I review a lot of books on this site, and while I’m all for new recipe ideas and inspiration, I rarely find a book that is so useful and practical that I know I’ll continue coming back to over and over again. “The Plant-Based Journey” is one of those books.
Giveaway! Win a free copy of “The Plant-Based Journey”: In the comments section, tell me what made you decide to go plant-based (or at least lean in that direction). I’ll randomly select a winner by next Monday and announce it here and on facebook. — Update: Congratulations to Heather!
I’m happy to be the first stop on “The Plant-Based Journey“ blog tour, which is in honor of Lani Muelrath’s excellent, inspiring, and incredibly practical new book. I met Lani years ago at a McDougall Advanced Study Weekend and I was struck not only by her warm personality but by her passion and knowledge base. Since then, I’ve always been on the lookout for new stuff from her – her book “Fit Quickies” (which I reviewed on the site here) is full of great workouts and useful fitness information for anyone with a busy schedule, and this new book is poised to be a guide for countless people trying to find their way towards true health.
The subtitle of “Journey” is “A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight,” and the book really is laid out exactly for that purpose. Lani starts out with a concise yet powerful argument for the why switching to a plant-based diet is the best possible choice you can make for your health, your waistline, animal welfare, and the health of the planet. After sharing her personal story, Lani begins to lay out the “how” of a plant-based diet in really interesting ways that I found easy to understand. My favorite part of the book was her inclusion of plant-based “templates” for breakfast, sauces, stir fries, bowls, burgers, and more. I rarely follow exact recipes, and I think I’ll be using these templates for reference for many of my meals down the road.
By the way, if you want to see all the details of the book, the full table of contents of the book can be found on Lani’s site here: http://lanimuelrath.com/are-you-in-my-new-book-plus-the-plant-based-journey-blog-tour-and-complete-table-of-contents/
Even though she was in Africa this past week, I was lucky enough to get a hold of Lani to ask her some questions:
You dispel a lot of nutrition myths in this book. If you had a magic wand and could eliminate just one of these pieces of information and immediately enlighten everyone around the world, which one would it be?
People come to the plant-based living idea with a lot of baggage about nutrition in the form of isolated nutrients – thus the ubiquitous protein and calcium questions. Though research has given us important insights about isolated nutrients, we have been wooed into a world of micro and macronutrients by the food supplement and diet industries that are not serving us. They sidestep in large part the importance of whole nutrition from whole foods, and it can be a challenge for people to make the paradigm shift initially. With patience, guidance, and new information from the research, people are gently nudged into an updated way of looking at nutrition through ‘whole’ eyes and relax more about pulling together a plant-based eating practice.
As you note, this is addressed in Journey but for a quick response, if stuck for weeks on end then getting a room with a fridge and a kettle (you can heat water in coffee makers) will make a huge difference. Insure yourself a good breakfast by packing some oatmeal and dried fruit. Most hotels provide a breakfast, which can be dismal but I’ve pulled together some pretty good meals at them. Usually there is fresh fruit, so if there is only sugar-packed oatmeal packs, if you’ve brought your own old-fashioned rolled, you’re all set. You don’t even need to cook it, pour hot water over it and let it sit for a few minutes, pile on the fruit, and you have a good start to the day. In advance of your trip, internet search your location for potential eateries, restaurants, and markets. A little bit of reconaissance can go a long way. Also, be sure to build in activity. Moving your body is not only important for physical fitness, but for mental fitness. Healthy lifestyle change is profoundly affected when you move your body because of what it does for your brain. And during travel, exercise can be the first to go! This one’s an easy fix. i address that thoroughly in Journey, too.
Brown jasmine rice, some kind of vegetable cooked Savory Vegetables style (the simple template for how to make them is in Journey) and chunks of savory baked tofu or black beans. I’m in Africa right now and though the food here has been excellent, I am craving simple brown rice and brocolli. True story!
I practice Insight, or Vipassana meditation, and also utilize a sound audio program that brings the brain into an alpha state. I practice daily, often both, before the day starts. It brings a distinct advantage in terms of delivering greater equanimity through the day. It has played a huge role in my sustained weight loss. Meditation changes the brain, restoring the command center and delivering all kinds of goodies. I can be a mess without it.
Not really. I just eat when I’m hungry, and have no problem being active shortly after I eat. I am also a fan of intermittent fasting, too, for all the health reasons that it apparently delivers. I am just as active on those days too, though I never have a day when I don’t eat at all. I think that these kinds of details may be important for world class athletes in states of high competition, but for most of us exercise enthusiasts, paying attention to what works for you is most important, and obsessing about it other than that largely overplayed.