Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstone

As a vegan of 5 years and vegetarian of 5 years before that, books like The Kind Diet are a little repetitive. The focus is on reasons why one needs to move away from meat and dairy. The cancer causing bits and pieces of meat, the digestion of milk, etc etc etc. All of these are great facts for beginners. And, I’m pretty sure that is what Alicia Silverstone is setting out to present in this book… a beginner’s guide to a vegan diet/lifestyle.

There were a handful of interesting new facts. Such as, a carnivore’s intestines are 6 feet long, but the human intestine is 20 feet long. Meat takes a total of 3 days to fully digest and empty the body. Also, the protein casein (found in milk and cheese) breaks down in the body into casomorphins (as in morphine). An opiate effect takes place in the body and causes the “addictive” attitude many have for cheese. And, how about these horrifying statistics…90,000 US cows/calves are slaughtered every day and 14,000 chickens are killed in the U.S. every minute. What the what?

The book is written in a very playful manner. In fact, there are times I wondered if maybe Silverstone’s character from Clueless, Cher, was writing the book. The almost ditsy, humorous way in which Silverstone talks about her reasons for becoming a vegan (in her case, mostly a macrobiotic vegan).

The recipes are fairly simple. Nothing out of the ordinary. I made a copy of a few… as a reminder. I’m sure I can find them in one of my handful of cookbooks at home. As I said, this is definitely a beginner’s guide. I respect Silverstone for using her celebrity to draw attention to the vegan diet/lifestyle.

My biggest complaint… Silverstone mentions (on two occasions) cheating on the diet. She states that she has had a piece of fish or a pudding (with real milk) from time to time. She reveals she can get just as a good a flavor from vegan dishes, but she has the “real thing” as a reminder…??? I find this to be very odd. I would never call myself a “superhero” (as Silverstone refers to strict vegans), but I have not cheated since shortly after I first started the vegan lifestyle (when I had a brief breakdown and returned to eggs for a week). But, I use AFTER that egg incident as my starting point for veganism. Seems petty, eh? At least she is enjoying a mostly vegan diet and sharing her information with the public. I shouldn’t complain. But, I did.


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