What does plant-based mean? Sounds like you're vegan?

I consider myself plant-based. I don't consider myself, or identify myself, as *vegan*!!! Here's an excellent post by the Happy Herbivore which describes the differences between being plant-based and vegan. I still consume honey. I believe it helps my severe seasonal allergies. I believe in the benefits of vaccinations and modern medicine. More than anything I believe in bio-medical research.

Olive oil is healthy!! Why don't you use Olive oil in your cooking?

There is no such thing as a healthy oil. Learn that, memorize that, remember that. Any oil = 100% fat. Here's some information for reference. A whole cup of steamed broccoli florets has 29 calories (no cholesterol, no saturated fat, 2 g of fiber, 2 g of protein). If you were to add a tbsp of Olive oil to saute your side of broccoli, you'd be adding 120 calories (no cholesterol, 2 g of saturated fat, no protein, no fiber). Your side of broccoli (29 calories) just became - a side of PURE OIL (149 calories) with a broccoli garnish. Think about that ... 

If you don't use Olive oil, what do you use for cooking?

I use all kinds of liquids. Water, vegetable broth, red and white wine, non-dairy milks like almond and soy. I've even use fruit juice (the sugars really help with caramelization of onions etc.). Here's a list of oil-free, plant-based products you can use (Oil-free-products-list).

How do you afford all these expensive organic foods?

I don't. There's very few things that I buy organic. I buy my groceries at Walmart and Kroger and I consume what the general population eats. I just make sure that I eat whole foods to the extent possible. I wash my produce well and I almost always consume the skin (except for things like banana and oranges!). Being a toxicologist by profession I realize that the dose makes the poison. Even too much water can kill you. I'm not saying that everything that is sprayed on plants is 100% safe. What I am saying is that if you're sensible and wash your fruits and vegetables, you're reducing your exposure to within safe limits. I live in a rural county. I probably get more exposure to pesticides because the farmer across the street sprays it on his corn and soybeans. Eat whole foods - remember a conventional apple is far better than a serving of double-deep-fried french fries.

You seem to eat a lot of oatmeal? What do you sweeten it with? 

I use banana. I usually use old fashioned (rolled) oats. I simply microwave a sliced banana, with my favorite nut milk (almond) and oats and microwave it for 3 minutes while I'm packing my lunch ready for work. Once its done, mix well, add your other fixins and you're all set. I usually add some frozen blueberries which brings the temperature down to what my mouth can bear.

How do you keep bananas around for a whole week? I can't stand mushy bananas.

Since I eat a banana every morning with my oatmeal, I hardly ever eat them during the rest of the day. I tend to buy slightly greener bananas from the store and leave them on the kitchen table. When they reach their optimal ripeness, I slice whatever is remaining and freeze for future use. That way the kids can have fresh bananas (they don't like mushy bananas either) and the ripe ones go in my oatmeal, where the mushiness is covered by other ingredients. See this blog post by The Oatmeal Artist. She uses bananas very much like I do.

Have more questions? post in the comments below and I'll answer them as honestly as I can :)

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