Saturday, April 24, 2010

Well, the blitz worked! A CONTEST IS ANNOUNCED

I am down 5 pounds this week and broke through the "barrier" into the 150's and now into size 10's.

My plan on the ship is to follow my Garden of Eden Vegan diet while on board --we have a 6 day crossing where I will plan to do sacred or spiritual work so my mind will be in a good place for healthy eating.

Basically it will be fruit for breakfast with oatmeal or potato.
For lunch and dinner: salad (with balsamic - I just packed my own blend of balsamic/raspberry/lemon), some sort of potato, and lots of veggies, either steamed or grilled.

If there is Indian food on the ship, I may treat myself to a meal or too, but there is too much oil for me even in the vegan Indian dishes.

While in port -- I enjoy tapas restaurants -- so I will sample and if it has cheese -- the world will still revolve.

Let's see what happens to this old body as I take my Garden of Eden Vegan lifestyle on tour for 3 weeks. I can remember in "the old days" when I would have my plate of traif (bacon), eggs, bread, and whatever else looked good, in front of me, and I would spot a lean and trim woman with a bowl of fruit and................... I FELT SORRY FOR HER or I THOUGHT SHE WAS SHOWING OFF HER WILLPOWER.

Oy -- my how things have changed. (laughing at myself)

I will award a prize for the person who comes closest to guessing my pounds gained or lost.

Shall we bet?

The winner gets a raw food meal specially prepared by me.
If you live far away - I will send you a subscription to either: Bark or Spirituality and Health....your choice (even if you live close, you can opt for the magazine.)

Email your guesses to me at

Answers will indicate:
a) stayed the same
b) pounds gained in 3 weeks (remember I love champagne and martinis)
c) pounds lost in 3 weeks (and yet, I have developed a love for veggies.)

Oh, the suspense.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh Nuts!

As expected, the trip to the raw/life restaurant bumped the weight back to 158.5 -- nuts, avocado and agave syrup being the culprits. But yummy and worth the set back.

This is day four of the blitz.

Breakfast was hash browns and onion, tomato and cilantro plated with watermelon slice and strawberries.

I made a failed juice mixture of cucumber, pear and apple, but should not have tossed in an unpeeled orange -- made it bitter. I gave Gordon a glass full and we toasted to good health and vibrancy -- and then grimaced as he said, "are we healthy yet?" Bad aftertaste -- lessons learned.

Supper was left over hash browns and a delicious grilled veggie medley with beets and sweet potato mash for dessert.

I found a juice recipe for a peaceful sleep which I made before I went to work (or everyone in the building would be up with nasty looks on their faces if I ran the juicer at 1 a.m.) -- It was one head of romaine lettuce, one apple and 1/2 lemon. I just finished it and it was refreshing and good tasting. A keeper. According to the recipe, it is the lettuce that promotes a peaceful sleep.

Since I have to wake up early tomorrow to head to Venice -- let's hope the lettuce does its thing.

I am now officially on vacation!!! Hurray.

A simple thought

There is nothing that tastes as good as how being trim and healthy feels.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raw sushi. Neither the photo nor the presentation give a clue as to how yummy this is.

OMG - lunch was so good I almost fainted with pleasure

Now I remember why I signed up to learn how to prepare raw foods -- O my god, I took one bite of the sushi with ginger pate and thought I would pass out with pleasure. Rhonda, my dining companion who introduced me to this restaurant, Vida de Cafe, said the key lime cheesecake was a direct hit orgasm.

And the feeling during, and after dining with raw and live foods is so vibrant and uplifting.

I posted a photo of the sushi platter above. It's was raw nori filled with a ginger almond paste stuffed with spinach, carrots, and avocado with an umeboshi dipping sauce. Every bite was incredible.

We each had a juice blend with: organic spinach, parsley, ginger, lemons and apples -- it was crisp, clean and refreshing. I am going to have to try this one at home sooner than later. Yum.

And the orgasmic cheesecake was described as: creamy cashews and fresh lime juice blended to make cheesecake on an almond crust.

