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Resources for a Whole-Food, Heart Healthy Vascular Promoting Diet

Note: This is one of many healthy types of diets. Notice there is no highly processed or fried foods.

Dr. John McDougall (M. D.), The Heathiest Diet on the Planet and The Starch Solution.  Website: Promotes healthy starches with fruits and vegetables.  Website has a “picture book” of green, red and yellow light foods.  Dr. McDougall had a massive stroke at age 18 that triggered his interest in medicine and nutrition.  

Dr. Neal Barnard (M. D.), Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes and Power Foods for the Brain, Website:  Educates on harmful side effects of dairy and how to prevent dementia and diabetes as well as heart disease.  He has a free 21-day kick-off program on his website with recipes and food plans.  Dementia and other vascular problems took the life of many of his family members and inspired him to research nutrition.

Dr. Cauldwell Esselstyn, Jr. (M. D.), Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Website:  Was tired of only treating breast cancer and preforming heart surgeries that prolonged life temporarily. He wanted to heal people, reverse and prevent disease and discovered nutrition was the key.

John Mackey, Co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, The Whole Foods Diet.  Wanted to share his knowledge.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman (M. D.), Eat to Live and Super Immunity.  Website:  Wants people to thrive, have quality of life and independence in their older years.

Dr. Michael Greger (M. D.), How Not to Die, M. D.,  Witnessed his elderly grandmother who was limited to a wheel chair, almost die due to heart disease then living 20 years longer and dancing at his wedding due to nutrition and diet changes.

Forks Over Knives website, books and recipes

Cathy Fisher, Professional Chef, Straight Up Food, Website:

Kathy Hester, Professional Chef, Vegan Cooking in your Air Fryer.

Rip Esselstyn, Fire Fighter and son of Dr. Cauldwell Esselstyn Jr., The Engine 2 Diet Cookbook and Plant Strong.  Witnessed too many emergency calls and unhealthy colleagues due to vascular disease and started writing books.

Documentaries:  Forks Over Knives (highly recommended as it’s a great introduction into this diet and discusses the science behind it), Eating You Alive, Bite by Bite (contains the science behind the diet and personal testimonials)

Supplements:  B12 is a must on a whole-food plant-based nutrition diet because most Americans usually obtain this through animal products.  Most animal products are supplemented with B12 and most animals eat traces of feces and dirt from which B12 is formed.  Due to higher standards in cleaning vegetables, most Americans don’t get enough “dirty or feces-contaminated” foods as past generations to produce B12 on their own.


Items to be enjoyed, most with no limitations:

All fruits, fresh or frozen

All non-starchy vegetables, fresh or frozen

Starchy vegetables including sweet and white potatoes, corn, carrots and squash

All nuts and nut butters, one to two servings per day due to fat content

All seeds (1 TBSP of Flax seed, ground, recommended daily)

All legumes (beans)

Avocados and olives, one to two servings a day due to fat content

All whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, cereals

All whole grain breads and pastas (remember the less processed and less fat, the less calorie dense)

Use dates for sweeteners along with maple syrup, vanilla, and honey sparingly due to high sugar content

Almond or Cashew milk or other non-dairy milk products

Cashew or nut cheeses, one to two servings a day due to fat content

Mustard and other condiments low in sugar and fat. 

Tip:  Try Mrs. Dash seasonings to reduce Sodium if you have high blood pressure. It’s better to sprinkle real salt on top of food for bigger flavor VS to cook with it due to salt sensors on tip of tongue (i.e. white bread has a higher salt content than most potato chips but we taste more of the salt on chips because the salt is on the surface.)  Benson’s Table Tasty tastes very salty, but is salt free and available on-line. Lime and Lemon can also add a salt-like taste.

Tip:  If you’re craving an unhealthy food, go on You Tube and search for a vegan version recipe with no oil.

Tip:  Miss the cheese?  Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins and can be used as a seasoning—it has a cheesy flavor.


No dairy, including yogurt or cheese, no meat products or substitutes, including fish or chicken, or eggs.  If so, limit to 10% of diet or save for cheat days if necessary.  No processed oils. (water sauté instead.) No artificial sweetenersGood luck!

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