18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Veggie lasagna with Follow Your Heart Cheese. I used Trader Joe's marinara, spinach, sliced mushrooms, and Boca ground burger.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I did not make this stuff


Takeout from Happy Buddha rocks. This is the sweet and sour chicken (of course it isn't real chicken, silly) and an order of spring rolls. The spring rolls below are nice because they aren't fried, and they come with a delicious peanut dipping sauce. All this food was $12.60, and it's enough for two meals.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I am having way too much fun with this

Have some fun of your own:

Back in the day, I did work fast food at Hardees of Farmington Hills, Michigan. At seventeen, I was the queen of the drive thru. One customer requested extra salt for his fries. I threw a few salt packets in his bag. He looked inside, unsatisfied with the amount of salt and demanded more. I grabbed a generous handful of salt packets, dropped them in his bag, and said, "Your arteries will thank you, sir. Have a nice day."

From that point, maybe I should have known I was going to end up a cardiologist.

Another classic moment was a day when me and two other college-bound vegetarians were working the front line. A customer walked in and asked us what we recommended off the menu. We looked at each other and laughed. "Ummm... we're all vegetarians...."


This is an old favorite from my lacto-ovo days, but of course this time around made vegan. I filled whole wheat tortillas with refried black beans (though truthfully I like pinto beans better) and chopped up sweet peppers. The enchiladas were topped with Old El Paso enchilada sauce and shredded Follow Your Heart mozzarella (which honestly is the only remotely acceptable vegan "cheese"; you can buy it at Whole Foods). I cooked this at 450 on the top shelf of the oven so that the "cheese" could melt.

Later in the week, I'll veganize another old lacto-ovo favorite: Lasagna.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Burning Out.... and Finding New Goals

I've been fighting the feelings of burnout over the past few weeks with my triathlon training. I've grown tired of finding somewhere to ride my bike -- you can read of my frustrations here or here. My back tire wouldn't hold air and I did this subconscious passive-aggressive thing of not getting it fixed for two weeks. And, even though swimming is my best of the three triathlon sports, that's getting old too.

Running is my favorite sport. Of the three tri sports, running gives the biggest endorphin high. When you're running, people look at you and think, "I should be doing that!"

My last triathlon will be the Boston Triathlon, which is 9 days from now. After that, my goal is to run a half marathon in Lowell in mid-October. I'm excited to get back to running, as I haven't done a half marathon or marathon in almost 5 years.

My ultimate goal is to run the Boston Marathon this spring. I would not be able to live with myself if in my year in Boston I did not participate in the marathon. There is no way I could qualify at my current ability level, but I can run with a charity. (I wonder if the cath lab considers Patriots' Day a holiday....? hmmm....) More on this in the future. But, a fall half marathon is a good warm-up for winter marathon training.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I'm not the most coordinated individual. At the end of a run this morning, I'm jogging along the sidewalk in Beacon Hill, when I trip, fly in the air, and *splat* land flat on the ground. My knees are banged up, my left arm and elbow are a mess of road rash, and my palms are scraped. But the most bruised part of me is my ego.

With everyone staring at me, I got up quickly, smiled and laughed nervously, and kept on going.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Race Karma

That's me -- right after finishing the Wild Dog Triathlon this weekend. No makeup, sweating like a pig... yup that's me! 13th out of 21 in my age group. I'll take it!

I believe in Race Karma, if that's what you call it. Races are supposed to be fun. We're all out there to do our best. So, I like to cheer for people. Usually, it's best done on the run, and works quite well on an out-and-back course. I yell for people on their way out, or for people I pass. "Way to go girl, you look great!" The crappier they look, the more I cheer for them, because they definitely need the motivation. My favorite people to root for are older folks, like the 76 year-old woman who finished the triathlon. Now *that* is awesome!

There's no point in racing if you can't have fun, right????

Monday, August 21, 2006

Breastfeeding is Definitely Vegan!

Breast milk is produced for the purposes of feeding babies. It's the healthiest thing to feed a baby, as opposed to formula.

The purpose of veganism is to reduce suffering of animals, live a healthier lifestyle, and to help preserve the environment. Breastfeeding does not negatively impact any of these things.

On the other hand, humans are the only species that consumes the milk of a species other than our own. What if your dog drank giraffe milk? Wouldn't that be weird? Same goes for humans consuming cow's milk.

Chole with a Twist

I've made this before, but never with kidney beans. It came out well.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wild Dog Triathlon -- Race Report

This morning, I did the Wild Dog Triathlon, a sprint triathlon. My friend's girlfriend took pictures, but hasn't sent them yet, but when she does I'll share.

We barely made it in time to compete. My dear friend picked me up 25 minutes late, and then took a very wrong turn on the highway. Start time was 8 am; we arrived at 7:59. I was beyond livid at him. As we pulled up, I sprinted out of the car, over to the registration table, and was able to get our race packets just seconds before they were to be put away for good. As things were fortunately running a bit late, I had time to throw together my transition area and put on my wet suit.

For the swim, I decided to start toward the front, which proved interesting since the ocean water was quite choppy. I did the breaststroke for at least half of the way out. It was crowded enough that there were people behind me who I kept kicking; I felt bad, but really, they should have moved if I kept kicking them. Does that sound harsh? Then out of the water, onto the bike for a pretty flat course where my legs felt so heavy. And finally, a 3 mile run, where crazy me cheers for everyone behind me on my run back.

So in my age group, I was 8th place on the swim, 14th on the bike, 11th on my run. How many people in my age group? I don't know yet. But, I did get a nice finisher's medal.

