August 04, 2022
212: The Five Best Apps for Eating a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet with Maya Acosta

If you're looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet but have no idea where to start, Maya will go through 5 apps that can help you get started on a whole food plant-based diet. In this episode, you will lea...

If you're looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet but have no idea where to start, Maya will go through 5 apps that can help you get started on a whole food plant-based diet. 

In this episode, you will learn: 

  • The foods you should eat on a daily basis
  • How to use an app to find recipes and facilitate grocery shopping
  • How to eat healthily when you travel

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Still trying to figure out what to eat on a whole food plant-based diet? Do you think that we only eat salads and fruit? Stick around, because I am going to share with you 5 apps that I think should have so that you can eat more whole plant-based foods.  

Friends, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks cooking up some of my favorite meals. After 6 years of living this way, I have figured out a system that works for me. One of my initial mistakes was collecting too many recipes. This cluttered my head and I did not know where to start. As a matter of fact, I still have this huge binder with around 200 pages of  recipes that I collected from various websites.  

If you recall in my previous solo episode 210, I mentioned that we are creatures of habit. We typically eat around 9 different meals. I mentioned the 3, 3, 3, approach which consists of finding 3 meals  that you already consume which are already whole food plant-based, taking 3 meals which you can clean up and make plant-based and  then adding 3 more meals that are fully plant-based. And there you will have 9 meals.  

Today, I am going to give you 5 tools that can support you in adding more delicious plant-based meals to your repertoire of recipes. But don’t make the mistake that I made, do not try to collect too many recipes.  

Before we move on to the apps, I want to share with you that Dr. Riz and I are headed to Midland, TX this Friday for an entire day of Food Is Medicine Conference on Saturday, August 6. For more details about this event visit episode 209 where I spoke with Valerie Acosta, the executive director of Healthy City. They are doing amazing job of keeping Midland, TX healthy. We hope to see you there. Dr. Scott Stoll, Dr. Jim Loomis and Dr. Brooke Goldner will be speaking at the event. And CME’s will be offered for health professionals. 

Another event that is happening this weekend is with Dr. Sailesh Rao who will be holding an online program/convergence on August 6,7. One of the things you will find in this convergence is the screening of a film called The Land of Ahimsa. It is a film about the dairy industry in India. We learn about the cruel practices which leave cows stranded on the roads of India. We also learn about the damaging effects of consuming dairy on our bodies. Dr. Riz is in that film. He will make an appearance during the screening. So, he will be doubling up this weekend.  

Finally, if you are a PlantPure pod leader, please send me a DM on instagram and type in pod leader to @maya_hls_podcast. We are organizing an online support class for pod leaders on August 27th and I would love to tell you about it. It is a FREE event with 5 classes on creating a stronger online presence to support your group and to spread your message.  

Ok, let’s get started. So, I’ve said that lately I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Initially, I began to sample various recipes from several websites. Today, I have a binder with 30 of my favorite recipes. My binder/cookbook helps to meal plan. Every once in a while I will try something new. But I have a very busy schedule and do not always have time to experiment. But I will tell you that my recipes include cauliflower pizza, Mexican black bean salad, pasta fagioli, Zuppa toscana, mushroom polenta, vegetable stir fry, lasagna soup, chickpea barley soup, channa masala, Mexican posole, red lentil artichoke soup, enchilada casserole, and many more. Dr. Riz and I have our favorite meals that we enjoy together. We usually always start with a salad and then a meal. And we snack on fruit.  

By the way, this week’s guest expert was registered dietitian John Massengale who is also a diabetes specialists. He said that if we  were to look at all the 6 pillars of lifestyle medicine like a puzzle, food would be the largest piece. So, today we are focusing on food and how we can get more healthy food into our diets. There is such a thing as the lentil effect which is the ability of lentil consumption to blunt the sugar spike of foods consumed hours later at a subsequent meal. This is why you want to have legumes on a regular basis.

Okay, The first app that I want to recommend is Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. This is a FREE app and an extension of his book How Not To Die where he details the state of our health, chronic disease and the role certain foods play in the development of disease. This app answers the question, “What should I eat on a whole food plant-based  diet”. The daily dozen are the 12 things that Dr. Greger recommend you consume and do daily to prevent and reverse disease. This includes daily exercise and water intake. If you would like a printable checklist that you can place on your fridge, message me on IG the words daily dozen @maya_hls_podcast. This is what I did until I internalized the list.  

