4/1/2009: A Week of Eating Vegan

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caryn-airportCaryn made a journal this week, writing down all of the food she ate and shares all the delicious details. She takes a question about eating vegan and raw while traveling internationally.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi, I’m Caryn Hartglass and welcome to It’s All About Food. I love food and I love talking about food. So today I thought I would get started by telling you what I eat and why I eat it. So what I did for the last week I wrote down everything, all the meals that I had and I want to give you some detail about them and show you how delicious healthy eating can be and how easy it can be, how creative and full of variety it can be. But first I wanted to tell you a little bit more about myself. I have a background in chemical engineering. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree. I worked in the semiconductor industry for about twenty years. I want to tell you I’m not a doctor and I’m not a dietician. But I know a lot about nutrition. I’ve basically read a lot of books. And that reminds me of a commercial that went on maybe—I’m dating myself—a long time ago. I remember, maybe it was for the library but it was a commercial where there’s a young Abraham Lincoln, before he becomes president. He comes into an office and he’s looking for a job. He’s that tall, lanky, thin guy and he’s looking somewhat sad. The person interviewing him asks him, “What are your credentials?” And Abraham Lincoln says, “I’ve read a lot of books”. I always liked that. Abraham Lincoln became president with about 18 months of formal education. My point is that we can certainly learn a lot from the information that we read and there’s a lot of information out there. In fact some of it can be extremely overwhelming. We can read a lot of things that contradict each other and you may wonder “wow, how do I know what’s true?” I have a number of recommendations. One is somewhat time consuming but when you read something you really need to check the source—where did it come from? Often in a book there might be references in the back and you can see where they came from. You might want to follow it up a little further by going to that source, follow the source all the way to the origin. That will tell you a lot about the credibility of the information. Often times there are things that are said or things that are written and there’s no way to trace back where it came from so it loses a lot of its credibility. We really make a great effort to give you the references and site our sources and provide very credible, reliable sources for our information.

I wanted to start with…last Thursday…sometimes I have two meals and sometimes I have three, it really depends. The wonderful thing about this diet is I eat when I’m hungry and I eat as much as I want and when you’re eating the right things you really can do that. Sometimes for breakfast I like to start with a smoothie and last Thursday I had a smoothie. They’re really easy. This one consisted of some frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries and they’re organic. I get them usually at a store called Trader Joe’s. There’s a number of them here in New York. I like to add a banana, maybe some soymilk and I’m very fond of a green powder. My green powder that I get is from a site called Dr. Ben Kim’s. There’s a number of different green powders out there but basically it’s dried green food. Food from leafy green vegetables that are very high in nutrients and this particular powder I use is a wide combination of different vegetables so it’s not just one or two and it gives you a big broad spectrum of nutrition. You blend that in with the fruit and the soymilk and it’s really a great breakfast, a great way to start the day. On lunch for Thursday I was really treated to a very special salad by my partner Gary. This was a Chinese Vegetarian Chicken Salad. This was really phenomenal—very fresh romaine lettuce. Occasionally we like to use this vegetarian chicken. It’s soy-based. We get it from a place called May Wah down in Chinatown. Along with it there were some toasted almonds and some sesame seeds and a very light dressing. I just couldn’t get enough of it. It was so tasty and so phenomenal and the wonderful thing is you could eat a lot of it and feel satisfied and you’re getting a lot of nutrition. It was very low fat and that evening we followed it with what I like to call the “faux pho” for the Vietnamese noodle soup. We like to make a broth by sautéeing a number of different vegetables like onions and carrots. I like to add cilantro, scallions and depending on what we have sometimes I might add a little leftover wine or sometimes tea. We have some very strong almost vegetable broth-tasting teas that add flavor to the broth. Then adding a variety of different noodles. Sometimes it’s soba, sometimes it’s a rice noodle. We get big bowls of these soups and it’s really, really very satisfying. So that was Thursday.

