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The 30-Day Vegan Challenge (New Edition): Over 100 Delicious, Nutritious Plant-Based Recipes and Meal Ideas for Eating Healthfully and Compassionately -- The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook Paperback – October 1, 2015
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Overall I’d stick with Straight Up Food, How Not to Die +cookbook, or Eat to Live +cookbook if you want vegan meals that are whole and healthy. Some may say that this book wasn’t marketed as a “Whole Foods plant-based” cookbook or plan, so I’m judging it unfairly. No, I’m judging it based on the fact that the title includes “eating healthfully” and the ingredients say otherwise.
I also signed up for her 30-Day Vegan Challenge, an online series of audio/visual materials and meal suggestions. The book has a similar format. I was really looking for a 30-day meal plan, so the course was great for me and I have the book to look back on the recipes as desired.
Patrick-Goudreau's approach is that most of what you're already eating is vegan, it is not a separate food group, ordinary foods like French Fries (prepared with vegetable oil), bread (check for absence of milk or eggs), peanut butter, fruits and vegetables--far from a high-and-mighty approach. Her rationale is compassion for animals. (My own is health: a desire to stay free of parasites and bacteria that disturb the body's equilibrium). Her mantra is Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Have the best intentions and deal with what comes up.
Basics like stocking a vegan kitchen, packing lunches and eating out are covered. What to say when non-vegans confront you about your choices and even vegan fashion!
I've learned ways to incorporate more whole plant foods into my diet, so I have improved my health in that way. Interesting ways to fix greens, how to make vegan drop biscuits, and more. I wanted to broaden my range from the 5-9 favorites (she says most of us eat the same few things over and over--certainly true for me), learn new seasonings, venture into vegan baking. I highly recommend this book!
1. It's BEAUTIFUL!!! Seriously, this is not the kind of book that someone just pounded through to get another book out there. It is immediately apparent, as you flip through the book, that this is a book that was born out of the life's work of an incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate individual! Keep it out...you'll want everyone to look at it!
2. The book flows perfectly. It really does. I feel like Colleen has an extremely rare ability to present information through the mindset of someone experiencing it for the 1st time. She presents topics and questions in just the right sequence that a person would be asking/experiencing them, beginning with some health related topics, then moving toward the particulars of eating (this isn't something we tend to put much thought into but I think a lot of new vegans struggle with the transition from having the crutch of recipes to the freedom of just cooking "like you used to" without having to follow directions every time), then she discusses shopping and the planning of meals (which is something that will help anyone and everyone...my husband and I found quite a bit more time and quite a bit less frustration after following some really simple and obvious advice of Colleen's)......I won't detail every topic she covers because there are a TON, but I will say that whether she is addressing social concerns or B-12, they all seem to come up at the right time and allow the process to be fun instead of loading a certain section too heavily and loosing the interest of the reader.
3. This is a very reader-friendly book. The font is pleasing, the type size is readable, the text and photographs are broken up nicely, the pictures are gorgeous, and the book is written as though you are having a conversation with another person. This is not a "how to" book, it's more of a "companion" book!
4. I could go on forever, but I'll end with this last "must have" reason: the recipes are AMAZING!! The first recipe I made, my husband said, "this is the best thing I've ever eaten in my life!" The second recipe I made, my husband said, "this is the best thing I've ever eaten in my life!" Sounding familiar? Yeah, you will be saying that as well!
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Colleen gently helps us connect to the compassion within and guides us step by step through how to make the transition joyfully, healthfully and affordably.
We are also guided through how to handle eating out and speaking to family and friends and just people in general about veganism. Can't recommend this highly enough. I had the pleasure of hearing Colleen talk when she visited ireland last year and it was the most amazing and enlightening talk I've ever heard.
Get this book, you absolutely will be glad you did. Superb!!!!!! Keep up the fab work Colleen!!!
Colleen's podcasts are excellent too.
I bought the Kindle version (multiple typos throughout) and the electronic format makes it harder to go back and look up recipes etc. Paper books are better for that.
So...if you've read the others, I'd skip this book but listen to all of Colleens podcasts and watch her videos. If you are just starting out as a new vegan, just buy the paper version of this book and also watch and listen to all of her electronic info. I find her to be the most rational and knowledgeable source of information on this subject.