Angry Objections and What Makes a Healthy Plant Based/Vegan Diet

by on October 6, 2016


 

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I thought I’d do an article about dealing with controversies you may experience and topics you may still be confused about when learning about a low fat plant based diet. So I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you an overview to give you an understanding of why I promote what I do and why.

I know I can’t please everyone of course, but I do try to help the majority of people the best I can. Sometimes though I receive nasty comments, emails or Facebook messages though from upset, irate or crusading individuals who focus on the one “supposedly important” belief they hold that I don’t agree with. I wonder if these people actually realize how they come across and that I am a real person like them, and I am only trying to educate, focus and help as many people as possible eat as best they can.

The internet is not always a kind place, let me tell you and sometimes it’s even worse when you have an online business and public persona to attack. I will admit that it’s hard for me to not care what other people think and it does hurt my feelings to receive nasty or rude comments via email or another social outlet for my business. This is the nature of the internet these days, and many people hide behind their computers and criticize others more harshly than they would these same people in person. There isn’t really a solution to this, but I will just ask that you consider that everyone behind a computer is a real person and think twice before becoming one of these angry online posters. Beliefs and lifestyles make people very emotional and it’s quite easy to get up in arms about a difference of opinion and try to convince someone that they are 100% wrong and you are 100% right.

I don’t pretend to argue that I am 100% right about everything, but I do my research and do stay well informed. I trust the doctors I stand behind such as Dr. McDougall, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Ornish and Dr. Campbell, and I do agree with almost everything they promote. The differences between our beliefs is pretty small, and it can be because of my own experience or my physical or financial circumstances in some small cases. But I still trust their judgement and like to share their conclusions and research with my readers. I don’t just promote anything willy nilly and it can be frustrating when people get mad at me when my reasoning is substantiated.

The most frequent criticisms I get are actually about things that almost all of the aforementioned doctors agree with or support though (apart from 1 or 2 items and i’ll explain why) so it is sometimes disappointing hearing this negativity when I am supporting good information. Generally this criticism comes from people who still eat meat, believe carbs are bad and fats are good, are either for or against raw foods, are food snobs/food police, believe in moderation in everything (including bad things) or don’t know what my website is about.

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Some of these contentious topics for my readers are:

  • Me eating and promoting a vegan or plant based diet (avoiding all forms of animal products)
  • Me eating and making 100% oil-free cuisine and using whole plant fats in small quantities only
  • Me not eating 100% organic or gmo free (i.e. eating  regular produce and corn or using corn starch occasionally)
  • Me using canned goods occasionally in recipes
  • Me using glutinous items such as wheat in recipes
  • Me recommending certain vegan supplements
  • Me making cooked food recipes (not 100% raw) and having raw recipes and labelling them for the blog

So I wanted to bring this into perspective. All topics might not apply to many of you, but I think it’s helpful to discuss why I stand behind some of these beliefs and hey you will probably learn a few things too!

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The Animal Food Controversy

Based on the amount of new traffic and subscribers I get, I believe that a big portion of my readers aren’t actually vegan or plant based at all. Some of them might be striving to be as plant based as they can and learn how to eat less meat and how to cook more veg and this is great. I’m not necessarily trying to force anyone to eat all vegan with my website, but I am trying to encourage them to not need to fall back on meat and dairy because of a lack of desire for plant foods. Some people feel the need to tell me that being vegan is dangerous or bad for health and I wonder why they feel the need to tell me this. There is more support now than there has ever been for a well balanced plant based diet. There is no reason to not be able to educate yourself on this issue with the amount of free information out there so please don’t fret that eating this way is dangerous or bad for your health. (Excluding serious allergies, which is a different matter and doesn’t apply to general public.)

My stance on animal foods: Eat as many plant based as you possibly can for YOUR HEALTH and the environment. Please don’t eat meat and animal products simply because you think you HAVE to or you’ll be deficient in something, or because you are afraid not eating like everyone else is too uncomfortable. Everyone has different dietary restrictions and philosophies these days. The chance that you are going to be the “only” weirdo eating different or plant based is smaller and smaller. If you are going to eat animal products – please please be choosy! Only eat them very occasionally, make sure they are high quality (not fast food) and pick something you enjoy. Don’t do it to make other people happy, fit in, or because you’re scared to not eat meat every meal or every day. You control your health, you control your choices. Please decide based on information, not out of fear. To eat or not eat animal products is 100% in your control.

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The Oil and Fat Issue

Despite what you may have heard olive oil, butter, lard, coconut oil, flax oil and any other oil IS NOT health food. Let me be clear on this. Whole foods are healthy, refined foods should not be labeled as healthy. The companies that own these refined products spend millions every year convincing you why you NEED to buy their refined so called “health” food. White sugar, white flour and any kind of oil are not health foods. They contain 100% simple sugar or 100% fat. So if you already know sugar isn’t a health food, you shouldn’t believe oil is a health food. It has no fibre, no water, no vitamins or minerals and there is no reason to be adding MORE oil to our diets when every single packaged food and restaurant item is cooked or drizzled in oil. How could you possibly be oil deficient in this world? It doesn’t happen. We have a problem with too much omega 6 in our diet which comes from animal foods and vegetable oils. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, it doesn’t have omega 3, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, it does not have much omega 3’s and a lot of omega 6’s. For the “healthy” omega 3’s (also known as polyunsaturated fats) we actually get all we need from whole fruits and vegetables (which do contain small amounts naturally), and it’s also found in higher quantities in chia, flax and English walnuts. Please see registered dietician and plant based enthusiast Jeff Novick’s video excerpt on youtube From Oil To Nuts (or you can get the whole Oil to Nuts lecture here) and his articles Myth of Moderation Part 1 to get more detailed information. If you have any confusion about which fats are actually good for you and the truth about olive oil and coconut oil please check out those resources.

My stance on fat: I’m not sure why some readers mistakenly believe I am somehow against fat in general. I am not against whole food fats, and I do not tell people they have to eat fat free, nor do I call myself a fat free chef. What I do though is only use whole forms of fat in small quantities and keep it to once a day only. For instance i’ll use a little nuts or nut butters in a salad, a little avocado or guacamole on a bean taco/burrito, or make a dressing with hemp seeds, tahini or chia seed. If I have fat in my dinner, I don’t have any extra fat in breakfast or lunch. Why? Because fat is the most concentrated form of calories next to white sugar and white flour, and oil is the highest calorie food by volume in the world. So a little actually equals a lot, and a sufficient amount. Also it helps to keep my fat intake low at home as sometimes eating out the restaurant food will be higher in fat anyways. We need to reduce the amount of meat, dairy, butter, margarine and oil we have in our diets. Use whole fat IN a recipe, and don’t cook in oil (a refined fat).

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Organic and GMO

I’ve noticed many people in Europe and California (where they can get lots of organic and non gmo foods) are very critical of others not eating 100% organic. Did you know that Dr. McDougall also lives in California and doesn’t insist that all of the food his clients and event attendees eat be 100% organic? Of course he and all of his colleagues are aware of organic and GMO’s, (they are doctors, researchers and scientists you know) and they promote whole foods plant based instead. Why? Because whole plant foods actually contain very little fat (fat cells store toxins) and pesticides aren’t found in as high amounts compared to conventional animal products. Even eating conventional and GMO plant based foods isn’t a big concern to the plant based doctors, as they haven’t seen any evidence of people getting sick eating this way. Some people are more sensitive to pesticides than others, but this is not the majority of people and not the most important issue for the general public.

My stance on organic and GMO: Like I said in my recent article, I don’t eat 100% organic. I can’t afford to for #1, and #2 where I live in Canada there isn’t the ability to get everything fresh and organic. Food is shipped in from the USA or other countries for the majority of the year. I personally have never had a problem eating conventional foods. I still wash and peel most things, but actually since becoming plant based I never get colds or illnesses anymore. I think cutting out meat, dairy and oil are the most important things to worry about. Eating lots of organic meat, butter, cheese and oil every day is not healthy just because it’s organic! Please put this in perspective. Eat as best you can afford. We don’t all have the luxury to spend thousands on food every month. I already spend almost $1000 a month on conventional food as it is for my recipes and testing! Do the best you can. 

