Whole Food Plant Based Cooking
The Oil ~ No-Oil Controversy
Chef Nancy Speaks Out!
Chef Nancy has had her certificate in plant-based nutrition and we have had our business for over 10 years. I am a very experienced Plant Based Chef but I am not ‘Oil Free’, nor are we considered SOS (Salt, Oil, Sugar Free). We do not consume meat, fish, dairy or eggs and we keep oils to a minimum but we are not completely oil free nor are we totally sugar and salt free.
I realize there are condition’s (illness and disease) that require a reboot to restore health and, in those cases, SOS can work to speed disease reversal and to restore health. I do not believe it should be the “new” normal in a Plant Based Lifestyle, because giving up healthy fats and oils in our diet can result in a myriad of imbalances, one being our bodies ability to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K. There are other recent studies that have revealed that eating fresh veggies with minimal amount of healthy oil, as in a homemade dressing, helps our bodies to absorb valuable nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene both key in preventing cancers and heart disease.
Vegetables for the most part are fat free and are a rich source of carotenoids, but to be absorbed by our digestive system, a certain amount of natural fat is needed. I am not promoting a high fat diet by any means. I do not recommend consumption of coconut oil and vegetable oils and other store-bought low-quality processed oils but using a minimally processed no chemical extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits.
I have followed Christine Pirello’s story for many years. We have met and spent some time together with her and her husband and have learned a lot. She is an author, nutritionist, macrobiotic chef, TV cooking show chef etc. She is very informative and has worked beside Dr. T. Collin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard on Taste of Health Cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale & Miami (where we met on two occasions/cruises). She is also a lymphoma cancer survivor of 30-some years following a whole food plant-based diet. Her Article “Oil or No Oil” is something we agree with and I have excerpted some of her comments in this article.
Recently I was in a new store in downtown Winter Haven, Florida called “The Treasured Olive”. It is an oil and vinegar store and carries high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I was talking to the owner and mentioned we were plant based and how much we love the vinegars and the quality of their extra virgin olive oils that are minimally processed with no chemicals. What I found disturbing was that people who entered his business were telling him “no oils” are good. I thought it was rude and if one wants to be oil free then be oil free but don’t condemn those who are not following another’s dietary habits. This type of proselytizing can spread like a fungus and could ruin this man’s business! We have purchased many of the products from The Treasured Olive and ALL are excellent.
I use a good quality sea salt (84 minerals) and herbs and spices when cooking as I believe prepared food not only has to look good, but smell and taste good. I also use Black Salt (Kala Namak) when doing vegan ‘egg’ dishes. If I am baking breads and cakes, I have replaced oils with applesauce, but it doesn’t work for cookies. I use organic sugars, sometimes maple syrup, other times coconut sugar or Medjool dates, rice syrup, raw honey; it all depends on recipe. Desserts will always have calories; however, they are not meant to be eaten daily but for special occasions or as an occasional treat and making them from scratch will always be healthier then purchasing from a store as you know exactly what is going into your dessert. If you are going to have a dessert, have a dessert and enjoy it.
I learned from being on the Taste of Health Cruises, that one can be vegan, whole food plant based, raw food or macrobiotic and be healthy, reverse/prevent disease and live a healthy lifestyle. What all these approaches have in common is the elimination of all meat, fish, dairy and eggs, so all these approaches are plant based.
I promote organic (if finances allow) when buying fruits and vegetables and Non-GMO whenever possible; especially in processed food products. We encourage using beans, whole grains and other minimally processed plant-based food products. Many of the newly created ‘replacement foods’ that are designed to replace meat, dairy, eggs and fish can be very effective as transitional foods which can help people cross over from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet. Many people can move forward without transitional foods consuming tofu, tempeh, homemade seitan, beans/lentils, whole grains, vegetables, greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, but at the same time I understand there are a few that will always need transitional foods to help them stay plant based.
I tell my members on my FB group, “Restoring America’s Health”, that I cannot meet everyone’s request and recreate every recipe that I post to meet their exact dietary approach. There are many great vegan chefs out there who have wonderful recipes and tips and they are not SOS, but you can learn from them. If you are oil free leave out the oil in a recipe and use water or vegetable broth to sauté. If you are soy free use almond milk, or replace tofu or tempeh with beans or seitan. If you are gluten free use gluten free flour, avoiding seitan (which is gluten) and adding in beans, tofu and tempeh for a meat substitute. If you are salt free use one of many no salt seasonings.
You can see I am mainstream Whole Food Plant Based (Certified by Marguerite Restrepo’s WFPB). If it doesn’t look good, smell good and taste good then I would not expect someone to want to change their diet to plant based. If you are obese, sick with diabetes, cancer, heart disease or auto immune diseases and need healing, then SOS is in order for a period of time to heal and restore our bodies back into proper balance.
My goal is trying to help as many people as I can to move forward from an animal-based diet to a whole food plant-based lifestylediet for health and wellness but at the same time not depriving them (unless they have health issues) of SOS forever because many would revert back to the Standard American Diet over time. There are many out there in “divided kitchens” which brings many challenges of cooking several types of dishes for members of families who have no desire to change their eating habits. I work with families in this situation as it can be challenging for the one wanting to change to a WFPBLS diet.
Since last September (2019) through March 20th (2020) I have been speaking at the Central Florida Health Expo on a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet in Auburndale Florida. I have also been working with the Central Florida Media Group writing recipes for two of their monthly magazines: Central Florida Health News (distributed in doctors’ offices) and Central Florida AG magazine (agricultural) since December. My Chili Recipe entry has been accepted for the Chili Cookoff, presenting a plant-based chili, in Bartow Florida on February 28th, 2020.
I am good at what I do and I have never had anyone not like my food or not rave about it. You can read many of my testimonials on our website https://wfpbls.com/documents/client-quotes.html from people to whom I have taught cooking classes over the past 10 years. I am a chef and I have learned from the best of the best chefs out there. I have experienced cooking Macrobiotic, Raw Food, Dehydrating, Vegan, and WFPB. At 73+, I never stop learning and plan to continue to do so.
Have a “Blessed” and wonderful Day!
Nancy A. Stein
Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living
407 680 3914