We’ve had a lot of questions lately about what we can and cannot eat. We actually bounce back and forth between two “diets” which is why I think it is confusing for others. We are supposed to be on a whole food plant based diet which means no animal products, no oil, and no overly processed foods. It is a starch based diet not just “carbs”. Starches are things like brown rice, potatoes, squash, corn, peas, and whole wheat pastas. Carbs can be anything from white pasta, white bread, to cakes and cookies. The McDougall starch diet is also low in fat and has zero oil. The only fats allowed are ones that occur naturally like in nuts, nut butters, avocados, etc. Oil added to anything even marinara sauce, vegetable stock, almond milks, and most store bought hummus are not allowed. 

A comment was made recently to us about cheating. “You’ve worked so hard have a burger as a treat just this once.” Well for one thing we go away from the house for special events a large portion of the month. Yes I haven’t seen this particular family member or friend in a long time but you all come and go in our lives often enough that just this once would end up being all the time. Secondly we do cheat! I’m not advocating for it as I know our progress would be much better if we were stricter but that’s the truth. We just don’t cheat all the way. When we cheat our goal is to keep it vegan and the only stipulation to being vegan is no animal products and as we have found these foods to be the biggest issues we’ve had with our bodies that is why we don’t cheat all the way.

Below are a mix of Dr. McDougall compliant whole food plant based meals and our cheating meals the meals we eat when we are with friends and family or out to eat at a restaurant.

Whole food plant based- pad cashew veggie with an oil free sauce over basmati rice.
Vegan-carrot cake 🎂
Whole food plant based- whole wheat spaghetti with homemade oil free sauce and our favorite mushroom/walnut “wheat balls”. Vegan- white bread with vegan butter.
Whole food plant based- creamy wild rice soup (it was “amazballs” according to the hubby).
Vegan- yummy take out one night from the vegan restaurant: orange chick’n brown rice bowl. I don’t know what their chick’n is made out of but I could eat it all day everyday. I never ever miss chicken because I have this when I’m craving that crunch. I don’t like most fake meats but this is on a whole other level!
Whole food plant based- tofu scramble with mushrooms, peppers, and onions with sprouted whole wheat oil free bread, whole fruit jam no added sugars, oil free hash browns, and a little ketchup. I have really enjoyed tofu in many dishes but I was a scrambled egg junky “back in the day” so this tofu scramble didn’t do it for me but who knows with time maybe I’ll warm up to it.
Whole food plant based- mashed potatoes, corn, and oil free roasted asparagus. Vegan-white bread (we had a bunch left over from the Italian night we were going to host that got canceled.
Whole food plant based- marinated roasted Brussels sprouts.
Whole food plant based- veggies yo.
Whole food plant based- steel cut oats with coconut sugar, flax seed, and raisins.
Vegan- we’ve had two weddings this year and got super lucky to find a lot of vegan items available. It was all made with a lot of oil so even though it’s a lot of veggies it doesn’t count as McDougall. These rosemary roasted potatoes were off the charts good!
Vegan- white bread, white pasta, butternut squash ravioli….not much color in this picture.
Whole food plant based- easiest meal to make: instant pot mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

In conclusion don’t feel bad for us if we don’t eat the hot dogs and pizza . We are already having a delicious naughty alternative like potato chips or French fries and that is plenty of cheating already. 


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