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Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia...

I don't follow a lunar calendar, but I would guess that there is a full moon or something. Or, maybe, just maybe, the reality of being back in the real world has hit me in the head like a ton of tofu since returning from my Engine 2 Immersion.

What I am feeling is real. Not everyone in the world wants to be vegan. Not everyone wants to avoid eating cholesterol heavy foods. And not everyone gives a hoot about getting healthy. Staying strong. And, while I try, really try, to NOT take the inventory of others, I can't help it.

And really, the world couldn't give a damn about your strong convictions in staying vegan and getting healthier. So, here's what went down.

It's been a special week of fun at work, and there has been more food on parade than there is on the Food Network, and not all of it has been plant strong. I had to preserve my resentment, and I had to be proactive and pack a great plant strong lunch everyday. No biggie, really.

Seeing your vegan pals eat meat is like learning that your best friend's husband is cheating. A friend at work who is vegan, has been snorting meat, cheese, cake, and other foods all week. And the funny part, as I would enter a room, this friend would be in the kitchen eating pizza in record time. Inhaling it, in fact. Through the corner of my eye, I would see the embarrassment, but I realized one thing. You might make the decision for the first bite, but after that, you really have no control...cognitive, affective, or otherwise. That physical SNAP is loud and it hurts. That snap can set you into a tailspin. One is always too many. With that first bite, I am convinced that it is laced with a binge.

Seeing my friend surrender his vegan domain left me feeling isolated. I felt alone. And I felt betrayed. Sounds silly, right? It reinforced, for me, that being vegan is the best thing I have ever done for myself. And in reality, I do not need to be consumed about others and their actions.

I've had a rough week at work. I think I handled all the curve balls well. And, I ducked when I needed to. And, I did not solve the problem with food. I solved it with thought provoking actions, and I tried my best. And I kept my mouth shut, in more ways than one. I didn't eat AND I didn't voice my opinion. My lips were sutured with iron thread.

I am posting a great recipe from the Whole Foods Market website...one that I have tried...and tweaked to suit my favorite flavors (I like freshly grated garlic, what can I say?).

Have a nice day. Continue to breathe deeply and count ALL of your blessings.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Serves 1

This quick and easy meal is a testament to the satisfaction of a good main course salad and is just one example of how to include healthy, protein-packed beans in a warm-weather menu. It's simple to double this recipe for two, or increase further to serve even more. Maybe it will become the summer potluck dish you're famous for! Serve with pita chips or warm pita bread on the side.


5 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
4 pitted black olives, such as Kalamata, halved
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon prepared balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper to taste
2 or 3 lettuce leaves, torn into large bite-size pieces


Toss together all ingredients, except lettuce, in a large bowl. Arrange lettuce on a dinner plate and top with bean mixture.


  1. I have gotten to the point where I guess everyone's individidual walk is thiers and anything else is less than authentic. I know it is amazingto see some things, and of course hurtful at times. And everyday the only thing we cann control is who we are going to be that day. I am no one to judge anybody...but I hear ya, the collective conciousness it all would be cool. You could always be a firefighter in Austin, right??!! thanks for all you contribute to health education!

  2. You know, my roots are showing be/c my degree is in Community Health Education.

    Try the Quinoa Loaf posted.

    Plant strong. Remember, let me know when you are off and we can do a loop at Ridley Creek!

  3. This is a huge week and I have the ability to schedule an earlish loop on Tues or Thurs..that will set me up nicely for the rest of my day....let me know!! The alternate for me are the trails to the left of the loop which I know intimately!!

  4. Perhaps you felt betrayed because this person is someone who you have been looking to for support? If you look at all the different human cultures, you will see that most if not all have feast days at some point in the year. I try to remember that if this is true for most cultures, it's probably true of human nature. A "feast day" or "indulgence" means different things to different people. Maybe what you saw is your vegan-friend's feast day or day of indulgence. If eating pizza is a rare fun thing for him, then it's doing no harm. Your decisions have led to your success and happiness, and the same is probably true for your friend. Both of you just make some different decisions, and that's ok. You are an inspiration to others, and I admire your positive attitude. Plant Strong!!!