Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vacationing Vegan

As you know, I just returned from three weeks of a transatlantic crossing to Europe with stops in the Azores, Portugal, Spain, France, Brugge and London. Here are some thoughts I wanted to share with you.

I began my Garden of Eden Vegan experience in January of this year. For the first six weeks, I was enjoying my veganhood.

For the next six weeks, I was living my veganhood -- it was easy and it felt good to not kill animals for my survival and to not eat chemicals and toxins. I became healthier.

From then on, I was and am LOVING my veganhood.

(Bear with me -- I am getting to why it was easy to be vegan on vacation.)

I am LOVING it because:

I feel better
I am healthier
I have more energy
I no longer have IBS, which I suffered with all my life
I feel closer to the Source of All Being by living consciously on this planet
my tastebuds have changed sufficiently that it just tastes better vegan!

That being said, it was easy to be vegan on the cruise ship. Every night the menu in the dining room had a Vegetarian entree. If it had cheese in it, I would just ask the waiter to have the chef make a plate of grilled or steamed veggies and I was never disappointed.

The buffet line offered lots of opportunities to be vegan:

bowls of veggies,
rice (often Indian style),
a wok station where you could choose your stirfry ingredients,
a pizza station where I could have a pizza with no cheese,
a pasta station where I could choose my ingredients -- often mushrooms, onion, and broccoli.

Many of the passengers were fussing about the food on the ship -- I was lucky: it is hard to mess up a vegetable!

When we got to Portugal and Spain, we visited tapas bars. Again - easy to be vegan: olives and roasted vegetables were common. In my Garden of Eden Vegan lifestyle, I try not to have any/much oil, so I had to bend the "rule" with tapas, but the food was still healthy and clean.

In France (Honfleur) -- I am making a confession: I did have a croissant (made with butter of course) and a baguette on which I decided to indulge in using one pat of French beurre - and was it good? YES. But for me, let it be France. If I move to France, I will have a problem. In SW Florida -- I can live without the petite dejeuner.

In Brugge -- see the blogpost below -- I encountered a homemade veggie burger to live for.

In London, where we had two days, I admit to a challenge. We were on the run and had 5 meals:
1. vegan Indian (awesome!)
2. vegan Chinese (not bad -- should have ordered it spicer)
3, 4, 5: mozzarella and tomato and basil panani sandwiches at a healthy, natural fast food place: pret a manger.

You see, in 3, 4, and 5, it was easy, and yummy, to be vegetarian, but not vegan. And, and, and:
although my mouth did honestly enjoy the cheese - my body did not.

It is great to be back in my own kitchen making my own healthy vegan meals.

Moral of the story -- I had my cruising plan down pat and it worked; I needed a more thought out vegan plan for visiting cities on the run. If I were meandering through cities -- it would be easier to ask a chef to make a vegetable dish, but when on the go -- I needed a better plan.

Did I gain or lose weight?
Who won the coveted CONTEST PRIZE?

I honestly gained 3 pounds. How? you might and should ask: enjoying the wines and martinis.
Back home, I have wine only at Shabbat dinner (Friday night).

And DRUMROLL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jan Small, see is the winner of the contest and has selected the Grand Prize of a Raw/Live Meal prepared in her home by none other than moi. Details to follow when I present the meal.

It's all good. It's all healthy. It's all delicious. Enjoy and be blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.