September 4, 2012
6 years, 11 months and counting…

I need your help!! I read your story and how you helped your dad. I am 37yrs old and every since I had my thyroid taken out 7 yrs ago I have not been able to lose weight. I am reallt seroius this time with eating right, I need to know what you ate. Did you exercise? 
I see you stop eating sugar, flour and starch for 3 weeks, that will be tough, but I will do that.
Thanks for your help in advance
I tried counting calories, I’m eating the wrong things and not enough calories….. I dont know what to do.
Hi Patrice,
Firstly, it’s always best if you can get advice from your doctor before changing the way that you eat. I’m not sure where you live, but in Canada preventative medicine is widely available.  So that is always a good starting point.
Counting calories can be very difficult, and I find often leads to cheating, especially in the beginning of a diet change.  People tend to use it to see where they can sacrifice certain things so they can still “enjoy” their meals.  In fact, calorie counting can be useful about 6 months to a year after you’ve changed your diet, as a way to manage portions and check on how much protein vs. fat & carbs you’re eating. I’d recommend using the free app when you get to that point.  It’s really easy to use, and they have a website if you don’t have an iPhone.
The biggest thing that I should point out about my diet change is that cutting white sugar, white flour, and starches like potatoes and white rice was not a 3 week change.  It was a permanent and forever change going on 7 years now.  I also gave up alcohol.  The first 3 weeks are the hardest, but the more you learn to cook and create interesting foods with whole ingredients the easier it is.  It seems to be a bigger challenge for those people who rely on pre-packed foods.  Even the ones that claim to be healthy will never be as good for you, or aid you in your goals the way that cooking with fresh produce and whole grains will.
As for exercise, it is extremely important.  I started by walking every single day for at least an hour.  I then moved indoors, got a great gym membership and work out there as often as I can.  If you suffer from any metabolism issue being sedentary is not an option.  Especially when it comes to cardio.  I try to work out 6 or 7 days a week, including up to an hour on the elliptical machine, and hatha yoga.
I hope that answers your questions, and good luck with your journey!

January 7, 2012
"Monogamous musicians are like vegan hockey players."

Rob Sheffield, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut

*it should be noted there is a vegan hockey player, Georges Laraque*

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January 6, 2012
vegbollah & the human sacrifice

Almost a week into being vegan and a lot of people are asking me why I’m doing it.  So I thought I’d take a moment and explain why I’m suddenly making such a drastic change.

I’m going to start off by saying it’s not about the animals.  Don’t get me wrong, I love animals, but I also love steak.  I grew up in a farming community, I worked on farms, and most of the meat that I eat is from local farmers who are SPCA certified.  I know that there are huge problems with the farming industry, both on an ethical and environmental level, and I hope that we can find solutions for them going forward.  But that’s not why I’m going vegan.

Many would argue that I can’t love animals and also love eating them, and I respect their opinion.  But I will also say that if people tasted like filet mignon, and 2012 does turn apocalyptic, as much as I love them I will learn to love them slathered in olive oil and grilled with Montreal steak spice.  This means you ex-boyfriends.

So far much of what I’ve read involving the politics and personal choices of food are very black & white.  I believe that there is room for a lot of shades of grey.  Anthony Bourdain refers to “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans”, and I completely understand where he’s coming from.  Never before have I read about something that is so good for your health and the world that made me want to punch people in the face more, than reading about veganism.  Not because their reasons are not noble, but because they express them in such a smug way.

And yet, here I sit about to enjoy a lentil salad.

So why?

Well, it’s simple, for the good of food.  More specifically good food.  

When I was writing my cookbook last fall in time for the Christmas season I was watching the new season of George Strombolopolous Tonight.  Canadians will know George as that guy who informed your CD collection in high school & now has a show.  Everyone else in the world check out

So George went vegan last year & talks about it from time to time on his show, not in a face punchable way, but more of a reaction to guests telling him he lost weight sort of way.  So I’m writing my cookbook and it’s full of options for sugar-free, dairy-free, vegetarian… all sorts of healthy food and then I realize I had nothing for vegans to eat.

After rectifying that with an awesome hot cocoa recipe, I started thinking over Christmas that vegan food seemed super boring.  Good for your health, but not exciting from a cook’s point of view.  So I decided that I would try being vegan for at least a month.  Just to see if I could come up with interesting and tasty food.  With the added bonus of it being a great way to reset my system after cooking nothing but rich holiday classics from November onwards, first for my book & then for the actual holidays, meaning a solid 2 months of comfort food.

So there you have it… a long reply to a short answer.

I’m hoping next week to share some interesting recipes with you all so keep following along in my vegan experiment.

January 5, 2012
accidental meating

Yesterday I was thrown off the wagon through no fault of my own, save for maybe laziness.

I was so excited to finally be creating a new recipe, a really great spicy sesame fried rice.  It was so tasty!  Then a few hours later I found out the leftover rice I used was cooked in a combination of chicken broth and chipotle cubes which contain beef.

Upon hearing this my first thought after (oh shit) was “hmmm… would it be so bad if I had cheese then? the day’s already ruined….”  As the thoughts spiralled to garlic sausage and the ability to eat honey and baked goods made with eggs I had to stop myself.  Yes, I did consume some animal products, but had I never been told about the rice cooking methods I would have been none the wiser.

So, with a resolve that could stop a freight train full of cows going to slaughter I decided to keep on with the plan.

Today I’m cooking puy lentils.

They smell like feet.

I miss the ignorant rice.

January 3, 2012
going vegan day 3: meat brain

I’ve come up with the term meat brain to describe how I’m feeling.  It’s that thing where you forget to reply to people’s communications or start thinking it’s January 6th when it’s only January 3rd because you were thinking about all the meat you want to be eating.

Meat brain.

I got it.

Honestly I think I’m rounding the grumpy corner on this vegan challenge thing.  So far I neither feel full or famished, the best way to describe it is I feel still.  I hesitate to use the word peaceful lest it be lumped in with the other vegan love propaganda out there (a discussion I will save for another time), but my body feels calm.

I have yet to watch Forks Over Knives, or read extensively about the benefits of veganism.  I decided to save that for next week, because I’m sure by day 10 of legumes I’ll be needing a little inspiration.

In more food related news I’m pulling out a bunch of cookbooks for inspiration & getting started on creating some new recipes.  Hopefully I’ll finally solve the question of what one does with puy lentils.

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