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Canned Goods

Occasionally I used canned goods in my recipes, sometimes for my convenience sometimes to make recipes more accessible to others short on time. Some readers are very concerned about using canned goods and refrain from eating any at any cost and criticize me for being lazy or using “dead food” to make recipes with.

My stance on using canned goods in cooking

I certainly don’t turn to canned foods for the basis of every meal as I prefer to use fresh vegetables and beans when I can. I don’t like the taste of canned foods over fresh ones by any means, but I do use canned tomatoes as my most commonly used canned item. Next would be canned beans when I’ve run out of fresh cooked beans. Now I know all about BPA in canned goods and I am not recommending that anyone choose canned goods that contain a plastic BPA containing lining. (These linings are generally white). So I like to use items without BPA such as Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes – my favorite for canned tomatoes and Eden Organic Beans – as they are oil and sodium free. But you can also find canned goods that are conventional without a BPA lining. Look for ones that say BPA free, or when you open them have a metal inner lining instead of white plastic. I don’t have a lot of awesome tomatoes year round being in Canada so I use canned tomatoes more often, but I look for ones that are BPA free and low or lower in sodium and that works for me. None of the plant based doctors are concerned about canned goods damaging your health, so this is up to you whether to include them or not. If you can grow your own fruits and vegetables and/or can them yourself, then great. If you want to cook your own beans from scratch I recommend the EZ Bean Cooker Do your best!

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The Wheat and gluten (and carbs) being bad craze

Gluten free and low carb diets are all the rage right now, mostly promoted by paleo style eaters who try to convince everyone that wheat, gluten, grains and starchy carbs are generally bad for health and make you fat. They recommend of course that instead you eat loads and loads of meat, fat, oil, sometimes dairy (depending who the guru is), lots of green vegetables (cuz they’re “low carb”) and a scant amount of fruit (mostly berries as they believe sweet fruit which has carbs is bad). The unfortunate thing is that while it is certainly healthy to omit processed foods and get rid of all white flour and white sugar from your diet, you will not necessarily continue to thrive and lose weight eating a high fat diet. Many people feel ok initially and then feel burnt out and crave carbs like crazy over time. Omitting whole grains, and root vegetables simply because grains contain gluten and root veggies have starchy carbs makes it hard for many to feel satisfied leading them to eat more and more meat and fat. This can be bad for your heart and arteries, put you at risk for cancer and leave you feeling lethargic, headachy, cranky and make you want to binge on simple sugars and “cheat” on your diet.

My stance on wheat products, gluten and carbs

I don’t want anyone who is not diagnosed as having Celiac Disease being terrified of wheat and gluten containing products. If you do not feel seriously ill with cramping, bloating, vomiting/diarrhea within 20 minutes of eating wheat products you probably don’t need to get tested for Celiac Disease or a wheat allergy and be terrified that wheat and gluten is “making you fat”. Celiacs (many have Irish ancestry fyi) that feel bloated and fat have another issue, the allergic reaction to gluten is causing their abdomen to become distended and their intestines are inflamed and irritated. Depending on the severity of their allergy to gluten they can feel very ill for 24 hours to a few days which makes it difficult for them to go about daily life. If you are very sick all the time from eating a standard American diet then you will want to talk to your doctor and undergo some testing to find out what the problem could be. But Celiac Disease will only affect roughly 1 in 100 Caucasian people and it can be much much lower in other ethnic groups.

I have eaten gluten free and tried gluten free products for a while and actually feel much worse in the end eating them than whole grain products. Why is this? Because gluten free breads and snacks use refined rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour and other refined low in nutrient products and bind them together with A TON OF OIL to get it to stick. Without gluten (which is a sticky protein that makes dough elastic and stretch) a lot of oil and fat is needed to achieve edible baked goods. In fact gluten free products contain less nutrients (as they are not fortified) and MORE calories and MORE fat than whole grain wheat  bread or  baked goods. I also have friends with Celiac Disease who actually didn’t fare too well eating gluten free packaged products anyway and ended up giving up all processed food in order to feel better. Gluten free junk food like white bread, pizza, cakes, cookies etc. is STILL junk food. It’s not healthy just because it’s wheat and gluten free.

So if you are afraid carbs are “making you fat” switch refined carbs such as white sugar and flour containing products for whole food versions. You don’t have to eat bread, cake, cookies, pasta, pizza, tortillas etc. if you are trying to cut down on calories. Instead try steel cut oats instead of toast or cereal for breakfast, brown rice instead of pasta for a side dish, barley instead of pasta in soup, and use lettuce leaves for wraps or sandwiches instead. You can reduce the amount of refined carbs you eat and up the amount of whole grains, whole fruits and whole vegetables you eat and achieve weight loss without feeling hungry and “under carbed”. Whole foods that are high in water and fiber can fill you up and satisfy you without the need for refined sugar and refined flour.

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To supplement or not to supplement

With Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s new book “Whole: Rethinking The Science of Nutrition” that came out this year, some readers have been upset by my mentioning or promoting vegan supplements. Dr. Campbell explains why he is against supplementation in his book and how to eat a plant based diet without the need for any.

My stance on supplements

I got some blood tests done in January to check for a number of things vegans/vegetarians should check on, and I was low in Vitamin D and a little low in calcium (which requires Vitamin D to absorb properly). My B12 was fine as were all my other markers, but I’m only 28 so I’m not at huge risk for deficiencies and have been eating plant based for 4 years now. Just to be safe (as I do travel a lot and don’t always eat enough leafy greens every single day) I use Dr. Furhman’s Gentle Care Formula supplement, Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA supplement and an extra vegan Vitamin D3 supplement. That’s my personal choice. I mention good supplements because I have so many new readers and subscribers who have illnesses and deficiencies and are not plant based or able to fully commit to eating plant based. That’s why I still point some people to Dr. Fuhrman’s supplements. If you are fully committed to a plant based diet and are eating a wide variety of quality produce each and every day, you probably don’t have to worry about anything other than Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 (and you can supplement if you find you are low on those in your yearly blood test). Also most supplements the general public are taking contain inappropriate amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, iron, copper, beta carotene and folic acid which can be toxic in large doses. Dr. Furhman’s supplements do not contain those ingredients and contain appropriate and safe levels for all vitamins and minerals. If you are going to supplement PLEASE do not use standard mass produced brands such as Centrum or Centrum Silver and choose a supplement without Vitamin A, Vitamin E, iron, copper, beta carotene and folic acid as we get enough of that eat a plant based diet.

Non-stick vs alternative cookware (ceramic, stainless steel, copper etc.)

I’ve already written an article recently on non-stick cookware because so many of my readers were questioning my use of teflon pans. You can read it here.

My stance on non-stick cookware

It is far unhealthier to cook in cast iron, aluminum or stainless steel with Pam, oil, butter or lard than it is to cook in water in a non-stick teflon pan. Once you’ve used your pan once, and you cook on medium high heat you are at very little risk for any PFOA fumes forming and causing you harm. Bottom line – no one has gotten sick from using non-stick teflon pans and they are very safe nowadays. The only problem could be if you left it on high heat with nothing in it smoking for a while and you saw fumes forming. With proper use there is no need to worry!

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Cooked food vs raw food

I have readers that are fans of either raw vegan food, cooked vegan food or both. I first started out by creating raw food recipes with my Savory Raw Dinner Recipes program for those wanting to eat 100% raw or mostly raw but still low fat and oil free. I had never had much cooked vegan food or even vegetarian ethnic food and have since taught myself how to cook homemade vegan dishes as well. Some readers are terrified/annoyed at my cooked food recipes and some others are afraid of some of my raw recipes on the blog because I labeled them “raw” and it sounds like a fad/cult diet.

