Part I: Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Families
Dreena Burton has been vegan for almost 20 years, in that time writing four bestselling cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” to create healthy, delicious food for the whole family. Affectionately dubbed “Queen Bean” and “Vegan Cookie Queen” by her readers, Dreena is one of the pioneering vegan cookbook authors. Her cookbooks have garnered a loyal following, and Dreena has earned the respect and repute for reliable, wholesome recipes.
Dreena has appeared on television and radio and is a recipe contributor for well-known sites, including Forks Over Knives, KrisCarr.com, and PCRM. She has written for Yoga Journal, VegNews, ALIVE magazine, and has been featured in other publications including First for Women magazine. Dreena has won several blog awards including VegNews, VegBloggy, and Vancouver’s Ultimate Mom Blog.
Learn more at plantpoweredkitchen.com.
Part II: Victoria Moran, THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion
Victoria Moran is the author of twelve books, including Main Street Vegan, the best-selling Creating a Charmed Life, and the plant-based weight-loss classic, The Love-Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health, & Joy. Victoria has appeared twice on Oprah and she’s one of the celebrity coaches for the PCRM 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. She is a certified holistic health counselor and holds the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies/eCornell Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition.
Her articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Yoga Journal, Mothering, Natural Health, Woman’s Day, VegNews, and Vegetarian Times. Her work has been noted in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Self, Elle, Glamour, Allure, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Victoria is host of the popular Main Street Vegan podcast, and founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training vegan lifestyle coaches and educators.
TRANSCRIPTION PART I:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody! I’m Caryn Hartglass, and it’s time for It’s All About Food, how are you? I am extremely well. I’m actually on location, so for the month of June we are not in New York we are in California, and I’m getting an enormous dose of vitamin D, I keep hearing from so many people how they find out they’re low in vitamin D and if you haven’t had your blood checked you should, because many of us do have vitamin D and vitamin D seems to be linked to everything wrong today with peoples’ health. So get out in the sun when you can, don’t stay out too long, like tanning for eight hours on the beach, but it is important to get it and I am getting a great amount of it, and it feels so good. I think it helps with depression too. Sunshine just makes you feel all sunny.
Now I wanted to mention a few things first, I wanted to give a big shout-out and a big round of applause for everyone at Progressive Radio Network, we’ve been going through a relocation, moving to a temporary studio, and now a new permanent studio, everyone’s been doing a lot of great work and I really appreciate everyone on the staff at PRN, thank you for everything you’re doing. Yay!
Now I’ve missed the last two weeks, and I’ve missed you and doing this show so this is going to be a great one today. Really looking forward to it. Have you heard today, the FDA put out a release, and they’re basically taking the steps to remove artificial trans fats in processed foods, and they’re saying that based on a thorough review, of the scientific evidence, the US Food and Drug Administration, today, June 16th 2015, finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOS) and primary dietary source, the primary dietary source of artificial plants and processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” The acronym for that is GRAS. I like that because it’s also French for “fat”. Food benefactors will have three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOS) from products. And I love this, but it’s taken the FDA a really really long time to do this. You cannot rely on the government to give you the best and most current information in health. They take a really long time to move. Do you know that trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils came on the scene back in 1911, with Crisco and it’s been in the food supply for over 100 years, and now we’re learning it’s not good for us. And what else are we going to discover that isn’t good for us? The NRDC , the National Resource Defense Council, has a petition to ban synthetic flavorings; they’ve got a list of seven of them that are listed, as carcinogens, benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether, myrcene, pulegone, pyridine, styrene, we see that a lot, and trans trans 2-4 hexodienal. Great stuff. We don’t need to eat it. I wanted to mention that, people are afraid of chemicals, but what you have to realize is there are good chemicals, and there are bad chemicals. Our whole bodies are filled with chemicals: good chemicals that, when in balance, are doing amazing things for us, every second, hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions going on all the time to keep us in balance. So we shouldn’t be afraid of chemicals, but what we should be wary of are the synthetic flavorings, preservatives, and all kinds of things that are put in our food. Especially because they most affect our children. And that’s why I’m going to lead introducing, my next guest, Dreena Burton, who’s the author of a wonderful new cookbook, Plant Powered Families, and we’re going to be talking a lot about the power of healthy food for children. She’s been vegan for almost twenty years, writing best-selling cookbooks, four of them charting her journey as a plant-powered cook, and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she’s an advocate of using the vegan basics to create healthy, delicious food for the whole family. Welcome to It’s All About Food, Dreena.
Dreena Burton: Thank you, Caryn, it’s good to chat with you again.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you. You know, this book is really an important one, and I’m kind of going to gush about it for the next half hour. I look at a lot of vegan cookbooks, I’m glad there are so many out there, but there aren’t many that I get excited about. I’m excited about yours.
Dreena Burton: Oh, thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: You know, this, I love the expression “plant-powered”, and right now I’m doing a six-week online course with John Robins and his son Ocean, it’s called Plant Powered and Thriving.
