Category Archives: Interview


I subscribe to Dr. Fuhrman’s DiseaseProof newsletter and was impressed with one of their most recent posts.  It is so powerful to watch a teen take their health into their own hands…what an amazing guy!

Interview with a Teen Nutritarian: David


JUNE                               AUGUST                               DECEMBER

David is your typical, 14-year-old teenager that was severely addicted to the standard American diet. In fact, he was resistant to have anything to do with eating for health, even though his parents and siblings had embraced nutritarian eating and radically improved their health and quality of life because of it. However, on Father’s Day weekend this past summer David had a wake-up call; a frightening experience with dangerously high blood pressure and the telltale symptom of a TIA (transient ischemic attack); aka mini stroke. Today, six months later and 27 lbs lighter, he’s a changed person as a result of eating high-nutrient foods. Welcome to Disease Proof, David.

What was your life like before Father’s Day weekend?

My parents and siblings were nutritarians so there was always plenty of healthy food to eat, but I refused to eat it. At every chance I could get away from home I ate whatever junk food I could find, and without my mom knowing it I bought donuts, candy, and other stuff.  Because I wouldn’t eat “Fuhrman food’ as I called it, my mom didn’t force me to eat it because my dad didn’t think she should; after all, I wasn’t a little kid anymore. My mom wouldn’t prepare junk food so I learned to cook my own meals. I ate frozen pizzas and lasagna, macaroni and cheese, pot pies, and all kids of frozen processed meals. Even with that, there were many foods that she wouldn’t buy for me like processed cereals, milk, cheese, and butter.

How did you feel?

I didn’t feel well most of the time. It was hard for me to move around because I was tired and would get out of breath easily, so I didn’t exercise. I was always thirsty, and I couldn’t breathe through my nose; it was always stuffy.  Plus, because I was tired a lot I just slept whenever I could.

What was your wake-up call?

During a family crisis my mom requested no junk food be brought to our house. However, some thought nutritarian eating was extreme and felt sorry for me so they asked me for a list of my favorite foods anyway.  It was great!  I loved it because I could eat anything I wanted.  A week later, in the middle of the night, the entire right side of my body, including my leg, arm, and jaw was numb and tingly, and I was very scared. I woke my parents up, and my mom took my blood pressure and it was 158 / 108. The next day she contacted Dr. Fuhrman, and according to my symptoms he said that I had experienced a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or mini stroke that happens before a major stroke*. Immediately, on Father’s Day, I became a nutritarian. Within a week my blood pressure came down to a healthy range, but for several weeks I was scared to fall asleep at night, because I was afraid of having a stroke during the night.

How do you feel now?

I have a lot more energy. I’ve lost 27 lbs so far and my blood pressures are consistently around 113 / 72. I no longer have numbness or tingly feelings, and the best thing is I’m not afraid of falling asleep and having a stroke in the middle of the night.  I’m no longer thirsty all the time, tired, or have shortness of breath, and because of that I like to run, workout at the Y, and lift weights. Plus, I can now breathe through my nose for the first time that I can ever remember; I always had a stuffy nose. According to a blood test in June I was pre-diabetic, and now with nutritarian eating I won’t have to worry about getting diabetes. I just feel better all over, and my mom says that I’m happier and not grumpy anymore.

What would you tell kids who love junk food and hate even the thought of eating healthy?

Try nutritarian eating all the way for just one week. Do it cold turkey, 100%; no cheating. After that week is over then re-assess your opinion and see if it changes. I gutted it out mentally for one week, and it was hard, but I knew it would be worth it to feel better and be healthier. Now I’m glad I did.

I still sometimes like eating junk food when I’m away from home, but I know nutritarian eating is healthier for me, and I always feel better when I stick to it.

What are your favorite foods now?

My favorite foods are tomatoes, cucumbers, Honey Crisp apples, green peppers, snap peas, sautéed onions, hummus, and my mom’s Oatmeal/Almond Bars.


Easy Oatmeal/Almond Bars

5-6 ripe bananas
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups raisins
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds
2 cups chopped raw almonds
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl mash the bananas and then stir in remaining ingredients. Press mixture into the baking pan and bake for 40 min. Let cool. Cut into bars.

Congratulations David and keep up the great job!


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Filed under Children, Education, Interview, Metabolic Syndrome, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY – Lindsay Nixon, The Happy Herbivore

It has been a loooooooooooooong time since I hosted a giveaway…I was waiting for something really worthy of a giveaway and I know you will find this “giveaway worthy!”  For those of you unfamiliar, Lindsay Nixon is a low-fat vegan recipe developing goddess.  Her recipes are simple, healthy, and full of flavor.

