Doctor’s Tip: Eat dinner like pauper |

Doctor’s Tip: Eat dinner like pauper

Dr. Greg Feinsinger
Doctor’s Tip

The Blue Zones are five regions of the world where people live particularly long, good-quality lives. These populations eat primarily plant-based and remain physically active as they age. The last two columns were about breakfast and lunch, based on one of the lessons from the Blue Zones: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

Occasionally, someone will ask whether going on a plant-based diet will make them a pauper. Actually, the opposite is true — food bought in the produce aisle is the most cost-effective food you can eat. For example, the two foods with the most nutrients per dollar are red cabbage and yams. Even more cost-effective is to grow your own vegetables in the summer, and grow sprouts in your house in the winter.

Dinner is a good way to eat any of Dr. Greger's daily dozen (from his book "How Not to Die") you missed earlier in the day. So, for example if you didn't have a salad for lunch, include one with your dinner. There is an app you can get to help you make sure you are getting your daily dozen every day.

In order to stick with a healthy diet, it's important that your meals are tasty. However, tasty doesn't mean giving in to addictions to salt, sugar and fat (often in the form of oil), that the food and restaurant industries encourage. It takes 10 to 14 days to get rid of those addictions — then your taste buds change, you lose your desire to have these unhealthy foods, and your idea of what's tasty evolves.

Look up vegan, no-added-oil recipes on the internet, such as vegan mushroom stroganoff. Helpful websites include:;, and (Jeff is a dietitian who "gets it," and who has several DVDs you can order on the internet such as one that "demonstrates how anyone can create healthy, low cost, delicious and easy meals in under ten minutes.").

Following are some good cookbooks (if a recipe calls for oil, substitute ground flaxseeds and/or organic unsweetened applesauce, both available in most grocery stores):

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• "Oh She Glows Cookbook" (title refers to glowing from the inside out)

• "Isa Does It"

• "Thug Kitchen" (contains some off-color language)

• "Forks Over Knives Cookbook"

• "Simply Delicious," about simple but delicious recipes, by Sandy Holmes, the plant-based dietitian at Aspen Valley Hospital

• "How Not to Die Cookbook"

• "Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen"

• "Fusion Roots, Eating Plant-Strong for Active Living and Culinary Wellness" (100 percent plant-based, oil-free and gluten-free recipes)

• "Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking"

Here's a healthy dessert, which includes one of Dr. Greger's daily dozen: berries. Slice up ½ a banana (note we should eat intensely colored fruit and vegetables, which would exclude bananas, but ½ is OK). Add blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries and if you want a small amount of Bob's Redmill Muesli. It's best if the berries are organic, and frozen ones have as many nutrients as fresh ones (you can buy cost-effective frozen organic berries at Costco). Add a small amount of almond milk or almond milk-based yogurt. Dessert should be eaten immediately following dinner, so that your body sees it as part of your dinner and just has to secrete one bolus of insulin for the whole meal (there's a link between multiple insulin boluses and developing diabetes).

Dr. Feinsinger, who retired from Glenwood Medical Associates after 42 years as a family physician, has a nonprofit Center For Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition. He is available for free consultations about heart attack prevention and other medical issues. Call 970-379-5718 for an appointment. For questions about his columns, email him at