Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide - Book Review

As 2014 gets underway so do the goals of many individuals finally promising to make good on adopting healthier lifestyle habits. This is the year that you’re going to get fit and drop the extra pounds you always wanted to. You’re tired of being tired and sick of being sick. You know that diet and exercise are your keys to success, but where do you start?

With so much confusion on what constitutes a healthy diet it can be a huge undertaking to say the least to sort it all out. Thankfully, Holly Yzquierdo has already done this for you in her new ebook The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How To Cook, Shop and Eat Well. I had the pleasure of reading Holly’s newly released book recently and wanted to share my thoughts.

An Excellent Crash Course for Nutritional Novices

The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide covers all the basics to get you off the ground running. If you’re a beginner to this healthy lifestyle stuff then no fear.

First, you’ll need to know what foods to eat and which ones not to eat in order to improve your diet and overall health. Holly gets right to the point as she discusses the benefits of making these food groups the staple of any healthy diet - Leafy Greens, Legumes, Whole Grains, Vegetables, and Fruit. She also covers replacing bad fats (fried foods, junk foods, etc.) with good fats (nuts/seeds, olives, avocados). Next, comes the list of food to keep out of the diet - Animal Products, Oils, and Highly Processed Foods. These foods, Holly explains, should be treats rarely consumed at most.

The next thing you’ll need to know is how to go about getting these foods and what to do with them once you do. Holly provides excellent tips on how to prepare, cook, and shop for your new “plant-based lifestyle” as she calls it. Remember, it’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change. Tips on reading a nutrition label, shopping on a budget, and meal planning are all perfectly laid out for you throughout the course of the book.

Another feature I found helpful in this book was Holly’s firsthand account of keeping an entire household (of different eaters) in line. Holly has two young children and a husband who were a little leery about these changes at first. Ok, a LOT leery. But she didn’t let this discourage her. She wanted good health for herself and her family, so she delivers her secret tips on how to get children to eat healthy and keep the husband happy too, especially when meat is difficult to give up for male figures in the household.

FAQ’s and Common Concerns of Plant-Based Diets

When starting out on a plant-based diet many people have questions. Usually these questions are common amongst all individuals taking the plunge. I was no exception to this rule when making my transition. Holly covers some excellent questions in her book that every newbie needs to know. They include the following:

How will I get enough protein?
I feel horrible, maybe this new plant-based diet isn’t for me?
What’s a “whole food”?
What about supplements?
What’s better for you - smoothies or juicing, or neither one?
What’s nutritional yeast?
Is faux food (“fake” meat and cheese) ok to eat?
Are oils healthy?
Potatoes are unhealthy carbs, correct?
Should I go gluten-free?

Delicious Plant-Based Recipes To Get You Started

What would a switch over to a healthy diet be without any recipes?! Holly has you covered here too. She shares many tried and true recipes that will make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more. Her Crockpot Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole is a favorite of her followers. I know because I’ve made it myself and loved it! Other favorite recipes include Enchilada Soup, Very Vegan Chili (Texas Style), Banana Bread, and Chocolate No-Bake Bites. There are a number of others so you’ll have to check them out by getting a copy of her book.

Speaking of getting a copy of Holly’s book, it’s available on her websiteE-Junkie, or Amazon. You can download it to your Kindle, Ipad, or other ebook reading device. The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide really is the perfect beginner’s guide to making healthy, long-term, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle. Your body will thank you for many years to come if you take this leap of faith. You can do it! Now, go get healthy before you change your mind.

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

Check out Dustin Rudolph's book The Empty Medicine Cabinet to start your journey towards better health. This step-by-step guide leads you through many of today's common chronic diseases (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more), giving you the facts on foods versus medications in treating these medical conditions. The book also contains an easy-to-follow guide on how to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet as a part of an overall lifestyle change, producing the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. Hurry and get your copy today!

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  1. This sounds like an awesome guide. Have you by chance tried the Very Vegan Chili (Texas Style)? If so, can you point me to that post? Thanks!

    1. Veronica - You can email the author Holly at if you wish. I haven't personally tried the chili recipe but I've tried other recipes of hers and she does a great job!


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