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Health Supporting Eating Plan

Dear Dr. Klaper:

What should a healthy daily diet consist of? There is a lot of information out there… 

– Jeff S.

Original: April 21, 2015
Update: July 13, 2017

Dear Jeff,


My “Health Supporting Eating Plan” addresses the question, “What should I make for lunch or dinner?” (Breakfast is optional, if you’re not hungry.)

EAT PLANTS for good health! As you know from my website, I am a proponent of, and advocate for, a whole foods, plant-based diet. 

My eating plan, as you will see below, does not list all there is to eat. It’s simply a guide to constructing an easy, guaranteed-healthy day of eating based on four words that start with “S” – Salads, Soups, Steamed veggies, and Starches. 

Feel free to use spices and international flavorings to create more colorful and inviting cuisine.


Select from 4 S’s:  Salads – Soups – Steamed veggies – Starches



First of all, relax. It’s all easier than you may think – and tastier, too.

• DRINK PURE WATER: Drink at least two 8-ounce glasses of water every day. There’s lots of additional water in the foods recommended below.

Starting your day with a glass of water (or two) is a smart, healthy practice. During the day, “Listen to your thirst, plus one more glass!”

• CHEW your food to a purée! Thorough chewing increases absorption of vital nutrients and reduces swallowing air in food which reduces gas and bloating. Chewing food thoroughly also enables you to better enjoy its tastes.

• BREAKFAST: Only eat in the morning *IF* you are hungry. Most people are not, and that’s okay. Fruit alone is fine, with or without oatmeal, or another whole grain cereal. 

Otherwise, and especially if you are trying to lose weight, it is perfectly okay to drink pure water until noon, or at least, until you get truly hungry. This will extend your night-time fat-burning throughout your morning hours – a type of “intermittent fasting.” If weight loss is a goal and you are hungry, a non-sugary breakfast, such as steamed vegetables or broth-based vegetable soup, is recommended.

• LUNCH AND DINNER: Think of the following as a basic “clothesline” on which to hang a healthy day of eating. From this basic outline you can create a world of healthy variations…


I advise including each of the following 4 S’s with each lunch and dinner:


Salads, Soups, Steamed veggies, and Starches


1) SALADS – as large as you like with NO-OIL salad dressing (see links below)

2) SOUPS – Use a Crock-Pot (“slow cooker”) or Instant Pot

          – Wash and chop your favorite vegetables (preferably organic and locally grown).
          – Fill the Crock-Pot or Instant Pot half full with water.
          – Add vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. and favorite spices.
          – Fill to near-top with water, place lid on, push button. 

In a few hours, or a few minutes with an Instant Pot, a garden of delightful aromas and a bountiful day of healthy eating awaits you in the kitchen. Ladle part into containers to let cool for freezing. Keep the rest warm and have a cup often during your day with salads, veggies, and starches.

After dinner, let what is left cool and keep overnight in a refrigerator. The next day, add some water and re-heat.

          + Enjoy for 1-3 days and freeze the rest in freezer-safe containers for “instant meals.” 

          + Repeat once or twice during the week.


Have fun with seasonings; make the above any style you like – Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc. – with salsa, curries, etc.


3) STEAMED VEGETABLES – Greens (kale, chard, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, etc.) and Yellows (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc.) should be eaten each day in generous portions (at least one cup).


          – Rinse and steam over hot water for 3-6 minutes.

          – Serve with squeezed lemon juice (or other citrus), balsamic vinegars, no-oil salad dressing, etc.


4) STARCHES – Grains (organic, whole grain quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc.), potatoes (white or sweet,) yams, etc. 


• PROTEIN STARS: Legumes! Anything in a pod: peas, chick peas/garbanzos, all beans, lentils, etc. Plus, a small handful of nuts, such as walnuts and/or pumpkin seeds, etc. Add legumes to soups and salads, blend nuts into dressings, sprinkle onto salads, etc.


• DESSERT AND SNACKS: All the fruits, any way you like: berries, citrus, cherries, mangoes, grapes, melons, etc. Berries with rice milk or almond milk make great treats – better than ice cream!


• REMEMBER: It is important to chew every mouthful to a cream to aid your digestive system and to derive optimal nutritional value from the food you eat. You are not what you eat; you are what you digest and absorb! (See “Digestion Made Easy” to understand how your amazing digestive system works.)



Healthy Eating Resources

– DVDs by Jeff Novick, R.D.:


• “Fast Food – The Basics (Volume 1)” – See how healthy eating can be easy, satisfying and fun. Learn how to create a healthy, low cost, delicious meal in under ten minutes.


• “Fast Food – Beyond The Basics (Volume 4)” – Learn how to make delicious batch soups. Beyond the Basics features several tomato-free recipes, as well as healthy and improved versions of some exotic favorites.


• “Fast Food – Burgers and Fries (Volume 2)” – Learn how to make a variety of healthy, delicious veggie burgers from scratch using beans, rice, oatmeal and spices. Store ’em in your freezer. Cook ’em with no frying or grease. Also learn how to make yummy and satisfying steak fries.


– RECIPES: Quick and easy, tasty salad dressings, soups, and much more:

• I recommend, The Campbell Plan by Thomas Campbell, M.D. for quick, easy, delicious recipes and other practical information on health-supporting eating. Dr. Campbell is co-author of “The China Study” with his father, T. Colin Campbell.


• Cathy Fisher’s Straight Up Food Cookbook

Nearly 100 recipes for 100% plant-based food: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds – gluten-free with no animal-derived ingredients and NO added salt, oil and sugar.


250 pages with full-color photos, numbered instructions, nutrient and calorie breakdowns, amounts and times, shopping tips, and support information. Filled with easy and delicious recipes to make on a regular basis. Available in hard copy form with spiral binding.


• Katie Mae’s Plant-Strong Recipes

– NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS for wise plant-based eaters:

Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 in your tissues is vital to your well being. See my article, “Vitamin B12 Basics.”

• Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) 500 mcg – 1000 mcg, 2 – 3 times per week, preferably in liquid or a dissolving sublingual tablet. Here are some examples:

          Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) Liquid Drops:
               Live Wise Naturals
               YogaBody Naturals – Liquid Energy-B
               Pure Encapsulations – Hypoallergenic Methylcobalamin Liquid

          Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) Sublingual “Microdots”:
               Jarrow Formulas – Methyl B12 Lozenges
               Solgar – Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12 Nuggets

• Vitamin (plant-based) D3 – 2000 IU daily


• Iodine: Ensuring an adequate iodine source (150 mcg/day) is essential for thyroid function. Include sea vegetables, such as arame, wakame, dulse, or a sprinkle of kelp, in soups and salads three times per week or add a pinch of iodized salt to veggies each day. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s daily multivitamins (see below) have a reasonable 15 mg. of zinc and 150 mcg of iodine.

All of the vitamins and minerals cited above are found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s multivitamin and mineral supplements, including Women’s Daily FormulaMen’s Daily Formula, and Gentle Care Formula.

In re-formulating his vitamin products, Dr. Fuhrman removed the most problematic substances in common standard multivitamins – vitamin A, beta carotene, folic acid, iron, etc. He appropriately reduced the amounts of thiamin and riboflavin to very modest levels, provided an “insurance” dose of 2,000 IU of vitamin D and included reasonable quantities of the nutrients that can be the most challenging for vegans to obtain, namely vitamin B12, zinc, and iodine. It is because of this thoughtful and more physiologic formulation of nutrients that I recommend Dr. Fuhrman’s supplements – and, yes, I take them myself.

To your good health and happiness,

Dr. Michael Klaper

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