Pasta Paradise!

Great pasta news…

Okay… anything taken to excess can be unhealthy, but Jeff Novick (MS – Nutrition) has some good things to say about pasta. Here are two research articles that agree:

Dr. McDougall’s 10 Favorite One-Liners – Naked Food Magazine

  1. The fat you eat is the fat you wear.
  2. Starches make you thin.
  3. Sugars do not ordinarily turn into fat.
  4. Sugar satisfies the hunger drive.
  5. Protein deficiency is impossible, even on a vegan diet.
  6. There is no such thing as dietary calcium deficiency.
  7. Plants, not fish, make all omega-3 (good) fats. 
  8. Taking vitamin supplements will increase cancer, heart disease, and death.
  9. In Order to Get “the Cure,” You Must Stop the Cause.
  10. People love to hear good news about their bad habits.

Curious? Read details here…

Chasing the Vegan Yum @ the LA County Fair!

Let’s start w/ what NOT to eat at the fair:

None of THIS

And none of THIS

And none of THIS

And none of THIS

And certainly none of THESE…

But do try the bbq’ed corn on the cob (w/ tangy lemon, no butter or mayo). The natural taste is naturally buttery sweet!

How about a Ten Pound Bun? Unfortunately they have no vegan option, so just order w/o cheese & add some guacamole from the Mexican food booth:

If you watch the waterless cooking pots & pan demo they’ll reward you w/ some healthy coleslaw (dressing-free).

You can order a beans & greens taco w/o the cheese.

There’s a Plant Food for People booth on the north side of the old horse race track. They sell vegan tacos.

To “healthy it up” I ordered the naked taco (called a vegan boat). It comes with jackfruit carnitas on a bed of pinto beans, topped with their coleslaw & all of their signature toppings. Unfortunately these include oily additives, even on the slaw – it was swimming in fatty vegan mayo! My only option was to get the carnitas (which tasted great) & beans w/ no toppings… boring!

So I carried this to the taco stand for guacamole

and combined it all inside a giant baked potato w/ broccoli from this place (plez hold the liquid fry-fat & the greasy cheese/creams!)

Check out the Subway Sub booth. I ordered veggie (no cheese, no oil).

If you’re really good (or really bad!) you might indulge in a slice of cherry pie, but eat the inside fruit & trash the fatty crust!

They have some Indian Tacos (served on fry bread, but you need not eat the shell… just the beans, veggies & salsa are great!) I brought my own avocado, but you can buy some guacamole at the Mexican food booths.

Or some Cowboy Potatoes on the bbq (w/ onion, bell pepper, and plenty of vegetable cooking XL-oil!)

I found some steamed Veggie dumplings inside one of the commercial buildings:

At Maria’s Restaurant you can order a plate of pasta w/ marinara sauce (minus the meatball)…

Or you can order their salad w/ dressing on the side (greens, tomatoes, garbanzos, cucumbers, olives, carrots, pepperoncinis, and oily Italian dressing, minus the cheese.)

Try some lovely dairy-free Pineapple Whip in a cup or cone!

Or some mango-on-a-stick from Mexican Village:

Bone apetit!

The Vibrant Vegan Life of an Obesity Survivor

Jun 19, 2012 | Updated Aug 19, 2012
by  Victoria Moran

I am an obesity survivor. I spent the first 30 years of my life either bingeing or dieting; each of those states was sufficiently unpleasant that I’d revert to the other out of desperation. I was not uneducated about food and nutrition. I had, after all, been trying to “fix” myself since childhood. It’s just that a lot of the information I got, like much of what’s available now, was myth-based — i.e., the late, great “four food groups” — or commercially motivated: all those classroom posters from the Dairy Council, all those TV ads about the white bread that would build strong bodies in an ever-increasing number of ways.

I grew up and became a health writer, interviewing the experts for magazine articles, under the assumption that getting their knowledge firsthand would seep in and change everything. It didn’t.

The turnaround came the day I realized that, as for any addict, the drug- – in this case, food, and manufactured products pretending to be food — had me. I knew there was no escaping, that my situation was beyond the reach of my nutritionist and the library of diet and self-help books I’d collected. With nowhere else to turn, I had a chat with God and said, basically: “I’m done. No more diets, no more games. It’s okay with me if I never get thin, but please — please — make me free.”

A series of remarkable events followed. I joined a gym — only this time with no “goal weight.” Then I met a group of people who’d recovered from eating for a fix and who knew how to do that, a day at a time. And although I’d been vegetarian for awhile — I cared about animals and didn’t want them killed for my sake — I was able to become, imperfectly but committedly, vegan. No animal products, mostly whole foods. I immediately felt that freedom I’d prayed for: a lightness, a relief, a sense of being able, with great love and no guilt at all, to look a cow or pig or chicken in the eye.

I was also astounded by how well I could eat when I built my menus around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and a few nuts and seeds. I could finally eat enough. Those little half-cup-of-this, three-ounces-of-that proscriptions didn’t apply anymore. I could eat really big salads and regular-sized portions of veggie-burgers and veggie-chili and veggie-tofu-stir-fries over brown rice. The promise of a thousand infomercials, “Eat all you want and lose weight,” had finally been fulfilled, and I didn’t even have to make three easy payments.

I’m not perfect, but what’s wonderful about eating a plant-based diet is, I don’t have to be. French fries have crossed these lips — white flour, too. It’s just that, these days, those are the last foods I want, and when I eat them on the rare occasions that nothing is else available, it’s no big deal. What has happened over the years is that feeling good has become its own addiction. I like it. I want to feel even better. I drink fresh juices (my favorite is celery, kale, apple, and lemon) and make a morning power-smoothie (almond milk, banana, berries, blackstrap molasses, ground flaxseed, and a nutrient-booster called Vega created by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazer) every day.

“Make your plate look like a Christmas tree,” I tell people, “mostly green with splashes of other bright colors.” As I see it, a green salad is an open invitation to carrots, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and the sprouts that grow in jars on my kitchen counter. I add some “oomph factor” with steamed broccoli, asparagus, yellow Finn potatoes or bright orange yams; garbanzos or red beans or black ones; sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, artichoke hearts or black olives or slender slivers of plant-based cheese. (Yes, these days there’s even cheese that bypassed the cow. Life has become very generous.)

I’ve found in this way of life a series of adventures. I raised my daughter, Adair, as a vegan. (Yes, she still is one, and she’s fine, and she’s even trained as a stunt performer.) I’ve traveled all over — Iceland, Tibet, Switzerland where the rivers practically run milk chocolate — and have nowhere on earth been denied three plant-based meals a day. I’ve been through life and loss and 40 and 50 and my weight stays steady, some 60 pounds less than it once was. Every year when I put away my winter clothes and get out my summer clothes, they fit. And I haven’t been on a diet since the Reagan administration.

Victoria Moran is the author of Main Street Vegan.