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Open Q&A/Plant-based (vegan) meal planning – Joy Valvano, C.D.E, January 8, 2013

 juanitajolley:
 I've gone vegan and I'm loving it. Just wanted to sit in.
 Joy at Unity:
 Awesome! Glad to have you join us juanitajolley! We will get started in a few minutes!
 Joy at Unity:
 Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Joy Valvano, a certified diabetes educator, and I’ll be hosting today’s chat. We’re glad you could join us today. I’m excited to be talking about plant-based, or vegan meal planning for diabetes and to answer all of your diabetes-related questions.
 Joy at Unity:
 Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question. It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat if you switch to another application on your computer. Let’s get started.
 billie:
 I love to bake but not always from scratch, is there some brand name cake mixes that I can use that are vegan?
 Joy at Unity:
 That's a great question billie - quite honestly you have to become a good label reader, and check the ingredient list to make sure there are not dairy or animal products in the mix. Some mixes will note on the packaging that they are vegan but it can be hit or miss. It’s best to always check the ingredients list on any packaged products you buy.
 billie:
 Do you have any vegan classes that may help with that?
 Joy at Unity:
 At Unity Diabetes Center we hold our Seeds of Change vegan class and we sample a lot of packaged products to help give ideas on vegan foods you can purchase, including snacks, convenience foods, soy products and so forth.
 Joy at Unity:
 Our next Seeds of Change class begins this month Wednesday, January 23 - February 13.
 Joy at Unity:
 The class runs four consecutive Wednesdays from 6 - 8 p.m.
 billie:
 Great, I will check it out!
 Joy at Unity:
 Each night we cook and sample vegan foods, talk about vegan meal planning and following a vegan diet at restaurants and social get-togethers.
 sassy35:
 How do you sign up for that class?
 Joy at Unity:
 We provide support on transitioning to a vegan diet in your every day life.
 Joy at Unity:
 You can contact the Unity Diabetes Center at 368-4560 for more information and to register. The class is also listed currently under the weekly tip on this website's home page! The cost is $120.00.
 billie:
 I am going to the Owl house this week with a friend. I hear they have a great selection of vegan items, but are they low fat? I worry about that.
 sassy35:
 Can you recommend any local restaurants with good vegan menus?
 Joy at Unity:
 Yes, the Owl House has many vegan options. Tell me what you are worried about, billie?
 Joy at Unity:
 Other good restaurants with vegan menus include The King and I in Henrietta and most Italian restaurants allow you to order pasta, sauce, veggies, no cheese.
 billie:
 Well, Joy, I need to lose weight so I do not want a lot of calories from fats, even if it is olive oil.
 Joy at Unity:
 Another good restaurant is Biagi's at Eastview Mall. They are very open to meeting special dietary requests and most restaurants will accommodate a vegan diet if you let them know. The chains are more difficult to get special orders because there food is prepared in advance.
 sassy35:
 Thanks, Joy - I'll have to check some of those out. And it sounds like the rest of my family would be able to find non-vegan options too!
 Joy at Unity:
 I understand, billie. You can ask that they prepare your food with little oil or get dressing and condiments on the side. The Seeds of Change class does advocate a low-fat vegan approach. To help reduce insulin resistance for people with type 2 diabetes, low fat is the best approach to help insulin move glucose into the cells. So you are right on with reducing the fat in your diet!
 billie:
 So will a vegan diet help me lose weight, lower my blood pressure, lower my cholesterol and make me feel great?
 sassy35:
 Has anyone tried vegan cheese?
 Joy at Unity:
The plant based (vegan) approach definitely will accomplish all of those things, billie, especially if you focus on including vegetables, legumes/beans, whole grains and fruits and avoid the processed, refined foods.
 billie:
The nutritional yeast tastes like cheese and gives you some B12 as well. 
 Joy at Unity:
 Good thought billie! Vegan cheese can be a nice stand in for real cheese.The Daiyu brand is particularly tasty but they are very high in fat, primarily made from oil and should be used sparingly and as an occasional treat!
 billie:
 Does it melt Joy?
Joy at Unity: 
 Some good online resources for recipes and tips/strategies for going vegan are: pcrm.org (physicians committee for responsible medicine) and nutritionmd.org - check them out!
 Joy at Unity:
 Yes billie, the Daiyu does melt - it's a good stand in for pizza, grilled cheese or on casseroles.
 billie:
 I have Neal Bernards book the 21 kickstart Diet, plan on kickstarting soon.
 Joy at Unity:
 Great book! Another good cookbook is Engine2 Diet by Rip Esselystyn; great tips on transitioning to a vegan diet.
 sassy35:
 Can you find that cheese at Wegmans, or do I need to go somewhere special?
 billie:
I have the Yum Yim cookbook, not all low fat, but plant based.
 Joy at Unity:
 Oh yes! Wegmans Natures Marketplace has a nice selection in their refrigerator section. They also have soy, almond and coconut yogurts and a variety of alternative milks to choose from.
 billie:
 So does coconut yogurt have coconut oil in it?
 Joy at Unity:
Go to Barnes and Noble and take a look at their vegan section for wide selection of cookbooks. I also have borrowed vegan cookbooks from the library! And there are also many websites/blogs with vegan recipes!
Joy at Unity:  
 I believe it is primarily made from coconut milk. It is pretty high in fat. I would have to read the ingredients list to be sure!
Joy at Unity:  
Focusing on whole plant foods is the best idea - brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits. 
 billie:
 Thanks, Joy, for your expertise in this area,. I will definitely sign up for the class.
 juanitajolley:
 Lots of helpful info. So glad I tuned in. Thanks, Joy.
 Joy at Unity:
 Excellent ~ look forward to seeing you there!
 sassy35:
 Thanks, Joy!
 Joy at Unity:
 You are welcome!
 Joy at Unity:
 That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Tuesday, January 22 at 8 p.m. – an open Q&A with Sharon Spear, C.D.E. and our special guest Dr. Rizk, the Medical Director of Unity Vascular Surgery and the Unity Care Center. Sharon and Dr. Rizk will be sharing tips on maintaining beautiful skin and healthy feet.
 
 
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