Last week I wrote about why I no longer detox. I have found it to be a better choice for me to work on eating a fairly clean diet most of the time, meaning I eat a whole foods plant based diet most every day. I occasionally l consume what some might dub “junk food”- meaning cupcakes, or chips, or perhaps other processed foods once a month, or even less. I do not eat any animal products at all, nor do I drink alcohol, nor do I ingest any kind of recreational drug or other substance. I will repeat some of what I wrote about last week as I believe it to be so very important: I find that those substances (alcohol and other intoxicants) do not help me on my yogic path, or even just on my regular happy life path. They do not help me to see or to think clearly, and they are very hard on internal organs such as the kidneys, livers, and even the brain. Any presumed “benefits” which are questionable to begin with, are not balanced by their very obvious negative side effects, this is especially the case with alcohol. You can read more about the scientific studies that led to solidify my stance on these decisions regarding alcohol and other common intoxicants. As I said in that previous post, there is significant evidence showing that there is no safe limit to these intoxicants, and so they are not a part of my life.
Whole plant foods however, are big players in my daily life. These days you can hear our beloved Vitamix blender going off several times in the morning. All winter long we ate boring old oatmeal, but starting in early March, Josh, Ellessia, and I have been happily consuming smoothies again. Ellessia got me into smoothie bowls. I had never tried them before. She was looking at them online and thought they were beautiful and fun. When I saw hers, I agreed so I jumped in (figuratively of course). We have been having a great time with these fun new ways to have smoothies in the mornings! You can try this out too: mix and match the greens, berries, toppings and other extras to your preference. You can even replace the banana with an avocado and still get that creamy smoothie effect.
Yogi Smoothie Bowl Recipe
1 cup of your favorite greens: spinach, kale, romaine, whatever your prefer
1/4 cup of berries: Blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, etc…
1 Date (remove pit)
1 Cup or Water or Non-Dairy milk of choice
Chopped peaches or Chopped Mango also make nice additions to the smoothie.
Other extras: 1 tsp of Maca powder, and or 1 tsp of Moringa powder, and or, 1 Tbsp of Hemp powder or Hemp seeds
Possible toppings for your smoothie bowl: More hemp seeds, goji berries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, dried mulberries, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, bran flakes
Blend all the ingredients together. Then, pour into your favorite bowl and add the toppings. The fun part of the smoothie bowl is adding toppings and arranging them. The green color of the smoothie contrasts nicely with the bright berries. Then you eat this just like cereal! I have been pouring some of the smoothie into a jar to have later in the day, or even the next morning. It seems to save well in the fridge.
I hope you have fun making your own smoothie bowls and share your ingredients with me!
(*Note- there are many links in this post to one of my favorite websites, nutritionfacts.org – I hope you will explore them!)
Despite the occasional fall of fluffy white snowflakes, spring has surely arrived in Vermont. I noticed crocuses popping up in our new yard this week. I am so excited to see these flowers pushing through the earth and I wonder what other spring bulbs are here on our new property!
With the arrival of spring, many yogi’s start to think about practicing a “detox”. What is meant by “detox” is eliminating certain foods types to “clear out the digestive system.” Ayurveda traditionally recommends a detox diet of Kitchadi in the spring and in the fall. To be clear, I always think it is wise action to reconsider healthy food choices and to eat mindfully, so I don’t want folks to think I am “poo-poo-ing” the idea of a detox with this post. Instead, I am hoping to explain how my own path of mindful eating has evolved over the years, and where I sit with it today. This post is simply commentary and reflection based on my own experience and should not be construed as eating advice. Eating choices are very personal and I recognize that there are many reasons to eat or not eat something for health, religious, or other reasons.
