Go Plant-Strong!
The Daily Beet: Tips, Advice and Stories

The Big Oil Post! Plus A Giveaway

Part of living a plant-strong life is letting go of oil. This includes all oil: olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, ANY oil.

(You can keep motor oil for your cars!)

We know that there are a lot of myths around oil, and there has been a lot of misinformation about consuming oil. In short oil is a highly processed food that comes from a whole food, kind of like sugar comes from a sugar cane plant. (just a note, did you know you need about 3 feet of sugar cane to make a tbs of sugar? It takes 1375 olives to make a litre of oil!)

Back to oil, it is pure fat, and many of the great nutrients and properties of the whole food are extracted in the process of making a whole food an oil.

Let’s have some experts weigh in on the oil debate:

Dr. Esselstyn: “NO OIL! Not even olive oil, which goes against a lot of other advice out there about so-called good fats. The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. And above all they contain saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of the arteries when eaten. It doesn’t matter whether it’s olive oil, corn oil, or any other kind of oil. This is so important I have detailed oil in Chapter 10 (of Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease).”

Want to know how Bill Clinton got healthy? It wasn’t only cutting out animals, it was cutting out oil.

You can also watch Dr. Esselstyn’s hour long lecture, which will give you a good start in understanding heart disease and what foods should be avoided, if you also want to avoid heart disease.

Is oil a health food or a junk food? Watch this short video by Jeff Novick. And what about coconut oil? Read all about the brilliant marketing that lead many to believe that coconut oil was a health food.

What about Dr. McDougall? Here is what he has to say:

“In our bodies these plant-derived, essential fats are used for many purposes including the formation of all cellular membranes, and the synthesis of powerful hormones, known as eicosanoids (prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes).

Our requirement is very tiny, and even the most basic diets provide sufficient linoleic acid to meet our requirement, which is estimated to be 1–2% of dietary energy.1 Therefore, in practical terms, a condition of “essential fatty acid deficiency” is essentially unknown in free-living populations.

*Essential fatty acid deficiency is seen when sick patients are fed intravenously by fat-free parenteral nutrition.  In these cases, correction of the deficiency can be accomplished by applying small amounts of soybean or safflower oil to their skin—giving you some idea of the small amount of oil we require.2 Plan on your diet of basic plant-foods supplying an abundance of essential fats delivered in perfectly designed packages, functioning efficiently and safely.

*Some people talk about a “relative deficiency” of essential fats created by a large intake of saturated animal fats, synthetictrans fats (as found in margarine and shortenings), and/or omega-6 fats compared to their intake of omega-3 fats, and they believe many of our common chronic diseases are the result of this imbalance.1 This is quite different from true essential fatty acid deficiency which would result in: loss of hair, scaly dermatitis, capillary fragility, poor wound healing, increased susceptibility to infection, fatty liver, and growth retardation in infants and children.1″Read the rest of the article here.And what about Fish oil?
Here is what Dr. Esselstyn has to say: “Fish oil is not essential. Fish get their omega 3 from plants. It is difficult to be deficient in Omega 3 if eating 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed meal and green leafy vegetables at several meals. There is also research that suggests that those on plant based nutrition become highly efficient in their own manufacture of omega 3. Patients on fish oil are also at increased risk for bleeding.”Dr. Campbell (in regards to DHA): “Most importantly, however, we need to understand that these chemicals (nutrients) work in a highly integrated, virtually symphonic manner to produce their health effect. Thus it is a matter of thinking about the collection of such chemicals in large groups of foods. I hold that we need to discard the traditional view of nutrition, based on the effects of single nutrients, and take seriously the symphonic nature of food chemicals working together. In effect, the ‘whole’ nutritional effect is greater than the sum of its parts.”

read the rest of what he has to say.

Wondering if you need fat to absorb nutrients? Dr.McDougall clears up that myth as well.

What about fish oil?

Dr. McDougall:

“Much attention has recently been paid to the possible benefits of increasing the intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) by consuming fish oil. However, this can have adverse effects such as raising LDL “bad” cholesterol levels in patients with already high cholesterol and causing a deterioration in glucose tolerance, in other words, making diabetes worse. (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 44:127, 1991). In one recent study of feeding w-6 alpha linolenic acid to obese subjects insulin sensitivity and HDL “good” cholesterol diminished, and the amount of oxidized LDL “bad” cholesterol increased (Aterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 17:1163, 1997). In most other studies, however, oils high in alpha linolenic acid have little effect on cholesterol and triglycerides (Am J Clin Nutr 65:1645, 1997).” Read the rest of that article here.

Dr. Esselstyn on fish oil:

“Fish oil is not essential. Fish get their omega 3 from plants. It is difficult to be deficient in Omega 3 if eating 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed meal and green leafy vegetables at several meals. There is also research that suggests that those on plant based nutrition become highly efficient in their own manufacture of omega 3. Patients on fish oil are also at increased risk for bleeding.”

Dr. Campbell (author of “The China Study”) on fish oil:

“Most importantly, however, we need to understand that these chemicals (nutrients) work in a highly integrated, virtually symphonic manner to produce their health effect. Thus it is a matter of thinking about the collection of such chemicals in large groups of foods. I hold that we need to discard the traditional view of nutrition, based on the effects of single nutrients, and take seriously the symphonic nature of food chemicals working together. In effect, the ‘whole’ nutritional effect is greater than the sum of its parts.” read the rest of what he has to say: Dr. Campbell’s article about fish oil.

Your questions:

1. Where do we get fat? Nearly everything we eat has fat in it. It would be very difficult to not get enough fat, and many people get far too much. If you are eating a plant-strong diet, and eating enough getting enough fat is not an issue. Much like you get all the protein you need from eating plant-strong, you will get plenty of fat.

2. What about nuts/seeds/high fat plant-foods ? You don’t need to add much, like we said it is not really an issue, so long as you are not starving. If you have heart disease, type 2 diabetes or are overweight you will want to greatly reduce or eliminate high fat plant foods all together.

3. What about kids? Kids do not need to add pure fat to their diet. They can however have some of the higher fat plant foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, tempeh. But there is no reason to go overboard on this. Give fat to kids in the way of whole foods like vegetables, nuts, grains and beans.

4. What about athletes? If you are a professional level athlete (working out more than 35 hours a week) you will need to consume a lot more calories, but this in no way means you have to add oil. You might have to increase your higher caloric plant-based foods (nuts, avocado, seeds) but we would tell you to even be careful of that, too much high fat plant foods can cause issues, even to athletes.

5. How do I cook?! For stove top cooking, simply use water or low sodium vegetable broth. For baking you can use applesauce or any of these options.

6. Don’t I need to eat fat to lose weight? First, remember this is NOT a fat-free diet. You will be eating enough fat if you stick to whole starches/grains, vegetables, beans and fruit. We are not saying to cut out all fat, we are saying to cut out pure, processed fat in the form of oil. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat foods lower in caloric density, for more on that, check out Jeff Novick’s article about calorie density.

7. What about organic/natural/EVOO/other fancy ways to make oil sound healthy? And what about vegan products like vegan butter/coconut spread? They also sell organic, natural, local cigarettes, it doesn’t mean they are healthy for you. The bottom line is that oil is a processed food that causes damage to the endothelium, causes insulin resistance, and should not be considered a health food, no matter how many great marketing words they use. As for some of the non animal based junk food out there, it is still junk food. Vegan butter is still unhealthy.

8. But I know someone who eats oil every day, and I myself added oil in my diet and felt really great! Let’s go back to the cigarette analogy, ask most people who quit smoking and start again, and they will tell you they felt a lot better when they started smoking again. Their mood was better, maybe even their energy level, they ‘felt’ a lot better. Oil is a highly calorically dense food and all fat, we would be surprised if someone didn’t feel a little hit of pleasure when they consumed it. However, that should not be confused with health. As for people who eat oil and are healthy? Chances are they are healthy despite their use of oil, not because of it. Much like the Mediterranean Diet (you can read a great article about it here)

9. All things in moderation! I only use oil moderately. What is wrong with that?! Read the truth about moderation here and here. We also like Dr. Esselstyn’s take on it – if you eat unhealthy foods in moderation, you will have a moderate heart attack.

10. Food won’t taste good anymore! Why are you ruining my life? Well, our goal is to help you make your life a lot better, by giving you some more years, and better yet, LIFE in your years. Why suffer for decades with heart disease or type 2 diabetes when you don’t have to? But we understand, giving up junk food like oil is hard, it is hard because our brains seek out the highest caloric density foods, that cause us the most pleasure response. So we agree, it is not always easy. If you want to learn more about this and “The Pleasure Trap” pick up Doug Lisle’s book on why we crave and want food that does not do us any good.

11. Where can I find oil free plant-strong recipes? We have a Pinterest page with over 400 oil free, plant-strong recipes (no need to have Pinterest, just click on the photo until you get to the recipe). You can check out Fat Free Vegan here (where she has over 1000 recipes) and here. Lindsay Nixon at Happy Herbivore has a bunch of awesome recipes.  Cathy Fisher from Straight Up Food has beautiful and delicious recipes. Jeff Novick has some of his fast, 10 minute meals in this wonderful album (click on photos for recipes). Healthy Girls Kitchen has a bunch of great ones. And then you can get some great DVD’s/books: Fast Food by Jeff Novick, Burgers and Fries by Jeff Novick, Every Day Happy Herbivore, Happy Herbivore, Bravo! (True North Cookbook), Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has over 100 great recipes, our book Engine 2 (of course!) has some of our plant-strong favorites, and the Forks Over Knives cookbook has a lot to pick from, they also have a new cookbook coming out soon, The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook, The Starch Solution has a lot of new McDougall recipes, Heart Healthy Pizza (amazing healthy pizza!)

There are more recipes than we know what to do with, 1000′s of plant-strong, no oil recipes (we know we missed a few resources, but that should get you started.)

12. How do I eat out? What if I need a fast meal? This is going to take a little effort on your part, in that you are going to be a little more vocal when you eat out. But rest assured, we haven’t had a problem yet! And we travel a lot. You can read Rip’s tips on traveling here. Need quick, packaged food, we have put all of our favorite fast, packaged oil free, plant-based foods here (no need to buy them from Amazon, look for them locally, a lot of stores carry everything on the page).

Bottom line, oil is not a health food. Please consider reading all of the resources above, but better yet – TRY IT! It might take a couple of weeks to get past the pleasure trap side of things, but it will get easier as you go. See how great you will feel when you pass on the oil.

Now, finally – let’s get to our giveaway! Yesterday on facebook we said that if we could get 500 people to workout for five minutes we would do a giveaway! So here it is – tell us how you gave up oil and we will pick a winner tomorrow! They will get a copy of “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” and Doug Lisle’s book “The Pleasure Trap”!

Just leave a comment below to enter!

