Brandi Doming is the creator of the blog THE VEGAN 8, which she started after her husband was diagnosed with gout. Switching to a vegan diet completely cured him. Her new cookbook of the same name (published by Oxmoor House; on sale now) shares her story and 100 simple, delicious recipes with 8 ingredients or less (not including salt, pepper or water) to prove that anyone can adopt a vegan diet without sacrificing taste (recipes include hearty pastas, stews, fudgy brownies and creamy dips!).
How were you able to heal your husband’s gout with a vegan/plant-based diet? How long did it take?
Once we fully went vegan in 2012, that was the beginning to healing his gout. Through many years of experimentation, elimination diets and nothing having a permanent solution, I began to research the exact cause of gout. The acidity and inflammation that animal products cause in the body, especially arthritis, were what was causing my husband to continually have flareups and inflamed joints. Once we went 100% vegan and I started cooking everything homemade, his gout began to go away within 2-3 weeks. It really was that easy. But the key was sticking to eating that way. We noticed the longer we continued eating that way, his gout stayed away.
What foods should be avoided and what foods should you eat for gout?
There is a long list of foods to avoid, which can vary person to person, based on how extreme a person suffers from gout. My husband had very debilitating gout. Pretty much any food that could trigger gout in a person, would trigger it in my husband. He was often on crutches and stuck in bed due to the pain and inflammation in his feet or knees. Learning every single food that he must avoid has taken time, as certain plants I would cook or serve him also can cause gout. Animal products were a given gout trigger, but there are certain plants and other things to avoid. The biggest triggers are (aside from animal products):
Foods we avoid. (It is important to note that not every person may have a reaction, but these do in my husband). The biggest triggers are listed first:
- nutritional yeast
- alcohol (Any type of alcohol is very bad, even if it’s a wine cooked in a sauce or gravy, it will trigger gout.)
- sugary drinks
- soy (He can have a small amount of soy sauce, but too much soy will trigger gout pain or a flareup.)
- an excess of beans, I keep beans to no more than 3 days a week and this works well
Safe Foods to eat:
- lots of potatoes, lots
- brown rice
- white rice
- cucumbers (he eats a lot of cucumbers, lol)
- bell peppers
- lots of grapes
- pineapple (it has bromelain in it, which is great for inflammation)
- salads (with avoiding the above mentioned veggies). Too many leafy greens can be a trigger, so we stick to lettuce and he does fine on that.
- all fruits
How has your husband’s health changed since going vegan and how has your own health changed? How did you decide to try the vegan diet?
His health has changed because he went from having gout nearly monthly to being off crutches and rarely ever having a flareup now. Upon learning that even as a vegan, there are still certain plants that can trigger gout, as well as physical stress, we are careful to avoid those foods now and be mindful. This is important so that he stays gout-free. My health changed in particular to eliminating my digestion issues and constant sinus issues. It has been night and day how my body has healed from switching to eating plants. I had constant sinus infections before and suffered years with my food not digesting well and all of that is gone now.
What is your typical breakfast?
My typical breakfast varies depending on my mood, but many days I love to eat a big bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, ground flaxseed and pumpkin seeds or walnuts. My husband is very, very picky so he loves to eat just a big bowl of fruit or he loves hash browns. On the weekends, I always cook homemade pancakes or waffles from my blog.
Do you see any challenges with veganism?
The only challenge I ever feel when it comes to veganism is when traveling. I find this lifestyle to be so wonderful, easy and exciting. But when traveling, trying to find decent food, particularly vegan, can be really hard depending on where we go. I try to research some places before we travel, but it’s not always easy. Thankfully, we don’t travel much.
Do you have any favorite vegan food brands?
I make over 90% of our food homemade, so I don’t have a lot of favorite vegan brands, but I do like So Delicious yogurt, Enjoy Life chocolate chips and Right Foods since they are very healthy overall and oil-free.
What can you tell us about raising your daughter vegan since birth?
Raising my daughter since birth has been much easier than I thought it would be. Since it’s all she’s ever known, she doesn’t ever feel like she’s missing something. She has been taught from day one that we eat this way because it’s healthier for our bodies, the animals don’t get hurt and become our food and it keeps Daddy healthy. I believe since I’ve explained to her why we eat this way and talk about the importance of it all, she is very proud of it. Also, I bake her plenty of homemade treats and yummy things that her friends eat at birthday parties so that she never feels left out if she doesn’t get a piece of their pizza or cake. I always will make her a treat afterwards. This has worked out very well for us and since she understand the reasons, she never complains. Additionally, she is exceptionally healthy and thriving. This is another focus of why she loves being vegan, because she is so healthy and strong. She is 7 now and has rarely been sick and her doctor has stated she is an extremely healthy child and all her lab work shows this as well. Going vegan has been so wonderfully life-changing not just for my husband, but myself and our daughter as well!
Buy book on Amazon.com: The Vegan 8: 100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less