What if veggies could communicate?
Chunks of my life have been spent as a vegetarian or a vegan, and I'm now an "ova-pescatarian" (look it up), so it shouldn't be surprising to learn I have a really intense relationship with vegetables. If talking to pot plants can help them grow, then communing with cauliflower should keep it fresher in the frig’s produce bin...right?
That’s how this whole crazy thing began. I started talking to my veggies, simply trying to assure their freshness. How was I to know that they would answer back?
No, I don’t get audible answers from the squash and tomatoes. Instead, they send ESP messages straight to my mind. This is a silent dialogue, but very powerful all the same.
It’s very similar to the mind-to-mind “transmissions” that take place between pet psychics and animals. The pet transmits its thoughts, and the pet psychic picks them up, as though with a special antenna, and can tell the pet parent what the cat wants or what is worrying the dog.
In my situation with veggies, it is they who are psychic, not I. However, I must have a certain amount of natural psychic power to pick up what they’re telling me, so I guess you could call me the Veggie Whisperer. Hey! That sounds pretty good....(M-m-m-m-m....I wonder if that title might get me an agent?)
Some of the things I’ve learned from veggies have been surprising. No, they actually don’t mind becoming part of a soup or stir-fry. In fact, the veggies I’ve chosen to bring into my home are willing to make the supreme sacrifice in order to sate my appetite and keep my cholesterol level normal. (They're hoping for more weight loss, too. I'll try not to disappoint them.) Sometimes I pick up ESP chants emanating from the potato bin and floating through the kitchen.
“No animal fat! No animal fat! A ban on animal fat! Up with lettuce and tomatoes!”
The chanting is quite catchy, and it's very heartening to know my veggies support a diet based on treasures from the garden.
I’ve also discovered through channeling zucchini that some veggies don’t get along with each other. Handling that situation is akin to planning the seating at a dinner party. You don’t want to mix zucchini with artichokes if you know in advance they won’t blend well. The end result of that combination would be heartburn (for me, that is). If there's one thing I learned from the late (great) Nora Ephron, it's the danger of Heartburn.
Although I’ve mentally digested so much through ESP communication with my psychic veggies, and it’s a truly amazing experience, I’ve been reluctant to share this news with the world. I can imagine being asked to go on a talk show carrying a basket of spinach, eggplant and onions. I’ve actually visualized what would happen. The host's eyes would widen as I listen to the veggies, and then those eyes would tear up when I talk to the studio audience about veggies' deep desire for the whole world's population to become vegetarian or vegan.
Can you imagine the thunderous audience applause when I announce that spinach and eggplants blame onions for the flatulence that follows when these veggies are layered together in a casserole, with olive oil drizzled over the top and the whole thing baked for 30 minutes? (This fact may cause some people to stop eating onions, but I won't be one of them.)
Still, this is critical information for people who are dating, attending a special event, running for political office or going on a talk show. No matter how much you like onions, it isn’t “onion breath” you need to worry about later!
This thing could be really BIG! Maybe I could get a weekly syndicated column reporting things my veggies and fruits tell me. There's a limit to what I can tell, however. Some communications are confided to me in confidence, and I've pledged not to betray their trust. No media contract is worth being a traitor to my produce!
I’d write a book about it, but so many different types of vegetables have gotten in on the act it would be difficult to pare (pun intended) them down and profile only a dozen specific edible plants. No publisher is likely to take a book containing anecdotes about every single veggie in the garden. The book would be too massive to pick up! Imagine an opus the size of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (which was rejected for its size before the author finally found a publisher), and you'll understand what I mean.
Anyway, I feel honor-bound to protect my veggie friends from the sharp scrutiny of the media. It's a professional ethic that comes with the territory of Veggie Whisperer.) Can you imagine me on a book tour lugging a refrigerated bag of assorted vegetables to demonstrate my veggie whisperer skills...channeling sweet potatoes and corn on the cob to a standing-room-only crowd? Not for me, and certainly too much excitement for my veggies. The stress alone (not to mention the travel) would likely make their flavor go bad...or cause premature wilting.
So...I’ve decided to keep this all to myself, except for sharing it with those of you reading these words. I'm confident you’ll keep my secret and protect my sources.
After all...we wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m weird. Would we?
Cruciferous veggies are sensitive to jokes about them causing gas!
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© 2011 Jaye Denman
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on August 30, 2014:
Thanks, Linda. I really feel better with a plant-based diet, and I've stayed away from meat so long that when I drive past a fast-food restaurant the smell of burgers frying makes me queasy.
My own daughter, who can't eat anything that contains gluten, feels better adhering to the Paleo eating plan, but she sticks with organic/grass-fed meats and eats lots of vegetables as well, avoiding processed foods. That dietary lifestyle works for her.
