Exercise vs. Diet - What's More Important?

You've heard me say 100x that "abs are made in the kitchen," that you can't run off a bad diet, and that what goes in the mouth matters most when it comes to health and weight-loss...

...and now there's ample new research backing me up ;)

Check out these reports!

You Can't 'Outrun' Obesity: Study Says Exercise Doesn't Help Weight Loss

Take off that Fitbit. Exercise Alone Won't Make You Lose Weight

Workouts Do Not Work Off Ill Effects of Poor Diet (*you need a MedScape account to read this study but it is free to sign up)

The proof is in the plant-based pudding 'eh ;)

You don't need a personal trainer, CrossFit, or P90X DVDs, you just need good food.

(And not too much of it.)

Physical activity has a multitude of merits, but weight-loss is not one of them. (Plus it's 1,000x easier to create a calorie deficit on the input side rather than the output side.)

One of the reasons I don't encourage "working out" during weight-loss is because I've found members that do, often reward themselves for it, OR exercise stimulates their appetites which leads them to overeat, OR they overestimate how much they actually burned which sabotages their efforts.

Members who walk, do yoga, and other light movements don't seem to fall in these traps. (Plus here's another study revealing that yoga may benefit heart health as much as aerobics!)

There's been so many crazy myths about exercise and diet floating around for decades (such as the myth of slow metabolism and starvation mode) and I'm glad modern research is finally starting to poke some holes in them. (I'm also going to poke holes in ALL the myths during next week's online overeaters workshop and weight-loss summit for members!)

P.S. A new study also came out this week that says OBESITY IS CONTAGIOUS (here). This isn't entirely new information, the New York Times reported back in 2007 that "obesity is contagious".

Our social connections have an enormous influence on our health. You're more likely to be healthy if your friends are healthy, and more likely to be overweight if your friends are overweight.

This is one of the reasons why I love the member forums and chats so much -- I've built that social network of like-minded healthy peeps to support me, inspire me, and keep me accountable. I also don't think it's coincidence that we've seen a huge jump in success rate since we brought in a community aspect.

Jennifer's email this morning seems to agree:

"I wasn't planning to renew my subscription because I thought, I have a year's worth of recipes already, but I fell in love with all the members and their encouragement, food pictures, and discussions were so helpful. I think the online community has made the difference for me this year staying on the meal plans and achieving results."

Bottom line: Lifting your fork is more powerful than lifting a barbell. Make it a priority this week to eat well and find an accountability buddy :)

P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

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Are You Up for a Challenge? {Yogivore is Here!}

By popular request...


You know those people you see around town, the ones that are always smiling, carefree, in a positive mood? They seem to be immune from feeling stressed, frazzled, angry and anxious?

Always calm, at peace… genuinely happy and satisfied with life?

Complete with a healthy lean body and natural radiance?

Wouldn’t you love to be more like that?

It’s all yours with yogivore!

Yoga + Herbivore -- Balancing your world from the inside out! (and outside in!)

I was a skeptic. A total non-believer. But practicing yoga, even for one minute per day, has totally transformed my life -- making me the person I always wanted to be.

The person I knew I could be...


That yoga body and yoga mind is inside you… waiting to be unwrapped!

Find your balance: Sign-up here and I’ll send you some amazing things to get you started on the path to YOGIVORE right away :)

(Because life is too short not to feel bliss immediately!)

Members check your email for Exclusive Member Only Surprises!

Sign-up (it’s totally FREE!) and you’ll immediately receive:

Your YOGIVORE Starter Pack

-The top 4 myths about yoga

-Insider look at your ultimate Nutrition Plan with 5 exclusive recipes!

-13 poses for even the most beginner of beginners

-VIP pass to 3 weeks of daily challenges, poses, motivation & inspirations

-Community support

Here’s what you can expect in just 3 weeks://

-A fun yoga practice that shapes your body (and your mind!)

-More confidence, clarity, and calmness.

-Reduction (or total elimination) of aches, pains, and physical discomforts.

-Less chaos More zen!

...and so much more!

I always knew there were physical benefits to yoga, but I had no idea what it would do for me on an emotional and mental level.

