Tahlequah Daily Press


August 16, 2012

Restaurant owners tout the joys of vegetarianism

TAHLEQUAH — Eating more vegetables and less meat, taking advantage of seasonal foods and maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle are popular trends for Americans seeking healthier diets.

Incorporating vegetables in a variety of ways was the focus of a mini-seminar on “Demystifying Vegetarianism,” presented by Lisa and Sam Bracken, at the Tahlequah Public Library Tuesday evening. The Brackens are owners of the Canebrake in Wagoner.

According to Sam Bracken, only over the past 150 years or so has meat supplanted vegetables in the U.S. Meat is more accessible, which is why it dominates the American diet.

“Today, you have more availability for the quick intake of meat,” said Sam. “No matter what size city you live in, you pass more eating establishments that serve meat than those that serve vegetables. The trend is now for producing food to support your caloric intake with what you can produce and grow.”

This could eventually bring humans back to the habits of their early history, when they ate small amounts of meat, with the rest of a meal consisting of vegetables.

Sam said access to a vegetarian lifestyle is not as difficult as it has been in the past.

“Supermarkets and the increase of farmers’ markets are making it easier to find produce,” he said.

Lisa and Sam prepare vegetarian meals, although Sam will eat seafood and fish when they dine at a restaurant.

Lisa said she first became a vegetarian when she was in college and remained one after she and Sam got together.

“Back then, I consumed a limited food sources, eating mostly pasta and frozen vegetables,” she said.

Later, when they were living in Colorado and were planning a mountain-climbing trip in Mexico, Lisa discovered she was weak and anemic.

“The doctor told me I needed to get smart about what I ate,” she said.

Lisa returned to consuming meat in her meals and continued doing so until about five to six years ago, after they moved to Oklahoma, when she gave up meat again.

“I’ve been a smart, healthy and active vegetarian since 2003,” she said. “For me, vegetarianism is the best way to eat and support my yoga and spiritual part of life and my health. It makes me tick at an optimal physiological level.”

To stay healthy and nutritionally balanced, Lisa  takes a B-Complex vitamin every day, because B12 can only be found in meat.

Sam’s nutritional lifestyle did not reflect vegetarianism until a visit to a doctor who told him his cholesterol level was high, and he needed to take medication.

Lisa said Sam started eating the vegetarian way, and within 90 days, his cholesterol level lowered, without medication.

“It’s a long journey to get to a vegetarian lifestyle that you embrace,” said Sam. “It takes a fair amount of effort to get some sustenance. It’s all in moderation.”

According to Sam, eating is a cyclical pattern.

“When you eat a burger and fries, for example, you may not feel so well an hour or so later, but the pattern changes. The next day, it is easier to put that same amount of calories away,” he said.

Together, the couple researched foods and analyzed the “fake” meats and cheeses. Lisa said they did this to see what an “Okie,” like Sam, could and would eat.

“I find things that fit our food group needs,” she said. “We do a lot of beans and eat seasonal foods. Once a month or so, we consume fake meat.”

According to Lisa, many meat-eaters will accept soy-based and mushroom-based meat substitutes. She recommends telling the meat-eater what it is.

Sam suggests miso and tofu products that are meatless, because they have the “feel” of meat without actually eating it. “You have to ease your way into it,” he said.

Both said education is the best way to start a food lifestyle change.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
  • rf-Quilt-1.jpg UKB quilting class touts tribal tradition

    Recently, several women and one man gathered to learn or refresh their sewing skills. They created quilt pieces at the United Keetoowah Band Wellness Center, with instructors Cindy Hair and Ernestine Berry, director of the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways