DiscoverPLANTSTRONGEp. 152: Cathy Fisher - The Queen of SOS-Free, Plant-Based Cooking
Ep. 152: Cathy Fisher - The Queen of SOS-Free, Plant-Based Cooking

Ep. 152: Cathy Fisher - The Queen of SOS-Free, Plant-Based Cooking

Update: 2022-07-141


Feeling stressed in the kitchen? Not sure how to prepare healthy meals while still keeping them delicious and flavor-filled?

Have no fear! This week, we're sending you an SOS-Free lifeline in the form of Cathy Fisher, culinary instructor at True North Health, the McDougall Program, and author of the book and blog, Straight Up Food.

SOS-Free cooking means preparing meals without added salt, oil, or sugar. Of course, that doesn't mean that you're losing out on richness, sweetness, or flavor. It just means you're getting them from whole plant foods and creative spices. 

Doug Lisle says, "Cathy's simple but flavorful approach is exquisite," Chef AJ touts, "Cathy's food is among the best that I have ever tasted," and nutritional guru, Jeff Novick says, "I call her work elegant simplicity."

Today, she shares her experience with:

  • Her personal health journey as a "delicate" and often sick child raised on a farm

  • How one simple change of eliminating dairy made a world of difference in her health

  • The Dr. McDougall Program discovery that finally set her on the path to health and vitality

  • SOS-Free cooking - How she helps her students and clients "keep it simple" through consistency and repetition

  • Her own favorite meals and rotating breakfast grains

  • Her response when people say, "Cathy, it's just too hard to make a change!"

  • How to cook without oil - Yes! It's possible!

  • How to create more flavor in lieu of added salt

  • Developing "health courage" in restaurants and around loved ones when you're afraid of being the "oddball."

  • A deep dive with Rip into Cathy's favorite recipes and salad dressings from her book, Straight Up Food

As Cathy says, no one can determine what you put into your body. If you're ready to explore a refreshing new approach with cooking or if you want to clean up your diet to become even more SOS-free, visit to learn more and order her book of the same name. 

More About Cathy Fisher

Cathy is a culinary instructor at two health centers in Santa Rosa, California: the McDougall Program and TrueNorth Health. She started working at the McDougall Program in 2006 and TrueNorth in 2010 and also gives classes at veg-related conferences and for private groups. She started her blog, Straight Up Food, in 2010 to offer her students more gluten-, salt-, sugar- and oil-free plant-based recipes. It is now read by people from all corners of the globe who are seeking a more healthful way of eating.

Episode Resources

Episode Website with Full Transcript

Watch the Episode on YouTube

Straight Up Food Blog

Order the Straight Up Food Book on Amazon or Directly from Cathy’s website

PLANTSTRONG Foods - shop our official unsalted broths and our growing assortment of other delicious products made without oil, added sugar, or excessive sodium. To stock up on the best-tasting, most convenient, 100% PLANTSTRONG foods, check out all of our PLANTSTRONG products

PLANTSTRONG Sedona Retreat - October 10th-15th, 2022 - Dr. Doug Lisle - the esteemed evolutionary psychologist and co-author of The Pleasure Trap - is attending our upcoming Sedona Retreat to give three of his paradigm shifting lectures that help us understand all the forces working against us in our quest to live plantstrong. Once you SEE the system we live in - you can’t UNSEE it. And Dr. Lisle is a master in giving us language and tools to set ourselves on a permanent path to success. And great news! Our Sedona retreat has been approved for 21.5 CME credits for physicians and physician assistants. And 21.5 Nursing Contact Hours for nurses…. And 2.2 CEUs for other healthcare professionals as part of the registration fee for our PLANTSTRONG Retreat. 

Visit for all PLANTSTRONG Resources, including books, recipes, foods and the PLANTSTRONG Coaching Programs

Want to live your best PLANTSTRONG life? Join our exclusive PLANTSTRONG Community of friendly, plant-loving peeps! This is a goldmine of resources, recipes, and incredible support to feed your PLANTSTRONG life.

Theme Music for Episode

Promo Music: Your Love by Atch License: Creative Commons License - Attribution 3.0

In Channel
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Ep. 152: Cathy Fisher - The Queen of SOS-Free, Plant-Based Cooking

Ep. 152: Cathy Fisher - The Queen of SOS-Free, Plant-Based Cooking

Rip Esselstyn and Cathy Fisher