Friday morning, one of my favorite cereals is muesli and I make it myself. It’s really very simple. I buy organic oatmeal in bulk and then, depending on what I have in the house, I vary it. I’ll add—this particular time I used fresh apple, chopped finely, always organic and chopped banana and then what I like to do is add raw nuts and seeds. I can’t say enough about the use of raw nuts and seeds. You never want to eat a lot of them, just a small handful is really great on a daily basis for a lot of reasons. The raw nuts and seeds are filled with nutrients and that’s really where we want to get our fats. We do need fat in the diet but the fat we need should come from a whole food that’s complemented by other nutrients and fiber. Fat really shouldn’t come from oils or from animal foods. In nuts, for example, I like to sprinkle sunflower seeds and pecans, sometimes pumpkin seeds and I mix that with the raw oatmeal and the fresh fruits that I have. Sometimes I add shredded coconut, just a small amount, but it’s lovely to mix all these different, very fresh flavors and then you can top it with a soy milk or a rice milk. Some people like to use fruit juice. I like plain soy milk just soy and water, no salt, no added sugar. If you like a little sweetness you can pour a little agave on it which is my favorite sweetener which comes from the cactus or you could use some maple syrup. But the nuts are so important in the diet and they do so many wonderful things. Sunflowers, for example…I’m reading here from a website—wholefoods.com—and they say that “sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble anti-oxidant.” Vitamin E does a lot of wonderful things. It has a significant anti-inflammatory effect, it can help in the reduction of symptoms from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and it’s been shown to reduce colon cancer, frequency of hot flashes in women. It’s really wonderful but the thing is Vitamin E is really important but we really don’t want to get it in a bottle. We want to get it from our food and sunflower seeds are one great place to get that. Raw nuts and seeds are also great to reduce cholesterol. It’s interesting because people really are confused about food and what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t be eating. A lot of people think nuts are fattening and we shouldn’t be eating nuts. Certainly the nuts that are roasted in oil and covered in salt and come in those bags and cans are not the kind of nuts you want to consume. You want your nuts to be raw and fresh. Be careful because sometimes you can buy a nut and it has already gone bad and it has a rancid taste to it. You certainly don’t want to eat a nut if it doesn’t taste good. When I buy my nuts I keep them in the refrigerator and I use them for a lot of things. So that was Friday’s breakfast, muesli. Friday night—I skipped lunch that day—we ended up having a wonderful brown rice pasta with some vegetables and tomato sauce. What I do is, I buy cases, literally, cases, online of organic tomatoes, not sauce, with no salt. I really try and minimize the amount of salt in the diet. It’s not healthy to consume a lot of salt and most prepared foods come with salt. It’s really hard to find even tomatoes without salt. So I buy them by the case online. So we always have them in the house and they’re always available for everything. We made a wonderful batch of tomato sauce that we added to the brown rice pasta and it had some great fresh veggies in it—zucchini and onions and carrots. It was very filling and very satisfying. Tomato sauce of course provides you with an essential nutrient called lycopene and there’s more lycopene available when the tomatoes are cooked. So that was Friday.

