gluten free

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Can Paleo and Vegan Co-Exist? Yes, yes, yes!

Published January 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8649Grass-fed beef and salad = perfect meal!

If someone told me, a year ago, that I’d be consuming grass-fed beef, I’d laugh in their face. Since the age of 23, late 1986, I became a vegetarian. And stayed a vegetarian for the next 28 years.

During the course of those 28 years, I’ve stayed very true to my path and in the mid-1990s I stopped buying products that tested on animals as well. No leather bags or leather jackets and absolutely no beauty products that tested on animals. I even went a step further, not consuming alcoholic beverages that were processed through a bone-char filter.

And during that time, I’ve respected all people’s choices. I was told by many that I was their favorite vegetarian because I didn’t judge others. In other words, I wasn’t a fanatical PETA card carrier.

One time I was dining out with an artist couple who were about 15 years older than me. When I ordered, it was obvious I was vegetarian. The husband commented that he and his wife were also vegetarians, but as they got older, they felt they needed a little extra, so once a month, they’d have some beef. I respected that and didn’t argue. I never felt that all people were meant to be vegetarian. Anti-animal testing was — and still is — more important to me than what people ate. And what works at one point, may not always work. Bodies change as we grow older and we make adjustments.

A few months before my 51st birthday, I wasn’t feeling up to par. And I was always the “go to” person when it came to health. I do not look my age. I’ve always had a ton of energy. And I get up at the crack of dawn even on weekends. I’ve practiced yoga since fourth grade. It didn’t make sense not to feel optimal. Then I remembered what the artist said.

I spoke with a holistic healthcare practitioner and he said I’d probably feel better if I ate a little bit of meat. After much research, I decided to give paleo a go. I eased into it. First I gave up gluten. Then a month later I gave up grains. And finally I said a little prayer to the animals added chicken and meat back into my diet. I felt AMAZING!

But what bugs the shit out of me, is how many of my “vegetarian” (not vegan) friends started judging me. The hypocrisy was mind blowing!  All of a sudden, in their eyes, I was this satanic animal killer for eating grass-fed beef (even thought I was still anti-animal testing, only drinking vegan alcohol, and still refusing to eat pork). 

And the “vegetarians” went on their merry way wearing their “MEATLESS” badges as they guzzled wine made from fish bladders, cheese made from the lining of a sheep’s stomach, and continued dying their hair with Loreal — one of the biggest offenders in animal testing. And let’s not forget desserts made with conventional milk, cheese, eggs and butter. Oh, but a gal’s gotta have dessert, right? Never mind what processed foods do to our environment.

After all that critique from vegetarian friends, I thought, okay, maybe now at least my meat eating friends will be on my side. But they didn’t get it either. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when my meat eating friends made the assumption that I was now pigging out on White Castles.

Then I decided to face my biggest fear — telling my VEGAN friends I was now PALEO.

But guess what? Surprise, surprise! They were the most compassionate and understanding of everyone! Wow, I thought to myself, somebody gets it! In fact, I’m now closer to my vegan friends as a paleo eater than I was when I was simply a vegetarian.

Vegans understand that eating grass-fed beef from a farm (once a month or so) is more environmentally responsible than eating soy and other processed foods.

As a paleo eater, I’m now eating more like a vegan as I consume more vegetables, fermented foods, and seaweeds. And I keep a variety of organic teas in my home too. Vegans love this!

And what’s really cool is that on paleo you don’t have to eat animal protein every single day! Sometimes I’ll even go two or three days in a row where I eat no animal products at all and feel fabulous. Only a vegan can understand that, since they don’t eat animal products at all.

When it comes to health, I truly believe that paleo eaters and vegans do the most research and take care of themselves the best. Like paleo people, many vegans are also grain free, sugar free and gluten free. They also understand the concept of telling each other what is in the food. They read labels and are compassionate to the dietary needs of others. And they do research — a lot of it. For vegetarians, they are just in denial when it comes to finding out what they really are eating. I was the exception. Whenever I mentioned to other vegetarian friends what animal by-product was in something they were eating, they turned a blind eye and ate it anyway. Vegans would never!

Both paleos and vegans don’t count calories, skip meals or over-exercise. They just have a sixth sense about being full and naturally stay at a perfect weight for their height (and age!)