My stance on cooked food

I really missed steamed broccoli and baked potatoes and baked yams eating a 100% raw food diet. I had also never eaten many beans or lentils and once I learned how to cook those I was really attracted to eating beans and rice or lentils with rice. They’re inexpensive, filling and easy to make and I enjoyed eating them more than raw food entrees that were mostly nuts with raw zucchini, carrots and cucumbers as the only veggies.

I don’t believe cooked food is poison and do enjoy a lot of veggies plainly steamed or baked. All of the plant based doctors recommend steaming, boiling and baking for healthy cooking methods so I don’t find there is anything to worry about. However I still enjoy eating some of my produce uncooked, such as fresh fruit, green salads and green smoothies. I don’t usually eat cooked meals 3 times a day, one to one and a half meals are usually raw with fresh produce.

My stance on raw food

Some people can be successful eating a high raw or 100% raw diet. For me, it limits the amount of recipes I can create and makes it difficult to feed my family without serious complaints of eating room temperature or cold food day after day. My family was not very happy eating raw food when they saw me, but were more accepting of eating cooked vegan dishes. Omitting meat seemed to be easier for them once I had cooked vegan dishes with lentils, beans or tofu.

I still love eating fresh produce and all of my green salads are raw. I make my own raw dressings from fresh fruit, fruit juice, nuts or nut butters and a little vinegar and spices. I only label recipes as raw on the blog not to scare people away, but just so search engines can direct people looking for specifically raw recipes to my website. I still enjoy making recipes for everyone and keep them oil free and low fat with a wide variety of fresh raw and cooked plant foods. So please don’t let labels or crazy trendy restaurants scare you away. I make delicious normal food for every day people!

In Summary, the most important things to remember for healthy eating are:

 

  • Eat plant based or as close to plant based as you can. Don’t eat animal products because you feel you have to to please others or fit in.
  • Eat whole foods for the majority of your meals – even if you can’t afford 100% organic or GMO free. Canned foods are ok, just look for BPA free cans.
  • Don’t use oil because you think it’s healthy for you, or you “need it”. Get the facts.
  • Don’t fall for the gluten free/low carb fad. It’s promoted by people wanting you to eat loads of meat, fat and oil (and they sell oils and supplements too) Eat whole grains, not refined sugar and flour to feel great and lose weight.
  • Cook oil-free – even if it means using non-stick cookware. Which is actually not dangerous like you may have previously thought. There’s actually hundreds of times more PFOA fumes released in the liner of microwaveable popcorn bags than from even new non-stick cookware, and there’s almost zero produced with well used cookware.
  • You don’t have to supplement if you eat 100% whole foods and plant based, but if you aren’t you can consider supplementing with a quality supplement.
  • Eat a variety of fresh and cooked fruits and vegetables. Mix it up and eat the foods you like!

So I think I’ve covered everything and there’s no need for anyone to reprimand me for being uneducated in any of these issues and freak out. 🙂 Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think in your comments below and as always let’s be kind and respectful to each other.

{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chuck R. February 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM

I really enjoyed your long “Angry Objections” post. I’ve spent 1,000’s of hours over 15 years studying and practicing nutrition as a hobby (I’m 62 now … I got a late start). I’ve learned not to become a “food Nazi” and expect everyone else to agree with my educated opinions. Everyone’s situation is different and there is no perfection. Do the best you can and you will be FAR AHEAD of 98% of everyone out there.

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2 Ron January 31, 2017 at 4:43 PM

Excellent post!!

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3 Poppy January 12, 2017 at 11:06 AM

I was wondering what happened to you! I have saved many of your recipes to my online recipe box and I used to really love reading your blog. I hope you know there are many more fans than haters out there, we appreciate all the hard work you put in to creating recipes and other content, and I hope you’ve been doing well!

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4 Veronica Grace March 14, 2017 at 5:37 PM

Thank you Poppy! I’ve been busy with some other work, but do check from time to time.

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5 Russ Lew October 21, 2016 at 11:57 AM

Hi Veronica, this is so great to find you with all this information! Me being a Vegan living
in a senior community (average age 85). I tell people I am a Vegan. Some never heard of
such a diet. Now I don’t say anything, just eat vegetables and if anyone notices I just say
It’s for my health. So I just in a small way know how some people are criticizing you and
It’s none of there business. They don’t have to go to your website.
Thanks, you are a inspiration.

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6 Veronica Grace December 8, 2016 at 9:50 PM

Thank you for your kind words!

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7 Casey October 12, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Hang in there, Veronica!

After numerous discussions with a variety of people including physicians, I’ve come to the conclusion that misconceptions about food & nutrition are as tightly held as religion. Yet some people do convert!

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8 Connie October 12, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Veronica, you are very well educated on the subjects you’ve discussed above – and I applaud your thorough discussion on each of these important topics. I absolutely concur and agree with you about EVERYTHING you said! Hurrah!!

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9 kay October 12, 2016 at 1:28 PM

You eat the way I eat! And even if you didn’t, that’s your right. I’m tired of the paleo promoters telling me I can’t be healthy eating a plant based no oil diet.

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10 Clyde October 12, 2016 at 11:52 AM

I am relatively new to your website as I am to veganism. Due to bypass surgery and 2 stents (1 filled and useless) I became a vegetarian by necessity 10 years ago. I’ve read Campbell, Esselstyn, Ornish, Hyman, Hari, Greger and so many others. I have found your recipes to be most in-line with their recommendations and reasonable enough so that my non-vegetarian wife still cooks for me.
Thank you for your work, your website and your recipes, all of which makes life a little easier.

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11 jem October 12, 2016 at 10:36 AM

First of all, you surely can’t expect that you can please all the people all the time, do you?
Second, I didn’t read all of this….my attention span is too short I guess.
Third, it’s your blog. If someone doesn’t like it or disagrees, they can log out.
Fourth, I love your recipes, your philosophy, even the way you format your recipes. I love that they are lowfat — very few vegan or WFPB blogs are also lowfat.

NOW, for my two cents, I think most vegans are very annoying. I can appreciate that they love animals and won’t use leather, etc. But most of them eat oreos, chips and doritos. It seems that they love all animals except the animal that should be most important to them, i.e. THEMSELVES! I love animals too, from my pets to the farm animals, but I’m WFPB’d because I love my health and I want to be alive for as long as possible for my family, my friends, my church community, and on & on.

SECOND, for my next two cents, I heard Dr McDougall just a few weeks ago in a webinar, admit that when he goes to someone else’s house, he will have a nibble of meat (though he dislikes it), that he doesn’t freak out at restaurants but eats as WFPB’d as possible, and that he doesn’t think he’s gonna die in doing any of this.

So, let’s all breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Good!

For those of us who want to be oreos and chips vegans, enjoy those and be sure to check your cholesterol annually!

For those of us who want to be WFPB and are of a healthy weight, enjoy avocados in abundance, a splash of EVO when you cook, creams & such made with cashews,, etc. Enjoy that plant-based fat!

For those of us (this is my category) who have battled weight since childhood and feel best when we are at a relatively healthy BMI. Avoid those plant-based fats as much as possible and don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We should njoy our beans, rice, lentils, and banana “ice cream.”

For you, dear Veronica, chill out. Please yourself. Be true to McDougal et al and remember that THEY are human too and they avoid being obsessive/compulsive when doing so would be rude or unloving.

I personally try to avoid hurting a hostess’ feelings by saying (upon accepting an invitation) that I am animal-protein-intolerant and I don’t want them to change their menu for me. I’m happy with any salad and/or vegetables. And I don’t freak out if I find she’s put butter on the asparagus! Love & Kindness is more important than my need to be 100% WFPB’d ! By the way, telling people that I’m animal-protein-intolerant seems to appease most people the way being lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant seems to be acceptable these days.

Keep up that good work Veronica and just smile at the objectors.

