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Transform Your Health With Greener, Cleaner Living | Chef Babette Davis

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Get to know Chef Babette Davis, a survivor who shares how she moved from a meat-eater who suffered from many health ailments including eczema, acne, digestive issues and drug addiction to become a plant-based lifestyle icon. Today, she thrives as a vivacious and beautiful woman in her 70s who looks as though she stopped the clock in her 40s when she went full vegan.

Chef Babette even opened a vegan restaurant in her hometown of Inglewood, California in East Los Angeles area. She didn’t go vegan for any ethical reason, at least not in the beginning. Today, she speaks for animals, against our cruel food systems, and operates as a willing spokesperson for Mercy For Animals, and even spoke at an event on their behalf in fall of 2022. She has made it her personal mission to help people reach optimal health by eating “something alive” in every meal they consume.

We discuss the recent Netflix documentary that featured a twin-study performed at Stanford University, “You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment”. If you watch the video version of this podcast, you will see Chef Babette in all her glory, a woman in her 70s who has had no difficulty maintaining muscle mass as a vegan and fitness enthusiast.

You will also receive simple and actionable recommendations for how you can make a bigger impact by reducing your consumption overall, and even consider following Jonathan Safran Foer’s recommendation of going “vegan before dinner”.

About Chef Babette Davis

Care More Be Better | Babette Davis | Cleaner LivingChef Babette is a world-known vegan chef, fitness enthusiast, and motivational speaker. She runs a successful restaurant, “Stuff I Eat”, which was the first plant-based restaurant in Inglewood. Not only does Chef Babette have a massive fan base on social media but she participates in global health and wellness speaking engagements on a yearly basis. Fresh off her 73rd birthday, she truly is a force of nature who can do it all.

Becoming a self-taught chemist in the kitchen, Babette has perfected eating healthy while keeping her dishes tasting out of this world. Her combination of mindful preparation of food and fitness has allowed her to enjoy the meals she loves without the guilt. Her goal is to share her knowledge with others, and be a catalyst to get people moving and eating healthy! As she so eloquently says, “It’s important to not only have longevity, but to live a life of quality.”

Guest Website: https://www.stuffieat.com/

Guest Social:

https://instagram.com/chefbabette

https://www.youtube.com/@chefbabette441

https://www.facebook.com/babette.davis.92

https://tiktok.com/@chefbabette

Show Notes:

00:00 – Introduction

02:06 – Plant-based vegan lifestyle

15:21 – Negative impact of food industry

18:40 – Stuff I Eat restaurante

21:34 – Netflix documentary

29:19 – Collaboration with Mercy for Animals

32:33 – Changing the food culture

38:15 – Plant-based meal suggestions

44:43 – Closing Words

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Transform Your Health With Greener, Cleaner Living | Chef Babette Davis

In our continuing discussion on topics of sustainable living and health. I’m thrilled to be joined by Chef Babette. Her transformation story is the stuff of legends. It’s through her commitment to motivating people around her to give great, healthy, plant-based foods a try that she’s making a big difference in the lives of so many every day. I am inviting you on this journey to think a little bit outside of the box of what your daily consumption is like.

Chef Babette has culminated a massive social media following. She owns and runs the very first vegan restaurant in Inglewood, California, called Stuff I Eat and has been featured in all kinds of notable media. She is a fearless powerhouse who even went up against Starbucks for up-charging for vegan items, something that still drives me batty. Chef Babette, welcome to the show.

You’re so adorable. Thank you. That still drive you batty?

It does. The same thing at all of the coffee shops. Every single one seems to do it.

We could do so much better, and it shouldn’t have to be such a fight all the time for us to do better.

When organic milk is $8 or more a gallon and they’re up-charging me for oat milk, it gets to be infuriating.

A bit much. You’re so cute.

No, I understand that you came to a plant-based vegan lifestyle in your 40s for your health specifically. Not as an ethical vegan, not for climate but for you. I’d love for you to tell that story. What motivated you to get there?

