I had waited a LONG time to read “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone. Die to popularity, I was stuck on my library’s waiting list for MONTHS to finally snag a copy. Expectations were high, and I could not put this book down once I started getting into it. The photographs are gorgeous-rustic and simple, yet visually enticing (I give books a higher grade when they’ve got fabulous pictures). Alicia’s story is a great one, and I love the message she sends about really, truly understanding where our food comes from, how it affects our world and how diet choices really shape our existence. Her and I share a lot of the same views-an overly strong passion for recycling, fanatical about organic produce, anal about staying away from pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. I enjoy the points she sells about not only vegan food, but complete vegan living, which encompasses so many other aspects. She focuses more on cutting out dairy then she does meat, but I also like that she makes numerous references to breaking the rules every year or so and eating non-vegan food just to prove she’s still human, and to reassure herself that animal products really do wreak havoc on the body. The book is filled with really poignant facts about wholesome living and both vegetarian and vegan eating.
The downside? The novel part of the book, where she writes about the science behind why it’s better to eat vegan, is superb and surprisingly very well-written (I wasn’t sure that Cher from “Clueless” would be the most eloquent book composer). But the recipes…the recipes are another story. Although some of them are good, nothing really stood out to me. Nothing grabbed my attention and said “you HAVE to try this!”. Many of her dishes use a lot of tofu and soy (maybe OK for some-not for us), and feature obscure ingredients I doubt many people have ever even heard of. She’s very ambitious in her creations, but I felt that most of them were too far of a stretch for your average joe, and especially since the book talks a lot about transitioning into veganism, the recipe were too out there to be considered realistic by people who are just starting out on this diet.
I still highly recommend “The Kind Diet” simply because it’s such a mainstream vegan book and the information given leading up to the recipe portion is outstanding. Worth the wait at the library, but may not be worth the actual Barnes & Noble purchase for most.