Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Day in the Life - Day Three -- Craving and Eating a BLT

Now what is a kosher, vegan rabbi doing eating a BLT? and loving it!

Before I plan each meal, I try to get in touch with what my body would enjoy eating - something earthy, crunchy, salty or sweet.  This morning, as I left for my Restorative Yoga Class at Living Room Yoga (thanks for a deliciously restorative class, Sally!) I knew my pantry was dwindling and I knew my body was craving a BLT.

After class, I stopped at a delightful Italian gourmet market on 22nd Avenue in St. Pete called Mazzaro's -- it is a destination shopping point -- a little trip to Italy.  I gave myself a treat to meander around, looking and touching and enjoying the variety of culinary taste treats.  I even found one of my favorite wines that is difficult to find at most local shops, Ferrari Carano Chardonnay.  It is about $20 a bottle which is out of my regular price range, but whenever I see it, I treat myself.  I also picked up some vine ripened tomatoes and fresh romaine lettuce for my BLT.

"Hey! Wait a doggone minute!" you might be saying, "how can you drink wine on a diet!!"

To which I reply -- a) it is vegan, and b) it is not a diet, but a lifestyle and treats and indulgences in moderation are mandatory -- a life without treats and indulgences is a life not worth living.  And, c) I am planning for my treat tonight by just having a hearty salad with all of my usual veggies, and black bean salsa, and no potato or cookie.  I did pack a bag of 10 rosemary and sea salt potato chips for my 9 p.m. crunch attack.  And when I come home after midnight - I will sit and savor one glass of my Ferrari Carano Chardonnay before I go sit in meditation.

Above is a photo of my BLT -- I used an Ezekiel sprouted wrap, and instead of mayo which is not vegan, I used avocado slices, and then romaine lettuce, sliced vine ripened tomato, cilantro and Himalayan sea salt.  Then I added the coup de grace -- my homemade bacon strips made from beans -- check out an earlier blog as to how to make them.  I froze the strips and heat them whenever I am in the mood for bacon.  Bacon was one of my main food groups before I gave up food that came from animals (If it has a face, don't eat it.)  And as someone who loved bacon -- this sandwich was awesome and hit the proverbial spot.

Off to my last evening shift of drama and trauma -- listening and praying - being present and comforting -- (There is an advertisement for, of all things, Napa Auto parts, that has a line I like:  It is who I am, it is what I do.)  Today you may want to think about what defines who you are and what you do.  This then, defines how you nurture and support that part of your self, or your whole self to enable you to do and be this.   

Blessings for a healthy and happy day - shalom - namaste - peace and balance.

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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.