The No-Stress, No-Guilt Approach to Meatless Meals

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/27/2012 6:00 PM   :  101 comments   :  99,689 Views

I'm thrilled to announce that SparkPeople has just published the first in a line of ebooks, "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople: The No-Stress, No-Guilt Way to Reap the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet."

As many of you know, I am editor of SparkRecipes and dailySpark, and co-author of "The SparkPeople Cookbook." I love food--writing, editing, researching, and, of course, eating it.

What you might not know about me is that I'm vegan, meaning I don't eat meat, dairy, eggs or anything else that comes from an animal. About 1% of Americans eat this way (for reference, 3% of Americans are vegetarian), but that number is growing. Due to my love of creating tasty, easy plant-based recipes, I was really excited to launch our ebook series with a vegan cookbook and guide.

Don't worry--SparkPeople isn't taking the stance that we all need to ditch meat forever. But with at least 325,000 vegetarians and vegans on our site, we know that many of our members are interested in eating less meat and more plants. This book fills a niche, and I wrote it with the SparkPeople philosophy in mind--moderation, no fad diets, and taking small steps along the way to a healthier you. 

I am passionate about sharing the vegan lifestyle with others, but I (and SparkPeople) will never pressure you or guilt you into giving up meat, cheese, or eggs forever. I'd rather have each of you take one step toward a healthier you than alienate even one reader with a "diet" that seems complicated and stressful.

Why vegan for me?
In 2010, I adopted an all-plant diet accidentally, unintentionally and without fanfare--all the while claiming that I could never be a vegan. (That's a good story--I explain in the ebook.) My excuses varied depending on the situation: it would be too costly, I loved cheese too much, I couldn't imagine interrogating every server at every restaurant for the rest of my life. I admit: I was wrong about veganism. Today, I remain happily, healthfully vegan.

I've discovered that a plant-based diet is neither restrictive nor difficult, neither expensive nor time-consuming, and I'm hoping you'll give it a try--at least for a little while. 

My body is the strongest and healthiest it has ever been. A vegan diet allows me to maintain a rigorous six-day-a-week Ashtanga yoga practice while training for half-marathons and teaching yoga.  My boyfriend, a competitive cyclist, fuels with a plant-based diet as well. We each became vegan shortly before we met (within a week of each other, it turned out!), and the early days of our relationship were spent cooking up vegan feasts in my tiny apartment kitchen. 

The motivators for a vegan diet can be pretty heavy topics, but what they all have in common is compassion and kindness: for others, for yourself, or for the earth and its animals. That's why I believe in the "no-stress, no-guilt" approach to meatless meals. 

That's also why, along with other experts and members here at SparkPeople, I wrote "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople: The No-Stress, No-Guilt Way to Reap the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet," which is available for $2.99 on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

To celebrate this new e-book and encourage others to embrace more plant-based meals, I'm launching the 30-Day Meatless Challenge, starting March 1.

As I said, this isn't like other books on veganism. We focus solely on the positive aspects of a plant-based diet. Whether you are looking to add a few vegan recipes to your weekly meal plans, experiment with plant-based eating for a few weeks during Lent, or make it a lifelong journey, I hope you'll be inspired to embrace meatless meals at least for a little while from a healthy, whole-foods perspective using the new book.

If you want to eat plants 100% of the time and get healthy while doing it, I'm thrilled--and this is the book and the challenge for you. But remember that if you want to experiment with more meatless meals, learn how to cook for a vegan in your life, or just learn what the heck vegans eat, this book is for you, too.

Click here to buy or preview "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople: The No-Stress, No-Guilt Way to Reap the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet" on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

(If you have no interest in meatless meals, that's OK. Would you mind helping us Spread the Spark by sharing this blog post with others in your life who might be interested?)