Dreena Burton: Wonderful.
Caryn Hartglass: The thing that we continually hear from people doing this course, most of them are women, and many of them are parents, they don’t know what to feed their families, they don’t know what to feed their children, they don’t know how to introduce healthy foods into their family lives, and you’ve got all the answers in this book!
Dreena Burton: Well, at least some. To help people, yeah.
Caryn Hartglass: And what really rings true is, in the book, you can tell that you’ve made these recipes. You’ve fed your kids. You’ve really walked the walk.
Dreena Burton: Yeah for sure, this is how my kids have been eating since they’ve been wee-, I call them weegans, and from the beginning, and they love, I say it all the time, they love their food, and it sounds really kind of corny and people look at me and say “Yeah really, do they eat that?”. Yeah they do, they really love their food. And I always say that kids really, diet is a learned thing, so kids really grow to love the foods that they know from an early age. And if they know a lot of processed foods and junk it’s really what their palette is going to become very accustomed to and want, if they are enjoying nourishing nutrient-dense plant foods. Then again, they’re going to enjoy those, and know when their body really wants something. Like if they want something really water-rich, like fruit, or if they need something a little more grounding and dense, like nuts or grains, or something like that. They can sense that, I get that from my kids.
Caryn Hartglass: Isn’t it amazing?
Dreena Burton: Yeah, it is.
Caryn Hartglass: One of the things that’s frustrating, I’m not a parent, but I’ve hung around with a lot of children, I was one once too, kids know, especially the really young ones, know when they don’t want to eat anymore, and I’ve seen so many parents try to shove more food in their mouths.
Dreena Burton: Right. And the opposite happens when, like I say to parents when we’re working, that think their kids are picky. They really are, when they’re very young and toddlers and at that young stage, it’s not so much about picky, it’s just that they’re exploring, they’re moving, they’re busy. When they’re hungry, they’ll eat. They’ll eat! They’re hungry. And they’ll also tell you when they’re done. I mean, yes, sometimes you see kids and they’re moving their heads from side to side, no, they’re done, and they’re still pushing the spoon in their mouth, I just think it’s the way we’ve been brought up, to overfeed in a way. But they know when they’re done, for sure.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, and when we move to a healthier place where we’re plant-powered, we know when it’s time to eat too. The body works when you let it work.
Dreena Burton: That’s right
Caryn Hartglass: Now, I know with cookbooks, people just, well I don’t know this for sure, but I think what people tend to do is thumb through it, look for something that looks nice, a picture or something that has an ingredient they’re looking for, but I really recommend reading this from start to finish and it starts being great from the introduction. So I wanted to touch on a few things that you mentioned, that it’s not the vegan part of parenting that’s difficult, it’s the parenting part.
Dreena Burton: Yes it is.
Caryn Hartglass: But that’s profound, and you’re just right on with that.
Dreena Burton: Well, you know, parents, I hear from parents all the time on my blog, my email, and I actually have a parenting group set up on Facebook now, which is really growing, people are supporting each other, it’s wonderful. But I get this all the time, like, “how do you get your kids to eat vegan”, or “do you find it so hard”. Really, when you’re eating vegan, for, what you make, that’s whether you’re into it for a year, or longer than a year, it becomes so part of your life, that it’s not difficult, it’s just prioritizing healthy eating. So you find that time to prep food. And you find that time to maybe batch up some soups or muffins or things on the weekend. We find ways to prioritize other things in our lives, and we just need to prioritize that important part of healthy eating, for our families. And so, it’s all the other stuff with parenting that’s difficult. What goes on at school, and sports politics, all kinds of things. Dramas, sibling dramas. The food part for me is the easy part.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow. That’s good to hear. Now you had your own personal issues with health before you became plant-powered, and I was surprised to read that you had issues with sore knees and gout, you were really young when that happened!
Dreena Burton: I was, I was in my early twenties, and I felt terrible. My digestion was really sluggish, slow, and I just kind of thought that’s what happened after you ate, you just felt really awful. And I, I love dairy, I didn’t eat a lot of red meat at the time, but I did eat every other animal product that was available. And I really loved all things that were dairy, like cheese, and ice creams, and yogurt, and I thought they were so good for me of course, and in university, I felt really uncomfortable, like my body just felt uncomfortable most of the time, and my joints felt stiff, my knees felt stiff. Yeah, I had like that swollen part of my toe, is, I thought “what is going on, I’m twenty-three, I feel like I’m twenty years older, thirty years older than I am, so how am I going to feel when I am twenty or thirty years older?”. And now, I’m forty-four and I actually feel better than I did when I was twenty-three, apart from occasionally being one-upped by my kids. But, in terms of my energy levels, for day-to-day, and my eating, like my food energizes me so it’s completely different.
