21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Nanci Alexander
Dr. Neal Barnard

Marco Borges
Brendan Brazier
Dr. T. Colin Campbell
Kris Carr

Rosanna Davison
Dr. Hans Diehl
Meagan Duhamel
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Rip Esselstyn
Kathy Freston
Marilu Henner
Scott Jurek
Dr. John McDougall
Victoria Moran
Lani Muelrath
Dr. Dean Ornish
Maggie Q
Marco Regil
Tal Ronnen
John Salley
Alicia Silverstone
Persia White
Wyntergrace Williams

Celebrity Tips

Neal Barnard, M.D.

Neal Barnard, M.D.Neal D. Barnard, M.D., is a nutrition researcher, author, and health advocate. As an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Barnard conducts studies on the role of nutrition in diabetes, obesity, and lipid management, among other health issues. His most recent clinical trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, established the value of a novel dietary program for type 2 diabetes and set a new standard for dietary approaches to this increasingly common condition.

Read Dr. Barnard's Blog for regular nutrition updates. Learn more about Dr. Barnard here.


  1. Start with a good breakfast. Cutting hunger is the first step in cutting cravings.
  2. Choose foods that steady your blood sugar. Beans, green vegetables, fruit, and whole grains help prevent blood sugar dips that can lead to cravings.
  3. Eat at least 10 calories each day per pound of your ideal body weight. This tip is directed at calorie-cutting dieters who do not realize that, if they eat too little, their bodies stop making an appetite-controlling hormone called leptin. A person whose ideal weight is 150 pounds needs at least 1,500 calories per day, and probably much more.
  4. Break out of craving cycles, which can occur daily, monthly (with a woman’s cycle), or yearly (with the change in seasons). Monthly chocolate cravings, for example, can be reduced with a low-fat, vegetarian diet, which tends to reduce the hormone swings that lead to cravings.
  5. Exercise and rest are keys to restoring your physical resilience.
  6. Use social support. Enlisting the help of friends and family makes changing habits much easier.
  7. Take advantage of other motivators. New parents, for example, may decide to eat healthy foods not just for themselves, but for the sake of their children.

    Making the Switch: Addictive Foods Versus Non-Addictive Foods


To enhance these seven steps, Breaking the Food Seduction also includes dozens of gourmet “addiction-free” recipes, including the following. Find more Breaking the Food Seduction recipes on NutritionMD.org.

Slow Cooker Whole Grain Porridge

Makes about 4 servings

Wake up to hot, whole grain porridge by preparing it the night before and letting it simmer in your slow cooker while you sleep. A healthy breakfast has never been easier!

1/3 cup dry brown rice
1/3 cup dry millet
1/3 cup dry kamut, spelt, or wheat berries
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried apricots, prunes, or apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
fortified vanilla soy- or rice milk (optional)

Combine grains, water, fruit, cinnamon, and salt, if using, in slow cooker and cook on low overnight. Serve plain or with vanilla soy- or rice milk, if desired.


Eggplant Pecan Pesto

Makes about 3 cups


Here's a superb dairy-free pesto that is very simple to prepare. It is equally delicious as a dip or topping served at room temperature, or as a warm sauce over pasta or grains.

1/2 cup water, more or less as needed
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 large eggplant, peeled
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons light miso

Heat water in a large non-stick skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to onion, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until eggplant is very soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. If necessary, add a little more water to keep eggplant from sticking to pan. When tender, transfer eggplant mixture to blender. Add remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth. Mixture will be thick. Serve immediately while warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in refrigerator and reheat to serve.

Red Lentil Soup

Makes 6 1-cup servings

This soup is so nutritious and so simple to prepare, you'll want to make it often. Its flavor is exquisite.

7 cups water
2 1/2 cups dry red lentils
1 large onion, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 large pinch cayenne pepper
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 salt
1 black pepper

Combine water, lentils, onion, turmeric, and cayenne in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until lentils have disintegrated, about 30 to 60 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper to taste.

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