Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LUNCH - as pictured on blog below.

So many people ask me incredulously: What do vegans eat for lunch?

As if it is a pathetic existence of lettuce and chopped carrots. Although, I have to admit, my taste buds have changed since my junk food days and I actually like lettuces (so many varieties, so little time) and carrots and even.....drum roll....celery.

My main problem is picking what to make or eat with a long lifetime of choices.

Today's lunch was so quick and easy and really satisfying. (photo below)

I merely plated a live/raw organic corn tortilla (once you have tasted one, it will be difficult to ever liked the processed (or dead, sorry) ones again.

I spread over it the creamy mixture of blended butter beans and artichoke hearts, this time seasoned with chipotle pepper. This mixture is a snap to make in the processor and is rich and creamy and can assume any personality needed depending upon the seasonings you add.

Next, I crumbled a black bean patty that I bought at the Granary, but they look easy enough to make. I just used about 1/3 of it in today's lunch.

Sprinkled on some thinly sliced Vidalia onion.

Spooned a few spoonfuls of a medium heat salsa.

And finished with a hearty amount of fresh, chopped cilantro. (which I had to purchase because the squirrels won the battle of the fresh cilantro in my herb garden.)

For me, I liked it at room temperature. Hot food fans may want to warm it to marry the flavors a bit.

easy peasy -- healthy and delish!!!

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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.