This ebook comes as a follow-up to "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight," which I co-wrote with our own World Master Chef, culinary instructor and healthy cooking expert, Meg Galvin. Meg and I spent two years researching, writing and editing that book, and it was a real labor of love. What we heard from the hundreds of SparkPeople members and yo-yo dieters we interviewed was that healthy cooking had to be easy, affordable, and, most of all, delicious. We agreed. While Meg maintains an omnivorous diet and I a vegan one, we realized that our diets have a lot in common. As a result, that book contains dozens of vegan-friendly recipes and a healthy cooking education that suits every dietary need.
SparkPeople knows that an "all-or-nothing" mentality is not fun or the secret to success. We aim to make healthy living fun--and maybe that's why we don't like to use the word "diet," because we're all about life, and living!

Click here to read about the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet.

A variety of health problems prompted JULIE-V-SAVOY to swear off animal products. Her highest weight was 360 pounds. She dropped 50, just by giving up fast food. However, she was far from healthy and plagued by depression and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more.

"I was on so much medicine it could have choked a dinosaur," she said. A car accident after a seizure-like attack prompted her to change. She became vegetarian and later vegan.
Today, at age 42, she weighs 183 pounds--less than what she weighed at age 22. Her goal weight, interestingly enough, is 170 pounds, which is just about the exact same amount of weight she has lost!

More importantly than the numbers on the scale, she says, is her improved quality of life: "All those health problems I had, including the need for medications, the depression, blood pressure issues and all the rest are simply gone. I am healthier now, as a mostly raw, whole food vegan, than I have ever been in my entire life!"

Are you ready to take the 30-Day Meatless Challenge?
The challenge itself is simple, with very few rules. Whether you eat vegan meals thrice daily or once a week is up to you. Do what's right for you.

If you're new to a meatless diet, start small. Try eating vegan meals once a day and build from there.

If you're already vegan, use the month of March to clean up your diet (less processed foods, more green veggies, fewer treats).

And if you need help along the way, reach out to others, both on the blog posts here on dailySpark and in the Vegan and Vegetarian SparkTeam.

Each week, I'll blog about various topics related to the challenge. From protein to snacks to being vegan on the go, we'll cover it all! (If you have any questions you'd like me to answer in the blogs, please send me a SparkMail.)

While you don't have to download the ebook to participate in the challenge, it will be a helpful tool. Here's what you'll find inside "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople":

  • 122 simple, delicious recipes, made from ingredients available at your local supermarket

  • Two 7-day meal plans, each about 1,600 calories for three meals and two snacks. One meal plan is aimed at those new to a plant-based diet and those who don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. The other requires more cooking but still relies on easy recipes made from unprocessed foods.

  • Tips and tricks from members who've lost weight and improved their health by eating vegan meals

  • A chapter on Key Nutrients for Vegans, plus info on foods that are rich in those nutrients

  • The low-down on going vegan on a budget--how to save time, money and the planet 

  • Lists of foods that aren't vegan (but should be), advice for those who have a vegan in the family, and endless inspiration for healthy, plant-based eating.

Take a sneak peek at some of the fantastic recipes you'll find in the ebook:

·Quinoa-Black Bean Casserole

·Walnut Better-than-Cheddar

·Queso (Sin Queso) Dip

·Lemon-Roasted Tempeh and Tomatoes with Arugula and Basil Farro

·Vegan Chocolate Macaroons

·Simple Zucchini Caponata

Download the ebook on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

TIP: You don't need to have an e-reader to download this book. I use Kindle and NOOK for iPhone and for PC to read ebooks, and the apps are available on other platforms as well. (This isn't available in any other ebook format right now, but we hope it will be soon.)

Will you take the 30-Day Meatless Challenge? What is your goal for the challenge?

A huge thanks to all the SparkPeople members who helped me research this book!

Want more healthy recipes from Chef Meg, me and fellow SparkPeople members? Be sure to subscribe to SparkPeople's Recipe of the Day email. Click here to sign up!

Did you know SparkRecipes is now on Facebook? Click here to "Like" us!