BREAK

Saturday morning was really great. I made one of my favorite dishes—waffles. What was great about these waffles is they have no oil in them and they are made from rolled oats and cornmeal. I like to add some nuts and seeds. What I discovered this time, which was really fun, was usually I grind flax seeds and make a whole jar of them and then I keep them in the refrigerator and I use them when I need them. Normally I add some ground flax seeds to my waffle batter. Flax seeds add a lot of wonderful nutrition. They give you those omega-3 fatty acids that are really, really important but they also act like eggs and if you mix flax seeds with water you get this almost a slimy texture like you get with egg whites. So they’re great for binding baked goods. I didn’t have any ground flax seeds when I made them on Saturday but I had whole flax seeds. I was a little too lazy to grind them first so I added them with my batter and blended them all together. You have to break the flax seed up so I did put them in the food processor in order to get them broken up a bit. But they didn’t break up all the way. The waffles had a very different flavor, almost buttery. Flax seed when freshly ground and not ground all the way gave it a really buttery flavor. So those were the waffles and they were very light and very crisp. I topped them with some blueberries. I took some of the frozen blueberries that I have and just heated them up in a saucepan and that makes a wonderful syrup, a wonderful sauce. Really, a perfect breakfast, very satisfying. Moving over to Saturday evening we had a very what I like to call “clean” dinner. We had some steamed string beans, some boiled potatoes and a very, very large salad. Sometimes that’s just what I want. Very simple food and it’s very satisfying and when you buy food that’s organic—I can’t say enough about organic food—you’re going to find the food naturally has so much flavor and you don’t have to do much to it. An organic yellow potato, for example, is so phenomenal on its own. I was reading an article by one of my favorite doctors, Dr. McDougall He likes to promote the starch-based vegetarian diet. He’s really big about how people should base their diet on starch foods, whole complex carbohydrate starches from brown rice to potatoes, those sorts of things. He can’t say enough about them. Here’s another myth, just like the nuts, a lot of people think if they eat a lot of potatoes, a lot of rice, they’re going to get fat. It’s really not the potatoes. It’s really not the rice. It’s all the other things that we put on top of it, if we add a lot of oil, if we add a lot of butter, we if add sour cream. It’s the things on top of those innocent foods that give us the calories, that give us the fat. It’s the complex carbohydrates that give us the feeling of being full and give us a lot of nutrition. So we had some wonderful boiled potatoes, the steamed string beans and a really phenomenal salad.

Sunday morning was another great breakfast. I like to make a tofu scramble that has the look and feel of eggs. If you take tofu and you can put it in a frying pan and heat it up and add a variety of different vegetables, it’s really up to you. I like to use onions, maybe sauté them a little in water. I don’t like to use a lot of oil and add whatever vegetables I have that are available and mix it with the tofu and then use a little turmeric. Turmeric is really a great spice. It provides the yellow color that makes the tofu look like eggs. We topped off the scramble with a little cashew cheese. It’s basically a blend of cashew and some spices and a little miso paste. It provided just enough fat and just enough salt to really round out the flavor without adding too much fat and salt. Then we took this tofu scramble and put it in a brown rice burrito and rolled it up and it made a really lovely, lovely breakfast. Sunday night I went to a restaurant here in Manhattan. We’re really fortunate in Manhattan, it’s one of the great food centers of the world. There are so many wonderful vegetarian and vegan restaurants and also many veg-friendly restaurants. I went to one in the Village called Village Natural. They have a lot of really wonderful salads and mixtures, some are Japanese-based. You get a lot of food and it’s healthy. I like them because they also have pressed juices and I always have a green juice every day. That’s a juice with dark leafy green vegetables—kale, collards, parsley, broccoli whatever is available—I might add some celery, some carrots. I find that a green juice is really essential in the diet. It boosts your immune system. It’s a great way to get a lot of nutrients without having to take supplements. It’s the best way to get a lot of nutrition.

