China Study/Forks Over Knives/Whole Food Plant Based?

(27 Posts)
LondonHerbivore32 Sun 11-Mar-18 21:04:17

Is anyone else doing the whole food plant based lifestyle change, as outlined in the China Study, Forks Over Knives, Happy Herbivore, Engine 2 Diet etc....

I’ve been vegan for years and have been a real lover of vegan junk food, cheeses, ice creams, cakes etc.... if it was new to the market, I had to try it!

I had some limited success with a vegan keto diet, but it’s not sustainable long term. Hence this total lifestyle overhaul.

So it’s whole foods only and no added oil from here on out. I’m a few days in already and feeling really good.

Is anyone else doing anything similar? I have about 80 pounds to loose in total to go from a big size 18, to a 10.

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yumyumpoppycat Mon 12-Mar-18 13:50:26

I'm not but I have read a few books that make me want to switch to more plants but without going too high carb. I tried upping veg and beans but my digestion went crazy. My family have IBD, IBS stuff going on so I think I must be similar. Why are you cutting oil though, aren't olive oil and coconut oil beneficial?

Good luck with your weightloss!

Permane Mon 12-Mar-18 18:24:47

Yes, I'm doing this too smile

I'm currently doing the FOK Rouxbe online cookery course.

I've tried to pick it up three times now - this time feels very different. Still transitioning on to finding out what really works for me. Even when I feel I am 'off plan' the meat and dairy have gone (I wasn't even a vegetarian before).

Like you I am a size 18 and want to lose 80 lbs!

Have you discovered chef AJ yet? I think the kind of tweaks she recommend are going to be the key to weight loss for me. I'm using MFP too - which is an eye opener.

I think it is going to take me several months yet before I'm doing this effortlessly.

Permane Mon 12-Mar-18 18:29:46

yumyoumpoppycat this article explains the oil thing (the FOK documentary on netflix will do too):

I'm not being purist about the oil (at the moment at least - enough changes at the mo) - I've stopped cooking with oil (learnt how to dry saute properly on the cookery course!) and pouring it on salads but I will still have some in shop bought salsa etc.

LondonHerbivore32 Mon 12-Mar-18 21:06:20

Hi Permane! So great to find someone else who’s making this change and who has similar weight loss goals. When did you start on the journey to WFPB?

How are you finding the Rouxbe course? I’ve been trying to decide between doing that one and the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate online course from Cornell University, which is run by Dr T.Colin Campbell.

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Permane Tue 13-Mar-18 07:47:32

Hi! Likewise - great to find someone who is doing/wanting to do something so similar!

I've looked at that course but it is pretty it will take me quite a while to make a decision on that. I've been really enjoying the Roubxe course - life got in the way a bit over the last 3 weeks (I was ahead on it but now...behind!).

I started more seriously back in September but I was far from secure with it - my dad then became seriously ill/then died at the start of October (he had been ill for quite a while so this was expected to some extent) and had to keep travelling back to my home town so it went out of the window. The funeral was in November but I didn't mange to pick it up again until just after Christmas, which is when I signed up for the course.

As I said the last three weeks haven't been great at all. Interestingly though the thing that absolutely didn't slip at all, because I really didn't want to go back to that, was meat and most of dairy. I was having chocolate though.

Since Christmas I've only last 10 lbs, which is fine (especially considering the lack of restriction and the lack of 100% on many of those days) but I am ready to go back in now and pick up the pace a bit and make a few more real long-lasting changes.

I gtg to work now! How about you - when did you start?

ZetaPuppis Tue 13-Mar-18 07:54:08

I was just thinking about this!
I did this in November. fell off the wagon at Xmas and I’m getting back on it.
I also felt really good on it though I did use a bit of oil in cooking.
My skin looked a lot better and I lost a few lbs.


Permane Tue 13-Mar-18 14:36:51

Good luck with getting back on ZetePuppis

I'm pretty convinced by it - really, properly changing a lifetime of habits around food takes a bit of doing though!

I keep cycling between being excited by it and overwhelmed, even though I've learnt so much and changed so much already.

LondonHerbivore32 Fri 16-Mar-18 07:11:19

Hi Permane, I started about a week and a half ago now. By have been fascinated with the concept for ages. It just took some time (and a few well executed recipes grin ) to demonstrate to my DH that the change wasn’t going to mean eating bland/boring food.

So no major weight loss yet, but energy levels are up, skin clearer etc...

I saw the following link this morning and found it really helpful. It’s a video of all the top whole food plant based doctors/nutritionists talking about what they eat in a day:

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LondonHerbivore32 Fri 16-Mar-18 07:12:45

Also Hi ZetePuppis, best of luck with getting back to the diet change!

