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! 


Vegan 101

On my tv show, What Would Julieanna Do? on Veria, I had the opportunity to interview my *FANTASY* panel. On the same Vegan 101 episode, I was honored to speak with three of my heroes: Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Melanie Joy of Carnism Awareness & Action Network. I am finally able to share this, here, via the web, for those who do not have access to the tv network, with these videos:

Part 1

Part 2


Part 3

What Would Julieanna Do? Premiere

I am beyond excited that What Would Julieanna Do? is about to premiere….It starts on January 28th at 7:00 pm EST on Veria Living. If you are interested in helping support raising interest in plant-based television, please feel free to share the following links…I am grateful for all of your support!

US News Best Diets 2013 Google Hangout Interview

2013 is the Year of Plant-Based! US News ranked the 11 best plant-based diets, which includes vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, raw, and more. I was interviewed by Angela Haupt on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 about what it means to eat a whole food, plant-based diet. Here is the recording of our US News Google Hangout interview about Best Diets 2013:

Notes on the why’s and how’s of Whole Food, Plant-Based Diets:

WFPB Google Hangout with US News


Reduced risk for multiple cancers (colorectal, breast, prostate, stomach)

Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease

Reversal of atherosclerosis

Reduction in blood pressure

Improved blood glucose control

Reversal of type 2 DM

Decreased body fat, weight

Improved athletic performance and recovery

Increased energy

Vast minimization on global degradation: less CO2, deforestation, desertification, improved air and water quality

More food availability

Minimizing cruelty to animals


Sample day:


Banana blueberry pancakes with pure maple syrup

Oatmeal with berries and walnuts

Rice pudding with raisins made with almond, coconut, or soy milk

Green smoothie-Spicy Tropical Green Smoothie or Chocolate Chip Mint Smoothie



Bean, rice, and veggie burrito with guacamole and pico de gallo


Pad Thai with Thai Corn Chowder

Vegetarian and avocado sushi rolls with sunumono and miso soup



BBQ Tofu Wings with celery sticks dipped in veg ranch dressing

Hearty Lentil Chili with Whole Grain Corn Muffins

Coconut curry or tofu stirfry with brown rice or quinoa

Falafel with hummus, pita, and cucumber/tomato salad



We only need about 10% kcal from protein

All amino acids available in plants

Plant-based superstars-beans,  lentils, peas, nuts, soy products, quinoa, leafy greens

Protein doesn’t equal flesh, it’s a macronutrient, available in all foods



Calcium intake doesn’t equal optimal bone health

Absorption matters

Bone health is multifactorial- exercise is #1, vites D, K, phosphorus, magnesium, protein matter too

Plant-based calcium all-stars- almonds, book choy, broccoli, greens, tofu, plant milks, fortified juice

Avoid dairy because: hormones, steroids, antibiotics, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol; links to acne, type 1 DM, iron-deficiency anemia



Only B12

Unless deficient in something else (vit D global epidemic of deficiency)



Social…explaining to family, friends, loved ones; dealing with school, sports, and party situations

Accessibility sometimes, though improving dramatically and rapidly


Getting started:

Thinking from the positive-“what do I get to try” instead of “what do I have to give up”

Consider it a fun challenge

Explore and experiment…bazillions of cookbooks, websites, blogs now accessible for new recipes; farmer’s markets and increasingly plant-friendly options at markets and restaurants

What Would Julieanna Do? Launching in January on Veria Living

I am thrilled to announce that my brand new talk show, What Would Julieanna Do?, is premiering on Monday, January 28th, 2013 on Veria Living. Throughout the 39 episodes, we explore nutrition, cooking, fitness, yoga, fashion, beauty, raising kids, men’s health, women’s health, psychology, stress management, healthy living, travel, pets, and a whole lot more…

Watch as I am joined by many world-renowned guests including PCRM’s Dr. Neal Barnard, author of Eat to Live Dr. Joel Fuhrman, researcher and author of The China Study Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs Center Mike Zigomanis, former NFL player John Nies, author Dr. Melanie Joy, author and nutritionist Alex Jamieson, eco-expert Danny Seo, psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, vegan bodybuilder Derek Tresize, and many more…

Tune into Veria Living Network via DISH network, Verizon FIOS, and more or watch live on the mobile Veria App available. Click here to find out how to get Veria in your home or here to order the mobile app where you can watch live (free for the first 2 months and then $1.99/month after that)!

Here are the promos for the show that are currently airing:

The Chef & The Dietitian – Episode 49 – Apple Pie Hearts

Looking for a quick, satisfying snack and/or dessert? Lavish in love with these darling and delicious Apple Pie Hearts from Chef AJ‘s book, Unprocessed.

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried apples
1 Tbls. alcohol-free vanilla extract

In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, grind nuts into flour. Add dried apple and spices and process again. Add dates until desired consistency is reached. Add vanilla extract. Press into mini silicon heart molds and chill. If you don’t have silicon molds, just roll into balls.

