The Plant-Based Journey by Lani Muelrath

The Plant-Based Journey is intelligently written: friendly but with modern, busy schedule aesthetics that make its flexible plans easy to adopt and follow. The book eschews all animal-based products (eggs, milk, cheese, meats, etc.) as well as all oils. They are replaced with a core set of recipes that are open to replacements/substitutions/personalizing. Ideas for advance preparation make the transition a bit smoother – as do testimonials and tips from those who have adopted a plant-based diet of their own or with their families.

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The book breaks down into 6 key sections: Awakening (making a plant based connection, my plant based journey), Scout (the plant-based plate, the good news guide to hunger satisfaction, getting your kitchen and pantry ready), Rookie making the switch: transition timelines, plant yourself!, creating systems for success), Rock Star (plant based on the road, family, friends, and food pushers), Champion the ten-day plant-based makeover), The Key Supporting Players (fit for the cause, mastering strength and mind, crowd=pleasers and can’t missses, dressings, sauces, and toppers, dessert). Appendices including resources, shopping lists, plant-based FAQs, plant-based replacements for dairy milk, eggs, and oil, and metric conversion charts.

There are only 30 recipes or so and they are intended as a starting point – from which readers can add in/remove ingredients that they prefer or don’t like. Included are muffins, waffles, pancakes, pies, chili, corn bread, pesto, lasagna, pot roast, tacos, burritos, sauces, creams, vinaigrette ice cream, baked apples, apple crisp, and berry fruit tarts.

The book will challenge the way you cook – from little things like not using oil to make vegetable stir fry (use broth instead) or to get the feel of meat without actually having it in tacos, burritos, and a pot roast. No matter which recipes are chosen, I do feel there is a learning curve that can’t be under emphasized. Certainly, following the ideals of a plant-based diet means a lot more beans and legumes than most Americans typically encounter in their meals.

The author is encouraging and makes a point to be very flexible. Most of the introduction is about understanding why the change is important (motivation) but extra external resources from various organizations are listed as well. This isn’t meant to be a specific “follow it or else” type of diet; rather, it does fall into the category of expansive and extensive lifestyle change for the entire family. Indeed, great tips are given from several people on how they transitioned husbands/wives/kids into eating better.

I am rating this 5 stars because I think the author has struck a great balances: the right amount of information, flexibility, encouragement, motivation, recipes that are interesting, and potential for lifelong health changes. This is especially a great starter book to get into a diet program
since it isn’t overly wordy, technical, nor does it use scare tactics/statistics, etc. It’s fairly easy to adopt and requires minimal equipment investment.

In all, definitely one of the better books on the market for long-term health and diet change. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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