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Comments

  • 101
    This is great! Thanks so much. Been a Vegan a year coming this April 1st, 2014! I'm ready to celebrate & I plan to stay vegan. Very much a lifestyle change. My cholestrol lowered significantly & I lost 12 pounds in a short 5-6 weeks! I agree, there is so much variety. I do not feel deprived! The other great thing is that we are also helping our planet! :-) For a real treat my husband and I go to our new favorite restaurant that opened about two months ago called Blossom Vegan! For those who are vegan or not this is a great restaurant in the Bay Area where a Vegan can order without worrying! :-) Nice that eating Vegan is slowly becoming more popular & it's great that vegan restaurants are cropping up or that existing restaurants try to have at least one dish a vegan can order without worrying about what they are consuming! Your recipes sound very good! Can always use a new recipe! - 3/26/2014   3:01:07 PM
  • 100
    : ) - 9/25/2013   7:56:14 AM
  • 99
    While I really enjoyed my 6-month foray into total veganism, (my purpose was to lower my cholesterol) this became a disaster because it INCREASED my total cholesterol, LDL & triglycerides substantially. I was not eating processed or packaged food--just good wholesome, homecooked vegan meals. Consequently, I eat Paleo now. Grass-fed, organic beef, free-range, organic chicken & eggs, etc. and plenty of Omega-3 fats. I do not eat gluten, grains or sugar (of any kind). I use primarily Stevia for my sweetener, if I feel the need, and almond & coconut flour or flax meal for my baking needs. My blood tests are coming up shortly, so I am looking forward to seeing the results this time. I think everyone is different in their nutritional needs, and one size doesn't fit all. - 6/12/2013   9:47:32 AM
  • 98
    Very cool. The recipes sound great!
    - 4/14/2013   2:40:19 AM
  • 97
    Wow! Cool. We are about 80% vegan in our household. We made the switch on the advice of our doctor and after a slightly bumpy start found it pretty easy to do. If we are at someone's house and they serve us meat we just quietly have our meal, and I do make a pizza every month or so, with cheese on it. But most of the time we just prefer the plant based diet.

    the 20 point drop in my bad cholesterol is just an added incentive. Yippee for me! - 4/11/2013   5:45:50 AM
  • 96
    I am in the planning stage of a week-long vegan food plan for my family. It is somewhat of a challenge because my youngest has a tree-nut allergy.

    I too have been watching the various documentaries that are all over Netflix right now and so have been looking into veganism, vegetarianism, juicing, and right now, this whole concept of healthy gut flora and probiotics. I like the idea of moderation and the concept of adding things. Adding more good things and crowding out the bad. I really am hoping to find some relief for my oldest who suffers from horrible constipation and UTI's - the specialists I have spent thousands of dollars on have not found a diagnosis or a cure other than pumping her full of laxatives and preventative antibiotics. - 3/28/2013   2:32:30 PM
  • LYHANCOCK
    95
    I just downloaded the vegan cookbook. I'm eager to add some vegan cooking into my meals. Is there a source for photos of the dishes? I see the putanesca and 2 bean sweet potato chili have photos on the Spark People site. Are there more? - 3/17/2013   1:52:14 PM
  • 94
    I am also interested in the challenge. I thought maybe I could use the challenge as a "shock" to my system and build up my veggie/fruit consumption and a healthy continuum to my personal program. - 2/13/2013   10:49:29 PM
  • 93
    Not sure. - 2/3/2013   11:18:11 AM
  • 92
    Thank you for your article. While my husband and I are not vegetarian or vegan, we have two vegetarian teenage sons. It is always a challenge to come up with meal ideas that is pleasing to all. I am looking forward to downloading your book and trying out some new recipes. - 1/10/2013   7:51:49 AM
  • 91
    Have to tell ya each year I get closer and closer to a no meat diet....last week I made the quinoa and black bean hamburgers and what a breaking point awesome delicious amazing ready for the next level this book may get me there thanks..... - 10/11/2012   7:08:08 AM
  • SUNKAT
    90
    I have been eating vegan for the last 10 months, about the same time that I started posting my foods on Sparkpeople. I am eating plant based strictly for health and it is working. But I found when I signed up for the meal plans, nothing there supported 100% plant based diet. So Sparkpeople has been helping me keep a balanced (non-intuitive) meal plan just by showing me what nutrients I am getting and which I need to eat more of. This has made the transition much easier. - 10/3/2012   8:06:25 AM
  • 89
    I manage to eat almost completely vegetarian until my husband cooks. It really helps that I found Quinoa-Black Bean Casserole in the Spark cookbook and like it so much that I could eat if for weeks on end. (I did! When Husband was away on training I made a huge double batch and ate it for two weeks straight. Had a little break when he came back and then did it again. He loves it too!) - 9/29/2012   5:32:13 PM
  • 88
    You can get Kindle for Android also. Free. That said, I have gone to Vegan lifestyle by choice for better health. I also have a new co-worker who is Vegan and Raw in her choices, so I finally have someone to talk with and that is great. My DH is joining me in this lifestyle change. I have no personal issue with eating meat, I grew up on a farm where we grew it all. - 9/23/2012   12:25:16 PM
  • 87
    definitely trying it - 8/12/2012   7:40:38 AM
  • CRNLONDON
    86
    I love the Walnut Grilled Cheese. Thank you for providing try-it items.

