Denver Diet – A Healthy, Convenient Whole-Food Diet

Product Name: Denver Diet – A Healthy, Convenient Whole-Food Diet


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The Denver Diet follows many of the recommendations of Dr. Dean Ornish (founder of a Medicare-covered cardiac rehabilitation program available in many cities), Dr. Michael Greger (How Not to Die, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live, The End of Heart Disease). These books are available from bookstores and from many libraries in hardcover and audiobook versions.

Besides aiming to be a healthy diet, the main goal of the Denver Diet is to be an easy and convenient diet. By using a microwave oven and frozen vegetables, the diet is easy to prepare and clean up. Each meal bowl takes only minutes to prepare and heat.

The Denver Diet follows a consistent daily meal plan. This makes the diet easy to follow until the program becomes automatic and habitual. I’ve followed this diet fairly consistently for over seven years (since May of 2010). The diet has been modified in various ways over the years and is not followed closely at parties or when eating at restaurants.

Though I’ve found this diet to be healthy and convenient, I don’t recommend that anyone should follow it without consulting with their health care provider first. For one thing this diet does not offer the variety of foods that some dietitians recommend. Also the diet is higher in fiber and lower in salt than some recommend.

Because of your unique medical condition, the Denver Diet may not be appropriate for you. The author disclaims responsibility for adverse health outcomes and recommends regular medical checkups to monitor your health. Consult your doctor before making dietary or exercise changes.

If you have a medical condition or are taking any medicines, it is especially important to work closely with your doctor.  For example, if you are taking medication for high blood pressure or for diabetes, the Denver Diet may greatly reduce the amount of medication you need.  Failure to adjust your medication can be very dangerous resulting in low blood pressure or low blood glucose.  Be sure to consult regularly and frequently with your doctor and monitor your numbers at home to make sure the amount and type of medication you are taking is correct.

As another example if you are taking Coumadin (the blood thinner warfarin), foods on the diet that are high in vitamin K (e.g., blueberries, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage and peas) may reduce the effectiveness of the blood thinner. Consult your doctor about how dietary changes will affect any medications you are taking.

Microwave oven.
Microwave-safe bowls. For example, Corelle Livingware glass 28 oz. (3.5 cup) bowls.
Plastic containers. For cooked dry beans, chopped onions, etc.

Onion chopper. Cut red onions into small, flat sections and slam the lid hard. Note: Some preparation time is required to cook beans, slice red cabbage and chop red onions. This time can be avoided by using canned (no salt added) beans, green cabbage which is available already sliced and frozen white onions which are available already chopped. Red cabbage and red onions are the healthier alternative but require a little more work.

Stand-alone freezer. For vegetables, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, ground flaxseed, etc. (optional but convenient).
Salad spinner. For rinsing, drying and storing leafy greens in your refrigerator.

Kitchen scale. For measuring food and keeping a food journal.
Chef’s knife. For cutting red cabbage and red onions.

Cut resistant glove. For holding vegetables when cutting.

Electric pressure and slow cooker. For example, the 6-quart Instant Pot shown for cooking beans and lentils (optional but convenient).

Blueberries or mixed berries. Costco, 3 lb., berries kept in an open container in freezer door with 1/3 cup scoop.

Normandy vegetables. Costco, 5.5 lb., broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

Mixed vegetables. Walmart, 5 lb., 3/4 cup scoop kept in the bag, 1 scoop = 3 oz.

Chopped kale. Walmart, 12 oz.

Brussels sprouts. Trader Joe’s, 1 lb.

Sliced mushrooms. Walmart, 10 oz.





Red cabbage.

Red onions.

Almonds. Costco, 3 lb.

Walnuts. Costco, 3 lb.

Ground flaxseed. Walmart, 1 lb., scoop kept in the bag with flaxseed.

Sunflower seeds. Raw, Sprouts Farmers Market, bulk sales, 2 tablespoon scoop.

Chia seeds. Costco, 2 lb., 1 tablespoon scoop.

Coffee and tea. Especially hibiscus and green tea.

Vegetable juice. Walmart, 64 oz., low sodium.

Lemon juice. Walmart, 32 oz.

Oatmeal. Costco, 10 lb., Ten pound box contains two five pound bags. Two cylindrical containers hold the contents of a five pound bag. Half cup scoop kept in cylindrical container.

Nutty Nuggets cereal. Kroger, 20.5 oz., 1/4 cup scoop.

Beans and lentils. Walmart, 1 and 2 lb. bags.

