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The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 13, 2009
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The How section is written in 3 parts, you can Flirt by adding more plant-based foods in your diet and start eliminating some animal products, or go Vegan, or go Superhero, which is a vegan diet that emphasizes certain foods more, and refrain from a few that the author lists. Most of her recommendations are grounded in scientific studies that she cites, or from her personal experience. She also includes many recipes to try out.
Easy to read, with plenty of interesting recipes to try out, and lots of reference lists to other researches or experts' books for further reading, this is a great read to start a kind, vegan lifestyle.
The first half of the book talks about all the different reasons to stop eating meat and dairy (so many things I didn't know, especially the environmental effects of the cattle industry) and easy steps to transition to various levels depending on your goals.
Silverstone is not preachy at all and backs up everything she writes with scientific research. But it reads like you are having a conversation with a friend. There are 3 levels; flirting, vegan, superhero. Flirting involves some small changes to reducing meat and dairy from your diet. Vegan is about replacing meat and dairy with vegan versions. They both talk about how to eat healthier and the benefits of not eating animal products. Superhero is not just eating vegan but eating whole foods, no processed foods, even if they are vegan. It also talks about eating food that is seasonal and local. Silverstone is aware that people may move in and out of the different levels and that she herself sometimes does so.
Instead of being a vegetarian, I decided I would try eating vegan. I didn't really think I would be able to stop eating cheese for good, it was a staple of my diet. But after having cheese again after being off dairy for several days, it made me feel ill. Within a month, I was done with animal products. I was easily able to skip to eating whole foods as replacement foods are expensive and it was summer and veggies were plentiful. Now I buy local, organic, and seasonal foods. I rarely eat processed foods though it is hard to avoid stress-eating sugary foods on a late afternoon workday.
I have lost weight, though this wasn't my reason for the changes. I have more energy, I feel better, and I am spending so much less money on food. Cutting out dairy also significantly reduced my seasonal allergies and I haven't had a cold since. It has to do with the mucus your body makes when eating dairy. Gross. It isn't mentioned in the book which is too bad. Allergies are horrid.
The second half of The Kind Diet is recipes. I haven't used them except for inspiration. I'm not a big follower of recipes, they usually have too many ingredients and I like to keep things simple.
This book was worth it just for the first half alone. I read it at the right time and it changed my life and this book made it so easy to do so.