Monday Miscellany: Cool Fall Colors, Diet, And More

Cool fall colors: long linen cardigan in a bright berry. Details at une femme d'un certain age.Fall Colors On The Cool Side

While I believe there’s a way to wear just about any color you fancy, even if it’s not “your” color, I get that putting together a cohesive wardrobe is easier when we focus on those colors that we know will work. Some of you mentioned in comments on my last post that you’d like to see more options in cool fall colors.

Above, the color may be cool, but you won’t need to wait until there’s frost on the ground to wear this linen cardigan. The bright berry color would look smashing with grey hair! It would work with just about any neutral in your wardrobe, including olive. And if you’re feeling daring, pair with something burgundy…

Caslon burgundy cargo pants. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

…like these utility pants. (Plus here.)

Banana Republic silk cashmere varsity sweater in teal. Details at une femme d'un certain age.Shades of teal and green can also work well with cooler coloring, and I think we’ll have a lot of options in those shades this fall. This teal sweater would pair nicely with navy or grey.

COS cotton boatneck sweater in dark green. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I adore forest green, and currently have this cotton sweater in my shopping cart. Think I’m going to bite.

I’m just getting started on sharing fall colors and styles, so if there’s anything in particular you’re looking for, let me know.

A Plant-Based Diet?

Book cover: The China Study. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Over the weekend one of my relatives was in town briefly, and stopped by the house to visit. As I was getting ready to prepare lunch, she let me know that at age 78, she has adopted a vegan diet. (Fortunately I’d already planned a big salad…just skipped the meat.) This is quite a change for her. She’s had one major bout with breast cancer (resulting in a double mastectomy a couple of decades ago) and had recently had treatment for a pre-cancerous lesion on her gum. The surgeon who treated her recommended she read this book. She did, and it convinced her to radically change her diet.

She isn’t the first person I know who has mentioned The China Study as the catalyst to make a big dietary shift. I’ve been trying to move toward a more plant-based diet over the last year or so. I’ve ordered the book and will report back. Have you read it? What did you think?

Edited to add: I’m not endorsing this or any other eating plan, just curious about others’ experiences.

A Little Makeover

I’ve been working the last couple of weeks on giving the blog a little pre-Fall makeover. I still have a couple of minor tweaks to do. But I’m quite pleased with the overall look. Do let me know if anything doesn’t seem to be working as it should.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. amelia
    August 20, 2018 / 4:04 am

    Yay! Plant based! The book above had a large impact on me years ago as well as Nutrition Facts. Org for continued information

    • judyhw
      August 20, 2018 / 6:10 am

      I ditto this. is a goldmine!

      • Garden Goddess
        August 20, 2018 / 9:31 am

        I signed-up for the Sunday emails quite a while ago and have learned so much! Dr. Greger’s book “How Not to Die” was also eye opening. Personally, I like the science-backed information he touts. Who would have guessed when all these years I’ve repeatedly heard that milk is good for your bones, that the reality is just the opposite… Studies have shown that the people who drink the most milk (far northern europeans) have the worst bone density! He has a crew review all the research studies to determine if they are biased, well constructed, etc., then bases his findings on the good ones. Other good books are “The Plant Paradox” by Steven Gandry, MD; and “Food Politics” by Marion Nestle (scary!);

        • August 21, 2018 / 5:53 am

          Couldn’t that also be because of the extreme lack of sunshine in the winter, though, and thus of vitamin D?

          • Gabrielle, Vancouver
            August 22, 2018 / 3:59 pm

            Exactly, Lagatta! With the plethora of “science based research” out there, one must carefully wade through the information. The best gauge, IMO is to trust your body to tell you what kind of food to eat. My health has never been better since I began following a pegan-style eating program: gluten free, tons of organic veg, fruit, nuts, whole non-homoinized milk and other dairy, ocean caught salmon, organic meat, plenty of olive oil, coconut oil and enough saturated fats. I also lost 25 lbs without ever feeling hungry, all my numbers are excellent. My whole (very large) extended family eats this way. No health issues at all, oldest 104, several nearing 100. No heart disease, dementia. It’s really a version of the mediterranean diet.

    • August 20, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      YES YES YES! To plant based AND to Dr. Greger at My health has definitely been improved for the better!

      • Kris
        August 24, 2018 / 6:51 pm

        Hi Gabrielle – what is a pegan diet?


  2. Jeanne
    August 20, 2018 / 4:24 am

    Do you think women in their 60s can wear camo pants? I bought the sanctuary ones at the nordstrom sale but haven’t worn them yet. I also bought the camo bomber style sweater at jcrew. Of course not to wear together. Having second thoughts on that one. Will it go with a lot of looks, I am wondering? Any wisdom to share on that too?

