Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dr. Barnard Speaking at Hopkins and a Give Away


Sunday started very slowly at our house because we were up well past midnight last night. It is going to take a lot for us to get back into our 5 am routine to hit the gym before work if we keep staying up this late. I swear it was easier for these two former omnivores to go vegan than it was for us to go from night owls to morning people.


For breakfast Sunday morning we both had oatmeal. I made myself savory oatmeal with nutrition yeast and no-salt seasoning that I topped with peas, carrots and corn, a little of the leftover Indian spiced soup and a few raw sunflower seeds. As you can see from the picture above my little angel Massimo was trying to eat my breakfast. I had trouble getting a decent picture since I was trying to snap a photo and keep Masi out of my food. Eventually I just gave up and said good enough. My cats tend to be very determined and typically it is easier to give them their way.


Dan also had a few healthy cookies that I made him on Saturday. This recipe really is healthy, no oil, no sugar, no flour and still tastes like a cookie. The recipe should be ready to publish later this week.

Dan had his usual oatmeal with wild blueberries, cinnamon, ginger, wheat germ, ground flaxseeds and walnuts.

Next we ran out to drop off books at the library and then head to the talk at Johns Hopkins University (technically just off campus). I had been looking forward to listening to Dr. Barnard speak at Hopkins since I found about it weeks ago.

While Dan was checking the parking meter he ran into Jonathan (from the restaurant) and we walked with him for a little while and chatted after the obligatory hugs of course. Yes I am one of those people that likes to hug in case you hadn't noticed that by now. ;-)

We arrived early to the talk so that we could get good seats, which we did. I was very happy to have front row seats. I used to do the same thing in school. Some things never change I guess. LOL


Here is Dr. Barnard setting up the projector for the slide show during his talk.


This slide showing the prevalence of overweight in US children was extremely disturbing. How in the world did it go from 4% in 1963 to 35% in 2007? An increase like that is almost too much to imagine.

Another slide that I didn’t get a picture of showed that 1909 the average American consumed 3 pounds of cheese per year and the last time it was measured (2009 I believe) it was 35 pounds. Dr. Barnard thinks the increase is due to more fast food (cheeseburgers) and a dramatic increase in pizza consumption. I would have to agree with him that it makes sense. It is hard for me to imagine 35 pounds of cheese per person per year. No wonder our collective health in this country is so out of control. He also pointed out that Americans are eating 75 pounds more meat now compared to 1909 and mostly in the form of chicken. Clearly eating more chicken has not helped improve our health in this country.

Dr. Barnard’s talk was excellent. When I asked Dan what he thought he responded, “I live this stuff and you give me cliff notes so it wasn’t anything new to me”.  Only husbands right?  However we did both feel that Dr. Barnard was engaging, entertaining, funny, and informative. He is a wonderful ambassador for a healthy vegan diet.

After the talk was over Dr. Barnard took questions. Like always people wanted to ask about B12 and he responded that all most people need is a multi-vitamin that contains B12. He did elaborate that a small percentage of people can’t absorb oral B12 and those people will need injections but that sublingual is not necessary. I have also read that oral B12 is absorbed well though most physicians don’t know that. You can read that article here.

Another person asked about omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseeds and he said that is also not necessary since plant based foods contain trace amounts of omega-3s so that as long as you eat a whole food plant-based diet (translation you aren’t a processed food vegan) you get enough. I like adding a little flaxseed/hemp and chia seeds to function as an insurance policy. But it was nice to hear that flax/chia and hemp isn’t technically necessary for most people. Still we do get our B12 levels checked annually at our physicals.

A physician in the audience asked about educating patients and Dr. Barnard pointed out that they have educational posters that are available for the waiting and exam rooms. He also talked about a program they have in DC where they offer nutrition educators to hold talks about nutrition and diabetes after hours in other doctor’s offices. This way the doctors can recommend the talks to his to patients because don’t have to be there. He said that was working well for all concerned. I thought it sounded very encouraging and it is something I am going to mention to our internist to see if he is interested.

Also he mentioned that the American Diabetes Association is now advocating the efficacy of a low fat vegan diet which I thought was fantastic. For those of you that don’t know Dr. Barnard also has a book on diabetes that I thought was well researched and well written...not that I could get my mother to read it which was my original reason for buying it.