Caryn Hartglass: Well I’m glad that you are plant-powered now, because if you were experiencing those symptoms so young, I can’t imagine if you continued where you would be today. Really, it would have been pretty bleak.
Dreena Burton: I think so too.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, so good for you! Now, The second two-part- the last two parts of your book, after the recipes, are so important, where you’re talking about children and how to educate children, how to work with children in the kitchen, and then the last section is about having parties and socializing. Very important topics, and maybe we could touch on some of those things with children. So one of the things that you do, is you talk to you children about why you eat the way you do.
Dreena Burton: All the time. All the time, I mean it’s like we talk to our kids about so many other things in our lives, and, as a parent you realize that as they get older, all of these topics come up in their lives that we need to talk to them about, like bullying at school, peer pressure, things related to, you know, alcohol and sexuality. And all of these things. And as a community, we find ways to talk to our children about that in school and at home, yet we never talk about food. Instead, at school, they’re just bombarded with a lot of junk and at parties, and it’s so, to me it’s really backwards. And in sports, we spend a lot of time investing time and money in sports, yet, we’re not feeling them. They have good nutrition, and so, we’ve talked to our kids all along from an early age, and everything is very age-appropriate, of course, when they’re really young you talk to them at, you know, that age where they can understand, and they guide you with their questions. Just like anything, they’ll ask for more information, and sometimes when it’s too much, you know by there, they’re ready to sort of move on to the next topic. But even in terms of just simple things, it doesn’t have to be complex, it doesn’t have to be really deep and scary, but even just something as simple as “what do you think is in the dinner tonight?”, “what do you think went into this soup?”, and get them talking about ingredients or how you made it or maybe we’ll go to the market and find something new that they want to try. Just get them involved, sometimes we feel like kids have to be really involved with the actual cooking process. And that can be stressful for moms, when there’s a lot going on and activities, and there’s little time to prepare a meal. So I encourage parents to get their kids involved in other ways, like pick out a recipe, talk about a new food we might pick up to try this week, or just talk about the food in general.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, I know that the biggest problem we have as humans, and it affects everything in life, is communication. And that’s one-on-one with individuals, it’s with groups, it’s with cities, states, countries, and maybe sometime in the future with other planets. Oh, I hope we learn to communicate well by that time. And all of our prompts stem from a lack of communication and these food issues with children, talking to them, and not talking down to them but talking with them and, like you said, and in ways that they can understand make all the difference. I was talking to someone yesterday and she was convinced that our big problem with food is that the schools, not only do they not serve healthy food, but they don’t teach kids how to prepare food, and I’d like to see it everywhere. I’d like to see kids learning how to make food at home and at schools as well.
Dreena Burton: Me too, because it’s a life skill. And, you know, we put our kids in lessons for other things, swimming and skating, and, in school they’re learning the basics of reading and math and all those things, but they don’t learn some of these necessary skills and yeah, the food culture in schools with hot lunches and just what happens with parties is often so processed. Almost all the time, it’s so processed, and filled with sugar and colors, and dairy as well, it’s a little disappointing. When I first saw the scene at one of the school parties, I peeked in at lunch hour and saw what the kids were eating, it’s a little disheartening, so much that is processed and packaged, and not even really resembling, you know, natural food. So there’s work to do, but kids, they will embrace it if you give them the chance. Our school did bring in a, this year they brought in some produce, and distributed it through the classes to the kids, so the kids had chances to try, you know, cucumbers or apples and oranges. And I really saw the kids were loving to come out with an apple and eating it. It’s interesting for them. Because maybe at home, the apple’s always cut up, or maybe they don’t try cucumber because their parents don’t like it themselves. So they do get really excited when it becomes something they’re learning and something they can touch, feel, try, that kind of thing. And some of them don’t always have that opportunity to do so at home.
Caryn Hartglass: Back up a minute, you said sometimes kids won’t like something because their parents don’t like something. Now, I know I’ve seen that so many times where you offer something to children, and their parent will scrunch up their nose and say “No, no, no, he won’t like that…” because they don’t like that! Yeah, and the kids read from their parents what they should be doing.
Dreena Burton: Totally, and modeling is really important, I mean it’s not enough to say “eat your veggies” when you’re not eating them, sneaking back to get some chips from the kitchen and telling your kid to eat the carrot sticks. They watch us, they watch us really closely, and our eldest, she’s fourteen now, our girls are fourteen, ten, and six, and so our little one, she is not into the greens, which, we do green smoothies, she drinks those, but in terms of eating greens straight up, no way, she’s not eating those, but she’ll eat other things that are green, like zucchini and asparagus, you know, you work with what you’ve got with the age and you build on it. But now, with my fourteen year old, I see how much she has grown with it, and so she loves salads and she’s always seen me eat steamed kale and lunch bowls and that kind of thing, and she asked me one day to try it and I said, “Sure!” And she, she loved it, so now whenever she’s home for lunch, she says, “Mom, will you do me some steamed kale for lunch?” I say, “Sure!” You know, and I think really at fourteen, I never even knew what kale was when I was fourteen, like it’s really a growth, and we need to kind of keep that in mind as parents and not just get frustrated and throw our hands up when they’re eight or nine and not eating it, but just keep, keep rescinding it, and keep adding part of your life, because then it becomes part of theirs.
