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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: The Kind Diet (Book Review) (and a story).

I love animals. I'm going out on a limb to say 100% of the folks who write and follow blogs about companion animals also love animals. Most of us depend on animals for our food, too.

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? 
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.

20 comments :

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Mom LOVES her cookbook. Just have to be careful if you want to endeavor to be vegan. Do it slowly but listen to your body. Golden Thanks for sharing. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! BTW: we followed your daughter's blog. Very nice and exciting. Maybe she'll join our TT hop and make some pawsome treats for Toby. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Lauren Casper said...

hahahaha Yes, I know I know. ;)Actually, a few weeks ago I was thinking how funny it was that I hated all the healthy food growing up but now I love it! Thanks for sharing my blog!! When you buy the Kind Diet maybe I can borrow it and you can borrow UnDiet. :)

Amy said...

I'm so pleased that you like the book too! Yes I'm trying to be smart and learn to do it the right way, with lots of variety. Great advice, thank you!

Amy said...

Wonderful! I love it when there's blog crossover!

Amy said...

ok Lauren look at Sugar's comment above: get on the Tasty Tuesday hop and whip up a treat for Mareto's pal :)

-and definitely we'll need to share resources - I had so much fun visiting Whole Foods with you last week!

tubby3pug said...

As u said on my blog good post on a controversial topic. I am by no means a vegan I love meat but I do try to buy organic and free range. I have great respect for vegans. I'd live to see everyone who does eat meat eat mores all meat free range and nose to tail. There is good info p. it I. Punjab promise
I agree that u have to be careful withdraw which is why I used premise but it was so expensive
Urban hounds

Flea said...

We were vegan for six months last year. I'd read a book by the doctor who did the juicing in the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead video. Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live. But when we were vegan, we felt better than we ever had. Heartburn gone. Migraines gone. Pain gone. It was amazing. I keep telling myself I'm going to do it again. I allowed my self to be clothes lined by life and stopped. There are good recipes in the book.

One of our favorite things to eat was fresh spring rolls. OMG. Amazing. We made them ourselves. We even found a little Thai vegan place that we ate at regularly, but they closed. :(
www.dogtreatweb.com

Amy said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I'll check out Punjab promise- google it.

Amy said...

What a great testimonial - so encouraging. Thank you for sharing. I do love spring rolls; Lauren posted about them too so I have to ask her where she got the wrappers. I'll look for Eat to Live too because the more recipes the better until we get settled with a wide variety that I know how to make.

Stephen Pelletier said...

We are not vegetarian/vegan. Yet, the idea of eating cleaner, less refined and artificial foods is an idea that humans should embrace no matter what type of diet they are following.

Same for our dogs. Clean ingredients = healthier, leaner dog = longer and happier life!

With love from SlimDoggy.

Kolchak Puggle said...

We aren't vegan, but we do buy our meat from responsible sources and try to eat less of it. Mostly, we love to cook from scratch, making everything with the freshest ingredients possible. It really does make quite the difference.

Loving Max said...

Well, not a vegan or even close but also not a huge meat eater. I'm gonna just be blunt here and ask seriously and respectfully, what is the difference in your grocery bill? I was doing great on eating healthy and buying more organic things but then it caught up with my wallet so I really have to pick and choose. Ideas or thoughts about that? I'm sure there is a more affordable gameplan but I just don't know or have a lot of free time available to check on that. Thanks a bunch!

Amy said...

I couldn't agree more. Thanks for commenting. This week is the first Friday we'll be home in a couple weeks so I'll be able to join FitDog Friday :)

Amy said...

Oh I really believe that avoiding processed food is key. Good for you and of course the fresh taste makes it taste so much better! We've ALWAYS done that (hence the GROSS food my daughter hated as a kid).

Amy said...

Thank you for your candid question. That is a valid concern. Organic meats and cage free eggs (unless you find a local supplier) will cost more. You may be able to offset that with eating meat just a bit less often or eating smaller portions. Portion control is a big problem for most Americans - one serving of meat should fit in the palm of your hand, but who stops there?
As for produce, farmer's markets and CSA's are good. Visit this website: http://www.cleansingmatters.com/is-your-diet-toxic/
it will tell you which produce is most likely to be important to pay extra for organic. For regular produce you can buy produce wash or make your own. Organic is still worth it though in my opinion for the extra minerals and nutrients that the plants take up from the soil.
But you asked about my personal grocery bill. I laid out a bit extra in investing in some new storage containers and of course buying produce more often and greater amounts. I'm still working out the frequency because I still find I buy more at once than I should and some is wasted. The proteins: tofu, beans, whole grains, etc. are MUCH cheaper than meat. Some of the specialty stuff like quinoa looks expensive but goes a long way, much like rice does. But no question, the produce costs more. Why? Our government heavily subsidizes corn and agribusiness but does nothing for smaller farmers and those growing vegetables and fruits.
I hope this helps. We just do the best we can. Being aware as you are is the most important thing!

Amy said...

Max I answered you but accidentally didn't hit the reply button. Please look at my comment below for your answer :D

Sam said...

We've tried some of those diets (and watched the documentaries on Netflix). While we slimmed down and felt better, it killed my stomach something fierce. We've tried it several times, following recipes exactly, juicing, etc and after about two weeks my stomach cannot handle it anymore. We keep trying!

Sam

Amy said...

Good for you to be willing to try such a big change more than once! It's important to listen to your body. You could try taking a good probiotic if you haven't yet. I wish I had expert advice for you but I'm too new at this myself. Maybe someone else in the blogosphere has some suggestions?

Kirby the Dorkie said...

I commend you on your diet! I couldn't do it myself. Alas, I always say I should have married a diary farmer cos I love milk, cheese, and ice cream!

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