The Vegiterranean Diet 5-Day Sample Meal Plan

Enjoy this 5-day sample meal plan and three of my favorite recipes from the The Vegiterranean Diet, which is now available.

New Study on Current and Former Vegetarians and Vegans

I had the opportunity to discuss the fascinating new report that was released by the Humane Research Council last week about current and former vegetarians and vegans on KFI AM 640 yesterday with Mark Thompson and Elizabeth Espinosa. You can listen to the interview here: JH on KFI

And here is more info on this important study:

They polled over 11K adults in the United States to find out about how many current vegans and vegetarians there are as well as how many former vegans and vegetarians.

Here is the report:
Here is the infographic based on their data (the picture shown here which you can see in full detail):
Here is an article by Psychology Today about this study:

Their conclusions:

  • 2% of U.S. adults are current vegetarians or vegans
  • 10% are former vegetarians or vegans
  • 88% have never been vegetarian nor vegan

Interestingly, a 2012 Gallup poll found that 5% of U.S. adults are vegetarians and 2% are vegans:

Interesting facts the HRC gathered:

  • 65% of the former veg’s transitioned quickly to a veg diet.
  • A majority of the former veg’s were only veg for less than a year (1/3 were veg for less than 3 months).
  • Most former veg’s went vegan for health as the primary reason.
  • 63% of those who reverted back did so because they didn’t like the social pressure of being different.
  • 43% of ex-veg’s found it difficult to be “pure” with their diet
  • 37% of former veg’s are interested in going back to a veg diet.

My recommendations to reduce recidivism (giving up) in vegans and vegetarians:

1. Transition incrementally if you are considering going veg and haven’t yet. One step, one meal, one bite at a time.

2. Build and nourish a solid support system. Engage the veg community by becoming members of organizations, local meet-ups, events, lectures, conferences, social media networks (like here on pages like mine and other veg groups), and spend time with likeminded people.

3. Consistently educate your self on veganism…learn about the health benefits, but also the other crucial benefits towards animals, the planet, and society. Read books, watch movies…there is so much information out there now. Indulge and make it a priority. Knowledge is power.

4. Stay healthy. Minimize junk vegan foods and focus on whole food, plant-based foods. Eat according to my pyramid and plate and emphasize foods in my notable nutrient chart:
Pyramid and Plate:
Notable Nutrient Sources Chart:
And make sure to have a reliable source of vitamin B12:

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself or aim for perfection. There is no such thing as perfect and having the all-or-nothing approach is stressful and not amenable to sustainability. Ride it out for the long run and be compassionate to yourself. Enjoy the journey…

5 Reasons to Reject Eggs and How to Eat Without Them

No eggs? No problem! Live healthier and more compassionately by eating eggsactly egg-free…

Here are 5 reasons why and how to substitute them in your diet:

1. One large (50 gram) egg contains almost 60% of its calories from fat and 187 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. Egg consumption is as bad for your endothelial cells in your arteries and blood cholesterol as a sausage and cheese sandwich (Link, Link). Here is the USDA Nutrient Database on one whole egg.

2. Our gut bacteria can convert the high dose of choline in eggs into TMAO (like carnitine in meat), which promotes atherosclerosis and possibly the progression of certain cancers. Humans do require some choline in our diets, but we can get plenty in legumes (beans, peanuts, peas), bananas, broccoli, oats, oranges, quinoa, and soy products. (Long video, well worth the watch, link). For the Institute of Medicine’s DRI of choline, see here.

3. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an estimated 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with Salmonella. (Link)

4. Egg consumption increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. (Link, Link, Link, Link)

5. Egg production in factory farms entails horrific cruelty including male chicks being ground alive or suffocated to death, layer hens having to survive in miserable battery cages without space to open her wings, un-anesthetized debeaking, and being boiled alive. “Free range” practices are not much better and are a euphemism of still hideous, brutal conditions. (Link, Link, Link, Link, Link, Link, Link)

The great news is that you can easily eat and cook egg-free with a variety of different substitutes and alternative methods. There are commercial egg replacements such as Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacers. But because eggs have multiple purposes in cooking and baking (leavening, binding, thickening, increasing volume, richness, or tenderness), there are different, healthier plant-based swaps.

To bind in baked goods, try cornstarch, arrowroot, or flaxseeds. To thicken, use chia seeds or silken tofu. For moisture try fruit and vegetable purees. And for a frittata, scramble, mayonnaise, dressings, sauces, or puddings, tofu works wonders.