With two cookbooks already under her belt (The Happy Herbivore Cookbook & Everyday Happy Herbivore), Lindsay just released her third, Happy Herbivore Abroad 

“In the last 10 years, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon has lived in eight states, visited 46, spent a year as an expat on a Caribbean island, and traveled to more than 35 places abroad. As a celebration of Nixon’s jet-setter lifestyle, Happy Herbivore Abroad combines traditional comfort foods from home with international inspiration and stories of her adventures.

A little of everything—basics, comfort food, international cuisine, and travelogue—Happy Herbivore Abroad provides your palate with more than 135 of Nixon’s crowd-pleasing vegan recipes low in fat, high on health, and made with everyday ingredients. True to the Happy Herbivore creed, these vegan dishes are easy to make, easy on your wallet, and completely plant-based.”

I jumped at the chance to interview Lindsay and eagerly accepted her offer to host a giveaway of her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad (Giveaway details follow the interview).

GRETCHEN – In my experience, people always like to know what led someone to a plant-based lifestyle.  When did you become plant-based and why?

LINDSAY NIXON – I was a vegetarian for most of my life, but lapsed back to meat-eating in my late teens due to family pressure and peer pressure. A serious health scare in my early 20’s brought me back to a vegetarian diet and about a year later I adopted a totally plant-based (vegan) diet. I was motivated mainly for health reasons, but I also care about the environment and am moved by the plight of farm animals.

G – I really enjoyed reading your post, “I’m (Still) Not a Vegan Anymore!”  People react so strongly to the word “vegan” and like you, I feel funny using that word to label myself.  Did you expect the original post to get as much attention as it did?

LN –  I had no idea it would garner so much attention or that I’d still be talking about it a year later. I remember sitting at my desk, staring at the computer screen in total shock. My inbox was pinging every 3 minutes.

 I am sure each of your books has a very special place in your heart…Do you have a favorite?

LN – They’re all special and unique in their own way. All of them had their challenges, and miracles. I love them equally. I imagine asking an author to pick their favorite book would be like asking a parent to pick their favorite child.

What do you typically eat in the span of a day and are you a snacker?

LN – I used to be a snacker, until I read Mindless Eating. That book really changed my eating habits. My daily food intake is varied — since my schedule is always changing.

What is your favorite plant-based indulgence?

LN – Vegan marshmallows.

When are you happiest?

LN – When I’ve turned in my latest manuscript — joking! (kind of). I try to find moments of pure happiness each day… whether it’s snowboarding in the winter and taking it in, or riding in my convertible down one of LA’s palm-tree lined streets, to petting my pugs on the couch, to traveling around the world and marveling at the gifts before me, to snuggling with my husband…

In your wildest dreams, what would your life look like in 5 years?

LN – I hope to be retired in 5 years, living in Thailand or Indonesia. I’ll make it happen.



To enter the giveaway complete any or all of the following –

You will gain one entry for each task completed:

  1. Subscribe to Veggie Grettie’s E-mail Subscription (upper right corner of this page and/or the homepage below the Header photo)
  2. “Like” Veggie Grettie on Facebook
  3. Send an e-mail out to your friends telling them about the giveaway and cc me on it gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com
  4. Sign-up for Linday’s Newsletter (I am a subscriber!) by clicking HERE and entering your e-mail address in the bottom right corner of the page.
  5. LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST FOR EACH TASK COMPLETED (That’s up to 4 comments…4 entries)!!!

The giveaway will run through midnight 12/30



Filed under Giveaways, Interview

swim spot’s Q & A With Me

(Lisa Vogel, Suzanne Yeo, & Gretchen Tseng)

SwimSpot ran a quick interview / Q & A with me on their website today…I thought you might like to hop on over to learn more about my Fall favorites.

Click HERE to read the interview.


Filed under Interview


When I became the Editor of Chic Vegan I decided to start an Interview Series on the site and it has quickly become one of my favorite projects to work on.  I really enjoy interviewing notable vegans and vegans who are making a difference, whether they are famous or your neighbor down the street.  There are so many wonderful vegans out there!!!

So far I have interviewed –

Click HERE to go to the Chic Vegan interview links.

I have some really great interviews in the wings…I can’t wait to share them!

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Filed under Chic Vegan Column, Interview, Vegan, Vegetarian


I am a big sucker for makeovers and am always excited when I get to read about HEALTH makeovers.  Although I have been focused on health and healthy eating for years, I still need motivation and inspiration.  I definitely get both from reading about other people’s success.  Enjoy this interview of Jaime (above, right) which was featured on Disease Proof.



