Julieanna Hever has made a career out of helping people understand how to create a healthy diet based on whole, plant-based foods.
Her first book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, was published this past August, and her second, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, will hit shelves tomorrow.
If that weren’t healthy-foodie credentials enough, she was also a special consultant for the documentary Forks Over Knives, and worked with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study, at Cornell University.
We peeked in the star nutritionist’s fridge to see what someone who literally wrote the book on healthy eating stocks:
So, you’re obviously a vegan, but are you totally gluten-free as well? I’m allergic to wheat, so I’ve been off it for several years. I’ll have it once in a while, but it gives me a really big stomachache. That’s why I did the new book!
Your fridge is full to the brim! Is anyone other than you eating from it? Well, this was because it was Thanksgiving when I took the photo, so I had my in-laws staying over. It was a full house. But, I usually do keep it pretty full—we eat a lot! That’s what’s so great about plant-based diets, you can eat more food for less calories.
Speaking of full, that’s a mega-salad in the brown bowl. I make it twice a week and try to eat the whole thing. And that’s just for me! It’s spinach, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, green beans—basically whatever’s fresh from the farmer’s market. Then, I make homemade tahini-based dressings that I love. They’re oil-free and so yummy and decadent that it makes me want more salad.
What are the grains on the top shelf? One is whole flax seeds, one is chia seeds, and the bag next to that is maca powder. I grind the flax seeds and put them in my smoothies or pour them on my oatmeal. Chia seeds I use as a thickening agent for dressings and sauces. With the maca powder, I’ll make a green tea latte with soy or almond milk.
How about in the cheese drawer? I can’t tell what’s in there. Tofurkey—I usually recommend that people don’t eat it, or the Earth Balance, because they’re processed. But we’ll have Tofurkey once or twice a year. It’s a festive and fun treat.
You have lots of plastic bags full of veggies. Is that because you prewash? Yes, I go to the farmer’s market on Sunday. Then on Sunday or Monday, I wash and chop and get them ready for the whole week. That way I can just grab and go. I have no choice, because I need to eat this way and I have a crazy schedule.
Since you wrote the Dummies book on plant-based diets, tell us, what’s the most idiotic thing that people (who haven’t read your book) believe about eating this way? People think you won’t have variety, that there will be nothing to eat. When in fact, there are so many flavors, textures, and colors that the variety is limitless. —Lisa Elaine Held