“What kind of books do you read?”
As someone who began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, Cathy didn’t have to think twice before responding. She writes in Straight Up Food:
“I read health and nutrition books mostly. Making my own dietary changes had ignited an interest in the relationship between food and health, which had then snowballed into a full-blown obsession.”
Her career pivot led Cathy to a part-time job at the Dr. John McDougall Health and Medical Center. On shaking her hand, her new boss observed, “Well, you look healthy!”
It wasn’t long before the Center called on Cathy’s self-taught culinary expertise to create recipes for their McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss. Not much later, the TrueNorth Health Center offered her a position teaching cooking classes.
And in Straight-Up Food, Cathy offers everyone else the secrets of SOS (salt-, oil- or sugar-free) vegan cooking she’s accumulated over the years. In keeping with her strict dietary standards, the recipes also eliminate gluten, caffeine and peanuts.
Do the beautifully photographed dishes she creates suffer from these limitations?
Not according to her students! Their most frequent thumbs-ups reviews are “Your recipes are easy to prepare,” and “This tastes really good!”
Their opinions receive enthusiastic support from the TrueNorth Center’s staff physician Dr. Michael Klaper. He writes in the cookbook’s foreword:
“Yes, I am a doctor who advocates a plant-based diet, but I also love to eat delicious food. And I can testify that Cathy’s meals never fail to delight. I get to sample many of the demonstration dishes that she prepares as a cooking instructor at TrueNorth Health Center… where I am a staff physician (lucky me!)
Magazine editors may have lost a star, but with the publication of Straight up Food, plant-based cookbooks have gained a superstar!