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A list of resources for pre- and post-surgery bariatric patients interested in a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. Let's build up this list into a comprehensive resource, and keep it updated. Please add your own tested-and-approved recommendations.

Processed Foods and Ultra-Processed Foodstuffs Nutrition Database

  • An open source (read: imperfect but continually evolving), collaborative, global food products database (there's also an app) that anyone can use to make better food choices. Assigns all processed foods a Nutri-Score grade from A to E in terms of nutritional quality, and ranks processed and ultra-processed foodstuffs by NOVA group levels (1 for minimally processed up to 4 for ultra-processed): https://world.openfoodfacts.org/

Plant-Based Nutrition Studies

  • Cornell University Distance (entirely online) Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies: www.nutritionstudies.org
  • Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Guide (the basics): https://nutritionstudies.org/whole-food-plant-based-diet-guide/
  • Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance by D. Enette Larson-Meyer
  • The Healthspan Solution by Julieanna Hever and Ray Cronise
  • Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever and Ray Cronise
  • Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. (plant-based dietitian) website: www.plantbaseddietitian.com

Plant-Based Nutrition Books

  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D.
  • How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger M.D.
  • How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss by Michael Greger M.D.
  • Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Garth Davis M.D.
  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell M.D.
  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell
  • The Campbell Plan by T. Colin Campbell
  • The China Study Solution: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet by Thomas Campbell
  • Healthy Eating, Healthy World: Unleashing the Power of Plant-Based Nutrition by J. Morris Hicks
  • Eat for Life: The Breakthrough Nutrient-Rich Program for Longevity, Disease Reversal, and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • The End of Heart Disease: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • Nutritarian Handbook & ANDI Food Scoring Guide by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health by Neal Barnard M.D.
  • Power Foods for the Brain by Neal Barnard M.D.
  • Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight by Neal Barnard M.D.
  • Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight by Neal Barnard M.D
  • Breaking the Food Seduction by Neal Barnard M.D
  • The Blue Zones, Second Edition: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner

Plant-Based Nutrition Cookbooks

  • Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero
  • All cookbooks by Terry Hope Romero
  • All cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moscowitz
  • Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier
  • No Meat Athlete Cookbook by Matt Frazier
  • Plant Strong by Rip Esselstyn
  • Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
  • The Plant-Power Way by Rich Roll
  • The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn
  • The Plant Based Diet for Beginners by Gabriel Miller
  • The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell and T. Colin Campbell
  • The PlantPure Kitchen Cookbook by Kim Campbell and T. Colin Campbell
  • The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook by Neal Barnard
  • The China Study Cookbook by Leanne Campbell
  • Eat to Live Cookbooks by Joel Fuhrman
  • The Buddhist Chef by Jean-Philippe Cyr
  • My New Roots Cookbooks by Sarah Britton
  • Oh She Glows Cookbooks by Angela Liddon
  • Minimalist Baker’s Cookbooks by Dana Shultz
  • Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor
  • The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright
  • Forks Over Knives Flavor by Darshana Thacker
  • The Blue Zones Kitchen by Dan Buettner
  • Vegan 100 by Gaz Oakley
  • Clean Food by Terry Walters
  • How Not To Die Cookbook
  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbooks
  • China Study Cookbooks
  • Forks Over Knives Cookbooks
  • Thug Kitchen Cookbooks

Plant-Based Whole Food Cooking Blogs (recipes)

Edited by PollyEster

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I would suggest two videos for anyone remotely interested in WFPB lifestyle. "The Game Changers" and "Forks over Knives" are the two that piqued my interest initially. They just made sense. Michael Greger was the medical consultant for "The Game Changers." I have really liked his books, "How not to Die" and "How not to Diet." They are practical and all evidence based. My favorite cook books so far and the magazines that are put out by Forks over Knives. The recipes are really pretty good, no artificial ingredients, and nothing so exotic that I can't make most of them right from what I have in my panty. The Forks over Knives website has some great recipes, as well. My family (all carnivores) actually like most of what I throw at them! The "How not to Die Cookbook" is also good. I am having so much fun with new recipes and new ways to prepare food. :)

Edited by AZhiker

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I had a great experience tonight. My husband and I attended one of those retirement seminars at a fancy restaurant where they give you a free meal if you listen to the spiel. The meal was salad, filet mignon or salmon, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, rolls, carrot cake. I explained that I was vegan and gluten free, hoping to at least get a salad and maybe a baked potato. Well, this place went all out. It was amazing! Besides a nice salad, I got a large plate, LOADED with grilled veggies - without butter or a lot of seasoning. At least half a pound of asparagus, sliced sweet potato, Tomato halves, and a good cup of fancy mushrooms/garlic cloves - all grilled to perfection. And more than a cup of fresh berries for dessert. It was so beautiful to look at and so delicious. My tummy was soooooo happy.

