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December 31, 2011


Tom H

You nailed it. The Esselstyn plant-based, no oil diet is simply dead-assed simple. I haven't counted a calorie. I have eaten whenever I was hungry and in about 125 days, I have shed over 50 pounds. My health has improved and I'm getting back into running and biking. Within a month of me starting this lifestyle, my mother tried it as well. She is 69 years old and has had two decades of poor health. In 3 months time, her triglycerides have dropped over 300 points, her BP is in the low normal range and for the first time in her life her type II diabetes is under control. Her doctor has reduced her meds and may discontinue several if her health continues to improve. She called me after weighing herself this morning to announce that she has lost a total of 75 pounds and knows she can keep it off because she doesn't have to count calories, watch portions or feel starved. My wife and I have used the Happy Healthy Long Life website for encouragement, delicious recipes and your insightful commentary. Thank you and we wish you nothing but continued success in 2012!

Jo M

Three years ago I bought Dr. Esselstyn's book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and Dr. Fuhrman's 2-volume Eat for Health, because I wanted to improve my husband's health. Dr. Esselstyn's book was easier and faster to read, so I got all the way through it and followed many, though not all, of his recommendations. (I eat nuts and seeds, avocadoes, one cup of nonfat dairy yogurt per day, and occasional lowfat cheese, fish, and eggs. I limit animal foods to 1 or 2 small servings per day. I use one teaspoon of oil to saute vegetables for a dish that will feed 6 to 12. I use a small amount of EVOO in salad dressings.) I was already living on a diet of ca. 85% plant-based foods, eating lots of soups and stews, cooked veggies, salads, soyfoods, whole grains and legumes. In the first week, I lost 4 pounds; in two years, I lost 30. I am the same weight I was in college. My husband has not lost any weight (he eats whatever he can), but his condition has not deteriorated, either.

However, protein is a big issue for me. I went for a physical this summer, and the protein level in my blood was low.

At the time, also, I was trying to go completely vegan for a six-week trial. I was prescribed antibiotics and came down with a whopping secondary infection despite consuming every vegan source of lactobacilli I could find: miso, kim chee, naturally fermented sauerkraut, soy yogurt. After three days of misery, I went back to dairy yogurt and immediately felt better.

Consider the nutrients one has to get from supplements rather than whole food on a vegan diet: lactobacilli, B-12, DHA, and possibly others that don't come to mind at the moment.

In order to get adequate protein on a vegan diet, I'd have to eat an enormous amount of grains, nuts, and seeds, which would raise the calorie count exceedingly. I do not eat artificial "meats." So many people are allergic to gluten that I believe it probably isn't very good for the rest of us, either. And I am exceedingly wary of soy protein concentrate and isolate. I do use nutritional yeast and a vegan protein powder. But I feel (and look) much better with a small amount of animal protein in the mix.

There's no arguing with Dr. Esselstyn's success with heart patients. But a completely vegan diet is not for everyone.

Veggie V's Vegan Adventure

I'm glad I didn't see that article before you posted it. Stuff like that makes me so mad! It reminds me of people who say, "I've tried EVERYTHING, and I can't lose weight." Well guess what; you haven't tried everything. Try a plant based diet. Commit to it. Move your body until you sweat - every day. DO NOT have sugery. When I come across people who have had gastric bypass or lap-band or any of those other weight loss surgeries, it makes me angry, and I automatically dislike them. I can't help it. What a cop-out. People odn't want to take responsibility for their own actions. Blaming bad genes is easy. Lying on the couch and driving through McDonald's is easy. Know what else is easy? Eating vegetables and fruits is easy. (Working out isn't that easy, but it's the best, hardest work I do all day.)