Overall it was very nice event and one that I am glad we had a chance to attend. If Dr. Barnard to coming to speak near you I highly recommend this talk. It was a great way to spend time this afternoon particularly if you are as interested in health and nutrition as I am.

Unlike when I met Jose Andres last month this time I had no trouble speaking to Dr. Barnard. I guess that says something about how in awe I am of Jose. My hubby had to point out to me that he was happy to hear me talk this time. Husbands! *huff*

After the talk we purchased a number of books and waited for Dr. Barnard sign them. I picked up an extra copy of “The 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” and had that signed to give away on the blog. I did this because I really enjoyed his new book when I read the one I got out of the library and wanted to share it with you. If you would like a signed copy of the book there are six different ways to enter:

1) comment on this post
2) become a follower of the blog
3) post a link to this post on Facebook
4) become a follower on Facebook
5) post a link to this post on Twitter
6) become a follower on Twitter (@veganepicurean)

If you are currently a follower of the blog here, on Facebook or Twitter please post a separate comment for each of those on this post. When or if you post a link on Facebook or Twitter please also leave a separate comment here. I will be using each comment to this post as an entry to win a signed copy of the book and will use a random number generator to pick the winner. To give everyone time to see this and comment or link to this I will wait until Friday May 6th to select the winner. Good luck to all of you!  :-)

After the talk we decided to make a quick run to Tuesday morning. I can always find things to buy at that store so it really can be dangerous for me to go there.


I loved these letters that spell out the word “BELIEVE”. Seriously, could there have been a more perfect phrase for me? No, I didn’t think so either.



There were also more odds and ends but the big purchase was a giant rooster cookie jar that I had to have. It was made in Italy and hand painted and I fell in love with it. I have a thing for chickens which is odd since I have never seen a “real” chicken walking around but I love them.


While we were out we decided to swing by Whole Foods for a kale run. You know you are kale obsessed when to stop to pick it up in the pouring rain and you don’t have an umbrella. We picked up 4 bunches of organic kale, 2 bunches of collards (hello collard wraps), cilantro, Brussels sprouts and a magazine that happened to leap into the cart. Darn those magazines they always dive into my cart.


By the time we got home it was after 4pm and both of us were definitely hungry. Thank goodness for leftover soup in the refrigerator. We both had a bowl of the tomato based barley and mushroom soup leftover from dinner Saturday evening.

Dan caught up on his sci-fi that he DVR’d while I started writing this post and got caught up on Facebook. Thank goodness we both have our “respective things” that we do to relax and that we can also them in the same room. During this time we were also drinking tea, this time hot because it has been raining and cool all afternoon. At the moment I am making a blend of white tea, tulsi and roses which I really like.

We were both busy, doing our respective stuff and at about 8pm we decided that it would be easier to go out to dinner than to make something. As always we went to our place for a quick bite.

Emily made us some of her signature green iced tea with orange which is terrific.



Then we had a bowl of the red potato soup with spicy chili topping. This stuff was absolutely delicious! Since it was vegan I am guessing Dani or Will made it. When I see them I will check to see if there is a secret ingredient. The spicy topping really took this soup over the top. *ummmm*


Next we ordered the samosa since we love that but rarely have it now since the guys typically make something especially for us.


Vaz sent us out some chipotle rubbed tofu with black bean salad and tomato salsa. Delicious! They don’t always have tofu since it isn’t on the menu now and he thought we would like it. Needless to say he was right. Everyone is so sweet to us we are extremely lucky to have “our place” so close to home.

We chatted with everyone, like always. I know the other customers must wonder who in the heck we are since employees will stop, talk and frequently sit down. That is one of the benefits of having a regular place. ;-) If you don’t have a regular place I highly recommend that you find one.

Emily’s aunt was generous enough to give her a Vitamix last week. You know that meant we needed to talk recipes right? She mentioned a film about that is coming up at MICA that I might like soon. I will definitely check that out tomorrow. I love chatting to Emily since she is a fabulous photographer and I love photography. She is also interested in nutrition and food which means we can talk for hours.

Donna, one of the owners, stopped to talk for a little while before she left. She thinks I should be writing a book and I am warming up the idea. She has only been mentioning this to me for over two years. This evening she gave me some great ideas about getting my feet wet in terms of writing that I am going to explore. Since her background was in writing and food styling before getting into the food business her perspective is very different from mine and I love to hear her ideas on things. It always makes sense to keep your options open right? As you can tell we had a nice evening like we always do. Is there any wonder that we always end up at our place?

