Take Two

I had completed this week's message yesterday morning and had the recipe ready to go, but I just wanted to insert a text effect in the last paragraph. When I pressed "paste," it blanked out the sentence that came after it. That was annoying, as I was quite fond of that sentence. I noticed that the draft hadn't been saved, yet, so I thought if I just discarded the current version of what I was writing, I could revert to the previous saved draft. Everyone who has ever worked on a computer can feel for what came next. The music stopped and I was left standing with no chair and away into the cursed ether floated two hours of work with nothing to show for it. I had a moment where I wanted to do serious harm to my computer.

It is a mark of my devotion to my loyal readers that I have taken up the glowing beast again this morning to try to reproduce what I had - instead of switching to parchment and ink, a nice permanent medium that doesn't let you down. So, anyway. Enough feeling sorry for myself. What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. The buzz about this week's New York Times op-ed piece, written by Dr. Dean Ornish. Lots of people talking, writing and tweeting about it. This is his thesis: "Being overweight is not necessarily linked with disease or premature death. What you eat affects which diseases you may develop, regardless of whether you’re thin or fat. Some diets that may help you lose weight may be harmful to your health over time.

A widely publicized study earlier this year showed that a low-carb Atkins-type diet might be a faster way to lose weight. That may have given many people the idea that eating meat and butter is the route to thinness and thus health."

But it's not. What is the point of losing weight if by doing so you are increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes? This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but it certainly isn't what people want to hear. And Dr. Ornish knows whereof he speaks. In 35 years of medical research at his non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, he has been able to prove in clinical trials that patients who followed a mostly whole foods, plant-based diet were able to reverse "even severe coronary artery disease," reverse type 2 diabetes and even "reverse the progression of early stage prostate cancer." You caught the emphasis on reverse? Alert readers will remember from my award-winning video "Why I'm Veg" that it was one of Dr. Ornish's books which initially set me on the veg path all those years ago. He's a very persuasive fellow.

So if you're looking for a whole foods, plant-based (ie. meatless) meal idea for tonight's repast, you need look no further than right here, courtesy of your faithful scribe. Today's recipe is stolen--let's call it adapted--from a pre-packaged soup we like to get from a company called The Bean Ladies. You will see the soup called "Lazy Man's Lentil Soup" by clicking the tab called "Soup." As a staunch masculinist, I took offense at the hurtful gender stereotyping inherent in the name of the product, so I changed the name of my recipe so as to produce a fair and neutral equality. Much better. If you feel like having two choices this week, I can also heartily recommend Alisa Harris's "Edamame and Soba Noodles" from her brilliant "Cooking up Comics" blog

Have a great Monday, everyone! And remember - never discard your drafts until you've backed up onto parchment or, at the very least, a nice papyrus scroll. What good is the wisdom of the elders if we won't click on it?