Hi there! Firstly, in order to understand “my diet,” we should probably begin with the fact that it is actually not a diet at all, but a lifestyle for a gal who loathes rules and restrictions. Knowledge of my upbringing would also be helpful. My father is a doctor who specializes in nutrition and this is his website with enough nutritional science content on it to make any nutrition nerd-inclined more than a little bit giddy. If you click on that link, you will find a physician whose expertise is assisting motivated people to become their healthiest selves via the most accurate and up-to-date nutritional science we have access to, which happens to be nothing short of miraculous. Unlike most doctors who treat the symptoms of illnesses by prescribing medications, my father treats the causes of diseases and ill-health holistically via nutritional practices. While my father was not always as successful as he is now and I watched him grow my entire life and become successful after decades of hard work, I grew up privileged.
I was my mother’s companion on trips to health food stores and farmer’s markets and because I grew up close the the border of Pennsylvania, we went to Amish markets with organic fresh produce too. I was my dad’s companion at his lectures as a child where he would receive standing ovations (he is an exceptional public speaker). My childhood was rare, I grew up in a bubble of nutritional knowledge and was educated about nutrition in a way that few others had access to at such a formative age. I recognize how fortunate I was to experience this childhood and to watch my father cure his patients from everything from type 2 diabetes and obesity to even breast cancer and painful autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I did not grow up a vegan or even a vegetarian even though I ate animal products no more than a few times each week. My transition to my current 98-99ish% vegan diet, with the exception of rare farm-raised eggs or the cleanest fish (such as scallops ~ they are the absolute cleanest fish) about once every 4-5 months, if that, didn’t occur until my early 20s.
My diet is not 99% vegan strictly for health reasons, it is due to ethical reasons and what suits my beliefs too. The health of the planet and animal welfare have always been important to me. My diet is not all raw because all raw is not the healthiest diet and I LOVE cooked healthy foods like tomato sauce, sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts w/ garlic. Here is an article I wrote regarding the reality of all-raw diets. My diet is high-carb because fruits and vegetables are high-carb and I eat about 50-90% raw on any given day. This is what I enjoy the most, what works for me and helps me feel the most alive and well. I eat primarily veggies, fruit, beans, a bit of grains and oh yes, chocolate. I have about one cup of coffee in the morning. I eat more vegetables than fruit because our bodies were designed to flourish on vegetable-based diets. I love plenty of raw veggies, especially leafy greens, because they are the healthiest foods on the planet and they make me feel refreshed and satiated!
I don’t count calories and never have.
I care about the nutrient density of the foods I eat and the quality of the calories, rather than the amount of calories themselves! Fresh fruit and veggies are low in calories and high in water and fiber, so it’s easy to eat a lot, feel satiated and avoid consuming too many calories. This is one reason why nutrient-dense, plant-based diets are amazing! You can eat a ton, listen to your body’s hunger signals and maintain a healthy weight. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am content. I eat three meals a day with a piece of fruit and a cup of tea before I go to bed at night. This is just my style.
What do you usually eat in one day?
I eat a ton of leafy green vegetables! It’s impressive how many salads I go through. I eat at least one enormous salad a day, usually at lunch. In that salad tends to be grilled or steamed mushrooms (I have a love of mushrooms ~ although I love the taste, this is another reasons why I love them), lots of raw veggies, sometimes berries and mixed nuts and a homemade oil-free, nut-based salad dressing. If I am not at home, there is no guarantee I will have a salad or the dressing will be oil-free, but this is what I like to do when I can. Other days I will have a veggie burger, veggie pizza, Thai or Indian vegan food, fruit-filled pancakes or a tropical acai bowl on a super hot day. It depends on if I am traveling or working from home. Salad preparation takes about 15 minutes. If I am short on time, I might pick up a veggie-rich wrap at my local Whole Foods Market or head to the salad bar over there. Other days I will heat up some frozen veggie pizza or order some from my local pizza shop that offers thin whole-wheat crusted veggie pizza’s. In the fall and winter, I love heating up warm spicy veggie-rich soup I made over the weekend. My favorite type of ethnic cuisine is Italian, followed by Thai and Indian. I love spices! My aim every day is to ensure that I am getting in tons of veggies. That’s key.
I am flexible and what works for me might not work for everyone. The best diet is one that keeps you both physically and mentally healthy and happy. I am a high-carb 99% vegan because doing so supports my health and my ethical beliefs.
It’s essential to be kind to ourselves and to me, this means treating our bodies with love and kindness too. We are what we eat, but we really are what we absorb from the foods we eat. My theory is that I look younger than I actually am because I eat green vegetables with practically anything. Okay, maybe not everything. Green veggies on their own are pretty bitter, so I like to pair my kale, arugula, spinach, baby lettuce, etc., with delish whole-wheat, veggie-filled hummus wraps, in large salads with a tangy or sweet homemade dressing or in smaller salads paired with a spicy chili or hearty soup recipe. My eat lots of fruit every day and my favorite fruits are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples, fresh peaches, and mangoes, but my favorite fruits could change at any time! My “diet” is not low in fat; whole-food sources of healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vital to optimal health and I make it a goal to eat at least two ounces of nuts or seeds every day. While I am not gluten-free, I don’t make grains a large part of my diet. I say no to processed foods. Saying no to processed foods is easy when you can eat drool-worthy nutritious food! And don’t worry. It’s a lot easier to make delicious healthy food than it looks. My book and this website are here to help you.