I have tried many types of “detox” diets in my adult life. As a kid growing up in the 1980’s (or as my girls like to say “way back in the nineteens”), I ate all the junk food you could imagine: Cheeseballs, Twinkies, hot dogs, burgers, Tang, and Little Debbie snacks. My favorite snacks were called snowballs- round chocolate cake balls with cream inside covered in marshmallow and coconut. By the time I arrived at young adulthood I was ready for some serious detoxing of my diet. For some reason I took to healthy eating with great interest. I remember sitting in our first apartment, pouring over nutrition and whole foods books, excited to try new recipes and cleanses. I have spent much time with these different diets: pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, whole foods, raw food, soy free, gluten free, sugar free, and Ayurvedic diets. I never fully followed a macrobiotic diet, nor a paleo diet. Not generally considered a “diet”, but certainly a detox- I also stopped drinking alcohol 8 years ago. I have participated in juice cleanses for a few days at a time. I find it difficult to only drink fresh juices so it never lasts very long and I haven’t done one in a few years.
After spending time with all of these various experiments, I would notice how I felt physically, energetically, and emotionally. Then, I would return to some foods to see how I felt with them in my diet after some time away. Today, I follow a whole foods plant based diet- you could call it a “Vegan” diet- as I certainly am concerned with the welfare of animals and the atrocious conditions of factory farms, and even some so called ethical/humane and organic animal farms, and I do eliminate these foods based on these reasons. However, I do eat honey from time to time, and if there are dairy products in something someone shares with me I don’t always refuse it. So for some people that kicks me out of the club. Cookies and soda can be considered a vegan diet- so I think whole foods plant based is a better term for how I eat. I eat seasonally as much as possible and we enjoyed a local winter CSA this past season. On a weekly basis, I do consume, and very much enjoy, soy products, gluten and wheat, and natural sugars (mostly maple syrup or dates). I don’t enjoy eating too much wheat or gluten (meaning I don’t eat them every day), but I have found that I can include gluten on a weekly basis without any adverse feelings and including gluten can make it easier to eat at family gatherings and at restaurants. I do eat whole grains regularly. I have found that eating a whole foods plant based diet gives me energy, helps me to feel full, and I consistently have blood pressure readings of around 110/65, and have no cholesterol or other health problems. Eating this way has also, to the surprise of some folks, solved many years of anemia that I struggled with. The non-heme iron and plentiful vitamin C seemed to help me with my iron levels. Recently, I switched from oatmeal in the morning back to my beloved green smoothies, and I am experiencing a fabulous return of my energy and a lift in my emotional state. It is amazing what little kale or spinach does for me in the morning!
Oh- I should also mention caffeine. I gave up coffee as my morning and daily drink about 10 years ago. I have spent time caffeine free- well 2 months exactly. I found that I enjoy the smell of coffee more than ingesting it- it just doesn’t sit well in my stomach, and I think one can avoid caffeinated teas and be perfectly healthy, but I prefer tea in my life more than my life without tea. I confess to be a tea addict. Both green tea and black tea are my very favorite things, and I always have a little herbal something (chamomile, mint, skullcap, etc…) before bed. The many health benefits of tea far outweigh any risks of the caffeine, and I personally do not feel any adverse effects. I consume tea daily with great joy.
Why I no longer detox
But back to the title of this post: Why do I not detox? Well, the idea behind detox is to stop ingesting foods or substances that are causing harm to clean out the system and reset. My days are spent eating the very foods one might choose on a detox- mostly whole plant based foods, and I occasionally consume some processed foods. I don’t eat processed, fried, packaged foods most of the time, and then sometimes reboot and only eat whole foods. But I do eat cupcakes on birthdays, and fried foods once in a great while (mmm… samosas…), and occasionally I do enjoy the crunch of Cape Cod Chips (they did not pay me to state that). The body is an amazing detoxifier. If we consume processed, fried, or other foods generally deemed “unhealthy” only once in a great while (monthly or yearly), the body will detoxify what is not useful for the system all on its own. You don’t have to do anything about it! But if you regularly consume those items, weekly or daily, then your body can not catch up with itself to clean it out. It is like hiring a monthly cleaning service for your house, but trashing the house every single day. The cleaning service will never be able to catch up with the mess. *I do believe that when foods are addictive- such as the case of alcohol, it can be very difficult to ingest them on a very moderate level that would be considered safe.