Monday was followed by basically the same breakfast we had on Sunday. We had leftovers so we had another tofu scramble and salad. I really like having salad in the morning and sometimes I do. People think “salad? In the morning?” Why not? When I talk about having salad…one thing that people don’t realize is when you have a salad, you can have a huge bowl, not just a small plate. You have to eat a lot and you eat a lot so that you feel full. If you’re still hungry, eat more. The wonderful thing, as I said, on this type of diet is you don’t have to worry about counting calories, you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry. If you’re hungry you just eat more of the healthy foods. It’s really a wonderful thing. It’s very liberating. One of the things I like to do to make my salads taste good and fresh is…to start with I use a salad spinner. I resisted getting a salad spinner for years for some reason I just didn’t think I needed one. It’s really very useful for a number of reasons. One is it’s a great way to clean salad, some salads come with a lot of dirt in them. You can use it for other vegetables as well. It’s especially convenient if you have a small space and you don’t have a lot of room to spread the vegetables around and clean them. Keep them all in the salad spinner and get them nice and clean. One thing I’ve discovered recently, I buy a lot of my organic salads in bags, you know the mixed mesclun green salads or the baby spinach salads, sometimes arugula. There’s a lot of wonderful combinations that are available and they’re very easy to use because they’re all clean and fresh. What I like to do even though they say that they’re already washed, I like to put them in the salad spinner and let them rinse in water for a few minutes and then dry them in the spinner. I find that really freshens the leaves. The leaves have an opportunity to absorb some more of that water and they become crunchier, fresher, crisper and it’s also healthier I think because we want to eat food that has a lot of water in it. We’re mostly water and we need to consume water all the time. One of the best ways to get hydrated is from water in food. So I recommend hydrating your lettuce a little more by letting it soak in the salad spinner. So that was Monday.

Yesterday I had another muesli in the morning like I said the rolled oats with some raw nuts and seeds, then I used a pear, some raisins, really, very satisfying. Last night we had a fun dinner which was tofu burgers with yam fries, nice big salad and a small soup similar to the faux-pho I talked about earlier—the nice broth with the noodles in it. For the tofu burgers I usually buy…there’s a brand called Wildwood…Trader Joe’s has their own version of it now. It’s a really nice burger. It has almost an egg-like flavor to it. I like the sprouted grain buns. If you’re going to have bread, it’s really a good way to do it because when the grains are sprouted, they are easier to digest, there’s more nutrients in them and it’s definitely a better way to go. Ezekiel makes a great hamburger bun with sprouted grains. Then we like to make yam fries. The way to do it is just to slice up the yam into steak-size fries, brush them very, very lightly with oil, not a lot and then bake them in the oven. When they’re organic, usually they are really wonderfully sweet, just a great food.

So that was my week. Makes me hungry just talking about it.

I just wanted to finish up talking about the week of meals. One thing I like to add to my salads is some sort of seaweed. I have a variety of dried seaweeds in the house, dulse and kelp. As I’ve said before I really try to avoid salt. What I wanted to bring up is the nutrient iodine. We need iodine for a healthy thyroid. It enables the thyroid gland to product thyroid hormones. A lot of people have problematic thyroid function and one of the reasons is because perhaps they are getting not enough iodine or perhaps too much. A lot of people get iodine from iodized salt so when you eliminate salt in your diet or reduce salt you may not get enough iodine. Some people get iodine from milk and you may not be aware of it but farmers give cows iodine-fortified feed to prevent infection and they also use a sanitizing iodine solution on the cows udders and milking equipment. So there’s a lot of iodine in dairy products. That can lead to a lot of problems. I’m looking at an article from Science Daily that shows that there’s a connection between acne, milk and iodine. So too much iodine can aggravate the face and cause some acne. We do need to get a certain amount of iodine. So I like to get it from seaweed. A very small amount gives you all that you need. For example, a quarter teaspoon of my kelp powder really will do it. I like to sprinkle it on my salad. It just gives really subtle flavor, somewhat like salt but just enough to tie all the flavors together and then I get the iodine that I need.

So now I wanted to talk a little bit about some things that are in the news related to food—food and health, food and the environment. I mentioned Dr. John McDougall earlier and his promotion of a starch-based diet. He has a website drmcdougall.com, lots of wonderful information out there at his website. He just put out a newsletter and he’s talking about that there’s a new proposal in California that requires doctors to provide patients with information on diabetes and heart disease and that patients usually get inaccurate or incorrect information from their doctors. Often they’re told that surgery, angioplasty and bypass for chronic coronary artery disease is life-saving when actually scientific research says otherwise. Dr. McDougall also says that the information is based on very limited information about the fact that there is no education about the role of the rich Western diet in the cause of coronary artery disease and the right way to eat to prevent it. Patients are rarely told that changing to a healthy low-fat, plant based diet relieve symptoms of heart disease including chest pain and reverse the underlying disease. So this is really exciting that there’s a new law that’s being proposed where doctors will have to give more adequate information, more correct information, and that will include the information that a healthy diet, a low-fat healthy plant-food based diet can relieve symptoms but not only relieve symptoms of heart disease. A low-fat plant-based diet has been shown to reverse and prevent most cases of heart disease and diabetes. A lot of people don’t know that and it’s really quite sad because there’s really a lot of unnecessary disease and a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. All people have to do, it’s so simple, is to switch to a very delicious, healthy, varied, low fat, plant-based diet.