I’m glad you’re asking me that. I met Rondal, my husband, in the spring of 1990. I was singing. I had been to Japan thinking that was going to be my thing, singing. When I met him, the very first date was pretty wild to me. He takes me up to Griffith Park to do this run. He runs the whole thing backward.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that, but still, I think he was doing it to impress you.

We’re going up and up. I’m like, “How many more inclines?” I’m barely walking this thing. He takes me to his place and he prepares what I consider my very first vegan meal because he had tofu to replace any animal flesh. He knew how to make that tofu. It was already pressed. It was nice and tasted like chicken. I kept calling it chicken. I was like, “Can I have some more chicken?” It was a meal that did not affect me like I was normally affected after I ate. I had a rough time digesting food.

Of course, I drank Kool-Aid with the meal. I was a hot mess coming up. My mother put sugar in everything. Right then and there, everything was acidic. It was a bad combination. I always had acid reflux. I was going to be one of these people that I need to medicate myself every time I eat, which is nuts. We should not have to do that.

Go get your Prevacid or something to that effect every time you eat.

We’re all Tums. We’re the only species that has to medicate after we eat because we don’t know how to eat. It’s crazy. This meal was so incredible and then he gave me two books. That’s the lick right there. Understanding knowledge is power. I’m so glad he gave me the books. One book was Fit for Life. They’re always talking to you.

That volume one, it’s all about proper food combination. They’re not telling you to be a vegan. They’re saying if you are going to eat meat, you should eat it with veggies. If you’re going to eat potatoes, you should eat those with veggies. You should never eat the meat and the potatoes. They’re teaching you how to combine food. Volume two started talking about the crap and the deodorant and the toothpaste and all that stuff.

The other book is Mucusless Diet Healing System by Professor Arnold Ehret. Once I read that book, I was like, “That is why I’ve been so messed up all my life.” Eczema, asthma, I was a wipe-out coming up. Even as a young woman, every 30 days I get eczema in my face, lip swollen, eyes swollen, the whole nine yards, everything. I had a doctor who gave me a cortisone cream every month. He said, “Just keep putting it on your face.” Come on now. Once I had that meal and got that knowledge, eating became much friendlier. It had gotten to a point where I was almost scared to eat. I was miserable every time I ate. Of course, I wasn’t thinking about not one animal on the planet.

I needed to think about an animal. I just know that he gave me a meal that didn’t make me sick. I’m going to tell you what got me going. Understanding my oneness with this whole thing, with all of it. Understanding that if I hurt the cow, I’m getting ready to hurt me as well. It’s the way it is. That is what is happening right now. Once I began to understand my connection and focus on that oneness, then I began to include the whole as a part of me.

I think the way that we have grown accustomed to eating food, and I say grown accustomed, because this is not how we evolved. We evolved as a hunter-gatherer society that migrated often with the herding animals that would migrate. We’d plan our seasonal food based on what was available around us. The meat was something of a condiment or something that could get us through the winter months when there weren’t as much vegetables or fruits or things like that around.

The fact that we’ve had to get to a point where we need to understand things like food combining or have to sit there and take a pill in order to digest a meal without discomfort is disheartening. We get to a place now where we understand that the concentrated animal feeding lots, they are creating all sorts of problems for us, not only from a health perspective but also from an environmental perspective.

Runoff into our lakes, rivers, and streams is affecting the health of our oceans. We also have the negative side effect of all the methane produced through these concentrated animal feeding lots. There’s better ways to do this stuff and we know the better ways to do this stuff, but it’s not going to come without some effort on the part of people like us to say, “I’m either going to reduce my consumption of these types of foods, or I’m going to be so militant about my source that I’m going to be not a part of that problem.”

“I’ll go to the regenerative organic farming foods that are available or maybe I’ll even return to hunting and get venison now and then,” or something to that effect. It’s either we do that or we stay in this sick state and it can be either from a physically sick state because we aren’t doing well with the food that we’re eating or both. Emotionally, too, because we are trying to essentially look the other way, like, “If I don’t see it, then it’s not happening.”

