May 9, 2013 by Leave a Comment
Congratulations to the Active Learning Elementary School in Queens, NY for becoming the first public school in our nation (that we know of) to move to an all-vegetarian menu!* The school, which has gone from 3 days of vegetarian meals, to 4 days and now all 5, works closely with the city’s education department food program to ensure that all menu items meet US standards, and has officially been all-vegetarian since January. Instead of chicken fingers and meatballs, students say their favorite foods are black bean quesadillas, rice and beans, roasted chickpeas, vegetarian chilli, falafel and even tofu with Chinese noodles. School principal, Bob Groff says “We decided on a vision where health and nutrition would be a part of educating the whole child.” Student, Nick Lin told CNN reporter that “When you’re healthy, you can do better of tests and you can fight more diseases.” Apparently, the learning really is going beyond the classroom. My hats off to Principal Groff and his staff, including the chef, who is a school parent that was hired to develop the menu. Her recipe for “Malini’s Curry Chickpeas” was used offered up as an option throughout the entire city’s school system on Earth Day.
*Students who choose to bring lunch to school can bring whatever they want, but all food made in the cafeteria is vegetarian.
April 25, 2013 by Leave a Comment
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to listen to an incredible interview with a 98 year old cardiovascular surgeon. He grew up on an farm but has spent the last half of his life living on a vegan diet. Given his field of expertise, he had become increasingly concerned about what animal products or as he refers to them, “flesh foods,” were doing to others and his own arteries. Originally concerned about not getting enough protein, he soon came to understand that our society has led us to believe we need wayyyyyyyy more protein than we actually do. The only supplement he takes is B12 and he claims to be able to do everything at 98 that he could always do. He did retire from practice…at 95 because he felt it was a good age to kick back a bit. He does, however, still mow his own lawn. As many still like to argue the dangers of an all plant-based diet, it’s always great to hear a testimonial like this.
And here’s the beauty of the internet. Simply typing this entry brought up the very video I couldn’t find in my own mail….If you are interested in watching this guy (he is 98 so I grant you it’s not THE most exciting presentation) just click the article below.
Remember as you move through your Vegan (Feast) Thursday, it is also a day to Pay it Forward. Even a simple smile can go a long way to start a ripple effect. Let’s all get out there and shed some kindness.
April 18, 2013 by Leave a Comment
Good morning and welcome to another Vegan “feast” Thursday. Funny, just a few short years ago, most people associated vegans or plant-eaters with pasty, pale, skinny hippies. People thought you couldn’t possibly delete animal products and still be strong and healthy. Fact is, some of the strongest athletes in the world are holding their own (or doing even better) sans animals. From John Salley who accumulated 4 championships playing hoops amongst some of the greatest to the tennis greats, Venus and Serena and even —though I hate to even mention his name–Mike Tyson, plant-based diets have become the new strong! In my opinion if Tyson was NOT eating animals at the time of his boxing career, events might have unfolded differently–(you can interpret that however you like)– Salley often says that if he had been eating vegan when he played for the NBA, he would still be playing for them today, and he looks quite the picture of youth and fitness as he rapidly approaches the big 50. The tennis great Venus, went vegan to help improve her health after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome and her super-star sister, Serena joined her in a show of solidarity as well as a desire to improve her own health.
Athletes, celebrities, musicians and regular “guys” like you and I, are turning to plant-based diets for a full array of reasons, and though it is not necessarily easy at first, I can say from first hand experience the less animal products you eat, the less you miss them and the less you WANT them. The more you fill your body with the beautiful colors of the rainbow found in fruits and veggies, the healthier, happier and more terrific you will feel. If you have weight to lose, you will lose it as long as you keep your eating clean and avoid the processed crap!
For the past few weeks I have been a big pot of virtually no calorie, veggie soup and it lasts most of the week. Science and research prove that people that have a bowl of soup before a meal eat less calories at that meal. My simple veggie soup has no real recipe. I generally take a diced onion and maybe some leek and sweat in a big soup pot. Then I add about 8 or 10 cups of water and start adding cut up veggies like carrots, celery, zucchini and mushrooms (but you can add whatever YOU like just avoid the starchy veggies like corn and potatoes) and let it cook on a low flame till the veggies are soft. I also add a bay leaf, pepper and whatever spices I am in the mood for. A few minutes before serving a add a few handfuls of sliced up spinach for color and more of a nutritional bang. Personally, I sprinkle a lot of nutritional yeast in my bowl which gives it a lot of flavor and a nice creamy color. Is it the best soup I ever had? ABSOLUTELY not. But it certainly is decent, filling and a great way to get a lot more veggies in my body while cutting calories and it’s super inexpensive and goes a long way. No doubt you could use veggie broth instead of water some mix of the two for more flavor, I just like to keep mine as clean as possible.
I can’t help think the world would be a much more peaceful place if people didn’t eat animals. There is something very calming to the soul that occurs when living on a plant-based diet. Anyone who is will tell you this is so…..