People tease me at work because I bring more food to work than anyone else - probably more than two people. And I often eat it all. And I've lost 65 pounds over the last year and a half. (I also work out daily and enjoy spending Saturday mornings running through neighboring cities just for a tee shirt, which my husband doesn't understand but never complains about the entry fees.) And guess what. It's been easy.

veganfork (twitter)

I have never been prouder to be a Dr. Esselstyn patient and apostle as I'am now. After reading your fantastic and passionate blog it just confirms all the reasons and all the results that I have benefited from in his program. Being fortunate enough to spend half my time living in Cleveland I take every opportunity to follow Dr. Essy lecture schedule in town, just to hear him inspire me and to reiterate some of the fine points, I too never get tired of it. Then I get the double benefit of have HHL blog where you live it daily and bring it to life in a pedestrian way with the science in a FUN format. Wanting to spread the news and ease of the program I started twittering all about my journeys as a Dr. Esselstyn apostle and gained followers quickly and it is growing everyday because it is catching on. I can't imagine ever eating differently now, I'm a foodie so my food is important to me and it must taste really good and it does! My numbers are so low as result of the program that Dr. Essy told me to call the Plain Dealer because he could not believe how great they are with no statins. My energy is much better and I feel as though it has slowed the aging process, I look younger. Debby thank you for all that you do for us and I'm so excited that your on face book now, YEAH! Happy New Year to everyone.
Follow me on twitter @VeganFork

Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

Love you Deb! Here's to a fantastic 2012. It's not easy, but it's worth it. xoxo


Wow. I feel so flattered to be quoted by you! That was once again an inspiring post to read. I wish you and all of your "followers" a happy healthy year! I am only hoping that TPP takes up reading your blog and following the complete science in regard to all food issues. She will be amazed. And I am glad you continue to urge your readers to start out following Esselstyn's plan exactly as he prescribes. It works best that way and then if necessary, it tweaked for each person's personal needs. But if it is not followed exactly as prescribed at first, then it is not likely that all the great benefits will be seen as quickly. Seeing great results fast is extremely motivating. I will add that regular exercise and standing vs. sitting when possible makes a difference too as you have noted. Also thanks for the great recipes! That mushroom soup and spicy potatoes were total winners!

The Healthy Librarian

@Jo M: Thanks for your feedback. You're absolutely right about the need for adequate B-12 & DHA!

However, even meat-eaters, especially after age 50 can be low in B-12 depending upon their stomach acid, prescription drugs they are taking, etc. Dr. Donald Jacobsen, a B-12 expert, recommends 1000 mcg sublingually/day--sounds like a lot, but the older we get the harder it is to absorb. Everyone needs to pay attention to B-12!!

RE: the DHA--I take an algal supplement, and also have chia & some walnuts daily--and agree with you, that if one isn't ethically opposed to it--wild salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska (gotta know the source) would be a good source with minimal toxins. But, that's a personal choice.

Re the protein--totally agree with you about staying away from soy protein isolates. My husband--when he's exercising very hard--mixes a plant protein (chia, pea, brown rice--or sometimes hemp) into a post-work-out smooothie. Works for him.

Not everyone agrees about how much protein we need--plenty of athletes find it to be a non-issue, but, I make sure I eat high-quality protein from lentils & other beans every day. Your personal experience shows you need more.

When I pay attention to how much protein is in my diet everyday by tracking it in's as much as I'd get on an omnivore diet. It's never been low.

Agree that not everyone can eat seitan which is high protein--b/c of gluten--but, lentils & whole soy & black beans are a higher quality source anyway.

Re the lacto-bacilli: new research from Washington Univ. in St. Louis shows that a plant-based diet of unprocessed foods actually changes the flora/bacteria in the gut to the very beneficial kind.

Bottom line: Sounds like you're doing fabulous--and paying attention to what is working for you! Can't argue with that kind of success. Go Jo!!

@VeganFork: Wow! You're the poster child for the plant-perfect lifestyle. I want to hear you whole story!! Hope the PD interviews you. Not on twitter--but, I might just sign up to read your tweets. Thanks so much for writing!