    I am not interested in adopting a wholly vegan or vegitarian diet but I do devote at least two days per week to these alturnative menus; the family learns about available alturnatives and variety of good tasting and good for you foods and I feel good that I am providing a full range of healthy diet choices.

    I also love having dinner parties and I always make the menu fully vegitarian or vegan if one or more of my guests is vegan or vegitarian. My carnivore friends are always amazed at the variety and the great taste and my vegan and vegitarian friends are always thrilled not to have to ask for specific foods and often get new iteas or request recipes to take home. So far, I've only had one friend who refuses to come to my dinner parties due the lack of meat and / or animal products.. - 6/21/2012   6:40:58 AM
  • KIWIZUCHINI
    85
    I gave up meat on Dec 24, 2000 and gave up all other animal products in 2005. My boyfriend eats meat, and although I don't encourage him to eat meat, I do respect that he makes his own food decisions. This means that we often have to make two meals and don't get to eat together. Food is very important culturally and many of my friends are hunters or raise cattle. I believe that more important than what you eat, is taking responsibility for what you eat. Unfortunately, I know many people who refuse to take responsibility. For example that they love a salmon fillet, but are grossed out by cleaning a fish. Basically, if you can kill it, clean it, prepare it and eat it, then more power to you. I can't so I don't.

    For those who are sensitive to soy try seitan, it's gluten based. If you're gluten sensitive it's easy to get certified gluten free soy beans, tofu and soy milk. As always, the more processed the food is, the higher the risk of cross-contamination. - 4/28/2012   11:01:45 PM
  • 84
    Well I read the last comment in my window and it answer my question about it being available in another format. I have a Kobo Vox. I think I will be definitely getting this book. I have been considering lately to become mostly vegetarian... the transition of eliminating meat won't be that hard since I don't consume a lot to start with. I have iron overload so that was one excuse for not eating too much meat.

    But increasing my vegetables will be challenging since I can easily go days without fruit nor veggies. But I'm working on it. Right now I am increasing veggies by having salad meals. I'm enjoying that! I'm worried about trying new things though. Baby steps LOL

    Back to talking about iron overload... I previewed the book at amazon and I saw the section on iron. What I did not see included in there was the danger of iron overload. Most people assume they are anemic and that is not always true. ALWAYS ALWAYS have a blood test to check serum ferritin to see if you really need increased iron. I also didn't see a list of items that slow the absorption of iron like tea. Although lately, from what I've been reading non-heme iron isn't as easily absorbed as heme iron (from meat) so perhaps mentioning iron overload isn't necessary. Still... it should always be a caution.