Caryn Hartglass: Make it a part of your life, yes, I’m underlining that one. I guess I’m going to look forward to one of your future books, which is Feeding Teenagers.
Dreena Burton: I know, we just entered the teenage years, so we shall see how that goes.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, well it sounds like you’re getting a good beginning, so I think it’ll be a very positive experience.
Dreena Burton: So far, it is, and she’s, she loves just about everything, there’s not much that our fourteen year old will not eat, and she sees her friends, they eat all the processed stuff, she’s not even interested in eating it. So, it’s not like she doesn’t want to have fries if we go out to a restaurant or something, sure and I let them, yeah, have some fries, but when she sees her classmates eating all of these like processed pastries and chips and things at school, she doesn’t ask for them, she juts eats her lunch, and she enjoys it, and she eats, they have really good appetites too, like they really eat well. So, so far, so good.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s good, now when they were younger or the younger ones, they weren’t confused or unhappy that their food didn’t look like the other kids’ in school?
Dreena Burton: No, there’d be times when they were little, like situations would come up with parties where it’s confusing, right, so I always talk to the teacher ahead of time and let them know what our diet is, and for parties I’ll always talk to the host and say, “Hey, this is how we eat”, I will bring the vegan equivalent of whatever you’re serving at the party, which is almost always pizza or hotdogs, and I’ll bring a cupcake, or sometimes I bring a little frozen ice cream treat, yeah, because kids love those, and the other kids at the party want them. And so I always prepare that in advance, there are times at school parties where they eat something that they think is vegan or someone says “Oh you can have that”, and kids that are really young, they believe what the adult is saying, sometimes they come home and tell me they ate it or that they’re not feeling very good and then I know why, and we have the discussion, but it’s all okay because it’s opening up more discussion and helping them learn and sort of make that distinction for themselves as they get older. So, my littlest has been saying a lot, she comes home, oh once a week she says to me, “Mommy you know”, and she’ll give me a name, “…so and so eats vegan food”, and she’s talking about someone in her class, and I always say to her “Yeah, everybody eats some vegan food, hon, because look at all the foods we eat that are vegan. Everybody eats — most people eat bananas, and potatoes, and rice, and beans, and corn, and I list of foods, and I say, they’re all vegan. So yeah, they’re eating vegan food, we just happen to eat everything vegan. And that kind of helps, you know, her, and I actually said that at a talk recently, and one of the parents said to me, that actually makes a lot of sense. And it’s actually really natural and wholesome, and it’s the most, you know, unprocessed natural foods, so it helps frame it sometimes, well, for big kids too.
Caryn Hartglass: I was at a little gathering last week, and before we got there, the host said, “I’m sorry, but there won’t be any vegan food there”, we all, you know rolled our eyes a bit, and then when we got there, there was a whole spread of fruits and veggies, and it was all clean, and plus they went out of their way and got a vegan cheesecake from whole foods for us. So there was plenty of vegan food, but it’s just funny that people don’t realize how many foods they eat are plants! Because nobody knows what they’re eating. And I was going to say, there’s a little bit more in our favor, unfortunately, because of all the allergies that are going on today, and schools have to be really vigilant with children that have celiac disease, or peanut allergies, or nut allergies, and on and on and on. So more teachers are aware of what’s in food.
Dreena Burton: Yes, that actually does work to our favor because when I’ve always talked with teachers, and I’ve had some teachers who have been really supportive and gone out of their way to do vegan treat for the girls, like if it’s Halloween, there’s always treats handed out every occasion of the year. So some teachers are really quite interested and cooperative, but they really do need to be aware, and so it does work to our favor in that regard. The only thing that can be tricky for parents is the nut-free policy. Because it’s usually that schools now are not just peanut free, but totally nut-free, so often, parents get really nervous about that when their kids start, wondering “What can I put in my kid’s lunch?”, because everything has to be nut-free, and they’re eating almond butter at home and etcetera etcetera, so I talk a lot about that in the book, and give people tips on how to pack lunches that are nut-free and I try to do a lot of nut-free adaptations with my recipes as well because it is pretty important, I have not had a year yet with my girls where I could send nuts to school.
Caryn Hartglass: I have been doing some of what you have been doing in the book with some of yoru recipes, offering some nut-free variations. I’m kind of delighted what I am discovering. I’ve said this before, I am going to say it again. Every time I eliminate foods from my diet I find that the repertoire expands.
Dreena Burton: That’s very true.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s happened when I eliminated meat and dairy, for a while I went all raw. Then I wanted to discover gluten-free foods. Now I am working more towards nut-free foods, even though I don’t have any of these problems but I like to play around and discover how to do things. It’s amazing what you can do with seeds!