The Healthy Librarian

@Tom H: Thanks for your words of support! Love your success story---and especially hearing that your mom was able to see such quick success after years of poor health. Can't think of a better testimonial or a better reason for ditching the junk and jumping in feet-first into plant-based eating. Thanks for writing!!

The Healthy Librarian

Back to ya, Wendy! So happy to know you--and appreciate all your generosity, hospitality, & great recipes. Only the best for 2012. BTW--has Tom opened up his new restaurant yet? I looked online, & only saw that "it was going to open mid-December"

Deb Brown

I also discovered your blog after reading the comments on the "Fat Trap" article. I was REALLY disappointed with the story....and Tara Parker-Pope...and the NYTimes for posting such a negative piece right when people are at least attempting to "shape up". I was shocked that the study mentioned said that people were eating 800 calorie diets - and then SURPRISED when they gained the weight back attempting to live normally. I LOVE your writing style and all the research involved - and shared. I am looking forward to reading your next piece and spending time looking back at earlier ones. Thank you!

The Healthy Librarian

Amy: You couldn't have said it better! Thank you for summing it all up so well. Go whole-"hog" Esselstyn first w/o modifying or you won't really see all the benefits. Wouldn't it be fabulous if Tara just tried it? She'd have a fantastic NYT series, that's for sure.

Thank you for your NYT shout-out! So happy we connected & that you liked that post.

100% agree with you about exercise, and standing, rather than sitting, as much as we can. Not enough said about that one.

Thanks so much for the feedback on the Roasted Mushroom Soup & Rockin' Roasted Potatoes. Gotta make a batch of both of those soon. My kids loved them both.

Last point about exercise: Ann Esselstyn is 76 years old, and she runs, lift weights (in a killer weight class), & does yoga--like nobody's business. Now that's my motivation. How may 70-somethings are doing that?

The Healthy Librarian


So flattered that you visited the blog from reading the NYT comments!! Thank you so much for your kind & generous endorsement--and couldn't agree with you more about how disappointing Tara's article was.

What terrible timing--and the start of the New Year!

Hope her readers don't give up.


If we lived in a world written by Dr. Esselsytn, it would be a wonderful thing! I'm imagining convenience stores with fresh baked kale chips, huge salads with dark greens and my favorite Chef AJ-inspired balsamic vinegar. Restaurants with varied hot dishes presented with tasty, and visually appealing side dishes. Sprouted wheat bread at every store, no matter where you go. Government food subsidies going to produce farmers, making for well-priced displays of fruits and veggies as you enter Walmart. I can SO get into this!

But, unfortunately, that's not our world. We can carve out our little piece of it, and do pretty well, particularly if some friends and family join you. It can be positively energizing in that circumstance. But, many of the foods that are killing us as a nation are proving to act like addictive drugs to the parts of our brains that disinhibit our resolve. So, it's THAT world I think certain of us who tend to pack on the pounds face and find challenging.

I have battled a life-long obesity problem. I was the rare fat kid in the '50's who stood out, since not too many people were significantly overweight. I was the college student who barely fit into the classroom flip-over desks. And, I was the twenty-something who 'tried everything' including the McDougall plan and couldn't maintain anything near a normal weight. So, at 24 I had a roux-en-Y gastric bypass and loss most of the excess avoir dupois. Even with this, and a near life-time of veganish vegetarianism, I yo-yo-ed up and down the scale.

I am now 56, and three months into a calorie reduced diet. I use a food tracker called My Fitness Pal to log every calorie. I eat mostly whole plants. I typically eat low sodium, no sugar, and very low fat, though I probably add 30 or so calories worth of olive oil in my cooking during each day (logged as well). This sounds exactly like the couple described in the NYT articles, and I feel that that will be my future as well. Without food logging and self-restraint, I can out-eat even the low-fat wholefood vegan diets that are around.

So, the NYT article doesn't anger me. Some people need to be hypervigilant around food, and unfortunately, I am one of them.


