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August 16, 2011



Boy, I really missed you! I know what you mean about small-town America (and Canada) and food shopping - those people must not be reading the same articles I am. It seems like it would simply be good marketing for every restaurant to have even one low-fat vegan menu item. It gets a little discouraging. We've also just come back from a week in a rented cottage with three of our four grown kids, plus two little granddaughters, and our stash of groceries looked pretty much like yours. It's a commitment. And still more challenging when the rest of the family think you're a little wacko. But we had fun anyway!

Looking forward to the next installment.....


great post! I wonder if I can make the juice with cherry tomatoes or if it will be too much skin? We have about a zillion (rough estimate) getting ready to ripen.

I want an update on if you tried Zumba. :-)


p.s. check out my post on a new vegetable I just tried.

The Healthy Librarian


I knew you'd ask about the Zumba--and I tried really really hard to start work early on Weds., and leave in time to make the 5:00 pm (too early!) class before I left on vacation.

Got involved with finishing work & didn't make it! Now this Weds. it won't happen again, because I have to work until after 5:00 pm.

Definitely next week--without fail. I've made my promise. It will happen.

Re the cherry tomatoes--I'm going to try it. We have way more of those than of the gigundo heirlooms. Wondering about the skin, but we'll see.

Now I'm off to check your new vegetable post.

Hope you had a most excellent summer with the girls.


My favorite Mama Pea recipe is Baked Oatmeal Squares. They are a tasty breakfast and then the leftover bars are great to eat on the run. I haven't always had good results with her recipeas, though.

Healthy Librarian

Thanks for the recommendation, Penny!

I'll give it a try.

Last night I made a Mama Pea curried tempeh topped with sweet potato tater nuts--not an Esselstyn-friendly dish b/c of the tater tots--but we really liked it. I added raisins to it!

The Healthy Librarian


Tried the V7 with Sweet 100s (cherry tomatoes)--these just might be SUPERIOR to the Brandywine heirlooms. Great way to use up cherry tomatoes.


My tomatos are still very green in upstate ny; BUT I am now addicted to the savory oatmeal for breakfast, and after walking the dog, I go out to the garden and cut a large handful of chard, or bok choy or mustard greens etc, wash and chop them and microwave with my oatmeal;
I think the best use for my garden is growing these greens. I wash baby greens and try to eat a large bowl of them throughout the day, and it is becoming a habit; to grab plain greens to eat... . Also greens can be grown throughout most of the year (see Elliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest).
This is a fantastic blog and a great service to me. The other blog I use for implementing the Esselstyn diet is the (this has a great number of Esselstyn friendly recipes (not all are nut/seed/sugar/salt free).
I plan to read through all the archives here.

The Healthy Librarian

Hi Alexandra,

Glad to hear that you're now a fan of savory oatmeal. We're growing chard & kale, too--but didn't plant enough for all our needs.

Next year--we're planting more. Thanks for the tip about Coleman's Four Season Harvest---I'm passing that on to my husband--the gardener of the family. He's definitely willing to give it a try.

And most of all, thanks for your very kind words! Just returned from New York--the Chautauqua area 30 minutes ago! Love NY!!


Protein Drink: I've been using Spiru-tein unsweetened soy protein. I blend it with water, fruit, and ice cubes.

Weights: I like the older Body by Jake videos (not his new stuff). The only equipment you need is weights and you don't have to learn strange moves. Just picked up Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred which contains 3 levels 20 minutes each. Very similar to Jake, but better.

I use to use TVP from Bob's Red Mill as a substitute for meat. Love their oatmeal. I use Celifibr Vegetarian bouillon cubes in all my soups and stews. I don't live near a Whole Foods or Trader Joes, we just have your typical run-of-the-mill grocery store.

Your homemade V-7 juice sounds divine. Aren't grocery store tomatoes a huge disappointment. They have no taste.

I've relied heavily on dried apricots and almonds as my go-to easily portable snack to always carry with me. Esselstyn says no nuts :-(

Found your site looking for Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn stuff. Great site. Very helpful. I've been eating much better, but I can't imagine going this far. I've read Dr. Andrew Wile and Dr. Neal Barnard books. Paul Stitt had a good book on "Beating the Food Giants". He was a biochemist. who started his own bakery decades ago after he saw how food was manufactured. I thought I had my system down. A few easily obtainable staples and spices, and quick cooking methods and crock pot usage. I don't buy any pre-made products (Except original vegan Boca burgers which can be shredded. They sell in large boxes of 16 for $10). I make my own pancake mix, my own bbq sauce, taco seasoning, etc, so I can control the sugar, salt, fat, and junk ingredients. With Esselstyn's diet: One, seems to require a lot of time to shop and prepare meals, unless you plan on just eating oatmeal and spinach; Two, then there is the cost and accessibility. I'm not in a food desert, but it isn't exactly overflowing with affordable, presumably organic, fruit and vegetables. My initial reaction is Esselstyn's diet might be great for a segment of the population on the coasts, but can someone anywhere in the midwest do it or the south side Chicago do it?

How does Esselstyn compare to Duke University Rice Diet for reducing cardiovascular disease?

Just saw a preview on PBS of America's Victory (or War) Gardens. Maybe the commission needs to be reinstated :-) Although it is funny, even back then, they feared promoting gardening would hurt the food industry.

Looking forward to reading and learning more!

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