There are many ways to health, and that old saying, 'You are what you eat' is very true, especially in this era of food additives.
Thanks for the read. Hope all is well in your world. Jaye
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 30, 2014:
My younger daughter is a pescatarian, and my older daughter is a vegetarian. They suggest I give up meat, but I won't any time soon. I do think if vegetables could talk they would say..."You are a smart lady to eat as many vegetables as you do!" OK, not funny, but true. I'm a lover of most veggies :)
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on March 24, 2013:
Thanks, Peggy, for the read, votes, comment and sharing...I can see you appreciate a humorous take on veggies. Good luck getting your parsley to stay put!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2013:
I am definitely going to lend an ear to what my swiss chard is telling me about sharing its garden space with the rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives and other herbs. My parsley is starting to bolt! What do you make of that??? Funny hub! Up votes and sharing.
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 27, 2012:
Welcome, Au fait...I like your take on the "intelligence" of fruits and veggies as compared to that of prepared foods. Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you had fun with this hub. I did, too, while writing it.
C E Clark from North Texas on November 27, 2012:
Without a doubt, veggies and fruits are more intelligent than the other food groups which are pretty much all processed in some way -- which no doubt discombobulates their consciousness, with the result of lowering their IQ.
Fun hub! Voted up and will share!
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on November 12, 2012:
Pure humor, xstatic....I wrote this hub in response to one of Stan Fletcher's informal "contests" on HP for which he even suggested the topics. This was a natural for me since I love produce so much (if you don't count beets--the one vegetable I don't like). Glad you enjoyed it. Everyone should eat more veggies--organic, of course.
Thanks for reading it and commenting after Theresa sent it on the rounds again. It was lots of fun writing it.
Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on November 12, 2012:
Wonderfully imaginative hub about the vegetable communicative process! It is good to know that there is Vegetable Whisperer out there who can translate the inner thoughts of these beings. We can probably all be more "green" with this knowledge.
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on February 24, 2011:
Thanks, citychick, for stopping by and leaving your comments. Glad to find a kindred spirit of the vegan kind on HP....I enjoy broccoli greatly, but lean toward collard greens more than kale. It's a Deep South thing! Lately, Brussels sprouts, baby carrots and I have been communing frequently. My "special veggie faves" seem to go in cycles. I can hardly wait until the local farmers' markets are full of fresh, locally grown produce. Fortunately, spring comes early in my neck of the woods....Do visit again. JAYE
citychick from Ulster County, New York on February 23, 2011:
Jay, I couldn't stop laughing! I think I've found a kindred spirit on Hubpages; I, too, am vegan, and I tend to channel kale and broccoli, but I am a lover of all things vegetable. Thanks for your humour, and please keep it coming!
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 31, 2011:
Thanks, Truckstop Sally. Your comment made me remember that I once wrote a poem about the senses. Now, if I can only REMEMBER what I did with the paper copy....JAYE
Truckstop Sally on January 31, 2011:
Thanks for a fun hub. I can just imagine you and your veggies on Oprah! I talk to kiddos about using their senses when they write - hearing, tasting, seeing, feeling, smelling. Now I'll add that 6th sense - ESP.
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 31, 2011:
Maybe Prince Charles is a veggie psychic, too! Loved your comments! JAYE
attemptedhumour from Australia on January 31, 2011:
Hi Jaye i think you should lunch yourself onto the world stage, as the soup-reme vegan. If prince Charles can talk to his tomatoes then you can talk to your King Edwards. Cheers.
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 29, 2011:
SLIGOBAY...Your brevity serves you well. Thanks for your healthy comments. You have an open invitation to visit my hubs. JAYE
AUSTINSTAR...I enjoy spicing my veggies, too, and especially like to make a curried veg dish and veg chili, the latter one of three versions: mild, medium or blow-your-socks-off HOT!
Today for lunch I made vegan tacos because my great-grandson (6 years old) is visiting. He ate two of them, which is the way six-year-old boys show they like one's cooking. Whenever my non-vegan family members visit me, they are treated to vegan cuisine, and--so far--no one's refused to eat it. JAYE
Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 28, 2011:
My Jain friend from India is teaching me the vegetarian life. She uses tons of spices though, but that is a Texas Thang too, so I have learned to enjoy her offerings to the office pot lucks.
The little recipe you threw in on the sly sounds delicious and I will try it :-)
sligobay from east of the equator on January 27, 2011:
I've been accused of commentosis. Briefly, brilliant!And delicious, too. And, so natural and healthy!