After meal time disasters in other situations (like a wedding where everything either had butter or cream sauce, and the vegan dish had wheat) with no dairy free dressing for the limp salad - it was so disappointing and made me feel like I could never eat out again and be happy. But tonight was so delightful. I actually felt sorry for all the others - mine was so beautiful. It's so nice to feel energized by food and not "drugged" feeling by the meat and fat.

I have been 100% WFPB for several months now and feel great. I am getting 60-70 gm of Protein a day, 50-60 gm of Fiber, and averaging about 1500 calories. I am maintaining my weight and generally feel overly stuffed most of the time, as the volume of food is a lot. Many days, I cannot even finish all that is on my food plan for the day. One definitely does not go hungry eating this way! If I need to drop a pound or two, I just cut back on nuts/seeds, and increase the veggies. There is never a need to restrict the amount of food - just the type of food.

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AZhiker, what is your primary source of Protein? I really enjoyed eating whole 30 when I did, but I worry if I went completely PB I would not get my protein in. On a side note...... we often get postcards for the same kind of events. In fact when on vacation in Florida we went two time share presentations and got free tickets to Universal Studios. I just wonder how much they pressure you?

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12 hours ago, Lynda486 said:

AZhiker, what is your primary source of Protein? I really enjoyed eating whole 30 when I did, but I worry if I went completely PB I would not get my Protein in. On a side note...... we often get postcards for the same kind of events. In fact when on vacation in Florida we went two time share presentations and got free tickets to Universal Studios. I just wonder how much they pressure you?

DO NOT BUY A TIME SHARE!!!!! You'll never get rid of it. The financial advisor we went to for dinner was already my own advisor. He just invited us to the dinner since we had not been yet.

Anyway, my protein is very adequate and comes in small packages throughout the day. Here is one day's worth of food and where I get the protein. I think it adds up to about 75 gm of protein.

19 - cooked whole grain Cereal with 1/2 c pea protein milk and a small banana. (Cereal made from steel cut oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, quinoa, slivered almonds, raisins, unsweetened cranberries, cinnamon.)

6 - homemade Soup with Beans, legumes, lentils, quinoa

7 - millet/chick pea casserole

1.6 - apple and orange

7.6 - 2 mini fritattas made with potato, mushrooms, brocolli, chick pea flour, pea milk, nutritional yeast

4 - 4 veggie sushi rolls

2 - 1/2 c sweet potato

1 - 2 cups of fresh greens, steamed

.8 - 1 c cooked radishes

1 - 1/2 c cooked mushrooms

.7 - 1 brazil nut

7 - 1/4 c nuts/seeds

9 - 1/2 c plant based yogurt

.5 - 1/2 c fresh berries

4.3 - 1/4 c. homemade granola (various whole grains, almond flour, almonds, seeds)

.6 - veggie snack bag (1.5 c of raw celery, cuke, peppers, radishes, carrot, purple cabbage)

4 - 1/2 c Golden Milk (plant milk with chai spices)

Edited by AZhiker

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Thank-you for the info that seems like a lot of food, very interesting! My Dad actually gave me his time share, and eventually I sold it for way under what it was worth. While we had it though we did enjoy traveling all over with it. Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, Lynda486 said:

Thank-you for the info that seems like a lot of food, very interesting! My Dad actually gave me his time share, and eventually I sold it for way under what it was worth. While we had it though we did enjoy traveling all over with it. Thanks again!

