Have a Healthy Holiday and a Very Vegan New Year

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Chuck Carroll exam room podcast host
Chuck Carroll
Chuck shed 265 pounds by conquering food addiction and devoting himself to a healthier lifestyle! Eight years later, he’s maintaining the weight loss by eating a plant-based diet. Going vegan once seemed unthinkable to Chuck, but now it’s going back to eating processed meat and dairy that would be inconceivable.

Neal Barnard M.D.
Neal Barnard, M.D.
Dr. Neal Barnard, a real-life rock star and authority on plant-based living, motivates and inspires both new vegans and those who have been plant-powered for life.

Have a Healthy Holiday and A Very Vegan New Year


Have a Healthy Holiday and a Very Vegan New Year

The end of the year is drawing closer and it’s time to start thinking about 2018. How will you take control of your health on January 1? This episode is dedicated to those considering transitioning to a plant-based diet.

Why should you do it and what can you expect from your body? Both are good questions that Barnard Medical Center dietitians Lee Crosby and Maggie Neola will explore with The Weight Loss Champion Chuck Carroll.

And, of course, it is the holidays, and parties and gatherings spell temptation! We’ll have some tips on how you can keep the calories down and make it a healthy holiday!

We also decided to have a little fun and go down on the street to play Guess Which Is Vegan? Lee whipped up two vegan holiday treats and we had passersby try to figure out which one is plant-based. But, shh. They both are!

Plus, you’ll hear the inspiring story of Eric O’Grey, who lost 180 pounds and reversed his Type 2 diabetes by adopting two things: a plant-based diet and a dog.

About Eric O’Grey

Eric O’Grey before and after plus Peety

They say that a dog is a man’s best friend. In the case of Eric O’Grey, Peety was more than a friend — he was literally a lifesaver.

At his heaviest, Eric O’Grey weighed 340 pounds, and his body was paying the price. At 51 years old, his daily cocktail of medications included 15 different drugs that were used to control his Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as an extremely elevated cholesterol level of nearly 400. His doctor told him to invest in a cemetery plot because he would need it within a few years.

He tried every well-marketed, flashy diet known to man, but nothing worked…until a plant-based naturopathic doctor suggested that he adopt a dog and change his diet. Peety was also woefully out of shape, but the two made a pact to get into shape together. It was through that dedication and their walks that they forged an unbreakable bond.

Both achieved their goals, with Eric losing an astounding 180 pounds and reversing all of his ailments, including diabetes. He chronicled their incredible journey in his book Walking with Peety.

Read his full story at ericandpeety.com

Recipes Vegan Treats

Recipes from veggie-quest.com.

Cauliflower Chocolate Silk Pie (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low-Fat)


1/2 cup quick oats (gluten-free if needed)
1/2 cup sorghum flour (can use whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour if not gluten-free)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons natural sugar (such as organic table sugar or Sucanat)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat a 9-inch pie dish (non-deep-dish) with cooking spray.

Blend oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.

Add sorghum flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and natural sugar. Blend until thoroughly mixed. (You may need to turn off the blender and stir a couple of times to ensure even mixing.)

Mix applesauce and vanilla and add to a large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to applesauce mixture and stir until combined. You'll likely need to use your hands at the end to evenly mix/knead all ingredients into a stiff dough.

Place dough in the center of the oiled pie plate. Lightly wet your hands. Starting from the center, use your palms and fingers to press the dough to the edge of the plate.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until top edge of crust is lightly crisp. (The rest of the crust will crisp as it cools). Cool before filling.

Cauliflower Chocolate Silk Pie Filling (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low-Fat)


1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons agar flakes
1/3 cup water
1 large head cauliflower (a little over 2 pounds)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 macadamia nuts
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder


Mix agar flakes with 1/3 cup cold water in a 1-cup measuring cup. Set aside.

Wash cauliflower, discard central core, and cut into florets. (Yields about 1.5 pounds florets.)

Steam florets over boiling water in a basket steamer (in a large stockpot) for 10-12 min, or until largest florets are just tender.

While florets are steaming, place all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

Once florets are tender, remove from heat. Carefully add half the florets to the blender and blend until smooth, venting as needed. Repeat with the rest of the florets.

Microwave the agar-and-water mixture for 2 minutes, stirring every 30-45 seconds (or as needed to prevent boil-over and lumps). Immediately add hot agar mixture to blender, scraping with a spatula to ensure all agar is included.

Blend thoroughly, using a tamper as needed to ensure agar is fully incorporated.

Pour pie filling into cooled pie crust. (You'll have some extra filling that you can let set into a custard in the refrigerator.)

Cover with a domed lid (an inverted large disposable pie pan or the cover of a cake stand works well). Refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours.

To serve, slice carefully with a sharp knife. Garnish with whipped topping and raspberries if desired.

Low-Fat Chocolate Frosting (Vegan, Soy-Free)


2 cups cooked sweet potato (about two 6-inch sweet potatoes, baked or microwaved)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
Almond milk (if needed to thin)


Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.