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 6:09 am

      Hi Jeanne, I think it’s more a matter of your style than your age. If they appeal to you, absolutely! I just ordered a pair from J.Crew and have some fun ideas to style them.

      • Lisa B
        August 20, 2018 / 12:19 pm

        I have a pair and I’m 63. I pair them with a white button down or a boatneck 3/4 sleeve black tee. I keep everything really low key. Black or white slip on sneakers by Opening Ceremony.. Minimal jewelry. Just my watch and wedding rings.

        • Lisa B
          August 20, 2018 / 12:35 pm

          looking forward to wearing them in the fall with some boots and a black turtleneck or a black v neck sweater with a white button down underneath.
          I think the min thing is comfort and confidence when wearing camo at our age.

      • Laura Hendrix Hansen
        August 22, 2018 / 9:02 am

        Me too, can’t wait to see how you style the camo pants! I’ll be anxiously awaiting.

    • Susan
      August 20, 2018 / 11:20 am

      HI Jeanne,
      I wrote a message here a couple of weeks ago asking about what to wear with the camo pants in Susan’s finds and camo in general.. As a veteran, I had been turned off by wearing camo all of these years, but I have rediscovered the versatility of it as a new neutral, especially when muted. I also don’t think it of it is a matter of age and it seems to be a trend that is durable. I would still love Susan’s ideas on this, too.

  3. Rose
    August 20, 2018 / 4:31 am

    Hi Susan—I’ve always associated a linen sweater with warmer months of the year. I assumed linen shouldn’t be worn in the winter and would look out of place in the middle of a Midwest winter. Please advise us.

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 6:06 am

      Hi Rose, I don’t wear linen during the coldest months either. But if you live somewhere with a mild climate (and our weather here stays warm through October), it’s a nice way to incorporate some fall color without roasting.

  4. Diane
    August 20, 2018 / 4:45 am

    Your site is looking great, and I love your recommendations! As for “ The China Study”, it is a credible, powerful, wealth of information. I read it years ago, and having also been treated for breast cancer, believe this is truly the diet of the future. There is just too much positive research on a whole food-plant based diet to dismiss.

  5. Anne
    August 20, 2018 / 5:03 am

    Plant-based is the way to go! ‘How Not to Die’ by Dr Michael Greger is another excellent book on the benefits of a plant-based diet.

    The arguments for being vegan are now overwhelming : for animal welfare, for our health and for the planet. I’ve seen a real shift in attitudes recently.

  6. August 20, 2018 / 5:14 am

    I am a 3/4 time vegetarian…if I am at someone’s home and they serve a dish with meat I try to eat as little as possible without making a big deal about it. The prob. I have is I have never met a carb I didn’t love and altho I have tried incorporating beans, p.butter and lots more vegetables into my diet , I am often still hungry before my next meal and then snack. Any suggestions from this great community on helping me with this? Protein powder in a smoothie and if so, which powder do you recommend? how do you stay full if you are vegetarian or vegan?

    • Penelope
      August 20, 2018 / 7:15 am

      We follow Dr John McDougal’s recommendations on plant based eating which emphasizes no oil, but plenty of carbs. He says you will get hungry eating only fruits and veggies. My husband and I have dropped sixty pounds between us eating this way. His book on this is called “ The Starch Solution”.

      • August 20, 2018 / 10:24 am

        I follow Dr. McDougall’s eating plan and it has improved my health greatly. Also lost 20+ lbs, so far. He has great info on his website, and anyone can follow his plan for free if they want to…

    • Danielle
      August 20, 2018 / 7:16 am

      Eating starches, such as whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, whole wheat pasta, corn, etc., are the only way to stay full until your next meal. You say you love carbs, so that’s fantastic! Base your meals around whole grains, potatoes and other starchy foods, add some beans and vegetables, and have fruit for dessert. This mindset will change your relationship with food! Dr. McDougall’s website has a massive amount of information for free as well as a ton of recipes, most written by Mary McDougall.

    • Garden Goddess
      August 20, 2018 / 9:48 am

      You could try having a snack of nuts or seeds. Another good, filling snack is beans–like edamame, or black bean dip or hummus with veggies. A large amount of fiber also helps, like an apple or pear. Good luck! Protein powder is very highly processed, so I hear it’s not so good for you…

    • Anne
      August 20, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      Pumpkin seeds contain 30%protein and are delicious! Other good sources of plant-based protein : almond butter, kidney beans,tempeh, pistachio nuts, tofu.

