Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Vegan Foodies Continued: Ellen Kanner

This may turn into a long ongoing series that nobody but my vegan niece will read, but oh what the heck, I'M having fun!!  One of my favorite new foodie gurus is Ellen Kanner, another writer, like Mark Bittman, with a long food writing pedigree.  I first discovered Ellen as the author of the Meatless Monday blog on The Huffington Post, and still enjoy reading her weekly wisdom there. Not least because she always closes the post with a recipe.  This week's MM post is particularly wonderful to an old sixties hippie like myself.  And, in addition, in it she introduced me to a new vegan foodie, Nava Atlas, about whom I will soon be posting. Ellen writes a column for the Miami Herald, , has a Facebook page, as well as a thoroughly delightful blog called Edgy Veggie (loving that name so much)  in which she doesn't write anywhere near often enough to suit my tastes, no pun intended.  However, who am I to talk? Her CV includes writing for all the top foodie print mags, as well as a novel, which I am about to put on my waiting list from the public library.

This is a snippet from a piece called "Welcome to the Broccoli" under the "Culinary" tab on Ellen's website:

"When the goodness of real food, fresh produce and lovingly cooked whole grains gets into you, it makes you feel terrific, too, in a way that a can of diet whatever can’t touch. It’s food that lets you know you’re being nourished, cared for – there’s not enough of that, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s one of the reasons we’ve got a problem in this country.

You’ve heard of the French paradox, that mystery enabling the French to eat lavish, leisurely, artery-clogging meals while remaining svelte and chic with cholesterol levels that don’t make their doctors scream and hurl statins at them.

The American paradox, by contrast, is just depressing. We know more than we ever have before about nutrition and diet, yet we’re in an obesity epidemic. Obesity goes far beyond not being able to look hot naked. It compromises your health, period.

You know this. Everybody knows this. And what are people doing about it? Pointing fingers, filing suits against food manufacturers for making them fat, drinking soul-destroying diet meals-in-a-can or saying damn the torpedos (or scale) and ordering double-cheese pizzas. Eventually, though, the binges and the blaming, the purges and the pills lose their luster – and let’s face it, when it comes to instilling healthier lifestyles, not to mention joy, they just don’t cut it.
Eventually you’ve got to get back to yourself and get back to real food. There’s you. And there’s the broccoli. So let’s begin."

I have to say I'm only sorry that it took me until I was 67 years old to get down to the broccoli. I had a realization of just this, the "goodness of real food letting me know I was being nourished, cared for" yesterday after supper, when Gail and I were eating our incredible navel orange sections (with a few squares of deeply dark chocolate, yes) after dinner, and I was ruminating on what we'd had to eat all day - the fresh blueberry oatmeal, real oats with big fat juicy bursting blueberries cooked in for breakfast, the quinoa/vegetable soup, with raw veggies and eggplant hummous for lunch,  the vegan spinach lasagna I spent Sunday morning making, with a big salad of organic greens and cukes for dinner.  As I thought about it all, I had that ahah!! feeling, a feeling of gratitude and wonder at how good it had all been, how good I felt after eating it. It's one of those moments I will have to engrave upon my memory, for when the chipotle cheese burger commercials late at night make me want to bash my head against the wall.So, thanks for the inspiration Ellen Kanner, and keep that broccoli comin' on.


Crunchy Vegan Daddy said...

Not only will I read this but I look forward to it!

Neil said...

You might have more than one or two readers. Please keep writing.

Dark chocolate and navel oranges sounds like a great way to end the day.


marigolds2 said...

Thank you Neil and Steve. This makes me feel much better. I neglected this blog for a long time, and have just had a shot of writing energy. Good to know there are readers. Very good.