Long time reader, first time commenting: I appreciate your blog and read weekly. Though my husband and I do not follow the rigorous diet that you advocate, you have inspired some of our diet revisions. We have lost a combined total of 100 pounds and have kept that weight off for 5 years. All of which is my attempt to say that what seems obvious to me is that in the 'diet world' there are no absolutes. The spectrum seems large and varied. One diet's poison is another's diet required food. I greatly appreciate the 'Fat' article in the NY Times. I offer hearty congratulations to the couple who was profiled and thank them for allowing their lives to be showcased. Maybe the take away is not that it would be better if they changed and followed a different (be it Esstelyn or some other) diet. Maybe the take away is we all do what works for each of us in our own way. Personally, I did not think they looked unhappy. Share the good news: It is never too late to change!

The Healthy Librarian


Thank you so much for your honest "tell-it-like-it-is" personal experience with diet & weight-loss.

I completely agree with you about how difficult it is to live in a world that makes it so hard to eat "plant-perfectly"!

Many more people would be happy jump on board if there were fast-food places called, "Essy's" at every street corner--and they were low-cost. But that's not how it is. It's a huge commitment, and you better like to cook if you want delicious, creative foodie-type meals.

That said--I can empathize with your particular situation. And yes, we are not all the same. You are an outlier--and it can't be ignored--nor discounted.

Last January I heard a weight expert on my local NPR affiliate explain that (I'll have to re-listen to this to get it right), IF one is overweight in their youth up to their 20's (& think pregnancy here, too), their fat cells will have expanded more than normal--so losing weight may ultimately be more difficult. They can shrink those cells, but once they've been stretched at a young age, it's going to be harder. I need to get this right--they may have said the number of fat cells were greater. Not sure.

Anyway, thanks for clarifying an important point. If you haven't seen it yet--you must look at the Happy Rehab Doc's blog--she's young--a doctor--and struggled with being overweight for years. She's lost 100 pounds and she blogs about how she does it, in spite of her crazy-busy schedule.

The Healthy Librarian

@Betsy, I agree with you about the weight-loss part of it. Thank you so much for writing.

But, I want to stress that for most of the people who follow an Esselstyn's diet--it's NOT FOR WEIGHT LOSS. That is only a sweet side benefit. We follow it for all its benefits in preventing &/or reversing chronic diseases. It's irrefutable that most chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle--food being the biggest one, but also including smoking, & exercise.

Many people follow the diet, & have diabetes, high blood pressure, & heart disease--and are naturally thin, & have no weight problems. For them it's not about weight-loss!

Weight loss certainly is the big driver in preventing many chronic diseases--but the main driver to disease is INFLAMMATION--and that's all about the kinds of food choices we make. That's why a high-micronutrient diet, with oats, & very heavy on the greens, fruits, whole grains, beans, & legumes, without a speck of added oil makes a difference.

Esselstyn's diet isn't about weight-loss--and I agree that other diets will accomplish the same thing. You just get to fill your tummy more when you cut out sugar, oil, & all the frittatas, fried eggs, dairy yogurt etc. that the Bridge's are eating.

Please don't take my reply to be negative to your comment--it's not meant to be. I only wanted to point out the difference between a disease-reversal anti-inflammation diet, and one that's meant for weight-loss. They aren't the same.


@Debby: Thanks for the blog suggestion and your kind thoughts. I also recall reading research many years ago about adipose hyperplasia during critical phases of life, vs. hypertrophy of existing adipose cells in adulthood in the non-pregnant state. I don't see my genetics as a cop-out, but I do believe that certain people have a greater struggle with excessive weight than other people. One thing is for sure: I will not abandon my quest for good health and ideal weight despite many unsuccessful past efforts.

@Veggie V Vegan Adventure: I checked out your site and it had many great recipes and useful information. I would join it, but I'm still stinging from your comment: "When I come across people who have had gastric bypass or lap-band or any of those other weight loss surgeries, it makes me angry, and I automatically dislike them. I can't help it. What a cop-out. People odn't want to take responsibility for their own actions."