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 27, 2011:
Nellieanna...I do so enjoy your comments. Yes, my late father-in-law "trod the boards" at Pasadena Playhouse, in Pasadena, California. He caught the eye of a Hollywood director, but the war intervened. After the war, he returned to Mississippi to care for his mother and diabetic sister because his father had died. (The Southern Gentleman that was instilled in his character outdid his very strong wish to stay in the theater.) For most of the rest of his life, he was active in community theater. I had the delightful honor of hearing him quote long passages from Shakespearean plays while he sat in my kitchen as I cooked. His voice was truly his instrument, even into his 80s. He was a wonderful person, much more gentle than he wanted people to know.
I understand why George had trouble grasping good nutrition rules, since I knew very little about proper nutrition myself until my mid-thirties. Even veggies were adulterated when cooked by the addition of bacon to nearly every dish!
Alas, my sedentary childhood did not morph into a very active adulthood, except I learned to love walking and that was my exercise of choice until a bad fall several years ago put paid to any distance walking. As you said, we learn to live with what IS, and that's what I'm doing, though I'm trying to stretch those parameters quite literally now.
I'm currently letting the hair color grow off my hair (have a hub about that). It looks as though I'm going to have white "wings" in front with salt-and-pepper gray over the rest of my head. When the last couple of inches of left-over artificial hair color are cut off, I will replace my current avatar with the "new me", or rather, the "real me." I decided that I'm old enough (67) to let the gray shine.
Like your mother, you are a good role model. You're a great ad for good habits and attitude. I'm trying to polish my positive mental attitude so that it's "on" more than "off." Thanks, Nellie. JAYE
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on January 27, 2011:
Jaye - I'm blown away by you father-in-law's talents! Was it Pasadena, Cal. or Texas? I'd guess California.
Yes, George was a special man. He had "presence", was good at many things, both creative and intellectual. He had that luxurious head of hair and never lost any of it. He never had a weight problem in his life, which was a mixed blessing, because he never felt impelled to learn about food groups, since he could eat whatever he wanted with none of the effects people used to judge it by. So when he developed the heart and artery problem, along with short-term memory loss from the heart attack which literally killed him briefly, it was almost impossible for him to hang on to new dietary rules. His memory was still in the earlier period. I'd been coaching him into more fresh stuff before the heart attack so he was used to some of it, but he just didn't grasp the principles of good nutrition. He came from an era when they were not much observed, anyway. He was 10 years my senior and his natal family was less nutrition-conscious than mine, I think.
My eldest step-granddaughter won't touch a vegetable. Once I heard her say she craved something "crunchy" and I felt a surge of hope till I found out she was thinking of Doritos, almost the nearest she gets to vegetative matter. She will drink orange juice and eat a strawberry occasionally - but - otherwise her diet is pathetic. And in her 30s, she is not terribly healthy, subject to constant headaches and frequent colds. I shudder to think . . .
I sometimes like the faux burgers, but became a bit weary of them. I only crave burgers very infrequently, anyway. Actually I was using the faux patties as a meat course with my cooked veggies for my main meal every so often. I'm a devotee of salmon, especially the fillets, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts for meat though. Occasionally I buy range-fed organic low-fat beef but my meals are very simple and a large % are vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I'm ripening some avocados right now and value their good flavor and health benefits. My parents, despite their generation, believed in nutrition. I've always been aware of good skin care, the value of exercise and some earlier conditions encouraged me to keep my weight down. (Severe varicose veins during my second pregnancy resulted in their having to be "stripped" - which was an excruciating procedure with enduring after-effects. I am happy that this Dark Ages procedure has been replaced by laser surgery and other methods for today's sufferers! But carrying the extra prenatal weight promoted them for me then so I have guarded against putting it on ever since.)
Also I didn't drive till I was 40 so my main form of independent locomotion was walking and I've always been a strong walker. Looking back, there are things I could have improved upon, for sure - but we deal with how it IS, not how it might have been! My mother was active and youthful up till her death, so I have a role model to follow. Thank you for the lovely complements. I think you look great, by the way! You are absolutely right - but age is a state of mind which can be set regardless of chronology! I'm rather proud of mine. I like being fully alive and an ad for good habits and attitude.
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 26, 2011:
Thanks, Stan. I enjoyed entering your contest and hope you will have more. Of course, I was drawn to the veggie title from the first. JAYE (aka The Vegetable Whisperer)
JStankevicz...Lots of people are going the part-time vegetarian route these days. All veggies two or three days a week. If you ever try one of the really good faux burgers, you'll find you can still enjoy a terrific sandwich with pickles/mustard/onion on the bun. I don't recommend anything fried, though.
I have a granddaughter who will only eat green beans and corn from the veggie group. I thought she'd outgrow that, but since she's now 26 it's doubtful.