Yogivore will rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.

Ready to start your transformation?

Sign-up here.

Next, Get a friend on board! Don’t be a bad bestie and let ‘em miss out on this one-time-only Free series! The more yogivores the better the world will be ;)

Deadline for signing up is this Thursday, May 28th!

Community LOVE

I’ll be sharing challenges, motivating manifestos, RECIPES, and special videos via email (so make sure you’re signed up for the special newsletter above), Instagram (both accounts @mealmentor and @happyherbivore) and Twitter - @happyherbivore.

Use the hashtag #yogivore to reach out, find, and connect with other yogivores AND for a chance to win some really cool prizes like yoga mats, water bottles, hoodies and more.

I want to make this new journey for you as fun as possible!

P.S. Here’s why other yogivores have signed up today:

"I've wanted to try for years but am too intimidated to go to a class."-Jayme L

"Absolutely! A reintroduction for those like me who have to start over with a routine and make long term adgustments to my daily health and well being."- Eh L

"Yes please! I'm a beginner, I've tried many times but don't understand this high that everyone talks about. I've never experienced it."- Milia H

"I have been thinking of trying yoga but really have no idea where to start so this would be perfect."- Jill N

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Skinny Doesn't Mean Healthy Podcast

A new podcast is up and ready for you!

In this episode MJ (my copilot!) shares how being super skinny her entire life didn’t mean she was actually healthy! She also shares the very unconventional way she became vegetarian and how her birds-eye view of the healthcare industry (she supervises daily reports of diseases people have) reinforces her belief that healthcare is self care.


MJ is also a mom, and she talks about raising her daughter vegetarian (but making it work with an omni in the house) and her thoughts on “kid foods.” (I love love LOVE her insight that kids “eat by example”).

We also talk about life as the ONLY vegetarian around and what to do and how to cope when loved ones get super defensive and think you’re nuts-o!

This podcast is a total 180 from all the others -- Amazing to see how we all really are on a different journey, but yet headed to the same destination! All roads lead to plants!

Get the current meal plan now.

P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

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What Brands to Buy {Bread, Pasta & Tortillas}

Yesterday you learned that carbs don’t make you fat (just ‘cuz they're carbs)

and that not all “carbs” are created equal (AND that the body NEEDS carbs to run properly!)

That’s one thing that makes me batty – all these foods are lumped into a single “carb” category…

We must also get away from lumping all carbohydrate-rich foods together as “carbs.”

All plant foods have carbs, proteins AND fats. Even among the “carby” items, there's still a spectrum.

Wheat berries vs. whole-wheat pasta vs. all-purpose flour vs. an Oreo, for example.

BUT when it comes to pasta, breads, and tortillas…

There are good choices and not-as-good choices.

There are things to look out for (and avoid) especially if you’re trying to lose weight or feel awesome.

Selecting whole grain varieties such as brown rice pasta or 100% whole-wheat bread is the first step.

But be careful with “wheat” breads – make sure it’s 100% and not white bread with a tan ;)

Next, you want to make sure you're picking brands that don't contain oil and preferably, no added sugars.

Here's a list of Meal Mentor recommended crackers and breads:

Alvarado breads

Dave's Killer Bread (contains seeds)

Edward & Sons Crackers

Engine 2 Crackers (contains seeds)

Food for Life/Ezekiel products

La Tortilla Factory 100 Calorie Tortillas

Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes (some "flavors" are not vegan)

Manischewitz Whole-Wheat Matzos

Mary's Gone Crackers (may contain seeds or nuts)

Mission Corn Tortillas

Ryvita crackers (some "flavors" contain oil — check the box)

Sandwich Petals GF tortillas

Streit's Whole-Wheat Matzos

Yehuda Matzos (Whole-Wheat Bran Matzos)

Wasa Crackers

Your local bakery (or even the bakery at a supermarket) can be a treasure trove!

I found off-brand corn tortillas (just corn, water, salt, and lime!) and oil-free pitas (just whole-wheat flour and water!) in my local Kroger, too!

Of course, you also have the option of making any recipe wholly awesome and using the whole grain or a vegetable instead.

