Happy Herbivore Blog

November 2, 2013

This Week's Q&A: Weight Maintenance, Vegan Chocolate Chips, Sweet Red Chili Sauce, Ways to Use Up Celery, and HH Swag

Before I get to your questions I have news!

In case you missed the announcement yesterday, my newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, has arrived! 


I posted a video on Facebook yesterday. Watch me open the box and see my book for the first time here

Since the books are here, that means pre-orders will be shipping very soon -- any day now, so if you want to get the book early (Before the official bookstore release date of Dec. 3), grab your copy now

(p.s. don't you love the pug photo bomb?)

You've got questions...

Q: Have you written any blogs about maintaining your weight? Or do you feel like it is just permanent weight loss mode with more occasional baked goods or other otherwise "off limit" foods? I am 15 pounds away from my goal and am working on my mindset so it is a permanent weight loss. I am sick of yo-yoing. 

A: Congrats on all your progress so far! That said. :) One of the reasons I preach "lifestyle" and not "diet" is because diets only work as long as you're on them. :/ 

As soon as someone goes off a "diet" and back to their old ways of eating, old bad habits, they start letting things back into the diet, the diet is over and the weight comes back. I've seen this so many times with my clients and even with myself. I've had to re-lose the last 10 lbs at least twice and every time the culprit was me getting a little more relaxed. (See this post: Not Losing Weight on a Plant-based Diet? Here's Why. 10 Culprits.)

It's never a whole cheesecake that send you off course and puts 5 lbs back on, it's the little things here and there, the little bad habits and bad foods that creep in slowly, that add up. 

With my meal plan users, for example, even once they hit their goal, they stay on the meal plans.

I tell my clients: If it's working for you, why stop it? Keep doing what's working for you. If you've lost as much as you need to, if your body is at the weight it wants, you won't lose anymore. Your weight will stabilize, provided you keep eating right. If you do end up losing more weight, and you're unhappy with your appearance or the loss, change your diet (see this post: How to Gain Weight on a Plant-Based/Vegan Diet). 

It's really, really important not to get caught in the numbers game because the numbers on a scale really mean very little in terms of your health and your appearance. See this post: What weighs more? A pound of muscle or a pound of fat? (why the scale is a frenemy).



Q: Vegan chocolate chips? You mentioned a few brands like Ghirardelli but I think I saw milk fat?

A: Nearly all the "semi-sweets" are vegan, meaning free of animal products like milk, butter or gelatin, but I can't vouch for the sugar, which is sometimes an issue for ethical vegans. Ghirardelli's semi-sweet were vegan, last I checked, but they have a lot of different products, so it's possible you picked up one that had milk (i.e., a milk chocolate chip). Most generic brands/store brands are also vegan. Kroger's was last time I looked. I know Whole Foods sells a certified vegan chocolate chip under their store brand and while not certified, Trader Joe's chips (the semi-sweet) are vegan, but their milk chocolate chips are not. There's also Enjoy Life, who makes allergy-free (no soy, corn or wheat) certified vegan chocolate chips. There are other companies, too, I'm sure. Finding vegan chocolate is pretty easy at any supermarket — even Walmart or Target.

Q: Your Asian recipes sometimes call for sweet red chili sauce — I can't find that.

A: Any supermarket should have it. It's not always at health food stores but Whole Foods Market has it too. Trader Joe's sells it under their own brand, but most supermarkets have it in the Asian section. There are several brands, the most common I see is A Taste of Thai. Another company I can think of is A Taste of Asia, but there are others. You can also make it yourself. Lots of DIY recipes for Sweet Red Chili Sauce online.  

Q: I have a lot of leftover celery — any way to use it?

A: Celery is one of those ingredients that I usually put in things — like in the Tuna salad or in the eggless salad. I don't really have a recipe where celery shines. It's popular in Cajun cooking, though — part of the "Holy Trinity" and you can make broth with it, but be sure to use other veggies, too. 


Q: Will the stickers and pins be back in stock again?

A: Yep! They're in stock. Sorry for the delay. You can buy them in our store along with signed cookbooks.


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