Vegan Complicated? Rare Inside Month-Long Look at Hospital Food, As Non-Vegan Hubby Almost Dies

...The day before Halloween, my 80 year-old husband (he’s 18 years older than me) said, “Ya know, I think I pulled a muscle climbing on the roof yesterday.” A few hours later, “Ya know, I think we need to get this checked out.” When you go to the emergency room, in many hospitals, they have a protocol called, “From ER to Balloon in 60 Minutes.” When you walk in and say, “I have chest pain,” and an EKG confirms heart attack in progress, bells and whistles go off. Clarence, my husband, was in surgery for 3 stents within 30 minutes. He came within an hour of dying. I had always thought heart attacks were more noticeable, especially in men. My sister had several, and didn’t even know it before she had her first bypass surgery. Clarence had asked the cardiologist not to do bypass, if possible. But in trying to insert the stent in the third artery, the video the cardiologist showed me later, captured the vessel blowing up. Two bypass surgeries were scheduled for the next morning. I’d watched too many relatives go through this. But it had been a few years, and the technology was mind boggling. If you know anyone who can affect change…politicians, non-profits…please forward. For anyone who says a vegan diet is complicated, THIS is complicated:   Think a vegan diet is difficult? THIS is difficult. Difficult for the patient. Difficult for any loved one to watch.   Isn’t eating colors of the rainbow much easier?   Can you imagine how much money it costs to educate people to understand all of this?   Google...

PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50 Contest—Why I Entered

...How could I not? A few years ago, some of my friends began asking me to enter PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) “Sexiest Vegan Over 50” contest. I had all kinds of excuses why I didn’t. Part of it was that I was busy with my three books. Part of it was that I was busy teaching cooking classes and traveling around the country doing talks, training for marathons and doing food demonstrations. Another factor was I wanted my books to stand on their own merit. I love breaking and bursting vegan myths. My books, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided, and Paleo Vegan are all about that. I even contributed a free chapter to Eating, Running and Thinking…proceeds to charity. As a financial consultant, I learned that some corporations often did not care about helping the environment. But when you show them how much money they could save by recycling, then all of a sudden they cared and promoted saving the environment. Keep in mind that when I went to college I was part of many feminist issues and movements. I was the first woman to anchor the evening news at the TV station I worked at. I was in college and helped establish on campus some of the first women’s self-help clinics oin the US. I broke the glass ceiling becoming a videographer for a TV station that was unheard of in television news. Farmers and law-enforcement and Des Moines, Iowa, laughed when I pulled up to a news story wearing the incredibly heavy and made-for-men, huge battery belts and camera equipment. I had one of the first unpaid maternity leaves for...

Wonder What Vegan Is Like?

...Plenty of athletes use a vegan or plant-based diet to enhance performance. As I like to say, plants enhance. This growing list of athletes includes legendary frequent ultra marathoner winner, Scott Jurek, to triathlete Brendan Brazier, and to amazing body-builders such as Robert Cheeke. Check out his site www.veganbodybuilding.com for an incredible array of athletes, male and female who do it all ‘just’ on plants. So what’s all the buzz about? Many athletes, myself included, find that a plant-based diet reduces inflammation, speeds recovery and manages weight optimally. A vegan diet, or plant-based as the terms go, mean eating nothing with a mother or a face. No meat products which includes no dairy or eggs as well. Have you wondered what it’s like to eat a plant-based diet? President Bill Clinton reversed his heart disease and avoided a third heart procedure, in addition to losing a needed 25 pounds. Some people think a vegan diet doesn’t seem interesting or full of variety. I answer, Mother Nature got it right by giving us thousands of fruits and vegetables all colors of the rainbow. In the animal kingdom, food is pretty much brown, brown and brown. Nature wanted to make sure we ate our fruits and vegetables by making them so colorful and appealing. If you aren’t ready to go au natural completely, there are plenty of processed foods to help you make the transition. Many food companies such as Tofurkey, Fieldroast, Sophie’s Kitchen and Gardein are several of the most popular animal substitutes or analogs, as they are called. These companies are creating foods that look like everything from shrimp, chicken...