Remember - no dairy or animal products with this type of preparation - no cooking. I find it magical how these natural foods can be combined to make such beautiful and flavorful treats.

I took a carry out box for supper and because I knew that this treat was rich in calories as well as flavor (thank you nuts and avocado), I brought a large bunch of carrots in case I get hungry tonight.

When I learn how to make these treats, I will obviously share the recipe!!!

I am curious as to how this dietary delightful day will tip the Toledoes tomorrow morning. I promise to be honest.

Day Three of the Blitz

I am so amazed at the power of the Mary's Mini (see the McDougall link in a previous post about the blitz) plan. You saw all of the food I ate yesterday -- it was good, colorful, flavorful, filling and in fact, I didn't finish my dessert of mashed sweet potatoes and carrots (so I will have it before I head out to lunch today.)

I awoke this morning and immediately trotted to the scale for the results, and I weighed in at 157.8. Continued hurrays.

In fact, yesterday, I donned a pair of size 10 slacks to wear to work and realized that I better start wearing the tens now or it will be too late. Another Hurray. I needed a belt for that pair - Gordon continues to make new holes in my belts during this process.

Today I am have one foray out of blitz-mode to go to a Vegan/Raw restaurant:

Stay tune for photo of how beautiful they prepare raw and live foods.

My doctor's appointment was yesterday and I regret that my numbers were not as stellar as I had hoped.

My B12 was good.
D needs to be supplemented.
But the surprise was that my cholesterol, which had been managed by Lipitor previously, but I stopped taking it because I don't like the data I read about it, went from 190 to 230.

Apparently, there is a genetic component to my cholesterol -- checked with one brother -- yep, Lipitor. Probably true for the other.

My awesome doctor, Aparna Asher, suggested we try a prescription fish oil to manage it and see what happens. She is a vegetarian and was telling me the benefits of yogurt in the Indian diet.

Much to learn -- always, learning......

Savor your day......savor the moments of living that unfold before you. Wishing you blessings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day Two Evening Meal. See blog for details.

Hey! Who Stole My Potatoes?

Day Two of the Blitz
The scale rewarded me with a 159.7. WooHoo -- my first drop into the 150's since I began this project at 200.

I got up early (after not enough sleep) because Lex, my pekeapoo had an 8:30 hair appointment. So absent mindedly, in anticipation of making a repeat of yesterday's breakfast, I sliced some onion and tossed it into the pan to saute with a touch of water.

While the onions were heating, I opened the refrigerator and, "What?!@No little potatoes?!" I searched and searched. Then I checked the freezer. Then I checked the cupboards. Hmmmm.....did I make a mistake by sharing my potatoes with Gordon yesterday. Don't tell me he had them for supper.

I turned off the onions and went outside to find my beloved. He denied any knowledge of the potatoes. I cooked enough for a few days, so I know there was still a bag full somewhere. It will be amazing to see where they show up.

Undaunted....well, a little daunted....the thought did cross my mind, "Oh heck, I will just have a slice of grain bread instead." But NO! I am on this blitz with only one planned exception - tomorrow's lunch at a raw/live food place with my healthy friend, Rhonda.

So I burrowed through the fridge again and found two Yukon Golds hiding under the celery and I tossed them into the microwave and then sliced them onto the awaiting onions. I plated the potatoes on a bed of lettuces and topped it once again with the remainder (finally) of the corn and black bean salsa.

I have to admit -- it was DE-licious. The sweetness of the potatoes and the kick of the salsa: A really yummy breakfast.


I roasted a pan of veggies -- see photo above; and found, what I believe to be the final two Yukon Gold potatoes and added them to the mix. Spritzed a little balsamic/raspberry/lemon vinegar and dusted it my herbal salt. Now, I just have to decide how the heck to pack it.

I can just see me with a wheely cart dragging all my food to my office tonight.

To the above, I am adding:

the sweet potato/yam/carrot mash and beets with cinnamon for dessert -- it was a good treat last night.
And two little bags of carrots -- I feel crunchy today.

