• must-see food tv

    April 3, 2010


    You know that question about who would be at your fantasy dinner party?  One of my guests is easy.  Brian Boitano, for sure.

    Maybe it’s because he played such a pivotal (ha!) role in my childhood. Brian’s twirling, triple-axel’ing presence on the TV screen during those formative years certainly fuelled my obsession with figure skating, even if I never mastered anything more technically complex than a shoot the duck.

    So imagine my surprise when, upon returning to TV land, I learned that Brian also has a thing for shooting the breeze on the Food Network.  And that’s he’s pretty good at it.

    Not only that, but his show What Would Brian Boitano Make? (a play on the South Park segment you can Google) features a ton of great plant-based recipes.  They’re interspersed with some clever producing, including hilarious “over-the-top reactions” from Brian after he has a mandatory taste of whatever he’s making or shaking.

    I don’t just want this man at my dinner party, I need him in the kitchen with me.  I’m itching to try his completely dairy-free Horchata Rice Pudding.  He made this while having Kristi Yamaguchi and her extended family over for a Mexican fiesta.  His goal?  To get Yama (as he affectionately calls Yamaguchi) to say “yumma.”  Nobody but Brian B. can get away with this.

    Technical ability: 10.  Artistic interpretation: 10.   Catch him on Sundays at 1pm EST on the Food Network.

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  • blog alert: contemplative hiking

    March 27, 2010

    It used to be that we were in awe of nature – of all its mystery, power, and beauty.  From this came the myths and the fables we created in an effort to understand it all.  We intuitively knew and respected our connectedness.  We understood that nature is us and we are it; and that was sacred.

    We have lost so much.

    My friend Margaret Emerson is on a quest to help you find your soul by re-connecting with the natural world via her inspiring, important blog Contemplative Hiking.  She’s also working on a book, which I’m also in awe about.  As I alluded to in my previous post, I’m completely baffled by the book-writing process – it has always seemed an extraordinary feat to me.  I can write post after post, but composing a whole book seems like a natural wonder.

    Even if you’re not in Colorado where Margaret does her hikes, add it to your news feed and let it nurture you.  You’ll find plenty of contemplative exercises that will make you look at your world, wherever you are, in a whole new way.  I especially love her concept of the secret world – of all the life that has come and gone before us, each one leaving its mark to sculpt the landscape as it is this very moment.

    Next up: What do figure skating and face wash have in common, and how are they helping the environment?  I’ll let you know, along with that best airport meal deal I hinted at earlier.

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  • my ocean, your ocean

    January 27, 2010

    Did you know you own the ocean?  A few months ago I introduced you to oceanographer Bruce Monger and his campaign to get everyone to realize just that.  Check out Dr. Monger’s important new blog It’s My Ocean and stake your claim.  You’ll find a whole host of ways to do it along with lots of cool information about what lurks beneath.  The good news is that if you’re reading this site, you’re off to a good start.  A great way to treat your ocean right is to reduce or eliminate your consumption of fish and up the whole, plant-based foods in your diet.  Ahoy!

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  • charlie and the raw chocolate factory

    June 4, 2009

    Just as I had grown weary of Facebook, suddenly it turned into a way to link up with people on this same joyful path of loving great food that loves you back.  That’s how I bumped into Charlie Lagoa, creator of Charlie’s Raw Treats.  When we realized we both lived in London, we just had to meet up – and where else but at Whole Foods!

    Charlie has bravely launched her new business while holding down a full-time job, and her passion and dedication were evident the minute I met her.  You can read all about her journey into raw foods on her blog where she already beat me to the punch by writing a very thoughtful post about this site.  Thank you, Charlie.

    Of course, I was secretly hoping that I might get a nibble of her raw treats with the excuse of writing about it here.  But Charlie was already on the case, and when we sat down she whipped out a bag of sweet surprises.  Being a life-long lover of cheesecake and never having tried a raw one, I was very curious about hers and, dare I say it, quite skeptical that it would induce the same kind of swoon state as the ridiculously rich cheesecakes of my past.  But one spoonful and I couldn’t believe my taste buds.  Charlie’s Lemon Cheesecake is phenomenally lemony and can’t-believe creamy!

    Her homespun business is actually as far away from a factory as you can get; she makes every single one of her treats by hand in her kitchen from honest ingredients.  The Lemon Cheesecake gets its tangy taste from coconut, cashews, agave and lemon.  That’s it!  Proof that good-for-you food should be simple and delicious.  Keep your eye on Charlie; she’s going to soar.

    And speaking of Facebook, come join us on the Green Appetite group.  Something sweet might be just around the corner.

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  • plant-powered performance

    May 16, 2009

    When I ran the London Marathon in 2005, I dutifully followed the typical carbo-loading call, downing buckets of pasta and enough pizzas to topple Pisa. I was also exhausted all the time and had to stop training altogether every few weeks because of nagging little colds. I finished in 5:05 – about an hour off my target time. I was grateful to get through it in one piece, but I can only wonder what I could have done had I known then about the concepts in Brendan Brazier’s The Thrive Diet.

    Brendan is a professional triathlete who follows a 100% plant-based, whole foods diet, dispelling all those myths that you can’t get enough protein from plants and that we need milk for strong teeth and healthy bones. One of my favorite Brendan Brazier quotes, which I’ll paraphrase here, is that whenever he feels daunted by a particular challenge, he remembers how the dairy industry successfully convinced the public that a food intended for baby cows is essential for human health. As for protein, have you ever been face-to-face with a leafy-greens loving gorilla? I’m glad I haven’t, for I’m sure I’d soon discover that he’s getting plenty of protein.

    I could go on for 26.2 miles, so instead I’ll let Brendan explain all via Thrive in 30, his new free online guide to improving your performance with plant power. Check it out whether you’re a fitness fanatic or more the Tai Chi type. I’ve just signed up myself even though I traded my Asics for MBTs long ago. Happy thriving!

    By the way, have you joined the Facebook fan page yet? Brendan’s already there, so come and be part of the plant-based party…and bring your friends!

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