    I am looking forward to seeing what recipes there are! - 4/1/2012   1:31:28 PM
  • 83
    I'm not sure why this big push for meatless meals, or why anybody should have any guilt over it if they chose to have one.

    I say to each his own, and enjoy whatever you lifestyle choices are! - 3/25/2012   8:44:08 PM
  • 82
    The table of contents is heavy with soy-based meals. What are the alternatives if one is allergic to soy or cannot have soy due to a thyroid condition? It's great if a vegan diet works for you; it doesn't work for everyone. Also, what if your significant other doesn't like beans of any kind? - 3/16/2012   1:25:50 PM
  • 81
    I was excited when I saw the new book advertised. Then I was disappointed because I don't have a Kindle. I'm not going to spend the money on one either. I enjoy thumbing through a cookbook and dog earing the pages of my favorite recipes.

    I would never be a vegan, but I've tried to add some meatless meals to my cuisine once or twice a week. Sorry I guess unless you have them on Spark I'll never try yours. Veganomican will remain my go to cookbook. - 3/16/2012   12:22:03 PM
  • 80
    I was a vegan for several months, my doctor told me it was the healthiest diet. I stuck to the plan faithfully and I will admit it made cooking fun.

    For another reason I changed doctors. My new doctor doesn't feel the same way about vegan diets. I had labs done and that proved the Vegan diet wasn't exactly a healthy diet. My doctor said, what happened with my labs were consistent with the two doctors and several patients that took on the Vegan diet.

    All my doctors are Naturopathics, except for the one that embraced the Vegan diet, all of them recommend eating lean meat and limiting red meat.

    All of the doctors (even the Vegan) recommend avoiding processed foods.....included the tofu based cheese and other products.

    Like someone else pointed out there is a HUGE difference between: vegan, vegetarian and meatless. I do eat one meal a day that is meatless (beans) and I do eat tofu in place of meat (by choice, because I like tofu) a few times a week.

    All because people claim that vegan is the healthiest way to go, it might not be healthy for everyone......my A1C CLIMBED on the vegan diet. - 3/16/2012   11:20:36 AM
  • 79
    I prefer not to have my computer in the kitchen - any plans for a paper release? - 3/16/2012   10:05:42 AM
  • 78
    It's funny to think someone could say they could never enjoy a Vegan meal because they are so attached to meat or animal products. Here are 3 Vegan meal ideas that you could do today so simply!
    Breakfast: Banana with 2 slices whole wheat toast and strawberry jam, calcium fortified orange juice.
    Lunch: Hummus with veggies (carrot, celery, zucchini sticks) and whole wheat crackers, apple, ice tea with lemon.
    Dinner: Chana Masala with Basmati rice: (My basic recipe) Garbanzo beans cooked with onion, tomatoes, yellow curry powder, and cilantro. OR try a Veggie stir fry with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and bean sprouts (or ANY veggies) over steamed long grain rice.

    This is not hard when you think about it. I always try to limit my meat although I still consume it. I also enjoy eggs too. The biggest trick was getting off dairy but my daughters are lactose intolerant so we switched to almond milk. Silk makes a great tasting and affordable refrigerated one. In fact, their Dark Chocolate flavor is actually BETTER than real chocolate milk in my opinion. Also, when you think about it, what other animal on this planet consumes another mother's milk? Cow's milk is for baby cows. You would be totally grossed out if I offered you my breast milk in your cereal but somehow cow's milk is okay. There are PLENTY of other good calcium sources if you are worried about your intake. Look around your house, there are probably lots of Vegan meals waiting, you just have to change your perception. Good luck!
    - 3/16/2012   9:25:03 AM
  • 77
    To each his own.... I'm a carnivore and plan to stay that way....... - 3/16/2012   9:22:56 AM
  • 76
    To each his/her own. I am an omnivore to the core. I do plan meatless days here and there...but there is no way I'm giving up any form animal protein on a permanent basis. - 3/16/2012   8:31:08 AM
  • 75
    I normally don't leave comments, but since I feel strongly on the topic, I felt compelled to post something.