Interview With a Nutritarian: Jaime


Whether we realize it or not, we’re always influencing others, for good or for bad, by the choices we make. It’s always fun to read the rippling affects that one person’s wise choices have on many others. Remember Jodi’s interview  from a few weeks back? Jodi not only got her health back, but her actions made a life-changing impact on her younger sister, Jaime, in the process. Welcome to Disease Proof Jaime.

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

I suffered terribly from migraines. My life revolved around headaches; either having them or worrying that I would get one. Last year I was averaging twelve migraines every month. For years I was on multiple medications for headache pain and preventative care.   I felt trapped. I was taking so many drugs that I didn’t know whether I had major health issues or just lots of side effects from all the medications. I felt like there was no hope for my headaches so I just accepted the suffering, and lived for the next miracle pill. I also ate lots of the wrong kinds of foods and was very self conscious about my weight, and as a result, suffered from low self-esteem.

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

I knew about Eat to Live from my sister, Jodi.  After many years of hearing about it I dabbled with some of the concepts for awhile, but then quit. I knew how successful Jodi was at eating high-nutrient foods and witnessed her miraculous recovery, but I never thought I’d embrace this eating-style for myself.

When Eat for Health came out Jodi sent the book set to me. It sat in the wrapper for three months before I even opened it. One day I decided I was sick of how I looked and felt so I opened the books and read them from cover to cover. Right then I decided I wanted to do this.

My migraines did not improve though, because I was following the eating plan during the week and eating my old foods on the weekends. I ate this way for over a couple of years.

Jodi had always suggested that I attend one of Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaways, but I never considered going to one. Somehow I ended up going with Jodi to the Getaway in San Diego in the summer of 2010. However, I’d decided beforehand that I would have no interest in the lectures, but at least it would be great being with my sister for a week.

My life changed that week! Besides the wonderful week with my sister, I met the most amazing people, and Dr. Fuhrman’s lectures were incredible! Also, two moments that were pivotal for me was Sarah Taylor, the emcee, asked us to make a commitment to follow Eat to Live for 30 or 60 days; and that night I made a commitment for 30 days. The other moment was when you [Emily] told your success story and said that one can’t “straddle the fence” and expect to see great results; meaning one can’t have one foot in nutritarian eating and the other foot in the standard American diet . . .  both feet have to be in. That made a big impact on me since I could totally relate. I still think about those “Wow!” moments to this day.

How do you feel now?

I feel amazing! I made it to my first 30 days and was so excited that I committed to 30 more! During that time, I had one headache…one headache in 60 days!

With each pound lost, I gained confidence as I realized there was a whole different person inside of me, and I liked the new person too!   My personality changed because I was feeling so well and not living under a cloud of headaches. The improvements have been incredible; I saw them instantly and I have never stopped seeing them. I’ve had five migraines (total) since making the commitment to high-nutrient eating, and none were bad or long-lasting. I’ve taken no medications whatsoever; and today, a year later, I am totally migraine free!

I’ve lost a total of sixty-one pounds, have my life back, and feel great! The weight loss was the bonus to it all!

What success tips have helped you the most?

  • Making the commitment in short, achievable goals worked for me because I was able to meet those goals and feel the success.
  • I do not look at the Eat to Live eating-style as a diet, but how I live my life.  I never falter in my belief that I want to eat this way for the rest of my life.
  • Have a support system.  My sister has been my best cheerleader and her support has been unwavering.  Also, the members on Dr. Fuhrman’s website have so many tips to share; the people that I’ve met through the whole experience have helped me so much…support makes a huge difference.
  • I work long hours during the week so I make recipes on the weekend.  I love blended soups which are easy to make and then I freeze them in smaller containers.  In the cooler weather I’ll have soup every night with either leftovers or steamed vegetables.  I always have fruit with greens at breakfast and some kind of whole grain.  I make huge salads to take to work.  I love all the foods that I eat.
  • Experiment with foods and tastes that you like.  Food has to appeal to you.  I like sweets so I tend to have dressings, sauces, and soupd that taste sweet.
  • I also love Dr. Fuhrman’s website for studying recipes and using the recipe rating system.
  • Find what you like to eat and discover what motivates you…and enjoy your life!

In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you? 

Nutritarian eating has truly changed my life! Besides the obvious of eliminating migraines and the weight loss, the total change has brought me such confidence, happiness, and pride. I’m healthy now and a totally different person!