Remember -- if you have to count calories, you are eating the wrong kind of food.

At 2, just prior to my evening shift -- I meet with my doctor to get the results of my blood work since I started this lifestyle. I hope we have a previous workup for comparison.

Go forth -- healthy, happy, and full of life!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A ton of food?

In the event the thought passed through your mind as you look at the meals in this blitz week and think, "Holy Avocado (not on the diet this week) - that's a lot of food," let me remind you that the saying goes with the Garden of Eden Vegan -- if you need to count calories, you are eating the wrong kind of food.

This week is strict with out the nuts and fats from an avocado -- so there is no need to count calories and one can eat as much as they need to feel full and happily satisfied.

Morning meal. Day one. See blog for details.

Evening meal. Day one. See blog for details.

The Diet Blitz - Day One

I weighed in this morning at 161.7. My ultimate goal is 125 which for my height, is correct on the charts. My goal this week is to get into the 150's pre-cruise.

I awoke late - as has been my habit since I started working the night shift, even now on days I am not working so brunch was my first meal.

I sauteed onions in a touch of water to get them nice and brown; tossed in chopped baby potatoes from last night, adding tiny amounts of water as the potatoes browned. When I plated them, I sprinkled my new salt blend of sea salt, rosemary, basil and thyme.

On the plate I tossed some baby lettuces. In my former life, lettuce was the carrier of "the good stuff, including gobs of salad dressing. Now, I actually like lettuce and try to notice how the different lettuces have different tastes. I topped it with a corn, chipotle, black bean, stewed tomato and green chili mixture I made a few days ago and topped it with chopped cilantro.

I had saved half the potato in the pan to use for my evening meal, but my beloved, Gordon, walked out into the kitchen and said, "Hey, these look great, are you going to use them?" Of course, I told him to enjoy, so he made a fried egg sandwich and ate the potatoes with it. He likes them just as well without the oil -- probably didn't even notice it was missing.


Since I leave for the hospital around 3 -- I pack my evening food. I usually eat in stages throughout the evening.

In the split dish you will see my main starch meal:

I layered the bottom of the dish (you can't see it in the photo) with broccoli slaw, then chopped up some of the baby potatoes I boiled last night and topped it with the corn/bean/tomato mixture and cilantro.

On the other side, I filled it with steamed green beans. To Gordon's absolute horror, I did not trim my beans first. The beans, to me, especially since I eat alone, are finger food, so a) I save time by not trimming them first, and b) I use the stem as a holder, like you would the stem of a strawberry.

For dessert, I filled the bottom of the container with the carrot/yam/sweet potato mixture and topped it with marinated beets. I baked the whole beet, previously, in the toaster oven wrapped in aluminum foil, and when it cooled, it was easy to skin and slice. I tossed the sliced beets in a jar and added a yummy balsamic/raspberry/lemon vinegar and let set. To my dessert mixture, I sprinkled lots of Vietnamese cinnamon. Then I tossed in a bag of mini carrots in case I needed to sit and crunch something.

My friend, Leona, is on this blitz with me (the gauntlet has been thrown) and she emailed me that mustard was good on her mashed potatoes. Indeed it is. Mustard is a yummy, lo/no calorie condiment for vegan meals and adds a nice flavor.

Any others on the blitz?

may your day be filled with health and vitality.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

These are the tiny potatoes I boiled to start my diet blitz.

Time to Blast Away A Few Pounds

Since I began my Garden of Eden adventure in January of 2010, I have lost 40 pounds, but during the month of April, my weight has stabilized. I am not at my ideal weight yet (I want to lose 40 more pounds, and I am leaving on a 3 week repositioning cruise to Portugal, Spain, France, Brussels and London in 7 days.)

What to do?
The answer is clear to me. I am going to do 7 days of a blitz using the McDougall Plan's Mary's Mini program.

The description of the plan is found at this link:

The link gives you the general idea of the plan.

It is great for a healthy way to lose pounds quickly.

