this book is really good. i know, i know, i say that about most of the books i review - but i won't buy the book if i think it's going to be rubbish will i?
alicia silverstone may not be a nutrionist or a chef, but the book is an amazing amalgamation of all of the research she's ever done into health, and she's done a LOT!
the kind diet is witty and intelligent, it has good hard facts and great stories from other vegans. so yes, the overriding chat in the book is about persuading you to become a vegan, and giving you the health benefits associated with it, as well as talking about the environmental reasons behind why you should eat less animal produce.
but the book goes a step further from other vegan books, in talking about lifestyle, stocking your kitchen, eating less processed food and sugar and answering a bunch of nutritional questions and concerns often associated with going vegan (like where do i get calcium for instance). she's also been influenced by the raw food movement and macrobiotics which gives her recipes and advice a certain advantage.
the recipes are pretty good, although not all of the ingredients are immediately available to me living in the UK and some are a bit too out-there for me (collard greens for breakfast, serious?). but if you're looking to incorporate more beans and pulses into your diet, then she's right on the mark, as the recipes looks interesting and flavourful, and different.
i can't wait to try out the chocolate peanut butter cups, oozy guacamole bean dip, peach crumble and the black soybean and kabocha squash stew!
there's only a couple of times that i think she slips and doesn't really back up what she says with enough evidence, but for the most part i think it's well structured and well delivered, and if it gets more people eating less animal produce then she will have done a great service to nature and animals.
there are a couple of moments in the kind diet where she really does hit the nail on the head, so to speak. she talks about becoming more in tune with your bodies wants and needs, rather than jamming 'health foods' into your diet and becoming obsessed or fixated on one thing in particular. after all there's only a certain amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs at any one time...
there's also discussion about good exercise, both inner and outer, and the importance of reviewing your emotional connection with food; this i find really interesting, as i am coming to believe that this is more and more important for society as a whole - we've stopped experiencing eating and enjoying food with family and friends, instead we are seeing food as fuel, as a composition of nutrients, rather than a sensory experience. i don't know about you but i love to plunge my hand into a bag of buckwheat, drizzle honey onto bread and feel the warm gooey texture of hot chocolate puddings (it's all very Amelie!)
so, congratulations to alicia for writing such an amazing book, and for helping everyone feel and look their best!
ps. i've finished another book - i'm on a roll - which i'm very excited to share with you all. hint: ever heard of roald dahl's granddaughter?