It IS a lot of food. Most days I cannot even eat all that is on my food list. It is a completely different way of thinking about food. There are a lot more carbs, for sure, which has been the hardest thing for me to get my mind around. But I love it, I have energy to exercise, and I feel very satisfied (physically and emotionally) after a bowl of cooked Cereal or granola. The other thing I have discovered is that to lose a pound or two, I eat MORE, not less. This completely derails any feelings of deprivation and subsequent "make - up binge." To drop a few pounds, I decrease the highly dense foods (like nuts, nut butters) and increase the vegetables - like add some extra raw veggies to my daily snack pack,or eat another big salad, or steam up some more greens, or eat an extra apple. Filling up with less caloric dense (higher Fiber and higher Water content) really does fill the belly. I am NEVER hungry. I really do not need to count calories, either. I do make sure to get at least 60 gm of Protein a day.

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14 hours ago, AZhiker said:
On 2/20/2020 at 8:28 AM, Lynda486 said:

I now have another ? When you say 9 - 1/2 c plant based yogurt, what is the number 9 represent. Is it Protein?

DO NOT BUY A TIME SHARE!!!!! You'll never get rid of it. The financial advisor we went to for dinner was already my own advisor. He just invited us to the dinner since we had not been yet.

Anyway, my protein is very adequate and comes in small packages throughout the day. Here is one day's worth of food and where I get the protein. I think it adds up to about 75 gm of protein.

19 - cooked whole grain Cereal with 1/2 c pea protein milk and a small banana. (Cereal made from steel cut oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, quinoa, slivered almonds, raisins, unsweetened cranberries, cinnamon.)

6 - homemade Soup with Beans, legumes, lentils, quinoa

7 - millet/chick pea casserole

1.6 - apple and orange

7.6 - 2 mini fritattas made with potato, mushrooms, brocolli, chick pea flour, pea milk, nutritional yeast

4 - 4 veggie sushi rolls

2 - 1/2 c sweet potato

1 - 2 cups of fresh greens, steamed

.8 - 1 c cooked radishes

1 - 1/2 c cooked mushrooms

.7 - 1 brazil nut

7 - 1/4 c nuts/seeds

9 - 1/2 c plant based yogurt

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3 hours ago, Lynda486 said:

yes

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Posted (edited)

Just got my labs back. I have been eating WFPB for about 7 months and the results are pretty impressive. First of all, my Protein, Calcium, and Iron levels are well within normal limits, which proves to me that plant sources are perfectly adequate to meet these needs.

Best of all, My lipid panel has just blown my socks off. Here are results from pre-op, 6 month and 12 month labs. Please note that I was at goal, having lost 100+ pounds at 6 months.

CHOLESTEROL: 223, 219, 153!

TRIGLYCERIDES: 133, 56, 34!

HDL: 64, 71, 78!

LDL: 132, 137, 68!

CHOL/HDL: 3.5, 3.1, 2.0!

The disappointing part is that my Vitamin D level has continued to drop, in spite of daily supplementation and plenty of outdoor time. I am sure this has to do with my fat malabsorption since surgery, so I guess I will be taking the super doses for a while to get it back up.

Edited by AZhiker

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What a great resource list! I'll definitely be ordering a few books to add to my collection. I've been wanting to move off meat to a more (if only) vegetarian diet, so these will be really beneficial for me.

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:38 PM, PollyEster said:

A list of resources for pre- and post-surgery bariatric patients interested in a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. Let's build up this list into a comprehensive resource, and keep it updated. Please add your own tested-and-approved recommendations.

Wow, thanks for putting this together! 😀 It is SO helpful, just what I was looking for! 🤩 I'm in a holding pattern with surgery due to covid-19, but have transitioned to a WFPB diet in preparation for a lifetime of health and weight maintenance after surgery. I've already lost 40 lbs since transitioning, and have more energy and feel better than I have in decades. Can't wait to reap all the benefits of WLS combined with this WFPB life!

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Be prepared for the dietitians advising against a 100% plant based diet though.

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7 minutes ago, summerset said:

Be prepared for the dietitians advising against a 100% plant based diet though.

I'm self-pay and my surgeon is Dr. Garth Davis. He's 100% plant-based himself, and wrote a book about the detrimental effects of animal food consumption and high Protein diets called "Proteinaholic" (mentioned in the resource list above). The dieticians at the clinic are very knowledgeable and completely support a WFPB lifestyle.

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