Doctor’s Tip: Putting Dr. Greger’s daily dozen all together

Dr. Greg Feinsinger Doctor's Tip
Dr. Greg Feinsinger.

Last week’s column was the last in a series based on Dr. Greger’s daily dozen — 10 things we should be eating every day, what we should drink every day and exercise. Today’s column is about putting this into practice.

Breakfast: There’s a saying from The Blue Zones — where people live the longest and healthiest lives — that we should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. For breakfast, start out with an orange to take advantage of the health benefits of citrus fruit. Buy some oat groats and maybe rye groats at Natural Grocers (steel cut oats would be next best, followed by old fashioned rolled oats), cook enough for a week in a large pot, and keep in the refrigerator. Put in a bowl in the morning and heat in the microwave. Sprinkle on some cinnamon, add blueberries (cost-effective frozen organic blueberries sold at Costco) and/or other berries. Add a tablespoon of flax meal (most grocery stores) and a handful of walnuts (buy in bulk at Natural Grocers in Glenwood or Mana in Carbondale, keep in freezer). If you want toast in addition, use Ezekiel low sodium bread (Natural Grocers, Mana), put unsweetened organic applesauce on it, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Finally, add unsweetened soy or almond milk. Drink some hibiscus or green tea with your breakfast. If you put some frozen edamame on one of the pieces of toast, by the time you finish breakfast you will have eaten six of the 10 daily dozen items you should eat every day (probably not the recommended quantity, though), and one of the things you should be drinking every day (tea).  

For something different on Sunday, consider tofu scramble. Dice up a yellow sweet potato or a purple potato, some red onions and peppers. Cook in a wok using water — not oil. Add chopped mushrooms. Crumble a large square of tofu and add it to the wok (tofu makes a good substitute for egg whites). Add Mexican spices, black pepper and no-salt salt (potassium chloride instead of sodium). Finally, add a large bag of spinach and remove the wok from heat when the spinach cooks down. Add hot sauce before eating.

Or consider pancakes: Mix 1 ¼ cup of medium-ground cornmeal and 1/4 cup of sorghum flour in a bowel. Add 1 smashed banana, 1/2 cup of raw old fashioned rolled oats (not instant), a sprinkle of pumpkin spice or cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/3 cup of coarsely-ground walnuts or pecans, and 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce. Cook on a non-stick pan (no oil). Before eating put unsweetened applesauce and berries on top. Syrup is usually not necessary, but if you really want some, drizzle a small amount of maple syrup.

Lunch: An ideal lunch would be a large, colorful salad with greens, peppers, onions (red best), some cruciferous vegetables, carrots, tomatoes and beets. Sprinkle on some unsalted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and if you didn’t eat them for breakfast, a handful of walnuts. Add beans or other legumes. Eat a colorful fruit afterwards, such as an apple, red pear or dark grapes or plums. For dressing, use a small amount of balsamic vinegar or other oil-free dressing (find recipes on the internet). If you don’t have time to make and eat a big salad, consider a green smoothie made out of the same ingredients — 75% greens and other veggies, 25% fruit, and add as much water as the container will hold before blending.

Dinner: Use cookbooks like the following for dinner: “Oh She Glows,” “Isa Does It,” “Thug Kitchen” (contains some “colorful” language); “Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen,” “Simply Delicious,” “How Not to Die Cookbook” and “Forks Over Knives Cookbook.” Or go to websites such as Minimalist Baker. If a recipe calls for oil or eggs, substitute ground flaxseed and/or unsweetened apple sauce.

Don’t like to or don’t have time to cook? You can get cost-effective, plant-based, whole food meals delivered to your door if you go to websites such as LeafSide (meals based on Dr. Greger’s daily dozen) or Purple Carrot.

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment or email

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