      • March 11, 2019 / 7:28 am

        I love tempeh; discovered it in the Netherlands where there is a lot of Indonesian food as the Dutch colonised that huge country (like the British, huge India, and the Belgians the very large Congo). It is fermented (like cheese) so it is much more digestible for the many people who have difficulty digesting legumes.

    • Barbara Meyers
      August 22, 2018 / 6:10 pm

      Hi- I have been vegetarian for 25 years. I also follow the Weight Watchers eating plan. I make a lot of things with the cauliflower rice (CR, black beans, rotel and onions) Make pizza crust out of the CR as well. The carrot noodles with pesto sauce, is so tasty!
      Good luck on this healthy journey!

  7. Ainsivalavie
    August 20, 2018 / 5:28 am

    Would strongly suggest that any woman of a certain age who is looking to make a radical change in diet to first consult a registered dietitian. In all likelihood the change you want to make will be beneficial but a RD will take into account any pre existing illness, current medication, lifestyle, budget and yes, your age!. The ‘diet’ you want to follow may be contraindicated or might need a modification to work for you. Sweeping change that removes whole food groups is not to be taken lightly. The money is well spent even if you just have one consult. Too many ‘experts’ out there, it can be incredibly confusing and you can end up having bigger issues than those few extra pounds/kg on your hips.

    • Leslie
      August 20, 2018 / 10:56 am

      I strongly second this advice. My 26 year old son became vegan about 3 years ago and his physician tests him from time to time to make sure the necessary levels of vital nutrients are being met. My supervisor at work (now 69) was vegan for a long time and didn’t take this precaution and is having a hip replacement this Friday because of an injury related to having calcium and Vitamin D levels be too low for too long leading to bone loss. She is now mostly vegan.
      I must say though, that once we started eating mostly vegan/vegetarian along with our son (family meals are important to us), my blood cholesterol levels (already pretty good) made a dramatic improvement.

      • Karen
        August 20, 2018 / 5:46 pm

        I’d like to third this recommendation. An R.D. who can help you sift the claims of these experts and tailor them to your individual needs is an excellent idea. I ended up with anemia and a weight problem from following a near vegetarian diet and I wasn’t that extreme about it. By adding just a little animal protein to my diet, which is still mostly plant-based, I lost 60 pounds and cured the anemia. I am now at a sustainable healthy weight.
        Also, please do a little research on both the China Study and some of the other advocates for veganism before you make big changes to your diet. You will find that they are over-selling the science – it sounds good but the evidence is not nearly as solid as they would have you believe and they are underplaying the potential risks. That helps them sell books and they are making a lot of money off this stuff but they’re not giving you all the facts. That’s why the R.D. is such a great idea.

        • Rita Prangle
          September 1, 2018 / 5:35 am

          Karen, it’s good to see you injecting a note in favor of critical thinking on this subject. “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith tells a story that is similar to your experience. You can find an extensive critique of “The China Study” by Dr. Michael Eades, lookup his blog and do a search on “The China Study”.

    • Kay
      August 20, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      Good advice. Human nutrition is complex, and adopting any eating plan should be done with informed knowledge and medical supervision. A cousin of mine has jumped on every new fad with enthusiasm, but one of her “diets” caused her to become seriously ill, requiring hospitalization.

  8. August 20, 2018 / 5:30 am

    I adore that forest green and am happy that it seems to be easier to find this year. So many greens are too yellow for my complexion or a very dingy shade of olive.

    I’ve been eating more and more more veg and no red meat (mammalian meat) at home, but don’t feel quite prepared to give up all fish or poultry. Legumes are high in protein but can be difficult to digest. I like tempeh, an Indonesian soya food that is fermented a bit like cheese, so far more digestible.

    Also look at the (real) Mediterranean diet that is mostly plant-based but allows for some fish and poultry. This is based on traditional diets in Ikaria, Crete and Sardinia, not the modern diet of major Mediterranean cities where there are many brochettes and other meaty dishes, with greater prosperity.

  9. August 20, 2018 / 5:30 am

    The neckline on that teal sweater is gorgeous! I immediately thought how beautiful jewellery would be with it; earrings or a necklace with that neckline would be beautiful.

    I also ordered The China Study, but haven’t read it yet. Susan Pierce Thompson who created Bright Line Eating is a big fan of that book, so that’s good enough for me! Her way of eating has changed my life completely because I’m not constantly obsessing and fretting about what I have or will eat. I finally have peace around food as long as I observe the lines and stay on track.

