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Monday, August 29, 2011

I Gotta Get Cable...

There's a very simple reason why I do not have cable. It has nothing to do with economics, morals, or anything like that. But, the truth is, I would watch TV 24/7 (if I had my druthers). During our recent vacation, I got to catch up with the Kardashian family. Not sure why I am so into the dynamics of that family, but they amuse me beyond belief. And after that, I could watch the news for days and feel as though I didn't learn quite enough about some piece of historical minutia. And between Kim K's wedding, an earthquake, and a hurricane, I was busy!

Anyway, the recent airing of the CNN special, The Last Heart Attack with Sanjay Gupta, MD was my main obsession all week. At our vacation home, that huge, gigantic TV in the living room was going to be Visual Nirvana for me. But, between Libya and Irene, I didn't stand a chance. The special was scraped numerous times.

So, back home in PA, without cable, but with the hysteria of local newscasters, reporting about Hurricane Irene, I found out that the CNN special was going to air. on Sunday night I had several thoughts in my head...go to a hotel, go to a bar, call a friend...but, I thought, THE GYM. Without access to cable, I was almost in a panic. Although I had been to the gym earlier in the day, I figured that an extra 4.5 miles on the treadmill would allow me to watch the show, uninterrupted.

As the credits rolled in the beginning of the show, I was on the edge of my treadmill. That Bill Clinton, he still packs a powerful message. If he is plant-strong, there is promise for the rest of the world. Imagine that each of the 450,000 Americans undergoing heart surgery has sky rocketing costs to the tune of $112,000 per operation. And while I really love/admire Bill Clinton, I was really tuning into the show to see the rock star of the plant-strong universe, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD. You know, the guy from the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute. Also known as Dr. Sprouts, this man has single handedly changed the direction of prevention of heart disease, as we know it.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Esselstyn three times, and truth be told, if you said to me, "You have a choice between making dinner for Bill Clinton or Caldwell Esselstyn, who would you chose?" Hands down, Esselstyn would win! Such a smart man, such a visionary. Quite comical. And with an amazing family.

When I am eating, people often look at my plate of greens and things and say, "Don't you think the food you are eating is a bit radical?" And that is when I hear the rich voice of Dr. Esselstyn say, "You think this diet is radical, what about open-heart surgery and having your sternum cracked wide open?"

Sanjay Gupta, MD, you deserve an EMMY for having the chutzpah to air such an important show. It covered many important facts. However, here are a few things that I would have added to your story board:

-Ending the story in a food court at a mall was a cheap and pedestrian shot. Why didn't you head to a Whole Foods Market's produce department?

-Eating out is a breeze. Who doesn't have VEGAN STEVEN on their iPhone? I go to NYC all the time and always find a great place for plant strong dishes.

-Finding other medical providers who truly supported a plant-strong way of living would have been nice. The MD's represented seemed skeptical to me. A pitch from Neal Barnard, MD would have been awesome.

Esselstyn makes it all very simple in a rather mellifluous manner, "Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Kale, Collards, Collard Greens, Beet Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Napa Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Parsley, Spinach, and Arugula."

Hats off to Dr. Gupta, and may the greens be with you.

Power to the plants.

Here's my dinner from last night, I am calling it "CNN GREENS"

This is a quick and easy dinner, make lots so you have some on hand for several meals.


Head of Kale, stripped and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of vegetable juice for sauteing
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups of cooked, brown rice

Add juice to a skillet, saute garlic in bubbling juice, add kale. Cover for about three minutes. Once the kale is slightly wilted, add nutritional yeast, stir. Throw in tomatoes and steam for two minutes.

DONE. And done.

Serve on a bed of brown rice OR, place greens on an Ezekiel Wrap and you are good to go.

I'd make dinner for the Esselstyns anytime! And for you too, Dr. Gupta!


  1. Great post - keep spreading the message! The one point that confused me is that they suggest that your cholesterol number does not matter, but then they also say that you want to avoid foods that have cholesterol. Also, it would have been nice if they had provided information about getting that calcium test.

  2. I sent an email to CNN with exactly those thoughts. I also think there should be some follow-up with the highlighted subjects. In one day, Dr. Esselstyn's book BOUNCED to number one on AMAZON!!!

    He's coming to PA at the end of September, let me know if you want more info.

  3. Dinner tonight--steamed kale dashed with lemon juice and hot vinegar. Top with chopped raw onion and pickled jalapenos. Can you say OMG good? Plop 1/2 a cup red pepper hummus on the side-heaven.

  4. If I was going to write a cookbook, it would be called:


    That sounds luscious!