They say you can't judge a book by its cover. But then again, when you have a book that says on the cover that Dr. T. Colin Campbell, along with Dr. Howard Jacobson, wrote the Preface and Dr. Neal Barnard wrote the Forward and Lani Muelrath wrote the book, you do start to get some inkling that the book might be good. And with a title like The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight, then you know that the subject matter is spot on. But if that cover isn't convincing enough, then there's the back cover with words of praise for the book from people like Rip Esselstyn, John Robbins, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall and more. What's not to like here.
I received an advance copy of this book for review last week. It's official release date is September 15. And all I can say is "Wow." What I particularly like about the book is that it takes the reader on a journey that is easy to follow in order to help a person adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet. As Ms. Muelrath writes at the beginning of the book in her dedication, "To everyone on, beginning or thinking about the journey -- I wrote this book for you." The journey starts in Section One of the book with what is referred to as "The Awakening." It's when a person makes the plant-based connection and decides to begin a WFPB lifestyle. And it really is a lifestyle as opposed to a diet. The first two chapters comprise the Awakening, and they give all the good reasons for going plant-based.
Then as a person proceeds on their plant-based journey, they become a Scout, which is Section 2. As a Scout, a person will learn about what a WFPB plate will look like. Satisfying hunger is talked about. And finally, the Scout learns how to get her kitchen and pantry ready for a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. I love the expression "Plantify Your Pantry" that is used in the book. And she not only tells you how to do it and what foods to have and not have in your pantry, but she also includes a shopping list in the book's appendix that will aid in restocking the pantry as items begin to dwindle down.
As should be obvious by now, this is a very practical "how to" book that walks a person through the beginning and ongoing phases of a WFPB lifestyle. These stages really begin to show up in the subsequent sections as a person transitions from being a Rookie (Section 3) to a Rock Star (Section 4) and finally to a Champion (Section 5). I like this approach a lot because it takes the person through the phases of this lifestyle in a logical way and in a way that makes sense to most people.
The book is footnoted throughout. When a statement is made, you know that it's not just an opinion. By following the footnotes, it can be seen that the statements are backed up by real research and findings. Also, there are recipes, broken down by breakfast (pumpkin muffins, crispy coconut waffles and pancakes pronto) as well as lunches and dinners (black bean polenta pie, game-changer chili, portobello pot roast and more), dressings and sauces (sweet and sour dressing, tahini lemon sauce and more) and desserts (Mandarin chocolate ice cream, rice cooker baked apples and more).
All in all, this is an excellent book and good foundation for understanding the basics of the whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. It makes an excellent addition to the library of those doing the diet. And it could be an excellent gift to family members and friends who are wondering about what this weird way of eating that you are doing is all about. It will help them to learn about what this way of eating is and how to easily achieve it for themselves.
I highly recommend it!