About the author

Engine 2 Team
The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!
  • http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com/ Kristi

    I’ve been plant strong for about 6 months now, still working on getting ALL of the oil out of my diet. I would say I’m 99% there. I had dry spots on my face, mostly on my eyelids and around my eyes. I was hoping these would improve but they are still there. In fact I just recently developed a new one. My naturopath isn’t concerned with them, she’s not really all that supportive of plant based either, may need to find a new one. I’m not all that concerned either but I don’t enjoy having dry red patches around my eyes either so I’d love to find out why I have them. I do the flax seed meal and tons of leafy greens every day.

    • Engine 2 Team

      Kristi, it is more than likely not because you do not consume oil. Sadly, many doctors will ignore obvious answers because they find out how you eat. We’d say to ask another doctor, and maybe find something topical.

    • Tracy

      I have found Vitamin E oil added topically helps tremendously with these and psoriasis. Hope that helps you. (Trader Joe’s carries it and it is inexpensive there)

  • Ruth

    I have just started becoming plant strong in the past month. Those would be two awesome books to win!

  • LC

    Giving up oil was pretty easy – I learned to steam-saute with water and/or broth, and the baking substitutes were pretty easy to learn too (though I try to stick to whole foods, so I don’t do a lot of baking anyway). The hardest part has been finding restaurants where I can get oil-free veg meals… but they’re out there!

    • Tiana Duart

      Ask for your food to be cooked without oil. I just went out for breakfast and got my fav mushroom caps the original was cheese and (I thought oil) butter I asked for that and my potatoes to be cook without any oil or butter and it came out beautifully, and tasted better than ever. The only drawback it took a little longer to cook but I was fine with that

    • Susan

      You just don’t think about how many things are fixed w/ oil. These tips will help! Thanks!

  • Sharon

    Our family gave it up cold turkey. I tried to get myself prepared for a time of adjustment. After all, who can resist the smell and taste of onions sauteed in butter or olive oil? As it turns out, we didn’t need to resist that! Water or broth sauteed onions still have a fantastic aroma and taste great in the food. I was so pleasantly surprised by this. Recently, after a couple months of being plant strong, I was trying a recipe for hummus that called for just a little drizzle of olive oil on the top. I thought, “Oh, what the heck, it gives it a nice look on top with that paprika.” I didn’t like the taste or texture of it at all and had to get a paper towel to soak the oil up. And this from a girl who used to love to give a piece of homemade bread a nice long dip in the olive oil before I ate it- yuck!

  • http://www.myrealweightnow.com Megan

    We thought it would be really hard to eliminate olive oil from our cooking, but it was actually super easy. We don’t even miss it! I participated in a Whole Foods Health Starts Here Challenge and they showed us how to use different foods to “oil” things up. Thanks for spreading the word, Rip and friends!!

  • Dana

    This is perfect! I just started Engine 2 and I was still confused about oil and I was looking for more recipes that sounded good to me. I am really excited, I have been vegan for 14 years and thought of myself as healthy, but I finally got my cholesterol checked and it was 245! My Doctor recommended “Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease” and then I found Engine 2. Now I know why my cholesterol was so high, I used to put olive oil on everything!

  • Sarah

    I gave it up 100% after my husband at 34 had a heart attack. We thought we were being healthy, we weren’t 100% plant-strong, but maybe 90% and we thought we were doing everything well in moderation, just like Dr. Esselstyn said, my husband got a moderate heart attack from eating bad food in moderation. We’ve eliminated all oil, nuts, avocado, tofu and we’re both thriving, and our numbers are perfect. We didn’t really have weight to lose, but we are a lot more lean. I always find it funny, re: the organic thing. You are right Rip, they make organic cigarettes, doesn’t mean we should smoke them! Same goes with organic junk food, organic meat, organic dairy, it’s all organic washing in my opinion!

  • Jen

    I gave it up, and stopped using it home, no one noticed at all. My children, who I was worried about because I thought they needed more fat started to have more energy, in a good way, and they were behaving a lot better when we made the switch to plant-strong. I thought I’d have to give them treats and keep unhealthy things in the house, but then I decided that I did not want to start them on a dangerous path, like my parents did. They won’t even touch french fries at friends houses or when they are out with their friends now! They think the greasy wet stuff on fries is disgusting!

  • Kim

    I was one of the idiots who thought that using oil was healthy, all up till I got a mild heart attack at 46! And I was raw plant-based, and I didn’t eat junk food, but I did use lots of oil, nuts, seeds, lots of coconut oil. I thought it was my plant-based diet, thought I needed to eat meat again, and was really upset, because I’m Vegan and I didn’t want to change that. Then I watched “The Last Heart Attack” and got Dr. Esselstyn’s book and realized how wrong I had been about oil and fatty food. Glad to report that my heart is doing great and I’ve had some other health problems go away. People think adding oil is good, but too much of a good thing is never good. It’s easy once you resolve to give it a try and stop fighting it.

  • Melissa Cadle

    It was so much easier to give up oil than I thought. I love my sweets, but if I make something sweet I just use applesauce or mashed banana. It’s so easy to give up I’m not sure why I used it in the first place…. except I heard you HAD to have oil and fat or you just couldn’t survive! There is so much misinformation out there it’s ridiculous!

  • Cindy

    I’m really trying to give up oils/fats but it’s really hard. I find when I don’t eat them I get hungrier faster. I have switched to avocados and no oil added almond or sunflower butters. Still got a way to go but I’m trying!

    • Natala (Engine 2 Team)

      Cindy – you need to eat more if you are not feeling full/satisfied. Stick to higher calorically dense foods like starches, grains and beans to fill you up.

  • Chava

    I’m trying so hard to implement all these changes, including getting rid of all oil. I have to admit that its hard though. However I know it will be worth it. There is just so much to learn and do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.soltwedelcarey Susan Soltwedel-Carey

    I gave up oil when I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. I’m 14 weeks post delivery for my precious baby boy (who I had to have via c-section) and have always considered myself a healthy person. As I get older, my husband and I are looking to make lifestyle changes, and are starting to become more aware of the things that we eat. We also want to introduce a clean eating lifestyle to our son, and do not plan to introduce sugar, oil, processed foods into his diet. We are slowly, but surely taking on a plant based diet and liking the results! I would just like to see more of my pregnancy weight “fall” off! :)

  • sheila

    This is all new to me yet have seen great results so far!

  • http://adventuresofzzmom.blogspot.com/ Liz

    I have been trying to transition myself and my family to the plant strong diet for a while now. One of the biggest things that is keeping us back is my husband’s faithfulness to Olive Oil. I have started replacing the olive oil with water or nothing at all. He really hasn’t been able to tell a difference except that the food tastes better! I have also found that without using all the oil the natural flavors of the foods are stronger. Thanks for all the advice!

  • Donna

    Who misses the oil? Not me.

  • http://kattastik.wordpress.com Kat

    I just stopped cooking with it. I only used it for the water in my spaghetti or for baking, now I use applesauce for baking and only use a light spritz of a spray olive oil for keeping things from sticking when ‘needed’. :)

  • Sharon Miller

    Almost there! I am better at it than Hubby, but he has made so many tremendous strides. Tough to get him off Earth Balance for toast/muffins, oatmeal. I would love to get the books, he lets me do the reading & I share with him all the great stuff & the remarkable thing is that he is really “listening” now that he has seen such great results in his T2 diabetes #’s, weight loss, etc. Thanks for all the hard work you do!

    • Susan

      Hey there-This was a big stumbling block in our house too! Have you tried Apple Butter or Hummus? Just having a spread did the trick for my men. See what you think.

  • Kay

    I’m still working on getting all the oil out. It’s amazing how people will argue that some oil is good for you even after I tell them it is 100% fat. I love eating plant strong and continue tweaking my recipes so that they are oil free and plant strong!

  • Heather

    Want to know how I know oil is addictive? Just listen to people gripe and cry when you tell them you don’t eat it, and neither should they! Do you think anything else would cause that response? People are hooked because fat is addictive! I admit, it was hard to give up on all the extra fat, but only because I was a fat addict. It took me 3 weeks to get rid of the addiction, and I’ve been healthier ever since! I would love the books!

  • Suzy

    Thank you so much for all the information. I am newly plant based, started to help my husband lose weight and lower blood pressure, etc but now I feel SO great that we are both seeing great change! I have struggled with acne my entire life and eliminating oil and processed foods have greatly changed my skin and my attitude! I am just trying to sift through all the information out there – winning those two books would help me a lot!

  • Patti

    Giving up oil was not a real issue for me because I was determined to follow the diet and see how it worked. I felt so much better I will never go back. It is true your taste buds change because, recently, my husband accidentally put some butter on an ear of corn and I couldn’t eat it due to the nasty oily taste. Shocked me how much my taste buds had changed! Now convincing him to give up oil, or meat, or dairy, or eggs…. well, let’s just say…. I’m workin’ on it!

  • Mona Doyon

    Thank you so much for the information regarding oils, espcially fish oil my husband and I were just discussing this, thank you! We are just in the prep stage and getting ready to make the complete change starting Saturday our week One we are very excited to make this life change, so any information we can obtain is so appreciated, thank you again!

  • Heidi Taylor

    Really helpful information to clear up the myths, thanks so much!

  • veggie365

    I don’t use any oil in my stir-fries any longer – you definitely don’t need it! :-)

  • http://di4art.blogspot.com Diana Giambrone

    Perfect timing! I was heonestly thinkng how the heck I was going to cook without oil!! Thank you -if what you said works for me-you have saved my life!

  • becky church

    Getting rid of oil and butter was the easiest part of becoming plant strong for me!! I replaced oil and butter with fresh herbs and spices and found out I like the natural taste better! My favorite used to be a sweet potato with butter and cinnamon sugar. I took out the butter and sugar and used cinnamon and nutmeg and it is the best thing ever! Being oil free has allowed me to control my breathing better when I’m jogging/running and my speed is improving every week. I can’t be any happier with my decision to change my diet

  • jennifer

    I haven’t given up all oil, but working on it. I still use cooking spray at times. Thank you for the great information and encouragement!

  • Raven Hannah

    It’s so much easier to saute with broth or water and eliminate the oil. The biggest challenge is giving up Earth Balance on my toast, however by just eliminating bread at breakfast, I’ve gotten around that. Lunch or dinner breads can be topped with healthier options! ♥

  • Jeremy

    First of all, I could really use Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease since I am about to finish The China Study! Giving up oil wasn’t that hard at all, and I think I’m ready to just throw out the last bottle of vegetable oil I have at the top of my cupboard. I bake our own bread and I already add ground flax to it, so tonight I will add the proper ratio that I won’t even need to add oil. That should completely get rid of the oil in our diet. Water or vegetable oil help things cook up great on the stove top and they actually taste like they’re supposed to!

  • Tracey Masterson

    This is doing wonders for my health. This is my 2nd week of no oil; vegan since last October. Lots of veggie broth when cooking, especially great with roasted veg. Avocado is a life saver! Also nutritional yeast adds great flavor that kind of makes up for the lack of oil. Bragg’s Amino acids are great for flavor too.
    Anything to achieve the highest level of health! :)

  • Leslie

    It has been easier than I thought to just say NO to oil! Thanks, E2!!!