The powers, the people that have the biggest voices, are not talking about everything that is creating the problem. They’re not educating. You have an ignorant society. What is that ignorant society going to do if they don’t have the info? They can’t do anything.

[bctt tweet=”Those in power and who have the biggest voices are not talking about the real problems in the food industry. This leads to an ignorant society that does not know what to do.” via=”no”]

That’s what we’re here to correct.

That is why we speak whenever we can. We have to get the truth out. People are so ignorant right now. Seriously, it’s incredible. This may be terrible. I have girlfriends and we all go, “I’m glad I’m in my 70s.”

It’s still hard for me to believe, Babette, that you are in your 70s. You are youthful and vivacious. It might have to do with plant-based eating, perhaps a little bit.

It has so much to do with plant-based eating, my dear. When I met Rondal, getting me to start moving and working out, I was about to turn 40, this was the spring. He was going to turn 42 in September. I was going to turn 40 in December. That’s how we hooked up, and because of that, that movement, and that first meal, that is what made the difference.

I’m sure genetics has some bit to play on it. My mother was pretty good. Even though she was a hot mess at 93, her face never did crease up a lot. I’m sure melanin has a lot to do with it. Seriously, she was not on the journey that I’m on. She made me want to do something different because of her lifestyle. I’m telling you, right now, the ignorance. I posted something and I was at a vegan event.

Dr. Bobby Price, I don’t know if you know him. I was at his event and I made a comment to somebody who said something about using the term vegan and I turned around and said, “I’m vegan. I sell vegan.” I said something about, “Make sure you have something live on your plate.” I eat a salad. Just eat a salad. Everything else is cooked. Do you know how many people post, “Once you pick that apple, it’s dead?”

They are not making the connection. I don’t know how did we stop making the connection. Food nutrients. The nutrients represent the life in the apple. No, the apple’s not going to get up and jog, but if you plant that seed in that apple, you are going to get life, the nutrients from the apple, whatever vitamins you get from the apple. That is the life represented in that apple. They all say, “I don’t care what you pick. Anything you pick is dead.”

I think there’s another theoretical discussion there because one of the ways that you could define something that’s living is that it’s in a state of change. Even in the process of decomposition, guess what’s live in that apple? It’s all the microbes.

Thank you, sweetheart. I wish I had you to post some of that while I was trying to have a fit with these people. I wanted them to understand the connection that you eat not just because you’re hungry. You also eat for the nutrition that you’re getting from the food that you eat. You don’t want to alter it. You don’t want anything that you ingest altered. It was something else. It was a mess.

Care More Be Better | Babette Davis | Cleaner Living
Cleaner Living: You eat not just because you are hungry. You also eat for the nutrition you get from the food. You don’t want everything you ingest altered.

By their logic, though, anything that you eat would be dead unless you happen to eat it while it was still squirming.

Yes, thank you, because I’m saying, “You guys say you get protein from a dead animal. Now you’re telling me the apple’s dead because I picked it.”

I know that we each have our perspectives. I remain an omnivore even though I don’t eat as much meat as I once did. I do work hard to ensure that I’m getting it from a responsible space. I no longer eat farmed fish, for example. My reason for not doing that is because there are concentrated animal-feeding operations in the fish farming space as well.

What are they doing?

The animal meats that I procure, I’m buying from regenerative organic farms and I have to buy it from out of state because there’s none nearby where I am. It ships to me frozen. I buy meat basically twice a year now. That enables me to make meat meals for my family periodically.

You had knowledge and you were able to figure that out.

It’s hard to come by. People think that if they go to the grocery store and buy something there it is cattle grazing in a field and that the chicken is free range. You would picture if you read Charlotte’s Web on one of these small crop farmers. It’s not like that anymore.

It’s not. I used to believe everything in that supermarket was okay for me to eat because my government had already checked it out, given the 411 and we were good to go. That’s what I truly believed. You’re saying that right now, there are so many of us that still believe the same thing.

