Screw Being Skinny + Plant Based Shiitake Chow Mein with Soba Noodles


If someone is motivated to eat more plants for the sole purpose of releasing weight then I say, “A-Okay.” Whatever gets them through the plant based door, son!

Because, here’s the thing: once they are through that door, their whole world opens up and fireworks start to go off.

Their fundamental beliefs about food change.
Their relationship with their body changes.
They become more confident, regardless of what size jeans they wear.
They gain a tremendous amount of energy.
Their cholesterol and blood pressure usually come down to the point of no longer needing medication for these things.
Their digestive system repairs itself.
They become happier and find JOY in cooking and eating.
They sleep better.
Their relationships improve.
They start making better choices in other areas of their life.
They quit shitty habits that need to go.

This incredibly life altering process changes them in ways they never could have predicted. And, all of a sudden, releasing weight is no longer at the top of their priority list because this lifestyle of fueling with plants has them so smitten that they don’t have time to stress about their weight like they used to, counting macronutrients under the shadow of deprivation. And besides that, their clothes all of a sudden fit better as a result of this new way of eating.

When people stop eating for their
weight, they start eating for their health.

And this is a beautiful thing because when you eat for your health, you start to honor and respect your body. You start to have gratitude for your body. You start to cherish and accept your body. You start to treat your body with love and compassion. And you finally stop beating yourself up because of what that cold, lifeless device that lives in your bathroom tells you day after day.

Life is hard enough my dear, no need to let an inanimate object define your happiness.

Choose your own happiness. Make out with your imperfections. Fall madly in love with every gorgeous inch of your perfect body. And cloak yourself in the confidence that comes with living a whole food plant based lifestyle.

Because no size on a clothing tag or number on the scale will ever out-sexy confidence.

Eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet is not a fast weight-loss fix, it’s not a diet, it’s not a detox plan and it’s not a way to prepare for a beach vacay. It’s a way of eating that fuels your body and your existence. And it’s just one component, albeit a big component, of living a balanced, happy, satisfied and healthy life.

Our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans are not designed for weight loss. They aren’t designed to make you gain weight either. They are designed to help you eat a wide range of whole plant foods on a daily basis so that you get a full spectrum of complex carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber.

This is about your health, first and foremost. Always.

A diet of whole plant foods, paired with other healthy lifestyle habits will allow your body to reach a healthy weight for your frame. And if there is any talk about weight, this is the context in which it should happen. Some people need to gain weight in order to reach a healthy weight. Some people need to release weight in order to reach a healthy weight. Neither one is good or bad or right or wrong. It is what it is. You are where you are with this.

There should be no judgment, no shame and no embarrassment. Love your body for EXACTLY how it is in this moment because this moment is all ya’ got! You might think that gaining or releasing weight will make you happy, but guess what? Your weight does not dictate your happiness. Happiness comes from inside, not outside.

All this said, if you’re having a hard time reaching a healthy weight for your beautiful body, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Eat whole plant foods and ditch the rest. Seriously. Ditch the sweets and donuts and occasional chips and cookies, and stick to eating whole plant foods, without the use of oil or processed sugar. Most people convince themselves that they eat better than they actually do and then complain about not being able to achieve a healthy weight. Well darlin’ if you’re eating chocolate in between your meals and having a sweet latte and buttery croissant in the morning, then you’re not giving plants the fair shot that they deserve. Eat whole plant foods again and again and again.

2. Drop alcohol from your life. Alcohol will puff you up like a puffer fish and make you crave junk food like a junkie. I do believe that some people can have a healthy relationship with alcohol, but if you’re really working on getting super healthy and living with zest then drop it for now. You can always come back to it later if you know for certain that drinking isn’t problematic for you (ie – you can stop at one drink).

3. Move that glorious body! No amount of quinoa, black beans and salads can tone your abs. Even if you care less about getting rock hard abs  (ahem….), moving your body every day is really important for your overall physical and mental health. Yoga, pilates, dancing, walking, swimming, hiking, bike rides, Zumba, boxing, jumping jacks, Jazzercise, Jane Fonda workout videos, Richard Simmons YouTube videos. I don’t care. Just move your bod a little each day and it will help with an array of things, including blood pressure, artery function, blood oxygen levels and a daily mood boost.