  • Jennifer Edwards

    ‘Sweating’ veggies and then turning up the heat once they had their own juices to cook in solved my cooking problem. As for salads, a lot of times I just put hummus on instead of messing with making salad dressing.

  • Shraddha

    I have given up 99% of oil from my diet. I use coconut oil and olive oil once in a while in my cooking for flavor or in my Indian food recipes. Will have to check out myths and marketing trap around coconut oil. Thank you for inspiring us each day.

  • Tiana Duart

    Been plant strong for awhile and when I get something eating out that had oil I can completely tell. I start to gag. Can’t have any added oil anymore.

  • Gayle

    We have been cooking a home much more and using veggie broth to sauté.

  • Dawn

    Oils is the one thing I’m still struggling with getting rid of… it seems like all recipes call for it in cooking, but I am learning how to NOT use it and cook without it! My guy still thinks he needs to take fish oil pills to help his cholesterol, so I’m praying he realizes he DOESN’T need it!! Thanks for the good info, I’m passing it on to him! ;)

  • https://www.facebook.com/PlantStrongNewEngland Alison Chu

    The oil was the easiest to give up. The hardest part is still my family – husband in particular. Without his knowledge, however, I have starting cooking with no oil. However, he still takes fish oil pills because his doctor recommends them because he has high blood pressure and cholesterol. I keep trying and maybe one day I will be able to convince him. I think these books would be a first step for him. Maybe if he actually sees it in print he will believe! I believe and have had my struggles but down 25 lbs. since April 2012 and numbers down as well. Hoping to get off my blood pressure meds at my doctor appointment in two weeks.

  • Renee

    Thank you for this. I am encouraged by your blog to try harder at being “oil-free”. I am about 99% there and have felt that it was “good enough”, but now I see that it isn’t. Now to convince my husband. :) I may just have to take him there without him knowing. LOL

    • https://www.facebook.com/PlantStrongNewEngland Alison Chu

      I think the “good enough” approach is part of my struggle as well. Good luck with your hubby. I am slowly working more and more veggies into his meals (he already eats a lot of fruit) and cutting down on his meat. We will get them there one way or another!!!

  • Diana

    Very interesting article. I love the way it states that fish get their omegas from plants and therefor so can we, without involving the fish. The effects on LDL are huge and can have a huge impact on one’s health.
    As a nurse, I am always looking for scientific proof of such things that have a direct impact on our health.

  • Betsy

    It wasn’t really hard for us to give up oil. We’ll use broth, or water instead while cooking. We have a 1 yo and we give her what we have renamed good fats: avocado, olives, nuts, etc. We have even found peanut butter with no extra added oil, and sometimes use pb2. I know this is better for us and our daughter!

  • Elizabeth Hill

    Thank you for sharing! I just cleaned my cabinets of all oil this week!

  • http://www.plantstrongmeals.com Diane

    Yes, yes, thank you! Reducing oil in my diet has finally gotten into my consciousness. Going oil-less can be a challenge – especially when eating with friends. I’m working on my husband, too. Great post and thanks for the support. Made the Sweet Potato Lasagna on Father’s Day. Wow, no cheese and it was so yummy.

  • http://about.me/kirstendaniels Kirsten Daniels

    For me, this is BY FAR the most difficult of Engine 2. The last two weeks, it’s been easing going to “vegan.” I’ve done it before, so there hasn’t been too much newness for me…except for the no oil. I started the 28 day challenge on Tuesday, and I’m really surprised by how much oil I was using before. My cooking has really slowed down trying to find out what to use instead of olive oil. I’m really looking forward to making its absence unnoticeable and being a more routine and seasoned chef without it.

    Also, thank you so much for all of the resources/links connected to this post! They are incredible! I’m really looking forward to watching the lectures!

  • http://www.resilience.massagetherapy.com Cathy Lewis

    Thanks for the information. I really needed it today, I’ve noticed myself adding in more fats lately. I needed this reminder.
    Also, I find it so odd that everyone I talk to responds with, “Oh, but you need fat!” Marketing sure does work doesn’t it!

  • Debbie

    Giving up oil 90% of the time is easy, but I’m having a hard time with that last 10%. I would love to read these books everyone keeps talking about!

  • Sue Alexander

    Slick! So much clear and concise info here. Going to share this on Facebook and also commit to memory – to remind me why I am letting go of the last few OILY items.

  • Tina

    We have been working very hard to minimize and eliminate oil. We have fallen in love with the Happy Herbivore books! We have the new Forks over knives and Happy Herbivore preordered, too!

    Just 2 months into our new life and people are already commenting on how dramatic our family’s transformation has been! Never in my life have I felt this good and tried so little to lose weight!

  • Tricia Griffith

    I have been eating in a much healthier way since January. I have lost 63lbs so far, but I have not yet rid myself of all oils….this blog article has made me realize that I need to learn how to prepare a few of my foods differently so that I don’t use any oil. I have gained quite an education so far, but I have a long way to go! Thanks for all you do.

  • Jeff

    I did a kitchen cleanup. At the start of my new life I opened every door in the kitchen read every ingredient and donated a lot of food to the needy, I didn’t want to give it to loved ones but if someone is starving I guess it is better than nothing. Really amazing how much processed food has oil in it. Then I learned how to saute with water and got some new cookwear.

  • Shana Brannon

    I gave up the oil pretty easily. I just use my well seasoned ancient cast iron skillet that almost nothing will stick to. (I inherited that skillet from my late husband who was an executive chef and was fond of the saying “fat is flavor”! I chuckle to think about what he would say if he saw me now.) I use broth, wine, beer, vinegar, or just plain water when I need some liquid. For baking, I’ve found that a combination of applesauce and flax meal work great. The added fruit makes baked goods so moist and delicious, you don’t miss the “fat feel”. The only place I still use a little oil is to spray pans for baking. Nothing more frustrating than a stuck on muffin-cake-tart-pie-cookie!

  • Diane

    My husband and I started E-2 last Fall. I remember the first time I sauteed veggies in water, thinking ‘surely this will stick or not taste good’, but lo and behold, they tasted even better!!! The best part is that when our boys are home, they readily join in with our vegan diet. My 15 year old commented the other day on how “pretty and colorful” all of the meals are! Thanks for all of the encouragement to stay Plant Strong!

  • Cory Kasprzyk

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been vegan for around ten months (and was a vegetarian prior to this). I admit that I have used olive oil, for example, on very rare occasions to avoid some items sticking to the pan. As olive oil isn’t a local product for most, and it’s clearly not healthy, I will be perfecting my water-sautéing as of tonight.

    I’m sure a complete removal of oil from life will be easier than cheese. (I never thought I’d write this, but now cheese sounds gross). Thanks for continuing to inform and inspire!

  • suzanne

    Ugh. I knew this and have slid back into a bad habit of having “just a little oil, every know and then”. I’ve been telling myself that I need to go back to the basics that helped me lose over 25 pounds and made me feel better than I ever have. Thanks for the reminders. I love being plant strong and even more, I love that my man is also plant strong with me.

  • Anthony Hernandez

    Transitioning!

  • Ed F.

    Going plant based introduces some interesting cooking adventures, one of which is ground flaxseed. 3 tbls with/without a little water replaces 1 – 1 1/2 tbls fat, whether butter, margarine, or oil. (I suppose lard and bacon grease as well)

  • Stephanie

    On my salads, I switched from salad dressing to vinegars. When cooking veggies, I either use water or vegetable broth to do a healthy stir-fry or I steam them. I found that oil is not needed when roasting veggies in the oven. In fact, the food tastes better without the oil. I feel much lighter since giving up oil!

  • Dennis

    I just started to not cook with oil. Inspired by Mary McDougall, I started to sautes vegetables in water with great results. Even my pizza crust .. I replace the oil with applesauce with great results. People ask me where I get my fat from. I tell them that all foods have an amount of fat the way nature intended.

  • Monica

    Was a vegetarian then semi-vegetarian for 20 years – then ate meat again for a few years – and have now been vegan for a year. It’s not difficult for me to give up oil at home but when eating out it’s a bit more tricky. I also find I don’t eat as much bread or as many bagels b/c otherwise I want to spread Earth Balance on them or Veganaise to make a sandwich. Would love to win the two books to continue increasing my knowledge on my quest to eat healthy and to share that knowledge with all that will listen. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us and continuing to inspire us along the way!

  • Janet

    I saw Rip at the Whole Foods in Annapolis Md several months ago. The whole time I listened to him, and watched the Forks Over Knives movie, I kept thinking…..how in the world do I give up my fried chicken. I was 99% in agreement with everything I heard, but that!! That first Sunday without fried chicken on the table was just horrible. 9 Sunday’s later…….I don’t miss it, don’t think about it, don’t want it……..and I feel MARVELOUS!!!

  • Harry Plastik

    I have been 100% Plant Strong for 20 weeks now. That includes giving up oils of any type. I do eat out with clients frequently and I usually do not have any problems. Occasionally there might be a slight shine on grilled vegetables that is from a slight amount of oil but I try to wipe off as much as possible. Some restaurants are more accommodating than others but usually I can remain Plant Strong and oil free.

  • Karen Hayden

    I have been working on being plant-strong for 3 months now. Have not yet eliminated all the oil from my diet but it is way less than previously. I am much more conscious of it thought and read labels very carefully now.

  • Maureen

    So much confusing info out there. Always good to get refreshed info. Working hard at getting totally plant strong! Recent block party people couldn’t believe they were eating vegan oil free cookies. Lipid monitoring professional for my husband is impressed enough at how how well he is doing, reduced medicine by half. Weight loss has been wonderful benefit of new life style. Better than any “Diet”!!!

  • Karin

    It was not hard for me to give up oil except for salad dressing. So for I have not liked any of the oil free options…tried several recipes including the engine 2 ones, they all taste so strong…any tips on that?

    • Gail

      What about just chopping up avocado? I replaced the butter and sour cream on my baked potatoes with avocado, and it’s MUCH better!

  • https://www.facebook.com/gotnothinbutloveforya Robin Elkthunder

    thank you for the great info! i thought coconut oil was something i needed to be adding…not sad to see it go!

  • Chuck

    I’ve been plant strong for abot 3 months now. I usually juice breakfast and lunch and then have a salad for dinner. It has been a chore reducing oil but I’m getting there. I’m also starting to just juice for breakfast next week and will start cooking more E2 meals.

  • Heidi Weinman

    My husband and I gave up oil cold turkey. It was “scary” to cook without it at first but I learned how high to put the heat and when I needed water or broth.
    We actually had a very oily Thai meal yesterday from a restaurant and we both felt gross after eating it. We defiantly prefer no oil meals! We always feel good after we eat, not weighed down. I really hope people learn the FACTS about oil. Thank you for teaching us the truth!

