3 out of 4 stars
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We Don't Just Eat Lettuce! by Allyn Raifstanger is a first-person narrative of one man's journey to finding health and energy from a plant-based diet. I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. The book is an informative introduction to vegan food without being pushy. The author is a long-time restaurant owner and provides recipes that have proven to be favorite dishes by patrons, which makes me think they're going to be pretty delicious.
The author's journey very much struck a chord as it mirrored my own. While no severe health complications pushed me into a plant-based lifestyle, better overall health was my main goal. I made gradual changes over time, not overnight, as the author did, but it was about changing my mentality on food that got things to stick. As Raifstanger suggests in the book, "The solution is easy, and it's about changing your diet and lifestyle. To change those aspects of your life, you also need to change your mindset."
This book is not a professional tale and has minor issues with formatting, but the book is well rounded and offers support not only for what to make but also how to think about planning trips to the grocery. In addition to recipes, the book also discusses issues relevant to overall health like exercise, the importance of reading food labels, and how to battle cravings.
One of the things I didn't like about the book is that the recipes are in paragraph form instead of numbered lists. I found it challenging at times to read through the recipes and understand how many steps I may be facing during preparation. It would also be nice if the total prep time and cook time were present for these recipes as is available in so many others I have seen online and in books.
I have many vegan recipe books and several go-to recipes already, but after reading this book, I am going to have to try a few of Raifstanger's favorites. The vegan jambalaya and vegan red beans and rice specifically caught my eye. I appreciate the fact that the author provided a balanced mix of recipes, from salads and tacos to cajun dishes and soup.
I think many vegans can get a bad rap for trying to push their agenda on others, and I appreciate that this book acts in a support capacity. The author is merely trying to share their success story with a broader audience who may also be able to gain a thing or two from making some life changes of their own.
We Don't Just Eat Lettuce!
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