So instead of thinking about detoxing once or twice a year with the seasons, how about we eat healthy most of the time, and perhaps allow ourselves to enjoy something less healthy, much less regularly. Our bodies just might be thankful for our choices.
I have been feeling grateful this week for cooler days and a little rain. It helps to ground my mind and body. I have also settled into having more “on my plate” than I would like. Our time with Swami Gurusharanananda was wonderful, and I want to thank everyone who came out and helped to make it a wonderful week! Your contributions helped to make an incredible visit with our teacher from India. But I rolled right out of Swamiji’s visit and right into Yoga Teacher Training weekends. Three Teacher Training weekends in a row! That is a lot of planning and implementing, and no free time with family on the weekends. My first reaction was to feel stressed and upset “poor me, I am soo busy!” But then I realized nothing was going to change, so I have to hold off on that family apple picking weekend, and not think about all the responsibilities of running the weekends. I find not over-thinking about what needs to be done a key piece of feeling more ease at any moment. I realized I wasn’t really any “busier” than usual, I had to stop feeling busy, and the over-thinking was the source of the perceived “stress”.
Once I settled into the idea that autumn was here, Swamiji’s visit was over, and that there will always be “the next thing”, I was able to slow down my mind and enjoy this season transition in its full splendor. It is like anything else in life: once you come into a place of acceptance to what is, and you stop trying to control, fight, or impose your beliefs on something, there is a beautiful grace that follows. I enjoy those light filled moments when they arise and it is my yoga practice that makes them more accessible.
Here are some happy links for you to enjoy as well. May they offer inspiration into your day and fuel further exploration.
ps… yes, there I was sitting right behind Krishna Das at a recent event!
Learn about Teff! It’s a super gluten free grain (actually a seed) that I wasn’t familiar with, and now I am having a moment of obsession!
Teff Recipes I have been enjoying: Bread, Porridge, Boston Brown Bread Bites.
7 Tremendous Teff Recipes
How much time do you spend offline? I know I would like to spend more time offline… Offline is the new luxury.
Tesla Eco Villages in Amsterdam. Inspired living!
Simplicity quotes from Courtney Carver.
The benefits of quiet time in schools.
Free guided meditations. Enjoy!
Joshua Hall, music to stream from bandcamp
I am the type of Gal who ends up reading 4 or 5 books at once. My husband usually reads one book through all the way, and he usually reads fiction of at least 500 pages (probably a magically inclined, zombie-vampire apocalyptic type book). I like to think the reason why I enjoy having multiple books open is my preference for reading non-fiction. I have piles books ranging in topics of of spirituality, health and nutrition, vegan eating, homeschooling and unschooling, nature and world cultures. I do enjoy fiction, but I am very particular about the stories I let myself get involved in. Reading several hundred pages is a serious time commitment, and I want to make sure my time is being well spent. When you read a fiction book, you are usually so engrossed in the story its hard to put the book down. When you read non-fiction, you might like to cross reference something, or look into an idea or concept further in another book. Or you might simply enjoy the inspiration from opening multiple books.
I thought it would be interesting to list the various books I am currently reading, or have by my bedside, or simply out for inspiration. You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read:
Be Love Now, by Ram Dass. I am enjoying this book a lot more than I thought. I am not interested in reading about one’s past psychedelic experiences, so had veered away from anything written by Ram Dass. Drugs do not equal enlightenment in my mind. But I can see that Ram Dass evolved from those 1960’s experiences, and has many insightful and inspiring teachings to share. The first page I opened in this book was on the chapter of Saints and the description of Anandamayi Ma. I took it as a sign to pick up the book, and I have not been dissappointed. A great read for yogic inspiration on the bhakti path.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. This is a fiction book. Josh told me it was phenomenal, so my interest was piqued. Admittedly it is taking me some time to get started with this book. The first few chapters moved slow for me, and I was not interested in the demons, bloodshed, and armor. But suddenly there is intrigue as we move into the writing of the story of Kvothe by the Chronicler. I anticipate that once the story progresses, I may not be able to put it down.