  • http://lislecommunitygarden.com Dee Bodnar

    This article is informative and so important, I am shareing on my teitter and FB
    Thank You for posting this Link.

  • Joyce

    We have been on a plant strong diet for a few months now and have just started cooking without oil. We don’t even miss it! I use flavored vinegars on salads and saute with water.

  • louise

    I have been eliminating oil from my diet since January. I have a lot of vegan recipes that use sesame oil for seasoning. I’ve just been leaving it off, but is there something that is commmonly used as a substitute? The only other problem I have is getting seasoning to stick to my air popped popcorn, but that is a seldom fixed treat.

  • Melissa H

    My wife and I are trying to get back into the plant strong lifestyle. We do fairly well, but then get crazy busy and slip into the fast food and easy fixes. I miss the way I felt when I was plant strong, and even though I am about 75% plant strong, I need to get to 100%. I LOVE the Engine 2 cookbook and the Forks over knives book as well. Looking forward to using these books as a way to keep motivated!!!

  • Sally D.

    Eating out is tough! That is why we don’t do it much anymore. At home we don’t miss it at all.

  • http://facebook.com/mapbasehart Mike Basehart

    After reading the engine 2 diet, I haven’t add oil to any foods since January. I’m adding a larger percentage of raw foods also. Now I get the oils I need from nuts, seeds and other plant sources.

  • Ken

    My wife and I went plant strong just a week and a half ago. Driving back from Albuquerque we usually stop at a Mexican restaurant and always order the red cheese enchiladas (which the corn tortillas are fried in oil). Instead, we found a plant strong type restaurant and had hummus sandwiches. They were delicious.

  • Kelly Jenkins

    I saute in water and non-stick pans. I make hummus using canned beans and their juice. I make my own salad dressings. I use applesauce for a substitute in baking. And mainly, I eat whole foods simply prepared (steamed, baked or raw).

  • Tracy

    eliminating oil has been pretty easy in adding it or sauteing in it. But, I find so many things we like and use have oil as the 2nd or 3rd ingredient. Very frustrating.

  • PCR

    Thanks for the encouragement to stay away from oil. I need to learn to like baked goods without oil.

  • Ann Savoy

    I found it was like giving up cigarettes, I had to get rid of it in the house and then it was easy. When it was here I would keep saying “just a little” but now I live without it just fine.
    Now for the sugar….

  • Robin

    I love the analytical information provided here regarding oils, particularly the links to the caloric density information. It was a total eye-opener to me to find out that I can get sufficient amounts of protein through a plant-based diet. Finding out that I can get enough oils through a plant-based diet is absolutely life-changing for me. I get so confused with all the information and studies floating around in the media, ever changing and contradictory, so the scientist side of me appreciates the unbiased factual information.

    A couple of weeks ago, I went out to eat at a local Rainforest Cafe. They had a side dish of vegetables, but they were cooked in oil, so I asked the waitress if she could see if they could be sauted in water instead. The chef agreed. Minutes later, I was mistakenly brought the oiled veggies. They left them on the table and then brought out the water sauteed ones. The water cooked veggies were spectacular looking and tasted so fresh! The oiled ones were less than half their size. Even my daughter compared at the two dishes and said that the water cooked ones looked and tasted far better. So my advice to people when eating out: ask the chefs if they can make it without the oil!

  • Cheryl

    I gave oil up after reading Dr. Esselstyn’s book. The only trouble I’ve had is in a few restaurants. So I have not returned to those.

  • Julianne Kravetz

    I wish I’d not given in to the organic coconut oil hype before ordering a gallon. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine where to put your trust when we have ready access to so much conflicting information. Intuition speaks to me reassuringly when I eat simple, whole foods, and growls painfully when I don’t. Unfortunately – my tongue is often the tempter.

  • Erica

    Giving up oil wasn’t very difficult for me, except for when I go out to eat or eat with others. I can easily cook with veggie broth, which I make myself and always have plenty on hand. I don’t bake much, but that is my other struggle, no eating cookies and other prepared baked goods. One step at a time! :)

  • http://www.humanityofthemoment.blogspot.com Pamela

    Plant-strong for over a year now, and loving it. I never felt good about using oil, and so learning from Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Barnard, Rip Esselstyn, etc., how deleterious it is confirmed what I had suspected. I can’t believe that fat squeezed out of olives is a necessary food, let alone a health food. I love cooking in vegetable broth or water — makes my diet as fat-free as possible, and as a bonus, the pans and dishes clean up much more easily. I imagine that’s how it is with the arteries.

  • kimmy!

    We gave up oil by planning our meals a week in advance. Because we didn’t require any oil for those meals, by the time we were a week in, we had solid oil-free momentum going. And we’ve started sauteing using much tastier and more various liquids, like bragg’s, almond milk, and even beer!

  • chickpeafreak

    Cooking without oil isn’t an issue at all. The only issue is when eating out, there always seems to be oil in everything that’s prepared in a commercial kitchen—but we just try to enjoy the meal and company anyway, knowing we’re learning with every mis-step we make.

  • Beth Ashley

    I use water for sauteeing vegetables. I use balsamic vinegar or homemade tahini free hummus instead of oil laden salad dressings. I use parchment paper on baking sheets instead of nonstick cooking spray. I also invested in some good nonstick cookware.

  • Valerie

    Giving up oil wasn’t all that difficult. I just stopped. I prepare 99% of all my food myself and on the rare occasion that I eat out I normally order either a naked salad or steamed veggies with rice.

  • jsanders

    When I started eating PlantStrong, I also started reading all the labels on food I buy. If it has oil, I find another brand or a substitute. Same with any processed sugar and high sodium.

  • http://Www.thereluctantonion.com Jan Wood

    Giving up oil was not easy! It’s in everything! We started by removing all added oil. I accomplished this by cooking with water, veggie stock or wine. I bake with applesauce or other oil replacements. I also found that using a Silpat mat allowed me to bake without oil or spray products. It’s been a gradual journey but I know my heart thanks me!!

  • Deborah Gilbert

    I was completely shocked when I learned that I had to give up oil. Like most people, I thought that ‘healthy’ oil like olive oil was okay. But I am very overweight, and started getting really worried about my health. I want to be around to see my kids grow up, so I knew it was time to make some SERIOUS changes. So I committed to giving up oil. And honestly, it has not been that hard. I just use veggie broth when I sautee veggies, and I have not really missed oil at all! It just takes a little creativity and an open mind!

    • Deborah Gilbert

      Oh, and I forgot to add… that since I started eating a whole foods, plant based diet on March 11th, I have lost 58 pounds. And it has been almost effortless!

  • Chris S

    I believe I have cut out about 400 fat calories per day…much better than running on the eliptical for an extra hour per day to burn it off:) Earlier this year, I stopped using oil when I cook at home and in my salad dressings. I don’t miss it. I do however still eat oil when I’m at friends, or eat out and I can tell you, I really like the fresh taste of the food without the oil much better. You don’t realize how much oil people use until you don’t use any.

  • Rebecca

    This is so informative! I am so glad you answered the question about children. As a family we are on week 3 of no oil, no cow dairy, no sugar, after being only vegetarian. I had wondered if the kids needed more fat than an adult. I am glad to know that all we have to do to be healthy is to just stay plant strong! I am actually looking forward to my next cholesterol check as I am positive the results will be good!

  • Kate S

    We are on week four and doing great without oil for the most part. The tough one I have is hummus. I tried making hummus the E2 way and I just didn’t like the taste so I put a little store bought hummus (with oil) on my wraps at lunch time. I am hoping to find a healthier version to make that I enjoy so I can kick the oil completely!

    • http://www.theveganmenu.com Bethany

      Have you tried making it with jarred roasted red peppers? It adds a lot of flavor and smoothness.

  • Amanda McDonley

    After getting rid of the olive oil we used so often in our kitchen I noticed how well I could actually taste the delicious fresh foods that had previously been somewhat tasteless because of all of the oil. I’m very happy to do without it and my heart is very happy too :)

  • LDT

    I gave up oil a long time ago, for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t looking to be healthy and plant-strong, I just wanted to look like a supermodel. Since my health declined over the years, I’ve tried taking oil supplements to improve the appearance of my hair, skin and nails. This never worked, no matter what type of oil I tried.
    I’ve come to realize (unfortunately, I struggled greatly to know this) that the best I have ever looked and felt and the healthiest I have been is when I eat whole foods including tons of vegetables and fruit as well as beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

  • Heather

    I gave up oil cold turkey : ) it took a bit to get used to, but I did it. And definitely do not regret it!

  • Debbie

    In May 2012, after reading a lot of information from the Engine 2 Diet website and blog and purchasing The Engine 2 Diet and The China Study books, I decided to try a plant-strong diet. Cutting out meat and dairy was actually quite easy although I have had a few slips. But the oil…how do I cut that out? Well, this is still a work in progress, especially the part where I have to convince my husband that you CAN cook without oil! I recently purchased a large amount of vegetable broth at Costco and have started using this when I cook. The other alternatives that I really enjoy is steaming…I love steamed vegetables. I also enjoy grilled vegetables with some balsamic vinegar sprinkled on top.
    I would love, love, love to win the two books as I am sure they would help me immensley on my plant strong journey!
    Thanks for all that you do each and every day…I love reading your blog posts and Facebooks posts…they encourage me to continue and remind me why this is important. You are doing a fabulous thing!

  • Marsha Fischer

    Thanks for the information and support. I am working really hard to get plant strong. Still not losing the weight I thought and trying to stay motivated.

  • Rachel

    Givinh up oil wasn’t hard except for salad dressings. The hardest part had been getting my family to understand!

  • Judy Chaffee

    It all makes such great sense! Been following your book since February. Feel great, however need more detail. I’m signed up for the immersion in Chicago. Looking forward to meeting everyone!

  • Allison

    Just became plant-strong 2.5 weeks ago. I have already lost 4 pounds. I am still working the oil out of my diet. I have bee sautéing foods in lemon or lime juice, adding mushrooms so they release moisture, etc., bit it is still definitely a work in progress. I am finding it most difficult to give up peanut butter because I work out daily and this was my go-to fat/protein energy post-workout.

  • Jennifer Renesca

    Another great article that contributes to convince me to adopt a whole foods plant based lifestyle. And it only makes sense– why would oil be good for me (olive or other) if it’s 100% fat)? Crazy to think I fell for it all of these years, when the truth was right before my face! Can’t wait to begin my transformation!

  • CJL

    It’s been easy to give up oil at home….working harder to accomplish this while eating out!

  • Leeann Speer

    I came across this E2 on facebook and have been getting a lot of great information.
    I have always been aware of a need from good for “watching what I eat” and good nutrition, but admittedly, I am a slacker. I enjoy the food that is good for me, and help others to make better choices. But I know I can do SO much better.
    Thank you for the wonderful insights that help me to do better at taking care of myself and those I love.