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12 jm October 7, 2016 at 8:24 AM

Hello! The question I have regarding a low fat, plant based diet is the blood sugar situation. I find after eating rice or potatoes, or starchy vegetables, that my blood sugar will rise as high as 170’s after 30 minutes. It is down around 90 after an hour, but I would like input on this factor. Thanks!

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13 Rayca December 21, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Thanks for sharing and opening yourself up to such criticism. The internet can be pretty evil. I happen to love vegetables as a main dish. I’m not much (and never have been) for animal protein eating, especially dairy. But I’m not vegan and I do partake in small amounts of animal protein and the occasional dairy. More as a condiment but definitely every day. What says it all for me is vitamin B12. I don’t think nature ever intended for us to supplement a vitamin with a pill instead of the natural source you obtain it from. I especially would never give up the collagen and other beneficial and concentrated nutrition you get from homemade soup stock, which can’t be done with a vegetable stock. But good luck to all on your quest for a healthier life.

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14 Maria Cornacchia November 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Veronica,
PLEASE READ

I have been a vegetarian since last January along with my fiance, Dave. We are both registered nurses and have learnt a lot regarding nutrition through our degree program and through our own research. What pushed me over the edge was reading Dr. Pam Popper’s ‘Food Over Medicine’ (strongly based on ‘The China Study’) and Michael Moss’s ‘Salt, Sugar and Fat’, along with many documentaries including ‘Forks Over Knives’ and ‘Fed Up’. Before becoming informed, I kept gaining weight despite using weight watchers, constricting my diet, and always feeling hungry. I was constricting my calories yet starving my body of vitamins and nutrients, whilst fueling it with salt, sugar and fat! The economic, environmental, and animal rights issues also pushed me to change once and for all.

We still eat cheese occasionally when we eat out, and are trying to purge it for good from our diets. We eat no meat, very rarely cook with oil unless we use our cast iron pots, and eat no meat except I occasionally cheat and eat fish from time to time. We don’t eat anything out of a box and try to eat organic when its very comparable in price, otherwise we just wash it. (I agree with you, organic is not always feasible and regular fresh produce is better than none at all!) We also try to cook beans in batches and fresh in two cup serving sizes, or use canned once in awhile. Our pantry is full of crushed/diced tomatoes and canned beans!

For a long while when converting we cooked using recipes from Chef Del Srouffe’s ‘Better than Vegan’ cookbook, and it really helped us to get started and learn how to eat real food. I have discovered your site and it’s great to find new recipes!! I love your site and it’s comforting to know there are other people who have adopted this kind of food lifestyle. We have felt much better eating this way both physiologically and morally. We still have some work to do to become totally vegan, but are on our way.

We have moved into a new place that has a giant backyard and are excited to start our own organic vegetable garden based on ‘Mel’s Square Foot Gardening’, I would love to share pictures with you of our progress next summer!

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, and forget about the monsters on the internet. You are doing a world of good and there are many people such as myself and my husband who come to your site to make our lives a little easier with working opposite 12 hour shifts. Keep doing what you are doing!!

Sincerely,

Maria & Dave,
Ontarians converting to eating a plant based, whole foods diet and loving it!

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15 Carla November 7, 2014 at 2:05 AM

Veronica, thank you for this article – I agree with you 100% ! There are so many people out there just trying to find something ‘wrong’ with you, and they make sure to tell you about it…. I hope you don’t feel discouraged – don’t let them chip away at your passion! You are doing great work! 🙂

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16 Lili November 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Dear Veronica,
Keep being true to yourself. Not every style of eating works for every person. At which point they will seek out something else. You don’t have to change to meet other people’s expectations. Thanks for helping the people that want your help. Also it doesn’t matter if everyone is 100% vegan. It would be wonderful but any number of animals we can save goes into the plus column. Think of how many human and non human lives you have changed so far!

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17 Sarah November 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Hi Veronica!

I am one of your newly subscribed followers, but it is because you are doing EXACTLY what I had been looking for. You have done the same research that I have, and follow the same diet I follow. The difference is that you can come up with fantastic combinations and delicious food, whereas I will eat the same few meals/combinations over and over until I am sick of them. 🙂 So, thank you for what you are doing!! I am sorry that you have been attacked like that. I just want you to know that you and what you are doing is really appreciated! It’s hard to let that negativity just roll off (oh wow, don’t I know it), but you can rest assured that you are helping lots and for many you are doing EXACTLY what they are looking for to stay on this way of eating journey! Hugs!!

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18 Julie November 5, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Hi Veronica,
Thank you for all of your hard work and for sharing the fruits of your labor with others. I appreciate your generosity! I am sorry that some folks like to cower behind their keyboards and insult other people for whatever reason. Like moms always say: you can’t please everyone….
Keep on doing what you do. You provide an invaluable service to those who are learning about plant based diets. Your are improving people’s health, and helping animals and the environment. You rock!

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19 Paula November 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM

It’s so sad that in todays world when someone doesn’t agree they have to go on the attack. I know it’s hard Veronica to ignore nasty comments but just remember you can’t please everyone. I feel when you have a public website you are going to open yourself up to all the crazy people in the world and you just have to learn how to live with it. As long as you are trying to educate people then you’re on the right track. People have to learn to open up their minds when educating themselves and not take things so seriously! Your do great and keep up the good work. Try to not take things so seriously.(I know it’s hard) love yoursite! take care

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20 Connie November 5, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Excellent job summarizing and explaining WFPB eating, how’s and whys. I can see you are very well read and researched, and I will point those who question my lifestyle to this blog post for thorough and succinct answers! Thank you.

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21 Lorraine November 5, 2014 at 5:02 PM

You are doing a stellar job. Keep on doing what your passion is, that is, helping others.
I appreciate your dedication and willingness to be of service to those of us seeking to be responsible for our health.

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22 Charzie November 5, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Veronica, the way I see it, this is YOUR website, you supply this wonderful resource from your caring and generous heart. And because it is YOUR website, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions based on the information you’ve learned! If someone has a problem with it, they can take a hike! What a rude and inconsiderate slap in the face for someone to have the nerve to come to your website as a guest, and hassle you! Who cares what they think! If they are so damned high and mighty let them go through all the trouble of maintaining a viewpoint on their own site! It infuriates me, I can only imagine how you must feel! Please know that there are a slew of us who DO appreciate all you do and have enough respect for what you offer us, not to split hairs! Personally, I am on board with every point you made. I might be more concerned about the GMO stuff because I am into biology, but I simply cannot afford to be too picky, unfortunately. As you said, we do the best we can, and should support each other in our quest for better health! You know what they say about opinions and what they are like! LOL!

I am adherent to all the principles you listed for a very good reason…following them let me heal from diabetes and many other health issues, and also lose 150+ lbs! I got a late start at 58, but I am going to be 62 in a few weeks, and never felt better! Your site is a favorite in my arsenal because I know I don’t have to make allowances n recipes like cutting out free fats, etc.

The science is out there, and it’s sound! If a person chooses to reject that and believe the twisted science that panders to their preferences, by authors looking to make bucks and get a following, tell them to go elsewhere, this is YOUR site, and an awesome one at that! Thanks for all you do!

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23 Dave November 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Everything someone would need for a non-oil, whole plant based life plan in one article! Outstanding.

In days gone by, there was the old joke, “Vegetarian is a Cherokee word for bad hunter.” Now, to me, the new version of that joke is, “Vegan is a Cherokee word meaning, smarter than the rest of the tribe.” So, Veronica… maybe its a jealously thing based on the new version of the old joke. 🙂

Keep doing your thing!!!
Dave

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24 Margo Smith November 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Hi Veronica,

Add me to the grateful readers who so appreciate your website and all of the love and energy you’ve put into your research and recipes. As you know, my husband was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. This led us down the road of Campbell, Esselstyn, Furhman, etc.. We knew we did not want turn ourselves over to the medical/pharmaceutical treadmill. Your website was the first I discovered. You helped me figure out how to make this diet work, how to make it taste good and you offered me your support. I am forever grateful. 2 years later my husband is doing great, his cholesterol is low and he looks years younger than his actual age. While we have never made it to being 100% vegan, we have eliminated most animal products (particularly dairy) and oils from our daily diet. Our occasional lapses are more related to traveling or social situations NOT because we don’t understand how to eat a delicious low fat vegan diet. Thanks for all of your dedication, hard work and support!

