Tips

We’ve been doing a low fat, whole food, plant based diet since December 2011. Here are my tips for how to go about it.

  1. Watch the documentary Forks Over Knives, more than once.
  2. Go to the FOK website and start reading the suggested books and websites. We started with the Engine 2 Diet book because it was the most “manly”, meaning it helped convince Nathan to try the diet. I then read Pleasure Trap. A few chapters of this book are a little “out there” but overall it is probably the best nutrition book I’ve ever read (and that’s saying a lot coming from me). It explains the diet mostly from an evolutionary perspective and that is how I like to look at a lot of things. Nathan is currently reading The China Study and really likes it. It’s next on my list.
  3. I would highly suggest doing the diet 100% for the first month then taking it to whatever degree you like after that. Even if you have no intention of ever practicing the diet 100%, doing if for a month will teach you a lot. We currently practice the diet 90% of the time. The difference in effort between 90 and 100 is huge to me. We have all at-home meals in line with the diet and splurge when we eat outside the home, which is about twice a week.
  4. Get blood work done before starting. Having a quantitative measure of my progress was extremely important for me. I needed to see the results of my effort in black and white. I am a very goal oriented person, with a focus on numbers, so I wouldn’t have been convince that all my hard work was worth it without the positive blood work.
  5. Eat a lot. One of the easiest mistakes to make is not eating enough food. The food is less calorie dense, so you need to eat more of it. It takes a while to get used to this. Just don’t let yourself get too hungry! I did this while nursing so I would get RAVENOUS if I didn’t eat enough :)
  6. Have a lot of food in the fridge and ready to eat. On the day I get my produce, I wash everything and cook and prepare a bunch of stuff that will be ready for quick breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Here’s some of our favs: roasted potatoes, roasted broccoli, boiled corn on the cob, sautéed mushrooms, caramaliszed onions, sliced green onion, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, sliced bell pepper, salad greens, homemade hummus, homemade salad dressing, canned refried beans, pickled jalapeños, etc. These things can be quick snacks or made into easy lunches of salads, sandwiches, or tacos. The point is to always have something ready to eat!
  7. Try not to do too many of the fake meats and cheeses. Most are disappointing and too high in fat.
  8. My favorite sources for recipes are Happy Herbivore (a lot if these recipes taste the same to me, but it’s a great place for beginners), Fat Free Vegan (these recipes usually call for too much dried herb), the FOK book, and converting regular recipes. A warning about these recipes! Most are written by non-chefs and therefore leave a lot to be desired in many ways. Use them more as suggestions and make your own changes based on your knowledge of cooking and common sense.
  9. I thought the hardest part about this diet would be the low fat aspect. Not using oil, etc. But it was pretty easy to learn to cook without oil (get a GreenPan!) The hardest part was the low sodium aspect. I just couldn’t do it. Therefore, I usually add additional salt to my recipes. It’s still less than what I did before but not as little as desired.
  10. Good quality produce is essential. Regular grocery stores just don’t cut it for me. I mostly get our produce from Central Market and a local co-op.
  11. Replace the lost flavor. You’re losing a lot of big flavors with this diet, so be sure to replace those flavors with flavors you CAN have. Some of my favs are:
    • toasted (nuts, seeds, bread, coconut etc)
    • charred (grilled and broiled)
    • pickled (onions, jalapeños, vegetables)
    • fresh (everything! Nothing tastes better than fresh.)
    • umami (miso paste, nutritional yeast, wine, truffles, chocolate, soy sauce, mushrooms etc)
    • aged (balsamic vinegar, wine, etc)
    • sweet (too much to list)
    • biting (horseradish, wasabi, ginger, garlic, etc)
  12. Lastly, find others doing it too. There are groups in major cities that get together for potlucks, but we haven’t done it yet. Check out this site, i like it. Nathan’s entire family mostly eats this way now so we all share recipes with each other; and now more friends and family are joining the bandwagon, hence, this website.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions!

2 thoughts on “Tips

    • Hi Frank! So good to hear from you. Zoe said you’re doing great on the diet. I’m so proud of you!
      Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out.
      I’ll be updating this page with some recent info I’ve found, specifically, you should check out http://engine2extra.com/ . It’s a social site that you pay for. I’ve only been on it about a week, but so far I’ve found it very rewarding and helpful.
      Keep up the good work, Frank!

Leave a Reply