Choosing Raw Weekend Reading

Hi friends! I’ve had a busy, busy week here, as I try to get my new home set up and in working order. I also got to speak at The Seed conference this year for the third time in a row, as as usual, it was a total blast. My topic was “raw fusion” — how to prepare dishes that fuse raw recipe techniques with standard vegan ingredients. The dish I choose to demo was zucchini noodles with black bean, mango, and avocado salsa. It’s one of my favorite recipes from the cookbook, and it was a big hit with the crowd!

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 Now I’m home, catching up on the week in reading. Here’s what I’m checking out.

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This millet and red pepper polenta from Martha Rose Shulman needs a little tweaking to be vegan (substitute Earth Balance for butter, and nutritional yeast for parmesan), but it’s right up my alley. Can’t wait to try it.

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Also up my alley: Jackie’s summer corn salad with basil pesto aioli. If all else fails, I’ll just eat the basil pesto aioli, thanks.

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What a perfectly refreshing, summery breakfast: Elenore’s juicy berry bowl with cardamom cream (substitute agave for the honey).

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Summer produce at it’s very finest: basil roasted eggplant with heirlooms and balsamic drizzle.

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Laura’s sweet potato burrito bowls: don’t mind if I do, and I do, and I do.

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1. An interesting article on whether or not new tech advances (mobile technologies, sensors, genome sequencing, and more) will improve the state of medicine.

2. This week, North Carolina shot down the ag-gag bill that was under debate in its legislature. North Carolina was the last remaining state contemplating ag-gag legislation in the 2014 legislative session. The bill could resurface, but for now, this is a coup, to be sure. I liked MFA’s coverage and HuffPo’s as well.

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3. Speaking of HuffPo, it shared Thrillist’s list of the 21 best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the country. So wonderful to see so many fabulous, passionate institutions getting the recognition they deserve for changing the way so many folks think about plant-based fare.

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4. A haunting story, via The Atlantic, of the “war photo no one would publish” — an image of an Iraqi man who had been fatally burned during the Gulf War. Some very interesting insights into the way the media copes with violence.

5. Finally, I was thrilled to read this op-ed about Kim A. Williams, president elect of the American College of Cardiology, who happens to be vegan. Williams, like so many others, was drawn to veganism as a means of enhancing his health; he’d had some very alarming LDL readings, and he experienced dramatic and immediate improvement. (Williams had been trying to eat a low-fat diet overall, but it was the switch to a low cholesterol diet–with the elimination of chicken, fish, and dairy–that yielded effective results.) Williams had been impressed with the wide body of literature supporting vegan diets for the reduction of heart disease risk.

What I love about this article isn’t just that it highlights the work of a passionate vegan physician; I also love Williams’ tremendous humility about nutrition science:

‘“There is a long list of things that, based on observational trials, we thought were beneficial, and then a randomized trial done for a long period of time showed that it wasn’t,” he said. “So I approach all of this with a sense of humility and an open mind.”’

With that said, I admire his advocacy for lifestyle solutions to chronic health problems:

‘”In the meantime, he said, he has made a habit of telling patients who are obese and plagued by metabolic problems like Type 2 diabetes to try exercising and eating less meat. And he discusses some of his favorite vegan foods with them.

“I recommend a plant-based diet because I know it’s going to lower their blood pressure, improve their insulin sensitivity and decrease their cholesterol,” he said. “And so I recommend it in all those conditions. Some patients are able to do it, and some are not.”’

I wish Williams much success with his appointment.

While we’re on the topic of reading, a quick ICYMI: Elisabeth’s green recovery story, which I posted yesterday, is amazing. Check it out, and have a wonderful evening.

xo