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25 Rich Stebor November 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I heard a song today that sums up all this angry criticism and fault-finding. As Bob Dylan so eloquently put it after listing all the different ways people will find to throw stones at you:

“But I would not feel so all alone…Everybody must get stoned!”
(From “Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35”)

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26 Betsy Cosmos November 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Veronica, I think you’re awesome! I think the differences between what you and even some of our hero doctors teach are so minimal that we need to all focus more on the similarities and rejoice that there are so many great sources of information out there. (Two others I follow that weren’t mentioned in your excellent article are nutritionfacts.org and Dr. Pamela Popper.) I’ve been doing my best to eat a WFPB diet for about 8 years. This morning my husband and I decided to try a recommended restaurant for breakfast (my favorite meal to eat out). The food tasted tremendous but I could tell it was swimming in every kind of oil out there (as well as butter) and eggs and cheese were involved (even though I got the “Garden” omelet). It tasted good in my mouth but my stomach is not happy because I’m just no longer used to all that junky food! So our bodies (as you know) adapt to what is best for us. Learning to eat in a healthy manner is becoming less challenging thanks to wonderful teachers like you. Keep up the good fight and don’t be discouraged by naysayers!!! You have plenty of fans out here in cyberspace ?

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27 Betsy Cosmos November 5, 2014 at 10:51 AM

That last character in my comment was supposed to be a heart, not a question mark!

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28 Tonya Gray November 5, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Hi Veronica,
Thank you for such a wonderful article. I find it sad that you even had to write it. The bottom line is you give great, researched information to people that are willing to receive it. Everyone is responsible for their OWN health. Whatever works for that individual is 100% their business. Individuals who seek attention for themselves make the loudest noise. Keep teaching, keep researching, keep cooking and keep sharing with others, because information is power and you empower those who want to be! GOD bless you!

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29 Dawn Schneider November 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Awesome post Veronica! Thanks for all you do and for your practical and realistic approach. For most of my life I have focused on eating to weight manage my weight. 18 months ago, after watching Forks Over Knives I began focusing on eating for nutrition. I eat a low-fat whole food plant-based and organic diet. I occasionally eat fish but may give it up eventually as my diet evolves. 2 years ago I gave up a weekly serving of beef and started meatless Mondays. Six months later I chose to stop eating chicken. I didn’t miss eating beef or chicken and really enjoyed learning to make vegan meals. I also lost 16 pounds in 2 months. Sometimes it takes time to make big changes to diet and therefore people might be more successful if they gradually transition like I have. Its great that you point out that people shouldn’t eat to please others so that they can make choices that work for them. I have friends that are uncomfortable with my diet because it’s not the Standard American Diet and have also felt the pressure of not eating 100% vegan. I am also guilty of judging others because they eat meat, processed foods, dairy etc. Its hard not to share my excitement about everything I have learned about nutrition but I have realized that food is very personal, change takes time, and people don’t always want to change. I’m learning to accept this and focus on what works best for me. Your advice and recipes have certainly helped me along the way so thanks again!

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30 Kerstin Schuster November 5, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Dear Veronica,
first thanks for your HEALTHY recipes! They help me and my Clients to get healthy! I am a Nutritionist.
But I have some additional info to you:
– Telflon and Pestizides are harmful. This is well studied!
– There is no evidence about some issues, when there are no specific studys around. There can not be long term Studys on GMO Foods. But who wants to eat it and just wait whether it harms or not? And in epidemiologic studys they do not differentiate between sprayed and non sprayed veggies.
– But that Pestizides and different Food packages and Teflon contain cancerogen endocrinological disruptors, that we eat, is very well proven. In Germany “öko test” tests products. and this toxic substances are found on a regular Basis in most packaged and sprayed Foods. Greenpeace tests it too. And the “endokrinologische Gesellschaft” (Society of endocrinology) in Germany is warning us about these substances.
– A positive Thing: There exist non stick pans without Teflon. In Germany one Company that produces them, is named “Silit.”
-And you are right to say: Everybody can do the best, what is possible for him/her, whatever that is. But that is no reason to call poisons a harmless Thing!
I hope i could help!
Love and thanks, Kerstin

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31 Veronica Grace November 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

We are NOT eating teflon. And I think checking out the links I posted about teflon pans should be visited by anyone with concerns. As I said teflon pans have only been found to be a health hazard if the surface starts to smoke and causes fumes that are inhaled. The surface is inert and is not contaminating food when used properly.

Re: Pesticides obviously I am not recommending people eat pesticides for health. But as I said I and many people cannot afford to eat 100% organic and as all the plant based doctors say it is far more important to eat low on the food chain and plants do not absorb as many pesticides as animal foods. So it is more important to eat plant based in general regardless of it being organic or not. Making people feel bad that they can’t afford organic food is not part of my cause so I recommend people do the best they can.

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32 norman November 5, 2014 at 10:09 AM

hi! I really look forward to receiving your notes. I’m age 77 having lost my wife of 49 years in 2008, I have a problem learning about spices and combo’s to make food taste good. your my best source of info about this. so keep em coming please; norman
p.s. I save every recipe you send to a folder with your name on it.

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33 josie November 5, 2014 at 10:08 AM

A person can simply delete the offending email and hope for a better one tomorrow or unsubscribe altogether. It’s really not that big of a deal. Drink your morning coffee BEFORE you open your email, not during.

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34 Lynn Walcher November 5, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Thanks for this excellent article!

I really appreciate your understanding of these issues. I know that it has come through extensive experience and much study!

Thank you for having the courage to take on these issues!

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35 shane November 5, 2014 at 9:52 AM

hi veronica, I always look forward to your emails, keep up the good work and to hell with the begrudgers, i still use some groundnut or olive oil bur sparingly and have cut out all red meats which I do not miss at all, keep the faith!!

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36 Cedric November 5, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Love all your great work. Its made a positive difference in my life.
I’ve included a quote which I hope provides you and us all some inspiration…

It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.

George Dennison Prentice

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37 Sandra Hassan November 5, 2014 at 9:17 AM

I would like to express that I thoroughly enjoy your e-mails and have been satisfied with the tastes of all your recipes. It is pathetic that people think that they are right and everyone who disagrees is not only wrong but worthy of their wrath. While I am not a complete vegan, I practice about 70% of the time, which does not make me vegan. We are all different, our bodies have different needs and are made differently. I found total vegan was not healthy for me so I eat meat twice times a month and fish, mostly salmon another three times. Blood levels are improving with diet, exercise and supplements recommended by my doctor. Veronica–do not be put off by these holier than though people. You do a terrific job so keep up the good work. I enjoy your recipes so much that I plan to purchase your book

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38 Paula October 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I appreciate this piece you’ve done Veronica. I also look forward to hearing more from you with Dr. X (I had a nice exchange with her on Facebook). I am 5 years an ethical, passionate vegan animal activist and have learned that perhaps I am wishfully thinking, and have also been unfairly judgmental, that everyone can do well on a vegan diet. It pains me for the animals, but one must keep an open mind and weigh all information.

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39 Veronica Grace October 22, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Hi Paula,

Many people can do well on a plant based diet, Dr. X has some limiting genetic predispositions so she is unable to eat gluten or much starch. Most people do not have her genetics though, so her case is quite rare.

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40 Kim October 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

love all your hard work. 🙂

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41 Bonnie September 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing in making some sense out of a complicated subject. I love your recipes. Keep up the good work.

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42 Donna September 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Dear Veronica
That was a great write up and a great positive response from your readers. The banana pie looks wonderful. We can’t wait for Thanksgiving.