Care More Be Better | Babette Davis | Cleaner Living
Cleaner Living: I used to believe everything in the supermarket was okay for me because the government already checked them out. Right now, many of us still believe the same thing.

There’s a sad reality, too, that I’ve started to learn about. I do plan to cover this at some point soon on the show but haven’t been able to complete my research on it yet. That is in certain states, the child labor laws are being loosened even more so that fourteen-year-olds are working at meat packing plants. They’re working in these conditions, preparing animals for our consumption. We don’t think about the impact that the way we procure and cook food has on our society as a whole.

We don’t think about it. What we’re trying to do with our current operations is drive the cost down because this has gotten to the space where it’s like meat is a commodity, and because of that, what are we doing? We have farm-subsidized corn and soybeans. These are all GMO crops. The GMO crops have inborn chemical varietals that are not necessarily as healthy for us and are then used to feed our animals. It’s not like we are what we eat anymore. We are what our food ate too. That’s a lot of corn, soy and GMOs

They’re feeding it to the fish, the chicken, the cows, the pigs. Everybody gets it.

Isn’t that amazing?

It’s incredible.

Every step along the way, here we are, we’re subsidizing the growth of basically two crops, corn and soy, that end up in everything we eat and then in all the processed food that we’re marketing on the shelves. We wonder why we are getting less healthy. Why are people getting fatter? The antibiotics that we pump into our cattle also affect our microbiome. Our microbiome can’t digest the foods that we’re eating that are stuffed full of soy and corn. It’s gotten to the point where it’s comical. This is actually something that we should laugh at, but it’s too terrifying to laugh at.

It is terrifying. It’s right there, available for everybody to see on YouTube. They have documentary after documentary. All this information that you shared is right there. You have to know what you’re looking for.

[bctt tweet=”Documentaries about the real problems of the world are always available on YouTube. You just need to look for them and watch them.” via=”no”]

You have to be willing to wear a skeptic’s hat. I think that that is the part that is probably the scariest for people because as soon as you say, “I’m going to be skeptical, I’m going to question it, that means that you actually have to do the work to find out more. That is not actually that easy. It gets to a point where people are almost more comfortable, it seems, looking away. That’s what I meant when I said looking the other way when it comes to where your food comes from because if you don’t have to see it, then you don’t have to worry about unseeing it. Obviously, going vegan has affected you, your lifestyle and your business. You have your own restaurant called Stuff I Eat.

It’s because it’s this I eat.

Talk to me about this journey of becoming Chef Babette.

You’re so funny to say it like that because my mother used to say, “You better learn to cook or you’re never going to be able to feed your husband.” I used to think to myself, “He can learn to cook himself, and feed himself, so I don’t have to.” What happened once I met Ron, we started playing around with the food that we ate and making it taste as good as it tasted to us when we ate it the other way. I started a little catering company and went to Japan to do some singing. When I was over there, I did a lot of meditating, a lot of cooking, a lot of working out. I did the same thing I’m doing now. The group I was with was practicing and writing songs and doing all that.

I knew when I got back to the States, it was going to be food for me. My husband decided to get involved and the one thing led to another. We were on the parking lot of the Agape Spiritual Center for 6 years with a 15-foot hot dog cart that we had built. We started accumulating block-long lines. We knew that it was pleasing to the average palette. We were doing things like tacos, burritos, things that we eat every day. We moved into the restaurant. We had to come up with a soul food platter because we were in Inglewood and we didn’t have any chicken or fish. People would come in and be like, “You don’t have chicken, you don’t have fish, you don’t have soul food. What have you got?”

I chased a lot of people out, bringing them back in to give away tacos. “Come back in here. Let me share this taco with you.” Sure enough, they would eat the taco and sit down and wind up purchasing a meal. It got to be pretty incredible because people enjoyed the food. There were no animal products near whatsoever. No refined sugar, no dyes, or preservatives. We kept it organic and fresh. We didn’t feed them out of boxes. Not a lot of cans. Hands on. That’s what we still do now and people are very appreciative.

