Saturday, April 3, 2010

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.

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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.