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43 Maruska September 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I stumbled on your site after coming across the delicious tahini stir fry recipe. I look forward to exploring more of your recipes/site but have to say thanks for such a concise well written summary of all these issues! I’ve been following McDougall, Esselstyn, Barnard, Campbell, Greger for the last 2.5 yrs and have never felt better! I struggle with sharing all of the amazing benefits and science behind the plant based diet without offending others or coming across as judgmental or as a hippie! Great job with your site! Keep it up!

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44 bill September 6, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Why are you advocating against cast iron cookware?

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45 Pauline September 5, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I accidentally stumbled onto your web site and tried your recipe with egg plant. It was a great hit with the men in my family as they love spicy cayenne pepper. 1/2 tsp was a bit too much for me the cook, so the next time I cut the pepper in half and it was much better for me. This weekend I am trying the Butternut squash mac and cheese. Thanks for your varied recipes and your health articles. Keep up the good work.

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46 Jennifer Arent September 5, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Veronica, I’m so sorry you’ve received unkind communications from people. I absolutely love your recipes and I have your Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World cookbook and love it, too 🙂

I, personally, still enjoy sauteeing my veggies in a couple teaspoons of oil, but that’s completely my choice and I would never degrade you for your stance. I used to use a lot more oil, but have toned it down quite a bit, thanks to you.

Please continue to blog and create – and I thank you for being YOU!

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47 Marge September 5, 2013 at 6:51 AM

Veronica,
You are doing a wonderful job, using your gift to create healthy, delicious recipes. You are very practical and down to earth. You present the information in a simple to understand way and are helping people to heal with delicious food. I enjoy your articles and am still learning after 35 vegetarian to vegan years. Thank you for your work.
Marge

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48 John in TX September 5, 2013 at 6:17 AM

Hi Veronica. I have recently watched Forks Over Knives featuring Drs. Campbell, Esselstyn, and McDougall and others. The documentary was a wake up call for me and I am happy to have found your website to help guide me during my transition to a healthier diet. Thank you for providing so much insight and information to your readers. It is unfortunate and sad that zealots lack tolerance and spiritual balance and attempt to steal peace from others. I appreciate the time and effort you expend in publishing recipes and information to make lives better for those who choose that path.

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49 Margo Smith September 4, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Veronica,

Your website is a kind of a road map for those of us who are interested in implementing the whole food plant based diet but had no idea where to start. The haters on your website are purists with set opinions. They should appreciate all you are doing to educate people on how to make this transition. I know that I certainly do!

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50 Matthew K. Wood September 4, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Greetings Veronica! It seems, judging from some of these posts, that you have more admirers(myself included)than detractors. I believe that I am one of many who are living proof that low-fat vegan is without question the healthiest way to eat. Having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and weighing 220 pounds, I decided to go vegan and eventually found Dr. Neil Barnard’s Reverse Diabetes Now. Apart from occasional cheats, I have adhered to a low fat vegan diet and now weigh 173 pounds and dropping. Not bad for a guy who is nearly 50. The doubters may say what they will, but we know the truth. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

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51 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 5, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Keep up the good work Matthew! That’s awesome. It seems with this article I scared them away. I usually get them on other posts. I had a lot of angry people over my organic article last week!

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52 Rachel September 4, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Please don’t let other people’s opinion hurt you in any way. Many of us have tried different approaches to nutrition, this is why we like your website, good delicious vegan nutrition for normal everyday people. I will be tested again for gluten sensitivity but I doubt I have a problem, pressure from everywhere had me spend more money to get a second opinion. Variety is the spice of life, some raw, some cooked, that’s what I like. Keep up the good work, we love you and your recipes. Rachel. Ottawa.

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53 Robyn September 4, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Bravo! Thank you for staying true to your beliefs and forging ahead for the rest of us who are still stumbling on this vegan path.
I recently read an article on yahoo news about how kids at some midwestern school complained that Michelle Obama’s healthy food initiative to eliminate youth obesity made their “healthy lunch” food ” taste like vomit”. No wonder. I wish you could contract out to schools across the country and teach their dietary staff how to prepare healthy, DELICIOUS food that will have the kids begging for more. It isn’t Michelle Obama’s initiative that’s at fault, it’s the defeatist attitude of the schools’ officials, and that needs to be changed. Our childrens’ lives depend on it!
So never give up and never allow negative, toxic folks silence you. Since I found your blogsite, got the cookbooks, etc, I have become SO much healthier than ever before. I finally gave away the last unopened bottle of evoo that I had boughten on sale last year (3 bottles) because I simply wasn’t going to ever use them! I only use butter when I’m baking for other people, but for myself I switched to nut butter instead of margarine, and I even use guacamole or plain sliced avocado when I need something “fattening” in my sandwich.
I looked into raw food as a way of life, and I decided I will stick to my way of life, which includes plenty of raw foods but also plenty of cooked foods. I’m pretty happy with where I am right now, and thank you in large part for me being able to make that claim!
I look forward to more smashing good recipes from you, and of course many, many more thoughtful, educational and welcomed articles!

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54 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM

That’s too bad about the kids not liking the food. It could be that the lunch staff don’t know how to cook (as they are used to only reheating/assembling packaged food) and they are unhappy about a new change and have no imagination or love poured into the recipes. Kids can like healthy food it just has to have some simple flavors like sweet or salty or both with lots of bright colors. 🙂

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55 Allan Meyer September 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Hello Veronica,

You are doing excellent work in presenting a healthy plant based diet to all people round the world. I believe in you and and what you are doing, there are alot of people out there who will live longer in good health because of your unselfish presentations. Please keep up the good work.

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56 Denis September 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I appreciate you, I like you recipes, and keep in mind that there are a lot of opinionated and haters out there.

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57 susanna & Trevor September 4, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Veronica i think you are an inspiration to all vegans and to me and my son age 7yrs old NEVER stop being you and not sway to others be TRUE to your soul…BELIEVE.

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58 Louise September 4, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Dear Veronica,
I have tried a few recipes that you have posted, and they’re just delicious. Keep up the good work and just ignore the negative critics as each one is different from each other and we all have our perception of what is a good eating behavior. I get nasty remarks from my own friends too.
Thank you for all this information as it saves me a lot of time doing research on internet, and read all this controversy.

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59 Nan September 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Veronica,
I just read your article word for word, and would like to thank you for taking the time to write it!! The people who criticize you and are mean will hopefully see the light some day!! Like Bill Clinton—- he had to have a heart bypass and a stint before he listened to his friend, John McDougall!!!
I have been eating this way for 20 years after a bout of serious chronic fatigue led me to Hippocrates Health Institute where we learned about vegan and raw food healing properties!! I have healed and I have seen so many people heal through this life style. So, girl, keep up the good work. You are a healer. Bless you!!
Sincerely,
Nan

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60 Marcia September 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

As you stated: You can’t please everyone. I’d like to add: Don’t try – it just doesn’t work. Of course, the ability to be and think differently is part of what makes us tick and the people that blast you for being wrong, irresponsible, trying to lead us all on the wrong path (and so on) are very unhappy people and want everyone to feel as they do.

Your attention to detail and hard work coming up with interesting, healthy recipes for us is a real gift. Personally, I don’t have that one and I rely on people like you that do. If it wasn’t for recipes, I’d go hungry! I’m an information junkie and enjoy reading what steps people take to reach each destination. You provide that along with amazing ideas and combinations that make me smile and are a treat to my senses.

Instead of letting those few naysayers get to you, put you delete key to use and smile as you do. Be happy with life’s little pleasures! That will probably frustrate them more than answering their spewing. Of course, a nice “Thank You for taking the time to share your thoughts” would probably make them angry too, and might be worth it!

