I should have named this post “Tweaking My Vegan Diet The Esselstyn, McDougall and ‘Forks Over Knives’ Way,” but it was way too long. In any event, I recently decided to improve my vegan diet by eliminating handfuls of nuts, severely limiting oils, and cutting back on avocados and nut butters. Although I read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Essselstyn, Jr. and The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall quite some time ago, I couldn’t find the books in my house so I bought and read them again.
Drs. Esselstyn and McDougall are proponents of a low-fat whole foods vegan diet based on whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables with no added oils. I think I have been eating way too many avocados and nuts, and cooking and baking with too many oils. In my endeavor to do better, here is a photo of some of the food products I recently purchased to help me tweak my diet.
Since the Whole Foods’ brand of hummus which I have been using contains oils, I switched to the Good Neighbors Organic No Fat Simply Zero Hummus. I am loving it! As per the recommendation of Dr. Esselstyn in his book, I have been mixing the no fat hummus with balsamic vinegar to make a salad dressing which is surprisingly delicious. Alternatively, I have been dressing my salads with balsamic and other flavored vinegars without any oils. Also delicious!
I have been using the Walnut Acres No Salt Added Organic Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce on whole grain pasta and to make pizzas with “no oil” pizza crusts. I am loving the Sami’s Bakery Millet & Flax Pizza Crusts. For your information, the Walnut Acres sauce is the only fat-free jarred sauce I could find. Tonight I made my favorite no-fat, no-oil mushroom marinara sauce from scratch. I added “the works” including kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppers. Delicious!
I’ve never been a big breakfast eater, but I decided to change that too! The Barbara’s Shredded Wheat and Erewhon’s Raisin Bran have no added oils and are naturally low in fat with a good amount of fiber.
I have been snacking on Ryvita Dark Rye Wholegrain Crispbreads and Wasa Light Rye Crispreads with St. Dalfour’s Golden Peach 100% Fruit Spread. Very satisfying!
I purchased Kirkland Organic Salsa from Costco with no added oils or fat which I plan to use with some red bell peppers stuffed with rice, corn, and black beans. I also bought Roland’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers marinated in water, vinegar, sugar and salt which I will blend with some canned white cannellini beans to make a fat-free dip or spread.
In addition to these products, I intend to increase my intake of grains. Since I will be too busy to cook this week, I purchased these 10 minute grains from Trader Joe’s to pair with fresh vegetables…
I will be using Engine2s Whole Grain Wraps because they contain no oils. I will also be using my Forks Over Knives cookbook more often, and I will make more recipes from Dr. McDougall’s books and Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.