March/April 2011 – Evolving Appetites
Welcome to Evolving Appetites’ bimonthly newsletter. Short, informative and hopefully fun to read veggie bits. Let us know if we don’t deliver on this – we always love feedback from our readers. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.
In this issue
- Veg health: Spring Cleaning
- Good Veg News – Oprah & staff vegan for a week
- Recipe(s) of the month: March – Parsnip-pear soup; April - Apple-fennel salad
- EVENTS update – Health Starts Here series continues at Whole Foods Market with new instructor
Veg Health – Spring Cleaning
Just as we spring clean our homes, our bodies appreciate the same care and attention. Even if you didn’t gain weight or don’t feel particularly bad, it’s a good idea to consider even just a brief weekend cleanse. You’ll feel lighter, more energetic and ready for sunshine and shorts weather.
However, if you’ve never done a cleanse before, the operative word here is caution. Start with a slow and very gentle process. (Don’t let anyone talk you into a 7-day water fast or even a juice fast). And you don’t need to go to the health food store and spend a fortune on fancy products. You just want to give your digestive system a break, and give you liver a chance to dump some toxins. You don’t have to starve yourself in the process either – as you’ll see from the outline below, you’ll get plenty to eat – but you may not feel as full as usual.
Here’s a suggested protocol for a weekend cleanse that’s gentle and you’ll experience noticeable results.
Things to completely eliminate from Saturday morning to Sunday night: meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, sugar, processed foods including bread/pasta, commercial salad dressings, alcohol and caffeine. (If you’re drinking more than one cup of coffee a day, this might be really difficult – you may experience caffeine withdrawal – not fun – so tread carefully. Use your own judgment.)
On the Friday before your chosen cleansing weekend, start to eat lightly. Make dinner just a simple affair of steamed veggies with some lemon juice and fresh herbs over cooked quinoa.
For Saturday and Sunday, choose lots of fresh (organic if possible) vegetables and fruits, and have them raw if possible. If you must cook, cook lightly – steam, or a quick water sauté. Load up on green smoothies. Include lots of leafy greens such as kale, mixed baby greens, and some stronger greens for your liver such as arugula, watercress, collards, mustard greens, etc. Try to include beets, ginger, garlic and fresh herbs such as cilantro and parsley.
If constipation is a problem, you can include psyllium husk to this protocol – but note that you have to drink LOTS of water with it or it’ll have the opposite effect. Take one tablespoon in the morning with a glass of water, followed by another glass of water or fresh vegetable juice. Take a second tablespoon in the late afternoon, again, with at least 2 glasses of liquid. (Psyllium is available at most health food stores, and some pharmacies carry it too). Psyllium acts like a scrub brush through your intestines - but it’s very gentle. No unpleasant side effects.
For example – the day could look something like this:
- Psyllium with water
- Breakfast: green smoothie (e.g. fresh or frozen pineapple, mango, kale and some parsley (drink at least a liter/quart of it).
- Optional snack – fruit – banana or anything other fruit that appeals to you.
- Lunch – chilled avocado soup, salad (the soup is pretty filling – but if you’re hungry, have a salad with some substantial veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, fresh green beans, carrots, celery – dress with some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, herbs and Dijon mustard). Lightly steam the veggies if you find them too difficult to eat raw.
- Optional snack – fruit (berries, oranges, apples, or whatever you have on hand) and/or second tablespoon of psyllium with water or fresh vegetable juice.
- Dinner – steamed or baked sweet potato, fresh green salad with shredded beets, carrots, apple, and a light sprinkle of sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and some cooked quinoa with steamed greens and lemon juice if you’re really hungry. Or, just have another green smoothie.
- Drink warm or cool lemon water throughout the day (this helps flush out your liver, and is very alkalizing). Caffeine-free herbal teas are okay to have too.
Most importantly, ease out of the cleanse – don’t dive into your previous eating habits Monday morning – certainly not bacon & eggs, or even toast and peanut butter. That’s too heavy after a weekend of cleansing. Plan to slowly add back heavier foods. Monday you may want to start with a green smoothie, and have a slightly more substantial lunch – some beans or lentils and rice with Mexican seasoning. Be sure to include a salad at lunch and dinner on Monday. Dinner can be a veggie soup and sandwich or some whole grain pasta with tomato sauce. Try to stay on the light side through the week – but you don’t have to go hungry. Doing this type of cleanse a few times a year (e.g. at every season change) will help undo some of the damage of poorer food choices we sometimes make.
DISCLAIMER: This site does not provide medical advice. This web site is for information purposes only. The nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioner with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this web site.
Evolving Appetites and its owner accept no liability for any injury arising out of the use of material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this publication.
Good Veg News - Oprah & staff vegan for week
Recently, Oprah and her staff of 300+ embarked on a one-week vegan challenge with renowned author of “Quantum Healing” Kathy Freston and food expert Michael Pollan, author of “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”. On her vegan challenge episode, Oprah and her staff highlighted the benefits of plant-based foods and demonstrated the myriad of vegan options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
During the show, Pollan pointed out that “75% of healthcare spending is on chronic diseases associated with diet”. He went on to praise initiatives that challenge people to think before they bite, saying “anything that makes us become more conscious about what we eat is the first step”.