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ZetaPuppis Fri 16-Mar-18 07:43:49

I’ve been doing well with it although I have been relying on bread a bit too much.
I eat veg and lentil/bean curries with rice a lot. There’s a site called Holy Cow Vegan which has some good recipes.

Permane Fri 16-Mar-18 21:59:23

That's funny - I watched youtube video about the doctor's diets about an hour ago. Not sure what lead me to it - think it was a link on a FB group I'm in...wonder if we are in the same one!

I liked the oatmeal bit! I have a bowl every morning with berries, a small amount of flaked almonds/walnuts and a splash of nut milk.

I've been doing well last two days putting things in MFP and getting calories down to 2 lb/wk loss territory. I've taken to having a big bowl of steamed veg (inc at least one serving of leafy greens) with balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard when I get in from work - an hour or two before dinner (which is then more modest). I think this might be a keeper!

LondonHerbivore32 Fri 16-Mar-18 22:30:54

I got the video from FB too, but from a vegan rather than WFPB group, but we might be in some of the same WFPB groups!

Speaking of WFPB videos, Plant Pure nation is now free to view online!

I like your idea about the big bowl of veg when you get in from work. I might steal that one, as that 7pm post work, pre-dinner snack attack is usually the biggest weak spot in my day.

But I'm still trying to get to grips with porridge, it's something I've never liked much. However, I've started making WFPB breakfast bars for the week, to eat oats, but not in porridge form. A rough recipe is pretty much the following:

3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup of dates soaked in hot water until soft, then drained
3 tablespoons chia seed
3 tablespoons milled linseed
1 cup porridge oats
2 scoops Sun Warrior vanilla vegan protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Blend all the wet ingredients to a paste then mix in the dry, spoon into a small baking dish that's lined with baking paper and bake for about 25 mins or until lightly golden brown on top.

Makes 8 to 10 small squares (it's very filling) and keeps for several days in the fridge.

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Permane Sat 17-Mar-18 08:51:32

They sound good! I'll have a go at making those - think they will be a hit with the family. Got DS on to porridge at one point but he has gone back to rice krispies/shreddie now. I've never know DH even try porridge.

I love porridge! Just make it very simply with water - 1/2 cup oats and 1 cup water gently heated in pan (don't have a microwave), even have a tiny little pan specially for it. I particularly like it with chopped apple.

I go the link of chef Aj's FB page (checked)

Thanks for the plant pure nation link - haven't watched that one. Look forward to watching it later.

Permane Sat 17-Mar-18 08:53:35

Apologies for my grammar/syntax - not sure what is going on there!

Permane Sun 18-Mar-18 12:47:49

What are you working on at the moment?

I've got a bit of a list going!


* Changed from animal milk to plant milk
* Cut out meat
* Porridge for breakfast - just change what I put on it


* Keeping calories lower - aim for around 1300 kcal/day (and keep with in 1200 - 1500 range)
* Making veg the #1 priority, especially leafy green veg
* Cutting out all junk (previously I would have a little cheese on a vegetarian pizza or have the odd chocolate bar/packet of crisps)
* Increasing 'go back to' recipe repertoire

Working on:

* swapping to unsweetened almond milk from cashew (I have loads of long-life cashew in the shed so may take a while) for my main milk choice
* Cutting down on coffee by swapping most to green tea
* Cutting down on salt
* Being more consistent with swimming/exercise in general
* Making sure I get in enough pulses
* Cutting out all oil (things like shop-bought salsa - I don't use oil in cooking or dressings)

Probably more but that's what comes to mind now!

LondonHerbivore32 Wed 21-Mar-18 21:00:49

Sorry for the late reply!

All your goals sound very good and easily achievable.

I'm working on expanding my recipe repertoire and adapting things I love to fit the WFPB diet.

As I've been vegan for years, it's not such a huge jump to make, so it's more about figuring out tasty, low effort recipes which DH will eat too. . I had a great success recently with a rice cooker brown rice pilaf, absolutely delicious! Plus resisting all of the amazing, but unhealthy, vegan products out there now

I don't count calories at all, while I want to lose weight, I know myself and counting calories is unsustainable for me. So I'm working on a super strict WFPB diet as a total lifestyle change, with moderate portion sizes and really intense exercise.

On that note, I have a PT and am learning to lift heavy! I found that being WFPB has really helped my performance in the gym and my recovery times. Managed over 100lb in the leg press for the 1st time recently grin

What's your favourite WFPB meal so far?

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Permane Thu 22-Mar-18 12:29:36

That's great about the leg press and overall performance!