  • martha

    It wasn’t too bad :) Once I learned about water sauteeing for veggies- my life changed :)

  • Nick Amis

    I went full-bore on the Engine 2 plan for 60 days. For the last two weeks I had severe stomach cramps after every meal. I started adding back in oil and the occasional piece of cheese and the pain stopped. I realize this is anecdotal evidence, but I just thought I’d throw t out there.

  • Michelle J F

    Well, truth is that my family & I aren’t oil free yet, we’re still “moderate” users. However, this article is very helpful and is certainly food for thought! Thank you for the helpful links. I’ve bookmarked this page!

  • Margret Riggin

    We armed ourselves with a great non-stick wok & used vegetable broth or water to cook with! It was a very pleasant transition & a lot easier than we could have imagined!

  • Fiorella Applebe

    I use vegetables and fruits in place of oils. I use apple sauce or pumpkin in baking, and mushrooms or onions in cooking.

  • Tracy

    I have been plant strong for 20 years, but am finding giving up oil extremely hard. For cooking, I usually just substitute vegetable broth, but it seems that oil is in everything and I ending up eating lots of salad with salsa as dressing. I need more time to be able to cook from scratch.

  • Doug

    I have been vegan (very passionate ethical vegan) for 21 years now, but I definitely got stuck in the fat trap, lots of vegan cheese, oil, earth balance, coconut milk ice-cream. This lead me to become an obese vegan with heart disease and t2 diabetes. I decided that I needed to stop the nonsense and take care of my health, I couldn’t even volunteer at my farm sanctuary because I had gotten so heavy.
    Started E2, dropped the junk food, now I’m down 50 pounds and my cholesterol numbers and diabetes numbers are doing great.
    Take it from me, just because it is ‘vegan’ in branding does not mean it is healthy for this human animal!

  • Joyce

    I had bought into the myth about coconut oil before I read and starting doing Eat to Live. Now, I just use the coconut oil as a body moisturizer. It wasn’t difficult to go no oil in my cooking. Eating out is a bigger challenge at times but I am doing that less and less.

  • CARLA

    I love reading books regarding health. I would be thrilled to win these!!

  • Cj

    My 12 yr old daughter would love to win the books! Yay! ;) She helps us be plant strong every day.

  • Monica Wright

    I have been attending several events at my local Whole Foods (Health Starts Here at Bridgeport), and that’s where I started hearing about the value of eliminating oil from one’s diet. I’ve been vegan for several years, but had always included what I considered “healthy oils”. I have used less oil as of late, but have not eliminated it completely. The blog post is very informative and was the “push” I needed to make the final step. Thank you. As a side note; you’re book is VERY popular at the library, I am number 37 on the wait list .. while I’m sure you’d prefer people purchase it , the good news is, it’s in high demand and being read! :)

  • Maria Gilbert

    My favorite in this blog is #10 ” why are you trying to ruin my life “! That is what my family says when I bake with applesauce, I’ve been doing that for over 20 years now! They have just gotten use to it!

  • Lynnette

    I’ve been able to transition cooking and baking without oil and like things much better. I admit I do miss things like shortbread and crispy chocolate chip cookies, but now they tend to taste greasy so they are easier to forgo. The last oil challenge is cooking items like pancakes & waffles where I need a little spritz. Otherwise parchment paper works well in the oven.

  • http://Veganatcollege.wordpress.com Lauren Stewart

    The first time I heard about avoiding oil was when I came across Happy Herbivore’s blog, and she explained how there’s nothing nutritious about oil, besides the fat. I was already vegan but had always thought oil was so healthy for me! I read Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman and the Engine 2 book, and from then on haven’t cooked or baked with oil!

  • Christian Ready

    I’ve been struggling with weight loss for quite some time. Last summer I broke down and hired a personal trainer who put me on a vegetarian meal plan. While none of her recommended meals required oil, I’d spray some cooking spray for things like veggie burgers. After reading Engine 2 Diet and watching Dr. Esselstyn’s talk, I got the NO OIL message loud and clear. After watching Forks Over Knives and reading Engine 2 Diet, I realized I needed to go plant strong if I want to have any hope of getting down to my desired bodyfat percentage. So now I needed to learn to cook on top of everything else :) After two weeks I found that I don’t miss oil at all. In fact, the challenge has been making sure there isn’t any oil in anything I’m preparing. Oil is a rather insidious ingredient :)

  • Kimberly Louis-Jean

    Giving up oil wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I had already cut out fried foods because I noticed that anything fried made me sick. Then I came across Forks over Knives and the Engine 2 diet. After that I just started cooking with water or broth if necessary and I just use vinegars for salad dressings.

    It’s been several months now and I feel fantastic. I don’t even crave the oily foods anymore and don’t miss them.

  • Alicia

    We had long since reduced oil in our diets, applesauce in baking, sauteing in veggie broth. Once we went vegan it was a no brainier to taker the rest of the oil away as well. Haven’t missed it at all!

  • Kyle

    Its just not needed to enjoy great food!

  • Janet

    Great article. I just started the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. I am having success with using water to saute veggies and applesauce in baking. I still have a way to go…..

  • Isabelle

    Broth when I cook, applesauce when I bake, and I am totally fine with that!

  • Gail

    Still working on eliminating oils completely, but doing quite well. Use applesauce when baking, or a “spritz” of Pam as needed. Only been on a vegan life style (not diet!) for about 5 months, and learning every day. Thanks for the Engine2diet, McDougall, Barnard, and Happy Herbivore, and lots of web sites.

  • http://www.stephaniemarks-ryan.com Steph Marks

    I have both of the giveaway books, so I don’t want to enter the contest, but I want to say a HUGE thank you for all the great information you give us through this blog. As a health coach, I visit a lot of blogs and info sites, and this is a breath of fresh air. Here at The Daily Beet, I find good down-to-earth, easily understood advice, without rants or judgment. (And yes, there is a time and place for rants!) Keep up the awesome work and the wonderful giveaways. Love, love, love to you!

  • Bob Carlile

    Love this really explains everything well.

  • BH

    Not ingesting oil has led to less oily skin, which has led to not having to purchase oil blotting facial papers, which probably means I can buy my own books but… ;-)

  • Mary

    Rip you are a life saver! I hope all of this is in the next book, people need to know that it is not just about not eating animals, but about eating healthy food! For me it was eliminating nuts and avocado, when I did my cholesterol and bp dropped and I lost the last 15 pounds, I feel great now!

  • patty

    One of the things I did was start sauteing my food in water. It works just the same as oil!! I also just stopped buying it. If I didn’t have it, I couldn’t use it.

  • Lisa

    Giving up oil was easier than I thought it would be. Initially I couldn’t wrap my brain around sauteing without oil. I didn’t think it was possible until I started attending a WF class in Tampa with Curtis in October of 2011. I always assumed food would stick to the pan (or be ruined) with its use. He showed us the way and I haven’t looked back since!

    ….and the veggies taste way better without the oil.

    • Lisa

      Whoops “without its use”

  • michelle

    I’m only on my second week. Being without oil has been easy – it’s the cheese that I miss!

  • Debra

    Thanks for an alternative to eating myself to death. I am only starting, but feel this is the way God intended us to eat.

  • Jeannine

    We cook with water or vegetable broth in the frying pan, and use parchment paper for baked goods.

  • Kathleen

    Nothing is difficult to give up…including the oil, if you want to life a healthy life. Thank you to all of you for your constant support, ideas and open forum in helping us achieve the goal of a long life without heart problems!!!! I’m 65, set in my ways and did it……yea!

  • Rhonda Akers

    I love all of the great advise in this blog. My husband and I just got started this week. I am loving it!!! So far so good… we have used a small amount of oil but we will be eliminating it to.

  • Michael

    Thank you for all the incredible information and support you provide. I would love to enter for copies of those books so that I can learn more about living well and share the information with those I care about.

  • MikeR

    Except for popping popcorn, giving up oil was not all that difficult. I tried stir frying veggies in water and it worked fine, so I kept it up. I use water when I use my Hand-Hammered Wok, and the food tastes just fine. No if I figure out how to pop popcorn without buying an air-popper that would be great. Any ideas?

    • Lee McLean

      I do not know why you do not want an air popper. An air popper was the BEST investment I ever made. They are really cheap and there is no excuse to put oil or butter on the popcorn since it will already be popped. I would strongly suggest investing in an air-poper.

      • http://www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com Sherry

        I have the popcorn problem too. I had an air popper and the popcorn was just terrible. It had pretty much no taste. Tasted like air. Not sure what is to like about popcorn without even a t of oil to pop it. I gave up the butter. I guess if I have to give up the oil, I’ll have to give up the popcorn. That’s a biggie for me as a snack food.
        What’s wrong with 1t of oil twice a week popping 1/3 C of dry popcorn? Do we really have to be more extreme in order not to worry about heart health?

        • Gail

          I think they said to sprinkle nutritional yeast on popcorn, but I haven’t tried it, yet.

          • http://www.writerdianalee.blogspot.com Diana Roemer

            I love popcorn. I think my love of it led to my condition of being overweight as I ate only salads for lunch and fruit and coffee for breakfast. So…….I used to use an air popper and decided to go to oil, and of course topped it with butter. I ate it every day. I’ve been without it now for weeks – been on a plant diet nearly – still not seeing the results I want (?) – I think I’ve actually gained weight which is shocking! Anyway, advice please on enjoying popcorn minus the oil and butter, as I do love it. Thanks! Hopefully next time I post here I’ll be able to report weight loss.

  • Lee McLean

    I know this comment will be way down on the list and I hope someone sees it. My health has been going downhill and I need help. I have been “toying” with going plant-based and now it is coming to a point where I need to do SOMETHING and this is what I want to do. My family will be tough as they see no reason to change how they eat, but my daughter who is in her early 20s has high blood pressure and is already on medication. I cringe when I think about it. I need help and I know the books will help me stay on track. Thanks for all your posts and thanks for offering up the freebies. Lee

    • http://www.writerdianalee.blogspot.com Diana Roemer

      I’d advise starting with a lot of fruit as the natural sugar in it makes an easier transition. Go with grapes, apples, watermelon, etc. Keep raw nuts around too, as they will help also. Go with a salad for one of your meals and there’s your day!!! Drink water! Give up soda if you’re drinking that (even diet) – it’s so bad for you. Use lemon and lime and a sugar substitute on your salads and start with common lettuce, transitioning over to spinach and kale when you make the change in your life. I love brown rice and lentils — they have been a salvation to me. Use potatoes too as a crutch to get you started. Good luck!!!! You can do it!!!

  • http://lifeat55mph.blogspot.com/ Mar

    Plant strong!

  • Linda

    I’ve been moving to a more plants based diet for over a year now. My cholesterol was coming down and my triglycerides had gone way down. I had a doctor’s appt. this morning and my numbers are up again. It’s time for me to quit oil completely. Thanks for the info. I’m hoping with all the info and websites you suggested I can do it.

