Monday, November 22, 2010


I always said I am all or nothing...if I commit to write every day, I can do it. If I lay off a little and only commit to write every week, then, well, I don't do so well.

I really cannot write on a weekly basis my thoughts, observations, goals, achievements and failures - for me, my best effort is in daily musings.

But, I have no time. I have recently left my job for a new, bigger opportunity running an advertising sales team. That, coupled with my new love, has taken me down new avenues, so I am saying goodbye to this blog so I can concentrate on finishing my book, my new career, and the Tennis Star, also known as Susan.

I feel you might be concerned that I am ending this blog with a whimper, but I assure you that no grand flourish of words need end this Vegan Quest because it is indeed that, a quest. It lives on forever - perhaps not exclusively veganism, but a new diet based mostly on plant based products that is nutrient dense.

Keep Driving By, Nothing to Eat Here.

In the end, if I can change my life, so can you.  Eat, and live healthfully! And for the sake of your life, don't stop when you see this>>>>

For the coming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Season follow the challenge outlined by Dr. Fuhrman:

My sincere thanks to all of you, and now it's on to the kitchen to prepare myself a delicious and healthy vegetable wrap!

Please stay in touch at

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekly Posting

Good morning and thanks for reading my first weekly comments for My Vegan Quest.

Runners up First Ave.

It was an eventful weekend to be sure - Friday my friends and the Tennis Star's friends meeting each other. Saturday my brother and Sister-in-Law welcomed their first child into the world. And Marathon Sunday.

Part of this developing relationship took a very important turn - I am now discussing switching from my gym to hers so we could work out together! I think this will be a positive development since I am no longer chasing fun, and spending the evening with her in the gym instead of the boys at the pub is simply healthier.

Friday night was too much celebrating, and as a result I ordered eggs and corned beef hash Saturday morning. After two bites I was reminded how much I would rather be eating a bowl of fruit and a bowl of oatmeal.

I also realized that my years of bachelorhood plus my efforts in changing my eating and drinking habits put me in a position of selfishness that I had not realized until becoming a part of a "team." I like how I am now striving to be better in all areas of my life.

Watching the marathon I was, as I am every year, so inspired by watching 40,000 people run up First Avenue around mile 18 of the marathon. It truly is all shapes, sizes, and ages which is amazing. Watching some middle-aged guy with a beer belly trudging along is motivating - but then 20 minutes later watching some young man with a seemingly perfect and well sculpted body struggle by is confusing. Why did a guy who looks no different than your neighborhood UPS delivery man seem to navigate the marathon, while someone who looks like he should be one of the leaders walking far behind the every-man? I think because you just can't judge a book by its cover.  Also, it was fun to watch the Chilean miner run by! Not to mention my first day of veganhood was Marathon Sunday one year ago -- I thought about that day, and how far I have come, and I was just so happy to have experienced it all.

I want to end with an observation about the state's effort to curb childhood obesity. Although it is a noble and much needed effort, they are clearly going about it the wrong way. From California to New York politicians are acting like a nanny instead of a coach. They are taking away the personal responsibility of the citizens and trying to legislate through punishing private corporations.

I have said this before: for a child to be raised almost exclusively on a diet of fast food and soda really does amount to child abuse. However, instead of intensive education, incentives, and opportunities to create a healthy generation of kids, the government has chosen to tax soda companies (but not, say, candy companies), and even make "Happy Meals" - kids meals from McDonald's that have toys with their hamburgers, illegal. This over legislation turns private companies into the forces of evil, and gives lazy parents a free pass. Although Coke and McDonald's does not produce healthy food, they have a right to do so, and give many millions to charities in support of healthy living. A diet of coke and big macs is a terrifically unhealthy choice, but are there people who are unaware of that?
Now, during the Olympics I thought it was pretty outrageous that McDonald's had a commercial that showed taking a young hockey team to McDonald's with the tag line, "eat like a champion." Now, I am all for taking the team for pizza or burgers, but with the expressed knowledge that this is not a food kids should live on. However, these kids should be just as active as my generation so that those pizza parties are meaningless in causing obesity.

If the state wants to combat childhood obesity make sure that every public school makes Physical Education mandatory, and every athletic team is fully funded. As it stands, there are plenty of billions of dollars nationwide for education, it is just that the money is so seriously misspent that some schools had to eliminate sports. The recent scandals in the NYC public school system shows the serious mishandling of funds, so fully funded sports programs can be accomplished in this current economy with these current budgets.

Secondly, since the Federal Gov't is pretty good at special subsidies for farmers of certain kids of crops, simply make subsidies available for farmers who grow fruits and vegetables - not just corn which is a leading factor in corn syrup in everything.

Common sense should rule the day always, that is what I am saying.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thank You!

