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What Is The Magic Behind the Mediterranean Diet’s Success? (Plus A Book Giveaway)


When it comes to health, I believe joy is the key to sustainability.

Plant-strong works long-term because it’s not about restriction, deprivation, counting calories or other forms of socially accepted self-torture we like to call dieting.

Instead we can celebrate awesome nutritious meals and delectable dishes that are made of super fresh, vibrant, wholesome, and nurturing ingredients.

We don’t have to give up comfort food, dessert, snacks, treats, or the enjoyment and satisfaction of a hearty delicious meal.

Instead, we can “trade up,” exchanging unhealthy options for a version that supports our desire to live a healthier life.

And this helps cultivate the right relationship with food as a wonderful and important piece a balanced, joyful, and fun-filled life.

Which is why I’m so excited to share Julieanna Hever’s new book The Vegiterranean Diet with you today.

Julieanna is a nutritionist, best-selling author, and has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show among many other noteworthy accomplishments.

Her material is always extremely well-researched and succinctly presented, and she has a special gift for condensing a ton of information into one or two easy take aways.

The Vegiterranean Diet is all this and more, but what I loved most was how she channels the culture of the Mediterranean to share her passion not just for health, but for life.

Picture long dinners shared amongst friends, celebrating life, food, and friendship with beautiful ocean views.

In order to stay on plan long-term, we have to make things fun, delicious, abundant, joyful, and just a touch indulgent. This book is just the catalyst we need.

I had the privilege of interviewing Julieanna about her new book, and I know you’ll love her approach as well as the facts.

Watch The Interview And Learn:

  • (2:53) What it is exactly that makes the Mediterranean Diet so health promoting.
  • (4:15) The role of olive oil in the diet and how it affects weight loss.
  • (5:26) How loving food is an integral part of overall health.
  • (10:20) Is there one magic pill or silver bullet for health? What does it really take to get healthy?
  • (12:10) The inspiration for the 66 recipes in The Vegiterranean Diet
  • (15:55) Why Julieanna’s parents staged an intervention and took her to a steak house!

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 Show Notes:

Enter to win a copy of The Vegiterranean Diet

Julieanna’s publisher Da Capo Press was kind enough to offer two free copies of her book to our community.

I’ll be randomly selecting two recipients and notifying the winners on Tuesday January 6th, 2015.

UPDATE: The deadline is now closed. Congratulations to our winners Rachel and Karen!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting me know what inspires you to eat more plants. What is your goal? Your dream?

*Note: Only open to residents of the US and Canada

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Matt Jager is a wellness activist, yogi and co-founder of True Wellth. His life mission is to transform the healthcare and food system in this country, so that every single person has access to the tools and support they need to look and feel their best, control their health, own their happiness and revolutionize their well-being.
  • ohshesang

    commenting – would love to win a copy!

  • Pam Woods

    Would love to have that new book. What inspires me to eat more plants is that I feel SO much better on a plant based diet – symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are tamed on this way of eating, and I have way more energy.

    • Great to hear that it helps your symptoms Pam. Wishing you the best!

  • Jonathan Curwin

    Apparently to upset my omnivorous father who says plants may or may not have feelings comparable to humans and other animals, as he continues to eat animal based foods.

  • Andrea Basch Denton

    I feel so strong when I eat plants! If I haven’t had enough greens over the day, I can feel it! I feel drained and not at my best–plant power is real! That is my inspiration to eat more plants!

    • Haha, I totally agree Andrea. I definitely feel it when I haven’t had my dose of plants for the day.

  • zennifer

    What inspires me to eat more plant-based is knowing it greatly increases my chances (and my family’s chance) of enjoying life now and in old age. Health is wealth! My husband is 11 years younger than me, and I don’t want to become old and sick, a burden. I want us to enjoy life together. A plant-based diet is the way to go if you want health, vitality and longevity!

  • Carol

    I have been organically gardening for over 40 years now (!!!) and I find this definitely helps to increase my veggie intake. Even a pot on the patio with edibles helps. Am trying a raspberry this year.

    • My mom is a gardener too, and I owe her so much for teaching me how to grow veggies. Good luck with the raspberry!