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman. I have actually finished this book, but it was so very good I had to share it. This is a collection of short stories based on the founding of a Massachusetts town. The stories are intertwined and connected to each other- they actually build on each other historically. I love anything and everything that Alice Hoffman writes, and this book brought tears to my eyes at the end. Magically and Artfully written.
The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran. This book gets picked up and put down quite frequently. I was inspired by the talk I attended with Swami Gurusharanananda over the weekend to read through the Gita again. This classic is like a good friend you visit over and over. I particularly enjoy this copy by Eknath Easwaran, and highly recommend anything written by him. He was a wise teacher who lived a simple life. His translation is profound and simple, not scholarly. This is a simple English-only translation. While Swamiji visited us he looked through this book and said he liked it very much. I figured that was as good approval as I needed for this version.
I always like to have the words of Mary Oliver out for inspiration. I am currently looking through West Wind as I was going through books to discard, and happened on this shelved jewel. It did not make it into the discard pile. Mary Oliver’s words are pure art.
Death Must Die, by Ram Alexander. This is actually a diary account of Atmananda, the European music teacher who studied with Krishnamurti, and then later became a devotee of Anandamayi Ma. It is a great insight into the incredible being and Saint that is Anandamayi Ma. The reader feels as though Ma is right in the room with Atmananda’s stories of and recollections. This is also a great account of a Westerner living in orthodox Hindu culture. I enjoy reading out of it from time to time, and had pulled it out a few days ago to read a few passages.
The Art of Attention by Elena Brower. This book is sitting on my kitchen table right now, and I had it out for inspiration during my morning yoga practice. A truly beautiful book. It inspires both my practice and my teaching. I have had the honor of taking a few classes with Elena. She is a remarkable yoga teacher and practitioner. Part Asana instruction, part inspiration, part workbook. I can’t bring myself to write in it.
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Yes, cookbooks count. I mentioned this book in a post about being content. I am careful about which books I decide to purchase for the house, and this one definitely made the cut. I have it out on the counter, and the girls and I pick a different cookie to try each week. Last week we made chocolate oatmeal cookies. This week we tried Green Matcha Biscotti. You should probably own a copy of this book too. It will change your life. I also love Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
This list of books will be different next week. I feel a fluidity with my books, and no, I don’t always finish each and every book. The journey matters more to me.
What books are open next to you?
I am often asked for advice and tips for eating either vegetarian or all out vegan diets. In fact, this very post is inspired by such a question. A Yoga Teacher Trainee was asking me for tips to start a vegan diet this very week. I am always excited when folks are interested about eating little or no animal products. I won’t go into the “why” one might consider eating a vegan or plant based diet. There are many possible reasons that include health, compassion, concern for the environment, or plain curiosity. Whatever the reason one might choose, it has to come from a place of honest interest and curiosity about changing your lifestyle and not forced from the outside. When you feel moved to make such changes, and if they are followed by conviction, you will be more likely to sustain over time.
Eating a Vegan diet can be easy and simple. I feed a family of 4, and we eat home cooked meals. I don’t give food any more thought than any other person planning family meals. Cooking should be simple, natural, joyful, and efficient! I like to have the majority of our meals made in 30 minutes, and I often make extra so all I have to do the next day is warm up leftovers. The key is having the right ingredients on hand and to become familiar with a few key recipes that everyone loves. Yes, LOVES.
I see three key areas that might prove difficult in embracing a Vegan diet: Dealing with cravings, The transition from meat based to plant based, and Navigating the social pressures. Let’s address these areas.