Happy thoughts:

What a good day we had on Sunday. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits in the least. Here are my happy thoughts today:

• It was great to sleep in later than normal so that we could get our 8 hours. I know I always feel better when I have plenty of rest. It was a little sad not going to the farmers’ market but sleep came out on top this time. We will get back to the market next week since we are going to try to make it back to the gym by the end of the week when it opens at 6am. Wish us luck, I think we are going to need it. ;-)

• I have a great time listening to Dr. Barnard talk. I have seen him on PBS a number of times and enjoyed his talked but he is even better in person. He is very engaging and his presentation is informative. If you get a chance to see him speak live please do, I think you will enjoy it as much as we did.

• I am very happy to be having my first give away and for it to be something meaningful to me. I couldn’t not think of anything that fits me better than this book and having it be a signed copy makes to more special in my opinion.

• Spending Sunday with my hubby is always the best. We have a great time whenever we are together and today was no exception. I would not have purchased that chicken unless he was with me (too much money for a cookie jar) but I do love it. There is just something about it that makes me smile. Now I just need to keep my precious little fur babies from breaking it. *fingers crossed*

• I also love the positive message “BELIEVE” that we bought. That is going to brighten my day every time I look it. Can you have too many happy, upbeat and positive messages in your day? Not really! ;-)

• As silly as this sounds I am grateful to have organic kale and collards in the house again. I was starting to have dark green leafy withdrawal. I feel better knowing that we have greens in the refrigerator. No doubt there will be a green smoothie or two in my day tomorrow.

• Dinner was wonderful as usual. The potato soup was excellent, the samosa terrific and we loved the unexpected chipotle rubbed tofu that Vaz sent out. Not to mention it was great to see Donna, Corey, Emily, Jonathan (for the second time today), Janine, Kristin, Doug, and Vaz to name a few. Too bad we didn’t see Ian, Will and Dani but we did get there much later than usual. We will see them soon I am sure.

Signing out:

That is going to be it for me tonight. We still need to give “her highness” Luca Belle her medicine and start to wind down for the evening. I hope that your Sunday was as good as ours way. Talk to you again tomorrow.

Don’t forget t enter the contest to win the signed book by Dr. Barnard “The 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart”. It is a great book; I know you will enjoy it.  :-)

65 comments:

  1. So lucky! It's not so often that people in Hawaii have such wonderful opportunities.

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  2. processed food vegan = french fry vegan:)
    i love chicken stuff also, but its actually hard to find chicken stuff, mostly its roosters...which to most people it probably doesnt matter...lol

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  3. I love this post - and I'd LOVE to win the book!! :-)

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  4. I loved reading this post (hello, collard wraps!), and I'd love to win the book!! :-)

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  5. And here is another comment because I'm already subscribed to your RSS!

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  6. Oooh - and another post because I follow you on Twitter!

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  7. LOL. I follow the blog!

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  8. And, I follow on facebook!

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  9. OK - And I also tweeted it. :D Nothing like a little contest to get me to leave comments, huh?

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  10. And, I posted on facebook! Which I'm sure you'll see!

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  11. Giggle. I'm following on twitter too.

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  12. And finally, I posted on twitter. Can you tell how badly I want to win that book????

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  13. "french fry vegan" - that cracks me up! Glad you enjoyed the talk. Have I mentioned I've found a place down in Ft lauderdale where I can take a series of raw food classes and get a 'certificate'? The 3 I took last spring were enough to whet my appetite for more!

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  14. I want to win! I love Dr. Barnard.

    You should write a book! I'd definitely buy it. Though I'm not a professional book editor, I am a writer and editor by trade and would love to help out any way I could. There is totally a market for your recipes and lifestyle.

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  15. What a treat to see Dr. Barnard speak!! I am going to look him up to see if he is coming to Chicago, that would be awesome. Thanks for the giveaway, I'd love to be entered to win The 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart. So generous, thanks Alicia!

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  16. There is always so much interesting information in each and every one of your posts! The book sounds fabulous and I'd love to win. :) How generous!