Being environmentally conscious is a way of life for both paleos and vegans. We all love to practice yoga and qi-gong. We love to meditate and walk around barefoot. We enjoy buying second-hand clothing so the dye of a new outfit doesn’t seep into our skin. We are works in progress, trying consciously to make the world a better place to live. We stand up for what we believe in, no matter what, as we certainly don’t throw all caution to the wind in order to get a cheap alcohol buzz.

In fact, I have so much fun with my vegan friends because they don’t need to drink in order to unwind!

“Eat Well for the Holidays” at Westfield Library

Published December 18, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6640Maryanne and librarian, Jennifer

Thanks to Jennifer and Westfield Library for having me present “Eat Well for the Holidays.”

I spoke about little “tricks” you can do to stay motivated during the holiday season as well as how to deal with “food pushers.”

Afterward, I served paleo, gluten free, grain free, sugar free zucchini bread from The Squirrel and The Bee  in Short Hills, NJ (http://thesquirrelandbee.com/).

For a list of all my lectures (available to libraries, JCC groups, seniors, health clubs, schools, etc.) please visit me at: www.peartreeenterprises.com

Loving Sundays!

Published June 9, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1193I love my husband!

Today was great! My husband and I took a ride down to one of our favorite towns, Keyport.

We like to eat at McDonagh’s Pub. They have such great veggie sliders, which I always get on a salad. (See photo below!)

SAM_1194

I forgot to say “no tomatoes” because I only eat organic tomatoes and this wasn’t an organic restaurant. So I picked them off — no worries! I love the restaurant so much because they play rock every time we’re there. (And more obscure stuff, not overplayed classic rock!)

One of the coolest things happened today — which is why I love my husband so much. We were in an antique store that we always shop in and buy stuff. We usually deal with the female owner who is awesome, but today she was very busy with someone who seemed to be giving her a hard time. So while my husband shopped, I asked the male owner if I could use the rest room. He wouldn’t let me and sent me out to Town Hall.

I let my husband know where I was going. I walk out, passed my husband’s car and saw two idiots (middle-aged, so they should know better!) leaning on his car. Seems it was guy getting an autograph from some author. I said, “Could you please get off our car!” They apologized and said they weren’t doing anything damaging. Regardless, you don’t lean on other people’s property, especially when it’s a gorgeous (almost classic!) car! With all the dumpy cars around, they had to choose ours!

So I’m walking back and then I saw my husband looking for me.

He said that he walked out of the antique shop without buying.

I asked him why.

He said, “That jerk wouldn’t let my wife use the restroom so he’s not getting any business from us!”

Go Dennis! He defended me, then I told him how I defended him in regard to his car.

It’s so cool that around the same time we were taking care of each other, without the other knowing! It’s so cool to be on the same page, knowing someone loves you and always has your back and you have his. After seven years I’m still like a teenager in love with my heart beating so fast around my husband. I love him so much!

And for the record, a nice young kid in a coffee shop (Espresso Joe’s) let me use their bathroom. Since he was so nice, I suggested going there for coffee next time. See — it’s good business to be kind to others ’cause you never know if people will come back — and since we’re good karma kinda folks, we most certainly will!

So giving a shout out to Espresso Joe’s for having nice workers! (And they have some great art displayed there too! Check them out: http://www.espresso-joes.com/

Good to know they have vegan snacks and gluten free items on the menu! Put this on the “to do” list for a snicky snack!

On the ride down to Keyport, we saw a group of Hell’s Angels on the parkway, so I got this shot:

SAM_1191Hell’s Angels (photo by me!)

Now that is the way to be a responsible biker! Note the proper biker attire, note that they are driving according to the rules of the road, going a decent speed, not cutting people off. Very cool! If God forbid they get into an accident, the leather jackets, jeans and biker boots will protect their body a great deal.

Unlike these other idiots (non-Hell’s Angels) on dirt bikes that were riding like imbeciles, cutting off cars, driving recklessly, and dressed stupid — in shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals (two guys and a girl on a back of one bike). If those buffoons get into an accident, their skin will be ripped to shreds! DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!