  1. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen- what should I eat?  
  • Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen details the healthiest foods and how many servings of each we should try to check off every day. He explains his rationale in his book How Not To Die. is a non-commercial, non-profit, science-based public service provided by Dr. Greger. He has nearly a thousand videos on every aspect of healthy eating, with new videos and  articles updated every day.  

  • Each daily item has an information button where you can see videos about the food. 
  • You can check off how daily intake.  

Second app that I think you should have on your mobile device is the Forks Over Knives app. I believe there is a one-time fee of $4.99 for the app or you can simple visit the website free of charge. But I love this app. This app is rich with recipes and helps in meal planning.  

  1. Forks over knives - $4.99 recipes  
  • Recipes Categorizes recipes into breakfast, sides & salads, snacks & appetizers, pasta & noodles, soups & stews, amazing grains, baked & stuffed, wraps & burgers, condiments and  sauces, decadent desserts. 
  • Choose your recipe, add it to favorites, click on the ingredient you need to purchase, items go straight to your shopping cart, add your own ingredients. Print your grocery list or send it to someone. Can share the recipe with loved ones. Shop. Return home. Back to the app and look at method, here is where you follow step by step how to do the recipe.  
  • Shopping list 
  • Favorites  
  • Resources (success stories, meal planning,  
  • shop online - buy magazines and books, DVDs, meal planner, cooking course,  
  • about the diet - very detailed  
  • watch the documentary $3.99  
  • FAQ about nutrition will I get enough protein? Don’t I need dairy for calcium?

What about Omega-3s? Why should I avoid all oil? Do I need B12? Do I need to eat organic? What about organic, grass-fed animal products? 

I sort of already mentioned this third app last week when I referenced PCRM’s 

kickstart program. However, you will want the app for easy access to recipes. This app will support you on making a transition.  

  1. 21-day vegan kickstart - transitioning 
  • This must-have recipe app designed by nutrition experts offers the change to put the healthiest diet to work for you! This evidence based program has everything you need

to get started on a plant-based diet: meal plans, recipes grocery lists, daily videos, nutrition tips, cooking demonstrations, and more.  

  • Delicious, healthy, all-vegan recipes 
  • Preparation made simple with high-resolution step-by-step photos 
  • All ingredients visible for each step with just a tap  
  • Ability to mark your favorite recipes to come back to each time with ease  
  • Full-screen recipes with step-by-step instructions  
  • Recipes from all over the world  
  • Can choose to see everything in either English or Spanish? • 3 weeks of recipes, tips from nutrition experts, and explore the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.  
  • These are quick and easy recipes. 
  • Nutrition education videos from experts  
  • Create an account - start your 21 day challenge when you are  ready  
  • Groceries 
  • Favorites tab  
  • Recipes tab  
  • Learn tab- 17 nutrition videos on breast cancer, gut bacteria, inflammation, high blood pressure, heart health, brain health, diabetes. Let’s watch the diabetes video. 12 cooking videos on leftovers, budget, grocery shopping, substitutions, dining out,  social situations. 

Another favorite app is by my hero Dr. John McDougall. I believe his wife Mary McDougall was the first to create whole plant-based recipes years ago. Today, they offer tons of support. We also learn  that Dr. McDougall’s 12-day programs have resumed once again. This is a 12 day program where you stay at a hotel, receive lectures and delicious meals so that you can truly see how you can live a full plant based lifestyle. 

  1. McDougall health and medical center  
  • Recipes 
  • Courses - resuming his in-person classes 12 day MdDougall  Program August,  
  • Store - books, apparel, podcasts, videos (DVDs)  
  • Tips for inspiration - health and kitchen tips  
  • Shopping list 

Finally, this last app will help you when you are traveling or if you are interested in dining out. My first year of being vegan, I used the app to find places in Hawaii and in Florida where we could eat. Those  were the locations where we were traveling. Over time, I became a high contributor to this app. Everyday people like you and like me,  upload photos and reviews when we find a whole food plant-based option at a restaurant. This is a way to encourage the restaurant to keep offering these options. This is also a way to support people who may want to eat at that restaurant. Even organizations can list themselves.  

  1. Happy cow - traveling or finding local restaurants  
  • How to navigate the app.  
  • Which restaurants are fully vegan 
  • Which offer vegan options  
  • Check out reviews, leave reviews  
  • Use filter  

Next week my guest will be Dr. Alyssa Vela who will speak on mental health and health equity. She will be a speaker at the November Lifestyle Medicine Conference.