Fox 13 Seattle Morning News on July 18th, 2012

Before speaking at Healthy Woman Healthy World on Wednesday, July 18th, I had the opportunity to speak about the benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet on the local Fox affiliate Q13.

Client Julieanna Hever on FOX Seattle today from Metro Public Relations on Vimeo.

The Most Perfect Diet

In The Most Perfect Diet, I describe why eating a whole food, plant-based diet is the most perfect option we have to dramatically impact our future…both personally and at a global level.

I delivered this expanded version of my 2012 TEDxCONEJO Talk at the 2012 Vegetarian Summerfest, organized by the North American Vegetarian Society, on June 28th.

Here is the transcript:

What if I told you I had a magic elixir???

One that could prevent and reverse almost every chronic disease…

One that could solve the healthcare crisis….

One that would bring more compassion to the world…

An elixir that could help heal the planet’s devastation…

  • slow the destruction of the ozone layer
  • stop rapid deforestation and desertification
  • prevent dead zones from growing in the ocean
  • clean up our air
  • save millions of gallons of water per year
  • and slow the extinction of thousands of species…

What if I explained that my elixir is one that would save billions of animals each year and prevent their pain…

That it could help feed the hungry throughout the world…

That it encourages peace, community, and benevolence…

This potion is free of cost…and there’s plenty for everyone…

Would you believe me that it exists?

Would you be shocked at its simplicity?

Mesmerized by its obviousness?

Eager to try it?

Already implementing it?

Would you be frustrated that nobody had ever told you this information prior to now, like I myself was, when as a teenager, I randomly stumbled across this brilliant book by John Robbins called Diet for a New America and it changed my life forever?

Indeed…this elixir exists everywhere…and it is perhaps one of the sole commonalities we share amongst all the living on Earth. It is readily available to most and I know with confidence that it is the most potent possibility we have to save our future…that of our species, the planet, and life as we know it.

Granted this seems hokey, perhaps. I agree that upon first glance, my proposal sounds implausible…

But hear me out…and then decide…

Eating a whole plant food diet is this magic elixir….the secret ingredient to all of these extraordinary outcomes. Sustaining yourself on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can and will provide all of the aforementioned benefits.

Health is considered the absence of disease. Medicine is founded upon the principles of treating symptoms. Somehow over the centuries, prevention has been transformed from primary ideology to “alternative” and inconsequential…Diet has been largely ignored in the traditional healthcare systems. Physicians rarely ever ask about what you eat when you come for a checkup or for a particular problem.

As a child, I spent numerous hours in the ER and at gastroenterologists’ offices complaining of severe abdominal pain. I was given fiber supplements and powders, medications, and shrugged shoulders. This went on for many years until, finally, I figured out that I was allergic to many of the foods I consumed on a regular basis. Not ONCE was I asked what I ate or what my diet consisted of…not once…

The reason for this is largely due to what is taught in medical schools and the inability for physicians to spend adequate time with their patients. I have sat in on the nutrition lessons given in medical school and was dumbfounded to witness that the focus and entirety of the education in this critical department boils down to the treatment of deficiency. Medical students are advised to seek out deficiency symptoms…for example, for rickets, provide vitamin D and for goiters, give iodine.

Yet nutrition is so much more than that!

The Most Perfect Diet is a DUALITY: what you eat and what you don’t eat…

….and it lives on a spectrum…

The more health-promoting foods you consume and the fewer health-damaging foods you consume, the more you arm your health!

You are what you eat…at a cellular level, at an immunological level, and in a wholistic sense.  You are also connected to nature and other humans…even other species…via the food you consume. In fact, the only natural way the outside world becomes a part of your body is through the food you consume.

You are what you eat…refers to what happens to food once it enters your body…

Breaking it down at a cellular level:

You are composed of ~10-50 trillion cells…most of which regenerate…a constant state of dynamism…flowing and changing and moving…

Even the bones….We think of the bones as hard, static…well, bones. But even they are constantly releasing and absorbing minerals and in a constant state of flux.

(A disclosure: the brain, heart, and kidneys do not unfortunately regenerate…)

But think of the possibilities if you are constantly reinventing most of yourself all the time!

We now have an abundance of irrefutable scientific data in the literature confirming that a whole food, plant-based diet optimizes your health, helping your cells, organs, and body stave off chronic disease, maintain ideal body weight, enhance exercise performance, and thrive throughout the lifespan…in extraordinary ways, too…

I’ve seen this in my nutrition practice since implementing this protocol over the past 5 years or so. And in the past year, I have had 2 opportunities to see this magic on a grander scale:

The 1st opportunity was last spring, when as Executive Director of EarthSave International, we ran our first Meals For Health Program with the Sacramento Food Bank in CA…We took 21 food bank clients- who live in the middle of a food desert and were afflicted with many chronic illnesses and debilitating symptoms – and put them through a 28-day program…

We taught them how to shop for food, prepare it, enjoy it, exercise…all in a very sustainable way. The results were astounding. After 28 days, 100% of the participants completed the challenge – and with enthusiasm, I might add!