For more details on eating and cooking egg-free (and completely animal product- and processed food-free) with 66 delicious, Mediterranean-style recipes, pre-order my brand new book, The Vegiterranean Diet.

Further Egg Replacement Info:

Yahoo Food’s Vegan Egg Replacements You Should Try

Peta Egg Replacements 

PCRM’s Cooking Without Eggs 




Cyber December

Forget Cyber Monday! How about Cyber December? The more, the merrier!

In honor of my brand new book, The Vegiterranean Diet, being published on December 23rd, I am offering a fun deal that lasts all month long:

Pre-order or order (beginning December 23rd) a copy of The Vegiterranean Diet and enter to win FREE nutrition consults! For every book ordered or downloaded via Kindle, you will be placed in a raffle to win:



With every single book ordered through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you will have another opportunity to enter into the raffle and win a free consult. Simply pre-order the book and email me a receipt (with any confidential info blacked out, if applicable), a picture of the book when you receive it, or a screen shot of a page from the book, along with your email or phone number contact information and I will enter you into the drawing. I will have the drawing and choose the three winners on January 1st, 2015.


To give The Vegiterranean Diet as a gift to your loved ones for the holidays, download this gift certificate to place inside a card or as a stocking stuffer, since it does not publish until December 23rd. You could also call your local bookstore and request it to be available ASAP and use the gift certificate if it doesn’t arrive in time.

Wishing you and your family a very healthy, happy holiday season!

Tips for A Healthy Holiday Season

The average person gains 5-10 pounds over the holiday season. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Here are 3 tips for navigating the holidays healthfully all the while enjoying the festivities:

1. Go whole. Pick the wholest ingredients possible when preparing or enjoying dishes. Having the most fiber intact will enable satiety with fewer calories. More nutritional bang for your caloric buck. For example, choose brown, wild, or forbidden black rice over white rice; whole or sprouted grain bread over white bread; and sauté with vegetable broth or water instead of oil to save hundreds or thousands of calories.

2. Eat lots of rainbows. The pigments that compose the colors in fruits and vegetables are powerful phytochemicals that will enhance immune function and keep you healthy with the fewest calories. Serve food over a bed of cooked greens or fresh salads. Add greens and veggies to everything. Make half your plate veggies and fruits. They go gorgeously with everything!

3. Balance calories. Both with calorie intake and calorie output. Plan ahead and save calories by eating less before and after big meals. Maintain your fitness routine or even up the ante by moving more to stay healthy and keep your metabolism functioning optimally.

Further Resources:

5 Tips to Thrive This Holiday Season

10 Days. 5 Ways. 1 Healthiest Year Ever.

5 Reasons To Avoid Oils In A Healthy Diet

Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet

Sign up for nutritional consults and coaching on demand with me for support and guidance


30 Reasons to Go Vegan

Happy World Vegan Month!

Here are 30 reasons to try Veganism, one for each day in November:

1. Raising and slaughtering animals at the current rate of consume demand requires horrific, inhumane, torturous practices that cause immense suffering of billions of animals a year.

2. We will need 1.5 to 2 earths in order to sustain the resources necessary for livestock production.

3. The majority of antibiotics used in the United States (70-80%) is given to healthy animals on factory farms to prevent infections and avoid financial loss. Because of this, antibiotics are losing the power to destroy bacteria and causing 2 million people to become infected by a superbug infection and 23,000 to die each year of it.

4. Vegan food is culinarily exciting, delicious, and offers infinite versatility.

5. First, do no harm. Eating vegan realizes compassion and the idea of paying it forward.

6. Veganism is no longer a niche, trend, or fad. It is a growing awakening that is spreading globally with ample momentum.

7. There is no valid excuse against going vegan.

8. You don’t have to worry about cross-contamination in your kitchen when you don’t include animal products. You can stick to one cutting board without worrying about salmonella or campylobacter, etc.

9. Vegans tend to statistically have a lower risk for overweight and obesity than meat-eaters. (Here, here, and here.)

10. Plant foods have greater nutrient density (more nutrients per calorie) than animal products.

11. Plant foods have fiber and help you full faster, for longer, and for fewer calories. Animal products have zero fiber.

12. Vegans have a lower rate of mortality than meat-eaters.

13. Vegans have a lower risk of ischemic heart disease than meat-eaters.

14. Vegan restaurants and menu choices are growing and growing exponentially.

15. Instead of choosing between cow and goat milk, you can choose from milks made from hemp, oat, almond, soy, rice, coconut, and more.