    I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 15, but I do eat a little bit of fish or shellfish every few weeks. I’ve mostly cut out dairy as well because except in very small amounts (like Parmesan cheese) I just feel sick from it. This isn’t easy with a French family who wants a cheese course after every dinner! I’m eager to see how you’ll do with more plants and even less meat/dairy in your life.

  10. August 20, 2018 / 5:58 am

    Just about anything from Cos has my vote! Love the dark, dark green and the fact that it is 100% cotton!!

  11. SuD
    August 20, 2018 / 6:22 am

    I love the cool colors (they do work with my skin tone) and berry is a favorite. I have read reviews and criticisms of The China Study. Most of the criticism centers on sampling size, interpretation and collection of data and correlations.
    I’m an omnivore, but a variety of vegetables are predominant in my diet and red meat is limited. I guess I adhere more to the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting and limiting my unhealthy carbs and sugar intake. By the way, the sugar and carbs had an even higher correlation with cancer than consumption of animal protein in The China Study.

  12. Eileen
    August 20, 2018 / 6:51 am

    I’ve been a mostly vegetarian for 50 years, my weight stays pretty stable, and no major health issues has been the benefit. I just Looked up, which diets have people that live the longest, it said, Italian, Japanese, and vegetarian. It explained the reason, low on meat/ protein, and high variety of fruit/ vegetables/ grains, and a lot of walking vs driving. Seemed practical so I gave it a go.

  13. Sue
    August 20, 2018 / 7:05 am

    Here is an exhaustive examination of the claims made in The China Study book:

    I can second Sud in that sugar and processed carbs have a much higher correlation with cancer than animal protein.

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 7:16 am

      Thanks for the info. I’ve been trying to stick to whole foods and avoid processed carbs and sugar for a while now. I tend to be skeptical about any broad nutritional claims, but I do like to read different viewpoints.

  14. Su
    August 20, 2018 / 7:11 am

    The great part of that theory is encouraging people to eat more of a wide range of fresh unprocessed vegetables. Cutting all animal/fish based food is a much trickier decision. A quick browse of the internet shows a lot of disagreement with the conclusions of that study.

    If you are interested in improving your health through diet I have to suggest “The Diet Myth” a book by Tim Spector, a highly-regarded, highly-qualified, unbiased medical expert. Many of the points he makes (such as the importance and influence of microbes) are now being adopted by the mainstream medical organisations world wide. Fortunately it’s an enjoyable, easy read, despite being written by someone of his eminence, and may help your decision making.

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 7:18 am

      Thanks, I’ll check that one out as well!

      • SuD
        August 21, 2018 / 5:52 pm

        Also check out The Blue Zones Solution (an update to the Blue Zones) which studies different areas of the world with a high number of centenarians. It looks at diet and lifestyles. The diets are quite varied with perhaps a common component of a large consumption of a variety of vegetables. They have a website:

  15. Anon
    August 20, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Teal green and greens — clever seguê!

    Some of my favorite colors are back this fall. As for the others, maybe they ‘re meant for gloves, a bag or a scarf.

  16. Danielle
    August 20, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Changing to a plant based diet has changed my health and my life. It’s amazing, and everyone who I have met who has committed to this change has said the same. The scales fall away from your eyes, and you realize how bad you felt before. And I changed from a vegetarian diet to plant-based, so I wasn’t even making that much of a change. Basing your meals around whole starches, with some beans, vegetables and seasonings is the way to go. You can cook simply or elaborately, your choice.

    My favorite resources are and All these plant-based doctors give away massive amounts of information for absolutely free, just one more reason to respect them and listen to the message. Also, if you care about the environment, a plant-based diet is the way to go.

  17. Lyn
    August 20, 2018 / 7:25 am

    For me, the bottom line is sugar. I’m trying to cut back, but it’s truly addictive.

    • Pre
      August 20, 2018 / 3:09 pm

      If interested in whole food plant based diet have a look at the I Feel Good website. I have followed Adam Guthrie’s recommendations for 12 months with great results. I feel great.

  18. Martha
    August 20, 2018 / 7:25 am

    Yes! I went to a whole plant based diet a little over a year ago and I have never felt better. I lost 18 pounds without trying. I wasn’t really overweight to start with, but now I weigh what I did in my 20’s (63 now). Dr Greger has a free app called The Daily Dozen which is a simple helpful guide when first starting a whole plant food diet. I also recommend his site I trust the information there as they are backed by actual studies.

  19. August 20, 2018 / 7:26 am

    Susan, I’m eagerly awaiting you styling the olive “shimmer” jacket that was half-price at he recent Nordstrom’s sale. I bought one and went up one size as well, it’s really beautiful. I have incorporated many of your suggestions over the last two years in my closet including leopard flats which I’m sure I can wear with the jacket. My husband may not be happy I found you, but I sure am…smile.

