The owners and operators of the Taste of Eden Café, Michael and Sonya Tardif, have been serving and promoting a vegan lifestyle for many years. Their goal is to help make people feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. The menu is all plant-based foods with no animal products or stimulants.

“For 10 days we’ll prepare all the meals,” said Michael about the 10-day plan. “Participants eat their supper here and we give them their breakfast and lunch to take home.”

“Our spinach lasagna is definitely a favorite,” said Sonya. “Our harvest nut roast, which is a vegetarian meatless meatloaf is also a favorite.” Gluten-free foods are also on the menu.

During the 10-day period, participants are asked to abstain from any other types of food and all stimulants. Meals should be spaced five hours apart with nothing other than water between the meals.

The 10 days to wellness plan is based on the book of Daniel, Chapter One. Support, recipes, education, healthy lifestyle choices and spiritual guidance are offered throughout the plan.

“Consider it a new start,” said Michael. “Nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest and trust in divine intervention. This will help make people feel a lot better.”

According to Dr. Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE, director of nutrition at the California Health and Longevity Institute, “There is sound medical evidence that a plant-based diet contributes to longevity and good health. A balanced, varied plant-based diet is protective: it’s high in fiber, provides adequate protein, high in antioxidants, high in vitamins and minerals, low in saturated fats and lower caloric concentration.”

The Tardifs have been offering this program for two years and have had about 70 participants during that time.

Michael said, “People with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, chronic fatigue, weight issues and a large range of other health concerns have experienced great improvement on the plan.

“We had one gentleman,” said Michael, “who, at the beginning of the 10-day plan was suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and was overweight. He did so well, stayed with the lifestyle and now he is very fit and healthy.”

Sonya recalled a 70-year-old woman with high triglycerides at the start of the plan. “At the end of the 10 days her triglycerides had dropped from 500 to 100.”

It is recommended that people have their blood tested before starting the 10-days to wellness plan and again after completion to compare the results.

Webmd.com states that more research needs to be done on plant-based diets, but early studies suggest it may have a number of benefits. The website states that, “If your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and meat substitutes such as soy you may be less likely to have certain risks for heart disease and other heart problem such as high blood levels of total cholesterol, high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), high levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity and diabetes.”

Taste of Eden hosts the 10-days to wellness plan at the beginning of each month except during the winter when it may be more sporadic. Pre-registration a week or so prior is required. The plan is free but donations are accepted.

“Our goal is to someday have a 10-day residential retreat,” said Sonya.

“If everyone had a vegan, animal-free plant-based lifestyle,” added Michael, “it would save the health care system!”

For more information about the 10-day plan, visit Taste of Eden Café at 238 Main St. in Norway, call 207-739-6090 or visit www.tasteofedencafe.com.


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