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« Unhappiness: When Those Closest To You Face Difficult Times and You Can't Make It OK | Main | A Delicious Heart Healthy Lunch at the Home of Dr. Caldwell B. & Ann Esselstyn - A Nitric Oxide Booster Shot »

February 08, 2009


Gwen Mergian

I've been following the Ornish diet for about two years now, and giving up cheese has been the most difficult part of all. I adore pizza, too-- especially cold, for breakfast. Which is why I had to write and thank you for this recipe. It looks utterly sumptuous. Next weekend, for sure!

Ellen Allard

Hi! Every time I read your blogposts, I chuckle at how similar our tastes are! Vegan with a Vengeance (known in vegan circles as VWAV) has become my go-to book of late. Between that book and Go Dairy Free (if you haven't tried it, I urge you to - it will reconfigure your thoughts about dairy-free, I promise), my weekly menus are pretty much taken care of. Your pizza sounds very much like one I recently made with a Tofu Ricotta recipe from Go Dairy Free. It all sounds wonderful and promises to give us healthy and delicious alternatives to the foods we used to love eating. Thanks for posting!

Cindy Sadler

That sounds yummy,and would win big points with my vegetarian-flirting-with-veganism husband! I'll definitely give it a try.


Higher fat dairy products can have very low quantites of casein (and lactose). Whipping cream, for instance, espcially from grassfed cows, has fat soluble nutrients and essential fatty acids without the sugars or casein. Butter should have very little casein, and butter from grassfed cows is an excellent source of hard-to-get Vitamin K. And clarified butter should have virtually no casein.

This pizza sounds delicious, but grain crust with a pound of tofu as health food?
I'm not sure where the science is to support a vegan diet (Ornish's studies are a tough nut to crack because smoking cessation, meditating, and exercise serve as confounding variables), but it doesn't make a lot of intuitive sense.

The Healthy Librarian

Hi D,

The recipe for the "cheese" used 1 pound of tofu--but you only use 5 small dollops of the mixture for a 12 inch pizza. It makes enough for more than 3 pizzas, which comes to less than 1/3 of a pound.

I don't know about lower casein in high fat dairy products, but I'm not interested. As for the confounding data of meditation, smoking cessation & exercise in Ornish studies--read Dr. Caldwell Essestyn's research (in medical journals) & his book. He only modified his patients diets--no fat--all vegan.
His patients prove the point.

He's all about diet first--vegetables stop inflammation & heart disease.
Then there's the China Study. Look at observational studies of cultures who eat vegan & then switch to a Western diet.

As for hard to get Vitamin K--it-s plentiful in greens. Get your greens directly from kale, chard & collards--why let the cows digest them for you?


The Essestyn study is interesting, though it's hard to determine whether it's the statins at work or the diet. Secondly, he discusses heart disease but not total mortality, which is relevant because very low cholesterol is associated with higher rates of cancer, for instance (how did the patient with the third lowest cholesterol level, including a very low HDL, die? Probably not from heart disease, but how?).
The China Study isn't as clear cut either, but I don't want to take over the blog.
I should have been clearer about Vitamin K. It's Vitamin K2 MK-4 that is hard to get and comes almost exclusively from animal products (pastured butter, organs, etc.). Vitamin K2 has been associated with reduced incidence of heart disease, while K1, which comes from plants, doesn't appear to be as essential. See Stephen's series on the vitamin:
In any event, there's more than one way to eat healthily, no doubt. And we can probably all agree that eating sugar and most vegetable oils are terrible for you.

Chris G.

Great blog, as I'm learning a lot. I just wish there was a way to order all the information. For example, I had always assumed low fat dairy (e.g. plain yogurt) was healthy. However, based on this post, it seems to promote both cancer and heart disease. Since I'm not ready for vegan, does this mean I should quit dairy and go back to meat because its healthier? Also, what about kids? I've read many studies on the health benefits of grass fed, non-pasteurized, organic milk for kids and the importance of calcium and vitamin D in their diets. And, I see from these comments that whipping cream and butter should be better for you than low fat dairy (e.g. plain yogurt) because its low in casein and high in vitamin K2? I guess LDL is old news.

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