My life was completely turned around when I listened to Debra Crumpton utter the following words: “Are you willing to give up who you are…To become who you can be.” Read it a few times. It’s a powerful statement that just about knocked me out of my chair. You can apply it to so many things that are getting in your way or keeping you for succeeding. After all, no one else can make us change for the better. The people who were upset are simply fighting NOT to become all they can be because they are happy just where they are. That is until someone like you comes along and makes them think about other possibilities. Shame on you!!!!!!!

I appreciate and enjoy your messages, recipes and cookbooks and look forward to seeing them in my email. Thank you for all you do!

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61 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I usually don’t engage, just delete, but then they get angry and send more lol. I do try to keep the blog and my youtube channel a positive place. I’ve of course also had people insult my physical appearance too just because they can. Thanks for that phrase, it’s something to think about for sure.

I’m a questioner, thinker and an idea maker, I get inspiration for things and then like to share it so it’s really nice to have an outlet to do so and interact with people I would never otherwise meet. 🙂

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62 Marcia September 6, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Thanks for responding Veronica. That’s one of the many things I enjoy about your blog.

I, too, cannot believe people insult your physical appearance. That is outrageous. Obviously they have entirely too much time on their hands and they use the Internet as a venue to spread negativity. What a waste of energy.

As far as Debra’s quote goes, I found I can apply it to most any situation, example: I am having a difficult time losing weight. What am I doing to sabotage myself? Am I willing to give that up to become who I can be? Another friend applied it to a relationship she was in. Without going into detail, let’s just say that after she took a stand, everything else fell into place. It’s truly an incredible sentence!

Thank you for all the time, energy, money (food, tools, & more) and so on you spend on helping all of us become the best we can be! It is an honor to count you as a friend. After all, we can never have too many of those!

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63 Emma Hawes September 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM

I can’t believe you get hate mail!! I love your approach and was happy to see your post about not eating all organic. I eat very little organic due to budget reasons so it’s disheartening when the advice is to eat organic or you will get poisoned! (Actually no one has said it like that but that’s how it sometimes feels)

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64 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Oh yes. Apparently everyone is an expert these days because they read blog articles online. It happens, I also get emails from people concerned I’m eating vegan or oil free like it’s dangerous and I’m not sure what to say about that!

I do find it sad when people get so angry about organic like conventional produce is poison. It is a trend in California and among food snobs. I have friends who do it too, but they make more $$ than I do so it’s easier for them to afford organic of course lol.

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65 Betsy Cosmos September 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Veronica, you are doing a WONDERFUL service for all of us who are navigating our way through nutrition facts vs fiction. Even though I thought I was pretty educated in these matters via Dr. McDougall and Dr. Campbell, I have learned SO MUCH from you — and also learned how to easily, affordably and practically apply the things I have learned from those wonderful doctors. Keep up your tremendous work and don’t let the critics get you down! You are TERRIFIC and I’m so grateful for all you are doing.
🙂

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66 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Thanks Betsy. You’re kind comments always make me smile. I appreciate the time you take to read everything and comment. 🙂

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67 Tricia September 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Dogma is such a sad thing, whether in religion, politics, culture or food choices.
Nutrition science continues to evolve, as do all scientific fields. All anyone can do is get lots of information, as current as possible, and then choose to change how you live based on what seems most reasonable and “do-able”. One of the things I like best about you and your site is that you offer a wide variety of choices consistent with the name lowfatvegan.com. There’s plenty for all types of eaters.

Know that you are appreciated by many, many more people than those who criticize you. When you find yourself upset by a comment, you might try the Buddhist technique of “embracing the criticism”, and the criticizer, sending a positive thought their way as you really try to understand why they are hurting you.

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68 Lorraine September 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Veronica, you are doing a fantastic job…..keep up the good deeds of providing the best information you know and the willingness to help others………read Desiderata occasionally when you get undesirable feedback………thank you for being you!

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69 Marge Evans September 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Dear Veronica, I don’t think you need to apologize or explain anything to anyone.
You are a blogger. If people get upset/angry then they should stop reading you. You aren’t pretending to be a public policy maker. I enjoy the work you do. Warm regards.

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70 Lynda Whitwell September 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I have followed a variety of diets over my 60 + years but changed to plant based eating 12 months ago for health reasons. My high protein animal based programme wasn’t working and my diabetes was getting out of control. Now 12 months later, I’m down 35.5 kg, I’ve halved my medications, my doctor is thrilled and I’m healthier. So I’m continuing on plant based with a little oil and no organic food as I can’t afford it. I eat raw and cooked veges, love legumes now and enjoy fruit too. My particular love is green smoothies as a treat! Let’s keep an open mind on how we each interpret what is right for our situations. I’m grateful to Veronica for helping me learn a few recipes this last year. Thanks.

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71 Jennifer Edgar September 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Very well-made points, Veronica. Your approach reminds me of the phrase “progress, not perfection” and your ideas are things people coming off SAD can really relate to. That’s so much more important in helping more people go veg than the holier-than-thou nitpicking vegans unfortunately have a reputation for.

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72 Gloria September 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Hi Veronica, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do in this life, someone will denigrate you. People who insist we’d suffer through not eating meat should remember there are some people who for religious reasons have never eaten meat in their entire lives. For thousands of years, generation after generation of these people have lived on a vegan diet. They sure don’t look like they’re suffering any too much to me. I enjoy reading your column and your advice has been a great help to me. I do ‘cherry pick’ your recipes and have never been disappointed in what I’ve chosen. I grow a lot of my own veg and salad stuff, and have made some delicious meals with them using your recipes. Please don’t let the knockers get you down, more people appreciate what your trying to do for them than don’t appreciate. Keep up the good work, a lot of people would be lost with out you. I have diverticulitis and since I’ve been following your advice have suffered no pain or any of the problems that come with this. So a big thank you from a very grateful me.

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73 Octavia September 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Veronica,
What a great write up. It has helped answer so many questions that I have indeed had on y mind. I was considering doing the Paleo way because thought it would have been better somehow. But really what is better than a plant based diet?
Thank you so much your research and insight on soooany topics. Especially about the no -stick cookware.
I think I need not freak out and worry every time something new comes out where someone tells you what is good and bad. It has honestly made me feel so crazy and that is not a great feeling to have.
Thank you so muh Veronica for everything.
Octavia

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74 Vicky September 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I appreciate your dedication…your ability to communicate clearly and your hard work. Thank you for your efforts.

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75 Helen September 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Veronica, This is a very well-stated article and I basically agree with everything the doc said above . I’m glad you have the guts to stand up to your critics and I hope you won’t let detractors get you down. I think you’re making a very helpful contribution by sharing your recipes and information, and references. I’ve already learned so much from your site, and I’ve only just started using it in the past few weeks. Your approach is direct, your recipes and easy to follow and delicious and you clearly have based the information you share on lots of research and personal experience. Everyone has to make their own choices based on what works best for them, and it’s impossible for everyone to agree on everything. I try to do as you say, learn as much as I can and do the best I can without getting caught up in fads or extreme measures that are not sustainable or healthy.

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76 Wendy wolf September 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Hi Veronica!
I love your site and your recipes and you have been a great addition to our new vegan lifestyle! It has been about three months for myself and my family and we are all feeling great and enjoying this lifestyle… And yes people look at me like I’m crazy, so we can’t worry about what they think. Hopefully people will all get the message. I appreciate all of your informative posts, please keep them coming!

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77 Jo September 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I appreciate the information you provide. I went vegan (no fat) to reverse my diabetes (Neal Barnard/Reverse Diabetes) and it has worked!!! My numbers are in the 80s and 90s with no medications!

Keep up the good work.

Grown up people should know that you can take or leave any information you want.

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78 Lynda Whitwell September 4, 2013 at 1:43 PM

wow – I’m impressed. I’m on the way and have read Neil Barnard’s book. Good on you. I hope to be off my diabetic medicine too within the next six months. Less than half now from when I started plant based.

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79 Mary September 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Yay Lynda. You are a star, a great example to all of us…..

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80 Valerie September 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Oops! Rather than “uninformed people you refuse to recognize ” I meant “WHO refuse…”
SORRY!

