You've got questions...
Q: I find myself not wanting to cook during the week and I have been starting to find myself eating what I use to .....(fast food) can you help me with this?
A: Try the meal plans! You cook all your meals for the week in 2-3 hours and then grab and go all week long. Also check out my post on meals that are faster than fast food.
Q: Ever thought about writing a book about the freedom that comes with the ability to live in various cities? I know this doesn't seem as profound on the surface, but for many women it's an incredible opportunity.
A: It's an incredible opportunity for men, too, though moving around to different cities isn't for everyone. I really enjoyed living a mobile lifestyle. I have a sort of "ants in my pants" about me. I seek out new experiences. I get bored easily. Moving around and traveling keep me in a near-constant state of "newness." I'm always getting the chance to meet new people and experience new cultures. If this sounds like you or something you'd like, I would encourage you to explore it. A good start would be to travel extensively for two weeks or longer. Being mobile does require a lot of other elements to fall into place. For instance, you have to embrace minimalism to a great depth because moving so much means you can't have much in the way of personal belongings. You also need to have an agreeable financial situation — whether that is a mobile job that allows you to work anywhere (such as freelancing) or the kind of job that makes it easy to work anywhere (such as in retail or food service). It's not the easiest thing to do, and I cannot stress enough that it is not for everyone, but for those who have that desire and personality, I cannot recommend it enough.
I've also written a travel book about backpacking that might be useful and check out the website The Art of Non-Conformity. It's a great resource, as is the book Vagabond.
Q: In three weeks, we are going on a camping trip for three nights. While I'm looking forward to roughing it for those days, I'm already wondering about our meals. We will only have access to a grill and an open fire pit, and our pantry will be whatever we can fit into our cooler and trunk. Do you have any suggestions for easy meals while camping?
A: See these posts about Plant-Based (Vegan) Camping Trips: Tips from an Experienced Herbie Camper and Vegan Camping. Have a great trip!
Q: I was really curious what your opinion is on the vegan raw food diet? I eat a whole foods, plant-based diet, but I cook a lot of my food and a raw friend told me cooking food causes harmful and toxic enzymes. What do you know about this?
A: Cooking food in oil can create free radicals and then you've got the oil, which is harmful — but the problem is the frying and the oil. A steamed piece of kale or a baked sweet potato is not "harmful." Most raw foodists claim raw food has more enzymes or that cooking food makes it less nutritious (not the more extreme "cooked food is toxic"). However, I haven't ready a study yet that completely convinced me of this. But let's say it is true for argument's sake. Personally, I'd rather someone eat steamed kale even if its "less nutritious" — better than no kale at all! But that's me :)
Since I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, I sought out a professional's opinion on this topic, too. Here's what Jeff Novick has to say: "My opinion on human nutrition and health is the same regardless of the approach you may want to take to get there. The goal is to achieve optimal nutrition while maintaining a healthy weight, through a diet based on a variety of unrefined, unprocessed, intact, whole plant foods, regardless of whether one wants to do it on a raw food, a vegan, a vegetarian, or a more traditional diet... There are many ways to do this, though they will share many common denominators. If one wants to do it through a mostly or predominately raw diet, more power to them. But raw doesn't take precedent over the above, nor is it necessary." (Source)
Over the years, I have tried raw a few times and it never worked for me. I didn't thrive. I find I feel much better and am at my best with some cooked foods like potatoes, corn, rice and beans — starch, and I find that has been true for most of my clients. (See The Starch Solution for more information on why this diet is optimal).
Q: Do I have to refrigerate the bacon bits in HHC?
A: I never do :)