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Vegan Victory for Health

For those of you following my blog, you know that I chose a vegan lifestyle in January, for the scientific experiment of health. As a fit, average weight individual struggling with her genetics, I was willing to test the theory of veganism and blood sugar regulation and cholesterol management. Afeter all, nothing else seemed to be working.......

So the adventure began. At first there was resentment. I had to give up so much, I felt. Going out to dinner was near impossible, especially with no vegan restaurants on the south shore.

Vegan Bleeding Heart

It's lunchtime. That chance to eat at your desk.....or maybe sneak away for a very quick, and typically unsatisfying sandwich. If you are like many of us, it is probably the same sandwich you had yesterday, Monday and the week before. Turkey on whole wheat, maybe a slice of tomato. Tuna pocket, lettuce and pickles. Salad with the same toppings and dressing. Yes, I know I said sandwich, but we all know you get the pita pocket to go with your salad, and maybe even stuff your salad into the pocket.

Seasonal Allergies and Food

Springtime  brings an explosion of growth and renewal, and of course pollen. We all see the green stuff on our cars and feel it in our eyes, noses and throats. But is there anything we can do besides carrying tissues and consume allergy medications?

Eat better. Yes, food can actually help ease the symptoms of the effects of histamines in our bodies. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

An apple a day..... and eat the skin for maximum nutritional value. They are loaded with quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

Ancient Grains -the Unadulterated Version

What exactly is an ancient grain? "Grains" such as quinoa, amaranth, spelt and kamut are called "ancient" because they've been around, unchanged, for millennia. By contrast, corn, rice and modern varieties of wheat have been bred selectively over thousands of years to look and taste much different from their distant ancestors," said Mian Riaz, director of the Food Protein Research and Development Center at Texas A&M University. Most notably, modern corn bears little resemblance to wild corn (maize) from long ago.

Offensive food

We recently had an interesting news story about a young cashier that refused to check out pork and alcohol due to religious reasons - she was Muslim. The store manager agreed to this and posted a sign at her register asking customers to refrain from purchasing these items in her line. On one hand, this is a good example of religious tolerance, respecting the differences we all share. On the other hand, I have to ask the obvious question - where will it end?

The Muslim cashier avoids pork and alcohol.

Pink Slime and other food horrors

Is it just me or does it seem like there are a lot of things that have been hidden regarding our food supplies. We used to go shopping, buy a trusted brand name, and think we were making smart choices for our families.

Sure there were probably always the occasional tainting of food - the finger at Wendy's, salmonella scares, metal shards in shakes.....I remember these things. But now we hear there is pink slime in the meat. Hormones in everything, making our precious little girls turn to women much earlier.

Firehouse Chili Competition

Hyannis, MA March 11, 2012
I broke my long stretch of no red meat toady in order to participate as a judge for this wonderful event. 17 firehouses competing for the best chili award. All to help MDA, mind you. My fellow judgess included a restauranteur, a cooking instructor/TV personality and a personal chef. We lined up our water, oyster crackers and plastic spoons....17 chilis? OK, let the eating begin. gulp.

Happy to seesmallplastic sample cups, the first chili arrived with a moist piece of cornbread and a jello shot.

Vegan + fish = Pescatarian

If you have been reading along, you know that I have been eating a vegan diet since Jan 1. Part of that decision was for improved health, specifically lower blood sugars and cholesterol. The test came the end of February with my endocrinologist appointment. And the verdict? Yup, just as you would have guessed, my A1C (a measure over time of blood sugar trends) were up!

Ummm, wait a minute.....up? How can that be? They were supposed to go down, I was supposed to be lowering my medication, I was supposed to be healthier for going vegan, right?

Continuing the vegan lifestyle

So week 4...or is it 5? Time has been a blur of late, as my business has picked up, and the true test of my vegan lifestyle continues. At a recent chef's meeting,  I thought I was doing well at Not Your Average Joe's - they had a few great vegan choices including the spring roll appetizer that was all veggies wrapped in rice paper with a light peanut dipping sauce. To round out dinner I ordered the edamame hummus. Both were delicious, very filling and the servings were more lunch size than appetizers.

Vegan eating week 3

In week three of my vegan diet I started getting a little looser with dinners. Mixed veggies over pasta, veggie burger, seaweed salads, and a trip out to a Mexican restaurant. This was the biggest challenge....going out to dinner. I looked at the menu ahead of time to try to plan ahead. They had veggie stuffed poblano peppers, veggies crepes with a salsa verde and salads. It was snowy and cold, so salad was out. I asked about the peppers, if the cheese could be left off the top. Our waiter informed me their was cheese inside too.

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