The growing interest in a healthy life style has led to an increasing number of people changing their diet and eating more plant based meals. Micaela Cook Karlsen’s book, A Plant Based Life, is a valuable resource for people wanting to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet and covers both the benefits of such a diet and the means by which it can be achieved. Based on her own experience and the latest nutritional research, the author presents a step by step guide for transforming a traditional diet to a plant based diet in a way that is doable and sustainable.
Karlsen’s program involves five steps each of which addresses a different aspect of dietary behavior: finding a motivating force, adding plant based food to the diet, choosing health over habit, and cultivating connection for sustainability. For each step Karlsen examines the issues and suggests ways to achieve success at an individualized pace. As readers go through the steps they can learn how to improve shopping and cooking skills, minimize food costs, and kick the addiction to sugar, salt, and fats. To make the change to a plant based diet sustainable, Karlsen presents a comprehensive plan that involves reshaping the environment to diminish the role of willpower and developing supportive social contacts.
Karlsen includes over 100 recipes that support the plant-based life. They are organized into traditional groups: breakfast/brunch, snacks, appetizers, soups, salads and sides, sauces-spreads-dressings, quick bits, main meals, and treats and consist of a list of ingredients and step by step instructions. Some of the more memorable dishes include a chickpea and quinoa frittata, cowboy caviar made with black-eyed peas and black beans, mayonnaise made from silken tofu or pureed cauliflower, and chocolate mousse made from avocado. My favorite cooking tidbit is to substitute nutritional yeast for cheese.
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