Dreena Burton: Totally.
Caryn Hartglass: And they’re cheaper.
Dreena Burton: And hey are very high, most of them, are very high in protein and calcium and iron, they are really nutrient dense. And as you say, they are a little under-utilized. I found that seeds and beans are often under-utilized. You can use pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, you can do a lot with them. I actually had a recipe tester and we kind of connected outside of that and become friends. One of her sons eats vegan and he’s quite allergic to a number of things like legumes and nuts. She modified almost all of my recipes using hemp seeds and finds most of the time it works very very well.
Caryn Hartglass; Warning though, you cannot legally eat hemp seeds in Australia!
Dreena Burton: That’s true! It’s crazy.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s crazy. I just discovered that recently. And that’s just crazy. It is wonderful to know and maybe one day we’ll grow hemp seeds in the United States and they won’t be as expensive as they are because they are so easy to use. So nutritious. Well we just have a few minutes left. I wanted to highlight some of the recipes that I thought were, that I think people would really like a lot. Things that kind of work well in my life. Baked tofu – I am glad you included that recipe. It is so easy to make. I find that baked tofu in the stores, although it would help people get to know baked tofu, they tend to be too salty for me.
Dreena Burton: I agree. It doesn’t always have a lot of flavor as much as it has salt. Yeah, and the flavor doesn’t always absorb into the tofu. This technique, is the easiest thing in the world, and that’s why I put the recipe in there. I do it often for the girls in their lunch. It’s so easy and all the flavors just get right in there.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s great on a sandwich, great in a salad, it’s great just nibbling on, like cheese. I’m nuts over it. And then you have a white bean guacamole. That’s a nice recipe.
Dreena Burton: It’s really thick too. Guacamole is rich and delicious but when you add the beans it actually makes it, it may sound weird, but it makes it a little cheesy, very thick and luscious and really satisfying.
Caryn Hartglass: As you mentioned before, beans and seeds tend to be under-utilized, we are doing all we can to up the image of these important foods. We’re continually learning how important beans are. I love this, white bean guacamole. I am going to make it. I love what’s happening with the nut and seed based cheeses. You have a mild cheesy dip.
Dreena Burton: In my last book I had a Vegvita Dip. It was a spin on the Velvita dip we used to eat years ago and serve in a salsa. But it had cashews as the base. I really wanted to come up with something that tasted really good using seeds instead,
Caryn Hartglass: What’s great about it ism okay there are tons of different cow and sheep and goat based cheese out there. It’s variety and now we are creating all kinds of cheesy sauces and even harder cheese that are made from a variety of nuts and flavorings, we have a wide variety that are continuing to grow.
Dreena Burton: Exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: Yay! The last one I wanted to mention was your berry jam. What a beautiful picture. So bright and colorful.
Dreena Burton: Thanks. I just made a batch of that yesterday actually and picked up some organic strawberries on special. Our eldest just loves that jam and she went wild. She came home and I had made up a batch and the whole house smelled wonderful. It’s great because there is no sugar added. It’s just the fruit and I add chopped dates, which adds that extra level of sweetness. A lot of people don’t want sugar of any form put it so that adds that very natural sweetness and then the chia seeds thicken it and it’s a beautiful easy recipe.
Caryn Hartglass: And it’s less expensive then if you buy jam already jarred in the store.
Dreena Burton: And the flavor is completely different.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s so much better. I like to make jam from dried fruit. I just boil them up with water and then blend them. It is the easiest thing. I am going to try this berry jam very soon.
Dreena Burton: I hope you do.
Caryn Hartglass: Dreena thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food. I can’t believe the half hour has gone but it is. I am going to be telling a lot of people about your wonderful Plant-Powered Families book.
Dreena Burton: Thanks so much Caryn. Have a good day.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, you too.
Dreena Burton: Okay bye bye.
Caryn Hartglass: Bye bye. Let’s take a little break shall we. Then we are going to be back and talking about good karma.
Transcribed by Alexa Conroy, 9/16/2015
TRANSCRIPTION PART II:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello Everybody, We’re Back and It’s time for the second part of It’s all about Food. I`m Caryn Hartglass thanks so much for joining me. I wanted to say hello cos I’ve been gone for two weeks and it’s so good to be back. As I mentioned before, I`m in California for the month and in some ways that impacts how I’ve been eating. So we’re not really cooking cos we’re in this little pool house cottage which is absolutely delightful. I`m eating a lot of rolled oats with fresh fruit, a little soy milk big salads and then we go to restaurants. I`m not a big restaurant eater not only cos it costs money but I like to make my own food and I like the way I make it. I find it is healthier with less salt, sugar and fat. But I am enjoying some of my favorites in the south bay area like the veggie grill, tofu com chay, vegetarian house these are some of my Favorites. I love these big Pho Noodle soups.