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81 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Its ok 🙂

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82 Vicky September 4, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Really? Are you kidding me? What is it like to live in a glass house?

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83 Valerie September 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

It’s a shame that there are people who feel it is ok to bash you & the info you bring to us. You provide a very valuable service to those of us who want & need the results of the research & time you put in to your articles & recommendations. Providing recipes that are really good while using no oil are most appreciated. I have most of your cookbooks & use something from one of them almost every day. Keep doing what you do & try to tune out the angry, uninformed people you refuse to recognize that what you offer could save, or at least improve their lives. I am most grateful to you!

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84 LAURA HOUNSLEY September 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

You shouldn’t have to defend your Vegan style to the stubborn or uneducated. Very simply, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, we have a choice to eat or not eat whatever we want, and it goes both ways. My husband and I have been vegans for 10 months and are enjoying the benefits of lost weight, more energy and most importantly, plaque is not building up on our arteries like it was before when we had a traditional meat, dairy and oil based diet. Finding vegan recipes without the oils is a big challenge, so thank you for being our hero! We love your stuff, keep it coming.

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85 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Oh I know. That’s why I am surprised it comes from people subscribed to my newsletter or those who came to my blog to read an article. I like to visit places I like, not ones I don’t agree with and criticize. But I wanted to let people know why I believe these things in a positive way so they understand and are less afraid and defensive.

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86 lani September 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM

i support everything you say 100% and am thrilled always to have someone who cooks the way I eat and live..

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87 Lina September 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Dear Veronica,

I’m so sorry you are facing all this criticism!
Try to remember when you are ahead of your
time and do not follow traditional ideas, you
will face some controversy.

Personally I try to listen to other people’s
wisdom, accept what makes sense to me and
not follow what doesn’t feel comfortable.
Why criticize? I learn to no longer fear
nonstick pans because of your column. I
too do not always buy organic because some
conventional produce is very low on pesticides.

Others should follow one of the mottos of
12 Step groups which is :”Take what you
like and leave the rest behind.”

Personally, I appreciate your comments
and hope the naysayers will learn to be
more tolerant of ideas which do not
coincide with theirs!

Your fan,
Lina

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88 Mary Beth Elderton September 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM

I dislike the old “Everything in Moderation” bit—I always ask what are considered “moderate” amounts of poison ivy or cobra venom, both perfectly natural substances, I could have in my diet? I mean…really?
As for some of the other comments—we do not have Celiac Disease nor any particular sensitivity to gluten, nor do we have any food allergies. We are not vegan…not even vegetarian. Nonstick cookware, at least the newer versions, are not toxic at temperatures anywhere near kitchen cooking levels. Microwave ovens are not “radioactive” and do not “irradiate” food (this is one I have heard.) We live in a large American city, so we are not going to have “farm fresh.” I have a tight enough budget to have to make some compromises.
So…in the interest of having a varied, wholefood, made from scratch diet, “clean” diet, I read a lot. I have used recipes from just about every diet out there from raw vegan to paleo.
I have learned A LOT from your extremely well researched blog. I appreciate very much what you do. Thank you.

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89 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Thanks Mary Beth. I wasn’t going to bother listing the microwave thing again because every time I’ve mentioned it before people freak out like I’m putting people’s lives in danger by using a microwave to reheat food, or like I did in my fat free potato chips. You’re right. But that drives me nuts too. Microwaveable packaged food is what is bad for your health, not the microwave itself!

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90 Kathi September 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Veronica,

Thank you for all you do to promote a plant-based vegan lifestyle. I have been practicing vegetarianism for 3 years and going onto vegan. It is hard for me to “explain” myself to my family and friends I can’t imagine what you may get having a website! Please know we are all here for you and appreciate what you do to support us. Love from Minnesota!

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91 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook September 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM

I agree with your approach to healthy eating. After doing my own reading about these topics I came up with the same conclusions. I don’t think everyone has to eat exactly like I do and I respect that we all have to find the right balance that works for us. I just don’t want to be judged for the life style and food choices I have made.
Thank you for putting it all in one very informative article!

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92 Joan September 4, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Great article! I appreciate your honesty and integrity in what you write – thanks!

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93 Chrissie September 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Hi Veronica,
I am not a vegan however I love the creative ways that you cook. I can’t understand why people are so judgemental. You create an interesting and well reaearched blog. I just want to thank you for this. It helps to guide me and I appreciate it.

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94 Yvonne September 4, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Thank you for all the wonderful things you have made in learning how to cook without oils and keeping it low fat. I think you state your convictions very well and are not “In your face” about how you live your life.

You have come a long way in a short time, and have can hold your own with all the other cooks on the Internet.

Thank you for all the time and energy you put into creating the website and cookbooks with all the pictures included.

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95 Stephen September 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Veronica,
I’m a physician and a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) which promotes a plant based diet. I agree with everything you say. Avoidance of animal based protein is the healthiest diet to prevent Cancer and Heart disease. Gluten-free is a fad with no scientific foundation unless you have Celiac Disease. Oils and fats, other than from certain nuts should be avoided. There is no nutritional advantage from Organic food according to all the studies. I have no problem with canned foods as long as they have less salt. There is no data that non-stick cookware is harmful, though avoiding aluminum seems to prevent Alzheimers. I use stainless steel in my cooking. I appreciate your no nonsense, common sense, approach to food and preparation which avoids fads, like gluten-free, or raw diets that have no scientific or nutritional basis. I love your recipes and have made many of them and use your great cookbooks. Your recipes are nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare with simple, readily available ingredients. Keep up the good work and continue to ignore the crazies! God bless you for your great recipes, ideas and good information to promote health and well being.

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96 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Thank you Stephen. I appreciate that someone such as yourself who already knows all this information still reads my articles and offers support. That’s very kind of you 🙂 PCRM is such a great organization, I’m grateful it exists and is helping to educate everyone and spread good information.

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97 Andria Cheever September 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I think you wrote a wonderful article Veronica and you’re very balanced! People tend to be fanatical one way or the other and I think you’re doing your very best to help everyone that you can. You do a GREAT job and I support your efforts 100%! I’m sure your Maker is proud of His child 🙂

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98 VeganAud September 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Hi Veronica,
Thank you for your inspirational raw/vegan foods. I know that it was a great help to me as I was an over weight vegan junkie. Your dishes helped me to get on the right path and follow a healthier way of eating.
Yes, we will always have critics, those that grumble and complain, but please don’t be discouraged with them. Keep up the good that you are doing for those who want to eat a healthy vegan diet be it raw, high raw or cooked. The important thing as you pointed out is to leave off the animal foods and oils for better health. I have lost 24 pounds since I found your website and followed your way of preparing dishes both raw and cooked! Be encouraged. You are appreciated.
Blessings!

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99 Tanya September 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Don’t let the turkeys get you down! You are doing a great service!

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100 Candice September 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Agreed 🙂 I like your recipes and feel like you are describing my diet/lifestyle goals perfectly. Please keep up the good work. Thank you for really attempting to find real healthy food and information based on many different and reputable sources.

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101 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 3, 2013 at 8:40 PM

You’re welcome Candice! Thanks for reading

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102 La Chivita Loca September 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Hi Veronica! I just wanted to say that you are a great inspiration for me and my cooking journey into a low fat plant based diet! Your recipes are basically tasty and healthy and I have made many of them/used them as a starting point to riff off on my own kind of version of them 🙂 I think it’s really great that you are passionate about trying to help people eat well and Lso great that you are laying out your own personal beliefs here too–you make your points clearly and you also make sure to stress that these are things you do–in the end we all make our own choices! I guess what I’m trying to say is rock on!! You’re awesome!!! It must be hard to have that public persona that can become the target of nasty comments/messages, but you’re passion really shows through!!
Thank you so much!!!!

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103 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 3, 2013 at 6:15 PM

You’re welcome and thank you too. 🙂

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