  20. Michele
    August 20, 2018 / 7:42 am

    Love your blog-thank you for sharing your talents.

    Currently, I am reading Food Sanity-how to eat in a world of fads and fiction by Dr David Friedman. It’s an easier read than The China Study. I like to follow Michael Pollan’s “rules”- eat real food, mostly plants, not too much.

  21. August 20, 2018 / 7:54 am

    I have read this book, and also am a breast cancer survivor. I have been vegan for 7 years. I have never felt better. I have lost 20 lbs, and kept it off. I have zero desire for animal products, and only eat plants. My husband, and I, eat out a lot, travel all over the world, and have never had a problem, ordering vegan. Btw, he has gradually become vegan, and loves it! You are lucky, in your area, there are plenty of vegan restaurants, that are fantastic! Our favorite in LA, is Gracias Madre! TRY IT, you will love it. Besides the China Study, read Kris Carr’s , Crazy, Sexy, Diet! She is vegan, and a fabulous resource! Please contact me, if I can be of help! Love your blog, and would love to hear from you!

  22. Deborah
    August 20, 2018 / 7:55 am

    What bottom colors do you wear with the forest green? Of course jeans go with everything. I wear green in the summer more often and pair it with navy. Black would be my go-to for winter with green, but it seems so boring and predictable. Other thoughts without looking like a tree (brown on the bottom, green on top) or always resorting to blue jeans or black. Grey I suppose??

    • August 20, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Forest green can even go with burgundy – with deep colours, this mix doesn’t look Christmasy. But I rather fancy looking like a tree, though I’d be a short one. I love trees.

  23. Amy N
    August 20, 2018 / 8:11 am

    The China Study is very misleading. What Campbell reports is cherry-picked and does not hold up to any scrutiny. There are many online articles debunking this book. I write this as someone who was at first drawn in by the book and tried a vegan diet for over a year. It was detrimental to my energy levels, mood, and provided no positive body composition benefit. I do not eat red meat or pork, but I focus on maximizing protein, veggies, and fruits. I would recommend books by Tom Venuto instead. Sohee Lee also has a great approach but her books/programs are designed for people who do heavy weight training. (Side note: I do barbell training, and I’m 45, and it has brought me the best benefits of any activity I have tried.)

  24. Eleni W.
    August 20, 2018 / 8:12 am

    Hi Susan! This post has me commenting for the first time. Love your blog by the way!

    I work in Wellness as an alternative health coach. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. In 2006 Dr Campbell came and lectured on his China Study findings and I was invited to attend. I get to speak to researchers, formulators, scientists regularly in my field. I listen to what they have to say, but I pay close attention to how they look visually. If the information they teach is so important certainly they would be following the protocol in their own life – right?!! And the results are always, always visually evident.

    I cannot tell you how often the “picture” doesn’t match up! At this moment I can think of 4 researchers/scientists who’s information was visually obvious. Meaning they looked the picture of health. 4 in almost 20 years!!

    Unfortunately, Dr. Campbell isn’t one of them. In fact my whole group was surprised at how aged he looked considering he was following such a “healthy” diet.

    I have a good friend who is a very conscientious vegan, and has been since the 70’s. She said, “to be a healthy vegan you have to really pay attention to details…” In other words, you cannot just eliminate food groups and expect your body will do well over time.

    Anyways, I’d say the book is worth the read, See if anything “rings true” and experiment with your own diet. Decide if the information is good for your body. Your gauge is how YOU feel and what you see in the mirror. Give it 3 – 6 months. This isn’t a fast process. Definitely eating more plants is good. Eating as local as possible. Choosing protein sources that come from conscientious farmers and farming practices is very wise. Getting in healthy fats, drinking pure sources of water, moderate exercise (that you love doing), avoid overeating, make sleep a priority, and cultivate happy relationships. Really it’s a simple, very peaceful formula.

    • Ann
      August 20, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      What a sensible contribution to this conversation. Thanks, Eleni. 🙂

    • Ellen
      August 22, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      That makes total sense! Will you share who these 4 researchers are?

  25. Ellen
    August 20, 2018 / 8:16 am

    My husband is an endocrinologist, my mother was a type 1 diabetic. I read only the pages of this book that Amazon will let me read for free, but I am alarmed by the assertion that following a plant based diet will allow diabetics to go off their medications. There is more thn one type of diabetes. Obesity and poor dietary choices certainy contribute to type II diabetes, but type I is an autoimmune disease in which diet in a necessary componet of control, but medication is essential. Making a assertion like that could be life threatening. Perhaps it is better qualified in the actual book, but just that assertion in the pages that I was able to read would make me reject the book as my guideline.