This morning on my oatmeal I had a treat, we put mango in the oats today. I love mango but I am always conflicted you know every food has a story. Mango has its story. You know what I think of when I eat mangoes I think I’m a number of things. One of the things I think about is the nuclear technology because you may have remembered or not it was almost 2006, 9 years ago. George Bush opened the U.S market to the Indian alphonso mango kind of as a bonus for India accepting U.S nuclear technology & policy. So mangoes, nuclear technology connect the dots. I kind of get a little disappointed when I think about that. Of course all the fruit that we import into this country has to get a little zapped. So the mangoes are irradiated and I prefer to buy local fruits. Fruits that are grown in my area or at least in the U.S that are organic. But I do love mangoes and if I`m not in Costa Rico when the mangoes are ripe and dripping from the trees. Occasionally I`ll indulge in organic mango. So we got some and they were on my oatmeal today. So that’s my mango story.
I hope there was some good karma in those mangoes and that’s what we’re going to talk about next with my next guest Victoria Moran, who is the author of the new book The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion. She’s the author of 12 books including main street big and the bestselling Creating a Charmed Life and the plant based weight loss classic The Love–Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health, and Joy. She has appeared twice on Oprah and she’s one of the [3:22] coaches for the PCRM 21 day Vegan kick start, we’ve talked a lot about that on our show. She’s a certified holistic health counselor and holds the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies/eCornell certificate in plant based nutrition.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello Victoria.
Victoria Moran: Hey Caryn, how are you out there from California? Lucky you.
Caryn Hartglass: We go out here couple times a year because my partner Gary is from San Jose but this is has been the best trip ever. We’re here for a month and we’re staying in this beautiful little pool house right by a pool and I`m swimming and getting my vitamin D and I`m feeling very very fortunate.
Victoria Moran: That sounds heavenly.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m feeling like I must have done something right, my Karma is pretty good
Victoria Moran: Good Karma, see there’s proof.
Caryn Hartglass: Anyways, I`m not complaining. I wasn’t complaining about the mangoes, I love mangoes. But every food has its story.
Victoria Moran: That’s an amazing story about mangoes for Nuclear technology. My goodness gracious. I have a mango story. It’s not nearly as political but a really long time ago when I got into this world of being Vegan, probably about the time that you did. It was a very different world, much smaller. I really came in through the American Vegan Society, it was founded in 1960. I didn’t get into it that early but Jay Dinshah did. He was also a practitioner of natural hygiene. Which was us being really healthy but kind of philosophy of being really healthy but aesthetic. I remember they used to have a speaker, his name was Jack Duntrop. He would go to their conventions every summer and talk about the sensuality of mangoes and how you should always peel them in the shower with someone that you love. So every time I eat a mango I always think are there any children watching, I should probably keep them away.
Caryn Hartglass: Haha! I am now re-scripting my thoughts about mangoes.
Victoria Moran: They are weighted for ravishing, raw and give me another one really good.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, it’s always exciting. I don’t know what the season is but I visit Costa Rica a lot and when the mangoes are ripe and like I said before they are literally dropping from the trees and I don’t know why but locals aren’t going nuts for eating them. I`m like bathing in them, showing in them.
Victoria Moran: I think it’s the idea that anything that’s too close or too available loses its value. I think of some of the museums in New York city that are 15 minutes from where I sit that I have yet to visit after 15 years. Yet people come from far away and have those very museums on their list the first day. I guess museums and mangoes have something in common too.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, that’s a good point. So I’m going to ask you have to been to Neue galerie in Manhattan.
Victoria Moran: No, what is that? Where is that? Why should I go ?
Caryn Hartglass: It’s my favorite. There are some museums in Manhattan that are free on Sundays. Not that I don’t want to support them, but it’s easier on my budget. Friday night the first of the month after 6 pm the Neue galerie it’s on upper east side around 86th street and 5th ave. They are open for free and they are not usually open in the evening so this is nice and they have a line that wraps around the block to get in. So the Neue Galerie is owned by Ronald Lauder. The philanthropist who is the son of Estee Lauder. I learned about it first when I was going through my romp with the advanced ovarian cancer back in 2006. You can read about it on my personal website CarynHartglass.com, my cancer story. I had these dreams with Gustav Klimt painting in it The Adele Bloch-Bauer, there actually was this hidden message related to my treatment if you want to believe it, I do.
Victoria Moran: I do. I just heard it and I believe it.
Caryn Hartglass: There’s a new movie out called ‘Women in Gold’ with Helen Mirren which is about The Adele Bloch-Bauer and the terrible story of the Nazi stealing it and not wanting to give it back and then finally giving it back to the family. Ronald Lauder purchased it for 137 million dollars back in 2006 and it now rests proudly in the Neue Galerie. The Neue Galerie features German impressionist paintings and there recently was this Egon Schiele exhibit. I love this stuff and it’s a small little gallery so you don’t get overwhelmed. I recommend it to everyone.
