Are you a cookbook/lifestyle book kind of person? I wasn’t at all until I turned 25 1/2 and some kind of switch flipped inside me. Now I want to own/read ALL THE COOKBOOKS and LIFESTYLE books!
The first book I picked up that started this crusade was Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet.
The Kind Diet
Disclaimer: I am not vegan. I do not think I will ever switch to veganism, though I have no problem with anyone who is (unless you’re the super “in your face” type, but that’s how I feel about anyone who pushes their lifestyle/beliefs on others). I would call myself a happy, healthy omnivore.
I think this book is mostly intended for people who are interested in testing out veganism, but I still found this book to be really interesting even though I’m not considering a large diet modification (at least not that I know of!). This book not only promotes a more animal-friendly lifestyle, it also promotes a more ecologically friendly existence.
The book splits foods up into “kind” and “nasty” categories, which, I get it, but I just didn’t like the term nasty being used for food. I agree that there are “good for you” foods and “bad for you” foods, but I thought the word “nasty” was a bit over the top. I’m an English major: I’m always going to have some thoughts on word choice.
Of course there is a whole chapter on how terribly animals are treated when they are being used for their meat, eggs, milk, etc. This chapter isn’t as jarring as a lot of the stuff you’ll read/see in PETA literature, but it certainly sets the stage for why someone should consider veganism.
Once the foundation is set. The book is split up into 3 possible plans.
- Flirting with Veganism
- Going Vegan
Each section goes further into veganism. Flirting covers trying to include more whole grains and animal-free products into your life. Going vegan lays out how to make a smooth transition to veganism, while the Superhero section covers eating a macrobiotic vegan diet. Each of the plans comes with a 7 day meal plan too.
The last section of this book is all of the recipes. They are split up into “vegan” and “superhero.” Some of the vegan recipes sound really tasty and fairly easy to make.
I will definitely be making these peanut butter cups which are mentioned like 10 times throughout the book.
I will probably un-veganize this cheesy nacho dip and use real cheese (sorry, not sorry) BUT if I were vegan, I would be 100% all over this.
I found most of the recipes in the Superhero section to be out of my reach. First of all, throughout all of the recipes she calls soy sauce, shoyu. I was just getting used to soy sauce being called tamari. Don’t flip the game on me like that A.S!
Also, most of the vegetables and seasonings in her recipes sound like I could only pick them up at an Asian market; I’ve never heard of most of the vegetables. I’m certainly not against trying new foods (in fact I LOVE trying new foods) but SO MANY of the ingredients were NOT pantry staples for me, and that’s a turn off to a recipe. They don’t seem accessible.
Things I Learned from The Kind Diet
- We, as humans, overestimate how much protein we actually need
- Our bodies are made to be in harmony with the world around us. Flying in tropical fruits in the winter is not only ecologically harmful, it might actually not be what our bodies want.
- The average person farts 14 times a day, in fact, there is a whole page on farts and poop in this book
- Chewing really well is important because our saliva has stuff in it that helps us get all the nutrients out of our food, as well as signal to our brains that we are full
- I should be trying to chew my food at least 30 times before swallowing. You know, like 27 more times than I chew now.
- Our intestinal tracts are much longer than most carnivorous animals, showing that we may not be supposed to eat meat
- It takes about 3 days for meat to travel through our digestive system. Think of 3 day old meat that has been sitting in 98.7 degree heat being pushed along your digestive track. <———that imagery really stayed with me
What The Kind Diet Has Changed for Me
I think what I liked most about this book is that it actually made me think about my own dietary choices more than I thought I would. I picked up this book thinking that I would just get some vegan recipes, but a lot of the information in the book (a lot of what I shared above) has actually made me change the way I eat some.
- I’m trying to to eat meat less often– I think Silverstone makes a really good point about most of us getting plenty of protein in a day. I used to always feel like I needed a meat-based protein (or at least a meat replacement) with almost every meal (especially lunch and dinner) now I’m trying dishes that have no meat or replacement in them. And you know what, I’m still alive!
- I’m trying to chew my food better– I’ve always been such a quick eater! And I almost always overeat. I’ve been trying to slow down some, and use eating as a time to really enjoy my food.
- I’m eating more sea vegetables– I’ve always been a fan of seaweed, but now I find myself getting it more and more when it is available. Silverstone recommends having a sea vegetable a few times a week.
- I’m even more interested in eating seasonally– Now I’m on the hunt to find a cookbook that lays out eating seasonally in an accessible, budget-friendly way. I’m taking recommendations!
The Bottom Line
I recommend! But in a “I’ll let you borrow my copy” or “get it for cheap” type of way. If you’re really looking to change to more vegan-friendly ways, than I definitely recommend you get this book, maybe even pay full price if you need to!
8.5/10- It actually changed the way I look at food!
Questions for you: Have you read The Kind Diet; what did you think? Do you think you will read it? What are some of your “eating beliefs?” Should we eat meat? Eat locally? Eat seasonally? What do you eat?
PS- “What Sarah Read” did anyone pick up on the slight nod to Death Cab for Cutie??????