    That said, we have moved gradually over the years to a much more plant based diet, with smaller amounts of animal protein. However the many dieticians and endocrinology/metabolism specialists that I know also remark that as we age, our bodies are less able to to absorb protein, and relying only on plant based protein, for some people, can cause problems such a muscle wasting. I would not make any major diet change without throroughly discussing it with my health care providers.

  26. RoseAG
    August 20, 2018 / 9:00 am

    My husband latched onto The China Study and wants to be Vegan. It’s extremely frustrating to me. He sneers at clean foods, fresh, prepared in healthy low-fat ways, simply because they contain animal proteins; and then chows down a bag of Doritos when we stop at gas stations. He went to a business meeting where the breakfast was mostly eggs, ate sugary cereal and then had a blood sugar crash mid-morning.

    You can follow it if you want, but I am going to stick with a diet of all things in moderation that allows me to maintain a healthy weight.

  27. Kelly Montano
    August 20, 2018 / 9:13 am

    Funny, I just did a 30 day challenge that was basically plant based. Some chicken, salmon but that’s it. Lots of smoothies. Mostly organic. Very clean eating. I don’t want to go vegan. I do love to eat this way. I lost 12lbs. in those 30 days and feel awesome. My daily 1-2 glasses of wine when to none, as well as my 2 cups of cappuccino. . I really, really feel no desire to have anything more than what I ate on this plan.

  28. Lynn
    August 20, 2018 / 9:18 am

    I would like to second the idea of consulting a registered dietician. I spent years focused on whole grains as part of my diet only to find that I have an autoimmune disease that makes processing these difficult and painful. Now that I no longer eat grains of any kind, my intestinal system is almost normal and I feel much better and weigh less. We are all different and no one diet is for everyone.

  29. Jennifer
    August 20, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Joel Fuhrman is another author to look into. His approach includes a small amount of animal protein. Also, look into Blue Zone populations.
    It can all be very confusing!

  30. Diane
    August 20, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Susan, I’m sure when you mentioned The China Study, and asked for input, you had no idea it would generate this much……uh, respectfully let’s just say interest, and obviously lots of opinions! There is a lot of credible information out there, so take advantage and do your research. But the bottom line is that there really is no longer any controversy among respected physicians that a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet can be healthy. We absolutely do not need animal protein, but we DO need a proper balance of all nutrients. It is not hard, but one must pay attention. One can definitely suffer from an unhealthy vegan diet full of processed crap, fat and sugar. That is worlds apart from WFPB.

  31. August 20, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    My life was high jacked for almost 4 months last year because of a bout of severe pneumonia. Ut especially took an emotional and physical toll on me because if my age of 78 and because I have not had a cold or flue since high school. Before that I walked 4-6 miles 4 days a week and swam. I still don’t have my game back but I already feel better after only 4 days ofI doing How Not To Die. I think it’s great.

  32. Candy
    August 20, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    As others have said, it’s misleading to say one way of eating applies to everyone. Gender, age, race, genetic and family history and lifestyle all play a part. A person living in rural China may have different nutritional needs and considerations than a more sedentary person with a family history of an inherited disease does in urban America. If changing your diet a certain way improves your health, that’s great. But others may need to modify what works best for their personal health.

    • Ann
      August 20, 2018 / 2:29 pm

      And here’s another sensible contribution to this conversation. Thank you.

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      I agree, and have always been wary of “one diet fits all” dogma.

  33. Daniella
    August 20, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    There are so many books out there toting the latest and the greatest in “ best nutrition advice” one should follow. This reminds me of The Holinsheds Chronicles of 1577 extolling the virtues of whisky by listing a lithany of fabulous effects on ones well being, all “ If Taken In Moderation”!! That goes with food! Eating well and smart means eating everything in moderation, drinking in moderation and EXERCIZING in moderation! The Less is More has been my mantra for a very long time. It has worked well for my mother and her siblings as well, and I’m following their advice. It works, folks!!

  34. Anne
    August 20, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    For plant-based recipes, I love these Irish twins’ youtube channel. They’ve been vegan for about 16 years! They’re an inspiration. You just need to look at them to see how healthy this diet is!

