Local author spreads wealth of knowledge on healthy eating
“One thing leads to another” sure applies to me this year with this column.
First came my informal survey asking what “go to” cookbooks, websites and other sources you use for recipes and culinary questions and instructions. Responses were many and varied, and diets or eating plans included Paleo, Mediterranean, diabetic, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, raw food, Atkins and My Plate (USDA). Some shared details of diets prescribed by dietitians and health professionals or their own plans.
This motivated me to try 52 new-to-me recipes this year and to visit with some of you and area chefs to taste and learn about what’s on your plates.
One friendly email came from Marian Dorn, a vegan, and now member of my 52 Recipes in 2014 Club. She assured me that vegan dishes are delicious and enjoyed by non-vegans. She suggested a visit with Rhonda Dunlap, who coordinates the Grand Junction Branch of Vegan Life Colorado with Marian. Rhonda also is the author of the new cookbook “Guide to Super Raw Foods: Eat Fresh, Gain Energy & Lose Weight.”
When I arrived at Rhonda’s home, she and her friend and fellow vegan, Stephanie Litus, were busily preparing a variety of vegan dishes, both raw and cooked. Marian was right. I enjoyed everything put on my plate.
Reminder: Vegans don’t eat any animal products, including dairy or eggs. Vegetarians eat dairy and eggs. Rhonda chose a vegan diet four years ago for health and for personal beliefs. While she is strictly vegan, her husband is 85 percent vegan, and Rhonda is OK with that. She includes as many raw foods as possible in her meals.
Rhonda isn’t the preachy sort. She willingly shares information and is simply happy if she can motivate others to include more plant-based foods in their diets for good health, even if those foods are served alongside lean meat.
Like many vegans and vegetarians, Rhonda is a fan of juicing. She juices all kinds of fruits and vegetables, using the fiber leftovers in dishes and smoothies.
Rhonda says a really good juicer is a must, as is a powerful blender such as a Vita Mix. Rhonda purchased a used one 20 years ago and uses it every day for grinding, blending raw and cooked foods, smoothies and more.
On her menu are whole grains and lot of seeds and nuts, with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to those she freezes. She tries to eat organic and local as much as possible, but says, “let’s be realistic, you can’t always buy everything organic.”
Rhonda’s new cookbook is available through Amazon.com in paperback, color or black and white, and on Kindle or by PDF on the Raw Site (available in four versions) Paperback also available at Crystal Books & Gifts in downtown Grand Junction. She also pens a newsletter and you can sign up for it at the Natural Health Food Café or vegnutblog.wordpress.com.
Vegan or not, you’ll love these recipes!