Tag Archives: nutrition

I’m a fan of tempeh.  While I believe it’s not quite as perfect as leafy greens or broccoli, and should generally be used more as a condiment than the center of your meal, I do think it’s a great protein option for vegans (not that we need extra protein, but if you’re worried about that, read Dr. Mcdougall’s article “When Friends Ask: Where Do You Get Your Protein?” here) .

When I first started seeing tempeh in cookbooks and food blogs, I sort of lumped it together with isolated soy proteins and TVP… but in terms of how processed it is, it’s really not even near that same category!

When I’m learning about nutrition and trying to gather and sift through information, I often find it pretty overwhelming.  It seems like you can say anything on the internet as long as you have a quote from an “expert” willing to support you.  My very first criteria when I’m reading an article is that there are references directly to medical journals.  This is the easiest way to cut out a lot of the crap!  The next level of sifting gets much more difficult as you actually have to have a good understanding of journal articles and what makes for a good scientific study.  So I won’t go into that here.

I want to share two great starting places to find information on nutrition.


Dr. Michael Greger is a machine, as every year he reads every journal article on nutrition written in English.  And not only that, but everyday he makes a short video on what he’s reading and cites his sources in the video notes.  Oftentimes, if the journal article is public access, he will provide a direct link to the article!

2. The search form at

Dr. McDougall is also one of those doctors that reads a lot of journal articles!

If you are looking for an article put together by Dr. McDougall start here and make sure to type “newsletter” along with whatever you’re searching for, as this is where he posts his articles.  But when you search without that, you will be directed to a number of related discussion boards that Jeff Novick moderates.  He is also a wealth of information and backs up his answers with support from journal articles.

  • Read Dr. McDougall’s article on soy here.

The other thing I love about both of these doctors is that they answer your questions.  You can leave a question for Dr. Greger in the comments section of any video on his site, and you can email Dr. McDougall directly.  I’ve also directed questions to Jeff Novick on his FB page here, and he is always very to the point and helpful!

While I’ve been on my retreat, I’ve been staying at the True North Health Center.  It’s a pretty unique place… they do water-only fasts (I’ve met people who are doing 30 and 40 day fasts!) and they also have people come just to eat healthier.  The food they serve is oil/salt/sugar/gluten free (and vegan!)… so pretty much a lot of salad, soup, whole grains, and steamed veggies.  Very clean.

I just had my exit interview with Dr. Klaper, and thought I’d share his nutritional recommendations:

BREAKFAST: Fruit, with or without oatmeal (“real” oatmeal, not instant)

  •  I really like doing smoothies when I’m eating healthy, but he recommended against that.  He said it’s an unnatural dose of food that you wouldn’t eat if it were in it’s whole form, it spikes your blood sugar, and just isn’t ideal.  So I’m going to only have them occasionally.


  • FORMULA FOR EACH MEAL:  Salad + Soup + Steamed Greens
  • salad… as large as you like, with vegan, oil-free dressing, flavored vinegars, or lemon juice.
  • soup… he was very specific here:  on Saturday morning, buy and chop your favorite vegetables from the market.  Later that night, fill a crockpot half full of water.  Add half the veggies and your favorite spices, putting remaining veggies in the fridge.  Add 1/2 cup (soaked and rinsed) lentils, beans, quinoa, rice, etc.  Fill to near top with water, place lid on, push button, go to bed.  Keep crockpot on low for 2-4 days, (use a wide mouth thermos to bring soup to work) and then on Tues. night, freeze the rest in containers for “instant meals.” Repeat the process with remaining veggies on Tuesday night.
  • steamed greens… kale, chard, broccoli, collards, spinach, asparagus, etc. Rinse and tear pieces and place into a steamer basket. Steam over hot water for 3-6 minutes. Serve with squeezed lemon juice, no-fat salad dressing, etc.

extra protein: legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils, etc.), walnuts (omega 3’s), pumpkin seeds (zinc), etc.

extra calories: grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet), potatoes (“new” potatoes are best), yams (or other “yellow” vegetables like carrots or squash)

dessert: apple slices, strawberries, 1/2 banana, cherries, a few grapes

Then, go for a walk! Get your legs moving every day… he recommended a recumbent bike if you watch a lot of TV.

supplements: Also, if you’re vegan, he recommends you take vitamins B12 and D.  My vitamin D was a little low (even though I live in Phoenix!) but he suggested I go on morning walks this summer and have my levels checked again in September to see if that fixes it (without supplementing).  He said if it’s over 30 mg/dL, I should be good for the winter.

what NOT to eat: oils of any kind, dairy, processed carbohydrate (pastas, breads…occasionally is fine), meat (he said if you have to have meat, he recommends people eat no more than 3 oz of grain fed beef or wild-caught salmon 2-3x per week).