Earlier this week, vegan superstar and author Kathy Freston stopped by “The Talk” to promote her new book, “The Lean: A Revolutionary and Simple 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss.”
While in the studio, she taught co-hosts Sara Gilbert and Julie Chen just how easy and healthy a vegan diet can be. Check out five of the tips that she shared:
1. Change your milk. Freston’s first recommendation is to make the switch to a non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, hemp or cashew. Not only is it better for the cows (who are kept in a constant pregnancy cycle to keep their milk production up), it’s also better for humans. As Freston explains, “Think about it. A cow produces milk so that her little baby calf will put on a thousand pounds really quickly and grow into a fat, docile, slow cow. We don’t want to be fat, docile and slow! So opt for non-dairy milk.”
2. Try a cheese alternative. Cheese can be addictive, but Freston says it’s easy to enjoy your favorite cheese-based meals in a vegan way. By opting for non-dairy cheese made from tapioca or rice, you can still enjoy dishes such as pizza without compromising your vegan diet. Freston says that these options are also lower in cholesterol and fat than traditional cheese.
3. Eat a hearty, fiber-rich breakfast. “If you skip breakfast, your metabolism slows way down, by as much as 40 percent. So you want to make sure you have fiber in the morning, because that’s going to fill your belly, it’s going to make you feel full, and it’s going to release the glucose in your system slowly and steadily throughout the day,” says Freston. She recommends starting the day with a bowl of brown rice topped with dried fruit, nuts, a natural sweetener, such as agave nectar, and the aforementioned non-dairy milk.
4. Eat antioxidant-rich foods. Freston is a big proponent of vegan superfoods, such as blueberries and goji berries. Not only do they provide energy and interesting side effects (like an enhanced libido), but superfoods fill you up. According to Freston, part of the plan outlined in “The Lean” is to fill up on healthy foods so that you’re simply too stuffed to eat junk. “‘The Lean’ is all about adding in things, so that you crowd out the room in your day to eat the bad stuff,” she says.
5. Cut out cream. Freston is a huge fan of vegan chef Tal Ronnen‘s cashew cream, which is made from soaked and blended raw cashews. She recommends using it in both sweet and savory dishes, as everything from an alfredo replacement on pasta to a whipped cream substiute on fruit. She says it can be used in place of cream in any dish, but unlike dairy cream, it has zero cholesterol and is low in saturated fat, both of which are essential for a lean body.
To find out more about Freston’s lean eating plan, head over to her website. And to see her in action, check out the video below.