  • Jessica Sherrow

    I haven’t gotten rid of oils 100% yet, but I love to use applesauce in place of oil while baking.

  • Rebecca Poppe

    Experimenting is what we do to give up oil! It’s all new to us, my family watched Forks Over Knives in January, so I’m sure we’ll have many more years of experimenting before it becomes as easy as it was before! But we love the health change and we feel awesome.

  • Shawna

    So far, it’s been pretty easy. I use the steam-sautee method when I stir fry veggies. I make an oil-free salad dressing that uses applesauce as a base. I don’t bake much these days, but applesauce or mashed banana is a great oil substitute as well as a natural sweetener. I find in many recipes you can simply leave it out, and don’t notice the difference at all. As a result of avoiding oil, I eat out less and consume less processed foods. I’m so grateful that Whole Foods offers “Health starts Here” selections so I can still treat myself to lunch-on-the-go sometimes. The last frontier for me is to figure out a substitute for oil when oven roasting veggies.

  • http://www.theveganmenu.com Bethany

    Its true, all you need are some good pans and a little more attention to cooking. I have found that you can make practically anything without oil. And I love not having to worry about weight for the first time ever.

  • http://Www.ilovelimabeans.com Sharon Byers

    For dinner tonight I made 3 Bean Salad from a recipe in the newspaper. It called for 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I just left it out completely. Delicious. I wonder why I ever thought I needed oil!

  • Marie Seery

    Once you find ways to eat food without oil, it becomes easier and easier. Ryan at Whole Foods in Dedham Ma gave us some great ideas for cooking without oil. Very interesting!

  • Pam

    I have been plant strong for 2 year this July. It was the best thing I ever did. I love reading and finding out how to make my food taste better. The oil is hard for me, I try to use water or lemons.

  • Faith

    I loved the information in the article. So much of this makes perfect sense, but it’s funny how I need to hear it from others to confirm what I think I know in the back of my mind. :) Oil is fat, why would it be good for us? I truly appreciate everything you share with us! I have baked without oil for a little while now, using applesauce and bananas instead. I also use water for stir fry veggies and such. I do enjoy the taste of roasted veggies (beets, sweet potato, reg potato, carrots) with coconut oil. What would you replace the coconut oil with, if anything at all? :)

  • Stephanie White

    Had I not heard it from the Engine 2 guy, I would not have heard it. Really why did nobody else tell me or explain it to me so simply? THANK YOU E2!

  • Karen Andrews

    Guacamole and olives are the fats I find hardest to limit; when I do, tho’…it cuts down on so many calories and the energy density is so much easier to control! Thanks for all the info and resources!

  • Tammy

    After reading “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” I went out and invested in one, high quality non-stick pan. For me, it was that easy. I even saute things using water in regular pans now, too. Wine and broth work great, as well. As far as leaving it off my salad… well… that took some getting used to but you do. Vegan cheese was probably the hardest thing to eliminate. Had to go cold turkey.

  • http://lotsayum.com Cynthia

    The trick was to take the chance and believe that I didn’t need oil to eat or to cook with. I’ve been so saturated with “good fats” and “Mediterranean diet” myths that I believed oil was essential. y I had to try cooking without oil, and discover that in fact, I don’t need it in order for food to cook properly or to taste good. I’m shocked at the way restaurants make things “delicious” with gobs of butter, oil, and salt. Eating clean really tastes better.

  • Jodie B.

    Thank you for this article. I will pass it on. When I talk to people about cutting out the oil they go crazy telling me all about the health benefits of olive or coconut oil. I’ve even seen people DRINKING coconut oil because it is “SO HEALTHY”. I tell them to eat a darn coconut and they will argue till they are blue in the face. Again, thank you for the great article:)

  • Cathy

    Oil has been the hardest thing to give up! We are doing very well at home and I have been surprised at how delicious food can be sauteed in water or broth. We have a large family that gets together often for meals. Everyone has been more than supportive with a vegan diet but the oil thing is hard for them to grasp. I continue to learn and to apply the things that I learn. Plant strong all the way!

  • Linda McKean

    As a wellness coordinator – I have been trying to personally get my lifestyle of eating in order. I have made many large changes – but still not losing the weight. We had a Dr in yesterday to present a LNL on meatless diets and it makes sense to me to give it a try – I’m ALL in!!! I will stop the coconut & olive oil and go to water & broth. you have convinced me :) the hard part is convincing my husband!

  • Cecily

    We just started this week and although it’s early on, we’re not having any trouble! Thanks for answering so many questions in this blog post… Here’s to a happy, healthy plant-strong world! :D

  • Carol Kenny

    I did cut out the oil. Took a while because i missed it in salad dressings. But I am used to it now!! Hope I win I really want prevent and reverse heart disease!!

  • Penni

    This oil controversy has really had me spinning from yay to nay. My feeling has been that for a type 2 diabetic the answer is nay. Having read Dr. Neal Barnard’ s book on Reversing Diabetes and also Dr. Esselstyn’s book regarding oil and it’s affect I am now convinced that I am not a Paleo gal….

  • Amy Tollefson

    On day 21 of the 28 day challenge and haven’t missed oil much at all.

  • Jessica F

    Love reading the research! Only confirms that this sometimes difficult new way of eating/living for us is WORTH it!! Thank you for all the tips!

  • Kathy Burke

    We are eliminating all oil and dairy from out diet and really enjoying the challenge of finding new ways to accomplish this. Feeling so much better by going plant strong. Thanks for all your wonderful help.

  • karen tross

    I used to think oil was necessary- its not! I used to think “some” oils were healthy- they’re not! It wasn’t that hard to give it up, lots of great, simple alternatives….. Love this blog! :)

  • Jean D.

    I don’t miss oil one bit. I keep a pitcher of homemade vegetable broth in my refrigerator, and use it for stir-fry, sauteing, and any ol’ whim that comes to mind.

    Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  • jessica mccann

    i gave up oil years ago – and never missed it! the only time i have it is occasionally, when out to eat. and i mean it when i say occasionally. however, i do eat avocados & nuts/seeds pretty regularly… however, i have no known health conditions since going vegetarian 11 yrs ago and vegan 7 years ago and lead a pretty active lifestyle, so it works for me!

  • Rachel Ringer

    My husband has been eating the whole foods plant-based diet since watching the movie “Forks over Knives” about six weeks ago. He just stopped eating meat, dairy, etc.. cold turkey that very day. He has lost 22 lbs and feels great. The oil is his only struggle; he still uses an oil/vinegar salad dressing and sometimes uses olive oil when cooking tofu to keep it from sticking. He did try the lemon juice salad dressing, but did not like the taste. Thank you for the article to explain more about the oils. I am glad you included links for Pinterest and others that will provide more recipes to try. I am slowly feeding the kids and myself more meatless meals as well.

  • Tina

    I find the hardest thing about being oil free is eating out. Even people tell you they can prepare vegan, they always put oil in or try to sneak it in somehow even if you told them no.

  • Viviana

    My husband and I are 6 weeks into plant based diet sparked by a heart cath he had done. I thought he couldn’t do it alone so I decided to do it with him. He has lost over 15 pounds, feels great. I was already thin but have had horrible achilles tendonitis for the past 15 years. I’m a runner so it’s been a struggle. I cannot believe this but after years of ibuprofen, yoga, and PT, I am almost completely pain free! I’m running farther than ever and have no swelling or pain for the first time. I feel great too. This has changed my life too.

  • Linda S

    Has Dr. Esselstyn ever commented on oil pulling, using sesame oil?

  • Nancy

    i’ve been oil free for almost 3 months. don’t really miss it. its harder to shop and find no oil products. i miss meat some. but i believe in plant based eating.

  • Melissa Winstead

    Giving up oil wasn’t hard at all – my husband and I just threw it all out! Our quest for health started in October 2011 and between the two of us, we have lost 73 lbs – how cool is that? My husband travels a lot, which is quite challenging with all the “hidden” oil in restaurant food prep. It’s become second nature to ask how foods are prepared and request a few tweaks and omissions.

  • Rebekah DeHaven

    Love the simplicity of the Engine 2 recipes and message. I have a completely plant based diet, and know that as healthy as that is, abstaining from oil makes it even better–I feel so much better!

  • Trisha

    I have been plant strong for about a month now. Today my boss came to me and said, “you are pretty much vegan, now, right?” and then proceeded to ask if I could make a totally plant based healthy dessert (cake like thing) for an office birthday celebration next week. She offered to buy the ingredients if I would tell her what to get. As we were flipping through some books on my Kindle and looking at the recipes we had a conversation about how to replace dairy and oil and why we are not using oil. How funny! Just a few weeks ago she was making faces at some food I was eating and dreading my healthy changes to our meetings. Here she was today asking me for help! I am excited!

  • Renee Woodworth

    I enjoy your website and advice but wish there was more information on how to eat plant strong overseas. We live in Okinawa and fresh fruits and vegetables are extremely expensive. We buy local whenever we can but most of it is not organic so our food is filled with pesticides. Also can not find most of your recommended grains and breads here . They are not sold. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Also if it is in your plans somewhere a book teaching nutrition from a plant based point of view for kids would be great. I home school and would love to include something like this in our curriculum. Thanks for all you do.

  • Carol W.

    I know this is going to sound strange – but I just made up my mind and gave it up! I use straight up garlic powder on my hot vegies now and I wouldn’t have it any other way — that’s how I like them now!

  • Diane in Palos Verdes

    hand me my megaphone……
    NO OIL!!!!
    NO OIL!!!
    NO OIL!!!

    OK. Thanks. You can all go back to what you were doing.

  • Susan H

    I gave up oil by switching to water sauteing and searching for new recipes that are plant-based and oil-free. I wish more cookbooks and websites were devoted to being oil-free. Thanks for all the information gathered in one place about the problems with oil. Very helpful.

  • Jim powers

    I had no problem dropping the oil. My only problem was how to cook without it. What I found was a good non stick pan and a little broth or water was the trick and it actually seemed to add more flavor than any only ever did. I also grill almost everything and have found that heating the grill really really hot before putting veggies on it then dropping the temp helps with no sticking and they also make some good non stick grill pans that work great. The flavor or grilled veggies is amazing and there is never any oil needed.

  • Danielle P.

    I started on the Engine 2 Diet 2 weeks ago. Right after I watched the video, I jumped off the couch, grabbed some red potatoes and some vegetable broth and made the baked potato wedges as shown in the video. They were so delicious! I became convinced I didn’t need oil anymore, and I have not looked back. Plus, I never realized how delicious vegetables could be when sauteed in their own juices with a little bit of water. It’s great to experience the real taste of food. I’m loving this new lifestyle and look forward to learning more.

  • Deb

    I still haven’t completly given up oil but I am working on it. I would love these books. Thanks for all your great info.

