Is Oprah Going on a Diet With Gwyneth Paltrow?

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Inspired by Kathy Freston's new book, Veganist, Oprah -- and by extension, her staff -- took a one-week vegan challenge. Then, on her show today, Oprah invited Freston, Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma), and journalist Lisa Ling to discuss the reasons for and challenges behind kicking animal products to the curb.

Oprah's flirted with the idea of going vegan before. She did a 21-day vegan cleanse in 2008, and a couple of weeks ago, she chatted with Kind Diet author Alicia Silverstone. Given that she's revisited the topic so frequently, is it possible O could be on her way to adopting an animal-free diet for good?

It's funny that Oprah's toying with veganism right now, because my sister and I are doing the same thing. My sister, who has been seeking a natural cure for her skin woes, recently bought Alicia Silverstone's book and has been animal product-free for a week-ish. After reading Jillian Michaels' book Master Your Metabolism when it came out, I transitioned to mostly organic meat and dairy. But since seeing Food Inc., I've thought better of eating ANY meat or dairy.

But really, truly making the switch? Not easy for either of us.

Even though Oprah, actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow and Lea Michele, plus a plethora of authors, TV hosts, celebs, etc. are bringing the vegan lifestyle into the mainstream, it can still be a challenge to find tasty meat alternatives. ("Tasty" is a must for my sister and me -- we're foodies.) For instance, my sister wants to try some grain-based sausages that Silverstone raves about and that I found at my local, enormous Whole Foods. But because she's not residing in a major metropolitan area, it's harder to find foods like that in her local grocery stores. 

As for me, I bought a vegan cheese substitute that was recommended in Kris Carr's new book Crazy Sexy Diet. I attempted to "crumble" it (it's tofu-based, so it's rather spongy) on a bowl of vegan chili on Sunday night, and it was ... well, not very good. Sorry, Kris! I didn't dig it. Now I especially don't regret having gone with the regular organic sour cream. You gotta pick your battles.

For now, I'm personally content to emphasize plant-based foods, while minimizing animal products. I definitely see the merit in becoming a vegan, but I'm simply not ready to commit to the lifestyle upheaval.

And while there's no telling just how far my sister or Oprah will take their flirtations with veganism, one thing's clear: Experimenting with an animal-free diet really does put your plate, your health, and the health of the planet in perspective.

Would you experiment with a vegan diet?


vegetarian, organics, food

13 Comments

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thedg... thedgoddess

Oprah likes to eat. She ain't giving it up anytime soon.

Deb Gleason

Eating vegan is easy! I have been doing it for 10 years and it gets easier all the time. A great melting, gooey vegan cheese is made by Daiya, check it out. This is the cheese vegans have been waiting forever for.

thewellnesswarrior.wordpress.com for vegan recipes and ideas

nonmember avatar Heddy

I agree with @thegoddess, I can't see Oprah doing anything more than "flirting" with the idea. I do like that she at least has been talking about it, since whatever Oprah says goes these days ..(mindless sheep)

I had been vegetarian for 5 years and just last year went vegan. It wasn't hard at all, but if you are a full on meat eater, I suggest baby steps! Also, not eating dairy has complete put my hypothyroidism in check and I have lost 25 pounds. I will never go back to dairy!

KTMOM KTMOM

I am vegetarian and eat plenty of vegan things as well,  there really are some GOOD choices out there, but you have to find what you like.

frysh... fryshannon34

I wouldnt mind trying it

Maureen Garcia Talley

I would love to try a vegan diet, but grains bother my gut and pasta makes me bloated and feeling bad...what the heck would I eat?

nonmember avatar Sue K

KTMOM You state you are a vegetarian but you eat plenty of vegan things. That means you are not a vegetarion at all. You are a vegan. Big difference.

nonmember avatar Lady Fifi

To Maria Garcia Talley - You sound as if you may have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, which is found in wheat, oats, barley and rye. Get tested by a doctor first, but know that there are other grains like buckwheat, quinoa, corn, and rice that are gluten-free that can substitute for wheat. I'm sensitive to gluten and eat pasta made from brown rice regularly. A vegan, gluten-free diet is probably not a bad idea for either of us.

nonmember avatar anna

all i've read so far, is Oprah taking on a strict vegetarian diet. shes not going vegan. A vegan is someone who refrains using animal products in their entire lifestyle, not only through what they eat. Veganism involves staying away from animal by-products in, for example, lotions, deodorants, shoes. It's everything. And i know there are all "kinds of vegetarians" out there like lacto-vegetarians, and pesco- vegetarians, but this sounds to me like only a strict vegetarian diet. It just drives me crazy when people confuse veganism and vegetarianism, because there are important differences. i've been living vegan for a couple of years now, and this lifestyle, extends past the strict vegetarian diet.

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