While Marisa Miller Wolfson may have been inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary, Supersize Me, she certainly isn’t mimicking his methods. Her 2011 documentary Vegucated takes the opposite approach and follows the lives of three meat and cheese lovers as they embark on a six week vegan transformation. “I saw that Spurlock used a vegan diet to detox from his burger binge,” says Miller Wolfson, “and I thought, ‘that’s the movie I want to see.'”
With a baby on the way and plenty of new projects in the works, Miller Wolfson has a lot on her proverbial plate. But she slowed down long enough to chat with us about how she makes eating clean a living, a lifestyle, and a number one priority. Here’s what she’s got in her fridge to prove it:
We heard you’re expecting a baby soon. Congrats! Has the inside of your fridge changed at all to meet the nutrient-needs of you and the little one? Thank you! It has a little. Preggos are supposed to consume around 71–75 grams of protein a day, so I’ve been eating more beans, nuts, seeds, seitan and tempeh. The latter two pack a walloping 26 and 21 grams, respectively, per 4 oz. serving. I also always have ground flax seeds in the freezer and hemp oil in the fridge for omega-3s, which are key for brain development. I do more spinach and other iron-rich sources to avoid anemia, which plagues about half of all pregnant women. I’ve whizzed past the 7-month mark with no hint of anemia, and a baby who’s right on target, growth and development-wise.
Veganism is what you’re known for, but the gluten-free Amy’s burrito in the freezer caught my eye. Are you also gluten-free? I’m not, but I went gluten-free as part of Kris Carr’s amazing Crazy Sexy Diet challenge, and I discovered some yummy gluten-free things that I now prefer over the gluten-full version, like these burritos.
You have a lot of frozen fruit! In a summer with record-breaking temperatures and a radiator in my belly, you’d better believe I do! I put frozen berries in my water; I make frozen banana “ice cream” by putting it through my Omega 8006 juicer; I snack on frozen grapes; and I make smoothies almost every day with frozen fruit, nut butter, flax seeds, kale, and Vega protein powder.
Walk me through that bottom shelf brimming with jars. The yellow jar in the middle shelf has the cashew cheese sauce leftovers that I made from Doug McNish’s Eat Raw, Eat Well cookbook. I was making his raw mac ‘n cheese recipe using sweet potato and zucchini as noodles. Two of the jars on the bottom shelf contain the almond-based “parmesan” made with nutritional yeast to go on top of the mac ‘n cheese.
The dark jar next to them contains deliciously seasoned black beans made by Cassandra, a co-hort in a vegan dinner club I belong to. We all meet once a month at a member’s apartment, and the host tries a new vegan recipe she’s never tried before. It’s really fun and a great way to discover new faves you might not feel motivated to make just for yourself.
There’s miso and a Mamma Chia drink that contains chia seeds and a bazillion milligrams of omega-3s. Oh, and hummus. I love me some hummus.
What’s under the huge pink lid in the freezer? Plant food scraps for compost! Keeping it in the freezer keeps it from stinking up the kitchen. I schlep it to the farmer’s market on Saturdays, where a nice Dutch lady named Ingrid from the Lower Eastside Ecology Center takes it and turns it into soil.
And those containers on the top shelf—are those vegan yogurts? Yep! They’re Amande, made from almond milk. Thirty percent of your RDA for calcium in one serving. Booyah!
Do you use a lot of meat substitutes in your meals (like the ones on the top shelf)? Not that many, though I’ve been doing more seitan, as mentioned earlier, and I always have a block of tofu in the fridge. The sausages you see are Field Roast grain meat sausages. They’re packed with protein and go on what I call “farmer’s market pizza” with a bunch of seasonal veggies and a sprinkling of Daiya cheese shreds. I thank my lucky stars for this vegan cheese that melts and stretches. It has changed lives. Truly.
Is that produce hiding in the green plastic bag behind the Almond Breeze? That’s cilantro! I can’t believe I lived the first 18 years of my life without ever having tried it. Now it’s my favorite herb.
In other news, can we expect a Vegucated sequel anytime soon? I have some ideas for another film, a nonfiction book, and a children’s book. In the meantime, I’ll need to focus on juggling my Vegucated film baby with a human baby. Once I have some more head space, we’ll see which idea rises to the top! —Jenna Holt