Some of us remember a time, a few years back, when Bill Clinton was not the best role model. In fact, wives around the world were probably holding his behavior up to their husbands as an example of how NOT to behave.
Well, that time is passed, and Slick Willy is now a global problem solver, peacemaker, and father of a new bride. His daughter Chelsea’s marriage is credited as the impetus for his latest change. Yes, the age-old desire to see one’s grandkids has motivated the former President to go vegan.
This is no fad diet that Clinton has adopted. After his much publicized heart troubles, he made the small, comfortable changes that post-heart attack Americans do. Less red meat, a few more chicken breasts. But it didn’t take long for his stents to clog, requiring another medical intervention. Clinton faced some hard choices.
“After I had this stent put in, the truth is that it clogged up. The cholesterol was still building up,” He said in a CNN interview. “I had read that 82% of people who went on a plant based diet have begun to heal themselves, and their arterial blockages cleared up. We now have 25 years of evidence”
Clinton was inspired by the work of Caldwell Esselstein and Dean Ornish, as well as The China Study.
He now lives on a diet of beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables. He starts every day with an almond milk, fruit and protein powder shake. He has lost 24 pounds.
I’m sure that Mr Clinton has lots of resources for finding great ways to eat vegan, not the least of which is the means to hire a private chef. Some talented person could make sure that the president has a varied and exciting diet to keep him both healthy and interested.
Let me say, if Mr Clinton is reading this, I would love to show him just how delicious a healthy, artery-healing lifestyle can be. Even with the strict Ornish-style plan he is probably following, which is pretty low-fat as well as vegan, he can have some crazy good meals.
So Bill, if you are out there, don’t get in a rut. That almond milk smoothie may seem like the greatest thing, right now, but you need to shake it up. You used to love yourself some junk food, so we know you like to eat. The best healthy diet has to be tasty and varied, or you might find that even thinking about the Grandkids will not keep you from pulling that motorcade over for a double cheeseburger.
I wish Mr Clinton all the luck in the world, and I truly hope that he will influence a few more people to cut out some animal foods. That is a great example to set.
Tempeh and Wilted Frisee Salad with Rosemary and Capers
Tempeh is a chewier, more nutritious soy food than tofu, and I find that many meat lovers enjoy the texture. Sauteing the tempeh in heart-healthy olive oil gives it some moistness and crispy edges, and then it all gets a zing of piquancy from vinegar, capers, and slightly bitter Frisee. Serve a quinoa pilaf with lots of caramelized onions alongside for a high-protein meal.
4 ounces tempeh, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 large shallots,thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
5 ounces frisee lettuce, 4 cups
2 large roma tomato,sliced in spears
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
Prepare a pot with a steamer for the tempeh, a folding steamer is fine. Put the tempeh and rosemary into the steamer. Bring to a boil and cover, steam for five minutes. Take out to cool.
In a large pot, mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. Place over medium high heat, and add the tempeh. Stir constantly and stir fry until the tempeh is browned. Toss in the
frisee, tomato and capers. Take off the heat and turn the endive in the pan until the endive is slightly wilted. Serve immediately.