This Week's Q&A: Oil-Free Salad Dressings, Plant-Based Body Building (Pictures!!) & Eating Out Healthfully with Friends

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: FAQ

You've got questions...

Q: What do you put on salad instead of oil based salad dressing?

A: A no oil dressing :)

There are several recipes in EHH and a few in HHC and several coming out in my new book later this year. I've also done a few blog posts on salads, salad dressings, etc:

How to Make Oil-Free, Fat-Free Salad Dressings (+ I've sold 150,000 books!) 

How to Make Salad Dressing Without Fat or Oil

We also do a ton of salads + dressings on the meal plans, which are always oil-free.

Q: I have been following this way of eating for two years and I am frustrated. I have lost 85 pounds following this way of eating and have kept it off for a year and a half. While that's great (and I don't discredit that accomplishment for a minute) I am a guy and I want to be muscular with 10% body fat (Tony Horton would be a well-known example). I 100% feel that this is THE way to eat but the people I see following this way of eating don't look how I want to look. A part of me feels like I should be following the nutritional advice of the people who look like I want to look (a lot of whom push low-carb, animal-based diets). Please give me hope that I can reach 10% body fat with this way of eating. 

A: Allow me to introduce my friend Chad:

Those are meat-free muscles! (He built that body after switching to a plant-based diet. Chad eats mostly fruits and vegetables -- a lot of them!)

Or my other buddy, Cam F. Awesome (that's his real name!)

Cam is a 10X National champion boxer! #1 in the US at S-Heavyweight! following a whole-foods, plant-strong plan.

Or Noel.

[Editorial note: Noel also shares his body building tips here and here.]

There are some notable vegan body builders and pro athletes. Plus all the big sports mags have been writing about how body builders are getting an edge with plants the last year or so.

Jeremy is also an inspiration; he switched to low fat plant-based because low carb, high protein did not work for him.

And some of the guys from the "guys series" (read part 1 and part 2) are pretty fit:

Actually, many of the guy herbie of the weeks have gotten really ripped since switching... you could also thumb through all the past herbie of the week stories on the blog. Click the "herbies" tab. Some are seriously seriously jacked!

I also had a fitness series on the blog -- lots of great info:

Herbie Fitness (Part 1): Plant-Proud Nutrition for Workouts (+Tips for Marathon Training!)

Herbie Fitness (Part 2): Flex Your Plant-Proud Muscles! Inspiration from Body-Builders and Athletes

Herbie Fitness (Part 3): Spot Training — How to Get Rid of the "Muffin Top," Belly, Booty, etc.

And then, of course, there is my kindred spirit Rip, who was a professional triathlete and still has one of the most ripped bodies I've ever seen.

Here's what Rip has to say:

Can I be a Competitive Athlete on the Engine 2 Diet?

The Daily Beet: Tips, Advice and Stories

Tony Horton was vegan for many years and I think he's still predominately plant-based. His personal chef is a vegan chef. In his P90X videos he trash talks dairy pretty often... I think he's a fan of vegetables ;)

You can also find dozens of websites dedicated to vegan body building (for both men and women). Just google it :)

I'm sad to say there is still so much myth and misinformation being regurgitated by fitness professionals and body builders. Despite all the science and information we have today, "conventional wisdom" doesn't seem to go away. 

For example, even studies paid by protein supplement companies show that more protein does not mean more muscle and that the body builds muscle faster from fat and carbohydrate (once daily needs are met and daily needs are very low). Body builders and athletes need more calories but not a specialized or concentrated source -- see the articles above for more info in links. 

If you want to get jacked, start pumping iron and make sure you get enough calories.

Q: I've been sticking to the individual meal plan successfully for a while now. I feel great and love the diversity of the meals. 

This weekend I have a friend from college visiting me, and I don't know what to do. Usually when family/friends visit my tendency to show them around town but during the site seeing etc., it's very tough not to go out to eat. 

Any ideas are appreciated! Thanks!

A: Thrilled to hear you're loving the meal plans! 

My advice: eat out with your friend, just make a healthy choice :) and avoid doing it for every meal. Ask your pal if you can eat a few meals together at your home (saying you'll cook or maybe you can cook together). If you need a "justification" explain that you're trying to save money/eat better these days... you've been doing so good lately, you don't want to ruin it...

If you're out: go to a Thai place and ordered steamed vegetables and rice. You can get a salad and baked potato, vegetable sushi or tofu spring rolls anywhere ;). Just a few options! 

Here are some posts that will help you too:

Eat a Salad First (How to Navigate Eating Out)

How to "Eat Out" Healthfully

Eating Out With Friends

Dining Out


 After I posted this blog post on Facebook, many Herbies gave their own testament:

 Jessie H.
"This is only 6 weeks into a bodybuilding regimen on a completely plant based diet. And trust me, I'm really trying to flex in that first pic lol"

Jennifer M-H
"I am plant based and compete in the NPC (National Physique Committee) in the Bikini division and have put on 10lbs of muscle over the last year.Oh and I am about to turn 42"

Sarah S.G.E.

"I can do anything anyone else can do. I ran 8 marathons in 8 days (8 in 8 ) and my body felt amazing."

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