Sunday, October 11, 2015
“The Plant-Based Journey”
Butte College instructor Lani Muelrath, author of “Fit Quickies” workouts, turns her attention to cultivating a “whole food, plant-based” lifestyle in a new, best-selling book called “The Plant-Based Journey” ($16.95 in paperback from BenBella Books; also for Amazon Kindle).
The author is a compassionate (and witty) guide for those who may want to adopt a new way of eating for dietary or environmental reasons, but who don’t know where to start. The book is structured like a path. “The journey,” she writes, “invites you to center what you eat on predominantly whole plant foods: vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds.”
The first section, Awakening, offers reasons for going plant-based and an insight into Muelrath’s own journey of over four decades. The Scout section addresses the question: “How do you morph your current shopping, cooking, and eating styles to align with your new ideal, and avoid common pitfalls?” As Muelrath says, she’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to.
With the Rookie stage, “it’s time to eat!” And “when 90 percent of your calories come from a variety of whole, plant-based foods, you’ve clearly achieved Rock Star status.” Finally, the Champion works on mastery. Muelrath presents the “ten-day plant-based makeover,” in part to reorient taste preferences.
A final section discusses exercise and “mastering strength of mind.” There are real-world case studies throughout; a recipe section (“Portobello Pot Roast,” “Crispy Coconut Waffles”); and a wealth of endnotes pointing to research from respected medical journals.
Be wise: “It’s best not to sit down at Thanksgiving dinner and announce to everyone, ‘I don’t eat anything with a mother or a face!’” That may be true, but there are better ways to handle “persistent food pushers.”
“Real life,” Muelrath writes, “calls for flexibility and ‘perfect enough.’ … Cultivate the attitude and mind-set of possibility, joyous anticipation, and opportunity.”