16. About 65-90% of the population is lactose intolerant.

17. The number one cause of climate change is livestock production.

18. Crowding out the animal products means more phytochemicals and other healthful nutrients that come from plants. We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables.

19. Veganism is fun!

20. A vegan diet is the only diet ever found to reverse disease!

21. The American Heart Association recommends a saturated fatty acid intake of no more than 5-6% of total calories. A vegan diet averages 5-6%. Add in a single serving of animal products and it tips you past the safety margin for a heart healthy diet.

22. We could save billions and billions of tax payer dollars on healthcare by going vegan.

23. High milk intake is associated with higher mortality and higher fracture incidence.

24. Animal products contain disease-promoting compounds such as heme iron, IGF-1, other hormones and steroids, Neu5Gc, and carnitine.

25. Animal products develop carcinogenic compounds when cooked, such as advanced glycation end products, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. 

26. You can reverse type 2 diabetes with a vegan diet.

27. Vegans have better cholesterol profiles than meat-eaters.

28. There is no such thing as humane meat.

29. We have always thrived on a plant-based diet throughout history.

30. We inherently, naturally, and at our core love animals and know it is not right to eat them.

A Grinch’s Guide to Halloween

Alas, the time of year is rapidly approaching yet again….the week of “All Hollows’ Eve”…the one holiday that I am geared to gravitate away from for multiple reasons. It is a holiday that worships sugar, junk food, and excess, all with a slant of horror, terror, and trickery. These are all ideas that frankly turn me off. I spend most days (to some extent) helping people dissolve their sugar addictions…a service I highlight in my work and feel the utmost satisfaction in assisting and succeeding with. This negative feeling, of course, has expanded and expounded since becoming a Mama and witnessing objectively how powerful candy terrorizes my children’s energy and disposition. (Not to mention that this year in California, the drought has impacted our pumpkin size!)

Here are the two approaches I have attempted thus far to ameliorate the dissonance of October 31st in my home:

1. Avoidance. Close all the lights and leave non-candy treats (stickers, pencils, crayons, toys) in a bowl outside, walk with my kids trick-or-treating, and then donate their candy or send it to work with their Dad.

2. Allowance. Give out organic vegan candy, take my kids trick-or-treating, and have them select a few pieces before donating the rest of their stash or sending it to work with their Dad.

Neither feels fabulous, however. And, of course, I understand the desire of my kids to participate. I was totally into it as a kid, too. It’s a tradition! It’s fun! It’s the American way!

Needless to say, it is only once a year…hardly a harmful endeavor and perhaps unnecessary to become grinchy and grumpy. So, here are two tips for navigating Halloween from a Plant-Based Dietitian/Mom’s perspective:

1. Make it as healthy as possible. Fill your kids up with a wholesome dinner and healthier dessert, sweetened with whole sweeteners (dates, date paste, date syrup, fruit purees), such as these Caramel Apples, Hockey Pucks, Chocolate Lollibats, or Pumpkin Cream Chocolate Cookies. Instead of sticking to typical candy to give out, opt for organic, fruit-sweetened options or do what I typically do and create a huge bowl filled with Halloween-themed stickers, pencils, crayons, and toys.

2. Have a costume party and serve healthy snacks and meals (or make it a potluck) with likeminded friends. Decorate your house and dress up your family, prepare some delicious, fun foods, and celebrate! Here are some creative healthy snack options:

What are YOUR favorite suggestions, hints, and recipes??? Please share in the comments below…


The Vegiterranean Diet

The Vegiterranean Diet puts nutrition and health into global and historical context. In an informative and engaging way, the book is a mashup of all that is fabulous with the Mediterranean diet, debunking myths, and defining why and how the most perfect diet has developed over time. Front-loaded with history and science, then introducing ecological and psychosocial perspectives, the book leads up to ten basic principles, a Vegiterranean Food Pyramid and Plate, a comprehensive 21-day meal plan, and 66 delicious, nutritious Med-style recipes.

I am thrilled to announce that my new book, The Vegiterranean Diet, has its official cover and is available for pre-sale here on and here on…it officially publishes on December 23rd, but you can order a copy now!