  • william Kranker

    When I stare into the eyes of an animal I would prefer not to see fear staring back at me. Humans have this incredible gift called intellect and yet we waste it on inventing cute names for foods derived from animals like “pork” or “Steak” . Shifting to a plant based diet allows me to see the truly important things in life including being able to see the love in an animals eye instead of fear. I would really enjoy reading this book and will probably buy a copy even if I do not win one.
    Thank you for all that you do to bring these type of people and books to our attention. It helps to make all of us better people!!
    Have a great day!!

    • Thanks for the kind comment Bill, and I appreciate the perspective.

  • Olga Kull

    Plant-based is simply the best. Fresh, (Organic!), nourishing and delicious simple meals are my health inspiration… Thanks for helping spread the message, good luck with your new book!

    • Hey Olga! Great inspiration and thanks for all the work you do as well.

  • Teri McK

    I love eating plants — all those colors and shapes and textures! My goal is to age gracefully in good health.

    • Great goal Teri, wishing you all the best.

  • Julie Bodnar

    Have been plant-based about 3 years now. At first I was doing it for health reasons, but now eat this way out of respect for God’s other living creatures. I can’t imagine ever eating meat again. As a bonus, plant-based food can be so creative and delicious!!

    • Same here, started for health reasons and now enjoy the other benefits too! I’ve been amazed at how delicious it is for me too Julie.

  • stuart614

    What inspires me to eat more plant-based is knowing it is healthy and greatly increases my chances of enjoying life now and in old age, and decreases my chances of getting a chronic disease.

  • Sue J Thomas

    Eating plant bases is simly ‘lighter’ in every sense of that word.
    It is appetizing to not be ingesting anything dead, motionless and from another time which is not NOW!
    Looking forward to to. the. Culture & history inclusions…tx for this book.

    • Couldn’t agree more Sue.

  • Monica Guarisco

    I started to eat more plant-based for health – dairy makes me feel bad. As I started learning more and more about how animals become food, I realized that it’s an industry that I do not want to support. So in short, my health, the treatment of animals, the environment, all inspire me to eat more plants. My goal is to be 100% plant-based by this time 2015. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Awesome Monica! Julieanna calls those three the symbiotic trifecta 🙂 Good luck and let us know if we can help.

  • Donnella

    The more plants I eat the better I feel. My goal for 2015 is to reach my ideal weight and model for others how to restore their own health.

    • Sounds like a great goal! Good luck and keep us updated.

  • Linda W

    Eating plantbased to help my fight with cancer. Also, it is the best way to eat for our bodies and the environment.

    • We are with you for the fight, and wishing you health and healing!

  • Shari Schmidt

    I would love a copy of the book! I started to eat plant based in September (along with my husband) but our journey started 7 years ago when my husband had to have a stent put in. We were typical SAD eaters, but after his heart scare we decided to change our ways. First we cut out beef, then other meats, then fish. We were vegetarians for 3 years and then this past September decided to go all the way! We love it. We are creative in the kitchen and love to veganize all our old recipes. This cookbook would be a great addition to our plant based cookbook collection!

    • Good for you for making the decision to take your health into your own hands! Sounds fun veganizing the old recipes, I could use a little more creativity in the kitchen myself 🙂

  • Karyn Tripp

    New to plant-based eating, but I am already feeling the benefits! I did it to be healthier, have more energy, and lose weight. All have happened in the few months since I started. Thanks for the chance to win!

    • Awesome that you are seeing such good results in just a few months. Keep at it and keep us updated!

  • Beth Turner Price

    Have you already picked a winner??? I would love a copy of the book. I am inspired by the way I feel when I limit myself to a soley plant based diet and my goal is to incorporate Dr Fuhrman’s GBOMBS daily.

    • Hey Beth, we will pick a winner on January 6th. I love those GBOMBS too!

  • Fily Varlan Wolczek

    Hi and thanks for the post! I am inspired to eat WFPB because of the effect it has had on my health and how I feel following a clean diet! Would love a copy of the book! Happy New Year!

  • Karen Bentley Rafala

    losing weight and gaining better health, and getting my husband on board so he can have better health as well:)

    • Wishing you health for the New Year, and sending good vibes to your husband as well! Just keep leading by example and hopefully he’ll come around 🙂

    • Hey Karen, you were randomly selected as winner of the book! Please email me at info@dontlosethecow.com, and we’ll make sure you get your copy!