Those who are reading episodes and who have a Netflix subscription may also have viewed a documentary film about twins that participated in a Stanford research project.

I didn’t see that one.

This is brand new.

Was it a group of them? Several twins?

Yeah, several sets of twins. They took all the twins, and they put one of each of them on a vegan diet and then the other on a healthy planned omnivore diet. They followed them over the course of several weeks. The first set of weeks, they had to teach them to cook vegan and to eat vegan foods or to cook healthy omnivores and eat that food.

For the first phase of the study, they supplied 100% of the food that they ate. They go into a second phase of the study where they are taught to actually procure the food, cook the food that they’re going to eat, and do it on their own. At the conclusion of the study, they met with all these twins. They’d done full body scans to see where their health markers were.

What was their weight? Did it move? What was their intramuscular activity like did they put on muscle mass or did they lose muscle mass? What about their visceral fat? That was the big one. What happened with their visceral fat? In all of the individuals who were on the plant-based diet, they had a more significant change in their visceral fat on the vegan diet. Even though the calorie counts were virtually identical, they had a better health impact on the fully architected vegan diets.

They also didn’t lose more muscle mass. This is something that I had asked you when you came on the Nutrition Without Compromise show because those watching on YouTube can see Chef Babette has some nice shoulder muscles on her. She has been able to maintain muscle mass into her 70s on a plant-based diet.

There are all these people who come at you when you start talking about going plant-based and are fans of an omnivore or meat-based diet. They’ll say, “How do you get enough protein to maintain muscle mass, especially as you age?” We can have a long conversation about this alone, but the reality is that plant-based foods have proteins in them. When we mention things like soy, rice and beans, these things have protein in them.

To get more protein, you might have to work a little harder, and you might have to chew more. The reality is that you are actually likely to have better health outcomes if you do that, even then if you’re on an omnivore diet that is healthfully crafted. Even the architects of the study said, “If you are getting a wide variety of foods and you’re getting your wild fish and you’re getting these other nutrients, at the end of the day, you’re probably going to have a comparable health outcome.”

The reality for so many is it’s challenging to do that. What I loved about this Netflix show was that they followed the twins into the grocery store. It was interesting to see the buying choices they would make on the meats, eggs and things like that because, as you and I both know, if you choose an egg and it has a pale yellow yolk, it’s not as healthy as one of the vibrant orange yolk. It’s not like you see that on the external package. It’s harder to make choices based on what’s purely on the label. Those individuals doing things like buying chicken breasts in a Styrofoam package wrapped in plastic.

Were they really?

Yes, because that’s how they sell in the stores. Let’s be real here.

I need you to tell me one thing. The two Black girls, the twins, how’d they do that? Out of all of them, I wanted to know how those sisters did because they were serious carnivores.

They were serious carnivores. They’re South African. They’re from South Africa. They were caterers, so they worked with food. The one that was on a plant-based diet was saying things like, “I’m not supposed to taste this. How do I even do the job? I’m preparing these foods.” Her sister who is doing the omnivore diet, was teasing her.

How did they pan out? Please let me know. Did they do okay?

You can watch the show. Maybe I should just say that.

Now you’re going to make me go back in?

It was actually good at the tail end. The vegan individual actually did have better health outcomes. She was the one who started lighter-bodied, too, though. The impact of specifically visceral fat was better overall. That was an interesting piece that universally, they had better health outcomes. Granted, they’re going to the store to buy these goods in the tail end of the study and they’re fixing them themselves. It’s all how militant you are. It’s how focused you are. It’s how much you know. It’s the type of foods that you’re eating. Are you eating a wide enough variety of food to actually feel content and fulfilled? I think overall, the impact was interesting.

I’m going to have to watch, then. I was hoping that you would make me go back and watch, but I was also hoping you would tell me.