    • Launa Lopez
      October 6, 2018 / 5:30 am

      This article says that the China Study makes a good case – but not quite good enough – maybe meaning additional data is needed? This is one doctor’s review of the book, as well. I think it is important to consult a variety of studies, data, reasearch-based text before implementing dietary changes. As a person with Lupus, I can testify that plant-based eating has improved my health to the point where I need to take only half of my previous dosage of medication (which I had taken for 15 years!). My specialist says that I am the picture is health. 🙂

  35. Cathy D.
    August 20, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    Two years ago I read Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Since then I have followed a mostly (but not entirely) vegan diet. I have lost weight and feel more energetic. Most remarkably, my last bone density scan showed significant improvement. The China Study is one of the many references Dr. Fuhrman cites.

  36. Angela
    August 20, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    I imagine that since the bulk of this blogs followers will be “of a certain age” then it would most likely follow that we have all been subjected over many years to the “latest” findings regarding what is considered best for us. Some will have tried every diet imaginable and others will have dismissed them as fad, but at the end of the day surely by now we should have enough life experience to know what works for us as individuals?

    • Susan B
      August 20, 2018 / 3:51 pm

      Perhaps, but our bodies can change over time or medical conditions can develop that could benefit from lifestyle tweaks here and there. I never had an issue with my cholesterol levels until the last couple of years (now in the “high normal” range) so if making some changes can address that, why not?

      • Darling Lily
        August 20, 2018 / 6:14 pm

        Bear in mind that it is normal for cholesterol to increase as we age. I suspect there is a benefit to it, and am not concerned about my slightly higher levels. (Nor is my physician)

        • Susan B
          August 20, 2018 / 6:16 pm

          Ah, good to know. I have friends who have been put on statins and I want to avoid that.

          • Darling Lily
            August 20, 2018 / 6:37 pm

            My doctor told me she would not put a rat on statins. I absolutely respect those who hold different opinions, but I would not go on them if my cholesterol were above a thousand. I have watched my mother, who was perfectly healthy aside from high cholesterol, rapidly decline after the first year of being on statins. Can barely walk, rhabdomyolosis, severe memory loss, elevated blood sugar levels, liver damage, you name it. And she has always taken CoQ10 with it.

            Not every one has trouble taking them, of course!

        • Candy
          August 21, 2018 / 6:03 am

          Good point. There are cholesterol level differences between men and woman and age plays a role, too. Women’s HDL levels post-menopause typically run higher than men’s so choosing one level for both genders and all ages can lead to over-medicating unnecessarily.

  37. Darling Lily
    August 20, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    Count me among those who did not fair well on a vegan diet. Gained weight, severe anemia, and terrible muscular issues.

    I put my incisors to good use and eat a fair amount of meat. I also eat tons of fresh vegetables and fruit in season. I am blessed to be able to raise just about everything we eat, and so avoid the added hormones, antibiotics, etc that come with store-bought meat.

    No human being is exactly the same as another, so it stands to reason that no single diet will work for everyone. It’s wonderful to be alive now, with so much information available, and so many options to choose from.

  38. Linda
    August 20, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Read How Not to Die by Dr. Gregor. He is the real deal, because he has no financial interest … he isn’t selling you anything. Also please read Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman. While it is billed as a weight loss book, it really is a nutrition book. To the person who asked how to avoid being hungry, I would suggest two things. First, make sure you eat enough. Vegetables are nutritious but tend to be low in calories, so you can and should eat a lot. I eat a whole head of romaine almost every day. Also, have a healthy snack if you are hungry: hummus or peanut butter, a handful of nuts, or some guacamole (few or no chips, try carrot sticks instead). These foods are very satiating.

    • Cathi Walker
      October 6, 2018 / 3:15 pm

      I read How Not to Die and I found it really informative (I was already vegan). I never have an issue being vegan and hungry! Lentils, pulse pasta, vegan mince and other protein foods, nuts, as you said. My blood pressure dropped from on the high side to perfect. My weight was fine anyway but I now have less ‘yoyoing’ and thus don’t think much about it any more. And with cookbooks like Deliciously Ella, I’ve learnt lots of great dishes to cook. My husband loves being vegan because of all of the interesting flavours. And we hope to avoid blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, etc. My 19 year old daughter and 15 year old son are also vegan and very committed to this. I’ve been vegan for about 15 months now.

  39. Angela
    August 20, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    My cholesterol is also on the high side but I was advised to have a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan Score done. This tests how much calcium is in the arteries to establish risk factor and thankfully mine is in the normal range so no statins required.

  40. RebeccaNYC
    August 21, 2018 / 7:06 am

    Love the cool fall colors! Thanks for the reminder to wear some of my “best colors” instead of always black, gray and white.

    There are a lot of critics of the China Study, citing poor research and faulty data. I have many vegan friends, and some seem to do really well, others do terribly and seem to be always sick. It’s a personal choice, and everyone is different. Just be careful.

