I stopped for a late lunch at the Living Well Bistro on my way home from visiting family in Oregon this past weekend. This is a relatively new addition to the vegan restaurant listings for Portland, Oregon on Happy Cow. The man at the counter said that the Bistro opened up about 8-9 months ago. I’m ecstatic that I discovered it. It’s located just inside the Adventist Medical Center.
As a health care provider who is constantly frustrated with the nutrient-poor food served in “typical” hospitals and nursing homes, I still can’t contain my enthusiasm about dining in a 100% Plant-Based restaurant inside a hospital. Pinch me! This gives me hope for the future of health care.
I looked on the Adventist Health website and found that the hospital also has a Garden Cafe, which “…embraces the Adventist position of practicing a vegetarian lifestyle to support the holistic nature of humankind. All food or beverages consumed should honor and glorify God and preserve the health of the body, mind and spirit.”
You can poke around this website to learn more about the Adventist Health Studies (AHS) at Loma Linda University. AHS are “long-term studies exploring the links between lifestyle, diet, and disease among Seventh-day Adventists.”
I found out that, of the 96,000 AHS-2 study participants…
- 8% are vegan
- 28% are lacto-ovo vegetarian
- 10% are pesco-vegetarian
- 6% are semi-vegetarian (eating meat/fish less than once per week)
- 48% are non-vegetarian.
So how do those numbers compare to the U.S. general public?
According to the 2011 Harris Interactive survey (conducted on behalf of the Vegetarian Resource Group)…
- 5% are vegetarian
- Half of the vegetarians are vegan (2 1/2%)
That’s quite a difference. Those numbers are WAY too low! No wonder that the Adventist Health studies provide so much information on the benefits of plant-based eating.
Now…let’s enter the Living Well Bistro…
The Living Well Bistro Menu features breakfast items, appetizers, soups, salads, whole grain bread, flax crackers, tacos, live pasta, naan pizzas (with Daiya vegan cheese), rice/quinoa bowls, wraps, desserts, smoothies, and other beverages: A vegan’s dream come true!
On one side of the Bistro is a display of kitchen items for purchase…
I smiled W-I-D-E when I saw all the vegan cookbooks on display!
Dr. Neal Barnard is a doctor you can trust with your precious health…
“A whole wheat tortilla filled with our sunflower pate, cucumbers, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots and seasonal greens finished with a creamy dill dressing”
I grabbed a Banana Almond Smoothie for the road…
“Bananas, almond butter and dates blended in rice milk”
Just like the Terminator said…
“I’LL BE BACK.”