Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who Said "There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch?"

The Garden of Eden Vegan is launching a Free Lunch Challenge and Contest.
To enter, you merely have to be a human who enjoys eating - you can be an omnivore, a carnivore or a herbivore.  Doesn't matter to us.  Enter the Contest and you and a guest can win a free lunch -or dinner - with.....okay, here's the gig, here's the no such thing as a free lunch strings must agree to write a short (or long) blog post about your culinary experience, with maybe a photo or two.  Not so hard - heck, we're not the New York Times here.


1.  To be eligible, you must "friend" us on our Facebook, Garden of Eden Vegan Facebook page.  If you already have, you are half way there.  If you haven't, you must find the page first, therein lies the challenge for us non-techie foodies.  Here's a hint:

2.  Once on this page - write on our wall some note to let us know that you want to be entered in this contest, your dietary label: omnivore/herbivore, and the city in which you would like to dine.

3.  Entries must be in by midnight EST, Thursday, June 30, 2011.  The random drawing (yes, I will write each of your names on a card and toss them into my secret drawing bowl and blindly choose one) will be on Friday, July 1st - and the winner will be announced that day on our Garden of Eden Facebook Page.

4.  I will contact you and we will find a Vegan or Raw restaurant in your chosen city and I will contact the restaurant and arrange to have your lunch/dinner paid up to $50.

5.  You will agree to go as soon as you can but during the month of July.  Take your camera or phone with camera and photograph your meal, and write a blog post for Garden of Eden Vegan about your culinary experience.

That's it -- easy peazy!  Not much of a string attached.  The goal is to have fun and highlight vegan restaurants and the vegan experience - especially among non-vegans.

My hope is that this will be so much fun that we will do it again, and again, and again.

Stay tune for our Carnivorous Reluctant Vegan's post -- I here Jack will be dining this weekend at The Everlasting Life Cafe in D.C. -- I have asked that he note his reaction to some faux food.  Yes, I am still prejudices against it but this is a learning experience for all of us.

Hope to see you at a Vegan restaurant near you soon --- Let's have fun and wave the green bean!!!

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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.