    In conversations with my doctor about cholesterol issues, (my bad is high, my good is higher, thank goodness) I asked her if she thought a vegan diet would fix it, and she told me that her patients with terribly high and difficult to control cholesterol tend to be vegan, which shocked me. She recommends (for me…I don’t know what she would recommend for you) a low fat, low carb diet, NO SUGAR (which is definatly linked to cancer), low dairy (and not non-fat dairy.. when I have it, it should be full fat), no gluten, (all my genetic markers show celiac) heavy in omega 3’s. Do I follow her advice? Not as much as I should, for sure, but when I do, I feel so much better.

    Wishing you good health!

  41. Kathryn Gillett
    August 21, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Hi Susan,
    I recently had a mishap with my dirt bike and now am working on healing a torn ACL, bone edema and sprain. I hired a nutritionist to join the “team” and she strongly emphasized the role of plant based protein in healing bones. I have been trying really hard to follow her advice and it’s paying off. I have a long distance walk planned for Sept. and while you can’t predict how these things will go, I will give it my best shot and can do so partially through changing up how I eat! Thanks for the book recommendation -it’s in my cart already!

  42. Cara
    August 22, 2018 / 7:29 am

    I have been a strict vegetarian (no eggs, dairy, or flesh) since 1995, and before that a vegetarian since 1973, for ethical reasons. At 60, I am very healthy, and so is my partner; he’s been on the same diet since 1998. We don’t just avoid animal products, we avoid sugar, most grains, and chemical additives, We eat an organic whole food diet with a good amount of raw food, and high in good fats.

    I don’t call myself vegan because vegan is not simply a diet choice, it’s a lifestyle in which one avoids all animal products (silk, wool, honey, down, leather…).

    I’ve become very aware of “vegan propaganda” where a non-animal product diet is touted as the answer to everything. I think the work of Dr. Greger and Colin Campbell may fall into that category.

    I do believe different people have different metabolisms (not based on blood-type, though) but I believe everyone is served by drastically minimizing consumption of dead animals.

    I liked The Plant Paradox book very much because Dr. GUndry’s diet made sense. His isn’t a no oil, heavy carb plan. I found I lost the 5 lbs I was annoyed by very easily with his principles

    My research has led me to believe a diet high in good fats (avocado, olive, coconut, nuts) is preferable. I believe the low fat high carb craze is a cause of obesity. I think the lipid hypothesis has been shown flawed but that the statin manufacturers ( at whose behest “healthy cholesterol levels have been steadily lowered to increase sales of their drugs) are promoting a canard.

    I urge everyone to read widely. has cutting-edge nutritional advice, Seek and ye shall find. Eating like a vegan is soul-satisfying in that you aren’t contributing to the suffering of other animals, and the food is delicious.

  43. Cathi Walker
    September 2, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    I watched Forks Over Knives, which referenced the China Diet, and my 14 year old son, myself and my husband became vegan. My daughter was already vegan. My blood pressure has dropped, my husband’s cholesterol has dropped, etc. But mostly I feel that it is the most ethical and sustainable way to eat, although health is what got us started. Fortunately, there is nice vegan cheese available in Australia, as I love cheese!

  44. Liz
    September 24, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    I am one of those who does better with meat. but I source well raised animals. I only eat grass fed beef, for example. I went out and personally harvested lamb raised by friends. I also eat organ meats. Around menopause I started listening to Underground Wellness podcasts and tweaking my diet. I increased my fat and meat consumption and my energy levels rose and weight dropped. The interviewer had the genius idea that we should pay attention to how we feel when we eat certain foods and eat what makes us feel best. I frequently exercise hard and that causes me to crave meat. My mother was vegetarian and I felt awful on that diet. I have avoided sugar and processed foods most of my life. Not only genetics, but climate can also affect what makes us feel best.
    As for cholesterol, as we age those with higher cholesterol die less of all cause mortality. Also as we age people with an overweight, not obese, BMI die less as well. Check out “The Obesity Paradox” on this subject. Our societal hatred of fat and obsession with thin makes no sense. Gary Taubes has written on this subject as well as Michael Pollan.

  45. Launa Lopez
    October 6, 2018 / 5:15 am

    I read the China Study 3 or 4 years ago, and it convinced me to go vegetarian first – and now vegan for the past 8 months. The China Study is data heavy, but an excellent book that proves the power of plant-based eating. For those looking for other great books on the topic, I recommend all of Michael Pollan’s books, all books by the Esselstyn family (various members write books), Proteinaholic, the Oh She Glows cookbook, .and the Clean Food cookbook. The aforementioned books range in dietary recommendations and restrictions.

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