DEALING WITH THE CRAVINGS
One of the first things I often hear from people is “I don’t eat a lot of meat, and don’t much care for it, but I LOVE MY DAIRY”. It isn’t usually steak that is challenging to drop, but cheese and greek yogurt is a strong hold for many.
There are many wonderful replacements for dairy. Here are a few ideas if you are sad to leave behind your yogurt and cheese:
MILK: Today, many grocery stores carry non-dairy milks such as Almond, Coconut, Soy, Hemp, Flax, Cashew, and more. These milks are made with primarily nuts and water, a few added supplements and preservatives. You can also purchase soy creamer for coffee or tea, and cold coconut milk in a can makes a fantastic whip cream replacement! Many cafes now carry Soy and Almond milk, so when you are ordering out be sure to ask your barrista!
Cheese: There are also many amazing cheese replacements available today. Daiya is a soy-free brand that makes shredded cheeses, slices, and cream cheeses. Tofutti is another brand, they make slices, cream cheese, ricotta, as well as frozen pizzas with tofutti cheese. Earth balance makes great “butter” replacement, and makes a perfect exchange in recipes.
Natural Creamy: I like to add natural creamy tastes to my dishes. While the store bought cheese replacements are nice to have, they are processed and not a great source of nutrition. Using avocado or guacamole in a sandwich instead of cheese gives that creamy taste. Cashews also make a great cheese replacement. You can make your own cashew cheese, and raw cashew desserts. Another great replacement is to use nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese in recipes and salads. You can even sprinkle some on your popcorn!
Yogurt: Most people consume yogurt in belief that they need probiotics. But there are so many other ways to deliver probiotics to your gut that don’t involve diary the potentially harmful side effects. You can simply use non- dairy yogurt, such as almond, soy, or coconut. These products are available at any grocery store, and come in a variety of flavors. You can eat raw sauerkraut! Health food stores sell sauerkraut, and its simple to make your own! Kimchi is also available if you like things on the spicier side. Many people are making their own Kombucha, a fermented probiotic drink, or you can buy a bottle already made. The most direct way to ingest probiotics is to simply take probiotic supplements! We had a packet of Vegan probiotics on hand while in India to help with digestion. We didn’t have too many digestive woes, so I guess it worked well!
THE TRANSITION FROM MEAT BASED TO PLANT BASED
Unless you have been slowly changing your eating habits, or you enjoy eating Vegan meals but have the occasional meat or fish, you are probably wondering what it is you will be eating if you cut out all meat and dairy. Maybe vegetables have only been a side dish in your meals, and you cannot fathom how to make a whole meal out of vegetables. Again, there are many “meat” replacements available to you in your grocery store. I have found even the most remote stores often sell something for the wayfaring Vegan. While meat replacements may not be a preferred long term meal solution, they do make the transition from Meat based to Plant based much easier.
Meat Replacements: Often called “fake meats”. Now, I prefer to phrase things in the positive and call these “veggie proteins”. They are usually made of soy though with careful inspection you may find some soy free varieties such as Field Roast, and Gardein. If you are truly following a Vegan diet, be careful and watch your packaging ingredients as milk and eggs often make their way into meat free products (I find this especially in the brand, Morning Garden). With these products you can virtually make all recipes as you have in the past.
Beans, Rice, Tofu, Seitan, Nuts, Seeds: At our house we rarely use these meat replacements. They can be expensive, loaded with processed ingredients, and create a lot of packaging waste. They are great to start your Vegan journey. But as you become more used to eating plant based, you may find yourself purchasing fewer meat replacement products and instead begin cooking with natural ingredients. Why do you need meat, or meat replacement in a chili? Or a stew? Making pasta? Steam broccoli instead of cooking veggie “meat” balls. Stir fry, curries, and roasted veggies can make great filling meals. Add some whole grains, like quinoa, some veggies, maybe a starch, tofu, or beans, use Seitan- a wheat based meat replacement, or sprinkle nuts or seeds on top of a dish, and you have a wholesome nutritious meal.