Oprah decided to offer Meatless Monday meals at the studio to encourage her staff to do just that; when her producer suggested that Harpo “join the movement”, Oprah wholeheartedly replied “we should totally do Meatless Monday! Although people who want to eat meat certainly have the freedom to do that.” Oprah went on to encourage millions of Americans to give Meatless Monday a try.
At about the same time that Oprah and her staff took the vegan challenge, two of my colleagues at work accepted my challenge to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for three weeks.
Of course, my colleagues received a much sweeter deal: I helped them cook for three consecutive Sundays, showing them how to use unfamiliar ingredients and loading up their fridges and freezers for the week. In preparation for the adventure, I took them on shopping trips to a health food store and a regular grocery store. The real bonus for them was I brought them three lunches for the first week, tapered off to two lunches the second week, and one lunch the final week. The idea being that they become more independent as the weeks progressed.
I also had the opportunity to conduct a lunch ‘n learn for staff on healthy eating – and while not everyone was clamoring to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, several people have incorporated green smoothies into their daily routines. The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step!
March 26 is Earth Hour and April 22 is Earth Day – the single most effective thing an individual can do to help offset the damage of greenhouse gases, rain forest destruction, water pollution, soil erosion and species extinction is to adopt a plant-based lifestyle. If that seems too onerous or unrealistic, start small – Meatless Mondays or just making a commitment to replace a few meat-based meals with plant-based ones counts.
If you’re already following a plant-based protocol, why not start a veggie challenge at your work, place of worship or other community group? [There’s free on-line help at Veggie Challenge]
Parsnip-pear soup - Serves 6
Spring is just around the corner – both of these lighter recipes and photos are courtesy of Amy Symington of Amelia Eats and new Whole Foods “Health Starts Here” cooking instructor. Just in case March and April bring too many cold and wet days, this soup will warm you up. If the weather’s warm and sunny, the apple-fennel salad below is welcome spring fare – enjoy!
1 tbsp oil1 medium onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced2 bay leaves1/4 tsp nutmeg3 medium parsnips, diced 2 pears, diced 1L vegetable stock2 cups water Walnut “Cream”530g silken tofu3/4 cup walnuts 2 tsp sea salt1 pinch white pepper Garnish3 sprigs thyme, finely chopped1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
On a large baking sheet covered in parchment paper, place parsnips and pears. Roast in oven at 375F for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine tofu and walnuts until smooth. Over a medium heat in a large stock pot add oil. Add onions, garlic, nutmeg and bay leaves. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.Add the roasted parsnips and pears to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add stock and bring to a boil. Remove bay leaves. With a hand emulsion blender, puree soup until lump free.
Add soup back to pot and add water, walnut cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, about 10 minutes. Do not boil. Garnish and either serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled (depending on the weather).
Apple-fennel salad - Serves 4
Dressing2 tbsp apple cider vinegar1 tbsp grapeseed oil2 tsp maple syrup1 tsp ginger, pureed1 clove garlic, pureed (optional)1 orange, zested and juiced1/4 tsp salt Salad6 cups arugula1 bulb fennel, julienned (save leaves for garnish)1 medium granny smith apple, julienned Garnish1/2 cup toasted cashews or pistachios or walnuts (optional)Fennel leaves Place all dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Set aside. Next place all salad ingredients into a large salad bowl, top with dressing and toss. Plate and garnish with nuts (if using) and fennel leaves. Eat it up!
Health Starts Here cooking series continues at Whole Foods Market Yorkville:
Your new instructor Amy is a vegan chef trained in the Culinary Nutrition program at George Brown College. She has worked on numerous projects with me, including the Cancer Prevention series taught at Whole Foods back in 2009. She’s energetic, knowledgeable and can cook up a delicious storm. You’ll love her classes and recipes! See below for dates/times/menus.
oSunday, March 27– Nutrition Month 2:00 – 4:00 pm - Like a Lion and a Lamb – Consuming hearty, filling foods that are gentle on your healthOn the menu:Lemony Lentil Salad with a red pepper & thyme dressingBlack Bean and Chipotle StewHomemade Spelt Bread Where? Whole Foods teaching kitchen, located at 87 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 3R9 How Much? $30/person (or $100 for all 4) - includes sample tastes of all recipes prepared and copies of recipes to take home. Registration? Please call 416.944.0500 to register by phone or in person at the customer service desk. Most classes require advanced registration of 48 hours. Payment in full is required upon registration and payable by cash, debit or credit. Whole Foods Market reserves the right to cancel or reschedule classes with insufficient enrollment. Students will be notified if the class is cancelled at least 24 hours in advance. Please notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you are unable to attend in order to receive store credit. Class value can be applied to another class or redeemed as store credit. Next issue: May 2011
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