Happy Herbivore Blog

This Week's Q&A: Hypoglycemia, Parkinson's Disease, Bacterial Vaginosis, eBooks, and Split Peas

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

You've got questions....

Q: I'm going to make your Thai Pineapple Curry in HHA- just wondering if the lite coconut milk it calls for is "coconut milk beverage" or the type in the can?

A: Any time I call for coconut milk, I mean the kind in the can. Not the "beverage" like soy milk, almond milk, etc. Enjoy!

Q: My mother has begun asking me questions about the plant-based (vegan) diet, but because she has hypoglycemia, she is afraid of certain foods such as potatoes, corn, and certain fruits. (Many years ago she was told she had to avoid those foods because of her hypoglycemia). Do you have any information or helpful links that I could give her?

A: Yes! Here's a post on hypoglycemia by Dr. McDougall and another by PCRM, which includes a plant-based (vegan) meal plan. Skipping over the issue of whether or not she can eat potatoes, corn, and fruit, one does not *have* to eat those foods to follow (or benefit from) a plant-based diet. Certainly they are nice additions, but they are not required.

Q: My eyesight is too poor to read any kind of paper book. Do you offer ebooks? With ebooks I can magnify the text large enough for me to be able to read.

A: I'm sorry to hear about your eyesight, but yes! All of my cookbooks are available digitally through Amazon, Nook (B&N) and iTunes. They can be read on your reader device, iPhone, iPad, smart phone, computer screen via web browser, etc. You can also magnify them as big as you need! Enjoy!

Q: Do you have information about Parkinson's Disease and a relationship to the plant-based diet? I am doing a project for class.

A: Here's what I found Googling:

NutritionFacts.org: Preventing Parkinson's Disease With Diet (video)

NCBI (Abstract) Does a vegan diet reduce risk for Parkinson's disease?

HuffPo: Eating Flavonoid Foods 'Protect Men Against Parkinson's Disease'

Dr. McDougall: Parkinson's Disease and Other Diet-induced Tremors

Q: I have been approaching completely plant based for the past few months (basically, I'm vegan at home, but still struggle when I'm out). On the whole, I've noticed a huge improvement in my energy levels and general health. However, I've suffered with recurring bacterial vaginosis and my doctor is suggesting that reducing sugar and limiting carbohydrates might help. Do you have any suggestions about infections and carbohydrates?

A: When I Googled bacterial vaginosis, every reputable website said "antibiotic" as treatment for bacterial vaginosis (the CDC linked above, for example). I'm not a doctor but that makes since to me... bacteria = antibiotic treatment.

If you had a yeast infection (candida) then the suggestion about removing sugars makes more sense to me, based on what I know about candida and yeast infections. (Here's a post I did on Candida). Also annoying: many women get yeast infections after taking antibiotics.

Dr. Gregor also has a video, Bacterial Vaginosis and Diet.

Q: My split peas took an hour and a half to cook. Did I do something wrong?

A: The bigger, thicker split peas can take a while to cook and soften, especially if you did not soak them overnight first. How you cook them (i.e. stove top or pressure cooker) also makes a difference, as well as what type of split pea. Being at elevation can also create a cook time difference. Whole Foods Market has a helpful chart on split peas and lentils and their cooking.

Editorial Note: This tip came in from a reader "I just read your email and wanted to pass along a comment to the question about bacterial vaginosis in case it helps your reader. I had recurring yeast or vaginitus for years (at least the doctors "thought" it was as they couldn't find any other reason for my symptoms), and was on either Diflucan or busy trying other suggestions such as no soap, etc. It was brutally uncomfortable. Only after no yeast could ever be found and no infection of any kind (all the while having symptoms) did my doctor discover Desquamative Inflammatory Vaginitus, or DIV. It is a change in the PH and felt exactly like a yeast infection 24 hours a day. I went to a specialist in Seattle and was treated with Clindamycin for six weeks. Frustratingly it reoccured and then left me with nerve pain and vulvadynia. I am only telling you this so you can pass it along to your reader so they can get it looked into. This was a several year long ordeal for me. I only wish someone had known what it was so I could get it treated sooner. I am pleased to say that I am SO much better and attribute it to going plant based. The lack of inflammation in my body is really helping. I also don't eat soy or corn. Please tell your reader to keep up with the plant based diet!"

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