Happy Herbivore Blog

February 16, 2013

This Week's Q&A (Talking Gluten-Free, Deficiencies, IBS, Snacks)

You've got questions...


Q: To make a recipe gluten-free, can I substitute oat flour for wheat flour equally or is it more complicated than that?

A: It's more complicated than that, unfortunately. For one, while oats themselves are gluten-free, most are cross-contaminated with gluten, so you'll have to make sure you're using certified gluten-free oats to make oat flour, or certified gluten-free oat flour. With muffin recipes, oat flour tends to be a good solution, but not necessarily for things like cookies. For more tips and help with GF baking and substitutions, see this post, Baking 911.

Q: Is is true that vegans are at risk for iron deficiencies, protein deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies? 

A: No! Please see this post: Herbie 101 Series: Nutrition.

Q: Have you ever heard about any research related to veganism and inflammatory bowel diseases?
A: I know that a plant-based diet can (and often does) cure IBS, but I can't remember a specific instance of a discussion about Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Of course that doesn't mean a discussion didn't happen or there is an absence of research; I just can't remember everything I see or read :)

I did a quick Google search and came upon this article.

I'm sure you could find more Googling on your own since you probably know the keywords better than me, though!

Q: Do you have any advice for me on how I can increase my following, get a book published and basically, do what you have done?  I'm very inspired by your success and following and hope to achieve that some day. 

A: I've written about a dozen blog posts specifically addressing all of this. For example,there are 4 blog posts on publishing a book, another 2 on starting a business and getting clients, etc etc. Use the search bar and also click on the blog label for "Business 101" -- that should get you started.

Q: Do you ever get cravings for meat, cheese, or junk food? What do you do?

A: I've been plant-based for so long that I don't get cravings. I don't even see meat, cheese, or junk food as "food" anymore. It's just not an option or consideration for me. I can't ever remember struggling with cravings, but maybe I did and I've wiped it out of my memory :) 

As for "what to do," why not make vegan versions of the foods you're craving?

You can also check out these posts for more help and information: "How to Deal with Food Cravings and Addictions" and "How to Overcome Food Cravings."

Q: My family and I are heading to Disney next week and I am worried finding healthy plant-based snacks in the parks. Can you recommend some portable snacks that I can carry with me?

A: Dried fruit, trail mix, peanut butter packets, crackers, celery, carrots, hummus packets, fresh fruit, PB&J, muffins, granola bars (from EHH), granola, pretzels, dehydrated vegetable chips, kale chips, sweet potatoes, bean burritos, HH muffins.... I'm sure anything you regularly pack in the kids' lunches would translate too!

Q: Is it really possible to take a passion and figure out a way to incorporate it into a new opportunity? Into a career? 

A: I did. I think it's possible for anyone, if they have the commitment, passion and dedication. It takes a lot of work — more than most people realize. More than I ever imagined, but my, how it has been worth it. I've written a lot of blog posts about this topic, I highly recommend you check those out :) 

Q: Where do you get your calcium?

A: Please see this post: Herbie 101 Series: Nutrition.

Q: I made brownies but forgot to add sugar! Can they be saved?

A: There's no way to add sugar to a baked good after it's baked, unless you add a frosting of some kind. Sorry!

Q: My friend was just diagnosed with diverticulitis and, because she knows I have drastically changed what I eat, asked me if I can give her some advice.  Have you had any feedback on your cookbooks helping this problem?

A: Off the top of my head, I can't remember a specific instance of someone who had or reversed diverticulitis, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened (I just can't remember every email anymore). Chances are, it'll improve the condition in some way. If not the condition, your friend's life, so it's worth a shot.

I did find this article with a quick Google search.

Q: I have a child who just started eating table food. I want to make sure he gets all that he needs to thrive. Any suggestions on resources that may be helpful?

Kids' nutrition is the same as for adults, they just need more fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) for brain development. 

Here are some helpful links:

Q: What was your journey from law school to where you are now?

A: I've written several blog posts about my journey. At least a dozen. You can find them using the search bar :)

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