My husband, Joe, has been so amazing and supportive; and Jodi has been my inspiration, and I can’t thank her enough . . . . . but I also know that I did this . . . . no one else did it for me, and that is the best feeling in the world!

I had the power and desire to live.

There is no going back for me.

Images and interview courtesy of


Filed under Interview, Vegan, Vegetarian


It is an exciting weekend for being vegan and / or learning how to become vegan!

I am beyond excited that the documentary Forks Over Knives opens tomorrow!!!  This documentary has received so much critical acclaim as it brings together two giants in the field of medicine who have spent their careers studying the effects of nutrition on health, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn.


FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

I recently read an interview of the Producer of the film, Brian Wendel, conducted by The Plant Based Dietician, Julieanna Hever, and thought you would be interested in it as well…

In this interview, Brian tells us about his experience making Forks Over Knives and then watching it blossom into a huge success…

JH: You went from commercial real estate straight into producing one of the most important documentaries of our time, Forks Over Knives, as your first film. What inspired you to take the leap?

BW: The evidence that diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and sometimes cancer, can be effectively prevented, and even reversed, by a whole foods plant-based diet is compelling. For whatever reason, the information wasn’t getting to the masses, so only a few people were benefiting from it. I thought making a feature film was an opportunity to change that, and doing something that would have a positive impact on people’s lives was something I always wanted to do.

JH: How do you feel about the outpouring of support and enthusiasm for the film?

BW: The response has been beyond what I had imagined. It’s rewarding. I think people see the potential in the concepts brought forward in the film as a real way to make our lives better.

JH: What are your ultimate goals for Forks Over Knives?

BW: I hope that the level of education about food and its impact on health will increase, and that as a result, people will lead more healthful lives. It turns out that the same diet that is good for human health, is compassionate to animals and less taxing to the environment, so it’s important to see improvements in these areas as well.

JH: Can you describe the message you are trying to relay by creating such a critical piece?

BW: The message is that there is evidence that there’s something very specific we can do to greatly reduce our suffering from degenerative diseases. At a time when we’re trying to find solutions to difficult problems, it’s good to know that there may be one at hand—especially something that is simple.

JH: What was it like working with a healthy handful of the most innovative, influential scientists of our generation?

BW: Given my passion for the subject, there are no individuals I would have rather worked with than Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn. Getting to spend as much time with them as we did, and getting to know them personally, was an experience that is difficult to describe in words.

JH: What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

BW: The biggest challenge was figuring out how to take a vast amount of information along with a significant number of stories, and making into a presentation of less than 96 minutes. There’s a lot of material that didn’t make it in. We realized that the film represents more the beginning of a discussion.

JH: Do you intend to continue making documentary films with a similar message?

BW: Right now I’m focused on releasing the film, an undertaking that is quite substantial. I do, though, like the idea of making another documentary film.

CLICK HERE for showtimes.

This film will change your life!


Filed under Cancer, Diabetes, Education, General Vegan, Interview, Metabolic Syndrome, Osteoporosis, pH, Protein, Research, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: America’s Falling Behind

Anthony Bourdain. Photo Courtesy of Travel Channel

Anthony Bourdain. Photo Courtesy of Travel Channel

This is an excerpt from an interview by Jason Cochran on AOL Travel (Posted Feb 28th 2011 12:00 PM).  I really like the points Anthony makes concerning how good food can be made inexpensively.  While Anthony Bourdain is not vegetarian, he does encourage people to try new things and be more adventurous with their food, which I can really appreciate.  The point Anthony makes about the rising cost of food supports the fact that like it or not (I definitely like it), people are going to have to reduce the meat in their diets.

To read the interview in its entirety click here.  To learn more about Jason Cochran click here.


Your show seems to be very much about turning other people on to what’s out there.

I think that, like eating, travel should be a fairly submissive experience. You should open yourself up to stuff and let things happen. Generally speaking, it’s an amazing world. People may or may not agree with you, but when it comes to eating and drinking it’s a world full of peace and proud people doing the best they can. Hospitality is a feature of a lot of cultures that you might not expect to be welcoming.

Americans often see fine food as something of a consumer item or something for the wealthy, but abroad, as you show time and again, it’s the simplest expression of tradition and of human connection. How did we get so high-minded here?

I think it’s not high-mindedness. Post World War Two, we got lazy. We got spoiled. We could eat 20-ounce steaks. There were restaurants everywhere. It’s all about excessive portions and meat and potatoes. We lost touch with having to cook well because we didn’t have to. The nation had just been through a war, and suddenly there was a period of incredible prosperity, relatively, and it was all about convenience and things other than food. American culture is all about assimilating and moving away from your roots, moving away from your small town or your poor background. Families changed, populations moved, and everywhere we went there were cheap hamburgers and chicken without skin or legs.

