What this yogi eats

I’m vegan. And gluten free. I don’t consume alcohol or sugar. I err towards low FODMAP. I mostly avoid night shades. I eat relatively little processed foods. I haven’t eaten at a fast food restaurant since 2001. Feeding me is a nightmare.

About one month ago, I started following the Daily Dozen, a checklist of foods we should try to eat every day. After 6 years of vegan, I am finally full! If I eat everything on the list in the suggested serving sizes and number of servings, I am constantly full, beyond full. The Daily Dozen illuminated how I’ve been proportioning my plants over the years and it wasn’t pretty! My constant failure to get in enough greens & other veggies – SOLVED! This is the best I’ve eaten as a vegan.

Dr. Greger wrote the best selling book How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. I haven’t read it. It was his little video about the Daily Dozen that inspired me to become a different vegan.

The Daily Dozen, isn’t a formalized meal plan, its guidance. Basically, it tells you to eat these types of foods, this many servings per day, in these serving sizes. Implementation – how you craft your meals for the day is up to you.

In full disclosure, there is hunting and gathering to be done in the morning. I pick and prep 2 cups of grapes from our arbor to serve as my berries and part of my fruit serving; measure and look 2 cups of greens for my smoothie (that’s how we say it in the south – look the greens ie get the dirt & bugs off); chop apples & carrots for snacking; and make a cruciferous salad. It takes about 30 min first thing in the morning.

One bit of advice that Dr. Greger offers is to look at each meal/snack and ask yourself if it can be even more healthy? I keep a two page printout that that I created from his video slides handy on the counter and ask myself “can I add some fruit or chopped greens or nuts/seeds or turmeric?” “How about a glass of soy milk instead of water to get my beans in?” I can usually squeeze in one more serving of something!

Here is a typical day of my meals that captures the foods, serving number, and serving size of the DD. 


Toast on gluten free bread with peanut butter and ground flax seed; (1 serving whole grain; 1/2 serving nuts; 1 serving flax); or

*Steel cut oats with apple, flax, seed mix, peanut butter, 1/2 cup soy milk, and turmeric (1 serving whole grain; 1 serving fruit; 1 serving flax; 1 serving sees/nuts; 1/2 bean serving; 1 turmeric serving)

*You can see how this option would get me further on the daily dozen than toast, but sometimes a girl has to have her toast.


Grain with vegetable curry (1 serving whole grain; 1 serving vegetables)


Fried tempeh with roasted veggies over grain/pasta with seeds & turmeric (1-2 servings of beans; 1 serving veggies; 1 serving whole grain; 1/2 servings seeds; 1 serving turmeric)

Snacks throughout the day

Smoothie (2-3 servings fruit; 1 serving berries; and 2 servings greens)

Raw carrot slices (1 serving veggies)

Raw apple slices (1 serving fruit)

Cabbage salad  – raw cabbage with vegan mayo, mustard, horseradish, chili paste, sour kraut, and olives  (1 serving cruciferous)

Beverages (60 oz per day)

42 oz of water

6 oz coffee

6 oz tea

6 oz herbal tea


Brisk walking (1 serving moderate intensity)


I use the Daily Dozen app on my iPhone. It is a super simple daily checklist that tallies my “grade” as a percentage. If I complete the day’s dozen, I get 100.  I like to be an A student, so it motivates me to try to get in the full 12 each day. What I love best about this app is that in the morning it starts over. There is no history/graph/chart to obsess over. It doesn’t remember how I performed yesterday. It doesn’t care how I’m trending. It’s wheelhouse is what and how many boxes did I check today. And that keeps me eating well. I like a clean slate. And a clean plate.

Namaste, Michele

7 responses to “What this yogi eats

  1. I love the Daily Dozen app! I’ve been using it about a year, maybe more. I eat lots of great food, I am rarely hungry. There are a couple of restaurants on Maui where we can eat! But, imho, home cooked is usually better, Way better!6
    Thank you for the explicit details about how you do this. It took me awhile to get something figured out. There can be lots of variety! Though shopping here can be even more limited than Y.
    PS: read the book! In my humble opinion the title and organizing principle are TERRIBLE, but it is full of information from double blind studies published in peer reviewed reputable journals. It’s good.


  2. I am re-– inspired. Loved the video. This friggin fod map thing is a joke. You can’t eat anything, Especially when you are cooking for a family of five. I end up “cheating” and then feeling badly. And to be honest I haven’t felt all that much greater on it so I’m bring in the cauliflower back. As Michael pollen says”eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants” Thanks for sharing!




    • Thanks Megan. Figuring out which high FODMAP foods I should avoid has been a journey. Some foods are just a NO for me, like onions. Others, I can have in small amounts depending on what other foods I have been eating. Unfortunately, it is not as exact a science as I would like.


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