I would like to invite you to be more accepting of people who seek surgical solutions for weight loss. It's not the 'quick fix' people think it is, and trust me: the decision to pursue that course is often motivated by despair and hopelessness. It seems heartless to me to 'automatically dislike' people who are hurting, as you once did.


Interesting comments. I agree that you have to go with what works for you. Fortunately, the Esselstyn food plan works perfectly for me (although I'm still figuring out how to attend family holiday dinners without joining in the food festivities).

Although weight loss wasn't my primary goal - heart health is - I've lost 44 pounds since February 1, 2011 (from 182 to 138). Last year, I told myself I wouldn't sing in another concert (I belong to two choruses) until my tux fit comfortably again. Now, I wear suspenders to keep my tux pants from slipping off!

Because most people didn't consider me overweight to begin with (I'm 5'10"), this has been shocking for many. In fact, I was concerned enough to visit my primary care physician last month for a check-up and to discuss the results of a blood panel. Evidently, I'm OK, because my numbers are fine, including high-normal levels of B-12 and folate.

Most of my weight loss occurred before I started exercising. Now I walk between 2 and 5 miles at a 13-minute mile pace four times a week. Not bad for someone headed for 67 on his next birthday.

In re-reading my comment, I realize that I don't have much to add to the dialogue - I suppose this comment is celebratory in nature. I'm so grateful to you for getting the word out on plant-based eating. Who knows, I may match my dad's 96 years - he's still going.

Finally, my New Year's homily yesterday was well-received. Part of my talk was based on the 30 Lessons for Living from the Wisest Americans. Good stuff for a new year. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

Finally, finally - attending a Cleveland Orchestra concert is on my bucket list (I've already heard the rest of the big five - Chicago, NY, Boston, Philly). If I get up your way, I'll take you out to lunch.

The Healthy Librarian


Thanks so much for taking the time to write and congratulations of your weight loss, fitting into your tux, and your fantastic health! I'm sure you'll match your Dad--but how ever long your years, I'm guessing they'll be lived with good health--which is the main point. RIght? Quality of life--not quantity of life.

And also thank you for sharing the positive reception your sermon received on Sunday.

BTW--my son, is 5'11" & weighs around 135 & his doctor says he's in excellent health.

I know you'll make it to hear the Orchestra--and when you do, we'll MAKE you dinner!

Kiki Ohio

Hi HL, I have to agree with your disappointment regarding the TPP article in the NYT. It was disappointing to see the research skewed in one direction with almost no references to recent research by Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyne and Rip Esselstyne that allow people to eat until full on plant-based, no added fats or oils, food for weight loss, maintenance, and the avoidance of common chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, etc. In addition, the story TPP shared about the couple (the Bridges) who lost weight and now lived with maintaining that loss appeared needlessly negative to me. Even the pictures of the Bridges rarely showed them smiling or happy at their new weight but rather almost morose, which contributed to an overall desperate tone to the article to depict weight loss in adults as nearly impossible, requiring a vigilance bordering on paranoia to maintain and sapping all joy from eating and life. I felt strongly after reading the article that if TPP is going to write for the NYT, she needs to be better informed and take *all* the research into account. I also feel that telling overweight and obese Americans that it is basically hopeless and impossible to lose weight and live a rich and fulfilling life, is doing a disservice to those that have proved that that is not so.

The Healthy Librarian

Kiki--so well-said!!

I'm sure the Bridges are happy--but the pictures certainly didn't show it. It seemed more of a "full-time" job, with the pay-off being a once-a-week breakfast of fried eggs at Denny's. Sorry--I don't mean to sound sarcastic.

Interesting that Dr. Esselstyn (who happens to strongly advocate exercise--& swims & bikes) always says that most of his patients didn't exercise, and still lost weight, & reversed their heart disease. To him, diet actually trumps exercise in heart disease.