  • Beth Johnson

    Giving up oil wasn’t that hard for me. It was a matter of relearning to cook without it. Now for stir fry’s I just slosh in some wine or broth and put the food over a pile of rice and mung beans. No one so far has asked about the missing oil. I am still kind of new at this so I’m still in transition. However, even the little bit that I’ve done so far has made a difference. I finally feel normal after 15 years of having a stomach that complains when I eat. The Doctors were telling me it was an allergy to dairy. But that didn’t do anything. I was even tried probiotics with yogurt. It was only when I eliminated the oil that my stomach settled down. Now I do not find yogurt and high fat food appetizing.
    I had already pared down the oil to only Olive oil and Butter. So finally eliminating those was not that hard. My favorite thing happened recently – My hubby is a biiiig fan of mayonaise. He will get a slice of bologne and slather it with mayo and roll it up and eat it. When I make sandwiches for him he always complains that I don’t put enough mayo on it. So – instead of arguing with him I decided to try something. I lightly toasted a slice of ezekiel bread, put a little whole grain mustard on it and some avocado. Then piled on chili peppers, onions, tomatoes, tobasco sauce, cucumbers and carrots. Then quietly put it in front of my husband and walked away. He really liked it. He was so busy licking his fingers that he didn’t ask what happened to the mayo and refused to share any of it with the dog.

  • Luis Rojas

    I have been vegan for over twenty years but after reading Essy’s book, I have been able to take my plant based diet to a whole new level. Thanks!

  • Beth

    This month marks 1 year of going Plant Strong. It took a few weeks to make a complete changeover with the learning curve of trying to figure out what to make and what my family liked. We don’t miss the meat, dairy or oil. The biggest challenge comes with trying to eat out. There just aren’t a lot of options in our area.

    I still buy coconut oil, though…… but not for cooking. I use it as a facial cleanser. It works great for removing makeup (including eye makeup), isn’t irritating, rinses off easily with a warm wash cloth, and leaves my skin feeling very soft and moist but not oily.

  • Kathy

    I have heart disease from both my parents….my father and all his brothers died early with heart disease. I have high cholestrol and do not want to take the meds for it. I started about two years ago eating mostly plants but using lots of oil to grill them…UGH!! I had bought into all the hype of hoe good the good oils are for you so when I had my blood checked a month ago….there was not a drop in the numbers. Now I know why…….I am giving up oil today!! Thanks for all the info.

  • Liz

    Point #8 : “As for people who eat oil and are healthy? Chances are they are healthy despite their use of oil, not because of it.”

    Its true that some people just aren’t affected the same way as the rest of the population. At 44, I had been living off ice cream and Doritos (nary a green thing passed my lips) but my cholesterol and triglycerides were still low. My doctor who had heart disease told me he was jealous of my genetics.

    I’m now plant strong and oil free – so I’m guessing my arteries are now like superwoman:)

  • http://wfpbforkids.blogspot.com Anita

    I use water to sautee veggies. Even our hummus is oil free. Once you get used to the taste, my family finds that things actually taste better without oil. it’s all about mindset and conditioning.

  • Deb Fink

    I am changing so much in my life to get healthy, your website has been so helpful. As of today I am down 100LBS! I am feeling better than ever. My lifestyle change is one that I will continue to follow and keep learning from those that are in the “know”. Thank you.

  • JAM

    I was vegetarian (still eating dairy and eggs) for 11 yrs. I just started being completely Plant Strong the past few weeks, so I am still learning. I sautee my veggies in water or veggie broth (homemade). I eat my salad naked so I can taste each component. I find that if oil sneaks into my food, I can tell instantly because my mouth feels like there is a slickness to it. An oiliness, pun intended, to it.

    I feel like “Me” again! I love being Plant Strong and I am never looking back!!

  • Kirsten Walker

    I pretty much just stopped using it after I read that oil is concentrated FAT (I’ve been plant strong for just over 6 months now)…and that it has no nutritional value…I’d rather eat olives than olive oil. I’ve learned to cook differently, and have enjoyed eating a little avocado here and there…there are many wonderful recipes out there and I’m having fun discovering how good food tastes without oil…not to mention there is no oily residue in my kitchen from cooking with it!
    YAY!!!!

  • Martha

    I just stopped using it! I thought it made food more satiating, but I just ate more, hoping I wouldn’t gain weight, which I didn’t – lost 4 lbs the first month! I did miss it and thought my skin looked papery, but then added the flaxseed every morning on my cereal and my skin looks much better – it just took a couple of days!

  • Lynn in MD

    We still haven’t gotten there 100 percent yet – but have made some very big changes. I’ve learned that I can do stir fries and such just using a little bit of water instead of oil and it turns out great! In baking, I use ground flax seed & water (1:3 ratio) to replace eggs and pumpkin puree or applesauce to replace oils. Yummy!

  • Johanna

    I have been changing our family’s eating habits steadily. I encourage them to have an open mind and try each new thing, every time I make it. I would appreciate these books to help us continue. Thanks for a giveaway!

  • Em

    Giving up oil wasn’t that bad once I realized that sauteing in broth worked just fine. My challenge was giving up almond butter sandwiches. To give them up I kept having smaller amounts. Then I read in Dr. Fuhrman’s book that 1 oz. of nuts a day is okay. Having a definite amount to think about really helped me to give up the sandwiches. It’s all a work in progress.

  • Margaret Smith

    We have been plant strong for six months. We gave up oil by calling my best friend and giving her every single oil product we had including the Pam spray. My husband has lost 30 pounds and I have lost 10. We both have chronic conditions, I have rheumatoid arthritis and he has pheripheral neuropathy. Every lab test we have had in the six months has been an improvement over the previous! We love what we eat and feel healthier by the day!

  • http://Www.dmacdzigns.com Deidre

    Giving up oil wasn’t difficult for me especially since, 3 weeks in, I ate at Logan’s. I got all sides… Plain sweet potato, side salad and 2 vegetable skewers. I had gotten the skewers before and was really looking forward to them. What I had never realized before was they were covered with oil. I was almost sick when I got back to my car that night. If I never have oil again that is AOK with me. I will be starting month 3 on July 1 of being plant strong….. IT IS AWESOME !!!! Thanks to all who made this life change possible. You guys Rock!

  • nik

    To be honest, it wasn’t difficult. Back when I was a teen I just sort of naturally started developing a distaste for oily and fatty things, about the same time I became a vegetarian. By the time I got to college and had become more educated about the abuse and suffering that animals endured in the food industry and the benefits of going vegan, I had chosen to live a compassionate and vegan life. I don’t eat any fats or oils other than what comes naturally in my plant-strong, fruit and veggie-heavy diet. I’ve never been happier. :)

  • Sarah L

    Enjoying making the switch to being plant strong!

  • Mark Fuller

    My mother passed at 57. My father had a stroke at 68. I’m 48 and have three kids under 7. My cholesterol was over 200 for at least the past 5 years. I looked at my wife and kids and thought, “I want to be here 10 years from now, I want to be active 20 years from now — for them, and for myself.” My wife watched FoK on Netflix, and I signed on. I quit smoking 6 years ago cold turkey for my family. I figured I could quit oil (and animal products) cold turkey as well. I had my cholesterol checked before I started, to get a baseline. 6 weeks later we checked again, and I dropped 38 pts to dip under 200 for the first time in at least 5 years!

  • Andrea R

    My family gave up oil and sugar about 6 months ago after my 4 year old son was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. We were already vegan, but I had no ieda how unhealthy we were eating (I thought it was health food). We opted out of Chemo and descided to wait and watch and change his (and our diet). We are a Whole Foods plant strong household and my babys tumor is gone….without chemo. i will never….never go back! Problem is that doctors just dont get it. I was actually accused of starving myself to death by my doctor because I have dropped from 169 to 139 in 6 months. “what is this food doing for your body” my doctor said. Um….a whole hell of a lot, doc.

    • Melissa

      Andrea, my daughter was just diagnosed with LCH and would love to hear more about your experience. How is your son doing?

  • Betty McEnaney

    Great summary article of the most asked questions that I receive. I have one other additon for a recipe sourse. fatfreevegan.com. She has a great intro to each recipe which is helpful to the newbies in plant based eating. Thanks for all you do!

  • Linn L

    Love all the resources. It is a slow process coming up with family pleasing recipes as we move away from oil. Tonight it was Easy Southwestern slaw from Fatfree vegan – so easy and lively.

    One of the challenges is taking the time to make sure that these new alternatives are attractive and “squeeze out” the interest in other foods… so I am trying to be more daring in the produce aisle – and put things in my cart that would usually be on my “someday’ list. Picked up some Romaine lettuce ‘scoops” the other night, which made dinner a lot more fun for kiddo.

    The hunt for those big winner continues – I can use all the help i can get!

  • wen

    awesome article…xooxoxoxoxxo

  • Lori Quick

    I am still working on becoming oil free. I do not cook with it nor do I add it to my foods. I still by the humus that contains oil, and I’m sure that I buy other processed foods that contain oil. I work on it daily. When I fail, I just have to pick myself up and keep going.

  • Rileen

    Still working on it – using water and/or low sodium vegetable broth often, and cooking spray occasionally.

  • Jennifer

    I haven’t completely given it up but am learning as I go thanks to great recipes from E2, happy herbivore, fok, and mcdougall. I am learning a new way to cook healthy and am adding life-producing new family favorites to our regular meal rotation.

  • http://positivelyvegan.blogspot.com/ Kim Miles

    I watched Jeff Novick’s YouTube video on oil (twice!), and decided to try doing without added oil in my cooking. It was easier than I thought, and I’m not going back!

  • http://youaintgotjack.blogspot.com/ Lindsay & Jack

    I just watched Forks Over Knives, and then the Engine 2 Diet documentary. Loved it, feeling inspired- thank you!

  • IndyAnna

    I watched FOK, what they said rang true and I gave up all oil on the spot. Didn’t find it hard either. Veggies cook easy in a pan without oil, I don’t even need to add water or veggie broth, and I use applesauce for the little baking that I do.

  • Windy

    I am recently starting the no oil, but was wondering can I have avocados?

  • Vikki

    Giving up oil at home was easy. Just say no. Getting rid of oil in restaurants a bit more challenging. I’m very specific when I order, and I’m not afraid to send something back if it comes out with an oily sheen or floating in butter. I always take my own salad dressing so worse case scenario I can get a salad and plain baked potato and use my own toppings.

  • mary

    I saute all my veggies in a cast iron pan with no oil or just a little water and they brown and soften very nicely

  • Deborah

    Ive eliminated oils fairly easy… although my friends keep asking me, what about this kind or that kind?? and i keep telling them its all bad… lol. I will have to post this info for them to read it. Thanks sooo much!!! i havent had a chance to try at a restaurant because the places where my family members choose to eat, i end up eating a big raw salad because of lack of healthy foods.

  • julie

    I have been eating plant base foods since last July, but somehow missed the NO OIL part. In the last 2 months have omitted it and am starting to get the hang of sauteing thing in water. Still figuring out cooking in the oven without having things stick. Just found your fb page a few days ago and am enjoying all your reminders/info to keep me focused! Thank you!

