Tag Archives: vegetables and fruits

Eating Out

vegetarian diet




Many years ago I was a strict vegetarian and still do prefer a vegetable based diet. Camping in remote areas and travelling through fruit fly checks meant that it was difficult to have a good supply of vegetables and fruit. Dehydrated meals, apart from the extra water needed, are for the whole pretty bland and disgusting.

Often I will request a vegetarian meal at a function, not because I’m being contrary, but because I’m just not eating meat at the time. Invariably disappointment follows. Surely most chefs have some imagination and understand the key part of the word “vegetarian”.

Some of the most unimaginative vegetarian meals I have received are as follows:

A square of commercial puff pastry that contained still partially frozen mixed vegetables – peas, corn and carrots at a venue in bayside Melbourne that was noted for fine dining.

hospital food (2)Fish and chips! Yes,  this was served up as a “vegetarian meal” in the cardiac ward of a private hospital.


Of course! Potatoes, peas and carrots are vegetables.

The replacement meal when I asked for vegetables (and I don’t think I was beihospital food (3)ng difficult) was a handful of mixed salad leaves and some grated carrot. The kitchen staff kindly offered to add some chicken for flavour!

Breakfast the next morning was inedible. Fruit that had begun the decaying process long before it was placed on the plate and served up.

But I digress….

Recently I have been to a couple of functions. On booking for both, I specified vegetarian. Lunch was served and the usual alternate plates of red meat/white meat were offered.  The vegetarian option when it eventually arrived was a pumpkin risotto… sigh….. this has happened before…… load the plate up with gluggy rice, mash some pumpkin through and chuck some Parmesan cheese on top.  I do concede that rice is a grain, but not a whole grain.

Next event was an evening meal. Entree was a tomato and basil soup. Not bad! Main course for the rest was a glutinous mound of shiny mashed potato and a beef stew, purporting to be goulash. My vegetarian plate came out and you could smell the garlic at three paces….. oh dear!  A large bowl of penne, with a drizzle of tomato paste and liberally mixed with chopped garlic. There wasn’t anyway to scrape it off… it was if the chef had accidently slipped and tipped about a half a jar of minced garlic into the bowl… it was on the penne, in the penne … everywhere… and seriously inedible. I wish I had taken a photo of it.

The organizer had noticed I wasn’t eating and enquired…. she came over to inspect the plate and agreed that she wouldn’t be able to eat the meal either.  A replacement meal was organized and credit where credit is due… was delicious.  The chef had used some imagination and gone wild with the vegetables!

Tofu, stirfried broccoli, carrots, onions and a spicy sauce over Hokkien noodles and topped with crispy onion bits.  I did have a bit of a chuckle when the wait staff asked as I was leaving, if the dish wasn’t too spicy for me…… they weren’t to know that I eat lots of very hot chilli!!

Vegetarian meals in mainstream restaurants don’t have to be boring or difficult….or even an overload of carbs…… A seasonal warm winter dish of roasted vegetables….. potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot served with a cauliflower “rice.  Stirfries with a mix of seasonal vegetables and a touch of tofu. Salads with a variety of leaves and other vegetables, seasoned with herb dressings.

Randolph Stone in his book Health Building revised some 30 years ago writes, “First things first even in health building: understanding and purpose are the blueprints of our life, the body is our garden and house which we must care for if we want to live in it. So we select the right food (fuel) which we can easily digest and which has all the finer natural elements in its uncooked state for replacing worn out elements and tissues. ….. Good digestion produces good oxydation and elimination. …. ”


Eating for Energy

This requires thought…. too often we just grab something quick and easy without awareness and eat it too quickly and too much.

What do you habitually choose?

Breads and carbohydrate rich foods are easy to get access to and have their place if you are involved in an activity or occupation that requires strenuous muscular effort.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are abundant in Australia and even though the price of bananas has been high due to tropical cyclone & flood damage, a few bananas are a better alternative to processed convenience food laden with artificial chemical additives, trans fats and sugars. It is more than worth the effort to read the labels and choose foods that have fewer ingredients listed on them, for your long-term health.

There are some simple rules to observe when eating for energy:

  1. Eat when you are hungry. Sounds obvious, but we often eat when we are not, for a variety of reasons. These could be emotional eating, regulated meal times or that we have eaten too much at the last meal.
  2. Avoid eating at times when you are tired, run down, stressed or ill. Stress causes the body to divert its attention away from the digestive process, so take a glass of water, a few minutes to meditate or calm down and  wait until you are feeling hungry.
  3. Eat slowly and with mindfulness so that you can truly be aware of the flavour and texture of your food and become aware of the life force within it. (assuming you are not eating processed food!)
  4. Plan your meals to occur at regular times. Include snack times, so that you have something to eat about every 3 hours.
  5. Eat breakfast – this should be your biggest meal and dinner the lightest, which is completely opposite to what most of us do. Ensure that your last food intake is at least 3 hours before going to bed, so that digestion can begin effectively.

There are several schools of thought about what you should be eating.

You might want to consider the following:

  • food miles – how far has your food travelled to get to you?
  • food combining – this means not combining carbohydrates with protein or acid fruits. Proteins can be divided into 3 more groups – animal flesh, dairy and nuts/seeds.
  • Mono meals – choosing one particular food for a meal and eating nothing else.
  • Vegetarian –  choosing to forgo eating animal flesh for either ethical reasons or religious reasons. 

Eating for energy is not a diet plan, it is a method of making better choices about what food to fuel your body and for the planet. Learn which foods are acid forming and which are alkaline. Alkaline foods are vegetables, salads, fruit (except plums & cranberries), almonds and milk. Acid foods are all animal proteins, cheese, nuts and foods made from cereals. Check for sugar content. Refined sweets & sugars are metabolized quickly by your body and will result in that “sugar crash” and further stress your body, leading to long-term to insulin resistance in susceptible individuals.

There are any number of websites and books that can further educate you on which foods are best for you. Ultimately it is up to you to experiment with what types of foods give you the most health and energy.  Sue Dengate’s book Fed Up is useful to discover what additives are in your food. The food combining plan devised by Dr William Hay has helped many people regain health. The Polarity Diet by Dr Randolph Stone is a wonderful way to regain energy and health.