Official Review: We Don't Just Eat Lettuce!

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EvaDar
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Official Review: We Don't Just Eat Lettuce!

Post by EvaDar »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "We Don't Just Eat Lettuce!" by Allyn Raifstanger.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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If your refrigerator contains hummus, Tofutti sour cream, or Beyond Meat crumbles, chances are you are a vegan. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, usually organically grown. They generally avoid processed foods and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Googling the “standard American diet” (aptly called SAD) will tell you what most Americans eat as well as why no one should eat like that. Allyn Raifstanger’s 2019 book, We Don’t Just Eat Lettuce!: Vegan Recipes for Carnivores, offers good evidence that leaving behind the SAD diet can improve your life and your health in surprising ways—and it doesn’t mean nibbling greens for the rest of your life.

At 40, Raifstanger learned he had high cholesterol and pre-diabetic blood-sugar levels. He began taking medications for the conditions. Fifteen years later, he was still eating the SAD diet and taking more medications for more health problems. A restaurateur for three decades, he became curious about how his diet contributed to his health conditions. He was impacted immediately by a documentary about dietary-based cancer treatments. Within two days, he had adopted a 100% plant-based diet. The details of his about-face are poignant and might appeal to you, whether you dabble in healthy eating or are a full convert.

Raifstanger lost 25 pounds in the first 60 days of his plant-based food model. His energy level increased so much that he trained for and ran in two marathons. He details the health benefits of plant-based diets and discusses foods that are believed to contribute to major illnesses. A useful section on shopping and meal planning leads into the recipes. Raifstanger prepares many of these dishes as vegan alternatives at Allyn’s Café, his Cincinnati restaurant since 1991.

I enjoyed reading We Don’t Just Eat Lettuce! It is packed with facts and personal experience that successfully support the author’s belief in a plant-based diet. His friendly, confident tone doesn’t push or preach. He simply shares his experience and knowledge.

Part memoir, vegan diet primer, and recipe book, this will likely appeal to anyone interested in improving their health through diet. From experience, I know that creative recipes with good protein sources are essential to sticking with a vegan diet; Raifstanger’s recipes contain complete protein sources from combining legumes and rice or using the latest plant-based meat and dairy substitutes. I tried the vegan stir fry, which contains a vegan chicken product, and it tasted every bit as good as the meat version I have made. The vegan cheesecake with graham cracker chocolate crust is next!

The author hopes carnivores will be drawn to a vegan diet through his delicious recipes, and I think vegetarians and vegans will especially appreciate the ones that don't show up in every vegan cookbook. The Vegan Jambalaya and the Young Jackfruit Barbeque are two of the Cajun-inspired dishes on my list.

The book is professionally edited and contains just a few minor errors. I have one suggestion about the placement of the beautiful food photos. They generally appear by themselves on a separate page. They are good quality photos, and I think they would attract readers to the recipe if incorporated into the page where the matching recipe begins.

I gladly award We Don’t Just Eat Lettuce! 4 out of 4 stars for its soft-sell educational value, relatable personal story, and creative recipes. The author succeeded in teaching readers how to improve their health by replacing animal-based foods with palate-pleasing, plant-based alternatives.

******
We Don't Just Eat Lettuce!
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Post by s_writing »

You did a great job reviewing this! Its true vegans are more than just vegetable eaters. I want to read it just for the recipes. I'm a meat-eater but won't skip out on a good vegan meal.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

I was quite interested in this book when I saw it--sounds like it's a good one. Thanks for the excellent review.

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Post by Wriley »

You did a great review. The title of the bio drew me in. I'm not a vegan though I rarely eat meat. My children though would starve if not for meat so I don't try complicated recipes just for myself. Maybe in a few years when I'm a empty nester I'll get to just cook for myself and try some yummie vegan dishes.
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Post by essyallan7475 »

A great review. I am not vegan but a meat eater. This review wants me to try veggies. Very inspiring

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Post by OuKoyoo »

As a person keen on what I eat because I believe we are what we eat, I am drawn to this book, especially after reading the review. Thank you so much for the great review.

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Post by kdstrack »

This author's story is reflective of the experience of many Americans. It's helpful that the recipes are included so people can enjoy variety and experiment - as you are doing! Thanks for recommending this book. It has valuable information to help us live longer and healthier lives. Great job!

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Post by Miriam Molina »

I love lettuce, though I am mostly carnivorous. I don't really cook, but I will remember this book for when .... (I am luckily healthy despite my sad and bad diet, but luck can run out.)

Thanks for this delectable review.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

A million thanks for the introduction to this book. I've been eating more vegan since my daughter fully converted a few months ago. It's unquestionably healthy, but it can be hard to find recipes. It's an added bonus that you sampled some recipes. I really want to read this one.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 13:47
A million thanks for the introduction to this book. I've been eating more vegan since my daughter fully converted a few months ago. It's unquestionably healthy, but it can be hard to find recipes. It's an added bonus that you sampled some recipes. I really want to read this one.
And how old is your health buff of a daughter?

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 23:55
ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 13:47
A million thanks for the introduction to this book. I've been eating more vegan since my daughter fully converted a few months ago. It's unquestionably healthy, but it can be hard to find recipes. It's an added bonus that you sampled some recipes. I really want to read this one.
And how old is your health buff of a daughter?
She is 13.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
14 Aug 2019, 02:56
Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 23:55
ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 13:47
A million thanks for the introduction to this book. I've been eating more vegan since my daughter fully converted a few months ago. It's unquestionably healthy, but it can be hard to find recipes. It's an added bonus that you sampled some recipes. I really want to read this one.
And how old is your health buff of a daughter?
She is 13.
Cute!

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ButterscotchCherrie
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
14 Aug 2019, 05:28
ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
14 Aug 2019, 02:56
Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
13 Aug 2019, 23:55


And how old is your health buff of a daughter?
She is 13.
Cute!
In every possible way.

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Post by danielleamy »

This sounds like an interesting memoir. I love that the book includes some recipes to try too. I wouldn't usually read a memoir, but I may make the exception for this one. Thanks!
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Post by Amenrodion »

Not giving up meat anytime soon, but I have always been curious about the vegan lifestyle. In all honesty, I really thought all they ate was lettuce, I mean just vegetables

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