Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tyler's Vegan Experience - ps: Ty is 9 years old!

Hi. My name is Tyler. I've never thought of being a vegan because I love meat.

At first when I was asked to be a "vegan for a day" I was moaning and groaning because I couldn't eat my meats and drink my milk. Anything that had a face or a mother wasn't vegan.

Then the day came and I was excited. I got ready and headed to Rolling Oats  in St. Petersburg with my mom to meet Miss Ann. When we got there we shopped around for a little bit. My mom and I picked out nuts, vegetables, and dried fruits. Then I thought vegans only ate fruits and vegetables.

Next we headed to the restaurant part and met Miss Ann. She showed me what was vegan and what was not. I wanted to pick the chicken burrito or the chicken salad but it wasn't vegan because it had a mother and a face.

The thing I chose was called an Avacodo Tomato Melt, with tortilla chips and macaroni salad. The avocado and tomato looked really good. It made my mouth water. When the lady brought our food to us I took a bite and thought "Mmm. This stuff is good." The vegan cheese was good. It was a little different but I thought it was better than regular cheese.

I took a bite of the macaroni salad. Even though it has no real mayo it tasted really good. After a minute I took another bite of the sandwich and thought "Man am I in heaven!" I was surprised it was so good.

I thought lunch was way better than I expected. After lunch we went grocery shopping and we went down all the aisles. My mom let me get some vegan chocolate cake for dessert but I was so full I had to take it home. When I got home I took a bite of it and it tasted a little different than regular chocolate cake but it was pretty good. I couldn't even finish the whole piece it was so filling.

My vegan experience was better than I expected. We bought some vegan cheeses, organic fruits and vegetables, and other vegan foods while we were there. Every now and then I put a pinch of some vegan foods in my meals but I'm not ready to become a full vegan. 

Now I'm dying to try the raw restaurant with Miss Ann. She told me they make pizza dough out of nuts! Next time look for my blog entry about eating at the raw restaurant! Bye for now!... Tyler

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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.