Now before you wince and leave, there will be nothing gruesome in this post!
A little over a month ago my daughter Lauren watched a documentary called Forks over Knives and another called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, both on Netflix. She bought a juicer and began juicing. She watched more documentaries. She and John started eating less meat and no dairy products. She got so excited about what she was learning that she started a new blog, Nourish.
Shh - don't tell Lauren, but she thought all of my "healthy food" experiments growing up were GROSS! And I had to laugh, I confess - Lauren is JUICING?
I was intrigued. Those must be some powerful documentaries. So I watched them. Then I made Ted watch Forks over Knives with me. Ted asked me, could he quit taking his blood pressure and cholesterol medications like the people in the video by changing his diet? I didn't see why not.
And now we are in Week 4 of changing our diet. I am no meat, no dairy with one caveat: I'm keeping fish/shellfish as an option once or twice a week. What are we eating, then? Ah, well that called for a trip to the library. I have vegetarian cookbooks, but all of them use eggs and dairy products.
And that is how I discovered Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. Another actor writing a cookbook...but this one is different. Silverstone is most definitely not "clueless" about the how and why of becoming a vegan. The first half of the book is a description of her personal journey to eating a whole food, plant based, locally grown, organic diet. She also carefully outlines the kind reasons for the change: be kind to yourself (health), kind to the planet (environmental), and kind to animals (animal cruelty).
Silverstone has a light, nonjudgemental, neighborly writing voice. She gives friendly advice about eating out or eating at other people's homes. She isn't shy about telling you which brands she thinks are most tasty for things like vegan mayonnaise. Occasionally she gets a little New Age-y, but most of the time it's all very down to earth. Above all Silverstone encourages taking baby steps. Or dive right in - your choice!
The last half of the book is the recipes, divided into "Flirt", "Vegan", and "Superhero". I've been trying the vegan recipes. Ted loved the Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew and the Moroccan Cous-Cous. I fixed the Succotash while he was out of town and it too was excellent. There is a website for The Kind Diet lifestyle too.
I made the initial change in my diet for health reasons, and I'm wimpy enough to say it would have been really hard without knowing Ted was willing to try it too. Interestingly though, once I stopped eating meat I had the courage to learn a little bit more about factory farming. (Somehow I always thought little calves played happily in a pasture with their mothers until the last moment before they turned into veal). Reading The Kind Diet helped with my education. Animal cruelty concerns now help me stay determined to keep learning how to cook delicious vegan food.
And to that end, I'm going to be purchasing The Kind Diet when I return the book to the library.
Note: My opinions and the review are my own. No one gave me any money or a book or a box of chia seeds to write this, yada yada yada.