Anyway, a great ride down and a great ride back on this gorgeous New Jersey day. We caught a lot of the Glen Jones radio show on WFMU. Got to hear some great songs by Psychedelic Furs, Big Country, The Alarm, The Go-Gos (which started with a drum roll that sounded similar to Stiv Bator’s “It’s Cold Outside”) and The Rolling Stones — a favorite you NEVER hear on the radio, “Far Away Eyes.” So I had a blast singing/talking along with ‘ol Mick Jagger in a hillbilly accent.

Thanks Glen Jones for playing so much great music and being the soundtrack to our Sunday Love Days!

Last night we took a ride down to another one of our favorite places, Perth Amboy and walked along the Raritan bay. Hurricane Sandy hit very hard at Perth Amboy. So many beautiful homes were destroyed, including one we almost considered getting on the waterfront. But people are moving on with their lives. We took a nice walk through the back streets. It’s a historic town and we visited the Kearny Cottage from 1781.

Ben Franklin’s son William Franklin, also lived in Perth Amboy, he was the Royal Governor of the town.

SAM_1183Me at the Kearny Cottage garden

Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day! For dinner we’re cooking together, a simple dish of brown rice pasta and an organic salad. Perhaps some wine too. It’s nice enough that it’s not too humid so we can eat outside — yay!

I found this amazing organic, vegan friendly wine, called Our Daily Red. You gotta love it!

Our Daily Red

How to Choose a Veggie Burger

Published July 14, 2012 by Maryanne

De Canto’s Best Burger — Quinoa flavored

Since it’s summer and there will be a ton of outdoor parties and barbecues, I’ve decided to compile a list and guide of the top three easy to find and reasonably priced veggie burgers, as well as the “to avoid” burgers and the reasons.

Vegans and vegetarians can email this article to friends and family this summer so they know what to prepare for you on the grill!

How cool is that?

Top 3

1. De Canto’s BestBurger. I just tried this burger and it’s not only 100 percent natural, it’s pretty close to raw. There are limited ingredients in each one. The original has: sunflower seeds, organic brown rice, celery, carrots, squash, onion, red cabbage and seasoning. It’s soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, corn-free, wheat-free, oil-free with nothing artificial and low in sodium (only 140 mg!) And it is DELICIOUS, although a little heavy on the stomach — perhaps from the cabbage.

I’m excited that they have a quinoa flavored burger, which I’m dying to try, as quinoa is a complete protein and so very good for you!

2. Dr. Praeger’s California Burger. This was voted the best burger to lose weight by Dr. Oz. And I have to say, even though De Canto’s is a bit healthier, Dr. Praeger’s is my FAVORITE, as it just melts in your mouth. It’s all natural and has all the ingredients you could find in your own cupboard: carrots, onions, string beans, oat bran, soybeans, zucchini, peas, broccoli, corn, soy flakes, spinach, expeller pressed canola oil, red peppers, arrowroot, corn starch, garlic, corn meal, salt, parsley, black pepper.

3. Amy’s. God bless Amy’s, I’ve been using her products for YEARS! The veggie burgers are YUMMY, but they have a bit more sodium than the previous two and they also use a little bit organic cane sugar. However, on the plus side, all ingredients are organic. Note that they do contain soy and corn.

Bottom 3

1. Boca. I never liked these burgers. To me, they are the worst tasting veggie burgers on the market, plus they are loaded with artificial ingredients, cheese and milk.

2. Garden Burger. They taste good, but I haven’t had them in years because they put artificial ingredients in them. They do use dairy in some of their products, but it is kosher. The Veggie Medley and Black Bean are vegan.

3. Morning Star Garden. I don’t think I’ve ever tried these mainly because of all the artificial ingredients. If you can’t pronounce something, it doesn’t belong in your body. I mean, really, what the hell is this stuff?: DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, KONJAC FLOUR … SCARY!

DISCLAIMER TO ALL – While this list is meant to be a healthy guide, do not take your eating so seriously that you do not enjoy life! Nothing is more of a buzz kill than a militant Hitler-esque vegan or health freak that turns his/her nose up to something that isn’t up to his/her high standards.

If someone loves you and invites you over, but picks out the wrong veggie burgers, do yourself a favor and just ENJOY the damn thing! Stress and a bad attitude will have a worse effect on your health than a pinch of DISODIUM INOSINATE will!

Seriously!