I agree about the calories - I will use MFP every so often to check calories, so I am aware of what I am doing. Had a good run with it this week but not counting today. 1350 Kcals can be very easy one day but then 1500 Kcals a real struggle the next. Mon + Tue I was up closer to 1600 - managed to bring it back down yesterday but I just can't be bothered to count today!

What I have really realised this week is that I need to pre-prep things - especially my lunchtime salad bowl. Finished work early today so didn't make a packed lunch - hungry when I got home and then had hummous and rice cakes simply because I couldn't be bothered when hungry to make the salad (which I do really like!). Then, and here lies the issue, I then had several square of 70% dark chocolate (so not even WFPB) - it has gone now and I won't buy more!

I made a vegetable tagine that I really liked a few weeks back but then when I made it the second time didn't like it so much (think spice amounts were slightly different!). I like Chef AJ's sweet potato chilli (the one where she uses orange juice in it). I've been pretty bad this week at cooking - made my salad, grains but dinner is loads of steamed veg and a vegan ready meal (low fat) or simply a baked potato with some pulses and tomato salsa.

I've made some things that were probably way too much effort for the outcome - things like mushroom cottage pie (gardener's pie?) as made garlic buttah to mash potatoes with first etc. Nice anyway! To be fair I did make a big batch of the garlic buttah and freeze in ice cube trays so it won't be such a faff next time.

I'm struggling a bit with balance tbh - if I really focus on losing weight then I find it hard to really go for it with the recipes. I think the balance will come but...not quite there yet! I need to put a big surge of effort in again with the cooking - think I'm going to have to pay for an extension on the cooking course.

I think the key is going to be largely formulaic for breakfast and lunch - I know the calories there now. As I haven't tried the lovely vegan products giving them up hasn't been a problem (I must not try!).

I've lost about 11 lbs since the new year and I'm not complaining but I would like to make that a bit faster. Think what this last week on the calorie counting has told me is that 2 lbs/wk is probably unrealistic, unless I get a bit more serious with the exercise, and I should be aiming for 1.5 lbs/wk...which is an improvement from 1 lb/wk.

How to do you the brown rice pilaf? I've got a steam oven which makes cooking grains and veggies very easy.

What cookery books have you got that are WFPB? I've only got FOK ones so far. I've also used their website for recipes.

Maybe we could report back on each recipe as we cook them?

Permane Fri 23-Mar-18 09:07:30

Found this website this morning:

It's blog style and has some really nice infographics and links to succinct documents. Think I may print out a couple for the fridge door - nice reminder to me and may help, possibly, catch the interest of DH and DS...

LondonHerbivore32 Fri 23-Mar-18 18:56:39

I agree with you about pre-prepping. If I don't, then I fail and will eat something that's not necessarily WFPB.

What do you put in your lunchtime salads? I'm trying to be a bit more creative with mine, but usually not managing anything really inspiring.

For lunches I'm obsessed with Amy's organic split pea soup. It's oil free and really tasty. I loved Amy's vegan products before being WFPB, so it's nice to be able to still have one thing from the range.

I have a load of the Happy Herbivore cookbooks, I highly recommend those and I use the China Study All Stay Collection book a lot.

The garlic buttah sounds interesting, is it nice?

The pilaf is simple, I have a Japanese rice cooker, which is amazing and cooks rice so fast! Into the rice cooker I throw 1 cup (just a normal mug) of brown basmati rice and two cups of water. I season with vegan billion, garlic powder, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add a finely chopped onion, some chopped chestnut mushrooms and whatever other veg you might fancy. Maybe a handful or two of red lentils (add a bit extra water if you add lentils). Finally I add a whole tomato with the stem cut out, putting it on top of all the other ingredients, cut some down. Then set the rice cooker to go and ignore it until its done. When its done I, mash up the tomato, stir it through and sometimes I also stir in a can of mixed bean salad. I'll serve the pilaf with either roasted or steamed veggies and some marinated then baked tofu.

That blog looks really interesting, thanks for the recommendation!

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KingIrving Fri 23-Mar-18 19:04:56

I don't think I have seem anyone mentioning

Dr. Greger has also written "how not to die" and the cookbook that goes with it. Pretty interesting.
There also is a free app based on this video which I strongly suggest you watch

Permane Tue 27-Mar-18 11:56:23

Yes, Garlic Buttah is nice - bit involved to make as you need to make cashew cream and the blend with the braised garlic and onion. Nice if you fancy some mashed potatoes anyway!

Sorry for my delay replying - been away for the weekend.

I'm having a bit of a slump to be honest. ARGH!! Think I am just tired and have the start of a cold.

I'll be back on here after work (popped home and need to go back now) and I desperately want to get back on track.

I usually just add some kind of grain to my salads (e.g. quinoa cooked in vegetable stock) and sometimes a kind of legume/bean/pulse with a balsamic dressing of some sort.

Will look at your links later kingIrving - thank you - are you doing WFPB too?

KingIrving Thu 29-Mar-18 09:37:57

Yes I follow a WFPB diet with a strong emphasis on anti-cancer food

Permane Sun 15-Apr-18 10:22:28

I've decided to start making the recipes from I first came to the site via her youtube channel - I like her style of delivery - clear and succinct.

Yesterday I made the Lemon and Poppy seed dressing and the Mushroom & Potato soup and bought stuff for the Puerto Rican beans.

The dressing was nice - not amazing but I can't really judge it properly as I substitued the poppy seeds for linseeds! I will try it again when I have some poppy seeds.

The soup was very nice and filling.

New term starts tomorrow so a fresh start. Time to push things up a notch and start doing this consistently and losing weight again.

* No meat - I am 98% consistent with this. I would be 100% by choice. I had fish twice whilst on holiday due to limited choice - it was that or cheese or just junk. Yes, I could've put more thought/effort/planning into it but that was where I was at then.

* Dairy - I am about 80% with this. I've had the odd Amy's kitchen lasagne with a small amount of cheese one...ah! Just googled it and found it is Vegan! YAY! Ok, it propably isn't FOK but this can be a good cheat meal. The odd bit of cow's milk in tea (I want to stop this though - probably only have tea once or twice a week because of this). Chocolate...that needs to be completely swapped for vegan dark now.

* Oil - don't use it at all in cooking or dressings but...crisps. I've been having crisps. If I am going to be eating packaged food then I need to check all labels more carefully.

*Salt - trying to cut down...doing it slowly.

*Added Sugar - more effort required.

* No alcohol - still going strong but...having no alcohol wine (0.05%), very low alcohol lager (0.5%) and low alcohol cider (1%) a bit too much. Need to keep this for a treat.

I'm not going back to the calorie counting, for now at least. I know that I need to use nuts, seeds, avocados, dried fruit sparingly and go heavy with the veg.

I'm going to focus on prep and batch cooking and being much more consistent with ALL the rules. I am convinced that this way of eating is the way to go (and what a relief it is to find this after so many years bouncing from one thing to the other...paleo, SW, VLCD, WW, Atkins...).

I weighed-in this morning and I am very pleased that I have STS with the amount of cheating that has been going on over the last few weeks. First goal is to lose 7 lbs - that will take me below a weight that is significant to me (I've been above it for 2+ years now). Going to WI in an ad hoc fashion as ever.

It struck me yesterday how little I needed to buy to make the recipes and I appreciated how far I have come in being prepared for this. I've got all the kitchen equipment I need (including a steam oven - that I love) and the kitchen is well organised for this way of eating now. Next stage is to slowly start replacing my regular cooking books for WFPB ones. I might treat myself to a new one every time I lose 5 lbs...

How is everyone else getting on?

LondonHerbivore32 Sun 15-Apr-18 17:00:42

Hi Permane!!!!!

You're doing brilliantly! Me, not so much...

I need to get my arse back in the gym. I've been suffering with my back (long term pain issues) and vile cold for the last couple of weeks. So I desperately need to get back to the lifting as soon as I'm able. I really miss it.

For me a lot of the issue for weight loss is portion size. I'm a nightmare when it comes to portion control. blush So I've bought some handy portion controlling, meal prep containers from Amazon. My DH is one of those annoying vegan people with a metabolism like a furnace, who can eat the most enormous portions and never gain so much as a gram. envy So I'm consciously trying to serve myself 1/2 to 2/3 (depending on the meal) of what he eats. Then for batch cooking, to use the containers he likes for his work lunches etc... and then smaller portion controlled ones for me.

My project for next weekend is to dust off my dehydrator and make oil free kale chips. Will let you know how I get on.

Responding to your above points on dairy, as a long term vegan, here's a couple of tips:

I found that one of the most effective plant milks to bring people over from dairy is the Califia Farms Barista Blend almond milk. It's amazing in coffee, tea, cooking etc... Might be worth giving it a go, to finally kick the milk in drinks habit grin It can be a bit hard to find, but Ocado stock it consistently.

I'm afraid to say that vegan cheese isn't WFPB compliant sad. But its a better alternative than cow's cheese. However nutritional yeast is WFBP and amazing as a cheese substitute. If you get the one with added B12, you're also adding good nutrients. Use it where you'd put cheese in sauces, pasta etc...

Also on the cheese issue, this list is a good go-to for WFPB cheeses you can make at home: I tend to keep it bookmarked as a handy reminder, when I want something cheesy.

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