FAQs

Where can I learn more about eating clean?

The page titled Eat Clean.

Do you eat meat?

No, I’m vegan; which, means I avoid all animal products. You can learn more about my lifestyle via the page titled Rebel Lifestyle.

I eat meat. Can I still follow you?

Yes, of course. Most of my followers eat meat. My goal is to provide nutrition and fitness education based upon the scientific evidence; not convert my followers into vegans. That is a very personal decision and I do not push my beliefs or lifestyle on anyone. Not even on my dog.

How did you transition to a vegan lifestyle?

I didn’t adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle overnight. I slowly eliminated animal products. There’s no perfect way to change a lifestyle behavior. Do what works best for you.

Will I lose weight if I adopt a mostly raw plant-based diet?

Yes, if you are overweight and weight loss is your goal, you will lose weight by eating mostly raw.

What is a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet (or lifestyle) means a diet dominant in plants. Plain and simple. A plant-based diet should not be confused with a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some plant-based diets include animal products.

Are plant-based diets healthy?

Plant-based diets are the healthiest lifestyle for personal and public health. Not to mention, environmental health. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the health benefits of vegetarian diets include the “prevention and treatment of certain health conditions, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.”

Is the paleo diet a plant-based diet?

No.

What about strict raw foodism?

I do not recommend strict raw foodism (or fully raw) because it isn’t healthy long-term. Research suggests strict raw foodism (more than 90% raw) is associated with extreme weight loss (underweight), malnutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, osteoporosis, and amenorrhea in women. While I realize “extreme weight loss” may sound tempting to some, trust me, it’s not a good idea. You can lose a significant amount of weight without sacrificing your health by following my lifestyle.

Can I skip the cooked foods?

No, cooked foods are easier to digest and absorb; which, is important in preventing malnutrition.

How do I transition to a mostly raw plant-based diet?

Transitioning to a raw plant-based lifestyle (even if you are not giving up animal products), takes time. Think of it this way, dietary fiber is a workout for your intestine. You wouldn’t walk into the gym and attempt to lift 400 pounds on day one – would you? I hope not. Muscles – just like your intestines – need time to adapt to this new lifestyle. Increasing your intake of dietary fiber too rapidly will cause you to experience bothersome GI side effects such as gas, bloating, frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, feelings of fullness, fatigue, and maybe even temporary weight gain (due to increased stool weight and bulk – not body fat). However, no need to fret, these side effects will disappear with time and you can always reduce your intake of raw foods if GI symptoms become really bothersome. I remember times where I literally felt kinda sick.

How many bowel movements should I expect per day?

Individuals consuming a high fiber diet frequently report 3 to 6 bowel movements per day. Increased stool frequency and volume is normal.

How long should I take to transition to a mostly raw plant-based diet?

Again, that depends on your past and current intake of raw plants. You should transition as tolerated (i.e., as it feels “right” or comfortable to you). Listen to your body, if your stomach gets “tired” – sometimes my belly feels “tired”- take a few days off from raw plants and enjoy cooked plant-based foods (e.g. steamed vegetables, grilled vegetables, grilled fruit, whole grains, baked potato, sweet potato, beans, and legumes). Remember, it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle. Don’t burn out.

Will I feel hungry during my transition?

You may experience hunger during the early transition period. This is normal because raw (whole) plant-based foods are naturally low in calories. Once you are able to consume a greater volume of food, these feelings of hunger will disappear. Long-term, hunger shouldn’t be a problem on a mostly raw plant-based diet.

What can I do to lessen my hunger?

You have several options; however, keep in mind, some of these options may prevent weight loss, or even promote weight gain, if consumed too frequently.

1) Eat a greater volume of raw foods (e.g., increase the size of your salad);
2) Increase snack frequency
3) Increase intake of foods higher in protein, fat, and/or fiber (e.g., beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, and single whole grains); and
4) Eat more cooked plant-based foods.

Will adding in some cooked foods slow down my weight loss?

Cooked minimally processed plant-based foods when consumed as part of a mostly raw plant-based diet should not promote weight gain or prevent weight loss; however, you can always adjust your intake of raw to cooked/energy-dense foods in order to assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.

Do I need to eat small portions?

No, not if you are following my lifestyle (a mostly raw plant-based diet). If you eat mostly raw, you need to eat a large volume of food in order to prevent malnutrition and excessive weight loss.  It may seem counterintuitive to you at first, but the desire to eat a larger volume of food is normal.

Do I need to stop eating at a certain time at night?

No, not necessarily. I suggest you eat when you are truly hungry, not just bored. I personally do not limit my food consumption during the evening, but it is important to understand that I also fast during the day.

What are your thoughts about juice fasts?

Prolonged juice fasts are not healthful and may even be harmful.

Where do you get your protein?

Protein is found in all plants – even celery. You can learn more about protein requirements and view plant-based sources of protein by visiting the pages Protein 101 and Plant-Based Protein Charts, respectively.

What’s wrong with consuming too much animal protein?

For starters, excess intake of meat, especially red meat and ultra processed meat, has been repeatedly associated with increased risk of several major chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. I review this topic in greater detail via the page titled Protein 101.

Can I reduce my intake of animal product over time?

Yes, of course, it’s your lifestyle. Start with limiting intake of red meat and ultra-processed meats.

Can I gain lean muscle mass on a mostly raw plant-based diet?

Yes, of course. I personally gained 15 pounds of lean muscle; which, was equal to 15 percent of my total body weight at the time. You can see a photo of my progress via the page titled Rebel Lifestyle.

What about protein powder?

Protein powder isn’t a whole food and you don’t need it. I do not use any protein supplements (e.g. protein powder, drinks, shakes, and/or bars) nor do I recommend them because we simply do not them.

Is it okay to eat conventional produce?

Yes, I eat conventional produce when organic isn’t an option for whatever reason (e.g., cost and availability). Just be sure to rinse all of your produce well and eat a lot of fresh produce.

What are your thoughts about frozen vegetables?

Frozen vegetables are great and often just as nutrient-dense as fresh.

What about canned vegetables?

Canned foods and beverages are a major source of endocrine disrupting chemicals (e.g., mercury, aluminum, and bisphenol A (BPA)).

Where can I learn more about produce storage?

See the page titled Produce Storage and Handling.

Can I freeze my fresh fruits and vegetables?

See the page Freezing Fruits and Vegetables to learn more.

Snack ideas?

Sure, see the page titled Healthy Snack Ideas.

Which sweeteners are considered “natural?”
  • Fresh fruit (e.g. Add fresh fruit – or fruit juice – to flavor/sweeten your water and/or tea);
  • Dehydrated Fruit (e.g., Medjool dates. In fact, medjool dates are the sweetener of choice amongst most raw foodies);
  • Raw Honey (Unheated and unfiltered; honey is considered non-vegan by the vegan police);
  • Whole Stevia Leaves* (Dehydrated);
  • Maple Syrup;
  • Maple Sugar (granulated);
  • Coconut Palm Sugar (granulated).

*All products marketed as “Stevia” in the United States are ultra-processed and refined.
To learn more about natural and ultra-processed sweeteners, visit the page Sweeteners.

What about dried fruit?

I love naturally dehydrated fruit; however, it’s important to choose products that are dried naturally (e.g., without added sugar).

What is the best way to get rid of belly fat?

Unfortunately, you can’t spot reduce (meaning, you can’t just lose belly fat). You have to lose body fat. Loss of body fat will result in less belly fat. Adding or deleting individual foods in isn’t going to work – you have to adopt a healthful lifestyle that promotes weight loss (fat loss). Likewise, individual exercises that target the belly aren’t going to be beneficial, either. Weight loss is achieved via a reduction in total energy intake. As such, I recommend raw fruits and vegetables because they are naturally low in calories and high in dietary fiber. Not to mention, high in other bioactive compounds that promote health including weight management.

Which vitamins and minerals should I take?

Daily multivitamin with 100 percent of the RDA (be sure it includes vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iodine).
For additional information, please review the page titled Micronutrients.

Can individuals with type 2 diabetes adopt a vegetarian diet?

Yes, vegetarian diets are healthiest for all populations including type 2 diabetics. Recent research indicates vegetarian diets lead to a greater weight loss and greater reduction in fasting plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), blood lipids, and hypoglycemic medication than a conventional low calorie diet in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

I have type 2 diabetes. Will fruit spike my blood sugar?

A “spike” (or rise) in blood sugar in response to carbohydrate intake is normal and expected; however, I understand your concern considering your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. While it is true that intake of fruit will increase blood sugar, it also improves insulin insensitivity over time. If I had type 2 diabetes, I would consume fruit on a regular basis (starting off with a small amount and gradually increasing as tolerated), while monitoring my hemoglobin A1C levels every 3 months to assess for gradual improvements in beta-cell function. Last but not least, I know physicians who have reversed their type 2 diabetes with a vegan lifestyle. It doesn’t happen overnight, but improvements in health is absolutely possible with lifestyle and behavioral modification.