I wanted to talk about an article I recently read in the San Francisco Chronicle and I mentioned earlier that John Robbins who wrote his groundbreaking best seller in 1987 called Diet for a New America and that’s where he brilliantly tied together the concept of how our food choices affect our health, the environment and the treatment of animals. Very recently John Robbins who is a really phenomenal man and has done so much for so many people, he was a victim of the Bernard Madoff scandal. He and his family lost all of their life savings. He was interviewed recently in the San Francisco Chronicle and some of the things that were said in this article I found really beautiful and worth sharing. The author, David E. Miller, he writes that “if we become too focused on money we lose sight of why our lives truly matter in the same way that obsessing about one’s death can keep you from living fully. If we’re too worried about the collapse of capitalism as we know it, we could cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to simply enjoy everything else that we already have—our families, friends, community, pets and all the little pleasures like that first delicious cup of coffee in the morning.” I think what he brings up is really, really important, especially now because so many people are going through financial difficulty. In order for us to meet that challenge and move through that challenge and get to the other side successfully we have to really have some clarity and realize what’s really important in our lives. And then John responded in this article, “We have defined the good life in terms of accumulating stuff. In our society if you say somebody is a success, what does that mean? It doesn’t usually mean that they are an emotionally balanced, loving human being. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are creative and artistic and adding beauty to the world. We reserve that word for people who have made a lot of money. I find that to be illustrative of a way of thinking that has caused us great spiritual impoverishment and has caused the planet massive devastation. It has also pitted us against each other by breeding a hyper-competitiveness out of which we have exploited other people and harmed them for financial gain.” Wow. That’s really powerful. I just want to tie that all together with the importance of food, actually, because we put a lot of focus on our food and the kinds of food we eat. Sometimes we want to look successful, so we want to go to a fancy restaurant, we want to order the most expensive thing on the menu. It’s all very impressive. Yet it doesn’t bring us health. It doesn’t bring us success. It doesn’t bring us happiness. It brings us disease. It’s really important to get our priorities in line. What’s really important? One of the things that I find is really important is nourishing our bodies, nourishing our soul, nourishing our families with really good nutrition. In a time where we may not have a lot of extra money to go around, our spending budget should give a lot of priority on the food that we eat. Some people are looking for the cheapest food that they can get so they can feel full and they are buying a lot of low-nutrient food, empty calories. This is a very sad phenomenon. It really isn’t difficult to eat healthfully and inexpensively. Certainly when you’re buying organic there are a lot of foods that are very high-priced—you don’t have to buy them. It’s not expensive to buy organic, whole-grains and beans, legumes. There’s a wide variety of them and many generations all over the world have lived on some version of legumes and whole grains in many impoverished communities. It’s a very nutritious way to eat and very inexpensive.