If you want to join me using this plan, or any healthy plan of your choice, email me your progress, challenges, menu, ideas, encouragement, or thoughts and I will post them to this blog.

You can use:, or write your post as a comment and I will move it to the blog page.

Today (pre-blitz) I had a wonderful dish of grilled veggies at a farewell (since I have concluded my work at the JCV) brunch held in my honor at the Venice Country Club -- I am blessed and grateful for the friends who joined me this morning.

I celebrated when I got home by a quick trip to Steinmart for some smaller, kicky clothes for the trip, and then went to Publix to get ready for my Mary's Mini Weight Loss Blitz --

Potatoes are my choice for the starch. The I got things like asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli and broccoli slaw for supplements. I still have some yummy mashed sweet potatoes and parsnips.

I did forget to buy the prepared refrigerated hash browns, so I am going to toss the baby potatoes (about the size of key limes) in to boil tonight and slice them up for hash browns for tomorrow's breakfast.

Upon coming home tonight -
I had my fav: veggie burger (this breaks a rule for my Garden of Eden Vegan: "eat no processed foods" - but sometimes rules need to be broken, so sayeth this old hippie)
with an Arnold's slim grain bun, bread and butter pickles, horseradish mustard, and lots of leafy lettuce. I enjoy this meal, about 270 calories. But as my taste-buds were changing, I stopped it for a month due to the processing --- tonight, it tasted yummy.

AND, since I was breaking rules tonight, I treated myself (I guess this was Treat and Celebrate Ann Day --- I suggest you host an occasional Treat and Celebrate yourself day soon) --- I had a glass of one of my favorite cava's: Cordonu.

Now --- at 6:05 p.m. the evening before the blitz -- I declare my eating day over -- I am having a decaf espresso, then I will switch to lemon water.

The rain has slowed to a slight drizzle or maybe even stopped -- I am going to walk the "littles" (Maddie Sue and Lex) to the beach.....just because.

Tomorrow -- I will post my Blitz Menu. If you are doing a blitz too, let me know yours. If you want to follow mine -- start your blitz one day after me and use my menu.

Goal: Our best bodies ever -- Health first! Energy and Vibrancy -- and what the heck, let's just look and be damn good! Why not?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tonight's dinner; recipes below

A delicious mash of orange root veggies

This morning, as I was savoring my coffee, I tossed into a pot:

unpeeled sweet potatoes, a butternut squash (seeded), yams, and carrots and a thumb size of fresh ginger and turned it on to boil.

When the veggies were soft, I poured them into a colander to cool, then easily skinned them and mashed them in a bowl (I removed the ginger, but in hindsight, I could have chopped some in the mixture).

This is how I left them so it would give me several options.

For lunch, I had a scoop with a sea salt mix which includes rosemary, basil and thyme. And I tossed in some fresh chopped cilantro. It had an earthy, savory taste.

For dinner tonight -- photo above, I used it more as a dessert sprinkled with Vietnamese cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg. For color, protein and crunch, I packed the other side of my dish with rinsed black beans, white corn with chipolte, and stewed tomatoes and chilies.

In the photo, you will see a slice of the raw "bread" I made in my dehydrator. It is made from flax seeds, sunflower seeds, onion, sun dried tomato, sesame seeds, olive oil, nama shoyu, rosemary and thyme. I spread the mixture on my dehydrator sheet and heated it for 24 hours. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I started at 3 p.m. and had to turn the mixture over at 3 a.m. (ahh, the dedicated chef that I am). With better planning -- a 8a.m. to 8p.m. to 8 a.m. drying cycle would be more humane.

This bread is really yummy with the mock/not tuna spread (recipe below) or with an Alfredo sauce (recipe below) and topped with olives and sun dried tomatoes as a pizza.

Next week, I will report the changes in my blood work to see the effects of this lifestyle. So far, I have lost 40 pounds, and that feels good; energy feels high; mood is lively.

My tastebuds are truly changing

Remember, I have only been a Garden of Eden Vegan since January - 3 1/2 months. Prior to that, I would have scoffed at what I am about to say as pure nonsense.

