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General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

Plant Strong (not necessarily vegetarian) Fuhrman McDougall Pollan Ornish Bittman etc

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Old 12-08-2011, 10:29 AM   #61
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Kale and collard greens are delicious when you stir fry them! I don't eat them raw because I find them to be tough or too bitter sometimes. Stir frying them -- a little bit of olive oil, minced garlic, some salt and the leaves finely cut, and violá, you have a delicious side dish (or main dish, depending on how much you've made).

I find most greens (aside from the salad greens) to be really good when you just lightly stir fry them, and that doesn't reduce their nutrient value like boiling them would do.

(In terms of a plant-based diet, I am always in the middle. I know that's the healthiest way to be, but I don't feel as well if I don't have protein in it. So, I waffle. Days when I don't eat any animal protein at all, days when I do. Now that my CSA box is coming in, my vegetable heavy days are back!)
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:38 PM   #62
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Good on the lettuce, Indi. We take so much for granted here. I remember years ago when at times there was only soggy looking iceberg lettuce in stores. Now in most places in the US we have incredible choice.

I've used the bok choi in salads. Lettuce base, usually romaine, bok choy sliced thin as a green. And lots of other things in it too.

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(In terms of a plant-based diet, I am always in the middle. I know that's the healthiest way to be, but I don't feel as well if I don't have protein in it. So, I waffle. Days when I don't eat any animal protein at all, days when I do.
Same here. I also truly believe plant-based is healthier, but I simply find many of the foods flavorless and inedible (certainly not all) without the option of adding a bit of animal protein here and there. I wish I weren't so picky, but if my food doesn't taste great, I don't want to eat it. There are many meals I eat that are 'pure', but most days I do have to add some 'savory' flavorings to at least one meal, and fake stuff just doesn't work for me.

Maybe in time this will change, but for now, this is the best I can do and stick with it over time. I do love eating so many more fruits and veggies and beans. And I don't miss most dairy one bit, or eggs. And I never did eat much processed stuff. I also can get by with much less meat and occasional fish. I miss fats however, but will survive that.

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #63
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Rana I'm with you on the protein. rdw1 had some good points about it a few posts back. I still don't know where I stand. I presently lift and am about to start NROLW. We'll see how things go. If I don't feel I'm getting adequate protein I'll bump it.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:48 AM   #64
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I've decided to add a small amount of dairy back into my diet for a little while and see how I do. I'm also considering eggs. We have a local farmer that offers free range eggs from the most beautiful chickens. Silkies are small and very furry, and are so friendly you could cuddle them

I worked on a new menu for this week to try recipes that I've never tried before. I want to shake things up, make it interesting, and I'll be more likely to stick to the plan Jansan, I agree with you on food tasting good. I have to want it. Some people are lucky enough to view food simply as fuel and do better with bland or monotonous meals. I've never been able to do that. For me, food is an experience. It can still be very healthy and be just as or more enjoyable, but it does have to be good. I enjoy the process of cooking and love the challenge of seeing just how nutrient dense a meal can be. Not calorie dense but nutrient dense.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:32 PM   #65
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Hi ladies. So far, I've done pretty well. Last night I made 4 batches of fudge and had a small sampling. That really the first slip up I've had and I made a total of 4 batches earlier this week and didn't taste test!

I miss salt! I'm so used to adding it to bring out the natural flavors. I'm struggling with how to season food without salt.

I did my shopping earlier and bought some beautiful produce. Think I'm going to roast some asparagus tomorrow.

All in all, I feel really good, but I don't know that I can keep it up. I like meat, dairy & eggs. I think this has just made me more aware to be more plant focused. I think after the holidays, I will do one strictly plant meal and incorporate the meat into another and continue calorie counting.

Suzanne, I love fresh eggs. They have a completely different taste than store bought.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:45 PM   #66
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Oh I keep forgetting to mention something. Vegan Before 6 (VB6) is an idea from Mark Bittman, the ultimate foodie and author of many best selling cookbooks. He's a meat eater but he researched vegetarianism for his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and also Food Matters: Conscious Eating, and the Food Matters Cookbook (less-meatarian). He still eats meat. But he decided his first two meals and any snacks before dinner would be vegan only. Dinner could include dairy, meat, whatever. By switching to VB6, his health improved and he lost weight.

This may also be an option to consider for anyone wishing to go plant strong yet still consume some animal products.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:56 PM   #67
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Oh Jen, if I made fudge I'd have to have a spotter nearby to catch me before I fell into it! This time of year can be dangerous

Jen, I think you are doing fine by continuing to eat meat and paying more attention to how many veggies you eat. That's probably a better definition of plant strong for many people. It's amazing how few vegetables most people eat these days if it's not a goal. I remember those days For me, moving towards a plant based diet was a gradual progression. You may find that one plant based meal may turn into two plant based meals.