There was another interesting article written by a colleague of mine Jeffrey Smith. He has been doing a lot of research over the years on genetically modified food. We haven’t heard enough recently on genetically modified food. We seem to have gotten a little numb about it and it’s not a good thing because we have a lot of genetically modified food out there and it’s not a good thing. Jeffrey Smith wrote recently in an article wondering if Obama’s food safety team will regulate the biggest food safety hazard of our time. He’s talking about genetically modified food. Interestingly he points out that the Obama family has wisely opted out of exposing themselves to GM, or genetically modified, foods by requiring organic and therefore non-genetically modified organism foods served at the White House. They are even planting an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House to feature 55 types of vegetables. Now that’s great and that’s great type of thing to know and to encourage all of America to do. Interestingly the Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was adamant about it but kept it all quiet. Gives me a little feeling of Marie Antoinette and the “let them all eat cake” syndrome when the French were clamoring for bread. The important point here is the people in charge, the people in the know, know what’s best and they choose organic food and yet we need more policies that discourage and disallow the growth of genetically modified foods. Interestingly there’s a lot of illnesses and symptoms that have increased since genetically modified foods have been introduced into our food supply…things like asthma and allergies. Jeffrey Smith writes that when GM-soy, canola, cottonseed, when they came on the scene in 1996 the proportion of Americans suffered from three or more chronic ailments and after 9 years that nearly doubled to 13 percent. Maybe genetically modified foods are the prime suspect. We’ve seen an explosion of growth of food-related ailments such as allergies, asthma, obesity, autism, infertility, gastrointestinal disorders and learning disabilities. There’s a lot of reasons for this. We’re eating a lot of processed foods that aren’t really real food and they come with a lot of artificial ingredients, a lot of artificial flavors and preservatives that we don’t need in our bodies. In addition to that are the genetically modified foods and we really have no idea what they are doing to us. So hopefully our administration will get a little more rigorous control on some of these foods.

BREAK

In the last segment I want to talk a little about the environment. I’m reading an article here about walking and how walking restores the world and humanity. Bill Burns writes here “there’s only one way humans are made to move. We’re basically made to walk.” There are other ways of getting around but the real way we’re meant to move around is walking.

We have a caller. Yes?

Caller: I have a question regarding travel and being vegan, probably about 95% raw and traveling internationally. How do you deal with that in trying to keep that lifestyle and eating properly?

CH: Eating raw while you’re traveling?

Caller: At least close to it.

CH: It really depends on where you’re traveling to. For example, if you’re going to be traveling to India that’s going to be more challenging than if you’re going to France.

Caller: Okay.

CH: There’s a lot of places all over the world that have local markets. I’m not raw now but I was for two years and I traveled all over the place. So what I would tend to do is as soon as I landed in a place I would find a market and I would buy apples, oranges, whatever fruits I could get my hands on and keep them in my hotel room or wherever I was staying. It depends on where you’re going. If you’re going to Costa Rica for example, papaya is a great food. It comes with its own natural packaging and you can just cut into it with a plastic knife and it’s ready to eat. So it really depends on where you’re going. Sometimes I like to bring some things with me, things that are packable. I mentioned this green powder earlier and the green powder that I use mixes well with fruit juice and if you’re in a place where you don’t think you’re going to be getting fresh greens which are really important then I would just load up on the green powder and have it whenever you can.

Caller: Okay, that sounds great. My concern was, because I’ll be in the Middle East. The place is pretty up-to-date with things. I was concerned about properly washing fruits and vegetables and so forth and making sure I have no problems in that way. The green powder sounds great. I just don’t want to get bored with just that or end up having only that.

CH: Right. Well, there’s certainly a lot of raw foods in the Middle East. I’ve only been to Israel, I’m not familiar with the other countries but they are really great with salads and watermelon. There’s a lot of fresh food that you can eat. I wouldn’t worry about cooked food, especially when you’re traveling. There’s a number of cooked foods that are healthy. They do a lot of beans there, fava beans, a lot of things with tahini and I think you’ll do ok.

Caller: Okay, great, thank you so much for your time.