Last night I took a break to have my dinner. I had tossed into a tupperware bowl:

steamed snap peas,
broccoli slaw,
and the remainder of the cauliflower/parsnip mash I made earlier in the week.

The tastes were good and the textures different: the crunch of the slaw, the pop of the peas, and the mash of the cauliflower.

But I'll be darn if the thought: "boy, I wish I brought some beets for dessert" didn't cross my mind and knock my clogs off.

I can't believe that was my thought -- but true, I did wish I had a bite of beet.

So if you dabble with the idea of becoming a vegan -- it certainly gets easier and the food certainly tastes better as you travel down the path of fresh, earthly bounty.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What do vegans eat for supper?

On a bed of leafy greens, I added broccoli slaw, a roasted red pepper
and yellow squash, some mashed cauliflower, marinated beets, a sun
dried tomato slice, a carrot, and a few olives.
Lots of different flavors, textures, colors, and nutrients. And the
good news is that it has very few calories. Yum. I actually treated
myself to a glass of champagne!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Torte plated

Chocolate Mousse Torte

Almond crust

A yummy chocolate dessert!

This one even passed the Gordon Taste Test!

What I love about raw food preparation is the way it magically transforms foods from the way we might normally encounter them, into something so different and yet, so yummy.

Credit for this recipe goes to Jennifer Cornbleet in her book: Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people.

I was in the mood for something sweet today and wanted to explore. So I made a chocolate mousse with an almond torte crust.

I started by soaking 1/4 cup pitted dates in water (to be used for the mousse) -- they need to soak for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Then I began the Almond Crust.

In my coffee grinder I ground a little more than 1 cup of almonds.
I tossed them in the food processor with about 1/3 cup of pitted unsoaked medjool dates
and a toss of salt.

Gave 'em a whirl and pressed this crumb mix into two individual torte plates (with enough crumb mix left over to top off Gordon's yogurt tomorrow morning). Above you will see the crust pressed into the tart plates.

Then I emptied the water, leaving my dates a little moist and tossed them into the cleaned food processor bowl with 1/4 cup of maple syrup (or agave) to begin the Chocolate Mousse.

I gave it a whirl until smooth, and I added the following:
1 1/2 mashed avocados
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
and 1/4 cup of cocoa or carob powder

Another hearty whirl, scraping down the sides and whirling until the mixture gets creamy and dreamy.

Then I took the mousse and filled the two torte dishes, licking the spatula when I finished. Wow!

The dessert would be better topped with raspberries or strawberries, but we had just made fruit smoothies earlier in the day and had no berries left. So I sprinkled a tiny amount of the crumb mixture on top.

Gordon had his taste with whipped cream. (photo above)

If I were still in the mood for whipping up yet another raw treat, I could have added a Vanilla Cream Sauce made with:

1 cup soaked raw cashews
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Blend on high until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes. Then delight in eating right from the bowl -- no, no, I meant, serve it lovingly over the mousse or berries.

Even folks who scoff at raw food will delight in this dessert.
I give it an A+ for taste
And it is pretty darn easy to whip up.
So why not?!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wisdom from Michael Pollan and Ann White

It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car. (mp)

Unless, however, you call me first, sweet talk me into whipping up a vegan or raw specialty for you, and somehow get me to run to the curb and hand it to you as you drive by. But then you have lost the sacred experience of "The Meal" -- and it is not a meal if you are eating it in your car. (aw)

My supper To Go!

A common question: What the heck do you eat?

I often hear this question when I explain to folks the Gan Eden Vegan concept:

First, eliminate all animals and animal by-products from the diet
then oil, sugar, and processed foods.

"What's left?" some ask incredulously.

And prior to my epiphany, I truly would ask this question. Meals for me consisted of butter and cheese on most anything: toast and butter for breakfast, pizza for lunch, nachos or quesadillas for supper. If a vegetable showed up on my plate, it needed butter or hollandaise sauce. And fruit? Well, if blended with rum or vodka, okay.