I'm lucky that my grandmother had a garden and I learned to love nearly all vegetables as a child. They obviously love me too!
jstankevicz from Cave Creek on January 26, 2011:
Jaye, you've confirmed my suspicions. I’ve been hanging around with the wrong food groups! The burger bunch and their fried friends have been leading me astray. I’ve been a sugar stooge for too long. Picked that up as a child when the only vegetables I ever met were hard-boiled and nasty. Don’t think I can join the vegan wagon. But with your example I’m going to look for icebox insights, maybe channel the cruciferous…
Stan Fletcher from Nashville, TN on January 25, 2011:
I loved this! and from now on will call you The Vegetable Whisperer. And the last sentence was perfect. Thanks for playing along!
Jaye Denman (author) from Deep South, USA on January 25, 2011:
Nellieanna....Your comments are written as beautifully as your hubs! Thanks so much for the (undeserved) praise. Glad you enjoyed my little hub.
From what you tell me about your houseplants, your genetic green thumb must have triumphed. Although my mother and grandmother could make anything grow, my talents do not lie in that area. I do keep trying, though, because I love flowers and foliage.
You are a terrific advertisement for healthy eating and a positive life philosophy. You are lovely and, as your profile proclaims, you're ageless--birthdays notwithstanding. I'm embarrassed to say I'm a bit younger than you because I thought I was the elder from looking at your photos. It is difficult to believe your age, but I believe chronological age is simply a number--certainly not a state of mind.
When I watched the You-Tube video of your wonderful George quoting the prologue from the Canterbury Tales, I couldn't help but think he must have been quite fabulous at the height of his powers, as he was marvelous in the video. (My late father-in-law was a Shakespearean actor in his youth. He lived into his 90s and recalled almost until the end of his life great swathes of dialogue from all the plays in which he played various parts at the Pasadena Playhouse in the '30s. While he finally lost some of his ability to "play to the back of the house", in his late 80s, he could still project quite well until then, and his thespian abilities were not dampened. He loved to recite the poetry of Robert Service (pronounced "SArvice", as he would tell me)and did programs of poetry recitations upon request well into his late 80s (throwing in some of the delightful verse of Bennett Cerf).
I said all that (too wordily) to say this: I hope I'm a really late bloomer and will keep all my "marbles" intact so that I can be creative as long as possible.
See how much you've inspired me already, Nellieanna? So glad to make your acquaintance....JAYE
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on January 25, 2011:
Jaye - Wonderful hub! I've voted it up all across the praise choices!
I'm lately into pot plants, having been into cut flowers constantly on my coffee table for 6 or more years. But I decided to defy my khaki thumb and introduce live plants into my rooms. I began by repotting the old hardy ones which have survived my miscare these many years. They were so pleased that I was encouraged to bring home a lovely lustrous-leafed Spathiphyllum. After an adjustment period in which I almost killed the poor thing with kindness, I gathered my genetic green-thumb instincts & restored it to life and it now is my kitchen muse - named Claudia and talked to affectionately every time I go in there. I even acquired a sister for her, plus three other lovely green pets. I talk to them all, of course - but Claudia is my favorite, being such a courageous and gorgeous one.
My late husband was the real horticulturist and together we had a wonderful veggie garden - and I had my herb garden too. The gardens in the yard were sacrificed during his decline. But I'm a veggie lover and treasure every succulent variety. I'm not a vegan nor a vegetarian, but not too far from the latter. My first meal of the day is all fresh fruit - mounds of it. My evening meal begins with mounds of fresh veggies, then with fish or chicken, usually and a generous helping of a cooked veggie. I usually keep it pretty simple, so I haven't encountered bad vibes between veggies and garlic, onion and ginger root are ESSENTIAL!
During the middle of the day, it's usually whole grain cereal, whole grain crackers or toast, occasionally cheese or eggs. I seldom eat fried, fast or processed food. I've never had high cholesterol and all that unpleasantness & perhaps owe it to vegetable friends. Celebrating my 79th b'day in about a week & unapologetically claim a right to speak for healthy diet - and often do. I am happy to know you will welcome it! That may not always be so clear a case with all.
I can imagine your touting the discourse you share with your veggies on Oprah, though. She strikes me as an open-minded woman who is interested in health and longevity!
May I encourage you to reconsider writing that book. I must admit that towing refrigerated veggies on your book tour would pose obstacles, but none insurmountable. My guess is that you've had to work out ways to be sure of including them in your own diet on road trips. You could arrange to keep them in green breathable bags with plenty of paper towels or paper bags to preserve their own good health. These measures keep mine fresh & flavorful even on extended stays at the ranch where the nearest access to stores is 100 miles, so they must outlast most methods of keeping them.
Your secrets and those of your veggie friends I may have received via ESP myself are totally secure. Your and their privacy is safe with me!