| Giveaway!!! – We gave away a signed copy of “By Any Greens Necessary” courtesy of Tracye McQuirter!
Book Winner: Nikki Williams
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!
April Twitter Chat Q&A: On April 16th we hosted a Plant-based Eating Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #BWLW – @blackweightloss) with Special Guest Tracye McQuirter, MPH, Best-Selling Author of By Any Greens Necessary. (@byanygreens). We wanted to make sure that everyone who couldn’t make it was able to read the content shared, check out the tweets below as a Q&A.
BWLW: Let’s start with the first question of the night – You are a long time Vegan. What led you to adopt a plant-based lifestyle?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: It started with a Dick Gregory lecture in college that traced the path of a hamburger from a cow on a factory farm through the slaughterhouse process to a fast food restaurant to a clogged artery to a heart attack. That lecture led me to read everything I could about veganism, and eventually become vegan about a year later. There were definitely a lot of interesting twists and turns in that year, involving Nairobi, Kenya and Howard University, which I talk about in my book. But that lecture is what started it all. It’s now been about 30 years that I’ve been vegan and about 25 years that I’ve been teaching folks how to go vegan.
BWLW: Dick Gregory is a big inspiration for me. I think it is just amazing and inspiring that you’ve been a Vegan for that long.
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Thanks and yes Dick Gregory is great! His book Cooking w Mother Nature in 1978 is a classic.
BWLW: What are the main benefits to adopting a plant-based diet when it comes to overall health?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Basically, you can make yourself virtually disease-proof and healthy for life.
BWLW: It’s amazing how many health success stories there are from people who’ve gone Vegan or Vegetarian. What are the main benefits to adopting a plant-based diet when it comes to weight loss?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Studies on this have shown that overweight people eating healthy vegan foods typically lose a pound a week, without exercising, but don’t let that keep you from working out! You can lose weight effortlessly because vegan foods are naturally low-fat & high-fiber, so you feel full & satisfied longer & eat less.
BWLW: You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Eating is 70-80% of the equation, if not more IMHO. Plant-Based eating makes sense.
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: LOL! Yes it makes good sense.
BWLW: What advice do you give to people who are interested in eating a plant-based diet? What are the main 3 things to know?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Great question. First, I always encourage people to start by adding better foods to their plate, rather than taking food away. So add more greens, whole grains, fresh fruit, nuts, and beans. Second, add smoothies to your morning routine, using berries, spinach or kale, banana, almond or rice milk, and nuts. Third, swap out animal ingredients for plant ingredients. For example, for butter you can use Earth Balance nondairy butter. And for cheese you can use Daiya nondairy cheese. And almost everyone knows about soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
BWLW: I love to suggest green smoothies when people are trying Veganism or going Vegetarian. So delicious.
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Yep, I drink them everyday! Another thing I want to add is that folks should relax and enjoy the transition to healthier foods. It’s going to be alright!
BWLW: We hear about all the pros of eating this way, are their any cons (social, digestion, low b-12, etc.)?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Well, Coke, potato chips, Oreo cookies, white rice, and white bread are all vegan, but they’re not healthful. So just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. You want to focus on a whole foods plant-based diet. As for B-12, as it turns out, neither meat-eaters nor plant-eaters are getting enough B-12, unless they’re eating B-fortified foods or taking a supplement. And folks should know B12 comes from bacteria, not animals.
BWLW: One of the main questions that vegans get is “Where do you get your protein?” Why do you think that is?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: That’s a result of advertising. The meat industry has us believing that meat equals protein. But it doesn’t. Protein is a nutrient that is found in animal foods AND in plant foods, and it’s healthier in plant foods. Here’s why…
Meat also contains unhealthful, artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat which can lead to our major chronic diseases. It’s healthiest to get protein from plant-based foods. It’s also where the animals get theirs.
BWLW: What are your favorite sources of protein and why?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Beans, nuts, fruit, vegetables & tempeh. Here’s a blog post I wrote about 10 sources of plant protein: bit.ly/1PUItmK
BWLW: What is your advice for keeping plant-based eating affordable?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Try to get your staples like brown rice, quinoa, beans, nuts, and spices from the bulk bin. Buy fresh fruit and veggies as much as possible. Things that come in packages are usually more expensive and less healthful.
BWLW: Question from @luv2teach08 What other supplements do you recommend when switching to a plant based diet?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: I recommend that people get tested to see what nutrients they may be low in and eat or supplement accordingly.
BWLW: @Fabulousity89 was asking about fish. What are your thoughts?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: I’d like to refer you to the fish chapter in my book which thoroughly explains why fish is not healthful. bit.ly/1HcZ15s
BWLW: Do we need to work more to encourage Afr-Amer to eat a plant-based diet….OR is it a myth that we don’t embrace this lifestyle?
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: African Americans are actually pioneers in the vegan movement. They’re more than 3 million black vegans and vegetarians. Also, most traditional West African countries from which we came are plant-based, eating more plant foods than animal foods. Check out this recent blog I wrote about it: bit.ly/1Hyv68e
BWLW: Awesome chat. I want to thank our Special Guest Tracye McQuirter, MPH, for sharing her wisdom with us tonight!
Tracye McQuirter, MPH: Thank you so much! I enjoyed it!
Bonus: There were are few questions we didn’t get to during the chat. Here is that info…
What tips do you have for people who face resistance or ridicule from friends and family?
My advice is to be easy and relaxed and confident in your decision to eat all or more vegan foods. Just ignore the comments or if you feel you must say something, you can just say something like, “I like being healthy, it feels great.” This is part of living life on your own terms and not to please other people. Inspire by example and suggest books and websites if they’d like to learn more.
Many people complain of increased gas and going to the bathroom more when they adopt a plant-based diet. Why is that?
Plant-based foods have fiber, which is essential in a healthy diet. Meat and dairy contain no fiber at all. When you start eating more fiber-rich foods it may take some time for your body to adjust–but it will adjust. But also remember, having gas is completely normal.
What do you say to people who are concerned about not having enough energy with a vegan lifestyle?
Be sure you’re eating a healthy, whole-food, balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, beans, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, eating lots of refined and processed foods, like white rice, white pasta, white bread and high-sugar, high-fat, and low-fiber foods will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. You also may want to consult with a nutritionist to help you prepare a healthy meal plan.
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