Preparation is the key to success long term. If you have the right ingredients in your pantry, and a few well loved recipes, you always have good vegan food around. Clean out your cupboards and go shopping! Stock up with healthy good ingredients, and a few trusty snacks, and you won’t be tempted to fall back to your habitual cheese and crackers and yogurt. Here is a great shopping list to help you out. If you are wondering what kind of meals you can make, here are 30 quick Vegan dinners to try!
NAVIGATING SOCIAL PRESSURES
Truly, social pressures can bring the most difficulty being Vegan. It is often listed as one of the down sides to being Vegan. But considering all the positives, to your own health, to the health of the planet, and towards ending unnecessary violence to animals, I say its time we change social expectations. The good news is there is no better time to be Vegan! Awareness towards Vegan diets is growing every day. Be a trend setter and an example of healthy living.
How to cook for a family when others don’t want to be Vegan: What do you do when you have to cook a Vegan meal for yourself, and a meat meal for the others in your house? I was a lone vegetarian in my house for 6 years before the rest of the family became Vegan (and my eldest daughter will claim that she is NOT Vegan. I let her make her own decisions). I was not going to cook two separate meals. I learned to make Veggie based dishes that meat could be added to (it had to be easy cooking meat for me, ie: warm it up fast in the convection oven), or I made very delicious vegetarian meals that others didn’t mind eating. The combination worked, kept us all happy, and I felt good knowing we were all eating healthier.
- Pasta with sauce, steamed broccoli, or a large veggie salad on the side, garlic bread (made with earth balance butter, or just plain bread)- and maybe pre-bought meatballs on the side.
- A vegan chili with loads of beans and potatoes, bread, and perhaps chicken or sausage on the side-
- Soups or stews, leave the meat out of the main pot cook it on the side to add individually
- Veggie stir fry and noodles, with chicken/sausage on the side
- Roasted veggies, rice, baked tofu or meat replacement
- BBQ of Veggie burgers, tofu-pups, and fresh vegetables, and of course a few Meat burgers for the meat eaters
Navigating Restaurants and Family Functions: This can be very tricky, as you have little control. Over time, our families have become more receptive to this way of eating. My own parents eat very few meat based meals these days and they always have vegan options for us! But you might find resistance at first. If you soften your expectations, plan ahead, and be kind, you will have the most success keeping to your Vegan diet.
Restaurants are improving! Many restaurants have vegan options and are accommodating to requests. Always be sure to ask if meat, cheese, and egg can be left out of a dish. You are likely to find at least 1 or 2 meals at most restaurants, such as a Veggie burger (you may want to ask if its made with eggs), or a large salad. I have found that in some restaurants I need to combine a few sides, such as a salad and baked potato or sweet potato french fries. Calling ahead or looking at a menu online can help you decide if the venue is a good choice, or if they make accommodations. We have the best luck with: Japanese, we can order Miso, vegetable sushi, tofu, and stir fry; some Thai (watch out for that fish sauce!); and Chinese. Mexican also works. A few chain restaurants that we can rely on are: Subway (no cheese, ALL the veggies, and if you are lucky, Guacamole!), Moes, they serve Tofu burritos and tacos! A new discovery is Extreme Pita. Pizza’s can be made without cheese, and you may discover that they taste a lot better without all that grease! You can actually taste the sauce, bread, and veggies! If you are lucky, you might find a pizza place that uses daiya!
Family Functions: We recently made a cross country trip to visit family. They are not Vegan, but were very accommodating to our choices. We all got along just fine and ate plenty of food! We made many trips to the grocery store to pick up foods to help stock the pantry, and we shared cooking meals. Explain to your family why you are making these new choices, keep the explanation as simple as possible, and offer to bring a dish, help with cooking, and generally be very nice! You may find people are more open to your changes when you approach them with love and not fear. It may be hard the first few meals, especially if your family is not open to the idea. If you accept the challenge, you can be compassionate when they question your change. Plan ahead by bringing a meal you can share. You will know there is at least one dish for you to eat, and you can show that eating Vegan can be simple and delicious!