  • Jean

    I have been eating whole foods, plant-based for almost a year now. Getting away from the oil turned out to be just a mind set thing. I don’t miss oil at all once I got used to the idea that there are many more things out there to use instead (or nothing at all). My habit patterns in the kitchen have changed drastically since I made the effort to change. I can’t even begin to relate all the health benefits I have seen and continue to see. Thank you from the bottom of my (now healthier) heart!

  • Candice Castle

    I convert recipes to no oil by “sauteing” in broth in the microwave (or on the cooktop). After a while, oily and fatty foods are unappetizing and just plain gross.

  • http://www.the6thfloor.com Stephen

    Giving up oil wasn’t easy, much like giving up cheese when I made the commitment to “a plant strong lifestyle.” It took some effort on my part to learn about nutrition from people like McDougall, Esselstyn, Campbell and Novick. I had to rethink what I taught growing up about diet and nutrition and how what I was eating was killing me. Once I understood the reasons behind it, I started made a commitment to no long supplement my diet with oil or buy products with oil in them. It’s been a real challenge, but cutting it out of my diet, along with meat and dairy has seen a huge improvement in my health.

  • Pingback: The 6th Thought: Oil

  • Rob

    It’s been pretty easy eliminating oil. We just follow the vegetable stock/apple sauce substitutions, and have been experimenting with some of the E2 salad dressings.

  • http://thegoodluckduck.blogspot.com Roxanne

    We gave up oil several months ago, after watching FOK, and reading Dr. Campbell’s and Dr. Esselstyn’s books. I thought we would be ever-hungry, but I don’t notice it being missing.

  • Marvin Israel

    I reread ch 10 in Essylstyn’s book referred to above and I read the research study which he cited in support of his no oil rule. The study found that
    Olive oil caused a 2% decrease in brachial artery diameter. If mixed with vinegar (typical vinaigrette salad dressing) this 2% decrease was reduced by 65%. So, setting brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation to 100, olive oil and vinegar dressing on the salad reduces that blood flow to 98.7. And for this (again, based on 10 people and 5 meals and no effect found for canola oil) we are told that all oil is bad and if we want to be heart healthy we must eliminate all oil from our eating. PLEEESE!

  • Cheryle Raven

    Well, I finished watching Forks over Knives then on to Engine 2Diet.
    My weight 249, cholesterol 269, glucose 110.
    These are one week old numbers…doctor says meds are in order.
    I say Engine2Diet is in order.
    I am 58 years old, female and cancer survivor.
    My parents and sibling, not so lucky.
    I feel like a winner already….I’ve found YOU!

  • Mary in Oklahoma

    This is the first time I have heard anyone speak against extra virgin olive oil. I can’t wait to read the research behind this. A friend was just touting an eating plan that left out whole grains but gave permission for unlimited quantities of EVOO, meat, veggies but little fruit. I was confused by this idea. So I went looking for information and found the Engine 2 book at my local Whole Foods.

    So much to learn!

  • Jim (VegAthlete)

    I hate when athletes think they are immune because they are athletes, I am a triathlete, I workout every day for several hours, lift weights, imagine my shock when my cholesterol came back at just over 250, and I’ve been vegan for 5 years, and a healthy one at that, but using oils, and not being very careful eating out. Athletes who promote oil are just as bad as the ones promoting whey protein and meat.

  • K

    I am new to this but genuinely struggle with the thought of leaving all oil out. I am post menopause and have previously lost a large amount of weight. Since then I have become horribly dry skinned. I literally slather coconut oil on as well as eating it to help out. This is something to work out in my diet. Thank you for the information!!

  • Lynnette

    Once I learned to sautee in water or broth, the cooking part was relatively easy. Fortunately I like vinegar, lemon or salsa for dressing. I have been learning to expand that.

  • Paul Berry

    I gave it up the same way I gave up smoking several years ago, cold-turkey. Been plant-strong for 11 months now and not looking back. I have lost a total of about 95 lbs. so far, dropped my blood numbers to ultra-low figures and blood pressure to normal, no more meds of any kind, and run 4 miles + pain-free now.

  • cyndyw

    I started a plant based diet from reading Dr. Esseltyns book – “Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease.” Since then my total cholesterol has dropped from 262 to 180!!! all by diet – no meds!!! My energy level has increased as well as my memory!! Lovin it – from a family full of siblings w/ heart related issues – I did not want to be the next one at risk!! Thank you Dr. Esseltyn for all your research and informing the public!!

  • Ginette

    Hope I’m not to late. I have no oil in my kitchen I water sauté all my veggie’s . I sub oil in baking with applesauce No oil for me means I am getting grease free.

  • o

    i use olive oil as lotion…will that cause me to gain weight? I noticed in your article you said someone was sick from not eating oil and they put it on her skin.

    • Scott Alton

      I think that will clog your pores. I have heard that safflower has better properties. I have done an exfoliation with bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. Then I use a watered down application of Bio Oil from Costco. That is exhilerating for me!!

  • Teresa

    Sadly, several of the links in the above article are no longer working – is there a way to relink them?! Thanks for such an excellent post!

  • Scott Alton

    I just watched a video on YT; Dr. Gabriel Cousens-How to be 100% Successful Vegan By; Pacific Vegan. Has he gone bananas? I have read two of his books and he has seemed to be a little extreme. No grains, Beans, Fruit. following the ayervedic philosophy (but Indians are big on Dahl and GHEE) So, now he is promoting to consume 1 TBS per day coconut oil because of the Lauric acid and ketone properties blah,blah,. He also states that carbohydrates cause heart disease and sugar causes diabetes.I also follow 80/10/10. The body and brain runs on glucose for fuel( ATP/ Krebs cycle). Is this COMPLETE RUBBISH? I am now a little concerned about who to believe. I need some help here.

  • Lara

    Do have any thoughts for a person who has a severe nut allergy, gluten allergy and oral allergy syndrome. Avocado’s make me sick to my stomach, but I’m fine with cooking and freezing many veggies and fruits and can eat oak leaf lettuce raw, but I cannot eat nuts whatsoever, and have chosen gluten free for myself and my son with special needs. I do hope to see an improvement in the OAS, and my immune system in general, but wondered if you had any suggestions to replace some of those nice natural oils and proteins?

  • Marthaeo

    Giving up oil was easy for me, b ut when hubby cooks he still uses some, but just a little as he knows I don’t want it. I dry stir fry or use broth or water, adding taste w/chopped fresh garlic and/or ginger.

  • joan

    I gave up cooking with oil once I started to read – books like Engine 2, Forks over knives, Eat to Live – and have been attending healthy eating classes at Whole Foods Market in my area. I have learned that oil is NOT necessary to cook, and use water or veggie broth to sauté now! I would love to win, as I have not yet read either one, and I know they would help me on my weight loss and health journey!

  • sunspotbaby

    Since going oil-free, my skin and hair are both much healthier. I used to have extremely dry chapped skin but I need neither moisturizing lotion nor conditioner (or even commercial shampoo for that matter) for my hair. I “slipped” on Saturday and had something fried and immediately my face broke out. I’m pretty sure of the connection there.

  • Bob

    What about the small amount of oil used in the Gardein ‘meat’ products? Are these levels safe?

  • Bonnie

    I’m so excited and nervous at the same time – today I had my blood drawn for my cholesterol numbers after being Plant Strong for 8 weeks with a 10 day juice fast that kicked it off!! I’ve lost 17 pounds, the whites of my eyes are white and I feel GREAT!! I was a “Stupid” vegetarian for 4 yrs I ate eggs, dairy, fish and my Italian Olive Oil which I use to call the nectar of the gods. I can’t wait to see what the numbers will show. I was on statins but I just don’t feel good when I take them. So I need and want this life style to work for me!!! Here’s to a PLANT STONG LIFE! I will see tomorrow I’ll take any positive thoughts and prayers! Thanks

  • Ayal

    I’ve been oil free for about two years now, and it’s amazing how much better I feel (and how much weight I’ve lost!). Besides big obvious things like losing weight and lower cholesterol, I used to get colds all the time and now I NEVER get sick. Amazing!

  • Ginette Gundlach

    No oil makes so much sense for healing at the micro -vascular level… oil is fat and now reminds me of sludge..once I dropped the oil food taste sweeter and everything had more flavor…I water saute in broth or I will pan sweat veggies and pull the flavor out from the veggies themselves without any extra water. No wonder people feel so tired after a meal. And no wonder there are still overweight “Vegans”. oil=fat= >weight…no thank you! Im in this for the Health of me…

  • carola

    Hi, I am working at becoming a vegan… and have been a vegetarian for over a year. I think when I read about how many olives need to be used for a tbsp. of olive oil.. it made me realize that oils are the concentrated part of the food and that you are missing all the other nutrients that food has to offer when you just eat the oil… similar to vitamins. I am in a quandary though… after 6-8 months of vegetarian/vegan eating my LDL is still at 4.5 and my doctor wants me to go on statins… even though my HDL is 2.5. they tell me I am a walking heart attack waiting to happen. any thoughts about high LDL with a very good LDL to HDL ratio? I am following the Forks over Knives cookbook and Rip’s books for vegan recipes. Do fall off the vegan truck when I travel.

    • carola

      ps… I am tall and slender so weight is not the issue.

  • Eileen

    I watched videos on youtube that showed how to cook oil free. I also learned how to make delicious salad dressings with nuts rather than oil. Even if it didn’t harm you, who needs the extra calories? Not me.

  • http://eattolivediet.org/ 14 day diet

    Great information. I love all the
    posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it
    is very nice, Thanks for sharing. I like the site best.

    diets that work
    fast

  • About Engine

    The Engine 2 blog will feature tips, plant-strong success stories, how to make plant-strong work, answer your questions and feature special guest experts. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to help you become and stay plant-strong. Please be sure to jump in the conversation by leaving comments on each post!
  • Categories

    • No categories
  • Contributors

    E2XAnne Mike Portman Lindsay Nixon Ann Esselstyn
  • Recommended read

  • Plant-Strong Easter Menu

    Easter is around the corner and many of you are preparing for your Easter brunch or dinner. We have some tips, recipes and suggestions on [&hellip

    A Bag of Potatoes, Microwaves and Being Kind

    A few weeks ago I got this e-mail: “Hello, My name is Nancy I am 74 years old. I live on a fixed income and [&hellip

    Plant-Strong on the Go!

    Plant-strong On The Go As college students, we are almost always on the move.  Some days, it seems like time just isn’t on our side.  [&hellip

    Adventures with Ami: What’s in Your Cup? Part 2

    Last time we discussed sparkling waters. A bigger topic than one might imagine.  The seem to be the hot new thing out there.  Water can [&hellip

    Breakfast

    Starting down the plant-strong path can often seem daunting. Sometimes the thought of changing every thing at once is a little overwhelming. So what if [&hellip

  • Twitter