Truly, tastes much change. Truly, I am enjoying the food I am eating and do not feel the least bit deprived. (Depraved maybe, but not deprived)

So by way of example, above is a photo of the dinner I prepared to take to work with me tonight.

On a bed of leafy greens, is a large serving of mashed cauliflower and parsnips, mashed with, what else, but cilantro. I make a large portion of this since it is a good filler for other veggie dishes too. I can freeze what I do not anticipate using in the next few days.

A few slices of red pepper for garnish and a crisp treat.

In the next dish I lined the space with crisp apple and filled it with beets that I boiled, sliced, and marinaded in a Napa Valley balsamic, raspberry, lemon vinegar, and topped it with some fresh lemon zest. The flavors work well together.

Beets are becoming a favorite and you can see from earlier posts, not only did I not know what a freshly grown beet looked like, but my mother had to force me to eat them.

These blog posts are emailed to my son, the pastry chef, who's goal it is to taste every animal on earth --- hmmm......maybe it is never too late for him to mend his carnivore ways.

One of the cautions about eating raw is that many of the recipes have a lot of nuts. While good for you, they sure pack a bunch of calories. I gained a few pounds when I first started my raw culinary journey.

Now, I use the raw foods as a supplement or appetizer and rely on the vegan foods for my main courses. With the Garden of Eden Vegan diet, the motto is: If you need to count calories, you are eating the wrong food. You could sit down with a large bowl of the mashed cauliflower and parsnip dish and not do any damage.

enjoy the beauty of this day and the bounty of this earth. may you have many blessings.....

Mock tuna pate -- note square of focaccial

A Mock Tuna or Not Tuna Pate

There seems to be no end to yummy pate blends. And non-raw food folks unknowingly appear to like these dishes too when I place them out with chips and dips.

I swear this mixture smelled like tuna when I unleashed the food processor -- or perchance it was my vivid imagination.

Be that as it is, here is the RECIPE

I soaked the following for about an hour or two in one container, using fresh water:

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (hulled)
1/4 cup raw almonds

Then into the food processor I tossed, the above seeds/nuts (drained)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
about 2 tablespoons minced celery
and 1 tablespoon minced onion
and a handful of chopped cilantro
and a shake of sea salt

Give it a whirl and yum, yum, yum

I served this several ways -- as an appetizer in the photo above;

as a sandwich using my soon to be posted raw onion/rosemary foccacia bread and young baby greens

in a salad, just as you would add a scoop of tuna (only here, a small scoop is enough)
or as a dip for crudities or crackers

and you can probably think of other ways too....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dueling Beets

Lady, You ever see a duck?

Above you will see the problem with my first beet/carrot juicer drink. The recipe called for 1/4 beet.

I hate to admit this, but prior to this epiphany of healthy eating, I have never had much of a relationship with root vegetables in their natural state. The beets I was familiar with were the round sliced pickled beets that my mother would hide between sliced cranberry circles (from the can of course) in an unsuccessful effort to get me to eat them. It didn't work, but she continued this method of trickery during the time she felt responsible for my dietary intake.

So when I went out to purchase my first natural beet, and I saw the one to the left in the photo above, I thought nothing of it. However, hacking my way into this monster beet was not a pretty sight -- a machete would have made it easier. There is only one spot of beet on the ceiling remaining from the beet slaughter and fortunately, Gordon has yet to look up, and does not read this blog.

One of my readers, Rhonda, who inspired me to juice by offering me some of her freshly juiced carrot/celery juice, suggested that I use a "hint of beet."

Today, at the market, I spotted the beet to the right in the picture above -- aha! this is what a beet is supposed to look like. And a quarter of a beet of this size is far different that a quarter of a beet of that behemoth next to it.

Speaking of Rhonda, Gordon, who is now actually getting into this juicing adventure, asked me this morning, "Why do we drink our juice in these wine glasses?" To which I replied, "Because Rhonda served me my first taste of juiced juice in wine glasses, so it only seems appropriate." I am Jewish after all, and passing down tradition is something we do.