CH: Okay, thank you. That was a great question. A lot of people wonder how they can stay healthy when they are traveling. I’ve done a lot of traveling. I’ve lived in France and I was a vegan in France. Somehow managed to live healthfully and happily and not eat the cheese. Spent a lot of time in Europe and in Central America, parts of Asia. In fact I think it might even be easier in some other countries to eat a plant-based diet because it’s really America that has brought what we call the SAD diet, the Standard American Diet, to the rest of the world…the heavy animal foods, the highly-processed foods. You can go all around Europe and get great salads, fresh tomatoes, fruits. There are farmer’s markets all over the place. You can explain in restaurants what you’d like to eat. If you do it in a polite and friendly manner they are going to do their best to provide you with what you need. I never had a problem in France in the four years that I lived there except one time. We were going to a very, very well-known famous French restaurant in Lyon and we gave the restaurant two week’s notice. Normally I go into restaurants spontaneously and just explain my diet and don’t have much of a problem. This time it was a very fancy restaurant. We gave them two week’s notice, faxed them the day before we were coming and they let us know that it wasn’t going to be a problem. When I showed up they didn’t know who I was and the whole evening was a disaster. Most of the time it’s really very easy. In the Middle East when I was in Israel…in fact I spent a considerable amount of time there 20 years ago. That’s when I decided to go vegan—while I was spending 3 months in Israel. They have a lot of wonderful foods there. Certainly there’s the hummus which is the chickpea-based puree, a lot of great fresh salads. The Israeli salad is typically chopped tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and then lime juice or lemon juice, really fresh. You can get fava bean dishes. I love the fava bean and they’re not easy to find especially in the Middle Eastern restaurants here in the country. They are wonderful either cold or served in salads or heated up with, prepared with, lots of garlic and lemon juice, really fabulous. Then there’s tabouleh salad which is a bulgar grain served with lots of parsley and some tomatoes, lemon juice, mint—great salad. Each country has a lot of their own specialty foods and a lot of them, believe it or not, are vegetable plant-based or fruits. So it’s not that hard to travel and eat healthfully but one thing you have to do if you’re going to be meeting with business colleagues or friends or people you’ve just met or people that are going to be inviting you to their homes, you need to tell them in advance. You need to explain just exactly what you eat and tell them that they don’t have to prepare something for you, you can bring something or if they want to prepare something for you they need to know what it is you eat. You definitely don’t want to show up at a special dinner and not let them know because they will have prepared things for you and be very disappointed if you don’t eat them. That’s really a general lesson in life where you communicate. It’s important to communicate about everything and let people know what your needs are and what you expect. Traveling is great and it’s a wonderful thing when we experience other cultures and other people’s style of foods. I love traveling. I just came back from Costa Rica recently. The thing I love about Costa Rica is the fruits. As I mentioned before the papaya, and a lot of fruits, actually come with their own packaging—a banana, it doesn’t need a plastic bag or anything. When you’re ready to eat it, you just peel and eat it…lots of wonderful mangos and avocados and pineapple and then some things that we rarely see here in the United States…zapote. Just really love all the fresh food there.

I want to wind up a little bit. There were a few other things I wanted to mention. For example I read this article I thought was really interesting. I didn’t know this but here in Manhattan we have some eco police officers. They’re responsible for finding different things that people are doing with regard to the environment. They’re enforcing environmental laws. When people have oil-oozing body shops or they’re discharging antifreeze or noxious substances. Different toxic things that get out into the environment, a lot of times we see them but I didn’t know that we actually have police officers that are looking for these things and citing people in order to prevent these toxic materials getting out into the environment. That’s really an encouraging thing.

I want to wind up the show. I want to thank you all for listening and I’m Caryn Hartglass. My brother Barry Hartglass who is the composer of the music that I use, really wonderful and you can hear more music at his page: barryhartglass.com. Thank you Barry for the great music. Thank you, eat healthfully, have a great day.

Transcribed by Suzanne Kelly, 6/25/2014

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  1 comment for “4/1/2009: A Week of Eating Vegan

  1. David Keeney
    September 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the great overview/suggestions.

    Nice to know that things don’t have to be complicated.

    Great/gentle reminders/of God’s great bounty/combined/can be very very rich.

    The information here was all very good.

    David

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