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Guest Post by Julieanna Hever + Book Giveaway!

Happy Leap Day!  I’m very excited to celebrate this extra day with a guest post by Julieanna Hever (aka The Plant Dietitian).  
The author of the bestselling book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, Julieanna is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking and the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. Julieanna was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show and has taught as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program, among other endeavors.
In honor of Julieanna’s guest post today, I’m giving away a copy of her book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.  Find out how you can enter to win this amazing book at the end of this post where you can also discover if you’re the new winner of the Heart Healthy Pizza cookbook (the previous winner didn’t contact me, so a new winner has been chosen.) 
Here now is Julieanna Hever, with her post entitled:
Oil Slick
Confusion prevails in mainstream media and in the minds of consumers regarding oil and its benefits or lack thereof. Commonly, there are questions about which types of fat are healthy, how much we need, and what the best sources are.
Due to the popularity of diets like the Mediterranean Diet, oil has become known as a health food….beginning with olive oil. However, olive oil is not the highlight of this successful historical health hint. Instead, there other multiple factors involved, including the fact that the population documented in the Seven Countries Study (the one that kicked off the olive oil myth) ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grain breads, herbs, and spices, and were physically active. Yes, they included fish and olive oil, but those components weren’t the main attraction to the health achievements of these people.

For anyone trying to lose weight or moderate blood cholesterol levels, using oil in food preparation is not optimal. Remember that oil is 100 percent pure fat and that fat has more than twice the amount of calories per gram as do carbohydrate and protein. The other fact to consider is that you can attain all of the essential fats you need for optimal health by consuming a tablespoon or two of seeds (especially flax, hemp, or chia) or a quarter-cup of walnuts per day. If you compare whole olives and flaxseeds to their derived oils, you will see the difference in nutritional composition (see table). In the whole food version, you retain the healthy fiber, in addition to most of the vitamins, and minerals which are lost in the processing into oil.
Fiber (g)
Fat (g)
Olives (1 cup)
Olive Oil (1 cup)
Flaxseeds (1 TBSP)
Flaxseed Oil (1 TBSP)
The key to weight loss success is to focus on satiety. If you feel full, you will eat less and ultimately retain your ideal body weight. Satiety and fullness are the result of a diet high in bulk (fiber plus water). The reason it promotes satiety is because when food is bulky, it triggers sensors in your stomach which tell your brain you are full. If you compare an equal amount of calories of oil versus whole food sources, you can eat a lot more food, as you end up with a lot more bang for your caloric buck. There is even evidence that oil can harm the endothelial cells of the arteries, which can promote heart disease.
The good news is that preparing foods without oil is easy and difficult to detect the difference in taste. Here are some tips for oil-free cooking:
  • Sauté with vegetable broth, water, coconut water, juice, beer, wine, or vinegar. It usually requires 3-4 times the amount of these liquids to replace the oil in a recipe. For example, substitute 1/4 cup vegetable broth to replace 1 TBSP oil.
  • Make oil-free, yet rich and delicious, salad dressings using beans, tahini, nuts, and seeds.
  • Bake with pureed fruit, silken tofu, or mashed avocado or banana.
Find more information on eating low-fat whole food, plant-based on my website and in my books, The Complete Idiots Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking.
Now’s your chance to find out everything you ever wanted to know about vegan nutrition! I’m giving away one copy of Julieanna’s book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.  And because today is Leap Day, instead of answering a question to win, you get to ask it!  To win this amazing book, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post that asks me a food question or asks Julieanna a nutrition question. (If you don’t have a question, you can leave any comment you prefer.) The winner will be chosen at random and when the winner is announced, the winning question will be answered as well.
Here’s how to enter: Just leave a comment at the end of this post asking a vegan food or nutrition question. (If you don’t have a question, just leave any comment you choose!)
To increase your chances of winning, do any or all of the following (leave a separate comment for each one you do): 
  • Subscribe to this blog, follow me on Twitter or on Pinterest; or “Friend” me on Facebook, then leave another comment to let me know you did this.
  • “Like” Julieanna on Facebook  or follow her on Twitter, then leave a comment to let me know.
  • Tweet about the giveaway and use @globalvegan in your tweet, then leave another comment telling me that you did this.
  • Post about the giveaway on your own blog or Facebook page, tagging or linking to this post, then leave another comment telling me that you did.
This giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday, March 5.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, March 6. Enter now and Happy Leap Day!
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: A new winner in the Heart Healthy Pizza cookbook giveaway has been chosen.  The winner is: # 106 – KELLY G. — who likes French Fries on her pizza!! Congrats, Kelly! E-mail me with your mailing address and Heart Healthy Pizza will be yours.

