Happy Herbivore Blog

July 6, 2013

This Week's Q&A (Talking Veg-Loving Dogs, Grazing, Vegan Parm, Eating for Energy, and Juice Pulp)

You've got questions...


Q: Both my dogs go nuts over fruits and veggies! Are you aware of any that may be harmful to dogs? Thanks!

A: I'm not a vet, but the ASPCA puts out a list of foods that are potentially harmful or deadly for your pooche (i.e. raisins, grapes, chocolates, fake sugars). 

Q: "I kind of "graze" every couple of hours.  I eat just enough so that I'm not hungry, but not full.  Then later I'm hungry again and repeat the process.  It seems that when I take my bedtime meds, I get pretty hungry and eat a lot more.  Additionally, I wake up hungry and raid the fridge, often choosing unhealthy choices that are fast. How can I stop this?

A: A great book for grazers (and anyone, really) is Mindless Eating. I know the title doesn't sound like it applies to grazers, but he dedicates a chapter to it and it's rather enlightening. At least, my eyes were opened!

Some of my clients graze all day and eat lots of small meals. They feel their best nibbling constantly. I call them my bunnies :) On the other hand, I have other clients that eat 3 square meals a day and do not snack at all. Or they have one snack. I even have one client that eats all his food in just two meals a day, in a strict 4-hour period and he couldn't be happier. If grazing isn't working for you, try a different approach and see if that works better. Try eating until you are comfortably full and see how long it lasts and if it corrects the problem. Also, make sure you keep plenty of healthy food and pre-made food on hand so if you do end up ravenous you have a healthy option to grab. This is why I can't recommend the meal plans enough. You prepare all your meals ahead for the week in a few hours and then you always have a healthy meal ready and waiting for you.

Q: I'm having the hardest time finding vegan Parmesan cheese! Do you buy this online or are you just lucky to have a great store near you? And do you have a brand you prefer?

A: I generally make my own (that recipe is in my upcoming cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, but there are two commercial brands — Galaxy Foods Go Veggie! and Parma!. You should be able to find either at a health food store like Whole Foods Market. They're not always with "cheese," so don't be afraid to ask a clerk for help locating it

Q: I'm vegan 90 days! I'm not experiencing high energy... am I doing something wrong?

A: Without seeing a food journal, it's hard to make an educated guess. General advice: Make sure you're getting enough calories. People often load up on veggies, which are healthy, but low in calories. Then they feel tired because they're not getting enough calories. Also make sure you're getting enough carbohydrates and starch like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and whole grains like brown rice. In 90% of cases where people complain of feeling tired, it's because they're not eating enough carbohydrates/starch. Also, make sure you're eating plant-based — not just "vegan." If you're living on fries, Boca burgers, white pasta, and vegan junk foods, you're not going to get the energy you get from eating whole plant foods :) Also, give the meal plans a try — they take out all the guesswork! 

Q: What can I do with juice pulp? Seems wasteful to throw it out.

A: I don't juice so I don't have this problem (sorry — I eat my veggies whole, so it all goes in my bod), but I've seen recipes for pulp crackers online. You could try that. I've also heard of people putting pulp in their baked goods. 

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