Seasoning: I put this stuff in everything and rarely salt anything (other than potatoes). Cape Herb Fruits Alfresco
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:33 PM   #68
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I try to eat my 5 servings for that same reason, Suzanne (that we don't eat enough if we don't keep track of it).

I'm happy my CSA box is back, because it means I have to be creative with what I'm eating. My box this year comes with local cheese and local organic eggs too.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:05 AM   #69
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A lot of these vegan diets were influenced by The China Study. Basically, it was a long-term study that found that people that ate significantly less meat and dairy lived longer healthier lives with less heart disease and cancer. The level of animal products that were consumed by the generally poor peasants in the study was about 10% of their diet, and they prospered health-wise when compared to our western diet.

Present day diet doctor gurus have extrapolated that if the people studied did that well on 10%, that 0% animal products might be even better. And some like Ornish/Pritikin found it to be relatively true for people with significant health considerations. Some have taken it even further. Or at least that is my understanding of it. This also often ties in well with people who do not eat meat for philosophical reasons. Vegan eating is also a place for some individuals with eating disorders to blend in well - the list of what can't be consumed is very long.

Others are coming to believe that there is possibly another unofficial condition/eating disorder - orthorexia - which is beginning to surface in people who are overly concerned about 'healthy eating' to the point of excluding more and more from their diets because it has been processed or is 'unnatural', or animal based, or not raw, or not organic, or tainted in some way. In my reading here and there about these 'plant-strong' diets, I have come to believe that is true.

That does not mean I think these diets are not good for one, because I do. And why I am eating this way myself. I like what eating far more fruits and vegetables is doing for me. The list of benefits I see in myself is getting longer almost every week. But... as I said above, and others have said, if the food doesnt taste good, I simply will not stick with it. And 'tasting good' to me includes some animal products including meat, cheese, fish, and even eggs if I want. Far, far less than before, but still some.

As to servings of vegetables, I am striving to eat as many as I can every day. More than the recommended 5. I want the veggies/greens to be my primary consideration, as well as legumes (beans). The rest is just flavoring to make the veggies very appealing in various gruel-type dishes (soups, 'stews', etc).

I also eat more oil than most advise. I want to eat more, larger salads, so in addition to avocado, I use a measured amount of extra virgin olive oil (1T) in a large salad. In the past I used to just pour from the bottle, and it must have been at least 3T/salad.

I am going for Dr Furhman's pound of raw, and pound of cooked, and since I am a volume eater, I usually hit the mark. I also am going for the onions, mushrooms, and beans he suggests. I also want to eat more fruits, but often simply forget to eat them.

My eating style is still evolving, but I do like the direction it's going, though it's not where I want it yet. Right now I'm just hoping to make it through the holidays relatively unscathed.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:24 PM   #70
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Jansan, I used to think vegan was extreme and it sounded so unhealthy to me. I thought anyone who followed a vegan diet must be nuts That was back when I ate chicken every day and cheese was also a daily requirement I rolled my eyes quite a bit. I gave up meat a few years ago due to ethical reasons, for the animals, the planet, and myself. To me, it seems like an unnecessary evil. It was very gradual and wasn't even a conscious choice. It just happened. But that's my personal choice. The only thing I miss is pork bbq. I'm a southerner, we eat a lot of bbq! I gave up smoking 25 years ago and every now and then I still crave a cigarette, but I'm not going to go back to that either

Something to keep in mind about orthorexia is that it's a rare, severe, and self destructive obsession with healthy food and it can be applied to any type of diet, not just plant foods, including high protein low carb diets. What a person considers to be healthy food can vary quite a bit, as we've seen around our own community

I also eat more oil than I should. I'm also working on it Texture and flavor are important to me. I've never had vegetables roasted without oil that could compare to those roasted with oil. They become caramelized, slightly sweetened, and a little crunchy. I've found that roasting them on parchment paper helps me use less oil and I measure to keep track of it. But oil free?

Rana, you are so lucky to have a CSA this time of year! The only thing local around here this time of year would be goat cheese and eggs. All of my produce is "fresh from Peru"
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:32 PM   #71
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Quote:
Jansan, I used to think vegan was extreme and it sounded so unhealthy to me. I thought anyone who followed a vegan diet must be nuts That was back when I ate chicken every day and cheese was also a daily requirement I rolled my eyes quite a bit.
I will admit to still thinking vegan is extreme. But intellectually I know that way of eating can be very helpful to many people in terms of health. I know I have emotional resistence to it. Old thoughts die hard. But I continue to reduce the amount of animal products I consume with a free will. I haven't had a piece of meat or fish on a plate since Thanksgiving. Small bits in soups, yes. It's a process. I do not have 'vegan' as my personal goal, but rather better long-term health.

