Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog
As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.
In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.
Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Another Beautiful Vegetarian Day
Went for a quick nature walk behind the place where roadside wild things grow, camera in hand, and found these:
Self-heal or Heal-all
Common St. John's Wort
Brown-eyed Susans amid the ferns & grasses
and White Yarrow
The best part was putting these photos on the computer and using the edit function to blow them up huge and pore over my Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers to figure some of them out."
A Happy and Healthy Saturday to all,
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This photo was taken of Nature Maven and Mary in 2003 when we went back to Los Angeles together.
I, Nature Maven, grew up in Los Angeles in the community of Pacific Palisades. Mom became a vegetarian early in my childhood in the 1950's out of compassion for the animals, and she raised me on avocados, sprouts, raw nut butters, hearty whole grain bread, and fruit. One Thanksgiving she made a lentil loaf. I felt deprived back then. Sugar was unknown in our daily life, although I managed to have too much whenever given an opportunity. Mom eventually grew anemic and went back to fish, then chicken, then the occasional beef meal. I know she'd be proud of me today to be on the vegetarian path.
Thank you, Mom. Happy Birthday!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
The bonus was the fact that today I was down 4 pounds from last Monday! I never felt deprived. Tomorrow I will shop and stock up on fresh, frozen, and canned things so I don't have a crisis next time. I also plan to bake a vegan cake. Keep you posted next time!
* Small bowl of cold gazpacho, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, vinegar, canola oil, and herbs and spices
* Huge green salad with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, onion, avocado, tomato; plus 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 1 TBS of ground flaxseed, and a dressing of 1 TBS tahini with juice of half a lemon and enough Bragg's to make it taste salty enough. I Love Bragg's. I recently found it at Vitamin Shoppe after my local Whole Foods had been out of stock for a month. I had bought my first bottle at a health food store in PA. It tastes like a low-salt soy sauce and is great for adding 16 amino acids and amazing flavor to your food.
* Main course: stir-fried shredded cabbage, onion, and thinly sliced celery made with a small amount of olive oil, with 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans, partially mashed for texture, and then steamed for a few minutes in water flavored with a little Bragg's, lemon juice and a few drops of tahini from the measuring spoon I used for the salad. It was so delicious my spouse had several small helpings.
*Dessert: my usual big bowl of fresh fruit salad, this time blueberries, melon, pineapple, and strawberries. I did have a small piece (1-1/2 inch square) of Whole Foods "homemade" granola bar, a healthy treat of seeds, nuts, oats, dried fruits, honey, rice syrup, and canola oil. I savored it slowly and enjoyed it a lot.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Simplify, Simplify, SimplifyBreakfast: fresh fruit
Lunch: salad, beans on top, and more fruit
Dinner: salad and two cooked vegetables (1 pound), fruit dessert
His "10 Easy Tips for Living with the 6-week Plan" (my summary)
1. Eat salad first at each meal, a pound or more of salad greens
2. Eat as much fruit as you want, but at least 4 fresh fruits a day
3. Vary your green vegetables; have a pound of cooked green vegetables, too
4. Limit starchy vegetables; limit grains and breads even more strictly
5. Eat beans or legumes daily
6. Eliminate animal and dairy products
7. Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseed daily
8. Consume no more than 1 ounce nuts or seeds daily
9. Eat lots of mushrooms all the time
10. Keep it simple (he then refers to quote above)
I have been eating this way since lunch yesterday with no problem. Example: I made a huge green salad last night, added garbanzo beans and some couscous, threw in some blueberries, and added a little balsamic vinegar. Yummy! Calories for dinner were 514, with the whole day only 1,104 (breakfast was cereal with almond milk). For dessert I made fruit salad with cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and shared it with my spouse.
This 6-week plan is geared toward weight loss, but has been very effective for inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disorders, cancer, irritable bowel disease, and many more common illnesses, and the book contains testimonials from people he has treated. I was most impressed by the foreward from the well-known cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz from New York's Presbyterian Medical Center who recommends him highly.
Friday, July 4, 2008
...to urge Smithfield Foods to demand that Murphy Family Ventures fire all the workers responsible for this cruelty and work with PETA to enact meaningful animal welfare reforms. Also, tell Smithfield that while it's good that it has promised to phase out the use of gestation crates at its own farms, the company needs to make the transition faster and require independent suppliers to phase out these cruel devices too.
I sent the requested email, and I'm very glad I did. I told my spouse a little about this action I'd just taken, and he stands where I stood for years: I know terrible things happen, but what can I do about it? I replied that I learned today from PETA that my becoming a vegetarian, just me, saves the lives of approximately 100 animals (meat and poultry) a year. That is significant!
And so here I am in my 4th week of vegetarian, nearly vegan, eating, and I am thriving. Okay, I am still trying to stick to a decent amount of calories and not over-carb, but I am doing it. This morning we had breakfast on the road, and I had 2 pecan pancakes and a half a bowl of oatmeal with banana slices and a little milk. I was aiming to enjoy the pancakes without ending up in a low-sugar crash hours later. I think the oatmeal and milk helped mitigate the crash, but eventually it came. About 3 hours later I started getting the low-sugar shakes. I ate a slice of veggie cheese and a granola bar with a little natural peanut butter on it. I'm good to go now, even 4 hours later. Next time I have pancakes out, perhaps I'll have scrambled eggs or Eggbeaters as a side. I want to avoid dairy, but I also have to make sure I get what my body needs.
Tonight we have reservations for dinner and I already spoke to the chef about my dietary needs. He offered to make a pasta special that calls for chicken and just leave out the meat. "I'll adjust the price, too," he assured me. There was a Linguine with Marinara on the menu too.
It's a process. Definitely a process, where the byword is "Progress not Perfection". I think I am actually glad there are animal activists. I am not trying to be one, but I guess perhaps I am.
UPDATE: Awful dinner, overcooked pasta and no more in the kitchen to be had, so I had steamed veggies. Okay. I crossposted this on DKos and got lots of great comments, some challenging and some not so great, but all food for thought. Check it out! One commenter had extensive restaurant experience and said that special orders and substitutions, while waitstaff hasten to agree for their tips, put burdens on the kitchen and they often don't share in the tips.