4. Have dinner be your last food of the day. Most of us are conditioned to snack after dinner even though we just ate and aren’t even hungry. Even if you’re snacking on healthy things, there’s no need to eat when you’re not hungry. It’s best to break the habit of snacking after dinner and the only way to break it is to stop doing it. The first few days will suck, but if you stick it out, it gets easier and easier and pretty soon you won’t think about snacking after dinner and you won’t crave food when you’re not hungry.

5. Give your digestive system a 12 – 15 hour rest after your last meal of the day and before your first meal the next day. If you eat dinner at 6pm then have breakfast between 6am and 9am the next morning. This will give your body’s built in detoxification system a chance to do its job beautifully, making it possible to tune into your natural hunger signals and eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you are no longer hungry.

6. Get between 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. If this means going to bed earlier, do it. The body needs sleep and not enough of it fucks with our hormones, our hunger and our attitude.

7. Ditch the soda and fruit juice. Instead, opt for water to drink and eat fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. Fruit juice and soda spike your blood sugar, whereas eating the whole fruit, with its natural content of soluble fiber, helps to keep your blood sugar nice and even.

8. If you need to gain weight in order to reach a healthy weight, snack on nuts and dried fruit. If you need to release weight in order to reach a healthy weight, don’t snack on nuts and dried fruit and instead, snack on veggies and fresh fruit. Don’t worry too much about nuts incorporated into your meals, this has more to do with snacking.

9. Eat at home and cook your own food. Relying on restaurants won’t do anything for your overall health. Cooking your own meals is the only way to know exactly what you’re eating. That said, going out to eat once in awhile is good for the soul, especially if you’re dining with friends or family, but don’t eat out just because you’re hungry. Make it the exception and not the rule.

10. Eat big, beautiful salads everyday. I’m not talking about wimpy little boring ass salads. I’m talking about huge bowls, filled with greens and beans and veggies and dressing and nuts and seeds. Add lots of different ingredients so that no salad is the same. Make sure there are at least three different textures involved so that each bite is a satisfying, delicious adventure. Make your own oil-free dressing for maximum health benefits and taste explosion. Eating big salads will keep you satisfied and full because of all the fiber, and they will give you a huge boost of nutrients.

11. Instead of “trying” to release or gain weight, be “In the process” of doing it. If you’re always “trying” you will always be trying. If you’re “in the process” then eventually you will get there. How you phrase things has power, so stop “trying” and just do it! Try not to obsess over it either because if you hold onto anything too tightly, you don’t give it room to materialize. Stop squeezing the cat and open up space for what you want.

If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to not only radiant, juicy health, but also reaching a healthy weight for your frame.

No need to crash diet.
No need to eat nothing but bananas,
No need to count everything you eat.
No need to starve yourself.
And there’s definitely no need to shun bread and potatoes from your life.

Keep in mind however, that changes don’t happen overnight and you MUST give this time. Your body has to adjust to this new awesome way of eating, so be patient with yourself and trust the process.

I want you to be healthy and kicking ass for a long time, not just on your wedding day or your vacation. And more importantly, I want you to honor your body and love your body through the process. This isn’t about being skinny. Fuck being skinny.

This is about being excited to get out of bed every morning and having your body WORK. This is about fueling your life with plants and blossoming into a version of yourself that you’ve only ever imagined. This is about feeling so good that you lap up life with vigor. THAT is how your world opens up my dear, and that is my wish for you.

Today’s recipe will nourish and satisfy you from head to toe.

