Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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.....

1 comment:

  1. Guess what I just planted in my garden? BEETS!!! I'm not (yet) a beet fan so they are all for you.

    I love this blog, Ann...and Wilbur is so proud of you and sends piggy kisses.


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.