Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

Defeating Diabetes – cooking classes

Are you worried about diabetes or prediabetes? 

Amanda cooking feature 1.1Join us at our “Defeating Diabetes” series of classes, four Saturday mornings starting Saturday Nov 5, 10am, at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue.

Register here

Plant foods are powerful medicine for diabetes (Type II or Adult Onset). Medical researchers have discovered that a plant-based diet is very effective for both preventing and helping to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes. In some cases it’s even more powerful than medication.

You can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by just taking the following medicines: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts. The more you take, the more protection you can get. For instance, researchers found that those following semi-vegetarian diets, pesco vegetarian, lacto ovo-vegetarian, and vegan diets, reduced their risk of diabetes by 28%, 51%, 61% and 72% respectively. The pattern here is clear: the more plant foods you eat, the more protection you get.

What about if you already have diabetes? Even here plant foods are powerful medicine. In one study, conducted at George Washington University, 46% of diabetics were able to stop or significantly reduce their medications in only 6 months. Even more impressive is how the powerful plant-based diet reduced blood sugar by about 25% more than the usual treatment – the drug metformin combined with the standard American Diabetes Association diet.

If you’d like to learn more, we’re here to help.  Amanda Strombom, a certified Food for Life instructor, is teaching a special “Defeating Diabetes” series of classes.

On four Tuesday evenings, starting May 31st, you can learn more about how a plant-based diet can help treat and prevent diabetes, and discover delicious new foods and recipes.  Each class will focus on a different aspect of plant-based foods, with an informative short video and a delicious cooking demonstration where you can enjoy tasting all the different recipes. Get all your questions answered.

All are welcome. A small fee of $12.50 per class, or $40 for the series, helps us cover the costs, but scholarships are available.

See professional level information on Type 2 diabetes

Please note our articles and classes are for educational purposes only. Consult your physician before making any changes to your health care.

First All Vegan Elementary School

MUSE vegan schoolFirst it was Meatless Mondays, a public health campaign associated with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Biltmore city schools went first and were followed by a number of other public and private schools. At last count 53 school districts have jumped aboard. Then two New York City public schools went completely vegetarian. Now, a private elementary school in California has gone all vegan.

The MUSE School in Calabasas, California, will complete a transition to an all-vegan menu beginning in the fall. Though at least one school has gone vegetarian, MUSE is believed to be the first primary or secondary school in the nation to go entirely vegan. MUSE was founded by actress Suzy Amis Cameron and her sister Rebecca Amis in 2006, with a focus on sustainability. According to spokeswoman Jennifer Mau, MUSE’s board and administration made the decision to go vegan last spring.

Almost as special is that nearly half of the produce will be sourced from on campus gardens and greenhouses, thanks to the school’s Seed to Table initiative, which grows about 200 different varieties. Fifth grader turned part-time gardener Emma Leyson is proud of her greens and says to a reporter, “This is the strawberry plant I planted.” As part of their curriculum, the students learn how to create food from seed to table. “The other day, we made tomato soup, and I grew rosemary and it was in the soup and I was excited” said the young Emma.

It’s another veg first. We couldn’t be more proud of both students, parents and teachers.

Vegetarian Foods Going Strong!

Vegan food products

Meat and dairy substitutes are getting popular. The global market for meat substitutes is expected to reach $ 5.17 Billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2015 to 2020 according to Markets and Markets, a food marketing research company. Meanwhile,  the global non-dairy market is expected to reach $19.5 Billion by 2020.  Another industry research group, Mintel Menu Insights, says vegetarian restaurant menu options have grown 66 percent in the past three years.  Vegetarian foods are really on the move.

The animal-derived food product industry sees the rising trend and is getting nervous. The push back has begun in the courtroom and with regulators, but has failed each time. Almond milk was sued for using the word “milk” after almond, but that was thrown out of court. And just recently, Just Mayo, an eggless mayonnaise, fought back and won against regulators who initially said that they couldn’t call anything “eggless mayo.”

LentilsMeanwhile, those interested in whole plant foods got a big boost from the UN. The General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses.  Pulses are legumes such as beans, peas and lentils. The UN states that pulses are “an affordable alternative to more expensive animal-based protein, pulses are ideal for improving diets.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went on to say in an inaugural celebration that “pulses contribute significantly in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health, and also are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids.”

Harvest Beat plateHere in Washington, the veg restaurant scene is going strong. We’re happy to announce another new vegan restaurant, Harvest Beat.  The restaurant will feature one seating a night for a five-course, $50, vegan set menu that will change regularly to “respect food of the moment.” The owners, Jan and Aaron Geibel say, “here at Harvest Beat we are gathering “the goodness” to help create a healthy world.”  The restaurant has room for up to 60 diners, an open kitchen, and a patio in the back. The restaurant is located  at 1711 N 45th Seattle 98103 tel. 206 547-1348. We’re sure this new restaurant will be a big hit!

Big Tofu Heist

TofuOnly in the Northwest! Two “foodlums” have stolen an entire truckload of tofu, yes tofu. Police concede that there might be a black market for tofu and comment “Um, it may be hard to penetrate that network.”

The tofu was stolen in Portland from a Seattle natural food distributor’s truck while the driver was making a delivery. A little while later, the truck was found only few miles away but the tofu was missing. The two suspects are still on the run. In the meantime, if anyone going door to door offers to sell you about two tons of tofu: think twice!

Vegetarian Food – A Wise and Delicious Choice

Man eating salad 2Food is there to be enjoyed! There’s no doubt about it. However, many people feel that they’re caught in a bind. They want to enjoy delicious food, but at the same time they worry that the food they most enjoy is the least healthy for them.

Many people also feel that the idea of consuming animals for food weighs heavily on their minds, but resign themselves to eating meat, thinking that it’s us or them. When people discover how environmentally unsound animal agriculture is, they often say “But I have to eat to live!”

In light of all this, Vegetarians of Washington would like to offer you this deal. You can enjoy the most delicious food you can imagine, and at the same time greatly improve your health, while easing your conscience about the animals and the environment. Sound good? We think so too, so we created Vegetarians of Washington to help more people get in on a good deal.

Let’s talk about enjoying our food first. We admit it, we love great tasting food and we’ll accept nothing less. The fact is that vegetarian food has come in to its own as the most desirable of cuisines, attracting the world’s most noted chefs and cookbook authors. The restaurants in the Northwest have caught on and have created a wonderful selection of tasty meals.  In our cookbook, The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, we’ve included recipes from the region’s best restaurants and natural food market delis.

We’ll help you learn the secrets of shopping for delicious food. Our latest book, In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-Based Shopping Guide is just the book you’ll need to get started. Look for information on ingredients that may be new to you, as well as tips on how to choose fresh produce, what to look for on ingredient labels and so much more.

The land, the air and the water are so much a part of our lives. There’s a good feeling that comes from helping to sustain the environment. While some people think of helping the environment by recycling, we think of enjoying a veggieburger! The satisfaction of eating in a way that protects the environment makes the food taste even better. Learn much more about how our diet impacts the environment.

Today’s factory raised animals have a much rougher time than they used to. The animals are our friends, so let’s give Elsie the Cow a well deserved vacation. While good old Elsie is enjoying her vacation, we can also enjoy ours in excellent health. It’s another win-win situation. Trying new foods and learning as you go will give you a chance to be creative. The secrets of success on your journey are to be willing to experiment with new foods, to be willing to learn, to proceed at your own pace and to just do the best you can. We take the optimistic approach. However far you come on your journey makes you that much further ahead.

Just who are those vegetarians anyway? The big news is that vegetarians are everywhere these days and, in fact, they have always been an important part of our society. They have made contributions in all walks of life throughout history. Examples include Albert Einstein in science; Thomas Edison in industry; baseball and football stars in sports such as Hank Aaron, the homerun king, and Desmond Howard, the Superbowl MVP; Paul McCartney of the Beatles; and founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin. You can read more about famous vegetarians in our Veg Celebrities section.

But most vegetarians are not famous. They’re the people who live next door, the lady who sits next to you at work or the guy standing behind you in line at the movies. They’re everyday people. Vegetarians of Washington was founded by everyday people. We welcome everyone whether you’re a vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. We’re having a good time discovering new and tasty foods, and we invite you to join in the adventure and the fun.

Universities Veg-up this Fall

University of WashingtonCollege just got more veg friendly. Aramark, the nation’s largest campus food service company, is increasing its vegetarian and vegan options after a survey it commissioned showed that over a quarter of students said that vegan options were important to them. This is great news for students at local colleges and universities such as the University of Washington

Aramark has over 80 vegan entrees available for incorporation into their residential menus. The line up includes dishes such as Tofu-Potato Hash, Vegan Home Style Pancakes and Spiced Breakfast Quinoa to Southwest Sweet Potato, Butternut & Black Bean Chili, and Chickpea Panchmael. There’s even vegan snickerdoodles for dessert.

About 40% of  students say that the ability to customize meals is one of the top five most important attributes at limited service restaurants, so Aramark is planning on setting up veg action stations where students can design their own made-to-order dishes.

Formerly the focus of many a joke and horror story, we’re happy to see the improvements in college dining. We’ll spare the students the usual rant about how boomers used to have to walk five miles in the snow to campus only to get a serving of motor oil and sawdust!

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