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Something to keep in mind about orthorexia is that it's a rare, severe, and self destructive obsession with healthy food and it can be applied to any type of diet, not just plant foods, including high protein low carb diets. What a person considers to be healthy food can vary quite a bit, as we've seen around our own community
I'd never heard of it before the other day, but then I've been out of the disordered eating loop. And to be sure in the general population it would be rare.

But from what I've seen in various forums/sites/blogs as I've been doing active reading, I am not so sure it's rare in 'health-based' settings. There may not be many extreme cases perhaps, but for every extreme easy to diagnose case, like anorexia, there are far more that are not so extreme that they are on death's door. And of course any diet/way of eating will have it's extremists. Just another form of toxic perfectionism.

Re veggies - I also prefer them roasted. Oh my. But that oil I have given up so I can keep it on my salads. I now just steam my veggies in the microwave and that's OK. But I don't rule oil out for a special eating occasion.

I've done pretty well the past few days. I've needed to concentrate more on what I'm doing. My plan for this week is to eat more salads, as in 2 per day. Not necessarily as the entire meal, but just to eat more raw greens. Gotta hit the market tomorrow. Also over time I'm going to continue trying to further reduce the amount of oil I put on salads, maybe going from 1T to 2 tsps for a large salad. I don't want to go to zero however since some oil with greens increases absorption of nutrients ten times.

Hope everyone has a good week to come.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:59 PM   #72
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I'm getting in a bit of a rut with my veggies. I would love ideas for different ways to prepare some of my staples!

Here is what I currently eat throughout the week:
Salad, with diced tomato, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and balsamic
Beets, roasted and tossed with mustard, salt and pepper
Cauliflower, roasted with rosemary
Cauliflower, pureed
Broccoli, steamed with lemon pepper seasoning
Spinach, steamed with lemon pepper seasoning
Leeks, pureed into soup

Just typing this all out is helping a bit. Maybe I'll make a carrot-ginger soup this week. Any other thoughts?

Suzanne I also like a little bit of oil when roasting veggies. Although I did discover that when I make sweet potato fries they actually cook better without the oil. I simply slice them into thin sticks (bigger than matchstick size, smaller than wedges) and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on them then bake at 375 for 30 or so minutes, turning occasionally. They turn out wonderful. I realize they are not the same as roasting a good head of cauliflower or broccoli or asparagus, but at least it's an option to keep in the veggie rotation

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:08 PM   #73
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Hi! I'm doing the Engine 2 Diet (Rip Esselstyn's) and it's SO easy! I'm amazed! I have the book, but I printed out menus and shopping lists from the website and it's been incredibly easy to follow. Weight is falling off...falling.

I don't feel deprived or restricted...there is a WHOLE WORLD of delicious food out there that won't make you sick! who knew?? I'm happy I gave it a chance...my whole family is doing it.

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #74
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Suzanne, YES, I know I'm lucky! But I spend May through October waiting for the CSA box to return!

Indiblue, I put my vegetables in everything. For example, last night I made chili (and you can make it a vegetarian chili), I added extra vegetables in there, including rainbow chard that I got in my box. It actually gave it a nice flavor, not too strong. I like making soups and stews that just have everything in them, because it all blends together nicely. I would be careful with too much onion or other strong flavored vegetables like those.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:53 AM   #75
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Quote:
I'm getting in a bit of a rut with my veggies. I would love ideas for different ways to prepare some of my staples!
I like to prepare a batch of very mixed veggies and use that in all sorts of things. Similar to roasted, but nuked instead. Carrots, bean sprouts, greens (spinach, collards, chard etc), parsley, broccoli, squash, peppers, peas, mushrooms, onions etc. Whatever I think will blend in well. These are chopped in 1/2 to 1 inch size before cooking. I use these in all sorts of meals. My breakfast is a small amount of brown rice with lots of these cooked veggies on top. Use whatever flavoring you prefer. When I first started I used to cook a fresh egg into this and cook. Or even cooked sausage in the very beginning. I now prefer a bit of cheese.

Rana, it sounds as if you get a really nice box of veggies. Don't they sell them in the summer? Our local boxes are very expensive, and we keep a good garden most of the year, so we can't justify it.

After not paying much attention to what was current in the 'food world' the past several years, but having been brought back in via Fuhrman and a quest for better health, I went to YouTube last night and watched a few videos by Bittman and Pollan. Interesting perspectives. I think that sort of eating is more where my current proclivities lie and I've always tended to eat more 'real' food than processed anyway. So the goal is far more whole plant material than ever before, and far less animal products and fats. That feels right and does not make me feel as if I'm 'not doing it right' or something. As a very old relative used to say - moderation in everything.

I also try to include Fuhrman's GOMBBS (Greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries and seeds) suggestion as a strong disease/cancer preventor. His suggestion is eat as many greens as possible, 1/2 onion and one small cooked mushroom every day. Lots of beans (lentils, peas, beans etc) and a table spoon or two of seeds every day for the oil and nutrients. I do all except for the seeds.
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