Today is the one year anniversary of a huge experiment where my primary goal was to lose weight, and secondarily to maybe change my life.

A Look Back

OCTOBER 30, 2009: Three months ago my friend suggested an idea, an experiment really, to take a hard-core carnivore and make him a vegan for six months to see the effects on weight loss, and improved health...I quickly pronounced, “That’s crazy! I would never do that!”

I love the food and drink pleasures of life too much to even think of going vegan! For 10 years I indulged myself in these pleasures, but the only lasting effect is that I am now at least 70 lbs over weight, and have painful knee joints. No matter, give me a bottle of Bordeaux and my giant porterhouse steak dripping in blood and butter any day! I’m happy! Besides, I know how to lose weight, I’ve done it may times before. Bottom line; eat healthfully, and in moderation. But there is the rub; I don’t do anything in moderation.

NOVEMBER 1, 2009: Well, after Day 1 I feel good that I ate so healthy today. I'm not hungry, but watching the marathon, and then football, and then the World Series without beer or comfort food is a bit of a challenge. You can do anything for just one day, I am eager and anxious about how I will handle this new lifestyle day in and out for the next six months!

MAY 1, 2010: The vegan quest ends today, but the healthy quest will continue forever. For me there is no finish line. Today is the end of a journey that taught me self-control, discipline, and moderation. And although I will celebrate when I knock the remaining 15-20 lbs off, the real finish line is dying a natural death at a very, very old age, God willing.

Truth be told, before I started this experiment and for the first few months I really only expected to lose the weight I wanted, feel miserable, write about it, celebrate the six month mark with a giant steak feast at Peter Luger Steak House, and then go back to my normal eating and drinking habits within reason. I was sure to think that veganism (plus, the additional sacrifice of no alcohol), although it provided an ends to a means, was really just too radical for me.

Was I wrong!

Weight loss actually became just a terrific byproduct, and not the singular goal. Physically, it was how great I felt living as a vegan, and more importantly, how much healthier I became. Sure I felt lighter on my feet, and my knee pain was reduced, but it was internally where the greatest benefits were realized. My over cholesterol went from a dangerously high 300, all the way down to an optimal 170. My bad cholesterol went from a walking heart-attack 227 down to an incredibly healthy 105. My battered liver enzymes went from more than twice what is optimal, down safely to the very low end of optimal. I changed my physical life, and I changed my everyday life.

I no longer am a slave to over-indulgence, nor am I slave to massive intake of animal products. Simply put, I feel better on a diet that is mostly plant-based. And I am so thankful to Heather and her crew for all the support in this endeavor. I can't say it enough, if I can do it you can do it! It feels so liberating to break from the shackles of living a sad life being fat, drunk, and stupid, seemingly happy, but not.

That big steak party I was planning? I didn't have a steak until 6 weeks AFTER I ended my vegan quest. My predilection for eggs is gone. I still enjoy fish, but without all the smothering sauces I once enjoyed. Now, steak, eggs, and pork soup dumplings still taste good to me, I just don't have this Pavlovian desire to inhale them all the time - if ever.

But the best part of this vegan quest is rediscovering my discipline, moderation, and what it means to be a healthy homosapien. We were not created to subsist on the Hardee's Monster Thickburger. Are you a criminal if you love this thing? Not at all. Are you smart if you enjoy it more than once a month? No, it's dumb, and your body will hate you for it.

Not long after I finished my vegan quest and realized that I am most happy eating mostly a healthy diet that is nutrient dense, I found love. Now I have an amazing woman to share this new lease on life with, and I have never been happier.

So, all in all, it has been one heck of a year, and I will continue to evangelize a healthier lifestyle for pays dividends in so many other ways.

I will continue My Vegan Quest blog on a weekly basis. So, every Sunday evening I will be writing about the previous week - my observations about myself, and the world around me, and hopefully, a few of you will find that little extra inspiration to continue your focus on your health (not your scale, but your health!). I know how rough the seas can be regarding eating, but just stay in the boat, keep your sails at full mast and you'll weather any of the urges so they will be fleeting, and not controlling. Bad choices will be made, but you must make sure your very next meal is a healthy one! Don't curl up in the corner and lament your over-indulgent dinner, and make yourself feel better with a bowl of ice cream...make yourself feel better with a bowl of fruit. Just stay on course no matter how much a storm blows up, you only have one body and one life.

Thanks for reading my daily blog, your comments, questions, and encouragement kept me going when my quest was most challenging. I hope some of you will stick around for my weekly updates.

Finally, EAT MOSTLY PLANTS! Apes sit on the ground and chew leaves, we are humans, we are advanced, there are countless, complex, haute cuisine recipes of plant-based meals that you will love - trust me. Change your perceptions, change your diet, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!