Happy Herbivore Blog

March 24, 2012

This Week's Q&A (Talking skin care, processed foods, carbs and more!)

You've got questions, I've got answers!

1. I've been plant-based for about 3 months and I'm not losing any weight. I'm thinking that it's because of all the carbs. I may be eating more than one serving because it's so good. Any ideas?

As for weight-loss, have you tried our meal plans? We have so many success stories and having a plan in place helps you with portion control. That aside, you can see this blog post about losing weight. Carbs are not necessarily a problem.

2. Since moving away from meat and cheese, I'm cold - even my hands. My wife even asked "what's up, you were always warm ... especially your hands?" LOL. Am I'm missing something nutritionally or just not eating enough?

I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can't give any sort of medical advice, but it sounds like a circulation issue. Have you talked to your doctor about it? It has also been winter and you might be right about not getting enough calories. If it continues, talk to your doctor about circulation and in the meantime, make sure you’re eating enough daily calories. When you switch to a plant-based diet, you eat a lot more volume.

3. I wanted to know your thoughts on the "processed" vegan foods, like the Morning Star products. I purchased some at the beginning of my transition to go vegetarian and now that I am stepping into going all plant-based, I am curious if these are even good for me to eat.

I think we can all agree that highly processed foods, whether they are plant-based or not, are not "good" for us or "healthy" foods. Do I think faux meats and faux cheeses can be helpful for people during transition? Yes. Do I think having them once in a while as a "treat" as part of an otherwise healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet is probably okay? Yes. I have a tofu dog and a boca burger from time to time, but not often and usually only on special occasions (such as at a baseball game). We all have to find our own balance, but my advice is always to eat whole, plant foods as much as possible.

4. I'd like to know more about natural skin care and makeup products, do you have any suggestions?

There are several brands of natural skin care and makeup available. See this post for a list of them as well as vegan skin care tips.

5. Do you use a rice cooker? If so, which one? My girlfriend and I have been trying to use brown rice over white, but the rice cookers we have used cause a huge mess, take forever to cook, and are difficult to get right for brown rice, but work perfect for white rice. 

I *do* use a rice cooker, but it has long been discontinued by Panasonic. I recommend spending a little extra and getting one with a special brown rice setting as I find the run of the mill rice cookers can't really handle brown rice without a special setting. I also recommend one with a digital timer if you can spend a bit more. Mine has a timer so I can put rice in it before bed, but have it hot and ready for breakfast OR put it together in the morning and have hot rice ready when I walk in the door after work, that sort of thing. Not necessary, but worth the extra cost imho.

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