3 Days & Counting!  
Deadline To Register is
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
When: Saturday 12.10.2011
Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Cost: $45 per person (compared to area classes, this is a bargain!)

Deadline: Register and pay by Wednesday, 12.7.2011 (otherwise, no food for you!)

Click here to Register & Pay
(scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")

In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.

Questions?  Contact me at

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Get Those Greens In!

Recently I had my diet accessed by an outside party to determine where I could make improvements. You would think that as a practicing Vegan, I would have it all figured out and have the perfect diet.

Not entirely...

For one, you don't know what you don't know and secondly, the obvious can be illusive sometimes. Have you ever heard of a "junk food" Vegetarian?  These types of people substitute chips, crackers, cookies, etc. for meat, but more often they don't even realize that's what they are doing.  I fell into this trap once upon a time too.

The plan...

I found a dietary expert who was open to my way of eating: Vegan & oil-free, kept a 2-week diary of every single thing I ate and drank and then met for a one-on-one consultation.

The results...

While, I had worked out everything in my diet that was bad, I kinda left out some valuable foods. In particularly, greens (kale, spinach, romaine, etc.) were virtually non-existent.  And that's a problem, because greens are a powerhouse in the plant world and by not including them I wasn't eating a well-balanced Vegan diet or getting valuable micronutrients.

But how could this be?!?!

Simple, I hate salad!  As a Vegetarian I could scoff them down with the aid of cheese, croutons and creamy dressings, but as a Vegan those items were off the table and soon so were the salads.

The solution!

While I may hate salads, I love wraps!  So, now I just make a "salad" using romaine or a spring mix or both and throw it in a wrap - problem solved!  And the dressing issue, it doesn't seem so weird to use mustard (my all-time fav condiment) in a wrap.  But I have found that hummus is also très yummy!  I also include kale in my morning smoothies, sautee up spinach for dinner and throw frozen collard or turnip greens into soups.

Bring It On Greens!
The Hoff

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Belly Bags

Happy Belly Bags, creates fun, organic gift bags designed for those with food allergies or specific dietary preferences such as vegan, kosher, gluten free, nut free, soy free - anything you can think of.  And if they don't have a bag for what you need, you can build-you-own!

Perfect for that special someone in your life for the holidays!

Happy Shopping!
The Hoff