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Breaking it Down to the Basics: The Tough Love Approach to Dispelling the Myth of My “Expensive” Bland Diet

This past summer I went to visit some special people in my life who I will keep anonymous so as not to “out” them. They asked if I could help them overhaul their diet. We noticed that they were feeling drained: physically, emotionally, and mentally. I noticed that their daily meals consisted of a lot of meat, highly processed “bread” (I say “bread” because it’s really just all sugar), and SODA (!?!). While I was making green smoothies and feeling an abundance of energy, they were skipping breakfast saving up their appetites for their big meals later in the day. These special people in my life loved to poke fun at my “expensive” diet, and loved bringing home the giant French bread that was on sale for a dollar. They constantly told me that they could never eat the way I eat because it’s just way too expensive and way too bland. I told them that just for pennies more, I’d keep myself out of hospitals, off of medication,  keep my tastebuds more than satisfied, and happier than I ever thought I could be. Thus began my quest to help change the way they saw food.

Some of you may have seen my Studio 26 blog entry: Why I am a Gluten-Free Vegan and the blogs and documentaries that changed my life. I have since let fish into my life, so I now follow a pesca-vegan diet. This entry is an extension of my previous blog entry but it breaks my diet down to the very basics and is targeted towards those who may feel completely intimidated by a lifestyle overhaul or don’t even know where to begin when it comes to eating better.

I am posting here the tough love guide that I wrote for these special people in my life who didn’t know what “Vegan” meant before we had a chat one fateful summer night. I do not claim to be an expert. I have only performed extensive research for myself and eat in a way that allows me to feel my greatest—it may be different for you, so nothing I say here is gospel!


On NETFLIX (and even on Youtube) Watch:

1) Hungry for Change* (Watch this immediately)

2) Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead*

3) Forks Over Knives*

4) Food Matters*

5) Vegucated

6) Food, Inc.*

7) Engine 2 Kitchen to the Rescue*

8) The Beautiful Truth

9) Farmageddon*

*My personal favorites

Watch these from Start to Finish

  • Stop Drinking Soda (SUGAR!)—replace it with water with lemon
  • Stop Eating a Bagel everyday (SUGAR!)—eat an apple instead
  • Stop Eating Chicken, Beef, Meat everyday. You should have meat once a week at most, Eat Fish instead.




Health (and the equation to losing weight) = 80% Nutrition 20% Exercise

Sugar (aka white bread, soda, white flour, high fructose corn syrup) is addictive and is a drug that is slowly killing you. It is something you crave because it is a drug, it’s abuse.

  • Dark, leafy greens are your friend
  • Read the recipes on the above websites, they make a vegan diet absolutely delicious. is created by Angela Liddon who has an omnivore husband and her goal was to create vegan meals that satisfy meat eating appetites
  • At the market: Seitan, tempeh, mock duck, Dr. Praeggers…are your meat substitutes among many others if you are craving meat.
  • Just after 3 Days of eating primarily fruits and vegetables, you will feel amazing.



  • Eating good food will save your life, it cures cancer, diabetes, depression among many other disease.
  • Do not listen to labels that say “fat free, low fat, no fat.” It’s all bullsh-t and is just another way of saying “I am full of preservatives.
  • Read ingredient lists on what you are buying. If it is an entire list of chemicals, put it down and do NOT put it in your body—you are not eating food, your eating chemicals that are killing you and giving you cancer.
  • When you start to eat better, you will want to continue eating better and stop craving crap like bread, meat, and sugar (soda).
  • I take a B12 vitamin supplement.
  • I love you and I want you to be happy. Health=Happiness


  • If you are gonna eat meat, eat locally grown, organic, antibiotic free mee. This will be more expensive, but that’s because the regular meat you are buying is full of chemicals and harmful ingredients that are slowly killing you and the environment.
  • It’s best if you don’t eat meat, but if you need to, keep it to one time a week.
  • It’s not about what you can’t eat, it’s about what you can eat but do not want.
  • You will feel sexier if you listen to what I’m saying.


And that was it. I left if for them on their kitchen table. They asked for a tough love explanation and they got it. When you think about food within the context of it actually nourishing and prolonging and enhancing your life, you realize how much power you have over your health. For me the difference between good nutrition and bad nutrition has come down to life and death. And again, this is just what I’ve researched that works for me. And what works for you, may be completely different, but I do believe in this method of eating. It has been trial and error and I’m not a saint about eating clean 24/7 but I certainly believe in the power of it. Here’s to health, wellness, and happiness. More blogs to come on cheap vegan (some even raw) recipes and superfoods!
By Diana Oh