Victoria Moran: Wow, well you know this just shows that it’s not all about food but we feed ourselves with all this other things. I`m going to share with you my favorite little gallery in New York city and that is the Nicholas Roerich museum. Have you run into that one?
Caryn Hartglass: No.
Victoria Moran: It’s on the upper west side. I learned about Roerich when I was a wee less of 19 and was living and working at the headquarters of the theosophical society New Chicago. I actually had run away to work there because I had gained a lot of weight and I was too embarrassed to stay home. So I thought if I ran off to this place where everybody was vegetarian and spiritual, I would lose lots of weight and would go home all slim and trim. Well that didn’t happen, I gained another 15 pounds. But that’s the back story. I learned about Roerich because he was a highly spiritual painter in Russia at the time of the revolution. And because his family had means and they were considered the bad people by the Bolsheviks. They escaped and they ended up in the high Himalayas. Somewhere in the Nepal Tibet Bhutan kind of region. He could paint colors and scenes that were just so delicious. So bright and sparkly and yet there was so little available in terms of pigments. Many of his works when you go to museums, some of this earlier works were say on canvas but a lot of them once he got to the Himalayas were all on cardboard.
Caryn Hartglass: I guess we lost Victoria unfortunately, are you back?
Victoria Moran: I`m back. I didn’t go anywhere on purpose.
Caryn Hartglass: You know I love the cyber space and technology but you can’t depend on everything or anything so we lost you for a moment but you’re back.
Victoria Moran: That’s alright, I was just giving you the website.
Caryn Hartglass: You were talking about how he painted on cardboard.
Victoria Moran: Yeah, he painted on cardboard. As that was all he could find in the far off Himalayas in 1918 and so forth so Roerich.org tells about this work. Quite fascinating.
Caryn Hartglass: I can’t wait, I love art. Almost as much as I love food and food is art, or it should be.
Victoria Moran: And as should life, I think that’s really the key and when people talk about I don’t know if I want to change my diet, I don’t know if I want to eat hippie food. Remember it’s not hippie food, Hippies didn’t eat like we eat. They just didn’t want to work. So they ate a lot of brown rice. But beyond that if you really consider this change in what you eat as another artful part of life, then it makes such an adventure and such a joy. Sometimes people will say don’t you miss and then they’ll name some food or other. The truth is I really don’t and if there’s some flavor or some texture that I do miss, these days you can just find all that stuff. I was at a veg fest this weekend in Rehoboth beach Delaware and one of the vendors had some kind of fish fillet. So I must say that was a flavor and texture that I do remember enjoying. I had a couple of bites of that on a toothpick and it’s just like well what you know. All this and fish fillets too but no fish of course.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. I wanted to ask you a question or just applaud you for how you are always everywhere. I don’t go to all of the veg events in New York. But the ones that I go to, you’re always there. So I’m thinking statistically you must be at all of them because it wouldn’t work co-incidentally that you just happen to be at when I’m there. I look at your facebook page and you are always somewhere. It’s not just in New York, it’s all over the place. You are sponsoring you main street vegan academy, you gave a lovely donation to my non-profit organization for our recent fundraiser. You are ever present everyday so supportive. Thank you and how do you do it?
Victoria Moran: Well that is really kind to say because you know I don’t like out after dark. I think it’s this ancient pre-historic thing that humans have, some more than other but once it gets to be dark especially in the winter time you’re just not supposed to go out. So sometimes it’s really kind of a stretch. There’s an event tonight Rich Roll and lovely wife Julie Piatt are having a book party for their wonderful new cookbook. So many people wanted to go that they changed the venue at powerhouse arena in Brooklyn because they needed bigger space. The bookstore is in Dumbo. Its really far from the train and I did something at the gym yesterday which has shown me two muscles that I didn’t know I had. Muscles that are very important for walking and every step was like oh my god how could I have lived this long and not known these muscles were there. So until you said what you said I was thinking I can’t go all the way to Dumbo tonight but you know with Caryn Hartglass in your life saying gosh you’re everywhere, you can’t very well not go to something.
Caryn Hartglass: Well I’m sorry that you’re suffering a little bit, I don’t think you deserve that and I don’t think that’s your karma.
Victoria Moran: Oh, that’s so kind. But you know its happy suffering. It’s like you know injury suffering from if you’re looking at and you do something wrong that’s unfortunate. But the oh my gosh new muscles that’s the kind of yeah something good is happening.
Caryn Hartglass: What did you do to discover these muscles, where are they?
Victoria Moran: These muscles are in the very front of my upper thighs, so if you follow it all the way up where I think it no longer goes cos it doesn’t hurt that high its right at the pelvic bones. It’s both legs and I think what I was doing was some sort of step up thing. I’ve actually found this interesting new gym which is super cheap cos I belong to a gym that was very nice and I thought if I belong to this nice gym and I pay a lot of money for it then I will be more likely to go. But of course I wasn’t.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s cos you’re always going to all the other veg events.
