Archive for November, 2009

The Bigger Macque

Posted in places, things you should know on November 23, 2009 by wfon

I learned long ago to not question when the Plant-Based Dietitian makes a suggestion. So, last night after another taxing day in the trenches of Going Veg, Julieanna said we were going to dinner at her favorite place, Madeline Bistro. Conveniently, this cozy little spot is about a mile from me, on Ventura Blvd, just west of Reseda, in Tarzana –  a mere block from the soon-to-be-overly-frequented new Whole Foods (what part of ‘build faster’ are they not getting?). I’ve been around enough vegan food recently to know I can find a thing or two to nosh on even if I still can’t stand tofu – CAN’T STAND IT! So, off we went.

Walking in, Julieanna said we had to have the Bigger Macque. I replied “sure, why not” having no idea what she was talking about. Turns out, Madeline Bistro have invented a veggie burger complete with special sauce, ‘cheese’, lettuce, pickles and two non-beef patties. And yes, it tastes just like a Big Mac down the street at MacDonald’s, without the greasy compliment. I’m not kidding when I tell you, I could head over there right now and get another.

Along with the Bigger Macque, we had a Maki roll (avocado and asparagus in a sushi roll), asparagus risotto, butternut squash soup and mixed veggies. Even some sort of organic English lager. Are you hungry yet?

I’ve keeping telling Julieanna that, when it comes to this project, we have to avoid certain obstacles (i.e. general opinion of vegan culture) and instead introduce people to the healthier alternative that eating Plant-Based provides. A lot less of the ‘doom and gloom, you’re killing yourself with your food’ rhetoric that comes from certain militant vegan cliques and a lot more positive re-inforcement. She’s on the same page and visiting a place like Madeline Bistro (which I think we will be shooting at some point) only helps our cause. This is a great place, with good food, ’nuff said. The closest comparison I can draw to my adventure in the Plant-Based world so far, is when you introduce someone to sushi, someone who’s got it in their head that eating raw fish is gross, bad, etc. Come to think of it, Julie introduced me to sushi – fourteen years ago! I’d dabbled on a trip to Japan but she set me up with a taste for it. Years later, I’ve introduced a lot of people to sushi, including my parents who until they actually came to Makoto Sushi and closed their eyes, held their breath and had their first albacore (with Mako’s garlic ponzu sauce) would never have considered chowing down on raw fish. They’ve been back to Mako’s three times since and have sampled sushi in other parts of the world. See? This is how it works. Get past the activism and try the food. Your tastebuds are going to tell you everything you need to know.

So, I would suggest to anyone who’s interested in trying something new, new flavors, tastes, etc, check out Madeline Bistro. Have a Bigger Macque. And then tune into Going Veg with the Plant-Based Dietitian as we bring more examples of good eats and tons of info to the program. And just take a look at the picture below… doesn’t that look tasty? I’m lovin’ it!

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And in non-Vegan related news…

Posted in people, things you should know on November 17, 2009 by wfon

Yes, there is a world outside of leafy greens and nuts…

Last night, one of the funniest guys in the world had one of the brightest, young Disney stars on his new late night show. That’s right: George Lopez had a sit-down with Demi Lovato! Viva la Raza!!!

check it out:

What I’ve learned on my Vegan Vacation: Part 1

Posted in people, places, things you should know on November 16, 2009 by wfon

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meeting T. Colin Campbell, author "The China Study"

Hollywood is almost always all talk. People talk while ‘doing lunch’, people take ‘meetings’ to talk… people in Hollywood really just like to talk. After awhile you get used to the fact that 99.9 percent of the ‘talks’ you’re having will produce absolutely nothing… but more talk. So, when my nearly-life-long friend Julieanna Hever (a.k.a The Plant-Based Dietitian) called with an idea to combine our talents and produce a television program as a guidebook for those interested in going vegan (Plant-Based), at first I thought, “well, that sounds interesting, sure, a year or so from now we’ll still be thinking about it…” Okay – Julieanna is not Hollywood. She is not about ‘talk’… although she loves to talk. I say this because within a month of that first call, we were climbing aboard a Continental flight to Newark to begin conducting interviews with prominent vegans, Dr. Joel Fuhrman in New Jersey and T. Colin Campbell in Ithaca, New York. For Julieanna the experience was akin to me getting to sit and chat with George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, or so she tells me. Our guest subjects were incredibly warm and welcoming and their associates, families and friends certainly made us feel at home right away. Again, this is Julieanna’s territory, I’m either a pilgrim in a foreign land or an infidel. I went so far as to dub myself “Broccolini” so I could blend in with the vegans a little better. Here’s the scoop: I’m not vegan. I’m not even vegetarian. But I also don’t chew on cows regularly. So it begs to be asked: what have I learned on my Vegan Vacation so far?

A few interesting facts: 80% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Protein is plentiful in vegetables, you don’t have to eat animal products to get it, and in fact the protein you get from vegetables is better for you. The ‘statistics’ you get from the FDA and other groups, especially when it comes to Daily Values is corruptible and influenced by lobbyists like the Dairy and Beef industries (imagine that, something else that is manufactured by big business.) I also learned that if meat wasn’t subsidized by the government, beef would cost $90/pound. Roadkill and euthanized animals are re-processed into feed for cattle. Yum. When it comes to food, there really is no room for a Free Market. I still don’t like Tofu.

As a filmmaker, this project is intriguing. I’m used to working from a script. Here we’re making the script up as we go. We’re off to a good start: Google names like Dr. Joel Fuhrman, T. Colin Campbell, John McDougall, Mike Anderson and you’ll find that we’re sitting down with the biggest names in the vegan world. The time is right for this collaboration. And it’s a project with its heart in the right place, my producing partner is on a mission to save the world… I’m on board to document her efforts. I will continue to let you all know what we learn.

In the meantime you can follow our progress and adventures at www.goingveg.net. You can also keep up with Julieanna HERE. More to come!

New Video from the Naperville Independent Film Festival

Posted in people, places, things you should know on November 2, 2009 by wfon

A little memento of the trip to Naperville in September. Thanks again to Edmond, Glessna, Daniel, Gary, Ed and, of course, Pat Trapp!