Using a Certified Coach or Trainer—Worth It? Drives Me Nuts…

...We get so boxed in sometimes, don’t we? I recently got trained as a Golden Hearts® Instructor. I’ve been a certified personal trainer for 4 years through the Aerobics and Fitness Association, and have been a Road Runners Club of America certified running coach for 5 years, and informally coaching since hanging out as a gym rat as a kid. Some of you may know I’m currently 7th in the US W60-641500 meters, 10th in the 400 meters and more, plus I’ve placed in 71 5K races for my age group since 2006. My publisher reminds me frequently that it takes decades to be an overnight success and that his favorite book he recommends to all authors is, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” I haven’t. But I didn’t get the patience gene, and doing all that I do, I sometimes wonder what it takes to get the attention of in particular, the national media. The first step is getting the attention of the “choir;” vegans who understand that a plant-based diet is the best kept secret in America and beyond. Add to that, running, and the equation is magical. Keeping off excess weight, feeling great and having lots of energy is ridiculously easy. I’ve been lucky to have the support of vegan doctors like Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. John McDougall. With Dr. Barnard, first as a staff Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine media consultant, then as a trained Cancer Project cooking instructor for 6 years before the book tour took over my schedule. And Dr. McDougall in his patient answering questions in e-mails, and then inviting me as a guest chef to their...

Labor Day Vegan BBQ Ideas

...Stressing over what to eat/make with all those meat-eaters around? Stress no more. If you have my book, “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” you’ll find 3 burger recipes. They’ll all do fine on the grill. Nothing wrong with putting lots of sweet, chunky veggies on a skewer. Use a stainless basket or veggie grill to place over the BBQ grill. Be sure to spray it with non-stick spray so the veggies won’t stick. Nothing like sweet onions, corn, tomatoes and sweet peppers oozing their juices!  If you need more ideas, don’t forget to check out the awesome resource: “Grills Gone Vegan”   Here’s my fav burger…full of protein, flavor, crunch, and even garlic to keep mosquitoes away!   BILLFOLD-SAVER black bean burgers–From “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” (Signed Copies Here) MAKES 8 BURGERS (4 SERVINGS) These veggie-filled burgers are great to have on hand so you can easily make a quick, nutritious meal. They can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen either before or after they are cooked. 2 slices whole wheat bread 1 3/4 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained 1/2 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup finely chopped white button mushrooms 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons salsa 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes 2 garlic clovers, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 2 teaspoons vegetable oil Toast the bread lightly and tear it into medium-sized pieces. Put the pieces in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Mash the beans in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher, leaving some chunks. Add the breadcrumbs, oats, carrot, mushrooms, onion, salsa, nutritional yeast...

Hometowner and Former St. Louis Reporter’s Perspective: A Vegan Diet and More Could Help Ferguson

...When I turned 18, I couldn’t wait to leave St. Louis. The word people often used to describe the city was “provincial.” It was a euphemism for segregated. Backwards. Old-fashioned. Way behind the times. Many people my age who grew up in West County can relate. We had never driven south of Highway 55 or north of Highway 70. You just didn’t. When I left St. Louis, I left in a big way. I joined a musical singing and dancing group and traveled the world. I became a TV investigative reporter and after working 6 years including 2 in Miami, I did what many people are compelled to do: return to their hometown. I’ve read that research shows we often are subconsciously compelled to return to our childhood haunts as a result of early smells, aromas and odors that imprint in our olfactory memories. It seemed like a good idea at the time. A good place to raise a family. Which I did. I would eventually leave again for personal reasons. But when I returned to St. Louis as a reporter, after having worked in Miami which operated under 1 municipal government, coming back to St. Louis was a major culture shock. There were 99 municipalities when I lived there, and according to multiple sources, it has gained one more since I lived there. The list is below. When I grew up there, my brother-in-law was the Lt. Governor. My sister ran for the US Senate twice. I hung out with the youngest elected state representative. He was from Ferguson, a predominately white, but changing neighborhood. That’s another story. Then, as...