Here’s what it was called. The Netflix documentary You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment. It was good. It was it’s actually broken into I think 4 or 5 episodes so you don’t have to watch it all at once. You can digest it piece by piece. I thought it was also interesting that they had selected a couple of guys who were cheese makers and he’s going, “I can’t give up the cheese. How does this work?”

How about that? It was rough for him. The cheese is rough for anybody to give up.

They interviewed Miyoko Schinner, who was the founder of Miyoko’s Creamery as part of this effort as well. She is a vegan cheesemaker. It is possible to do this living without consuming meat and cheese. I got to tell you, the number of things that are available now that make you forget that you would even miss meat is astounding.

I went to Natural Products Expo East. There was a little chicken wing, but it wasn’t chicken. It was a like Tempe-based, soy-based meat with sauce. For the bone, it had a sugar cane piece, so you could eat it and then chew on the sugar cane after if you wanted. That was delectable. If I ate like that every day, I’d be far too heavy. The fact that some of these things are meant to be treats, you don’t sit down and eat a plate of it. That’s part of the problem with America. We sit down and we eat a plate of chicken wings and then we wonder why our waistband is getting a little snug.

Yes. True, but that’s interesting. Sugar cane. I love it.

There are so many innovative ways to change how we look at food. I would like to actually hear from you for a moment too about this bridge into your connection with Mercy for Animals because we did get to feature AJ Albrecht of Mercy for Animals on this show and talk to her about their important work, which is essentially all around trying to improve conditions of animal feeding lots and things like that and get us to all think about a more plant-centered diet as it stands. What led you to that moment and what was that collaboration like?

Mercy For Animals is truly unbelievable and they reached out to Stuff I Eat years ago. To be quite honest with you, I didn’t know who Mercy For Animals was. I had no clue. They embraced Stuff I Eat to the point where they pretty much put us on the map, seriously. Honest to God, I didn’t know who Mercy For Animals was.

It’s unbelievable that the first videos with us got over 8 million views and nobody knew who Chef Babette was. It was Mercy For Animals. As far as I’m concerned, whenever, whatever Mercy For Animals needs from Stuff I Eat or Chef Babette, I’m there. That is my connection with Mercy For Animals. That’s the honest-to-God truth. Out of nowhere.

That is lovely. I didn’t know that. One of the things that surprised me that I didn’t know before interviewing AJ Albrecht was that they’re pushing for things that are no-brainers. They want to be able to have pens for the pigs that are big enough so that they can turn around while they’re nursing their little piglets. This has to be done through legislation, and this gets back to that whole concept. People think that if it’s USDA-sealed and government-regulated, that means everything’s okay. It doesn’t mean that everything’s okay if an animal doesn’t even have the space it needs to get up and turn around.

Everything is not okay. The abuse that these animals suffer. It’s like it starts with love. The way I love me, there’s absolutely no way I could ever inflict that kind of harm and pain to any other living being. Loving starts with self. If you don’t love you, you don’t give a heck about that animal. Their methods of handling these animals is heartbreaking. It’s horrible. Karmic debt, we all have to pay it at some point.

There are people out there who are giving some simple messages that I think everybody here would benefit from hearing us repeat. I’ll give you one. Jonathan Safran Foer, he wrote a book called Eating Animals. He’s also written books on climate change. He also wrote a book, one of my favorite fiction works, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This has also become a film. He’s a fiction author as well as a nonfiction author.

As a vegan, what he’s a proponent of is simply no animal products before dinner. If we are to communicate this broadly through our media channels to say, “Maybe veganism isn’t for everybody or maybe that’s too hard for you to consider right now. How about let’s not do any animal products before dinner?” By making that simple change, then we’re reducing the amount of dairy that’s being consumed. We’re reducing the amount of chicken, beef, pork, fish, whatever.

You said it. Years ago, we didn’t have all of this meat being eaten, and it wasn’t a problem. We’re overdoing it. It’s not sustainable. We don’t have enough land mass. We need our forests. You are saying it, even the cutback, that’s it.

[bctt tweet=”We ate meat years ago and it was not a problem. Now, we are overdoing it. We don’t have enough land mass. We need our forests.” via=”no”]

It’s a huge contributor.