The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan–with Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Health

The Vegiterranean Diet puts nutrition and health into global and historical context. In an informative and engaging way, the book is a mashup of all that is fabulous with the Mediterranean diet, debunking myths, and defining why and how the most perfect diet has developed over time. Front-loaded with history and science, then introducing ecological and psychosocial perspectives, the book leads up to ten basic principles, a Vegiterranean Food Pyramid and Plate, a comprehensive 21-day meal plan, and 66 delicious, nutritious Med-style recipes. Further, this book includes interviews with world-renowned experts and leaders Dr. Melanie Joy, Dr. Richard Oppenlander, and Gene Baur, along with recipe contributions from culinary geniuses, Chad Sarno and Robin Robertson.

And for a hint of flavor, here is a passage from my Introduzione (Preface) of the book:

The Mediterranean region revealed to us the secret of long-term health and disease prevention, and I will show you how and why these successful behaviors can easily be implemented into your life. This book is me—my heart, soul, mind, and passion—on a plate along with salad, hummus, and a glass of wine … may it inspire you to eat and enjoy whole, plant foods … TO YOUR HEALTH! 


Heart Healthy? It is as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5)

Guest post by Dr. Joel Kahn, a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Inteflex Medical School program and a board certified interventional cardiologist. He has published over 150 medical research articles. He is the first physician in the world to be complete certification from University of South Florida School of Medicine in Metabolic and Integrative Cardiology. He is a founder of the International Society of Integrative and Metabolic Cardiology. He is an editorial consult for Reader’s Digest Magazine and writes a weekly column on holistic medicine for He lectures nationwide on nutrition and heart disease prevention. He lives in West Bloomfield with his wife Karen and is the proud father of 4 children.

***See below to enter to win a FREE copy of his brand new book, The Whole Heart Solution!

Heart Healthy? It is as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5)

Every 34 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Is it necessary? The simple answer is no! Over 80% of heart attacks are preventable and people who are dying or are maimed by weak hearts do not need to suffer. Does it take a Ph.D to make your way through confusing health messages? While my book, The Whole Heart Solution, explains over 6 dozen simple steps that you can take to protect your heart from damage, the most important steps boil down to 5 easy ones.  Let’s review 2 recent studies and keep it simple.

1) The Morgen Study. Researchers in the Netherlands studied almost 18,000 adults without heart disease and took a survey of their health habits. They followed them for up to 14 years and over 600 of the group had heart events including deaths. They found that if people followed 4 steps they were able to lower their risk of heart disease by 67% and these included:

  • Physical activity average 30 minutes a day
  • A healthy diet in the Mediterranean style
  • No smoking
  • Enjoying more than 1 alcoholic beverage a month

In the same study, persons that added a 5th health habit, sleeping 7 or more hours at night on average, the risk of heart disease dropped to 83% lower than those not following these steps.

2) The Karolinska Study. Scientists in Sweden examined over 20,000 men free of heart disease and followed them for 11 years.  They found that there were certain habits that lowered the risk of heart disease including:

  • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and reduced fat
  • No smoking
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Thin waistlines
  • Physical activity > 40 minutes daily.

Men that followed all 5 of this lifestyle habits had an 86% lower chance of developing or dying of heart disease than those that followed none. Sadly, only 1% of the group followed all 5 habits.

So, the message is clear. You should learn about xeno-estrogens in plastics, endocrine disruptors in toothpaste, air pollution, and plastic additives in bread. However, if you can develop some simple habits consistently for you and your family you never need to suffer a heart attack…or worse. The number one killer of men and women in the USA can be tamed with your fork, your feet, your fingers far from cigarettes, and some responsible use of a small glass of wine. So it’s as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5) including

  1. Plant based diet
  2. Regular physical activity
  3. No smoking
  4. Occasional alcoholic beverage (if not an issue)
  5. Adequate sleep

***Enter here to win a FREE copy of Dr. Joel Kahn’s brand new book, The Whole Heart Solutiona Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Reasons To Avoid Oils In A Healthy Diet

Question for the What Would Julieanna Do? Q&A:

Why do you recommend minimizing or avoiding the use of oils in a healthy diet?


Related Links:

You Tube Video Answer

Healthy Fat Intake

Fatty Acid Composition of Fats and Oils

Coconut Oil – Menace or Miracle

Food Processing and Lipid Oxidation
World’s Healthiest Foods’ What Factors Can Cause An Oil To Become Rancid

Toxic Substances In The Oxidation Of Fats And Oils’s The True Shelf Life of Cooking Oils

Oxidation of Food Grade Oils

Lose Those Last Sticky Pounds

Learn How To Cook (Oil-Free) at Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School

Oil-Free Recipes