Now, you might ask, where does the duck come in?

The duck is related to me not thinking about what a raw beet looks like.

When I was in my late 20's and considered myself so worldly and suave, I had a New Years Eve posh (or so I hoped, until I cut my thumb nearly off just prior to dinner.....but that is truly another story) dinner party for my oh so chic and elegant friends (in our late 20's -early 30's we were rather full of our urban selves.)

So I called "THE" place to purchase ritzy food and said to the butcher, in my most sophisticated grown up voice, "I am having a dinner party for ten people and I will be serving duck. What size duck would you recommend?"

And he replied, sounding more like a teamster than an upscale butcher, "Lady! You ever see a duck!!"

well, now I have seen a beet.

Alfredo sauce and a tomato sauce covering julienned zucchini at Leona's

Alfredo sauce over a portabello mushroom

Rich and Creamy, White and Dreamy -- Alfredo Sauce

In my former days of rich and creamy, I could luxuriate for hours with a bowl of fettuccine Alfredo. So you can imagine my surprise and delight to discover a way to make it healthy and raw. And even better: quick. The time test is: am I still drinking the cup of java I started at the beginning of the recipe? And the answer here is: indeed!

The secret is raw macadamia nuts.
The next secret is: try not to eat them all before you make the recipe!

The next secret -- drum roll -- the quick and easy, yummy peezy (I learned this from the GEICO lizard with whom I have a serious crush) RECIPE:

Toss into the every ready food processor:

1 cup of raw macadamia nuts
1 cup plus a smidge of water
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon (I sure hate to buy them, itty bitty and expensive after a beautiful winter of plucking giant juicy ones off my tree; but the buds are out, intoxicating me with their fragrance and promising another batch in the future)
2 tsp. nama shoyu
1 smashed and minced clove of garlic
1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

and then, of course, my bam of chipolte ground pepper.
and if you wish, salt and pepper to taste.

Give it a whirl and voila!

Above you will see two ways to use it. Prior to Pesach, I also used it to dip in a dense grainy bread.

Taste test: A+
Ease of preparation: a snap
the Gordon Test: he swallowed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Corn avocado soup

A Super Soup -- well, sorta

A new day in the life of this Garden of Eden Vegan -- YES, my juicer arrived yesterday and at 2 a.m. I had it all put together and awaiting dawn.

I sprang forth from my bed and tossed in two apples, one orange, a slice of watermelon that had been abandoned in the refrigerator and the last of some strawberries whose container buddies were turning white. Pushed a button, and voila -- nectar of (or perhaps "for") the gods!

Taste test: A+ yummy
Ease: my coffee had not even cooled and it was ready
The Gordon Test: "not bad, perhaps fewer flavors next time."

And lo and behold --- after a dash to the supermarket to get what looked like a lifetime supply of carrots (ahhh, for future juicing, my friends) I returned to plan lunch.

Lunch was practically as quick as breakfast, now that the food processor is dusted and within reach.

I tossed in: ergo, this would be The Recipe

1 undrained can of Green Giant Chipotle White Corn
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 rib of celery, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 Tbs nama shoyo
1 clove minced garlic
1 hit chipotle ground (my new favorite seasoning)
1 hit ground ginger

Press the button -- and Soup

Taste Test -- B+ -- it was good, but nothing to shout about. If I were served this at a restaurant, I would be satisfied, but it was not scream and holler good.

Ease of Preparation: indeed, a snap

The Gordon Test -- Said with his lips tightly sealed, "fine" -- I think he used a fork and just dipped the tongs in. I knew this one would not be high on his list -- too many unknowns blended and not visible for inspection.

And moments ago -- as I am about to leave for the evening shift at the hospital -- I juiced up 3 carrots, 1/4 beet, and 2 celery sticks.

Rating -- I think it was a very large beet. Next time -- less beet.

As I was making ready to leave, my sweetheart, Gordon said, "Well, have we got the juicing out of our system yet?"

You guess my answer.

blessing you with health, vibrancy, joy and life!

The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.