It’s never going to stop.

There’s always going to be personal preference and then there will be those people that say, “I don’t even want to. I’m not going to bother. I’m going to do things the way I’ve been doing them. I’m going to keep going on the track I’m going. That’s not to say that that’s bad. I want to be clear with that. I can’t judge you for your lifestyle.

Judging is not going to get us anywhere.

No, but if that’s the case, if you even were to say, “I’m just not going to eat animal products in one meal a day,” and then you start discovering new foods that can actually impact your health in a positive way. If you start to consider something like what Dr. William Li says, who has been on this show too, where he encourages us to look at meat as a condiment, which Is more how the Asian culture looks at meat.

I was about to say that’s how they did it.

You consider a shish kabob as a part of a meal as opposed to a giant stick on your plate.

We’ve gotten gluttonous and we want it at every meal.

Even if you go to eat out now, I am hard-pressed to go out to eat a meal and be able to consume all of it in one sitting. We are simply feeding ourselves too much. There’s an environmental cost to that too. If we shrink the amount we eat and we shrink our waistlines, then we are less of an ecological cost, too. I think it’s about being honest.

This is so important. I’m so glad you brought that up. That is such a good answer to it. Just a cutback. How about that? I love that.

I still love my cheese.

Who didn’t love cheese?

I still do.

That is the hardest thing.

For me, it’s Parmigiano Reggiano and putting some of that on a marinara pasta, that’s so divine.

We grew up with that.

As an Italian, that was something that was so rooted in culture and so we can find new ways though to replace some of these itches, so to speak. This is a question I have for you because I have my own answer to it of course, too. I think we’ve led there. I wanted to know if you had a magic wand to wave, what would you change about our food culture? I want the magic wand. Maybe that’s why I’m asking you.

I like what you said. I think I would probably change the fact that we don’t eat animals at every sit-down. I like that. I love that. I think that would help a lot, in other words. I think I’ll steal that from you. With my magic wand, I’d make that happen. We could only eat animal products one time a day.

We’ll grant Jonathan Safran Foer’s wish for all of us. I love that too. That’s one of my favorites.

It’s brilliant. It’ll help. We got to do something. We have to do something. What do we do? Nobody’s running 100%. There’s absolutely nobody that can stand back and point at you or point at me. It’s because nobody’s running 100%. We’re all doing the best we can and we grew up a certain way. It was introduced to us a certain way. To be able to cut it back, say, “Everybody’s going to be able to do what they’d like to do, but we going to be able to do it one time a day. It’s not going to be all day long.” Maybe 1 time a day and only 5 days a week.

I have a couple of questions about food to ask you since you have this beautiful restaurant and since unfortunately, it’s a bit too far for me to make my way there. I wonder if you would be able to share a couple of meals that you think are easy to prepare in your own home that people could do plant-based if they wanted to give it a whirl.

Check this out. If you ever juice carrots, I peel the carrots. I make sure they’re clean and I take the pulp of that carrot and then I all the ingredients that I used to put in my tuna, I put it in the carrot pulp and I make carrot un-tuna. It is absolutely delicious. You can do that in the comfort of your home.

Are you saying like a tuna salad sandwich-type thing with carrot?

You can make salad but the carrot pulp becomes tuna like regular tuna salad but it’s made out of carrot pulp. Everything, all your sweet pickle relish, your mayo, little onion, everything you put in your tuna, you are going to put it now in your carrot pulp and it is delicious. I always add apple cider vinegar, a little agave nectar. I put some celery seed and caraway seed and of course, bell pepper, green onion, a little red onion and mayo and you got carrot un-tuna.

It sounds like you’re making a salad topper, in a way, something that could be integrated into any salad you make or into a sandwich.