Whole Food Plant Based Shiitake Chow Mein with Soba Noodles

Author: Molly Patrick



  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

Everything Else

  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes (20g)
  • ½ package soba noodles, cooked (4 oz)
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced (40g)
  • 2 2 small carrots, grated (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup / 65g - 100g)
  • 2 cups chopped bok choy (150g / already prepped / chop both white and green portions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (discard root-end and use greens and white parts)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds


  • Make the sauce by stirring all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl (coconut aminos, water and soy sauce). 
  • Rinse the shiitake mushrooms and soak them in water for at least 30 minutes (you can use cold or warm water - it doesn’t matter). You can soak them up to an hour.
  • Cook the soba noodles until soft, but not mushy, about 4 or 5 minutes. Strain the soba in a strainer, rinse with water and set aside. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes and then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water and stirring each time they start to stick to the skillet. This process will caramelize the onions, releasing their natural flavor and sweetness. 
  • Strain the mushrooms, discard the water and cut the mushrooms in half. Add the mushrooms, carrot, bok choy, and garlic to the skillet and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring regularly.  
  • Transfer the cooked and drained soba noodles to the skillet, along with the green onions and the Sauce that you set aside earlier, and cook for an additional minute, gently stirring so that all of the ingredients get incorporated and all of the noodles heat up. 
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds when serving. 

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with breaking up with your scale.


Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Morna Crites-Moore on February 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

    This is an excellent piece – thank you. (I’ve shared it to Facebook.)

  2. AoifeMarie on February 18, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Words have power. I have never heard the phrase “releasing weight” but it really makes sense and resonates with me. As I read this entry, I could feel an attitude shift in how I perceive my weight. Thank you so much for your inspiring words!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 18, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      ❤︎ AoifeMarie. Words are so powerful, indeed.

      Team Dirty Girl

  3. Becky on February 20, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Thanks, Molly!! You’re so right about not letting an inanimate object (the scale) define our happiness!! So, I’m going to stop squeezing the cat and start moving my booty every day without excuse or procrastination. I always feel good about myself when I do!! ????

  4. Laurie on February 20, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    I have a question when a recipe calls for bok choy. Do you use the entire thing — leaves and white part? I am always confused in the MP’s when it calls for bok choy if I use it all or just the leaves.

    • Becky on February 21, 2018 at 7:28 am

      I know I’m not Molly and Team, but I’ve always used all of the bok choy, just like celery. Just cut off the unusable end and use the rest. ????

  5. Tammy Snowden on November 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I love the post. I know health wise my husband and I are doing so much better. For the first time since my spinal cord injury 24 years ago, I can see clearly and really enjoy life. Life is not cloudy from the 24 hour a day pain. Yes, I still have migraines from time to time, and pain if I overdo. Not being in canstant 24 hour a day is AMAZING! Playing with my grandson is the biggest hug in the world. My husband has lost 20+ pounds and gotten off his BP meds. I still sit with the 15-20 pounds I need to lose. My spine doctor and all my nurse friends rave I should be on the Keto diet. They look amazing and feel great. Yet, I know the food they eat won’t keep them healthy for the long run. Which is what I want. Thank you for how much teaching your meal plan does, and the amazing tasting food.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 15, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Tammy, this is amazing to read! Glad to read that your pain has reduced since changing your dietary pattern and your husband is benefiting too. Men seem to melt off weight much easier. As you probably know, the meal plans are not focused on weight loss even though many people do release weight following them. Listen to your body, eat all of the plants and stay active (playing with your grandson is a huge thumbs up). ~Karen

  6. Moana on January 19, 2020 at 6:33 am

    I have a question on the recipe –
    When it says half a package of soba noodles – how much is that – some packages are 9.5 ounces and some are over 20 ounces so I am lost – thanks!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 20, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Hi Moana, Our recipes typically call for 8 oz packages of soba noodles so this recipe would use about 4 oz. We’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. Of course, you are welcome to add more noodles if you like. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen

  7. Breana on February 25, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Quick question – would there be a difference in the result if using fresh shiitakes vs dried?

    Also, I love the language shift in talking about releasing weight vs. losing weight, and of focusing on health over weight

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 25, 2020 at 6:10 am

      Hi Breana, Welcome to CFDG! You can totally use fresh shiitakes if you have access to them. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen

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