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June 18, 2013

Congregational Picnic and Food (Tuesday Morning Coffee)

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

morning coffee graphicThis coming weekend, Saint Matthew’s is hosting its annual Summer Kick Off Congregational Picnic with Outdoor Worship in the yard of the parsonage. Of course, our worship begins at 9:30am this coming Sunday. The picnic starts soon after our worship service. According to Accuweather, this Sunday looks perfect for both!

As we’ve done the past half-decade, Saint Matthew’s is picking up the cost for the picnic. That means the hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, cheese, condiments, pickles, will be on hand.

However, the “other” stuff — salads, chips, soda, and dessert — is up to you. If you are coming to church this coming Sunday and sticking around for the picnic, please consider bringing a salad, some potato or nacho chips or even another snack-type food, some dessert, and soda. If you would like to make an additional “main dish,” please feel free.

I am going to be making one of those “main dishes.” In The China Study Cookbook (my new favorite), there is a recipe for “Nutty Spaghetti with Vegetables.” I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit (I use penne pasta instead of spaghetti; I use various vegetables instead of just chopped broccoli and bell peppers; I will leave out the jalapeno peppers). The sauce is made of a combination of garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and peanut butter. That means anyone with a peanut allergy should stay away from my dish.

Yes, this dish is considered plant-based (no animals or additional oils will go into the making of it).

Throughout the week, I will keep you updated on the picnic.

Eating Healthier …

And a little more on food: One of the best benefits of following a low-fat, plant-based eating plan is the positives that it is doing for my health. For example, though I am still in the midst of post-cancer, steroid-induced weight gain, medical pros I run into are shocked — shocked! — that some of my other health numbers are so good. This past weekend, I had my cholesterol tested at a local event and the technician who conducted the test wanted to do it over after reading my numbers.

“This can’t be,” he said. “Something is up.”

After taking additional blood and running the tests, when the numbers confirmed the first round of readings, the tech was dumbfounded. He said I must have “good genes” to get my cholesterol down below 110.

“No, my genes relatively stink. I follow a low-fat, plant-based eating plan,” I explained.

A look of horror came over his face. Peppered with questions regarding my eating plan – do I get enough protein, how’s my iron level, “how can an Italian not eat cheese” – the tech was surprised when I easily answered every question on the basis of science and good nutrition. One of the important ways I have learned when explaining my eating plan is to be positive about it. Believe it or not, I can be annoying when it comes to talking about eating no animal products or oils. But talking about eating healthier by not making people feel uncomfortable goes a long way to convincing people that eating animals is not healthy.

In Church Today

This Tuesday, I am going to be spending plenty of time around the church. I have a lot of writing and planning to finish this fine Tuesday. Call me on my mobile if you need to get a hold of me.

What is This? Why Did I Post It?

google glass

The photo above is Google Glass. I will let you in on why I posted this soon.

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