Happy Herbivore Blog

May 25, 2013

This Week's Q&A (Talking Fruit Servings, Caffeine, Soy-Free Miso, Travel Food Options, and What I Eat)

You've got questions...


Q: Do you limit your fruit servings per day??

A: Personally, I do not. If I want fresh fruit, I eat fresh fruit. I could easily eat my weight in mango, strawberries and watermelon. I do find my fruit consumption changes throughout the year, however. For example, I eat (and crave) more fruits in the summer and spring than I do in the fall and winter. Although I don't make an effort to eat seasonally, I find I do naturally. Even though I love mango and watermelon more than life itself, I don't want them during the snowy cold winter. Dried fruits are another story. I use them as condiments. Sprinkle raisins on a salad, for example. I don't eat dried fruits as a snack. 

That said, I believe Dr. McDougall suggests limiting fruit (fresh fruit) to 2-3 servings per day if you're trying to lose weight and I think Dr. Fuhrman limits fruits as well. You'd need to consult their books/websites for clarification. (I'm in the middle of a move and my books are in storage so I was unable to consult them — sorry!)

Q: I was wondering about caffeine. I have ADD and have always relied on caffeine to help with concentration and attention span (this over synthetic drug concoctions with their adverse side affects).  I know caffeine is one of those touchy subjects. I know you're not a doctor etc. etc., but I was wondering about what you had to say for it. 

A: My personal opinion is that generally speaking, caffeine use is your business :) 

Do I think situations exist where some people should absolutely avoid caffeine? Definitely. A friend of mine has AFib and his cardiologist insists he stay away from caffeine  I have OCD and my doctor feels I should avoid caffeine (and alcohol, for that matter). When I suffered from migraines (my pre-plant-based years), I was told to avoid caffeine by countless doctors, and I'm sure there are a dozen or more other medical situations where abstinence would be ideal or necessary.

I tell my clients their caffeine and alcohol use is their business — to use it at their discretion. Of course, if someone is abusing alcohol or caffeine, then there is a problem, and they should seek help, quit using immediately and abstain for life. I had a client who was drinking 4 to 6 cans of energy drinks per day. I used to drink 8 to 10 cups of coffee per day. These are clear abuses. 

I think the better question is not "can I have coffee," but why do I want it? Why am I drinking it? I always tell my clients to honestly and openly explore why they're using caffeine or alcohol. Many times, my clients stop using it after their soul search. Or they stop doing it every day. Everyone is different. 

One thing to consider: If you're using caffeine to be "awake" and have energy, it's like paying a credit card with a credit card — all the more reason to "get out of debt" during the reboot and/or cleanse.

Q: Recently, my doc advised me to eliminate a dairy and soy due to an intolerance. Do you have a good substitute for miso?

A: Chickpea miso is soy-free :) 

Q: We're going to a family reunion this summer and I'm having a hard time finding food options in the area. We have a condo with a kitchen, so I can certainly prep my own brown bag food for reunion events if I can find a store to buy ingredients. But I was wondering if you have any advice/suggestions for traveling someplace not vegan friendly, and surviving?  :) Even food ideas that would travel well would be great.  

A: I've written dozens of blog posts on this topic :) The "Travel" label should get you headed down the right path. 

Here are some posts on point:

Keep in mind, you're not there for the food ;) That mentality always helps me. I've traveled all over the world and never had problems finding food, even in remote villages :) Sometimes dinner is fruit, or potatoes and bananas. Could be worse! Happycow.net can also be helpful.

Q: Potential Q and A for you, Lindsay...I bet people would love to hear what you eat on a typical day!!

A: The meal plans! I follow them myself.

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