Dec. 29, 2012
This Week's Q&A (Talking Coffee, Cornstarch Substitutes, Iron, B Vitamins, & Workplace Treats!)
You've got questions...
Q: Do you drink coffee? Is drinking coffee unhealthy?
A: I don't drink coffee. It makes me too jittery. As for whether or not it’s unhealthy, I think we can all agree that coffee isn't a health food, like, say, a bunch of broccoli or an apple :)
There are other considerations too — Is the coffee more like a candy bar in a glass? (Think Starbucks latte). If so, that's not good. Has milk or cream been added? Because dairy is bad for the bod, even in small amounts.
Also — how many cups are being consumed per day? 1? 5? 10? Is there a caffeine addiction? Is the coffee drinker using caffeine to mask chronic fatigue for a poor diet or lack of rest, or both?
Sure, there are worse things, but I think it’s important to remember that coffee is not a “health food,” even in its black state, and caffeine is still a drug. Decaf coffee isn’t necessarily all that better, since it still has some caffeine and the process of removing caffeine from coffee is pretty harsh.
If you want coffee without the coffee, try Teeccino . It’s awesome.
Q: Is there a substitute for cornstarch?
A. Try arrowroot powder.
Q: Have you ever blogged about diabetes and plant-based diets? As I skim through vegan recipes, I'm a bit leary about all the sugar, dried fruits, carrots, etc. that I see.
A: I recommend Prevent and Reverse Diabetes by Neal Barnard.
Q: Just wondering how you deal with low zinc, iron, and Vitamin B. I’m low.
A: I don't have any deficiency issues (and never have had them), though they can happen regardless of diet. My sister, for example, is anemic (low iron) and will always be anemic no matter what diet she eats. Two friends of mine that eat meat and more meat are B12-deficient, and anemic. Sometimes a supplement is required. If you're testing low, your doctor should put you on a supplement if necessary. Talk to your doctor.
For more info about iron, you can read my sister's post.
You can also Google to see what plant foods are high in zinc, iron, and B, and incorporate more into your diet. A great resource for this info is whfoods.com.
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist though, so you really should discuss these concerns with a doctor or other medical professional.
Q: I'm going to a coffee hour next week and would like to bring a gluten-free treat. There will be about 5 of us there. Any recipe suggestions?
A: Make any HH muffin recipe with GF flour, either a commercial blend, or the blend in EHH.