Even, Sandera Nation Prude, who was in Forks Over Knives, who I talked to in mid-November, lost a lot of weight, no longer needs diabetes meds, looks fantastic--and tells me that she lost it all without a minute of exercise. She's a pretty busy lady--5 kids, works full-time, & is a single-mom.

Susan Fine

Did you notice that in the same issue of the magazine, Mark Bittman did a vegan-focused piece? However, lots of oil in the recipes. I will, however, take advantage of some of his ideas but do the cooking with vegetable broth. I have also noticed that my the Whole Foods in the South Loop section of Chicago has launched a healthy eating program that is fat free and vegan, and they have greatly expanded their prepared food offerings to include many more vegan and oil-free options. This is catching on! I think the WF focus has to reflect the work that Rip has done with them. I hope you will write to the NYT -- perhaps a letter to the editor or maybe an op-ed piece? If they are devoting the cover story of the magazine to this topic, then I'd hope they would run a letter from you -- or better -- an op-ed. I read your blog for about a year before launching a plant-based, no oil diet in late August. I have never felt better or looked better. I am closing in on my 47th birthday, and I look and feel better than I did when I graduated from college at age 22.

Kate from New Zealand

I can understand why you (HHL) found the article disappointing, and I share that disappointment in many respects - it always bothers me when people conclude that obesity is primarily a biological problem. The fact that it has increased so much in recent decades is a clear indication that it can't simply be a biological problem (because our basic biological and genetic makeup has not changed). I also totally agree with you that a change in the diet towards a plant-based, low fat, high macronutrient diet will bring about weight loss in most people. But I think we have to acknowledge that for many people obesity is not just the result of the careless acquisition of a few extra pounds over the years, but a long-standing psychological battle. So for many, it is not the case that "it's just not that hard". I don't speak from personal experience - I have always been lean - but I work professionally with obese people and know that they struggle with food and food choices in a way that can be hard for others to understand. So I do agree with TPP's comments about the need to not stigmatise obesity and, if you yourself are obese, to not castigate yourself for it. Of course, it is a very fine line between being forgiving of one's obesity and giving up the weight battle altogether, but I thought TPP managed to achieve that balance fairly well at the end of the article.

The Healthy Librarian

Yes, Susan, I did notice the Mark Bittman piece in the Times & that had oil in every dish!

I linked to it on my "new" HHLL Facebook page (pay it a visit some time) with the caveat to ditch the oil, & sub soy or nondairy milk with 1 tsp of coconut extract for any coconut milk. So unnecessary!

You're right about the increase in plant-based & oil-free options at WF--it's influenced by WF's owner, John Mackey--& his association with Rip Esselstyn & Dr. Fuhrman.

I do think this is catching on.

Isn't crazy how so many of us have gotten back to our college weights--and get to still eat a whole lot of food?

Funny, you should mention the Op-Ed piece--someone else also mentioned that. I couldn't even imagine suggesting that to the NYT (who am I??)--or being the person to take on that important job!

However, I did write to Tara & suggest that she attend Dr. Esselstyn's whole day class at the Cleveland Clinic--and just try plant-based oil-free for 4 weeks!

Haven't heard back--but, with the volume of email she gets--it's no surprise.

BTW--I peeked at your website--I love it. It's so engaging & I especially liked your "no frivolous shopping rules"! Good luck with your new book!

The Healthy Librarian


Very well said! You're right, there is definitely a psychological component to food for many of us--and even those of us who are not overweight. And I failed to acknowledge that.

That said--the beauty of eating plant-based oil-free, whole grain, no sugar, etc--is that the "rules" are simple to follow. And it just makes life easier, & weight-loss easier to steer clear of certain foods that sabotage both our health & weight. You really can eat until you are full. It's just impossible to overeat because your stomach receptors say, "Stop. There's no more room."