It’s a salad topper. It could be on the side of your salad. It can be a big salad with lettuce and tomato. That’s an easy one. What’s another easy one I have there that I love? Make your tacos. Get yourself a wild rice blend or wild rice. Season that bad one up with some Mexican seasoning and some bell pepper and green onion and that kind of stuff. Wild rice is a grass. It’s not a grain. You could actually put it in the dehydrator in water and it will open up for you. You make some tacos out of that wild rice. That is the best.

You mentioned your juicer, I also have another solution for the fiber that gets left behind because the juice I like to make if I’m juicing, I’ll put beets, celery, carrot and sometimes another vegetable or two in there. If I’ve done multiple in this one juice, then I can actually use the leavings as the base for a soup stock that I later create. It ends up being like a heartier soup stock because all that fiber is in there and so it’s a little more filling. There are other ways to use your food scraps beyond composting them or throwing them away.

I haven’t done that. I’m getting ready to do that. Thank you.

It’s a delicious way to go. I will say, too, when you talk about the tacos that you make and the stuff I eat in a restaurant, it gets me salivating. One of the things I do with my boys is I take taco seasoning with some firm tofu, crumble it up like you would with the beef stuff and put the taco seasonings in and it is great. They like it as much.

We sell that at Stuff I Eat, the same thing you’re talking about.

Just do tofu tacos and beans.

We have a wild rice taco or then we have the blend, the tofu and the rice. You’re spot on. It tastes like a regular taco. You don’t even know the difference once you eat it, once you crumble that tofu up like that and season it.

If you’re on that path, then your visceral fat is going to shrink more than your omnivore friend over there.

Thank you. How do your kids like it?

My kids love tofu. It’s been surprising because my husband is such a poo-poer of that in particular. He’s like, “Tofu?” When they’re with me alone was the first time I introduced it because I didn’t want him overshadowing their experience. I did that because I was like, “He’s going to poo-poo it,” and then my boys who idolize their dad are going to be like, “No, I don’t like tofu.”

Instead, I did it with them solo on a night when their dad was going to be doing something else. We had our tofu tacos and then the next time I prepared it was when their dad’s home, too. I did the meat version and the tofu version and my sons love the tofu version so they’re eating that and then my husband turns his nose up at it and they’re like, “You’re crazy. This is good, Dad.”

That’s what I want. I want kids that are going to have a broad palette that are going to be willing to try new things and understand that they don’t have to go to meat every time they need a meal. The way that our American perspective has been architected more broadly is that you need meat to make a meal. We really don’t.

I’m going to tell you what. My mother already had a stroke. She could barely talk. She turned around and said, “Don’t think I’m never going to eat another piece of chicken.” Yes, ma’am. She loved her chicken. What can I say?

Different strokes for different folks, I guess, is what it comes down to.

I loved your one idea. It was the best.

It’s not mine. Nodding to Jonathan Safran Foer and his work.

We’ll give it to him. It was a good one.

Thank you so much, Chef Babette, for joining me.

It’s always fun to hang with you. This was great.

I love having you on. You were on my other show, Nutrition Without Compromise. We got a little deeper on some other sides of this then, but it’s been such a good conversation.

This was fun.

My hope for people is that they can take one pearl of wisdom from this conversation, integrate it in their lives, and perhaps they’ve learned a little bit more about what it takes to eat and live responsibly.

I know I learned something.

You can find Chef Babette on Instagram @ChefBabette, also on TikTok and then on Facebook, it’s Babette Davis. The website for her is StuffIEat.com. You can find out more about her vegan restaurant in Inglewood, California. I am going to remind everyone, if you enjoyed this conversation, and I hope you did, I hope you’ll give us a thumbs up, write a comment, five-star rating or review. All of those things help more people discover our content.

I will also say that we can create new great recipes together. I would love to hear from the community about your favorite vegan or plant-based food. If you want to send those my way, you can send a note to Hello@CareMoreBeBetter.com or DM me on social channels and I’ll be sure to share them as well. I want to close this show by simply thanking all of you, and also to the lovely Chef Babette now and always, for being a part of this pod and this community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more, we can be better, we can even transform our diets and our lives and build the health and the future that we want and deserve. Thank you.

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