For example, serve it over a potato or a bed of rice instead of in a tortilla. Or use spaghetti squash as a stand in for pasta.

See the gluten-free note on your meal plan shopping list for whole grain conversions and ideas.

Bottom line: You can absolutely eat pasta, tortillas, and bread and still lose weight – and FEEL YOUR BEST. (The body runs on carbs!)

The “carbohydrates” aren't the problem, it's that the more processed they are, the easier they are to overeat, and excess calories leads to weight gain or lack of loss. AAAND processed carbs tend to keep fattening company that also triggers overeating.

Take out the guess work – make consistent good choices with the meal plans.

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Are You Avoiding Bread, Tortillas & Pasta?

“But won’t bread and pasta make me fat?!”

The fear of carbs and starch runs deep, I know.

We were all brainwashed by the media, even if we never quite bought into the Atkins craze.

As a former low carber, I get the carb fear and it took me a while to get over it and realize it was just a bunch of poo poo ca ca.

The sugar in starches are NOT converted into fat.

After eating, complex carbs found in starches are digested, then transported to trillions of cells to provide energy. Carbohydrates (sugars) consumed in excess of the body’s daily needs can be stored (invisibly) as glycogen or burned off as heat (a process known as facultative dietary thermogenesis).

The body NEEDS carbohydrates to function properly – it’s the primary fuel source! And diabetics need not fear carbs either. (Dr. Neal Barnard’s book on diabetes will rock your world! Click here to watch his TEDx Talk.)

The thorny issue with carbs is the more processed they are, the easier it is to overeat, because the fiber chains are broken and you don’t feel as full as fast.

It’s all too easy to eat several slices of white bread or a handful of pretzels (say, 300 calories worth) and not feel full, but eating that calorie equivalent of brown rice or baked potatoes would leave you feeling very satisfied.

I can eat a baguette or a big bowl of white pasta effortlessly in one sitting – a blink and 600 calories is gone, but I can’t do that with potatoes or corn – or even corn tortillas! After three or four (50 cals each) I’m very satiated.

The problem isn’t the carbohydrate, but overeating because you don’t reach satiety.

This is why we base the meal plans around caloric density – more food, less calories.

We choose whole foods over processed foods because the fill-me-up fiber is still intact.

(Plus whole foods are healthier.)

But that doesn't mean there isn't room for more processed grains like bread or pasta on occasion.

Breads, tortillas, and pastas can add great variety and depth to your culinary landscape.

And they can ABSOLUTELY be enjoyed in a way that aligns with your nutritional goals.

In fact, that's one compliment we hear all the time! That our pasta dishes are not only delicious, but surprisingly filling, too.

Part of that (shh… this is our big secret!) is because we never just serve you pasta.

We always balance it with vegetables and other nutritious foods to boost satiety and maximize nutrition.

But when it comes to pasta, breads, and tortillas…

There are good choices and not-as-good choices.

There are things to look out for (and avoid) especially if you’re trying to lose weight or feel awesome.

Tomorrow you’ll find out EXACTLY what to look for in bread, pasta, and tortillas

(with specific brand recommendations!)

Have you ever noticed that rice fills you up more than bread? Or potatoes more than rice?

Share your experiences in the comments below.

For now, I want you to answer an honest question:

What fills you up more? Rice, potatoes, pasta, tortillas or bread? (There’s no wrong answer!)

Share your answers below.

P.S. Remember that heavily processed carbohydrates tend to keep poor company, which is another part of the problem. It's not the potatoes in fries that's the problem, it's the oil. Likewise, it's typically not the pasta, but all the cheese surrounding it. These amigos don't just pack a calorie punch, they also tend to be addictive, making you even more likely to overeat.

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American Food Culture Podcast

A new podcast is up and ready for you!

In this episode Sireesha (my copilot!) offers an interesting and thought-provoking perspective of American food culture. Originally from India (and vegetarian all her life!) Siri recalls her first impressions of American food while comparing and contrasting aspects of both cultures in terms of food staples, habits, and practices.


There’s a lot we can learn from India’s traditions and every tidbit Siri shares will give you something to think about. (I also loved her insights and thoughts around oil and eating out!)

Get the current meal plan now.

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