Category Archives: Vegetarian Living

New Veg restaurant at Seatac

cafe-flora-polentaRejoice! Seatac airport will never be the same. Cafe Flora is bringing its gourmet veg menu to Seatac Airport.

Floret is the name of the full service restaurant in an 1,800 square foot space next to the new Delta Air Lines lounge between A and B terminals. The new restaurant is the first exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurant at the airport and the first expansion by Cafe Flora owner Nat Stratton-Clarke. “As an avid traveler and lifelong vegetarian I know how difficult it can be to find healthy, local food options while traveling,” Stratton-Clarke said in a statement. “Floret will be an opportunity to help raise the bar for airport dining everywhere.”

The menu will feature vegetarian and vegan selections including Cafe Flora favorites, seasonal dishes and new items with local and organic produce. The restaurant, which will also offer grab and go food and will have lots of plants and natural light from a 27 foot long wall of large glass windows looking out on the airport’s runways.

Floret, set to open sometime next year, will be serving guests every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. This will be the first time ever we can actually enjoy flight delays!

Answering why I went vegetarian

Say No to Meat cover 1.0The following is an excerpt from our book, Say No to Meat, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications.  This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!

How can I answer why I went vegetarian without offending someone?

Stay positive and respectful. When someone asks you about being a vegetarian, it’s important to show that it’s a positive decision and that you enjoy eating this way, especially if you hope to influence them to become vegetarian themselves someday. Here are some suggestions on what to say:

“You’d be amazed at how many health benefits there are from eating this way.”

“When I learnt about how the animals are treated on most factory farms, I couldn’t bring myself to eat meat any more.”

“You probably haven’t heard too much about this, but in fact the raising of animals is very damaging to the environment, so I wanted to do something to help.”

Don’t get negative. If you give a negative or boring impression of eating vegetarian food, you can be sure that they will be put off for a very long time. Many people are also turned off by scary or horrific images, so it is usually counter-productive to say anything along the lines of the following:

  • “Let me tell you all about the horrible diseases you’re going to get by eating meat”,
  • “Here’s some gruesome pictures of how animals are treated on factory farms”
  • “People who eat meat are responsible for global warming, water pollution, burning down the rainforest and even global hunger.  How could you live with that on your conscience?”

Don’t come on too strong. Some people just can’t handle food issues. The most important thing to avoid is overwhelming a person. If they stop asking questions, or don’t show an interest in the subject, then move right along to a totally different topic. Sometimes, the message takes a few months or even a few years to sink in, after planting the seed.

Turin Mayor says “Go Veg”

Turin ItalyImagine Italy. Now imagine an entirely vegetarian city in Italy. That’s the goal of the new mayor of Turin, Italy’s fourth largest city. She’s a member of a new political force in Italy that has made promoting a vegetarian diet a basic part of their platform, which states: “The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding the environment, people’s health and the welfare of our animals.”

She’s serious. Mayor Chiara Appendino released a 62-page manifesto this week which detailed how she plans to make promoting vegan and vegetarian diets a ‘priority’.

The new administration intends to teach Turin’s schoolchildren about the impact that eating meat has on the environment, from the intensive use of water to the production of greenhouse gases. “Leading medical, nutritional and political experts will help promote a culture of respect in our schools, teaching children how to eat well while protecting the earth and animal rights.”

If Italy’s Chiara Appendino has her way, the whole city of 870,000 (that’s bigger than Seattle), that hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006, will be meat-free within five years. Italy’s food culture is shifting. Younger Italians are more open to trying new foods, and immigrants have brought different cuisines with them from around the world. Meanwhile about 30 vegetarian or vegan restaurants have recently opened in Turin within the past few years. Of course, proponents for the vegetarian way have been present throughout Italian history.  For instance founding father Garibaldi was an enthusiastic vegetarian and even founded an animal welfare society that’s still going strong.

Of course, this noble goal is easier said than done, and there are some who don’t want to go along with the idea.  The mayor and town council can only do so much, but still this is the first major European city to undertake and implement such a plan. All we can say is “Tanti Auguri” which is Italian for lots of good wishes, and we would love for Seattle to be next. Mayor Ed Murray, how ‘bout it?

Hip Hop goes Veg

Hip hop green dinnerAn exciting, wholesome and new vegan movement, among youth attracted to the hip hop movement, is spreading across the country.

This program, called “In Pursuit of a Green Planet,” has attracted a wide variety of inner-city youth, as it travels around the country hosting its Green Dinners. But Seattle has bragging rights, as this is where the program began, and Vegetarians of Washington was honored to team up with them for their very first Hip Hop Green Dinner. Since then they have attracted cutting-edge musicians, along with leading doctors and talented chefs, who are giving talks and cooking demonstrations along with the dinners.

We caught up with Keith Tucker, the leader of this great program, as he gets ready for the next Green Dinner right here in town.

Veg of WA: What are the Hip Hop Green Dinners?

Keith Tucker: Hip Hop Green Dinners are a National Health Initiative set in urban communities and designed to introduce new people, especially youth, to delicious, healthy vegan food. The Green Dinners are most attendees’ first introduction to a vegan meal and are a perfect combination of information and entertainment. It’s the first and only event in the world combining Hip Hop and serving full vegan meals to youth and families. Over the last seven years we have served over 4000 healthy plant-based meals to youth and families around the country.

Veg of WA: Why are the Hip Hop Green Dinners important?

Keith Tucker: Our events are so important because obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the America has ever faced. Two-thirds of adults, and nearly one-third of children and teens, are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not just our health that is suffering: obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy, as well as the direct connection to deforestation and the overall environment.

Veg of WA: Thanks for explaining, and good luck with your next dinner.

To learn more about the Hip Hop Green Dinners, see this short video: https://youtu.be/ogi4c0gb7N4

If you’d like to support this campaign, and the Seattle Dinner in particular, become a sponsor.

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!

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