Monday, March 17, 2008

The Veggie Queen's Been Busy

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted. I have been busy with article writing and recipe and personal development, one more fun and interesting than the other, you can ponder that. I was working on developing recipes with beer but I wasn't feeling so great so having leftover beer didn't do a thing for me. Of the 10 recipes that I did, only a few were well-loved and the rest were OK. Once I retest the recipe for the Beer Dark Chocolate Bread with alternate ingredients, I will post it here for all to make. It was quite delicious but it didn't make it at all on the health chart.

I was in Anaheim this past week at the Natural Products Expo. Almost anything and everything that you'd buy at Whole Foods or your local natural food store was on exhibit there. Michael Pollan was the keynote speaker. And for those of you who have not read previous posts, Michael and I have a history together. We went to school together and rode the same bus (in elementary school) from first grade until high school. We shared many an English class through the years and he's still a better writer than I am.

I was telling some folks that I know Michael when he happened to walk by at an industry reception. I invited him to sit down so we got to chat with him for about an hour. He said that after walking the show floor he'll stick to his assertion that we ought to be eating real food. I couldn't agree more. And in my opinion, if you are going to eat prepared food, choose the least processed kind that is also organic. But in general, you have to cook your food yourself if you want to eat for health.

Mollie Katzen was also at the show. She gave an interesting talk about how to change what's on your plate to increase health. She said that no one needs to give up anything but switch the proportions of various foods, choosing whole grains, beans, nuts and fruit most often. When I said hi to Mollie after her talk, she said to me, "I have your book." That was definitely a thrill.

I also met Andrew Weil, MD, twice at the show. I got his latest book on Healthy Aging but haven't had time to read it yet.

Spring is upon us here in CA and with it has come the first asparagus and artichokes. I have not yet transitioned much from broccoli and winter vegetables as I missed last week's farmer's markets. So Wednesday, I can get back to my schedule and get what's fresh. I experienced a severe lack of vegetables made worse by the following experience, which may be a reflection of how many people eat.

My father-in-law and his wife are visiting from Florida. They had family over for dinner (which I hadn't realized or I would have eaten prior). This was what was served between 4 and 8 p.m. Two types of potato chips, brie and Ritz crackers, shrimp with cocktail sauce, Swedish meatballs with ligonberry sauce, hot dogs and hamburgers with white buns, potato salad and onion slices. There was nothing green at all. Oh, and in my honor I got a small quiche (which is not something that I really eat). But what I really needed after all my travels was a huge salad. There wasn't even any lettuce for the burgers or I would have eaten it. And for the kids to drink, there were various types of soda. If this is the standard American diet (and I've been told that it is), it is no wonder to me, that people are obese and dying young.

Some people may call me a freak for eating well but I feel good and have lots of energy which I am sure wouldn't be the case if I ate the food served last night, even a few times a week. Ugh, I can't even bear the thought. People need dietary makeovers.

And the worst part, I am having Easter lunch with the same clan. My sister-in-law is cooking (and she's from England) and she's getting a ham. I am definitely going to eat before I go.


KAD724 said...

Hi Jill!
I recognized you at the NP Expo in Anaheim, you walked by the booth I was staffing for Nature's Answer - it was located adjacent to the booth where Andrew Weil was signing books. I have been reading your blog and recipes for about a year now, been vegetarian for half my life (25 years) - I try your recommended products too, such as "Krackers." I am glad you have the website and blog, it's educational and useful to share with others who are getting started
on that diet makeover you mentioned in your last blog. So true! I endure the same torture at family or dinners at others homes who have no clue. It's awful! What's also a challenge is when they find I'm vegetarian and get hyper over it. Nowadays I carry my own green tea extract (Nature's Answer makes several) to add to water and SREs (stuff / snacks ready to eat) that are on my diet to keep my blood sugar level and appetite satisfied.
I am looking forward to your new beer dark chocolate bread recipe!
Kathy DeSantis, Santa Ana, CA

The Veggie Queen said...

Darn Kathy, I wish that you had a chance to say hello to me, that would have been fun. I'm glad that some of my suggestions have been helpful. I blog, have my website and email newsletter to reach people who need the info, wherever they are in the process.
I may get time to try out that dark chocolate bread again this week. When it's perfected, it will be posted.

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

I look forward to the recipe for the Beer Dark Chocolate Bread, it sounds great (despite your health warnings.) Good luck with the Easter meal, it's always hard when family doesn't quite understand your ideals.

The Veggie Queen said...

Easter was just fine. I brought my Orange Scented Beet Salad made in just a few minutes in the pressure cooker and a peach and blueberry crisp. There was a big bowl of salad greens, and I got to eat. Yum.