Additional Suggestions:
  • Focus on raw fruits and vegetables and consume the whole fruit whenever possible (for the time being, I’d limit my intake of fruit juices and smoothies). Foods reported to have favorable outcomes in prevention of type 2 diabetes include berries and leafy greens.
  • Consume the peel of the fruit whenever possible. For instance, I always eat the peel of the kiwi fruit, apple, mango, etc. There is published evidence to support the health promoting properties of different types of fruit (e.g. citrus and kiwi).
  • Monitor your HgbA1C every 3 months with your MD. It is always best to keep your MD in the loop as well as make decisions based upon factual data.
  • Evaluate your intake of nutrients that have been positively associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (e.g. Chromium, Magnesium, Vitamin D). I would also personally take a concentrated source of EPA and DHA (i.e., omega 3 fatty acids). However, do not waste your money on a product because it simply states “Omega 3” on the front of the bottle. You need to review the ingredient facts on the back of the bottle to ensure the supplement actually provides EPA and DHA. The combined amount of EPA and DHA should be at least 1,000 mg per day. You can learn more about nutrient deficiencies via the page titled Vitamins and Minerals.
  • Completely avoid ultra processed meat as these foods have been repeatedly associated with increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week (walking would be great!).
  • Keep a blood sugar journal for your records. Monitor your daily blood sugar as recommended per your health provider and record the type and amount of carbohydrates consumed (if any). Trends are far more useful than random samples when assessing nutritional status.
Can athletes adopt a mostly raw plant-based diet?

Yes; however, competitive athletes and individuals who expend significant amount of energy during training may need to incorporate a greater percentage of cooked foods in order to meet energy requirements during training on a mostly raw diet.

Which type of water do you drink?

The filtered water I drink is treated with reverse osmosis (RO), carbon filtration, and ultraviolet disinfection technologies. That’s a mouthful, right?! Unfortunately, public drinking water (i.e., tap water) contains contaminants and bottled water isn’t required to disclose the source or purity of their water. These purification technologies I described above are the most effective at removing potential contaminants including heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and radiologicals. You can learn more about drinking clean by visiting the page Drink Clean.

Where do you buy RO water?

I purchase this water in bulk from Whole Foods for around $.44 per gallon. I store the water in a 3-gallon plastic BPA-free water jug on a stainless steel water dispenser. If you have a large family or do not live near a store that offers water purification, you may want to consider investing in a quality home water purification system. Unfortunately, Brita-type filters do not remove the contaminants I am concerned about (e.g. fluoride). To ensure that a filter removes a particular contaminant, you should always verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.

What’s wrong with fluoride?

A lot. You can learn more about the dangers of fluoride by visiting the page Get the Fluoride Out!

Why do you use honey?

Because I have severe outdoor allergies; which, can cause me to become asthmatic and I believe honey helps control my symptoms. I also use a daily nasal steroid and OTC allergy medication, but these products only work so well. Like insulin, raw (unheated and unfiltered) honey is medicine. As a newbie, you may not know this, but there are actually a lot of prescription medications made with animal products (e.g., vaccines and insulin); however, I would never suggest that another vegan avoid vaccines or other important medications. Honey may not be considered an important option by the medical establishment as of yet, but that is changing according to recent research (here, here, here, here, and here). Yes, the vegan police have written me several citations.. lol. Below are the results of my allergy skin test. Terrible, I know.

Allergy Testing | IgE Skin Test: Allergic to All the Things!
Allergy Testing | IgE Skin Test: Allergic to All the Things!
Allergy Testing | IgE Skin Test: Allergic to All the Things!
Allergy Testing | IgE Skin Test: Allergic to All the Things!
Is your dog vegan? What does he eat?

No, my dog is not a vegan; however, I do not feed him dog food (any kind), red meat, fish or seafood products. The only animal product I feed him is certified humane organic chicken. I purchase a whole chicken to reduce food waste and feed him that with a combination of different raw and cooked plant-based foods. He is super healthy and happy (err.. spoiled rotten). I started him on real food because he wouldn’t eat after we rescued him. He was a real mess, but the short story is, we rescued him, he was scared and wouldn’t eat, so I switched him over to real food to help him regain his health and strength, and I never looked back. Real food is healthier for pets. Granted, I don’t feed him junk food. I feed him real, whole foods. Unfortunately, most of the dog food on the market – even vegan products – are ultra-processed and refined. Not to mention, full of ingredients derived from GMOs. My point is, I’m doing my best and I hope that makes sense. 🙂

Do you have a book?

Working on that one!

Which blender do you use?

The blender I use is a Vitamix Pro Series 750.

Which undersink water purification system do you use?

APEC Water RO-90 System

Which juicer do you use?

Breville Juice Fountain Plus

Which air filters do you use?

AFB Platinum MERV 13

big hugs and rebel love,
Dana Mac

Learn More

Rebel Lifestyle

To learn more about my lifestyle, visit the page titled Rebel Lifestyle.

Rebel Grub

To view photos of my clean and green grub, visit the page titled Rebel Grub.

Posters and Charts

To view my posters and charts, visit the page titled Posters.

Shopping Lists

To view shopping lists, visit the page titled Shopping Lists.

Meal Planning

To view meal planning information, visit the page titled Meal Planning.

Pinterest and Facebook

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and/or Facebook.

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