Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thursday

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Life can be overwhelming so I practice being thankful and content daily. What a better day to put my thoughts into words? Here's the quick and dirty list & then it's back to relaxing for me :)

1. Living with my husband full-time <3
 - For 18 months D and I only saw each other on the weekends. We lived in Arizona but he worked and lived in California during the week. I moved back to California in February after accepting a Clinical Nutrition Manager position at a new facility. It's been bliss. I love him.

2. Receiving a promotion
- Shortly after beginning my new job, I was promoted to Director of Food & Nutrition Services. What an honor and I'm thankful for the opportunity so early in my career! Since then I've worked 100+ hour weeks to open the facility and my sanity has been pushed to the edge but, by God's grace, I made it through.

3. Seeing family members
- My mom and dad came to visit at the end of April for 10 days and my brother visited in September for a week. Good times.

4. Celebrating six years of marriage
- I said it above but I'll say it again. I love him <3

5.  Surviving two moves
- We moved from AZ to CA over the course of a month on the weekends. Yuck. Six months later we then received a notice that the condo we were renting was being sold and we had a month to move. Yay. I'm happy that we found something we like at a reasonable price.

6. Taking control of my health
- I discovered raw vegan around this time last year and it's changing my health. I'm excited! Food has the power to heal.

Of course there's more but those top the list.

What's topping your thankful list?

- Kareen, RD

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pizza Remains a Vegetable

In an attempt to reduce the amount of pizza and french fries served in schools, the USDA wanted to increase the serving of tomato paste considered a vegetable to 1/2 cup. For the fries, the USDA proposed decreasing the number of allowable servings of starchy carbs. Congress has rejected both of those proposals. The tomato paste serving considered a vegetable will remain at two tablespoons and there is no change in starchy carb servings.

Here are a few articles on the topic:

The complaints of a tight budget are real and I believe that too points back to Congress. Why isn't produce as subsidized as other agriculture so that it's just as easy to purchase as dairy products, for example? 

I'm not vilifying pizza; I love it! I had to cut back earlier this year as my waist line grew. And now that I practice a whole raw food plant-based diet, I've found some tasty and healthier alternatives. Not all pizza is created equal but I don't think we'll see the whole wheat veggie laden variety in schools. 

I certainly believe in free choice with personal eating habits as long as there is actually a choice.

What are your thoughts?

- Kareen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Healthy Taste of LA 2 - A Gastronomical Event

So sorry I've been missing these past two weeks. My computer crashed and at this point, we've chosen to wait until we can save to purchase it outright. For now, I'm using my husband's laptop but it's sparingly so my updates won't be as frequent. 

Let's move on to my incredible evening last night at Healthy Taste of LA 2 hosted at the South Bay-Redondo Adventist Church.

The event is the brainchild of Chef AJ and is a weekend featuring top vegan chefs and a keynote speaker. The speaker this year was T. Colin Campbell - a giant in the nutrition world and author of The China Study and star of the movie Forks Over Knives.

Last evening, guests were treated to a seven course meal - each course by a different chef. All the key ingredients for the makings of an excellent night <-- pun intended

Today, Sunday 11/05/11, the chefs will conduct live cooking demos and Dr. Campbell will speak again.
Unfortunately, we could not attend today. On the plus side, they are streaming the event live so I'll be watching throughout the day.

Course One by Ann Gentry from Real Food Daily. She was not able to attend last night but her offering was delicious!
Whole food plant-based sushi
Course Two by The Happy Herbivore aka Lindsay Nixon. She was so sweet and personable. It was a pleasure eating her food and meeting her. She made her delicious baked onion rings paired with BBQ sauce. This was the one picture I did not get but here's one of us together instead :)

Course Three by Chef Eric Lechasseur of Seed Bistro. He, too, was unable to attend last night but will be there today for the cooking demo. His raw crackers were so delish!

Lentil & Mushroom Pate w shiitake mushroom jelly
Mmm raw crackers!

Pumpkin Ginger Soup with another combination that I forgot. I know, bad blogger. It was all delish though!
Course Five by Chef AJ.

Another raw treat - kale salad! Yum!
Beautiful Chef AJ & I. She's fierce!
Course Six by Chef Eric Tucker of Millennium Restaurant.

Whole food plant-based gourmet delights
Between courses six and seven, T. Colin Campbell spoke and introduced the concepts of his new book. He is in the editing process with no title yet. I can't wait for it.

I had an opportunity to not only take a picture but also discuss the field of dietetics. He's inspiring!
Course Seven - Dessert!! by Chef AJ

Whole food plant-based German Chocolate Cake!
Also in attendance was Julieanna Hever, MS, RD author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. It was nice chatting with a fellow RD.

I left with a full tummy and inspired to keep pushing along in this journey. I will definitely return next year!

- Kareen, RD