RANDOLPH - Erin Van Gelder, a Bible worker for the Randolph Seventh Day Adventist Church, has a passion for healthy lifestyle.
"When I was 13 or 14 I became vegetarian," she said. "My mom didn't cook vegetarian so we kind of learned about it together. Then when I went to college I decided I needed to learn how to cook because I was on a small budget."
She made another diet change after reading "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, who had been a professor at Cornell University.
Danish Sweet Rolls
Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland
"After reading the book and how bad dairy is for you, I switched from vegetarian to vegan," she said. "It's harder to eat vegan in the small restaurants around here, but I've become good at looking at the menu and can kind of make up my sandwich. If they have a vegetarian option I may modify that."
Some benefits from doing away with dairy products in her diet are the absence of her seasonal allergies and a 30-pound weight-loss, she said. She gets her calcium from dark leafy greens, which is absorbed easier than the calcium from dairy products.
With a physics background, she taught for a year at a college in California which had a lifestyle center where people came who were trying to overcome addictions, were very obese or who had diabetes or cancer. The 10-day program promoted eight laws of health.
THE EIGHT LAWS OF HEALTH
Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet. The center focuses on a vegan diet.
Exercise: 30 minutes of exercise per day
Water: Drink half of your body weight in ounces each day.
Sunshine: Try to get sunshine for a few minutes as often as possible.
Temperance: Abstain from all bad things and use in moderation all good things.
Air: Try to get fresh air every day.
Rest: Sleep 7-8 hours per night, with any hours slept before midnight being the most beneficial.
Trusting in God: We can't do anything without trusting in God. This is the key that holds the rest together.
While helping with a graduation dinner at the center, she heard the testimony of a woman who had been a severe diabetic and who could raise her hands after not having use of them and who was able to significantly decrease the amount of insulin she was taking.
"It was amazing to see how much we can change by making lifestyle changes. Seeing it was really transforming. God cares not just for our spiritual health, but for our physical and mental health as well," she said.
As for drinking all of that water, her advice is to "start small and not to jump in by trying to drink the full amount" recommended in the third law.
"For me it got really easy when I started carrying a water bottle with me, and I figured out how many water bottles I needed to drink (per day)."
Van Gelder is giving cooking demonstrations and sharing healthy recipes for the next few weeks.
"The purpose of the class is to help people in the community to cook and eat healthier," she said. "The overall purpose of the church is to help the community live healthier."
She goes on to say, "I know there is a lot of confusion about what is healthy. The media says one thing one day and another thing the next. I did some of my own research and I just want to help people to learn what is healthy and what is not."
Low-carbohydrate diets are not healthy because one needs 250g of carbs for your brain to function properly. A carb-restricted diet restricts to 20g of carbohydrates. The lifetime maintenance part of the diet allows only 40-100g.
She teaches about the benefits of whole wheat. It contains all parts of the grain, the endosperm, germ and the bran. The endosperm contains protein; the germ: thiamin, vitamin E, riboflavin, phosphorus; the bran contains fast and fiber. Whole wheat has the most protein out of all the flours. Fiber is taken our during the refinement process. The fiber provides indigestible bulk which helps your bowel function. This prevents diverticulitis and diverticulosis.
Switching from white to whole grain bread decreases your risk of: stroke by 30-36 percent, type II diabetes by 21-30 percent, heart disease 25-28 percent, have better weight maintenance, decrease risk of colorectal cancer, have less gum disease and tooth loss.
"It is better to eat homemade bread because you know what is in the bread; there are no preservatives and the industry uses a softening agent to keep the bread soft for a long time," she said.
She tries not to use oil and "sautes" vegetables in a little water, adding a little more as needed and replaces oil with applesauce when baking. She also uses Chia seed or ground flax seed egg substitutes. Tofu substitutes in baking are a favorite.
When using ground flax seed or chia "egg" add 1 tablespoon of the seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Beat until it reaches an egg consistency. One-quarter cup of smoothly blended tofu can be substituted in baked goods.
"It keeps them moist and doesn't add much flavor," she said. "The flax egg adds a nutty flavor."
The healthy eater has planted a garden for the last two summers, with this year's being very successful after watching a YouTube video called "Back to Eden," which promotes soil health from the top down.
"It looked easy so I tried it and my garden was great," she said. "I got soil from a farmer's pasture that contained rotted manure and mulched over the top. Tomatoes, cabbage, onions and Swiss chard and purslane, kale, Bok Choy and spinach were harvested."
Her sister, Sarah Macomber, is very close to being a registered dietician. After she achieves that status she and her husband, David, will relocate to Africa to work in a malnutrition clinic.
The healthy recipes cooking classes take place on Monday evenings at 7 at 50 N. Washington St. in Randolph through Oct. 14. Everyone is welcome, and there is no cost. Tasting is a weekly occurrence and leftovers are freely given. She has plans of teaching more classes in November, which will be free to the public, that will promote healthy eating and lifestyle tips to promote overall health. A healthy holiday cooking class will be held Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the above location.
Van Gelder suggests anyone interested in nutrition and healthy eating should sign up at newstartclub.com. There they will be able to listen to lectures, view healthy recipes, and receive information on overcoming addictions and get cancer and diabetes information.
By putting in access code 598 you will be brought to Better Living Center, which will give access to the times and locations of healthy seminars.
