Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbie 101 Series: Misc. Questions

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: 101Series

Well my students, this is our last class! I hope you have enjoyed the Herbie 101 series! If you missed any of the previous posts, here they are:

Herbie 101: Nutrition

Herbie 101: Soy & GMO

Herbie 101: Allergies and Medical Conditions

Herbie 101: Pregnancy, Kids & Bodily Functions

Herbie 101: Baking, Cooking & Ingredients


Now for your general and miscellaneous questions!

Is it safe to juice lemongrass?
I've never seen lemongrass juiced at a juice bar, so I'd say no. I don't juice.

What are your thoughts on juicing?
I don't juice — I follow Dr. Essy's advice, who says not to juice (Source). 

From his website:

Juicing — Is it all right to juice?
Do not juice. You lose all the fiber and its benefits.

Fruit juice — What about fruit juice?
Drinking fruit juice is like pouring the sugar bowl down your throat. It is fine to eat the whole fruit. Do not drink the juice. 

If you're looking to lose weight, you probably shouldn't juice — or drink any calories.

What is an appropriate amount of almonds to eat per day? What is too much of a good thing?
If you are looking to lose weight or you have heart disease, you should not eat any almonds at all (or other nuts/seeds). Dr. Fuhrman says you can eat up to 1 ounce of nuts per day.

Low-cost ways to have a plant-based diet?                                                    Plant-based staples like beans and rice are a bargain. I also have a "budget" icon in most of my cookbooks, indicating which recipes are under $5 to make. See this post, "Eating Healthy on a Budget."

I also can't recommend the meal plans enough. Most people report spending as little as $30 a person for all their food for the entire week, 21 meals and snacks!

Why do you say plant based and not vegan? Is it the same?
See this post, "What is a Plant-Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet."

How about people who go plant-based and feel great for the first few months, then all of a sudden feel tired, lethargic, and crappy. What would this be due to and how might one address it?
It would depend on your symptoms, but most often: there has been a dietary change. Maybe you're eating out a little more. Maybe vegan junk food has started to creep in.  

Being vegan and losing weight — Is it mainly watching caloric intake or what you're eating. When I first started eating a plant-based diet, I actually gained weight!

Weight gain is caused by too many calories and as Dr. McDougall says, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. As I know from personal experience, if I start increasing a lot of fat in my diet (nuts, seeds, avocado), I put weight on. Make sure to eat a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. Not just a "vegan" diet. You can be "vegan" and live on french fries and cola. 

I also can't recommend the meal plans enough for weight-loss. We have so many success stories.



I  have been hearing a lot about cleansing and detoxing. I looked up cleansing programs, and it's kind of expensive, is there a chance for a Happy Herbivore week cleansing menu? I love your taste in food!!
Don't waste your money on a cleanse or "detox" — just eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. Eat foods that are minimally processed and as close to nature as possible. Eat clean — use your intuition. You know what healthy is. I also can't recommend our meal plans enough.

If you cook popcorn in a lunch bag, how can u keep it from burning?
Same way you cook all popcorn — be careful not to overcook.

Does living a plant-based diet mean you just have to accept the fact that you will go to the store more frequently for produce and may have to spend more money on food?
No. With our meal plans, for example, you only go to the grocery store once a week. Most people also report saving over $100 a month using the meal plans. My grocery bill went way, way down when we adopted a plant-based diet. Also see the above Q&A about eating on a budget.

What is an easy way to cook for my family (that is not plant-based) and myself for dinner without making 2 completely different meals?
Make a plant-based meal and then add some meat or dairy on the side that they can add to their portions.

Explain complete proteins. Do we get all the amino acids from plants or not? I hear both ways.
Some years ago, nutritionists were saying vegans needed to combine foods (such as beans and rice) in order to obtain so-called complete proteins. This has long been abandoned by the nutrition community since we now know that's not true. The myths about having to combine foods to get the proper balance of nutrients has been long disproved, but like the protein myth, seems to carry on never the less. I won't get too scientific, but the short of it is: you don't have to eat beans and rice or nuts and grains or any combination at the same time. You just have to eat them, period. Not necessarily together. (Source)

How do you resist temptations to quit and go back to how you were eating before?
See this post, "Dealing with Cravings and Food Addictions." For me, once I understood just how bad that "food" was for me, it was very easy for me to pass it up. I see it as poison now.

What is good for someone not looking to lose weight. Maybe even gain?
If you need to gain weight, eat more calories and choose high-calorie foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, dried fruits, grains.

What do I do about holidays when Thanksgiving dinner is a potluck and I'm the only vegan in the extended family?
Ask your relatives if they'd be opening to make a few vegan options at dinner. If not, bring your own meal and maybe something everyone can try.

Why is it that everytime I bake something plant-based (including cornbread, waffles, pancakes, etc.) it always turns out gooey?
Hmm I'm not sure — could be undercooking, over-measuring flour, over-stirring, bad baking agents, or your altitude.

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