    As usual, your food also looks great. Can't wait for the cookie recipe. ;)

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  17. I am a follower of your blog

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  18. I already follow you through Google Reader. :)

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  19. I follow you on twitter. :)

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  20. I tweeted the giveaway :)

    PS. WRITE A BOOK! :)

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  21. Also follow you on Facebook. :)

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  22. Just tweeted (can you tell I want the book?) ;)

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  23. Pick me! I've love a book. I'll be out of town until next Monday morning, though, so if I win you'll have to be patient with me to respond. :-)

    I love inspirational talks!

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  24. It's great to hear the happiness and energy coming through this post (more than normal). The combination of Dr. Barnard, new leafy greens, eating out, and giving away a book sure seem to agree with you!

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  25. Hi Ali,
    I posted last comment with my husband's email. Sorry ;P
    Simona

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  26. Follow the blog! Love the blog ;)

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  27. I LOVED Dr. Barnard's talk in Tampa a couple of months ago. He inspired so many people that night!

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  28. Listening to Neal Barnard speak and a trip to Whole Foods for greens? That sounds like a perfect Sunday!

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  29. I became a follower on Twitter. :)

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  30. You are very lucky to have Dr Bernard speaking near you. I would love the opportunity to win the book - it is on my 'wish list' at online bookstores.

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  31. I am a follower of this blog - posting a separate comment for the competition. Thanks.

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  32. I'm already a follower on Twitter! :)

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  33. I also posted on FB. And I am always interested in new healthy eating books!

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  34. And while I am not sure I am subscribed ot your blog, I do follow it!

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  35. I am subscribed to this blog & look forward to reading it daily (or whenever you post).

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  36. I'm a little jealous that you got to listen to Dr. Barnard speak. He is pretty awesome!

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  37. I hope I get a chance to hear him speak one day. I would like to read this book. As I would love a weight loss kickstart. :)

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  38. Hello Alicia,

    Here's my comment for the contest! :)
    I tried savory oatmeal for the first time for breakfast today, and it was pretty good!
    I'm looking forward to seeing the cookie recipe!
    I hope you're having a nice day!

    -Sarah

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  39. Ali, do you have a creamy potato soup recipe similar to the one in the picture, minus the spicy? I love potato soup and cream of broccoli or cheddar broccoli soup and would love healthy, vegetarian versions if you have them! Thanks!

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  40. Lucky you! I'd love to see Dr Bernard in person and I'd love to win his book. Karen

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  41. Oh my goodness...you got to see AND meet Dr. Barnard?!!? I am SO jealous!! I would love to hear him speak and have the opportunity to meet him. How cool is that?!

    And are you serious that you have never seen a live chicken walking around before?! That seems so odd to me! You will just have to imagine your new cookie jar walking around... :-)

    Courtney

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  42. I am a follower of your blog :-) Since I don't have a twitter account or facebook, I guess I will have to be EXTRA lucky with my two entries, lol. I would love to read the book!

    Courtney

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  43. I would love to win a copy of Dr. Barnard's book!

    Sarah DB

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  44. And I also follow you on Facebook!

    Sarah DB

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  45. AND I just became an official follower on your blog, even though I've been reading it for a long time.

    Sarah DB

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  46. Now officially follow your blog (although I'v read without following for months)

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  47. My boyfriend and I are going to try to go dairy-free for June to see how that may help allergies but we are both trying to figure out how to survive without cheese...so I definately understand the Dr's quote about cheese. It's everywhere.

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  48. I liked you on Facebook (finally)!

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  49. I am also a follower of your amazing blog!

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  50. After having abdominal surgery after I'd had my daughter, I have found that I cannot tolerate dairy. I've been vegetarian, but would like to transition to vegan. Thank you for this giveaway!!
    ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

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  51. The reason I get back to your blog everytime is the high quality posts I get here. You write really well, and I enjoy every bit of time I spend here.
    Compressed Air Piping

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  52. "Like always people wanted to ask about B12 and he responded that all most people need is a multi-vitamin that contains B12. He did elaborate that a small percentage of people can’t absorb oral B12 and those people will need injections but that sublingual is not necessary."

    Yes, most of doctors will give injections in those people who are B12 deficient. My friend recommend this http://products.mercola.com/vitamin-b12-spray/ instead of injection, so far this spray works well for me.

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  53. Bessie,

    He did not elaborate on that. However I advocate that everyone get their B12 tested and then take appropriate action. That seems to cover all the bases. We don't do anything other than a multi vitamin and both my hubby and I are fine in terms of B12 levels even after years of being vegan.

    Ali

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