We all like boundaries (IMHO)--and it makes life easier--it's just too hard to eat a small portion of chocolate cheesecake, or 1 TBS of cashews. It's easier to not bring these kinds of foods into the house, and to give our palates a chance to dial down the craving for salt, sugar, & fat.

But, as you say--that's not necessarily an easy thing for everyone to do---not without a big dose of social support, feedback, training, & practice. Which I certainly hope our healthcare system decides to offer, instead of more pills & procedures. In the end, it will cost a whole lot less.

Susan Fine

You are exactly the person to write an op-ed -- full of information, based on excellent research, and a compelling personal story -- and you have a lot of people who follow you! Go for it! One other thought about why I love this way of eating and living -- I get to eat the kind of food that fills me up and allows me to feel great -- whole grains, whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta -- when I was trying to lose weight in the past, I did such diets as the South Beach diet, and for the first two weeks of that diet, you can't eat anything except for vegetables and lean proteins, and you feel exhausted. Getting out of a chair makes you tired. This is the opposite. I feel great. I have the energy to exercise vigorously. I ran a half marathon in September and felt wonderful. I never had that kind of energy with diets.

And, thanks for checking out my website!

Cynthia Bailey MD

Right on for becoming a movement that brings the discussion back to what's important. The fat trap conundrum has a simple and infallible solution, it's an Esselstyn-esque diet. I'm not quite as precise with it as you are but it describes the template for my diet 98% of the time. I've got a body geared for really efficient famine preparation (I store fat well) and I'm able to maintain a healthy weight with this type of diet for the first time ever. I've sent tons of my patients over to you and they too love your articles. The way you keep up on the current scientific literature on diet and health and make them accessible to us all is invaluable. Keep up the good work!

Jo M

HL, thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful response to my comment. I'm amazed that you find time to respond to so many comments and still have a life! If you ever come to Baltimore, I'll make you dinner (vegan, no oil, the whole deal).

Meanwhile, I'll share my latest Net recipe find - black-eyed pea masala (; just leave out the oil and the yogurt, and you're all set. My New Year's guests said these were my best black-eyed peas ever.

Let me note that the old vegetarian cookbooks also have some gems: Lentils Monastery Style and Mulligatawny from _Diet for a Small Planet_ ( and Curried Squash Soup, Light Spinach Soup (, and Gypsy Soup ( from the _Moosewood Cookbook_. I've made these soups - all of them vegan - for years, and we love them every time.

Richard Gill

HL & privileged readers of HHLL-

You have to check out the response of Dr. David Katz to this conversation around TPP's NYT article. If you aren't already familiar with his blog, he is a nationally recognized expert and advocate for public health, and was a short-list choice for Surgeon General by President Obama. I highly recommend his blog.

Sue T.

TPP was on Talk of the Nation yesterday and somebody submitted a question about the Esselstyn diet. You can read the transcript here. The relevant portion:

Well, everybody who has found something that works for them believes that that's the solution, and for those people, it is the solution, but again I would say that these people didn't adopt a vegan diet, lose weight and then go back to the way everybody else eats. A vegan diet can be very restrictive.

And, you know, this works for that group of people, and that's great, and for many people, that will work. For other people, maybe a permanent kind of Atkin's diet would work. For many people, Weight Watchers works. But we have look, step back, look at the big numbers. Depending on what study you look at, you know, diets have an extraordinarily high failure rate.

Anywhere from five percent to 20 percent of people actually achieve long-term weight loss. So that means, you know, 80 to 95 percent of people fail. So there are people who succeed, and those people give us hope because there is a way, but you have to find the way that works for you.

There are some people who would find it very difficult to adopt a vegan diet. You know, the person who is, you know, a caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer's, you know, they don't have the luxury of exercising two hours a day. You know, they don't necessarily - they can't necessarily go to the market and buy organic food.

I mean, everybody has things they're dealing with, and I think that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everybody.

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