A few days ago, my boyfriend and I went to Books-A-Million for one of our Sunday ritual visits. It’s usually a way to get me out of the house on Sunday evenings and gives me an excuse to drink coffee after 6pm. While browsing the recommended section, we came across a book that he had originally intended to buy me for Christmas. It was Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet. In a nutshell, Alicia writes about her decision to live a vegan lifestyle. When I sat down to start reading this, I was nervous that it would make me throw out all of the dairy, sugar and fish in my apartment. Shockingly for a pro-vegan book, it was rather tame.
The book begins with her personal journey towards living a more animal friendly lifestyle. She discusses her struggle over the years with becoming a vegetarian and stresses the importance of making the choice for the right reasons. She then goes on to break down each of the following categories: meat, dairy and sugar/processed food. With each of these subjects, she points out that they are delicious, but not so good for your body. She doesn’t scream “Stop eating dairy RIGHT NOW.” She simply addresses the negative effects these foods have on our bodies. For example, in her chapter on sugar, she has one phrase in bold letters that stopped me dead in my tracks. “Sugar makes you fat.” Why did it take a girl who starred in a movie about a ditzy blonde in California to make me realize how true this is? Well like she says in the book “Sugar is crack.” It’s a substance that gives you that temporary fix and leaves you begging for more. Plus, it just makes everything taste better. That being said, I probably won’t give it up. I’m just being honest.
Another chapter she wrote on meat definitely left me questioning why I enjoyed it for so many years. I won’t go into the details, because I realize some people actually want to still enjoy their McDonald’s nuggets, but she talks explicitly about how meat is difficult for us to digest. She’s completely right. While I was flirting with vegetarianism, or pescaterianism over the past few months, I noticed that when I actually did sit down to eat chicken or beef, I had the worst time digesting it. I would burp and my stomach would cramp for hours. Once I had a hearty helping of Chinese food with a friend and I wasn’t able to consume a normal meal for close to 36 hours and yes I did consume the infamous General Tzo’s chicken. Now those of you who can still enjoy your steak, by all means, don’t let me stop you.
Silverstone wraps up the entire book with a long list of recipes that are not only delicious, but vegan. I know personally when I used to think about vegan foods I pictured piles and piles of tofu and a glass of wheatgrass goo. Thanks to this book I now realize that even if I don’t go vegan (my mother promptly reminded me of my obsession with cheese) I can opt for more vegan friendly meals once in a while. Plus, I’m dying to try her recipe for peanut butter cups!