I’d love to know if you are inspired to try eating Vegan, what challenges you may have come across, and what works or doesn’t work for you. I am not interested in Vegan bashing, so if you are very anti-Vegan, you can put those comments on another blog site, they won’t be posted here. Ahimsa- the yogic principle non-violence is often claimed by Vegans. I think there are many ways to express non-violence, and for me, being Vegan is about causing “least harm”. Harm to myself and to the world around me. There is no one right way to go about this, and everyone needs to travel their own path. But giving more thought to our eating choices and eating habits can make an enormous impact on the world around us. If you are inspired to make just one Vegan meal, then together we are working to make the world a less harmful space.
I was hesitant to purchase yet another cookbook. I have spent many hours going through my books, and limiting my belongings in an effort to live a simpler life. When Sharon Gannon’s new cook book came out, I looked it over, considered, (it is a gorgeous book) but ultimately I did not end up buying it. I was drawn to the family encouraging recipes, and tips for how to have kids enjoy a plant based diet. Sharon did not have that going for her in that new cookbook- my kids just will not eat Nettle Soup or Spirulina Millet. Nope. Not happening. The before market reviews of the book were incredible, and I love anything that Rich Roll and Julie Piatt produce, so I bought it despite my reservations to add another book to our household.
I LOVE this book! It was worth every penny. It was a great price for a such a beautiful book, and I love leaving it out on the counter. I have used the book every day since its purchase. As a mother, I appreciate that Rich and Julie are also cooking plant based for their children, and I enjoy reading about which recipes their own kids love. My kids LOVE “Abuela’ Glazed Banana’s”, and the Pad Thai recipe. They know how to feed a family. I have enjoyed “Monk’s Blend” Smoothie every day since purchasing the book. The pictures are fun, and the recipes accessible.
What makes this book different from other cookbooks out there is the way they created different “paths” folks can take on a plant powered diet. We often hear that as long as its whole food plant based, you can eat as much as you want, but I have found this advice to be unhelpful. Every body needs a different set of requirements, and it all CAN be done on a plant based diet. Julie and Rich offer 3 different eating paths (which remind me of the Ayurvedic Dosha’s, and understanding Julie’s background in yoga and ayurveda, it makes sense to see it divided this way). These are as ways to organize your eating and offer more insight into the recipes. The Three paths: Vitality is a simple, almost spiritual way of eating, recipes not as dense but still nourishing. Performance is created for the person, like Rich, who needs to maximize their physical capacity with dense nutritious foods. The Transformation path is form someone coming off of a high fat and meat diet, someone who needs to loose weight and change their health, and have some serious transformation on the plant powered path. These paths are only recommendations. You can just use the scrumptious recipes without the paths, but if you are looking for transformation and a powerful way of eating that works specifically for your needs, each recipe has a “key” to help you understand how it fits within these models. I like the paths because it ends up being more than just another collection of recipes, it really is a whole way of life and a lifestyle.
One thing I truly enjoy about Rich Roll is his ability to thrive, almost beyond what we think is humanly possible, on a fully plant based diet. Its easy to think that eating only plants, no eggs, fish, meat, dairy, cheese, yogurt, nadda, will give you enough energy to be active. Rich blows this idea out to the moon. He is an ultra man athlete, completing a wild 500 miles in just days of biking, swimming, and running. And he does it on a fully plant based diet.
I highly recommend this book and think it should be on everyone’s kitchen counter. He only eats plants to do it, proving it is possible to have enough energy on this kind of diet, when you eat the right kinds of foods that provide nourishment and sustenance. Its not just about eating salad folks! Veggie eating is seeds, fruits, legumes, grains, tubers, and of course, salad! I believe this diet to be the one that is kindest to our own bodies, and to the planet body. A book like the PlantPower Way is a lifestyle support system. I fully endorse the book, and encourage others to pick it up. Today.