Diced tomatoes. Walmart, 14.5 oz., no salt added.

Minced garlic. Costco, 3 lb.

Balsamic vinegar. Walmart, 33.8 oz.

Minced onions. Walmart, 17 oz.

Granulated garlic. Costco, 18 oz.

No-salt seasoning. Costco, 14.5 oz.

Black pepper. Costco, 12.7 oz.

Turmeric. Walmart, 1.8 oz.

Ground mustard. Kroger, 1.38 oz.

Cayenne pepper. Great value, 2.25 oz.

Add the following to a microwave-safe bowl:
One-half cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
One-half cup of frozen blueberries
One tablespoon of ground flaxseed
One tablespoon of chia seeds
One cup of water

Heat in your microwave (about 4 minutes for 2 bowls).  While the oatmeal is cooking, peel a banana to be sliced and added to the cooked oatmeal.

Add the following to a microwave-safe bowl:
6 oz. (1.5 cups) of frozen mixed vegetables
A small amount (1 oz.) of frozen sliced mushrooms
1 oz. (1/4 cup) of Nutty Nuggets or similar grain cereal
3 oz. (1/2 cup) of beans or lentils

Microwave (about 3 minutes for one bowl). While the bowl is cooking, set out sliced cabbage, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar. Add a large handful of sliced red cabbage (3 oz.). Top with a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Add the following to a microwave-safe bowl:
A 10-ounce mix of frozen broccoli florets, cauliflower and carrots
3 oz. of frozen Brussels sprouts (about 5 to 9 depending on their size)

Microwave (about 5 minutes for one bowl).  While the bowl is cooking, set out walnuts. Top the heated bowl with a half-ounce of walnuts (seven walnut halves).

Drink a cup of vegetable juice with about an ounce of lemon juice added. Mix a sprinkling of ground mustard seed (1/4 teaspoon) into the vegetable juice.

Add the following to a microwave-safe bowl:
6 oz. (1.5 cups) of frozen mixed vegetables
3 oz. (1.5 cups) of frozen chopped kale
1 oz. (1/4 cup) of Nutty Nuggets or similar grain cereal
3 oz. (1/2 cup) of beans or lentils
2 tablespoons of dried onions
One cup of diced tomatoes

Microwave (about 7 minutes for 2 bowls). While the bowls are cooking, set out: chopped red onions, minced garlic, almonds, granulated garlic, black pepper, turmeric, no-salt seasoning mix and ground mustard.

To each heated bowl add 2 oz. of chopped red onions, an ounce of minced garlic, 11 almonds (1/2 oz.), and a sprinkling of granulated garlic, black pepper, turmeric, no-salt seasoning mix and ground mustard.

Other ingredients sometimes added to the bowls include: fresh greens (e.g., kale, parsley, arugula, cilantro, etc. kept in the refrigerator in a salad spinner), avocado, beets, sweet potatoes and yams, potatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, whole grains (e.g., brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, couscous), apple cider vinegar, red cayenne pepper, hot and mild salsas, horseradish, and other spices.

Dinner typically includes a carrot, apple and orange or other fruits. Coffee and tea are consumed throughout the day

Listening to audiobooks is an effective way to gain and maintain motivation to follow a healthy diet. The following are available in both book and audiobook format: Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman MD, How Not to Die, Michael Greger MD, The China Study (2016 edition), T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell MD, The End of Heart Disease, Joel Fuhrman MD, The End of Dieting, Joel Fuhrman MD, The End of Diabetes, Joel Fuhrman MD, Disease-Proof Your Child, Joel Fuhrman MD, Eat for Health, Joel Fuhrman MD, Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, Neal Barnard MD, The Low-Carb Fraud, T. Colin Campbell, Whole, T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobsen, and The Spectrum, Dean Ornish MD.

Dr. Michael Greger has many long and short videos available for free on his website Some recommended short videos: “greger why you should care about nutrition”, “influence of cooking methods on antioxidant activity of vegetables”, “greger best cooking method”, “greger carrots vs baby carrots”, “greger antioxidant content of 300 foods” “greger which nut fights cancer better?”“greger flax seeds vs. chia seeds”, “greger better than green tea”, “greger which fruit fights cancer better”, “greger vinegar”, “greger turmeric”, “greger mustard”, “greger superfood bargains”, “greger okinawa diet”, “greger heart disease starts in childhood”, “greger paleopoo”,  “greger #1 anticancer vegetable”.

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