And yet on the road, you’re often finding the most satisfying, nuanced food is the cheapest stuff. Why isn’t it that way for us?

We weren’t forced into a situation where we had to find ingenious ways to make something that was not very good, and there wasn’t very much of it, into something delicious. Where people have to cook well, or are forced by circumstances to cook well, they learn to make the most of it. It was just as easy to go out to a Howard Johnson’s or a Horn & Hardart back in the ’50s than it was to eat at home, in fact you were encouraged to do it. The TV dinner was seen as a godsend for people who had more important things to do than feed themselves. That’s changing. We’re much more aware of where our food comes from.

What will it take to get the average American care about their food the way so many people who live abroad do?

I hate to say it, but I think we will see it. As the price of raw ingredients rises, we’ll reach a point where a lot of working families will have to figure out how to cook again to make the most out of what they have. A lot of foods we take for granted now are going to be out of reach. We very well might have to start cooking eventually more like the Chinese, where meat, for instance, is less the main event than the garnish, the condiment, the flavoring ingredient. So we might be forced to eat better, cook better, and eat healthier just by virtue of these food items we take for granted being out of reach economically. Even at mid-range restaurants, any chef could put a big fat fillet of wild salmon on a plate. Now? Not so much.

What do your travel food experiences teach you about yourselves?

You realize how damn lucky you are and how good you’ve got it. In the Egypt show we shot over a year ago, I realize now we documented an important moment without realizing how important. Our government fixers and handlers did not want us – did not want us – to show the everyday, standard, staple breakfast of the working Egyptian. It’s a dish called foul. It’s served everywhere in the streets in Cairo, and it’s basically a watery chickpea stew with a big stack of flatbread. They did not want us to show that, and I didn’t understand or realize at the time what they were so afraid of. But the fact is there had been some bread riots recently, the army owned the bakeries, the price of flour had gone up. Just the change of a few cents per pound for the price of flour or bread – the whole security of the regime rested on a thing like that. I think they well understood and were terrified of that. They understood the power of us saying, “Hey, this is what most Egyptians fill their bellies with every day.” That’s the sort of fact that topples governments, as we’ve seen.

Is there something you want Americans to take away from that? I think some would hear a story like that and be afraid to ever go to Egypt, but I don’t think that’s what you intend.

No. I am not political. I’m not an advocate. I call myself an enthusiast. I’m an old-school lefty from New York. I don’t have a lot in common with the Tea Party. But I’m guessing that we both like beer and we both like barbecue. And I’m pretty damn sure I could sit down with just about anybody in the Tea Party and have a pretty good time at the table drinking beer and eating barbecue. That’s something. That’s about as political as it gets from me. If the people aren’t getting fed in a country, I’m against you, whoever you are. But I think Danny Ortega’s going to be very unhappy with our Nicaragua show.

Do you wish Americans would travel more?

Travel changes people for the better. The more you walk around in another person’s shoes, the more you’ve seen of the world, the better a person you are. If I can convince somebody who’s got the money to do it, the freedom to do it, and if one of our shows has inspired them to, then sure. I hear it a lot. People come up to me a lot and say, “I went to Vietnam, and I tracked down some of the same business that you ate at and I had a good time.” Sure. That makes me happy. I grew up with books and movies and I dreamed of seeing places like those I’d read about. It’s unimaginable to me that people wouldn’t yearn for a peek at the other side of the world, an undiscovered beach, a tiny little food stall that serves the perfect bowl of noodles.

Are you aware that you may be changing lives just by visiting with your cameras?

Yeah. I know the show has been good for a number of small businesses, but I’m also changing the character in negative ways as well sometimes. I have mixed emotions about that. We worry sometimes that that tiny, out-of-the-way, unspoiled place suddenly, after the show, there are people in ugly shorts and fanny packs. But I think on balance it’s something I can live with. And yet I want [to reach] people who wear silly tourist clothes and don’t know how to travel or haven’t traveled well in the past. I want them to have fun. There’s good stuff out there and good people.

Good people is a big theme with your show. You have a reputation as a hardass, but really, your writing is all about finding joy and wonder and connection with strangers. I don’t think your reputation is fully deserved.

I’m angry and hyperbolic about a lot of things, but I’m also very sentimental about a lot of other things.

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Filed under Education, Interview, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian