Teaching Kids About Food: A TED talk from Jamie Oliver

Most people know that Jamie Oliver is passionate about food.  He appears committed to teaching kids about food and ensuring that kids have access to real and healthy food through our school lunch programs. In this TED talk from 2010, Jamie shares his views on childhood obesity and our need to change how we eat. In his words:

Your child will live a life ten years younger than you because of the landscape of food that we’ve built around them.

He is worth listening too.

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This is a really good (and funny) article with some valid points regarding fake meat products. Having tried some of the fake meat products myself, I think as a whole, they are a great turn off. Vegetables, grains and beans are beautiful and lend themselves to wonderful, tasty and creative dishes that highlight the deliciousness of these ingredients. What do you think? Do you agree with this blogger? Do you enjoy fake meat products?

Everyday BreezyK

Life can be hard when you don’t speak the language of meat.  I can attest to this- having been a vegetarian for the past three years now.

Given that I’m already left-handed, you’d think I would have learned my lesson by now, and not chosen to willingly submit myself to yet another subgroup of society who constantly get the shaft… but alas: I am a glutton for punishment… or I just flat-out hate myself. That’s also a possibility.

Anyway, living in a world built for meat eaters poses a number of difficulties- like finding an acceptable meal choice at a restaurant (specifically, one that’s not a roasted eggplant, stuffed with eggplant, garnished with aubergine shavings finished with a nice eggplant glaze),  or awkwardly having to defend my lifestyle/moral convictions to complete strangers, or being that guest who screws up the dinner party menu for everyone. Ruiner.  

The thing that I struggle with most about being vegetarian, though, is not any of these things- it’s the prevailing…

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Kinfolk

When I think of Kinfolk, I think of those closest to me:  my family–those of us connected by blood, as well as those of us connected by some common bond or shared experience. My kin. My peeps. My community. The people I choose to surround myself with because of some commonality.  Kinfolk. It is also the name of a community of artists, a magazine and a blog with the mission of  “encouraging a natural approach to spending time with friends and family”. The members of this group all have a shard interest in small gatherings.  We all gather, and often over a meal, a glass of wine, a cup of coffee.  Food, I believe, is a great unifier.  Food brings people together and is able to transcend many barriers.  Kinfolk has a manifesto.  I think it is beautifully presented and I couldn’t agree more with its message. What do you think?

If you have a bit of hunger….for like minded people, for knowledge, for community, for shared experiences, for great vegetarian and/or vegan food, we come together once a month.  Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry.

Recipes From Our Last Gathering…And A Very Mysterious Fruit…

Yes, I am very late posting these recipes. Here it is, mid-February and almost time for our next get together and I am just posting the recipes from January. For that, I do apologize. In fact, this blog has been silent for nearly a month…and I never like to go that long without talking!!

Our last get together was awesome. I know I must say this every month, but truly, the food keeps getting better and better!  And we had a taste test:  green juice and an interesting fruit brought back from the Florida Everglades. Enjoy the slideshow of just some of the tasty treats we enjoyed followed by selected recipes.

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We also enjoyed Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart and a delicious Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce. The recipe for the Three Kings Cake can be found here.

Oh, and that mystery fruit?….It is called a Canistel.

 The Canistel also known as “Eggfruit” is native to Southern Mexico and Belize. Grows well in Southern Florida. The only way to get this fruit is if we ship it to you there are not many trees around. The fruit is in the Sapote family and is sometimes referred to as ‘Yellow Sapote’. The edible portion of the fruit is found inside and resembles the texture of a boiled egg and that’s where it got its nickname ‘Eggfruit”. Known for its qualties for making custards, icecreams and sorbets.

This month, we are learning how to make Kombucha. If you are in the Savannah/Bluffton/Hilton Head/Beaufort area and would like to attend, details will be posted tomorrow.

Is A Vegan Diet Enough for Athletes?

The answer is:  YES!  Vegans know that already, but many people doubt the ability of a vegan diet to support the nutritional needs of an athlete, especially and elite athlete.  I think Venus Williams certainly qualifies as an elite athlete and she is going vegan. Venus is adopting a raw vegan diet for health reasons. She was recently diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder called sjogren’s (show-grins) syndrome. According to http://www.sjogrens.org, the hallmark symptoms of this disorder are dry eyes and mouth. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain. Other symptoms may show up in the lungs, liver, GI system or CNS. Venus is eliminating meat and dairy from her diet to help manage her symptoms. And in a show of sisterly support, Serena is going vegan as well. Other vegan or vegetarian athletes? Well, the list includes:

  • Mike Tyson
  • Prince Fielder (MLB)
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Hannah Teter (U.S. snowboarder)
  • Ruth Heidrich (triathlete)

If you want the read more, the New York Times offers a piece on vegan bodybuilders.

Mark Bittman: Semi-Vegan or No Meat? No Dairy? No Problem!

Dare I say it…but it seems that plant-based diets are becoming a little more acceptable. Less “weird” to our meat eating friends and family. I think, or hope, that there is beginning to be a shift in the way we approach food:  what constitutes food and its affect on our health. You may have heard of  “Clean Eating”, “Meatless Monday”, Gluten Free Friday” and now, I would like to introduce to you:  “Semi-Vegan”.  

Mark Bittman is not a chef, but a journalist and a passionate home cook. He wrote the food column The Minimalist for The New York Times for years. He is also the author of several cook books, including How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Mark Bittman acknowledges that one of the ways to better health is through diet–to eat more plants and the diet that best represents this is Veganism. He makes the point that many of the dishes we eat and love, are already vegan, think fruit salad, beans and rice, eggplant with garlic sauce…..and on. I bet you can name at least 3 more. It is challenging to think about eating vegan for many people. It involves a cultural and societal shift. It involves overcoming the stereotype that vegan food is bland, tasteless and/or unappealing. So what Mark Bittman suggests is Semi-Veganism:  replacing or leaving out the meat in one of your  dishes once a week and in doing so, you will find yourself eating better and I think opening yourself up to the possibilities of vegan cooking.  

You can find his article at markbittman.com and glorious vegan recipes at the New York Times.

I like the way he ends:  “This is not a gimmick or even a diet. It’s a path, and the smart resolution might be to get on it.”

If you are in the South Carolina/Georgia Lowcountry, we can help you on that path.  Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry gathers once a month. Keep your eyes here for details on our January 2012 meeting. 

Morning Inspiration

I woke up this morning inspired to juice.  So I pulled out my juicer and some delicious veggies and fruits. I did’t follow a recipe, but went with what I had in the fridge and thought would taste great together. I converted these:

into this:

Yum…Bottoms Up!

In case you inspiration grabs you, check out these recipes for green drinks:

And finally, I leave you with Chris Carr, made famous by her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer making her Make Juice Not War Green Drink from her cookbook Crazy Sexy Diet.

Have a Green Day!

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

That is how Joe Cross described the condition in which he found himself.  Overweight, suffering from a rare medical condition and on a direct path to a heart attack. Joe, a very likable Australian, decided to take charge and regain the health he had lost. He embarks on a 60 day trip across America while completing a green juice fast.  With his juicer in he back of his car connected to a generator, he introduces hundred of people to juicing while talking to them about health, diet and longevity.  Along the way, he meets a truck driver who is suffering from the exact same illness and who, I might add, matches the title of the documentary. Both men are transformed in many ways.  It is an amazing journey that is thought provoking, uplifting, inspiring and has the potential to be life changing for many.

We will be viewing Fat Sick and Nearly Dead at our next Eating Without Meat gathering, talking about juicing and sampling examples of green juices.  Enjoy the trailer below and keep your eyes on this page for more information.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – Official Trailer from Team Reboot on Vimeo.

Bill Clinton and The China Study

On Saturday, we met for our holiday gathering of Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry.  Once again, the food was amazing (keep your eyes on this page for pictures and recipes). We met new friends, visited with old friends, laughed (and learned) with Dr. Michael Gregor and listened to inspiring stories.  The experiments performed by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and published in The China Study, have truly changed  lives. I hope that we will be able to feature some of the life changing stories that were shared here on this blog in the future.  In the meantime, I am posting an interview with former president Bill Clinton explaining how The China Study has changed his life.