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Hi

I may not be a typical poster but I could use some help. I am about to embark on a strict plant-based diet, set out in Dr Caldwell Esselstyn's "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease". I am 53 years old and have a six year old daughter whom I want to see through to adulthood. My chances of making it are poor with the way I live and I am ready to change. But I really have almost no idea how to start eating a diet free of meat, dairy and oils. I have very little training in either cooking or shopping (beyond microwaving the processed foods that I have to give up). The Esselstyn book is full of recipes that appear straightforward enough but that I really don't think I can buy the ingredients for, and cook, without help. And I think this can only work if I assume responsibility for what goes into my body and not depend on chefs, friends or my wife.

So... here is what I have in mind, though I am open to discussion. I live between Greece and Toronto. When I am in Toronto my coach and I would look at two or three Esselstyn recipes and discuss them. I hope to start fairly simply. Then we would meet at a grocery store-- ideally, close to my St Clair West neighbour but I'll go wherever necessary. We would figure out what ingredients to buy and what shops, health food stores, or supermarkets are likely to have them. Learning to shop is the first thing I need to master.

Then we'd go to my Toronto apartment and prepare the recipe. I would like to see what I need by way of utensils that I don't currently own. My vision involves preparing dishes that are large enough to feed me for three or four meals as I have relatively little time for cooking during my always busy stretches in Toronto. The whole thing would be about two to two and a half hours a session, I expect.

Along with advice on shopping and cooking I'd appreciate some advice on restaurants in Toronto that might serve (or adapt to) my very restrictive food choices.

I am not very particular on who does this with me. I have imagined a nutrition student, an apprentice chef, or a hard core vegan who knows his/her way around food. It can be anyone who will treat my project serioiusly (though not humorlessly) and will patiently fill the yawning gaps in my knowledge and skills.

I don't know how long it will take until I am ready to cut the cord but I have imagined about 40 hours of coaching over the winter and spring and I have thought $25/hr would be a fair remuneration. If that's unreasonable I guess the absence of responses will be my first clue.

Anyone want to join me as I plunge into these very unfamiliar waters? Let me know here and we can go offline by email or phone.

Thanks for reading.

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Hey there. Have you looked into the Toronto Vegetarian Association?

http://www.veg.ca/

They also have frequent meet ups locally. You may find additional help there. Good luck!
 

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Weird, the link works for me. Google "Toronto Vegetarian Association" & it should come up.
 
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