      • Karen Bentley Rafala

        How exciting:) I just sent you an email. thanks so much.

  • Andrea DeFino

    I am a plant-based dietetics major at Buffalo State College, I would LOVE to have this book!!!

  • Elissa Ward

    I follow Julieanna and chef AJ on YouTube. Love them! We also follow a whole foods plant based diet and the book would help us feed our 4 little ones!

    • So wonderful that you are leading by example for your kids.

  • amber

    My upcoming nuptials are my current inspration to eat more plants and get healthy! 🙂

    • Congrats on the upcoming nuptials! Wishing you the best Amber

  • Kathryn Polster

    The earth, the animals, my booty….no reason not to!

  • az

    Quite easy for me actually, just not keen on meat! My goal is always to be more in tune with my body and nature.
    Regards, Aron.

  • nancy evans

    Thank you for this offer. The book sounds wonderful. Given my Mediterranean heritage I love the food and the fact it’s so compatible with the plant based lifestyle of my family and I. My goal is to become more vegan with delicious recipes to inspire me to cook more as I am a bit lazy and overwhlemd with various taste preferances of my kids. But we do all appreciate Mediterranean food. My dream is to see the world become more plant based oriented and especially friends and family reap the health benefits that they so very much need. Thank you and happy new year!

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment Nancy, our dreams are very much aligned.

  • Sophia Dubrovsky

    I’m always looking for new ideas for things to cook up and keep meals interesting!

  • Amber Van Sweden

    Plant based foods make me feel better & my skin isn’t sore anymore!

  • Rachelle Meyer

    I have heart disease and I am using a whole foods, plant based diet to heal my heart.

  • blondie715

    I have learned so much from Julieanna, Chef AJ, Rip E, Dr. E….and sooooo many others. Life has gotten the worst of me these last few months but I am back in the game and encouraging my family by following me, and learning some for themselves!!
    Heart Disease and Diabetes run in both my and my husband’s families….it worries me for my children’s future. They have been raised on SAD, but hoping they understand WHY I am making these changes!! My 10 yr old son asks every day if dinner is “vegan”….He’s not too fond of lifestyle change but definitely listens when I talk to him about these changes!!

    • Way to go for keeping at it and for introducing healthy living to the next generation. Very important!

  • Kristina Finnegan

    Plants are delicious! And I can grow them myself!

  • Kellie

    I eat plants because my parents both have had heart attacks. I will not end up like that!

    • Sorry to hear about your parents Kellie. Good for you for taking your health into your own hands.

  • Michal Klein

    I’m eating a plant-based diet because I’m disturbed by the cruelty to animals by the animal agriculture and factory farming industries. And plants are natural, nutrient rich foods, free from hormones and toxins (as long as GMO free). They taste great too. Many yummy meals are plant-based. Don’t understand why people knock salads.

  • Denise Levesque

    I eat plant to resolve a diabetes health issue. Been off the medication around 5 years now and rely on cinnamon to kep my blood sugar at a normal level with the help of the plant diet, which I just love and enjoy so much. At the moment I am folowing the McDougall starch solution and fat free diet.

    • Way to go Denise! Awesome that you are able to manage diabetes with diet, I’ve seen it done successfully many times. Thanks for sharing!

  • janet doe

    I don’t want to get old and sick

  • rachel

    So many reasons! Environment, animals, weight loss, long term health, deliciousness…

    • Hey Rachel, you were selected as winner of the book! Please email me at info@dontlosethecow.com and we’ll make sure you get your copy!

  • Joanne S

    I want to be around for grandchildren and great grandchildren in an active and vital way – but no time soon – so healthy longevity!

    • Great goal Joanne, wishing you lots of good times to come with your kids and grandkids!

  • JoJo Fildi

    Hey Matt,
    I found your site via Ramit ( I’m on the same course )

    It’s so great to hear of someone else promoting the vegan plant based lifestyle. I’ve been a vegan for 2 years now and a vegetarian for over 20 years. I’m finally seeing weight loss by eating a low fat plant based diet.

    Just wanted to show you my support, and wish you every success with your wonderful biz and message 😉

    • Hey JoJo, glad you found us! Awesome that you are seeing results with the plant-based diet. I’m a big fan of this approach as you can tell 🙂 Would love to hear about your projects as well, and thanks for the well wishes!