    As someone who's performed research in the name of nutrition, I'm always very skeptical when it comes to promoting a vegan diet. In reality if not planned very carefully, a vegan (or sometimes vegetarian) diet can leave people extremely vitamin deficient.

    I read the introduction to this e-book, and I think it explains the planning and possible vitamin deficiencies very well. Most vegan or vegetarian diet or cookbooks don't. If you're planning on pursuing or if you've already started a vegetarian or vegan diet, I recommend reviewing these sections of this e-book. They've got great information.

    That said, I saw some of the commenters mention the "documentary" Forks Over Knives. I've watched this movie, it skews facts. The China and Casein Studies are observational-based studies only. The conclusions they come to are not backed by scientific research studies. For a great explanation or why this movie is not a documentary from a research perspective, please google, forks over knives longest review, and it will be the first result. (I'm not sure if we're supposed to post links here or not.) - 3/16/2012   8:04:18 AM
  • 74
    Thanks Stepfanie, for writing this book. I read books by Dr. Neal Barnard and Susie Cohen and both authors recommemd a vegan lifestyle for the best health benefits. What is great about your book, is it will break you in slowly to the lifestyle. I'm not sure if I'll do the challenge, but I'll surely be using the book for some great meatless days. My husband will never go totally meatless, and I really like to eat the chickens that we grow in our own backyard. - 3/16/2012   7:00:05 AM
  • 73
    I tried going vegan in college and really screwed up my system - horrible anemia, B12 deficiency, muscle tone loss, digestive trouble from all the beans, etc. It was probably the side effect of being in college (broke) and not knowing my rear from a frying pan when it came to the kitchen.

    For those who can do it? Awesome to them. As it stands, I'm turned off from doing that again because I remember how awful I felt last time! I can do vegetarian, but not full-on vegan.

