The Plant Plus Diet Solution by Joan Borysenko

The PlantPlus Diet Solution is one of the most comprehensive books out there in terms of understanding everything going on in the diet/health world right now.  It makes for a long read but also an especially good one for those who need to understand why lifestyle/diet changes are needed and how they work. Without this information, going on a diet blindly ends up feeling like having the joy pulled out of one’s life. But armed with the knowledge of sobesity being a symptom of slowly poisoning oneself, it puts it all into perspective. As well, a lot of the latest diets are discussed with observations on why they may or may not work for individuals. In the end, this isn’t a particular diet so much as directions on making the best decisions if you need to improve your health.


The book breaks down into three parts: Science Bits (discussing all aspects of health, from gut bacteria to metabolism, fat and calorie war, wheat belly and paleo pigs, and nutrigenomics.  If there is a topic that has been discussed about health somewhere, author Borysenko has summarized and given viewpoints on it here (she even includes cautionary tales about interpreting research/studies).

There are a few recipes in the back but mostly what we have are guidelines, suggestions, and recommendations – and then resources on where to find recipes for the type of diet that works for you, personally. The Doctor’s Diet cookbook is definitely the best diet/health book out there right now so I feel the recipes in this book are more about examples of healthier eating rather than a comprehensive plan. Borysenko’s recommendations do vary a bit from other diets on small points but for the most part, it does align with eating a lot of plants. I would have liked her to be a bit braver about her opinions on the other diets (there are hints here and there of which she feels have a better chance of success than others) but for the most part she shies away from making any stance other than to fully cut out all grains of any type (many diets allow for whole grains).

The book treats the reader intelligently and all the science is surprisingly palatable. It’s not so much about “Americans are all unhealthy” and statistics on how overweight the population/cost of obesity. Rather, it’s more about the latest findings about how your body deals with various foods. That’s important right now because there is so much research coming out on the subject, especially in the last ten years, that really needs a comprehensive summary for the layman.

It’s a confusing path to figure out which diet to use and how to reorganize one’s lifestyle. This book aligns with the current stress on the principle of ‘detox/cleanse/reboot’ – get rid of the processed foods, GMOs, and sugar. Add more vegetables but go a bit more careful on the fruits. Give a diet or program at least four weeks to retrain your body not to crave sweets or have cravings.

I have reviewed many diet books this year and The PlantPlus Solution is definitely the most comprehensive, up-to-date, yet also free of ‘faddishness’ and narrow-minded recommendations. There is a real attempt here to respect and recognize the individuality of the needs and problems of those who need a lifestyle change (even the unfairness of having friends with better metabolisms). Although there are a few pages on the psychology, those seeking more emotional lifestyle changes (emotional eating) won’t find much here (there are much better books out there for that – the topic can fill a whole book itself). And you’ll likely use this along with another diet-oriented book such as the Doctor’s Diet or Wheat Belly.

In the end, I found this very informative and was glad to have read it.

Reviewed from a copy provided by the publisher.

This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, fitness/diet, non fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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