Victoria Moran: That’s it, I work at it veg fest. But no I discovered aerial yoga. Which is the most fun ever. If you liked money bars as a kid, you’ll love aerial yoga. And I did and I do. So I thought I don’t want to pay the retainer to the big gym and to aerial yoga. So I got rid of the fancy gym and I joined this gym for people who don’t want to spend any money on the gym. But the trainers are sensational. They’re reasonably priced too. I am working out this lovely charming trainer who does not let me get by with anything and sometimes I want to look at him and say I’m old enough to be your mother and I know he would say yeah, do it again, give me another 20. So I don’t know it was something he told me to do that has me feeling it.
Caryn Hartglass: Well it’ll feel better soon and you’ll be all the better for it.
Victoria Moran: That’s right. I’ll be hanging upside down again tomorrow.
Caryn Hartglass: ok, so you’ve written another book. I don’t know how you do this but you do. It’s a very happy book.
Victoria Moran: Thank you for sensing, because that’s exactly what I was aiming for. Because I wrote Main Street Vegan back in 2012 and that’s a very friendly book. Very wide open, all come everybody lets be vegan, let’s make it really easy just come on in and we’ll be nice and you’ll have fun and life is good. But then I heard from some people saying ok I’m in now what do I do to really ace the health aspect of this thing. I thought why do people eat food that they themselves would call junk food. That they themselves know isn’t good or in quantities that they themselves are saying I really shouldn’t do this. Cos they think somehow it’ll make them happy. And then why do at least some people follow that up with some real punitive thing, they’re going to go on some sort of diet or some sort of cleanse and tough it our cos they think that after that they’ll feel happy they’ll feel good about themselves. I thought why not just skip the middle diet and go straight to happy. What I’ve observed over many decades is that being vegan makes people happy because you put good out into the world and you can’t help but get that back and then the people that take it up a notch and really make a point at eating fresh colorful natural foods for the most part instead of the more processed and treat kind of foods. Although certainly few of those now and then aren’t going to hurt you. But generally speaking the really great healing kinds of foods, then they get good karma with physical health. So why not put those together and just the best life can offer.
Caryn Hartglass: Why not? Why not, it’s just so simple and mindboggling to me and so many others that so many people don’t get it.
Victoria Moran: It’s against the culture, this is not how I was raised, not how my mother fed me, the teachers didn’t tell me this, the clergy didn’t tell me this. There must be something wrong with it. But you know what is interesting Caryn is that we’ve been so brainwashed by food producers, pharmaceutical companies, everybody who can afford television commercials. That the things that we think are normal and good and right aren’t necessarily that.
Caryn Hartglass: You know I was just talking at the beginning of the program at 4 o’clock about this new FDA release saying that they’re going to ban trans fats. It’s going to take about 3 years to manufacture foods and this is really great news but this food came into our food supply as Crisco in 1911, it’s been here for more than a 100 years. We can’t rely on the government to tell us anything or do anything right. We have to rely on ourselves and there is so much stuff in our food system that is just not healthy.
Victoria Moran: Right and some people get kind of on their high horses about the many vegan processed foods that are available, that you can find a doppelganger for any kind of food that you once loved. But I’m not quite like that about those foods. I don’t eat very many of them at all cos I really have come to the point where I actually prefer great big salads and streamed vegetables and wonderful beans and that kind of things. But I’m so glad that they’re there because if the whole world went junk food vegan tomorrow I don’t know how much health would improve. Maybe it wouldn’t improve at all. But global warming would stop dead in its tracks and there would be so much less suffering on this planet. We would probably end up with peace on earth and all kinds of other wonderful things so let’s just come in and let’s just know that if we really need a marshmallow those exist these days. But if we really care about ourselves it’s going to be fewer marshmallows, more broccoli, life is good.
Caryn Hartglass: Life is good! Life is good and you know we just have a few minutes left, I can’t believe the time has flown. You mentioned earlier, I don’t know if you used the word depravation, but this is not a diet of depravation. You are nuts about our food, I am nuts about our food and there are so many stories about people moving from fat and thick and whatever and finding this place of joy and good karma.
Victoria Moran: Yup that’s the thing. It’s total joy, it’s not depravational joy. It’s not like watch me over here in my box not doing anything fun. Lots of fun, lots of flavors and lots of stories. One of the fun things in the good karma diet is 17 stories from people who believe that changing what they ate gave them good karma in all kinds of ways.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, Victoria I think we need to go, I’m hearing little music cues in the back ground.
Victoria Moran: I hear music too. Art and music on this show.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food. I love you and your book, thank you for all that you’re doing to create good karma on this planet.
Victoria Moran: Back at you, Caryn, Enjoy your time out west.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, Thank you. I`m Caryn Hartglass you’ve been listening to It’s All About food. Send me comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit me and my blog What Vegans Eat at Responsibleeatingandliving.com. Have a delicious week.