    Oh, and to those who do NOT have a kindle, you can download "Kindle for PC" for free at Amazon and read Kindle books on your PC. - 3/16/2012   1:48:31 AM
  • INDIANAMIKE
    72
    The human body never -- as in never -- needs to eat animal protein. People who eat meat have much higher rates of heart disease, cancers and diabetes. As Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. says, moderation kills. Watch the movie Forks over Knives. Also, eating a plant-based diet is beneficial to the environment. Read J Morris Hicks' book Healthy Eating - Healthy World. - 3/16/2012   12:37:11 AM
  • WANAKA1
    71
    I'm happy for those that can benefit from the ebook, but what about those that can't, like myself. I will have to wait until Spark comes out with a regular book. - 3/11/2012   4:35:09 PM
  • MOM1442
    70
    I have been vegan for about 2 months - 3/8/2012   10:24:56 PM
  • SEWKNIT
    69
    I checked out the sneak peak at the recipes and all of them contain some kind of soy product. For someone who is gluten free, that poses a problem. Plus I have a sensitivity for all nightshade veggies (tomatoes, eggplant,peppers,potatoes) and fungus (mushrooms,yeast). Sure makes it a lot harder. My son is vegan, and I do eat some vegan meals, but I still prefer my fish, beef & turkey (can't eat chicken either!) Plus, I don't have or want a kindle - can it be downloaded to a computer? - 3/8/2012   8:34:55 PM
  • 68
    If there are so many vegetarians on Sparkpeople, then I just wonder why those emails from Meg seem to nearly always be based on meat? I would think that there would be a healthy vegetarian recipe every day as well as the type that she always seems to have, or maybe every other day have vegetarian and vegetarian selections on the side every day. - 3/7/2012   11:31:45 PM
  • 67
    I grew up on a cattle ranch and I love the taste of meat, always have, and I have always, since about the age of 16, wanted to be the healthiest I can be. About 10 years ago I took a series of classes called Cornary Health Improvement Program or CHIP. Which promotes a vegan lifestyle. My heart is healthier than most people my age (56) and I don't have allergies or asthima and I'm not out of breath when I climb stairs any more. I feel the best living a plant based diet. I only wish SparkPeople.com offered a Vegan Cookbook cause I would purchase it if they did. Go Stepfaine and thank you so much for being on the staff of sparkpeople.com. I so appreciate you.
    Most Sincerely,
    Diane - 3/7/2012   9:05:24 PM
  • 66
    I am a vegetarian. I started my meatless journey Nov 1, 2011. I occasionally eat fish and other seafood, i still enjoy eggs, yogurt, milk, and cheese. In my time as a vegetarian I have lost 40 lbs. I follow an easy nutrition plan where I ensure I am getting enough fiber, protein, and iron. I have also enjoyed products from MorningStar Farms, Le Jardin, etc which have offered me meatless substitutions for items that I love. It has worked well for me, and it is no longer just about the weightloss, I now know exactly what I am putting into my body. I make a concious effort to understand and read ingredient labels, to make sure that my nutrients are coming from naturally from foods! - 3/7/2012   1:18:28 PM
  • 65
    For those of you wanting to get this and do not have a Kindle. If you have an I phone (not sure about android phones) you can download a kindle reader for free to your phone and then purchase the book to your phone. Its perfect.
    - 3/7/2012   12:16:53 PM
  • DEBICGA
    64
    @carolelizabeth1...you can download both apps to your computer for free. Then you just have to follow the instructions for purchasing books from whichever version you chose. - 3/7/2012   11:54:25 AM
  • CAROLEB1954
    63
    I consider myself a vegetarian, however, I do eat chicken and fish on occassion. I could definately live without it, I don't know about yogurts and cheese. I love my Fage Yogurt. Is this book available in hardcover? I don't own a kindle or a nook. Would love to take the challenge! - 3/7/2012   11:07:33 AM
  • 62
    While I was growing up we didn't eat much meat. Mom would fix a casserole with 1 pound of hamburger and fed 11 people with it. So we were getting something like 1.5 ounces of meat in a meal. Since I've started working on my weight I tried to stick to the guidelines the government, et al, are giving us. Now I'm reading books like "The China Study" and watching documentaries like "Forks Over Knives" and finding out that I've been eating to promote heart disease and diabetes...the very things I've been working to stay away from.

    So I'm making the switch. I've never had a taste for lots of meat, and I believe in eating meat sparingly as part of my religion. I've learned in the last couple years that whole grains are power packed. Just one cup in a meal can provide so much energy and so many nutrients. I'm thinking meat is the same way. It's so potent that just a tiny bit here and there provides enough B12 and omega 3 (I forget the letters).