  • — Avg wt loss: 17 lb in 28 days (20 people)
  • 18% reduction in total cholesterol
  • 22% reduction in LDL cholesterol
  • Avg. blood pressure: 138/83 to 129/77 (without meds)
  •  84% reduction in prescription medication use
  • Participants reported an increased sense of energy
  • And an improvement in many chronic non-specific complaints including heartburn, abdominal discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, migraine headaches, joint pain

My 2nd opportunity was in October, when I was asked to be on The Dr. Oz Show…

  • —3 women with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess weight
  • 2 days in zoo where they ate raw fruits, veggies, 1 olive per day
  • 3-4 days at home where we added whole grains, legumes, cooked veggies, nuts, seeds
  • Average weight loss: 4 lbs
  • Average LDL cholesterol drop: ~42 points
  • Blood pressure normalized

You are indeed what you eat…

But, you are also HOW you eat…

Breaking it down at a logistical level:

Most people eat three meals per day, give or take a snack or 2.

Thinking about food before it goes into our body is something most of us do not do…as we rush to grab a quick meal, eat on the run, forget to chew well enough, and eat larger-than-ever portions…hence the epidemic success of the fast and convenience food industries!

We are typically reactive with our eating…contemplating how delicious the meal was, or complaining of heartburn or feeling full. Further down the line, we may end up with high blood cholesterol, gout, or type 2 diabetes, all of which are foodborne illnesses.

However, what if we eat proactively…intentional eating, conscious eating…thinking about everything that goes into the making of your food…all the way from the seed to the plate…?

Consider the opportunities if every bite you consume matters in so many ways! If you plan what you will eat and relish the food as you prepare and consume it, you will be eating proactively instead of reactively…I argue that eating a whole food, plant-based diet is inherently, innately proactive…and that it is the most powerful way for us to control so many variables (our health, the state of our planet, the suffering of animals, etc.)….and it’s something we can do an average of three times a day.

An example…when invited to someone’s home to eat, it is polite to ask if you can bring a dish or an ingredient. If the host says the customary “No, thank you,” you might bring flowers or perhaps a bottle of wine as a token of your appreciation.

But, say you are invited to a plant-based potluck, which is extremely common in the plant-based community, as most of you know.

Would someone unfamiliar with this world think differently about what they would contribute to the meal? They may have to research what types of dishes are appropriate and animal product-free. They may even have to shop for different ingredients they had not used previously.

Or perhaps, they could concoct a delicious dish with the ingredients they already had in their kitchen. They may actually love this new recipe.

On the flip side, they may already have preconceived notions about plant-based food because they commonly cook or eat meatless meals…soup, veggie chili, veggie burger, pasta primavera, bean and rice burrito, curry stew, stir fry, etc.

There is something extremely conscious and intentional about preparing a plant-based dish. Often, I hear people recant their tales of trying to make a recipe and finding out that something unsuspecting uses animal products…like sugar (which typically involves bone char as a filter) or wine (which commonly uses isinglass, or fish swim bladders in its processing)…These stories of insight are most always understood to be a positive learning process for them. I also regularly see my clients, students, and readers slowly (or rapidly) adapting to this lifestyle and noticing the abundant community that’s out there, a sense of belonging, of doing something beneficial for the world, and appreciating how uplifting and empowering it is.

Food is….culture, family, history, tradition, nourishment, comfort, medicine…

Essentially, food unifies mind, body, spirit…I want, I’m in the mood for, I feel like having…

But…it is also much greater and grander than self…

Food unifies Earth, sun, water, and you…

…seed is planted, sunlight and water help it grow, it ends up on your plate, you consume it, it goes via your GI tract and is absorbed into your bloodstream, where it becomes part of you, and, ultimately, it ends up back in the Earth…in a beautifully harmonious, symbiotic, and cyclical way.

Food also unifies people…we enjoy meals together, we make business deals while eating, we teach our children social norms and customs when feeding them, we celebrate holidays over festive food, we unite cultures with cuisine.

Breaking bread…

This term has many historical and biblical connotations…but is defined simply as “dining together”… “eating together.” Imagine breaking bread with every single bite you consume…knowing the multiple levels and layers to which you are interconnecting simply with your fork.

I challenge you to:

  • Consider both what you eat as well as how you eat
  • Eat with intention, awareness, and consciousness
  • Change your world and your inter-connectivity with others by basing your diet on whole plant foods…

TEDxConejo 2012 – Plant Based Nutrition

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self- organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. For more information, visit

TEDxConejo, the Conejo Valley’s forum for ideas worth sharing, is produced in association with the Conejo Valley Unified School District. TEDxConejo is developing into an exciting community of thinkers, and doers, interested and interesting people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year hundreds gather for a day of stimulating short talks and engaging discussion. The program is as diverse as the interests of the audience.The theme of TEDxConejo 2012 was Together. For more information: