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-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Holiday Inn.tif Promise Hotels to build Holiday Inn Express prototype

    Tulsa-based company Promise Hotels broke ground recently on the nation’s first new Holiday Inn Express & Suites prototype. The new 46,000 square foot, 80-room hotel will be in Tahlequah near the intersection of South Muskogee Avenue and the highway loop.
    Construction will begin immediately with an anticipated completion date of February 2015. The $7.22 million hotel will feature a new contemporary look with an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, and larger meeting room.

    April 9, 2014 3 Photos


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge