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198 of 208 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2011
Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World, by Kathy Freston, is a guide describing how eating a vegan diet can help you lose weight and be healthier, be kind to animals, and to the environment. It is also a book about how eating plant-based foods can make your own life more spiritual.

Each chapter details a benefit of eating vegan and has expert commentary and real life success stores. For instance, the first few chapters deal with the health benefits of eating vegan and how people with diseases--heart disease, diabetes, cancer--were able to reverse or eliminate them with the change in their diets.

Freston writes about how eating vegan is better for the planet because there is less of a carbon imprint when your diet is plant-based than when you eating meat and dairy.

How most animals raised for meat are treated is also discussed. So is the condition of most chickens raised for their eggs. This is a tough chapter to read about...

There is a Q&A in the book.

Freston also includes sample menus of what she typically might eat in a three week period. They are varied and interesting....which is her point, since many people assume a vegan diet is very limited and boring.

There is a helpful list of staples and where to buy them, beginning with the big box grocery store and includes Trader Joe's (For those of you unfamiliar with this chain, TJ's is both inexpensive and has an awesome selection of organic and natural products.) She also includes health food stores. A very good list for anyone not familiar with vegan diets and where to buy ingredients.

For those of you familiar with her other books, Freston does not lecture, but kindly encourages the vegan lifestyle...she talks about "leaning into" it--in other words, slowly work towards becoming a vegan. That even a few meals a week is a good start. (The leaning into thing started to get on my nerves, but whatever.)

If you need proof that a vegan diet is a great choice to make--or just adding more plant-based foods into your diet--this is the book for you.

If you want recipes, you will need to look elsewhere, however. One book I like is called 1000 VEGAN RECIPES. Check out Freston's other books--like Quantum Wellness--out. Finally, if you are looking to get rid of all the toxins in your life--not just your diet--(and make your home a beautiful sanctuary) read: HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.

Highly recommend.
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138 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
As a physician trying to focus on preventive medicine, I'm always on the look out for simple, practical, positive, motivational materials to recommend to my patients to keep them and their families as healthy as possible. What I like about this book is that it covers all the new research that shows one cannot only slow down and stop the progression of some of our top killers like heart disease and diabetes, but actually reverse chronic disease. That's the revolutionary new concept in clinical nutrition and the author covers all the movers and shakers in the field. It's an exciting time to be practicing lifestyle medicine and this is captured in this book. Normally I just tell patients to go to the library and get whichever books I'm recommending, but this one's so good I'll think I'll get a few cases and just give them away!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2011
I saw this author on Oprah one day, purely by accident, and decided to read her book with an open mind. I began "leaning into" the vegan diet as the author suggests (had by no means become a ranting, raving vegan) and in 6 weeks I have lost 11 pounds, 4 inches off my waist and 4 inches off my hips...without doing one single minute of exercise or being the slightest bit hungry. I was not overweight AT ALL in the beginning (5'4", 136 pounds), so I did not make this decision because I felt the need to lose weight. My family has rampant heart disease and diabetes, along with terrible osteoporosis, arthritis and other inflammatory disease symptoms. I had wanted to start eating more healthfully for a long time, and this way of eating just made perfect sense to me.
I've always known that the conditions animals endure to become our food are bad; but I am a bleeding heart animal lover and could never make myself watch any of the videos or movies on the subject...my daughter recommended watching "Food Inc" and I told her there was absolutely no way I could make myself watch it...I'd have nightmares forever after. In fact, I had put this book off to the side because I had come to the chapter on animal farms and didn't want to read about it. I finished this book tonight and I FORCED myself to read the chapter on the horrific conditions under which animal farms operate. I have eaten my last piece of meat, period. Forever. That may not be everyone's choice, but it is mine, and to each his own. Personally, I do not want any animal to suffer unbearable pain and cruelty so I can have a hamburger...it's just not worth it to me.
My advice is read it with an open mind, try it, and see if you don't love the way your body looks and feels. I guarantee you'll be buying smaller pants like I have had to do!
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79 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
Since I've started following Kathy's advice, I've lost unwanted body fat while actually improving in strength and endurance at the gym. The Veganist might be her best book yet. I went vegan because I am opposed to the well-documented cruelty of the meat, egg and dairy industries, but i love the health benefits i've experienced. Thanks Kathy!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
I'm not sure what the other reviewers were expecting, but if one is relying on what they see on Oprah, then there's a problem. I happen to think that this is a good resource book (not cookbook) for those interested in a plant based diet and or getting healthy. The book puts a good resource list together that way one can go directly to the websites which the author recommends. She takes the "burden" out of sitting all day and looking at what could potentially be websites not worth the while! Being vegan already, any new info on the market (in a positive light) is always a good thing. I recommend this book for those who are curious about being vegan.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
Freston is the real deal. She makes it clear why a vegan diet is healthy, whole and ethical. After reading this book, there is no way to ignore one's poor eating habits and she makes it easy to transition to healthier choices.

Look at her: she's her own best example. She reeks good health.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
If you want to live a healthy, responsible and compassionate lifestyle, the Veganist is for you. It provides compelling reasons to eat plant foods instead of animals, while providing easy to follow tips for making the shift. Kathy shows us that being vegan can be fun, fullfilling and tasty too!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
I am such a huge fan of Kathy Freston and this book!! I just bought it and inhaled it this week. I read her last book, Quantum Wellness, and I loved it. But this is the book that I'll keep and loan out to friends. Chock full of information, inspiration, and practical advice. Excellent work. This book will keep me on the path, and if you haven't yet explored a vegan diet, it will change your life.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
I bought this book last weekend, hoping to find something informative about chosing the vegan lifestyle. Instead I have a book that is redundant. If you are at all interested in eating a plant based diet, you most likely have done a little homework about the planet and the American protein diet that is eaten. You really should already have the information Kathy Freston is giving you. I was very disappointed that there really was nothing new to offer throughout the whole book. If I were going to recommend a good book about a plant based diet, I could not recommend this book. I would suggest getting The Kind Diet or Food Matters. I am sorry to give a very luke warm review. The book left me wanting much more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
I will admit that I have not read the whole book, but a significant portion of the book is available for the "Look Inside" feature.

I am on my path to full vegan, but I have been dairy-free for more than 3 years now. I was shocked that she listed some products in her shopping list section that had dairy in them and therefore are not vegan. Very poorly researched. The ones I saw for sure were: Trader Joe's Meatless Corn dogs (they contain dairy as of last week when I checked), Amy's Soy Cheese Pizza contains milk protein as does the Soy Mac & Cheese (only the Rice Macaroni & "Cheese" is safe).

If you are looking for a "why" book for becoming vegan, this might be for you, but please don't trust her product list without reading the label yourself!
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