La Befana and Party Vegan Giveaway!

While many of us know today is the feast of the Ephiphany or “trree kings,” as they used to say back home, today is also La Befana day.

LaBefana is an old woman of Italian folklore who delivers gifts throughout Italy on the night before Epiphany. La Befana is usually portrayed as an old lady wearing a black shawl and riding on a broomstick. She is often depicted as smiling, carrying a bag filled with gifts, and covered in soot because, like Santa Claus, she enters houses through the chimney, leaving toys and candy for the good children and coal or garlic for bad children. She is also said to sweep the floor before she leaves a house. Much like leaving cookies and milk for Santa, Italian families typically leave a glass of wine and a small plate of food for La Befana. In some regions, the food includes broccoli and sausage (!).
Just in case the legend is true, I made some pasta with broccoli and vegan sausage so I could leave a snack for La Befana, along with some good Italian wine – a crisp vernachia from San Gimignano. I don’t mind if LaBefana leaves me garlic (who can’t use more garlic?) instead of candy, as long as she sweeps my house before she leaves!

Cookbook Giveaway: In honor of LaBefana, I’m giving away a gift to one lucky someone – a copy of my latest book, Party Vegan! Much more than a “party” book, Party Vegan is filled with great recipes and menus for everyday meals as well as special occasions throughout the year, from a guy-friendly Super Bowl party to a New Year’s Eve appetizer party.
To enter: leave a comment at the end of this post.
For a second chance to win: link to this post from your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and then leave a second post, telling me you did so. That’s it! I’ll choose the winner at random (using on Wednesday, January 12 at midnight EST. The winner will be announced here on Thursday, January 13.

Vegan on the Cheap — “Double Your Luck” Book Giveaway

In honor of Friday the 13th I’m announcing a special giveaway of my new book, Vegan on the Cheap. Beginning today, you can enter to win a copy of this cookbook not once, but twice. Here’s how to enter:

Entry #1: Simply leave a comment at the end of this post for a chance to win. In your comment, complete this statement: “Vegan equals ____.”

Entry #2: For a second chance to win, share the news about this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or on your own blog, then come back and leave a second comment here to let me know about it.

But wait, there’s more!  To increase everyone’s chances of winning even more, I’ll be doing TWO drawings and giving away two copies of Vegan on the Cheap. I guess that means you actually have FOUR chances to win.  The two winners will be announced here on my blog on Thursday, August 19. Feeling lucky? Enter now!

If it’s August, it must be the Veggie Awards!

Yes, it’s that time again: the VegNews Veggie Awards. Time to vote for all your vegan favorites! This year, I’ve been nominated in two categories: “favorite cookbook author” and “favorite VN column: Global Vegan.” You can also cast a “write-in” vote for this blog “Vegan Planet” for favorite veg blog.

As if being nominated wasn’t wonderful enough, this year, a collection of 5 of my cookbooks is being awarded as a prize! There are lots of other great prizes too. All you need to do to enter is fill out at least 50% of the survey. It just takes a couple minutes. Here’s the link.

I hope you’ll vote for me so Gary can be proud of his mom!

Another chance to win….
Be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy of Vegan on the Cheap. (See the previous post to enter). The winner will be announced on Sunday, 8/8!

Book Giveaway on

For a chance to win a copy of Vegan Fire and Spice, go to (the April 25th post: Vegan Fire & Spice Giveaway) where Erik Marcus is giving away three copies of the book. Hurry, though, as the contest closes on Friday, May 1.