After all, we are all winners, right? :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Silly questions deserve silly answers

I'm out to dinner with a friend. She orders a calamari appetizer. I am sipping on a glass of wine.

The server brings out the calamari. My friend says "I'd share with you but you can't eat this."

Server says, "Oh why can't you have any?"

Me: "I'm a vegan."

Server: Points to my wine. "But you killed all these grapes."

This is not the time to discuss the difference between sentient beings and fruits and vegetables, let alone the suffering of animals that factory farms cause or the health consequences of animal products. Our server could care less. So here's my response:

Me: "Can I tell you a secret?"

Server: "Sure...."

Me: "I hate fruit. I like to kill and stab fruit to death and then eat it. I hate vegetables too."

I got a few laughs after throwing him off with that response. Thoughts? How do any of you handle similar idiocy?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stuffed Pepper

I made a green pepper stuffed with quinoa and portobellos. The quinoa was prepared in advance in my rice cooker, with vegetable broth instead of water. Then, I sauteed some baby bellas in a little oil, and added the quinoa toward the end of cooking. The peppers were stuffed with the quinoa/mushroom mixture and baked for about 30 minutes.

On the side is mashed sweet potatoes with a little Earth Balance Buttery Spread.

Why I went to California

This is my adorable niece Samantha. She just turned one, and her first birthday party was this weekend. She's the only lifelong vegetarian that I know.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How about some food posts already?

Salad for lunch, with a couple slices of Amy's vegan pizza. Lettuce, carrot, onion, corn, and chick peas with sesame soy ginger dressing.

I made a BIG trip to Trader Joe's yesterday, so there will be more food posting to come.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Alternative Outfitters

I have blown some serious $$$$ at, on purses, belts, cell phone cases, and other accessories. So, this week when I was in LA visiting my brother and his family, and I received an e-mail about their new showroom in Pasadena, I *had* to go.

I've found other vegan shoe and accessory web sites often to be too punk. Alternative Outfitters, on the other hand, has trendy items that a fashionable, or even professional, vegan will love.

I bought a purse, a belt, and a wallet, while my brother bought Mary Ruth a black purse and wallet. If you're in California, visit them, or wherever you are, check out their goods.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Perfect Vegan

If you take birth control pills, or just about any pill for that matter, there's a lactose binder.

If you develop photos, I believe gelatin is still used in the processing.

If you ever drive a car, you're going to splatter a few bugs on your windshield. Heck, even riding my bike I'll get a few bugs splattering on my face or even in my mouth. It happens.

As a doctor, I treat patients with heparin, which is pork-derived. It is often the best option medically for them.

Please know I'm not *that* lax. I went out Tuesday night to an Italian restaurant. I ordered a mushroom pizza without cheese, said please make sure there's no butter at all on this. And for dessert had some sorbet. At the end of the meal, I was sure to thank our waiter plentifully for taking care of my vegan needs. I didn't annoy my waiter or my friends I was eating with, kept it simple.

Did the dough conditioner have mono-diglycerides derived from an animal? How about the source of the lecithin for the bread -- soy or animal? Was there some honey in the crust? Was the pizza prepared on the same surface as animal products, and was there possibly cross-contamination? Don't know. What's important to me is that by avoiding the dairy in the pizza that I didn't contribute to the suffering of dairy and veal cows.

To the person who posted that she only eats at vegan restaurants, I wish I could do that. But I live in Boston, with a limited supply of veg/vegan restaurants and a vast majority of friends who do consume meat. Every so often I can take them out to Grasshopper or Buddha's Delight (two vegan restaurants), but not every time.

To me, it's all about the big picture. It's nearly impossible to be perfect.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Selling Out?

As of late, I've been less strict about the vegan thing outside the home.

When I go to a restaurant, I'll eat the bread. If something is probably vegan, I assume it is. I had Chinese food a couple nights ago at a buffet place, including miso soup, white rice, stir-fried veggies, and veggie lo mein, along with some cucumber sushi.

The obvious questions: Does the miso soup have bonito flake in it (possibly)? Are the stir-fried veggies prepared in broth (probably not)? Does the lo mein have oyster sauce in it (very possibly)?

I didn't ask. The way I now think about things is, if I pepper these people with my annoying questions, I make my vegan lifestyle look exceedingly difficult. And, what is the incremental amount of animal life that I'm saving by choosing not to eat these items, which may have a trace of animal product in them? Probably not even one thousandth of an animal.

I may be the only vegan that these people have ever met, and as such, I am an ambassador for all those who choose a compassionate lifestyle. I don't want myself or those who make the same choices as I do to be seen as being a big pain in the ass.

Thoughts? Have I sold out?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

You see, I'm not that fast

Yesterday I was talking to someone who was a competitive swimmer in college. I mentioned that I do swim, and that "Actually, I do triathlons."

Shortly after that, I caught myself adding, "But you see, I'm not that fast."

I've noticed that any time I tell anyone about my running, biking, or swimming adventures that I add that caveat. And I don't ever dare say "I'm a triathlete". As if they might assume that I'm a world-ranked ironwoman when in fact I'm just someone who does sprint triathlons for fun and does okay at them. Okay of course meaning that I finish and I'm not dead last, though earlier this summer I did place third in my age group.

If I were a man, would I temper any mention of triathlons with self-deprecation?

Boys who do well in school attribute their success to being smart. Girls, on the other hand, attribute their success to luck. Is this an extension of the same mentality?

Why as women do we not give ourselves the credit we deserve?