Straight From The Kitchen
1 cup flaked coconut
cup carob powder
1 cup soymilk powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS Earth Balance margarine
cup finely chopped walnuts
Combine all ingredients except nuts. Divide in half. Press firmly and smoothly onto two dinner plates. Sprinkle walnuts over thetop. Cut into small squares.
Natural Lifestyle Cooking, page 153
cup apple juice concentrate
2 cups rolled oats 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup brown sugar
Peel, core and slice apples. Place them in a 9x13 baking pan or casserole dish and pour apple juice concentrate over the apples. Combine remaining ingredients except oil. Mix and bake thoroughly, and then add oil. Stir until the mixture is crumbly. Pour topping over apples, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.
Beautiful Health page 16
c. warm water
2 pkg. or 2 T. active dry yeast
2 c. hot water
1 T. salt
c. light olive oil
1 c. wheat germ
c. gluten flour
6 c. whole - wheat flour
Dissolve yeast in cup warm water. Combine hot water, honey, salt and olive oil in another bowl. Stir in wheat germ. Add gluten flour. Add 3 cups whole-wheat flour to make moderately stiff dough. Add yeast mixture to dough. Add remaining flour gradually. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and satiny. Shape dough into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 90 minutes). Punch down. Cut into 2 portions until double (about 60 minutes). Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes.
Natural Lifestyle Cooking, page 31
c. warm water
2 T. active dry yeast
2 c. hot water
1 T. salt
c. light olive oil
1 c. wheat germ
4 c. whole - wheat flour
2 to 3 cups unbleached enriched flour
Filling for 1 Danish Sweet Roll
2 T Earth Balance margarine
2 T brown sugar
Dissolve yeast in cup warm water. Combine hot water, honey, salt, and olive oil in another bowl. Stir in wheat germ. Add the whole-wheat flour to make moderately stiff dough. Add yeast mixture to dough. Add remaining flour gradually. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and satiny. Shape dough into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 90 minutes). Punch down. Roll out in 2 sections as for a jelly roll. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons melted margarine. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Spread the raisins and walnuts on the dough. Roll dough in a long roll. Shape into a ring. Place in a pie pan. Cut almost to the center at 1-inch intervals. Cover and let rise about 50 minutes. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Natural Lifestyle Cooking, page 32
2 quarts water
2 cups dried green split peas
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, shopped
1 small onion, shopped
1 whole bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 pkg. George Washington Broth or 1 tsp McKay's Chicken Style Seasoning
Rinse peas thoroughly in fine strainer under cold water, picking out debris and any blemished peas. Prepare vegetables as directed. In large pan, combine all the above prepared ingredients and bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Cover and let simmer additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.
More Choices, page 71
Pre-made whole wheat crust
Roasted red pepper pasta sauce
Various vegetables (onion, pepper, olives, zucchini, eggplant ...)
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS dried basil
cup nutritional yeast flakes
Tofu Ricotta: drain one block of extra firm tofu and crumble into a bowl. Mix garlic, salt, basil and nutritional yeast flakes with the tofu.
Pizza: Pour sauce onto the crust and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the tofu ricotta generously all over the pizza. Top with desired vegetables. Place basil leaves on top of the vegetables and sprinkle oregano over the pizza. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.
8 cups sliced green and yellow zucchini
1 cup diced onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
tsp Italian seasoning
tsp dill weed
1 TBS Chicken-Like Seasoning
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 - 2 TBS cornstarch dissolved in cup water
Place all ingredients except tomatoes and cornstarch in a saucepan and cook about 8 minutes, until zucchini is tender. Add tomatoes and stir in dissolved cornstarch. Stir as the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Serve as side dish or over pasta.
Seven Secrets Cookbook, page 54
12 corn tortillas
3 cups finely chopped vegetables (onion, sweet bell peppers, green or yellow zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach may be used)
1 TBS Bragg liquid Aminos or 1 tsp soy sauce
tsp garlic powder
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
cup chopped sweet or green onion
1 tsp lemon juice
15 oz can seasoned petite diced tomatoes in juice or 2 cups salsa
1-2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat a nonstick or well seasoned cast iron skillet to medium - hot. Meanwhile, place about 1 cup water in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dip tortillas in the water, one at a time, and place on the hot skillet, 30 seconds on each side. Cover cooked tortillas with a towel; If they are warm and moist they stay pliable for rolling into enchiladas. Place filling vegetables and seasonings in the nonstick skillet, and add about 2 TBS water. Cover and cook on medium-high for 6-7 minutes. Lift lid and stir every 2 minutes. Using a 9x13 casserole dish cover the bottom with that canned petite diced tomatoes or salsa. Place a small amount of filling in each tortilla and roll up. Place on top of the tomato sauce in the casserole dish. Mix together the topping and arrange down the center of the rolled tortillas. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 F until heated through. Remove cover during last five minutes. Serves 4-6.
Seven Secrets Cookbook, page 46
1 pkg. extra firm tofu
1 onion chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic
c. chopped green peppers
tsp garlic powder
tsp onion powder
1 tsp McKay's chicken seasoning
Salt to taste
1 T chives or parsley flakes
1 T Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
cup fresh tomatoes
cup black olives, sliced
2 tsp curry powder
Drain liquid and crumble tofu. Saute onion, garlic, and green peppers in a little olive oil. Mix vegetables and seasoning with tofu. Cook over medium heat in olive oil.
Natural Lifestyle Cooking, page 60