The Calabasas resident is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-free Vegan Cooking.
She was featured on such television shows as The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, E! News, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and has appeared on numerous radio shows as well as lectures extensively throughout the United States.
Hever received her bachelors degree from UCLA and a masters of science in nutrition at California State University, Northridge, where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. She has taught as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program, worked as a clinical dietitian at Century City Doctors Hospital, consults for numerous businesses ad works one-on-one with personal clients.
Calabasas Patch: What is a plant-based diet and how does it differ from vegetarianism or veganism?
Julieanna Hever: Both vegetarianism and veganism refer to ethics and what you shouldn't do. Plant-based alludes to everything you should include in your lifestyle, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It eliminates animal proteins and processed foods.
Patch: Why should people turn to a plant-based diet?
Hever: Turning to a plant-based diet will effectively help prevent and reverse chronic disease, maintain ideal body weight and enhance energy and athletic performance.
Patch: Why should we avoid meats and fish?
Hever: With animal, you get the saturated fats, cholesterol and hormones. [Regarding fish], the oceans today have become our dumping grounds, so when you eat fish, you are also eating a life-long supply of toxins.
Patch: How should people get started?
Hever: First, I recommend that people begin adding more plant-based foods to their diets. You can then begin to experiment with ingredients and new recipes. Take a positive approach, and try new things. There are so many new books out there that offer so much information.
Patch: Tell us about your book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. Is that a good place to begin?
Hever: Yes, it is the perfect starter. It offers all of the how's and why's of plants and why they are healthy. The science is there with references. It's all encompassing, plus I added 40 of my favorite recipes.
Patch: Do you recommend giving up meat altogether? Is this lifestyle recommended for kids? Seniors? Pregnant women?
Hever: Everyone must travel their own unique journey, so whether or not you quit 'cold tofu' is up to the individual. Just be positive and see the positive effects adding plant-based foods will have.
This type of diet is highly recommended for everyone. In fact, the earlier you get your kids started the better. Right now we're seeing a generation where the kids are not outliving their parents because of current diets. Genetics can load the gun but diet and lifestyle pull the trigger.
With this diet, I have seen a reversal in heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Patch: Tell us about your new TV show, What Would Julieanna Do?
Hever: It's a talk-show style format on the Veria Network, which is a wellness channel [seen on Verizon, Dish and certain cable providers]. The show will explore nutrition, cooking, fitness, beauty, raising kids, men’s health, pregnancy and so much more.
Patch: When does the show air?
Hever: It runs new shows Monday through Wednesday at 4 p.m. and repeat shows Thursday through Friday at 4 p.m.
Hever can be reached through her website The Plant-Based Dietitian. And follow her blogs here on Calabasas Patch.