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The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

de Alona Pulde

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From the creators of the groundbreaking documentary (and bestselling books) Forks Over Knives comes a four-week plan, showing anyone how to transition to a delicious whole-food, plant-based diet.

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This book makes the case for a healthy, whole-foods, plant-based way of eating. The authors argue that eating a plant-based diet produces powerful health benefits including a reduction of health care costs. It is also better, they aver, for the environment, showing how dependence on farm animals contributes to global warming, deforestation, waste, water pollution, fisheries depletion, endangered species, and soil erosion.

Two things convinced me to get this book. One was that a friend trying out this new diet cooked some meals for me, and they were delicious, in addition to being healthy. The second was that it had a preface and endorsement by the highly respected heart doctor Dean Ornish, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of Reversing Hearth Disease.

Dr. Ornish makes an important point:

“Many people tend to think of advances in medicine as high-tech and expensive, such as a new drug, laser, or surgical procedure. They often have a hard time believing that something as simple as diet and lifestyle changes can make such a powerful difference in our lies - but they often do.”

He notes that diet and lifestyle changes (the latter involving exercising more and stress reduction techniques) and stop or reverse the progression of some early-stage cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and may prolong life generally.

The authors, both medical doctors, then describe the plant-based way of eating, and outline suggestions for gradually switching over from a primary reliance on animal products (meat and dairy) and heavily-processed foods. They talk about eating out, pointing out that many ethnic restaurants - especially those featuring Asian cuisine - offer delicious food that conforms with their suggestions. They also provide suggestions for traveling and a discussion of nutrition.

A good deal of the book is devoted to recipes, including breakfasts, wraps and roll-ups, side dishes and salads, soups and stews, casseroles, pasta, grains, sauces, and desserts. The recipes are not too complicated, and there are a few glossy photos to show the appeal of foods prepared from them. ( )
  nbmars | Nov 29, 2020 |
The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet by Matthew Lederman and Alona Pulde is a guide to a healthy lifestyle rather than a diet book. Both authors are medical doctors and have personal biographies at the beginning of the book.

The Forks Over Knives Plan is the practical application of the lifestyle put forth in the documentary movie of the same name. The authors make several things very clear in the book. First and foremost this is about a lifestyle and not simply a diet. Second, medical science has come a long way, and doctors can provide pharmaceuticals to get a person's blood pressure and cholesterol numbers to a safe level. The problem here is that the symptoms are being treated and not the cause. Much like taking Nyquil when you have a cold. It doesn’t cure the cold, but masks the symptoms; you are still sick, but don’t feel as bad. Third, is the misrepresentation of foods. For example, calcium and healthy bones are often a reason to consume dairy products. America has one of the highest rates of dairy consumption and one of the highest rates of fractures.

The Forks Over Knives Plan helps the reader gradually shift over to a plant based diet by starting with breakfast the first week, adding lunch a week later, and finally dinner. Many issues on the conversion are answered and common problems are discussed. Emphasis is put on whole foods and eliminating processed foods and oil from the one’s diet. The authors explain the problems of processed foods and animal products in a very clear way. For example, meat and dairy are cited by most as great sources for calcium. Where did that calcium from? Answer: Plants. Meat and dairy calcium came from plants and are used and stored in animals. Obviously, meat and dairy are not a necessary source of calcium.

The second half of the book contains recipes for meals. They all use common ingredients available in most grocery stores. The most uncommon item I recall seeing was nutritional yeast. Recipe sections usually don’t interest me. I have been a strict vegetarian for almost a decade now, and have my diet pretty well sorted out. I eat simple. Starch, beans, and produce make up general diet with produce and spices providing the variety. Not everyone can eat like this and that is why there is a recipe section. I did however find a few recipes I am going to try. The Sloppy Joe Pitas, made with bulgur wheat, instead of meat, sound really good. The recipes range from common replacements like stews and breakfast burritos to the rather unique like Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes.

The Forks Over Knives Plan is a very user friendly guide to using food as medicine and living a healthy lifestyle. The guidance and recipes will help the reader make a smooth transition to a plant based diet and remove many of the misconceptions. There is variety and taste in a plant based diet and its not like many people think. I often hear “I couldn’t be a vegetarian. I don't like Tofu.” Tofu is only an ingredient in two of the recipes. There is more to a plant based diet than tofu. The Forks Over Knives Plan is an excellent start to a better life. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
A doable plan for a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

Making significant lifestyles changes is often presented as all-or-nothing, which I think overwhelms most people. What I liked about The Forks Over Knives Plan was the gradual switch by meal type spread over four weeks. There was even an introductory selection of recipes by meal type.

Now, having said that, I thought I had borrowed [Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook] as I was looking for new plant-based recipe ideas. I tried two recipes from The Plan which were tasty and filling. However, I was expecting a book **full** of recipes. Note to self: make sure I request the correct title next time. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Nov 4, 2014 |
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From the creators of the groundbreaking documentary (and bestselling books) Forks Over Knives comes a four-week plan, showing anyone how to transition to a delicious whole-food, plant-based diet.

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