Top positive review
138 people found this helpful
Wise and kind
on 13 November 2009
I knew Alicia Silverstone was a committed vegetarian from her work with Peta and other groups. What I didn't realise is that she was also very into cooking (and eating) good food. 'The Kind Diet' is full of great recipes, from the more indulgent (but still healthy) nudging towards vegan to completely vegan (and gorgeous) right through to the 'Superhero' diet which is more macrobiotic - but still tasty.
'The Kind Diet' is just that and her book is full of compassion - explaining why veganism is better for us, the animals, the environment and the world's hungry. As a long-term veggie and now vegan, I know all of this stuff but I really hope the book opens up the eyes of a new generation. While I love the 'Skinny Bitch' series, they may be a bit confrontational for some. Silverstone's book isn't fluffy - she tells the truth - but she does it in a less judgmental way. It's also very practical - the recipes encourage cooking for a couple of days so you always have a stash of basics such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, pulses etc in the fridge. That way it's easy to create a quick but highly nutritious meal in minutes.
I'm from the UK but familiar with US veg*n books. Some may find it a bit US-based, but check out a good health food shop for the vegan alternatives she suggests; some different brands but most things are available here.
And give it a go. You are what you eat and the rise of the Western diseases of affluence: heart disease in all its forms from high blood pressure to strokes to attacks; most cancers; diabetes type 2; obesity and many more - is a sign that we are more sick than well, despite the fact fewer of us starve and that we have a massive health support network. Too many pills, not enough decent nutrition.
Finally, it's refreshing to hear another side to the raw food fad - I've been interested in macrobiotics for years and believe that the invention of fire opened up a much wider variety of foods - especially wholegrain carbohydrates - which are invaluable for health, taste and variety. And as Silverstone says, eating raw in California is one thing - eating imported fruits in the middle of a New York winter is another thing. And raw fooders seem to do little else but prepare their food in my experience! Eat some raw, sure, but temper it with good quality cooked food too - it seems to me that the body needs both. So, eating more simply, eating more local foods - it's all good, common sense stuff that doesn't mean hair shirts and 'giving up' - rather, a welcoming in to better health, vitality and a clearer conscience.
Good on her for this lovely book.