    More proof for me is the time I spent in Honduras. I was there for 16 months and ate a typical Honduran diet. Granted this was 26-28 years ago and things have changed, but while I was there we ate very little meat (I can count on both hands the meat meals we ate in 16 months). We did eat eggs and some dairy, but nothing compared to what we eat here. Beans, rice, corn tortillas, fresh veggies and fresh fruit were the staples. We also walked everywhere. I came home at my ideal weight, toned more than ever before and healthier than I'd ever been. I can see it in the pictures. - 3/7/2012   10:52:11 AM
  • COOLOLENA1
    61
    I can tell this is the most healthy lifestyle, but you`ll have not to refuse of dairy/nuts and of course all whole grain products. I also have heard that too much cereals is not healthy as well, don`t know it is true as I heard only form one resource.I will not accept the challenge as I take care of my family member after stroke and wake up at night etc, so my body gonna need more nutritious food. However, I stay on salads, fruit vegetables - that`s my lifestyle- everything in moderation. I know it will be hard , but good luck who`ll stay brave to the end ))!!! - 3/7/2012   10:43:46 AM
  • 60
    I just downloaded the book. I've been juggling with the idea of becoming vegan for a month now, but I'm still new to being vegetarian. I may do 2 days a week of nothing but vegan meals. Thanks for the book. I look forward to trying some of the recipes. - 3/7/2012   10:14:51 AM
  • 59
    I would love to view this as I am pretty much a vegetarian, but I have a NOOK, not a kindle. When will it be available at Barnes and Noble? - 3/7/2012   10:05:08 AM
  • 58
    Incidentally, I had already decided to give a plant-based lifestyle a try for 13 weeks as of March 1! So, I will happily participate in this challenge. I decided to do this after having my first ever painful attack of acid reflux, most likely brought on by my extra weight and unhealthy diet. Since starting on March 1, I have already lost 8 pounds! I have never lost weight so fast but I am eating more than ever--every two hours! And I already have more energy -- I'm up before my alarm instead of snoozing three or four times. - 3/7/2012   9:40:24 AM
  • LIZZYCLAIRE
    57
    I'd love to go meatless because of all the health benefits. I tried it for a week or so, but I ended up gaining weight and feeling hungry a lot, so I went back to animal products. Do you have any tips for keeping full and losing weight on a vegan diet? Thanks! - 3/7/2012   9:00:03 AM
  • 56
    Hi I'm not ready yet to go Vegan but I'm aiming toward a more plant based diet & trying more whole grains.
    I love how good the chances are helping me to feel! - 3/7/2012   8:16:57 AM
  • CUPOFJO4U
    55
    i used to do the BloodType Diet which, being a Type O, required me to eat pretty much all the lean red meat and game i wanted. while i did enjoy it at the time and lost a decent amount of weight (i.e. high protein + tons of exercise), i have haven't had much of an affinity for meat in the last few months. i didn't really know where i stood on the carnivore-vegetarian scale and then i watched a documentary called "Forks Over Knives" that opened my eyes a little. not only have we as Americans eaten an ungodly amount of meat but we've created another problem for the environment with the industrialization of food. yes, i've been finding that it is difficult to get enough protein with a plant-based diet, especially since i tend to stay away from processed soy products, but i'm figuring things out and discovering what my body needs along the way. i highly recommend the documentary to anyone interested in veganism. (plus it's free on NetFlix!) i also want to say that i'm not against eating meat, but personally for me, i don't have a taste for it anymore. while i'm not sure i can be a strict vegan, i think a happy medium is if i use meat more as a flavoring instead of a main component in my meals. i also recommend "Appetite for Reduction" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. and if you're interested in the environmental effects of the food industry, i just watched "The Botany of Desire" which stresses how the food industry is slowly hampering the natural evolution and biodiversity of many plant/vegetable/fruit species. really interesting stuff!!! - 3/6/2012   9:15:58 AM
  • 54
    Are there any plans to introduce a vegan or diary free option for the meal planner? While I don't normally use the planner the rest of the time, I thought I would try it during Lent to help free myself from the constant thinking of "what should I eat for my next meal" that I tend to fall into. I found that wasn't going to work though because by the time I'd gone through the options trying to find one that didn't include diary, I would have thought even MORE about my next meal than I would have otherwise. (Diary substitutes aren't really an option for me, as they are too expensive/difficult to find here).
    I did just go and have another look at the planner, and there seem to be a few more options than there were a couple of weeks ago, but not nearly enough to make using it a realistic option for those who choose not to eat any animal products.
    And now I'm off to join the challenge (is it a challenge though if I'm used to doing it twice every year???) - 3/5/2012   5:23:20 PM
  • 53
    Congrats and kudos for developing the recipes and the book - options and information for people to make informed choices is invaluable. - 3/2/2012   2:40:15 PM
  • STEPFANIER
    52
    No, I very rarely lean on those "faux" ingredients. They're pricey, hard to find, and often full of not-so-great ingredients. I use real foods whenever possible. - 3/2/2012   10:05:01 AM

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