Author Lenore Baum, M.A., has 45 years of experience in natural foods cooking and instruction. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the Kushi Institute. Baum has participated in countless seminars, workshops and cooking classes with respected natural foods experts including Aveline Kushi, Cornelia Aihara, Wendy Esko and Meredith McCarty.
Baum founded and managed a successful natural foods deli and vegetarian cooking school in Phoenix, Arizona for ten years. After moving to Farmington Hills, Michigan, she operated her cooking school there from 1991-2002. Baum and her husband, Joe, then traveled on book tour with her two cookbooks for over a year. They settled in Weaverville, just outside of Asheville, North Carolina where they built a solar mountain retreat and cooking school.
They established four-season vegetable gardens and fruit orchards which provide ingredients for the classes and most of their annual food needs.
- excerpted from Lenore's Natural Cuisine, Your Essential Guide to Wholesome, Vegetarian Cooking
My interest in healthful cooking, I must admit, was not for health reasons. When I moved to Boston in 1972, I lived down the street from a small health food store on Commonwealth Avenue. This store was owned by two cute guys who played guitar. I spent a lot of time there under the guise of learning to become vegetarian. Eventually, their good habits wore off on me.
For more than twelve years, I righteously followed a 1970's vegetarian-style diet. Lots of juicing, homemade whole wheat bread, cheddar cheese, baked potatoes, nuts, sweet treats and huge salads loaded with alfalfa sprouts and spirulina. I broadened this lifestyle by owning and managing a vegetarian deli. Nevertheless, I developed many health problems: extreme hypoglycemia, systemic candida yeast infection, arthritis in my toes, fingers, knees and elbows, endometriosis and mood swings.
Simple activities like walking my dog or stirring soup became impossible. Pain and fatigue forced me to lie down for several hours every afternoon. Between meals, I would begin to shake and feel faint. Moreover, I snacked and could not lose unwanted pounds. Extreme mood swings caused me to seek counseling. The candida made my abdomen swell at least two inches by the end of the day. Gynecologists recommended a hysterectomy to relieve the pain from endometriosis. I did not know what to do.
Then, I had the good fortune to meet Marcia Halpern, a macrobiotic counselor, at a lecture. She understood the relationship between food and dis-ease. What I learned from her made all the difference:
Cheese and yogurt are not healthy protein substitutes