Happy Herbivore Blog

This Week's Q&A (Talking Weight Loss, Gluten-Free, Cereals, Hens)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

You've got questions...


Q: I switched to a soy-free, gluten-free, plant-based diet about a month ago, and have gained quite a bit of weight. Do you know why this might be? (Do you have any tips?)

A: It's hard for me to guess without seeing some kind of food journal to know exactly what you are eating — and how much. In most cases, I find people are 1) eating too many calories overall, 2) eating too many high-fat and calorie-dense foods, and 3) are drinking calories — coffee, tea, soda, smoothies, juice, alcohol. 

If you need to lose weight, I can't recommend the meal plans enough. We have so many great weight-loss success stories. The meal plans are also soy-free and gluten-free.

You can also check out this post for additional information and advice: "Engine 2: Stuck In A Rut."

Q: Which of your books has the most gluten free recipes?

A: I'd say they're all about the same — 85% or more gluten-free. The ones that aren't automatically GF can be made GF with simple substitutions (like using gluten-free all purpose flour). I have 4 GF testers, and I don't put any recipe in my cookbook that doesn't translate. There is also a recipe for GF all-purpose flour in EHH and HHA. All three books have a "gluten-free" icon to designate GF recipes.

Q: Hi!  Do you have to add oats to the black bean brownies?  I am gluten intolerant.

A: Yes, but you can use certified gluten-free oats, such as these from Bob's Red Mill. You can pulse rolled oats in the food processor or blender to make "quick" oats.

Q: I've always wondered why you don't do (healthy, whole grain of course) boxed cereals for breakfast, or whole grain breads/bagels/English muffins? I never see these on your meal plans.

A: I (personally) don't consider cereals healthy because they are so processed. Even 100% whole grain ones are processed — just think about what a grain must go through to get in a weird cereal shape. It's also nearly impossible to find whole-grain cereals that are also unsweetened , and the meal plans are designed so people can buy what they need at any store — not have to make a special trip, or spend $5 on a box of cereal. Cereal is just not an easy or affordable option — or as healthy as oats, quinoa, etc. 

We do use whole-wheat bread and bagels on occasion, but not English muffins since I've never been able to find 100% whole-wheat, oil-free, vegan English muffins — even in large cities like New York and Los Angeles. I assume if I can't find it in a big city, most other people can't find it at all. We try to make sure the meal plans will work for everyone, even those in small cities or towns. 

And although whole-wheat breads, etc. are better than white, they're also still more processed that oatmeal or quinoa, and not as filling, so that's another reason why we try to stick to grains. 

For more information, see this post: "Caloric Density."

Q: I'm just wondering if you have any recommendations for eating out — for those times that you forgot to make lunch or didn't get up early enough in the morning to make one. 

A: There are about a dozen blog posts on this — click the "Travel" button or try the search bar.

Q: We have five hens that free range 100 percent on twenty acres and come in at night on their own, and I shut the area for safety — I have felt ethically it is reasonable to eat their eggs; however, health-wise, I am wondering after watching Forks Over Knives.

A: Eggs contain cholesterol, which is harmful to the heart. All dietary cholesterol (meaning cholesterol you eat) is harmful. It only exists in animal foods. 

The takeaway from FOK is simple: only eat plant foods. It doesn't matter how the goat/chicken/cow lived, died, what it ate, etc. — the proteins and cholesterol are the problem.

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